Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ashtabula County OH Resource- Correction.

Please be aware of this correction for my coverage of the Ashtabula County Genealogical

Your article profiling Ashtabula County DISTRICT Public Library SYSTEM
(the proper name)was brought to my attention. That library does not hold
the genealogy collection you mention. It is housed at their branch
library, Geneva Public Library, Geneva, Ohio. Would you please make a
correction to that effect? The two towns are about 15 minute drive apart
and it would be wasting a traveling genealogist's time to go to Ashtabula
Library first, rather than coming here in the beginning. We do get a lot
of travelers and despite the fact they have been to many much bigger
libraries with larger collections, many are awed when they enter our
genealogy room. Some years back one woman even wrote a beautiful poem
about it, ending with, "I thought I'd died and gone to heaven" (when she
was here).

Your other facts were correct,evidently picked off of our "It's a Keeper"
or "Your Place of First Resort" which are on links on the Geneva website.
It would be ok if you had quoted us more from that fact sheet. I assume
you got to the GPL web site through our ACDL System site, thus the wrong
attributing of where the collection is.

It would be kindly of you to make this correction and to amplify on the
holdings here. We have a large collection of material from other states
(mostly on the migratory path from New England to the Western Reserve as
well as a good collection of western PA and on the Virginias). The
Ashtabula County collection is the most complete and thorough collection
for our area found anywhere (including more than at Ft. Wayne or even Salt
Lake). There is a huge collection of microfilm mostly from the court house
in this county as well as something called "Archives Days" which was
filmed by the Ashtabula County Genealogical Society with their own
microfilming camera and contains Bibles, diaries, photos, cemetery
records, township and church records and much more. Also available are
online databases subscribed to by the library for the patrons use, and an
in-house staff created obit index that lets those from afar order xerox
copies of the actual obits.

The library has a partnership agreement with ACGS to house their
collection and the library itself has purchased or been responsible for
acquiring over half of the collection. The room and its nearby Archives is
dedicated to and named "The Platt R. Spencer Memorial Archives and Special
Collections Area," with genealogy being part of the special collections.
The library provides a paid staff of three and ACGS provides a Mature
Services volunteer as well as ACGS member volunteers when needed.

Two of the paid staff and one of the ACGS volunteers devote all their
time, when not servicing our walk-in patrons, to indexing and other chores
that make researching at this facility very productive. We are very
friendly and eager to assist researchers, pointing them to the materials
of most value to them based on asking them the surnames they are working
on here in the county and where their family resided. We also sometimes
put them in contact with others working on the same lines.

You may quote me (except for the first paragraph)

Louise Legeza, Archivist, Staff Genealogist
Platt R. Spencer Memorial Archives and Special Collections Area
Geneva Public Library
860 Sherman Street
Geneva OH 44041-9101

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Temporary Stoppage

Over the last few weeks the amount of readership for this blog has decreased dramatically. To me this is a indication that I am not reaching the audience with interesting and helpful information. The amount of time I spend researching the daily blogs does not warrant the readership. Thank you for your support in the past.

In a few days I will make a final decision.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Upcoming week

I will be in upstate New York during the upcoming week so I am spending the weekend writing this weeks blogs ahead of time. Have a great weekend and I will continue my overviews on Monday.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Allen County Public Library- Ft Wayne IN

If you have not made the trip to the Allen County Public Library in Ft Wayne, IN you have missed out on one of the largest genealogical libraries in the country. It is well worth the trip. They have just redone it in the last year and have all there resources available in the racks. Here is a link to a tour of the library.


Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Columbiana Co, OH- Civil War Commision

Many counties have records on a local basis for their soldiers that participated in the war. Be certain to check with the courthouse in the county of Columbiana Co. for these records. They are often in the probate court and tend to be records that are often overlooked for information.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Columbiana County- Newspaper Abstracts

Here is another interesting item concerning Columbiana Co.

Newspaper Abstracts From the Villages of Columbiana and East Lewistown, Ohio.
"The Independent Register" April 1, 1870 -1897
"The Columbiana Independent" September 1, 1898 - 1902
"Columbiana True Press" March 14, 1877 - July 31, 1878
"New Moon" East Lewistown 1891
DeWayne McCarty

For the past 3 1/2 years we have abstracted and typed all genealogical articles verbatim
from the above newspapers. These papers were published by weekly. The book is soft bound
with a laminated cover. It contain 656 total pages, of which 108 pages are the 3 column
Full Name Index. This information covers Columbiana Village and surrounding towns. (i.e.,
East Fairfield, Mosk (Middelton), Rogers, Elkton, Waterford, Oakville (Signal), Salem,
Leetonia, Washingtonville, Canfield, Steam Town (Woodworth), North Lima , East Palestine,
East Liverpool, Franklin Square, Palmyra, New Springfield, Elk Run, Elkton, Goshen
Township, Alliance, Hum Town, etc.). It also includes the "DISASTER (The sinking of
the Steamer Scioto with Five Hundred Excursionists) , on the Ohio River. " The format
is in chronological date order for each paper.

Book Description:
1.25" x 8.5" x 11", Weight is 3.25 #, 658 pages. (108 pages of which is
the Full name Index [i.e.; Surname, Given Name] ). The font in the articles is 10 point
Times New Roman. The font in the index is 12 point Times New Roman.
Soft bound with laminated cover.

Price: $46.00
Postage & Handling: $4.50

Please send orders to D. McCarty, 47 Village Court, Columbiana, OH 44408.

For information, send an E mail to "clarks70@sbcglobal.net". Please insert
"Newspaper Abstracts" in the subject line.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Columbiana County- Obits

I thought this link would be of information for folks doing research in Columbiana Co. This was on a recent newsgroup that I get.

