Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adam and Teresa Berardi

Adam and Teresa Berardi were natives of the Republic of San Marino. According to immigration records available at Ancestry Library Edition, Adamo and Teresa Berardi arrived in the port of New York City on July 29, 1927, having left from Genoa, Italy on the ship Conte Biancamano. Adamo was age 30, and he gave his occupation as farmer. Teresa was age 28. They came to America with three children, Roberto, Leonello, and Iride, all aged 5 years and under. Adamo stated that his nearest relative was Salvatore Berardi, still residing in San Marino. He and his family were going to Sandusky, Ohio, to permanently reside with his brother Secondo Berardi at 409 Finch Street.

In the 1930 U.S. Census Adam/Adamo's first name was listed as Gianno. He and Teresa and the three children were living on McKelvey Street in Sandusky, in a section of town known as “Little Italy.” This area was located along Milan Road, bordered by Finch Street and Boalt Street. Eventually the Italian-American Beneficial Club was started in this neighborhood. In 1930, Adam/Adamo/Gianno Berardi was worked in a stone quarry. Later he would work at the Lyman Boat Company. Sadly, both sons of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Berardi were killed during World War Two. Leonello, often called Nello, was killed in action in Italy in 1944. Robert Berardi died in Germany in 1945. A plaque honoring the memory of the Berardi brothers was erected in the Fiorentino Cemetery in San Marino. A front page article in the Sandusky Register of April 5, 1961 reported on the Berardi brothers being remembered in San Marino.

Photo credit: Dr. Daniele Cesaretti

The inscription on the tombstone for Roberto and Leonello Berardi reads:

Nati sulla nostra libera Terra
emigrati negli Stati Uniti d'America
portarono alla patria adottiva
la passione della Libertà.

Soldati dell'armata liberatrice
caddero da eroi sulla terra europea
ancora una volta oppressa
e insanguinata dalla guerra.

A rievocare il nobile sacrificio
a celebrare le loro più patrie
ad esaltare l'amore della libertà
qui presso il tumulo degli avi
dei due giovani eroi
grato il Governo pose.

Roughly translated into English, it reads:

Born on our Earth free
immigrated to the United States of America
led to the adoptive home
the passion of Liberty.

Soldiers of the liberating
fell as heroes on European soil
once again oppressed
and bloody war.

To commemorate the noble sacrifice
to celebrate their homelands more
to enhance the love of freedom
Here at the tomb of his ancestors
of two young heroes
grateful to the Government poses.

Mrs. Teresa Astolli Berardi died on July 23, 1964 at the age of 64. She had been a member of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and the Italian-American Beneficial Club Auxiliary and the Gold Star Mothers. Adam Berardi passed away on January 13, 1971 after a brief illness, when he was 74. Both Mr. and Mrs. Berardi were laid to rest at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Adam Berardi were survived by their daughter Erma M. Canning. Adam Berardi's sister-in-law Eurosia Berardi, along with his nephew Albert Berardi, were well known in Sandusky for their French Fry stand at Cedar Point, and later for their family restaurants. You can read about Berardi's Family Tradition online.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mrs. Sarah Farwell

The Pedigree Resource File of Family Search tells us that Sarah Cooke (sometimes spelled Cook) was the daughter of Asaph and Thankful Parker Cooke. Sarah was born in 1790/1791. She was the sister of Eleutheros Cooke, and the aunt of Civil War financier Jay Cooke.

Sarah Cooke married Moors Farwell in 1819, and died on February 28, 1827. Sarah is buried in the North Monroeville Cemetery, which is maintained by the Ridgefield Township Board of Trustees in Huron County. Moors Farwell, who was the first Mayor of Sandusky, married again, and have several children. Moors Farwell died in 1850, and he is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Buried near Sarah Cooke Farwell are several members of the Cooke family. In the early days, North Monroeville was known as Cooks' Corners or Four Corners.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lovely Surprise Today!

Today I was delighted when Linda from the Flipside blog popped in to see me at the library! I got to meet her brother, and Linda and I had a chance to get our picture taken together. It was the highlight of my day!!! It was amazing to meet a fellow GeneaBlogger in person! Thanks for stopping by Linda!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Cemeteries

The prompt for Week 9 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Cemeteries

Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see. Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful. What makes this place special? What does it mean to you and your family history?

