Sunday, April 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Historical Books

The prompt for Week 18 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is:

Historical Books: This week we’re going to shine the spotlight on other historical books that benefit the genealogy field. Do you have a favorite book that falls in this category? What makes this book special to you? How can other genealogists benefit from its content?


A favorite book that I often turn to for local history is the 1855 Sandusky City Directory found at Google Books. This book is also available in its original form at several Ohio libraries.

This historical city directory features listings that include surnames, addresses and occupations. Names are listed alphabetically by surname. Below is a partial listing of surnames which begin with C. You can see the name of Sandusky lawyer Eleutheros Cooke and former Mayor Charles Cross.

Several local advertisements for businesses are scattered throughout the directory. E. B. Sadler was a well known local attorney, and Bernhard Esch had a shoe and boot store in Sandusky.

A separate section lists information about churches in Sandusky.

An interesting historical sketch of the city of Sandusky begins on page 3 of the directory.

Other informative sections of the 1855 Sandusky City Directory include a guide to streets,business directory, listing of military organizations, elected officials,and a listing of lodges. The directory is searchable by keyword. This resource is an essential tool for researchers who have ancestors from Sandusky in 1855. By comparing information from the city directory with census records from 1850 and 1860, a more complete picture of an ancestor can be created. Happy hunting!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, April 21, 2012

Randy at Genea-Musings has challenged bloggers to create a Wordle Cloud.

My fist Wordle Cloud contains the surnames in my family tree, beginning with me, and going back to my great grandparents.

In my second Wordle Cloud are the names of my husband and I, along with our three grown up children and our two grandsons.

I'd love to see your Wordle Clouds too! Thanks, Randy, for this fun activity this Saturday night!

Thomas and Mary Hogg

According to his obituary in the April 23, 1881 issue of the Sandusky Register, Thomas Hogg was born in Preston, England on March 16, 1808. In reference to Mr. Hogg’s early involvement with the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, the article stated, “His life was connected with one of the greatest historical events of this state - the introduction of the railroad interests--he having superintended the transportation of the first locomotive engine--the Sandusky--that ever crossed the Alleghenies, which he set up in Sandusky and ran on the first railroad built in the state...”

Harriet Taylor Upton wrote in HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE that the parts of the “Sandusky” locomotive were manufactured in the eastern United States, and shipped to Sandusky, to be put together. This operation was completed under the direction of “master mechanic” Thomas Hogg. Mr. Hogg was the first engineer of the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. The “Sandusky” locomotive is pictured on page 399 of HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE.

Thomas Hogg died on April 21, 1881. He was buried with his wife Mary in Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery. (Mary passed away in 1900.)

Historical information about the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad can be found at the web site of the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Society. A photograph of Thomas Hogg, as well as his obituary, is also found at this website.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Was Great Grandpa Joe Orshoski Related to Jackie Orszaczky?

In August of 1998, I received a letter from Laszlo Orszaczky of Budapest, Hungary. At that time, Laszlo felt that everyone in Hungary was related to each other, as there were so few individuals with that surname (less than 40) in the country of Hungary at that time. Laszlo suspected that the name Orszaczky (which my ancestors spelled Orshoski) was originally of Polish origin. Laszlo had a brother named Miklos Orszackay, who became a well known musician, first in Hungary, and then in Australia. His stage name was Jackie Orszaczky. Laszlo and I had always hoped we could connect our families, his from Budapest, and my Orshoski family from Felső Vadász. Sadly, both Laszlo and Jackie Orszaczky both died in 2008, and we were never able to make a solid connection. As I look back through my Orshoski Family Notebook, I am reminded of an email I received from Jackie Orszaczky in January, 2001. He said that after viewing a few family pictures via email, "the relationship is obvious." Both Jackie and several of my male Orshoski relatives have dark hair, a slender face, and most wear glasses. So, while I do not have solid proof that we are connected, in my heart I truly believe that my Orshoski family is related to Laszlo Orszaczky from Budapest, and to Jackie Orszaczky, the jazz musician from Australia. Maybe someday I will make a solid connection! You can read more about jazz musician Jackie Orszaczky here.

My great grandfather Joseph Orshoski is pictured below with his sons and several neighbors and friends at the funeral of his first wife Julia in 1919, in Sandusky, Ohio. (My Great Grandpa Joe is the man with dark hair standing behind the casket of Julia Orshoski.)

