Thursday, May 31, 2012

Abishai W. Walter, Civil War Soldier

Abishai W. Walter is buried in Strong's Ridge Cemetery in Huron County, Ohio. He was a soldier in Company B of the 123rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Walter died on June 24, 1863 from wounds he received in battle at Winchester, Virginia on June 13, 1863. He was only 25 years of age. A flag beside his tombstone honors his memory.

The military history of the 123rd Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry is found online at the Internet Archive.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Veterans Monument at North Monroeville Cemetery

This monument at the North Monroeville Cemetery honors those who served in the United States Armed Forces during several wars.

Soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War are: Asaph Cook, Ephram Fish, Joseph Cook, and Benjamin Drake.

Those who served in the War of 1812 are: Charles L. Cook, John Hoyt, John Fish, Willard Jefferson, and Chauncey Cook.

Veterans of the Civil War include: Judson Willard, Harness Conyer, Fred Jefferson, Thomas Earl, Norman Gregory, George Young, George Lamoreux, John F. Miller, Newell B. Salisbury, Benjamin F. Drake, Henry Smith, Daniel Webster, Henry Thompson, William B. Horton, Victor Monroe, James Fish, John Holly, Charles Stimson, Charles Skaden, John Pinder, William St. John, Benjamin Frooman, M.R. Pierce, Youngs Gregory, Herman Webster, and Michael Freumd.

Those who lost their lives in the Civil War are: Judson Willard, Harness Conyer, Henry Thompson, George Young, William E. Horton, Thomas Carl, Benjamin F. Drake, Fred Jeffereson, Jorn F. Miller, Newell ____, Norman ____, Daniel ____. Some other veterans' names appear on the monument, but are no longer legible.

Those who served in the Spanish American War: Nicholas Fleming. World War One Veterans include George Scheid, Richard Turner Hort, and George O, Mara. John Turner fought in World War Two.

Thank you to those who served their country!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Johannes Durst

According to the ERIE COUNTY,OHIO CEMETERY CENSUS BEFORE 1909, Johannes Durst, who was also known as John Durst, was born on December 8, 1818, and died on May 30, 1898. In the 1880 U.S. Census for Erie County, Ohio, John Durst was listed as age 54, and was employed as a stone cutter. He was residing with his sister, Minnie Durst, age 40. Both John and Minnie Durst gave Baden as their birthplace.

Johannes/John Durst died on May 20, 1898, and his obituary appeared in the June 1, 1898 issue of the Sandusky Morning Star. The newspaper obituary reported that John Durst was age 79, and he had died at his home at 519 Meigs Street. He had been a resident of Sandusky since 1855. The funeral for Mr. Durst was held on June 2, 1898 at the Durst residence, and burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Military Monday: G.A.R. Lot at Oakland Cemetery

Thank you Veterans for your service to your country!

Truman B. Taylor

Truman Benjamin Taylor was born in 1846 on the farm that had been settled by his grandfather Jesse Taylor, an early pioneer who came from Connecticut in 1815 to settle on land in Perkins Township, Ohio. Truman's parents were Dennis and Phoebe Wright Taylor. Truman B. Taylor graduated from Sandusky High School in 1865, and went to college at the Eastman Business College at Poughkeepsie, New York.

After college, he achieved success as a farmer and stock man in Perkins Township. He took Mary Jane Eddy as his wife in 1872, and in 1909 they built a lovely home on Wayne Street in Sandusky. Mr. Taylor was one of the organizers of the Citizens Banking Company, serving as its president for twenty-two years. He also had business interests in the American Crayon Company, the Lake Shore Electric system, and the Sandusky, Milan,and Norwalk Electric Railway. He was a charter member of the Perkins Grange.

Mrs. Taylor died on April 6, 1914, and Truman B. Taylor died on May 28, 1930. A lengthy obituary for Truman B. Taylor is found in the 1930 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK, housed at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library. A photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor is featured at the Sandusky History web site. A son of Mr. and Mrs. Truman B. Taylor was Burt Eddy Taylor, who went on to become very successful in developing real estate in Detroit, Michigan.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Cedar Point Guide from 1962

In 1962,the operating season for Cedar Point ran from May 26 to September 3. It was only the second season for the Sky Ride, the buckets that took you from one end of the Midway of the amusement park to the other. Inside the guide, you can see many more of Cedar Point's attractions. The brochure states that the Cedar Point beach is the "world's finest bathing beach." Two types of cars could be driven by guests, the 1910 Model Cadillac cars, or the brightly colored convertibles on the Turnpike Ride. (This was during the "baby boom" years, and the Ohio Turnpike was still relatively new.) The Sky Wheel, a double ferris wheel, provided a beautiful view of the park and Lake Erie and the city of Sandusky.

