Showing posts with label Wyandot County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wyandot County. Show all posts

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.

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.





Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thriller Thursday: Researching Sideways Reveals "Burglariously" Charge

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A few days after attending Debbie Parker Wayne's FGS talk about tax and land laws, I had a chance to apply her ideas while researching the Steiner family in Upper Sandusky, the county seat of Wynadot County, Ohio.

Visiting the Heritage Room of the Upper Sandusky library, I systematically checked each genealogy book on the shelf for any mention of a Steiner. One book listed names mentioned in early probate entries and court of common pleas law cases. There, to my surprise, I found hubby's great-grand uncle (the brother of his great-grandpa Edward G. Steiner) in an 1870 entry titled: "State of Ohio vs. Samuel D. Steiner."

Hubby scrambled off to the elegant Wyandot County Courthouse a few blocks away and came back with photos of this case's paperwork. It turns out that hubby's great-grandpa Edward G. Steiner was mentioned in the case after all! Most mysterious of all, this was a breaking and entering case, as you can see:
The State of Ohio, Wyandot County


To the keeper of the jail of the county aforesaid, greeting:
  Whereas Samuel D. Steiner late of said county has been arrested on a complaint signed and sworn to by John Price, that Elisha Holmes on the 30th day of October in the year of our Lord 1870, in the night season of the same day, to wit:


  About the hour of 8 o’clock p.m. in the county of Wyandot aforesaid, into a certain store-house of one Matthew Mitchell, is there situate and being, did willfully, maliciously, burglariously, feloniously, break and enter with intent then and there and thereby, feloniously, burglariously, to steal, take, and carry away the personal goods, chattels, and property of value of Matthew Mitchell and John B. Mitchell in the said store-house then and there being.


  And the deponent aforesaid being sworn as aforesaid further says that Samuel D. Steiner, Edward G. Steiner, and John Sheehy, before said felony was committed as aforesaid by the said Elisha Holmes, to wit:   On the 30th day of October in the year of our Lord 1870, in the county of Wyandot aforesaid, did unlawfully, feloniously, purposely, and of deliberate and premeditated purpose aid and abet and procure the aforesaid Elisha Holmes the said felony in manner and form aforesaid to commit.


  And whereas the said Samuel D. Steiner has been brought before me, to answer to said charge, and has by me required to give bail in the sum of $1,000, for his appearance before the court of common pleas in said county of Wyandot on the first day of the next term thereof, which requirement he has failed to comply with.


  I command you to receive the said Samuel D. Steiner into your custody in the jail of the county aforesaid, there to remain until he shall be discharge by due course of law.


  Given under my hand and seal this 9th day of November 1870. – M.W. Welsh, J.P.  
This is still a thriller because I don't yet know what happened--no other paperwork was in the folder or mentioned in the transcribed listing of names in lawsuits. But you know I will be digging deeper to find out. If I hadn't followed up on Samuel's name in the records, I wouldn't have known about Edward's involvement at all.

$1,000 bail was a ginormous amount in 1870. What could great-grand uncle Samuel and great-grandpa Edward have done to be accused of aiding and abetting so feloniously and burglariously a theft??

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Getting Ready for FGS 2013: FAN Research for the "Most Wanted" List

FGS 2013 is just weeks away and I'm going over my list of "Most Wanted" ancestors, the people hubby and I really want to find. My plan is to bring along not only a printout of the Family Group Sheets, but also a complete alphabetical index of the family tree. That way, if I can't get online, I can consult my paper files.

But I want to do as much as possible from home. So, using FAN (Friends and Neighbors) research, I'm retracing my steps--and I believe I've discovered a sibling of one of the "Most Wanted" Ancestors.

Joseph W. Rinehart (sometimes spelled Reinhart), 1806-1888, is hubby's great-great-granddaddy. From at least 1850 on, he lived in Tod in Crawford county, Ohio. Scrolling through the 1880 Census for Crawford, I spotted another Reinhart just two farms away: George Reinhart. George is only 3 years younger than Joseph, both were born in Pennsylvania, and what's more, George's household includes little George Hilborn.

The Hilborns were in-laws to the Steiners. Who, you ask, are the Steiners? Joseph W. Rinehart's daughter Elizabeth Jane married Edward George Steiner (see his Civil War draft registration, below). And other Hilborns married other Rineharts.

Civil War draft registration (1863( of Edward George Steiner
As it happens, the Rineharts AND the Steiners are on the "Most Wanted" list so I'm definitely making progress by using FAN to be understand the geographic connection between the Rinehart, Steiner, and Hilborn families.

Just wait till we're at FGS and can dive deep into the Allen County Public Library's vast collection of genealogical records! Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Elizabeth Jane Rinehart Steiner

Hubby's maternal great-grandma was Elizabeth Jane Rinehart Steiner, b. 8 February 1834 and d. 4 November 1905 in Wyandot county, Ohio. I know from Find-A-Grave that she's buried in the Old Mission Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, where her husband Edward G. Steiner (1830-1880) and at least two of her children are buried.

Thanks to handwritten notes left by her daughter and granddaughter, I know Elizabeth's death date. Today I had the (rather late) brainstorm to look for her obit on the Ohio Obituary Index and voila! I'll be spending $2.50 to get her obit from the Wyandot Chief newspaper.

The 1900 Census, conducted on 7 June, shows Elizabeth living with her daughter Minnie Halbedel (spelled incorrectly in the Census of course) and son-in-law Edward Halbedel in Crane Township, Wyandot County, OH. This Census says she was born in Ohio in Feb 1834; her pa was from Pennsylvania and her ma from Delaware, still to be confirmed.

On the 107th anniversary of Elizabeth's passing, I'm thinking of her and looking for her ancestors!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Motivation Monday: Hooray for Gen Listservs

A few years ago, I joined the RootsWeb listserv for Wyandot County, Ohio. Hubby's grandmother and great-aunts are from there, and I'm always looking for more about those Steiner sisters--I've mentioned their names in this blog from time to time.

Today's listserv digest of post activities for Wyandot Rootsweb brought me a very welcome bit of news: Timothy Fisher has a Web site with links to genealogical and historical info for Wyandot County.

Following the links, I was led to a few free online directories/histories of Wyandot. In the 1877 directory, I found E.G. Steiner, carpenter, who I know (from other research) married Elizabeth Rinehart. They're hubby's maternal g-grandparents. What other nuggets will I find? Can't wait to find out! Lots of motivation to return to this line again.