Veterans Burial Registrations Provide Service Info


Today I received an email from suggesting that I had a photo hint for Matthias Flaugh Jr. It was for a Veterans’ Grave Registration Card for the guy who was my 3X great grandfather. When I went to his profile in in my main family tree, I found that I already had added this card image to his gallery from the collection Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-2012


The hint came from another researcher and she had titled the card image differently, so the Ancestry computer algorithm believed it was another record for me.

Here is the card that I had associated with Matthias Flaugh Jr.:

As you can see, it contains information on Matthias’ service in the War of 1812. It also gives his date of birth and date of death, as well as where he was buried.

I have had considerable success finding burial cards like this for military veterans buried in Pennsylvania. My impression is that Pennsylvania was very comprehensive in compiling these cards, and a database of indexed names and images is available on at the link provided above.

On Oct. 30 of this year, I posted that Ohio burial cards were newly available on In that post, I commented:

After checking this database for veterans among my ancestors and collateral relatives who I know were buried in Ohio, I would say that this new online collection is far from complete. It certainly is not up to the scope of a similar database, Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-2012, which is also available on

Also, what you see on is only the index. If you want to see the card referenced in an index entry, you have to have a subscription to

I have had success finding similar veteran burial cards in other states. For example, I found the WWI service and burial information–along with his WWI service information–for a collateral relative George Nikkari who was buried in Hurley, Wisconsin. His burial record was in the database U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963.

I probably wouldn’t have these records in hand if it hadn’t been for being able to search for them on The takeaway: keep checking those hints on — and doing searches yourself.





Finnish Immigrants in Cleveland by 1915


Recently, while checking the extent of Finnish immigration to Cleveland, I found a report in the Western Reserve Historical Society Research Library entitled Foreign People in Cleveland. It was in a 1915 reprint from the Western Reserve University Bulletin, Vol. XIX, No. 8 published by the Flora Stone Mather College Alumnae Historical Association. The reprint is available in the WRHS Research Library under the call number Pam. W366.

The following excerpt is about Finnish immigrants:

Page 34
VII—Finnish Immigration

Finns in Cleveland number about 1,500, 60% being women and 40% men, and there are 100 children

A few sailors carne before 1885, but the first family to settle here was Mr. Stone’s in 1885. A few Finns came from Canada, but there has been no increase since 1890.

The majority of them live on the West Side, some in Lakewood, some also live in the neighborhood of East 105th St, between Superior and St. Clair.

They came to better conditions. They have grammar school education, a few go to high school, and a few to Central Institute.

Their religion is Lutheran; they have no church building, but meet in a hall on the West Side. The church receives very little support. A number of the Finns go to American churches.

These people are home-lovers. The men work on the docks, some are carpenters, machinists, chauffeurs, tailors, and masseurs. 100 are pile-drivers. 300 girls are in domestic science [or service].

Finns are naturally musical and have several glee clubs in Cleveland. They are also socialistic and clannish, have a temperance society not because they are so temperate, but to hold the people together. This temperance society owns its building on the West Side.

The men become citizens and the women want suffrage. Five single women have taken out naturalization papers. These immigrants do not go back to Finland, there is nothing for them to go for. They seldom get into trouble, only half a dozen are arrested annually.

[From material submitted by] R. C. Stone, Masseur.

Charles R. Stone; occupation: masseuse; age: 46; born: Finland; immigrated: 1880; naturalized; is enumerated in the 1910 Federal Census (on as living on Superior Avenue in Cleveland. His household includes his wife Marie, age 49, who immigrated in 1881 and four children born in Ohio. Charles and Marie had been married 21 years by 1910. Further research on yields his naturalization record in Cuyahoga County in 1886.

Voting By Mail Works


2017 Voted by Mail Stocker

This morning I found on my desk the sticker (above) sent out by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections with my mail-in ballot packet. I know that the 2017 election in Ohio was held nine days ago (Nov. 7), but I am creating this post today to state for the record that I believe voting by mail works rather well.

