Friday, December 30, 2016

George and Almira Hoyt, Pioneer Settlers of Perkins Township

The names of George and Almira (nee House) Hoyt are seen above in the 1850 U.S. Census for Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio, along with several of their children. An article which appeared in the January 12, 1894 issue of the Sandusky Register reported that George Hoyt and Almira House were married in Erie County, Ohio in 1834, and they had a total of ten children, five girls and five boys: Philo, Charles, James, William and Isaac; Jemima, Celia, Lucretia, Sarah and Phebe. George Hoyt was born in Franklin County, Vermont in 1808, and he moved to Ohio in 1833. He worked for a time on the Erie Canal in New York. In Huron he worked for Tower Jackson. He resided briefly in Sandusky, before finding employment on the farm of William Bush in Perkins Township. Miss Almira House was born in East Glastonbury, Connecticut in April of 1815. When she was quite young, she traveled with her parents, Lazarus and Hannah House, to Perkins Township in Erie County, Ohio, where her family lived on a farm. Two of the sons of George and Almira Hoyt, Phili and Charles, died before the outbreak of the Civil War. Sadly, William and James Hoyt both died of disease while they were in military service during the Civil War.

Mr. George Hoyt endured long hours of continuous labor on the farm. It is said that he once cut four cords of wood in four hours. "He was an early figure in the early history of Yankee Street, and did his full share in directing and shaping the future destiny of the township." George C. Hoyt died on December 31, 1893. He was buried in the old Perkins Cemetery. (No stone remains for either Mr. and Mrs. George Hoyt in the present Perkins Cemetery.)

Mrs. Almira Hoyt delighted in recalling incidents that took place in her family's journey to Ohio from Connecticut, according to her obituary which appeared in the Sandusky Register of August 11, 1897. She joined the Perkins M.E. Church when she was age 15, and was a member of that church for sixty-seven years. When she was widow, she enjoyed that her children lived nearby. Daughters Mrs. Ewing and Mrs. Minkler lived in Berlin Heights, and Mrs. Hill resided in Florence Township. Mrs. Celia Johnson made her home with her mother. Her son Isaac Hoyt remained devoted to his mother as long as she lived. Almira House Hoyt passed away on August 5, 1897. She was laid to rest in the old Perkins Cemetery. During World War Two, the old Perkins Cemetery, along with several farms, was purchased by the U.S. Government for the construction of a munitions factory, for the war effort. Local residents removed the tombstones and caskets of hundreds of their ancestors to the site of the present Perkins Cemetery.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Obed and Dosha Keeney

According to the book, Hale, House, and Related Families by Donald Lines Jacobus, Theodosia “Dosha” Hale was the daughter of Eleazur Hale and his wife the former Rebecca Woodruff. Dosha married Obed Keeney, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, in May of 1823. Page 587 of History of Erie County, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, states that Obed Keeney was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut on August 16, 1800. He and his family settled in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio in 1843. Obed Keeney died on December 28, 1858. Obed and Dosha had a family of seven children, but only two were living in 1889, Elizabeth, born in 1829, and Edwin, born in 1832. Mrs. Dosha Hale Keeney died in 1889.

The final resting place of Obed and Dosha Keeney is Perkins Cemetery, in Erie County, Ohio.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Icsman Monument at St. Mary's Cemetery

Several members of the Icsman family are remembered by this obelisk at St. Mary's Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. The Sandusky Register of August 4, 1873 reported that Benedict Icsman was born on September 15, 1818 in Alsace, near Strasburg. He emigrated to the United States as a youngster, and moved to Sandusky, Ohio in 1840, where he worked for the Moss Brothers Bank. After working on the construction of the railroad bridge across Sandusky Bay, Benedict Icsman purchased a saw mill. His first sawmill was in the Western Liberties portion of Sandusky. Later, he built a new sawmill at the foot of East Washington Street. Mr. Benedict Icsman died on August 1, 1873. His obituary stated that he was honest in his business dealings, and very generous and social in nature. He left behind a large family, many of whom were employed at Icsman sawmill.

One side of the monument bears the name and birth and death dates of Benedict Icsman. When he died, he was aged 54 years, 10 months, and 16 days of age. An inscription below his name and age reads "May he rest in peace."

Benedict Icsman's wife was Mary, nee Schnecke. Mary was bron December 26, 1822, and died April 21, 1890.

Benedict Iscman's son, George W. Icsman, was born on July 1, 1846, and he died June 15, 1889 at the age of 42. He had been employed at the family sawmill.

