Monday, October 31, 2011

Dead-a-Base at Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe, Pennsylvania

While I was unsuccessful in obtaining a birth record for my grandfather, Steve Orshoski, who was born on December 15, 1905 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, I found an outstanding obituary service from the Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe, Pennsylvania!

Dead-a-Base is the clever name of the obituary database. Obituaries and death notices from the Latrobe Bulletin have been indexed from December 18, 1902 to the present. The fee schedule is:

One name $4.00
Two names $5.00
Three names $6.00
Four names $7.00
Five names $8.00

Requests and payments can be made by contacting the address below:

Adams Memorial Library
ATTN. Kathy Tobolewski
1112 Ligonier St.
Latrobe, PA 15650

I did find any of my ancestors in the Dead-a-Base, but I am sure that some of my Orshoski ancestors' neighbors and co-workers have been listed in the database. If you have ancestors from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, check out this great genealogical resource!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wendelin Lieb

According to records found at Ancestry, Wendelin Lieb was born at Momlingen, Germany on October 19, 1841, and he died in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio on October 30, 1898. His wife is listed as Anna Marie Wernig. Wendelin Lieb's tombstone in Oakland Cemetery is in the shape of a tree stump, which represents a life cut short, or a life interrupted. It is very likely that the monument honoring Wendelin Lieb was made by his brother Ambrose Lieb, who had a marble works in Sandusky for many years.

Obituaries for Wendelin Lieb appeared in the Sandusky Register on October 30 and October 31, 1898.
Mr. Lieb had died in a dreadful accident, in which he fell from his buggy, was knocked unconscious, and the flames from his cigar engulfed his body. His obituary stated, "The accident was a particularly sad one and the family has the sympathy of the community." Mr. Lieb was considered a well known resident, and was known for being a hard worker. Wendelin's faithful horse was found standing beside his lifeless body. The funeral was held at the family home at the corner of Jefferson and Putnam Streets.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Elementary School

The prompt for Week 44 of 52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy, by Amy Coffin of We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Elementary School

Describe your grammar/elementary school (or schools). Were they big or small? Are any of these schools still in existence today? If so, how have they changed since you went there?

In the snapshot above, my friend Lydia and I are sitting on the Merry Go Round behind the old Venice Elementary School, where I attended school from Grade One to Grade Three. At the time I attended school at Venice, it was a part of the Margaretta Local Schools system. In the mid 1960s Venice was annexed into the Sandusky City Schools system, and the old Venice School was torn down. A new school was built nearby, in Venice Heights. My youngest grandson now attends school there.

My father, Paul, and all of his siblings also attended Venice School.

Dad was not too fond of school, but when he became a parent, he served as President of the Venice PTA! Mom was a "room mother" for several years at Venice Elementary. An article in the February 21, 1961 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that the Venice PTA helped in raising funds to purchase radios, record players, films, records, a clock, a movie projector and screen, and new flags for Venice School. The PTA was also instrumental in remodeling the school's basement to make way for a new cafeteria which served hot lunches.

My favorite memories of Venice School include our Christmas programs, the smell of sloppy joes and homemade gingerbread, and the wonderful teachers who gave us the start to our school days in those early grades. Today, a picnic shelter and playground are located at the site of the old Venice School.

Pictured below is my Third Grade Class at Venice Elementary. Our teacher was Mrs. Hall.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"The Islands of Erie" by Dr. Robert R. McMeens

Image courtesy WikiPedia

According to notes made by C. L. Martzloff, who collected and annotated POEMS ON OHIO, Sandusky physician Dr. Robert R. McMeens wrote the poem entitled "The Islands of Erie." It was read on the occasion of the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1858. The poem appears on page 33 of POEMS ON OHIO. POEMS ON OHIO was published by the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, and was printed by the F.J. Heer Printing Company in Columbus, Ohio in 1911.


