Irish-American Heritage Month

Did you know that Irish-American Heritage Month was first celebrated in March 1991? Although we have celebrated Irish-American Heritage Month for more than 3 decades, the Irish have long played a role in the development and building of our Nation, beginning with Colonial America. Many of the Irish prior to 1715 were brought over as indentured servants. Indentured servants were mostly adults who “signed” a contract agreeing to provide labor for a specified number of years to pay off debt. Others were forced into indentureship for judicial punishment. To learn more about indentured servants, please plan on attending an upcoming program sponsored by the Wayne County Genealogy Society, “Apprentices, Indentured Servants and Redemptioners: White Servitude in America”. It will be presented by Peggy Lauritzen and held in the Wayne County Public Library’s Conference Room; 220 W. Liberty St.; Wooster, OH 44691 on May 22, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.

The first large wave of Irish immigration was from 1715 to 1845. Many of these immigrants were seeking opportunity to own land or were Ulster Presbyterians seeking greater religious freedom. The second large wave of Irish immigration was from 1845-1914. Many of the early immigrants from this wave were fleeing starvation and death due to crop failure in Ireland. From 1845 to 1855, more than 1.5 million adults and children migrated to the United Stated to escape the Potato Famine. Many of their family and friends followed them to the United States over the next several decades. This type of migration is often referred to as chain migration and occurred with great frequency throughout the history of Colonial America and the United States.

There has been a long history of division in Ireland. In 1848, a small group of French women presented the tri-color flag shown above to Thomas Francis Meagher. The group of women was sympathetic to Irish Nationalism. However, this flag was not adopted as the National flag of Ireland until 1916. The green represents the Roman Catholic, the orange represents the Presbyterians and the white in the middle represents a lasting truce between the two groups. (

Wayne County, Ohio came to be the home of many early Irish immigrants. Some of the first Irish immigrants to file their first or final papers for naturalization in Wayne County, Ohio included:

John and Daniel McPhail, James Rose and Robert Orr, filed for naturalization 6 October 1818; John Dolaghan/Dullaghan, application filed 7 October 1819; Edward Gallagher, applied 5 October 1818 and naturalized November 1826; Thomas Carroll, applied 20 November 1822; John Jeffrey, applied 23 April 1824; Moses McCammon and James Blake, applied 21 October 1824; Thomas Armstrong, naturalized 21 October 1824; Joseph Armstrong, applied 23 February 1825; and Samuel Bell, David Stephenson, and Robert Taggert all applied for naturalization 7 November 1825.

Do you have early Irish immigrants who settled in Wayne County, Ohio?

February is Black History and African American Heritage month.

by Cheryl Brown Abernathy

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history. []

If you Google it, there is a lot of information out there. February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. Abraham Lincoln, we know from our history classes that he was the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves. Frederick Douglass was a former slave who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker and a leader in the abolitionist movement.

Do you know there were African American in the Revolutionary War? Both enslaved and free fought in the Continental Army and the First Rhode Island Regiment is the most famous regiment that included African Americans during the American Revolution. Some of the more famous ones include:

  • Crispus Attucks
  • Caesar Ferrit
  • Cato Smith
  • Peter Salem (Salem Middlesex)
  • Asaba (Grosvenor)
  • Titus Coburn
  • Salem Poor
  • Jude Hall
  • Prince Dunsick

Check out their stories on the National Park Service website –

There’s also information about Black Soldiers in the Revolutionary War on

Forgotten Patriots – African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War: A Guide to Service, Sources, and Studies identifies over 6,600 of African American and American Indians who contributed to the America’s Independence and is free to download –

A Google search of “African Americans in the Revolutionary War” turns up even more sites than the above two.

Not only did they fight in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War had those, whether enslaved, escaped or born free, fight to actively affect the outcome. From fighting on the bloody battlefield to espionage behind enemy lines; daring escapes to political maneuvering; saving wounded soldiers to teaching them how to read, there are six African Americans who fought to abolish slavery and discrimination.

  • Harriet Tubman
  • Alexander Augusta
  • Abraham Galloway
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Robert Smalls
  • Susie King Taylor

Learn more about them at:

African Americans have fought in every war since the Revolutionary. Some only in noncombative support roles. In most wars there was at least a unit or sometimes an entire division that was made up of African Americans. A search on the internet will provide plenty of references.

