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Frances Smith

Frances Smith's name came from the mother listed on Amelia Eighner's death record (where the given name is transcribed "Francis") and is also found on Louise's.

The best evidence available suggests that she was the mother of all of Gene Eighner's children. Gene seems to have offered inconsistent accounts of his own age and date of immigration. If you believed one of his stories that he immigrated some time after 1854, you would have to believe his son John was born in Europe, and if the same woman was the mother of all of his children, she would have had to have met Gene in Europe.

But all the other evidence suggests that Gene's son John was born in America. Thus, there is no particular reason to believe Gene met the mother of his children in Europe.

Most of the children, most of the time, say she was from France, but occasionally it is Germany, or she was born in France, but a native speaker of German. They all agree she was an immigrant, but that does not require that she immigrated with Gene. Gene could have immigrated about 1850, met her in Ohio or anywhere along the way to Ohio.

Not much else can be tied down about her. She died sometime between the birth of her last child (1868) and 1880 when Gene (by then called John) is shown as a widower on the census.

The Children


John is generally referred to as "John who married Nancy McBride" to distinguish him from the numerous Johns and Jacks that follow. Apparently he was the first to settle permanently in Illinois 'just over the line' (from Indiana) in what is today Iroquois county. His sons Charles (generally called "Charles Sr.") and John (called "Jack") are the ancestors of most of the Illinois Eighners — Charles on his own account, and Jack through his son Clarence. Today, owing to the rarity of the name, descendants of these branches are likely to assume they are related, but generally have at best a dim idea of the relationship.


Louise (whose name is often given as, and may in fact have been "Louisa") married John N Reed, but does not appear to have had any children.


George is a shadowy figure, mostly because his name is most commonly butchered in official documents. George had a very brief marriage to a very much younger woman. He had one son Brichel Lee Eighnor. It is not clear that George was literate or meant to take a position in the Eighner/Eighnor controversy. Mostly his name is rendered as something like neither. Most of the time when George can be found he is a farm hand or simply a boarder with family or in-laws.


Amelia married man who became know as Ed Matson. Her name is given as "Amelia Igner" and his as "Edwin Mattison" on the Ford county license application. The spelling of her name we can dismiss as clearly an error. But Mattison may well have been his true birth name which he later decided to simplify. "Mary" may have been Amelia's middle name. At any rate, she is so called in census records after she is married. At any rate, she bore (at least) four sons and a daughter who had the surname Matson at birth.


Frank lived sometime in Illinois but eventually moved "just over the line" to Tippicanoe county, Indiana. He married Nettie Olson and had one daughter Laura. His father Gene Eighner by then know as John lived with the couple until he was quite agéd. He was one of his brother George's hosts for a time.


Joe seems to have come down hard on the Eighnor side of the Eighner/Eighnor issue. He married Mary Ellen Aaron and had two daughters. He moved his immediate family to San Antonio (Bexar county), Texas.

Illinois Eighners

These and their descendants are what I call the Illinois Eighners. Some Eighners whose relationship to this line, if any, have passed through or possibly settled in Chicago at various times, but do not seem to have put down roots outside the city.

Categories: FullNames Smith Frances ImmigrantRoots Immigrant Eighner


Agners, Hamilton Co., OH, 1860

Free Inhabitants in Spencer Township, in the County of Hamilton, State of Ohio,
enumerated by me, on the 27th day of June, 1860. John F Voorkers, Ass't. Marshal. Page No.132 [Stamped] 205
Mar. in
Schl in
8201068John Agner33M."[day Labor]..France....
..Frances "26F...."....
..John Eighner5M....Ohio....
..Louise "3F...."....
..George "1M...."....

"Population schedules of the eighth census of the United States, 1860,Ohio" Retrieved 07 April 2016. and


Relationship to Lars: GGreat Grandmother


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