Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Robert F. Creeden

My grandfather, Robert F. Creeden, ~1916

Monday, April 29, 2013

Military Monday - James Willis in WWII


My great-uncle James H. Willis enlisted in the US Army from Philadelphia, PA on May 3, 1943. He was a Private and served until September 29, 1944. His enlistment record showed that he had a grammar school education and that his civil occupation was an unskilled worker in the automobile manufacturing industry. His obituary stated that he served in the African-Italian Campaign.

After his service in the Army, James worked as a contract auditor for the Sun Oil Company and he retired from there after 40 years of service.

Sources:
  • National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Delaware County Daily Times Obituary, Apr/30/2010

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Church Record Sunday - History of the Sisters of Charity on Google Books

Volume 1 and Volume 2 of The History of Mother Seton's Daughters are available for free on Google Books. The books contain a detailed history of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio. Volume 2 has a listing of members of the Sisters of Charity from 1852 - 1870. Volume 3 is available for browsing online through the DePaul University Libraries Digital Collections and it lists members from 1871-1897.

My 2x great-grandfather's sister Julia Creeden entered the Sisters of Charity convent on March 25, 1870.


Julia took the name Sister Mary Felix when she took her religious vows. Knowing her religious name helped me find her death certificate which listed her parents' names as Patrick Creedon and Mary Coakley.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surname Saturday - Acy

This will be one of my shorter surname posts since I can find out so little about the Acy surname. In fact, I'm not even completely sure that it is a surname since it only occurs as a middle name in my family.

My great-grandfather's full name was Charles Acy Creeden. He usually signed documents as Charles A. Creeden, so I've only found the name in writing in a couple of places. Before finding the index to the Mercer County, Ohio birth records, I had thought the name was spelled Acey.

The entry above is from a Mercer County, Ohio report of births and the one below is from the Probate Court records. Both clearly show Charles' middle name as Acy, although one has his birth date as November 10 and the other shows November 5. His obituary and headstone both say November 5, so that is probably the correct date.


I could find very few Acys or Aceys in the Ohio census and none in Clinton or Mercer counties where the family lived. The Ancestry.com message boards only have a few entries for the names and the origin seems to be Yorkshire, England. There is one mention of an Acey coming from County Cork, Ireland where Charles' father Timothy was born.

My Dad asked Charles where the name came from and he didn't know. This one may remain a mystery.

Sources:
  • "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VNWF-3XC : accessed 27 Apr 2013), Charles Acy Creeden, 1886.
  • "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VN7J-JZY : accessed 27 Apr 2013), Charles Acy Creeden, 1887.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past - Ed Willis


This is a photo of my great-uncle Eugene Edward Willis. My Mom always called him Uncle Ed and it was spelled "Edd" on some of the picture captions. I don't know the date of the photo, but I would guess it was taken sometime in the 1940s.

Friday’s Faces from the Past is a way to highlight photos, of known ancestors or complete unknowns suggested by Smadar Belkin Gerson of Past-Present-Future.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Family Reunion Souvenir

I was gathering some clothes to donate and came across a T-shirt from a Councill family reunion held in 1994. It had been printed with a unique family tree chart. My grandparents Edna Willis and Royce Rufus Councill are on the handle of the gavel and their four daughters and sons-in-law are on the top. The Councill grandchildren are on the first level of the block and the great-grandchildren are on the bottom level. It's a cute souvenir, so I think I'll keep it!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Commenting on a Blogger Post

I recently received an email from someone that was having trouble commenting on my blog. This was someone who was related to one of my lines, so I'm glad she persisted through the problems and found my email!

As I looked at the steps needed to make a comment, I realized some of these are not obvious, especially for someone that isn't a blogger. The steps below apply to blogs created with Blogger.

The first thing that can be confusing is finding the link that allows you to make a comment. If the Post a Comment dialog is not visible, look for the comments link that appears immediately following each post. The comments link text shows the number of comments or "0 comments" if nobody has commented on the post.

 Clicking on the comments link opens up the Post a Comment dialog.


