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History of Fostoria's Fountain Cemetery

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History of Fostoria's Fountain Cemetery
From R/t November 30, 2005
702 Van Buren St
Fostoria, OH 44830-1537
(419) 435-3113

- Fountain Cemetery -
Click thumbnail for larger picture.







Fostoria Lineage Research Society re-elects Officers.

Officers were elected when 18 members of the Fostoria Lineage Research Society met at the Kaubisch Memorial Library.
The present officers were re-elected for 2010. they are Sally Riser, president; Jan Herbert, vice-president; Paul Chaney, secretary/treasurer and Jim & Pat Beeson, publicity.
Riser and Herbert presented the program on the history of Fountain Cemetery. John Potteiger, retired cemetery superintendent, was present to answer questions from the group. The present cemetery consists of 38 acres between Van Buren and Summit streets. As of Oct. 12, there are 18,483 people interred. Felix Gonzales, working foreman of the cemetery, noted there are more people buried there than living in Fostoria, with the most recent census listing the local population at 13,931.
The original cemetery was laid out on a knoll just west of Portage Creek where Fostoria Community Hospital is today. The area is sometimes called Cemetery Hill. John Gorsuch, the original owner of the village of Risdon, donated the land for the cemetery to the Methodist Church of Risdon and it was named First Methodist Cemetery.
This site was used until 1856 when the Fostoria Cemetery was established on the site where Fountain cemetery is today. The first new graves in Fostoria Cemetery ere dug in 1856 for two children of the Rev. G.W. Collier, the pastor of the Methodist Church.
In 1900 the cemetery was renamed Fountain Cemetery because of its many fountains & inspired by an article in The Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune by Jefferson Wolfe, The Lady Fountain was built in 1895. There was another fountain under what is now the Veterans Memorial Chapel. Other statues were added in the cemetery. Still standing next to the Lady Fountain is a Civil War monument built in 1910.
In 1917, Bradfield Hamilton built the main gate, including an arch and a fence. He also built the boat that is to the left of the entrance and the main mausoleum at the cemetery's east end. The mausoleum is rarely used these days and receives few visitors. The last person interred there was in 1977.
In 1969, the World War l Doughboy statue was brought to the cemetery from the old high school building on High Street. It had been standing in the high school campus area since Armistice Day Nov. 11, 1927. There are 136 similar statues in 35 states. Fostoria's doughboy was one of 12 in Ohio.
Potteiger shared that there are some interesting trees growing in the cemetery. There used to be two "upside down trees", but one died in 1968 and one remaining is in the old part of the cemetery near the Foster flag.
A unique gravestone that has attracted a lot of attention in recent years is the one that reads "Gone to Wal-Mart" It was mentioned on the Paul Harvey program. (This is the gravestone of Tish Hammer)
When visiting the cemetery the row of baby graves can be seen on the west side of the cemetery. The veterans of past wars have metal markers inserted by their gravestone to signify their service in the armed forces.
The most recent addition to the cemetery is the Veterans Memorial Chapel, dedicated on Memorial Day 2004.
Fountain Cemetery still has room for growth. all the land north of the grounds is owned by the city.
Kaubish Memorial Public Library has cemetery books, which provide information as to where the person is buried, date of death and name of the survivor. The cemetery office have the actual records cards of the deceased. To obtain access to those records call the cemetery office for an appointment.
The next meeting will be November 15, 2010. The Public is always welcome to attend the meeting

Information courtesy of Wanda Pohlman


The Meaning of Early Gravestone Art

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The Meaning of Early Gravestone Art:

Anchors and ships: The seafaring profession
Arches: Victory in death
Arrows: Mortality
Bouquets: Condolences, grief
Buds: Renewal of life
Bugles: The resurrection and the military
Candle being snuffed: Time, mortality
Coffins: Mortality
Crossed swords: High-ranking military person
Darts: Mortality
Doves: The soul, purity
Father Time: Mortality, the grim reaper
Flowers: Brevity of early existence, sorrow
Flying birds: Flight of the soul
Fruits: eternal plenty
Garlands: Victory in death
Imps: Mortality
Hand of God Chopping: Sudden death
Handshake: Farewell to earthly existence
Hearts: The soul in bliss, love of Christ
Horns: The resurrection
Hourglass: Swiftness of time
Lambs: Innocence
Picks and shovels: Mortality
Portals: Passageway to the eternal journey
Roses: The brevity of earthly existence
Sheaves of Wheat: Time, the divine harvest
Shells: The pilgrimage of life
Suns: The resurrection
Thisles: Remembrance
Tombs: Mortailty
Trees: Life
Trumpeters: Heralds of the resurrection
Willows: Earthly sorrow
Winged Death's head: Mortality
Winged Effigies: The flight of the soul

Information courtesy of Wanda Pohlman


Diseases of Past Times

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Information found under web site:

* ABLEPSY - Blindness

* AGUE - Malarial Fever

* AMERICAN PLAGUE - Yellow Fever

* ANASARCA - Generalized massive edema

* APHONIA - Laryngitis

* APHTHA - The infant disease, thrush

* APOPLEXY - Paralysis due to stroke

* ASPHYCSIA / ASPHICSIA - Cyanotic and lack of oxygen

* ATROPHY - Wasting away or diminishing in size

* BAD BLOOD - Syphilis

* BILIOUS FEVER - Typhoid, malaria, hepatitis or elevated temperature and bile emesis

