Monday, February 28, 2011

Mappy Monday - Hopewell Township, Mercer County, Ohio

On January 5, 1884, Timothy Creeden was deeded 40 acres of land in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, Ohio from Cassimer and Sarah Wright for $1050. His land was located in the southwest corner of Section 15 of the township. On February 16, 1887, 10 acres on one of the corners were leased to John Shawler. Timothy owned the land until his death in 1899 when it passed to his wife Mary Ann Matson Creeden. On September 29, 1901, Mary A. Creeden granted a mortgage to Bessie Copeland for the SW 1/4 tract. This is recorded in Mortgage book 75, page 264 in Mercer County.

My gggrandfather Timothy Creeden's land in lower left corner

Full map of Hopewell Township in 1900 - Click to enlarge
Warranty Deed for Timothy Creeden's land

Sunday, February 27, 2011

James Stout - Sunday's Obituary

From the Lima (Ohio) News, April 3, 1950:

                             James Stout
CELINA, Apr 3 - Final rites for James Stout, 27, formerly of here, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The Rev. Albert Gerhardstein will officiate and burial will be in the Catholic cemetery.
   Mr. Stout died in Good Samaritan hospital, Phoenix, Ariz., Saturday following an extended illness.
   He was graduated in 1940 from the Immaculate Conception high school and was affiliated with the Hotel Biltmore in Las Vegas, Nev.
   Surviving are his father, Harvey, Whipple, Ariz.; his mother, Mrs. Ida Belle Creeden Stout, Celina, a sister, Mrs. John Keefrey, Los Angeles, and a brother, Robert of Celina.
   The body will arrive Tuesday at the Pulskamp funeral home where friends may call after 7 p.m. Tuesday.

James was a grandson of of my gggrandfather, Timothy Creeden.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sounds- 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #9

This is a weekly challenge from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 9: Sounds.  Describe any sounds that take you back to your childhood. These could be familiar songs, jingles, children playing, or something entirely different.

One of the sounds that always takes me back to childhood is the sound of a school band. I was lucky enough to go to school in Florida in the 70's when the music programs were thriving and I started band in 7th grade. I was one of 4 kids playing the oboe in beginning band and that is a sound I'll never forget! My junior high school had a football team, so the band marched at halftime shows and in our town's Christmas parade. We spent many hours marching up and down the football field in the Florida sun, but it was a lot of fun too.

In high school, things got more serious. The marching formations were more difficult, the music was harder, and the uniforms were fancier! The oboe was an expensive instrument that they didn't want exposed to the elements, so I played clarinet in the marching band and continued to play oboe in the symphonic band. Some of the best times I had in high school were going to the football games and performing in the halftime shows and during the games. I continued playing the oboe in college, but it's really that slightly discordant sound of a high school marching band that takes me back!

Surname Saturday - Sparks

My Sparks ancestors were from Queen Anne's County, Maryland and the family is thought to originate from England. The earliest references I've seen to Sparks in Maryland are for a William and John Sparks who came from Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England, to Maryland in the 1600's. They are possibly two of the four sons of Thomas Sparks and Joanne Davis of Fareham Parish, Hampshire England. The name is also commonly spelled as Sparkes and I've seen my ancestor's records spelled both ways.

Crest at The Sparks Family Tree
From The Sparks Family Tree:
William Sparks was born about 1640, migrated to Maryland and, by 1672, he had purchased land in what was then Talbot County, now Queen Anne's County.  His primary plantation was located "on the east side of Chester River near the head of a small branch of Island Creek."  On a current map of Queen Anne's County, this can be found a few miles southwest of Church Hill, Maryland.  William Sr.'s son William Jr., remained in Queen Anne's County but by 1736 William Jr.'s son, William Sample Sparks, had migrated west to what was to become Frederick County.  In  about the spring of 1754, William Sample Sparks, his sons and some of his cousins moved to "The Forks of the Yadkin" in northwestern North Carolina. 

My Sparks family stayed in Maryland, so they are not part of the North Carolina Sparks. The furthest I've traced my Sparks tree back is Samuel Sparks, born around 1827 in Maryland. He married Susan Godwin in 1849 in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and their daughter Arianna is my great-grandmother.

The Sparks Quarterly is a great source of information on Sparks families. They charge a one time fee of $5.00 to access the website information, but it is well worth it if you have Sparks in your family.

