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29 November 2013

Photo Friday: What can a Math Olympiad Tell You About Your Relative?

Have you ever heard of Math Olympiad? I don't know how many people participated in various competitions while they were in school. I also don't know if the competitions were limited only to kids in the Gift and Talented Program. What I do know, is that I participated in Match competitions in Elementary and Middle School and I enjoyed them.

Math Olympiads 1980 Patch
Math Olympiads patch from the late 1980s
I took this photo using my light box. Inside the lightbox, I built a platform covered with a small piece of white muslim, that the patch could rest again. This allowed me to angle my camera better to capture the patch. The light I used was artificial and came through the filter of tissue paper into the box. (Notice how the light is concentrated in the top most part of the photo?)

I had trouble photographing this patch for legibility. Even with the Macro setting enabled, the embroidery made capturing the object a challenge. I basically kept playing with different settings and zoom until I could finally read the word "Math Olypiads" clearly.

What I also loved about the patch, is that it came with a document. The document has a date on it, so I know when I received this particular patch.

Math Olympiads 1980 Patch
Certificates help tell the stories of our ancestors (or ourselves)

I now know that I received this particular patch from participation in the 1987-1988 program. I find it funny that the certificate reads "Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary Schools" and then mentions that I went to a Middle School.

I can also see the signature of my principal Mrs. L Sheehan. Mrs. Sheehan was a tough principal and often set my mischievous brother straight. When I got into trouble, she was firm but gentle as I generally didn't make trips to her office. Seeing her signature doesn't tell you much about Mrs. Sheehan and how she interacted with my brother or myself. But, my memories do.  There is so much that can be found in documents like these, if we take the time to really capture our stories.

What the patch and certificate does not say, is what I actually did to participate. And, they don't say how well I did or did not do. The question then becomes, does it matter? I'm not sure.

I did well enough in math during elementary and middle schools to be invited to participate in the program (back then it wasn't open to everyone in my school). So, to have these items in my personal history stash tells you that I had an interest or talent in math at this time of life.

With my Photo Friday and Treasure Chest Thursday, I try to encourage people photograph the stuff in their attics, closets, under their beds, and around their house. Why? Because there are clues all around you about the individuals in your family, if you know where to look. These clues are not found in birth, marriage, and death record databases. But they do give you insight into the people on your tree. I also hope that by sharing my journey in photography, you can see that with a little practice, anyone can photograph the stuff that enriches their family history. So... if you want to do something truly awesome this Christmas Season... grab your camera, get into your family's possessions and start photographing their things. Then talk about those things and record the memories. Have fun, and bring on the Holiday Season.

25 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Witness Statement for William James Townson

William James Townson's Civil War Pension
Witness Statement for William James Townson's Civil War Pension file

State of Ohio Franklin County SS

on this the 31 day of Dec AD 1883 personally appered before me Clerk Common Peas Count acting Justice of the peace in and for the County of Franklin and State of Ohio Edward G Behm John Rohn Edwards Station persons whom I Certify to be respectable and entitled to credit and who being by me first duly Sworn according to law does on there oaths declare that they are well and intimatily aquainted with William James Townson who was a late private of Company “K” 133 L Redgt Ohio Infntry and no from there own personal Knowledge that the said William James Townson was in the hospital with the mumps and eseciplis when we was at New Creek in the State of West Virginia that he was sick as aforsaid in said hospital some lenght of time dont now remember just how long that we know the above facts by reason of being members of Said Compay and redgement and that we was personally preseant at the at the time and that our post office address is Edward Station Franklin County Ohio and that we have no intrust in this claim.

attest Theo H Beck Edward G Behm
JD Broucher John Rohn (his mark)

Sworn to and subscribed before me on the 31 day of December A.D. 1883 and I do hereby Certify that the foregoing affidavit was fully Read and exsplained to the witnesses 

William James Townson's Civil War Pension
Witness Statement for William James Townson's Civil War Pension file

before Sworing them I further certify that I have no interest direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim

John J Joyce
Clerk Court of
Common Pleas
Franklin County Ohio

aditonal evedence claims
William James Townson
Company K 133 Ohio Regt
infenty Cols

in hosp.
Behm & rohn
mumps & engsipela

Filled by A W Shearer
Alton Franklin County Ohio


  • Edward G Behm & John Rohn knew William James Townson intimately.
  • They served with him in Company K, Regiment 133rd, Ohio Infantry Volunteers
  • They lived in Edwards Station, presumably near William Townson (because this place appears elsewhere the in Townsend history)
  • Where is Edward's Station, Franklin County, Ohio?
    The railroad town also known as Edwards Station which was located along what is now the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, just across the township line from the Columbus Motor Speedway. When it was built the line was the Hocking Valley Railroad. The P.O. operated from 1874 through 1898.
  • Who are Edward G Behm & John Rohn, more specifically? They knew William J Townson in the military service in 1863 and were willing to attest for William 1883. So, how close were the three?