If you are not signed in with one of the accounts allowed by Blogger, you'll see "Select profile" next to the "Comment as" text. Clicking on the "Select profile" menu brings up a list of account types and two non-account options: Name/URL and Anonymous. Note that while I have my blog set to allow the non-account options, some bloggers may require an account to comment. If you have one of the account types listed, you can sign in and post through the account. The steps below show how to comment if you don't want to use one of those account types.

Clicking on Name/URL brings up the Edit profile dialog.

Type the name you want to appear on the comment in the Name field. The URL field is optional and may be left blank. If you have a website, you may enter the address in the URL field.

The second non-account option is to select Anonymous from the profile list. This does not require any other information to be entered. Once you've selected a profile, you can enter your comment text in the box above the profile selection and select Publish when you're done.

A drawback to using the Name/URL or Anonymous options, is that the blogger will have no way to get back in touch with you other than replying to your comment. Please remember to check back and see if there is a reply to your comment!

Another drawback is that spammers love the Anonymous option. I have moderation turned on for comments so that the spam comments don't reach my blog. The comment won't be posted on my blog until I've had a chance to review and approve it. You'll see this message after commenting on one of my posts:


If you are trying to establish contact with the blogger, you may want to look for an email link instead of posting to the blog. I've added an Email link to the Contact Me page at the top of my blog. Clicking on the Email link once again requires an account, but hovering your mouse over the link makes the email address visible. You can then type the email address in the Recipient field in your email tool.

This all seems a bit cumbersome. How do you make it easier for non bloggers to comment on your blog?

Update: I have reluctantly removed the Anonymous option from my blog comments due to too much spam. Unfortunately, the Anonymous and Name/URL options are paired together, so both have been removed.  However, I added a new Contact Me form to the right side of my blog.

If you are trying to comment and don't have one of the accounts listed, please use the Contact Me form located under the Followers list down on the right side of my blog.

You can also send me an email instead at: Email. Hover over the Email link to see the email address if you don't want to use one of the Email Accounts offered by clicking the link.

Remember to check your Spam folder in case my response gets lost there!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Military Monday - Ireland Defence Forces Monument

My sister and I were sight-seeing around the Merrion Square area of Dublin when we came upon this interesting looking monument in Merrion Park.




The plaque reads as follows:

National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces 
who died in the service of the State 
"An Dun Cuimhneachain" 

The National Memorial to members of the Defence Forces is a place of contemplation and remembrance, providing a focal point where families, relatives and members of the public can reflect on the contribution and sacrifice made by members of the Defence Forces who died in the service of the State. 

The pyramid shape of the memorial, designed by Brian King, captures historic references to burial and is a standing testament to the dead. It also reflects the shape of a military tent. Within the pyramid, four bronze figures, representing all elements of the Defence Forces, stand guard over the eternal flame that emanates from the Badge of the Defence Forces. The flame burns in perpetual memory of those members of the Defence Forces that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

The four bronze figures inside the pyramid represent the Army, Navy, Air Corps and Reserve forces. Due to the reflective glass on the outside, my pictures of the figures inside mainly show my reflection, but I managed to get a picture of the eternal flame. It's a unique monument and worth a look if you're visiting Merrion Park.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Census Sunday - Double Entry in the 1940 Census

I posted last Wednesday about my great-grandfather Charles Creeden's career as Postmaster of Celina, Ohio. I realized that I hadn't thought to check the 1940 census to see if it showed his occupation.


The 1940 census for Celina, Ohio shows Charles, his wife Anna, and grandson Robert Jr. living in Celina, Ohio and shows Charles' occupation as Post Master. Robert Jr. is my father and I knew that he lived with Charles and Anna, so that wasn't a surprise. I was surprised though to see a second entry for my father!


The 1940 census entry above shows my grandfather Robert, step-grandmother Hilda, and once again my father Robert. I wonder if he just happened to be there when the census taker came around. Another surprise was my grandfather's occupation being given as a Dealer of Live Stock. I had never heard that before.


The final surprise was that Charles' brother Dan Creeden was Manager of a Filling Station in Celina. I wonder if it is the same Filling Station that Charles was managing before his appointment as Postmaster. I lucked out by finding a news article about the station when Charles was managing it, but haven't found anything so far on Dan's station.

