Hi David, I think we talked or emailed a few years back. I agree with your assessment that Charles Forney's book had errors or at least missing data. It is a great beginning source of info, as you have said. I believe that Charles concentrated most of his research in Fremont County, IA. He seemed to miss many related that lived within 100 miles of there. Of course his main emphasis as stated in the introduction was on the Forneys.
I have to disagree with your point about Margaret Smith/Schmitt being the wife of the junior Jacob. I am not sure when I spoke to you last if I knew my ggg grandmother's maiden name. We knew her first name was Catherine, and family sources said that she was a Clapper. However, one of my smart cousins sent for the death certificate of her daughter and we discovered she was an Ettleman. Several years of effort by many cousins has established that she was the 1st born daughter of Jacob Ettleman - s/o Jacob Frederick Ettleman. Some detective work with land records showed that Jacob divided his property 5 ways in 1875 prior to his death. In some records the transactions were listed as dower transfers, which generally refers to land passed to heirs. This along with census record research would seem to indicate that Jacob had 5 heirs prior to his death. They are as follows: Catherine Ettleman Mason 1817-1899 Daniel Webster Ettleman 1819-1872 (His land was given to his widow) Mary Ettleman Potter 1821-aft 1880 Susan Ettleman Chamberlain abt 1832-1917 Amanda Ettleman Clapper 1836-1903 (There is some evidence that there was a son named Adam, that either died before this or went to Utah with the other Mormons of the family) In all the census records from 1850-1870 Jacob's wife was listed as Susanna or Susan. We believe her name was Susanna Klein. Her approximate age seems to match with the 1830 and 1840 census as well.
So you can see that he would have had to have been married to both women simultaneously and repeat names for some of the children. One thing to consider about the marriage of Jacob Frederick to the much younger Margaret Smith/Schmitt is the fact that they were Mormons. Women within the religion are considered to have obtained their moral duty by having as many offspring as possible. For this reason very young women were often married to old men. There is more to it, but I will stop there so as not to offend anyone.
Mary M. Benner who married Johann Karl Forney was a 1st cousin to me, so I would assume that we are related. What part of the country did Jacob William Forney settle in? Also I'd be curious to know where you think Johann Karl came from. I guess I always thought his name looked German, but I'd love to learn more. I think you told me one time that many came to America to escape religious persecution and that some that were thought to have come from Germany were probably closer to France. Do I have that right or has my memory failed me here? Anyway you taught me a lot back then, and I appreciate your posting here. Jim Adkins