Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Spring Grove Encampment

This Saturday the Friends of the Spring Grove Cemetery are hosting a first ever...

Spring Grove Civil War Encampment

This unique event is going to be packed with incredible activities for the whole family.
  • Re-enactors will portray the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Many of the original members of this Civil War unit came from Medina County.
  • An opportunity to tour the Miller House that was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
  • Civil War Musicians, displays and artifacts.
  • Tin-type photos taken in period costume.
  • The Medina Library's genealogy team will be on hand to help you find YOUR family history. Yep, that would be Lauren, Lisa and me!

The Medina Gazette had a nice article on the event in Tuesday's paper: Civil War Encampment.

The weather is forecast to be fine weather to enjoy and incredible day of fun and history!

For more information visit the Friends of Medina Cemetery.


Listen to this interview with Teresa Merkle, President of the Friends of Medina Cemetery on WCPN's Sound of Applause.

Photo courtesy of WCPN web site.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dandelion Drive

No, the Dandelion Drive is not a tour to highlight the dandelion-filled lawns of my neighborhood.

It is a tour of the local historical societies!

This year the tour is on Sunday May 20th! (Sorry for the confusion!)

The map is below:

Or click HERE for a printable version of the map.

Enjoy the beautiful Medina County countryside and learn more about YOUR Medina County History!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Smith Cousin...

Genealogy is not just about reaching out to find dead ancestors. It is also about connecting with living relatives. This concept was highlighted recently when a gentleman came into our Tuesday afternoon Genealogist Is In session.

His name is Smith and he was looking for a long lost cousin also named Smith...


For anyone who doesn't already know, SMITH is the most common surname in the United States., with 2.376 MILLION people having the name. That is half a million more than the runner-up surname: JOHNSON. So tracking down a SMITH can be problematic just because it is so common.

SMITH is the most common surname in all but a handful of  states.
Map and key found on WikiCommons, contributed by User:MB298/Maps

Another complication is that the gentleman believes that this cousin is still living. More recent records, of people still living, can be harder to find just because of various legal restrictions put into place to protect privacy and inhibit identity theft.

But the gentleman had a fair amount of information, so I was willing to try to help him.

This is the information he had:

His cousin's name at birth was Doris Jean SMITH, born around 1945 somewhere near McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Kathrerine (WALLACE) SMITH and Denis SMITH. She had a brother named David. She married a man named KENNEDY and they had a daughter named Michelle.

OUCH! KENNEDY? Another fairly common surname. Oh, well, we carried on.

McKeesport is in Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. You might be more familiar with another city in Allegheny County - Pittsburgh.

So, we are searching in the vicinity of a major metropolitan area for the surname KENNEDY, nee SMITH.

Kathryn and Denis had divorced and were both deceased. Kathryn never remarried. The gentleman had many little stories about the family and shared a handful of family photos. Everyone in the photos shared the surname SMITH.

We searched in both Ancestry LE and, but was only able to turn up one item that might be Doris Jean SMITH. It was a yearbook picture from Indiana University of Pennsylvania that said the individual was an Elementary Education Major and was from Clariton, PA. Clariton is also in Allegheny County. The record indicated that her birthdate was 1947, a few years off. However, there wasn't a clear link to his Doris Jean. But she was a possible.

We spent a full hour searching from different angles, like looking for her mother's obituary, but still wasn't finding anything. He shared that he had several living cousins, one who organized the family reunion, that he could call and ask. As we had run out of time, I encouraged him to phone his cousins and wished him luck.

The Genealogist Is In! is a weekly program held at the Medina Library
every Tuesday from 1-4 p.m. One of the staff genealogists works with
members to help solve family research problems.

He came back the next week. He had called his cousins and they had no information on Doris Jean.

Then he pulled out one of the little snapshots he had shown me before that included his cousin as a young child. And he pulled out the yearbook photo we had found. The smile, the dimples, the nose, the eyes were the same! While it wasn't a positive identification, there was a definite resemblance.

He shared something that he hadn't before, Aunt Katherine was known by the nickname "Kay". So we started searching for that name, hoping that her obituary would list information on her daughter. We weren't turning anything up, but then I noticed a detail that made all the difference. Katherine spelled her name Kathryn. Now both Ancestry LE and return close matches when displaying their results, so I didn't think it would have made that much of a difference. But it did!

