Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Where are you, Gregory Larkins?

Gregory Larkins is my third great-granduncle, the youngest child in the Daniel Larkins household in the 1850 Census for Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio. Gregory was born about 1846. (I descend from the line of Gregory's older brother Patrick Larkins.)

By the time of the 1860 Census, Gregory is listed as age 14, still living with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Larkins, residing on the family farm in Perkins Township.

By 1870, Gregory is listed as age 22, and still residing on the Larkins farm in Perkins Township.

By 1880, I no longer find Gregory Larkins living with his parents, who are both still alive and residing in Perkins Township. There is another Gregory Larkins in Erie County, but he is not the right age as my Gregory, and his birthplace was Ireland. (My Gregory Larkins was born in Ohio.) I re-read the obituary of Daniel Larkins, the father of Gregory. When Daniel Larkins died in Bellevue, Ohio on May 25, 1893, the only surviving children of Daniel were two daughters, Mrs. Thomas McClain and Mrs. Patrick Kelly.

Sometime between 1870 and 1893, Gregory Larkins just disappears. I seem to always have more questions than answers!! Daniel and Johannah Larkins, the parents of Gregory, are buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio, along with several other members of the extended Larkins family. If anyone knows the final resting place of Gregory, please contact me!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Getting Starting with Pinterest

Recently I started to learn a bit about Pinterest, an online pinboard or bulletin board. When I figured out that you could easily create your own topics of interest on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try! (I am still very much a beginner!) Here is a screenshot of some of my Pinterest boards.

Several of my Pinterest boards feature family pictures. Here is the Orshoski board:

Here is the Paul family board:

This is just the beginning of a new adventure. I encourage you to make some Pinterest boards, if you haven't already. Click here to view the help page at Pinterest.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Grandma Emma's Birth Record at FamilySearch

Following up on a tip from Shelley at A Sense of Family, I learned that Family Search had recently added more Ohio birth records. I decided to try to find someone from my family in the Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003 collection. I searched by the parents' names; father: Andrew Yeager and mother's maiden name: Piehl. The search turned up with a birth record for Emma Yeager, born in Milan Township, Erie County, on May 10, 1906, to Helena Piehl and Andrew Yeager. The record is the very last listing at the bottom of the ledge page pictured above. While finding Grandma Emma's birth record did not provide any new information to me, I was delighted to see all the birth records written by hand in the ledger. The listing also showed me the names of other infants born in Milan Township, Erie County, Ohio, in the years 1906-1907.

Thanks Shelley for pointing out the additions to Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003 on Family Search! In this exciting Information Age, new data is being added to genealogical databases constantly, and it is terrific to have fellow bloggers giving us tips along the way!

Pictured below is Emma Yeager (later to be Mrs. Steve Orshoski) with her parents, my great grandparents, Andrew & Lena Yeager, and several of her siblings, about 1918. Emma is the first person in the back row.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Elmer Sleeps

According to records in the book ERIE COUNTY, OHIO CEMETERY CENSUS BEFORE 1909, Elmer E. Center died on January 26, 1865. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Center, and he was aged 3 years, 5 months, and 6 days at the time of his death. A beautiful dove is found on the tombstone of Elmer E. Center, under which are the words:


A four line inscription is found at the base of the tombstone for young Elmer. I could only read a few words in the second, third, and fourth row of words. The words I could decipher are:

.....pass at the pearly gates
....with weary aching heart
....where our darling waits

This beautiful monument which honors the memory of a beloved little boy is such a fitting tribute. Elmer E. Center is buried in Block 58 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, near several other members of the Center family.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Search the Morgan Index of Ohio People, Businesses and Institutions, 1796-1850

The Morgan Index of Ohio People, Businesses and Institutions, 1796-1850 is an index of names of Ohioans whose names appeared in books, pamphlets, and historical directories between the years of 1796-1850. The index is part of a collection now hosted by the American Antiquarian Society. Contact the American Antiquarian Society if you have questions about the Morgan Index.

Click here to do a search in the Morgan Index of Ohio People, Businesses and Institutions, 1796-1850.

When I enter the keywords Sandusky and Lott, the search retrieves the names of four members of the Lott family who died during Sandusky’s cholera epidemic in 1849.

A search with the keywords of Sandusky, Oberlin, and ladies retrieves the names of several young women who were students at Oberlin College in the 1840s and 1850s.

We learn that Pitt Cooke was a student at Kenyon College in Gambier in 1834, by entering the words Pitt and Cooke and Sandusky into the search box. Pitt Cooke was the brother of Civil War financier, Jay Cooke.

