Monday, May 31, 2010

Charles Barney Dennis, Civil War Veteran

According to his death certificate, Charles Barney Dennis was born in Constantia, New York, in August of 1844, the son of Eben Dennis and Amanda Caldwell Dennis. A photocopy of a memoir of Charles Barney Dennis is on file at the library of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. The memoir states that Mr. Dennis was once the Postmaster of Sandusky, Ohio.
During the Civil War, Charles Barney Dennis served with Company B of the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After the war, Mr. Dennis was associated with the Kelleys Island Lime and Transport Company, and later worked at a furniture factory in Findlay, Ohio. In the 1920's, Charles Barney Dennis was the treasurer of the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home.

At the Sandusky History web site, Charles B. Dennis is pictured with several other young men of Sandusky in 1861. See the description of the Charles Barney Dennis memoir at the Hayes Presidential Center to learn more about the personal life and military service of Mr. Dennis.

In volume 4 of the Firelands Pioneer, C. B. Dennis wrote a biographical sketch of his father, Eben J. Davis, who was an early settler of the Firelands. Mr. Dennis wrote about his father: "He was a good representative of the long line of noble pioneers that have made the Western Reserve what it is: almost a Paradise."

Charles Barney Dennis died on May 28, 1928. He is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A G.A.R. symbol has been placed beside the tombstone of C. B. Dennis.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you Veterans!

Sentimental Sunday: Memorial Day 1962

After a Memorial Day parade from the Venice Cemetery to the old Venice School, my brother Paul and I went with our family to visit the graves of my mother's parents, grandparents,and great grandparents in the Parker family lot at the Perkins Cemetery. We were Graveyard Rabbits "in training."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Christian Schlenk

An article in the local newspaper read "Parted By Death," after the death of Christian Schlenk on April 3, 1933. Mr. and Mrs. Schlenk had celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on September 7, 1931. Mr. Schlenk, the former superintendent of Oakland Cemetery, fell ill suddenly, and it is thought that he may have suffered a heart attack. Funeral services for Mr. Schlenk were held at the family residence, with Rev. C. L. Alspach officiating. Burial was in charge of the Sandusky Odd Fellows Lodge. Mrs. Louisa Schlenk died on May 30, 1936. She was buried next to Mr. Schlenk at Oakland Cemetery.

The October 2, 1906 issue of the Sandusky Register featured an advertisement for Sandusky Monumental Works. C. Schlenk was listed as the salesman, and W. J. Dingle was the proprietor. The marble works was located opposite the main entrance to Oakland Cemetery.

Obituaries for Christian and Louisa Schlenk are found in the OBITUARY NOTEBOOKS in the Reference Services level of the Sandusky Library.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Infant Child of H.P. and C. Perksen

In Block 81 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, is a flat tombstone for the child of H.P. and C. Perksen. The tombstone is barely visible, blocked by the grass that has grown up around the very old tombstone.

By checking the interment cards for Oakland Cemetery (on microfilm at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center), I was able to determine that the child's name was Edward Perksen. He died in infanacy, and he was buried on May 28, 1886. His parents' names were Hans Peter and Christena Perksen. Hans Peter Perksen, who also was known as Peter, died in 1912, and Mrs. Christena Perksen passed away in 1932. In the 1880 U.S. Census,accessed at Family Search, the Perksen family was living on Sugar Island, just off Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie. The family in 1880 was comprised of:

Peter, age 36, born in Schlangen, Germany, occupation grape grower
Christina, age 32, born in Denmark
Annie, age 6
Nichols, age 5
Scott, age 2

Baby Edward Perksen's parents and two of his brothers are buried in Block 107 of Oakland Cemetery.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mrs. Janet Baumeister

Janet Parker was the only daughter born to Leroy and Ada Steen Parker. She was born on November 14, 1914 in Perkins Township. In the 1930's, Janet Parker married Paul Baumeister. They lived in Bay View, Ohio, a small community on Sandusky Bay, and they had three children. Paul was an excellent mechanic, and he worked at Union Chain. Janet worked for many years at the New Departure Division of General Motors.

