This past Sunday, I wrote a blog post about the family of George and Rosalie (Jardot) Voisinet, French immigrants who were my husband's 5x great-grandparents. George and Rosalie immigrated to America in 1852 from Evette, France and settled in Loramie Twp, Shelby County, Ohio. They are buried in St. Remy Cemetery in Russia, Ohio. A nice, detailed history of the St. Remy Parish can be found at this link.
George and Rosalie passed away in 1866 and 1875, respectively, so this is obviously not their original gravestone. It's nice to see that there are descendants out there who are willing to contribute to the maintenance (and replacement) of their gravestone.
George and Rosalie (Jardot) Voisinet immigrated to the United States from France in 1852. They are my husband's 5x great-grandparents through his paternal grandmother's (Naomi Grilliot's) line. They made the journey from their hometown of Évette, France with their children Marie Therese, Louis, Anthony, Louise, François Joseph ('Frances'), and François Charles ('Charles'). The eldest daughter, Marie-Celestine had already immigrated to America in 1847 with her husband, Pierre Burtcher and baby daughter, Marie Rose Julie (husband's 3x great-grandmother). Their eldest son, Joseph, later came to America with his wife and children in 1865. All of the family members initially settled in Loramie Twp, Shelby County, Ohio, near the small French-immigrant settlement of Russia (still pronounced "roo-shee").
In the 1860 Census, the family is listed with the surname 'Weisinger.' I'm willing to bet that this difference was due to language barrier issues between the census-taker and the family - not uncommon in this area, especially with the mix of German and French immigrants who settled around here. The family lives on a farm. Only four of the children who came over with their parents remain at home; Marie Therese married in 1854, and Louis is living with his wife and child in the nearby town of Versailles. Louise, Frances, and Charles are still attending school.
Unfortunately, this is the only U.S. Census in which George Voisinet appears. He passes away in 1866 at the age of 63. Rosalie lives until 1875.
Bernard Otto Grilliot and Frances Marie Drees were married on May 31, 1921 in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McCartyville, Ohio. They are the parents of my husband's paternal grandmother, Naomi Grilliot. Here is a wedding photo and below is the description of the wedding from one of the local newspapers, The Minster Post. (Click on images for larger view.)
The female attendants are Eleanor Drees, the bride's sister, and Ursula Hilgefort, who was the daughter of Frances's much-older half-sister, Katherine. Even though Ursula was technically her niece, she and Frances were nearly the exact same age, so they were probably more like sisters. Cletus and Magloire Grilliot were Bernard's younger brothers.
During this time, the family used the 'Grillio' spelling of the surname instead of 'Grilliot,' because that made it easier for people to pronounce it correctly. Bernard's father, Nicholas, ran a local general store as well as a farm implement business. Bernard started his own farm implement business in the 1930s.
Bernard and Frances had ten children - seven girls and three boys. They were married for 58 years. Bernard passed away in 1980 and Frances in 1988.
Bernard and Frances were married by Fr. Edward Lehman, a familiar name to Catholics in the area even to this day. The main Catholic high school that serves the area around Sidney and Piqua, Ohio was named after Fr. Lehman in 1970.
This morning, I headed out to one of the local area libraries to participate in the Hendricks County, IN Probate Records Project. Volunteers are working to prepare old county probate records for digitization, and I thought I would go help and see what's involved.
I am not from Hendricks County, Indiana, neither me nor my husband has Indiana ancestors, and I've only lived here for about two years. However, I have found probate records in general to be VERY helpful in my research, particularly for my husband's family. I have had easy access to his ancestors' probate records because they had been digitized and put online at some point in the past (probably by volunteers). I realize the importance of a project like this, even though it will not directly affect my own research.
According to the project website, these probate records have been just sitting in the basement of the county courthouse; they had never been indexed or microfilmed or open for public access. Papers related to each probate case were folded and bundled into small envelopes. Volunteers had already alphabetized the packets and put easy-to-read name and date labels with each one:
So, I took a packet and went over to the next table where I would find the corresponding flat folder in which I would be putting all of the papers once I unfolded them. I sat down with my packet and folder started carefully unfolding and opening.
Most of the files I worked with today were related to wills, estates, and guardianship of minors. I had files ranging from the 1830s to the mid-1890s. We were instructed to remove all foreign objects from the files; some papers were attached to others using some old staples, straight pins, and even thread! I had to (sadly) dismantle a neat old receipt book, but it is just not practical when scanning so many documents.
Occasionally, one of the records would have a newspaper clipping regarding the case attached to the paper itself, which I thought was really cool.
And some of the documents had these neat federal Internal Revenue stamps affixed on them. (This one is from 1864.)
I really enjoyed handling all of these old documents, and it was nice to know that my (small) efforts were contributing to a project that eventually will help others learn more about their family histories.
This is the Darke County, Ohio probate record of the marriage of Jean Nicholas Grilliot and Marie Anne Aubry, my husband's 3x great-grandparents through his paternal grandmother's line. Jean Nicholas and Marie Anne were both French immigrants whose families had immigrated to western Ohio in 1838 and 1840, respectively. Even though their birth villages were only a couple of kilometers apart in northeastern France, Jean Nicholas and Marie Anne probably did not know each other before settling in Darke County. At the time of the marriage, Jean Nicholas was 28 years old and Marie Anne was 18 years old.