Salem, Columbiana Co, OH has a public library, and they offer some Obits


When you open up this website you will scroll down, all the way to the
BOTTOM of the page, and you will see in the left hand corner a notice,
saying the Obituary Index. Click on that. The type in your surname and
make a search and all the obits for that surname will come back.

Now, make some notes as to the names you want, and the DATE the obit
appeared in the NEWSPAPER, because you can order a free pdf file sent to you
of the entire obit. For that you will first click on the deceased name, and
then a file comes up with all the relavent info from the obit, then at the
bottom of that page it states you can order an email sent to you of the
actual obit from the newspaper,, then click on that. A form will them come
up and you fill in the deceased surname, first name, and the DATE the obit
appeared in the paper, then your name, and your email address. They will
then email to you a pdf file of the obit.

To read a pdf file you will need Adobe Reader, and you probably already have
it, but if not, that can be downloaded for free from the internet. I do not
have that exact link to give you, but if you look enough you will find it,
or someone else may post that link for everyone.

Thank you and have a great day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Columbiana County- Cemetery Records

The majority cemetery inscriptions in the county of Columbiana have been copied by the local chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society. Understand that this is a very early county and over time stones have gone missing for a variety of reasons. The copies of these records is also located at the library in Lisbon.

When planning to visit the graveyard be sure to check for a care taker of the records for the cemetery you are looking for your ancestor. They often provide valuable clues to your families ancestry.

Good luck in your family search.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Library Visit

It amazes me the difference in the collections of one library to the next. Yesterday I was at the Toledo Public Library and I am always amazed how it changes and evolves from one visit to the next. The library is one that I first started doing my research in when I was thirteen and continues to be one of my favorites. A observation that came to me yesterday when I was there the amount of people doing their genealogy. It would be neat if they would have a sign in area that you could also list the names you are searching. Have often thought that I could be sitting right next to the solution to my genealogical problem.

The second observation was how wonderful it is to be able to trace a surname on line. Yesterday I went through probably fifty books with out finding anything. It also never stops surprising me on how many books do not have indexes. Many of the older publications lack the proper index.

Be sure to get out and support your local library.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I will be traveling to the library today to conduct some research. Should hopefully be able to post the results next Saturday. Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Northeast Ohio events

Here are some events coming up that should be of interest to people doing research in Northeast Ohio.

Saturday 9 February 2008 9:00 am -12:30 pm  Norm Henke will
encourage and share tips for your "Computer Tune-up Day!" at the regular
meeting of NEOCAG. During Second Session, Jan Shergalis will present
"Photographing Your Extended Family for Genealogy Part One: Great Group
Portraits" for photographing at family reunions and other events.
NEOCAG meets at St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church, 435 SOM Center
Road, Mayfield, OH. Guests are always welcome. A $1.00 fee covers per
capita charge.
Cynthia Turk

"The Search is On: Alternative Internet Search Engines, Searching Tips, and Free
Genealogy Websites using Your Library Card" is the featured program presented by
Sandee Ruth at the meeting of the Lorain County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society
on Monday, February 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the North Ridgeville Public Library, 35700
Bainbridge Road, North Ridgeville.

Sandee Ruth is the computer room coordinator of the Lorain Public Library and the
president of the Lorain County Computer User's Group. Her program will review alternative
Search Engines and offer some tips for more effective Internet searching. Sandee will
highlight the many free websites available on the library websites for genealogical

Social time is 6:30 pm; the program and meeting begin at 7:00 pm. The public is invited
to attend this free program.

For information about the Lorain County Chapter of OGS, contact Jean at atmmom1@aol.com or
Margaret at margcheney@aol.com.

Jean Copeland

Make time to support your local genealogical chapters. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Columbiana County- Land Records

Land records in Columbiana began being documented prior to the county even being formed in 1798. These records tend to be a often overlooked part of most peoples genealogical research. Land records provide actual documentation of a time period when a person moved into a county, relatives that live close to that person and approximate times when the person died. This truly is part of the detective work we hear about in genealogy.

Land records can vary in length and information. In my own personnel research I have seen many mentions of relationships identified in these documents not only with children, but also brothers, sisters, parents, aunts and uncles.

Be certain when researching your families land records. It is hard work and takes some getting use to, but pays off in big dividends. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Columbiana County- Wills

The research necessary to locate a will for a dead ancestor is well worth the search. Key to the search is to identify the persons date of death and use that as the starting point. Typically the will if written will be filed within six months after the persons death.

The wills in Columbiana County are located at the Probate Court. After searching I was unable to come up with a time period that the records were filed and indexed. Be certain to obtain a copy of the document when you send or visit the courthouse. Names and comments provide valuable clues when doing ones search. Maiden names for daughters are often only found in her parents Wills. Executors are often relatives and can be traced later for more clues.

Tomorrow I will be talking about naturalization records. Have a great day.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Columbiana County Death Records

Death records are important to confirm facts about our ancestors and their relationships. Records in Columbiana county are at the courthouse in Lisbon.

The County Clerk records include those deaths in the county from 1867 to present. All certified records can be obtained at these two locations. Be sure to have the date narrowed down to the day or at least the year. Please be patient with the these folks as it takes time to retrieve the records.

Remember the information in a death records is only as good as the person giving the information. Be sure to confirm the information with other source records. Many times maiden names of mothers, spelling and place of birth have errors. Be certain to confirm this information.

I will be discussing the wills in Columbiana County. Have a great day.

Columibiana County Marriage Records

The county of Columbiana started recording marriage records in 1803. This is a very early period of time as compared to many other counties. The records are located at the courthouse in Lisbon.

During my own research I have traced my ancestors through this county and I was amazed that they had marriage records as such a early date. All of the records are indexed and many of them have also been published. Be sure to pay special attention on marriage records to who the trustees that are listed. They often provide valuable clues to family relationships that are often overlooked when to doing your genealogy. Be sure to make copies of this document, because some of the names don't always stick out as clues immediately. In my family a person listed on a marriage record as a witness later was traced to be the maiden name of the mother once I traced the family back into Virginia.