Sadly, Mrs. Janet Baumeister died unexpectedly on May 26, 1960, at the age of 45. Her youngest daughter was not yet ten years of age at the time of Janet's death. Janet's funeral was held at the Richard Bertsch Funeral Home, with Rev. Kurt Meuschke and Dr. Herbert Thompson officiating. Janet was buried at the Perkins Cemetery. Her husband Paul passed away in July of 1982.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Very Thoughtful Quote at Grace and Glory

Head over to the blog entitled Grace and Glory to read a very thoughtful quote about how our ancestors lead us in genealogical searches. Thanks so much Becky for posting this!

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lindsley

Frank and Elizabeth Horn Lindsley had a farm in Perkins Township in the 1930's and 1940's. During World War Two, the United States Government took over several acres of farm land in Perkins Township, for the construction of the Plum Brook Ordnance Works. The Trojan Powder Company manufactured ammunition at this site during the war. Later the land was owned by NASA. The farmers who owned homes and fields at this location had to re-locate. Frank and Elizabeth (known fondly as Libby) moved to farm near Clyde, Ohio on County Road 177.

Frank Lindsley died in 1950. He was buried in Perkins Township, where many of his family members and former neighbors were buried. (Frank Lindsley was a grandson of General W. D. Lindsley, who was once a U.S. Congressman.) Libby Lindsley lived to be the age of 91. She was honored by the Perkins Grange in 1962. A program honoring Mrs. Lindsley's many years with the Grange was presented, under the leadership of Mrs. Lindsley's daughter, Mrs. Glenn Parker.

Elizabeth "Libby" Lindsley died on May 28, 1974. She was survived by her daughter Florence Parker, and her son Clifford Lindsley. She also had four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. Libby Lindsley was small in stature, but she was mighty in spirit. She was active in the Mount Carmel Methodist Church, the Grange, and the W.C.T.U. She was a wonderful cook and homemaker. Dear "Aunt Libby," as she was known to her nieces and nephews, and other extended family, saw the country change from a primarily agricultural society to a world filled with telephones, radio, television, automobiles, and countless other technological advances.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library

According to the website of the Ohio Historical Society, The Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library is, by law, the archives for the State of Ohio.

In the link to Digitization Projects, is included a Search Feature for the Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812.

A search for my ancestor's name, Noah Young, yields a hit showing that Corporal Noah Young served in Jacob Young's Company, which was made up of soldiers from Knox and Richland Counties.

In the Ohio Pix: Online Image Gallery portion of the Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library are selected images from the collections of the Ohio Historical Society that have been digitized. A search for Erie and Sandusky pulls up an image from the Ohio Veterans Home, which has served as a home and final resting place for hundreds of Ohio Veterans for over a century.

The Wilbert Siebert Underground Railroad Inventory links to a finding aid which is over one hundred pages in length. Once you find a section of the Siebert Collection which you would like to view, interlibrary loan of the microfilmed copy of the collection is permissible. View the finding aid to determine which roll of microfilm you wish to borrow. Sandusky, being so close to Canada, played a key role in the Underground Railroad. Below is a portion of the Wilbert Siebert Underground Railroad Collection that pertains to Erie County and Sandusky.

The items I have described so far don't even scratch the surface of what is available at the Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library. See a listing below for many more selections of historical interest:

Due to budgetary constraints, the hours of the Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library have been drastically reduced. In spite of these limits to hours that the facility is open, the Ohio Historical Society still offers a wealth of information, print and non-print resources, and many historical Ohio documents and periodicals. Ohio has long been called a "Gateway State" to the settling of the western United States, so the Ohio Historical Society Archives/Library remains a key resource in researching family and local history in the U.S.

Grave Marker of D.L. Scott at The Follett House Museum

Wooden Grave Marker
Gift of Mrs. John T. Mack

This wooden marker once stood at the grave of D.L. Scott, who was from Missouri. The faded letters on the sign read "DLS." Wooden grave markers were used at the Island cemetery until the cause was taken up to purchase new ones to replace those that had suffred the ill effects of countless harsh winters. A group of business men from Georgia raised funds to purchase marble stones after a 1889 visit to the island cemetery. For a number of years, the cemetery was owned and cared for by the Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1910 they erected a monument to the confederate soldiers. Later, the United States govenment took over its charge, and maintains it to this day. At least 206 men are buried in the cemetery. The graves were usually dug by prisoners, under the supervision of guards. Religious services were conducted by Confederate chaplains, sometimes accompanied by Masonic rites, as an unknown number of prisoners were members of the secret society. Prisoners were allowed to attend the funerals if they gave an oath that they would not attempt an escape. Only three of the wooden markers are known to still exist, this examle and two others at the Firelands Museum in Norwalk.

