Monday, September 23, 2013

Amenuensis Monday: Looking Up Famous In-Laws


When hubby and I were researching in Upper Sandusky, Ohio this summer, we wandered into the Wyandot County Museum and talked with the curator about paintings on the wall by artist Frank Halbedel, brother-in-law to hubby's great-aunt Minnie Estella Steiner Halbedel.

One of the most famous paintings shows the Old Mission where Wyandot Indians were converted and worshipped. The mission been reconstructed and is surrounded by many graves of hubby's ancestors in Old Mission Cemetery.

The museum curator kindly copied local news articles about Frank Halbedel, including one about his parents' golden wedding anniversary. Here is an excerpt that describes Mrs. Nicholas Halbedel's father's 15 minutes of fame. This man would be the grandfather of the husband of hubby's great-aunt, but still . . . I've transcribed it below. And the article had one more surprise--keep reading!

"[Mrs. Anna Schactela Halbedel's father] who is still remembered by our older citizens, was a soldier under Napoleon Bonaparte, and he, with the father of Philip Tracht of this city, was present at the famous ball at Brussels when the exultant soldiers of the Little Giant were surprised in their revelries by the forces of the Duke of Wellington, on the eve of disastrous Waterloo, when the Emperor of the French was overwhelmed."
Now for the surprise. Buried in the fine print listing all the attendees were these two names: "Mrs. Edward G. Steiner and daughter, Miss Floyda." Bingo, a direct connection with my hubby's pedigree.

Floyda was his grandma, Mrs. Edward G. Steiner was his great-grandma. Now more research is ahead: This 1902 story appeared soon after Floyda was divorced from her first husband (a brief marriage that I haven't yet found the divorce papers for) and a year before she married hubby's grandpa, Brice Larimer McClure.

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