Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mrs. Anna Webster

According to Mrs. Anna Webster's death certificate, available at Family Search Labs, Anna was born in Ontario, Canada on July 19, 1858. (However Anna's tombstone reads 1857.) Her parents were Thomas Meredith and Jane Knight Meredith. Mr. and Mrs. Meredith were both born in England. Erie County Probate Court records indicate that Anna Meredith married James Webster on February 26, 1882.

The September 30, 1922 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Mrs. Anna Webster passed away suddenly at the residence of her sister, Mrs. E. Baker, of Marion, Ohio. Anna Webster was survived by two sisters, Mrs. Simeon C. Prout of Delaware, Ohio; Mrs. E. Baker of Marion, Ohio; and a brother, R. L. Meredith of Zanesville, Ohio. The Superintendent of Sandusky City Schools, Frank J. Prout, was a nephew of Mrs. Anna Webster. Funeral services for Mrs. Anna Webster were held at Webster residence at 604 Perry Street in Sandusky, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Capt. John White

Hewson L. Peeke wrote in his 1916 edition of A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, that Captain John White was one of the pioneer settlers of Erie County's Groton Township. His title of Captain was in reference to his service in the state militia. From the book MEMORIALS OF JOHN WHITE, we learn that John White (a descendant of the John White in the book title) was born in Hatfield, Massachusetts on August 22, 1792. He married Sophia White in 1820, who passed away in 1853 in Erie County, Ohio. He married Elizabeth Drake in 1854.

The children of John and Sophia White were: Ebenezer, Elijah, Mary, George, and John. John White and Elizabeth Drake White had a daughter named Ida. John White died on September 24, 1863 and is buried in Graves Cemetery just south of Castalia, Ohio.

Dad's Navy Service and His Unidentified Buddies

My father, Paul R. Orshoski, Sr., was a Fireman in the United States Navy during World War II. He enlisted on April 3, 1945, and he separated from the Navy on October 27, 1947.

According to his discharge certificate, it appears that Dad enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve on January 17,1948, but to my knowledge he was never called up to serve again.

Dad did not talk much about his years in the Navy, but he spoke fondly of his fellow sailors. In papers found after our parents' deaths, are several snapshots of Navy men which are unidentified. If anyone recognize any of these servicemen, please let me know. Thank you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall at Perkins Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio

Many of my ancestors from my mother's Parker, House, and Taylor lines are buried here at Perkins Cemetery, along with their neighbors and friends. The leaves are just starting to change colors here in North Central Ohio.

Red berries are vibrant on the tree adjacent to the House monument, where lie the remains of Julius House, his first wife Percy, his second wife Mehitable, and his daughter Harriet.

An angel is found at the entrance to the Perkins Cemetery, as well as a marker which provides historical information about the cemetery.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Russel Alspaugh, the Man who named the Margaretta Polar Bears

Russel Alspaugh, seen in the blue jacket next to his brother Leslie, was born in 1916 to Edward and Della Alspaugh. Sadly, Russ and Les's mother died when they were very young, in 1918. In the 1920 U.S. Census for Erie County, Edward Alspaugh is listed as a widow, with three children: Leslie, age 10; Leona, age 8; and Russel, age 3.

In the 1930's, both Russ and Les Alspaugh were amateur boxers. Russ fought in the featherweight division. In an undated clipping from the local student newspaper from Margaretta High School, an article tells how Russ Alspaugh was responsible for the naming of the "Polar Bears" as the mascot for the local school system in Castalia, Ohio. Denise Paul wrote the article for the Polar Press in the mid 1990's, after her grandmother, Joyce Orshoski, told her of an earlier article about Russ. It seems that since Russ was the president of the athletic association, he was not eligible to submit a nickname for the school mascot. So, he told his friend, Steve Uhas, to submit the name "Polar Bears" to the contest, which was run by the student council. The name of "Polar Bears" was chosen as the name of the Margaretta High School mascot, and Steve Uhas won a dollar for being chosen the winner. He split the dollar with Russ Alspaugh, so they each received fifty cents. Margaretta's mascot has been the Polar Bears ever since the contest which took place in the fall of 1935.

Russ Alspaugh was active in the local community, and remained a fan of the Margaretta Polar Bears for many years. Russ died on February 23, 2006. He was buried in the Castalia Cemetery next to his beloved wife Edie.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Follow Friday: Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols

A website that I visit regularly is Cemeteries and Cemetery Symbols, featuring photos and text by Joe Beine.