* BILIOUSNESS - Jaundice associated with liver disease


* BLACK FEVER - Acute infection with high temperature and dark red skin lesions and high mortality rate

* BLACK POX - Black Small pox

* BLACK VOMIT - Vomiting old black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever

* BLACKWATER FEVER - Dark urine associated with high temperature

* BLADDER IN THROAT - Diphtheria (Seen on death certificates)

* BLOOD POISONING - Bacterial infection

* BLOODY FLUX - Bloody stools

* BLOODY SWEAT - Sweating sickness

* BONE SHAVE - Sciatica

* BRAIN FEVER - Meningitis

* BREAKBONE - Dengue Fever

* BRIGHT'S DISEASE - Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys

* BRONZE JOHN - Yellow Fever

* BULE - Boil, tumor or swelling

* CACHEXY - Malnutrition

* CACOGASTRIC - Upset stomach

* CACOSPYSY - Irregular pulse

* CADUCEUS - Subject to falling sickness or epilepsy

* CAMP FEVER - Typhus, Camp Diarrhea

*CANINE MADNESS - Rabies, hydrophobia

* CANKER - Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex

* CATALEPSY - Seizures/Trances

* CATARRHAL - Nose and throat discharge from cold or allergy

* CEREBRITIS - Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning

* CHILBLAIN - Swelling of extremities caused by exposure to cold

* CHILD BED FEVER - Infection following birth of a child

* CHIN COUGH - Whooping cough

* CHLOROSIS - Iron deficiency anemia

* CHOLERA - Acute severe contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing

* CHOLERA MORBUS - Characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, elevated temperature, etc. Could be appendicitis

* CHOLECYSTITUS - Inflammation of the gall bladder


* CHOREA - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing

* COLD PLAGUE - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing


* CONGESTION - Any collection of fluid in an organ, like in lungs

* CORRUPTION - Infection

* CORYZA - A cold

* COSTIVENESS - Constipation

* CRAMP COLIC - Appendicitis

* CROP SICKNESS - Overextended stomach

* CROUP - Laryngitis, diphtheria, or strep throat

* CYANOSIS - Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood

* CYNANCHE - Disease of throat

* CYSTITIS - Inflammation of the bladder

* DAY FEVER - Fever lasting one day, sweating sickness

* DEBILITY - Lack of movement or staying in bed

* DECREPITUDE - Feebleness due to old age

* DELIRIUM TREMENS - Hallucinations due to alcoholism

* DENGUE - Infectious fever endemic to East Africa

* DENTITION - Cutting of teeth

* DEPLUMATION - Tumore of the eylids which causes hair loss

* DIARY FEVER - A fever that lasts one day

* DIPTHERIA - Contagious disease of the throat

* DISTEMPER - Usually animal disease with malaise, discharge from nose and throat, anorexia

* DOCK FEVER - Yellow Fever

* DROPSY - Edema (Swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease

* DROPSY OF THE BRAIN - Encephalitis

* DRY BELLYACHE - Lead poisoning

* DYSCRARY - An abnormal body condition

* DYSENTERY - Inflammation of colon with frequent passage of mucous and blood

* DYSOREXY - Reduced appetite

* DYSPEPSIA - Indigestion and heartburn. Heart aattack symptoms

* DYSURY - Difficulty in urination

* ECLAMPSY - Symptoms of epilepsy, convulsions during labor

* ECSTASY - A form of catalepsy characterized by loss of reason

* EDEMA - Nephrosis, swelling of tissues

* EDEMA OF LUNGS - Congestive heart failure, a form of dropsy

* EEL THING - Erysipelas

* ELEPHANTIASIS - A form of leprosy

* ENCEPHALITIS - Swelling of brain, aka sleeping sickness

* ENTEROCOLITIS - Inflammation of the intestines

* ENTERITIS - Inflation of the bowels

* EPITAXIA - Nose Bleed

*ERYSIPELAS - Contagious skin disease, due to Streptococci with vesicular and bulbous lesions

* EXTRAVASTED BLOOD - Rupture of a blood vessel


* FATTY LIVER - Cirrhosis of the liver

* FITS - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity

* FLUX - An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea

* FLUX OF HUMOUR - Circulation

* FRENCH POX - Syphilis

* GATHERING - a collection of pus

* GLANDULAR FEVER - Mononucleosis

* GREAT POX - Anemia

* GRIPPE/GRIP - Infuenza like symptoms

* GROCER'S ITCH - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour

* HEART SICKNESS - Condition caused by loss of salt from body

* HEAT STROKE - Body temperature elevates because of surrounding environment temperature and body does not perspire to reduce temperature. Comma and death result if not reversed

* HECTICAL COMPLAINT - Recurrent fever

* HEMATEMESIS - Vomiting blood

* HEMATURIA - Bloody Urine

* HEMIPLEGY - Paralysis of one side of body

* HIP GOUT - Osteomylitis

* INANITION - Physical condition resulting lack of food


* INTESTINAL COLIC - Abdominal pain due to improper diet

* JAIL FEVER - Typhus

* JAUNDICE - Condition caused by blockage in intestines

* KING'S EVIL - Tuberculosis of neck and glands

* KRUCHHUSTEN - Whooping Cough

* LAGRIPPE - Influenza

* LOCKJAW - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw. Untreated, it is fatal in 8 days.