African American lineage if often difficult to follow back; however, it can be done. There are any number of resources available. A few include:

Trinket Box or Treasure Box?

Is this a box of unrelated stuff that your ancestor wanted to get rid of, or is there some inherit value in this trinket box? This is a dilemma we all will face at some point in our genealogy lives.

At first glance, there does not seem to be much of family value, with the exception of the photo. Of course, the photo in unlabeled so it is anyone’s guess who the people may be. What other items have been included in this box?

  1. A little black day book of Mary O. Scott. It measures 3″ x 4″. The book has the year 1909. It also has a place – Morgantown, WV. It appears to be a day-to-day account of the happenings of Mary O. Scott from Jan 1, 1909 to Jun 14, 1909.
  2. Badge with the First Avenue School “Excelsior” printed on it. On the reverse side, we see the badge was made by the Ohio Badge Co.; 1231 N. High St.; Columbus, O.
  3. An Embosser manufactured by Roovers. It has been stamped “Monogram Embosser Pat. Feb 6, 1912”. The initials cannot be seen without stamping a piece of paper.
  4. Vintage Ketcham & McDougall Retractable Brooch Key Chain. It has a key attached to it. It is small, round, gold tone with a Celtic knot design. Further research reveals the company has been around for decades. It was located in New York and specialized in the manufacture of gold and silver thimbles among other novelties.
  5. Two Lane Bryant envelopes.
  6. An envelope that has been embossed with the included embosser. The three overlapping letters appear to be N-A-S. Inside the envelope was the unlabeled photograph and operation instructions for a Kroehler Davenette bed.
  7. The Blue Book of Telephone Numbers with some names, addresses and phone numbers.
  8. A little brown spiral notebook with the word ESTATE written at the top. Inside the little brown notebook is a blank check belonging to Mrs. Mary Groves of Carpenter, Ohio. The check was from the Vinton County National Bank in McArthur, Ohio.

To give a sneak preview, inside the little brown spiral notebook. With additional research, there is some information that potentially could give insight into the family. On the first page of the notebook, we find the name Nellie Alice Scott. We have a death date given as Sept. 11, 1960. Also, we are given the date December 30, 1936. This is when Nellie may have been issued a Social Security Number.

The next blog will focus on connecting the dots and creating a narrative based on research and the contents of the trinket box. Based on the narrative, you can decide whether it is just a trinket box full of stuff, or a treasure box with some gold nuggets to be found.

Origin of Golden Corners name: verifying secondary information

By Deb Kitko

As genealogists, we depend a lot on secondary sources to provide data in our family’s history. Often, though, we do not take the next step to verify the information that is given. Such was the case when researching Golden Corners, a little hamlet located in Canaan Township, Wayne County, Ohio. According to E. H. Hauenstein, a columnist for the Wooster Daily Record during the mid-1900s, “The name ‘Golden Corners’ was selected in honor of an early minister, Rev. Gold…” No first name was given, so interest peaked. Evidence reveals that the hamlet of Golden Corners was listed on the 1856 Baker’s Map of Wayne County, Ohio. In the Wayne County Democrat May 22, 1856, on page 3, there is a legal notice about the United States Marshal’s Sale. John R. Caldwell was suing Sidney Vail and William Caldwell, partners in trade in the firm name of Sidney Vail & Co. The marshal was offering for sale by public auction goods and chattels owned by the company. The place of business was at Golden Corners, Wayne County, Ohio. Less than one year later, on March 26, 1857, on page 3, the Wayne County Democrat published the following news item: “B. M. Spencer has been appointed Post Master at Fredericksburg in this county, in the room of W. C. Rheem, resigned. And Mrs. Mary Felger Post Mistress at Golden Corners (in Canaan township) in the place of Dr. Brothers, resigned.” No records to-date show an actual establishment date for Golden Corners; however, in another resource we discover that there was a Post Office established on April 4, 1854, with C. E. Graeter serving as the first postmaster. It was discontinued August 31, 1901. Mail was redirected to the Overton Post Office.

