Thank You for Andover (Ohio) School Yearbooks


The other day I learned that Andover School, my elementary and high school alma mater, published a yearbook for 1928. I was doing a routine search on for my grandmother Grace Darling Dingman/Tripp/Stafford (born Green; adoptive name  Morley). I was searching specifically for Grace Tripp. At the time, she was married to–but separated from–John James Tripp.

Two results came up for her in the 1928 Andover School Yearbook in the U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2013 collection. One result was a summary of sixth-grade class activities signed by Grace E. Tripp [I believe that the middle initial was intended to be D. for Darling]. The other result was a group photograph of the faculty.

When I graduated from Andover High School in 1956, the school didn’t have a formally printed yearbook, so I was unaware of any such publications in the school’s history. If the 1928 Yearbook hadn’t been digitized and I hadn’t found it in my Internet search, I never would have thought to look for it.

This was an A-ha Moment because I knew from family lore that Grandma Grace taught in the Andover School, but I wanted confirmation for that fact and also for what grade she taught.

The bonus in this discovery was Grace appearing in a group photo of the faculty for all 12 grades in the school complete with a caption identifying each teacher. The image was a bit fuzzy, but I was happy. Grace was camera shy so photos of her are very scarce.

After thinking about this for a couple days, I decided today to search some more to see if there were other yearbooks from Andover in Ancestry’s yearbook collection. My reward for this extra effort was finding the 1929 Yearbook. In this yearbook, my grandmother was identified only as Mrs. Tripp in the faculty photograph. This photo was much clearer and I was able to do the following screen capture of Grandma Grace:

Mrs. Grace Tripp photo excerpted from faculty group photo in 1929 Andover School Yearbook.

The 1929 Yearbook also included a summary of activities for the sixth grade, but without attribution. I believe, however, that it is safe to assume that my grandmother was the teacher directing those activities.

Thank you for publishing these yearbooks in the Yearbook Collection!



Finding Images of Our Residences in Parma, Ohio


On December 23, 2016, I created a post about discussing our first two places of residence in Parma with my wife, MJ. You can read that post here.

For some reason, today I decided to learn what I could see by looking up the two addresses on Google. Sure enough, when I plugged in the first address, 7110 Westlake Ave., up came an image of the 1950s duplex that we lived in for three years. With Snagit, I did a screen capture and here it is (brick duplex) along with our first address which was next door at 7106 Westlake Ave (shaded two-story house).

Everything looks just like I remembered it.

By 1965, we had moved to our own home in Brecksville, Ohio. I’ll look that up for another post at a later date.

“Cleveland Starts Here” Exhibit Opens at Western Reserve Historical Society


After three years of planning and hard work by Western Reserve Historical Society staff and exhibit professionals, the permanent core exhibit “Cleveland Starts Here” is now open to the public. The opening day for the exhibit, which occupies the Reinberger Gallery, was November 29. The main entrance from the History Center parking lot also is now open after being closed for the exhibit installation.

The new exhibit was developed from the beginning to help commemorate the Society’s 150-year anniversary in 2017. The exhibit serves as a vibrant introduction to the Society’s Cleveland History Center.

Using the latest technologies and techniques available to museum designers, visitors will discover how a small wilderness town on the shore of Lake Erie became an industrial giant, the home of immigrants and American presidents, a world-class center for arts, culture, and education, and a world-renowned innovator in medicine and healthcare.

Visitors who are coming to learn about their family history or do genealogical research will be able to get a quick overview of the history of Cleveland and the Western Reserve before continuing their visit in the Research Library.

As befits an opening of this caliber, the Society made sure that Northeastern Ohio was made aware of what was coming. On November 1, a Coffee with a Curator event that featured Eric Rivet, curator of collections and Exhibitions, and Margaret Roulett, Archives and Special Collections manger, provided background about what went into evaluating and selecting artifacts to display in the new exhibit.

Next came a luncheon hosted by the Museum Advisory Council, an auxiliary of WRHS, in the Community History Gallery, on November 10. Attendees were treated to a panel discussion about what went into designing the exhibit by Dennis and Kathleen Barrie of Barrie Projects and Kelly Falcone-Hall, CEO of WRHS. Barrie Projects was the lead designer of the exhibit. In the panel discussion, it was revealed that nearly 1,000 artifacts were brought out of storage and put on display.

On Sunday, November 26, the Cleveland Plain Dealer presented a full-page article about the exhibit that would be opening three days later.

