Friday, March 30, 2012

Follow Friday: Ohio and Irish Resources

This week I came across several interesting sites while researching my Ohio and Irish ancestors:
  • Ohio Old Schools -  This site has lovely pictures of old one room schoolhouses still standing in Ohio.
  • Hare School (or Hair School) was just south of the property line where my great-great-grandfather, Timothy Creeden lived in Hopewell Township, Mercer County, Ohio. I would guess this is where my great-grandfather and his siblings first went to school. I was thrilled to see this picture!
  • - I've seen this site before, but hadn't visited in awhile. It has listings of resources by state and county and also some specialized categories like Native American records.
  • Irish Genealogy News - This post listed several free handouts on Irish research from the Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2012 show by the Society of Genealogists, but there is a lot more to explore on this blog for Irish researchers.
  • Society of Genealogists - I followed the link from the Irish Genealogy News post and found there were free handouts available on a variety of topics. Lots to explore on this site, so I'll be back.
  • Irish Genealogy Toolkit - A companion site to Irish Genealogy News, this site has a lot of resources to explore for those searching for Irish ancestors.

Follow Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers and was suggested by Earline Bradt of Ancestral Notes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Newspaper Annuals

The N. W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annuals are a good resource for finding out what newspapers were published in the US and Canada for a given area and time. The annuals from the 1880's through the early 1900's are digitized and available for online searching at the University of North Texas Digital Library. The entries contain some information on each newspaper including the publisher and date the newspaper was established and some general census information for the area. The example for Celina, OH in 1915 shown below lists my great-grandfather George Pulskamp as the publisher of a German newspaper called the Mercer County Bote.

N.W. Ayer & Son's American Newspaper Annual entry for Celina, OH in 1915

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 13 Local Societies - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week #13

Week 13. Local Societies: Local genealogical and historical societies are the lifeblood of genealogy. Members and volunteers give their time and money to preserve local history and promote family history. Tell us about a local society for which you are thankful.

When I first started searching for information on my family, I wrote a letter to the Mercer County Genealogy Society in Celina, Ohio to inquire as to what resources they might have. Much to my surprise, I received a package in the mail that included obituaries of my great-great-grandmother and great-grandparents, an application for my great-great-grandfather's will and a family tree that listed my great-great-grandparent's children and some of their spouses. The secretary of the society also said that she had searched for an obituary for my gg-grandfather Timothy Creeden in the local newspaper but could only find a thank you note from his wife and children which she enclosed. None of this information was available online and this gave me a great start in researching my family.

I've since joined the society and ordered several publications from the society, including listings of cemeteries, births, and deaths. Most of this information is not online and would be difficult for me to access since I'm a long way from Ohio. The society's newsletters are published as paper copies only and contain many nuggets of information that aren't available anywhere else. I've found this to be the case with most genealogy societies, so it can be very worthwhile to join the ones where your ancestors lived.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Technology - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week #11

Week 11 – Technology: Technology makes it possible for genealogy classroom learning to come to you. Webinars are now hosted by many instructors on a variety of family history subjects. Share with us a webinar or series of webinars that you appreciate.

I enjoyed the Irish, English, and German genealogy research webinar classes hosted by from 2002-2005. These courses were four weeks each and included a couple of online sessions each week with the instructor and the class. The instructors were also available to answer individual questions via email. A huge benefit to the classes they offered then was that you received free access to during the weeks that the course was in session. The courses were reasonably priced and there were lesson documents and other materials available to download each week. I noticed that Ancestry has quite a few one hour webinars available to watch for free now at: This post has reminded me that I have these resources and I'm starting to go back through them now.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm sure many of us have our minds on Ireland and our Irish ancestors today. I've posted these before, but it's been awhile, so here are some of my favorite photos from one of my trips to Ireland.

Looking away from the Cliffs of Moher

The Village of Sneem

A few of the 40 shades of green!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two Father O'Donaghues - Sunday's Obituary

The Clinton County Newspaper Abstracts for 1835-1885 has an entry dated November 16, 1882 for the death of a Father O'Donahue. The entry states that Father O'Donahue had charge of the local Catholic church and that in the previous week he had been struck on the head by Timothy Green of Morrow, Ohio. It said that his skull was badly crushed.

My great-great-grandparents Timothy Creeden and Mary Ann Matson were married by Father John B. O'Donaghue in December 1868 in Clinton County, so I was curious to see if I could find more out about him and how he came to such a tragic end. The newspaper abstracts list marriages by a Father O'Donaghue after 1882, so I also wondered if there was a second O'Donaghue or if there was an error in the dates.

The History of Ohio by C.B. Galbreath mentions both Father O'Donaghues in a section about the St. Columbkill parish of Clinton County, Ohio. Father John B. O'Donaghue served as pastor of the St. Columbkill church from 1861-1882 and Father Michael O'Donaghue served from 1882-1905 or 1906.