Sources:
  • Robert Creeden: Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Celina, Mercer, Ohio; Roll: T627_3114; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 54-15.
  • Charles Creeden: Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Celina, Mercer, Ohio; Roll: T627_3114; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 54-19.
  • Dan Creeden: Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Celina, Mercer, Ohio; Roll: T627_3114; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 54-18.
  • Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.
Census Sunday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Colleen Pasquale of Leaves and Branches.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shopping Saturday - Gas and Oil Station


The 1930 census for Celina, Ohio showed that my grandfather Robert and his sister May were living at home with my great-grandparents, Charles and Anna Creeden. Charles' occupation was listed as Manager and the industry was Gas & Oil Station. This was a bit of a surprise, but fills in the gap between Charles' careers as County Sheriff in the 1920s and Postmaster starting in 1934.



A large ad in the Lima News on June 7, 1933 listed 277 independent merchants for Sohio gas and oil products. Charles was listed under the Celina dealers as Chas. Creeden & Son, so my grandfather must have worked at the station too.


An article in the Lima News from May 10, 1929 detailed a rash of robberies that hit local filling stations.Charles was one of the victims and the robbers got away with $75 from his safe.

The article gave the name and location of the station as the Cameron oil station on S. Main St. in Celina and mentions that Charles was the former Mercer County Sheriff. Too bad that his days of dealing with criminals didn't end when he was no longer the County Sheriff!

Sources:
  • Year: 1930; Census Place:  Celina, Mercer, Ohio; Roll:  1850; Page:  2B; Enumeration District:  18; Image:  842.0; FHL microfilm:  2341584.Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line].  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.
  • Ancestry.com. Lima News (Lima, Ohio) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Lima News. Lima, OH, USA. Articles from June 7, 1933 and May 10, 1929.
  • SOHIO sign from Wikipedia.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past - Pulskamp Gathering


Any Pulskamp experts out there? This is a group shot of the Pulskamp family from Celina, Ohio taken around 1930. I can identify a few people, but most are a mystery.

The guy sitting in the front left is my grandfather Robert Creeden and his wife Anna Lee Pulskamp is to the right of him. The guy kneeling behind her is Clarence Art and his wife Emma Lee Pulskamp is to the right of him. I think my great-grandfather George Pulskamp is the second from the left in the back row.

Friday’s Faces from the Past is a way to highlight photos, of known ancestors or complete unknowns suggested by Smadar Belkin Gerson of Past-Present-Future.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workday Wednesday - First Airmail Delivery to Celina, Ohio

My great-grandfather Charles Creeden had several careers, including working as a foreman at the Mersman Furniture Factory, a stint as Mercer County Sheriff and owning a SOHIO service station. One of his longer careers was serving as Postmaster of Celina, Ohio from 1934-1954. Family legend has it that Charles was Postmaster during the first airmail delivery to Celina.


This picture lends a bit of proof to the legend. The picture was labeled "First Airmail Delivery to Celina, 1934". Charles is on the left receiving the mailbag.


The Record of Appointment of Postmasters above shows that Charles was named Acting Postmaster on July 25, 1934 and assumed charge on August 1, 1934. He was nominated and confirmed for the position in 1935 and 1939 and he retired in 1954. I'm not sure why there were two confirmations, but maybe the first term was only for four years.

Lima News, November 30, 1935
In November 1935, Charles spoke at the dedication of a new $50,000 post office building in Celina. A flag-raising ceremonial followed the speaking program. One of the speakers was Congressman Frank L. Kloeb.

This entry in the 1946 City Directory for Celina lists Charles and his wife Anna with their home address and phone number during his term as Postmaster.


My Dad took the above photo of Charles working in his office in 1953.

Lima News, Feb. 8, 1954
Charles retired from his post on April 30, 1954. According to a Lima News article on Feb. 8, 1954, Charles Creeden, Celina postmaster, has resigned effective April 30, after serving the position 20 years, longer than any previous postmaster. When he took the post in 1934, the Celina Post Office was a second class office doing an annual business of $32,000. Last year, as a first class office, its volume was $288,000.