24 November 2013

Funeral Card for Charles Baum

I have a large collection of interment cards from the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. I will share these as I find time and energy to so do.

Interment Card for Charles H Baum
Interment Card for Charles H Baum
Buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
Charles H BaumInterment on: Una C Baum Lot
Lot 318 Sec 113
born 8 Dec 1890 Cary, Ohio
died 13 Aug 1968, McConnelsville, Ohio
Parents: Bruce Bau
Interment: 5 Mar 1980

I had a deep desire to share the cards I found. But someone suggested that cluttering up my page with non-family member finds wasn't the best way to go. So, I found another great resource to share these cards. So, I'll only share interment cards in the future if they're part of a greater family story.

23 November 2013

Surname Saturday: Michael what was your last name?

Aleta Geiszler
In doing research on a great aunt Aleta Geiszler, her story was very confusing. She had two very different last names in addition to her husband's. Her father was a confusing story to sort out as well. If I could figure out her father's last name, perhaps I could figure out her last name and if there is a possible second husband no one knew about.

When research began on Aleta, her daughter-in-law insisted that Aleta's last name was Bowers. So a paper journey had to begin. The first step was to look at Aleta's marriage to William Joseph Geiszler. Their marriage took place on 5 March 1912.

Marriage record for William Geiszler and Aleta Kirchner
Family Search, "Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958" database, (http:/ :
Entry for William J Geiszler, 5 March 1912

On that record, Aleta referred to herself as Aleta Kirchner with her father as Michael Kirchner and mother Elizabeth Deltzie. I did not find a death record that lists Aleta's maiden name. So, essentially, she was Aleta Kirchner until at some point she told her daughter-in-law her last name was Bowers.

Marriage record for William Geiszler and Rosemary Schoppelrei
Family Search, "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1974" database, (http:/ :
Entry for William Geiszler, 7 September 1942 (accessed 25 November 2012)

 Her daughter-in-law joined the family in 1942 but Aleta's last name was still listed as Kirchner (or a misspelling of it). I'm not sure when Rose Mary learned that Aleta used the last name of Bowers. So, based on the following pieces of evidence, I should be looking for Aleta Kirchner.

1912 Aleta Kirchner marries, lists father as Michael Kirchner
1942 Aleta Kersher listed as mother on William Joseph Geiszler's marriage to Rose M Schoppelrei

Using the Kirchner for the last name, I could only find Aleta in the 1880 US Census age the age of one. She is listed as Letta Kirchner and living in Seneca, Ohio. Her father Michael Kirchner and mother Elizabeth Kirchner are also listed, along with older siblings Emma and Flora.

1880 US Census... Aleta Kirchner is living with her parents Michael and Elizabeth Kirchner.

So the big question of the day, where was Aleta between 1880 and 1912?

Perhaps if I follow Michael, I might find Aleta.

Marriage record for Michael Kirchner and Elizabeth Delcite
Family Search, "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1974" database, (http:/ :
Entry for Michael Kirchner and Elizabeth Delcite, 9 October 1872

Michael Kirchner married Elizabeth Delcite (a common variation of Delztie) 9 Oct 1872 in Seneca, Ohio. So, I should be looking for Michael and Elizabeth Kirchner in Seneca, Ohio.

Going back to the 1870 US Census, I find that Michael is living with Michael and Christina Kerchner in Tiffin, Seneca, Ohio. So, one would presume that Michael and Christina would be his parents. In a sense, they are, but don't presume anything in this census because relationships are not listed.

Now, I've lost the trail of Michael going backwards in the US Census. I did find that Michael married another woman, Clara Ries, 24 November 1885. There is no 1890 US Census, so I need to search for Michael Kirchner (or Bauer/Bower) and Clara in the area of Seneca, Ohio. Going forward.

