Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ancestor Tales of Hardship - 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy - Week 21

Week 21: Ancestor Tales of Hardship: In genealogy, there are plenty of clouds in the form of sad stories and hardships faced by our ancestors. These tales should not be forgotten because descendants can learn from them. Share with us a particular ancestor’s hardship story. How did these events impact your life?

Mary Ann Matson Creeden (left) at her boarding house in Celina, OH
One new bit of information in the 1940 census was that my great-grandfather Charles Creeden only finished 8 years of school. His father Timothy Creeden died in 1899 at the age of 53 and Charles was one of six children still living at home. The 1900 census showed that two of the older children were working while the others were in school. That probably was Charles' last year of school.

My great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Matson Creeden mortgaged part of the family farmland and bought a house in town in Celina, OH to run as a boarding house. Renters were provided room and board including meals and laundry. In the picture above, the sign on the house above Mary's head says "Ice, 7c a day", so it looks like she was resourceful on finding ways to make extra money.

Charles worked for the Mersman Furniture Factory for several years, was Mercer County Sheriff in the 1920s, ran a filling station and store and then became the Celina Postmaster for many years. He did quite well despite having to leave school early. My father was raised by his grandparents Charles and Anna and was taught to have a great respect for education. He completed college and encouraged me and my sister to do the same. It couldn't have been easy for Mary and the children, but they made it through.

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.

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