Here's an early tree referencing Thomas Sparks showing a line from England to Maryland:

1 Thomas Sparks b: Abt. 1615 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England
. +Joanne Davis b: Abt. 1619 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England m: October 19, 1635 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire Co. En
. 2 William Sparks, Sr b: Abt. 1640 in England d: Abt. 1709 in Queen Annes Co., Md
.... +Mary ( Wright ?)
.... 3 William Sparks, Jr. b: Abt. 1674 in Queen Annes Co., Md d: Aft. 1734
....... +Margaret Ann Hamilton
....... 4 William Sample Sparks b: Abt. 1705 d: Aft. 1764 in Maryland
.......... +Rachel Unknown
.......... 5 William Sparks b: 1725 in Frederick, Md. or Queen Anne's County, Md. d: Abt. 1802 in Surrey Co., NC 

One thing I've found is that most of the research available online is for Sparks that moved away from Maryland. I have not researched this family extensively and would love to get in touch with anyone researching the Sparks that stayed in Queen Anne's. More on my Sparks tree at: My Sparks Tree

Monday, February 21, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Timothy Creeden's Will

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

Page 1 - Click to enlarge
Last Will and Testament of Timothy Creeden made this 6th day of December AD 1899.
Recorded Will
Record No. 8, Page 31.

Last Will and Testament of Timothy Creeden

In the name of the Benevolent Father of all, I, Timothy Creeden of the township of Hopewell in the County of Mercer and State of Ohio declare this to be my last will and testament.
(1) I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Ann Creeden, the farm on which I now reside, located in Hopewell Township in Mercer County, Ohio, so long as she shall remain my widow, and after her decease or remarriage I give and bequeath the same to my sons and daughters as hereinafter mentioned subject to the conditions hereof.
(2) I give and bequeath to my beloved children, Mary Elizabeth Creeden, Daniel Creeden, Dennis Creeden, Charles A. Creeden, Julia D. Creeden, Ida Bell Creeden, Joshua Creeden, Edward Creeden, equally all of my personal property, of what nature or kind soere?, excepting Dennis Creeden, to whom I give the sum of Thirty Five Dollars ($35.00), only..
(3) It is directed by me that all money as I have advanced to my beloved daughter Mary Elizabeth Creeden, being the sum of Two-Hundred Dollars ($200.00) shall be deducted from her share of my estate.

Page 2
(4) It is my desire and special request that the life insurance in favor of my wife as per Certificate No. 2262 issued by The Order of the Catholic Knights of Ohio, amount of Benefit $2000.00 (may be $4000?) be applied, so far as is necessary to the payment of a debt of Four-Hundred Dollars on the farm heretofore described in this will, and that the sum of One-Hundred Dollars ($100.00) be given for masses for the repose of my soul and One-Hundred Dollars ($100.00) to aid in building a new Catholic Church in the town of Celina, Ohio.
(5) I hereby appoint my wife, Mary Ann Creeden, Executrix of this will and recommend that George J. Fisher assist her when necessary, all to be done without bond or fees.

Signed, sealed, and declared by the same Timothy
Creeden, to be his last will and testament, in the
presence of us, who at his request and in his presence
and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names
as witnesses thereto.

William Hair                                                    Timothy Creeden
LM Kramer

Timothy died on December 14, 1899, a few days after this will was recorded. One of the witnesses, William Hair owned the land next to Timothy's in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, OH. I wondered what Dennis had done to only be given $35 and it turned out that he had recently divorced and his ex-wife placed a lien on his share of the property. The lawyer handling that was also named Kramer, but I don't know if it was the same as the witness here.

At the Mercer County library, the microfilm for the will is in Box 305 Roll #115.

At the Mercer County Courthouse, the will is in the probate case files numbered 4291-4339 (1899-1900). Timothy's will is case # 4314 in that file. 

The checks made out to settle Timothy's estate show that his wife paid $20 for a cemetery lot in the Catholic Cemetery of the Immaculate Conception Church. She also made a check for $85.00 to H&J Pulskamp which may have been to the Pulskamp funeral home. This is a new lead for me since I found that the church records for Timothy's month of death had been destroyed by fire and he does not appear in the death certificate index for Mercer County. It is possible he died in a neighboring county or across the state line in Indiana.