Tomorrow I will be going over the death records of the county. Thank you again for your support and please send any questions or ideas you might have.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday News

Off to church I go. I will continue to cover Columbiana Co. in the AM. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Genealogy Groups

I hope that this site is providing valuable information for those folks that are readers. Now is the time to be attending your local genealogy group meetings. These are excellent places to learn new skills for future search and networking with people that can help you with your family search.

This take some time to attend these meetings in your area. The time spent will be well worth your time.

Thanks again for your support. Please let me know if there are any specific topics that you would like to see covered. Spread the word on the blog.

Friday, February 1, 2008

African American Research- Sandusky Library

Here is a great program for those that are doing African American Research.

Author, teacher, and genealogist Tony Burroughs says researching your family tree can lead to amazing finds - the secret to success is asking many questions. Mr. Burroughs, author of Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing The African American Family Tree, will present a daylong workshop on methods and resources for African-American genealogy research on Saturday, February 9, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Library Program Room, Terrace Level. A book signing will be held after the workshop.

Mr. Burroughs has appeared as an expert in the PBS series "Ancestors" and "African American Lives with Henry Louis Gates" and in the Discovery Channel documentary "The Real Family of Jesus." In addition to his writing, appearances, and service in genealogical organizations, Mr. Burroughs teaches genealogy at Chicago State University. A one hour lunch is on your own. Registration is required. To register, call 419-625-3834 and press 0 to speak with a switchboard operator (9-5, Monday-Friday) or press Option 6 to leave a message.

Have a great day in snowy Northeast Ohio.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Columbiana Co., OH- Birth Records

Birth records are valuable document in our family searches. The primary location to locate these records is at the county courthouse in Lisbon. It did not become the responsibility of the county to start recording birth records until 1867. Prior to this time they are non existent unless found in other sources.

Birth records start in 1867 and run until present. Be sure to have at least a decade narrowed down when you begin your search. Birth records tend to be indexed so you will be able to not only get the name of the person you are looking for, but also people with the same last name. This is helpful is rural counties where the population was not so high. Sure there are exceptions to this search, but they are few. Common surnames in a particular area translate into common relationships.

Be patient with the courthouse folks and realize they get many requests for searches. If you plan to go in person it is always a good idea to call ahead and make sure that they will be open when you wish to go.

Tomorrow I will talk about marriages. Have a great day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Columbiana County Ohio- History

The county of Columbiana in Ohio was formed on March 25, 1803 out of the counties of Jefferson and Washington. The land during this period of time was still inhabited by the tribes of Wyandots, Mingoes and Delawares. The county was names after the discover Christopher Columbus. The county seat is Lisbon.

A wide variety of nationalities migrated to this area including Quakers, Germans, Scotch Irish and English. We cover some of these groups in this area due to their importance to the county.

We start off with some more information on migration patterns in this area. Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Great Lakes Sailors

The occupation of serving on a ship was a important one in the early days of Northeast Ohio. As the area developed it became much more common in cities like Ashtabula, Conneaut, Geneva and Cleveland. Inter lake trade and transportation began as early as the 1800's, but really increased once the canal system was established.

Ships in those days would start from Buffalo at the eastern end of Lake Erie. This was the western edge of the Erie canal. A common cargo at this time was moving settlers from the east to points along the northern edge of Ohio and points beyond. Eastern supplies from industrial companies were also a common cargo. They would then transport on a very regular basis to the growing areas in Ohio.

Once they arrived in Northeast Ohio they then would transport about anything that could fit in a barrel back in East. Transport of food, raw materials like wood and stone were common. The trade would help the area become more prosperous and would work as a draw for people to the area.

Life as a sailor on a ship was a difficult one during this period of time. Ships were powered by the wind and later steam. Many people from the New England area had participated in these occupations prior to moving so it was often a life style they new very well.

The National Archives has records for people that were sailors on the Great Lakes. They are much later in time, but may shed light on your ancestors. The file is RG 85 which includes 91 rolls of microfilm.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Railroad Workers- NE Ohio

Did you have a Grandpa that worked on the railroad? From about 1850 to the 1950's this was a very popular occupation for people living in Northeast Ohio. The service records and location of the railroad routes can be valuable resources when researching your ancestors. This resource is not one that is commonly consulted when looking for information on your ancestors.

When looking through a ancestors obituary or stories you may learn that one of your relatives had worked for the railroad. This information can be used to gather additional information on your ancestors work career. The following resources are excellent for completing your search.

1. Jackson, Elisabeth and Carolyn Curtis. Guide to the Burlington Archives in the Burlington Archives in the Newberry Library 1851-1901. Chicago: Newberry Library, 1940.
This book includes land office records and payroll records.

2. Kanely, Edna. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Employees, 1982.

3. National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collection, Washington DC. Library of Congress 1962-1994.
This is a excellent record of where the records are stored at almost 1400+ repositories

4. Taber, Thomas T. Guide to Railroad Historical Resources. United States and Canada. 4 vols. Muncy, PA: TT Taber, 1993.
Another guide for location of historical materials. Lists addresses and all is listed by state.

The largest resource for locating your railroad workers is the United States Railroad Retirement Board which was established in the 1930's and house records up to pre 1937. You need to have the ancestors Social Security Number to complete the search. You will also need persons full name, railroad they worked for, time period of employment, birth date and death date. They can be contacted at www.rrb.gov/mep/genealogy.asp

Some other sources for online research are as follows-

1. www.cyndislist.com- Extensive resource for railroad links.

2. www.cprr.org/museum/links.html.com- Site for the Central Pacific Railroad

3. www.historical.com- Extensive railroad links

In the future I will be talking about other occupations and the genealogical records they may have.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Snowy Sunday

Had some more snow over night. Going all be gone by Tuesday with a warm up. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Recent Brickwall

Recently I received a brick wall on a family from the Cleveland area. Here is the information as I got it and some of the suggestions I gave for further research.

