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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Grandparents' Birthplaces: All Over the Map

Birthplaces of McClure, Wood, Steiner ancestors - plus Slatter in London, England
For this week's #52Ancestors challenge (thank you to Amy Johnson Crow), I mapped where in the world my grandparents and my husband's grandparents were born.

They were born all over the map.

Hubby's Grandparents - Larimer, Steiner, Slatter, and Wood

Three of my husband's grandparents were born in the American Midwest, one in England.

  • Maternal grandpa Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970) was born in Little Traverse, Michigan, while his parents tried farming there for a short time.
  • Maternal grandma Floyda Mabel Steiner (1878-1948) was born in Nevada, Ohio. Her birth certificate was really "delayed" (only issued in 1944, most likely so she could apply for Social Security).
  • Paternal grandpa James Edgar Wood (1871-1939) was born in Toledo, Ohio. He was one of 17 children, 8 of whom were born in Toledo.
  • Paternal grandma Mary Slatter (1869-1925) was born in London, in the poorest of the poor sections of Whitechapel. (Her birthplace is not on the map at top--just couldn't fit it in!)
My Grandparents - Farkas, Schwartz, Burk, and Mahler

Birthplaces of Farkas, Schwartz, Mahler, and Burk ancestors

None of my grandparents had America roots--all were born in Eastern Europe and settled in New York City soon after the turn of the 20th century.

  • Maternal grandma Hermina Farkas (1886-1964) was born in Berehovo, Hungary, not very far from where her future husband was born.
  • Maternal grandpa Theodore Schwartz (1887-1965) was born in Ungvar, Hungary, but met his future wife in a Hungarian delicatessen in the Lower East Side of New York City, according to family lore.
  • Paternal grandma Henrietta Mahler (1881-1954) was born near Riga, Latvia, according to her husband's naturalization paperwork. I hope someday to better pinpoint her birthplace.
  • Paternal grandpa Isaac Burk (1881-1943) was born in Gargzdai, Lithuania and married his wife Henrietta in New York City.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

McClure Cousin Bait on FamilySearch

Cousin Bait on Family Search 
I married my husband for his ancestors!

His many ancestors left photos, genealogical paperwork, diaries, newspaper clippings, and more. Lucky me!

Thanks to cousin L, the Wood family historian, we know a great deal about the Wood side of the family. My late father-in-law Edgar James Wood (1903-1986) had five Mayflower ancestors.

Cousin Bait on Family Search

So far, we don't have connections with too many McClure cousins--those related to ancestors of my late mother-in-law, Marian Jane McClure Wood (1909-1983).

Now I'm adding cousin bait to my husband's McClure ancestors on the Family Search family tree. See the screen shot above of some McClure ancestors and how I've begun personalizing their profiles on Family Search.

Personal Photos = Cousin Bait

Because Family Search has only one collaborative tree, any researcher who comes across these personal photos will see me as the source.

I'm easy to contact via Family Search (my email contact is up to date). And since Family Search is free, I know a lot of people use it for research and documenting family trees.

Sometime soon, I hope McClure cousins will get in touch after noticing the personal photos I posted on ancestor profiles.

Watchlist of Ancestors

Also, I'm "watching" other McClure and Larimer ancestors to see whether other researchers post any personal photos or other personalized details. Then I can check the source and contact those people, offering to share info.

Here's a watchlist of 7 people I'm watching so far on Family Search. I take a look every so often for any changes or photos posted to these ancestors, hoping that I'll connect with a few more McClure cousins.




--

Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this #52 Ancestors prompt of "cousins" for week 38.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Burglariously, Part 2: The Surprising Conclusion

Legal case against Samuel D. Steiner
in Wyandot County Courthouse, OH
Six years ago, my husband and I were at the Wyandot County Courthouse in Ohio to research his Steiner family.

There we found legal documents about great-great-uncle Samuel D. Steiner (1835-1901) being charged in November, 1870 with "feloniously, burglariously" intending to steal from a store-house in Nevada, Ohio. Sam was supposed to post $1,000 bond but he didn't, and he also failed to show up at court as required. The document shown above directed the sheriff to take Sam into custody and hold him until the court date.

Until this week, we had no idea what the burglary entailed or how the story ended. Now, thanks to GenealogyBank, I've read a few Wyandot County newspaper reports that reveal the surprising conclusion of Sam's legal saga.

Two Tries at Burglary, Two Shots

The first news article, from November 4, 1870, explains that "some parties" tried to break into a boot and shoe store on Saturday evening, October 29th. They left before getting inside, and returned on Sunday evening, October 30th, for a second try.

That Sunday, one man broke a window on the second floor and entered the building and another stood by a window as lookout. But they didn't realize the building was now being watched by three men, who ordered the lookout to surrender as the burglary got going.

The accused burglars failed to surrender, and quickly attempted to escape. Shots rang out. The lookout was shot, and the inside man was shot in the shoulder. Apparently neither man was seriously hurt, because the shootings were never mentioned in any news article after the first time.