Much thanks to Marj B. for sending me a copy of the will!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Charles Creeden - Sunday's Obituary

From the Celina Newspaper, May 1958

Creeden Rites Monday in Local Church

   Funeral services for the late Charles A. Creeden, 71, retired City Postmaster, of 670 North Walnut St, Celina, who died Friday at 12:15 p.m. will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The Rev. Marcellus Fortman will be celebrant of the Requiem High Mass and the burial will be made on the family lot in the Catholic Cemetery.
   Dick and Stallter's Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements and relatives and friends may call there after 7 p.m. today, until the time of the rites.
   Born in Mercer County, November 5, 1886, he was the son of the late Timothy and Mary Ann Matson Creeden. He was united in marriage November 27, 1907 to Miss Anna Niehaus of Celina.
   He attended Immaculate Conception School and for 23 years after leaving school had been employed at Mersman Brothers.
   Mr. Creeden was a staunch Democrat and served Mercer County as its Sheriff for two terms, from 1923 to 1927. He had also served on the city council.
   From 1933 until his retirement in 1954 he was City Postmaster.
   The deceased was a devout member of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society and Poor Soul's Sodality of the Church. He was a member of the Celina Eagles Lodge for many years and was past president of the organization.
   Surviving with the widow are the son Robert Creeden of Dayton; his daughter, Mrs. Charles F. (Mae) McNamee of Xenia; five grandchildren, Timothy Creeden, who made his home with his grandparents for a number of years, now of Dayton; Nancy, Shirley, Robert and Mary Helen McNamee, Xenia; two brothers Dan Creeden of Lima and Joshua Creeden of Flint, Mich.; two sisters, Mrs. L. R. Balleweg, of Pueblo, Colo.; and Mrs. Harvey Stout of Celina.
   A son Carl passed away in 1912 at the age of four years.
   Mr. Creeden had been in failing health for several years and had been in and out of the hospital since last February.

Charles Creeden was my great-grandfather and is pictured with his family in the picture on the left in my blog header.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Technology - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #8

This is a weekly challenge from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week #8 – Technology Week 8: Technology.  What are some of the technological advances that happened during your childhood? What types of technology to you enjoy using today, and which do you avoid?

The biggest technological advance during my childhood has to be landing on the moon in 1969. I grew up on the Florida Space Coast and many of my friend's parents worked at the Kennedy Space Center. My Dad worked for NASA and was very involved in the Apollo program. The Saturn V launches were incredibly loud and used to rattle the windows in our house for several minutes. It was an exciting time!

Other advances I remember are the transition to color TV, engineers grudgingly changing from using slide rules to calculators, phones going from having dials to push buttons, and of course, computers. In Florida, many of our schools and stores did not have air conditioners when I was growing up. Hard to imagine now! And yes, we sweated a lot back then!

Today, I enjoy the use of the internet on my own PC, cordless phones, my HD TV, my iPod, and having a CD player and A/C in my car. One technology I tend to avoid is the advances in cell phones. I own one, but still use it mainly as a phone!

Creedon - Surname Saturday

Creedon is an Irish surname and is seen most often in Country Cork, Ireland. There are many variations in spelling such as Creeden, Creedan, Credon, but in Ireland, the name is now almost always spelled as Creedon. The Irish spelling of the name is Críodáin (O'Críodáin or Mac Críodáin). The name has sometimes been abbreviated as Creed. My great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden was born in 1846 in County Cork, Ireland and settled in Clinton County, Ohio by 1868 when he married Mary Ann Matson. My family continues to use the Creeden spelling.

The earliest origins of the name may have been in Northern Ireland. From the Book of Irish Families, Great & Small by Michael C. O'Laughlin: According to "Keatings History", the name is given to the chief of the parish of Magheramisk, in the barony of Massareene, in the province of Ulster.

A similar reference is in "Irish Pedigrees; or, the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation" by John O'Hart, Fifth Edition, 1892: Down and Part of Antrim, THE Chiefs and Clans of Ulidia, and the territories they possessed in the twelfth century, as collected from O'Dugan's Topography, are as follows:-- ... 9. O'Criodain (Credan, Creden, and Creed), chief of Machaire Maedhaidh, now the parish of "Magheramisk," in barony of Massarene.  

Crest displayed at the Creedon Hotel

From an article by Joe Creedon, owner of the Creedon Hotel: The name of O’Criodain (or possibly MacCriodain) seems to have derived from an eminent early Bishop called Cridan. He was buried in 638 AD on Island Mahee in Strangford Lough in nearby County Down.
See complete article here: Uibh Laoire Families - Creedons

There are several early references to Creedon harpers in the Fiants of Elizabeth.

