Tuesday, August 31, 2010

McPherson Cemetery in Clyde, Ohio

McPherson Cemetery is located at the intersection of Routes 20 and 101 in Clyde, Ohio. The cemetery is named for James B. McPherson, who was the highest ranking Ohio soldier to die in the American Civil War.

General McPherson died in battle during the Civil War on August 22, 1864. The statue of General McPherson is pointing to the west. The website entitled Ohio's Yesterdays features an article about the General James B. McPherson Monument. The James B. McPherson Photo Gallery is found online at the Sandusky County Scrapbook.

The historical marker at the McPherson Cemetery points out that several other significant individuals are buried at McPherson Cemetery, including George Burton Meek, the first U.S. serviceman killed in the Spanish American War, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients Charles H. McCleary and Rodger W. Young. Emma Anderson, mother of author Sherwood Anderson, is also buried at Clyde's McPherson Cemetery.

Over 500 interments have been listed on Find A Grave for McPherson Cemetery.

Sadly, in August of 2010 vandals did thousands of dollars of damage to this beautiful cemetery, which features so many historic monuments. You can read news articles about the destruction done to tombstones at the McPherson Cemetery at the websites of the Sandusky Register and the Toledo Blade.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Visit to the Farm in 1959

In 1959, my mother packed up her four children, and we drove from Erie County, Ohio, to the farm of Clifford and Leona Lindsley in Sandusky County, Ohio. We played with the kittens, made tunnels in the hay loft, jumped off the sides of the spring house, and enjoyed our visit to the farm. On the way to the farm, outside of Bellevue, Ohio, we would enjoy the hills on Route 269, and could hardly wait to see what adventures would await us during our visit.

Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Lindsley were neighbors of my Parker ancestors, all of whom had prosperous farms in Perkins Township, Ohio for many years. 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, the Parker and Lindsley families had to re-locate. My great grandparents, Leroy and Ada Parker, moved to Sandusky, Ohio into an apartment, and continued to work at Cedar Point during the summers. Cliff and Leona Lindsley moved to a farm in Sandusky, County. The families whose farms were bought out stayed in touch, and had annual "Old Neighbors" picnics every summer.

While I never lived on a farm, so many of my ancestors before me did. Going to see "Uncle Cliff" and "Aunt Leona" at their lovely farm helped me to get a sense of what being a child on a farm would have been like. Those memories are so precious to me! Most all of my Parker ancestors are buried at Perkins Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio; and Mr. and Mrs. Lindsley were buried at the York Free Chapel Cemetery in Sandusky County, Ohio. Thanks for those wonderful "down on the farm" experiences! Below is a snapshot of an earlier generation of youngsters enjoying farm life in Perkins Township in the 1940's.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Make Your Own Poster

Randy at Genea-Musings posted this mission for tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

Go to the http://www.imagechef.com/ website and explore their FREE offerings. Click on the "Create" button, or choose to make a slideshow or posters from their main page (there are more than one screen of poster backgrounds)

Here are my creations:

1. I am still trying to locate my Irish ancestors' homeland.

2. Many thanks to my Great Grandma Ada Steen Parker for instilling the "family tree" bug in Mom, which was then passed down to me. What a wonderful gift!

3. Thanks to my Mom and siblings for making the O-lympics, a family fun night last winter, filled with Orshoski family members, so memorable!

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy: Challenge 35

In Week 35 of the 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy series, we have been asked to examine the Daughters of the American Revolution Genealogical Research System. The Genealogical Research System of the Daughters of the American Revolution is located at this web address:


In the Ancestor Search portion of the GRS, you can search for an ancestor who may have served in the Revolutionary War. I searched for William House from the state of Connecticut, and got this result:

William House was a private from Glastonbury, Connecticut, serving under Capt. Jonathan Hale and Col. Erastus Wolcott. His wife was the former Elizabeth Risley. Looking under the section entitled Associated Applications and Supplementals, I see a couple familiar names: Julia and Jesse Taylor. By clicking on the box with a D enclosed in it, I can see more details about a descendant of William House.

Julia House Taylor’s lineage is traced back to her Revolutionary War ancestor, William House. Also listed are birth and death dates, and the names of the locations of births and deaths. Some of the names of individuals connected with this D.A.R. record are not visible, most likely for privacy reasons.

If you know the National Number of a certain member of the D.A.R., you can search the GRS database by that National Number.

