May 2019

Get Ready to Meet our "New" Cousins

Introducing James & Caroline Spiker of Indiana and Ken & Georgia Ann (Spiker) Varner of Iowa

By Bobbi Spiker-Conley

Last year, Ken Zinn and Gary Zinn made their first appearances at our family reunion. Ken’s father (Nelson) and Gary were brothers. Gary’s grandfather (Wirt Zinn) and our grandfather (Marion Bukey Zinn) were brothers. Got it? Good. ‘Cause this year we hope to meet a couple more cousins whose connections to our family tree aren’t AS easy to explain. 

It’s the common complaint from those of us tracing the Spiker line – reliable source information is difficult to find. We are comfortable with our conclusions through our 2nd great-grandfather, David Spiker (1823-1877.) Beyond that, things get murky. For one thing, after David’s father, John, died, David and some of his siblings were indentured out to other families. For another, it seems that every generation used the same common christian names like John or Jacob or Michael or…well you get the idea. And as for our surname? Way too many altered spellings to track. Remember, our presumed 5th great-grandfather is Ulrich Speicher (Abt. 1710-1785.) 

During the research process, we frequently come across others searching the same names or places. That’s how we “met” James Spiker from Indiana and Georgia Ann (Spiker) Varner from Iowa. Both are preparing to attend the reunion this month so that we may finally meet in person. Last I heard, their spouses, Carolyn and Ken, will be coming along too.

From what we’ve pieced together, our common ancestor is Ulrich Spericher/Spiker’s son, Jacob Speicher/Spiker (Abt. 1745-1830) who married Barbary Keim (1749-1808) in 1769. 

Jacob and Barbary’s son and daughter-in-law, John (Abt. 1770-1836) and Mary Ann (Miller) Spiker had several children including our 2nd great-grandfather, David Spiker, and Georgia Ann’s great-grandfather, John William Spiker (Abt. 1805-1885.) 

James’ research indicates his line is descended from Jacob and Barbary through another son, Samuel (not shown in my personal tree.)

I hope I’ve gotten all of this written down correctly. Whew!

Keep your eyes open for James and Caroline Spiker of Indiana, and Ken and Georgia Ann (Spiker) Varner of Iowa. They’re traveling a long way, and I have no idea if they’re fully prepared for those West Virginia country roads. Be sure to give them a warm Spiker welcome. This should be fun.