President Rutherford B. Hayes was a student at Kenyon College in 1841. To learn those details, I entered the keywords Rutherford and Birchard into the search box.

While I did not find any of my ancestors listed in the Morgan Index of Ohio People, Businesses and Institutions, 1796-1850, I was amazed to learn so many details about people who lived in my home state at such an early time in history. I encourage you to explore the Morgan index if you have ancestors from Ohio.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Moving Stone from Sandusky to Cleveland in the 1870s

A blogger from Catholic Architecture and History of Toledo, Ohio shared this fascinating account of how limestone was quarried in Sandusky and transported to Cleveland during the construction of St. Patrick's Church in Cleveland. Click here to read more.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Old Sign on a Decatur Street Building

This week, I was driving down Decatur Street in Sandusky on a cold, but sunny day. This old sign on the side of a building at the corner of Decatur Street and Central Avenue, opposite St. Mary's Catholic Church, really caught my eye! The top of the sign is an old advertisement for the Meek & Szendery Drugstore. The drugstore, operated by Jay Meek and Louis E. Szendery from 1916 until 1921, was located at the corner of Decatur Street and Central Avenue. An article from the June 30, 1921 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Jay Meek was going to be the sole proprietor of the drugstore he formerly ran with business partner Louis E. Szendery.

The bottom of the sign features the name of Martin's. In the early part of the 1900s, Fred A. Martin ran a confectionery and tea room. Mr. Martin was married to the identical twin sister of my great grandmother Ada Steen Parker.  Many of my ancestors either worked for Mr. Martin or patronized his business quite often. Martin's was a delightful place to visit, and it was often Martin's who did the catering for the big dinners following a funeral. It was delightful to see this old sign from so many years ago in Sandusky, Ohio.!

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Little Ola

An article in the January 20, 1892 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that Ola Frank, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Frank died on January 19 at the family home at the corner of Jefferson and Street and Huron Avenue. Ola Frank was only 13 months and 14 days old. Little Ola was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Benefits of Becoming a Member of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center

By becoming a member of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, I have a year's  free entry to the Museum and the historic home of President Rutherford B. Hayes in Fremont, Ohio on the beautiful grounds of Spiegel Grove. (The Library at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center is always free to the public.)  Also included in any membership at the $45.00 level or higher, are at-home access to the databases of  Heritage Quest and Newspaper Archives. In the past year, as a result of my membership to the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center, I was able to tour the historic Hayes home with two close friends, and accompany my hubby and grandsons to the popular train exhibit in December.

 Also, I was able to engage in countless hours of genealogical research on my home computer via Heritage Quest and Newspaper Archives. I seriously do not wish to sound like I am posting a  commercial for the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential is just that I have reaped so many genealogical benefits as a result of becoming a Member, that I wanted to pass along the good news. It is a great value, and I have to say that though I have been to the Hayes Center many, many times, my heart still skips a beat when we approach those gates which once graced the White House!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Elsie Laura Kenney

Miss Elsie Laura Kenney was born in 1866 to Mr. and Mrs. Osburn V. Kenney. In the 1860 U.S. Census, Mr. Osborn V. Kenney, age 33, was employed as a grocer in Sandusky, Ohio. He stated that he had been born in Connecticut. His wife was Elizabeth, age 24, was a native of Canada. By 1870, Mr. Kenney had died, leaving Elizabeth a widow with two young daughters, Mattie age 5 and Elsie, age 3. Mrs. Kenney passed away in 1888, when Elsie was 21 years old. According to the 1910 and 1920 Census, Elsie Laura Kenney had moved to Columbus, where she worked as a school teacher for the Ohio State School for the Deaf. By 1930, Elsie had moved to Detroit, Michigan, where her sister’s family also lived. An article which appeared in the January 14, 1943 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, reported that Miss Elsie Laura Kenney had passed away in Detroit on January 12, 1943. Her remains were brought back to Ohio by the New York Central Railroad, accompanied by her nephew, Lester Mancourt, the son of Mattie Kenney Mancourt. Rev. Evans of Calvary Episcopal Church officiated at funeral services for Miss Kenney, and burial was at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Elsie Laura Kenney never married, and she lost her father when she was quite young. She made her way in this world as a single woman, something which was not the norm for the times in which she lived. I'm glad that I came upon Elsie's tombstone, and learned what a dynamic individual she was!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Illuminating Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Nancy at My Ancestors and Me who awarded the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay with an "Illuminating Blogger Award." This award originated from the Food Stories blog.  One of the requirements of receiving this award is to state a random fact about myself. Well, I actually have always loved helping my kids and grandkids with their school and college homework.

