Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Workday Wednesday - Street Commissioner

The 1900 Atlas of Mercer County, Ohio published by J. E. Hamburger & Co. contains a picture and short biography of my 2x great-grandfather, Henry Niehaus. When the atlas was published, he was the Street Commissioner of Celina, Ohio.

Henry was born in 1854, so he would have been 46 or younger when the picture was taken. This is by far the best picture I've seen of him.

The biography reads: HENRY NEIHAUS was born on the twenty-fourth day of September, 1854, in Amt Wildeshausen, Germany. On the twenty-fifth day of January he was united in marriage to Anna (Rohrer); to them were born the following named children: Katie (deceased), Waldburga, Agnes, Anna, Bertha, and Caroline. He is at present serving as street commissioner of the village of Celina, Ohio.

Another small mention of Henry gives his middle initial as "H" and says that he "keeps clean the streets and crossings". I haven't been able to find out how long Henry held the position of Street Commissioner. The 1900 census is the only one that gives "Street Commissioner" as his occupation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do You Need a Genealogy Do-Over?

I've been in collecting mode for so long that I think it's finally happened. Not only do I not know where all of my genealogy resources and data are, but there are probably things I've collected that I don't even know I have! On top of that, my latest family tree is a hodgepodge of my earliest finds that I quickly added to the tree, combined with later finds that I attempted to correctly source and document.

Apparently, I'm not alone! Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers has announced his Genealogy Do-Over, starting on January 2.  Thomas is going to set aside his research from the past 20 years and start over and he's inviting us to join him on this journey. Thomas has set up a 13 week program with topics to focus on each week and a Facebook group.

I haven't decided yet how far to go with the "do-over", but I plan to follow along with the focus for each week.  Along the way, I hope to improve my research skills, verify and document my family tree, and organize my growing collection of genealogy data.

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 Kate 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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Grandpa on a Tricycle!

This photo of my grandfather Robert F. Creeden was taken in Celina, Ohio. I would guess the year was around 1915.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Census Sunday - Covey family in Maryland and Delaware

In a previous post, I traced my 2x great-grandparents Kate Covey and George Chilcutt in census records, starting with the 1880 census. In this post, I'll try to trace Kate Covey's family in the census records. In the 1870 census, Kate was 9 years old and was living with her parents, Henry and Sarah Covey in District 3 of Queen Anne's County, Maryland.

Covey family in District 3, Queen Anne's, MD, 1870 census
Other Coveys living with the family are Allen M., age 13, Frank F., age 11, and Josiah, age 23. Maryland is given as the place of birth for everyone in the household.

I haven't had any luck finding the Covey family in the 1860 census. I found a probable match in the 1850 census, although the ages and birthplaces don't quite match. Henry and Sarah were living in Kent County, Delaware in the Milford and Mispillion Hundred. All birth places were given as Delaware and Sarah is 32 years old, while Henry is 35. In the 1870 census, both Henry and Sarah were 50 years old, so they didn't quite age 20 years. Henry was at the bottom of the census page, with the rest of the family on the next page.

Covey family in Kent County, Delaware, 1850 census
From Delaware marriage records, Sarah married Eli Pratt on April 19, 1836. She married Henry Covey on August 2, 1847. I think the Pratt children listed here are most likely from Sarah's marriage to Eli Pratt.

In the 1900 census, there is a Sarah Covey born in March 1818 living with George and Ariane Faulkner in Worton, Kent County, Maryland, District 49. She is listed as the Mother-In-Law and is widowed. She had twelve children and nine are still living. Ariane and George have been married 32 years, so that explains why Ariane isn't in the 1870 census with the Coveys.

Sarah Covey in Worton, Kent County, MD,1900 census
From the census records I've found so far, probable children for Sarah are Ann E. Pratt, William H. Pratt, Eli C. Pratt, Joseph Covey, Henry C. Covey, Robert G. Covey, Allen M. Covey, Frank F. Covey, and Kate O. Covey. Josiah Covey, age 23 is also living with the family in 1870, but not in 1850, so he may be some other relation. From the 1900 census, Sarah also had a daughter named Arianna. I'm still hoping to find the 1860 census to fill in some of the gaps.

  • 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line] Year: 1850; Census Place: Milford and Mispillion Hundreds, Kent, Delaware; Roll: M432_52; Page: 146B; Image: 298.
  • 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]Year: 1870; Census Place: District 3, Queen Annes, Maryland; Roll: M593_593; Page: 406A; Image: 257; Family History Library Film: 552092.
  • 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line] Year: 1900; Census Place: Worton, Kent, Maryland; Roll: 625; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0049; FHL microfilm: 1240625.
  • Delaware Marriage Records, 1744-1912 [database on-line]. Original data: Public Archives Commission, Delaware Public Archives. Marriage Records, 1744-1912. Dover, Delaware: Delaware Public Archives. Record Group # RG 1325; Subgroup # 003; Series # 004.
Census Sunday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Colleen Pasquale of Leaves and Branches.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Census Sunday - Hannah Creedan in the US 1880 Mortality Schedule

The US census included mortality schedules for the years 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1885 that provided information on those who had died in the year prior to the enumeration. This can be a valuable source of information since it can be hard to find obituaries or death records for those time periods.