A colorful map on the brochure states that "All roads point to Cedar Point!"

Several generations of my family have enjoyed summer visits to Cedar Point, from my Great Grandpa Leroy Parker, down to my grandsons!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Evalina Witt, 1869-1879

Evalina Witt was born in 1869 in Westfield, New York, to Rev. Charles Lewis Witt and his wife Mary Witt. The 1870 U.S. Census for Chautauqua, New York, lists a Lewis Witt, Clergyman, age 22, born in Prussia. His wife was named Mary, and she was age 26. Their four children were; John, age 7; Frank, age 5; Lewis, age 4; and Evalina, age 1. A brief death record, accessed at Family Search, for Evalina Witt stated that she died on April 3, 1879 in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio. She was buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. By the time of the 1880 U.S. Census, Rev. Charles L. Witt, his wife Mary, and their five children were residing in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It appears that Rev. Witt and his family resided in Erie County, Ohio for a very short time.

The inscription on the tombstone of Evalina Witt reads:

Evalina (along the top)

Daughter of
Rev. C.L. and M. Witt
Born at Westfield, N.Y.
Apr. 22, 1869
Died Apr. 3, 1879

Our Loved One has Gone to Rest

Over one hundred thirty years after Evalina's brief life ended, her name is still written in stone in Sandusky, Ohio! May Evalina rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rev. Clement L. Alspach

Clement L. Alspach was born March 31, 1867 to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Alspach in Van Wert, Ohio. He graduated from Heidelberg College in 1890. In 1893, Clement Alspach married Anna Seemuth. Clement L. Alspach became a minister. He served churches in Pittsburgh, Akron, Zanesville, and Kansas before he accepted the pastorate of the First Presbyterian church in Sandusky, during World War One. After he resigned from his ministerial duties, Rev. Alspach worked with the American City Bureau in New York City, setting up Chambers of Commerce in several different states.

Later, Rev. Alspach returned to Sandusky and he was a visiting pastor to various churches, and he also served on the Erie County Jury Commission for many years. In 1921, Mrs. Alspach died, and Rev. Alspach never remarried. He died in May 15, 1959, and was buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. He was survived by a daughter, Mrs. Karl Kugel and a son Clement W. Alspach. An obituary for Rev. C. L. Alspach appeared in the May 16, 1959 issue of the Sandusky Register. An online site from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania features a biography of Rev. Alspach.

Monday, May 21, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Ancestor Tales of Hardship

The prompt for Week 21 of 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, from Amy Coffin at We Tree, and hosted by Geneabloggers, is:

Ancestor Tales of Hardship: In genealogy, there are plenty of clouds in the form of sad stories and hardships faced by our ancestors. These tales should not be forgotten because descendants can learn from them. Share with us a particular ancestor’s hardship story. How did these events impact your life?

Hardships that my mother, Joyce Parker Orshoski (pictured to the left in 1947), went through in the early 1940s were several. It was the Great Depression, and money was scarce. Also, Mom lost her mother Doris when she was only eleven years old, in 1943. Besides those significant events, World War Two was going on, and eventually Mom's dad went off to England to serve with the SeaBees. These series of difficulties in the 1940s affected Mom for the rest of her life, and indirectly affected all of her children as well. Mom was very, very frugal. She would keep towels and undergarments for years, even if they became threadbare. She felt that she should "make do" with what she had, to save the money on hand for something we needed more. We rarely ate out at restaurants when I was young, because it was more economical to have meals at home. When older cousins in the extended family out grew their clothes, Mom welcomed the "hand me downs" to get some more mileage out of those garments. Instead of going to the beauty shop, Mom curled the girls' hair with pin curls. (She later advanced to sponge rollers for little sister Kellie.) And who could forget the home permanents. They really smelled terrible! Mom also felt that family togetherness was very important. Her mother died from cancer, and her father went off to war, so she knew that life was fleeting, and we should make the most of our time together. Though we did not have an abundance of money, we had wonderful times together as a family. We went to the beach, the park, more ball games than I can recall, and we often had "company" on Sundays. Sometimes Dad would do plumbing for a family, and instead of paying Dad, they would have our entire family over for a dinner. Mom and Dad saw to it that all six of their children took part in church and school events, and they attended every concert, play, and sporting event that any of us took part it. My growing up years were so wonderful, even though our fun was "home spun." Mom's loss of her mother, and her lack of financial resources in her youth, caused her to be creative in creating memories. She succeeded so very well! As time went by, the family did get to go on vacations, and Mom traveled in her later years quite often. She eventually was able to indulge in a wide variety of clothes, jewelry, and she contributed significantly to the Kodak company with all the pictures she got developed!

