Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Paul and his Twin Granddaughters

Paul Orshoski, Sr. is pictured here giving his twin granddaughters a big hug. The snapshot was taken in the fall of 1982. Sadly he would lose his battle with lung cancer only five months after this picture was taken. Throughout his life, Paul's family would appreciate his kindness, generosity, and his great sense of humor. He had a big heart, and he is still missed by his family and friends.

A Morbid Fascination

Jeffery Smith's blog A Morbid Fascination never fails to amaze me. His site contains beautiful photographs and images of cemeteries and tombstones from all over the world. The subtitle of A Morbid Fascination reads The Art and Lore of Cemeteries and Tombs. The image in the post below features a haunting piece of art by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Two women are seen mourning in a cemetery. The work was done in 1859. Check out A Morbid Fascination to view many more works of art and photographs of tombstones.

To learn more about William-Adolphe Bourguereau, see this link from the Web Museum.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mrs. Mary A. Walsh Quinn

In the 1860 U.S. Census for Erie County, Mary Walsh, born in Ireland, and age 23, is a domestic servant working for Mr. William Mills, a land broker. The family unit listed right before the Mills family is that of John Quinn. The elder John Quinn was born in Ireland. Several persons are in the same household, including a younger John Quinn, age 20, who was also born in Ireland.

It appears that sometime after 1860, John Quinn and Mary A. Walsh were married. Sadly, on February 27, 1866, Mary A. Walsh Quinn died. Her tombstone has a cross at the top of the stone, with the words: In Memory of Mary A. Walsh, wife of John Quinn. Mrs. Quinn is buried in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Friday, February 26, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 9

A prompt from We Tree, "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy," hosted by Geneabloggers, has challenged bloggers to pick five genealogy blogs and read them every day. The blogs I have chosen to follow have to do more with local history than genealogy.

Since the people in our past are so closely connected with the towns they have lived in, I find local history blogs go hand-in-hand with genealogical blogs.

The blogs I have chosen to follow are:

1. Restaurant-ing Through History

Jan, who is also an author, looks at restaurants throughout years past. The post Taster of a Decade: Restaurants 1900-1910 covers lunch rooms, cafeterias, tea rooms, and a strike by cooks and waiters in Denver in 1903.

2. Ohio's Yesterdays features features items from the collections of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center. This post discusses a memoir of Johann Gephart Sneider, who came to Ohio from Austria. Other entries have included interesting people, places, and businesses of the Northwestern Ohio area.

3. Tom Glover’s Hamilton Library Scrapbook is a blog about "local history with a personal touch." You will enjoy viewing historical photographs and articles about former residents of Hamilton Township of Mercer County, New Jersey at this website.

4. The Bowery Boys New York City History is a delight! Photographs, historical news articles, as well as podcasts and video links bring the Big Apple to life.

5. The Library History Buff Blog features posts about libraries, illustrated with vintage photographs and images that will help you appreciate the rich heritage of American libraries.

While these particular sites are not strictly genealogical, you will find interesting historical posts at these blogs. Check them out! You will learn a lot about about particular places and people and their past.

Note: While the image of the Sandusky Library above does not pertain to any of the blogs I mentioned, it represents a significant repository for books, articles, obituaries and much more information related to the past residents,businesses and landmarks of Sandusky and Erie County.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Anna Bardshar Skadden

Anna Bardshar Skadden was the daughter of Solomon and Amelia Bardshar, born on Christmas Day in 1862. She died on February 25, 1935 in Port Clinton, Ohio. Her husband was Henry B. Skadden. These facts were gleaned from Anna's death certificate, freely available online at Family Search Labs.

A Google Map shows a point in Erie County, south of Miller Road, and west of State Route 4, where Skadden Road and Bardshar Road meet. Anna's tombstone shows the joining of two families as well as the meeting of two roads in Erie County, which were often named for the early landownders of the property adjacent to the roadways.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sandusky History Blog in the Top 40

Read this article from Family Tree Magazine to see the voting results for the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs!

Sandusky History is one of the blogs selected for the Local & Regional Category. Check out all the top 40 see the cream of the crop in genealogical blogging!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thomas and Ann Bowser Milner

Erie County Census Records for 1860 indicate that Thomas Milner was born in England about 1797. THE HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, states that Thomas Milner and his wife, the former Ann Bowser, took their family from Yorkshire, England to Canada in 1829. The Milner family moved to Erie County in 1836. Thomas and Ann had a family of nine children, but only five children were living in 1889: Henry, Thomas, John, Mary A., and Sarah Jane.

