Friday, August 30, 2019

My Baby Brother Matt Orshoski, 1962-2019

My youngest brother, Matthew Steen Orshoski, passed away peacefully this morning, after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. Matt and I never had cross words. He was supportive of me through all the ups and downs of life, which were many. Since I was 11 when he was born, I literally saw him grow up!

One of my first memories of Matt was before he was born! I told my Aunt Betty, who lived next door, that I wanted to give my mom a baby shower, even though it was her fifth baby. Well Aunt Betty's mom Audrey owned the Log Cabin, a restaurant in our small community. Aunt Betty paid for everything, I am sure, and she arranged for a lovely baby shower for my mom, in a the special party room at the Log Cabin. Everyone had a wonderful time.

The summer Mom was expecting Matt, a family friend, Bill K., used to drop off fresh sweet corn and tomatoes to our house, on his way across the Sandusky Bay to make a delivery to a farm market. Mom loved that fresh produce so much! Matt loved sports, and he practically grew up on the ball field in Bay View, where my Dad coached baseball.

Matt and his wife wanted to have a family, and it was quite some time before that happened. They went on to have four children, three grandchildren, and another baby on the way. Matt loved his family SO much!

The last several years, Matt's health declined more and more. He spent over three years in a nursing home. Having been a coach, a plumber, and active in the church and community, it was frustrating for him to be so idle. His greatest joy was when loved ones would visit. More than one person has said that they went to see Matt to cheer him up, but it turned out that Matt cheered up the visitor instead! Matt is at peace now, and since singing was one of his favorite pastimes, I can picture him singing in a Heavenly choir!!! We are glad he will be reunited with our mom and dad.

Love you Matt O., and thanks for all the memories!!

This link takes you to the obituary of Matt Orshoski.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

John E. Nolan, Corporal in Company B

John E. Nolan's name appears in the 1880 U.S. Census. He was the nine year old son of John and Teresa Nolan, and the family resided in Sandusky, Ohio.  John E. Nolan served as a Corporal in Company B of the Ohio Sixth Infantry during the Spanish American War. This unit received a warm welcome when they returned home to Sandusky. Sadly, John E. Nolan died in Cleveland, Ohio on March 19, 1914. He was buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Sandusky, Ohio.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Lettie May, 1878-1931

In the 1880 U.S. Census, there is a Letta May, age one, listed with Julian and Mattie May in Gentry County, Missouri. By the time of the 1900 U.S. Census,  Lettie May was a student at the Normal School at Madison Lake, South Dakota, now Dakota State University. She was 21 in 1900. A very brief article in the July 23, 1920 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal stated:

Miss Lettie May of Washington D.C., is spending three weeks with Miss Waye Wonnell of S. Columbus Ave.

On August 21, 1931, Lettie May died in Brooklyn, New York. Her occupation was listed as accountant, and her parents were Julian May and Martha Black. Lettie's remains were returned to Sandusky, Ohio for burial at Oakland Cemetery.  These brief obituaries are found in the 1931 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK at Sandusky Library.

So far I have not been able to determine exactly when Lettie May resided in Sandusky, but the fact that she was buried at Oakland Cemetery indicates that she most likely did have ties to the area.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Dora Hutchins, 1862-1882

Dora Hutchins was born on May 15, 1862. Her parents were Charles and Electa Hutchins. Sadly, she passed away from consumption as a young woman, on August 20, 1882. Dora Hutchins, who had a brother named Charles L. Hutchins, was buried at Sandusky, Ohio.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

SNGF: Were You in a Youth Organization

In today's version of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy from Genea-Musings  has challenged us to answer the question "Were You in a Youth Organization." I was a Girl Scout; my younger brother Paul was a Cub Scout; and my sister Robin was once a Brownie Scout! Pictured below are my brother and I in our Scout uniforms in the early 1960s.

From Grades 2 through 12, I was a member of the Girl Scouts. I was first a Brownie Scout, in Grades 2 and 3.

Image courtesy Ebay

Below is my Brownie World Association Pin, which was only in use from 1956 to 1976.