Dad also grew up in the Great Depression, and the way it affected him was to think of others more than himself. My dad, Paul Orshoski, Sr., is pictured to the left with his younger brother Cliff, and his nephew, Luther Gantz, Jr. about 1945, when he was home on leave from the U.S. Navy. Dad was always there to lend an encouraging word, a smile, or to help with whatever task was on hand. He showed us by example how to live the Golden Rule in a practical way. The hardships my parents endured in their early years helped to shape who they were, and they in turn helped form the character of their six children as well. Truly the hardships my parents experienced were a blessing in disguise!

Click here to view a previous blog post that shows the Orshoski family growing throughout the years.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Events This Fall Commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812

Click here for more information about several events taking place on the Marblehead Peninsula on September 22 and 23, 2012 commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Events will include reenactments of the 1812 skirmish on the Peninsula, speakers, a church service, and a memorial service and wreath laying at the Giddings Monument. Events will take place at the Keeper's House and Battlefield Park on the Marblehead Peninsula.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Olaf G. Christie, "Traveler of the Seven Seas"

According to his death certificate, Olaf Gunarius Christie was born in Grimstadt, Norway on October 15, 1864. On September 18, 1919, Olaf G. Christie married Emelie Hommel in Detroit, Michigan. Emelie was the daughter of Michael Hommel, who was had of the M. Hommel Wine Company in Sandusky, Ohio. On Monday, May 16, 1949, Olaf G. Christie died at Sandusky's Good Samaritan Hospital. His obituary, which is found in the 1949 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library, stated that Olaf G. Christie had been a "sailor and traveler of the seven seas." He was said to have served aboard Admiral Dewey's flagship during the Spanish-American War. Olaf G. Christie was survived by his widow, Emily, and a brother and a sister. Funeral services for Olaf G. Christie were held at the Quick Funeral Home, and burial was at Oakland Cemtery.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Visits from Cousins

I have cousins from the east
And cousins from the west,
But the ones who stop to see me,
Are the cousins I like best!

Today I had visits from cousins from two different parts of the U.S.! On the Parker side, distant cousin Mike and his wife Carmen, and their lovely three daughters stopped at the library to see me (and several other friends) at the library. They drove from Texas to Ohio!

Later in the afternoon, cousin Pam, on the Steen side of the family, along with her sister in law, from Pennsylvania, also stopped by the library. (Pam is on the right.) They were getting ready for some exciting cemetery visits, which is easy to do now that the Springtime days are so long!

I like to imagine that Great Grandma Ada Steen Parker and Great Grandpa Leroy J. Parker are both looking down from Heaven, happy that relatives have found their way back to Erie County, Ohio for a visit!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Say it isn't so!

Bill at West in New England announced on his blog that "Who Do You Think You Are?" has been canceled for the 2012-2013 season. I am so disappointed, as I feel that the program was very informative, and certainly piqued interest in genealogy! Read Bill's post to read more about this event, and contact NBC to express your opinion.

Infant Thomas Hartnett

A record search in Family Search Labs indicates that Thomas Hartnett died on May 17, 1926. He was the five day old son of Edward J. Hartnett and Alice White Hartnett, who were both born in Wales. Little Thomas is buried at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, in a section which contains several tombstones of the Larkins family. At this time, we do not know if or how the Hartnett family is connected to the Larkins family, though it seems clear that both families were of the Catholic faith. If anyone knows more about the Hartnett family who lived in Sandusky in 1926, please leave a comment.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Reuben Smith

Reuben Smith was born on May 13, 1820, and died on May 16, 1900. He is buried in Deyo Cemetery. A symbol from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is found on Mr. Smith's grave marker.