Under the third tab in the GRS database, you can search by the name of a descendant. I got this result when I entered the name of a distant cousin, Ethel House:

The birth and death dates of both Ethel House and her spouse Claude Minor are provided. Ethel’s Revolutionary War ancestor’s name is also listed: Samuel Stansbury. On the right side of this page is a link to information pertaining to how to order the D.A.R. application of the member.

This is just a very brief introduction to the D.A.R.’s Genealogical Research System. Experiment with names in your family tree to see what can be gleaned by searching this outstanding research tool!

Friday, August 27, 2010

James and Lydia Titus Selfe

The Ohio Marriages database at Family Search Labs provides us with the date of marriage of James Selfe and Lydia Titus as December 24, 1898, in Erie County, Ohio. James Selfe was the son of James and Elizabeth Selfe. The death certificate of James Selfe indicates that he was born in London, England in 1863. He died in Akron, Ohio on February 23, 1938.

We read in the book HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, that Lydia Titus was the daughter of Jared Titus and Elizabeth Hamilton. The biographical sketch about Jared Titus states that Jared was "a member of one of the old representative families of Kelley's Island." Lydia Titus Selfe passed away on August 4, 1919, as a result of lung cancer. Lydia Selfe was a resident of Kelleys Island, but she died in Sandusky, Ohio.

James and Lydia Selfe are buried in the Kelleys Island Cemetery. Their tombstone was created by Conrad Keim. The following article about the Selfe tombstone appeared in the August 4, 1920 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal. It describes the Easter lilies that were carved onto the stone as "the wonderful effects of a chisel in a trained hand." Conrad Keim signed his work in block letters that read C. Keim. You can see his name on the upper right portion of the base of the Selfe monument. (Click on the image for a close up view.)

The marker next to the tombstone of James and Lydia Selfe was placed there by the Womens Benefit Association of the MacCabees, #320, according to the inscriptions of the Kelleys Island Cemetery which are available at U.S. GenWeb Archives.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jacob and Christine Haas

Erie County Probate records indicate that Jacob Haas married Christiana Koegele on December 21, 1865. (Spellings of Christina's first and maiden name vary widely.) Sadly, by 1874, Christine Koegele Haas had passed away, and she was buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

The top of Christine's tombstone features a floral decoration. While I was unable to translate all the German words, the phrase Unsere Liebe Mutter reads "Our Dear Mother" in English. Christine Haas died on May 16, 1874, at the age of 26 years. An abstract of a death record for Christine Haas is found at Family Search Labs. The same resource also contains a death record for an infant named Christine Haas who died on August 18, 1874. An interment card from Oakland Cemetery also records a baby with the last name of Haas, buried in Lot Number 38 at Oakland Cemetery, the same lot as Mrs. Christine Haas.

Jacob Haas lived a long life, working on the Great Lakes as a mariner.

An obituary for Mr. Haas in the August 29, 1919 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that he died on August 28, 1919 at the home of his nephew William Freyensee in Sandusky. Jacob Haas was survived by two sons, William and Edward Haas, of Put in Bay; and two daughters, Emma and Elizabeth Haas, both of Sandusky. Jacob Haas was buried next to his wife Christine in Oakland Cemetery.

By searching through death and birth records at Family Search Labs, along with census records, I was able to determine the approximate birth dates of the children of Jacob and Christine Haas:

  • Edward Haas was born May 9, 1866
  • William Haas was born September 17, 1869
  • Emma Haas was born September 1870
  • Elizabeth Haas was born November 15, 1871
  • Christine Haas was born and also died in 1874

So at the time of Mrs. Christine Haas's death, her husband was a widower with four children, all ages eight and under. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Eddie and Willie Haas were residing with their aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Doller, at Put in Bay, in Ottawa County, Ohio. The 1900 U.S. Census shows Emma and Elizabeth living with George Koegele, on Perry Street in Sandusky, Ohio. It is clear that Jacob Haas enlisted the help of extended family members in rearing his four children following the death of his wife. The beautiful memorial to Christine Haas speaks to me that her husband Jacob truly loved her and missed her, and that message remains to be seen by visitors to Oakland Cemetery to this day.

An obituary for William Haas, which was carried by the November 20, 1944 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, reported that William Haas was the manager of V. Doller's general store at Put in Bay for fifty years. He was also the telegraph operator at Put in Bay, sending messages through the Sandusky office of Western Union for many years.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kelleys Island Cemetery

The Kelleys Island Cemetery is found on Division Street in Kelleys Island, an island in Lake Erie, just north of the Marblehead peninsula. Many members of the Kelley family and Himmelein family are buried in the Kelleys Island Cemetery.

Though now they are privately owned, the Kelley Mansion and Himmelein house can still be seen on the island today.