By Robert R. McMEENS, M. D. (1820-1862)

The Islands of Erie arrayed in full dress,
Enrobe the lake scene with strange loveliness,
As gorgeously decked in bright verdure they lie,
In the soft mellow haze of the still autumn sky.
No more brilliant gems though lauded they be
Ever gleamed 'mid the groups of the old Grecian sea.
They circle the storm-brewing gates of the west
To soothe the "mad spirit" of Erie to rest
And lend their slight forms to the rage of the sea
To shelter the storm-tossed in succoring lee;
Or, like sentinels, seem to be pointing the way
To the harboring arms of bold "Put-in-bay."

When the winds breathless sleep in their caverns of peace,
How sylph-like they sit on the lake's lucent face,
Or mirrored in beauty on crimson dyed wave
When the sun silent sinks in her gold-tinted grave,
And the purple horizon depends as a shroud,
Of a tapestried mantle, in folds of rich cloud,
Then deep'ning so gently upon the pale glow,
So somber and sad, scarcely seeming to know
When the last flitting ray of fading twilight
Merges in darkness and death gloom of night.

Oh! Islands of Erie, how many a scene
Of shipwreck and battle around you have been!
How many a gallant young hero went clown
When Perry and sailors won glorious renown!
You stand as proud monuments over the dead,
Who sleep at your feet in their coffinless bed.
While the winds shriek or whisper a requiem sigh,

And the waves join in murmuring a fond lullaby,
And the mariner gliding along by your side
Recounts all their deeds with emotions of pride.
Oh, Islands of beauty, on Erie's broad breast
That smile in the sunshine like havens of rest;
Or when the storm-god in his wrath wildly raves,
Like "sisters" of mercy hang o'er the waves,
E'er bloom in your freshness as lovely as now,
To enrapture the eye and make the heart glow.


The Battle of Lake Erie
was fought on September 10, 1813 during the War of 1812. Oliver Hazard Perry, who led the Americans, became a national hero after his victory. Click here to read more about the Battle of Lake Erie and Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. Dr. McMeens went on to become a surgeon with the Third Ohio Infantry. He died during his service in the Civil War on October 30, 1862.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

George L. Barney

George Lawrence Barney was born about 1843 to George and Caroline (Lawrence) Barney. He was a hardware merchant in Sandusky, Ohio. Sadly, George L. Barney died on October 26, 1873 at the age of 30. His sister, Carrie Ella Barney, had died in March of the same year. George's mother, Caroline, would outlive all but five of her children. George L. Barney was buried in the Barney family lot at Oakland Cemetery. He left behind a wife, the former Kate Norton, and a two young sons, George Lawrence Barney and Charles Norton Barney. The tombstone of George L. Barney features beautifully sculpted floral adornments and a folded drape.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rev. Leverett Hull

Rev. Leverett Hull was born in Bethlehem, Connecticut on December 3, 1796. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1824. He attended New York's Auburn Theological Seminary from 1824 to 1827. He was ordained as a minister in Oneida, New York in 1829. He served in several congregations before moving to Sandusky, Ohio in 1846. Sadly, Rev. Leverett Hull died of cholera on September 3, 1852. Rev. Hull is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Katherine Dunham, Buried on the Family Ranch in Idaho

An article in the Kooskia Mountaineer of October 23, 1915 reported that Katherine Dunham had died at the home of her son Daniel Dunham, and she was buried at the family farm, at her request. Katherine Dunham was my third great-grandaunt. Her death certificate lists her date of death as October 22, 1915, and place of burial was given as the Dunham Ranch, near Kooskia, Idaho.

As often is the case, there were a myriad of discrepancies connected with the records I found relating to Katherine Dunham. Katherine Cross(spelled Catherine in most early records) was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Charles Cross and Patience Manning on July 13, 1839. Her death certificate states that her mother's name was Catherine Cross, and was a native of Virginia. However, the death certificates of Katherine's brothers, James and Charles A. Cross, both list the wife of Charles Cross as Patience Manning, who was born in Kentucky. The newspaper article states that "Grandma" Dunham, as she was fondly known, was the last of a family of ten children, but I have not found evidence of nearly that many children.