That article included the following overview of what visitors would see:

The exhibit is divided into sections that trace the city’s history in big chunks, such as “1810s: The Land of Milk and Honey,” “1901-1909: Governed by the Best Mayor of the Best City in the USA,” and “1940s-50s: Best Location in the
Nation.” The story continues until today, with the inclusion of the Cavs victory parade and the 2016
Republican National Convention.

Each section includes numerous artifacts, maps, a video and interactive “peeks.” There are many treasures, like a surveyor’s field notebook from 1796, children’s clothing from the 1930s and an Abraham Lincoln “life mask” from 1860.

Lastly, WRHS members were invited to attend a gala reception and ribbon-cutting on the evening of November 28. More than 500 members and guests attended the event for a first look at the new exhibit.

Kelly Falcone-Hall, WRHS CEO, at right, addresses Reception attendees for the opening of “Cleveland Starts Here” permanent exhibit.

The Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra performed at the opening reception for the new exhibit “Cleveland Starts Here” at Western Reserve Historical Society

After the ribbon-cutting, visitors entered the exhibit area to see that Chief Wahoo was still in place on the north wall of the Reinberger, as was the 1939 mural developed for the World’s Fair by a local artist on the west wall.

A display of giant images and historical objects occupies the former window wall of the Reinberger Gallery at Western Reserve Historical Society.

Visitors with an interest in genealogy were attracted to the interactive display of Moses Cleaveland’s genealogy and family history. Using a large touchscreen, visitors were able to answer questions about the family history of Cleavland and his descendants. For every correct answer selected, the guest was rewarded with a description of what documentation supported the correct answer.

Ann Sindelar, WRHS Research Library Reference Supervisor, demonstrates an Interactive Gen Display for husband Steve Kohn.

Some visitors visited the Research Library to see the computer workstations, reading room tables, and open stacks available for family history and other research.

The exhibit was made possible by a fund-raising program that garnered more than $2.5 million. Contributors are recognized on the Society’s website.

Guide to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Research


I live in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. I am the only member of my family who lives in the county, and I have had only a few relatives who have lived hereabouts over the years. Still, I do Cuyahoga County research for clients and friends and I am impressed with the number of resources that are available, many provided online complete with indexes and often with linked digital images.

The advent and development of the Internet has brought many guides to these Cuyahoga County research resources. Perhaps the best known is Cyndi’s List, created and maintained by Cyndi Ingle. She provides 144 links in the section of her website that provides guidance for researching in Cuyahoga County. Go to

Another valuable resource is found on the wiki pages specifically for genealogical research in Cuyahoga County. This is a work in progress with contributions by volunteers. Go to Cuyahoga County, Ohio Genealogy.

Andover Square Mystery


I was looking earlier today for historical information about Andover, the village and township in Ashtabula County, Ohio, where I grew up. There is precious little available online providing details of the the village’s history.

On a whim, I Googled for postcards showing scenes of Andover. Most of them showed buildings and scenes I could connect with what I remembered from my 18 years growing up there.

But then I got to the website  and found a contributed postcard image reportedly from the early 1900s, It could even be earlier judging from the horses and buggies tied up on the square.

What surprised me was that there appears to be a road cutting from right to left through the square. During my growing up years, there was no roadways through the square. All traffic coming into Andover on either Ohio Rt. 7 (north-south) or U.S. Rt. 6 (east-west) had to circle around the square to continue on There was no intersection in the center of the square. This situation continues today.

So the mystery–at least to me–is when did the village close off the roadways through the square and establish the circular traffic pattern?

I will have to do some more research to see if I can learn the answer to this historical question.

Any suggestions?

FYI, provides a place for contributors to supply digital copies of old postcards and photographs — and for researchers to check for ancestors and historical scenes they are looking for.

Six Months Since Passing of MJ


Yesterday, I realized it was 6 months since the love of my life, Mary Jane, aka MJ, passed away. The effect of this realization was softened by being surrounded by family. I am visiting our daughter Karen, and her family, leading up to Thanksgiving. MJ would have enjoyed this visit with Karen, her husband, and three grandchildren. Today, I was treated to a driving tour of Honeoye Falls, New York, and environs. It strongly reminds me of Andover, Ohio, where MJ and I grew up. And so it goes–reminders of the life we shared.

I posted the above message on my Facebook account and have received several comments about how family and friends around makes it easier.

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