During the Civil War, D. L. Scott was Second Lieutenant with the Third Missouri Cavalry. According to records at the R.B. Hayes Presdential Center, he arrived at the the Prison Camp at Johnson's Island on November 15, 1864 and died February 11, 1865 of disease. The marble grave marker of D. L. Scott is located in Block 7 of the Johnson's Island Confederate Cemetery.

A decription of a visit to the Confederate Cemetery at Johnson's Island in 1899 is found in the SOUTHERN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PAPERS, by R.A. Brock, available full text at Google Books. (See page 102 for the beginning of the article.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mrs. Percy House

Mrs. Percy House, born Percy Taylor in Connecticut in 1786, came to Ohio with her husband Julius House in 1815. The June 1865 issue of the Firelands Pioneer tells of the fourteen families from Connecticut who packed their belongings into covered wagons led by oxen and horses. John Beatty led the group. At the time of the long journey, Percy had four children ranging in age from infancy through age seven, that she had to care for along the way. Making meals, washing clothing, sleeping in the wagon (or at strangers' homes on occasion), must have been very challenging in 1815. Her husband was sick with fever during part of the trip. Then, after arriving in Ohio, the new settlers had to build their cabins, raise crops and livestock, make the family's clothing, and survive the long cold winters, with no modern conveniences. Percy was truly a pioneer woman.

After arriving in Ohio, Percy House would have three more children, the baby, Amelia, being born in 1822. On February 3, 1827, Percy House passed away after a lengthy illness. Her obituary appeared in the March 5, 1827 issue of the Sandusky Clarion.

Here is a transcription of the obituary of Mrs. Percy House:

On the 3d of Feb. 1827, in full assurance of hope, Mrs. Percy, wife of Julius House, Esq. aged 41. She was for upwards of 22 years an acceptable member of the Methodist E. Church. In her Christian character she was truly amiable, constantly laboring to attain to the happy art of holy living; by which means the pleasing current of practical piety ran parallel with her Christian course in the church militant.

She ever appeared peculiarly anxious to promote peace, brotherly love, and harmony amongst Christians, and good will to all mankind. Her religious acquaintance will lament the loss of good and constant friend. Her husband has lost a valuable wife, and the seven promising children an affectionate mother, who may all entertain the reviving consolation, that their loss is her infinite "gain", aid if not wanting to themselves they will meet her again, where (illegible word) pain and parting can never enter.

She was a great sufferer, especially in the last six weeks previous to her death. She often was heard to say, in her moments of keen distress: How long—Oh How long ere I shall be released from these sufferings, and be at rest? She had an unshaken confidence in God, in whose infinite mercy, she had hope. Of all such it may be truly said "O blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."

Happy soul thy days are ended,
All thy mourning days below,
Go by angels guard attended.
To the sight of Jesus go.

Julius House remarried, to Mehitable Hollister, who must have played a key role in raising the House children. The House family was very active in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Perkins Township. I think their deep faith helped them cope with the challenges, losses, and the plain hard work which accompanied pioneer living. Mrs. Percy House, is buried in Perkins Cemetery, beside her husband Julius, the second Mrs. Julius House, and her daughter Harriet.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Two Toledo Burial Grounds Receive Markers

Read about two cemeteries in South Toledo which recently had historical markers placed by the Ohio Historical Society. The article in the Toledo Blade, by J. C. Reindl, reports on the activities of the Toledo State Hospital Cemetery Reclamation Committee.

A granite monument was dedicated, and over one hundred people watched as the historical markers were unveiled at the Toledo State Hospital Old Cemetery and the Toledo Mental Health Center New Cemetery.

A video presentation is found at 13 ABC's website. A program from the Dedication can viewed as well. View historical documents from the Toledo State Hospital here.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Letter to Harriet House

On February 26, 1844, Lucretia D. Runnells, the granddaughter of Julius House,wrote a letter to her mother's sister Harriet House. Lucretia's mother was the former Clarissa House, who married a Methodist minister, William Runnells, in 1831. (The marriage record for William Runnells and Clarissa House is located at Huron County Probate Court, and is also available at Family Search.