Some other records, however, seem to be completely accurate. In 1850, Catherine Cross is listed as being 10 years of age, and residing in Portland Township of Erie County, Ohio, with her parents Charles and Matilda Cross, along with her five brothers and sisters. Erie County Probate Records list the date of marriage of Catherine Cross and Hezekiah Dunham as August 16, 1871. The birth record of Catherine's only son was found in Paulding County, Ohio. Though he later went by the name Daniel James Dunham, Daniel's birth record states that a James Daniel Dunham was born on December 6, 1875, in Benton, Paulding County, Ohio, to H. Dunham and Catherine Cross Dunham. Daniel's death certificate stated that he died on April 14, 1929, and he too was buried at the Dunham Ranch near Kooskia, Idaho. Abstracts of Daniel's birth and death record were obtained at Family Search Labs.

I have no idea why Katherine/Catherine and her husband Hezekiah Dunham moved to Idaho, County, Idaho in the late nineteenth century. Maybe someday I can travel to Idaho and try to locate the Dunham graves at their former family ranch! And even though all the records do not match up perfectly, I was delighted to receive the newspaper clipping which reported the death of Katherine Cross Dunham.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mom and Her Siblings Liked Marblehead Too!

About 1945, Mom said that a family friend, whom she could only recall as Mr. Detlefsen, took the three Parker children for a ride to the Marblehead peninsula. The Marblehead Lighthouse has been in existence since 1822, and always provides a refreshing spot to relax. You can barely see the lighthouse in the middle portion of the left side of this picture. My mom, Joyce Parker Orshoski, is on the left. Next to her is her older brother Tom, and little sister Sally Parker is on the right. Since the girls are wearing coats and scarves, the outing must have been made in the fall or winter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Worst School Subject

The prompt for Week 43 of 52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy, by Amy Coffin of We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Worst School Subject

What was your worst or least favorite subject in school and why?

Image Courtesy of

Mathematics was definitely my worst school subject, along with Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry! The whole concept of manipulating numbers seems so complex! Social Studies was so straightforward, and reading and creative writing were fun...but Math just gave me a headache!

However, my 7th Grade mathematics teacher, Mr. Ken Bracy, made Mathematics tolerable. He genuinely cared about his students. He showed his honest feelings when we were in his math class the day that President Kennedy was killed in 1963. We junior high students planned and put on a birthday party for Mr. Bracy, because we liked him and appreciated him so much. When he got married later in life than most of our male teachers, we were delighted! After I had been at the library for several years, Mr. Bracy came to a Genealogy class at the library. Afterwords, I tried to help him with his Rothlisberger roots. I so wanted to connect him to Ben Rothlisberger, but we just never came up with a solid connection. Mr. Bracy passed away on December 27, 2007, after a long battle with heart and kidney disease. You can read his obituary here. Mr. Bracy was well known for his excellent coaching skills, but I will always remember him making math as pleasant as math can be! Mr. Bracy was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zeviah/Zerviah Weeks

This stone from the Castalia Cemetery is very difficult to read, but an early collection of Erie County Cemetery records, compiled by Marjorie Loomis Cherry lists the following information:

Wife of John Weeks
Died 1838
Age 74

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Underground Railroad Marker at Historic Lyme Village

Many eighteenth century residents of the Lyme Township area of Huron County, Ohio participated in the Underground Railroad. This marker, at Historic Lyme Village was co-sponsored by the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Friends of Freedom Society.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Was Grandpa Named Steve Orshoski or Steve S. Schilsky?

Through the years I had been told that Grandpa Steve and Grandma Emma were married in July of 1925, because their 25th wedding anniversary celebration was the exact month that my parents were married in 1950. Until recently I had not seen a marriage record for my maternal grandparents. While browsing Family Search looking for more data on the Yeager side of my family, I came across a marriage record for Emma Yaeger and Steve S. Schilsky at Family Search in the Michigan Marriages collection. My maternal grandparents were married at Monroe, Michigan.

