Friday, December 31, 2010

Alice Fulton, 1884-1976

Alice Amelia Judson was born to Charles A. and Roxie Judson on April 30, 1884. By 1910, Miss Alice Judson was teaching in the public schools in Sandusky, Ohio. Alice's father, Charles A. Judson, was a civil engineer, and served as an Ohio State Senator in the early part of the twentieth century. Marriage records accessed through Family Search Labs indicate that Alice Amelia Judson married Rhys Emlyn Jones in Erie County, Ohio, on July 12, 1915. Mr. Jones was a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Sadly, while en route to visit Alice and her sister's family in Pennsylvania, Mr. and Mrs. Judson were killed in New York State in 1926 in an accident in which their vehicle collided with a freight train.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Judson had a joint funeral, and were buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. According to the obituary of her brother James C. Judson, Alice had moved to California by the 1970's. At the time of her death on December 31, 1976, Alice had become Mrs. Alice Fulton. She died in Yolo County, California, but burial of her ashes took place at Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky. Alice Fulton is buried near the final resting place of her parents and siblings at Oakland Cemetery. She was 93 years old at the time of her passing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Genealogy Research/Writing Plan for 2011

The Call for Submissions for the Carnival of Genealogy 101, as posted by Creative Gene is:

My genealogy research/writing plan for 2011. Figure out what you think you can accomplish in 2011 and write it up on your blog.

My plan for genealogy research and writing in 2011 is that I don't have a plan! The three main ways I choose posts for the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay are:
  • Taking digital photos at cemeteries as often as I can, and then researching the individuals whose lives are represented in those cemeteries;
  • Finding an interesting obituary or news article about a person, and then tracking down their tombstone;

  • Taking a digital photo of the tombstone of a person in my family and sharing recollections about that person.

I plan to continue in my somewhat serendipitous approach to blogging about tombstones and cemeteries, occasionally taking along my grown up children and elementary age grandchildren with me on my adventures. They have learned that if Mom/Gram sees a cemetery, we may have to stop and do some investigating.

Wordless Wednesday: Leser Monument

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Capt. John W. Manning

In Volume 3 of HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, by Harriet Taylor Upton, we read that John W. Manning was born in Miami County, Ohio, on February 23, 1827, to Nathaniel and Sarah (Line) Manning. In 1861, John W. Manning enlisted in Company I of the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He also served in Company D, according the to Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. Eventually, John W. Manning rose to the rank of Captain during his service in the 20th O.V.I. Four of John's brothers also served in the 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Elias Manning died during the war in LaGrange, Tennessee in April of 1863.

John W. Manning lived in several different places in Ohio. In the 1850 U.S. Census, John W. Manning was age 23, and living in Shelby County, Ohio. Nancy Jane Manning, age 19, was also residing in the Manning household. In 1860, John and Jane Manning were still living in Shelby County, Ohio, along with children Edmund, age 9, and Minnetta, age 2. In the 1870 Census, John W. Manning was living in Hardin County, Ohio. Also in the family at this time were listed Annie, age 23, and Edmund, age 19. By 1880, John W. Manning was age 53, and living in Hardin County, Ohio. In this particular census year, John's wife was listed as Salema Manning, age 40. By 1900, John W. Manning was age 73, and was married to Martha Manning. They were living in Sandusky, in Erie County, Ohio.

Mrs. Upton wrote in HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE that J. W. Manning supported the Republican party in his political views. He had to be taken to the polls in an invalid chair to cast his vote for William Howard Taft in the 1908 election. John W. Manning died on December 30, 1909. He was buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jacob Henry Stein

The death certificate of Jacob H. Stein tells us that he was born in Germany on December 21, 1831. (Unfortunately, in this case, his parents' names were not provided.) His occupation was cigar maker. The Sandusky History blog reports that cigar making was an important business in Sandusky in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

At the time of Jacob Henry Stein's death on December 29, 1917, he had become widowed. Jacob H. Stein was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery on January 2, 1918.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas Without Mom

This was my very first Christmas without our mom, Joyce Parker Orshoski. She was spoken of often this year, especially on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as we gathered at my brother's and sister's homes. She loved Christmas SO much, and she always started her Christmas shopping on December 26th, for the next year's Christmas season!