For over 5 years, I have been searching for the birth place of my husband's grandfather, Leopold Lucht.
Leopold was born somewhere in Prussia on 7 Jan 1859. He emigrated to the US, arriving at the port of New York on 21 Mar 1881. He settled in Cleveland, Ohio and married Emilie Potratz there on 1 October 1882. Leopold and Emilie had 13 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood (all are now deceased).
He was an early settler of the Brooklyn area and a pioneer teamster who helped develop much of that section of the county. He was in the excavation, grading and hauling business in his early years, and with his team of horses, he did much of the grading of Brookside Park. His community was known as Brighton when he first moved there, 60 years before his death in 1952. He eventually joined the old Cleveland Railway Company and worked for 25 years as a mechanic. He was one of the founders of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, and the first services were held at his home on Roanoke. Later, he became a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Leopold passed away on 25 Sep 1952, at the age of 93.
Leopold supposedly told a few family members that he was from "Sitno, near Danzig", but no one is sure of the spelling or the exact location of this Sitno. Leopold's naturalization papers say "Sitnau" or "Sitnar" (not sure of the writing)
I have done everything I can think of to find his place of birth, as my goal is to continue research in Europe. Besides his naturalization papers, I've reviewed Lutheran church records and civil records for his marriage, and that of his brother Henry and sister Otillie, both of whom also immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio. I have also reviewed Baptism records for most of his children (Immanuel and St. Mark's), his ship passenger list, 1907 Voter Registration, death, cemetery, funeral home records, his death notice and obituary, and census entries for 1900 – 1930. The naturalization papers give the only written clue to his birth village or town. All of the other records simply state "Prussia" or "Germany".
There are many places in today's Poland that are named or sound like "Sitno". Recently I paid for professional research in LDS microfilm for two villages that I considered to be good possibilities. The first one was closest to Danzig/Gdansk (between Kartuzy and Zukowo) but no Lucht surnames were found there at all. My researcher then went on to check the Sitno near Vandsburg (Flatow/Zlotow) and found Lucht, Gutknecht and Potratz surnames – all of which tie into this family, but he did not find Leopold’s family. I felt strongly about that area because, even though Leopold married in Cleveland, his wife's family was from Vandsburg and his sister married a "Tesmer" from Vandsburg. I was told that his sister, Otillie, was engaged in Prussia, so I figured that if her future spouse was from that area, she couldn't have lived very far away from it. But since no records were found for this particular Lucht family, I guess I was wrong.
2. The first thing to do when doing a check for those folks that come from the same place of origin. (Germany, Prussia, Poland) Next would be using the first item and then age group. Try to follow people that seem to be in the same age group as your relative. Check a couple successive decades to determine patterns of living next to each other in the Census. Finally locate death certificates, naturalization records and obits for those individuals to determine if they give better information of where they came from.

5. All the readers of the German newspapers tended to be immigrants. As a result the news covered in the papers appealed to this group. You will find much information of daily lives and information about the areas that they came from in Europe. It would be well worth your time to check this out. I am sure the event of the church opening was covered and may offer clues. Obits tended to be better than the local English paper.

Concerning the hiring of a professional genealogist you get a much better bang for your buck if you have narrowed down to a small area where they can from. Just to let you know the $400 dollar charge is fair for the amount of the preliminary work that the professional has to do with the search.

Hopefully this gives some ideas on your own research. Please let me know if you have any further questions or ideas. Have a great Saturday.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sandusky Public Library- Upcoming Program

I wanted to let you know about a Library Program Room on Saturday, February 2, at 2:00 p.m. as author James E. Duffey discusses his recently published book Victim of Honor: The Story of John Y. Beall and the Northwestern Conspiracy. The book is a historical novel based on the plot engineered by Confederate officer John Yates Beall to free prisoners from the Johnson's Island Civil War Prison Camp. This all happens at the Sandusky Library in Sandusky, OH.

Update on the brick walls they are starting to come in now and I should be able to profile some of these in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for your support.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Military Records- WWII

The last war that I will cover in this section is World War II. As we all know this war had a major effect on Northeast Ohio from both a people and economic standpoint. We played a major part in supporting the war effort.

When looking for genealogical records related to this service you are left with two basic sets of records draft registration and enlistment records. The unfortunate part concerning these records is that the National Archives had a fire and many of these records were destroyed. The good news is that many of them survived.

The registration cards are very similar to those records covered for WWI. The document lists the persons name, birth, location of birth, occupation and personnel stats. It also tells where the person lived at the time of sign up.

The enlistment records give a brief description of where the person was mustered into the military. What part of the military did they serve. The document also gives what theater of the service the person served.

Again these records can be obtained from the National Archives or Ancestry (pay site) on the internet.

Over the next week I will start profiling the individual counties in Northeast Ohio. Please ask questions now or ideas you would like me to cover and I will include them. I am also still looking for peoples brick walls. Do you have ancestors in Northeast Ohio that you are having trouble with? Give me a try I will do it for free and it will be profiled on Saturdays in the blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Militarry Records WWI

The Great War was the first major global event for soldiers in Northeast Ohio. The information from this war is unique in that the main document is the draft registration card that was generated on a local basis.

When tracing you WWI ancestor the first item is to know where they lived during the possible time of sign up. The cards for a particular area are listed alphabetically. The information provided is fabulous. They list the persons name, address, date of birth, age, race, citizenship status, birthplace, occupation and employer, dependent relative, martial status, father's birthplace, and name and address of nearest relative. For many new immigrants this would be one of their first important documents while in America. The listing of the soldiers address and relatives address are very important when proving kinship.