Lucretia wrote to her Aunt Harriet about school, a recent family party, and she inquired about family members back in Erie County, Ohio. According to Lucretia Runnells Braman's death certificate, available at Family Search Labs, Lucretia was born on January 11, 1836. She married John Braman at Lorain County, Ohio in 1865. Lucretia Braman died in Cuyahoga County on June 3, 1918. She was buried at Lake View Cemetery. Lucretia was age 8 when she wrote this letter to her Aunt Harriet. She wrote that the letter was written in Elyria, Ohio. Her father, Rev. William Runnells, was a minister in several different Circuits of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Ohio.

Records in the Pedigree Resource File at Family Search indicate that Harriet House was born in Ohio to Julius House and Percy Taylor House on January 23, 1817. She died On August 15, 1900. Harriet House is buried with her parents at the Perkins Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio. Her name is inscribed on the side of the House monument which also bears the name of her mother, Percy Taylor House. The inscripton for Harriet reads:

J & P House

The letter which Lucretia D. Runnells wrote to Harriet House in 1844 was pasted into a family scrapbook originally owned by Ada Steen Parker, who was married to Leroy Parker, a descendant of Julius House.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Joseph Orshoski left Hungary in 1901

Joseph Orshoski was born on May 7, 1885 in Felsővadász, Hungary. His name in his native language was spelled Jozsef Orsovscki. His parents were Jozsef Orsovscki and Maria Hublyak and his godparents were Janos Mikkula and Erzsebet Borisza. The family's religion was Roman Catholic and the occupation of the baby's parents was agricultural worker.

According to their passenger list on the Ellis Island website, on April 1, 1901, father and son, whose name appeared as Josef Orsoczky, arrived in New York City on the ship Bulgaria. Josef/Joseph the father was 42, and his son was 16 years old. The father would go back to Hungary soon after he came to America, but the son stayed here in the U.S. for the rest of his life.

My great grandfather, the Joseph Orshoski who was born in 1885, never told me personally why he came to America. An article about Hungarian Catholics in America from the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA online states that Hungarians from all walks of life left Hungary for the United States. Many left "to better the condition of the Hungarian of humbler circumstances." The article points out that another factor in Hungarian immigration was that European steamship companies spread tales of "easily earned riches."

In the 1910 U.S. Census, Joe Orshorski and his wife Julia, both listed as age 24, and born in Hungary, were living in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Joe lists his occupation as a coal miner for the Pennsylvania Coal Company. They had a four year old son named Steve. Joe had not yet become naturalized. By viewing Joseph Orshoski's naturalization records, it appears that the Orshoski family had moved to Virginia, since his sons Andrew and Nicholas Orshoski were born in Dorcester, Virginia. By 1918, the Orshoski was living in Bay Bridge, an unincorporated village on Sandusky Bay in Erie County. Joe worked there at the Medusa Portland Cement Company.

After having six sons, the first Mrs. Joseph Orshoski died in 1919, when her youngest son was an infant. the family legend was that after his first wife died, Joseph said to his family back in Hungary, "Send me a new wife, one named Julia." And, in keeping with his wishes, a new wife was found. Julianna Szomolya came to the United States on September 30, 1921. She and Joseph were married, and had two daughters. Joseph and Julianna were married for over fifty years, and left a host of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

So, while we don't know the exact reason he left Hungary, Joseph Orshoski worked in coal mines from 1901 through 1917. In 1918, he began working at the cement factory in Bay Bridge, where he continued to work for forty years. After leaving Medusa, Joe worked as a gardener for Cedar Point for eleven years. That adds up to Joseph Orshoski being employed for sixty seven years! Joseph Orshoski was an amazing example of self discipline and hard work.

Joseph Orshoski and both the first and second Mrs. Orshoski are buried at Castalia Cemetery. Many of their neighbors, family, and friends are also buried there. Walking through the Castalia Cemetery is definitely a "walk down memory lane."

Ernst Marshall, Civil War Veteran

Ernst Marshall died on February 24, 1905 at the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home. He had been a resident of the Soldiers Home since October 25, 1904. At the time of his discharge from the military, Ernst Marshall was a Sergeant.