Legal Actions, Bail, and No Bail

Several days after the attempted burglary, the inside man--named Holmes--"turned state evidence" (according to the news report) and "three more of the gang were under arrest," including Sam'l Steiner, John Sheehy, and Sam's brother, my hubby's great-great-grandpa.

After a lengthy hearing and lots of attorney talk, the judge set bail for Sam Steiner at $1,000 and bail for the other three at $500 each.

The bail for Sam was the equivalent of $19,549 today. In other words, a really huge amount of money. Sam was a butcher by day, and most likely he had no way to raise $1,000 cash. He didn't post bail and the legal document shown at top of this post called for his arrest as a result.

Oh, great-great-grandpa Steiner and John Sheehy both posted bail and were ultimately cleared of the charges.

State of Ohio vs Holmes and Steiner

The trial against the two accused burglars was scheduled for late January, 1871, but delayed due to a death in the judge's family.

Nonetheless, Holmes and Steiner were both convicted. Elisha Holmes was sentenced to a year for burglary. Sam Steiner was sentenced to three years for "abetting and causing the burglary to be committed."

According to a news report, the two convicted men were led in manacles to the train for transport to prison in early February, 1871. Sam raised his manacled arm to the crowd and was quoted as saying: "See that you fellows don't get any of these things on you." Holmes was said to be weeping. The report talked of pity for them and their unfortunate families.

Sam had three children at home, the youngest only 6 years old. Exactly when Sam was released from prison, I don't know--but he was back home with his family in Nevada, Ohio, in the 1880 Census, working as a plasterer. Sam died in 1901, at the age of 66, having been widowed for a decade and lived for months in the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home at Sandusky.

Friday, March 1, 2019

At the Wyandot County Courthouse

Many of my husband's ancestors are buried in the Old Mission Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio (shown above). Yes, this is the cemetery with the famously incorrect gravestone for Christiana Haag, showing a death date of February 31, 1869.

Wyandot County Courthouse

We visited a few years ago and also went to the nearby Wyandot County Courthouse, which has a place in movie history: It was featured in  the 1993 feature film The Shawshank Redemption.

While at the courthouse, my hubby and I searched for records of the STEINER family. We quickly found records showing his great-great grandpa Edward George Steiner and great-grand uncle Samuel D. Steiner had been been charged with aiding and abetting the felony burglary of a store-house. We never found proof of conviction, or any other resolution. End of that story.

Probate at the Courthouse

Great-grandpa Edward George Steiner and his wife Elizabeth Jane Rinehart had eight children in all. The five siblings who survived to adulthood were close throughout their lives. All are, in fact, buried at Old Mission Cemetery, near their parents.

Using Family Search to browse the unindexed, image-only book of files at the Wyandot County Probate Court, we found hubby's grandpa Brice Larimer McClure and grandma Floyda Steiner McClure named as fiduciaries for the estate of Minnie Steiner Halbedel. (See image above.)

Floyda and Minnie were born 10 years apart but still maintained close bonds. I wasn't at all surprised that Minnie's estate records show so many family members in her bequests.

Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's #52Ancestors prompt of "At the Courthouse."

Friday, January 18, 2019

Traditional and Patriotic Names in the Tree

My husband's family tree has lots and lots of traditional given names plus a few clearly patriotic names.

Among the most popular names on the tree is Thomas (there are 41 in the tree so far). Above, the 1860 Census record from Cabell county, VA (now Huntington, WV) showing Thomas Haskell Wood (1809-1890) and his son Thomas Jefferson Isaiah Haskell Wood (1848-1861). Sadly, young Thomas drowned before he turned 13 years old.

Young Thomas was born on the 4th of July, 1848. That was 22 years after President Thomas Jefferson died on the 4th of July, 1826. Perhaps that was one reason he was named after this president? The Wood tree contains only one other "Jefferson" given name, and he was born late in the 20th century.

Last year, I wrote about the 139 times John appears in this tree. Other popular male names on the tree are: Robert (43 instances), Charles (39 instances), and Samuel (21 instances).

On the female side, after the ever-popular Mary (121 instances), the most popular are: Elizabeth (54 instances), Ann/Anne/Anna (36 instances), and Margaret (35 instances).

My husband's family has a number of other patriotic-sounding names, including:
Benjamin Franklin Steiner, Benjamin Franklin Smith, and George Washington Howland.

Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's #52Ancestors prompt of "unusual names."

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Targeted Search on HeritageQuest


HeritageQuest, "powered by Ancestry," has a lot to recommend it to genealogy researchers at all levels. Most libraries offer HQ as part of the free ProQuest databases available for access to cardholders, in the library or from home. It is so convenient to fire up my laptop at any hour, log into HQ using my library card number, and search whenever I wish! Did I mention it's FREE?