Some of the cemetery symbols Joe has covered include: the handshake, masonic emblems, and angels. In the FAQ section, Joe Beine lists Douglas Keister’s book STORIES IN STONE: A FIELD GUIDE TO CEMETERY SYMBOLISM AND ICONOGRAPHY as a reference.

On the right sidebar is listed another of Joe Beine's helpful website, entitled:
Online Indexes for Death Certificates, Death Records, Obituaries & Cemetery Burials. This website is my favorite "go to" site when I searching for what vital records may be available for a specific location.

Genealogy Roots Blog
is another blog by Joe Beine, which focuses on vital records, which are the "building blocks" of genealogy.

Thanks Joe for all your assistance to family history researchers!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Mug Holder made by Uncle Clyde

This wooden mug holder was made in the late 1970's by my husband's uncle, Clyde Paul, who lived in Ocilla, Georgia.

Our family has used this mug holder for many years, and it shows signs of being loved, but it is so terrific to still have a tangible reminder of such a wonderful family member!

Clyde R. Paul was born to Claudie Alfonso Paul and Annie Bell Smith Paul in Stockton, Georgia in 1910. In 1932 Clyde Paul married Mary Lissie Luke, and they were totally devoted to each other. They hosted our family several times, during Paul Family Reunions, and on the sad occasions of the funerals of family members. When I first met Uncle Clyde and Aunt Mary in 1977, they loved me like I had been born into the family, AND I was a northerner too! Geography didn't seemed to enter in to the picture at all. Uncle Clyde quickly nicknamed our toddler twin girls when he first met them: "Miss Piggie" and "Minnie Pearl" were there nicknames, and he always seemed to be able to tell the apart.

My father in law, John Paul, was born to Claudie Alfonso Paul and his second wife, Leattie Taylor Paul. As you can see from the family tree, it was a very big family! Uncle Clyde often had to look after his younger siblings when his parents were working. The 1920's and 1930's were lean years for the big Paul family, and all the members of the family worked hard on the farm.

Clyde Paul was a barber. He was known for his big heart, and wonderful sense of humor, and also for making items out of wood. At his funeral, held on September 15, 1998, the minister asked how many people there owned a sling shot or a walking stick that had been made by Clyde Paul, and almost everyone at the church raised their hands. Uncle Clyde's beloved wife Mary passed away before he did, on May 28, 1989. Clyde R. Paul died on September 13, 1998. He was buried in the Satilla Baptist Church Cemetery in Irwin County Georgia. You can read more about Clyde R. Paul at FindaGrave.

Pictured below is a portion of an article about Clyde Paul from the Country Neighbors column in the Georgia Country Neighbors magazine, written before Clyde's death in 1998. (This article was sent to me by relatives in Georgia, and I do not have the exact date of publication.)

My husband's Uncle Clyde and Aunt Mary were dear to our heart, and we still miss them a great deal!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paul and Joyce's First Date

Paul R. Orshoski,Sr. married Joyce E. Parker on July 1,1950 at St. Paul English Lutheran Church in Sandusky, Ohio. But before they were married, they had a first date. I found this account of my parents' first date in the back of my baby book.

Here is a transcription of the first three paragraphs:

Paul R. Orshoski
Joyce E. Parker

met on the 28th day of December, 1947, which was their first date, upon going to a movie at the Clinton Theatre at Port Clinton, Ohio. Miss Betty Ferrall (who in Sept. 1941 became Mrs. Wayne Orshoski), & Don Orshoski were also along.

In April of 1950 they became engaged. Miss Parker & Mr. Orshoski that is. (They would have been wed sooner,but Miss Parker's father did not approve.)

On a very beautiful sunny day, the first of July, 1950, the couple were happily married in St. Paul's English Lutheran Church by the Rev. J. A. Griffith, Sally Parker & Wayne Orshoski, attendants. First apt. - 436 Huron Ave., Sandusky. In Aug. 1951, the moved into their own home at Crystal Rock, Rt. #1, Vickery, Ohio.

Joyce Parker Orshoski continues her narration by telling about the birth of her first three children, and after briefly living in a rented house in Bay View, Paul and Joyce Orshoski and their three children moved into a new house on Route 269 in Bay View in April of 1956. Paul built the house himself, with a great deal of help from his extended family. For many years Paul and Joyce lived next door to Paul's brother Wayne, who incidentally married Joyce's good friend Betty Ferrall.

Joyce Orshoski lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on September 8, 2010. She was buried next to her husband Paul at the Perkins Cemetery.