They certainly went through some tough times! Father John B. O'Donaghue rode on horseback between several parishes and oversaw the erection of the first St. Columbkill church building only to have the roof torn off by a cyclone in 1868. His murder in 1882 sounds like such a random event and must have been a shock to the community. A second cyclone took the roof off of the building in 1893 while Father Michael was the pastor, but the parish rallied around the pastor and repaired and enlarged the church and rectory. From the History of Ohio by C.B. Galbreath:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Genealogy Road Trips - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week #10

Week 10 – Genealogy Road Trips: No two genealogy road trips are the same but they’re always fun and meaningful. Describe a memorable trip in your past. Where did you go? What did you find (or not find)? Did you meet any new cousins? What did the trip mean to you and your family?

I haven't been on too many genealogy road trips, but one I was really fortunate to take was my first trip to Ireland in 1990. My father and I were very interested in where our Creeden family came from, but all that had been passed down was "County Cork". We arrived in Dublin and took a tour of Trinity College. There was a large volume of surname information in a library there and my father copied the Creedon entry. I believe this was from "More Irish Families" by Edward MacLysaght.

One possible clue on my Creeden origins is that my father thought he remembered his grandfather mentioning Macroom. Since this turns out to be one of the places that the Creedon name is most common, I've always kept that in the back of my mind while searching. We saw the Creedon name several times in County Cork. There was a Creedon shop right before we got to Blarney Castle and a big red truck passed us with "Creedon's" painted on the sides and back of it. I wish we knew more about our exact origins, but it was exciting to at least be in the part of the world where my Creeden family came from.

My uncle in front of Macroom Castle

Grounds of Blarney Castle

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Military Monday - Civil War Veteran John Matson

John Franklin Matson was the brother of my great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Matson and was one of four brothers to go into the Civil War. He was born around 1841 in Clinton County, Ohio. He enlisted in Company G of the 79th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers in 1862 and was wounded in 1864. I have seen several family trees that gave his date of death as 1864, but he survived the war and I was able to find him in several records after that. I was curious about John since he seemed to be close to my Creeden family.

John married Angeline Mason in 1864 in Clinton County, Ohio. In 1870, John, Angeline, and several children were living in Clinton County, Ohio next to John's brother-in-law Timothy Creeden and his sister Mary. By 1880, Angeline and John were divorced. It appears that John moved to Hopewell Township in Mercer County, Ohio along with Timothy Creeden and his family. I found a possible census record for him in Mercer County in 1880 where he was listed as a boarder at a residence in the Hopewell Township. In 1882, John married Lavina Bender in Mercer County, Ohio.

This Civil War pension index shows that John filed for his pension in 1879 and his widow Lavina filed in 1896.

In 1890, John was still living in Mercer County, Ohio and was listed in the Special Schedule for Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the 1890 Census. Under Disability Incurred, it says "wounded hand".

The most interesting record I found was in a listing of headstones provided for Civil War Veterans. In 1879, the US Congress passed an act stating that the government would erect gravestones for Union soldiers buried in private cemeteries and John was one of the recipients of this. John is buried next to Timothy's son James Creeden in row 19 of the Old Buck Cemetery in the Hopewell Township of Mercer County, Ohio. According to a transcription for his grave, it simply states Jno Matson Co C 79 Ohio Inf. Other records indicated that he was in Company G, so I am not sure if that was a typo or perhaps the grave is hard to read. The record gave his date of death as March 5, 1896.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cemeteries - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy Week #9

Week 9 – Cemeteries: Genealogists understand the full value of cemeteries and appreciate them in ways most others can’t see. Share a cemetery or cemetery experience for which you are most thankful. What makes this place special? What does it mean to you and your family history?

The St Mary's Catholic Cemetery associated with the Immaculate Conception Catholic church in Celina, OH is special since the majority of my Dad's family is buried there. Some of the family members buried there are his mother, grandparents, great-grandparents and many others from the Creeden, Pulskamp, Niehaus, and Gast families. The first burial in the cemetery was on March 9, 1866 and the cemetery was originally 2 acres in size. The present cemetery covers approximately 8 acres.

Timothy Creeden and Mary Ann Matson grave

A member of the Mercer County Genealogy Society took this picture of my great-great-grandparent's grave for me and we were surprised to find that it was such a large monument. The grave is in the Northeast Section, Row 13 of the cemetery. Timothy was born in 1846 in County Cork, Ireland and Mary was born in Clinton County, OH. The inscriptions read:
Dec 14, 1899
53Y 8M 19D
Mary A.
1851 - 1925

From probate records, it appears that Mary purchased the lot and monument after Timothy's death. More pictures are at: Find a Grave.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and others to discuss resources in the genealogy community including websites, applications, libraries, archives, genealogical societies and more.

Mary Gast Pulskamp - Sunday's Obituary

Mary Katherine Gast Pulskamp was my great-grandmother. She was the daughter of John Henry Gast and Catherine Desch and was born on March 8, 1875. She was married to George F. Pulskamp in 1899 and they were married for over 50 years. She died on December 7, 1967 in Celina, Ohio. This death notice was published in the Lima News on December 10, 1967.

PULSKAMP, Mrs. Mary C. --
Requiem High Mass will be offered 10 a.m. Monday in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Celina, by Rev. Charles Bricher. Burial will be in church cemetery. Friends may call at W. H. Dick and Sons Funeral Home from 2-4 p.m. today.