Showing posts with label Steiner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steiner. Show all posts

Friday, August 25, 2017

Blogiversary #9: Fewer Brickwalls, More DNA and Facebook Connections

What a year 2017 has been (and it's not over)! Nine years ago, when I first began blogging about my genealogy adventures, I knew the names of only four of the eleven people in this photo from my parents' wedding album. Earlier this year, thanks to Mom's address book and Cousin Ira's cache of letters, I smashed a brickwall blocking me from researching Grandpa Isaac Burk. Now I have a new set of friendly cousins and the names of all the people in this photo. And more info about my father's father's father, Elias Solomon Birk

This was DNA year for me. Thanks to "known" cousins on both sides of the family who kindly agreed to test, I have a lot more "probable" cousins (we're still investigating our connections). It was especially helpful and motivating to meet DNA experts at the IAJGS, where I gave my talk on Planning a Future for Your Family's Past. I also attended DNA sessions at NERGC, where I spoke on the same "planning a future" topic. (For a calendar of my upcoming presentations, please see the masthead tab above.)
Future genealogy: Using a pinhole viewer on Eclipse Day

This year will go down in American history for the unique solar eclipse that swept the nation . . . for my genealogical journey, it will be remembered as the year I created detailed family memory booklets for my husband's Wood-Slatter tree and his McClure-Steiner tree. (For sample pages, see my blog post here.)

My Facebook genealogy persona Benjamin McClure (memorialized on family T-shirts) has had a wonderful time making new genealogy friends and both posting questions and answering queries. Benji is also active on Pinterest. I really appreciate how many people are very generous with their knowledge and take the time to help solve family history mysteries via social media!

Plus I got to meet many genealogy bloggers in person at conferences this year. It was wonderful to say hello and get acquainted without a keyboard for a change.

Thank you to my relatives and readers for checking out my posts, leaving comments, and sharing ideas. Looking forward to Blogiversary #10 next year!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saturday Night Genea-Fun: How Many in My Genea-Database?

Randy Seaver's latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week is: How many people are in your gen software database or online tree(s)?

Since I'm a new user of RootsMagic 7, I tried this challenge using the largest tree in my database: Hubby's Wood/Larimer/Slatter/McClure/Steiner tree.

As shown above, this tree has 2665 people and--I'm happy to see--19,084 citations. I'm going to organize my citations and format them correctly, without being too slavish. Sure, I want other people to be able to replicate my research and locate specific records or details. But I agree with the philosophy of Nancy Messier's "My Ancestors and Me" blog: "Done is better than perfect."

Shown at right, my Ancestry tree overview for the same family tree. Number of people is identical, because the synch is up-to-date. I try not to add people until I've investigated the relationship and sources to be reasonably certain these ancestors really belong on the tree.

Note that the number of hints is three times the number of people! When I have a moment, I'll whittle that down by clicking to "ignore" hints for ancestors like "wife of brother-in-law of third cousin once removed of husband's uncle." Then I can concentrate on vetting the hints of people more closely aligned with the tree.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: 7 Steiner Ancestors in Old Mission Cemetery

A number of hubby's Steiner ancestors are buried in historic Old Mission Cemetery, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Among them are 7 of the 9 children of Edward George Steiner (1830-1880) and Elizabeth Rinehart (1834-1905), my husband's maternal great-grandparents.

Above, the headstones for hubby's grandmother and five of her siblings:

  • Orville J. Steiner (1856-1936) 
  • Adaline "Addie" Steiner (1859-1879)
  • Etta Blanche Steiner Rhuark (1864-1956) 
  • Minnie Estella Steiner Halbedel (1868-1947)
  • Carrie Eileen Steiner Traxler (1870-1963)
  • Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure (1878-1948) - Grandma Floyda
Below, the unusual footstone in Mission Cemetery for the seventh Steiner buried in Old Mission, hubby's great aunt, Margaret Mary Steiner Post (1861-1913), who married a painter.