Frank Zumm

Frank Zumm, an employee of the Lower Lakes Docks on the west side of Sandusky, lost his life on September 21, 1915. Frank was operating the Pennsylvania docks at the foot of King Street, when he fell underneath a coal car. The car was heading down the incline, and was about to be loaded onto a boat, when Frank was struck by the car. He was killed instantly. Frank was single, and he was survived by his widowed mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Zumm. He also had two sisters, Mrs. Ernest Ziemke and Mrs. Fred Grahl, and brother, Henry. Krupp's Mortuary was in charge of funeral arrangements. Rev. Theo. J. Stellhorn officiated at the funeral of Frank Krupp, and burial was in Oakland Cemetery.

Frank Zumm's tombstone features the German spelling of his first name: Franz Zumm. At the top of the tombstone is the German inscription:

Mein Lieber Sohn

which translates into English as:

My Dear Son

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Judge Elisha M. Colver

In Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery is this well worn tombstone honoring Elisha Maffit Colver. A Grand Army of the Republic marker has been placed in front of the stone for Elisha M. Colver.

Elisha Maffit Colver was born in Hudson, New York in 1832. When he was a teenager, he moved with his family to Huron County, Ohio. In 1859 Elisha M. Colver graduated from Cincinnati Law School, and he began practicing law in Wood County, Ohio the same year.

During the Civil War Elisha M. Colver served as Lieutenant in Co. B of the Third Ohio Cavalry. He became Captain of Co. K, Third Ohio Cavalry in 1861. Following the war, Elisha opened a law office in Sandusky. He became City Solicitor in 1868, and was Probate Judge of Erie County from 1870 through 1878. Elisha M. Colver died on September 19, 1895. His stone is situated directly in front of Clara Prout Colver's monument. Patty Pascoe devotes three pages of her book ELECTED TO SERVE to Judge Elisha M. Colver.

The first wife of Elisha M. Colver was Clara Prout. Clara died in 1874, leaving behind several small children. In 1876, Elisha married Caroline T. Wood. Elisha and Caroline had a baby who lived for only three years.

Georgia Elizabeth Colver's tombstone has this inscription at the bottom of her stone: Our darling sleeps sweetly.

The top of her stone reads "At Rest." Georgia was born Nov. 13, (the year is illegible) and "Departed this Life October 28, 1886."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cemetery Walk at Oakland Cemetery on Saturday, September 18

Click here to view Sandusky Register photos from a Cemetery Walk at Oakland Cemetery in Perkins Township, which took place on September 15 and September 16, 2010. Another walk will be taking place on Saturday, September 18 at 10 a.m.

Orshoski/Orsocky Marriage Record from 1905

In Westmoreland County, in the State of Pennsylvania, Joe Orsocky (later spelled Orshoski)and Julie Hercog applied for a marriage license before the Justice of the Peace on September 16, 1905.

Joe stated that his parents were Joe and Mary Orsocky, and he was born in Hungary on May 6, 1880. Julie Hercog, also born in Hungary, stated that her parents were Joe and Barber Hercog, and her birthdate was January 5, 1883. (Later records lists Julie's maiden name as Julia Herzog.) Joe's occupation was coal miner, and he was residing in Pricedale, Pennsylvania at the time he applied for his marriage license. Neither the bride or groom had been married before.

Joe signed his name on the second page of the document. Julie left her mark.

Joe and Julie Orsocky/Orshoski had a family of six sons. They moved to West Virginia for a short time, and then settled in Bay Bridge, Ohio, where Joe worked at a cement factory. Sadly, Mrs. Orshoski died when her sixth son was still an infant. The first Mrs. Joe Orshoski was buried at Castalia Cemetery near the tombstone of Joe Orshoski, Jr. Joe/Joseph Orshoski married Julianna Szomolya after his first wife died. Joe and his second wife are also buried at the Castalia Cemetery. See earlier blog postings to read more about the Joseph Orshoski family.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Eva Barney

Eva Barney was the infant daughter of George and Caroline Stebbins Barney. She died on September 13, 1852, at the age of 7 months old. The words "Little Eva" are found on Eva's tombstone. George and Caroline Barney lost several children, two in infancy and two as young adults.

To learn more about the Barney family, see the obituary of Mrs. Caroline Stebbins Barney, which was appeared in the April 11, 1891 issue of the Sandusky Register.