Charles Creeden enjoying the water
This picture was taken near the time of Charles' retirement. He loved the water and fishing, so hopefully he got to enjoy them a bit in retirement!

Sources:
  • Ancestry.com. U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971. NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls. Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group Number 28. Washington, D.C.: National Archives.
  • Lima News articles, Feb. 8, 1954 and Nov. 30, 1935
  • Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
  • Robert T. Creeden's photo collection

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mappy Monday - Historic Map Works

In honor of National Library Week, ProQuest is offering free access to some of their databases through April 20, 2013. The one of most interest for genealogy research is the Historic Map Works site with images of many old atlases online. Once the free access period ends, these resources will only be available in libraries.

I entered a search for Clinton County, Ohio and found atlases for 1876 and 1903. The snippet pictured to the left shows a section of land in Wayne Township with my 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan's land and nearby neighbors, D. Creden and T. Keefe. Timothy Keefe was the executor of Patrick's will and I believe his mother was Johanna Creedon.


Be sure and check out the directory pages for each atlas too. In this case, they were listed as "patrons", so I'm assuming that they had to pay to be included. The directory for Wayne Township had a place of origin for Patrick as County Cork, Ireland. I think this is the only record where I've seen something more specific than Ireland. It also listed his date of settlement in Clinton County as 1849!

I hadn't been able to find Patrick in the 1850 census, but if he settled in Clinton County in 1849, I figured he had to be there. I took a harder look and found this hard to read entry indexed as Patrick Craddin. He was working as a farm laborer and didn't have any family listed with him. The age is off a bit, but this is the best possibility I've found for him in 1850.

I also found atlases for my ancestors in Maryland and Mercer County, Ohio. Thanks to Tammy K. for passing this along to the Upper Eastern Shore of Maryland Genealogy group on Facebook. Happy hunting!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Ezekiel Godwin

Ezekiel C. Godwin
(Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun.)
Easton, MD. Oct 29. -- Ezekiel Cooper Godwin, of Whitman, Talbot county, died last week, aged 74 years. He was a native of Queen Anne's county, Md. Through his mother, he was connected with the well-known Ezekiel Cooper family, of Delaware. Mr. Godwin removed to Talbot in 1862, and went into mercantile business, which he continued until his death. He married Miss Kennard, of Kent county. She is dead. A daughter, Mrs. James Horney, of Bay Hundred, survives.

The obituary was published in the Baltimore Sun on October 30, 1899.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Funeral Card Friday - John H. Gast


Kindly remember in your prayers
the soul of
John H. Gast
who was born at Maria Stein, Ohio, 
October 28, 1849, and died at Celina, 
Ohio, April 26, 1934, at the age of 
84 years, 5 months and 28 days.

John H. Gast was my 2x great-grandfather and was married to Catherine Desch. They were the parents of my great-grandmother, Mary Catherine Gast Pulskamp.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Those Places Thursday - Snow in Celina, Ohio - 1950

My father took these photos in Celina, Ohio on November 26, 1950. He didn't miss the snow when he moved to the south!

Downtown Celina

Neighbors?

The old car

Immaculate Conception Church

Going to/from church

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - John and Ariana Councill


Father
John W. Councill
February 9, 1859
December 5, 1916

His Wife
Ariana
1864-1929

John Wesley Councill and Ariana Sparks Councill were my great-grandparents. John was the son of Francis Councill and Mary Ann Meredith. Ariana was the daughter of Samuel Sparks and Susan Godwin. They were born in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and later lived in Baltimore, MD. They are buried in the Baltimore Cemetery. Photo was posted by Anonymous on FindAGrave.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Francis Councill's Will

I had great success with the Ohio Probate Records available on FamilySearch, so I was hoping for similar results for the Maryland side of my family. The Ohio records didn't have any searches available, so it was quite time consuming to browse the records.

Much to my surprise, there are some searchable records for Maryland and I quickly found estate settlements and wills for several of my ancestors in the Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940. There are 72,764 records available to search. Many more are available to browse in the Maryland, Register of Wills Books, 1629-1983.

Following is the will of my 2x great-grandfather, Francis Councill.