* LUNG FEVER - pneumonia

* LUNG SICKNESS - Tuberculosis

* MALIGNANT FEVER - see typhus

* MARASMUS - Malnutrition occurring in infants and young children, caused by an insufficient intake of calories or protein

* MENINGITIS - Inflammation of the meninges characterized by high fever, severe headache, and stiff neck or back muscles. Synonym: brain fever

* MILK SICK - poisoning resulting from the drinking milk produced by a cow who had eaten a plant known as white snake root

* MORMAL - gangrene

* NEURALGIA - Sharp and paroxysmal pain along the course of a sensory nerve

* PARISTHMITIS - see quinsy

* PETECHIAL FEVER - see typhus

* PHTHISIS - see consumption

* PLAGUE/BLACK DEATH - Bubonic Plague

* PLEURISTY - Inflammation of the pleura, the lining of the chest cavity. Symptoms are chills, fever, dry couch, and pain in the affected side (a stitch)

* PNEUMONIA - Inflammation of the lungs

* PODAGRA - Gout

* POTTS DISEASE - Tuberculosis of the spinal vertebrae

* PUTRID SORE THROAT - see typhus

* QUINSY - An acute inflammation of the tonsils, often leading to an abscess. Synonyms: suppurative, tonsillitis, cynanche tonsillaris, paristhmitis, sore throat

* SCARLATINA - Scarlet fever. A contagious disease

* SCROFULA - Primary tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands, especially those in the neck. A disease of children and young adults. Synonym: King's evil

* SEPTIC - Infected, a condition of local or generalized invasion of the body by disease-causing germs.

* SHIP FEVER - See typhus

* SOFTENING OF THE BRAIN - Cerebral hemorrhage/stroke

* SPOTTED FEVER - see typhus

* SUMMER COMPLAINT - See cholera infantum

* SUPPURATION - The production of pus

* TEETHING - The entire process which results in the eruption of the teeth. Nineteenth-century medical reports stated that infants were more prone to disease at the time of teething, Symptoms were restlessness, fretfulness, convulsions, diarrhea, and painful and swollen gums. The latter could be relieved by lancing over the protruding tooth. Often teething was reported as a cause of death in infants. Perhaps they became susceptible to infections, especially if lancing was performed without antisepsis. Another explanation of teething as a cause of death is that infants were often weaned at the time of teething; perhaps they then died from drinking contaminated milk, leading to an infection, or from malnutrition if watered-down milk was given.

* TETANUS - An infectious, often-fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds. Synonyms: trismus, lockjaw

* THRUSH - A disease characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, tongue, and fauces caused by a parasitic fungus. Synonyms: aphthae, sore mouth, aphthous stomatitis.

* TRISMUS NASCENTIUM OR NEONATORUM - A form of tetanus seen only in infants, almost invariably in the first five days of life.

* TYPHOID FEVER - An infectious, often-fatal disease, usually occurring in the summer months - characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration. The name came from the disease's similarity to typhus (see below). Synonym: enteric fever.

* TYPHUS - An acute, infectious disease transmitted by lice and fleas. The epidemic or classic form is louse borne, the endemic or murine is flea borne. Synonyms: typhus fever, malignant fever (in the 1850s), jail fever, hospital fever, ship fever, putrid fever, brain fever, bilious fever, spotted fever, petechial fever and camp fever.

* VARIOLA - smallpox

* WINTER FEVER - pneumonia

* YELLOW FEVER - An acute, often-fatal, infectious disease of warm climates - - caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoe

Information courtesy of Wanda Pohlman

Stories, Jokes

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I started out calmly, tracing my tree,

To find if I could find the makings of me.

And all that I had was Great-Grandfather's name,

Not knowing his wife or from where he came.

I chased him across a long line of states,

And came up with pages and pages of dates.

When all put together, it made me forlorn,

Proved poor Great Grandfather had never been born.

One day I was sure the truth I had found,

Determined to turn this whole thing upside down.

I looked up the record of one Uncle John,

But when I found the old man to be younger than his son.

Then when my hopes were fast growing dim,

I came across records that must have been him.

The facts I collected made me quite sad,

Dear Old Great Grandfather was never a Dad!

I think someone is pulling my leg.

I am not at all sure I wasn't hatched from an egg.

After hundreds of dollars I've spent on my tree,

I can't help but wonder if I'm really me .....

...Found on Roots-L


Home is where you hang your @.

You can't teach a new mouse old tricks.

A chat has nine lives.

Don't byte off more than you can view.

Fax is stranger than fiction.

What boots up must come down.

A user and his leisure time are soon parted.

There's no place like

The E-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.

A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click.

Great groups from little icons grow.

Speak softly and carry a cellular phone.

CA is the root of all directories.

Pentium wise; pen and paper foolish.

Don't put all your hypes in one home page.

The modem is the message.

Too many clicks spoil the browse.

The geek shall inherit the earth.

Windows will never cease.

In Gates we trust (and our tender is legal)

Virtual reality is its own reward.

Modulation in all things.

Know what to expect before you connect.

Oh, what a tangled web site we weave when first we practice.

Speed thrills.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to use the Net and he won't bother you for weeks.

