My father, Harry Limes, was born July 27, 1904 at his family’s residence, 144 Lane Avenue, in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. He died March 22, 1988 in Lorain, Ohio. I was the informant for him for his death certificate. Also, I inherited his delayed birth record which was issued to him on January 3, 1942 in Lorain County. I consider the information on these documents to be true in all aspects.
However, recently, I have discovered other earlier issued records, including for his birth, that I feel contain incorrect information about his given name and even surname that have been posted by others on such websites as “FamilySearch”. Some records were based on difficult to decipher and faded handwritten names that have been more recently transcribed by volunteers.
The below images of the records in question include the earliest known birth record of my father I have found online. One is from the Lorain County Probate Court dockets from 1904 – 1908, Volume 5 that can be found on “FamilySearch.org”, and the 1910 U. S. Census for Clinton Township, Franklin County, Ohio showing that my father’s Limes family was back living in Columbus on Fern Avenue. My father is shown as “Harold L” age five in this census record.
The birth record submitted for my father on “Family Search” shows his given name as “Harold” and not Harry. The surname appears to be a bit more like “Linnes” rather than Limes and that is the spelling used for it by “FamilySearch.org”. I placed an “Edit” for my father’s name, and hopefully it will be accepted by “FamilySearch.org” and others.
I feel unclear handwriting for the birth record also contributed to the surname appearing more like Linnes than Limes. Mentioning that I have seen records for other Limes ancestors with their surname shown and/or transcribed incorrectly as Lime, Lymes, Lyme, Line, Lines, and even as Simes because the “L” appeared more like the letter “S”. But, this one is oddly different! His parents’ given names were not spelled correctly either, sadly.
Sharing an image of the Lorain County Record of Birth below with my corrections typed below it. The page that follows is an image of the 1910 U. S. Census. Following those are the images of the 1942 Lorain County delayed Certificate of Birth and the Registration that I have.:
(Below) Images of the January 3, 1942 Delayed Certificate of Birth And Registration of birth for Harry Limes
As I ponder these thoughts, I conclude that if I had not already had my knowledge of the information on these later 1940’s era delayed birth records, and of course my own personal knowledge of my father and his being named after his mother’s youngest brother, Harry Lombard, I just might consider it within the realm of possibility that my father was really named Harold Limes; or possibly Harold with a middle initial – AND that just maybe he never thought it important enough to mentioned it?
I share these thoughts because after all, my mother changed both her given and middle names when she signed up for Social Security in 1936. I did not learn about those name changes until after her death in 1995. That was when one of her sisters whom I had not seen or communicated with in quite some time informed me that “I had the wrong name for her engraved on headstone” at the gravesite of my parents at Elmwood Cemetery in Lorain. As you might imagine, that is an even longer story to tell! Needless to say, right after learning that eye-opening news, I investigated all I could about the startling revelation. Ultimately, I wrote a story about my mother and her “many names” (many names is part of the title!). I have my father’s Social Security card and it is signed “Harry Limes” so that is good news for me!
Thus, I still felt though that there were enough reasons to delve into this subject about my father and his legitimate given name after encountering references posted by others that he was named Harold Limes; or was really named Harold with the middle initial “L”. I needed to learn where this erroneous information about his name came from that I was not aware of at that point.
On a somewhat related side note, also among my recent discoveries was my father’s WWII Draft Registration card. It appears that he completed and signed it in his own handwriting on February 14, 1942. The image is derived from Ancestry.com records. The draft registration card does contain a crossed out home address which was 189 Clinton Avenue, Elyria, Ohio. That issue remains an unsolved mystery to me. I have not yet learned what the reason was for the cross out of the address. I did know, though, that my father was not a veteran. He was a foreman and later general foreman at General Industries in Elyria, Ohio in the company’s plastics division that manufactured Bakelite and Lucite products. During WWII the company received an “E” Award for its contributions to the war effort. I know my parents met while working at General Industries and later married on December 7, 1944. They had worked together during the WWII years doing their part to help America win the war. But, the card has his name spelled out as I know it to be and signed by him as Harry Limes. I do consider the signature as another example that validates his given name and surname. Interesting to see (None) for a middle name too!
I decided to go one step further by constructing a timeline of where my father and his family lived shortly after his birth in July of 1904 that most likely led to his having a delayed birth record, since I had no luck finding one for him in Franklin County, Ohio where he was born. I think it was a helpful step to take.
Around 1904 to 1908, my paternal grandparents Winfield Scott Limes and Essie (Lombard) Limes with their four sons (Ernest, Thomas, Albert, and Harry) moved to Lorain, Ohio; their exact address unknown. Winfield Scott Limes, my paternal grandfather, and his two brothers, Thomas Limes and John Warren Limes, all found lathing work building the Breakers Hotel in Sandusky, Ohio. My father was an infant when the family made the move. I believe that to be true because I have a beautiful baby photograph of him from the Leiter Photography Studio engraved with the name and location of 312 Broadway Lorain, Ohio. The studio was in business in Lorain during a timeframe of 1901 to 1917 at various addresses on Broadway.
This brought me to re-reading an enlightening Elyria Chronicle- Telegram spotlight story about my grandfather. Below are pertinent paragraphs I feel add support for my father’s given name, Harry, and the reason the Lorain County Probate Court was where his birth was registered.:
Elyria Chronicle Telegram – July 25, 1956 – page 23 – a story entitled.:
“Scott Limes Still Sets Rapid Pace” “Lorain County Veteran’s Memory Spans Life of Lather’s Union”.
I’ll offer these thoughts in closing.: Unexpected, even startling, discoveries about our relatives and ancestors can offer the silver lining of prompting us to seek further documentation and thus gain more knowledge about them – including where incorrect information exists that might even be edited with a correction.
Now, I’ll let go of my doubts knowing my father, Harry Limes, is resting in peace. His headstone is engraved with his correct name and that gives me peace of mind.
Newspaper stories, even those of the “tidbit” variety, often reveal an array of clues about a person and the activities they engaged in during their lifetime. Some of them are more noteworthy to us today than others. However, accumulatively, these stories can build upon previous ones providing a pattern giving a reader clues of the background of the choices someone made – choices that were worthy enough to make it to print. That would be true I feel for Otis F. Millington who married my great-aunt Cora Adelia Lombard in 1898.
Cora was Otis F. Millington’s second wife from what is known about him.
On January 21, 1897, there is a Franklin County, Ohio marriage record for Otis F. Millington and Mattie Augustus.
We find references to her in two news stories published prior to their marriage though.
One was published on September 21, 1896 (as Mattie Augustus) and November 12, 1896 (as Hattie Millington).:
1897 is also the year that Cora’s daughter, and only child, Mary Esther Lombard Coats Hartman, was born.
While an actual birth record for Mary has yet to be found, there are public records and a notation in her parents’ Bible attesting to her birth and the date.:
The Columbus Dispatch, published as The Columbus Evening Dispatch during the 1890’s, has been a primary source for the greatest number of accounts about Otis F. Millington until his death in 1940 and burial in Mansfield. I utilized NewsBank through the Columbus Metro Library to locate the articles about him.
Perhaps only DNA will prove that Otis F. Millington was the father of Mary Lombard Coats Hartman (who married Charles Hartman), we don’t know. However, there is no evidence that Otis F. Millington stepped into Mary’s life after her mother, Cora, died in 1902. Mary, who died in 1922, was not included in his 1940 obituary.