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John Ettiman

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John Ettiman, 1832-about 1860

John Ettiman,
              Roby Randall, George Eitterman

John Ettiman was born about 1832 in Germany. Nothing is known of his parents or possible siblings, although John's first son was named George so perhaps that was the first name of John's father. John married Roba "Roby" Randall about 1854 probably in the township of Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York. That is where they were living during the 1855 New York State census (on the same page of this census was Roby's parents, Reuben and Margaret Randall). John "Ettiman" was listed as 23 and "Roba" was 17. Their son, George, was born shortly after this census was taken (George was born in November of 1855 so the above photo of John, Roby, and George was probably taken about 1857 or 1858). The agricultural statistics of this 1855 census indicates that John owned four acres of land, the value of the farm was 125 dollars, and they owned one cow (worth 10 dollars). According to George's daughter, Madia Eitterman Mesler, "My father never talked of his parents to me. All I know was from Mamma... Grandfather John Eitterman [was] getting over a log fence, while hunting, gun discharged killing him -- in State of New York." The spelling of John's last name is not certain. "Ettiman" is the spelling on the 1855 census so that is the spelling used in this biography. George went by the name "Eitterman" while George's younger brother, John, used the name "Etiman". The 1860 census spelled Roby's last name as "Iterman" and George, who was staying with his grandparents at the time, had his last name spelled "Ittiman" by the census worker.

The 1855 census indicates that John was unable to read and write, and that he had lived in Dayton for two years. It is not known when he immigrated from Germany but there is one "Johann Ittermann", age 21, on the ship Alliance which landed in the port of New York in June 1852. Johann (German for John) was from Bavaria, and was apparently travelling by himself (no other Ittermann was on the passenger list). Again, it is not certain if Johann Ittermann was our John Ettiman/Eitterman but he may well be.

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