On August 8, 1862, Ernst Marshall enlisted in Co. A. of the 158th New York Infantry. He was discharged on June 30, 1865. A news article in the local newspaper stated that Mr. Marshall's military pension was $12 a month. Ernst Marshall left his widow, two sons, George and Nicholas Marshall, and five daughters: Mrs. Dan Miller, Mrs. William Lorenzen, Mrs. William Waterfield, Mrs. John Lederer, and Miss Emma Marshall. He was also survived by a sister, Mrs. James Cross. His funeral was held at the family residence at Second Street in Sandusky. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery.

While Ernst Marshall lived most of his life in Erie County, Ohio, it is unclear as to why he enlisted in a unit from New York State.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Bay Bridge Youth go to League Park

In the photo above is a group of young men heading off to a Cleveland Indians baseball game in 1939. At that time the Indians played at League Park.

Peeking out of the first window on the left are:

Don Orshoski
Wayne Orshoski
Rolland Orshoski

Don and Wayne were sons of Steve and Emma (Yeager) Orshoski, and their cousin Rolland was the son of Frank and Dallas Orshoski. All three Orshoski boys lived in Bay Bridge in 1939.

While it appears that many of the youngsters were residents of Margaretta Township in Erie County, the bus that transported them was owned by the Perkins Township School District.

Rolland Orshoski died on September 11, 1999, and he is buried at the Castalia Cemetery. Wayne Orshoski died on September 8, 2003. Don Orshoski passed away on May 19, 2007. Both Don and Wayne Orshoski are buried in Huron, Ohio at Meadow Green Memorial Park.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Noah Young

The tombstone of Noah and Anna Young is found in the older section of Maple Grove Cemetery in New Haven, Ohio in Huron County, Ohio. Noah and Anna Young were the great grandparents of Leroy Parker, in his maternal grandmother's line. Noah and Anna Young were first cousins once removed. Anna was the great granddaughter of Morgan Young, who was born in 1713 in Aberdeen, Scotland, while her husband Noah was the grandson of Morgan Young who was born in 1713 in Scotland. (See OUR YOUNG FAMILY IN AMERICA, by Edward Hudson Young for detailed information about the many descendants of Morgan Young. This title is available full text at Heritage Quest.)

Professor Edward Hudson Young wrote in OUR YOUNG FAMILY IN AMERICA that Noah Young, the son of Morgan and Jane Losey Young, was born in April of 1788 in Essex County, New Jersey. He married Anna Young in North Monroeville, Ohio on March 20, 1811. Noah Young died on his farm just east of New Haven, Ohio on July 5, 1858. Noah Young served as a Corporal in the 6th Ohio Militia during the War of 1812. His commanding officer was his cousin, Capt. Jacob Young.

Anna Young was born on March 23, 1794 in Morris County, New Jersey, the daughter of Nathaniel Mitchell Young and his wife Mary Lewis Young. Anna Young died on April 26, 1886 in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio.

I am very grateful to Professor Edward Hudson Young for taking the time to interview many, many Young descendants in the 1940's, so that we may all know more about the family history of our Young ancestors.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Alexander C. Hosmer

Alexander C. Hosmer was born in Sandusky on September 9, 1840. His father, Sidney S. Hosmer, was an early Sandusky merchant.

According to the American Civil War Soldiers database, available at Ancesty Library Edition, Alexander C. Hosmer enlisted in Company B of the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry on July 22, 1862. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on January 4, 1863. Some of Alexander's war experiences are described in the book LETTERS HOME, written by Jay Caldwell Butler, a friend of Alexander C. Hosmer. (See the Sandusky Library or the Hayes Presidential Center's Library to view this title.) Jay calls his friend "Alick" in his letters home.

On May 11, 1864, Alexander C. Hosmer was injured in the Battle of Rockyface Ridge in Tennessee. He died from his wounds the following day. On page 202 of the book STORY OF THE ONE HUNDRED AND FIRST OHIO INFANTRY, by Lewis W. Day, we read that Alexander C. Hosmer received every possible attention at the field hospital, under the care of Dr. T. M. Cook. Lieutenant Hosmer was "brave almost to recklessness," and he fell at his post.

Alexander C. Hosmer is buried near his parents, in the North Ridge section of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. His brother, Theodore Hosmer, named his son Alexander, in honor of his fallen brother.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Aunt Bertie was a Police Officer, and Co-Owned a Business

Alberta "Bertie" Orshoski was the only daughter of Steve and Emma (Yeager) Orshoski. The first of the five Orshoski children, Bertie was born on October 20, 1926. Bertie graduated from Margaretta High School in 1944, where she was on the cheerleading squad with her aunt, Stella Orshoski. (Though Stella was Bertie's aunt, they were very close in age.)