In the 1900 US Census Michael and Clara are using the last name Bowers. They have a daughter born in 1888 listed before Leta who was six years old (age 18 at this time). Normally, children are listed oldest to youngest. Perhaps, Leta's younger sister was listed first because she was the daughter of Clara and Leta was listed second because she was Clara's step-daughter. One doesn't know, but that makes logical sense.

In 1910 Aleta Bowers appears in Columbus, Ohio as a lodger and works as a servant for a private family. Her name was added in the office after the census was recorded by a supervisor. The family name this entry matches with is Charles Koche. Two years later, Aleta marries William Geiszler.

Meanwhile, Michael and Clara Bowers appear, still in Seneca, Ohio with four children in their home. Clara indicates that she's born 6 children with 5 alive. One seems to be living elsewhere at this time.

Michael Bowers lives until 1926 and on his death record, his informant says that his father was Hary Bowers and mother unknown.

1870 Michale Kerchner living with Michael and Christina Kerchner (no relationship identified)
1872 Michael Kirchner marries Elizabeth Delcite
1880 Michael and Elizabeth Kirchner appear in Seneca, Ohio.
1885 Michael Kirchner married Clara Riese (no parent's listed)
1900 Michael and Clara Bowers appear in Seneca, Ohio with Leta Bowers as daughter
1910 Michael and Clara Bowers appear in Seneca, Ohio with 4 children
1910 Aleta Bowers is a servant in Columbus, Ohio
1920 Michael Bowers, widow, raising four children in Seneca, Ohio

As I said, I can't trace Micheal Bower/Kirchner back past 1870. Aleta uses the last name Bowers in the census years of 1880, 1900, and 1910. Then her marriage record has the last name of Kirchner. Her son's marriage record provides the last name of Kirchner as well.

Family information provided by a cousin shared this information:
Michael Bauer's parents died.  He was adopted by his maternal uncle.  Michael Bauer-Kirchner's wife died, and when he remarried, the three daughters by his late first wife were adopted by his adoptive father, his uncle, and the grandfather of his daughters, viz., Michael Kirchner.  All very complicated.
I have not been able to source this part of the story. I do not know what last name William Geiszler, son of William and Aleta Geiszler had recorded on his death certificate.

I share this case for several reasons. One, it shows that family memories might not always be false, or entirely true. Second, the record that Michael Bowers is also Michael Kirchner. He was adopted by his mother's brother after the death of his parents. Now, I'm not sure how formal the adoption might have been. I do not know why he raised his children with Elizabeth Deltzie with the last name of Kirchner, married Clara Ries as Kirchner and then started using the name Bowers from that point forward. 

However, I share this story for those who might come across Michael and be confused as to what his last name is. Even I'm confused as to what to use for his last name. I generally to him as Michael Bower-Kirchner (though I found a spelling of the name as Bauer at the time of his parent's death). 

Finally, I want to share that it's okay to do a little bit of collateral work. The point of figuring out this story was to determine what the name of a great aunt should be. I had to go back one generation to see if I could sort it out. This  is what I have documented so far. I leave the rest of the work to a more direct descendant of Aleta Bowers/Kirchner Geiszler.

22 November 2013

Photo Friday: The Girl Scout Brand Name

Can you say over achiever? Yes... that would be me in the Girl Scouts organization when I was younger. I earned so many badges, it was crazy and fun at the same time.

Girl Scout Sash from the 80s
Front of my Girl Scout Sash, top section

Believe it or not, the Girl Scouts brand name was a very important part of my life when I was younger. (In case you missed the other brand name posts, they are: Rocky Mountain jeans brand tag, Star Wars Watch, and Bon Jovi T-Shirt) I walked numerous streets of my neighborhood going door to door selling Girl Scout cookies. My mom helped sell a few boxes to her co-workers. This generally earned me the minimum quota my troop set. Anything else was on my shoulders... so I solicited door to door. Thankfully, most people were more than honest and trustworthy.

Today I want to share with you some photos that I took using a seamless backdrop setting when the white muslim is ironed crisp.