The two eldest children of Edward & Elizabeth Steiner are buried elsewhere. Their first-born's stone, marked "Infant son of Steiner, October 23, 1852," is in Oceola Cemetery #2, Crawford County, Ohio.

Their first daughter, Elveretta (1854-1855), is also buried in Oceola Cemetery #2, a small cemetery that hubby and I were able to visit and photograph only because a kind Find A Grave volunteer provided very detailed directions. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tuesday's Tip: Genealogy, Free or Fee--Ask for Help

Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure
One of the mysteries of my husband's family is when and where his grandma, Floyda Steiner McClure (1878-1948) was divorced from her first husband, Aaron Franklin Gottfried. This first marriage (119 years ago, in 1898) was kept quiet because divorce was so unusual in those days.

In fact, I only learned about the first marriage because Floyda disclosed it on her marriage license for her second marriage, to hubby's grandpa Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970). Two years ago, a social media genealogy buddy recommended that I call the Wyandot county courts and ask for help. Without a date, however, I was told it would take time to locate the records, unless I could come in person.

Today I was working on my Genealogy Go-Over and posted again on an Ohio FB gen page, asking for ideas. Folks urged me to call the probate court one more time. I did, giving a succinct description of what I wanted and asked for their help, explaining that I needed the info for genealogy, not for legal purposes.

Probate said they didn't have anything, but Clerk of Courts might have the divorce info. They sent my call over, and I spoke with a lovely lady who took down the names and possible dates and asked me to call back in 15 minutes. I set the timer and tried to be patient until callback time.

Eureka! She found Floyda's entire divorce file, which was settled during the April Term of 1901. At 10 cents per page plus postage, I won't pay more than $3 to solve this long-standing genealogical mystery. That qualifies as almost free, wouldn't you say? UPDATE: RESULTS OF DIVORCE DECREE ARE BELOW!

As part of my Genealogy, Free or Fee series, I urge you to ask for help! Who to ask: Check the Family Search wiki to see what department might have the relevant record. I couldn't find enough detail for locating divorce decrees from 1901ish, so I had to keep looking for someone to ask. Ask in Facebook genealogy groups, or try calling the courthouse or archives directly with your question.

Be polite, be patient, and offer to mail a check or money order with SASE, to keep things simple for the nice people in the records department or wherever. Respect the time of the people on the other end. They don't need to hear our long family history sagas. Most are genuinely happy to help solve mysteries if we come to the point about what we're seeking and give them enough info to find the records or files. Just ask for help.

For more in this series of Genealogy, Free or Fee, check the summary page here.

UPDATE! According to the dozen pages of legal documents sent by the court, Floyda initiated the divorce in early 1901, alleging extreme cruelty by her husband. She requested and was granted $215 in alimony as a lump sum in May, 1901. In today's dollars, that would be worth $5,921. Floyda won back the right to use her maiden name and she ultimately remarried in 1903, to Brice Larimer McClure. Floyda and Brice are my hubby's maternal grandparents.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Thrifty Thursday: Free or Fee Genealogy?

During my Genealogy Go-Over, I'm carefully checking what I know and don't know, looking at my evidence, and filling in the gaps by obtaining vital records and other documents.

Since money doesn't happen to grow on my family tree, I have to pick and choose what I will pay for. Fee or free genealogy? It's not always a straightforward decision.

Increasingly, documents that I purchased even a year or two ago are showing up on free genealogy sites like Family Search and on fee-based genealogy sites like Ancestry.


A case in point is the above marriage document for hubby's grandparents, Brice Larimer McClure and Floyda Mabel Steiner. I sent a check to buy a copy two years ago, when doing the original "Do-Over" program. I considered it to be a good investment because it revealed that Grandma Floyda had been married once before. That sent me to the newspaper archives to learn more...and I fleshed out this ancestor's life a bit.

Since that time, more Ohio vital records have been made available through Family Search. And in fact, the very clear image above is not from the copy I purchased but the free version available on Family Search.


I'm still collecting documents for my Go-Over. Being a long-time Ancestry subscriber, I always check there first. But if it's not on Ancestry, where would it be? Here's my thought process on deciding what to pay for (and I'd be interested in yours, readers).