Now, we were finding high school yearbook pictures of Kathryn WALLACE (maiden name) and those photos also bore a striking resemblance to the lady, mother of Doris Jean, in his snapshots.

So we went back to looking for her obituary, using the correct spelling of her given name. And  WE FOUND IT!

Now we were making some progress. The obituary listed her daughter as Doris Jean KENNEDY, wife of John and her granddaughter as Michelle. But seriously? John KENNEDY. We knew he hadn't been president of the United States, but still there had to be scores of John KENNEDYs.

And there were. DOZENS of them showed up in the Reference USA White Pages Directory for Pennsylvania. We tried cross referencing for Doris Jean KENNEDY and only 3 appeared. But none of them shared an address or a phone number with the dozens of John KENNEDYs.

Reference USA is a subscription database available to Medina County
District Library card holders. It is primarily a database for business
statistics, but has a very reliable White Pages section.

The obituary also gave a nickname for Doris Jean. "Dee".

Then we tried what I often try when hitting a brick wall. I Googled "Doris Jean Kennedy Pittsburgh Pa". And one of the first sites that popped up was the site Spokeo. Now I am not a huge fan of Spokeo, but one of the things it does is groups together people who might be related based on other records. And there they were: Doris Jean Kennedy, also known as Dee J. Kennedy. David Kennedy. Michelle Kennedy. John Kennedy. All the people we know are Doris Jean's relatives.

And locations: Lived in: Pittsburgh, PA.  Notice the past tense? Lived in? And then we looked at the current location. A totally new location. But a totally plausible location for someone of retirement age.

Back at the Reference USA database we did a new search using the new city and state name and found a listing for Doris Jean KENNEDY that totally matched up with a John KENNEDY at the same address. And a phone number.

Now the gentleman is only a phone call away from reconnecting with his cousin.

Remember to utilize all types of techniques when doing family history research! Don't limit your searches to genealogy resources.


The following books were added to the local history collection in the month of April:
April 2018:
  • First Congregational Church of Lodi 
  • Granger’s Greats in Coddingville Cemetery 
  • Granger’s Greats in East Granger Cemetery 
  • Granger’s Greats in Reid Hill Cemetery 
  • New Lakeshore Electric 
  • Trolley Trails through Greater Cleveland and Ohio 
  • Trolley Trails through Greater Cleveland and Ohio from 1910 to Today


Ancestry Library Edition
Reference USA - White pages
Surname frequency in the US
Smith surname

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Military Records of our Ancestors

Picture courtesy of Wikimedia.

Just in time for Memorial Day!

On Tuesday, May 8th, the Medina Library will be offering a class on the Military Records of our Ancestors at 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Community Room.

Focusing on U.S. Military Records, this one hour class will cover:

  • How to tell if your ancestor served in the military
  • The different types of military records
  • What information you will find in them and 
  • Where to locate the records. 

Space is limited, so please REGISTER HERE!

Dates of inception for the different branches of the U.S. Military:

  • United States Army - 14 June 1775
  • United States Navy - 13 October 1775
  • United States Marines - 10 November 1775
  • United States Coast Guard - 4 August 1790
  • United States Air Force - 18 September 1947

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Medina Fire That Wasn't

Many people are aware of the two large fires that devastated Medina, one in 1848 and one in 1870.

The 1870 fire in particular is well documented in newspaper articles of the time, and in subsequent history books. In the 1970's, a University of Akron student, Edward Kilbane, wrote his thesis paper on them. And they were a topic for a Medina Bicentennial talk by assistant Fire Chief  Mark Crumley earlier this month. Gazette  article HERE.

The first edition after the fire is dated 27 May 1870.
The above headline was top and center on the front page.

The Medina Gazette's offices were at the corner of Washington and Court street and were among the burnt buildings. It took them over a month to get up and printing again.

The site Everything Medina site has a picture from the Medina County Historical Society of the 1870 fire:

Photo from the Medina County Historical Society.

But if you go to the Cleveland Memory Project and search for Medina Fire, two of the five results are to photos of the Medina Fire That Wasn't.

This is the first of two photos that are attributed to the Fire of 1870.
Caption reads "Business people and citizens of Medina, Ohio watch as Firefighters attempt to put out
the blaze in the historical buildings of Medina County Square, Ohio.