A cemetery that is very special to me is the Perkins Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio. My mother took me to cemeteries often throughout her life, something she had also done with her grandmother in years gone by. Below is a snapshot of my brother and I at the Parker lot in Perkins Cemetery in 1962.

Many of my ancestors in my Mom's paternal lines are buried at the Perkins Cemetery, from the Parker side, House side, along with the former neighbors and extended family members of the Parker and House families. If you look at the map of Perkins Township in the 1896 Erie County Atlas, you will see many of the names of the homeowners on the tombstones in the Perkins Cemetery. The original Perkins Cemetery was in an area of Perkins Township which was taken by the U.S. Government by eminent domain during World War Two for the war effort. A company was hired to disinter the bodies of those buried at the old Perkins Cemetery, and the remains were re-buried at the site of the current Perkins Cemetery just off Route 250. A marker placed by the Erie County Historical Society summarizes the relocation of the Old Perkins Cemetery to its current location.

My father, who died in 1983, and my mother, who died in 2010, are now buried in Perkins Cemetery. We visit Perkins Cemetery often to reflect on our happy memories of when Mom and Dad were still with us. How I wish I could walk through the Perkins Cemetery with them today!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How the Catholic Gene Blog Led Me to a Shopping Trip in Tiffin, Ohio

On September 27, 2011, the Educated Genealogist, Sheri F., presented a tribute to St. Vincent de Paul at the Catholic Gene blog. Since St. Vincent de Paul devoted himself to works of charity, there are now a whole network of thrift stores named after this Saint.

After reading the blog post about St. Vincent de Paul, I decided that I would try to visit the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop closest to my home in northern Ohio. It turned out that the thrift shop closest to me is in Tiffin, Ohio. Today on our way to take our grandsons to the American Civil War Museum of Ohio,

we also got to stop in at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop in Tiffin, Ohio.

There was even a rabbit in the thrift shop!

So that is how this "Graveyard Rabbit" was led to visit the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop in Tiffin, Ohio. Thanks Sheri, you inspire me in many ways!!

P.S. Our grandsons thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the American Civil War Museum of Ohio. There were over forty hands-on exhibits, so they learned some American history in an easy to understand manner!

How I Found Mrs. Patrick Kelly, Daughter of Daniel Larkins

Throughout my several years of doing family history research, my Irish ancestors on my mom's Larkins side have caused me to encounter many brick walls! I often ran into the name of "Mrs. Patrick Kelly" as a daughter of Daniel and Johannah Larkins. Mrs. Patrick Kelly, also known as Mary Larkins Kelly, is my Third Great Grandaunt. For a long time, I thought I would never find a Mary Larkins or a Patrick Kelly, with such common Irish first and last names! One day I found a Patrick and Mary Kelly living in Springfield, in Clark County, Ohio, with two small children, in the 1860 Census. It seemed logical, since the Mad River Railroad ran from Sandusky to Springfield at that time, and perhaps Patrick worked for the railroad, and ended up in Springfield. Below is a marriage record of Patrick Kelly and Mary Larkins, from Clark County, Ohio on November 21, 1849, accessed at Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950 on Family Search.

Since the obituaries of Daniel and Johannah Larkins stated that Mrs. Patrick Kelly resided in Elgin, Illinois, I decided to contact the Elgin Genealogical Society in Elgin, Illinois. The Research Associates of the Elgin Genealogical Society, for a very reasonable fee, provided me with death records, probate records, and obituaries of both Patrick and Mary Kelly. I was absolutely amazed at what was in that special envelope from Elgin! It turned out that Patrick had been born in Ireland in 1824. He first settled in Ohio, and in 1877 he brought his family to Elgin, Illinois, where he was the first janitor of the Elgin City Hall building. His obituary, which appeared in the Elgin Daily News of April 24, 1908, stated that "He was a man of genial disposition and always ready with some witty replay or anecdote." Mary Larkins Kelly passed away on December 14, 1914 in Elgin, Illinois. Her obituary provided details of her life, which included making quilts for all her children and grandchildren. She was known for her kindness in times of sickness and death, and she had endeared herself to large number of people in Elgin.

The death record of Mary Kelly is pictured below, in four different images. The left side of the first portion of her death record lists Mary's name and death date, which was December 14, 1914. She died at 4:40 p.m. Her residence had been 204 Villa Street in the 5th Ward of Elgin, Illinois.