This monument which honors the Bauman family was created by Sandusky resident Conrad Keim. (Click for an enlarged view. Keim's name is found on the upper right side of the base of the stone.)

The Estes family lot has lovely floral tributes during the summer months.

A listing of inscriptions for the Kelleys Island Cemetery is found online at the U.S. GenWeb Archives. Several items of interest relating to Kelleys Island historical individuals, places, and businesses are featured at the website of the Kelleys Island Historical Association.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Commemorative Brick at Marblehead Lighthouse

While this commemorative brick was dedicated in June of 2010, the Marblehead Lighthouse has been in operation on Lake Erie since 1822. You can read about Benajah Wolcott, the first keeper of the Marblehead Lighthouse here, and you can learn more about William Kelly, the builder of the Marblehead Lighthouse, here.

Visiting the Marblehead Lighthouse on a hot summer day is such a joyful experience. The lake provides refreshing cooling breezes, and those blustery winter days are a distant memory!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Pleasures of Family History

While browsing through the back issues of the "Firelands Pioneer" via Google Books, I ran into this delightful quotation:

"The pleasures of history are akin to travel, and he who well understands the life of a prior period of his own locality, has traveled abroad."

This quote by Judge C. C. Baldwin appeared on page 2293 of the January 1920 issue of the "Firelands Pioneer." Of course in my mind, I added the word family in front of the word history....and changed the he to she.

Mrs. Pallas Anderson Lane

Pallas Anderson was the only daughter of Dr. George Anderson, Sandusky's first doctor. She was born in Sandusky in 1825, which was located in Huron County at that time. (Erie County was founded in 1838.) According to records found at www.familysearch.org, Pallas Anderson married Dr. Ebenezer Shaw Lane in 1845. Ebenezer Shaw Lane was the son of Judge Ebenezer Lane, a beloved early citizen of Sandusky.

Helen Hansen wrote in AT HOME IN EARLY SANDUSKY, that the Dr. Ebenezer Shaw Lane and his wife Pallas lived at 318 Huron Avenue in Sandusky. Dr. Lane worked faithfully to aid the sick during the cholera epidemic of 1849. He was the first secretary of the Erie County Medical Society, which was organized in 1850. By 1870, Dr. Lane and his wife moved to Chicago. The 1880 U.S. Census for Chicago lists the children of Dr. E. S. Lane and his wife Pallas as: Ebenezer, Mary, and Fannie. Mrs. Pallas Anderson Lane died in 1886, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, where many other Lane family members also are buried.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hughes Granite and Marble Company

The December 31, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register featured this article about the Hughes Granite Company, later known as the Hughes Granite and Marble Company, in Clyde, Ohio. A leader in monuments and memorials in the U.S., the Hughes Company was responsible for the Rice Mausoleum at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

You can view the early records of the Hughes Granite and Marble Company at the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center. A company history and several photographs from the Hughes Granite and Marble Company are available online at the Sandusky County Scrapbook site.

Pictured below is the Rice Mausoleum, at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, which was created by the Hughes Granite and Marble Company. Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Rice are entombed here, along with Mrs. Rice's son from a previous marriage.

According to the records of the Hughes Granite and Marble Company at the Hayes Presidential Center, William E. Hughes perfected the proper use of ventilation in mausoleums.

Vents in the Rice Mausoleum appear at the top and bottom of both the south and north sides of the mausoleum.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Birthday Party for Lena Yeager

On August 13, 1961, the family of Lena Yeager celebrated her 80th birthday. Though many photos were taken on this day, I was only able to track down a few. In the collage are pictured:

Top left: Lena Yeager with her children, Norma Gruhlke, Emma Orshoski, Dorothy Orshoski, and Fred Yeager. (Emma and Dorothy married brothers!)

Top right: Lena Yeager, Steve and Emma Orshoski; Lena's grandson Paul Orshoski is standing next to his sons Paul,Jr. and Todd; Steve Orshoski is holding granddaughters Sue and Robin Orshoski; Don Orshoski is holding his daughter Debbie.

Bottom left: Norma and Leonard Gruhlke are pictured with Norma's daugher and son in law, Norma Jean and Denny Kurtz and their two children

Bottom right: Dorene is standing in front of her great grandmother Lena Yeager, grandmother Emma Yeager Orshoski, and father Paul Orshoski, Sr.

