How a cemetery can bring life to the dead for researchers of early ancestors; later for them to unexpectedly learn a fellow researcher has passed away. This post is my tribute to Jane “Janie” Ellen Martin Whitty

It happened to me late last night before shutting down the computer.  Maybe it has happened to you too?  Let me try to explain. 

We contact other genealogical researchers; or vice versa.  We correspond with them for a while (maybe it was years ago before the Internet and handwritten letters with SASE’s were the preferred choice of contact, or using your manual or electric typewriter to compile a neatly typed up correspondence with SASE’s), but time moves on and the exchanges trailed off.  We move on to other unsolved genealogical mysteries that we realize lie before us begging to be solved. 

And, speaking of ‘trails’…quite often among our last steps on the trail to learn more about the lives of our ancestors are those that lead us to the cemetery where they were buried.  Invariably, we must pass by one grave marker after another; eagerly looking for the names on stones we are hoping to find.  We see veterans with gravestones or waving flags that tell us they served in an early war such as the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or the Civil War.  Our ancestor may have also been a veteran.  Our slow walk through the cemetery gives us a good look at who else found eternal rest and peace at the same cemetery our ancestor and their family chose for themselves.  

So, whether you found your ancestor’s gravesite marked by a readable grave marker or not, you can gain a certain sense of who your ancestors’ neighbors were and how they also helped shape their community.  You want to learn more about these folks whom you suspect your ancestor often greeted after church was over, shook hands with, or served alongside in one of those long ago wars. 

You widen your research to include contacting those who are researching others buried at the same cemetery as your ancestor.  It is easier to do since the Internet now too!

So it was that last night I decided to once again read through one of the documents I had compiled several years ago about the Butcher (AKA Walnut Grove) Cemetery in North Lewisburg, in Champaign County, Ohio where a 3rd great-aunt and her first husband, daughter, and a grand-daughter were buried.  The document I chose to browse through was about just the veterans buried at this cemetery.  In the notes, I came across two emails I had copied into the document from a charming lady named Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty.  Her email address was “Whittyfun” which I thought was unique and yes, funny.  Jane had actually found me first and decided to contact me; and I am so glad that she did.

Sharing Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty’s email to me from April of 2010.:

“I am trying to contact you. I am the Evans/Underwood descendant of Charles E. Evans, Civil War Veteran buried in Butcher/Garwood Cemetery in Champaign County, Ohio, mentioned in your PDF file at the North Lewisburg website (I am OhioHeritage with the Evans/Underwood family histories).

Charles E. Evans was my Great-great grandfather, and I also have info on the Underwood family Francis Sara Jane Underwood, daughter of Amos Underwood, who was his, Charles E. Evans’, wife). Amos Underwood and Sara Jane Rossell, his wife, were also residents of North Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio and are in the 1881 Beers history.

I have pictures and histories on them. One of their grandchildren, Frankie Underwood is also buried in Butcher Cemetery (and a daughter and son of Charles E. Evans, as well, buried there with Charles).

If there is any info I can contribute for your excellent research of that area and those residents during that time, please contact me at this site

I would also very much appreciate if you could send me a copy or transcription of the news article on Charles E. Evans death May 10, 1888 (published in the Urbana Daily citizen you referenced on the additional info). I live in Florida and this article has eluded me. Our family history has handed down that his death was a “hunting accident” but suspected suicide and they weren’t sure.

I would like to know more and can tell you what I know from what was handed down.

My email is: whittyfun@juno.comwebsite of mine you found on Charles E. Evans

http://ohioheritage.tripod.com/ohioheritagephotoalbum/id1.html

(Cached version as of May 15, 2018.: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://ohioheritage.tripod.com/ohioheritagephotoalbum/id1.html  )

Underwoodhttp://ohioheritage.tripod.com/ohioheritagephotoalbum/id8.html

Thank you so much for your excellent research!!

Regards,

Janie Martin Whitty – an Evans/Underwood Descendant…still researching after all these years.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course, I recall being totally thrilled to hear from Janie and her email (which I can no longer find in my Yahoo email account!) which thankfully remains in that document for me to re-read anytime I want! 