At top, a brief list of what you can find from the search page on HQ. The site is uncomplicated and easy to navigate. Anyone who's ever used Ancestry will find the search interface familiar. Even if you've never used Ancestry, it will take about five seconds to figure out the HQ search forms. And remember, this is FREE.


What I find especially helpful is that HQ offers quick access to targeted genealogy databases without digging down through catalog listings. This is how I get the most out of Heritage Quest, by searching only one database or set of records at a time to narrow the results to the more likely possibilities.

Here's an example: I wanted to look for one of my husband's ancestors who I believed had served in the Civil War. He died in 1924, so I decided to search in the 1890 Veterans' Schedule. Yes, this special schedule did survive, even if nearly nothing else from that 1890 US Census survived! So not only will I find out whether this guy served in the war, I'll also find out when--and get his 1890 location as an important bonus.


I plugged in his full name (Benjamin Franklin Steiner), date/place of death, and added his wife's name. It wasn't necessary to have all those elements, but it helps narrow my search, at least in the beginning.

In fact, only a few results popped up--but one was exactly what I needed. 

The schedule lists Benjamin F. Steiner, living in Oceola, Ohio, in 1890. He served as a private in Company L, 10th Ohio Cavalry, from 1862 to 1865.

The "remarks" section had nothing about him, although others were noted as being disabled due to various ailments. But now I know he was in Oceola in 1890, and I can look for city directories, newspaper stories, and other sources of additional information from that time and place.

FREE, easy to use, loaded with valuable databases--lots to like on HeritageQuest!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

My Year in Genealogy - 2018

Time to look back at 2018, an exciting and also a satisfying year for genealogy.

One of the high points was attending RootsTech 2018 and meeting so many of my genealogy blogging friends in person! (I'm in the center of the front row in this photo, wearing a white sweater.) It was a joy to say hello and chat with you, genea-folks. Also I attended the New York State Family History Conference, learning from experts and enjoying the company of genealogy friends from around the northeast.

I came away from both conferences with new ideas and new techniques to add to my momentum. Leaving RootsTech, I crammed into my suitcase specially-priced DNA kits, a new genealogy T-shirt and socks, and several of Nathan Dylan Goodwin's genealogy mysteries. Joining VGA, I learned a lot from watching webinars and lurking in VGA discussions.

Alas, not a single family history breakthrough during a day's research at the fabulous Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Still, ruling things out counts as some progress in the Wood, Steiner, Rinehart, and Burk/Birk trees.

Another high point was hearing from a second cousin who had a set of "missing" monthly minutes and letters related to my mother's Farkas Family Tree. These were all from the WWII period, and were long thought to be gone. Receiving these to scan and index was a gift beyond measure.

Now my Farkas cousins and I have documents spanning the entire life of the family tree association, 1933-1964. I'm still integrating the index from the 1940s into the index for the complete set of minutes, with completion scheduled for very early 2019. Work on the Farkas family tree (including collaborating with cousins who helped identify all ancestors/relatives in large family portraits) was a very satisfying way to end the year.

During 2018, a sad discovery: the early death of a boy born into my Mahler family, a child who was previously not known to me or any of my cousins. And a happy gift: the full anniversary booklet of the Kossuth Society, a group in which my Farkas and Schwartz ancestors were active. Their photos are in the booklet!

In my husband's family, I finally learned the truth about the long-standing mystery surrounding his grandfather Wood's divorce from wife #2. Also I gained a deeper understanding of the poverty endured by his Slatter and Shehen ancestors, using the Charles Booth maps of poor areas in London. Through contact with a Gershwin expert, I received a detailed news clipping that explained the background behind a prize-winning song written by my late father-in-law Wood.



Another exciting moment was when my book, Planning a Future for Your Family's Pastwent to number one on the Kindle genealogy best-seller list in the middle of June!

This year, I made 15 genealogy presentations and led two hands-on workshops, with my husband, about writing family history.

Next year, I'm thrilled to be leading two sessions and participating in a panel discussion at Family Tree Live in London, April 26-27.

Quite a year in genealogy. Yet I didn't actually accomplish all I planned to do when 2018 began. More in my next post!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Winter Weddings in the Wood Family

The list of December weddings in my husband's Wood family tree is quite long. Here are just a few of the marriages in the calendar report generated by my RootsMagic software. Marriages from later in December will be shown in another post soon!