Hannah Hoover Creedan was the second wife of my 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan. She died in 1879 in Clinton County, Ohio and is listed in the 1880 Mortality Schedule for Clinton County.
The number in the far left column matches the number of the family in the 1880 population schedule. The next columns list the name of the deceased, age at death, sex, color, and whether single, married, or widowed/divorced.

Hannah's place of birth was Ohio. Her father was born in Baden and her mother in Pennsylvania.

Hannah's occupation was given as "Keeping House" and the month in which she died was October. The cause of death was consumption. Since Hannah was 58 in October 1879, that places her date of birth somewhere between October 1820 - October 1821.

The last columns list the number of years the deceased was a resident of the county, place the disease was contracted if somewhere other than the county, and name of the attending physician. This appears to say that Hannah was a resident of Clinton County for 50 years which would indicate she was born somewhere else in Ohio. If this is correct, her family moved to Clinton County in 1829.

Source: U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line]. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Ohio, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1159; Archive Roll Number: 102; Census Year: 1879; Census Place: Wayne, Clinton, Ohio.

Census Sunday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Colleen Pasquale of Leaves and Branches.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Census Sunday - Kate Covey and George Chilcutt

I haven't done much research on my 2x great-grandparents Kate Covey and George Chilcutt, so decided to see what I could find out in the census records. I've seen several trees on that place Kate's death in 1910, but found her in the census records through 1940. In the 1940 census, Kate was supporting herself by renting out rooms in her house on 105 Cross Street in Chestertown, MD.

1940 census, Kate Chilcutt, Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland
In 1930, Kate was living in the same house, but as a roomer. I don't know yet if she was related to the head of the household, Annie Everett. Annie's daughter was named Pearl and so was Kate's daughter, my great-grandmother Pearl Lena Chilcutt, so that name ran in the family.

1930 census, Kate O. Chilcutt, Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland
But wait! Kate Chilcutt is also living with her daughter and son-in-law James and Ola Thomson in Church Hill, Queen Anne's County. The Church Hill census was taken on April 8th, while the other 1930 census was taken on April 21st. Is it possible that she moved in that time period? The age matches in both, but the age at first marriage is different. This isn't the first time that I've found two entries for someone in my family, but it does cast some doubt on whether or not the 1940 and 1930 entries in Chestertown are for my Kate Chilcutt.

1930 census, Kate Chilcutt, Church Hill, Queen Anne's County, Maryland
I haven't located Kate in the 1920 census yet. I know from probate records that George Chilcutt died in 1916, so Kate could have been living with one of her children. While I don't have a marriage record for Kate and George, according to the 1910 census, they had been married for 34 years which would place the year of their marriage at 1876.

1910 census, George and Kate Chilcutt, Ruthsburg, Queen Anne's County, Maryland
In 1900, Kate and George are living with their children Howard, Walter, Pearl, and Tiny in Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Kate's year of birth has been pretty consistent at 1861 and the place of birth for all of the family has been Maryland. George's occupation is given as Farmer.
1900 census, George and Kate Chilcutt, Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, Maryland
In 1880, Kate and George are living in Queenstown with Kate's mother Sarah Covey. George's occupation is given as Laborer.

1880 census, George and Kate Chilcutt, Queenstown, Queen Anne's County, Maryland
I'll follow up in future posts with the census records for George and Kate when they were living with their parents.

To Do: Investigate the 1940 and 1930 census entries for Kate to verify if they are for my Kate and find Kate in the 1920 census.

Source for census images: 1880-1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line] Census Sunday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Colleen Pasquale of Leaves and Branches.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Ohio County Death Record for James E. Creeden

Images for some Ohio County Death probate records are available on These records don't have an index, so you have to navigate to the county you're interested in and browse the images. The Mercer County books for 1867-1902 are arranged alphabetically by last name and then by year of death. They jump around a bit in years of death and they appear to be very sparse for some years. I wasn't able to find an entry for my 2x great-grandfather Timothy Creeden who died in 1899, but I found an entry for his son James E. Creeden from 1889.