An obituary from the May 24, 1900 issue of the Clyde Democrat read:

Reuben Smith, father of Mrs. W. A. Trump of this place, died at Detroit last Thursday, and the remains were brought here and interred in the Deyo cemetery. Mr. Smith was quite well known in Clyde.

It is clear that Reuben Smith, who died over one hundred years ago, is still remembered, as evidenced by the beautiful floral tribute upon his tombstone.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Mom's Thoughts on Our Singing in Her Honor

In December, 1996, four of Joyce Orshoski's six children, along with daughter in law Cindy, sang "I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry" during a Sunday morning church service at the Congregational United Church of Christ on Main Street in Castalia, Ohio. Though not all of us have a beautiful singing voice, Matt and Kellie carried us. Mom really appreciated us singing this song, in honor of her 65th birthday. After Mom's death, I went through a scrapbook that had been made for Mom by Great Grandma Orshoski (my dad's step grandmother on the Orshoski side.) Mom had written a comment to an unidentified publication, in which she stated how very much she appreciated us singing at church. Most of us had never even known she wrote about this! We miss both Mom and Dad so very much. They gave us a lifetime of wonderful memories and they set a great example of how to life to the fullest. Pictured below is Mom with Kellie, the youngest of her six children.

On this Mother's Day, we fondly remember your loving ways, Mom!

Above is the last picture of Mom ever taken on my camera, before her passing on September 8, 2010.(Brother in law Steve snapped this picture on my camera.) A few of us had gathered for breakfast on a beautiful Sunday morning in August, 2010. The next day was to be the last day she ever drove, or ever worked. Even though it has been over a year since her death, it is still very difficult to recall her tough battle with cancer. She was one in a million!

Friday, May 11, 2012

C. Friedrich Werner/Fredrick Werner

The tombstone of C. Friedrich Werner is located in St. John's Cemetery in Oxford Township of Erie County, Ohio, near the intersection of Mason and Thomas Roads. Mr. Werner was born on February 12, 1819, and he died in Huron County, Ohio, on May 6, 1902. The 1880 U.S. Census has a listing for a Fredrick Werner, age 61, who was residing in Lyme Township of Huron County. His occupation was given as weaver. Fredrick Werner stated that he had been born in 1819 in Saxony. A brief obituary for Fredrick Werner appeared in the May 8, 1902 issue of the Sandusky Star. The article reported that Mr. Werner lived as a hermit in Bellevue, and left considerable property to his daughter, who was a resident of Milan, Ohio.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Leonard Hope

Leonard Hope was born in 1856, and died in 1871. He is buried in Strong's Ridge Cemetery, in Huron County, Ohio.
The inscription "Alive in Christ" is found below his name on his grave marker.

So far, the names of the parents of Leonard Hope have not been found. Leonard Hope is listed in the Erie County, Ohio 1870 Census, as a fourteen year old, living with the family of Worthington and Betsy Nims in Groton Township, Erie County, Ohio.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Joseph D'Ambrosio

Joseph D'Ambrosio died on May 4, 1951, at age 47. Joseph was born in Italy on September 1, 1903 to Jacob D'Ambrosio and Marie Timoniare, according to his death certificate, available at Family Search Labs. He had owned and operated a barber shop at 305 West Market Street in Sandusky for many years.

Mr. D'Ambrosio was a member of Saints Peter and Paul Church, the Italian-American Beneficial Club, and the Journeymen Barber's Union, Local 263. He was survived by his widow, Ethel, his mother Marie, three sisters and two brothers. The funeral for Joseph D'Ambrosio was held at Keller Funeral Home, and he was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Sandusky.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Remembrance Booklet from the Funeral of Doris Wheeler Parker

My maternal grandmother, Doris Wheeler Parker, died on May 6, 1943, long before I was born, and when my mom was only eleven years old. Her funeral arrangements were handled by the Andres Funeral Home on Jackson Street in Sandusky.

After my mom was an adult, she filled in portions of the remembrance booklet from my grandmother's funeral.

Since Doris's father was never a part of her life, Mom left the space for his name blank.

Though they were divorced at time of Grandma Doris's death, her former husband, Steen L. Parker came to the funeral and he signed the booklet.