  • December 5: William Steiner and Catherine Evans Coder. Steiner (1827-1899) was my husband's 2d great uncle, born on the eve of Christmas Eve and married just weeks before his 22nd birthday. He was one of 6 boys and 3 girls, and worked as a plasterer in Tod, Crawford county, Ohio. The Steiner-Coder wedding took place 168 years ago today. In June of 1863, William registered for the Civil War Draft (see excerpt from ledger above) but did not serve, so far as I can determine.
  • December 11: Edson Larimer Everitt and Maggie Derr. Everitt (1862-1927) was hubby's 2d cousin, 3x removed. He was a farmer and married in Hocking, Ohio, at age 40, 116 years ago. His middle name, Larimer, comes from his great-grandfather, Isaac M. Larimer, a son of the original Larimer immigrant ancestor who was shipwrecked after leaving Northern Ireland.
  • December 18: Isaac Larimer Everitt and Ellen Smith. Isaac Everitt (1827-1892) was my husband's 1st cousin, 4x removed. He was also Edson's father...and he got married in December, as did his son 51 years later. Isaac registered for the Civil War Draft in 1863, listing his occupation as farmer.
  • December 12: Jessie Steiner and John R. Rummel. Jessie Steiner (1880-1947) was my husband's 1st cousin, 1x removed. Her marriage took place 117 years ago today, exactly one week and one day after her 21st birthday. She was a magazine agent, married to a druggist. She died one day after her 67th birthday. 
  • December 16: Emma O. Larimer and James Freeland. Emma (1848-1923) was hubby's 2d great aunt, the oldest daughter of Brice S. Larimer and Lucy E. Bentley. Emma was brought up in the rural town of Goshen, Indiana, married at the age of 21 and later, the family moved to New York City. Their wedding was 149 years ago.
Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's #52Ancestors prompt of "winter."

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

How Our Grandparents Made a Living (or Not)

For this week's #52Ancestors prompt, "Work," I'm taking a look at how my grandparents and hubby's grandparents made a living. Both of us had one grandfather who worked with wood. That's where the similarities end. And this is another case of "don't believe everything in the census."

His grandparents (one immigrant, three grandparents with families long established in America)
  • Maternal grandpa Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970) was a master machinist. When he married maternal grandma Floyda Steiner in June of 1903, Brice was working for the "big four" railway shops in Wabash, Indiana (see newspaper clipping). His skills were in demand--especially during World War II, when he lied about his age to seem young enough to work in a Cleveland, Ohio machine shop vital to the war effort. 
  • Maternal grandma Floyda Mabel Steiner (1878-1948) was a full-time mother, but also supplemented her husband's income during the Depression by working in a Cleveland-area store and stretching the family's income as far as possible. 
  • Paternal grandpa James Edgar Wood (1871-1939) was a carpenter and builder in Toledo, Ohio and, after his marriage, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Alas, this grandpa was a good builder but not as good a businessman, according to his oldest son. In fact, most of the homes he constructed are still standing and solid after more than a century. James was the last of this line of the Wood family to be a carpenter. None of his four sons worked in carpentry or wood, nor his grandsons.
  • Immigrant paternal grandma Mary Slatter (1869-1925) was, according to the London workhouse admission register, a servant at age 19 in 1888. My guess was it was more of a low-level maid's position. She lived in Whitechapel and came from extreme poverty. Her mother had been confined to an insane asylum for years at that point. How Mary supported herself after arriving in America in 1895 and before marrying grandpa Wood in 1898, is a mystery.
My grandparents (all four were immigrants from Eastern Europe)



  • Maternal grandpa Tivador Schwartz (1887-1965) was a "clerk" in 1909-10, working as a runner for the steamship lines and working with immigrants like himself (according to census and his naturalization papers). By 1915, he listed his occupation on the NY census as "steamship agent," technically a correct interpretation of what I suspect was commission-based sales of tickets or insurance or both to immigrants. By 1917, he owned his own grocery store in the Bronx, work he continued until he finally retired in the late 1940s/early 1950s. His grandchildren have exhibited some of his entrepreneurial drive!
  • Maternal grandma Hermina "Minnie" Farkas (1886-1964) used her sewing skills to help support her family after arriving as a teenage immigrant in late 1901. A Roth cousin "did her a favor" (according to my Mom) and found her paid work as a necktie finisher (census backs this up). She continued to work on "gents' neckwear" until she married grandpa in 1911. Once her husband owned his own grocery store, she worked alongside him--long hours on their feet, which hurt their health in later years. Minnie passed her love of needlework, as a hobby, to a daughter and granddaughters.
  • Paternal grandpa Isaac Burk (1882-1943) left his hometown of Gargzdai, Lithuania with training as a cabinet maker. He and his older brother, Abraham, made their living through carpentry. The UK census of 1901 shows them both living with family in Manchester, England, occ: cabinetmakers, true because I've seen Isaac's work. The 1910 US census lists Isaac as a "storekeeper, candy" but I'm not sure how true or long-lasting that was--maybe a quick stopgap in between his carpentry work. Isaac's 1942 WWII "old man's draft" card says he was a manufacturer of dress forms, but again, I'm not sure this is strictly accurate. One of Isaac's brothers-in-law had a dress-forms business. Isaac might have worked there part-time, especially to qualify for what was then a fairly new Social Security program.
  • Paternal grandma Henrietta Mahler (1881-1954) is shown as being employed as a "stenographer," according to the 1900 census. Mind you, she was in the country for 14 years. She was 19 at the time of that census and, I gather, a quick study, but I'm not sure she really took dictation. Probably she worked at some office-type clerical job (typing) to help support the family. Very likely she did some work in the garment trade, because her younger sisters worked in lace, millinery, and garment factories, cousins tell me. After she married grandpa, Henrietta took care of their growing family and transported the kids back and forth between New York City, where her widowed mother and siblings lived, and Montreal, where Isaac sometimes worked with his brother Abraham.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Case of the Missing Mortality Schedule

Interrupting my ongoing series on the Kossuth Society (starring my side of the family), today's #52Ancestors post is about hubby's great-grandpa, Edward George Steiner (1830-1880).