I would like to award the Illuminating Blogger Award to these blogs, which I always find so informative:

If you are nominated then you have been awarded the Illuminating Blogger Award. Just follow the steps below.
  1. The nominee should visit the award site ( and leave a comment indicating that she have been nominated and by whom.(This step is so important because it’s the only way that we can create a blogroll of award winners).
  2. The Nominee should thank the person who nominated him by posting & including a link to their blog.
  3. The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site ( in her blog post.
  4. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
  5. Select other bloggers that you enjoy reading their illuminating, informative posts and nominate them for the award.
  6. Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (
I encourage you to stop by and visit these terrific blogs! Thanks!

Molitor Monument at Oakland Cemetery

This image of Caspar/Casper Molitor appears opposite page 486 in the book PIONEER RECOLLECTIONS OF THE EARLY 30s AND 40s IN SANDUSKY COUNTY, OHIO. According to the biographical sketch of Caspar Molitor in this publication, he was born in Rhenish, Prussia, Germany in 1828 to Joseph and Katrina Molitor. Caspar Molitor grew up in his homeland of Germany. Because of unrest in his native land, he moved to France in 1849. He emigrated to the United States in 1851, and he moved around, living for a time in Wisconsin, and then in Cincinnati and Springfield, Ohio. After returning to Germany from 1869 to 1871, Caspar Molitor moved back to Ohio, and he settled in Sandusky from 1873 to 1877. In 1877, Caspar Molitor moved to Ottawa County, where he purchased land and erected a winery. In the 1890s, Mr. Molitor's winery was one of the largest in Ottawa County. 

The first wife of Caspar Molitor was Katrina/Katharina, who was the widow of Edward Hemish. The first Mrs. Molitor passed away in 1877. In 1881, Caspar Molitor took a second wife, Josephine. They had five children, three of whom survived until 1900, Bertha born in 1884, Theresa, born in 1885, and Marguiretta, born in 1889.  Caspar Molitor died on January 6, 1906. Though he had a successful winery in Ottawa County, Ohio, he was buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Molitor's name appears on the side of the monument which faces to the east.

The name of the first wife of Caspar, Mrs. Katharina Molitor (1828-1877) appears on the monument along with the name of another member of the extended Molitor family, Amelia Molitor (1845-1880.)

One of the daughters of Caspar Molitor was Bertha M. Molitor, who lived until 1957. Her name appears on the monument along with the name of Magdalena Molitor, who may have been a child of Caspar's that died in infancy.

Mrs. Josephine Molitor, the second wife of Caspar Molitor, was born in 1860, and she passed away in 1927.

 The Molitor monument features exquisite carved flowers and a draped cloth with tassels.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

George Croghan, Commander at Fort Stephenson

George Croghan was born in Kentucky on November 15, 1791. He attended the College of William and Mary, and joined the U.S. Army in 1811. Croghan took part in the Battle of Tippecanoe and the siege of Fort Meigs. George Croghan became commander at Fort Stephenson, located on the Sandusky River in the city now known as Fremont, Ohio. Though General William Henry Harrison ordered Croghan to abandon Fort Stephenson, Croghan stayed at the fort. He and his men were successful when British forces attacked Fort Stephenson on August 2, 1813.

When  “Old Betsy” was fired during the attack on Fort Stephenson, over one hundred British soldiers were killed.

After the War of 1812, Croghan remained in military service. In 1824 he became postmaster of the City of New Orleans, and in 1825 Croghan was named Inspector General of the U.S. Army. George Croghan died of cholera in New Orleans on January 8, 1849. He was originally buried near Louisville, Kentucky, but in 1906, his remains were removed to the site of Fort Stephenson in Fremont, Ohio.

 You can learn more about George Croghan at Ohio History Central and the Sandusky County Scrapbook.

(Note: Image of George Croghan courtesy Wikipedia.)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

SNGF: Where Were They 100 Years ago?

Randy at Genea-Musings has issued this challenge for January 5, 2013's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1913 - 100 years ago.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

My great grandparents were all living in the United States in January of 1913.