In general:
  1. Try Family Search. Best free site to start looking for most documents! Two years ago, this license wasn't available through a Family Search name/date search. I checked the wiki to see what documents are available from the time and place. I learned from the Wyandot county part of the Ohio wiki that marriage documents weren't always filed as required by law before 1908. I knew Grandma Floyda was married in 1903. I called the county clerk first and she kindly checked in the database. Once I knew the document was available, I was almost ready to send money but first I checked a few more sites.
  2. Try Cyndi's List. This will point to fee-based and free sites that might have a document or information. I looked at "Ohio" but no luck with a Wyandot county site for a freebie on Floyda's marriage or divorce docs.
  3. Try Linkpendium.com. This will tell me whether some other local source might be holding certain documents. In this case, no luck on holdings that would include Grandma Floyda's marriage or divorce paperwork for free.
In the end, I decided to spend the money for Grandma Floyda's marriage document. I had no way of knowing when or if Family Search would have that document available, either online or via microfilm.

Now, with Reclaim the Records, there are more ways to obtain documents than even a couple of years ago.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday's Faces from the Past: Floyda's Birth Record (Delayed by 66 Years)

Hubby's grandma, Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure (1878-1948), shown at right, was the youngest of nine children born to Edward George Steiner (1830-1880) and Elizabeth Jane Rinehart (1834-1905).

Floyda was born at home in Nevada, Wyandot county, Ohio. But apparently, her birth was never officially recorded until she filed an application to register her delayed birth record 66 years later.

To prove where and when she was born, she and two sisters signed an affidavit swearing to the place (the family home on Cook Street) and the date (March 20, 1878).

Sadly, Floyda lived only four more years after having her birth officially recorded by the state of Ohio. Floyda's husband, Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970), outlived her by more than two decades.

Intriguingly, the name of the midwife shown on Floyda's affidavit is Maria Steiner, also of Nevada. A relative of Floyda's father, Edward? My research indicates Edward had a younger sister Mary, born in 1846, who married Morris Sutherland in 1884, well after Floyda's birth--and after her brother Edward's death. I don't know whether Mary was Maria.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mom's Day to Two Much-Missed Moms

A loving tribute to two loving moms.

At left is my Mom, Daisy, about age 20. She graduated high school at 16 but instead of going directly to college, she worked to help her siblings through college.

At right is hubby's Mom, Marian, about age 48. She was a talented ceramicist and enthusiastically supported all her children's artistic endeavors.

My Mom's parents were from the Farkas and Schwartz families. My mom-in-law's parents were from the McClure and Steiner families. Thinking of these Moms and the Moms in their families on Mother's Day.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Tracing Steiner and Rinehart Roots Geographically

Hubby's 3d great-grandparents were probably the journey-takers who left Europe for what was then either the American colonies or the brand-new United States of America.

On the Steiner side, these were almost certainly the parents of Jacob S. Steiner, who was born just before or after 1802 in Pennsylvania and died between 1850 and 1860 in Crawford county, Ohio. Hubby's "Old Gentleman" granddaddy left notes about these ancestors, as shown above.

On the Rinehart side, the journey-takers were likely the parents of Joseph W. Rinehart, who was born in 1806 in Pennsylvania and died in 1888 in Nevada, Ohio.

So part of my quest is to reconcile family stories about where the Steiner and Rinehart families were originally from. The way hubby's father heard it, these ancestors were from Switzerland, but others in the family wondered whether Germany was the original homeland.

For context, I turned to the Family Tree Historical Maps Book--Europe, which shows maps and historical milestones from the 1700s to after WWII.

In 1736, Germany and Switzerland had different borders than they do today. Only by 1815 did Switzerland's borders settle into their current location. So it's very possible that the journey-taker ancestors left from an area in Germany during the late 1700s and by the time they told their story to descendants, that region had become part of Switzerland. Or vice versa!