(Note: Top photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Florian Hofmeister

According to page 70 of McKelvey's 1867 Sandusky City Directory, F. Hofmaester was a printer working for the Sandusky Herald, a newspaper in Sandusky in the 1860's.

The 1870 U.S. Census spells Florian's last name as Houghmister. The database Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997, available at Family Search Labs, lists the date of Florian Hofmeister as April 19, 1871. His occupation was listed as printer. Florian Hofmeister is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. A GAR marker is located next to Mr. Hofmeister's tombstone, indicating that he was a Civil War Veteran. To date, no record of Civil War service has been located for Florian Hofmeister. His tombstone inscription is in German. Roughly translated, it reads:

Here Lies
Florian Hofmeister

Ivy leaves are found on the lower portion of Florian Hofmeister's tombstone. Ivy can represent the Trinity, fidelity, and friendship.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anton Ferdinand Krawetzki

Anton Ferdinand Krawetzki was born on December 13, 1817, and passed away on April 15, 1885. He was buried in Block 77 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The 1880 U.S. lists him as Ferdinand Krawitze, at which time he was a widower residing with his son's large family in Margaretta Township of Erie County, Ohio. John and Albertina Krawetzki/Krawitzke had six children. The four youngest children were born in Ohio, but Anton Ferdinand Krawetzki,as well as John, Albertina, and their two oldest children listed their birthplace as Prussia.

Mr. Krawetzki's tombstone features sculpted cording at the top of the stone. The clasped hands on his tombstone represents his welcome into the heavenly world.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

J. L. Scherz, Sr.

John Louis Scherz, Sr. died on April 19, 1894. His obituary in the April 20, 1894 Sandusky Register, reported that he had been sick for two years with bronchial problems.

Mr. Scherz was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and came to the United States in 1846. He settled briefly in Galion before moving to Sandusky. He first married Anna Shaetler, who died in 1866. He married Mary Von Sickle after the death of Ann. J.L. Scherz was a pattern maker, working first for the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad, and then for the Big Four.

The article in the Register stated, "Mr. Scherz was in every respect an admirable citizen. He was a staunch believer in the principles of the Republican party and at one time represented the Fifth ward on the Board of Education. Upright and honorable in all his dealings, he enjoyed the respect and esteem of a wide circle of friends."

J. L. Scherz, Sr. was buried in Oakland Cemetery next to his first wife Anna. He was survived by his widow, and a son, J. Louis Scherz, Jr. and Mrs. Julia M. Wagenet. The tombstone of Anna Scherz, the first Mrs. J. L. Scherz, Sr., who died on September 21, 1866, is pictured below.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just Got Back from the 2012 Ohio Genealogical Annual Conference!

A short time ago, I returned home from the three day Ohio Genealogical Society Annual Conference which was subtitled "History and Genealogy: Finding Clues to Ancestral Lives." Two library co-workers and I were privileged to hear many speakers whose topics covered genealogical strategies, using technology, finding military records, unique census records, and how understanding events in history can enhance our family history research, and of course, much more! Thank goodness we have access to the outlines from each presentation, so we can brush up on all that we learned!

I was able to meet two GeneaBloggers whose blogs I follow, Harold Henderson from Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog and Shelley from A Sense of Family. My co-worker Ron snapped this picture of Shelley and I at the conference.

In the Exhibit Hall, I was able to pick up literature from several different Ohio libraries and Local Chapters of the Ohio Genealogical Society. We even found out that local author Leslie Korenko has published a third book covering Kelleys Island history!

The conference was held at the beautiful Intercontinental Hotel, on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic. We were comfortable throughout the entire conference, both while in sessions, and while relaxing in our lovely rooms. Cleveland has a wide variety of restaurants, and while the food in the International Café of the Cleveland Clinic was fabulous, we also thoroughly enjoyed visiting a restaurant and two bakeries in Little Italy, and the mile-high deli sandwiches at the nearly Chicago Deli. Now I need to go unpack, and then learn more Lisa Loise Cooke's awesome Genealogy Gems Podcasts!

I.J.P. Tessier, Erie County Recorder

Ohio Marriage Records, available online at Family Search tell us that Israel J. P. Tessier married Maggie Quigley in Lucas County, Ohio on August 19, 1867. In the 1880 U.S. Census, Israel and Margaret Tessier, ages 32 and 30, were residing in Lucas County, Ohio, where Israel worked as a printer. They had a family of six children, ranging in age from infancy to the age of 12.

