Sketch of Andreas Otteni

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Sketch of John Oatney
1833 - 1897

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John Oatney, son of Benedict and Christina Otteni, was born on 10 Oct 1833 in Fairfield County, Ohio. Although the names are spelled differently, John eventually went by the "Oatney" spelling as did his brother, Joseph. However, some early records show that both John's and Benedict's name was spelled "Otney".

John worked at an early age. According to the 1850 U.S. Census, John was employed as a laborer at the age of 16. At this time, he was living with his family in Pleasant Township in Fairfield County, Ohio.

John married Lavina Coon (8 Sep 1840 - 20 Aug 1916) on 5 Mar 1857 in Pickaway County, Ohio.  Lavina is the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Bumgardner Coon.

Family Members

By 1860, John and Lavina had set up housekeeping in Berne Township in Fairfield County, Ohio. The 1860 U.S. Census indicated that John engaged in farming and that he and Lavina had two children. They were listed as Joseph and Mary.

By 1870, according to the 1870 U.S. Census, the family had moved to Hocking Township, Fairfield County, Ohio. The number of children increased to seven. Those listed were: Joseph, Mary A., Elizabeth, John, Emily, Callie, and Henry.

In all, John and Lavina Oatney had 12 children. Their proper names and birth and death dates are:



Joseph Otney

15 Aug 1857

4 Feb 1932

Mary Ann Oatney

28 Nov 1858

20 Mar 1931

Elizabeth Oatney (Powers)

10 Aug 1860

20 Mar 1940

John Daniel Oatney

8 Sep 1862

29 Apr 1939

Emma Oatney (Brandt)

27 Oct 1865

19 Apr 1923

Clara Oatney (Miller)

17 Dec 1866

7 Nov 1935

Henry Oatney

7 Mar 1869

8 Mar 1952

Roseanne Oatney (Davis)

6 Jun 1871

28 May 1934

Minnie Oatney (Getz)

8 Jul 1873

9 Jan 1943

Sarah Oatney

12 Oct 1875

12 Oct 1875

Grace Lavina Oatney (Shugert)

20 Sep 1876

25 Oct 1965

Franklin Pierce Oatney

20 May 1879

20 May 1965

Bottom Row - Grace Oatney , Frank Oatney
Middle Row - John D. Oatney, John Oatney, Lavina Coon Oatney
Top Row - Rose Oatney, Minnie Oatney, Henry Oatney
Photo taken circa 1883

Some of the children were known by other names. Clara was called Callie, Emma was also known as Emily and Mary Ann was referred to as Mayme. A scrap book maintained by Mayme's sister, Grace, referred to her as Anna Mary and not Mary A. as listed in the 1870 U.S. Census.

John & Lavina Pass On

John Oatney died on 15 Mar 1897 at the age of 63 years, 5 months and 5 days. At the time of his death, he lived in Greenfield Township, Fairfield County, 1 1/2 miles west of Dumontville, Ohio. The funeral service took place at the Reformed church where John was member for 24 years. The service was conducted by Rev. Dr. Schindel of Dumontville. John was buried at Forest Rose Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio. His tombstone bears the name of "Oatney." (See Find A Grave for John's memorial)



Lancaster Eagle Gazette, Lancaster Fairfield County, Ohio, Oct 1897

The funeral of Mr. John Oatney, who died at his home in Greenfield township one and one-half miles west of Dumontville, Monday morning, took place from his late residence, Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and was largely attended.

He was born on the 10th day of October 1833 and was 63 years 5 months and 5 days old when he died. He leaves an aged wife, seven daughters, four sons, two sisters, twenty five grand children and a host of friends to mourn his departure. He had been a consistent member of the Reformed church for twenty-four years, and was a highly respected citizen and valued member of his church. Rev. Dr. Schindel, of Dumontville, conducted the funeral services and was assisted by Rev. A. C. Derr, of Lancaster. Rev. Schindel took as a foundation for his sermon, the 44th verse of the 24th chapter of Mathew; "Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh." From these words, which were so well suited to the christian life and character of the deceased, he preached a very able discourse, which was listened to with marked attention.

