Monday, May 30, 2016

Sgt. John J. Morine, 1916-1945

Sgt. John J. Morine served his country in military service during World War Two. He survived the Bataan Death March, but died in a prison in Formosa on January 14, 1945. His remains were returned to the United States, for burial at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. A picture of John is found on his tombstone. He truly gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Family History in an Adobe Spark Video

After watching a terrific tutorial by Amy Johnson Crow, I decided to try to make a family video about my mom and dad, Paul and Joyce Orshoski. At first I had some technical difficulties, but at last I got the video created!

Click on this link to view the "Show and Tell" Adobe Spark Video. It is so easy to use! Thanks Amy for all your assistance and the wonderful tutorial!

Ada and Alpha Steen Graduated from High School in Berlin Township

Recently I ran into an article that helped me understand why I never found the name of Ada Steen, my great grandmother, in the listing of alumni from Sandusky High School. It turns out that Ada Steen and her twin sister Alpha Steen (later Mrs. Fred Martin) graduated from high school in Berlin Heights in May of 1897. A brief paragraph which appeared in the "Perkins" column of the Sandusky Register of May 18, 1897 read:

Perkins was well represented at the Berlin commencement on last Friday's evening by Miss Alpha Steen, president and prophet, and Miss Ada Steen, secretary of the class. Also at the exercises by Merrill House, Edith Storrs, Roy Parker,  Cora Akins, Elon House, Laura Deeley and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Steen.

Roy Parker would later become the husband of Ada Steen. Pictured above are Charles Steen family in the late 1890s or early 1900s. Ada and Alpha are standing, and their younger brother Rollin is standing between Sarah and Charles Steen. My grandfather, Steen Parker, the son of Ada (Steen) and Roy Parker was a graduate of Sandusky High School in 1927, so I thought that his mother Ada had also been a graduate of Sandusky High School. Charles Steen, the father of the twins, had lived in the Berlin Township area when he was young, and he still had relatives in that township in 1897. Evidently he and his wife must have thought that Berlin Township had an excellent school system! Today Berlin Township and Milan area students all attend school at the Edison Local School District.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Getting Started in Your Family History: A Very Brief Tutorial with the Help of

Here is a Getting Started in Family History very brief tutorial, made with

Click here.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Neighbor and Friend Mary's Name in the National Archives!

My dear neighbor, Mary Doza Lakner, was such a good friend to me. We spent many hours talking on her porch in Bay Bridge, Ohio, before her death in 2005. Mary knew six generations of my family, because so many people who lived in the Bay Bridge/Bay View area had been employed at the former Medusa Cement factory. We each had family members who worked at Medusa, and Mary seemed to know an interesting story about each and every one of them! Mary told me that at one time she ran the neighborhood store in Bay Bridge, which also served as a tavern, and for a time a Post Office. I was delighted to find Mary's name in a listing from the National Archives and Records Administration's listings of Postmaster Appointments at Ancestry Library Edition. It turns out that Mary Lakner was the Postmaster of Bay Bridge, Ohio from 1958, until it closed in 1963. U.S. Mail formerly delivered to Bay Bridge was sent to Sandusky, Ohio after June 21, 1963.

Monday, May 16, 2016

John and Christina Heid

John Heid was born in Germany in 1825. He came to the U.S. in 1851, and settled in Sandusky. According to the book SANDUSKY THEN AND NOW, John Heid married Christine Will in 1853. During the Civil War, John Heid served in two different units. He was in Company C of the Ohio 25th Infantry, as well as Company F of the 107th Ohio Infantry.  John Heid died on May 16, 1897, after having been stricken with apoplexy.  He had been a member of the McMeens Post, G.A.R. and the Ogontz Lodge of the I.O.O.F. John Heid was buried at Sandusky’s Oakland Cemetery.  Mrs. Christine Heid lived until 1918. She passed away at the family home on Shelby Street on April 17, 1918. She had been a member of the Emmanuel Church, and its Ladies Aid Society. The names of John and Christine Heid appear on individual monuments, as well on a larger monument which honors several members of the extended family, including the surnames Sprau and Scheufler.

On the tall monument is this inscription, under the names of John and Christina Will Heid:

Death is eternal life Why should we weep

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cousin Lee's Send Off

My second cousin Leroy Baumeister passed away on May 4, 2016. He always used to tell the best family stories! He is survived by a host of family members and close friends who will miss him very much. His obituary is located at Firelands Obits.   At the conclusion of Lee's funeral service, held at Groff Funeral Home, four musicians from the Toledo Symphony played "When the Saints Go Marching In." It was a glorious to send Lee off!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Elizabeth "Betsy" Blanchard Norris

Mrs. Elizabeth "Betsy" Blanchard Norris was the spouse of Nicholas G. Norris. They were married in New Hampshire in 1822 or 1823. (Sources vary.) About 1850 Mr. and Mrs. Norris moved to Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio, where Nicholas was a manufacturer and dealer in shoes. Nicholas G. Norris died in 1855. Mrs. Elizabeth Norris died on May 10, 1876. On May 13, 1876, she was buried next to her husband at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Another One of Mom's Final Wishes