An article in the April 14, 1905 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that County Recorder I.J.P. Tessier had been born in Ottawa, Canada in 1848. As a young person, he moved to the United States, where he took up training as a printer's apprentice. Mr. Tessier worked in the printing business in Toledo, Ohio for twenty-five years, before he moved to Sandusky where he was foreman of the job department of the Sandusky Register for over twenty years. In 1900, he was elected to the office of Erie County Recorder.

I.J.P. Tessier passed away on April 13, 1905, after a lengthy illness. He was survived by his wife, four daughters, and two sons. Funeral services for I.J.P. Tessier were held on Sunday, April 16, 1905 at the Tessier residence on Market Street. Burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. The Sandusky Register stated that "Mr. Tessier also leaves a host of friends made during the many years of his active and useful work in this city."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dr. Maro J. Love, Leading Physician

Dr. Maro J. Love was born on June 20, 1848 in Coshocton County, Ohio to Thomas and Miranda (Jones) Love. He was educated at Baldwin-Wallace University, the Long Island College, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. After practicing medicine briefly in Coshocton County and in Monroeville, he moved to Bloomingville, Ohio in 1879. Dr. Love practiced medicine in Bloomingville for forty six years. He also was a Representative to the Ohio General Assembly from 1894 to 1898. On December 15, 1874, Dr. Love took as his bride Miss Carrie Delamatre. They celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1924. Dr. Love was active in several Masonic bodies, the Knights of the Maccabees, and the Erie County Medical Society. He was a member of the Bloomingville Methodist Church. On April 12, 1926, Dr. M.J. Love passed away at his home in Bloomingville, after a lengthy illness. He was buried in the Sand Hill Cemetery. Dr. Love was survived by his widow, two sons, Clayton and Clifford, a brother, and three sisters. He was one of the oldest and best known physicians in the Firelands, and he was greatly missed.

My Great Grandma, Ada Steen Parker, kept the obituary of Dr. M.J. Love in her scrapbook. In true Yankee style, she pasted newspaper articles in an old copy of the Congressional Record. According to another old news clipping, in 1923, Ada Parker was severely burned by steam from a kerosene stove. Dr. Love came to the house to treat her, and she never had any lasting scars from the accident.

Several members of the Love family are buried at the Sand Hill Cemetery in Groton Township of Erie County, Ohio. Rev. Herbert J. Thompson officiated at the funeral of Dr. M. J. Love.Obituaries for Dr. M.J. Love appeared in the April 13 and April 14, 1926 issues of the Sandusky Register.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Several Photos Taken at the Follett House

Click here to see several photos taken by the photographers at the Sandusky Register, both inside and outside the Follett House Museum. Former publisher Oran Follett and his wife Eliza are buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

West End Cemetery, Berlin Heights

The West End Cemetery, as its name suggests, is located in the western portion of the Village of Berlin Heights, Erie County, Ohio. The cemetery is at the edge of a ravine, and many trees shade the grounds.

An angel is located beside the Austin family monument.

Several United States Veterans are buried at the West End Cemetery, including Hieronimus Mingos (sometimes spelled Mingus) who served in the Revolutionary War, in the Fourth New York Regiment.

The history of Berlin Heights which appeared on pages 475 through 489 of the book HISTORY OF HURON AND ERIE COUNTIES, OHIO, by W.W.Williams, has been reprinted on a UsGenWeb site.

Visit the website of the Village of Berlin Heights online.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cleveland Firefighters Memorial

The Cleveland Firefighters Memorial was dedicated in Cleveland in June 0f 2007. The Memorial is located at 601 Erieside Street between the Cleveland Browns Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center. It honors 76 firefighters who died in the line of duty between 1869 and 1995. An article in the June 10, 2007 issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer lists the names of the individual fire fighters who died. The list was compiled by Paul L. Nelson, historian of the Western Reserve Fire Museum. The men honored, as well as the year of their death, are:

