Jacob Wigle of Wayne County, Ohio

Previously, I had written our Weigle/Wigle line up to Mary, wife of John Rhodes and mother of Daniel.

I am reasonably confident that Mary Wigle was the daughter of Jacob Wigle and his wife, Elizabeth.  I agree with other researchers that this same Jacob is most likely the man who moved to Wayne County, Ohio, and died there.  The timeline presented below is a little telling, to me anyway.  Here goes.

There is one multi-generational family of Wigle’s in South Huntington township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania – the same township where John Rhodes is from. In this family, only one man could be Mary’s father, and his name is Jacob. Jacob is a neighbor of John Rhodes’ father, Henry, and other Rhodes family associates.

Jacob did not leave many records behind in Westmoreland County. He is found in the early census (before 1850), which only names heads of households and tick marks for their household members. And his name changes every ten years from Wagle in 1810, Wyble in 1820, and then settles on Wigle in 1830 and 1840. I have yet to find anything that names his children or his wife’s identity as this man leaves Westmoreland County after 1840. No wills, no probates, and few burials are found for Wigles in this Pennsylvania County for the time period of interest.

Jacob Wigle’s family (of any spelling variation) is not found in the First Lutheran Church of Greenburg PA records, where we find John and a few of his family members.  There are indications that families bearing the surname Wigle were Lutheran because I have found possible related branches within the First Lutheran Church records.   

There were, of course, other Lutheran churches in Westmoreland County.  But alas, the index to their records is not readily or accurately searchable (for those available digitally), as are the First Lutheran Church. I am still in the process of scouring those that have been scanned and are available through various online portals (HathiTrust, Google Books, Archives.org, etc.).  Hopefully, Jacob’s specific family is found in one of these other church records.  

For the time being, because there is only one Wigle family in South Huntington township who were neighbors of John Rhodes’ family and other associated Lutheran families, I assume that Jacob’s family are also of German ancestry.  The other Wigle family included in the First Lutheran Church records lived in Hempfield township, Westmoreland County.  While I am not certain how the Hempfield township Wigles are related to Jacob (if at all), I suspect the patriarch of that branch to be Jacob’s uncle.  But I will save that for another post. 

Created from the Baker’s map of Wayne County 1856, Accessed February 6, 2021 from the U.S. Library of Congress. Approximate locations identified through census, plat maps, and cemetery records.

The connection between Jacob Wigle, who died in Wayne County, Ohio, to Westmoreland County, PA, is tenuous.  

  1. The Ohio Jacob arrived after the 1840 census.  The Westmoreland, PA Jacob is in the 1840 South Huntington township census but is not found in 1850 anywhere in the county.  
  2. The proven descendants of this Jacob all claim he is from Westmoreland County.  These descendants have erected a modern monument at the grave of Jacob Wigle and his wife, Elizabeth.  His age of death has two conflicting sources; the recent headstone inscription says he was 57 years, 6 months, and 4 days old when he died on 12 February 1847, making his birth date 4 August 1789; while his burial record says he was 57 years, 2 months, and 13 days, making his birth date 30 November 1789.   His official record of death just says he was 57.

I sure wish I knew who erected the modern headstone and why they changed his age at death!

Regardless, his calculated birth does match up to the approximate age of Jacob Wible in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

Now, when I compare his movements to that of John Rhodes and Mary Weigle/Wigle, I come up with the following:

And the icing on that cake is, we have an autosomal DNA match to a woman who descends from Catherine Wigle.  Catharine is another loosely proven daughter of Jacob.  She also moved to Wayne County, Ohio from Pennsylvania, and is buried in the same cemetery as Jacob Wigle. I’ve looked at the genealogy of this DNA match, and she has a lot of family artifacts that support her lineage up to Catherine Wigle.

Updated 2/14/21: If you recall from the post on Henry Rhodes Jr., one of his daughters (John’s sister) also married a Wigle. Henry named this daughter “Rebecca (now Wible)” in his will but did not provide her husband’s given name.  Jacob Wigle had a possible son named John.  Other researchers have connected a John and Mary Wigle from the 1850 North Huntington twp., Westmoreland County census as a son of Jacob Wigle.  I’m not sure how this couple was considered a connection based on just the 1850 census, but that is what these other researchers have done.  Glen Swartz (see William Wigle’s post) assign’s Rebecca as a wife of John Wible, but tracks this couple to Ohio were they both died childless. He did not record who John’s parents were. We currently do not have a DNA match to Rebecca Rhodes Wible’s line, and Glen’s research provides an explanation for why.