(From Family Tree, Aug/Sept. '98 via LAWGS)


Genealogy is my pastime, I shall not stray.It maketh me to lie down and examine tombstones.It leadth me into still courthouses.It restoreth my Ancestral Knowledge.It leadeth me in the paths of census records and ship's passenger lists for my surnames's sake.Yea, though I walk through the shadows of research libraries and microfilm readers.I shall fear no discouragement, for a strong urge is within in me.The curiosity and motivation, they comforteth me.It demandeth preparation of storage space for the acquisition of countless documents.It anointest my head with burning midnight oil.My family group sheets runneth over.Surely, birth, marriage, and death dates shall follow me all the days of my life.And I shall dwell in the house of a family. History-seeker forever. *Author Unknown.


1. The old photo of 4 relatives, one of whom is your direct ancestor, carries the names of the other 3. 2. Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only on last names. 3. Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.


You're Addicted. . .

*.....when you brake for libraries*.....if you get locked in a library overnight and you never even notice*.....when you hyperventilate at the sight of an old cemetery*.....if you'd rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping mall*.....when you think every home should have a microfilm reader*.....if you'd rather read census schedules than a good book*.....When you know every town clerk in your state by name*.....if town clerks lock the doors when they see you coming*.....when you're more interested in what happened in 1697 than 1997 *.....if you store your clothes under the bed and your closet is carefully stacked with notebooks and journals *.....if you can pinpoint Harrietsham, Hawkhurst and Kent on a map of England, but can't locate Topeka, Kansas*.....when all your correspondence begins, "Dear Cousin," *.....if you've traced every one of your ancestral lines back to Adam and Eve, have it all fully documented, and still don't want to quit.


While browsing through material in the recesses of the Roman Section of the British Museum, a researcher recently came across a tattered bit of parchment. After some effort he translated it and found it was a letter from a man called Plutonius with the title of "magister factorium" or keeper of the calendar, to one Cassius. It was dated, strangely enough, December 15th, 1 BC - about 2,000 years ago. The text of the message follows:Translated from Latin scroll dated 2 BC:

Dear Cassius: Are you still working on the Y zero K problem? This change from BC to AD is giving us a lot of headaches and we haven't much time left. I don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You would think that someone would have thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at his last minute. I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn't done something about it when he was sorting dout the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty. We called in Consultus the astrologer, but he simply said that continuing downwards using minus BC won't work and as usual charged a fortune for doing nothing useful. Surely, we will not have to throw out all our hardware and start again? Macrahard will make yet another fortune out of this, I suppose. The moneylenders are paranoid of course! They have been told that all usury rates will invert and they will have to pay their clients to take out loans. It's an ill wind ... As for myself, I just can't see the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards. We have heard that there are three wise men in the East who have been working on the problem, but unfortunately they won't arrive until it's all over. I have heard that there are plans to stable all horses at midnight at the turn of the year, as there are fears that they will stop and try to run backwards, causing immense damage to chariots and possible loss of life. Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition. Anyway, we are still Continuing to work on this blasted YOK problem. I will send a parchment to you if anything further develops. And if you have any ideas, please let me know.Plutonius


The words in the will were: "I bequeath to my sister-in-law Sarah Dennis four old worsted stockings which she will under my bed; to my nephew Charles McCartney, two old pair of stockings lying in the box where I keep my linen; to Lieutenant Johnson, of His Majesty's Fifth Regiment on Foot, my old pair white cotton stockings and my old scarlet greatcoat; and to Hannah Bouri, my housekeeper, in return for her long and faithfully services, my cracked earthen pitcher." Hannah in anger told the lawyers that she resigned to them her valuable share of the property and then retired. In equal rage Charles kicked down the pitcher and as it broke, a multitude of guineas burst out and rolled along the floor. This fortunate discovery induced those present to examine the stockings, which to their great joy were CRAMMED WITH MONEY!(From Nuggets of the Paradise, Paradise, California Genealogical Society & MCC-OGC Volume 20 -6 page 207)

GENEALOGY- My Family Tree

I climbed my family tree and found It wasn't worth the climb And so I scrambled down convinced It wasn't worth the time Some branches on my tree I found Were rotten to the core And all the tree was full of sap And hung with nuts galore I used to brag my family up Before I made the climb But truth compels me now to tell Of those not worth a dime I beg my friends who boast aloud Of ancestors so great To climb their family tree and learn Of those who weren't so straight I've learned what family trees are like That's why I scrambled down They're like a "tater vine" because The best are underground. Author unknown


She'S going to the top. She says she'll go to Adam and Eve Before she has to stop. If she gets a little tired And has to take a break, She might stop at the Vikings But there's no telling yet. It is, of course, her legacy To all she dearly loves. They'll sure know where they came from When she is up above.

G E N E A L O G I C A L (Normal or Not?)