Paul Aukins, 1869; John C. Sturges, 1870; Henry O. Loomis, 1873; Samuel Fitch,1879; John F. Maher, 1879; John T. Gillson, 1882; Henry C. Harmon, 1884; Henry Gensert, 1887; Timothy Graham, 1888; Samuel Pease, 1891; Henry Ressler, 1891; John Grady, 1891; Michael Howley, 1891; Willis Hizer, 1894; Michael Walsh, 1896; William A. Reynolds, 1897; William B. MacFetters, 1897; Sylvester Esterle, 1898; William Roth, 1899; Sheldon Wright, 1901; Patrick Joyce, 1902; Joseph L. Flaherty, 1903; Robert Ried, 1903; Robert Duffy, 1903; James Schweda, 1903; William D. Rowe, 1906; Herman David, 1911; James R. Killoran, 1915; William P. Rush Sr., 1917; William J. Haley, 1921; Patrick Jordan, 1921;
Walter Reed, 1923; Arthur Stansbury, 1928; Daniel O'Laughlin, 1932; Michael Bolivar, 1932; Fred Brown, 1935; Leo Murphy, 1935; Roy Haylor, 1938; Charles Klocksen, 1943; Patrick Mangan, 1944; Norman Kitzerow, 1944; James J. Cull, 1945; Theodore Brenyas, 1947; Paul I. Green, 1948; Henry Spencer, 1948; John J. Kilbane, 1949; Henry F. Lange, 1949; Joseph Vlasaty, 1956; Jack W. Poe, 1959; Charles Prymmer, 1960; Walter Kress, 1962; John J. Finucan, 1963; Kenneth F. Jacklitz, 1963; Robert Ternansky, 1963; Edwin J. Hart, 1963; John T. McKenna, 1963; Robert H. Jones, 1963; Robert L. Marquard, 1963; Ralph E. Simon, 1966; John A. Petz, 1966; Charles G. Doehner, 1966; Joseph G. Toolis, 1966; Stanley Lawson, 1966; David W. Hunger, 1967; Dennis J. Connors, 1968; George J. Solloway, 1969; John D. Ruszkowski, 1969; John J. Gallagher, 1969; Salvatore Mazzola, 1970; Joseph A. DeCrane, 1972; Frank L. Bonacci, 1972; Edward J. Gresky, 1974; John W. McNamee, 1974; Richard Ward, Dec. 3, 1983; Daniel R. Pescatrice, 1985; and Edward M. Carey, 1995.

Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice, Firefighters of Cleveland.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Advertisement from 1916 Sandusky Star Journal

Residents of the Sandusky area in 1916 were encouraged to purchase new shoes for Easter at the H.J. Close shoe store at 138 Columbus Avenue in Sandusky, Ohio. This ad appeared in the April 17, 1916 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Found My Parents and Grandparents in the 1940 Census!

Today I finally got to view some of the 1940 Census records, at My Heritage (Thanks for the tip, Schelly Talalay Dardashti!) and I was able to locate my parents and grandparents in the 1940 Census for Erie County, Ohio! My dad, Paul Orshoski, was residing with his parents and four siblings on Newberry Avenue in Bay Bridge, just down the road from the Medusa Cement factory, where so many of my ancestors worked. Dad was 12 years old. His father was employed as a filter operator at Medusa. Grandpa Steve Orshoski was age 34, and Grandma Emma (Yeager) Orshoski was 33. Dad's siblings' ages in the census were: Alberta, 13; Wayne, 10; Donald, 8; and Clifford, age 6. The image above shows the five children of Steve and Emma Orshoski about five years prior to the enumeration of the 1940 Census. In the year 1940, none of the boys had yet thought about enlisting in the service, and none of the Orshoski children had met their future spouses yet. Several descendants of Steve and Emma Orshoski still reside on Newberry Avenue in Bay Bridge! Below is a portion of the 1940 Census page from Erie County, Ohio's Enumeration District 22-9, which contains the names of my father and my paternal grandparents, along with my aunt and three uncles. Click here to see the full census page.

My mother was only 8 years old at the time of the 1940 Census. She was living with her parents, Steen and Doris (Wheeler) Parker at 916 Polk Street in Sandusky, Ohio. My grandfather, Steen Parker, is the last name on page 20 of Enumeration District 22-29 . He was 32 years old, and worked as an enameler at Holland-Rieger, a business that made washing machines. Holland-Rieger later became Apex Manufacturing.

My maternal grandmother, Doris Wheeler Parker, was 29 years old. The three children of Steen and Doris were: Thomas, age 12, Joyce (my mother) age 8; and Sally, age 2. A 21 year old cousin of Doris, named James Larkins, was also residing with Steen and Doris Parker in 1940. In the image below, page 21 of ED 22-29, my grandmother Doris, her three children, and her cousin are the first five names listed on the census page.