Cause of death was listed as bronchial pneumonia and senility.

The second portion of Mary Kelly's death record listed her husband's name, Patrick Kelly. Her occupation was housewife. The undertaker was listed as the Wait & Ross Co.

On the right side of the second portion of the death record of Mary Kelly, stated are her birth date, 1830, and the names of her parents: Daniel Larkin and Johanna Skahanke. Mary had resided in Elgin for 35 years.

Mrs. Mary Larkins Kelly, and her husband Patrick Kelly, who had died on April 24, 1908, were both buried in the Bluff City Cemetery. Though I have never yet had a chance to visit their grave sites, the Elgin Genealogical Society provided me with a map of the cemetery, noting the exact Lot and Section numbers. I do hope to make the trip one day, to see where my dear Irish relatives were buried.

My journey to find Mrs. Patrick Kelly included searching census records, obituaries from Sandusky, along with outstanding research assistance from the Elgin Genealogical Society. It was a fun journey, and I was eventually able to touch base with some descendants of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Kelly now residing in Washington State. Genealogy is SUCH a wonderfully rewarding hobby!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mrs. Margaretta Beamer

Mrs. Margaretta/Maggie (Hofacker) Beamer is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Mrs. Beamer was the wife of August J. Beamer. Erie County Probate records list the date of the marriage of August Beamer and Maggie Hofacker as July 23, 1882. Margaretta's brief life spanned from 1860 to 1897. The top of Mrs. Beamer's tombstone is in the shape of the Bible.

The back of Mrs. Beamer's tombstones is inscribed with the word Mother.

Over one hundred years since the death of Margaretta Beamer, her tombstone is still legible. She must have been dearly loved and missed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Joseph L. Smith, Marble Works Proprietor

The first time I encountered a reference to Joseph L. Smith was on the inscription above, found on the Scheufler monument at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. I decided to do some digging, and see if I could learn more about J. L. Smith, who created this majestic monument, to honor the memory of two well respected railroad employees who died tragically in 1870.

J.L. Smith is listed on page 119 of the 1867 McKelvey's Sandusky City Directory. He had a marble works business at 26 Wayne Street in Sandusky, and he resided at 66 Market Street. In the 1870 U.S. Census, Joseph Smith is listed as age 34, and occupation: marble cutter. He was married to Mary, age 20. Youngsters named Libbie, age 5, and George, age 16, also resided in the Joseph Smith household. The birthplace of Joseph Smith, marble cutter, was listed as Germany, though other sources indicate he was born in Ohio.

By 1880, Joseph L. Smith, marble dealer, was residing in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio, with his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth. Moving ahead twenty years to the 1900 U.S. Census, Joseph L. Smith, marble cutter, is still residing in Massillon, Ohio. He is aged 60 at this time, but in 1900 his household consisted of himself, a wife named Susan, and a daughter named Mary. In 1910, Joseph L. Smith of Massillon, Ohio stated he was in the granite work profession. He gave his age as 68. Other members of the household in 1910 were: his wife Susana, age 41; and daughters, Mary, age 11; Henrietta, age 9; Frances, age 7; and Amelia, age 5.

On November 10, 1911, Joseph L. Smith died in Massillon, Ohio, from intestinal problems. His death certificate, a portion of which is pictured below, indicated that he was the son of Nicholas Smith, a native of Germany. Joseph L. Smith was aged 71 years, 5 months, and 2 days at the time of his death.

An obituary which appeared in the Fremont Daily News on November 11, 1911, reported that Joseph L. Smith, the Massillon marble works proprietor, had died suddenly on November 10. His remains were brought to Fremont on the train, and Joseph L. Smith was buried in the St. Joseph's Cemetery in Fremont. The article stated that Mrs. Helen Blosier of Fremont was the sister of Joseph L. Smith. Mr. Smith was buried in the St. Mary portion of St. Joseph's Cemetery, but today no stone remains. Mr. Smith worked diligently through the years, and though he had lived and worked in both Erie and Stark Counties, Ohio, he was buried in Sandusky County, Ohio.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hiram Walling

Hiram Walling died on February 22, 1848, at the age of 23 years, 1 month, and 5 days. He is buried in Deyo Cemetery in Groton Township of Erie County. A U.S. flag decorates his grave.

