Michael Zagorsky of Elyria Ohio & his son Michael Sherwood of Cleveland, Ohio

Titled “News Notes” and sub-titled “Briefs” from Elyria, Ohio – September 21, 1937 — these short and seemingly insignificant titles reveal important information that tells of a much bigger story.



MIKE ZAGORSKY ESTATE - 1942 - Widow daughter son - 1

1937 city directory of Cleveland.  Michael Sherwood

Surnames, either correct or erroneous, found in various records.: 

Bender, Zagorsky, Sherwood, Jurisch/Yurisch /Urich, Ott, Bosar, Bartosch, 

In Europe:  Reșița in present day Romania; also known as Resicabánya, Resicza. Stájerlakanina, now Anina in Romania, 20 miles from Reșița 

In the United States:  Ohio – Lorain and Elyria (Lorain County) and Cleveland (Cuyahoga County)


I am seeking to learn more about Michael Sherwood and how it came to be that he was the son of Michael Zagorsky.  

My DNA has a strong match with Michael Sherwood’s grand-daughter. Sadly, the older generations have passed away. Also, and rather ufortunately, the  grand-daughter at this point doesn’t feel too connected to me because she had never heard about Michael Zagorsky before.


My DNA with hers is:  189cM across 8 segments


Let me start with the fact that Michael Zagorsky was my maternal grandfather’s brother. My maternal grandfather was Andrew Zagorsky.


It seems that Andrew (Andy) Juris – Jursich Yurisch was a brother-in-law to my grandfather, Andrew Zagorsky when he came to America in December of 1904 to go live with Andy Juris in Lorain, Ohio. Also with Andrew Zagorsky (listed as Sagorski) on the voyage was a nephew named Joseph Bender aged 3.

(See below)



All of the records that I have for Michael Sherwood show his birth date of September 12, 1899. On his Social Security application he shows his name as Michael Joseph Ott. His father’s name as Carl Ott and his mother Anna and her maiden name of Bender.

Could Joseph Bender aged 3, who came to America with his uncle Andrew Zagorsky, be the same Michael Joseph Ott —  who would be the same Michael Sherwood — who was the son of Michael Zagorsky? 


However, this birth record shows Michael Sherwood born in Cleveland, Ohio. :
Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1774-1973 :

Name: Michael Sherwood
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 12 Sep 1899
Birth Place: Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio
Father: Michael
Mother: Anna Urich
FHL Film Number: 1852525


There are a lot of surnames in play here so it is not easy to sort them all out so they would make some kind of sense.


I saw in 2005 there was a thread in a Rootsweb message board from someone with just the name Pam looking for more information. Her query was in part.:

“My great grandmother came to the US in 1904. My great grandfather came in 1906 to find and marry my great grandmother. His name was Carl Ott. My great granmother’s maiden name, according to my grandmother, was spelled Yurisch (Anna). I need the correct Hungarian spelling. She had a sister Mary Urosch, which makes me believe they translated their names differently in English. Also, when she came to America, she had fled from her current husband and took their son. Translated, his records show his name as Michael Sherwood.”


I wish I would have seen this query when it was written because I could have told Pam that Michael Zagorsky was Michael Sherwood’s father.  This is further supported by several Elyria Chronicle-Telegram newspaper “social notes” where some have mentioned that Mike Zagorsky visited with Michael Sherwood, his son. 


Anna Jurisch’s May 4, 1907 marriage record is also attached where we see even more surnames. Her father was listed as Stefan Jurisch, her mother’s name appears to be Zuzanna Bosar, and that Anna Jurisch was divorced when she married Carl Ott. Her previously married name is listed as Bartosch. So, somehow we lost Bender as Anna’s maiden name (per Michael Sherwood’s Social Security Application) that appeared in her marriage record to Carl Ott.


To note: The parents of Andrew and Michael Zagorsky were Michael Zagorsky and Mary Motrich. (Mary Motrich Zagorsky did marry a second time to an unknown man with the surname that appears to be “Stechwach”).


Resicza in Hungary seems to be a city or village that played a part in these people’s lives when they were living in Europe.

Thus, I hope to hear from some who is a descendant of Michael Sherwood of Cleveland, Ohio. He married Katherine Karcher in 1922. Their children as I know their names to be were: Marian J., Robert J., Elizabeth “Betty”, Frances, and Ruth Elaine who died young.

Spotlighting the Staunton Methodist Cemetery – Staunton, Concord Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Below are photographs courtesy of those who have so kindly offered to share them as documentation for the Ohio History Inventory Form for the Staunton Methodist Cemetery


Thanking Christopher Riley for sharing his beautiful photograph seen below taken of the Staunton Methodist Church. 

Thanking Eugene “Gene” Wilt for sharing a photograph from his Staunton Methodist Cemetery collection of the William Johnson marker at the Staunton Methodist Cemetery. 
With his death listed as having been 1833, William Johnson is the earliest known burial at this still active cemetery. 