Eva Barney is buried in the Barney family lot at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Henry Buck

From the IGI portion of Family Search, we learn that Henry Buck was born in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania on March 1, 1778. He married Jane Corson in 1810. Hewson L. Peeke wrote in A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, that Henry Buck was one of the earliest settlers of Erie County, and he died of cholera in 1849. His date of death was September 9, 1849. Henry Buck is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Not all the words in the inscription of the tombstone of Henry Buck are legible. Here are the words I could decipher:

Remember man as for as thou
...was i...
...prepare to die
And follow me.

This may be a variation of the tombstone inscription found in an 1848 issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, available at Google Books:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joyce Parker Orshoski

My mother lost her battle with pancreatic cancer today, September 8, 2010. She had an amazing spirit, and taught all of her six children, twenty grandchildren, and several "greats" a lot about living. We will truly miss her. Her obituary has been posted at the online version of the Sandusky Register. Thank you everyone for your kind words and expressions of sympathy!

Orin Aden Rice, Civil War Veteran

Orin Aden Rice was the son of Charles and Laura Rice. He served in Co. B of the 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. After the war, Orin worked as a conductor on the Sandusky, Mansfield and Newark Railroad. He married Harriet Olivia Allen in January of 1868, according to Erie County Probate Court records.

On September 2, 1868 Orin was involved in a railroad accident in Licking County, Ohio. He died as a result of a skull fracture, which occurred when the train went under a trestle, Orin was caught between the top of the railroad car and the trestle. Orin Aden Rice was buried at Oakland Cemetery on September 3, 1868. He was survived by his wife and elderly mother. Mr. Rice's obituary is found in the Sandusky Register of September 2, 1868. Orin's widow later remarried, and she filed for Orin's Civil War pension in 1916, when she was living in Chicago, Illinois.

At the very top of the tombstone for Orin Aden Rice are the words: My Beloved Husband.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wayne Orshoski

Wayne Orshoski was the third child born to Steve and Emma Orshoski. He was born in Bay Bridge, Ohio on September 6, 1929. Wayne graduated from Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio. He was a self-employed mason and owned Orshoski Construction. He and his wife, the former Betty Farrell were the parents of three children. He was a U.S. Army veteran, and he also was a former Sandusky Elks member.

Below Wayne is pictured with his brother Paul, at the wedding of Paul Orshoski and Joyce Parker in July, 1950 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church on Central Avenue in Sandusky.

For many years Wayne and Betty Orshoski lived next door to Paul and Joyce Orshoski in Bay View, Ohio. The Orshoski cousins spent a lot of time together during the "baby boom" years of the 1950's and 1960's. The boys were active in Little League baseball, often playing for the "Log Cabin Inn" team. The Log Cabin Inn was a restaurant in Bay View which was owned by Wayne's mother-in-law, Audria Deme. Wayne's hobbies were fishing, cooking, and gardening. He was known for teasing everyone, and for his colorful vocabulary. He had an incredible memory, and liked sharing old photographs with the family. He often told stories about growing up in Bay Bridge, and spoke of the his many colorful neighbors and friends, most of whom had a family member who worked at the Medusa Cement plant.

Wayne Orshoski died Monday afternoon, Sept. 8, 2003 in Firelands Regional Medical Center, Main Campus, Sandusky, after a lengthy illness. He was buried at Restlawn Memorial Park, Huron next to his beloved wife Betty. After Wayne's funeral, his family and friends met at Wayne Orshoski's home in Bay View, where a fish fry was held in his honor. It was a fitting tribute to Wayne.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Marriage Record of Thomas F. Larkins and Lula Cross: A Closer Look

In a previous blog post, I discussed finding a brief marriage record of Thomas F. Larkins and Lula M. Cross at a very helpful online site related to Kalamazoo County Genealogy, at

After entering the names of the bride and groom into the Family Search Labs database, I was able to learn a little more about this couple. Their names were listed in the collection entitled: Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925. This "hit" led to an image of the marriage record from Kalamazoo County, Michigan. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

The date of the marriage was January 7, 1889, and the minister who officiated was Rev. Thomas Ryan. As was also listed on the 3 x 5" card from Kalamazoo Genealogy, the ages of the bride and groom were listed, along with the names of the parents of the couple. When looking at the record as listed at Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, I see a slight variation in the first names of the witnesses to the wedding of Thomas F. Larkins ad Lula Cross. Instead of Joanne Ryan and Maria McHugh, the names are listed as John Ryan and Mary McHugh.