After Grade 3, we got to become a "fly up." We went from Brownies to becoming actual Girl Scouts. One of my very favorite Scout leaders was Mrs. Winnie Sessler. Mrs. Sessler was our school cook, and she loved us young ladies so much! She took us camping, taught us how to make all-day lollipops at her house, and guided us along the way to earning many, many Girl Scout badges! We got to go to cooking school at Columbia Gas. We learned how to be a home nurse. One Spring we made refreshments, and had a dance at one of our members' big farmhouse. We slept in sleeping bags, made campfire stew, and fried up homemade donuts. We sat upon homemade "sit upons." Our dishes were washed in "swishy bags." The songs we sang are still very vividly in my memory bank.

Thanks for the fun trip down Memory Lane, Randy! I made lifelong friends in Girl Scouts, and had hundreds of memorable moments along the way.

Friday, August 16, 2019

William Van Gorder, Civil War Veteran

Image Courtesy FindaGrave

William Van Gorder was born in the state of New York about 1821. In the 1850 U.S. Census, William was residing in Chemung County, New York, aged 28. His occupation was listed as  farmer. During the Civil War, William Van Gorder served with Company B of the New York Infantry, and later he served in Company D. of the 9th U.S. Reserve Corps.  The first wife of William Van Gorder was Lorinda Westfall, who had been married to a Mr. Stedge before she wed Mr. Van Gorder. Lorinda died in 1875. She was buried in the West Carlton Cemetery in Barry County, Michigan.

After Lorinda’s death, William Van Gorder married Lorinda’s sister Eliza Jane. Eliza Jane Westfall had previously been married to Wheeler Nodine, and a Mr. Burr. A Westfall descendant stated that Eliza Jane and William Van Gorder separated in 1879. William Van Gorder died on February 24, 1898. He was buried next to his first wife Lorinda in Barry County, Michigan.

According to records at FamilySearch, Eliza J. Van Gorder applied for a 
Civil War widow’s pension. She filed for the pension in the state of Minnesota.

Eliza Jane Van Gorder died in 1903. She was buried in Frazee, Becker County, Minnesota. Her tombstone lists her name as Eliza J. Nodine.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Discovering Just a Bit about Wheeler Nodine

You may recall that the lineage of my great great grandmother, Sarah Steen, was very complicated. Her biological parents were Wheeler Nodine and Eliza Jane Westfall Nodine. Sometime after her birth in 1850 in Michigan, Wheeler  and Eliza Jane Nodine gave baby Sarah to the sister of Eliza Jane, Huldah. Huldah was married to Henry Milner, and they had a lovely farm in Perkins Township. Sarah went on to marry Charles F. Steen, and they too were engaged in agricultural pursuits. Sarah is the lady on the left in the picture below.

Today as I was looking over my DNA relatives on 23andMe, I discovered a cousin that most likely is connected to me through Wheeler and Eliza Jane Nodine. I realized that I did not know much about my biological three times great grandfather Wheeler Nodine. Looking back through my Flickr photos, I discovered the death date of Wheeler Nodine was listed as Feb. 10, 1872, in Michigan. (This family Bible is now in the collections of the R.B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums.)

Then I found property that was owned by the Estate of W. Nodine in the Barry County Atlas of Michigan, housed at Michigan County Histories. It looks like at one time Wheeler Nodine owned property in Carlton, a community in Barry County, Michigan.

To date, I have not yet found a death record from a courthouse for Wheeler Nodine, and I would surely love to know the story of how Sarah went from her biological parents' home in Michigan to the Henry Milner residence in Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Jacob and Anna Ruth

According to History of Erie County, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich (Mason and Co., 1889), Jacob Ruth was born in Germany in 1831, and he emigrated to the United States in 1859. He worked as a dealer in and packer of pork, and curer of hams and bacon. On June 2, 1860, Jacob Ruth married Anna Hoerner. A listing in the 1876 Sandusky City Directory shows a J.Ruth as a partner in the Bear and Ruth firm.

The 1880 U.S. Census shows Jacob and Anna Ruth resided on Franklin Street in Sandusky with their three sons. Mrs. Anna Ruth died on January 19, 1901, at the age of 63. She was buried at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Afer the death of Anna Ruth, Jacob married Anna Katherine Schlessman. Jacob Ruth died on August 8, 1912. He too was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery. Sadly, the second Mrs. Anna Ruth died only a few months later, on October 29, 1912.