Thanking Bob Russell of the Fayette County Historical Society for providing  important and striking scenes of the stately Staunton Methodist Church with it original wrought iron gate and fence that still runs along Staunton-Sugar Grove Road (County Road 52).  

Views of some of the taller monuments are included in most photos.

 (Above photo collage)
Left to right:  

The Joseph Trimble Limes monument and bugler statue; the tallest monument in the Staunton Methodist Cemetery.

Photograph taken by Mr. Ted Waddle on January 7, 2020.

The graves of Levi Limes, his parents Harmon Limes, and Elizabeth Rowe Limes, are marked by the two white marble monuments and half-round marker shown in a photograph taken by Linda Jean Limes Ellis who also took photographs of the dark granite Limes family monument which stands for some of the remaining children of Harmon and Elizabeth Limes.  They are Henry S. LimesMartha Jane Limes Sharp, and Herressa A. Limes.


Two images and map insets from Google 

Excerpted from:
“Selected Histories of

Fayette County Churches”

Project requested by: 

Christopher Siscoe

Records compiled and printed by: 

Maria Wilburn

Page 100


“The Staunton M. E. Church Society in the village of Staunton, Concord Township, was organized A. D. 1820, and the first church was a rude structure, erected A. D. 1833.

According to early information the building was of log construction. Prior to the erection of the old log church, the pioneers had held their meetings in the various cabins and later on in the school house. Henry Turner is mentioned as an early circuit rider, coming to the community from Hillsboro to conduct meetings. In order to be present at his many

appointments, it was said that he was compelled to travel twenty-eight days each month and thus had but little time for recreation.

An early preacher mentioned in Dills History of Fayette County was Ebenezer Webster. Among the first elders were John Collins and William Simmons.

The Society enlarged until in 1851 a substantial frame church was built. This church was used by the parishioners until around the turn of the century when plans were discussed

for the construction of a brick edifice for worship services.g

It was definitely decided in the spring of 1900 to build the present church, a leading incentive to the construction of the building being the demise of $1,000 left by the late Robert Worthington.

In order to make room for the building of the new structure, the old church was moved to a vacant lot at the eastern edge of the village. It stood there for sometime until Mr. Morris Sharp, of Washington Court House, Ohio, paid $100 for the building, which was dismantled and moved to Washington C. H. where it was rebuilt on South Fayette Street and known for years as Wesley Chapel. The building replacing the old frame church was constructed of brick and stone with a slate roof. It has a bowled floor, seated with circular pews of quartered oak, which will comfortably seat about 400 persons, There are three large Gothic windows, elegantly set with beautiful art stained glass adorning the superstructure. One contains designs of the “Good Shepherd,” the “Cross,” “Crown” and “Anchor,” dedicated to the memory of the late Robert Worthington who for many years was a devoted member of the church and its causes.

On either side of the pulpit are two small rooms used for choir and library purposes. The Staunton M. E. Church Society deserve great credit for their cheerful and liberal contributions to the Building Fund and they take real pleasure in voicing appreciation to the many who so liberally contributed. The Ladies’ Aid Society displayed great tact and untiring energy in their efforts to raise as large a contribution as possible. The Ladies’ Aid was organized on May 9, 1899 with the following officers serving;

Mrs. P. W. Drumm, President; Mrs. Robert Worthington, Vice-President; Miss Stella Watson, Secretary; Mrs. Mattie McCoy, Asst. Sect’.; Mrs. J. E. Mark Treasurer. Many dollars were indirectly added to the Building Fund by donations to the society ranging in value from fractional parts of a. dollar to several dollars. Listed as members of the building committee were: Henry Mark, President; E. R. VanPelt, Vice-President; I. N. Rowe, Rec. Sect’.; J. E. Mark, Cor. Sect’,; Wm. Worthington, Treas.; L. H. Mark, and P. W. Drumm. Board of Trustees at the time included; Henry Mark, E. R. VanPelt, John Deer, Lewis Mark, Charles Stafford, Spencer Calvert, Clark Rowe, A. C. McCoy, J. E. Mark.

Dedicatory services were held on Sunday, February 3, 1901, with worship at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. During the morning hour scripture readings were offered by Rev. D. Y. Murdock and Rev. J. W. Baker while invocation was pronounced by Rev. R. Watson. The morning sermon was given by Rev. J. W. Bashford, D, D., President of the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio. Rev. A. H, Norcross, D. D., pastor of Grace M. E. Church, Washington C. H., Ohio, had the sermon at the evening service. Formal dedication was made by Rev. Bashford. The minister of the Staunton Methodist Church. at the time was Rev. P. W. Drumm.