Even after Mom learned that her cancer had come back, she continued to work at her job at the Information Desk at the local hospital. This is a picture of my Mom and I during Easter weekend of 2010, while she was at work.  When it was clear that Mom was losing her battle with pancreatic cancer, one of the last things she said to us was "Take care of Matt." My brother Matt has Multiple Sclerosis, and Mom worried so very much about him! Today, several of our family members and friends attended "Walk MS" in Sandusky, Ohio, to raise awareness of MS, and to raise funds for the MS Society. I cannot help but feel that this Mother's Day weekend, Mom's children and grandchildren are doing their best to fulfill her wish. Miss you Mom! And Matt, you are truly my hero!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

John F. McCrystal

John Francis McCrystal was born to Patrick and Bridget McCrystal at Kelleys Island on June 22, 1863. He moved with his family to Sandusky when he was just one year of age. He was elected to the City Council in 1884. At the age of 21, he was the youngest person who ever served the city council of Sandusky up to that time. In 1886, John F. McCrystal was appointed Deputy Clerk of Courts for Erie County. He studied law, and was admitted to the Bar in 1889. In 1891, he was elected City Solicitor.

After retiring from the position of City Solicitor Mr. McCrystal continued in the practice of law. He enjoyed a large practice ans was well known throughout the norther Ohio region. John F. McCrystal died on July 13, 1939 after a brief illness. He is buried in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio. Mr. McCrystal was survived by his widow, three brothers, and three sons. A lengthy obituary for John F. McCrystal is found in the 1939 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at the Sandusky Library. A tribute read in part: "Hard work brought success to Mr. McCrystal and his is a fine example of what work and effort will do."

The tombstone which honors the memory of John Francis McCrystal is an ornate cross. Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

John C. Linker Died Tragically in a Railroad Accident

John C. Linker was born in Germany, and came to the United States as a young child. After working on the building of the Panama Railroad in the 1850s, he came back to Sandusky, Ohio, and worked for several years as a policeman. Eventually he became a prosperous farmer in Perkins Township. Sadly, he outlived two wives and several of his children. Mr. Linker died in an accident involving the railroad. The following obituary appeared in the May 4, 1888 issue of the Sandusky Register:

A Sad and Terrible Death

Last Friday morning  Mr. John Linker, a prominent citizen of East Perkins, started to walk to Sandusky city. The Morning being warm and sultry it seems that he went cross-lots to the Lake Shore junction to catch a ride, and boarded a train of cars that were being shifted, and upon a sudden start off the train threw Mr. Linker to the ground and almost instantly killed him. The remains of the unfortunate man were taken to Krupp & Son's undertaking establishment, where Coroner Szendery held an inquest, after which they were brought her to his place of residence. The obsequies took place from the house on Sunday, April 29th, at 2 o'clock p.m., and the remains were taken to Oakland Cemetery and interred on the family lot. Mr. John Linker was born Jan. 1, 1830, in Hessen, Germany, and emigrated to the United States with his parents and brother and two sisters in his infancy. The family settled in Richland, now Crawford, County, Ohio, from whence Johnny walked to Sandusky when about 10 years old, where he was employed as a laborer and later engaged in business. In 1851 he was one of the ten young men who left Sandusky to engage in the enterprise of building a railroad across the Isthmus of Panama, and returned the following year in impaired health. After he recovered his health, he was appointed on the police force of Sandusky City, which position he held about six years. In 1853 he married Mary Gimkie, with whom he had one child, and within two years both the child and mother died. In 1857 he was married to a  Mrs. Culvan, a young widow from East Perkins, where they afterwards removed on a farm. The fruits of the latter marriage were eleven children, six of whom are living, six boys and one girl. The mother was laid to rest ten years ago.

Mrs. Linker was a brother to John Linker, of Elmore, Sandusky County, and Mrs. Hurdle (sic), the widow of the founder of the Sandusky Demokrat, and Mrs. Smith, both residing in your city. Mr. Linker was a man of great intelligence and fair knowledge for one who had so poor advantages in youth, of stern integrity, and was of a noble, kind and charitable disposition. He bore up grandly under his many sore afflictions, and was ever ready to cheer up the depressed and always had a kind word and cheerful countenance for everyone. His friends were many, which was manifest by the large cortege that followed him to his last resting place. The stricken family find many hearts to sympathize with them in their sore afflictions ,and by a communion of sorrow mitigate their grief.

John C. Linker was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery in the family lot. Several of members of his family who predeceased him were buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery.

Farmer Boy

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Double Cousins on the Yeager and Orshoski Sides

My dear cousin Janet sent this picture of her (she is the younger young lady) with her brother David, and her older cousin Alberta Orshoski, sometime in the late 1930s or 1940s. Alberta's parents, Emma Yeager Orshoski and Steve Orshoski were the siblings of Janet and David Orshoski's parents, Nick Orshoski and Dorothy Yeager Orshoski, making the children double cousins! Thanks again for sharing the picture, Janet! You are a dear gal!!