1. My family coat of arms ties at the that normal?
2. My family tree is a few branches short! All help appreciated
3. My ancestors must be in a witness protection program!
4. Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
5. My hobby is genealogy, I raise dust bunnies as pets.
6. How can one ancestor cause so much TROUBLE??
7. I looked into my family tree and found out I was a sap..
8. I'm not stuck, I'm ancestrally challenged
9. I'm searching for myself; Have you seen me ?
10. If only people came with pull-down menus and on-line help...
11. Isn't genealogy fun? The answer to one problem, leads to two more!
12. It's 2000... Do you know where your-Great-G. Grandparents are?
13. A family reunion is an effective form of birth control
14. A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots
15. A new cousin a day keeps the boredom away
16. After 30 days, unclaimed ancestors will be adopted
17. Am I the only person up my tree... sure seems like it
18. Any family tree produces some lemons, some nuts and a few bad apples
19. Ever find an ancestor HANGING from the family tree?
20. FLOOR: The place for storing your priceless genealogy records.
21. Gene-Allergy: It's a contagious disease, but I love it
22. Genealogists are time travelers
23. Genealogy is like playing hide and seek: They hide... I seek!
24. Genealogy: Tracing yourself back to better people
25. "Crazy" is a relative term in my family
26. A pack rat is hard to live with, but makes a fine ancestor
27. I want to find ALL of them! So far I only have a few thousand
28. I Should have asked them BEFORE they died!
29. I think my ancestors had several "Bad heir" days
30. I'm always late. My ancestors arrived on the JUNE flower
31. Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards, as progress
32. Share your knowledge, it is a way to achieve immortality
33. Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!
34. It's an unusual family that hath neither a lady of the evening or a > thief.
35. Many a family tree needs pruning
36. Shh! Be very, very quiet.... I'm hunting forebears.
37. Snobs talk as if they had begotten their own ancestors!
38. That's strange: half my ancestors are WOMEN!
39. I'm not sick, I've just got fading genes
40. Genealogists live in the past lane
41. Cousins marrying cousins: Very tangled roots!
42. Cousins marrying cousins: A non-branching family tree
43. Alright! Everybody out of the gene pool!
44. Always willing to share my ignorance....
45. Documentation...The hardest part of genealogy
46. Genealogy: Chasing your own tale!
47. Genealogy...will I ever find time to mow the lawn again?
48. That's the problem with the gene pool: NO Lifeguards
49. I researched my family tree... and apparently I don't exist!
50. SO MANY ANCESTORS...........................SO LITTLE TIME


Some of the best humor were found in genealogical records! Take the following for example the following which are actual notations taken from death certificates:

* A mother died in infancy * Deceased had never been fatally sick before.
* Died suddenly, nothing serious. * Went to bed feeling well, woke up dead.
* Kicked by a horse shod on the left kidney. * Deceased died from blood poison caused by a broken ankle, which is remarkable, because the car hit him between the lamp and the radiator.

From the Marshland to Heartland newsletter of Ottawa County, originally from the Airstream Club and in MCC_OGS volume 20-2 page 159.

By Mary H. Harris As quoted in the Clermont Co. GS

10. You introduce your daughter as your descendant. 9. You've never met any of the people you send email to, even though you are related.
8. You can recite your lineage back 8 generations, but can't remember your nephew's name. 7. You have more photographs of dead people than living ones.
6. You have taken, a tape recorder and or notebook to a family reunion. 5. You have not only read the latest GEDCOM standards, you understand it.
4. The local genealogy society borrows books from you. 3. The only film you have seen in the last year was the 1880 census index.
2. More than half of your CD collection is made up of marriage records or pedigrees. 1. You elusive ancestors have been spotted in more places than ELVIS.


(The following notice was written in 1865. This may be part of the problem in finging some ancestors) OCUPSYSHUN - CENCUS TAKER I am a cencus takers for the city of Bufflow. Our city has groan very fast in resent years & now in 1865, it has become a hard & time consuming job to count all the ppephill. There are not many that con do this werk, as it is nesessarie to have an ejucashun, which a lot pursons still do not have. Anuther atribeart needed for this job is god spelling, for meny of the pephill to be counted can hardle speek inglish, let alon spel there names.From Auglaize County Genealogical Society, April/May 1998.

QUESTION: Why do genealogists die with smiles on their faces?
They know they're about to get one more date on their pedigree charts!

GENEALOGIST STEWTake 1 Curious Beginner Add 1 Age Discrepancy 1 Unreadable Microfiche 1 Census Record written in "Disappearing ink" Fold in 1 ton of correspondence and simmer While awaiting answers to queries ..... And that my friends, is enough to make any Genealogist Stew. Author Unknown

CENSUS TAKER It was the first day of census, and all through the land; The pollster was ready ...a black book in hand. He mounted his horse for a long dusty ride; His book and some quills were tucked close by his side.

A long winding ride down a road barely there; Toward the smell of fresh bread wafting, up through the air. The woman was tired, with lines on her face; And wisps of brown hair she tucked back into place.

She gave him some water they sat at the table; And she answered his questions ... the best she was able. He asked of her children... Yes, she had quite a few; The oldest was twenty, the youngest not two.

She held up a toddler with cheeks round and red; His sister, she whispered, was napping in bed. She noted each person who lived there with pride; And she felt the faint stirring of the wee one inside.

He noted the sex, the color, the age ... The marks from the quill soon filled up the page. At the number of children, she nodded her head; And saw her lips quiver for the three that were dead. The places of birth she "never forgot"; Was it Kansas? Or Utah? Or Oregon ... or not? They came from Scotland, of that she was clear; But she wasn't quite sure just how long they'd been here.

They spoke of employment, of schooling and such; They could read some ... And write some ... though really not much. When the questions were answered, his job there was done; So he mounted his horse and he rode toward the sun.