The bride's name was listed as Emma Yaeger, though her last name was usually spelled Yeager. The groom's name was given as Steve. S. Schilsky!

My maiden name of Orshoski has been pronounced and spelled many different ways, but never as Schilsky! If you close your eyes, and just listen to the two names,


S. Schilsky

they do sound similar, with the "sh" in the middle and the ski/sky at the end. I am unsure as to whether Grandpa gave them incorrect information, or if the clerk at the Monroe County Courthouse made an error.

Further complicating things is the section for the parents' names of the bride and groom. Grandma Emma gave her parents' names as Andrew Yeager and Lena Piehl. However, Grandpa Steve said his parents were George and Thelma Schilsky!

As so often is the case, now I have more questions than answers! I contacted a cousin in Florida, and she had never heard that Grandpa Steve had been adopted, and I hope to obtain Grandpa Steve's birth record from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania soon. On occasion I have heard relatives say that Great Grandpa Joe Orshoski did not want Steve to marry Emma, so maybe that is why Grandpa Steve gave his parents' names as George and Thelma...but I will probably never know for sure! In my heart, I think that Grandpa Steve was born an Orshoski, as that was his name in Census Records, his death record, and on his tombstone.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Amos Calvin Miller, Chicago Lawyer

Though born in Iowa in 1866, Amos Calvin Miller grew up in Erie County, Ohio. He was the son of Wells W. Miller and Mary Caswell Miller. Amos Calvin Miller was a graduate of Sandusky High School, and he graduated from Oberlin College in 1889. He obtained his law degree from the Chicago Kent College of Law in 1891. In 1949, Amos Calvin Miller was the senior partner in the law firm of Miller, Gorham, Wescott & Adams of Chicago. Mr. Miller had served a president of both the Chicago Bar and the Illinois State Bar Associations. He was a member of the Illinois Constitutional Convention from 1920 to 1922.

Oberlin College was the recipient of many scholarships from Amos C. Miller, where he served as a trustee from 1912 to 1947. Mr. Miller was very active in civic organizations. He had been a member of the Lincoln Centennial Association, the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the Chicago Law Institute, the Art Institute, the Illinois State Historical Society, and the Chicago Historical Society. Mr. Miller also operated the family farm in Erie County, which had been in operation for over one hundred years.

On October 18, 1949, Amos Calvin Miller died in Wesley Hospital. An obituary for Mr. Miller appeared in the Chicago Tribune on October 19, 1949. Biographical information about Mr. Miller is also found on the Genealogy Trails History Group web site. Amos Calvin Miller is buried with his wife, the former Jeanne Gilbert,at Castalia Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio. He was survived by sons Gilbert A., Wells W., and Norman A., and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Henry Melchor

According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Henry Melchor was born in Italy in 1881. (His death certificate listed his birth date as 1882.) Henry and his parents, Angelo and Therese Melchor, and their three other children were living in Sandusky, Ohio on Warren Street. Angelo had come to the United States in 1891, and Therese, Henry, Mary, and Andrew Melchor emigrated in 1896. Four year old Louis Melchor was born after his parents arrived in America. By the time of the 1910 Census, Henry Melchor stated that he and his wife Rose had been married for four years, and they had two little girls, Marguerite and Eulalia.

On October 14, 1918, Henry Melchor died as a result of tuberculosis. He was only 36 years old, and left behind his widow and two young daughters.