Francis Council's will - Click to enlarge
Francis Council's will - Page 2
I Francis Council of Queen Anne's County in the State of Maryland do hereby make and publish this to be my last will and testament.

1st I give and devise to my son Robert Council that part of my real estate on the right of the Public Road leading from Centreville to Queenstown, and whereon he now resides. Also the first on the left of said road which lies next to and adjoining the "White House" tract of land. Also enough of the field known as the "Old Orchard" field, as will when added to the two parts above mentioned give him an entire tract of land containing one Hundred and six acres. In cutting off the part from the old orchard field the division line shall run from the meadow to the fence between the said field and the field which adjoins it. Also one half of the woodland in front of where I now reside said one half to front on the Centreville and Queenstown Road.

2nd I give and devise to my son John Council the balance of my real estate whereon I now reside, lying on the left of said Public Road from Centreville to Queenstown and also the balance of said woodland.

3rd I give and devise to my son Richard Council the farm purchased by me from Christopher Strong, situate in the 5th election district.

4th I charge all the real estate above devised with an annuity of sixty dollars to be paid to each of my daughters (that is to say thirty dollars to each daugher) Frances Bramble and Marietta Weaver severally during widowhood only the sum of twenty dollars by each of my said sons or in that proportion.

On witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal this 23rd day of December 1886.

The will shows that Francis Council made his mark and it was witnessed by R. Goldsborrough and B. Palmer Keating.


Signed sealed published and declared by the above named testator Francis Council as and for his last will and testament in our presence and in presence of each other have signed our names as witnesses hereto sworn.

At the bottom of the page is a note from the Queen Anne's County Orphans Court, January 17th 1888: The foregoing will was duly examined by the Court, admitted to probate and ordered to be filed for record. This was signed by Thomas A. Bryan, Register of Wills.

I'm a bit puzzled that the will doesn't mention Francis' wife Mary or his other daughter Annie Dodd. The distribution shown in the estate settlement papers shows that they were included in the settlement.


The foregoing balance distributed among the heirs and representators of said deceased according to his last will and testament, will give to each as follows to wit:

To Mary A Council widow 1/3                          868.55
To Rich T. Council son 1/6 of 2/3                    289.51 4/6
To Robt H. Council son 1/6 of 2/3                   289.51 4/6
To John W. Council son 1/6 of 2/3                  289.51 4/6
To Marietta Weaver daughter 1/6 of 2/3         289.51 4/6
To Fannie Bamborough daughter 1/6 of 2/3  289.51 4/6
To Annie Dodd daughter 1/6 of 2/3                289.51 4/6

Amount Distributed                       2605.65
Thomas A. Bryan, Reg Wills

Sept 4/88=Examined and approved by the Orphans Court
Thos A. Bryan Reg Wills


The will and settlement papers gave me a good bit of information that I didn't have before. The will was written on 12/23/1886,  filed on 12/27/1887 and admitted to the Orphans Court in May 1888. I don't have a date of death for Francis, so that narrows it down. The settlement also gives me the married names of his daughters and a description of his property. There are various spellings in the paperwork: Council, Councill, Councell and Frank was used as a nickname for Francis. My great-grandfather John W. Councill was one of the administrators of the will. I noticed that the daughter Frances' last name changed in some of the paperwork from Bamborough to Bramble.  It's possible that one of those was just recorded incorrectly.

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

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Anna Marie Rohrer Niehaus


MRS. NIEHAUS DIES FRIDAY
At Home of Daughter, Mrs. Charles Creeden

Mrs. Henry Niehaus passed away at 3:15 o'clock Friday afternoon at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Creeden, North Walnut street, with whom she had been making her home for the winter.
She had been seriously ill for several days. Her death occurred at the age of 87 years.
Funeral announcements and further details will appear in Saturday's paper.

The obituary was published in the Celina Daily Standard on October 28, 1938.