In the early days, Staunton, Buena Vista, Mt. Carmel and Asbury Chapel made up the circuit. When Mt. Carmel burned and wasn’t rebuilt, Maple Grove and Camp Grove were added, That was about the years, 1912 to 1914. Staunton became part of a parish later on. Other churches in the parish included Good Hope, Buena Vista, Cochran, Maple Grove, Sugar Grove and New Martinsburg. The parsonage was then changed from Staunton to Good Hope. In the 1940’s-, Staunton became part of the Bloomingburg District, of which district it is now identified. Rev. Lester Taylor, of Bloomingburg is the present pastor. Other pastors who have served the church through the years included such names as Rev. Postle, Rev. Drumm, Rev. Bancroft, Rev. Clifford, Rev. Isaac Sollars, Rev. Ricketts, Rev. Creamer, Rev. Sudlow, Rev. Rose, Rev. Jones, Rev. N. H. Peterson, Rev. Meyers, Rev. Beckett, Rev. Haycock, Rev. Tucker, Rev. Marshall, Rev. Baughn, and Frank Hughes, Ohio Wesleyan University student, who served as substitute preacher during one summer.

Floors were sanded and the church redecorated about 12 years ago – 1943. A dedication was held then with Rev. Baughn the pastor in charge at that time.

Extensive redecorating to the interior has been underway at the church in recent months. New carpet has also been laid to further add to the attractiveness of the surroundings.

This year – 1955 – membership stands at approximately 100. Preaching services are held every two weeks at 9:30 a.m. Sunday School is held every Sunday, one morning at 9:30 a.m. and the next at 10:30 a.m., depending on preaching.”


1955 Dedication

“Most of the 100 members of Staunton Methodist Church, together with guests and former members from Washington C. H., Springfield, Chillicothe and Cleveland attended dedication services for the redecorated church on Sunday, May 22, 1955. 

The interior of the church has been completely done over. The floors and pews have been refinished, new carpeting has

been laid and new drapes hung, and a large portrait of Christ now dominates the front of the church.

Following the morning class session a worship service was held at 11 a.m. with Rev. Lester Taylor offering a sermon based on the Book of Psalms. In the congregation were 18 families from Selden Grange. At noon a potluck dinner was held at Staunton school.  Returning to the church, members and guests enjoyed the formal dedication service at 2 p.m. conducted by Rev. Marshall, a former pastor of the Staunton Church. Other than the dedication sermon, there were several talks given by members of long standing covering major events in the history of the church. The talks were prepared and delivered by W. P. Wikel, Miss Blanche Roberts, Miss Mazie Rowe, Miss Annette Stafford, Mrs. Pearl McCurdy and Lawrence Sheridan.  Present at the dedication service were a dozen members of the Sunday School class taught for years by Mrs. Mary Stafford, who would be over a century old if she were still living. 

Eight church members who attended the original dedication of the church after its construction in 1901 were on hand for the services May 22, 1955. They were Miss Blanche Roberts, Miss Mazie Rowe, Miss Annette Stafford, Mr. and Mrs. Foster Wikle, W. E. Sollars, Mrs. Vada McCoy and W. P. Wikel.”

(Facts from Record-Herald dated May 23, 1955.)

The two images above comprise the W.P.A. Cemetery Plat map created for the Staunton Methodist Cemetery with the listing

of known veterans up to and including World War I.   

The veterans’ names, grave locations, and war designations are listed.

Their burial plots are noted on the map. 

 Below are the Veterans Graves Registration Cards obtained from the Fayette County Recorder’s Office.

These cards can serve as companion records for the W.P.A. Cemetery Plat maps.    

Note that James Cannon, M. D. was re-interred at the Washington  Cemetery in Washington Court House, Ohio

































Soul searching: Could 86 bodies still be buried on farm site in Perrysburg?

PERRYSBURG — A dedicated group of people has grave concerns about a former parish cemetery that they believe has not been properly cared for over the years.

Source: Soul searching: Could 86 bodies still be buried on farm site in Perrysburg?

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


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


Thank you so much for your excellent research!!


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.  



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




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!  



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!


Don’t Overlook that Unlikely Newspaper for Anecdotes about Your Ancestors

I already had the unusual photo of my 2nd cousin (twice removed), Ellza Limes, with the squirrels perched on his arms that I acquired some years ago.  So when I “bumped into” the little article about him (even though his first name was misspelled in the newspaper) while searching for stories on my father and grandfather who lived in Lorain County, I thought how neat that the little story is about one of my more colorful distant ancestors — and his pet squirrels, apparently dozens of them as I just learned!  

Of course, this was not the type of information I expected to find in an Elyria, Lorain County, Ohio newspaper knowing he had lived his whole life in the small village of Ridgeway, in Hardin County, Ohio.  

The experience confirms for me that human interest stories about our ancestors exists in places we might easily overlook.  Yet, if we follow that “little voice from within” we are led to them.  

Often the accounts are little more than anecdotes, such as this one is, but whatever their content, we instinctively treasure our newfound discovery about our ancestor.  We even gloat about the fact we believe we were meant to find their story despite the obvious odds, indeed we were right because if they want to be found, they will be!