Ida Jane Lockard Eisenberger was born in West Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on 23 December 1866 to Washington and Elizabeth Remick Lockard. When she was fifteen she married a local boy, also from the same township, named Harry Eisenberger. This picture, that our family had kept of Ida, had been torn in half. In all our family photos, only the ones belonging to Ida have been ripped sometimes in half, so we speculate she was a person with strong emotions. She does look a bit stern here in this picture. You can just see the dress of someone else that had stood next to her.
Washington Lockard was a farmer and also a skilled carpenter, and in some records his surname is given as Lockart. The Eisenberger surname also has many variations, such as Isenberger. Both families had German roots, and they were considered Pennsylvania Dutch. Their families had both lived in the township for decades. Hempfield Township was one of the original Lancaster County townships and was split in 1818 into East and West Hempfield townships.
The Lockards and Eisenbergers had worked as farmers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, and quarry men in the local stone quarries. Their wives were usually listed in census records as homemakers. Ida and Harry had four children, Eva, Minnie Minerva, Paul Henry, and Maude Elizabeth. By the 1900 Federal Census, Ida and Harry had separated, and Ida had moved to York City, York County, Pa, with the three girls. Harry stayed in the Kinderhook area of West Hempfield Township with their son. Harry was listed as a day laborer in 1900 and living with his family. Ida and Harry never reconciled, but they also never divorced.
Recognizing that there are two sides of any story, Ida’s version was that her husband deserted her and that she never received child support, or any financial help from him afterwards. Ida also claimed that Harry had a drinking problem. She went to work as a tobacco stripper in a York cigar factory. Later, when her daughter Maude, and son Paul, both moved to Kingston, New Jersey, she moved there to live near them, and her grandchildren, settling in nearby Princeton. There she took nurse training to work as a home health aide to support herself. Somewhere along the line she must have been miffed at her two older daughters, Eva and Minnie, since this photo below is how the picture looked before being torn in two. Thanks to another family researcher, Tim Sassaman, we now have the complete photograph, plus a few other ones, to add to ours.
Before her death on 11 July 1933 in Princeton, NJ, she had carefully prepared her handwritten will giving small mementos to Eva, Minnie, and Paul. The bulk of her possessions went to her daughter, Maude. Ida also left one dollar to Harry Eisenberger – just enough that he couldn’t contest her will. She also left money for her daughter, Maude, to pay for her funeral costs. Ida was buried in Mount Rose Cemetery, York, PA, where her parents, Washington and Elizabeth Lockard had been buried. When Harry Eisenberger died on 23 December 1940, at the Lancaster General Hospital, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Maude took care of the funeral arrangements for her father, deciding that Harry was to be buried in Kinderhook, West Hempfield Township near his parents, Henry and Barbara Reigel Eisenberger.
In 2001, my sister and I took Ida’s granddaughter, Evelyn, to the Mount Rose Cemetery to visit the graves of her parents, Benjamin and Maude Eisenberger Stewart. Evelyn knew the area her grandmother had been buried, so we stopped there for her to pay her respects. While at the cemetery we also found the graves of Washington and Elizabeth Lockard in the old section of the cemetery. At the gravestone of Ida Lockard Eisenberger we were happy to notice that someone else had also recently visited, leaving a floral arrangement. Evelyn speculated that it had been left by one of her cousins.
For other researchers with surnames associated with Lancaster and York counties in Pennsylvania, the two county historical societies are must stops. They are under a one hour drive apart, and both have records going back to colonial days, with wonderful surname files to browse through. Lancaster County Historical Society is right in downtown Lancaster with lots of great Amish restaurants nearby to sample some good old-fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch food. The York County Heritage Trust is also close to Gettysburg, Adams County, Pa, for anyone interested in the American Civil War.
Surname Saturday is a weekly prompt from GeneaBloggers for posting about your ancestors and the locality associated with your family research.