We have established that Golden Corners had a Post Office as early as 1854. Who was Rev. Gold? Reverend Calvin Curtis Gould was born November 28, 1832, to Freeman and Dorcas Lyon (Ward) Gould. Calvin was born near Albion, Illinois. He married Elvira C. Reed on August 27, 1861, in Rockbridge County, Virginia. On his marriage record, it indicates he is listed as a “Theological Student”. On January 1, 1863, Calvin and his wife Elvira welcomed their first son, William Plummer Gould. The son was born in Pennsylvania. Four months later, in May 1863, Calvin Curtis Gould graduated from the Western Theological Seminary, at Allegheny City. Shortly after graduation, Calvin and his small family relocated in Canaan Township, Wayne County, Ohio. In June 1863, Calvin Gould was listed in the Civil War Draft Registration. On July 10, 1865, Rev. Gould and his wife lost an infant daughter. She is buried in the Wayne Presbyterian Church Cemetery. In the 1870 US Census, the family is in Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio. Two years later, on June 5, 1872, Elvira passes away. She is buried in the New Providence Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Raphine, Rockbridge County, Virginia. On June 19, 1874, Calvin married Lydia K. Taylor in Upshur County, West Virginia. They had several children together. Rev. Calvin Gould died on February 25, 1921.

The other question you may ask, “Were there any Gould/Gold families in Golden Corners prior to 1854 when the post office was established? In the 1856 Baker’s Map, there is a G. Gould who owns property near Golden Corners. The only G. Gould found in the 1850 US Census for Wayne County is George Gould. He is residing in Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio as a Coal Miner. By the 1860 US Census, he has relocated to Eldorado, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. A search in the land deed index for 1812-1863 did not show a land transaction either to or from George Gould. Until further evidence can be found, the research to-date implies that Golden Corners was established by 1854 and it probably was not named in honor of Rev. Gold as published in newspaper articles.

Sources, Paragraph 1

Image from the Library of Congress Digital Maps. 1856 Baker’s Map of Wayne County, Ohio. <accessed 18 January 2023>

Hauenstein, E.H. “History of Hamlet Dates Back To Days of Pioneer”. Wooster Daily Record. November 7, 195?.

Hirschinger, Tom. Ohio Postal History Journal. “A Postal History of Wayne County, Ohio.” December 1996, Issue No. 78. p. 10. Journal found in the lateral files at the Wayne County Public Library, Wooster, Ohio.

Legal Notice. “United States Marshal’s Sale. John R. Caldwell, vs. Sidney Vail and William Caldwell, partners in trade in the firm name of Sidney Vail & Co.” Wayne County Democrat. May 22, 1856, p. 3.

Social Notice. “Mrs. Mary Felger Post Mistress at Golden Corners, (in Canaan Township).” Wayne County Democrat. March 26, 1857, p. 3.

Sources, Paragraph 2, Regarding Reverend Calvin C. Gould (in chronological order of event date)

Unless otherwise noted, information compiled on Reverend Calvin Curtis Gould was found through sources on Ancestry Library Edition.

Dismissal Record from the U.S. Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970. Record dates October 27, 1848.

Western Theological Seminary Junior Class catalog, p. 9. Record for 1860.

Calvin C. Gould marriage to Elvira C. Reed. FHL Film Number 33797. Record for 27 August 1861 in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

“Graduates from Theological Seminaries.” Daily Ohio Statesman (Columbus, Ohio). May 14, 1863 p. 2. Image clipped from

Calvin Curtis Gould. Presbyterian Ministerial Directory 1898. Abstract indicates he was born near Albion, Il and was ordained in 1863 in Amesville.

“U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865.” 14th Congressional District. Calvin C. Gould, age 30 on 1 July 1863, married, born about 1833 in Illinois. Married. Residing in Canaan, Wayne, Ohio.

Infant Daughter Gould. Tombstone inscription: “Infant Daughter of C. C. & E. C. Gold. Died July 10, 1865.” Find a Grave Memorial ID #25377149. Burial in Wayne Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio. <accessed 12 January 2023>

Elvira Cynthia (Reed) Gould, s/o Calvin Curtis Gould. Tombstone inscription: “Elvira E. wife of Rev. C. C. Gould Born Feb, 6, 1838 Died June 5, 1872.” Find a Grave Memorial ID #64172695. Burial in New Providence Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Raphine, Rockbridge County, Virginia.

Calvin C. Gould. 1870 US Census, Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio. ED 11 Jul 1870.

C.C. Gould marriage to Lydia K. Taylor. Record for 19 June 1874 in Upshur, County, West Virginia.