A carpenter born in Ohio, Steiner died in March, 1880, a few months before his 50th birthday and shortly before the US Census was taken in Nevada township, Wyandot county, OH. His widow, Elizabeth Rinehart Steiner (1834-1905), was listed as a widow in the Census, enumerated in June of 1880, as shown above. Living with her were her five youngest daughters, including hubby's future grandma, "Mabel" (Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure, 1878-1948).

Theoretically, Edward George Steiner should have been in the mortality schedule for 1880. If I could find him, I'd have lots of info, including his birth place, parents' birthplaces, cause of death, and so on (see an actual excerpt from a mortality schedule in Ohio, below).



I began by looking for Steiner using the indexed mortality schedule records on FamilySearch and Ancestry. No luck. Next, I decided to browse the 1880 mortality schedules for Wyandot county, Ohio, where his widow was living. I tried both Ancestry and HeritageQuest (which now uses Ancestry's images and search engine for censuses). Alas, no luck.

By choosing "Browse this collection" of mortality schedules for Ohio in 1880, I learned that no images are available in the alphabetical listing of counties beyond Geauga (as shown at right). I double-checked, and FamilySearch says these records don't exist. No Wyandot county mortality schedule to browse, in other words.

But since the family had also lived in Crawford county, Ohio, not long before, I selected Crawford and began to browse the 20 pages. Doesn't take too long to read the names on 20 pages. No Edward George Steiner or any name resembling his. Dead end.

Next, I searched all mortality schedules (1850-1885) for any Steiner (or Stiner, creative spelling). Out of the three dozen results, none was even a possible match. Dead end. Multiple requests to various Ohio repositories has turned up no death certificate on record.

Luckily, I have the above handwritten note from grandma Floyda, giving me the birth/death dates of her parents and some siblings. Her dates have proven to be correct nearly 100% of the time, and Edward George Steiner's headstone agrees. There are no Bible pages to check, no church records to search. No obit found (on various newspaper sites, including Chronicling America and Elephind, and in FamilySearch database; the one newspaper that might have published an obit in 1880 isn't held by any library collection).

Therefore, I'm going to accept the death date of March 13, 1880 and close the case of the missing mortality schedule.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Going to the Chapel - His Side of the Family

So many ancestors were married in June, in my husband's family tree and in my tree! I used RootsMagic7's calendar report to see who was married, when, and how long ago, tree by tree. This is a good opportunity to revisit my research, summarize what I know, see what's missing, and take the next step. Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this #52 Ancestors prompt.

Here are some of the early June marriages in my husband's tree:


  • June 3, 1903: Hubby's great-aunt Mary Amanda Wood married August Jacob Carsten 115 years ago in Toledo, Ohio. Sadly, Mary Amanda died at age 32, just months after giving birth to their fourth child. Mary Amanda was named for her mother, Mary Amanda Demarest Wood.
  • June 10, 1903: At top, the license application for hubby's Grandma Floyda Mabel Steiner and Grandpa Brice Larimer McClure, who married 115 years ago in Wyandot county, Ohio. Only through this record did I discover that Floyda had been married before. She was brave enough to divorce the first husband, who called her vile names and threatened her. Plus she won an alimony settlement!
  • June 12, 1856: My husband's 2d great-uncle Samuel D. Steiner married Maria L. Forrest 162 years ago in Crawford county, Ohio. While researching the Steiner family in Wyandot county a few years ago, I discovered that Samuel had been arrested for aiding/abetting burglary and not showing up in court. What happened? Don't know yet, but I did find Samuel at home in the 1880 census. 
  • June 13, 1847: My husband's 3d great-aunt, Elizabeth E. Bentley, married Emanuel Light 171 years ago in Elkhart, Indiana, as shown on the marriage license below. During the 1850s, Elizabeth and Emanuel left their home and traveled west, as her father had done in 1848 early in the Gold Rush. The Light family farmed in California. Despite years of research, the Bentley family's ancestors are still a bit of a mystery, one of my genealogical works in progress.