Photographing Heirlooms
f/4.5, exp 1/13, bias +0.7, ISO 100
Center Weight Average, natural light, no flash

I draped the muslin over a piece of craft fiber fill (used to stuff inside various sewn craft projects). I arranged the sash over the elevated platform (notice the way the background drapes off of it). I arranged a piece of white foam board on the right side of the sash to bounce the natural light back onto my subject.

I did mention being an over achiever right? I've said before to take photos of all sides of your object, right? Well, here is the top portion of the back of my sash.

Girl Scout Scrapbooking
f/4.5, exp 1/13, bias +0.7, ISO 100
Center Weight Average, natural light, no flash

Notice the bottom portion of the sash? Notice how there are even more badges? Want to see them?

Personal History Girl Scouts
f/4.5, exp 1/13, bias +0.7, ISO 100
Center Weight Average, natural light, no flash

Okay... for you genealogists. I bet you'd ask, what can I extract from these photos? Well... that I was very active in Girl Scouts. If you interviewed me, I would not be able to tell you what all of those badges mean. But... guess what? In my stack of papers, I have something to help me out.

Using records to write personal history
Girl Scout record supports personal history

The above document supports the photos for my personal history. I can refer to the various awards I received and attempt to match the record's information with the photos of my artifact. And, if I'm still stuck, there is a Vintage Girl Scout Online website to help identify various pins, uniforms, and such.

 I love how documentations and artifacts can combine to enrich the stories in our personal history. Can you imagine what documents and photographed artifacts can do for your family history?

Stories + Stuff + Documents... that is the ground work of family history.

Now... go out there and photograph the stuff that supports your documents.

18 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Claimant Affidavit for William J Townson

Civil War Pension Claimant Affidavit, William J Townson
Civil War Pension Claimant Affidavit, William J Townson, Claim No 505.430

 State of Ohio, Franklin County SS.

In the matter of Invaled Pension Claim No 505.430 of William James Townson late private Co. “K” 133rd Redgement Ohio Inft. Vols. personally appeared before me John J Joyce Clerk of Cort Common Pleas in and for said County and State aforsaid William James Townson the above named Claiment who being by me first duley sworing according to law. States in relation to his claims as follows.

My Place of residence for the three years immedially preeding my enlistment in the above servis was in Madison Township Franklin County Ohio and my Post address was Groveport and my occupation during that period was a farmer upon my discharge from the above Servis I continued to reside in the same neighborhood up to the presant. I continued work at farmming at such times as I was physically able to work my disability was incured while I was with my Command 22 miles from New Creek Station West Verginia with Waggon Traim as Gard. I took Mumps and erysipelas. Set in with mumps which settled in my head and eys and from the affects of said mumps & erysipelas the doctor lanced my eys & doctor Crain Gave me Medicen twice before thy moved me to New Creek Station and put me in the hospittal at New Creek Station in the State of West V.a. I was treated in said hospital by Doc Craine that I do not no whether Doctor Craine is living or not & I no nothing of his where abouts. That Doctor Chainney & Doctor Saylor has both prescubed for me cince my discharge and they are the

Civil War Pension Claimant Affidavit, William J Townson
Civil War Pension Claimant Affidavit, William J Townson, Claim No 505.430

only Physicians that has treated me cine my discharge from said Servis and that I have never suffered from any attacks of acute disease of any kind cince the incurrence of my disability and what work I performed cince my discharge has been farming when it was that could see. that my eysSight is such that there is a Grate many Kinds of work on a farm that I cannot See to do that I can not work at such as plainting corne and Plowing. making fence and a grate many things. I cannont do on account of my eyes Sight being so baddly affected my right eye is almost intirely gone and my left eye is baddly affected an is Growing wass all the time and as to the time and dates of the manneal labor performed by me cince my discharge I cannont Give fully as I kept no account of the time what labor I did peform I done it Grate disadvnages that my labor has not been one forth of the time cince my dischage from the above survis.

Theo H Beck

William James Townson x (mark)

Sworen to and subseribed before me on this the 4th day of July A.D 1884
And I do hereby certify that the contents of the foregoing affidvid was read and fully made Knowen to the witness before Swaring him and I have no intrust direct or indirect in the prossecition of this claim.