Since the wedding took place in 1900, I decided to try to locate John Ryan in the U.S. Census for 1900. John Ryan was listed as living in Kalamazoo County, Michigan in 1900, and his birthplace was Ohio, the same birthplace as Thomas F. Larkins. Going back twenty years, I find a John Ryan living in the household of Patrick and Hannora Ryan, in a large family including seven children, and residing in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio, the very county where Thomas F. Larkins was born and died!

The maiden name of the mother of Thomas F. Larkins was Bridget Ryan. So....was Bridget Ryan the sister of John Ryan's father Patrick Ryan? Or were these two young men both of Irish Catholic origin just close friends? Sadly, I do not know the exact connection between Thomas F. Larkins and John Ryan, who was one of the witnesses at his wedding. And since the minister was Rev. Thomas Ryan, it is possible that he may have been related to Mr. Larkins or Mr. Ryan, or possibly to both of them! What I did determine was that Thomas F. Larkins and John Ryan were teenage boys in the 1880 census in Sandusky, Ohio, and they both were at Kalamazoo County, Michigan on January 7, 1889, on the occasion of the wedding of Thomas F. Larkins and Lula M. Cross. So many questions, but not so many answers!

Sentimental Sunday: Window from the old Providence Hospital Building

The hospital formerly known as Providence Hospital is now known as the South Campus of Firelands Regional Medical Center. Providence Hospital was begun by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, and later was operated by the Sisters of St. Francis.

A window which remains today features this inscription:

"He hath borne our iniquities and carried our sorrows."

Though barely legible from a distance, if you click on the image you can read it a little better. This passage from Isaiah still provides comfort to people of faith who visit the South Campus. Many individuals who resided in the Sandusky area spent their last hours at this medical facility in years past.

To read an early history of Providence Hospital, see page 286 of Hewson L. Peeke's book A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, which is available fulltext at Google Books.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Terry Family Monument at McPherson Cemetery

At Clyde's McPherson Cemetery, is a monument in memory of the Terry family. Erected by Sanford M. Terry, a great deal of family history has been inscribed onto the tombstone. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)

The left side of the Terry monument which faces east reads:

IN 1651, DIED IN 1730

On the right side of the Terry monument which faces east is the inscription:


JULY 18, 1661-JAN. 2, 1731

FEB. 20, 1708-(UNKNOWN)

OCT. 21, 1761-JULY 16, 1843

MAR. 21, 1801-SEPT.26, 1877

AUG. 23, 1838 -

Thus, Sanford M. Terry has given us his paternal line on the Terry side of his family back to Samuel M. Terry, who left England and came to America in 1651.

Below is a photo of the Terry monument which faces east.

The inscription on the left of the westward facing side of the Terry monument provides us with the names of Sanford M. Terry's parents and his siblings:


MAR. 21, 1801-SEPT. 26, 1877

MAR. 2, 1805-JULY 24, 1874


THOMPSON C., JULY 8, 1825-JUNE 20, 1894
HENRY G., JUNE 24, 1827-MAY 27, 1864, SOLDIER.
JULY 23,1829-FEB. 17, 1912
SEPT. 26, 1831-NOV. 13, 1906, SOLDIER.
APR.2, 1836-JUNE 14, 1864, IN ARMY.
AUG. 23, 1838- SOLDIER.
MAR. 23, 1841-JAN. 2, 1863, IN ARMY.
MAR. 14, 1848-1918

Continuing to the right side of the westward facing side of the Terry monument is this inscription:


BORN AUG. 23, 1838

APRIL 20, 1848

AUG. 8, 1908


The side of the Terry monument which faces north features a Masonic emblem.

It reads:

NO. 244, F. & A.M., CLYDE, OHIO

More information about the life of Sanford M. Terry is revealed by the inscription on the side of the Terry monument which faces south.

Under the G.A.R. emblem are the words:


Now we know that Sanford M. Terry was a Civil War Union Veteran, as well as being a member of the Masonic lodge.

In front of the large Terry family monument, are stones for Sanford M. Terry,who died in 1926, and his sister Beulah Kinney, who died in 1918.

On the west side of the Terry monument are individual stones for the three brothers of Sanford M. Terry, who lost their lives during the Civil War. Flags and G.A.R. markers adorn the individual tombstones of Isaiah Terry, Henry G. Terry, and George J. Terry.

Thank you, Terry sons, for your service to our country, and thanks also to Sanford M. Terry, who provided us with so much valuable genealogical information that is readily available by just walking through McPherson Cemetery at Clyde, Ohio!