Celebrate Ohio Statehood Day with These Resources

Today is Ohio Statehood Day. Happy 208th Birthday, Ohio! (You don’t look a day over 207!) What better way to celebrate than by checking out some great resources for Ohio research. Here are some of my favorites, including some that are rather off the beaten path:

  • Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953 at FamilySearch.org. Digital images of death certificates — gotta love ’em. You do need to be logged into FamilySearch to see the images. (Registration is free.)
  • Ohio History Central. An online encyclopedia of Ohio history. Remember — you need to learn the history of an area to begin to understand the people.
  • Ohio Memory. Digital images from collections all across the state.
  • Ohio Cemetery Locations by The Ohio Genealogical Society. The free version gives the township and county. OGS members can log in and get much more detailed information, including GPS coordinates, alternate names, condition, etc.
  • Roster of Ohio Soldiers at OGS’ Ohio Civil War Genealogy Center. This is data from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. However, this search is much more flexible. Unlike the CWSS site, here you can search by Soundex. You can also get an entire regiment or a specific company in a regiment.
  • Remarkable Ohio. Searchable database of more than 1,300 historic markers around the state. They even have an app for iPhone! (I’m still waiting for them to come out with a version for Android.)

There’s an interesting footnote to Ohio Statehood Day. Ohio considers 1 March 1803 to be its “official” statehood date, as that is the date that the state’s General Assembly first met. It’s the date you’ll see listed in virtually every resource. However, there is a pretty convincing argument that statehood day should actually be February 19, 1803, which is when Thomas Jefferson endorsed the legislation approving Ohio’s admission to the Union. What would Ohio be without a little political controversy? :)

Eber Johnson, 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery

Today, 25 July 2010, is the 145th anniversary of the 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery mustering out at Knoxville, Tennessee. In Company D was my ancestor Eber Johnson.

Eber was born in 1823 in Morgan County, Ohio to John and Eunice Johnson. John ¬†and Eunice remain a bit of an enigma. He was born in “Upper Canada” (Ontario) in 1794,1 came to the U.S. in 1817, and was naturalized in Morgan County in 18402. Eunice appears to have been born in New Jersey (according to the 1850 census). Unfortunately, I have been unable to track down any clues pertaining to her maiden name.

Eber married Ann Stevens, daughter of David and Rebecca (Dickinson) Stevens, 18 September 1853 in Morgan County3.

Although his service in the Civil War was brief (October 1864 – July 1865), Eber suffered long-lasting consequences to his health. On his declaration for an invalid pension on 23 May 1885:

“contracted Rheumatism & Rupture caused by exposure & hardships. That it was on a forced march from near Knoxville to Bean Station, Tenn. It was in the middle of Winter and we had to leave our overcoats, knapsacks, &c, and it was so severely cold that the water would freeze to our pantaloons. That he is now partly incapacitated from earning his living by manual labor in consequence of the above disabilities.”4

At the time of his death on 25 January 1894 in Lawrence County, Ohio, Eber received a pension of $17 per month and had very little other property. Ann’s application for a widow’s pension stated:

“My property consists of Forty one acres of land with a cheap frame house and log barn left to me by my husband in his will Valued at about 200 hundred [sic] dollars. My Tax on Said property is $4.50 anualy [sic]. I have no personal property out side of my house hold goods. I have no income of any kind out side of the Third I get off of the 41 acres of land and that there is no one legally bound to suport [sic] me. The above named 41 acres of land is located in Windsor Township Lawrence county Ohio.”5

Ann died 9 June 1923 in Windsor Township6. Both she and Eber are buried in Locust Grove Cemetery, Lawrence County, Ohio.

I have started pages for both Eber and Ann on WeRelate.org. I also have a series of pages devoted to members of the 1st Ohio Heavy Artillery.

Sources:
1. 1850 Federal census (population), Bloom Township, Morgan County, Ohio, p. 102.
2. Morgan County Historical Society, Genealogical Extracts from Naturalization Records, Morgan County, Ohio (McConnelsville, Ohio: by the Society, 1982), 23.
3. Morgan County, Ohio Marriage Book B, p. 560.
4. Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, Eber Johnson Civil War Pension File, Application 541396; Certificate 478879.
5. Affidavit of Ann M. Johnson, Ann Johnson Civil War Pension File, Application 593338, Certificate 402704.
6. Ann Johnson Death Certificate, certificate number 39359 (1923), Ohio Historical Society, Columbus.

More hours at the Ohio Historical Society

The Ohio Historical Society has just announced that the Historical Center and the Archives/Library will be open more hours! Beginning July 1, the hours will be:

  • Thursdays 10am – 7pm
  • Fridays and Saturdays 10am – 5pm

This is fantastic news, as the Historical Center and the Archives/Library are currently open only Thursday from 9am-9pm. It’s not the hours that they were open before the legislature slashed their budget, but it is certainly an improvement.

The full press release can be found at http://www.ohiohistory.org/about/pr/060310a.html

Revised edition of Ohio Towns and Townships

According to Tom Neel, Library Director at the Ohio Genealogical Society, OGS will be printing a revised edition of Ohio Towns and Townships to 1900: A Location Guide. OGS would like to hear from anyone with additions and corrections for inclusion in the new edition.

If you have such information, email ogs@ogs.org and put Ohio Towns & Townships in the subject line. OGS will collect data until mid-March.

OhioCivilWar150.org

The Ohio Historical Society has just launched a new website to raise awareness of Ohio’s role in the Civil War: OhioCivilWar150.org. The site features:

  • Digital collections, such as Ohio regimental battle flags
  • A timeline of Civil War events
  • News about upcoming events
  • Discussion forum
  • A section for teachers

I am looking forward to watching this site grow as we get closer to the sesquicentennial in 2011. (Is that really only a little more than a year away?!)