John J Joyce Clerk Court of Common Pleas Franklin County Ohio
By William H Simonton Deputy

  • William J Townson was with Co K 133rd Regiment
  • William Townson had  mumps & erysipelas
  • He was sent to New Creek Station hospital in West Virginia
  •  He lived in Madison Township, Franklin County, Ohio for three years prior enlisting and after his discharge.
  • He was treated by Doctor Craine during his time at New Creek Station
  • He was treated by Doctor Chainney & Doctor Saylor afterward
  • He worked as a farmer prior to enlistment. He continued, as best he could, in farming after his discharge.
  • He was almost entirely blind in his right eye.
  • His farm labors included plowing, planting corn, building fences. 
  • Thos H Beck witnessed his written testimony

  •  What records exist of William James Townson prior to his service in the civil war in Marion Township, Franklin County, Ohio?
  • Who were Drs. Craine, Chainney & Saylor?
  • Who was Tho H Beck?
  • Was MOB Letter, really a mistranslation by me and someone else to pay attention to?

17 November 2013

Funeral Card for Eva Barton

I have a large collection of interment cards from the Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. I will share these as I find time and energy to so do. This card was found when I was search for Samuel Barton, my great uncle's godfather.

Eva A Barton
Interment Card for Eva A Barton
Buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
    Eva A Barton
    Interment on: Louise Barton (Lyon) Lot
    Lot 140 Sec Y
    born 1875
    died 4 Jan 1929, Columbus, Ohio
    Parents: Alfred & Louisa (Clark) Barton
    Interment: 5 Jan 1929

15 November 2013

Photo Friday: Bon Jovi T-Shirt

Bon Jovi New Jersey Album Cover
Super cool album that I
owed as a young girl.
I know, I know. I am a genealogist and I'm show casing my concert T-Shirts. What? Shouldn't this all be about more 'historical' stuff? Well, no. My personal history is the history for my children and grandchildren. And, the things I like will matter to them, if no one else.

Also... I want to invite young people into genealogy. If the only 'cool' things in family history is lace dollies and pottery, you are not going to invite a lot of young people (while they are young) into the tent. So... for all of you young folks (and young at heart), photograph the brand names (and band names) of your ancestors, including those 'ancient' people known as your parents. (In case you missed it, I also shared a concert program that I photographed.)

In a class that I taught at a family history conference last month, I have shared the importance of having a model. Come to think of it, I also wrote a post about having a model when photographing clothing. Some folks didn't believe me. So, I'm going to share the 'no model', point and shoot route. I've since learned to take better photos. But the T-Shirt is long gone. After viewing the model posts, you'll know why I wish I had put the shirt on to photograph rather than done the hanger method.

Photographing Concert Memorabilia
f/2.8, exp 1/5 sec, ISO 250, Pattering Metering, No flash,
Auto Camera setting

Photographing Concert Memorabilia
f/2.8, exp 1/60 sec, ISO 80, Pattering Metering, Flash

I will still use these point-n-shoot photos in my personal history. I will share the music that I love and why Bon Jovi was the coolest band around. I just wish I had given the shirts more life by putting them on a model. Oh well. Live and learn! (And if anyone happens to have this concert shirt and can photograph it better, I'm all for using your photos in my history.)

11 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday: Civil War Pension Affidavit

Civil War Pension File: William Townsend
Affidavit to certify pension claim

State of Ohio, Franklin County SS.

On this the 7th day of April A.D. 1884 personally appeared before me Deputy Clerk of Court in an for the county and state aforesaid William James Townson a resident of said County aforesaid a person whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit and who being by me first duly sworn according to law, does on this oath declare that he is the idenickal(sic) William James Townson who has made application for invaled pension which is No 505.430, and that he was in the hospital at New Creek Station West Virginia that he was treated in said hospital and that is all the hospital that he was in while in the Servs of the U.S.

William James (his mark) Townson
Attest: Marie E Nagle
Callie Orvinges

Sworn to and subscribed before on this the 7th day of April A.D. 1884 and I do hereby certify that I have no interest direct or indirect in the prosecution of this claim.

Theo H Beck
Deputy Clerk of Court of Common Pleas of Franklin Co, O.

Knowledge and Questions:
  • Last week's Original Pension application was completed on 1 September 1883. This affidavit seems to certify the person of William James Townsend and was completed on 7 Apr 1884. 
  • Marie E Nagle was a witness on the previous file. Callie Orvinges is a second on this record. I do not know if either are related to William J Townsend or simply worked in the office of William's attorney. 
  • William again signed with a mark, on account of his being blind, though not stated in this file.
  • I would love to know what the steps for Pension application and acceptance were. This could help be better understand why certain people might or might not be in William's file.