Another index that I have seen for this time period that is very valuable is of all women in a given area that are able to work. The cards list all the same information as the men, but include their ability to work. This is a fascinating resource for a period in our history that was dominated by men.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Civil War- GAR

The Grand Army of the Republic is a military organization that was organized by veterans on the Union side of the Civil War in 1866. This group was located in almost ever town in Northeast Ohio of any size. This group is similar to a VFW hall that we would have in modern times.

The records by this organization are a little hit and miss. Many of the records for the individual groups were destroyed for a variety of reasons over the years, but some have been kept. Applications for this organization were often as detailed as those used for pension records. Another interesting outcome was the publication of the group magazine called "The National Tribune". Here the soldiers would write detailed stories about their experience in the war. These can be very interesting and offer flavor to your ancestors past if they participated in the same Regiments in the war.

The GAR held annual meetings on a national, state and local level. In the city of Cleveland and Toledo held one of the national meetings. At the time this was a pretty major event and would bring thousands of people from all across the country to your city. There would be marching bands, speeches and a variety of other activities. In most cases the President of the United States would be in attendance at this event.

The city of Lima held the State convention on several occasions. This was well attended by people all over the state of Ohio. You will find pictures and many post cards of downtown Lima decorated for this event.

On a more local level the individual regiments will have reunions.

All of these gatherings would produce items for the soldiers. Many medals, ribbons, water canteens, cups, books and pins were produced as keep sakes. Pictures were also taken in abundance and many pictures can be found with males wearing medals. If you have old pictures this is a excellent clue to participation in the Civil War.

Similar to today's Women's Auxiliary for the VFW the GAR had a Women's Auxiliary. Records were also kept for applications for this group as well. Information and clues exist in their records but many have experience the same fate as the men's.

A good place to start your search is to determine if your person participated in the Civil War. Then check out the Ohio Historical Society website. They have many sources on the GAR.

Another link to check out is manuscript collection at the Library of Congress. On their website they have a listing of all the GAR posts in Northeast Ohio. They are intermixed with the rest of Ohio, but this will help find if there was a local post in your area. When I looked, most cities large and small had a GAR post.

Another current group that grew out of this group is Sons of Union Veterans and Daughters of Union Veterans. These were organized as the veterans began to pass on and kept their children involved in the group. There are some of these groups spread across Northeast Ohio and meet on a monthly basis.

Good luck on your GAR research.

Civil War Pension Records

In the early stages of tracing your family back in time, the pension records from the Civil War are a important document. If your relative served in all likely hood they applied for a pension record. It does not mean that they got one, but even a rejected application can have a great deal of information.

Here again the more information and details you have on the solider the better. The information provided on the service record application is the same for the pension record. The information is a first hand account by your ancestor or widow on the events that occurred during the individuals service. The primary information is person's name, date of enlistment, location of enlistment, birth date, location of birth, injuries during battle, death date if widow and location of death. Another important item is a list of where they have lived since the war and complete list of children with birth dates. The information in these documents can vary, but I have seen several that exceed fifteen pages and up. Pension papers are one of the few documents in your research that you will get a first hand account done by your ancestors. All of these records area available again at the National Archives.

My ancestor George Davey applied for a pension after he left the service. When he enrolled he had actually given the wrong year of birth. He was older than most when he signed up so his date he gave the government varied by ten years his actual birth date. Needless to say when it came time to apply for his pension he had a lot of explaining to do. His pension record had a great deal of documentation as a result.

Be sure to get your ancestors service and pension records from the Civil War. They offer extensive clues to earlier generations.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cold Cold Sunday

Thank you for all the interesting Brick Walls. Keep them coming.

Have a great Sunday. Continue with Military records this week.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Morning

The site is starting to develop slowly. I hope that the information on the military records is helpful in your research. I will continue next week up to WWII records.

Wanted to everyone to know I am currently working on a project for the Lakeside Historical Society that involves the publication of a book. The topic of the book is pictures of the long history of Lakeside, OH. For those that don't know Lakeside is located over by the Lake Erie Islands close to Marblehead. This was and continues to be a popular summer destination for folks from Northeast Ohio.

Another note the first county records that I will be profiling is Ashtabula. My family has a long history in that county that dates back to 1798. The sad part is the folks with the counties mailing list don't feel I am providing worth while information. I hope there are still some folks interested in that area visiting the blog.

Thank you for those that have sent me their brickwalls. I am currently evaluating them and will begin the research process. Please be patient as I work through the research.

Thanks again and have a great weekend.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Civil War Records- Case Study Part 2

From our last post on this topic we were able to determine that William Wallace Brown served in the 54th Ohio Co. K. The next step was to order the service records from the National Archives to document his period of service in the war.

The first step in this process is to get the form. This can be obtained from the National Archives website. From the County history I was able to determine the period of time that he served. (8 Feb. 1864-15 Aug. 1865) Other facts that are needed on the form is state of service, union or confederate, and volunteer or regular. The unit in which he served is critical. (54th OH, Co. K) They also want to know the persons date of birth, death and location of each event. The less information that you are able to provide the less likely you are to get back information from the National Archives.

With the use of a credit card the records can be ordered over the Internet. Allow for four to six weeks for delivery though. Please be aware that this information costs from $50 to $75 dollars.

The information you can expect to obtain from the service documents includes the rank of the solider, rate of pay, locations of payment, health and date of mustering out. The amount of data retrieved from these files really varies. I have experienced a variety of information from these records. They can be as basic as date of document, soldiers name, location of pay and amount of pay. Then there are others where the amount of information is much more detailed.

William Wallace Brown's service records were very detailed. He served a very short period of time in the war. He served in the latter half of the war in the Western Theater. The battles he fought in included Stone River, Chickamauga and March to the Sea. William was present at the signing of the peace treaty by Johnston in North Carolina and participated in the victory parade in Washington, DC at the end of the war. This was rare for soldiers that were fought in the Western portion of the war. Finally he was mustered out of the war in Texas. Amongst the things that he took home with him according to the documents was his uniform and equipment including his gun. This type of information is rare and would not be found anywhere else other than family lore.