Barbara Icsman was the wife of George W. Icsman. She was born May 8, 147, and died on December 3, 1923, at the of 76 years, 6 months, and 25 days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

D.R. Keenan, Died in a Rolling Mill Accident

According to his death record on file with Toledo Diocese records, available at FamilySearch, Daniel Keenan died in an accident at a rolling mill in Chicago, Illinois. Father R.A. Sidley officiated at his burial.

Mr. Keenan's remains were returned to Sandusky, Ohio,  for burial at the St. Joseph Cemetery. Mr. Kennan died on December 18, 1889, at the age of 37 years, 4 months and 6 days. Rest in peace, D.R. Keenan.

Monday, December 19, 2016

"The Air Tingles with Christmas" Ad from Sandusky Star Journal in 1916

Above is just a portion of an advertisement from the Herb and Myers store which appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal of December 19, 1916. Some of the items sold in Sandusky at that time were red cedar chests, Donatello art ware, and the Frantz Premier Electric Cleaner, which is said to have been a popular gift for Sandusky area ladies at that time!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

John J. Butler, 1840 - 1906

According to U.S. Census records, John J. Butler was born in Ireland.  In 1880, He was residing in Sandusky, Ohio with his wife Lizzie, and four young children. In the 1904 Sandusky City Directory, John J. Butler's occupation was the assistant clerk of the Sandusky Water Works.  On Sunday, December 16, 1906, John J. Butler went with several other members of the Knights of Columbus to a service at the St. Mary's Church at Clyde, Ohio. Mr. Butler fell to the floor suddenly. A physician was called, but it was too late to save Mr. Butler. He had died of apoplexy. His remains were returned to Sandusky, where he was buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery. John J. Butler had been a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
He was survived by three sons and five daughters. An obituary for John J. Butler appeared in the December 17, 1906 issue of the Sandusky Register.

An inscription at the bottom of the tombstone honoring the memory of John J. Butler reads:

May he rest in peace

A cross adorns the top of his tombstone.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mrs. Carrie Annie Corell, Died in 1870

Mrs. Carrie Annie Corell, wife of William J. Corell, died from typhoid fever early on December 6, 1870. She was not yet 18 years old at the time of her death, which took place the same year that she got married. Mrs. Corell's maiden name was Carrie A. Gamble. An article in the Highland Weekly News of December 22, 1870 stated that Carrie had formerly resided in Highland County, Ohio. She was a member of the M.E. Church, and her deep faith had supported her in her final hours. Immediately before her passing, she recited Psalm 23, and sang hymns. Carrie A. Corell was buried in block 8 of Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Carrie's husband William, re-married, and moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he worked at the Fisher Body Company. A verse is inscribed on Carrie's tombstone, but it is too weathered to read. At the bottom right of her stone is the signature of the monument maker. It too is quite weathered, but I am reasonably certain that it reads P. Hornig.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thomas Dyar, Keeper of the Marblehead Lighthouse, 1861-1865

Thomas Dyar was listed in the 1850 U.S. Census as a farmer, age 54, and birthplace of Connecticut. He resided in Ottawa County, Ohio. From 1861 to 1865, Thomas Dyar was the keeper of the Marblehead Lighthouse.  He died on December 3, 1865, and was buried at Oakland Cemetery. A lovely rendition of the Lighthouse is still visible on his tombstone.  The Marblehead Lighthouse is one of my favorite places in Ohio, so I was delighted to find this tombstone of someone who was associated with the lighthouse so long ago.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

When Grandpa Roy Wrote an Essay about an Ear of Corn

Recently, while I was looking through the "Schools" collection at the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center, I came across the title of an essay written by my great grandfather, Roy Parker (also known as Leroy Parker)  in  1895. The essay was for the Sophomore Literary Class of Sandusky High School. It was entitled "What an Ear of Corn Told Me about Itself." 

Grandpa Roy was born and raised on a farm in Perkins Township, so he was definitely well acquainted with vegetable crops. How I would love to have heard his essay!! 

If your local library has an archives, check it out - -you may find information about your ancestors there! I have a difficult time imagining Grandpa Roy as a high school sophomore, since he died when I was quite young. Here is a picture of my great grandparents from the 1950s.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jessie Lea and Lea Brittingham, Cousins Who Both Died Young

In Block 20 of Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio, is a tombstone which honors the memory of two young people who died quite young. They were first cousins, their mothers having been sisters. Jessie Lea died at the age of 21, of rheumatism, in June of 1896. She was the daughter of  local jeweler Lewis M. Lea, and his wife, the former Hattie Cady.