As I re-read Janie’s email again last night I felt an urging to see what Janie has been ‘up to’ since we last corresponded over 8 years ago.  A Google search gave me my answer.  Sadly, I learned that Janie passed away on December 25, 2015.  I was overcome with grief knowing that Janie had passed away.  With my feelings of loss came my guilt that I had not found a way to continue our correspondence so we could have stayed connected longer.  

Thus, I want to share this beautifully touching tribute to Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty that was compiled by her family and shared in a slideshow of photographs from Janie’s childhood years to her last years.  To me Janie and her research work live on, and what we shared with each other about her ancestors, my ancestors, the condition of the cemetery — all of it — remain with me in my memories and from re-reading her emails to me.  

******************************

7e822-gravestone2bblack2b25262bwhite2bclipart2b-2b22b

Sharing this moving and loving tribute to a dynamic lady who touched my life in a way I won’t ever forget.:

  Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty.

****

Janie on Find A Grave

Jane “Janie” Martin Whitty’s Member Profile Memorial Page on Find A Grave

******************************

bd28c-crying2bangel2bgraphic

BLUE RIBBON GRAPHIC FOR USE ON CEMETERY BLOG

A cemetery is a sacred ground that lives and breathes with a history that changed a community during its years of early development.  It may look long forgotten and neglected, but under the layers of vines, possibly intertwined with poison ivy, are what remain of the gravestones and monuments that mark the final resting places of those who came before us.  If they want to be found, they will, I always tell myself; and there is a reason they reach out to those of us who are receptive to them.  Not to just tell us their story, but to help us connect with each other!  

BLUE RIBBON GRAPHIC FOR USE ON CEMETERY BLOG

 

Advertisements

Sharing from Heritage Avon Lake (Lorain County) – Monday, May 14th, 2018 – At 1:00p.m. Mary Milne: Epitaphs and Icons: Interpreting Gravestones

 

 

“Memorializing the dead with grave markers, headstones and tombstones, family burial plots were marked with rough stones, rocks or wood as a way to keep the dead from rising.  The deceased’s name, age and year of death were inscribed.  From 1650-1900 square shaped tombstones from slate and sandstone evolved with churchyard burials.  During the Victorian era (1837-1901) lavish and decorated gravestones included sculptured designs, artwork and symbols.  Marble, granite, iron and wood were popular materials from 1780 to the present. 

 

Mary Milne, professional genealogist, presents Epitaphs and Icons: Interpreting Gravestones on Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Avon Lake Public Library’s Waugaman Gallery.  She has investigated cemetery records, carvings, and statues that provide clues to aid genealogy research.  Learn how to interpret often-overlooked messages on gravestones. 

 

All events, which are free, will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Waugaman Gallery at Avon Lake Public Library, 32649 Electric Blvd.

 

Heritage Avon Lake is a local history organization that collects, preserves, and promotes oral, written, and physical history. For more information, visit www.heritageavonlake.org or call 440.549.4425.”

 

Uncovering the Mystery of the Relationship of Mike Zagorsky and Mike Sherwood as Father and Son -Thanks to my Own Unexpected DNA connection.

Michael (AKA Mike) Zagorsky was my grand-uncle on my mother’s side of the family.  He was an older brother to my grandfather, Andrew Zagorsky.  Both brothers immigrated to the Lorain/Elyria area in Lorain County, Ohio. 

Mike Zagorsky’s wife was Marie (AKA Mary) Novascek Zagorsky.

Mike Zagorsky immigrated to America in April, 1907, however, his wife Marie and a daughter named Anna, immigrated to America in September 1907.  

For Mike Zagorsky.:

“Mihály Zagorszky’s ship manifest shows that he was born in Stajer…something. This is possibly Stájerlakanina, now Anina in Romania, 20 miles from Reșița. Mihály was joining his brother Andreas in Lorain, Ohio:

Name: Mihaly Zagorszky

Gender: Male

Race: German

Birthdate: 1874

Age: 33

Arrival Date: 10 Apr 1907

Port of Departure: Bremen, Germany

As stated on Marie Zagorsky’s Petition for Naturalization, she married Mike Zagorsky on May 5, 1905 in “Resicza” Austra-Hungary. 

On Marie Zagorsky’s Petition for Naturalization there is information about her husband Mike Zagorsky being naturalized December 2, 1924 with a certificate number.  Unfortunately, that record was not able to be located.