From Joe Creedon: One court where they were welcomed was that of FitzGerald of Cloyne. He was a distinguished member of the family of the Earls of Desmond, who for some time lived at Castle Martyr Castle. In 1621 AD there were two Creedon Harpers at his court, Patrick and Jeremiah. One of the harps which they played survives to our time.

From "More Irish Families" by Edward MacLysaght:
"CREEDON, Creed, a West Cork name, is now called O'Criodain in Irish (i.-e. Tomas O Criadain the 19th century Gaelic-Irish scribe) but formerly and properly it was Mac Criodain... Creedon has been abbreviated to Creed to a considerable extent - even as early as 1659 when Francis Creed was a titulado in the parish of Kilquan, Co. Limberick.  About that time the name occurs as Mac Creed in the Irish army lists preserved in the Ormond manuscripts. Both Creed and Creedon appear in the marriage licence bonds of the diocese of Cork, Ross and Cloyne from 1682 and among the names of larger landowners in Co. Cork in 1878. In 1866 there were 40 Creedon, Creedan and Creeden births registered (37 in Co. Cork) while Creed was only 8, the figures for 1890 were Creedon 15 (all Co. Cork or near) Creed 9 (5 Co. cork). In the Macroom districts, where these names are most numerous, cases have been recorded of their synonymous use by one family in registering births."

The earliest Creedon reference I have seen in the US is for a Cornelius Creden, born in the 1750's in Massachusetts. He is listed as a wagoner in Soldiers and Sailors of the Rev. War. Comp. By Secy. Of the commonwealth, Ms. Boston. The earliest Catherine Creeden I have seen is from Record of Indentures of Individuals Bound Out as Apprentices, Servants, etc. City of Philadelphia, October 3, 1771 - October 5, 1773, where she was listed as an indentured servant.

As you can see, I've collected a few Creedon crests along the way. I wouldn't put too much stock in any of them being authentic, but they're fun to look at!

Questions on the origins of the name remain. Are the Creedons connected to the distinct Creed surname or was the name simply abbreviated to Creed? Another variation that occurs in early Ireland and the UK is Credan. Are they connected?  I would love to hear what other Creedon or Creed researchers think.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tech Tuesday - Resizing Photos With WebResizer

I like to share photos in some of my blog posts, but don't always want to put the full size photos on the web. Most photo editing software has the ability to resize photos, but I found I was doing a lot of trial and error to get the size I wanted. It was also inconvenient to bring up a photo editing tool just to resize a couple of photos.

I gave Web Resizer a try and was pleased with the results. There is no software to download, no registration required and no advertising. You simply upload your original photo via their web interface and download the resized photo. Most of the time I don't have to make any adjustments to the modified photo. If you want to fine tune the results, they offer options to control the size, sharpness, and image quality. They also provide some basic photo editing options.

The tool is available at:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #7 - Toys

This is the seventh challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 7: Toys.  What was your favorite childhood toy? Is it still being made in some form today?

The first favorite toy I remember was Dino the Dinosaur, named for the cartoon pet on the Flintstones! One Christmas Eve, I heard some strange noises and came downstairs to see what was going on. I was supposed to be asleep by then, but no doubt was excited about Christmas. I found my Dad inflating Dino and was rushed back upstairs before I could see anything else! I just recently had my Dad's slides scanned in and was delighted to see a couple with Dino in them.

My sister has a different take on Dino and says she still has memories of a large green object looming over her. I think she exaggerates!

She's in the background here, warily eying Dino.

A current version of Dino from

Much to my surprise, Dino was actually a Sinclair Oil dinosaur and they still make them! I had many other favorite toys over the years, but Dino was the first!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Anna Lee Pulskamp

My grandmother Anna Lee Pulskamp, April 19, 1930

Sunday, February 6, 2011

George Pulskamp - Sunday's Obituary

This obituary of my great-great-grandfather George Pulskamp was published in the March 29, 1952 edition of the Lima News in Ohio.

