Matrilineal Monday: Finding Clarinda Ockerman Awalt (1826-1897)

Clarinda holds a special fondness for me in my genealogy research.  She was the first ancestor I tried to track down when I first started researching my family history.  My mother could only remember her name as 'Carlindia, or something like that'.  It didn't help that no one on mother's side knew anything of their German heritage...instead insisting we were part French.  For a few months I even thought we might be Italian!  Finding her gravestone in the Philadelphia Cemetery in Plano, Appanoose County, Iowa,  was not much of a help:   "Clearrinda, Wife of J. Awalt".

I've settled on one spelling of my great great grandparents names:  John Awalt and Clarinda Ockerman, but as you will see, there are some alternatives:

"John Arvalt, one of the original thirteen who organized Johns Township, was born in Bartholomew County, Indiana, January 23, 1824....He remained with his mother until twenty-four years old, when he was married to Clarinda Ackerman, a native of Ohio."  This quote was from the Biographical and Historical Record of Wayne and Appanoose Counties, Iowa.

The next hint I received was from The King-Scott Heritage Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT,  Mar 1988 'Summary of Research Completed" on the Michael Awalt, Jr. Family.  It lists John as a child of Sarah Tipps and Michael Awalt and shows John's marriage to "Clarinda Ockerman" as 5 Mar 1848 in Bartholomew County, Indiana. 

Next came a note, and here I must beg forgiveness from Elizabeth Shown Mills, who's book "Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian" is the bible for citing sources....I was sooooooooo ignorant about writing down where things came from (and to tell you the truth, that is still my weakest link!)  I was so enthusiastic when I began my research!  I wrote letters (yes, hand written letters!) to anyone I thought could help me.  This one page remains after 20 years:
It lists Clarinda Ockerman as the daughter of David Ockerman and Celinda Adams.  It mentions that Clarinda lived in Iowa and was born the 31st of Jan 1926.  I still have no hard evidence backing up any of these assumptions. 

"Someday" I hope to find my way east of Illinois and do some research into this family.  In the I have any cousins out there?


  1. Yes, you have lots of cousins.

  2. Oct 25th 2011
    Hello I am Jenny Ockerman Portier
    my father by adoption was Ross Albert Ockerman born 6/20/1927 died 8 years ago 6/15/2003
    (i can not remember his fathers name BUT due to this strange name clarinda CLARANCE < seems to be ringing some bells) we were not Mormon so my father had adopted us after he was dis-owned from his fathers name for not divorcing his barron wife my mother by adoption Doloris Joann Ockerman ... i can be reached at

  3. My name is Jonathan Awalt. From northern California.


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