We can almost imagine his voice loud and clear; "May God bless you all for another then years." Now picture a time warp ... its' now you and me; As we search for the people on our family tree.

We squint at the census and scroll down so slow; As we search for that entry from long, long ago. Could they only imagine on that long ago day; That the entries they made would effect us this way?

If they knew, would they wonder at the yearning we feel; And the searching that makes them so increasingly real. We can hear if we listen the words they impart; Through their blood in our veins and their voice in our heart. Unknown Author

TOO SERIOUSLY You know you are taking genealogy too seriously if a magical genie appears and agrees to grant you any one wish ... And you ask that the 1890 census be restored! (From FOUR BEARS PA'S newsletter of the Shelby County, In. Genealogical Society, Vol. X No. IV, November 1999)

HUMOR CENTRAL / HUMOROUS EPITAPHS In Ribbesford, England's Cemetery: The children of Israel wanted bread And the Lord sent them manna, Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife, And the devil sent him Anna.

In a Silver City, Nevada's Cemetery: Here lays Butch, We planted him raw. He was quick on the trigger, But slow on the draw.

Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, AZ in the cowboy days of 1880's. He was buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, AZ. Here lies Lester Moore Four slugs from a .44 No Les no more.

In a Georgia's Cemetery: I told you I was sick!

In a London, England's Cemetery: Here lies Ezekial Aikle Age 102 The Good Die young.

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico's Cemetery: Here lies Johnny Yeast. Pardon me for not rising.(These quotes are from Oct/Nov/Dec 1999 Champaign County Genealogical. Society Newsletter and Seneca Search Winter 1999)

I'M NOT OLD - JUST MATURE Today at the drugstore, the clerk was a gent. From my purchase, this chap took off ten percent. I asked the cause of a lesser amount. And he answered, "Because of the senior discount." I went to MacDonald's for a burger and fires and there, Once again, got quite a surprise. The clerk poured some coffee is free." Understand, I'm not old, I'm merely more mature. But some things are changing, temporarily I'm sure. The newspaper print gets smaller each day. And people speak softer-Can't bear what they say. My teeth are my own (I have the receipt). And my glasses identify people I meet. Oh, I've slowed down a bit, not a lot I am sure. You see, I'm not old, I'm only mature. The gold in my hair has been bleached by the sun. You should see all the damage chlorine has done. Washing my hair had turned it all white. But don't call it gray, saying blond is just right. My car is paid for, not a nickel is owned. Yet a kid yells, "Old duffer, get off the road." My car has no scratches, not even a dent. Still, I get all that guff from a punk, who's hell bent. My friends all get older, much faster than me. They seem more wrinkled, from what I am see I've got "character lines", not wrinkles for sure. But don't call me old, just call me mature The steps in the house they're building today, Are so high that they take your breath away. And the streets are much steeper than then years ago. That should explain why my walking is so slow. But I'm keeping up on what's hip and what's new. And I think I can still dance a mean boogaloo. I'm still in the running, in this I'm secure, I'm not really old, I'm only mature. Source: Van Wert Connection, Spring 1999

EPITAPH Epitaph in a cemetery in England: Remember, man as you walk by, As you are now, so once was I As I am now, so shall you be, Remember this and follow me.

By which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:

To follow you I'll not consent,

Until I know which way you went.

(From the July 1999 Clinton County, Newsletter as quoted in The Quest, newsletter for the Florida OGS, Volume 16, No. 6, Nov/Dec 1999)


1. Proud Crested Sap Seeker - They hunt only for ancestors who were Presidents, royalty, etc.

2. Gimlet Eyed Name Collector - They look for ancestors who love "known" surnames.

3. Addlepated Roadrunner - The bird that wants to do all the research himself / herself without help.

4. Hardheaded Fact Finder - This bird is the type that methodically studies, searches, prays, and hopefully finds those missing ancestors.

As quoted from Laura Everton Wagstaff, Ancestry Trails, Trumbull County, OGS, June 1999

Information courtesy of Wanda Pohlman


General Information - After

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Calculates birth date from death date and age of death in year-month-day format. You might want to try the Java Script. All dates, Gregorian or Julian, use New Year on January 1st.

This new version uses two different computation methods: (28 day calculation has some problems and it wasn't very useful, so it has been removed.

1. 30 day fixed length (the "8870" system is a variant of this)

2. Calendar length months

Baptism date may be found at the local churches your ancestors attended or your local libraries.


* 68 days from Rotterdam to Baltimore in 1824.

* 58 days from Bremen to Baltimore in 1832.

* 44 days from Bremen to Baltimore in 1834.

* 66 days from Bremen to New Orleans in 1843.

* 47 days from LeHarve, France to New Orleans in 1854.

From 1867 - 1890, most sailing ships used steam auxiliary engines on days when there was little or no wind. However, many sailing ships remained in service and their fares were often lower than the faster steam ships. In 1893, a steamship made its trip from Ireland to New York in only 10 days. (From various newsletters, last seen in The Muskingum, March 2000)


Genealogists can be confused with the double-dating period between the 1st of January and the 25th of March of the years prior to 1752. The legal, civil, or Ecclesiastical Year. Prior to 1752, began on March 25th each year. The new style calendar began January 1, 1752.