Ex-Publisher Dies in Celina Friday

(Special to the Lima News)
CELINA - Last rites will be held at 9:30am Monday in the Church of the Immaculate Conception here for George F. Pulskamp, 79, former newspaper publisher and print shop operator of Celina. The Rev. Albert Gerhardstein will officiate and the burial will be made in the church cemetery.
  Mr. Pulskamp died at 10:30 a.m. Friday in his home, 619 N. Walnut st. He was born in Maria Stein.
  He published the German language newspaper, Mercer-co Bote, for several years until it was discontinued in 1936. From that time until about five years ago he operated a printing business here. He was a member of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Poor Souls society of the parish.
  Surviving are his widow, Mary Catherine; three sons, Andrew Pulskamp of Cincinnati, Hugo at home and George B. in California; three daughers, Mrs. Marie Rapien of St. Bernard. O., Mrs. Antoinette English of Moscow, O., and Mrs. Emma Lee Art of Celina; 18 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
  The body was returned to the residence Saturday from the Pulskamp funeral home and friends may call after 6 p.m. Saturday.

This additional notice was in my father's collection:

George Pulskamp

  Final services for George Pulskamp were conducted this morning in the Immaculate Conception Catholic church in charge of Rev. Albert Gerhardstein. Servers for the mass were four grandsons, Paul and Bernard Rapien, Bernard Art, and Timothy Creeden.
  Pallbearers were nephews, Henry Bueltel, Victor and Wiro Pulskamp, Luke and Paul Gast and Paul Tobin.


  We wish to thank sincerely our friends and neighbors for the many floral offerings, spiritual bouquets and kind expressions of sympathy at the time of the loss of our beloved husband and father, George Pulskamp. We especially thank Rev. Albert Gerhardstein for his words of spiritual comfort.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Surname Saturday - PULSKAMP

Pulskamp is the name of a farm in Merzen, Germany. By custom, the owner of the Pulskamp farm took Pulskamp as their surname. Before my Pulskamp ancestors inherited the farm, they had the surname Krampe. In 1845, Herman Heinrich Pulskamp and his wife Maria Katherine Steinke Pulskamp came to Franklin County, IN with their children. The farm eventually passed to Bernhard Brüwer/Brewer who then took the Pulskamp name. It is thought that all Pulskamps originate from either the Krampe or Brewer families. My branch of the Pulskamp family eventually moved from Indiana to Celina, OH. The picture is the high school graduation picture of my grandmother Anna Lee Pulskamp and her twin sister Emma Lee.

More on my Pulskamp family at My Pulskamps

A biography of Herman Pulskamp is at: Herman Pulskamp. His brother George, editor of a German newspaper, the Bote was my great-grandfather. More info and some photos of the Pulskamp family are at

I received a comment with some more information: Herman Heinrich Pulskamp left the farm with his sister, Maria Elizabeth Pulskamp, and her husband, Johann Moller who took the name Pulskamp. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married Bernhard Brüwer. This Elizabeth died in childbirth. The baby, also named Elizabeth, died too, leaving Bernhard with the farm and the name. He married Wilhelmine Wöste and their family still owns the farm in Merzen.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #6: Radio and Television

This is the sixth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 6: Radio and Television. What was your favorite radio or television show from your childhood? What was the program about and who was in it?

My earliest TV memories are of some of the shows in the 60's and I remember the transition from black & white to color TV. We didn't have cable, so just had the 3 networks, PBS, and a couple of independent stations that mainly showed old movies.

When I was in grade school, I discovered The Monkees. Who was in it? Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork and no, I didn't have to look that up! What was it about? Four guys running around in zany situations and occasionally singing a song. Great fun!

Saturday morning was cartoon day. My favorite was Looney Tunes, but we also watched Bullwinkle, The Pink Panther, Scooby Doo, Penelope Pitstop, The Jetsons, and many more.

In my teens, I discovered sci-fi and horror. I loved the reruns of The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and The Alfred Hitchcock Show.  They reran the original Star Trek series every night around dinner time and my Dad, sister, and I used to watch it while eating dinner on TV trays much to my Mom's dismay!

Other favorite shows in the 70's were Happy Days, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All In The Family, The Carol Burnett Show, and Sonny and Cher. Hard to choose one favorite!

Radio wasn't playing the serials by the time I grew up, but my favorite program back then was Casey Kasem's Top 40 Countdown.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Groundhog Day

In honor of Groundhog Day, these pics are from my personal encounter with a groundhog when I was on vacation in the Smoky Mountains last October. He managed to squeeze through that fence to get the strawberries on the ground. Not sure who left the strawberries there, but we had a good laugh watching him waddle around!

Wordless Wednesday - First airmail delivery in Celina, OH

My great-grandfather Postmaster Charles Creeden (on left) receives the first airmail delivery in Celina, OH around 1934