Late in October, I requested a mail-in ballot. This involved downloading the request form from the Board of Elections website, filling it in, and mailing it. As noted above, I did receive my ballot packet. In fact, I got it five or six days after mailing in my request.

Sitting at the kitchen table with the ballot and a cup of coffee, I was able to study the literature I’d collected on the issues and candidates, and carefully mark my choices. I placed the ballot in the return envelope, added the required postage (two first-class stamps more than covered the required $.79), and mailed it in.

Two days later, I received an email confirming that the Board of Elections had received my ballot and that it would be counted.

Straightforward. Efficient. Easy. No driving to the polling place. No waiting in line.

So why don’t more people do the same?

Great Video on DNA from


Today, I invested 26 minutes in watching a video presentation by Crista Cowan from on using DNA to hunt for family connections. Here is the link:

The title of the video, which was published two weeks ago, is “AncestryDNA: You Won’t Match Everyone You Are Related To“. The title caught my eye because it represented exactly what I needed to understand when we share DNA with cousins and when we don’t. The upshot is that you may have to look at a lot of tests to find the DNA connections you are seeking, especially when that sought-after connection is several generations back. Finding cousins with shared DNA is the key to finding such connections.

AncestryDNA holds out the strongest possibility of doing just that because the service has the largest database of DNA test results in the world (8 million tests and counting).

After watching the video, I posted this comment for Crista, which outlines my main project and a secondary one:

Thanks, Crista, for this presentation. I understand much better what I need to do to possibly break down the brick wall of my wife’s paternal 3 great grandfather’s unknown parents. We both have tested with AncestryDNA.

Also, I am going to dig deeper into our shared DNA results because the paper trail shows that we are sixth cousins 1 removed. It may be a stretch to expect to prove this with DNA, but I will be looking. Wally Huskonen

Newspaper Find from 50 Years Ago


Today I was searching in for any “hits” on Huskonen. I found plenty of them starting in about 1995. I was trying to go back to earlier times, specifically to see if I could find any newspaper articles about my father Walfrid H. Huskonen.

What I did find though was an interesting “hit” in a 2004 edition of the Ashtabula Star Beacon. It detailed how Walfrid Huskonen won a Superior Rating for his performance in a solo competition on clarinet representing Andover High School. The event was held at Warren Howland High School. The article further identified his instructor as being Urho Seppelin.

How could this be reported in an edition of the newspaper dated Sunday, May 9, 2004? Walfrid Einar Huskonen is my younger brother but he graduated from high school many decades ago.

Silly me! I took a closer look at the top of the page with this report and found the subhead “50 Years Ago …” The newspaper was presenting a collection of news items from 1954. Now it all made sense.

My brother obviously was better at performing with the clarinet than I was because I never even considered entering a solo competition. I must admit that I was unaware that he was so accomplished. Let me point out that I was away at college at the time of his achievement.

One other interesting fact was the identity of Walfrid’s band leader: Urho Seppelin. He was a distant cousin, a fact that I only learned in recent years while researching an uncle by marriage, Waino Seppelin. I do remember that Urho did play the clarinet very well indeed.

I’ll close by wishing my brother belated congratulations!

Dick Eastman Offers Price Reductions on and MyHeritageDNA


Bright and early this morning, Dick Eastman sent out an email with two amazing offers involving and MyHeritageDNA. He did not post this to his Eastman Online Genealogy Newsletter blog.

To find out how you can order a reduced price for a subscription to and to test your DNA with MyHeritageDNA, go here.

The reduced price for is offered only by Dick Eastman, and the offer expires on November 6, so if you are interested, don’t delay.

You have more time to consider the reduced price for testing your DNA with MyHeritageDNA. Apparently, the price of $59 has been rolled out for a Thanksgiving promotion. Maybe you want to have other family members tested too.

Details of both offerings are available at the same clickable link above.

If you would like to sign up for your own free subscription to Dick’s blog, go here and scroll to find the signup form. You also have the option of signing up for his plus newsletter in which he provides premium content.