Hiram remains a mystery person, as to date I have not find him listed in any census records, or books of family history. His tombstone is amazingly easy to read, even after so many years have passed since his death.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Genealogy Libraries

The prompt for Week 8 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Genealogy Libraries

Genealogy libraries (and dedicated departments in regular libraries) are true treasures in the family history community.  Tell us about your favorite genealogy library. What or who makes it special?

There are so many libraries with outstanding genealogy departments, that I cannot pick just one! Here are a few of my favorite libraries. The Sandusky Library is dear to my heart because it is in my home town.

(Note: The above image is from an old postcard. In 2003, the Sandusky Library underwent a major addition/renovation, resulting in a much larger facility.)

The reason I appreciate the Sandusky Library so much is that since many lines of my family have lived in Erie County, Ohio for so long, there are many valuable resources at the library that are helpful in my family history research. Available at Sandusky Library are: city directories, high school yearbooks, county histories, the Firelands Pioneer, Obituary Notebooks, census records, cemetery records, church records, and several reels of Erie County Court Records. Another very helpful resource is the Charles E. Frohman Index to the Sandusky Register and the Sandusky Star Journal. The index covers citations to people, places, and events from the Sandusky area. Once you have the citation, then you are able to retrieve the article from the reels of microfilmed copies of the newspaper. The Archives Research Center also has two finding aids to historical files as well as photographs. Once you find an item of interest, then the library staff can retrieve the item for you. There is even a quadrant of computers in the Archives Research Center dedicated to genealogy research. The Sandusky Library is definitely one of my favorite research libraries!

Another library which is so very helpful to Ohio researchers is the Library of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center.

This library houses the diaries of President Rutherford B. Hayes, who was himself a fan of genealogical research! Also at this library are a variety of city and county directories, newspapers, county histories, historical atlases, all from several different counties of Ohio, as well as the entire U.S. Census on microfilm. The Ohio Obituary Index is an invaluable tool in finding obituaries from all over Ohio. The Library of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center also features special indexes, and a huge collection of manuscripts and photographs. While you are visiting the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center, you can also tour the Hayes home and visit the Museum, as well as the lovely grounds of Spiegel Grove. When I drive in to the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center and I see those beautiful gates which were once in Washington D.C., my heart always skips a beat.

Other libraries which I find very helpful are:

Milan Public Library
– This library, a part of the Milan-Berlin Township Public Library system, has an index to local newspapers, that I have not found in any other facility. A wide variety of government records are on microfilm at the Milan library, as well as several family histories of local interest, any many volumes of indexes to passenger lists.

Samuel D. Isaly Library of the Ohio Genealogical Society - This library has resources in books, vertical files,periodicals, and research databases which cover the entire state of Ohio. I only wish I had more time to visit this outstanding facility more often.

Allen County Public Library – This major genealogical library, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a mecca for genealogists! There are thousands of rolls of microfilm, covering all U.S. Censuses, and many resources from other countries. Stacks and stacks of books of family histories, county and state histories line their shelves, and the well trained staff is always available to assist researchers. There is a bookstore and coffee shop in the library, along with a public television station. Before going to the Allen County Public Library, you will want to do your homework, and have a list of what you hope to accomplish. Once you get there, it can be overwhelming, since this library is so comprehensive in its holdings.

There are many other libraries in which I have done research, but these are a few of my favorites. Being in the Information Age, we are all so fortunate to be able to visit many libraries virtually! It truly is a terrific time to be a family history researcher!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What's Buzzin' Cousin?

Almost every family history researcher I know is anxiously awaiting the release of the 1940 U.S. Census on April 2, 2012.

Click here to read more about the release of the 1940 U.S. Census from the National Archives, as explained by our friends at Family Search.

Click here to read more American slang terms used in the 1940s.

I hope to learn even more about many of my cousins and other relatives in the 1940 Census!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mrs. Angelina House

Angelina/Angeline House was born on April 15, 1820 in Bloomingville, to Samuel B. Carpenter (sometimes spelled Carpender), a pioneer physician of the Firelands. The Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958 Collection, available at FamilySearch, indicates that Angeline Carpender married Norris G. House on January 1, 1839 in Erie County, Ohio. Norris G. House was a young child when he traveled with his parents Julius House and Percy Taylor House from Glastonbury, Connecticut to Perkins Township of Erie County, Ohio by oxen train in 1815.