  • Wednesday, May 30, 2018

    Diary Entries Describe Decoration Day Traditions

    Today is the 150th anniversary of Decoration Day. The original purpose was to honor those who died serving in the Civil War by putting flowers on their graves. After World War I, the concept of Decoration Day expanded to decorating the graves of all U.S. military men and women who had died in wars.

    For decades, my late father-in-law, Edgar J. Wood (1903-1986) would drive his wife, Marian J. McClure Wood (1909-1983), from their home in Cleveland to Upper Sandusky, Ohio, for Decoration Day. In his diaries, he wrote "Decoration Day" on the space for May 30th and jotted notes about laying flowers on her relatives' graves. Interestingly, only one diary entry ever mentioned decorating his parents' graves in Highland Park Cemetery, Cleveland, and that took place on the day before Decoration Day.

    At top is a partial listing of Marian's relatives buried in Upper Sandusky's historic Old Mission Cemetery, including her mother, Floyda Mabel Steiner McClure (1878-1948). Also buried there are her aunts, uncles, and grandparents. None of these folks had fought or died in war; it seems it was family tradition to honor the memories of much-loved relatives by laying flowers on their graves every Decoration Day.

    According to the diaries, Edgar and Marian would pick up her father, Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970), for the drive to Old Mission Cemetery, where they laid flowers and had a picnic nearby. If it was raining, they ate in the car. Then they visited relatives in the area, such as Marian's Aunt Carrie Steiner Traxler (1870-1963), before driving home.

    For this generation of my husband's family, Decoration Day was a day of remembering those who had passed away and spending time with family members they rarely saw.

    Friday, May 11, 2018

    Remembering Ancestral Mothers with Love

    A tribute to the ancestral mothers in my family . . . 
    And in my husband's family . . . 

    They are loved and remembered, not just on Mother's Day!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2018

    Sad Family History Buried in Oceola #2

    A few years ago, hubby and I took a genealogy trip to Ohio to see where his Steiner ancestors lived and pay our respects at their burial sites.

    Tucked away in a less-traveled part of Crawford County, Ohio, was Oceola #2 Cemetery, shown above. Since this week's #52Ancestors challenge by Amy Johnson Crow is all about cemeteries, I'm looking back at our time there.

    Edward George Steiner (1830-1880) and Elizabeth Jane Rinehart (1834-1905) were my husband's maternal great-grandparents. They were born, married, and lived their entire lives in Ohio. Both are buried in historic Old Mission Cemetery, Nevada, Wyandot county, OH, a couple of miles away from Oceola #2.

    Most but not all of Edward and Elizabeth Steiner's 9 children are also buried in Old Mission Cemetery. And yes, that's the cemetery where the famous gravestone for Christiana Haag is located--the stone showing her death date as February 31. (Of course, like everybody else, I took a photo as a reminder that gravestones are not necessarily correct!)

    Once we left Old Mission Cemetery and located Oceola #2 (a bit off the beaten track), we found the gravestones for two other children born to Edward and Elizabeth. Sad to say, their eldest, "infant son Steiner," was born and died on October 23, 1852. Their second child, Elvaretta, was born some time in 1854 and unfortunately died on February 17, 1855.

    As heartbreaking as those little grave sites were, we already knew that, thankfully, the next child born to the Steiner family was a son who lived to be 80 years old!

    Sunday, March 25, 2018

    Easter Greetings in Family History

    By following the addresses and dates on holiday postcards sent to young Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957) in Cleveland, Ohio, I can see where the family was living and when, and who was staying in touch. Above, a beautiful penny postcard sent to Wallis by his aunt Nellie (Rachel Ellen Wood Kirby) and uncle Arthur Kirby in Chicago for Easter in 1914. Wallis was my husband's uncle.
    "Aunt Nellie" was, it seems, the favorite sister of Wallis's father, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939). They remained close as adults and his children received many postcards from this beloved aunt.

    James Edgar Wood's oldest son, Edgar James Wood (1903-1986), grew up and married Marian Jane McClure (1909-1983) in Cleveland in 1935. Above, an Easter-time photo of Marian at age 4 (as inscribed on the back--let me thank the ancestors for captioning!).

    As an only child, she was cherished by her parents, Floyda Steiner McClure (1878-1948) and Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970). After Marian married Ed, he became close to her parents and they had a good relationship all of their lives.

    Honoring the memory of my husband's ancestors as Easter approaches and writing down their family history for future generations to know and enjoy!

    Wednesday, February 14, 2018

    So Many Ancestors, So Little Time in the FHL


    So many ancestors, so little time in the wonderful, world-famous Family History Library . . . With RootsTech less than three weeks away, I'm doing some serious planning for my limited time at the library in Salt Lake City.