Thomas Milner died on March 8, 1877. He is buried in the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemetery. Mrs. Ann Bowser Milner died on February 21, 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Milner's son Henry married Huldah Westfall. Henry Milner was one of the organizers of the county mutual insurance company. Henry and Huldah Milner were the parents of one adopted daughter, Sarah, who became the wife of Charles F. Steen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lorinda Stevens Sexton Steen

According to records at FamilySearch, Lorenda Stevens was born in Lima, New York, on December 26, 1809. (Some sources list her first name as Lorinda.) Page 1550 of HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, tells us that Lorinda’s father, Thomas Stevens, settled in Berlin Heights around 1818. Thomas Stevens was an early school teacher in Berlin Heights. Lorenda’s first husband, Martin Sexton, died of milk sickness in 1841. Lorinda and Martin’s son, Merritt Sexton, served in the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Lorinda Stevens Sexton married Charles Armstrong Steen, a native of Armagh, Ireland, in 1842. They had four children: Eliza Jane, David, Mary, and Charles F. Steen. In 1858, Charles and Lorinda Steen sold their property, and intended to move the family to Kansas, but Charles A. Steen was robbed and murdered, before the move ever took place. Lorinda was left a widow with her youngest child not even one year old. Lorinda’s elderly mother, Sally Stevens, lived with the family until her death in about 1860. In some Steen family papers, an article dated February 19, 1890, featured an obituary of Mrs. Lorinda Stevens, entitled “Another Pioneer Gone.” The article stated that Lorinda had come to Erie County in 1816, when there were only one or two buildings in Sandusky, and much of the county was “a howling wilderness. Mrs. Steen during her more than three score years and ten of residence the county witnessed a wonderful transformation.” Lorinda/Lorenda Stevens Sexton Steen is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Thanks to my oldest grandson Ty for helping me locate this tombstone at Oakland!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Remembering Nellie Goodsite Hill

Below is a very brief timeline of the life of Nellie Goodsite Hill. Click for a larger view:

Nellie Goodsite Hill is pictured here with her husband's first cousin twice removed, Joyce. Both Joyce and Nellie's husband were descendants of Lindsay House and Mary Ann Young. Nellie was born in Perkins Township, Erie County, on February 4, 1899 to William Goodsite and Louisa Mary Dauch Goodsite. Nellie's uncle J. J. Dauch was one of the co-founders of the Hinde and Dauch Paper Company, which operated in Sandusky for many years.

Nellie married Grant Hill, and they had a family of four children. They lived for a time in Michigan, and then moved back to Perkins Township, to live on a farm near many of the people that they grew up with. In 1941, after the U.S. Army bought out a large section of land in Perkins Township for a munitions factory for the War effort, Nellie and Grant moved to a farm just outside Bellevue, Ohio. In a brief article in the August 12, 1942 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, it was reported that Mr. and Mrs. Grant Hill were on the committee for organizing an "Old Neighbors" picnic for the former families who lived in Perkins, bought were forced to move when the TNT plant was built. This "Old Neighbors Picnic" was a tradition for over twenty years.

On January 2, 2000, Nellie Hill passed away at the Arbors at Clyde. Her beloved husband Grant, and daughter Arline had already died by this time.Grant and Nellie Hill were buried in the Perkins Cemetery in Erie County.

Nellie was "small but mighty." When Duke professor Edward Hudson Young was writing his genealogical book, OUR YOUNG FAMILY IN AMERICA, Nellie wrote to him to provide information about the Young descendants in her husband's maternal line. In the 1990's, my mother and I visited with Nellie. She told us of the many weddings, funerals, and bridal showers that she had attended when she lived in Perkins Township. She had lived a full, wonderful life with her husband on the farm near Bellevue, but her memories of her days as a young woman in Perkins Township were still quite vivid. As our lovely conversation ended, Nellie served us homemade sugar cookies which were delicious! Anyone who ever met Nellie Goodsite Hill recalls her fondly. She outlived her husband and a daughter, and moved with her husband three different times in her life. Through it all Nellie kept a positive attitude, and relied on her strong faith in God. She truly "bloomed where she was planted."

Treasure Chest Thursday: Evelope from Eigeltingen

In the beginning of June of 2003, I received an envelope from Eigeltingen, from the Standesamt Eigeltingen, which translated into English means Register or Registration Office. Among the contents of the envelope was this photocopy of a birth record for my great grandfather, Andrew Yeager.