(*Note: A slightly altered version of the above image appeared in an earlier blog post. )

A small newspaper article about the family gathering appeared in the August 16 issue of the Sandusky Register. Lena Yeager lived seventeen more years after this party. She is buried next to her husband Andrew at Union Corners Cemetery.In her later years, when her vision was impaired, Grandma Yeager would often be found siting quietly in her chair, with her hands folded. Lena Piehl Yeager lived a full life filled with a lot of hard work, good times and sad times, and over ninety years worth of memories.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Amasa Durkee

Amasa Durkee is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The Oakland Cemetery interment card states that he was buried on June 1, 1873 in the North Ridge section of the cemetery, and that he had been "found dead in bed." He was aged 75 at the time of his death.

In the book KENTUCKY: A HISTORY OF THE STATE, published in 1885, we read that Amasa Durkee had been a boot dealer in Dalton, Massachusetts, and his wife, the former Mary Lester, had died in 1840. Mary Lester Durkee left behind eight children: Sarah, Mary, John W., Henry S., James., William L., Orpha E. and Emily A. Durkee. (Note: Some sources list Marianne as the first name of Mrs. Amasa Durkee.)

The 1870 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, indicates that John W. Durkee, the son of Amasa Durkee, was living in Sandusky, Ohio, where he was employed as an assistant to James Woolworth at the Woolworth Axe Handle Works. John W. Durkee's daughter Edna married Amos Day. Edna Durkee Day's obituary appeared in the February 15, 1927 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal. She had been a well known teacher with the Sandusky Schools. She was survived by a son and three daughters, one of whom was the wife of Dr. J. D. Parker. Dr. J.D. Parker had two sons who became physicians in Sandusky, Drs. Watson and Lester Parker.

My family's physician when I was a child was Dr. Watson Day Parker, a descendant of Amasa Durkee. He was a "shirt tail" cousin to me through my mom's Parker line, but I had no idea that he was also descended from Amasa Durkee, until I did a little bit of genealogical digging. I wish Dr. Watson was here to tell me more about his interesting family heritage! Dr. Watson Parker passed away in 2004, and his sense of humor and wonderful bedside manner are still missed by many.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Announcement from Geneabloggers

William Terrance "Terry" Thornton has passed away. Read brief details at:



Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Terry Thornton will surely be missed! He had such enthusiasm for family history, and he was known for his witty writing.

An obituary for Terry Thornton is found at the website of the E. E. Pickle Funeral Home.

Tombstone Tuesday: Joseph Large

According to the book SANDUSKY THEN AND NOW, Joseph Large, age 36, died of cholera on August 15, 1852. There were three cholera epidemics in Sandusky, in 1849, 1852, and 1854. Joseph Large is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

In the original German version of SANDUSKY THEN AND NOW, entitled SANDUSKY EINST UND JETZT, page 180 includes a listing of the names of individuals who died of cholera in 1852. SANDUSKY EINST UND JETZT is available full text at Google Books, and is searchable by name or any keyword.

John Gench

John Gench (sometimes spelled Gensch) was born in 1875 to J. Martin Gensch and Julia Timm Gensch. John was the family's oldest son, and it is believed that he was born in Posen, Germany. Later, the family would move to the United States, settling in Sandusky, Ohio. Martin and Julia had a family of nine children, and Martin stated in the 1900 Census that they entered the U.S. in 1882.

John Gench died in a tragic railroad accident on July 26, 1893.A portion of the Sandusky Register article from July 27, 1893, is pictured below:

It appears that Monday, July 26, 1893, after John told his family that he had some work to do, he would decide to go fishing instead. He and a friend stopped at Murshchel's hotel to purchase some sandwiches and a pail of beer.

Later that day the body of John Gench/Gensch was found a short distance from the train depot on a sidetrack of the Lake Shore Railroad. He was found decapitated by railroad engineer Charles Scheutler and fireman P. Dietrich. Coroner Hubbard stated this in his report of the death of 18 year old John Gench: "Having heard the evidence and examined the body I find that the deceased came to his death by being crushed beneath the wheels of a Lake Shore & Michigan Southern pony engine, No. 443, on a side track in the company's yard in Sandusky, O., on the morning of July 26, 1893, between the hours of two and three o'clock. It is evident that the accident was the result of the young man's carelessness and from the evidence taken no blame can be attached to the fireman and engineer in charge of the pony engine at the time the accident occurred."