    How to decide which brick wall ancestors to spend my time on? I'm triaging my family tree and my husband's tree with these specifications in mind.
    • Do I have enough info to do more research? I won't consider researching any brick wall ancestor in Salt Lake City unless I have (1) a name I'm reasonably sure of, (2) approximate dates, (3) a birth, marriage, or death place. Otherwise, it's needle-in-haystack time. RESULT: I crossed hubby's 2d great-grandpa Jacob S. Steiner off my initial list because I have insufficient info to distinguish between him and the dozens of other men named Jacob Steiner born in Pennsylvania around 1800 who died in Ohio sometime after 1850. Instead, I'm going to look at his life in Tod township, Crawford cty, OH, in case there are additional records available AND ask a "coach" at the conference or the library for creative ideas about researching Jacob into Pennsylvania.
    • Can I research from home or use other resources? I'm taking the time now to see what's actually available at Family Search (and I'm doing another Ancestry search). RESULT: I got lucky with one set of Farkas ancestors on my tree--FHL microfilms are now digitized and I can check the index and browse images at home! But if I locate microfilms for a brick wall ancestor, I'll add the details to my to-do list for Salt Lake City.
    • Can I identify appropriate resources available in the Salt Lake City FHL?  As I narrow my focus on certain ancestors, I'll formulate a specific question to answer for each (such as "Who were Jacob S. Steiner's parents?" OR "What was Elizabeth Steiner's maiden name?"). Next, I need to review the FHL's resources to determine whether it has info available to help me address each question. RESULT: At top, a sample of my investigation into Crawford cty, Ohio resources at the FHL to answer my question about Jacob S. Steiner's parents and Elizabeth Steiner's maiden name. Since they lived in Crawford cty for at least a decade, I may find clues in documents, maps, Bibles, etc. One by one, I'll check each resource in the FHL catalog for Crawford cty to see where it is (online or FHL only) and what it is. Then I'll list which ones I need to consult at the FHL. That becomes my to-do list.
    Blogging about my preparations helps me think through the situation and develop the first draft of my action plan. 

    Suggestions are, of course, most welcome! 

    Monday, February 12, 2018

    52 Ancestors #7: Valentine's Day Marriage of Adaline and John

    For this week's Valentine's theme in the #52Ancestors Challenge (thank you to Amy Johnson Crow for this theme), I consulted my RootsMagic calendar to see what happened in my husband's family on February 14. I found one member of his mother's Steiner family had a special event on that day.

    Adaline Elizabeth Steiner (1837?-1912) married John Dome (1824-1902) on Thursday, Feb. 14, 1861. Adaline was a daughter of Jacob S. Steiner (1802?-1860?) and his wife, Elizabeth (1802?-1864), the brick-wall great-great-grandparents of my husband.

    Adaline's Valentine's Day wedding was her second marriage. In July of 1857, when she was just 20, she married her first husband, Albert Sigler (1833-1858). Their Ohio marriage record is shown here.

    Sadly, Albert died only 6 months later. The next time I found widowed Adaline Elizabeth, she was living with her widowed mother, Elizabeth, in the 1860 Census, as shown at top (occ: Sewing). There are other siblings in the household. And the last person in the household is "Albert J." aged 2.

    On Valentine's Day of 1861, Adaline married her second husband, John Dome. By this time, Valentine's Day was a thing. I want to hope they chose the day for romantic reasons!

    By the time of the 1870 Census, Adaline and her 2d husband, John Dome, were living in Jasper, MO. At right, an excerpt from that Census. The two children listed at the end, Ora and Laverne, were born to John and Adaline.

    Since John and Adaline were married only 9 years earlier, the first three Dome girls listed in this census (Mary, Ida, Eva) can't be Adaline's daughters.

    But below these three girls, "Sigler, James A" aged 12 is shown in this same household. That is almost certainly James Albert Sigler, who I believe was born to Adaline two months after her first husband Albert died.

    Remember Albert J, the 2-year-old listed in the Steiner household during the 1860 Census? Bet it was Adaline's son from her first marriage. Since she was widowed, where else would she go but back home?

    True, I don't have absolute proof that James is their son--his death cert shows "Unknown" for mother's and father's names (excerpt shown here), because a non-family member was the informant.


    James Albert was very likely Albert James. Multiple family trees from other researchers show James as the son of Adaline and Albert, but until I see the actual documentation, I can't put the QED on this. Still, the evidence strongly favors that interpretation.

    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    52 Ancestors #4: Inviting GGM Elizabeth Rinehart Steiner to Tea

    In this 4th week of Amy Johnson Crow's #52Ancestors challenge, "Invite to Dinner," I want to invite my husband's maternal great-grandma, Elizabeth Rinehart Steiner, to tea.

    This matriarch grew up in a pioneering family, and I'd like to ask about her daily life, her dreams, her happiness, her disappointments, her thoughts of the future, and her view of the past.

    Elizabeth was born on 18 February 1834 in an area later organized into Ashland County, Ohio. No official record of her birth can be found. She died on 4 November 1905 in Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio. The Probate Court there hasn't located her death record. I do have two obits that offer a lot of clues to Elizabeth's life.

