Sunday, December 14, 2014

Church Record Sunday - Founding of Catholic Church in Clinton County, Ohio

A 1915 history of Clinton County, Ohio by Albert J. Brown says that the first Roman Catholic mass celebrated in Clinton County, Ohio in August 1852 had ten attendees: Michael Devaney, wife, and daughter, Timothy Coakley, Patrick Creedon, Jeremiah Coakley and wife, Catherine Knaughton, and two young men whose names were not recorded.

Fourteen years later, it appears that some of the same people petitioned the people of Clinton County for donations to build a church there. This excerpt is from a long article published in the Wilmington Clinton Republican on April 15, 1864. It lists the names of those making the appeal as Michael Divany, J. Coakly, James Monaghan, W. Maher, Jno. Kiefe, James Doyle, J. Miller, P. Credin, John Durkin, I. Egan, Jos. Strotman, B. Senton.

My guess is that this is the same Michael Devaney, Jeremiah Coakley, and Patrick Creedan that were at the first mass in Clinton County in 1852. Patrick was my 3x great-grandfather and my Creedan family had ties to the Coakley and Keefe families.

This gives me a few more names to investigate in Clinton County. I believe my Creedan/Creeden family may be related to the Coakley and Keefe families, but haven't found definite proof yet. So far, I know that Patrick Creedan was married to a Mary Coakley and that Timothy Keefe was the trustee for Patrick's estate. Timothy was the son of Johannah Creedon.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Father and Son

This photo of my grandfather Robert Creeden and great-grandfather Charles Creeden was probably taken in 1914 or 1915. The photo was taken at the G.A.Boosz studio in Celina, Ohio.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday filled with family, friends, and good times.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mappy Monday - Geogen German Surname Mapping Tool

If you have German ancestors, you might want to give Geogen a try. The site produces maps of Germany showing the most common locations for a surname based on phone book entries. While  this represents fairly recent data, the concentrations might give some clues to help find the regions a family originated from.

I knew my Rohrer family was from Ellwangen, Germany, so I was curious to see where the current Rohrers were located. The map below shows the relative distribution for the Rohrer surname based on number of entries per million. The darker the color, the more Rohers are located in that area.

Ellwangen is in the district of Ostalbkreis, which I've circled on the image below. Interesting to see that my Rohers were from the same part of Germany where many of the present day Rohers are concentrated.

The site also has some other tools. A Name Graph shows similar surnames. This seems to be random since I get a different set of names each time I select it, but it does point out some different spellings to try. There is also an option for an absolute distribution map which is color coded based strictly on the number of entries for an area. The relative and absolute maps were fairly similar for the Rohrer families. A pie chart tool displays the surname distribution sorted by Federal States.

The Geogen site was developed by Christoph Stöpel and is free to use. Images may be posted as long as they are not commercial and the copyright notice is not removed. Thanks to Family Tree Magazine for mentioning Geogen on their Facebook page.

Mappy Monday is a GeneaBloggers prompt where you can post map images and how they relate to your research or discuss other aspects of land ownership and your ancestor. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Dennis Coakley of the 79th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

I posted earlier about an entry in an abstract for the Wilmington Clinton Republican newspaper that stated: DIED, Dennis Coakley, of the 79th Reg. Ohio Vol. Leaves wife and 2 small children. The abstract for Dennis Coakley was taken from the April 7, 1865 edition of the Clinton Republican newspaper published in Wilmington, Ohio.

I believe the Coakley families of Clinton County, Ohio are connected to my Creeden family. My 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan was married to Mary Coakley. Both Patrick and the early Coakley families were present at the first mass held in Clinton County in 1851.

I took advantage of a special offer from Geneabloggers for a one month subscription to FindMyPast and much to my surprise they have the Clinton Republican newspaper online. The page containing the notice for Dennis Coakley was full of information on the 79th regiment and provided more details on Dennis' death. Following are some small excerpts from the newspaper page.

A list of casualties for the 79th OVI from January 18, 1865 to March 25th was provided to the Clinton Republican. According to the notice, the casualties occurred on the campaign from Savannah, Ga., to Goldsboro, N.C. Dennis Coakley was a private in Company G.

A special note was added about Dennis stating that he "fell bravely in advance of the front rank. He was struck in the breast, dying instantly. By his death another widow is added to the list of mourners".