From the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, the Historical Year began on January 1st making an overlap of two different years. It was customary to show both years in a hyphenated manner, such as: February 10, 1824/5. This was not always true, only just "customary". One may find old chronological tables which show only the older numbered year through March 24th. Entries made the following day are written in the next subsequent year, such as: March 25th, 1725. This is the day immediately following March 24, 1724.

It is not unusual to find a person, prior to 1752, had dated his will in August and the will was probated in February of the same year.

Quakers, or Friends, used a number for a month, rather than the name of the month. February, in the Old Style calendar, was the twelfth: thus the 12 month 15th 1725 was the 15th of February for that year. A monthly meeting date would be written: 30th of the 9th mo 1742. A record of birth might be written: borne the 25th of ye 9th mo called November 1741.


(Year began March 25, prior to 1752) (Year began January 1, 1752 and subsequently)

March 1st month, I January

April 2nd month, II February

May 3rd month, III March

June 4th month, IV April

July 5th month, V May

August 6th month, VI June

September 7th month, VII July

October 8th month, VIII August

November 9th month, IX September

December 10th month, X October

January 11th month, XI November

February 12th month, XII December

(information from Ancestors West, Santa Barbara (CA) GS, v 18:31/ Benedict Newsletter Vol 1, No 2 (Summer 1993)


It is all in your perspective. The year 2000 AD will be:

* 6238 according to the Egyptian calendar

* 5760 according to the Jewish calendar

* 5119 in the current Maya great cycle

* 2763 according to the old Roman calendar

* 2749 in the ancient Babylonian calendar

* 2544 according to the Buddhist calendar

* 1716 according to the Coptic calendar

* 1420 according to the Muslim calendar

* 1378 according to the Persian calendar

* 208 according to the calendar of the French Revolution

* Year of the Dragon according to Chinese calendar


The calendar or groupings of our calendar often have religious significance and some of the groupings are linked to astronomical periods. Our calendar is made up of days, weeks, months and years. The day is the rotational period of the Earth; the week is an artificial period linked to the Biblical story of creation; the month is linked to the period of the Moon and the year is linked to the Earth's period of rotation around the Sun.

The Jewish calendar and the Moslem calendar are connected with the Moon. The Jewish calendar is now a fixed calendar with rather complex rules for its construction. The lenght of the Jewish year may be 353, 354, or 355 days or 383, 384, or 385 days. Each month has 29 or 30 days.

The Moslem calendar is a fixed calendar. The religious festivals depend on visual sightings of the New Moon. The length of the Moslem year is 12 months of alternate lengths 30 or 29 days, except for the 12th month, which can have 29 or 30 days. The calendar is kept in adjustment with the Moon using a cycle of years of different length.

Mosaic law forbids work on every seventh day established a seven-day period as a measure of Jewish time. This passed over into the Christian church and gradually became established in the Roman calendar. The astrological practice of naming the days using the names of the Sun, Moon and five known planets provided us with the seven-day period.

The names given to the days of the week are based on the nomenclature. In English, Sunday and Monday are named after the Sun and Moon while the other days of the week are named after the Teutonic versions of the gods that corresponds to each of the planters. Tiu = Mars, Woden = Mercury, Thor = Jupiter and Freya = Venus, Saturday keeps its Latin connection with Saturn.

Many ancient calendars were based on the lunar cycle. The lunar month is 19.530589 days and the number of lunations in a year 12.368267. The common scheme was to have 12 months of 30 days with the arbitrary or calculated additional days or months to bring the system into accord with the solar year.

The Roman Calendar originally had 10 months. Martius named after Mars was the indicated time for resumption of war, Aprilis meant 'to open' is the beginning of Spring, Maius is for Maia who is the goddess of growth, Janius is after juvenus meaning youth, Quintilius, Sextilis, Septembris, Octobris and Decembris mean the fifth to tenth months. The Romans had a dislike of even numbers as these symbolized death. Therefore, the months were given 29 or 31 days. King Numa increased the number of months to 12 by introducing Januarius after the god Janus, the protector of doorways and hence the opening of the new year and Februarius is the time of sacrifice at the end of the year. The order of the months was later changed.

In order to reconcile the solar and lunar years, at the recommendation of Sosigenes Julius Caesar altered the length of the months and the change to our present format, which was completed by Caesar Augustus. Both claimed the names of one of the months and this gave rise to Julius and Augustus, which replaced Quintilius and Sextilis.


The number of days in one revolution of the Earth around the Sun is 365.2422 days. Not being a whole number it was impossible to keep the calendar in tract with the seasons. The calendar had to be varied in length.

Julius Caesar made the first attempt to reconcile the year with the seasons. He took a day from February which was then the last month and made his month, July a 31 day. This began the Julian Calendar. February was despoiled by Augustus Caesar who also despoiled a day so as to have a month, August also with 31 days. As some sort of compensation the leap day was given to February.

The Julian Calendar introduced a year of 365 days with a leap-year every four years. It moved the start of the year from March 25 to January 1, which is supposedly the longest day. The adopted length of the year, 365.25 days is only slightly different from the actual length, 365.2422 days but over the centuries the difference mounts up and by the 16th centuries had become noticeable. The effect is to move Spring and the date of Easter, which is related to the vernal equinox, closer to the date of Christmas.

The Gorgonian reform to the calendar altered the rule for determining if a year should be leap-year by stating that centenary years should only be leap years if they were divisible by 400. It dropped several days from the calendar so that the vernal equinox was brought back to March 21. The mean length of the calendar year is now 365.2425 days and the error compared with true value amounts to only 3 days in 10,000 years.