I am thankful for her love of family and joyful enthusiasm for the whole Christmas season. We miss you Mom!

Betsy Reindeer!?!

Check out this blog post from the Mississippi Library Commission Reference Blog, in which the Reference Staff found holiday related names from actual census records!

Happy Holidays From The MLC Reference Staff (And Friends)!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Elmore H. Woodworth, Railroad Brakeman

Elmore H. Woodworth, an employee of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, was killed in a railroad accident on December 21, 1876. A brakeman, Mr. Woodworth was assisting in transferring cars from one track to another track, when he was accidentally crushed between the two cars. Elmore H. Woodworth was aged 22 years, 9 months, and 17 days. He had only been married for about two years at the time of his death. Elmore H. Woodworth was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for Elmore H. Woodworth is found in the December 27, 1876 issue of the Sandusky Register. His first name is listed as Elmer in that newspaper obituary. The inscription at the bottom of Mr. Woodworth's tombstone reads: Gone but not forgotten.

According to U.S. Census records, in 1880, Jenette Woodworth moved back to the home of her parents after her husband's death. James and Sarah Wentworth were residents of Huron, Ohio. Jennette (sometimes spelled Jenett)married again, to John Yarick. Jenette Woodworth Yarick passed away on December 30, 1928, in Lucas County, Ohio. An abstract of Jenette's death certificate is available at Family Search Labs.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Pitt Cooke

Pitt Cooke was born in 1819 in Bloomingville, Ohio. He was the son of Eleutheros Cooke, and the brother of Jay Cooke, well known banker, and financier of the Civil War. Pitt Cooke became a lawyer in Sandusky in a partnership with Lucas Beecher, following studies at Kenyon College. He later was in the forwarding and commission business with William Townsend, also of Sandusky. During the Civil War, Pitt Cooke assisted his brother Jay Cooke in the banking business. He continued in banking until 1873, when he moved back to Sandusky. Pitt Cooke died on December 9, 1879.

An excerpt from Pitt Cooke's obituary in the "Firelands Pioneer" read: "He was a man of large heart and warm, generous impulses, and ever ready to assist to the extent of his ability those who were in need. His loss will be deeply felt by many beyond his own family and immediate friends." He was survived by his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth Townsend, and six children.

Mrs. Pitt Cooke was the daughter of William Townsend. During the cholera epidemic of 1849, William Townsend died of the disease, along with his wife, daughter, and sister-in-law. In the Erie County section of the book entitled MEMORIAL TO THE PIONEER WOMEN OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, we read that Mary Elizabeth Townsend Cooke took in her orphaned siblings, and raised them along with her own children. A lovely framed photograph of Mrs. Pitt Cooke is found in one of the bedrooms of the Follett House Museum. Mrs. Pitt Cooke died on May 29, 1888. Mr. and Mrs. Pitt Cooke are both buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Letters to Santa in 1916

Three letters to Santa appear on page 13 of the December 18, 1916 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal. (The image above is a newspaper ad from the Herb & Myers store in Sandusky.) The Yeager children, Emma, age 10; Andrew, age 8; and Norma, age 6; were all the children of Andrew and Lena Piehl Yeager, who were living in Oak Harbor, Ottawa County, Ohio in 1916.

From family stories that have been passed down, the Yeager family lived very modestly, so I am not sure if all the childrens' wishes from Santa were granted. Below is a photo of the Andrew Yeager family about 1918.

Here is an image of the Yeager family which has the names of the individual family members listed. I don't see the oldest son, Fred in this picture.