Anna Rohrer was my 2x great-grandmother. She was born in Philadephia, PA on July 13, 1851.  She married Henry Niehaus on January 25, 1881 in Celina, Ohio. Their daughter Anna was my great-grandmother.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Surname Saturday - Gast

A few years ago, a Gast cousin sent me an extensive family tree that went all the way back to the 1700s in  Ligsdorf Haut-Rhin, France. I was surprised to find out that the family came from France since my father had always thought they were German. Searching for Ligsdorf Haut-Rhin, showed that it is part of the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. This region has changed hands between Germany and France several times and most of the population had Germanic origins. I found that the family gave their place of birth as France in some census entries and Germany in others. I've put information from the family tree in italics in the text that follows.


Andre Gast and his family came to Baltimore, MD in 1828 and later settled in Minster, Ohio. Andre Gast was born on September 09, 1788 in Ligsdorf, Haut-Rhin, France, and died in 1854 in Maria Stein, OH. He married Therese Bendi on June 02, 1808 in Ligsdorf, Haut-Rhin, France, daughter of Pierre Bendi and Madeleine Meister. She was born on August 05, 1781 in Ligsdorf, Haut-Rhin, France, and died in Maria Stein, OH.

Andreas and Tracey Gast in 1850 Auglaize, Ohio census

I found a good possibility for Andre and Therese in the 1850 Auglaize, Ohio census where Minster is located. They have the correct ages and are from France. The census shows that Andre was a farmer.

Gast House and General Store
Andre and Theresa's son Mathias Gast was my 3x great-grandfather. He was born on October 28, 1813 in Ligsdorff, Haut-Rhin, France, and died on April 22, 1888 in Maria Stein, OH. He married Maria Katherine Hagedorn on September 12, 1839 in Maria Stein, OH. She was born on May 07, 1823 in Newkerchen (Hanover) Germany, and died on November 11, 1915 in Maria Stein, OH. I have also seen her name as Katharina Maria Hagedorn.

According to Wikipedia, Mathias was one of the earliest settlers in Marion Township in Mercer County, Ohio and he opened a shoe store there in 1833. The Gast house pictured above was built in 1852 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Mathias operated a store and hotel out of his house. In later years, younger members of the Gast family built a substantial addition to the rear of the house to accommodate increasing numbers of relatives. The house is still being used as a residence, while the store was destroyed. It's definitely on my list of places to see!

1870 census entry for Mathias Gast and family in Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio

The 1870 census for Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio shows Mathias and his wife Catherine with their children John, Henry, Mathias, and Frances. Their oldest son, John Henry was my 2x great-grandfather. His occupation here is "clerk in store", so I would guess he was working in the family store. Mathias' place of birth says France, while his wife's says Holland. In the 1880 census, her place of birth is given as Prussia, while the 1860 census said Hanover. Also, of interest, is that Mathias's mother's place of birth is given as Switzerland.

John Henry Gast was born on October 28, 1849 in Maria Stein, OH, and died in 1934 in Celina, OH. He married Catherine "Kate" Desch, daughter of Ferdinand Desch and Katharina Anthony. She was born in 1853, and died in 1918.

1880 census entry for John Henry Gast and family in Jefferson Township, Mercer County, Ohio

In the 1880 census, John Henry Gast is a farmer. John and his wife Catharine have four children, John, Andrew, Mary, and Emma. Mary is my great-grandmother. John's parent's place of birth is given as France and Catharine's parent's place of birth is given as Prussia. In the 1900 census the place of birth is given as Germany for both John and Catherine. Interesting how the place of birth seems to change from census to census!


In the 1920 and 1930 census, John Henry Gast's father's place of birth is listed as Alsace Loraine and his mother's as Prussia.

George F. Pulskamp and Mary Gast in Jefferson Township, Mercer County, Ohio

Mary married George F. Pulskamp on August 19, 1899. In the 1900 census, they are living in Jefferson Township, Mercer County, Ohio. George is working as an Editor. He later published the Mercer County Bote, a German newspaper.

While the family tree I received on the Gast family has given me a good head start on researching the family, I have not verified any of the data before the family came to Ohio. That's another item on my long "to do" list.

With this post, I've covered all of my great-grandparent's surnames in a Surname Saturday post! These posts have really helped me organize the data I have and show what is missing.

Thanks again to Heather of Leaves for Trees for her tip on using Excel for ancestor graphics.