Another article on the same page provided a few more details. "Amongst the killed we are pained to find the name of our former townsman, Dennis Coakly, who fell at the battle of Smithsville, bravely leading in the advance of a charging column, on the 16th of March. He has left a widow, now almost frantic with grief, and two little orphan girls, in this place."

I'm hoping to follow up with more information on Dennis and his family through military and probate records. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Finding a Wedding Date for Kate Covey and George Chilcutt

I haven't found a marriage record for my 2x great-grandparents George Chilcutt and Kate Covey, but I was able to find some information in other sources. The 1900 and 1910 census records state that Kare and George had been married for 24 years and 34 years which would place their year of marriage at 1876.
1900 census, Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, MD
1910 census, Ruthsburg, Queen Anne's County, MD
A newspaper article gives their wedding date as December 23, 1876. The article published in the Easton Gazette of Talbot County, MD on December 23, 1876 states: Chilcutt - Covey - By the same, at Wye Landing, Dec. 21, George Chilcutt to Miss Kate Covey.

I'm not sure what the phrase "By the same" means in this case since they were the first couple listed in the Married column. According to A Gazetteer of Maryland by Henry Gannett published in 1904, Wye Landing is on the Wye River in Talbot and Queen Anne's County, Maryland, so I can at least narrow my record search to those two counties. By the time the 1880 census was taken, George and Kate were living in Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, Maryland with Kate's mother Sarah Covey.
1880 census, Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, MD

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Estate of George B. Chilcutt

I don't know too much about my 2x great-grandfather George B. Chilcutt and was hoping to find some information in the Maryland probate records. He was born in October 1854 in Maryland and married my 2x great-grandmother Kate Covey on December 21, 1876. While it doesn't appear that he left a will, his estate papers are available on The papers help to place his date of death sometime before or during December 1916. His estate was probated in Queen Anne's County, Maryland.

A newspaper notice was placed in the Centreville Record on December 26, 1916 to alert any persons with claims against his estate to make their claims by July 30, 1917.

The newspaper notice reads as follows:

Notice is hereby given that the undersigned has obtained from the Orphan's Court for Queen Anne's County letters of administration on the personal estate of
late of said county, deceased. All persons having claims against said deceased's estate are hereby warned to exhibit the same, with the proper vouchers thereof, to the undersigned on or before July 30, 1917, otherwise they may by law be excluded from all benefit of said deceased's personal estate.
  All persons indebted to this estate must settle at once.
  Given under my hand this 26th day of December, 1916.
Ture Copy -- WM. T. BISHOP, Register
D30t4 Test -- WM. T. BISHOP, Register

In the estate papers, the newspaper notice was attached to a certification from the Centreville Record that the notice had been published for four successive weeks.

"THE CENTREVILLE RECORD PUBLISHING CO. hereby certifies that the notice to creditors in the case of the estate of Geo. B. Chilcutt a true copy of which is hereby annexed, was inserted in The Centreville Record, a weekly newspaper printed and published in Centreville, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, once a week for four successive weeks, the last insertion being six months before the 30th day of July in the year 1917. The Centreville Record Publishing Co." The record was signed by Edwin H. Brown, Jr. President.

An appraisal of George's personal property was followed by a public auction to sell his personal estate. The auction was held "on the farm On Saturday, January, 27th, 1917, beginning at 11 O' Clock A.M."

The items sold were mostly farm equipment and goods. A brown mare was sold for $8 and a very old gray mule for $1. I think the Covey Chilcutt shown here is probably George and Kate's son. He bought a riding saddle for a grand total of 25 cents!

An account of the estate filed by Kate with the Orphan's Court showed that while the estate was appraised at $485.90, only 260.20 was raised by the public auction. Kate then made claims against the estate for funeral expenses and probate expenses.

The second page of the account shows that an allowance of $49.71 was given to Kate "as the surviving widow of the deceased with infant children of the deceased." The total amount charged against the estate was $225.70, leaving only $34.50 from the money raised by the auction. In the 1910 census, George and Kate were renting their farm, so I'm guessing that they didn't own any land. I'm wondering how Kate survived with the children. I haven't been able to locate her in the 1920 census yet. Some of the children were adults, so I suspect she may have been living with one of them.

Source: "Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Oct 2014), George B. Chilcutt, 26 Dec 1916; citing Queen Anne's County, estate number QA0000001204.

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.