Sadly in 1902, Jessie's cousin, Lea Brittingham, died of tuberculosis. Lea Brittingham was  the son of J.G. Brittingham and Anna May Cady Brittingham (later became Mrs. Wilbur G. Myers. ) Lea Brittingham died  in Massachusetts in July of 1902.  His remains were brought back to Sandusky, Ohio for burial in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Lea Brittingham had been born in Sandusky in 1883. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Marriage Record of Great Grandpa Joseph Orshoski's Parents from Hungary

Several years ago, I obtained the marriage record of the parents of my great grandfather, Joseph Orshoski. His parents were:

Josef Orsoczky, son of Michaly and Teresa Orsoczky


Maria Hublyak

Josef was age 25, and Maria was age 18 at the time of their marriage on November 24, 1884. Their religion was listed as Roman Catholic. The marriage took place in Felsővadász, a village in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary.

Josef Orsoczky, the father, actually came with his son Josef/Joseph to the U.S. in the very early 20th century. Family lore says that the elder Josef did not like America, and he returned to his homeland of Hungary. How I would love to know what Josef and Maria Orsoczky looked like!!

Thank you Archives of Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen County for this important vital record!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fanny Griswold Lane

Fanny Griswold Lane was born in Sandusky on June 21, 1850, to Dr. Ebenezer Shaw Lane and Pallas Elizabeth Anderson Lane. Dr. Lane was the son of Judge Ebenezer Lane, and Pallas Lane. Pallas Lane was the only daughter of early Sandusky physician Dr. George Anderson. Fanny's middle name, Griswold, was the maiden name of her grandmother, Frances Ann Griswold Lane.

Fanny moved with her family to Chicago. The 1880 U.S. Census, available at FamilySearch, listed the Ebenezer Lane family as residing in Chicago, Illinois. Fanny was 29, and her father listed his occupation as retired physician. Fanny's brother, also named Ebenezer, was 32, and her sister Mary was 25. The ages of Fanny's parents, Ebenezer and Pallas were 60 and 55, respectively. After the death of Dr. Ebenezer Lane, Fanny and her brother, the third Ebenezer Lane, donated the Lane book collection to the University of Chicago. The Lane book collection had been started by Judge Ebenezer Lane, and was passed down to Dr. Ebenezer Shaw Lane.

You can read more about the Lane family history in the three volume book entitled LANE GENEALOGIES, by Jacob Chapman and James Hill Fitch, published between 1891 and 1902 by the Newsletter Press in Exeter, New Hampshire. Volume 2, which contains details about Judge Ebenezer Lane and his descendants, is accessible at the Internet Archive. Miss Fanny Griswold Lane passed away in Chicago on November 23, 1938, and she was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mrs. Bessie Zipfel

Mrs. Bessie B. Zipfel, the wife of Alfred Zipfel, died on November 17, 1899, only six weeks after she married Alfred Daniel Zipfel. Bessie was a victim of typhoid fever. Below is the marriage record of Bessie Jackson and Alfred Zipfel, from Erie County Probate Court records, scanned at

The Sandusky Star carried this obituary of Mrs. Bessie Zipfel in its November 18, 1899 issue.

Bessie was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery. May she rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Henry J. and Helene Smith

The lovely tombstone honoring the memory of Henry J. and Helene Smith is found at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.  According to the 1870 U.S. Census, both Henry and Helene were natives of Hesse, Germany. At that time, Henry, age 46,  and Helene, age 35,  lived in Sandusky, Ohio, where Henry worked as a drayman. Also residing at the Smith household were: John, age 19; George, age 15; Fred, age 10; A., age 7; and Mary, age 4. By 1880, Henry J. Smith had died, and Helene Smith was a widow. Her name was listed as Halana Schmidt in the 1880 Census. In 1880, it appears that John had moved out, and the children still at home were: George, Fred, Adam, and Mary. In 1900, Helene Smith was living with her daughter, who was now married, Mary Smith Schlup. Census records in 1910 show Helene residing with her son Adam Smith; and by 1920, Helene was living with her son George Smith. On May 23, 1922, Mrs. Helene Smith passed away as a result of apoplexy.  The son of Henry and Helene Smith, Fred H. Smith, owned a marble works business in Norwalk, Ohio for many years.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Jacob Engels, Native of Prussia

According to the book Sandusky then and Now, Jacob Engels was born in 1799 in Solingen, Prussia. He settled in Sandusky, Ohio about 1848, where he died on November 5, 1875. Jacob Engels was the founder of Engels & Krudwig, which was run by his nephew (and family) after his death. Jacob Engels was buried at Oakland Cemetery. Read Sandusky then and Now to learn more about Sandusky's earliest settlers of German descent.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Oakland Cemetery in the Fall