To complicate the situation, the Family Search wiki warns that civil registration records for pre-1800 Switzerland are generally unavailable because they weren't required by law. Similarly, German civil registration records weren't required prior to 1792. And remember, these ancestors probably arrived in America around the time of the Revolution, give or take a decade, even before the first US census.

Bottom line: My best hope for tracing hubby's Steiner and Rhinehart roots is by finding these ancestors in Pennsylvania records (not an easy task, since I need given names and a town) and then looking for any clues there (field trip!).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: The Old Gentleman's Family

A number of hubby's ancestors are buried in historic Old Mission Cemetery, Upper Sandusky, Ohio. One is his granddad, known affectionately as "the Old Gentleman," Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970).

The son of William Madison McClure and Margaret Jane Larimer McClure, Brice was a master machinist who worked on railroads. Some of his tools remain in the family.

Brice married Floyda Mabel Steiner (1878-1948) in June, 1903, and they were the parents of one daughter, Marian Jane McClure (1909-1983).

My genealogy research owes a lot to the Old Gentleman, because he wrote down details about his parents, siblings, and grandparents.

Thankfully, his daughter saved these scraps of paper and they proved to be valuable in tracing the family tree.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Gen Do-Over, Week 11: How FB Helped Me Research Capitola Steiner and Alfred P. Welburn

With a first name like Capitola, how hard can it be to research one of hubby's 1st cousins, once removed? Turns out it's not so easy.

Capitola Steiner (1883-1942) was the niece of hubby's grandma, Floyda Steiner. I knew she married Alfred P. Welburn (1878-1953), because the names were in Grandma Floyda's will, along with a Massachusetts address from the 1940s. Using Ancestry and Family Search, I was able to locate their marriage cert (above) and learn the names of their children. Using one of the news databases, I learned that Alfred was Treasurer of the Cadillac Co. of Boston in 1920, when he and some other Cadillac execs were treated to a ride in an "aero-marine flying boat" from Boston harbor to Long Island, NY.

But nowhere (not even on Findagrave) could I find their final resting places or dates. Enter Facebook genealogy!

I'm a member of the Massachusetts Genealogy Network on FB. I posted a note asking for ideas and help locating Capitola and Alfred's place of burial and obits. Within hours, several kind members had told me exactly where the two were buried (Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge) and sent me obits and other details.

Thanks to their research, I was able to enter the names, dates, and plot locations in Findagrave. I also have death notices, plus a 1929 article from the Boston Herald with a photo of Alfred.

Now I know that Alfred, whose occupation was "machinist" in 1903 when he married Capitola, was an automotive pioneer who helped to engineer the first Buick car. He was service manager of the Packard Auto Co. in Boston and then became Treasurer and VP/assistant general manager at Cadillac of Boston. In his 60s, Alfred was foreman of a shift at GE's plant in Everett, MA, during WWII.


Capitola and Alfred were married in Crawford county, Ohio, on 17 June 1903. Happy 112th anniversary! 

And many thanks again to the genealogy enthusiasts on social media who are incredibly generous with their ideas and assistance.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over, Week 11: If Only Floyda Had Been on Facebook

This week's Do-Over topic has to do with social media. I almost titled this post "The Forever Do-Over" because with social media, the do-over process never ends (and that's as it should be).
Floyda Mabel Steiner Gottfried McClure and grandson

You just never know what you'll find out or who you'll meet, and what brick wall you'll smash because of new data or new people on Facebook, a blog, or other social media.

As dedicated as I've been to researching via surname and location message boards, social media queries are more targeted and often get faster responses.

Case in point: Floyda Mabel Steiner, my husband's grandma. Born March 20, 1878 (happy 137th bday) in Nevada, Ohio, Floyda married Aaron Franklin Gottfried (1871-1961) in 1898.

I only learned of Floyda's first marriage when I sent for her marriage documents from June, 1903, when she married Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970). So clearly Floyda was divorced after the 1900 Census (where I found her as Mrs. Floyda Gottfried, wife of a farmer) but before her remarriage in June, 1903. I searched but couldn't find Floyda's first marriage documents or her divorce documents back in 2011 when I first uncovered her "hidden" first marriage that no one in the family had ever heard of.