08 November 2013

Photo Friday: Star Wars Watch

Photographing Memorabilia
f/4.5, exp 1/25 sec, exp bias +0.7, ISO 100,
Center Weight Average Metering
What young boy growing up in the late 1970s and 1980s didn't like Star Wars? Very, very few I believe. My husband was no different. One example of his preference for the movie is that he happily shares the movie with his own children. The other, was this watch found in this collection of stuff that has been in our attic for decades. So, with the theme of Brand Names for November, I'm sharing with you the photos I took of a Star Wars brand item.

Photographing Fad Items
f/4.5, exp 1/25 sec, exp bias +0.7, ISO 100,
Center Weight Average Metering

I love the smooth background of white cardboard inside a light box. However, I found it difficult to position the watch. So, after a few attempts, I decided to place a piece of fiber fill inside my light box, cover it with white muslin and put the watch back inside. Positioning the watch was easier.

1980s Darth Vader Watch
f/5, exp 1/13 sec, exp bias +0.7, ISO 100,
Center Weight Average Metering

Photography with Lightbox
f/5, exp 1/10 sec, exp bias +0.3, ISO 100,
Center Weight Average Metering

Product Photography
f/5, exp 1/10 sec, exp bias +0.3, ISO 100,
Center Weight Average Metering
Although the muslin set up made for ease in positioning the watch, the background isn't smooth. Perhaps I could lower the f-stop number and blur the background more. I might have to attempt blurring using PhotoShop Elements.

It would have been great if you could see the digital time we Darth Vader's helmet opened up. The watch stopped working long ago. But my husband remembers it fondly. What fad items do you have in your collection that you should be sharing?

05 November 2013

Occupations of Henry Geiszler

George Geiszler with his parents: Maggie Hoppe and Henry Geiszler, c 1920s

My second great-grandfather was Henry Geiszler, of Columbus, Ohio. My fellow Geiszler researcher said that Henry was in the practical horse shoeing business. I've been attempting to create a timeline to determine when this might have taken place.

I constructed this time line based upon the records indicated:

1889, 1890, 1891 Columbus City Directories - occupation, stone mason
1900 US Census - occupation, car repairer
1910 US Census - laborer, General Work
1920 US Census - (Two entries) either laborer, odd job, or Well Driller in construction
1930 US Census - Can't find him (though I speculate he's living above a bar. Not sure)
1931 Death record - he dies

Henry had two sons, William Joseph Geiszler and George Joseph Geiszler. My fellow genealogist is from William's line. I'm from George's line He says that William took over Henry's practical horseshoing business and pursued that as his own profession. He even has a photo of the old Horse Shoing shop with the Geiszler name on the sign outside.

William J Geiszler Practical Horseshoers

William's family history includes a story of Henry moved around doing well-drilling.  It is believed that he must have made core samples for construction. The assumption is that Henry invested money he made doing this in the Practical Horseshoers venture. If this family story is accurate, then he might have opened the horse shoing business after the 1920s.

Another family story suggests that there was a  lucrative contract, providing services to the polo club.  I do not know if this was William, the son, or Henry the father who might have had this contract. And I do not know which polo club is being referred to.

Another speculation is that Henry Geiszler is listed as a building inspector, apparently a municipal patronage job.  It is believed Henry, and or his son William, are in a group composite photo at the old Germania club that hung on the wall. Further speculation links him to the Democratic Party machine.

But what is practical horse shoing?

The Geiszler horse shoing business did not make the horeshoes. Instead, they purchased blanks from a manufacturer. The Geiszler store was like a shoe store for horses.  The shoes would be selected, a horse's hooves clipped, and then appropriate the shoes attached. 

My cousin has this selection of the shoe blanks that he mounted on a board.  There were different styles of shoe for different purposes, like shoes are different.  What does the horse do?  What kind of surface is he walking on, or running?

How does someone begin to validate these stories?

My cousin suggested that if Henry purchased the land upon which the business located, then there would be a deed record at the courthouse.  But if he only leased the land, purchased and adapted an existing structure, or bought the business already existing on leased land, then there would be no real way to trace it. 

So... the first step is to look for deeds between 1920 - 1930 that have the last name Geiszler.