James was the oldest child of Timothy Creeden and Mary Matson and was only 17 years old when he died of typhoid fever. He is buried in the Old Buck cemetery next to Mary's brother John Matson.
The first part of the index record shows that Jas E Creedon, a male, died on Oct 13, 1889. The ditto in the last box indicates that James was single. For some entries, there was a checkbox in the box to the left of the gender, but there was no indication as to what that meant.

The next part shows that James was 17 years, 11 months, and 2 days old at the time of his death in Hopewell Township in Mercer County. He was born in Clinton County, Ohio. Based on his age at death, he was born on Saturday, November 11, 1871.

The entry spans over two pages in the ledger book. On the second page, it gives James' occupation as Farmer and the ditto indicates that he was white. The two empty spaces are for his parent's names, so I'm glad I already know who they are! James' tombstone says that he was the son of T.C. and M.A. Creeden and it appears that his age was 17 years, 11 months, and 3 days old instead of 2.

The last part of the entry shows the cause of death as typhus fever and place of death as Hopewell. The ditto indicates that the death was reported by the assessor.

Source: "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," images, FamilySearch (,1296041902 : accessed 14 Sep 2014), Mercer > Death records, 1867-1908, vol 1-2 > image 198 of 326; county courthouses, Ohio.

Sunday's Obituary is an ongoing series developed by Leslie Ann at Ancestors Live Here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sentimental Sunday - Grandparents Day 2014

Remembering my grandparents on Grandparents Day 2014...

Royce and Edna Councill, 1958
Royce Councill and Edna Willis were married on June 13, 1925 in Chestertown, Maryland. They had four daughters and fourteen grandchildren. They were born in Queen Anne's County, MD and lived much of their married life in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Their grandchildren used to call them Mom Mom and Pop Pop. While I don't have too many memories of Pop Pop, I remember a visit to their home when I was around six years old and visits with Mom Mom when she came to our home in Florida.

Anna Lee Pulskamp, April 1930
Robert F. Creeden, April 1930
Robert F. Creeden and Anna Lee Pulskamp were married on December 27, 1930, so these photos were taken a few months before their wedding. They had one son and two grandchildren. I never met my grandmother Anna Lee, but we had lots of visits with my grandfather when I was growing up and I still have many of the cards and letters he wrote to me. I don't have many photos of the two of them together, but I'm guessing that they took these photos of each other somewhere near their home in Celina, Ohio.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mystery Monday - Dennis Creeden Part 2

I first posted about the mysteries surrounding Dennis Creeden about a year ago. Dennis was one of the sons of my 2x great-grandfather Timothy Creeden and I hoped that tracing Dennis might shed some light on Timothy. Instead, it just raised more questions!

When I saw that recently added more indices to its California County Birth and Death Records, 1849-1894 collection, I searched again for Dennis and came up with a hit.

Death Certificate for Den Creedon, 1929, French Camp, CA
According to the certificate, Dennis died on January 17, 1929 in the town of French Camp, California. His date of birth was given as Sept. 8, 1882. his occupation was blacksmith and while his parents' names were unknown, Dennis' birthplace was given as Ohio. From other records, I think his year of birth was 1879, but the other data was a match.

There are several new pieces of information on the death certificate, the most intriguing being that Dennis was a widower. The certificate states that he had lived in California for 10 years and that he was buried in the San Joaquin General Hospital Cemetery, #2524 on January 19, 1929. The informant was J. Hogan. If he was in California for 10 years, then he should be in the 1920 census, but I haven't had any luck there so far.

Posts on RootsWeb in the CASANJOA-L Archives state that the graves in the San Joaquin General Hospital Cemetery were moved to either the Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi, CA or the Stockton Rural Cemetery in Stockton, CA in 1989. I didn't find anything on FindAGrave for any of these locations, so the search continues.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Church Record Sunday - First Communion, Celina, Ohio, 1942

First Communion Day, May 10, 1942, Immaculate Conception Church, Celina, Ohio

The Immaculate Conception Class of 1952 received their First Communion on May 10, 1942 in Celina, Ohio. My father is the 3rd from the right in the 3rd row in the photo above.

According to a history of the class printed for a reunion in 1972, Father George Hindelang was the pastor and the class was confirmed on December 6, 1942 by Bishop George Rehring. The class had 43 students when they started as First Graders in 1940 and had a graduating class of 26 students in 1952. Interesting that they received First Communion at the end of second grade and Confirmation in the next school year. When I was attending school, it was more common to receive Confirmation several years later, usually in the eighth or ninth grade.

My father kept the holy cards he received for his First Communion and Confirmation.

Holy Communion Card, May 10, 1942

The First Communion card was signed, To dear little Timothy from Sister Mary Protas May 10, 1942.

Confirmation card, December 6, 1942

The Confirmation card was signed, In loving memory of your Confirmation Day, Dec. 6, 1942.