My great grandparents, Leroy and Ada (Steen) Parker were living on a farm in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio in January, 1913. Their children at that time were: Glenn, almost 8; my grandfather Steen, almost 5; and Paul, who was two years old. Below is a picture of the Parker farmhouse, which no longer exists. (In the Spring of 1941, several Perkins Township farms were purchased by the United States Government, in order to make way for a munitions factory needed for World War Two.)

My great grandma, Irene Larkins Wheeler Risko, was married several times, and she had divorced her first husband by 1913. My best guess is that in January of 1913, she was back at home with her father, Thomas F. Larkins, and his wife Emma, Irene's stepmother. Irene's little daughter, my maternal grandmother, Doris would have been two and a half years old at this time. The Larkins extended family lived at 1315 Adams Street in Sandusky, but soon they would move to 1309 Shelby Street. I do not have a picture of either of these homes.

My great grandparents, Hungarian immigrants, Joseph and Julia Orshoski were living in Dorchester, Virginia in January, 1913, where Grandpa Joe worked in the coal mines. As this residence was in a different state than their home in 1900 and 1920, I do not have a census record to check for a possible address. In January 1913, Grandpa Joe and Grandma Julia had five little boys, ranging in age from 2 to 8. Their oldest son was my paternal grandfather, Steve Orshoski.

My great grandparents, Andrew and Lena Yeager, lived in Oxford Township, Erie County, in January 1913. Grandpa Yeager worked as a farmer. The Yeager children at that time included Fred, age 8; my paternal grandmother, Emma, age 7; Andrew, age 5; and an infant girl who died very young. I do not have a picture of their home. Grandpa Yeager was born in Germany, and both of Grandma Yeager's parents were born in Germany.

I have a rich background, filled with ancestors, some who lived in the United States for many generations, and several who were relatively recent immigrants to the U.S. It was really interesting to me to hear my Hungarian great grandparents speak with a foreign accent, and to eat the rich, hearty food made by my Grandma Emma, and my Great Grandma Ada, Great Grandma Yeager, and Great Grandma Orshoski.Thinking about where my ancestors were one hundred years age has  helped me to realize how those who have gone before me truly exemplify the proverbial "melting pot."

Gustave and Adeline Wolff

According to his death record, Gustave Wolff was born to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wolff in Netsbruck, Germany. He stated in U.S. Census records that he had arrived in the United States in 1881. Gustave Wolff married Adeline Henrietta Radde about 1869. There were several children residing in the Wolff household on Stone Street in Sandusky, Ohio in the 1900 Census: Frederick, age 18, born in Germany; Hubert, age 17, born in Germany; Alma, age 14, born in Ohio; and Gustave, age 13, born in Ohio. Mr. Gustave Wolff passed away on January 5, 1923. An obituary for Mr. Wolff, which appeared in the January 5, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal, stated that he had been a brick layer for George Feick & Sons for thirty five years. Funeral services for Gustave Wolff were held at the Wolff residence on Stone Street on January 8, with the Rev. Theo. Stellhorn officiating. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery. Mr. Wolff was survived by his widow Adeline, three sons, and daughter, and several other close relatives. Mrs. Adeline Wolff died on November 10, 1924, and she was buried beside her husband at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

George F. and Emma House Supner

According to records available at Family Search Labs, George F. Supner and Emma House were married on September 17, 1869 in Sandusky, Ohio. George was the son of David and Eliza Supner, and Emma was the daughter of Norris and Angeline Carpender/Carpenter House. In the 1880 U.S. Census, George and Emma Supner were living in Clyde, Ohio, with their three daughters, Grace, Maud, and Mabel. George stated this his occupation was "bracket manufacturer," though later records indicate that George Supner was in the furniture and undertaking business.

The Civil War Soldiers Database, from the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center features a photograph of George F. Supner. On March 3, 1865, George F. Supner enlisted as a private in Company C on the 196th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was later promoted to 1st Sergeant.

George F. Supner passed away on February 11, 1916. Mrs. Emma Supner died on August 13, 1922. Mr. and Mrs. Supner are buried at McPherson Cemetery in Clyde, Ohio. Mrs. Supner was the the granddaughter of Julius House, whose family came from Glastonbury, Connecticut to Erie County, Ohio in 1815 by oxen train. You can read about the travels of the families of Julius House and his twin sister, Julia House Taylor, in the June 1865 issue of the Firelands Pioneer, which is available at most larger libraries in northern Ohio.

In 1892, author Sherwood Anderson wrote a letter to Miss Mabel Supner, the daughter of George F. and Emma Supner. The letter is now a part of the Thaddeus B. Hurd Collection at the R.B. Hayes Presidential Center.