In 1850, Norris and Angeline House were living in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio, and they had three children: Mary, age 11; Clarissa (sometimes called Clara), age 9; and Emma, age 5. In the 1860 Census, they were still in Perkins Township, with more children: Julia, age 11; Wealthy (sometimes listed as Weltha), age 8; and Lillian, age 2. By 1870, Norris and Angeline House were living in Green Creek Township of Sandusky County, Ohio. By this time, some of the children had married, but Julia and Lillian were still living with their parents. In the 1880 Census, Norris and Angeline House had moved to Lucas County, Ohio. They were living with the family of their married daughter, Mrs. Lilly/Lillian Park, along with Lilly's husband, two children, and Lilly's sister Julia House, age 28. By the time of the 1900 U.S. Census, Angeline House was listed as an 88 year old widow. She was residing with a married daughter, Mrs. Clara Jones, along with Clara's husband and three children.

Angeline Carpenter House died at Lakeside, Ohio on February 12, 1913. Her funeral was held at the home of her nephew Lewis House. Obituaries for Angeline House appeared in the February 13 and February 14, 1913 issues of the Sandusky Register. Burial was in Perkins Cemetery. So far, I have been unable to locate a tombstone for Angeline, though many of her neighbors and friends are also buried there. Mrs. Angeline House was survived by five daughters, Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Deyo, Mrs. Clara Louise House Jones, Mrs. Emma House Supner, Miss Julia House, and Mrs. Weltha House Beals. Another daughter, Mrs. Lillian Park/Parke had passed away in 1904.

Angeline lived to age of 94. She lost her parents, her husband, and a daughter before she herself was taken in death. She must have been very adaptable, since she moved often, and made her home with several of her daughters through the years. She began her life as a pioneer resident of the Firelands, and her last days were spent at Lakeside, which was an early Methodist camp meeeting site. I am sure she had many stories to tell, and lots of memories which she kept in her heart.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Free Digital History Program at Sandusky Library on February 18, 2012

Click here to read more about the free program about the Digital History of Sandusky program, which will be held at the Sandusky Library on Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Phone 419-625-3834 to register for the event.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Flora Taylor

According to her death certificate, Flora Taylor was born in South Carolina to Arthur and Ella (Banks) Latimer. In the 1910 U.S. Census, Flora is a young infant living with her parents and three older sisters in Oconee County, South Carolina. By the 1930's, the Latimer family had moved to Sandusky, Ohio, where Flora's father worked at a foundry. Flora Irene Taylor died on February 15, 1952, as a result of heart disease. She was survived by two sons, Henry and Leonard; a daughter, Mrs. Josephine Quinn; three brothers and three sisters. Prior to becoming ill, Mrs. Taylor had been employed by the Philco Corporation. Funeral services for Flora I. Taylor were held at St. Stephen's A.M.E. Church, with Rev. E. B. Jordan officiating. Burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

The tombstone of Flora I. Taylor features an angel looking upward, and the word Mother is inscribed above her name.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Goodies from Martin's in 1923

On Valentine's Day in 1923, Sandusky residents were encouraged to buy treats for their sweethearts at Martin's. The confectionery sold candies, heart shaped cakes, and a variety of chocolates, which were just right for the occasion! Fred A. Martin, the brother in law of my great grandmother Ada Steen Parker, was the proprietor of Martin's Confectionery for many years. The advertisement pictured above appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal on February 12, 1923.

In Memorium: Glenn Parker

My great uncle, Glenn G. Parker, passed away of February 14, 1974. He was a Perkins Township Trustee for twelve years. Uncle Glenn was instrumental in helping to establish Fire Station No. 1 on Bogart Road, and Fire Station No. 2 at Campbell and Bell Streets. The clippings above (click on the image for a larger view) were recently found in Parker family notebooks. They show some of the fire equipment that was purchased during Glenn Parker's tenure as a Perkins Township trustee. Flags at all three of the Perkins Fire Stations were at half-mast on the day of the funeral of Glenn Parker.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Historical Documents

The prompt for Week 7 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Historical Documents

Which historical document in your possession are you happy to have? How did you acquire this item? What does it reveal about your ancestors?