This picture is taken from a slightly different angle.  Its caption reads "After the disastrous fire of 1848, Medina again
 "rose from the ashes" like the mythical phoenix in 1870 after another fire that wiped out the historical business district. Given the massive reconstruction required, Medina is considered to provide one 

of the most complete examples of late 19th century architecture in the state of Ohio"

Notice how the second two pictures look nothing like the one from the Historical Society. Most of downtown Medina was destroyed in the 1870 fire, not just one building. Also, notice the "electrical" poles and hanging light in the two pictures. Look at the clothes on the people. See the bowler hat, the caps, the large flowered hats of the ladies?  All of these clues point to a later time period than 1870.

And that is because these pictures are NOT from the 1870 fire in Medina.

They are from another devastating fire that occurred in Seville in 1910.

Medina Gazette  9 Dec 1910, page 1.

The photo is quite dark in the above headline clipping. So I lightened it to get more of the detail:

Compare the roof line in the Cleveland Memory photos with the newspaper photo. Identical, right?
Even the rubble where the building walls used to be and the scorched sign on the half wall match up with the photos.

So how did such a mix-up occur? Simple human error.

And I have to confess, I played a MAJOR role in the confusion. And this is my attempt to fix it.

A few years ago a couple of graduate students were working on a digitization project towards their Masters in Library Science. They were working with the Medina Library's small collection of photographs. They came to me with the two photos and asked if they were pictures of the 1870 fire. And I said that it was the only fire I was aware of.

MISTAKE #1 - I should NEVER have assumed that Medina County only had one (or two) disastrous fires.

MISTAKE #2 - I should have researched it better at the time. Because these students were in post graduate school, I felt they were capable of doing the research to verify.

MISTAKE #3 - They took my word for the photo identification.

 A few years went by and I started noticing that details in the picture didn't match the time period. I reached out to trusted experts in Medina County History - Joann G. King and Tom Hilberg. Both have been curators at the Medina County Historical Society Museum and past presidents of the Society. Both came back with the same answer. That the pictures in the Library's collection were most likely of a Seville fire. That information gave me a place to start. Browsing through Lee Cavin's book, A Book About Seville, Ohio 1816-1966, I found this photo of the Walker Block before the fire:

A Book about Seville, 1816-1966 by Lee Cavin, page 63.
Follow up newspaper articles detail how Pharmacy owner, Frank Saal  was fatally burned in the fire.
Parts of the roof line and the surrounding buildings were a match to the photos. With the information from Cavin's book, the newspaper articles were easy to find and confirmed Joann's & Tom's identification.

UGH!! I had made several horrible mistakes and now it all was immortalized on the Cleveland Memory Project web site.

I reached out to the then head of the project and explained the foul up. He said that he couldn't just change it on my word. The original people who had digitized and uploaded the photos needed to log in and change it. Unfortunately, the person who knew the sign in information has left the area.

MISTAKE #4 - No way to make corrections to a history site???

I will submit this information to the Cleveland Memory Project again. Perhaps it isn't too late to correct this fiasco.

"To err is human..." - Alexander Pope

A Book About Seville 1816-1966 by Lee Cavin
Everything Medina: The 1870 Fire: a Phoenix Rises from the Ashes
History of Medina County and Ohio 
Images of America Medina by Gloria Brown
"Lightening (sic) Strikes Twice" by Edward Kilbane, University of Akron, circa 1974.
Medina County Coming of Age 1810-1900 by Joann G. King.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Genealogy SLAM!

Liz Pearson, speaker and specialist
 in English and Welsh genealogy
Elizabeth (Liz) Pearson

Liz Pearson is a native of England whose foray into genealogical research started about 35 years ago when an attempt to identify her grandmother turned into her very own family history addiction. Since then, she has spent thousands of hours combing the myriad English and Welsh archives in the UK, the US, and online for herself and others. Liz is an expert on ecumenical (1538-1837) and civil law (1837-Present) and the broad spectrum of Parish Chest Records.

Liz's two hour presentation covers three main areas and record sources:
1. Ecumenical Law; Parish Chest Records: (1538 - 1837) Baptisms, Marriages by Banns or License and Burials.

2. Civil Records of Birth, Marriage and Death. (1837-Present)

3. Census Records: Pre-1841; 1841- 1911, plus 1939 pre- WW2 Registry. 

Lisa Rienerth, Reference Staff &
Genealogy Specialist at
The Medina Library

Lisa Rienerth, Medina Reference Staff

Lisa is a 10 year veteran at the Medina Library and has been conducting genealogy research for 19 years. She completed the NGS American Genealogy Home Study Course and has taken numerous genealogy research classes through the Western Reserve Historical Society.  She has also taught countless classes for the library. 