I know in the case of my own ancestor my father and I took it one step further. We used the service record along with some other sources to document where are ancestor participated during the war. Then we mapped out a trip and visited the many battles that he served in during the war. This turned out to be a very moving experience for both of us. The meaning of history and the part that are ancestor had played in the war came home to both of us.

Tomorrow I will talk about the pension records. This will give a much richer understanding of the value of military records.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Military Records- Civil War Case Study

The first steps in searching your Civil War ancestor is to determine if they participated in the war and from where did they serve. I will show this process in a search I did recently for a client.

Recently I was having a party at my home and had a conversation with a friend that I have had for years. While in my office he was looking at the many Civil War items I had decorating my walls. He indicated that he thought he had an ancestor that participated in the war. Curiosity had gotten the best of him and he knew that I did genealogy searches of this sort.

Here are the facts as he told them to me to begin the search.

1. The subjects name was William Brown (Yikes, Can we get anymore generic)
2. He lived in Upper Sandusky, Wyandotte Co., OH when he died.
3. His spouses name was Harriett.
4. Family lore indicated that he was always called Colonel.
5. The family had sold all his Civil War related items from this person several years ago.

This was all the information that I had to go on to begin the search. The intention here was to determine what unit he served in and where. My friend was also interested in learning if William Brown or his spouse Harriett had applied for a pension. So I began the search.

I had my friend talking to relatives to see if any more information could be learned. No success. We talked with his father to determine if any written information was in the families hands. No information.

This left me to begin the search in the Census records of the time to determine age and location of our William Brown right before the Civil War broke out in 1861. I new that the majority of the people that served in the war were born between 1820 and 1847. Sure, there are exceptions at both ends of the period. Some generals that served in the war were born prior to 1820 and some drummers were born after 1847. I started my search looking in the 1850 Ohio Census for Wyandotte Co., OH. I was able to locate the proper William Brown living in the county during this period. This was good information, because it showed that he had been in the county for several years prior to entering the war. From the records I was able to determine that he was born in the year 1843. This fit's the proper age group for service. The next step was to track the same individual into the 1860 census. He was found ten years older of course and still living with his family.

The next step for me was to determine what unit William Brown may have served. Well up front I new this was going to be a difficult task. I checked a free online resource called the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. When doing a search in the listing for William Brown serving in the Infantry from Ohio I had over 275 hits. Needless to say this was not the answer in narrowing down the search. I needed to find another way.

A very good source in most counties is the county or regimental histories. I started by looking through the county histories. I was able to determine through the History of Wyandott Co., OH that men from the county served in a least eight different regiments. Not to mention some cavalry and artillery units. I did some more study of the individual units on another website to determine my next best plan of attack. The information indicated that some of the units were actually organized in adjacent counties. A regimental history was not available.

I cross referenced my unit list with William Brown's in them against those units in the history that came from Wyandott Co. Through this I was able to narrow the search down. Two regiments remained. The 88th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the 54 th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
According to the county history company K of the 54th was partially organized in the county, but were mustered in Lima, Allen Co., OH. Through the search of the regiments lists of members served. I determined that indeed a William Brown served in this unit. The 54th served from 1861 to 1865. From the regiment lists that William Brown never served as a Colonel.

The next step was to consult with a different county history where I was able to find a biography on William Brown. From the information in the bio I confirmed that the individual was married to Harriett Paulin and he has served in the 54th Ohio company K. He also died in Upper Sandusky in old age and had been a member of the GAR.

Needless to say my friend was thrilled with the information. The search was not done yet and I will talk about that in the next few days.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Military Records-Civil War

The Civil War would be a life changing event for many that lived in Northeast Ohio. The state of Ohio was one of the larger states when it came to organizing and supplying the war effort. The first call for soldiers signing up would be in 1861.

The soldiers in the beginning would sign up on a regional basis. A prominent citizen with no other qualifications than being prominent in that area would lead the organization. The call would come from the governor and then down to a local level. Having a person with any military training to lead a troop was very rare. Political clout tended to be a major qualification for leadership. In the early years of the war the sign ups were brisk. Many people of the period believed that the war was going to last for a very short period of time. Thus the ninety day troop sign up was the first version. The experience level of the leadership would add to the awful cost of war.

The typical regiment was organized at the county seat. The individual units within the regiments would be organized from the various geographic areas within the county. In counties where population was sparse it was not uncommon for units to organize in the regiment in the next county. Once the regiment was organized they were then sent to Camp Chase in Columbus. I have seen exceptions though to the in county and adjacent county rule, but this typically happened later in the war.

The majority of the soldiers in Northeast Ohio would end up serving in the eastern and western portion of the south. Many units from Northeast Ohio served with distinction and many generals would come from our area.

More on the Regimental records later.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Indian Wars

One of the lesser known sources for military records is the Indian War Series. The people that served against the Indians from 1817 to 1898. This was a very common form of service in Southeast Michigan in the early years prior to the movement of the Indians from the area.

This series is indexed by surname and is stored at the National Archives in the Index to Indian Wars Pension Files 1892-1926(T318-twelve rolls). Included in the file is how long the person served, whether they survived the war and if the solider was survived by a widow. They also include places lived. When they were married and to whom. Location where they died and children with birth dates.

As you can see from the overviews on War records there is a lot of valuable genealogical related information that can be gained.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

War of 1812

One of the interesting outcomes of the War of 1812 was not only did it result in securing this area for the United States, but it also resulted in many of the soldiers and sailors staying in this area after the war.

In the case of the foot solider they got to see a lot of the land by virtue of the major form of transportation in the army at the time called walking. They moved all along the Maumme River and up into the southern portions of Michigan. This would give them valuable understanding of the area and would result in many of them locating in this area after the war.