Calvin C. Gould. 1880 US Census, Glenville, Gilmer County, West Virginia. ED 3 Jun 1880.

Calvin Gould. 1900 US Census, Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio. ED 7 Jun 1900.

Calvin C. Gould. 1910 US Census, Lincoln, Marion County, West Virginia. ED 7 May 1910.

Calvin C. Gould. 1911 Directory for Fairmont, West Virginia.

Rev. Calvin C. Gould. 1916 Directory for Marietta, Ohio.

Calvin C. Gould. 1920 US Census Watertown, Washington County, Ohio. Residing with the family of his daughter, Ethel G. (Gould) Breckenridge.

Rev. Calvin Curtis Gould. Find a Grave Memorial ID #29087407. Burial in Riverview Cemetery in Williamstown, Wood County, West Virginia.

Notes on Paragraph 3

George Gould. 1850 US Census Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio. ED 29 Aug 1850. Residing with the Andrew Prater family. This could be the same individual as George Gould residing with John and Margaret Gold in Franklin, Summit County, Ohio in the 1850 US Census. In the 1860 US Census, George Gould is the head of the household and residing in Eldorado, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. With him is his inferred mother, Margaret Gould and his inferred older brother, John Gould.

Weather and History

Cheryl Brown Abernathy

As I was thinking about what to write for this, a perfect topic came to mind, especially since we just went through a weather “event” this Christmas season. I know there are one or two significant storms that I will remember. One, is the flood that hit our area in July 1969. There was a loss of life and lots of property damage. If you lived in Wayne County at that time, you would remember it. It wasn’t just local though, other areas from Toledo though Wooster were affected.

Another time in the blizzards of 1977 and 1978. That was even more widespread than the 1969 storm. I was living in Spencer at that time. I don’t remember which year, 1977 or 1978, I went to work in Elyria that morning and almost didn’t make it home that afternoon, even though I left work early to go home. I got stuck about five miles from home and had to wait for a snowplow to come through AFTER the stuck cars were unstuck, mine being one of them. There were a number of us taking refuge in a little corner store. I think I was the first in line following the snowplow on into Spencer. Not a trip I’d care to repeat!

We know from our history lessons what that first winter was like for the Pilgrims. The same for George Washington and his troops at Valley Forge. History gives us a snapshot of various weather events throughout, but have you ever wondered what kind of storms your ancestors lived through? Whether it was a tornado, flooding or a blizzard, how did they survive it? Did they know it was coming? They didn’t have the sophisticated equipment that lets people know a storm may be coming and how bad it may be. It may have been their achy joints that gave them a hint.

One site I found was on the Ohio History Connection – “Severe Weather in Ohio” (

Learn about more than 25 of the most extreme or most unusual weather events from Ohio’s history, from mysterious tidal waves and tornadoes causing local devastation and snowstorms to floods with statewide impact. This timeline is based on the Severe Weather in Ohio online exhibit created in 2006 in collaboration with numerous institutions across the state.

It takes you on a timeline from 1882 up through 2008. It covers tidal waves (didn’t know Ohio had tidal waves, did you?), floods, snowstorms, etc. There are photos to go along with a lot of the events. And that’s just in Ohio!

Maybe your ancestor wrote about the weather in his or her diary / journal. A lot of farmers made notes about the weather. I know my dad did in his diary. How about the newspapers of the day? They reported on the major storms that happened.

A “go to” place for various kinds of information is Cyndi’s List ( That’s where I found out about the Ohio History Connection’s timeline. Another place to look is the National Weather Service ( However, their records only go back to about 1890, give or take. If you can find copies of old almanacs, that may be another place.

What kind of weather events did your ancestors survive? What kind have you survived? Have you written about them for your descendants?

when genealogy really mattered

by Pam Blaha

Many of us make our family genealogy a priority.  We research using various websites, we look at documents in court houses and libraries, we talk with the oldest relatives we know and hope they have items they have been keeping to help us understand who we are.  We even take DNA tests to see from where we originated.  Maybe, someone years ago did a family genealogy, accurate or not, it helps us with a starting point.  But did you realize there was a time in history when genealogy was vital to the lives of certain families in order to maintain their status in the world?  Yes, there was a time when that was particularly important!           