Now, it's possible that Henry was never involved in the horse shoing business. In the 1920 US Census, William is listed as a blacksmith, owning his own shop. The same is true in the 1930s. So, is this blacksmith shop the horse shoing shop? As a blacksmith, horse shoes could certainly be made. If William is doing this in the 1920s, it's entirely possible that the business was purhcased before 1920s, so perhaps I should really look at deeds between 1910 and 1925.

Another twist... William is listed as a  seventeen year-old apprentice blacksmith in the 1900 US Census. I have not found him in the 1910 US Census. To me, the blacksmith/horse shoing story is leaning more towards something that William did. I wonder who he was apprenticed to and how long his apprenticeship was. Additionally, when did William start his own shop? Did he take over from his mentor?

I also would love to find out how to determine if Henry was a building inspector and when.

I would also love to know what history 'the old Germania' club has and if any Geiszlers appear in their records or photo composites.

04 November 2013

Amanuensis Monday: William Townsend Pension Application

There are numerous pages in my ancestor William James Townsend (1842-1889) Civil War Pension Files. I'm hoping to find clues that might help me better understand his experience in the Civil War, his life after, and perhaps cracks in the brick wall of his family. I will be sharing these files once a week on Monday until April 2014. Instead of mentioning this with every entry, I'm going to simply share the pages I have and then the transcription. I will attempt to conclude each one with knowledge gain and questions generated from each file.

I could use some help knowing how to create a source citation for these records. I'm a little confused on that. Thanks in advance for anyone's help in that regard.

Civil War Pension Application William Townson
Civil War Pension Application William Townson


William J Townson Applicant
Co. K. 133 Reg't.
National Gards Vols
Enlisted May 6th, 1864
Discharged August 10th, 1864

Filed by
A.W. Shearer
Alton Franklin
County Ohio

This must be Execute before a Court of Record or some Officer thereof having Custody of the Seal

State of Ohio, County of Franklin } SS.

On this 1st day of September A.D. One thousand eight hundred and eighty three personally appeared before me a Deputy Clerk of the Common Pleas a Court of Record within and for the county and State aforesaid, William James Townson aged 22 years, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical William James Townson who was ENORLLED on the 6th day of May 1864, in company K of the 133, regiment of _________ commanded by ___________, and was honorably DISCHARED at Columbus Ohio on the 20 day of August, 1864; That his personal description is as follows: Age 22 years; height 5 feet 6 inches, complexion hair, dark; eyes Blue. That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in he service and in the line of his duty at New Creek in the State of West Virginia on or about the 1th (sic) day of June 1864, he I was taken sick with mumps and erysipelas and was Put in the Hospital at New Creek West Virginia and the diseas settled in mi right eye and (unreadable) eyes was swollen shut for some time and the docter lanced mi eyes and I lost the Sight of mi right eye and never could dezern light cince that time and mi left eye was so badly ingured from the affects of said mumps and erysipelas that I am almost totally blind and getting worse all the time and I am unable to suport miself by manual labor

That he was treated in hospital as follows: the Hospital at New Creek West Verginia was I was treated in the Hospital at New Creek West Virginia in May to June 1864

That he has not been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than as state above National Gards (Here state what the service was, whether prior or subsequent to that stated above, and the dates at which it began and ended)

That since leaving the service this applicant has resided in 7 miles of Groveport Franklin Co in the Sate of Ohio, and his occupation has been that of a Farmer.

That prior to his entry into the service above named he was a man of good, sound, physical health, being when enrolled a farmer. That he is now totally disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries, above described, received in the service of the United States; and he therefore makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the invalid pension roll of the United States. He hereby appoints with full power of substitution and revocation A W Shearer of Alton Franklin County Ohio his true and lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. That he has not received or applied for a pension; that his residence is seven miles from Groveport Franklin County Ohio and that his post office is Groveport Franklin County Ohio.

