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Genealogy News from the Hayes Presidential Center

Upcoming classes:

2009 Classes Sponsored by the Keller Family and Friends in Memory of Marlo Snyder Keller

September 26, 2009 - Saturday - Beginning Genealogy, 9:30-11:30 $10.00 adult;
$5 student under 18
October 14, 2009, Wednesday - Internet Genealogy, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $10.00/$5.00
(last one until 2010)

Call 419.332.2081 to register.

Starting in September 2009, the Library and the rest of the Hayes Presidential Center closed on Mondays. We are still open 9 to 5 Tuesday through Saturdays and are happy to help with your research needs. See the end of the newsletter for information on how you can help us maintain our services.

Thanks to the following who have given donations of money or materials to the Hayes Library since the last newsletter:

Bill and Barbara Oliver- Friends of the Obituary Index
Dianne Level
Harvey Tate
Linda Neeley
Chris Brandt
St. Mary Parish, Millersville
Lisa Hasselbach
St. Joseph Church, Fremont
Helen Prill
Venus Breinich in Honor of Everett and Marie Albright
Hayes Library Staff in Memory of Doris Jane Johnson
Liberty Fund, Inc.
Thomas Daniszewski- Friend of Obituary Index – In memory of Albert A. Daniszewski and wife, Margaret R. Schell

New Books at Hayes Presidential Center Library

Please check our website often to see the list of wonderful new books we receive.

They only stay on this web page for about six months so check here often; you might be amazed at the gems to be found. One of them, just listed this month, is certainly worth looking at for the local connections and fascinating story.
Merv Hall

The WHITMORE SAGA Tales of Five Indian Captivesby W.M. Baillie; donated by Nira Beaschler is a wonderful book that is a blend of local history, genealogy, and great story telling. The family history spans several generations, numerous states and offers insights into Native American culture as well as the Revolutionary era settlers of New England.

The legend explored in this volume is as follows: in 1778 in Jerseytown, PA the Whitmore family is attacked by Indians. Peter and Maria, the parents as well as the oldest son and baby are killed, two children hide in the forest while the Indians take 5 of the children as captives. The children were soon split into two groups and lived with their captors, the Iroquois and the Delaware, for varying periods. There was no military response or attempt to recapture the children and no contemporary written account of the event.

This book seeks to explain, as far as possible, these events and their effects upon later generations of the family. The author devotes separate chapters to each of the children and how they were able to survive their captivity. For instance two were sold to whites when the tribes needed funds. This didn’t ensure freedom though as one of the children, Mary, was forced to serve an indenture to pay off the debt incurred by her rescuer.

The factual material until the children become adults is sketchy at best. Of most interest to this area is one of the boy captives, George. He disappears completely from all records until 1808 he is by then in his mid 30”s. He continues from then to prosper and produces a family of 2 boy and 5 girls. In 1830 the family moves to Margaretta Twp. in Erie County where their success continues. George dies in 1837 of complications from surgery.

His son John settled in Townsend Twp. (giving the name Whitmore to the area near Vickery and Townsend school). He became even more prosperous than his father leaving an estate “. . .valued at between $150,000 and $200,000. He owned 1500 acres of the best land in Sandusky County.”

In the concluding chapter the author attempts to reconcile the facts with the oral traditions. As the first written records of the massacre weren’t completed until almost 40 years after the event much of what has come down to us is problematic. For instance the five written accounts give dates varying from 1778-1782.

This is a scholarly, well-researched attempt to connect oral traditions with factual material (map on page ix omits Townsend Twp. yet Chapter 5 and index references the location). It can be read as family history, local history or a record of captive life among the Indians.

Web Sites of Interest

Genealogy Search on Google

This free genealogy site will help you use Google™ for your research. It will create a series of different searches using tips or "tricks" that will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google to find ancestry information on the Internet.


Newspapers can be an important part of your genealogy, as we know from obituaries. Here are some web sites to help you find newspapers you might be interested in and whether they are online and archived: This is a listing of mostly recent Ohio newspapers and their current websites, but there are also some older copies (but not what we genealogists would call old). Other states available at this website also. This is the Ohio page of US News Archives on the Web, but all states are available, listing the dates online. Only a very few are before the 1980’s. Newsbank provides access to 65 newspapers across the country with free searching, but they charge for full-text downloads. This is a link to various websites about newspapers; whether they are free or subscription, etc.

Michigan Death Records Seeking Michigan is a search site for Michigan archives. They recently added all the death certificates for 1897 to 1920, plus lots of interesting Civil War documents. Certainly worth a look if your Ohio relatives migrated north like so many did.

Here’s an example I downloaded, for free:

West Virginia Vital Records

And if your ancestors came from the south via West Virginia, be sure to check out their website There are collections of birth, marriage and death records from various WV counties, all listed in a sidebar with the dates covered.

And since Halloween is approaching…

Visit an online Crypt – an ancient cemetery with gravestones from 1687-1812, including some of President Hayes’ family

Go to and click on The Crypt.

Swiss Surnames

Here’s a website shown us by visiting Swiss author, Max Baumann.

This website is a comprehensive alphabetical listing of all the families holding citizenship in a Swiss community. Each entry contains information on the place of origin (i.e. community of citizenship), time of naturalization as well as previous place or country of origin. This site offers free access to some 48,500 entries, as compiled in the third edition of the "Familiennamenbuch der Schweiz" (Schulthess Polygraphischer Verlag, Zurich 1989). English version is available.

Max Baumann of Switzerland gave the Hayes Library a photograph of the birth house of Heinrich Baumann (1788-1853) and his wife, Verena Hartmann (1803-1862). Verena emigrated to Fremont, along with many of her children, and died there. This photo of the homestead at 18 Hauptstrasse, Villigen, Switzerland was taken in the

early 1900’s.

Past Issues of Genealogy News

If you are new to the Genealogy Newsletter you might be interested in the online archives of past issues –

Please Help Us Maintain Our Services

We need your financial support to help us secure our future. For full information on how you can help please go to the Summer 2009 Statesman on our website:

On page 2 and 3 are messages from Tom Culbertson and Kathy Boukissen detailing the financial situation, along with a form you can fill out to provide help.

Thanks for any help you can give us. We are grateful for all the kind words of support, the hundreds of hours donated by volunteers, the orders for obituaries and research, the memorial gifts, memberships and of course your outright donations.

Becky Hill
Head Librarian
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove
Fremont, OH 43420-2796

419-332-2081 ext. 31
419-332-4952 (fax) <> <>