For twenty four years, Bertie and her husband John Maschari owned and operated the Log Cabin Inn, a restaurant in Bay View. Through the years, a host of relatives were employed by Bertie and John at the Log Cabin. Bertie's father Steve even helped out on occasion. The Log Cabin was a favorite place in the area for banquets, and luncheon business meetings. Boaters found it handy to dine there in the summer months, especially before the closing of the old Sandusky Bay Bridge. Many family anniversary parties, holiday parties, and funeral dinners were hosted at the Log Cabin by Bertie and John. When a close family member or friend passed away, Bertie often prepared a carryout meal and delivered it to the grieving family.

While she had no college degree, Bertie was a very successful business woman, and was known for her work ethic. In the 1960's, she also served as a Deputy Police Woman for the Bay View Police Department. In the article below, which appeared in the June 8 , 1961 issue of the Sandusky Register, Bertie, who then was also known as Mrs. Alberta Rutherford, was award with a Certificate of Attendance at the Law Enforcement Training School. At this time she was on the Special Police force for the Village of Bay View.

Alberta and her husband sponsored numerous youth baseball leagues in Bay View, and was active in organizing "Bay View Days" celebrations through the years.

After a battle with cancer, Alberta Maschari passed away on February 19, 1997. She was survived by two children, four grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Inurnment was at Calvary Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Bertie's memorial overlooks the grave of her grandson, John, who died in 1985, while still in his teens.

While this business is no longer in operation, the Log Cabin Inn, later known as the Angry Trout, served customers in Northern Ohio for many years.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Gleaning Genealogical Facts from a Civil War Pension File

A prompt from We Tree, "52 Weeks to Better Genealogy," hosted by Geneabloggers, has challenged bloggers to examine the “Genealogy and Military Records” page on the National Archives website. A few years back, under a different form number, I requested the military and pension records of my ancestor, James Cross, a Union Civil War Veteran. Here are some of the things I learned from looking his file, which was several pages long:

James Cross, who is buried in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio, was a Civil War Veteran. He served in Company G of the Ohio 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Several items of genealogical interest can be learned by looking through the Civil War Pension File for James Cross. In a paper from the Bureau of Pensions of the Department of the Interior, dated March 3, 1889, we learn that James Cross married Elizabeth Marshall on July 1, 1867. Rev. R. A. Sidley performed the marriage service, and the record of that marriage is on file at the Erie County Courthouse.

Also listed on the 1889 document are the names and birthdates of all of the children born to James and Elizabeth Marshall Cross:

Nicholas Charles Cross, born May 10, 1868
Mary Louisa Cross, born August 15, 1870
Henry Edward Cross, born November 12, 1874
Anna Cross, born October 28, 1877
Blanche Lorette Cross, born November 11, 1879
Joseph Ernest Cross, born December 1, 1883

The signature of James Cross can be seen at the very bottom of this paper.

On the Declaration for Pension dated April 20, 1907, even more details are provided.

James Cross stated that he was discharged honorably from the service on June 12, 1865. He gives his physical description as: height of 5 feet and 6 and one half inches,light complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His occupation was listed as carpenter. His address was 528 Pearl Street, Sandusky, Ohio. Witnesses to this document were Henry Hart and Josh B. Davis.

The Declaration for Pension dated May 16, 1912, states that James Cross was enrolled at Camp Monroeville in Huron County, Ohio on September 19, 1862. Mr. Cross also stated that he was born in Sandusky, Ohio on March 14, 1843.

James Cross died on December 14, 1913 in Erie County, Ohio. A final paper from the Bureau of Pensions,Department of the Interior, declared that James Cross, who served with Co. G, 123rd Ohio Infantry, was dropped as a pensioner, due to his death. This document which was sent to the Commissioner of Pensions was dated March 23, 1914.

Though the prices for obtaining Civil War Pension Records from the National Archives went up in 2007, these records can be a wealth of information for the family history researcher.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mrs. Lydia Ann Pero

Mrs. Lydia Ann Pero, wife of John Pero, died on August 7, 1855, at the age of 25. She is buried in Block 10 of Oakland Cemetery.

Lydia's tombstone features a daguerreotype of the young husband and wife.