I remember Great Grandma Yeager,my paternal grandmother Emma, my Great Aunt Norma, and Great Aunt Dorothy very well. If only I had asked them more family history questions!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Martin's Ad from December, 1919

If your ancestors lived in Sandusky, Ohio in 1919, they may have seen this advertisement from Martin's in the December 20, 1919 issue of the Sandusky Register. Fred A. Martin, Sr., was the owner of Martin's Confectionery which specialized in making and selling candies and ice cream.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sandusky History Nominated for 2011 Best Genealogy Blogs!

The 40 Best Genealogy Blogs, or Family Tree 40, will appear in the July 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine. Once again the Sandusky History blog has been nominated for this list.

The reason I enjoy the Sandusky History blog is because it features articles and photographs about the history of Sandusky and Erie County, the home of many of my ancestors. Check out this blog at:

and if you like what you see, consider voting for it under Category 6 of the voting form. Click here to be directed to the voting form.

Mrs. Elizabeth Caldwell Dennis Barney Kieffer

According to the Ancestral File portion of Family Search, Elizabeth Caldwell Dennis was born in Washington County, New York, in 1820 to Eben Jacob Dennis and Amanda Gilmore Caldwell Dennis. The first husband of Elizabeth Caldwell Dennis was Charles Barney, who died in the 1849 cholera epidemic at Sandusky, Ohio. One of the children of Elizabeth Caldwell Dennis Barney and her husband Charles Barney was Charles Dennis Barney, who would one day become the co-founder of Smith, Barney & Co. (Charles Dennis Barney married the daughter of Jay Cooke, Laura E. Cooke.)

Elizabeth Caldwell Dennis Barney married secondly Rev. Moses Kieffer, a minister and the former president of Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. whose wife had passed away. Rev. Moses Kieffer died in Sandusky in 1888. Mrs. Elizabeth Caldwell Dennis Barney Kieffer died in Sandusky on December 16, 1908. She was buried in the North Ridge section of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, where both her first and second husbands were also buried.

Ohiolink's Digital Resource Commons features a photograph of Elizabeth with her great grandchildren, Charles, Catherine, and Laura Harding.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grandpa Charles Steen’s Horse Named Hester Belle

In Google Books, I came across my Great Great Grandfather’s name in conjunction with a horse he owned in the 1890’s. Great Great Grandpa Steen's name was Charles F. Steen, but he often went by C. F. Steen. The publication in which I located Grandpa Steen's name was entitled Wallace’s AMERICAN TROTTING REGISTER, and the listing appeared in Volume XI, and was dated 1892. Printing was by the John Morris Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Here is the listing for Hester Belle from Wallace’s American Trotting Register:

Hester Belle was a chestnut mare who was foaled (born) in 1891. The sire (father) was Strathbridge, and the dam (mother) was Ophelia. Ophelia was the product of the union between Strathmore and Zora. Hester Belle was bred by C. F. Steen. I do not have much experience in interpreting the pedigrees of animal, but after seeing the movie Secretariat, I can understand the excitement connected with a new foal, and the implications of having an impressive blood line. Here is the C.F. Steen family in the early 1900’s.

I only wish I could ask Grandpa Steen some questions about his experiences with horses back on his farm in Perkins Township!

Many thanks to the U.S. Trotting Association and my co-worker Karen for helping me to interpret Hester Belle's listing in Wallace's AMERICAN TROTTING REGISTER.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blog Caroling: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Footnote Maven
has challenged GeneaBloggers to blog about their favorite Christmas carol. While not a traditional Christmas carol, my youngest brother Matt stole the Christmas show in his Kindergarten class when he sang I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus at Venice School, many years ago.

Here are the lyrics to I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, courtesy of lyricsplayground:

I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night.
She didn't see me creep
down the stairs to have a peep;
She thought that I was tucked
up in my bedroom fast asleep.

Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white;
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.

Matt went on to sing solos in countless school concerts, church services, holiday events, and many weddings. He even sang to his lovely bride on their wedding day! Whenever the children's choir sang at Grace Lutheran Church in Castalia, Ohio, we could always hear Matt's voice above all the other choir members.