To date, there is no record found of the name of the friend who was seen with John Gench/Gensch before his fatal accident. John Gench/Gensch was buried in Range F at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. There is no stone found in grave 13 of Lot F at Oakland Cemetery today. Below is a photo of the eastern portion of Range F, where he was originally buried, according to Oakland Cemetery interment records. How sad for his family, that John Gench/Gensch died while still in his teenage years.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ancestors in Vacationland

If your ancestors lived in Northern Ohio, or Southern Michigan, chances are that they visited the Lake Erie Islands area, which used to be known as "Vacationland." Here are a few websites which feature historical post cards and photographs of Vacationland:

Here is a glimpse of visitors to Cedar Point in days gone by:

And here are a couple of future Graveyard Rabbits at the beach at Port Clinton, Ohio:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Children of Thomas and L. Fleming

Lambs adorn the tombstones for the infant children of Thomas and L. Fleming at Deyo Cemetery. The inscriptions read:

Daughter of Thos. & L. Fleming
Died Nov. 11, 1855
Aged 7 mos., 2 d.

Son of Thos. & L. Fleming
Died Aug. 8, 1855
Aged 5 months

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Foxfield Preserve: A Natural Cemetery

During a recent visit to The Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio, I came across this poster about Foxfield Preserve. Foxfield Preserve is a cemetery, but it quite different from a traditional cemetery. At Foxfield Preserve, the person who has died is not embalmed, and there is no concrete vault. Only natural materials are involved, including clothing made of cotton or wool, and the casket is made of biodegradable material, such as wood. Read more about Foxfield Preserve here. Another article about Foxfield Preserve can be read at Conservation Maven. Frequently asked questions regarding Foxfield Preserve are answered in this document.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Follow Friday: Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog

Harold Henderson is the author of Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog.

The subtitle of this blog reads: Genealogy and family history in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, and neighbor and feeder states

I have been reading blog posts from Midwestern Microhistory regularly for over a year. Mr. Henderson discusses the latest happenings in genealogy news of the Midwest, informs us of new databases and other research tools, and often provides book reviews on his site. Check out Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, especially if you have ancestors from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, or Ohio!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sallie Reber, Popular Singer

Sallie Reber was the daughter of Sandusky lawyer George Reber. She was born in 1850 to George Reber and Nancy Stiles Reber. She was a popular singer in New York and other major cities, often performing in comic operas.

Sallie was married first to Franklin F. R. Laing, and after his death she married James D. Fish a banker whose bank failed in 1884. Sallie Reber Laing Fish died on March 10, 1885,following a bout of gastritis. She is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio.

An obituary for Sallie Reber Laing appeared in the New York Times on March 19, 1885. It was not widely known at the time of this obituary that she had become married to banker James Dean Fish.

Wordless Wednesday: Strong's Ridge Cemetery

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

GYR Recommends an article on Tombstone Toursim

Posted today at the Graveyard Rabbit site is a suggestion to read this article on Tombstone Tourism by well known author Douglas Keister.

Check out the post at Graveyard Rabbit, and then hop on over to the very interesting article about Tombstone Tourism. The photos are fabulous!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. James Madison Harris

Mr. and Mrs. James Madison Harris are buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. While the 1860 U.S. Census for Erie County indicates he was born in Kentucky in 1810, an obituary for Mr. Harris, which appeared in the July 9. 1895 issue of the Sandusky Register, reported he was 95 years of age at the time of his death on July 8, 1895. James Madison Harris was an early African American settler of Perkins Township in Erie County, Ohio. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Mr. Harris's first name was listed as Mattison. He was a farmer, aged 65, according to the census records. He lived in Perkins Township with his wife Julia, age 40, and his son William, age 17. A marriage record for William H. Harris, which informs us that he married Ida Smith in 1903, indicates that William Harris's mother's maiden name was Julia Brown.

Mrs. Julia Brown Harris passed away at the family residence on Patten Tract Road in Perkins Township on April 3, 1904. An obituary for Mrs. Harris was carried by the April 4, 1904 issue of the Sandusky Morning Star.

A beautiful monument which honors the memory of James Madison Harris and Julia Brown Harris is located in Block 13 of Oakland Cemetery. A draped urn which sits upon a closed book adorns the top of the Harris monument. The draped urn symbolizes sorrow or mourning.

A hand holding an open book is found in the middle portion of the Harris monument, just below a decorative flower.

Click on the images for an enlarged view.

Lora Schaub

Young Lora Schaub died of heat stroke on July 30, 1919. She had been overtaken by heat just a few days before her death. Lora (whose first name was sometimes spelled Laura) was only eleven years old at the time of her death. Her parents were William and Augusta Schaub. It is hard to imagine the grief they must have felt at losing a child at such a young age. Lora A. Schaub is buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A dove adorns her tombstone.

Valentines which were given to Lora Schaub by her classmates in elementary school are pictured at the Sandusky History website.