Rev. Schindel is a very earnest and forcible speaker, and his pathetic and elegant manner is presenting his theme, deeply impressed his hearers.

A number of the members of the Reformed church choir of Lancaster, composed of Rev. A. C. Deer, Col. J.C. Hite, Miss Ida Wachter and Miss Clara Bowser sang three very suitable and well rendered selections, which drew forth from Dr. Schindel some highly complimentary remarks. After the sermon was concluded, the remains were brought to Forest Rose cemetery in Lancaster, and placed in the cemetery vault.

Lavina Coon Oatney apparently went to live with her daughter, Grace Lavina Shugert at 238 West Sixth Ave. in Lancaster, Ohio. She died there on 8 Sep 1916. An article in the newspaper announced the death. It read:


Comes to Mrs. Lavina Oatney Sunday Evening - Stroke of Paralysis Cause of Death

Mrs. Lavina Oatney, aged 75 years, eleven months and twelve days, died Sunday evening at 4:30 o'clock at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Theodore Shugert, No 238 West Sixth avenue, of Paralysis, when having experienced a severe stoke on Saturday.

Mrs. Oatney is survived by a large number of children, four sons, John, of near Lancaster, Frank and Henry of Pleasantville, and Joseph of Barnes, Kan., seven daughters, Mrs. Theodore Shugert, Mrs. Luther Brandt, Mrs. Charles Pierce, and Mrs. Will Davis and Mrs. Grant Miller of Carroll; Mrs. Oliver Getz of Detroit, Mich., and a host of other relatives and friends.

The funeral services will be conducted Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock at Grace Reformed church.

An obituary appeared in the newspaper regarding Lavina's funeral. (See Find A Grave for Lavina's memorial) It read:


The funeral services of Lavina Coon Oatney were held in the Grace Reformed Church, Wednesday afternoon at 1:30. They were in charge of the Rev. Dr. J.J. Leberman of Sugar Grove assisted by Rev. E. E. Engle, pastor of the Grace Church. Dr. Leberman spoke most comfortable and helpful words using his text "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." Found in Psalm 23:6. The following obituary notice was read: Mrs. Lavina Coon Oatney was born Sept 8, 1940 near Lancaster, O. departed this life Aug 29, 1916, aged 75 years, 11 months, and 12 days. She was united in marriage to John Oatney who preceded her to the world beyond some years ago. To this union were born 12 children, one of whom the Father took to the home above in infancy.

Eleven children, fifty-one grandchildren, and twenty-three great great grand children remain to mourn their loss. As a mother, words of too deep appreciation could not be spoken, nor was she ever too weary of body to lend a hand when there as a need.

Mother Oatney was a life long and faithful member of the Grace Reformed church. Her two faithful songs, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and "Shall We Gather at the River," which are being used in this service, express her religious life and experience. She knew what it was to have a friend in Jesus. He bore all her sins and griefs. Hers was the blessed privilege of carrying everything to Him in prayer. When trials arose, when temptations assailed, when there was trouble anywhere, she took it to the Lord in prayer. In his arms, He took and shielded her. She formed a solace there. Now she has reached the shining river, now her pilgrimage has ceased, now her happy heart is singing the "melody of peace."

I heard a voice from heaven saying , Wright, Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord from henceforth; year, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labor; for their works do follow with them. Revelation 14:13.

Burial took place in Forest Rose cemetery.

Card of Thanks

The family of Mrs. Lavina Oatney wished to thank the friends and neighbors who extended their kindness and sympathy at this time of bereavement, also those who sent floral tributes, the choir, and Revs. Leberman and Engle.

More Information

Click on the following link to view information on the descendants of John Oatney to the present. (Report with documentation also available)

Descendants of John Oatney (1833-1897) - a privatized (dates & places of living people omitted) 8 Generation Descendant Book (PDF), starting with John Oatney - 97 pages plus index.

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Last modified: October 20, 2022