The Family Search web site has undergone many changes recently. Lisa will describe these changes and instruct us on how to make the most of the one of the best FREE genealogy sites. 

Register HERE.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Genealogy Slam!

The spring genealogy program has undergone a transformation for 2018.

Instead of a Friday evening , we will be meeting on a Saturday afternoon during regular library hours. Same fun! Same refreshments! And yes, there will be DOOR PRIZES!

English Village
Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash
And we are very pleased to announce that we have Liz Pearson coming in to teach the basics of English and Welsh genealogical research.

Liz was born and brought up in England and has been sharing her expertise with northeast Ohio researchers for years!

And our own Lisa Rienerth will be explaining all the changes at and how to get the most from the new system!

Join us on April 28th at noon.   Sign up HERE.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Julia Hach - a Tribute

1996 Plain Dealer
Women's History Month is March. And that means ALL women's history. Not just the famous or infamous, but everyone of us. With that in mind, I want to pay tribute to a local woman who was very outstanding in her own understated way - Julia Hach.

Julia was raised on the family's dairy farm, Waltona, south of Medina on Route 3. Waltona was known for its advanced farming practices and award winning Guernsey cows. Newspaper articles from the 1940's regularly listed the milk and cream output from the Hach family farm's cows. The pragmatism learned on the family farm guided Julia all her life.
Medina High School Yearbook - 1949

Julia graduated from the Medina High School in 1949. From newspaper accounts and her yearbook listing, we find a young woman who was very active and very well rounded. She participated in 12 different clubs, including Glee Club, Choir, Orchestra, Band and Brass Sextet. I never knew that Julia was musical!

As a young woman coming of age during World War II, she dreamed of joining the Navy Nurses Corp. But she needed her father's permission and he refused to sign the papers.

Not to be deterred from her dream, Julia did become a nurse, going to school at the St. Luke's School of Nursing and later on the staff of St. Luke's, she worked her way to head nurse.

During her years of nursing, Julia also followed her love of animals, owning and raising standard-bred horses; trotter's and pacer's. Gazette articles from the 60's and 70's follow the success of her horses.

After retiring from the hospital, Julia worked for the U.S. Post Office, the Hinckley branch. In 1992, she retired for the second time.

It was around this time, the mid 1990's, that I made Julia's acquaintance when she came to the library to research her family history. Like all genealogists, we shared life stories and the proverbial "brick walls" of genealogy research. Julia learned of my service in the U.S. Air Force.

You see, Julia's biggest regret in life was that she had not served in her country's military forces. But she never lost her patriotism nor her admiration for women who had served. When the Women in Military Service to America Memorial was just a dream, Julia worked tirelessly as the Medina County field representative. She was among the thousands of women at its dedication in 1997.

Women in Military Service to America Memorial, Washington, D.C.

In the spring of 1997, Julia started contacting Medina County women who had served in the United States military. Her purpose was to compile their military biographies and donate the material to the local historical societies in order to document the contributions they had made to their country. That May, she gathered these women together to march in the annual Medina Memorial Day Parade, as they have done every year since then.

For most of these women, it was the first time that their service had been recognized.

In November 1999, many of these women veterans gathered to commemorate Veteran's Day together at a potluck luncheon at the Ohio National Guard Armory in Medina. After the luncheon, the women decided to formally organize as The Medina County Women of the Military.  Julia published the first of two volumes of Medina County Women of the Military from the compiled biographies. And she left behind enough material for the second volume

Besides forging a firm friendship, another life-changing development came out of our acquaintance. Julia connected me with my cousin Sharon Helmick Nicholson. One day, I was complaining about a "brick-wall" problem I was having with one of my ancestral lines. Julia asked which surname, to which I replied "Helmick". She told me that Sharon Nicholson, who I knew from the Military Women, was a Helmick. And I said, "Oh, but my Helmick's are from West Virginia. I said "Sure, right, Julia. Sharon and I are related." Several days later, Sharon showed up at the library with two big binders on her Helmick family. After studying it for some time, we determined that Sharon and I are fifth cousins, once-removed. And we have discovered that many of our family members share traits, such as a love for travel!