Mom and her sister and brother appear in the picture below a few years after the 1940 Census was taken.

By 1943, Steen and Doris Parker had divorced, and Doris passed away from cancer on May 6, 1943. It was interesting to see the Steen Parker family listed in the Census before the onset of all these sad events. My mom, Joyce Parker Orshoski, attended school at Osborne School, just a few blocks south of her home on Polk Street. St. Paul Lutheran Church was within walking distance of her childhood home. St. Paul's was the church where Mom was confirmed and where she was married to my father. She so loved and respected Rev. J. A. Griffith. Good Samaritan Hospital (now Firelands Regional Medical Center) was just a few blocks away from Mom's home on Polk Street. Good Samaritan Hospital was the hospital where all six of Joyce and Paul's children were born, and the Firelands Regional Medical Center was my mother's final employer. She spent many happy hours at Firelands!

What a joy to see the names of my family members in the 1940 Census! I wish you "Happy Hunting" as you look for the names of your ancestors in the 1940 Census too!

Josiah Fowler

Josiah Fowler was born in Westfield, Massachusetts in 1800, to Medad and Lovisa Fowler. (See HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, for a biography of Josiah Fowler.) Josiah Fowler settled in Margaretta Township of what is now Erie County in 1830, after his father and brother had also come to Ohio. He married Sophronia Stocking in 1833. Mr. Fowler was known to be an abolitionist, and was well respected by his neighbors and friends.

In 1881, Josiah Fowler wrote a book entitled AN ANALYSIS OF TEXTS OF SCRIPTURE, THE BETTER TO UNDERSTAND THE TRUE FACT, OR SPIRITUAL MEANING, THAT THE REVELATOR INTENDED TO CONVEY TO THE READER BY MEANS ON THE LETTER, which was Josiah's interpretations of certain passages from the Bible.

Besides being a man of deep faith, as well as being against slavery, it appears that Josiah Fowler was also a man who believed strongly in temperance. An article which appeared in the November 9, 1918 article of the "Sandusky Star" stated that on April 4, 1845, at a meeting at the Castalia Congregational Church, Josiah Fowler introduced this resolution:"This church regards the selling and using of intoxicating liquor as a beverage at the present day, as indicative of a doubtful Christian character, and as injurious to the peace and purity of churches and expects those who unite with them will renounce such practice."

In 1891, at the age of 91, Josiah Fowler died. His tombstone, which difficult to read now, is located at the Castalia Cemetery. In the November 24, 1892 issue of the "Sandusky Register," it was reported that relatives of Josiah Fowler had erected a handsome monument to his memory.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Urban A. Walter, Reformer of Railway Mail Service

In the 1900 U.S. Census, Urban A. Walter was age 18, and working as a Post Office clerk. He was residing with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Walter, and several siblings in Toledo, Ohio. The 1880 U.S. Census indicates that the Adolph Walter family had resided in Fremont, Ohio at that time, before Urban's birth. The following excerpt from the book THE TRAVELING POST OFFICE, by William Jefferson Dennis (Homestead, 1916), tells of Urban A. Walter's intense campaign to improve the conditions of railway mail clerk employees. His publication "Harpoon" featured articles which told of the unsafe and unfair conditions of many railway mail clerks.

According to the book MAIL BY RAIL, by Bryant Alden Long,(Simmons-Boardman, 1951) the "Harpoon" was a red and yellow bound, 32-page magazine, which featured these words on the cover: "A Magazine That Hurts— For Postal Clerks." One issue had on the cover the memorial tombstone to three clerks who burned to death, after a tragic train wreck. Railway mail cars were usually made of wood, and quickly erupted into flames if the train wrecked. Urban A. Walter exposed the fact that lodgings aboard the train were bug-infested, and occasionally there were rats found in the water supply.

Eventually Urban A. Walter developed tuberculosis, and he moved west for health reasons. Mr. Urban A. Walter died on October 14, 1919 in Denver, Colorado. He was buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Fremont, Ohio. The inscription of the tombstone of Urban A. Walter reads:

Dedicated to the Memory Of

Walter A. Urban
The Father of Steel Mail Cars

Erected by Railway Postal Clerks

An exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum features a video which describes conditions of the clerks who worked for the Railway Mail Service at the end of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth century.