Just like the Revolutionary War there are three primary sources of records. They include service records, pension records and bounty land records. The service records run from 1812 to 1815. They are organized by state or territory and then by individual regiments. Genealogical information in these records is slim like in the Revolutionary War records.

The really sad part concerning the pension records and bounty land records is Congress did not get around to passing legislation until 1871 and 1878. The vast majority of soldiers that had participated and their wives had passed away by this time. As a result the claims for this war are low. The files are listed alphabetically by last name. The information included in these files both pension and bounty is name, age and residency of the veteran. The maiden name of the wife. The place and date of their marriage. The rank achieved while participating during the war. The unit that he served. The date and locations of joining and discharge. The widows claim includes the widows name, age and place of residence. Date and place of their marriage and the name of the official that performed the ceremony. The date and place of the veterans death.

The records are all included at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Provide as much information as you can about your ancestor. The fewer facts you have on the forms the higher likely hood of rejection.


Have a great Sunday. Back to military records on Monday.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Brick Walls

On Saturdays I would like to profile peoples brick walls. I will research your family for free offering clues and solutions to your research. Then I would profile the search on the blog. Please send them to my email. Thank you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Geauga County Public Library

When doing research in Geauga County Ohio the place to start is at the county library in Chardon, OH. Here you will find a wide variety of sources for your genealogical hunt. One of the best things about this library is not only their fantastic collection, but the wonderful website they have. In all my research I have never found a website with so much information from a library. Normally I recap the collection, but I feel the website would do it better justice. Here is the link.


Please check out this wonderful site. The library is located at

Anderson Allyn Room For Genealogical Research
Chardon Library
110 E. Park St.
Chardon, OH 44024
(440) 285-7601 voice
(440) 285-3803 fax

Hats off to the staff at the library for a job well done.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Revolutionary War Soliders

With the creation of the United States laws were provided to take care of those veterans that served our country during the Revolutionary War. The descendants of the soldiers came to the area of Northeast Ohio in large volumes.

Northeast Ohio had a few Revolutionary Soldiers that died and were buried in the area. Due to the age of many of the soldiers who fought it was not common for them to come to our area. The information gained from there service records can be valuable to tracing your ancestors to their states of origin.

Two primary records exist for the soldiers that served. The first is the service record. There were two primary units. They were those that served in the Continental Army and those that served in the state militia. Service records for the Continental Army are located at the National Archives and state militia records are at the state level of the state served. These records provide information on when the person served, where they joined and how long they served. This information provides valuable clues to the area that the person came from. This is critical when trying to trace the ancestors back further.

The second primary source and by far the most valuable is pension records and bounty land warrants. These provide a treasure trove of information related to the soldiers life and military service. The person was proving who they were and that they were eligible for the pension. In these records you will find where the person was born and when. You will get a list of where this person has lived since their service in the war. This is important, because it shows their migration pattern. The document will list who they served under and where they served. The spouses name will be listed and I have seen instances where the spouses maiden name is given. Spouses were also eligible for this benefit after the death of the solider.

Bounty Land warrants were applied far more than the pensions. The information provided is the same as that for a pension. Over 450,000 applications are located at the Archives in Washington. These bounty's were granted all over the Northern part of Ohio.

The records both for the Continental Army, pension records and bounty land warrants are located at the National Archives in Washington. The files are indexed by the soldiers name. When searching your family history this is another valuable source of information and something to be very proud of their service.

Migration Pattern- Connecticut Western Reserve

The most prominent migration pattern to our area was that coming from New England. A primary reason for this was the creation of the Connecticut Western Reserve that was created after the Revolutionary War.

The state of Connecticut claimed all lands running east from it's borders towards the Mississippi River. Once the federal government was established after the Revolutionary War the state ceded the land, but maintained claim to a 120 mile section of Ohio in the Northwest Territory. The money generated from this land was used by the state to help support it's school system. The counties of Huron and Erie were set aside as suffers land. This was land compensated by the state of Connecticut to people that had their property destroyed by the British during the Revolutionary War. This part of the reserve would later be known as the Firelands.

The remaining acres which would amount to about 3,000,000 acres was sold to the Connecticut Land Company. The area was purchased for about $1,200,000 which works out to about .40/acre. Moses Cleveland was hired to survey the area and arrived in present day Conneaut in July of 1796. The survey of the whole area was completed in short order.

People would start arriving in this area in earnest around 1798. The majority of the people coming to this area came from New England. We have a very strong connection back to New England and is a very common trend when tracing our families back in time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Migration Patterns- Traveling in Groups

A common misunderstanding is that people would travel either alone or in single family groups. This is not the case. Unlike today where people travel often on their own to new homes in the early days there was strength in numbers. This becomes a very important issue when using the Census to pinpoint family groups and areas of origin.

When reviewing the US census records it is important to use the up ten and down ten rule. Once the person you are looking for is identified on a particular census sheet it is now time to use the rule. Look at the ten family groups previous on the census and the ten families after you ancestors group. Notice surnames and states of origin that are common. These will be very important clues to doing your search.

During a recent search I was able to use this technique with great success. I was having problems with locating the original state of origin for a family member. They were living in Huron Co., OH from about 1845 to the early 1900's. From information I obtained I new that the family had originated from Ashtabula Co., OH, but the eldest members had been born in Massachusetts. They were in Ashtabula at a very early date between 1820 and 1845. From doing will and land searches in Huron Co I determined that my ancestor has a brother living in the same town. This helped me in locating where they lived in Ashtabula. They had both lived very close to each other through several census records and ended up being buried very close to each other in a cemetery in Huron.