    Elizabeth married hubby's maternal great-grandpa Edward George Steiner (1839-1880) on 7 August 1851, at age 17, in Crawford County, Ohio. (The obit has the year incorrect--I have the marriage license from 1851, and it indicates Elizabeth needed her father's permission to marry.)

    Together, they had 9 children. Their first two children died young, unfortunately. My husband is a grandson of their ninth child, Floyda Mabel Steiner.

    There are so many questions to ask GGM, but I'll limit myself to six since this is, after all, tea time:
    1. What was it like growing up as the daughter of a pioneering family in the 1830s? 
    2. Were the family stories true: Rinehart and Steiner were supposedly from Switzerland? Or were they from Germany or Austria or another area?
    3. How did you meet your future husband, and what kind of life did you envision with him?
    4. Is the family story true: that you chose the name Floyda for your youngest child because you were hoping for a boy after five boys in a row?
    5. What did you think of the Suffrage Movement and the idea of women gaining the right to vote?
    6. Of all the changes you witnessed and experienced in your 71 years of life, which most surprised or astonished you, and why?

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    52 Ancestors #3: Which Grandparents Lived to Meet Their Grandchildren?

    For week 3 of Amy Johnson Crow's latest #52Ancestors challenge, titled "Longevity," I'm looking at which grandparents outlived the other, and who in each couple got to meet their grandchildren.

    At right, my maternal grandparents in 1911, the year they married: Hermina Farkas (1886-1964) and Theodore Schwartz (1887-1965). Although Grandma Minnie and Grandpa Teddy both died at the age of 77, Grandpa Teddy had longevity on his side: He passed away just a few days short of his 78th birthday. Minnie and Teddy got to meet all five of their grandchildren.


    At left, my paternal grandparents in 1937, at the wedding of their younger daughter. They were Henrietta Mahler (1881-1954) and Isaac Burk (1882-1943). Grandma Yetta died at 72, while Grandpa Isaac died at 61 (well before my time). Isaac never met any of his five grandchildren; the first grandchild was born the year after his death, and named in his honor. Yetta knew all but one of their grandchildren, missing the youngest (named in her honor) by only a year.

    At right, my husband's maternal grandparents:
    Brice Larimer McClure (1878-1970) and Floyda Mabel Steiner (1878-1948). Granddaddy Brice died just shy of his 92nd birthday, while Grandma Floyda died at 70. Brice's longevity meant that he got to meet all three of his grandchildren but not all of his great-grandchildren.
    At left, my husband's paternal grandparents: James Edgar Wood (1871-1939) and Mary Slatter (1869-1925). Sadly, Grandma Mary was only 55 when she passed away, and none of her children had yet married. Grandpa James died at 67, having met two of his three grandchildren--who were then tiny tykes.

    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Planning My FHL Visit During RootsTech

    Salt Lake City, here I come for RootsTech 2018. Even though the conference is more than two months away, I have to start planning right now for my visit to the Family History Center.
    I remember scrambling to prepare for my visit to the Allen County Public Library during FGS in the summer of 2013. Thanks to a bit of advance planning, sketching out priorities, and defining specific questions to research, I was able to find new info about my husband's McClure family, in particular.

    So my first step is to research how to research in the FHL of SLC. Cyndi's List has some links I'm going to explore. Janine Adams recently mentioned a post from early 2017 about preparing for her visit, and the reader comments were really helpful too. Thanks so much, Linda Stufflebean, for reminding me that you wrote a useful post about the library, which is here.

    One of the key things I need to do is determine what I can research online from home or a nearby FHL and what can be done in SLC most efficiently and effectively.

    Also, I'm going to formulate specific questions to research and summarize what I already know in research notes, to avoid reinventing the wheel. Two questions I'm prepping right now are about my husband's family tree:

    • His 2d great-grandfather was Jacob S. Steiner (1802?-1860?). I found him in the 1850 Census in Tod, Crawford county, Ohio, but not in the 1860 Census. He's also named as an ancestor on a precious scrap of paper written by my husband's grandfather, and on documents pertaining to his children. But finding the right Jacob S. Steiner born somewhere in PA, somewhere around 1802, has been a big challenge. Ultimately, I really want to know whether the Steiner family was from Switzerland (as family lore suggests--but it could have been Germany or Alsace-Lorraine or Austria). And of course, I'd dearly love to identify his wife's maiden name and trace her family!
    • Hubby's 3d great-grandfather was Job Denning (1775?-1836). He died in Adams County, OH. Where was he born and who were his parents? Possibly he was born in Massachusetts, but I need actual evidence to make the leap one generation back. Thanks to Adams County records, I have background about his activities there. But where did he come from before arriving in Ohio?
    Oh, I can't wait to be dazzled by the FHL's treasure trove. But there's more homework first: I have to formulate specific questions concerning my own family tree. So many ancestors, so little time in the library, meaning I have to set priorities and goals...with a few minutes to spare in case of BSOs, right?