Two Witnesses: Kate Van Dine & Mary E Nagle

Signature of Claimant William James Townson (his mark)

Civil War Pension Application William Townson
Civil War Pension Application William Townson

Also appeared John F Kile, residing at Groveport Franklin County Ohio and George Worthington residing at Columbus in Ohio persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw ________________, the claimant sign his name (make his mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they every reason to believe, from the appearance of said claimant and their acquainted with him, that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

John F Kile
Geo W Weatherington

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 1st day of September A.D. 1883 and I hereby certify that the contents of the above declarations, &c., were fully made known and explained to the applicant and witnesses before swearing; and that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

William H Simonton Deputy Clerk
Court of Common Plea
Franklin County Ohio

  1. William's last name is spelled Townson. Later records change the last name to Townsend. Does this provide clues as to how his name was pronounced, or perhaps an earlier version of the spelling? Or is this simply a mistake?
  2. Enrolled in Company K Regiment 133rd Ohio on 6 May 864
  3. Honorably discharged 20 August 1864 (3 months, 14 days of service)
  4. Age 22 at time of service
  5. Physical Description: height 5 feet 6 inches, complexion hair, dark; eyes Blue
  6.  1 June 1864, he became sick with mumps and erysipelas.
    - at New Creek in West Virginia
    - disease settled in his eyes and eyes were swollen shut
    - doctor lanced his eyes
    - lost sight in right eye
    - left eye so badly damaged, he was almost totally blind
  7. His 'active' service was less than 1 month. He spent the rest of his time in the field hospital.
  8. He lived within 7 miles of Groveport, Franklin, Ohio following his discharge
  9. He  attempts to provide for himself with manual labor as a farmer
  10. By 1 Sept 1883,  he is unable to provide for himself.
  11. He sought an invalid pension based on injuries sustained 
  12.  A W Shearer of Alton, Franklin County, Ohio was his attorney. (Question: how was Mr. Shearer obtained and paid? Was he a family friend or was he a known Civil War Pension attorney?)
  13. Two Witnesses: Kate Van Dine & Mary E Nagle (Question: who are these ladies and how do they know William Townson? Or did they work for Mr. Shearer and attest only to the fact that William made his mark?)
  14. John F Kile and Geo W Weatherington were two more witnesses to this pension (Question: how are they and how do they know William Townson?)
  15. William Townson did not sign his name, he only made his mark due to his blindness.

03 November 2013

Funeral Cards for Eli, Florence, and Surada Barnes

Below you'll find three interment cards that I came across while searching for Freida Barnes in the Green Lawn Cemetery interment collection.

Interment Card for Eli Barnes
Buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
Eli Barnes
Interment on: Pearl C Barnes Lot
Lot 40 E Sec 62
born 25 Jul 1843, Franklin Co, Ohio
died 28 Dec 1923, Columbus, Ohio
Parents: Shelton Barnes
Interment: 31 Dec 1923

Interment Card forFlorence Barnes
Buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
Florence M Barnes
Interment on: Florence M Coons Lot
Lot 83 Sec 80
born 27 Jul 1892, Hillard, Ohio
died 8 Dec 1978, 345 E Weber Rd
Parents: William Brown
Interment: 11 Dec 1978
Surada V Barnes Intermet Card
Interment Card for Surada V Barnes
Buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio
Surada V Barnes
Interment on: Edward P Cibik Lot
Lot 227 Sec 103
born 4 Mar 1894, Ohio
died 2 Mar 1980, 709 Chaffin Ridge
Parents: Simon Mertzolff & Iney Romine
Interment: 5 Mar 1980

01 November 2013

Photo Friday: Brand Names

I know that many of you are going to or have begun shopping for next year's gift giving holidays. I wanted to play up the commercialism of the holiday season. Next month, we'll focus on the religious side of things. So... what brand names were important to you or your relatives?

f/4.5, exp 1.5, bias +0.7, ISO 100
Center Weight Average metering

Did your family call a refrigerator a Frigidaire? Did your grandmother call butter... Blue Bonnet? Did your family insist that Coke was better than Pepsi? Did your family use Ipana or Crest toothpaste exclusively? Are you a Ford family?

I'm not very brand loyal these days, except when it comes to my facials tissues. Only Puffs plus aloe will do. However, when I was a teenager, I wanted to wear Rocky Mountain jeans without back pockets exclusively. Some folks will know all about these things. And I have a story to write? See, we can remember the lessons from RootsTech 2013 all these many months later!

A little cropping and light level adjustments

Seriously, name brands apply to a variety of consumer products. Did your ancestors have brand loyalties? Does your family now have brands they won't do without? Take some time this month to see how the free market has impacted your family's purchasing habits.