When looking at the Census records for 1820 and 1830 in Ashtabula I was able to identify several heads of household sharing the same name. On the brothers census in 1830 two people living with him were over 70 years in age 1 male and 1 female. Combining this information with tax records and voting records I was able to determine that this was the boys father. With additional search I was able to determine that other people with the common surnames were male siblings. Without using this technique I would not have been able to connect the family back to the 1630's.

So when you are doing your next census search remember families and old neighbors moved in groups. Check the names and locations where they came from. Searching some of the biographies or obits on the neighbors may help in determining your ancestors origins.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Migration Patterns- 1820

Prior to 1820 the migration routes into the Northeast Ohio region were limited.

During this early stage the major route overland was the Seneca Road which began in Buffalo and went as far as current day Cleveland. Two major trails moved back to the east coast traveling through the New England states. The southern route was the National Pike that came through the mid section, but during this time period there was no real extension up to the Northeast.

The roads during this time period were extensions of paths that had been created by the American Indians and had been used by them for centuries to travel between tribes. At this time they were not designed for wagon travel and many of the early settlers were forced to widen the roads as they traveled. Some of the early expansion of these roads occurred by the soldiers that were fighting during the War of 1812. Travel none the less was a long and difficult journey. Northeastern Ohio became a common stopping area on people's migration trails west.

Navigation of Lake Erie was also taking place during these early stages. The cities of Ashtabula, Conneaut, Geneva and Cleveland became common areas for port arrival. Food also was transported out of these ports in very small quantities. Water travel was by far the easiest, but as of yet had not developed enough to become a major factor. The Erie Canal out east was also just in the early stages of development and would become a driving force in migration after 1820.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


I have noticed during my searches on the internet that many of the libraries local history rooms and genealogical groups are looking for volunteers. The projects vary from cataloging collections, helping fellow genealogist with challenges, documenting cemetery stones and helping with new items. Please help your local library or genealogy group so we all can benefit from the work.

Please send me your brickwalls and I will help you with them. Click on my profile by my picture and this will take you to my email. This will be featured in my Saturday posts as I help discover solutions.

Thank you again for all your support and have a great weekend.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Brick Walls- Northern Ohio

Each Saturday I would like to use readers brick walls as case studies on how to go about tracing your ancestors. Please click on my profile next to my picture. This will take you to my email and please send me your brickwalls. My hope is that this will help others in solving their genealogical challenges.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ashtabula County Public Library

Each Friday I will be covering a local library or genealogical related collection in our area. This week I will be profiling the collection at the Ashtabula County Library.

The collection includes over 970 genealogies all of which have a connection to the county. Remember when using genealogies that they must be documented. A genealogy without proof is just fiction. There is also extensive collection of surnames and lineage charts.

Vital records are in the collection for both birth (1867-1908) and marriage records(1811-1900). Be sure to get copies of these records to build your body of proof on for your research.

Newspapers in the collection date back to 1855. Obituaries can often provide valuable clues to relationships and origins.

The micro film collection is vast and includes many vital records. Census records are complete and are a valuable source for information.

The written collection includes all the main histories in the county, cemetery records, county atlases and all know histories on Northeastern Ohio.

Needless to say this is a valuable resource when doing research in Ashtabula County and all Northeast Ohio. The local library collection is open during normal library hours.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Migration Patterns 1780-1850 Erie Canal

One of the major events of movement west was the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The waterway ran from Albany, NY and traveled to Buffalo, NY along the eastern edge of Lake Erie. Travel suddenly became easier and cheaper.

The canal began in Albany, NY along the upper portion of the Hudson River area. This was a ideal location for those people living in the New England states to start their trip West. Prior to the canals opening the main form of travel was overland following trails that were no better than wide openings in the woods. The safety and ability to move from Albany to Buffalo in days instead of weeks was a major improvement in western travel.

The close location of the beginning of the canal being in Albany allowed migrants from Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts to travel very easily using the canal. People in the New England states were becoming crowded and the need for farm land was important. The practice of leaving property to the first born and the creation of large families forced the people to find their fortunes in the west. New England was one of the largest groups to make their way to Ohio and settle.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Migration Patterns 1780-1850 Northeast Ohio

The early stages of migration from the east began in large numbers after the completion of the Revolutionary War. There were several paths that people would follow to get to our area. The first was overland and the second was via the Great Lakes.

The eastern portion of the United States during the period after the Revolutionary War was becoming crowded as families grew and more immigrants continued to come to our country. Second sons and later began to look at the west as a solution to the crowding problem. Bounty lands as a result of the war were also common in our area. This was a big draw for families moving to this area.

The primary route used during this time was coming out of New England to Albany, NY. The period prior to the canal was where this area became a common area to start the journey west. The early route moving west out of Albany was called the Mohawk Turnpike that traveled to the Buffalo area. From Buffalo they would travel down along the eastern edge of Lake Erie on the Seneca Road which stopped in Cleveland.

The turnpike or road as they called it was more of a path. The common route had normally been a Indian trail prior to the Europeans locating in the area. Those brave souls that set out to go west had a challenge in front of them of astronomical proportions. Traveling primarily in groups of your family and neighbors they would set out in their wagons, horses and livestock. The trail was treacherous and difficult to travel. Not to mention the fact that there were Indians in abundance.

Tomorrow I will talk about the latter half of this period with the opening of the Erie Canal.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Bio- Derek S. Davey- 6/07

Derek is a professional genealogist and sales manager for an Ohio Industrial Distributor. He has been researching his own family since 1974 when he was thirteen years old. Primary areas for professional research are Northwest Ohio and South Eastern Michigan for the past fifteen years. Lectures on a variety of topics related to genealogy in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. Currently working on a transcription project of the 1900 US census for NEHGS. Specialty areas are computer genealogy, civil war research and New England research. Member of the National Genealogical Society, NEHGS and Association of Professional Genealogist. Graduated with a BA degree from the University of Toledo in History. Derek is married and has one son. Lives in the Toledo, OH area