The Mystery of Hiram Oliver Dingman


What happened to Hiram Oliver Dingman, my great uncle born in Sandy Creek Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania? Using (which I used for most the the research described herein), he is easy to track through 1860 when he was 12 years old, living in the household of his father, Nelson Dingman, in Salem Township, Mercer County, along with his mother, Jane, and siblings Mary Ann, Andrew S (my great grandfather), Emily, and Sanford W.

After that, there is no evidence of Hiram Oliver in census or other records until 1930.

Nancy L Machcinski sent me an email in 199? stating that she believed that we were related. Her great- great grandfather went by the name of Benjamin Franklin Keller, but he named all his kids with the middle initial D. Also, in biographical history book history, he was quoted as saying he and his relatives were from Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

One example of this naming convention was his daughter Amy Viola D Keller.

Here is how Nancy described the discovering of a probable name change for Hiram Oliver Dingman:

Benjamin F. Keller turned out to be an alias name. He was in the Oklahoma Land Rush and an article was written about him in a book published in 1901 by the Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, with the title Portrait and Biographical Record of Oklahoma. My brother, Edward F. Blick, a retired professor from the University of Oklahoma, who lives in Norman, OK found the article in the college library. Benjamin F. Keller was really Hiram Oliver Dingman, born Jan. 1848 in Mercer Co. Pa. and is buried at Highland Cemetery, Ft. Mitchell, Ky.–Nancy L. Blick Machcinski

The following is what I have found for Hiram/Benjamin:

Hiram Oliver Dingman, as Benjamin Franklin Keller, married Phianna Condo Hunter in Lawrence, Kansas, on 5 Jun 1884. He was 36 years of age and Phianna was 30.

The 1860 census shows that Phianna was living in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania and that she was born in that state. Her father Joseph Hunter died of consumption in June 1860, according to the mortality schedule for that year. Apparently, her mother, Jane, moved right away to Kansas City with Phianna and another daughter Clara, for they are enumerated in the 1860 census for Kansas City. The census suggests that Jane was married to Silas Case. Phianna was enumerated in Lawrence, Kansas, in the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

Benjamin and Phianna are living in Florida in 1885 according to a state census for that year. The census shows them living in Orange County and lists his occupation as “carpenter.” There were no children in the household.

By 1890, the couple was living in Township 16, Logan County, Oklahoma. A list of homesteaders in Logan County in 1892 has him living on property designated as N E 13 16 3 W. In 1898, at age 50, Benjamin Keller (aka Hiram) was living on the same property further identified as being served by the Guthrie Post Office

The 1900 Federal Census lists Benjamin Keller (aka Hiram) as living in Iron Mound Township, Oklahoma, in 1900.

Benjamin (aka Hiram) and Phianna C Hunter were divorced in 1902 after 18 years of marriage. He was 54 years old.

Phianna was married two more times before her death in Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma on 21 Nov 1921.

In the 1910 census, at age 62, Benjamin Keller (aka Hiram) is living with his son Clarence, age 15, in Iron Mound Township, Oklahoma. Benjamin is listed as a farmer, and Clarence is a farm laborer.

Sometime before 1930, he apparently resumed using his birth name of Hiram Oliver Dingman. In the 1930 Census, he was living in the Kenton County Infirmary in Covington, Kentucky at age 83. According to a 1931 directory, was a resident there.

Hiram’s Kentucky death certificate states that H. O. Dingman died at the infirmary on 18 Feb 1934 at age 86. It further states that he was born in Greenville, Mercer County, Pennsylvania and that his father was Nelson Dingman. He was buried on 21 Feb 1934 in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, which is near Covington. There is no marker on his grave (see Find A Grave entry), and the informant listed on his death certificate does not appear to be a relative.

How sad.

Have You Had Your Flu Shot?


If you attend genealogical conferences, you will often hear presenters urge their audiences to study social history to learn about the life and times of their ancestors and collateral relatives.

As we enter the 2017 “flu season” we are being deluged by television ads for quick and easy ways to get our flu shots.