Funeral services for Henry Melchor were held at the Melchor residence. Besides his immediate family, Henry was survived by his parents, brothers Andrew and Louis, and sister, Mrs. August Justi. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for Henry Melchor appeared in the October 15, 1918 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal. Henry Melchor's death occurred at the time when there were many casualties from World War One, and hundreds across the nation were lost in the widespread influenza epidemic.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Dr. Edwin Gillard

Dr. Edwin Gillard practiced medicine in Sandusky for 54 years. In the mid 1880's, Dr. Gillard operated a sanitarium in Sandusky. Dr. Edwin Gillard passed away on October 14, 1917, as a result of heart disease. He is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Charles H. Muenscher, Sandusky Merchant

Charles H. Muenscher was born in Knox County, Ohio on November 13, 1887. He attended Kenyon College, and also studied engineering at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Mr. Muenscher moved to Sandusky, Ohio in 1857, and he was in the fur business for almost fifty years, on Water Street in downtown Sandusky. On October 11, 1906, Mr. Muenscher died at his home on Shelby Street. He was survived by a wife and four children. Charles H. Muenscher is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

The back of Mr. Muenscher's tombstone features a lovely vine border, and clasped hands in the center of the stone. An obituary for Charles H. Muenscher is found in the Sandusky Register of October 12, 1906.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ida Voight Falley

Ida Voight was born on May 6, 1869 to Casper and Emmeline (Fike) Voight. Ida Voight married Lewis Huntington Falley on September 26, 1892, according to family information reported on WorldConnect.

Mrs. Ida Voight Falley died in Chicago on October 21, 1903. The funeral was held at Krupp's Chapel in the Mahala Block of Sandusky, and burial was in Oakland Cemetery. Obituaries for Ida Voight Falley appeared in the October 23 and 24, 1903 issues of the Sandusky Register.

By 1920, U.S. Census records indicate that Lewis H. Falley had remarried, and was living in Kansas City, Missouri where he working in the operation of mines.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Combination Desk and Book Case

The combination desk and book case pictured above was once sold in Sandusky at Sandusky's Big Store. It was made of solid oak, and sold for $12.50 to $42.00, according an ad which appeared in the September 18, 1905 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal. Each side had wooden shelves, and a window made of curved glass was on the door of each book shelf. In the center was a pull down desk, with storage for pens, envelopes and stationery inside, under the mirror.

A piece of furniture very similar to this one sat in the living room of the home of the Paul Orshoski family from the mid 1960's to the mid 1980's. Though it is no longer in the family, I will never forget the night that Dad brought it home. He found this item it the attic of a home where he was working. The owner said that if he could manage to get it moved, he could have it at no cost. When the furniture arrived at our home in Bay View, it was covered in dust. We kids told Dad that it looked like it belonged to "The Addams Family," a television show that was popular at the time. Well, after Mom cleaned it up, and polished it, and washed the windows, it was an absolutely beautiful piece of furniture! Mom always referred to it as the China Cabinet, and she put her best dishes and glasses in it. We all cherished it for many years.  Imagine my delight when I ran into this old advertisement on microfilm, while I was searching for something else! You can see our old china cabinet in the picture below, along with several members of the extended Orshoski family at family gathering.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Erie County, Ohio Information at Linkpendium.Com

 is a collection of links to genealogical websites. You can read more about the development of Linkpendium by Karen Isaacson and Brian (Wolf) Leverich by clicking here.

The url for the Erie County, Ohio section of Linkpendium is:

Featured are links to biographies, blogs, cemeteries, libraries, mailing lists, and much more. Of particular interest to me is the link to the Erie County, Ohio 1905 Rural Mail Directory, which has directory listings for several of my ancestors who resided in Perkins Township of Erie County, Ohio in 1905. A link to the full text of the 1855 Sandusky City Directory provides a searchable resource for anyone with ancestors who lived in Sandusky in 1855. Listings include name, address, and occupation.

Visit Linkpendium for the countries,states, and counties of your ancestors. You'll find an organized list of resources to explore!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Margaret Kraft

According to volume 23 of GERMANS TO AMERICA, Margaret and Jacob Kraft came from Germany to the United States on the ship Bavaria, and arrived in New York's harbor on June 28, 1869. Along with Jacob, who was 38, and Margaret, who was 32, were four children ranging in age from six months to seven years. By 1872, Margaret Kraft died, at the age of 35. She was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A heart and the word Mother is inscribed above her name.