Grandma Doris had a group of friends who worked at Simplex. Those ladies put the word Simplex after their signatures.

Longtime friends Louie and Adeline Moosbrugger came to the calling hours at the funeral home for Grandma Doris.

She left this earth much too soon, but Grandma Doris was deeply loved and remembered.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Family Has Always Loved Reading!

Reading was a part of my life as long as I can remember! Mom says that when I was little, I read Little Golden Books by the hour. We also read magazines like Look and Life, and the Bible. Once my brothers and sisters and I started school, we read lots of books for our book report assignments. My first grade teacher gave me a copy of ANGUS AND THE CAT, which I treasured forever. The Paul Orshoski,Sr. family is pictured above in 1960. (I am holding the book of Christmas carols from which we are pretending to sing.) During the summer months, I would wait outside under the tree waiting for the latest issue of the summer edition of the Weekly Reader to arrive in the mailbox.

Sometimes as a youngster I got to go to the library in Sandusky, where I often participated in the Summer Reading Program. If you read ten books, the Librarians would come to our school during Children's Book Week in the fall, and present a certificate to all who completed the Summer Reading Program of the Sandusky Library. As I got older, I read to my younger siblings. Sometimes when reading Mother Goose rhymes to to my little sister Kellie, I would make up extra verses to "Old Mother Hubbard" just to make her laugh. When Kellie was old enough to read by herself, she would sit in a chair and read MILLIONS OF CATS to our pet cat Patches. The cat loved it!

(Though Kellie read to the cat, she is pictured above with Sam the dog.)

I have worked in libraries for over thirty years, so I have been surrounded by books for a long, long time! My favorite type of book now is biography, but of course I read information from genealogical web sites and Google Books every day. Now that I am a mom and a grandma, I have had the pleasure of reading to my children (now all grown up) and my grandchildren. Reading books is a wonderful way to have fun, learn new things, and spend quality time with loved ones. I am very thankful for books, and to my parents, who always saw to it that we had plenty of reading materials at our house. My brother,Paul Orshoski, Jr., is the author of several children's books. Check out his website!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bernhard and Susan Schweighart

According to the 1900 United States Census for the city of Sandusky in Erie County, Ohio, Bernhard Schweighart (spelled Benhart in the census listing) was born in Germany in 1861, and came to the United States in 1882.(Bernhard's tombstone is inscribed with the birth year of 1862.) He was 38 years of age at this time, and his wife Susan was 46. Living in the household were children: Charles, age 11; Dora, age 9; Edward, age 7; Peter, age 5; and a stepdaughter to Bernhard, a girl named Mertie Comley, age 17. Bernhard's occupation was day laborer. Erie County Probate Records indicate that Bernhard Schweighart married Susan Bruckner on December 27, 1887.

In an emigration document from Germany line number 5 lists a Bernhard Schweikart who was 17 years old when he emigrated in 1881. He was from Münchhof,Germany. The family listed at number 8 was that of Lorenz Yaeger, whose wife's maiden name was Maria Scheikart. Bernhard may have been related to the Yaeger family, whose surname was later spelled Yeager. The spellings of the surnames as well as the ages do not match up perfectly with later census and vital records, but that is not unusual in genealogical research.

Bernhard Schweighart passed away on May 3, 1939, following a cerebral hemorrhage. His interment card from Oakland Cemetery states that he was buried on May 5, 1939. An obituary for Bernhard Schweighart, from the 1939 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK, at the Sandusky Library, stated that Mr. Schweighart had died at the home of his son Ed, in Huron, Ohio. He had been a member of the Maccabees for thirty years. Bernhard Schweighart was buried at Oakland Cemetery, next to his wife, the former Susan Bruckner, who had died in 1932.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bay Bridge Sign

Recently a sign that reads "Bay Bridge" was placed just outside the small unincorporated area, located along the Sandusky Bay, six miles northwest of Sandusky. This location has been home to six generations of my family, going back to my great grandparents, Joseph and Julia Orshoski, who settled here about 1917. Many, many of my male relatives worked at the Medusa Cement factory, from 1917 until it closed in 1960.

When I stopped to snap a picture of the Bay Bridge sign, I could hear several varieties of birds and insects in the woods next to the sign.

Thanks, Great Grandpa Joe, for finding this delightful spot in Erie County, Ohio!