Smithsonian, the monthly magazine of the Smithsonian Institution, features on the cover of its November issue the following headline: 1918-2018, The Next Pandemic. Inside the devastating influenza outbreak 100 years ago–and how scientists are trying to stop it from happening again.

The lead article in a package of three on the 1918 pandemic is “Journal of the Plague Year. 1918 Outbreak,” by John M. Berry. According to Wikipedia, His 2004 book The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Greatest Plague in History was a New York Times Best Seller, and won the 2005 Keck Communication Award from the United States National Academies of Science for the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine.

In that book, Berry posits that the 1918 pandemic began in Haskell County, Kansas, and quickly spread to Camp Funston, a U.S. Army training base in central Kansas. From there, it spread to other Army bases to the extent that 24 out of 36 bases at the time has serious–and deadly–outbreaks of influenza.

Some statistics from the article: Number of infected in the U.S.: 25.8 million; number of deaths: 670,000; percent of flu deaths age 6 or under: 20; life expectancy decrease: 12 years; and (shockingly to me) percent of U.S. military deaths in WWI caused by flu: 50.

Barry’s 10-page article gives a lot more detail about why the pandemic spread as it did among military personnel and the civilian population.

Two more articles are included in the “flu package”: “Animal Vector, The Birth of a Killer” and “The New Counterattack: How to Stop a Lethal Virus.”

If you read all three articles, you will have a good dose of social history, both for 1918 and going into 2018.

I have studied and blogged about the WWI history of two relatives; one being fortunate enough to escape any illness from flu while the other succumbed. Frank Morley Green came through his Army training unscathed but Albert C. “Bert” Butcher did not. You can click on the links to read those posts. I also blogged about the Flu Pandemic in an even earlier post.

One final point: Yes, I have had my 2017 flu shot. I have have been diligent in getting them each year for the last half dozen or so, and they have helped me stave off any flu illness.

Ohio Veterans Grave Registration Database Now on

by recently added the collection Ohio, Soldier Grave Registrations, 1804-1958. The original data comes from the Graves Registration Cards Collection, Ohio History Connection, Columbus, Ohio. Ohio History Connection is the current name for what used to be known as the Ohio Historical Society.

This database contains grave registration cards for soldiers from Ohio who served in the armed forces, mainly from the time of the War of 1812 up through the 1950s. Information that may be found on the original records includes:

Soldier’s Name
Death Date
Cause of Death
Date of Burial
Name and Location of Cemetery
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Next of Kin

Records could also contain military service information, which may include:
Branch of Service
Wars Served in
Enlistment Date
Discharge Date

After checking this database for veterans among my ancestors and collateral relatives who I know were buried in Ohio, I would say that this new online collection is far from complete. It certainly is not up to the scope of a similar database,  Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-2012which is also available on

Also, what you see on is only the index. If you want to see the card referenced in an index entry, you have to have a subscription to

Why We Need to Include a Country Name with Genealogical Locations


One of the effects of using online genealogical databases in our research is that we need to enter a country name to completely identify each family history location.

Back in the day before online databases, American researchers just assumed that readers of their research reports about American ancestors would know that a location reference was to a place in America if there was no other country mentioned. Writing down the community (city, village, township, or populated place—if known), county, and state was considered to be adequate to identify a location.

This became clear to me today when I went to enter the death location to search on for a record for my first cousin once removed: Frank Morley Green. He died in Andover in Ashtabula County in Ohio. As I entered Andover in the Death search field, Ancestry provided me with a drop-down selection of Andovers in its databases.

It included Andover, Anoka, Minnesota; Andover, Tolland, Connecticut; Andover, Windsor, Vermont; and Andover, Wise, Virginia, all followed by the country designation USA. Following that were two other suggested locations: Andover, Hempshire, England, and Andover, Tasmania, Australia. The last two entries obviously indicate the breadth and depth of’s database coverage.

But, boo hoo, no Andover, Ashtabula, Ohio, USA, so I had to continue my typing to complete Frank’s Death location.

Incidentally, does accept USA as appropriate to designate the United States of America. Some other database providers seem to prefer spelling out United States of America, which I believe is unnecessary.