And by the way, Floyda wasn't exactly forthcoming in the 1910 census, when she said this was her 1st marriage when, in fact, it was her 2nd marriage. Wonder whether her 2d husband knew?

Anyway, as part of the Do-Over, I posted a note on the Ohio Genealogy Network's FB page this past weekend, wondering where to look for Floyda's divorce documents--and got answers right away. One member suggested I call the Clerk of the Courts in Wyandot County and even provided the phone number. Another did a lookup on Family Search and discovered that Floyda's first marriage document was posted there! (See it above.)

Update: I called the Clerk of the Courts again two years later and a lovely lady did the lookup for me. She was divorced in April, 1901

If Floyda had been on Facebook, all her friends and relatives would have known when and where she was divorced and I'd know too. Now, thanks to Facebook, I'll soon know when and where and, hopefully, why--the most important question for the family to answer. The answer will be on this blog for future researchers to read all about it.

My Genealogy Do-Over will never be "done" because there are always more questions to ask/answer and more FB groups to be part of. And that's a good thing because I heart genealogy.





Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Where and When Was Second GGF Jacob S. Steiner Buried?

During a genealogy pilgrimage to Ohio and Indiana two years ago, hubby and I photographed the headstones of his ancestors in small rural cemeteries. Above, the stone of hubby's second great-grandma Elizabeth Steiner (1802-1864), maiden name still unknown, who was the wife of second GGP Jacob S. Steiner. She was buried in Oceola Cemetery #2.

Where is her husband's grave? When and where did he die? I can't find him in the death records for Ohio, nor is his grave in Crawford County, Ohio, where Elizabeth was living in 1860 when she told the census she was the head of the household, widowed. Also I can't find an obit for Jacob S. Steiner in Ohio.

When hubby's grandfather wrote down information about his family (see scrap at right), he didn't have any dates for Jacob S. Steiner. His info about Jacob's wife Elizabeth was exactly correct, so it seems Jacob's death was a mystery for decades before I got bit by the genealogy bug.

Sometime soon I hope to have a Tombstone Tuesday photo of Jacob S. Steiner's grave, if I can solve this mystery.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Hubby's Pioneer Ancestors


Hubby's immigrant ancestors were all pioneers to be proud of--and thankful for:
  • WOOD. Way back on the Wood side, via the Cushman family of Fortune fame, he has four Mayflower ancestors (Degory Priest, Mary Norris Allerton, Isaac Allerton, and Mary Allerton). Their courage in braving the dangerous trip to the New World in 1620 is quite astonishing. John Wood, Sr., called "The Mariner" by Wood genealogists, was a seafaring man who came to America around 1700. His male descendants were mainly ship's captains, ship builders, or ship's carpenters. Hubby's great-grandpa Thomas Haskell Wood left his life on the sea to marry Mary Amanda Demarest and raise a generation of sons who were all carpenters or painters.
  • McCLURE and McFALL. The next set of pioneer ancestors to arrive in America was the McClure clan. Patriarch Halbert McClure and his family--originally from the Isle of Skye--came from Donegal to buy farmland in Virginia in the 1730s. McClures continued pioneering other areas further west in America. Halbert's grandson, John McClure, married Ann McFall in April, 1801, in Rockbridge county, VA. Above, a note scanned from the marriage bonds for that county, and posted by the US GenWeb archives. I'm now in touch with another McFall researcher and we're pursuing that family's connections. More soon!
  • LARIMER. The original Larimer pioneer left from Northern Ireland for America in 1740 with a trunk of Irish linen. Alas, he was shipwrecked but eventually made his way to central Pennsylvania and then the family continued west to Ohio and pioneered even further west over time.
  • RINEHART and STEINER. Hubby's McClure line includes intermarriages with the Rinehart and Steiner families. Both were pioneer farm families who seem to have settled originally in Pennsylvania in the late 1700s, then continued to Ohio (for more land?). Sadly, I still don't know which ancestors were the original immigrants and their original homeland.
  • SLATTER. The Slatter family lived in inner-city London, apparently so poor that the parents put three of their sons into a training program leading to stable careers in the military. This was in the 1870s. These sons grew up to be pioneers in the Canadian music world--specifically, conductors and composers of military band music. Both the Slatter daughters came to America around 1895, and married soon afterward. Mary Slatter married James Edgar Wood, hubby's carpenter grandpa. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