While I cannot decipher all the words on the document,the main facts recorded on the document are:

A child was born to Lorenz Jäger and Mary Jäger, whose maiden name was Schweikart, on November 13, 1874. The baby's name was Andreas Jäger, and he was born in Münchhof.
In an earlier blog post we read that Andreas/Andre Jäger emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1881. By the time that the Jäger family settled in Ohio, the name Andreas Jäger was Americanized to Andrew Yeager. Andrew, who went by the name "Andy," married Lena/Helena Piehl in 1903. They had a large family, and lived most of their lives in Huron Township, Ohio.

Andrew Yeager died in 1958, and Lena Piehl Yeager died in 1978. They are buried in the Union Corners Cemetery just off Route 250 between Sandusky and Milan, Ohio. Though the tombstone states that Andy was born in 1876, his birth record from Germany recorded the years as 1874. Variations in dates are not uncommon in genealogical research. The best advice I was given is to record all dates that you find, and cite your sources. (Not that I always follow my own advice!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Madness: Who is Sophia Moross ?

On a Rootsweb Site for St. Clair County, Michigan, I ran into this marriage record:

4 July 1861, St. Stephen's Church, Port Huron
Charles Cross, 49, Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio
Sophia Moross, 44, Port Huron
William Leblaw & Victoria Noross, both of Port Huron; L. Kilroy, Catholic

Charles Cross was the Mayor of Sandusky from 1853 to 1856. His first wife Matilda (some records list her name as Patience) died sometime between 1850 and 1860.

In the 1870 Erie County, Ohio Census Record, Charles Cross does not have a spouse listed. To date, I still do not know where Charles Cross and his bride of 1861 lived, and I do not know what happened to Sophia Moross Cross.

If anyone has any clues about Sophia, please let me know! Thanks!

Charles Cross died on November 18, 1889, and he is buried in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love my husband,
And I love my family...
And I also love going
To the cemetery!

Happy Valentines Day from the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Edwin Aust, Teacher

Edwin Aust was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Aust, who lived on South Columbus Avenue in Erie County, Ohio. Edwin was a 1922 graduate of Sandusky High School, and he graduated from Ohio University in 1926. Young Mr. Aust was a mathematics teacher in Struthers, Ohio.

During the winter of 1927, Edwin became sick with a sore throat. Septic poisoning resulted, leading to acute dilation of his heart. On February 12, 1927, Edwin Frank Aust passed away in Good Samaritan Hospital. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for Edwin Aust is found in the 1927 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library. The newspaper obituary reported that Edwin Aust's funeral services were largely attended.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mrs. Theresa Fox Siegfried

Theresa (sometimes spelled Teresa) Fuchs was born in 1860 to Joseph and Mary Fuchs. Later, Theresa's surname was Americanized to Fox. Theresa Fuchs/Fox married Dr. John P. Siegfried about 1888, according to the 1910 U.S. Census for Ashtabula County. Dr. and Mrs. Siegfried had two children, Irene Siegfried, born in Michigan in 1890, and Rudolph Siegfried, born in Ohio in 1899.

Theresa Fuchs/Fox Siegfried passed away in February of 1920 in Ashtabula, Ohio. She was survived by her son and daughter, as well as three sisters: Mrs. Charles Erbe, Miss Kate Fuchs, and Mrs. M. Quinlan, all of New York City. Her obituary, which was carried in the February 10, 1920 Sandusky Register, stated that "Mrs. Siegfried was as former Sandusky girl." Theresa Fox Siegfried was buried next to her husband, Dr. John P. Siegfried, in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lorenz Jaeger/Lawrence Yeager

Lorenz Jaeger was born on August 10, 1847 in Germany to Mr. and Mrs. John Xavier Yeager. On February 18, 1873, Lorenz Jaeger married Maria Schweighardt in Münchhöf, Germany.

According to Volume 38 of GERMANS TO AMERICA, the Jaeger family sailed to the U.S.A. aboard the ship Pereire from Havre to New York. The family members were listed as:

Jager, Laurent age 34
Marie age 32
Andre age 6
Emma age 4
Louise infant

Baby brother Frank Yeager was born after the family settled in Erie County, Ohio.

On file at the Erie County Probate Court is a document which stated that Lorenz Jaeger arrived in the United States in May of 1881. He renounced his allegiance to William, the Emperor of Germany, before Erie County Probate Judge A.E. Merrill.