Rest Gently, Maria Theresia Grathwol

According to her baptism record, Maria Theresia Grathwol was born in Bremgarten, Freiburg, Baden on May 14, 1871 to Ulrich Grathwol and Gertrud Schaeuble. (Her tombstone birth year reads 1877.) She was of the Catholic faith. By 1898, the Grathwol family had emigrated to the U.S., and were residing in Sandusky, Ohio. Sadly, Maria Theresia Grathwol died from peritonitis on November 2, 1898. She was buried in the family lot at the St. Mary's Cemetery. Maria's death record was recorded in the St. Mary's Catholic Church Records, available at the Toledo Diocese collection of records at

An inscription at the base of Maria's tombstone reads Ruhe sanft, which translates from the German language to the English language as "Rest gently."

Monday, October 31, 2016

Great Grandpa Roy Parker on a Horse

Recently I was able to view and scan a picture of my great grandfather Leroy Joshua Parker ( often known as Roy) on a horse! This picture was taken by the Platt studio in Sandusky, Ohio. Though Grandpa Roy resided in Perkins Township, Ohio, I am reasonably sure that this picture was taken in downtown Sandusky, not far from the photographer's studio. Grandpa Roy was born on May 30, 1880. I am guessing he is about 9 years old, which would date this picture about 1889.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Poetry Book by Rev .J.A. Griffith

This delightful book of poetry, entitled Garlands Gathered from God's Garden, written by Rev. J.A. Griffith, was recently given to me by a dear cousin. Rev. Griffith was the minister who confirmed my mother and maternal grandmother; he married my parents; and he baptized several of the children of Paul and Joyce Orshoski, including myself! He served as the minister of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sandusky, Ohio, for many years.

I was very young when I met Rev. Griffith. My parents called him out of retirement, to christen my younger brother Todd. He held my hand gently, and said to me, "You are almost  as lovely as your mother." At that time he had white hair, and to me he seemed like an angel. The poem below was read at the wedding of my dad's cousin Janet, when she married Richard.

This poem was written to remind us that you can see the Lord's handiwork throughout the earth.

This small poem is entitled "I Would be Sorry."

Truly I would be sorry if I had never met Rev. J.A. Griffith. He was a positive influence on so many members of my family, and he was a well respected leader in our community. The final resting place of Rev. J.A. Griffith and his wife Golda is the Oakland Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mrs. Eliza Sydnor Barker, Died From a Mistaken Dose of Strychnine

Eliza Sydnor was the spouse of Zenas Ward Barker, the former Mayor of Sandusky. Sadly, on the evening of October 27, 1849, she thought she was taking morphine, but in reality it was strychnine, due to a mistake at the druggist. Mrs. Eliza Sydnor Barker died in Sandusky, and she was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery in the Barker family lot on the North Ridge. Though her tombstone death year reads 1851, her obituary in the Sandusky Clarion indicates she did indeed die in October of 1849. Rest in peace Eliza!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Parents and Students of Venice Elementary, Circa 1940

This is a photocopy of an old picture of some of the students of Venice Elementary School and their parents, taken in the late 1930s or early 1940s. I do not have the original, and I cannot recall if this was a picture my mom had, or my neighbor Mary. In the top of the picture are all adults, and dressed very nicely. In the bottom of the picture are several students in the cafeteria, which was in the basement level of the old Venice School, then a part of Margaretta Local Schools. I only know a few of the names of the people in this old picture. To the best of my knowledge, the lady with dark hair is Mrs. Martin, who lived in Venice. Next to her is Mrs. Krafty, who used to be my Girl Scout leader.

On the close up view below, Mrs. Karl Sessler is at the bottom right. Immediately behind here is my paternal grandmother, Emma Orshoski. At the far right of the picture, I am reasonably sure that this lady is Rosie Mavros. Emma Orshoski and Rosie Mavros both resided in Bay View at that time.

Below, you can see the Martin twins, two young ladies with long dark hair, at the right side of the picture. In the back left is Mrs. Krafty, who appears to be working in the school cafeteria.

I am so sorry that this picture is of such poor quality. If anyone from the Venice or Bay View or Bay Bridge area can identify any of these folks, please leave a message! Thanks!


In an old article from the Sandusky Register Star News of Feb.4, 1947, all the individuals have been identified! Sorry the print is so small! I see that the lady whom I thought was Mrs. Krafty is actually Miss Dorothy Wahl!