52 Ancestors #51: Great-Grand Uncle William Steiner, Born in Berks county, PA

Hubby's Steiner ancestors have been my special genealogy focus in 2014 (and 2013). Why? Because we want to determine where the Steiner family originally came from, and when they arrived in the US. Family legend says they were from Switzerland--but there are no supporting stories or documents.

So far, I can't go any further back than Jacob S. Steiner (1802?-1860?) and his wife Elizabeth (1802?-1864, maiden name unknown), hubby's great-great grandparents.

Now, thanks to a genealogy angel on the Crawford County, OH, History and Genealogy Facebook page, I have this detailed obit of William Steiner (1827-1899), a son of Jacob S. Steiner. William is hubby's great-grand uncle (the brother of his great-granddaddy, Edward George Steiner).

The obit states that William "was born in Berks county, Pennsylvania, December 23, 1827. His father and mother were Jacob and Elizabeth Steiner. When quite young, the deceased, with the family, moved to Strasburg, Wayne county, Ohio. During his early life, he worked on a flat boat on the Ohio canal, which ran the tow path that is inseparably connected with the name and fame of the lamented James A. Garfield. After leaving the canal, he was apprenticed to a plasterer which trade he industriously followed ever since.

"On December 5, 1850, he was married to Catherine Coder and 6 children were born to them, four of whom survive him, namely: Rev. Dennis R. Steiner, of Glathe, Kansas; Harry L. Steiner, of Toledo; Mrs. Emma F. Stull, of Veedersburg, Ind; and Mrs. Fred Harter, of Oceola."

A gold mine of info, with places, dates, names, and insight into his working life and his religious beliefs! My next step is to investigate Steiners in Strasburg, Wayne county, Ohio and try to trace them back to Berks county, PA.

This new info came about because of my genealogy alter ego Benjamin McClure, who has a FB account and is active on relevant Facebook genealogy pages. If you're not already using Facebook for genealogy, I encourage you to get started. There are lots of kind folks out there ready to offer advice--and who knows, you might be lucky enough to connect with a cousin or three.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Mrs. John Quincy Steiner Was a Champion - Want to Guess Her Specialty?

Searching through newspaper archives can bring up all kinds of interesting tidbits about our ancestors. Hubby's 1st cousin, 2x removed, was John Quincy Steiner (1862-1941), who married Laura V. Bowland (1860-1931) in 1884.

Searching for their obits, I found the following snippet in the Evening Independent of Massillon, Ohio, from October 16, 1926.

Yes, hubby's Steiner family included a champion hog caller.

"Triumphing over six men, Mrs. John Q. Steiner, 55, of Old Fort won the Seneca county hog-calling contest, hands down. Her "Poo-e-e! Poo-poo-e-e! Oh, Poo-oo-ee-e" has greater appeal to hungry porkers than the similar calls of the men contestants, the judges ruled."


Who knew?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Family Friends Friday: The Steiner Sisters Visit Miss Pearl Hill

Using one of my newspaper archive subscriptions, I've discovered that hubby's maternal grandma had a cousin we've never heard of.

Here's the tiny item that tipped me off, from the social column of an Indiana newspaper from June, 1901.