Medina Sun article from 25 May 2000. Julia is holding the flag. Cousin Sharon is right behind her.
All of these women are among the founding members of the Medina County Women of the Military.

Around this time, Julia became president of the Medina County Genealogical Society and she approached me about doing a series of genealogy classes at the library. We set it up and for several years she did a 6 class series for the Medina Library. The classes were always full. And her students were well prepared.

When Julia passed away in 2001, I took over the classes for one session. Even with all of Julia's handouts to work from, it was a huge task. And exhausting. But she had made it seem easy.

Julia would hate this tribute to herself. She never looked for attention or praise. She saw a job that needed doing and she did it.

But just like the military women whose service she recognized and documented, Julia deserves this recognition for ALL of her many contributions.

Julia L. Hach:
     Postal worker
     Horse raiser
     Bird watcher

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Medina County Women of the Military Volume II, Medina County Women of the Military, 2005.
Medina County Gazette
     1 Jan. 2001
     6 Oct., 2001, p. A-2
Medina High School Yearbook - 1949
Medina Sun, 25 May 2000.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

New Beginnings..

It is nearly spring...

A time for new beginnings...

And a great time for babies!

A co-worker recently became a father for the second time - Congratulations, Dan & Katie!

This event inspired me to write about all the different ways we document the birth of a new child.

And of course, this means these are ALL the different resources we should be looking for...
  1. Early pregnancy test - Okay. This one is gross! I know, because my daughters told me so. But I actually saved the EPT stick from my second daughter. BTW, the color fades over the years. The "ick' factor can be eliminated by taking a picture of the test. Don't expect to find may of these.
  2. Gender reveal party - This is a relatively recent phenomenon, but it is possible that it is documented with invitations, photos, and a guest book.
  3. Ultrasound scans - Now, ultrasound scans are routine and expectant parents get copies to take home and share. First photo of baby? Probably an ultrasound.
4. Baby Showers - usually given shortly before the baby arrives, this tradition developed to help new parents defray the costs that come with a new baby. Invitations, pictures, guest books and possibly...

5. Baby books - Usually one of the gifts received at a baby shower, a Baby Book is an album just to document every moment of the young human's life. First food - listed. First BM -noted. Also includes a basic ancestry chart. Aunt Bonnie used to create quilted masterpieces.

Aunt Bonnie's quilted baby books are treasured heirlooms in our family.

6. Hospital pictures - These first photos are taken in the nursery in the hospital. Usually, you can purchase pre-printed birth announcements designed to hold these miniature photos.

Baby bracelet like the one pictured to below were used in the 1950's & 60's to make sure that mother & baby were correctly matched up when it came time to leave the hospital.

7. Hospital announcements - sometimes part of the "birthing" package at the hospital are paper birth announcements to send out to friends and family. Most hospital have moved to online pictures and announcements. Because of HIPAA and privacy concerns, most also require a password to access.

8. Mother's Certificate - a decorative birth certificate from the hospital. It is not an official government document and cannot be used in lieu of the official birth record. (see below)

While not official documents, Mother's Certificates can contain
information not found on the official birth certificate.

Did you know that footprints are also unique to the individual and can be used for identification?

9. Birth announcements - Commercial cards purchased and sent out by the parents.
10. Newspaper birth announcements - Aren't seen too often anymore, but local births used to be regularly published in the newspapers.

Birth announcements from a 1979 Peru, Indiana newspaper.
Privacy concerns have mostly eliminated such listings.
11. Birth record - The OFFICIAL birth record from the local government. In Ohio, it is registered with the local health department and the State Department of Vital Statistics. Did you know you can obtain a birth record for anyone born in Ohio after 1908 at your local health department? To learn more about how to do that, check out this BLOG POST.
12. Social Security Number - This should NOT be available for any living person. But you can often find a listing for deceased persons in the Social Security Death Index that is available on Ancestry Library Edition and
13. Baptism/christening - These are ceremonial rituals of different religions. If the information is not in the family documents, you have to contact the church or parish where the ritual took place. 
Baptism records don't always give the date of birth, as this one does.
But prior to the government's requirement for official birth records, a
baptism record may be the closest you can find to a birth record.
14. Family Bibles - A family Bible that records all the births, deaths and marriages is a rare heirloom indeed. BUT, if all the handwriting is with the same pen and penmanship, it means it was filled out by one individual and probably not filled out at the time of the event. Then you are relying on the memory and accuracy of that one person.