By 1888 the Jaeger family was living in Erie County, Ohio and Mr. Jaeger stated that his occupation was that of a carpenter. Lorenz Jaeger's name became Americanized to Lawrence Yeager. Mrs. Maria/Mary Yeager died on November 2, 1891. After Mary's death, Lawrence marred Catherine Geigel, who was the widow of John Christian Dannenmann.

Lawrence Yeager passed away on August 16, 1911. He was buried near his first wife at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio, though at this time no tombstones for Lawrence and Mary Yeager have been located.

Today a host of Jaeger/Yeager descendants live throughout the United States, including nurses, teachers, pipe fitters,medical transcriptionists, business owners, and an amateur genealogist!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rush R. Sloane

Rush Sloane was one of Ohio’s most well known abolitionists. He was a lawyer in Sandusky, and elected the Mayor of Sandusky in 1879. In 1852 seven runaway slaves arrived in Sandusky on the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. Some men claiming to be the slave owners arrived in Sandusky and wanted the slaves to be returned. Mr. Sloane, after an investigation into the matter, found no legal authority for the fugitives to be arrested, and they were set free.

A short time later, one of the men from Kentucky proved ownership of one of the slaves. As a result, Rush Sloane went to trial under the Fugitive Slave Act. He was fined $3000 plus court costs. African American citizens of Sandusky presented Rush Sloane with a silver-headed cane, in appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the runaway slaves. The cane is on display at The Follett House Museum in Sandusky, Ohio.

While Rush Sloane was admired by many, not all Sandusky residents trusted him. In the book SANDUSKY’S EDITOR, by Charles E. Frohman, you can read about the many conflicts between Rush Sloane, and the editor of the Sandusky Register, Mr. I. F. Mack.

Rush Sloane died in 1908. He is buried on the North Ridge of Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: On Grandpa's Farm in 1941

Pictured to the left are Leroy and Ada Parker's six grandchildren playing on a wagon on the family farm in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio in 1941. Guiding the group is Tommy Parker. Behind him are his sister Joyce, cousins Lee Baumeister, Lois Parker, and Richard Parker. Little sister Sally is acting shy by the barn.

Not long after this photo was taken, the U.S. Government took over the land owned by several Perkins Township farmers, to make way for a munitions plant during the Second World War.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Week 6

A prompt from We Tree, "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy," hosted by Geneabloggers, has challenged bloggers to examine online databases at their local public library. My local library in Northern Ohio is part of the ClevNet Consortium.

To access the online databases available through ClevNet,first go to the website:

Click on Research Databases on the right sidebar. Under the Explore These Research Categories heading, click on Genealogy.

Ancestry Library Edition is the most widely used online database in this listing, however, access is limited to in-library use only. Patrons can access thousands of Census Records, Death Records, Military Records, and much more at this amazing database. Visit your library to see if it offers access to Ancestry Library Edition.

The Cleveland Necrology File provides cemetery records and death notices from primarily the Cuyahoga County region. Sometimes death notices for other Ohio counties are also included. I retrieved this record from the Cleveland Necrology File for a cousin on my great grandfather's maternal line:

Id#: 0553307
Name: House, Byron L.
Date: Dec 30 1960
Source: Cleveland Press; Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #118.
Notes: House. Byron L. House, beloved husband of Helen M., father of Jane F. Gregory, brother of Mrs. Ethel Minor, Mrs. Ann Doster, Mrs. Rachel Thompson Mrs. Alta Groves and Mrs. Fae Criblez, residence, 3567 Bosworth Rd. The family will receive friends From 7-9 P. M. Friday at the Zeis Funeral Home, 16105 Detroit Ave. Services at the Keller Funeral Home, Sandusky, O. Saturday, Dec. 31, at 1:30 p. m.

Coverage in the Cleveland Necrology File includes:

The Cleveland Plain Dealer - 1850-1975
The Cleveland Herald - 1833, 1847-1848, 1876, 1878-1879
The Cleveland Press - 1941-1975

The Cleveland News Index is an index which covers articles, including obituaries, from four area Cleveland Publications. Once you have the citation of an obituary, it is easy to contact a library in the ClevNet network to request the full text of the obituary for a nominal fee. My great grandmother Irene's first cousin Naomi Cross was a nun in the Cleveland area. The Cleveland News Index provided these citations for her obituary. Luckily I knew Sister Bertha's given name from family records.