It reads: "Mrs. E. Post, of Knoxville, Tenn; Miss Floyda Steiner, of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and Mrs. Frank Rhuark, of Huntington [Indiana] have returned home after a visit with their cousin, Miss Pearl Hill."
  • Mrs. E. Post is Margaret Mary Steiner, who married Elroy Post in 1883 and moved to Knoxville. She was the oldest of the living Steiner sisters.
  • Miss Floyda Steiner is hubby's grandma, who married Frank A. Gottfried in 1898, was living with him in Wyandot County, OH in 1900 at the time of the census, and was divorced by the time the above newspaper clipping appeared in mid-1901. Floyda was the baby of the family, born in 1878, 26 years after her parents had their first child.
  • Mrs. Frank Rhuark is Etta Blanche Steiner, who married Frank Rhuark in 1888.
There were other Steiner sisters (Minnie Estella and Carrie) but they weren't along on this visit to a cousin whose name I've never seen. If only the newspaper had reported where in the world Pearl Hill lived!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

52 Ancestors #32: The Maiden Name Mystery of Second Great-Grandma Elizabeth Steiner

The scrap of paper at left shows notes made by hubby's grandfather (Brice Larimer McClure) about his Steiner grandparents--hubby's great-great-grandparents.

Clearly, Brice knew how old his grandma Elizabeth Steiner was when she died but not the age of his grandpa. I'm still looking for Jacob Steiner's death date and place (he died before the 1860 census).

What was Elizabeth Steiner's maiden name? She lived from 1802 to 1864 and, judging by the birth date of her oldest child, she married Jacob S. Steiner in the early 1820s, either in Pennsylvania (where he was born) or in Ohio (where she was born).

Elizabeth and Jacob Steiner had nine children that I know of:
  • Sarah Steiner (b. about 1824)
  • William Steiner (1827-1899)
  • Edward George Steiner (1830-1880)
  • James M. Steiner (b. about 1832)
  • Samuel D. Steiner (1835-1901)
  • Elizabeth A. Steiner (b. about 1837)
  • Benjamin Franklin Steiner (1840-1924)
  • Stephen Decatur Steiner (b. about 1842, d. 1933)
  • Mary M. Steiner (b. about 1846)
Last year, hubby and I visited Elizabeth's grave in the bucolic Oceola Cemetery #2, Crawford County, Ohio. We only found the cemetery thanks to detailed instructions from a kind Find a Grave volunteer who knows the area well. RIP, Elizabeth. Someday, we'll know your maiden name and be able to trace your family back even further.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

NGS 2014: Prothonotary, Census Tips, and Case Studies


With the elusive McClureSteiner, and Rinehart Pennsylvania ancestors in mind, I attended three final sessions at NGS last Saturday.

  • What's a prothonotary? Now I know, thanks to Elissa Powell, and I have a better idea of what kinds of courthouse records to seek out in Pennsylvania. For the 1741 marriage of Robert Larimer and Mary Gallagher, however, Elissa suggests looking for church records (if I'm lucky enough to find something that early).
  • Census tips from Jason Harrison offered a LOT of ideas to try. Here are only a few: (1) Check Ancestry, Heritage Quest, and Family Search, because there may be different transcriptions and different scans of the same pages in each place. (2) Search in a specific town and specific ED, when I know that info. (3) Try the Soundex search in Ancestry. (4) Try * and ? for wildcard searches. (5) Try nicknames, not just name variations. For instance, Nancy might be Agnes, Nan, or Nannie (I had this exact example). (6) Try initials instead of a first name/middle name. (7) Search for other family members or known neighbors, then look at who's living in the same area. 
  • Case studies cited by Tom Jones reinforced how someone else's experience can teach me a new technique or a different way to reframe the question. It's the same with genealogy blogs, not just written case studies in magazines. I've learned so much by reading what bloggers did to break through their brick walls.

Also, I bought the session CD for Henry Hoff's "Research Strategies for Upstate New York." Friends in the audience raved about his suggestions, which I want to try when researching the Bentley and Morgan families from Oswego. His session ran at the same time as Elissa's prothonotary session, unfortunately for me.

For lunch, a small group of us walked to the Jefferson Hotel. I enjoyed a salad topped with a pretty and yummy crispy poached egg. The hotel has its own methodology, but you can get an idea of how to make this unusual egg dish by checking out this site. And like everyone else in Richmond, we had our photos taken with the alligator in the courtyard.