According to an article by Valerie J. Nelson in the March 10, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times, Jimmy Boyd sang this novelty hit song when he was only 13 years old, in 1952. The song's music and lyrics were written by Tommy Johnson, and was also sung by numerous other artists through the years, including the Jackson Five.

Though our parents are gone now, the memory of Matt singing I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is still fresh in the mind of all of his sisters and brothers! We love you Matt!

Mrs. Emma Larkin/Larkins

According to her death certificate, Emma Leike was born in Hinter Pommern on May 26, 1875. She married Edward Krueger in Erie County, Ohio in 1902, but that marriage ended. By 1920, Emma was married to Thomas F. Larkins (sometimes spelled Larkin.) Thomas had lost his first wife Mary Louise Cross Larkins, in 1912. In 1920, Thomas and Emma lived at 1309 Shelby Street in Sandusky, Ohio. The 9 year old granddaughter of Thomas, Doris Wheeler, also lived at 1309 Shelby Street in 1920.

Emma loved little Doris, and saw to it that she attended church and Sunday School. Family stories told of how Emma kept house spotlessly, but when Doris's first child Tommy was born, that little boy could do no wrong, and Grandma Emma rarely scolded him, even when he pounded on the legs of the dining room table with his toy hammer!

On December 9, 1936, Emma Larkins died from carcinoma of the pancreas.

She was greatly missed by her beloved husband and by his large extended family. Reading between the lines, I think it took a lot of courage for Thomas Larkins, an Irish Catholic man, to marry a divorced Protestant woman. But they loved each other, and made a wonderful home at 1309 Shelby Street. When Thomas's daughter Irene was having a difficult time, they helped raise Irene's daughter Doris. They lovingly welcomed Doris's children to their home for holidays and family dinners and card parties, and reached out to Doris's husband's family as well. I only wish I could have met this loving, hard working woman who added so much love to so many members of my Larkins family. Emma Larkins is buried at Oakland Cemetery, next to Doris Wheeler Parker, the little girl she helped to raise. When Great Great Grandpa Thomas F. Larkins died in 1944, he was buried next to his first wife, Mary Louise Larkins at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Sandusky.

Mrs. Emma Larkins was survived by her husband, stepdaughter Irene, stepson Thomas Arthur Larkins, and six sisters: Mrs. Bertha Buoy, Mrs. Frank Stoner, Mrs. Arthur Benson, Mrs. Frank Mischler, Mrs. Allen Bickley, and Mrs. Ralph Stanley. She also was a step grandmother and step great grandmother to Doris Wheeler Parker, Jimmy Larkins, Steen Thomas Parker, and Joyce Parker, who all loved their Grandma Emma.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Wedding Photo from 1930

In going through some of my mother's scrapbooks, I ran across this picture of my maternal grandparents, who were the attendants for a couple who got married on August 30, 1930. The bridal couple, in front, are Louis Moosbrugger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Moosbrugger, and Adeline Gast, the daughter of Mrs. Hermine Gast. The wedding took place at Emmanuel Evangelical Church, now known as the Emmanuel United Church of Christ, at the northeast corner of Columbus Avenue and East Adams Street in Sandusky, Ohio. Rev. C. J. Scherger officiated at the wedding. Attendants for Louis and Adeline were my grandparents, Steen and Doris (Wheeler) Parker. The ladies' hats and dresses were so beautiful!

All the persons in the photo were buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Doris Wheeler Parker died at age 32, on May 6, 1943. Steen Parker died on May 10, 1949. Adeline Gast Moosbrugger passed away on March 2, 1970, and Louis Moosbrugger lived to be age 90. Mr. Moosbrugger died in Cuyahoga County on June 1, 1988, but he was buried next to his wife in Sandusky, Ohio.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lula Belle Cogswell

Records from the IGI of Family Search tell us that Lula Belle Cogswell was the daughter of Frederick Whittlesey Cogswell and Julia M. Radcliffe, born on March 8, 1879. Sadly, little Lula Belle died on December 6, 1883, at the age of four. Her stone is in the shape of a tree stump, which can signify a life cut short.

HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, states that F. W. Cogswell was a prosecuting attorney in Erie County, from 1860 through 1870.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Karl August Leser

Karl August Leser's grave marker is found at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. The Erie County, Ohio Cemetery Census, Before 1909 gives these birth and death for Karl Leser:

Born January 12, 1862

Died November 28, 1875

13 years, 10 months, 15 days

Son of Karl and Ursula Leser

We find this information about the parents of Karl August Leser in the book Sandusky Then and Now:

Leser, Chas., weaver, b. Jan. 28, 1817 in Kappel on the Rhein, d. Nov. 8, 1886; m . to Ursala Feist

In the 1880 Sandusky City Directory, there is a C. Leser who occupation was saloon keeper. The 1880 Census, available at FamilySearch, also lists a Charles Leser, who was born in Baden, age 63, living in Sandusky at the time of the 1880 Census. His wife Ursula was 57, and she was born in Baden as well. Also in the household was their son John, age 20. Charles Leser and Karl Leser are most likely the same individual, as the name Charles can be the German form of the first name Karl.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Levi Evarts, Portrayer of Santa Claus

Levi Evarts was born on January 1, 1844, to Reuben and Rebecca Evarts in Richland County, Ohio. According to his brother's death record, Levi's twin brother, Eli Evarts, was born on December 31, 1844, so Levi and Eli Evarts were twins, but were born in two different years.

On August 18, 1862, Levi Evarts enlisted in Company E of the 102nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was discharged from his military service during the Civil War on June 30, 1865. In December of 1908, Levi Evarts was admitted to the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, Ohio, now known as the Ohio Veterans Home.

Levi Evarts died at the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home on July, 27, 1931. His obituary, which appeared in the July 28, 1931 issue of the Sandusky Register, reported that Mr. Evarts had played the part of Santa Claus in Sandusky stores for many years. The article stated, "He always wore a long flowing beard and required little make-up to fit him for the role as the jolly old Santa." Levi Evarts was buried in the Bellville Cemetery in Richland County, Ohio. An image of his tombstone can be viewed at FindaGrave. Levi Evarts was survived by his widow, five sons, a daughter, a sister, and a brother.

An article in the April-June 1990 issue of The Pastfinder tells us that Levi Evarts was formerly a teacher in Jefferson Township of Richland County, Ohio. The newsletter also provides us with the marriage date of Levi Evarts and Ella Ridenour, which was December 2, 1874. Levi Evarts lived a full life, and gave joy to Sandusky area youngsters for many years.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Piehl Family Photos

Pictured above is the family of Ferdinand and Augusta (Jaensch) Piehl, about 1906. Ferdinand and Augusta were both born in Germany, but they did not marry until they had both emigrated to the United States. Records kept at St. John Lutheran Church in Oak Harbor, Ottawa County, Ohio, list their marriage date as December 12, 1880.

Family members in the photo include
Back:(left to right) Lena, Hulda, Christian, Emma, Martha
Front: Bertha, Ferdinand, Anna, Augusta, and Amanda
Little girl in the very front: Wanda

The Family Group Sheet for the Ferdinand Piehl family appears below.Click on the image for a larger view.

My great grandmother is Lena Piehl Yeager, who was the oldest child of Ferdinand and Augusta Piehl. About 1927, another Piehl family photo was taken. By this time, Christian and Amanda Piehl, along with their mother Augusta, had all passed away, and they were buried in the Union Cemetery in Oak Harbor. In the photo below, are the Piehl daughters standing behind their father, Ferdinand Piehl. They are, from left to right: Martha, Wanda, Anna, Emma, Bertha (partly hidden), Hulda, and Lena Piehl Yeager.

Many thanks to cousins Al, Winnie, Debbie,Fred, and Wilma, for sharing photographs,historical documents, memories, and help in identifying our Piehl ancestors!

Wordless Wednesday: Ohio Veterans Home Cemetery