CROSS, NAOMI : (Obit.).
Plain Dealer 26 Jun, 1981, pg. 11 sec. B

CROSS, NAOMI : McGory Funeral Home (Obit.).
Cleveland Press 27 Jun, 1981, pg. 37 sec. A

Heritage Quest Online is another database available at ClevNet. (This particular database requires network libraries to have a subscription in order for their patrons to have access.) Available at home to library card holders, Heritage Quest provides Census Records, full text of thousands of family history books, and access to Revolutionary War files. While looking through the Revolutionary War pension file of my grandson's ancestor, I learned that Timothy Tuttle like to sing inspirational songs before going to battle! I was surprised to come across such personal information about a soldier who lived so long ago.

These are just a few highlights of ClevNet's online databases for genealogical research. Also included are several newspapers, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Ohio, and access to Ohio Historical Society Searchable Databases. Check out ClevNet's resources to learn more about your Ohio ancestors!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Naomi Cross, "Sister Bertha"

Sister Bertha, who was born Naomi Cross,is seen at the left of the group below, at a wedding in the Hough area of Cleveland.

Naomi Cross was born in 1897 in Sandusky, Ohio, to Harry and Sophia Cross. Naomi's great grandfather Charles Cross was the first Catholic Mayor of Sandusky, and her grandfather James Cross was a Union Veteran of the Civil War.During her youth, Naomi was a member of Sandusky's Holy Angels parish, and she attended Holy Angels Parochial School. Naomi Cross became a nun with the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. She was known as "Sister Bertha." Rev. Robert C. Wolff wrote in his book about Sister Henrietta, who was a driving force in doing mission work in Cleveland's Hough area, that Sister Bertha was a key person in Sister Henrietta's ministry. Rev. Wolff stated about the Hough Mission Center, "Henrietta organized the larger programs; Bertha carried out the details of assembling, cooking, portioning and distributing food." Rev. Wolff wrote that from 1967 to 1981, Sister Henrietta and Sister Bertha were inseparable.

Sister Henrietta wrote of Sister Bertha in a 1970 issue of Catholic Universe Bulletin that "Sister Bertha is one who doesn't spare herself, she gives her all to look after the poor, just as Saint Vincent de Paul did." Sister Bertha died in 1981, from cancer. She is buried at Cleveland's Calvary Cemetery. In a 1981 Catholic Universe Bulletin, Sister Henrietta wrote about Sister Bertha, "When Sister Bertha, worn out in the service of God, closed her eyes quietly last week, she left behind a legacy of kindness and goodness and the most unselfish love...Everyone knew her and loved her..." While most of her life Sister Bertha ministered in the Cleveland and Summit County areas, she learned her core Christian values in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sister Bertha's tombstone at Calvary Cemetery can be seen at this link. Over one thousand cemetery records from Cleveland's Calvary Cemetery can be accessed at the Calvary Cemetery Search Engine, an ongoing project.

Tombstone Tuesday: Abner Strong

Abner Strong was born in Lee, Massachusetts on April 7, 1780. He married Sally Bassett in Homer, New York in 1801. In 1815, Mr. and Mrs. Abner Strong moved to Lyme Township in Huron County, Ohio. Abner had a farm in the area of Lyme Township known as "Strong's Ridge," named after the Strong family, pioneer residents of the region.(Major Joseph Strong, older brother of Abner, was the earliest family member to settle in Strong's Ridge.)

Rush Sloane, the grandson of Abner Strong, wrote of Abner in Volume V of the New Series, Firelands Pioneer, that he was a man of earnest principle, and was firm in his principles of temperance. "He was a strong abolitionist, a friend of the slave and never failed to aid them." Hewson Peeke wrote in his 1916 edition of A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO: "Abner Strong of Strong's Ridge Lyme, Huron County, Ohio, was always ready to receive, care for and send to Sandusky, in good conveyance, the fugitives who reached that 'Strong' and safe station."

Abner Strong died at Bellevue on February 3, 1859. He was buried at the Strong's Ridge Cemetery, located just east of the intersection of State Route 113 and Route 4.His wife, Sally Bassett Strong, died in 1865. She is also buried at Strong's Ridge Cemetery.

The children of Abner and Sally Bassett Strong were: Cynthia, Eunice, Pelatiah, Alonzo, and Benjamin. Obituaries for Mr. and Mrs. Abner Strong are found in Volume V of the new series of the Firelands Pioneer, available fulltext at Google Books.