Monday, May 12, 2014

NGS 2014: Looking for Local Info--NARA, Periodicals, Newspapers

Day 3 of the NGS Conference (final attendance: 2,593!) was NARA day for me plus two other sessions about finding my ancestors in local records and newspapers:
  • NARA's finding aids. I've been too intimidated by the scope and diversity of the National Archives site to search it in detail. Pam Sayre says to start on the "Research our records" tab and learn about the online catalog. With her excellent ideas, hints from the Geni Guide (Guide to Genealogical Research in NARA), and the online index at the Archives Library Info Center, I hope to be able to figure out how to get WWI records for my Farkas great uncles, Mahler in-laws, and some ancestors in the Wood line.
  • Federal land tract books. Thanks to Angela Packer McGhie's presentation, I think I'll look into the land records for hubby's Steiner, Rinehart, and McClure farm owners. Among the sites she suggested investigating are HistoryGeo and of course the general land office records from BLM.
  • Maps, maps, maps. Rick Sayre's excellent talk on NARA's cartographic records inspired me to dig deeper into those maps so I can better envision population movements, economic impact, geographic features that affected immigrants' lives, and transportation possibilities. This will be especially helpful in tracing the McClures who left Virginia for Ohio, and the Pennsylvania Steiners and Rineharts. What were the common westward routes and how/when did towns and farms develop? Maps will help me learn more.
  • PERSI and beyond. Don Rightmyer wasn't just focused on Kentucky in his talk about state and regional genealogical periodicals. He reminded me to go back to PERSI on a regular basis and also check HeritageQuest and Find My Past for periodical listings to articles about everything from cemeteries and published obits to photo identification and social activities of our ancestors.
  • Criminals, soldiers, apprentices, and the news. Josh Taylor had the audience smiling and nodding as he described the databases we can use at Find My Past for locating British Army personnel (hello, Slatter great uncles), news articles about criminals and scoundrels, workhouse records, and apprenticeships (Shehen and Slatter family?). My local Family History Center has access to Find My Past, Fold3, and other databases--can't wait to get there and do more research!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Surname Saturday: Rineharts and Steiners and Larimers, Oh My!

These surnames from hubby's family tree will be my main focus during sessions at the NGS conference:
  • Rinehart - Joseph W. Rinehart (hubby's 2d great-grand) was born in Pennsylvania in 1806, died in Nevada, Ohio in 1888. When did the Rinehart family get to America? Who were Joseph's parents? Sessions on Pennsylvania and possible German connections might help!
  • Steiner - Jacob S. Steiner (another g-grand of hubby's) was born in Pennsylvania in 1802, died in Crawford County, Ohio, before 1860 (he's not in that census). Where/when did Steiners come from? Who were his parents? Elizabeth Rinehart married Edward George Steiner in 1851 in Crawford County, OH (see above).
  • Larimer and O'Gallagher - Robert Larimer (hubby's 5th great-grand) was shipwrecked enroute from Northern Ireland to America. Was he part of a family of Scotch-Irish immigrants? What is the family connection between the Larimers, the Shorts, and the Works? They held an annual reunion for several years in Elkhart, Indiana, and intermarried. Robert Larimer married Mary Gallagher (or O'Gallagher) in Pennsylvania. Where were the O'Gallaghers from and when did they arrive?
  • Smith - Brice Smith (hubby's 4th great-grand) was born in Cumberland Cty, PA, in 1756 and died in Fairfield Cty, OH, in 1828. He was the first Brice we know of in the family, but not the last. Supposedly his father Robert Smith was born in Limerick, and Robert married Janet "Jean" in 1751 in Limerick. What's their story--why and when did they come to America? Sessions on Irish genealogy may help me research the Smith family.
  • Bentley and Morgan - Still looking for the origins of William Tyler Bentley, born about 1795 in upstate New York, and his wife Olivia Morgan, also from upstate NY. Were they originally from England? Session on UK research might help.
  • McClure and McFall - Still trying to find siblings for Benjamin McClure, son of John McClure and Ann McFall, who married in Rockbridge cty, VA, in 1801. Sessions on Scotch-Irish immigration will help me trace these families from Pennsylvania to Virginia and especially beyond.