Continuing with my research, I accessed some historical newspaper articles for Mike or Michael Zagorsky in the “Elyria Chronicle-Telegram”.  That is how I learned of his and his family’s visits to Mike Sherwood and his family who lived in Cleveland. 

One such brief mention stood out for me.  It was the September 21, 1937 “Brief” only a one sentence statement that caught my eye right away.: 

“Mr. and Mrs. Mike Zagorsky entertained Sunday the former’s son and family, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Sherwood of Cleveland.” 

If correct, Mike Sherwood was a son of Mike Zagorsky.  I did some follow up with one set of estate papers that didn’t produce much for proof even though Mike Sherwood and his wife were named in them.  But more recently, another set of estate papers for the administration of Mike Zagorsky’s estate did show Mike Sherwood and named him as a son!  I thought wow, my thinking is on track.  

Now on to DNA.:  About a year ago I did my DNA test with Ancestry.  I rather quickly learned that I have a 3rd cousin match for the grand-daughter of Mike Sherwood who also did her DNA!

Unfortunately, the older generations before her are now deceased and she had no knowledge of someone named Mike Zagorsky.  Even so, can DNA lie?  Somehow I don’t think so.

I have more research to do, but not being assured at this point that I’ll learn more than I already have, I feel that the DNA results have worked to help me reach a more solid conclusion. 

Anna Edna Zagorsky Provoznik was definitely Marie Zagorsky’s daughter, however, not 100% sure she was Mike Zagorsky’s daughter as she was born prior to their marriage.  But, she was the administratrix for his estate — Mike Zagorsky died intestate.  

There are more stones to uncover and mysteries to solve, but I wanted to share at this juncture while so much of the recent information that has come to light is fresh on my mind. 

Below is a random sampling of some of the documents I have discovered in my research that relate to Mike and Marie Zagorsky as well as to “the former’s son” Mike Sherwood.  

Elyria Chronicle Telegram MAY 9 1939 - ZAGORSKY PROVOZNIK SHERWOOD - WITH FRAME & TEXTElyria Chronicle Telegram NOVEMBER 2 1937 - ANDREW AND MIKE ZAGORSKY - WITH FRAME & TEXTElyria Chronicle Telegram October 19, 1937 - ZAGORSKY PROVOZNIK SHERWOOD - WITH FRAME & TEXTElyria Chronicle Telegram -September 21 1937 - MIKE ZAGORSKY AND MIKE SHERWOOD - SON REFERENCE WITH TEXT AND FRAMEMARIE ZAGORSKY PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION - 1MARIE ZAGORSKY PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION - 2MARIE ZAGORSKY PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION - 3MARIE ZAGORSKY SHIP MANIFESTMICHAEL SHERWOOD - BIRTH RECORD - BIRTH RETURN 1899 - CUYAHOGA COUNTY OHIO FROM FAMILY SEARCH

Above is a Delayed Birth record for Michael Sherwood – note there is no surname for the father; stating only Michael. 

The typed page appears to be affixed over an older piece of paper that once served as the form for a “Return of Birth”. 

Below is the Ship Manifest for Mike Zagorsky – Line #16

MIHALY ZAGORSZKY SHIP MANIFEST LINE 16 - MICHAEL ZAGORSKY CLOSE UPMIKE ZAGORSKY DEATH CERTIFICATEMIKE ZAGORSKY ESTATE - 1942 - Widow daughter son - 1

A Look Back at Life 130 years ago in the Village of Greenfield (Highland County) Ohio

Recalling how life was 130 years ago in Greenfield, Highland County Ohio, where many of the Limes ancestors lived in the village — and not far from it — in both Highland and Fayette Counties.

This snippet from the “Greenfield” column includes a tidbit about Mrs. William Limes. The Mrs. William Limes in this story was Savilla Jane Beals (Beals was often shown as Bales back then; and so we see it in this instance.) Her father was Noble Beals and her mother was Margaret Ann Berry Beals. Savilla Jane was married to William Limes II.  Their first-born child was named Noble Harrison “AKA Harry” Limes.

Included are the rest of the Greenfield news items of the day.

Greenfield is the second largest city in Highland County after the county seat of Hillsboro.

Hope you enjoy the look back!