These births were obviously all written at the same time by the same person.
IF that person was the mother, she would have first hand knowledge of the births.
But does she remember all the dates correctly?

Birth of  the first, second, or last child spurs some people's interest in researching their family's history; picturing sharing it with their children one day...

Babies are such a nice way to start people.  - American humorist, Don Herold.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Extra! EXTRA! Read All About It!

If you are geek like me, I have some exciting news!

The Medina Library has just purchased several Wadsworth newspapers on microfilm.

Masthead from the Wadsworth Enterprise

What?!? You're not thrilled!

Wait. You will be.

First, how can you not love using newspapers for historical and genealogical research?

In newspapers you can find information on your ancestors that you cannot find anywhere else. Sure, you can find birth, marriage and death notices. But you also find information about your ancestor's real estate sales, businesses (and the ads they put in the paper), out of town visitors, vacation plans, engagements and illnesses.

Portage Sentinel 24 February 1847, page 4.
William Tagg followed his father, James, into
the painting and glazing business.

Not too long ago, I found a notice where one of my relatives hosted the birthday party for his mother-in-law. It included a list of all the guests. A whole list of people that can now be added to my research plans.

And when I was researching my 3X great-grandfather, James Tagg, I found a notice of his attendance at a GAR reunion. It told how the gathering was entertained by his stories from his Civil War ServiceApparently, he was a storyteller. Who knew?

Excerpt from a larger article on the Reunion of the 91st O.V.I.
Gallipolis Tribune 1 August 1894, page 3.

Cleveland Plain Dealer 6 November
1929, page 7. Clara was running for
a seat on the Cleveland Board of
Education. It was a position she
held for the rest of her life.
To learn more about online sites to do newspaper searches, look at this BLOG POST from 2 September 2015.

Now, in Medina County, the type of news reported in the papers changed over time. The early papers, 1830-1866, mostly consisted of national and political news. Many of these early papers affiliated with a particular political party and their articles reflected a strong bias. But when you do find information on a ancestor or local resident, you cherish it even more.

Some, like the one below, can fill in the gaps for a period when vital records are scarce or nonexistent.

The Watchtower 1838.
The notice gives us George MCCORMICK's birthday
and his father's name. We know he was apprenticed
to Noah BRONSON, who was an early settler of
Medina and a judge from 1823-1830. We also know
that George is sprightly and active and that Noah did
not have a high opinion of George's father.

Around 1870, more articles on local events and people start creeping into the paper. This trend continued until about 1960. Papers from the 30s, 40s and 50s, are FULL of social events that list everyone who attended and often describe the food served and the clothes worn. These details help give us insight into our ancestor's lives - the best of reasons to get excited about newspapers!

And the Medina County District Library has never owned any of the Wadsworth newspapers on microfilm, until now.

Here is the list:

Medina Watch Tower – 1 reel
Sep 12, 1838-Apr 14, 1841
June 2 & 9, 1841
Aug 4, 1841-Mar 2, 1842

Wadsworth Enterprise
– 3 reels
May 4, 1866 to April 25, 1877

Wadsworth News Banner – 26 reels
Feb 3, 1910- Dec 29, 1955

Wadsworth News – 6 reels
Oct 30, 1920-Oct 6, 1932
Feb 23-Sep 2828, 1933
Nov 2, 1933 –June 29, 1944

Now, besides the fact that Wadsworth is one of three cities within Medina County, what can we get out of these films?

First, the Wadsworth Library has the obituaries in the Wadsworth newspapers indexed as part of the Ohio Obituary Project on the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum website:  Access to more obituaries? That is always a good thing!

Next, imagine how my blog on the Wadsworth Coal Mines could be impacted by having access to these Wadsworth newspapers. The post would probably contain a lot more detail than I was able to glean from The Gazette.


The 1876 editions of the Medina Gazette have always been MIA (Missing In Action). This is critical for two reasons that come immediately to mind.
  1. 1876 was the American Bicentennial. As Medina is celebrating its Bicentennial, wouldn't you like to know how the county celebrated the first U.S. Centennial in 1876? Me too!
  2. 1876 was the year the H.G. Blake died and for years local historians (including myself) have searched for his obituary. If you want to know who Blake was, read this POST.
The Wadsworth Enterprise has its 1876 editions:

The Wadsworth Enterprise 19 April 1876, page 4.

NOW are you excited?  Me too!