By the year 1880, according to the U.S. Census, it appears that Jacob Kraft had remarried, and had more children with his second wife. Here are the names of the individuals residing in the Jacob Kraft household in 1880 in Erie County.

Jacob KRAFT,age 48
Henerica KRAFT, age 26
Jacob KRAFT, age 21
Mike KRAFT, age 17
Maggie KRAFT, age 16
Adam KRAFT, age 12
John KRAFT, age 6
Henry KRAFT, age 4
Lera KRAFT, age 2

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Wedding of Leona Schoenegge and Clifford Lindsley

Leona Schoenegge and Clifford Lindsley were married on September 21, 1935. Below is a transcription of an article from the Sandusky Star Journal, of September 21, 1935. (Note: In the article Clifford Lindsley's last name is misspelled Linsley.)

Leona Schoenegge, Bloomingville Clifford Linsley of Perkins Are Married on Saturday Afternoon

Saturday afternoon Miss Leona Schoenegge of Bloomingville and Clifford Linsley of Perkins, were married in the parsonage of the Rev. G. F. Stengel of Bellevue.
Dinner will be served this evening at the home of the bride's mother, covers laid for members of the immediate families. Immediate following the dinner the couple will leave on a short motor trip. Mrs. Gerald Dickman of North Monroeville entertained with a miscellaneous shower Thursday evening honoring her sister. Miss Schoenegge. Mrs. John Everingham and Mrs. L. Dideon won in the bunco games and later luncheon was served. Guests included Miss Harriet Behrensen, Henrietta Blume, Esther and Harriet Mack. Ruth Russell, Harriet Schlessman, Thelma Miller, Elva Truman, Edith Tommias, Gertrude DeLamatre, Mrs. John Everingham. Mrs. Alvin Wilson, Mrs. Linus Dideon, Mrs. Clifford Dickman, Mrs. Kenneth Winslow, Mrs. Denver Miller, Mrs. Edward Clark.

It appears that Leona and Clifford really enjoyed automobile trips, as in an article in the January 25, 1935 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Miss Janet Parker, Paul Baumeister,Miss Maribel Storrs, Paul Parker, Miss Leona Schoenegge and Clifford Lindsley had motored to Toledo Saturday to attend the automobile show.

Clifford Lindsley was the son of Frank Lindsley and the former Elizabeth Horn. Clifford was a direct descendant of W.D. Lindsley, who served two terms in the United States Congress. Leona Schoenegge was the daughter of Leopold Schoenegge, a native of Germany, and his wife, the former Eva Francis. After their marriage, Clifford and Leona lived on a farm in Perkins Township of Erie County, Ohio. During World War Two, their farm was purchased by the United States Government, to make way for a munitions factory. Clifford and Leona moved to York Township in Sandusky County, Ohio, and farmed there for many years. The Lindsley farm is still in the Lindsley family.

While Clifford and Leona Lindsley are not directly related to me, Clifford's sister Florence married my great uncle Glenn Parker. As long as I can recall, we always called the Lindsleys by "Uncle Cliff" and "Aunt Leona." They welcomed my family, my mom and dad, and all six children, to their home many times. We would bound out of the car, and head for the hay loft and spring house, and rang the dinner bell. After playing, Aunt Leona would make lunch for the whole gang, and we would fall asleep on the way home, with many happy memories. Uncle Cliff had a way of making everything seem funny, and he entertained us with stories quite often.

Clifford Lindsley passed away on June 1, 1985. Leona Schoenegge Lindsley passed away on June 24, 2003. They are buried in the York Chapel Cemetery in Sandusky County, Ohio, southwest of Bellevue, Ohio. Pictured below are just a few of my family members enjoying a visit to the Lindsley farm in 1959.