The leap year is defined as being the interval between two successive passages of the Sun through the vernal equinox. What really occurs is that the Earth is going around the Sun. The vernal equinox is the instant when the Sun is above the Earth's equator while going South to North. It is the time, which astronomers take as the definition of the beginning of Spring. The year as defined above is called the tropical year and it is the year lengths that define the repetition of the seasons.

In 46 BC, Julius Caesar established the Julius calendar, which was used in the West until 1582. The Julian calendar each year contained 12 months and there was an average of 365.25 days in a year. This was achieved by having 366 days. Leap years were not corrected until 8 AD. The discrepancy between the actual length of the year 365.24219 days and the adopted length may not seem so important but the Religious seasonal days were getting out of kilter. Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian Calendar in 1582, which has been used since. The change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian involved the change in the simple rule for leap-year to the more complex one in which the century year was divided by 400 to become a leap-year.

The adoption of the Gregorian calendar was made in Catholic countries, which omitted 10 days in 1582. That year, October 4th jumped to October 15th. The Gregorian calendar stipulated that the year should start with January 1st in non-Catholic countries the change was made later; Britain and her colonies made the changes in 1752 when September 2nd was followed by September 14th and New Year's Day was changed from March 25th to January 1st.

The sequence of years going from BC to AD does not include the year O. The sequence of years runs 3 BC, 2 BC, 1 BC, 1 AD, 2 AD etc. This means that the first year of the millennium was 1 AD. The Science and Engineering Research Council of the Royal Greenwich Observatory contend that it is clear that the start of the new Millennium will be January 1, 2001.


Surely most will celebrate the coming of the year 2000 AD as is natural in any round number year. We will be celebrating the 2000th year or the last year of the millennium, not the start of the new millennium. This is only gives all the excuse to celebrate the coming of the millennium for a second time.

Information from the Science and Engineering Research Council of the Royal Greenwich Observatory as quoted in THE FRANKLINTONIAN, NEWSLETTER FOR THE Franklin County, Genealogical and Historical Society. Nov/Dec. 1999 & MCC-OGS Volume 20-6 pages 214-215


Some researchers have a harder time tracing ancestors than others simply because of the heritage of their ancestors. Here is an estimate of how far back some can expect to go, genealogically speaking:

Native Americans . . . . . . . . . . .150 years

African Americans,

Greek, Irish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 years

English . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300 years

Scots, Scandinavian . . . . . . . . . 400 years

French, Italian,

Germanic, Slavic . . . . . . . . . . . 500 years

Swiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 years

Spanish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000 years



If you are lacking any of the first three items, the family may not be complete:

1. The marriage date of the parents. The first child should be born within a year or two at the latest of the marriage date.

2. Spacing between children should be two years average. Three years is acceptable depending on the next item. Four years or more should make you suspicious.

3. The total number of children should be around 5 - 6, before 1800 and around 8 - 9 after 1800. If there are more children than that, it is not unusual for there to be four or more years between the last tow children, especially if the wife is near the end of her potential child bearing years.

4. What was the age of the mother at marriage? How many childbearing years did she have left? Keep in mind that the average bride at marriage between 1600-1749 was 26, and in 1700 only 8-10% of the population were 60 or older. Hence, she would be lucky to have a child after 40, and she was probably deceased by 50. That would mean, if conditions were ideal, about 14 years for child bearing, and if the spacing rule in item 3 above holds up, about 6-7 children. The average bride at marriage between 1800-1850 was 23.

ADVANCED RESEARCH: Sources of Information:


Civil Registration 1837 - Poor Law 1662-1834

Census 1841 - Directories/Poll Books 1700 -

Church Records Land Tax 1780 -

Parish Registers 1538 - Tax on Apprentices 1710 -1810

Bishop's Transcripts Military 1660

Marriages Licenses/Indexes Newspapers/Period c1700 -

Nonconformists 1689 - 1837 Schools Records

Probates 1400 - 1838 University Records 1150 -

Manor Court Rolls 1400 - 1850

Guild Records 1400 - 1850

Taxes/Lay Subsidies 1216 - 1800

Quarter Sessions 1532 - 1888

Chancery (Bernau's Index) 1386 - 1875

Feet of Fines 1182 - 1834

Inquisition post Mortem 1216 - 1642

Visitations 1528 - 1687

Assize 1500 - 8175

Protestation Rolls 1641 - 42

Poll & Hearth Taxes 1377 - 1689

( Information from MCC_OGS Volume 20-4 page 204.)


When searching cemeteries, you should be aware that religion sometimes had a lot to do with the way people were buried. Here's a good example: In the Old Country, Lutherans were buried "in Order" of death. There was a row for children (with small stones), and one for adults.

When winter came, the church would dig six or seven graves and cover them with straw in anticipation of coming deaths that winter. That way, the church members didn't have to dig through frozen ground or go to several different spots in a cemetery.

When people died, they were buried in chronological order. So, if you're visiting one of these cemeteries and you can't read a stone that sits between two others that are legible, at least you'll know the person's approximate date of death.


If writing is too faded to read, use a 75 watt light bulb in any lamp that casts light directly on the written page. The writing will miraculously appear.

Information courtesy of Wanda Pohlman



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