Jean Nicholas' surname is spelled 'Grillot,' which is indeed his birth name spelling. Somewhere along the way, an extra 'i' was added, making it 'Grilliot,' which is how it is spelled in his will. Marie Anne's surname at birth was spelled 'Aubry,' but 'Obry' is seen in many of her family's American records.
This marriage record, as well as a couple of other other Grillot marriage records from 1852 to early 1853, state that the marriage was solemnized by a Justice of the Peace, NOT a Catholic priest. In fact, simply paging through the probate marriage records for these couple of years, it seems that the mention of a solemnization by a Catholic priest is rare, even for couples who are definitely French (and definitely Catholic). I am guessing that the small French community in the area had to go through longer periods without the presence of an ordained priest - perhaps they shared a priest with another community that was quite some distance away? Perhaps if that one priest suddenly passed away, they would have to wait even longer for a replacement. Whatever the case, the next step for me is to try to track down (if they exist) Catholic church records from the small parishes in this area of Darke County, to see if there ever was a church marriage for these couples who were 'officially' married by a Justice of the Peace.
Darke County, Ohio Marriage Records can be at FamilySearch.org at this link.
William and Mary (Watercutter) Knob are buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in McCartyville, Ohio (Shelby County). They are two of my husband's great-great grandparents on his paternal side of the family.
William Knob was the youngest child of German immigrants Heinrich Knob and Anna Pancier. The gravestone is difficult to read; it states that William was born in 1867 and died in 1947. His death certificate says he was born in 1869. Age clues from census records are inconclusive - his birth year could be anywhere between 1867 and 1869. I have not yet located any probate birth record or church baptism record.
Mary Watercutter was the daughter of Henry Bernard Watercutter and Caroline Lohman, who were both children of German immigrants. Based on census age clues, which are pretty consistent for her, Mary was born around 1878, which also what her death record indicates. The gravestone almost looks as if her birth year is 1873, but I have never physically been to this grave, so it just may be weathering. I will have to check the next time I am in the area. Mary passed away on July 5, 1965.
On this date in 1895, my husband's great-grandfather, Anthony A. Schroeder was born in Shelby County, Ohio. At least, I'm pretty sure he was born on February 14th. It is listed on as his date of birth on his death certificate and both his WWI and WWII draft registration cards. What makes me wonder is this probate birth record from Shelby County. (The red arrows point to Anthony's name and to his parents' names. Click on image for larger view.)
This birth record lists his date of birth as March 2, 1895. It is definitely the correct Anthony Schroeder - both parent names are correct, as is the location. Nineteenth century probate birth and death records are often very interesting and, sometimes, not always that accurate. If you look at the far left side of the record, you will find the date on which the birth was reported, in this case May 14, 1895 - at least a couple of months after Anthony's birth. Then, if you look to the far right of the record, you will find the name of the person who reported the birth, in this case, W. H. Pellman, Assessor. Very often, the birth was NOT reported by a parent or even a relative, and sometimes it took several months for the birth to be officially recorded. So, the date could possibly be due to an assessor error. (Anthony was his parents' fourth child, so there isn't any possibility that the 'official' date would have been moved back, which did sometimes happen with first-born children if the parents' had not been married long enough, if you know what I mean.)
The way to get to the bottom of this would be for me to find his baptismal record, if it exists. Babies at this time were usually baptized within a week of birth, so that would surely confirm whether or not the February or the March birth date is truly correct. Unfortunately, the archives for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are currently closed, so there is little chance of me finding that record any time soon.
My maternal grandparents, William and Dina (Licciardi) Bellan are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Brookpark, Ohio. My grandfather passed away 25 years ago this past week, and sadly, was laid to rest on my mom's birthday.
Of any of my family's gravestones, I have visited this one the most throughout my life. As you can see, my grandmother lived about eight years longer than her husband, and her parents are buried very close to this grave as well, so we often came with her to the cemetery to visit. I took this photo last year when we visited on Memorial Day weekend. We brought some flowers and my daughter helped put them down.
This past Sunday on the blog, I shared a 1940 census schedule listing my husband's maternal grandmother, Rita Brunswick. At this point in her life, Rita was living with and working for a minister's family in Fort Recovery, Ohio. Two years later, Rita married Frank Tumbush at St. Paul Church in Sharpsburg, Mercer County, Ohio. Below is a copy of their marriage license application (top) and marriage certificate (bottom), as kept within the Mercer County Probate Records. (Click on image for larger view.)
Here is a short description of the wedding service from the November 27, 1942 issue of The Minster Post. Alvera Wimmers is Frank 's first cousin and Melvin Brunswick is Rita's older brother.
Below is a photo of St. Paul's Catholic Church. Like many of the older Catholic churches in this area of Ohio, St. Paul's is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was designed by Anton DeCurtins, a Swiss immigrant who helped design and build many Gothic-style churches in Mercer County. Those who are not from this area of western Ohio or who have never visited are often surprised to learn about the area's many beautiful Gothic-revival churches that were erected in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is often called the "Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches."
Today's census schedules show the family of Lawrence H. and Justina (Braun) Brunswick. In 1940, most of family is living on their farm in Gibson Twp, Mercer County, Ohio, which is also where they had been living in the 1930 Census. The 1940 Census lists Lawrence, Justina, and nine of their children. One daughter, Wilma, passed away tragically in 1931 following an accident at home in which her clothes caught on fire. Another daughter, Rita, is also missing from the family. In 1940, 18-year-old Rita lives on Main St. in the nearby town of Ft. Recovery. She works for the family of Oscar Nicholas, who is listed as a 'minister.' (Click on images for larger view.)