I am reading a book by Simon Winder, entitled Danubia – a History of Hapsburg Europe.  In a section called “The Heir of Hector”, Winder claims that the most horrible job in the Court of Maximillian was that of the Court Genealogist.  This person was charged with tracing and proving that Maximillian was a descendant of Noah.  (I will let you figure out – why Noah.)  But Maximillian decided it might be better to descend from the Trojan hero- Hector.

Loosely based on “The Aeneid”, Hector had three sons.  At the same time that Aeneas was founding Rome, his brother Francio, was heading north into central Europe to settle on the River Main.  There he founded the City of the Franks, or as we know it, Frankfurt.  This gave Frankfurt equal standing with Rome.  The family tree then continued upward to Clovis, King of the Franks.  Clovis’ children eventually led the path to Maximillian of the Hapsburg family.

A document called “Priviledgium Maius” (signed by Julius Caesar and Nero, the title of Archduke for the Hapsburg ruler put him on an equal status with the “Electors of the Holy Roman Empire”.  Questioning this lineage was viewed as treason!  The Hapsburg Era began in the mid-sixteenth century and lasted until the end of World War I.  This was the time when Genealogy really meant something!

Why did your ancestors come to america?

Deb Kitko

In recent weeks, I have been thinking of our immigrant ancestors who came to this country to seek a better life. My great-grandmother came to America from Italy in 1916. The family story was that she was betrothed to a young man here in America. She came to fulfill her betrothal. She arrived safely, met her husband-to-be, and married shortly thereafter, being a bride at the young age of 16. Together, they had five children, all living to adulthood and having families of their own. Many of my other ancestral lines were here in America by the late 1700s and early 1800s. I have not researched them to their point of entry into our country. Some remain lost in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia/West Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. So many ancestors…so little time!

Individuals and families left their home for a variety of reasons:

  • Statue Of Liberty National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)Religious and political persecution
  • Political unrest
  • To avoid mandated military service
  • Disease and famine
  • Poor crop output
  • Seek education or employment
  • Better economic opportunities
  • Land owner prospects
  • Alternative to prison or to escape trouble
  • Adventure
  • To join family, friends and/or meet a husband-to-be
  • Many other reasons

Some came with only the clothes on their back and a few coins in their pocket, traveling in cramped steerage quarters. Others experienced greater wealth and traveled as first and second class passengers. Regardless of their socioeconomic background, most of our ancestors followed the proper procedures for entering our country and becoming naturalized citizens if they so desired. They were listed on ship manifest lists (after 1820 in the US). They arrived through a variety of ports along the East and West Coast as well as the Gulf. Some found it more economical to sail into Canada and enter the U.S. through our northern border. At their point of entry, most immigrants were vetted. Some were turned away if they were not healthy or were considered a possible burden on society. However, most were able to gain entry ultimately.

Immigrants came seeking a better life for themselves and their descendants. They came willing to work hard. Many assimilated into the melting pot of the great U.S.A.  Some served in our military in exchange for land, the opportunity to settle on a homestead, or to shorten the naturalization process. Others brought essential skills to help build America and to help defend and settle the western frontier. Many immigrants experienced success in the “land of promise”. On the flip side, many immigrants discovered that the roads in the United States were not paved in gold. Life was difficult. Life was not fair. Many experienced religious and political persecution. Others experienced discrimination. However, through perseverance and hardship, they endured — many obtaining great self-achievements and notable positions and respect in the community. Many were able to pave the road for better lives for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Many other ethnic groups had no need to migrate into the country. They were already here. As the fledgling United States expanded their territory, many individuals had little choice and accepted their destiny — sometimes with hostility and other times in a peaceful manner.

Take a moment and reflect: Why did your immigrant ancestors come to the United States? What kind of life did they have once they left the ship and stepped foot on this land? If you descend from indigenous peoples, what kind of life did your indigenous ancestors live? Remember, the indigenous people of colonial America and the United States were not considered U.S. citizens until 1924 and even then, many states did not recognize them as U.S. citizens until much later. If you have not researched the why or the how of your ancestors, this may be an interesting part of your family history that needs to be researched and recorded for future generations. If we do not know and understand our past; if we do not educate the present generation why our ancestors came to this great land; if we do not tell about the hardships our ancestors endured and/or escaped from, or about the freedom they so desperately sought; then history will repeat itself! And next time, there may not be a great country promising “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” to all.