A document that I am happy to have in my possession is a deed. It is from Volume 60, page 15, from the books of deeds on file in the office of the Erie County Recorder. I obtained this document in the early 1990s. Mr. John Schaeffer, who was the Erie County Recorder from 1984-2000, made the copy of this deed for me, after I checked the Grantor Index and the Deed Book. In this deed,I learned that on May 5, 1894, the heirs of my ancestor, Patrick Larkins, transferred property to Charles Weyl. The property was in the Fourth Ward of the city of Sandusky, located in the South half of the East two thirds in Lot Number 33 on Fulton Street.

John Larkins, Ella Larkins, Mollie Larkins, Kittie Larkins, and Thomas Larkins, my great great grandfather, were the sole heirs of their father Patrick Larkins. The wives of John and Thomas Larkins, Mary and Mary Louise Larkins, each paid one dollar, and thus they released any claim to the property being turned over to Mr. Weyl.

The property sold to Charles Weyl for thirteen hundred and twenty dollars. The names of the heirs of Patrick Larkins, along with the names of two of his daughters in law, appear at the bottom left portion of the document. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the name of Kittie Larkins. Mom always told me that my Great Grandma Irene adored her Aunt Kit, who died as a very young woman. It helped me to realize that Aunt Kit/Kittie did indeed live, and she once signed an important piece of paper, after her father's death. I am still very much a beginner in understanding property records, but this photocopy of a deed from 1894 is one that I treasure!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Family Heirlooms

The prompt for Week 6 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is: Family Heirlooms

For which family heirloom are you most thankful? How did you acquire this treasure and what does it mean to you and your family?

The family heirloom for which I am most thankful is the antique wash basin set that was originally a wedding gift to my father's maternal grandparents, Andrew and Lena (Piehl) Yeager in September of 1903. The smaller pitcher, glass, and covered dish that are pictured above, sit on a piece of furniture in our living room. The wash bowl and larger pitcher are on top of our old piano.

To my family, this wedding gift that once belonged to Great Grandma and Grandpa Yeager is a connection to our family's past. I think often of how hard they both worked, in order to support their big family. Grandpa Yeager died when I was very young, but I had the opportunity to spend time with Grandma Yeager. She was a quiet, gentle soul, and she loved her family dearly.

The way this lovely set came to me was through my cousin Ruth. Long after my great grandparents had both died, I got together with Ruth, and she shared many Piehl and Yeager family stories. One day after we had lunch together, Ruth said she had a special surprise for me. She did not go into a lot of detail, but she said that somehow this antique set was given to her, when someone else in the family was downsizing. (I think this set may have been in several different homes of family members though the years.) She wanted me to have it, because it was from my line of the family, and she knew how much I loved our family heritage.

Thank you so much Grandpa and Grandma Yeager, and cousin Ruth B., for this lovely family heirloom!

So far, I have never learned the identity of the donor of this lovely wedding gift to my great grandparents. Grandpa and Grandma Yeager spent many years together, and they had family celebrations on both their silver and golden wedding anniversaries.

Edison Birthplace in Milan, Ohio

Thomas Alva Edison
was born in this brick home on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. Thomas A. Edison was issued over one thousand patents, including the phonograph, kinetoscope, and innovations in the electric lamp and the telegraph. According to the Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum, Nancy and Samuel Edison started building their home, which was designed by Samuel, in the fall of the 1841. In 1854, the Edison family sold their Milan home, and moved to Port Huron, Michigan. After the death of Thomas A. Edison in 1931, Mrs. Edison and her daughter Mrs. John Eyre Sloane worked on achieving the goal of Thomas Edison's birthplace becoming a museum that would be open to the public. The Edison Birthplace is now maintained by the Edison Birthplace Association, Inc.

A statue of young Thomas Edison and his mother Nancy can be seen in the Milan Town Square.

The Invention Restaurant in Milan features a cutout wooden figure of Thomas Edison.

The back yard of the former Edison family home looks an ideal place for youngsters to roll down the hill!

On October 18, 1931, one of America's most famous inventors passed away. Thousands of individuals, businesses, and communities dimmed their lights on the evening after Thomas A. Edison was buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Orange, New Jersey. In 1963, the remains of Thomas A. Edison and his second wife Mina were removed to Edison's Glenmont estate, now the Edison National Historical site. You can view the tombstone of Thomas A. Edison at Read more about Thomas A. Edison at the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project.