The following inscription is found on Lydia's tombstone:

Benevolent she lived; Virtuous she died,
Now lies at rest, her infants by her side.

Yet of dear wife, thy spirit lingers near,
Will listen to thy husband's lonely tread?
And watch the silent, lonely pensive tear,
Which drop to consecrate thy dreamless bed?

Her life was like the dew drop,
Which glistens on the rose
Her spirit like the timid dove
In heaven has found repose.

Records found in the book CEMETERIES OF ERIE COUNTY, compiled by Marjorie Loomis Cherry in 1935, also lists the names of  infants born to John and Lydia Pero. They are buried next to their mother. The children were named Aghea or Aghsa Pero, a baby girl who died on July 21, 1849; and Martin Pero, who died on April 14, 1852.

These cemetery records show that one young family had a great deal of sorrow and heartache in a short amount of time. Census records show a John Pero who moved to Fremont, Ohio, and lived a long life. He remarried and had more children. To date we do not have enough information to be sure that this is the same individual who buried his wife and babies at Oakland Cemetery in the middle of the nineteenth century in Erie County, Ohio.

The monument maker's mark at the bottom of the stone of Lydia Pero may read "Myers, Uhl & Co.", Cleveland.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Mrs. Annie M. Klei

Mrs. Anna/Annie Mary Klei died on May 4, 1882. Her obituary appeared in the May 5, 1882 issue of the Sandusky Register. The article reported that Mrs. Anna Mary Klei,widow of John Klei, died at 10 o'clock in the evening, at the age of 57 years, 7 months, and 7 days. Family and friends of Mrs. Klei were invited to her funeral, which took place at the residence of C. W. Kelsey on Jefferson Street on May 6. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Larkins Family Lot at St. Joseph's Cemetery

The Larkins Family lot is in Section C, Row 27 of St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery located at Mills and Seneca Streets on the western side of Sandusky, Ohio. On a low, long stone is the surname LARKINS. (The name is engraved on the side of the stone which faces toward the west.)On either side of this stone are tombstones with have no names on them, just the words Father and Mother on the top of the stones. (It is very difficult to read the inscriptions on the stones, as they are badly worn.) Click here for a larger view.

The tombstone of Will Larkins is the first stone on the left, while facing the Larkins lot looking to the east. William Larkins was the son of Patrick Larkins and Bridget Ryan Larkins. He died at the age of 19 of consumption. His funeral was held at the home of his brother, Thomas F. Larkins. The following obituary for William Larkins appeared in the November 29, 1893 issue of the Sandusky Register.

The tombstone of Dan Larkins is the tallest stone in the family lot. Daniel Larkins was the oldest son of Patrick and Bridget Larkins, born in 1859. Dan died on August 1, 1880 at the age of 21. Articles about the death of Daniel Larkins were carried in the August 3 and August 4, 1880 issues of the Sandusky Register. The first article reported that on the Sunday night of his death, it was the first time that young Dan had ever stayed away from home without letting his parents know where he was. "It is clearly evident that he got into bad company," is how the newspaper explained what happened. Dan Larkins went out with his friends, and had several drinks. Late that night, Dan fell out of a window at the Germania house, a Sandusky tavern, and he fell to his death on the sidewalk. It must have broken his parents' hearts to lost a son in this tragic accident.

The tombstone which is the last one on the right of the Larkins lot belongs to little Edwin Larkins. Edwin was the son of Thomas F. and Mary Louise Larkins, and the grandson of Patrick and Bridget Larkins. He died on March 29, 1892 at the age of 2 1/2. His parents would also lose a baby girl in infancy, Mildred Larkins died in July of 1898 at the age of 7 weeks. Two other children of Thomas and Mary Louise Larkins lived to adulthood, Irene and Thomas Arthur Larkins.

While cemetery records indicate that the tombstones of Patrick and Bridget Larkins are in Section E, and have been discussed in a previous blog post, it is possible that the Father and Mother tombstones are actually those of Patrick and Bridget Larkins, and that the couple buried in Section E could belong to a different Larkins family.

Many contemplative visits to the St. Joseph Cemetery have taken place as descendants have visited the tombstones of their ancestors through the years. The Larkins family lost several members of the family tree between 1880 and 1893. We wish we knew more details about the joys and sorrows of these folks of Irish descent who lived and died so long ago.