I consider genealogy a hobby.
I consider genealogy a hobby.
I have not taken the time to be a real genealogist, as I considered my mother, Louise Cornish, or a distant relative, Luella Case, to be.
I went to libraries, court houses, cemeteries, historical societies and genealogy meetings with my mother and continue to do that when time allows. Due to the combined efforts of all three researchers' material, I was able to join the DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution.
The purpose of the Daughters of the American Revolution is to honor and preserve the legacy of your patriot ancestor. The ancestor had to provide service between April 19, 1775 (Battle of Lexington) and Nov. 26, 1783 (withdrawal of British troops from New York.) The ancestor could be a signer of the Declaration of Independence or provide military service, civil service or patriotic service.
My mother and I attended one of those genealogy meetings and the speaker pointed out odd places that family histories can be found. One of the places the speaker mentioned was yard sales and flea markets.
The year was probably 1998, or thereabouts, when I stopped at a yard sale in Upper Arlington. There was a box of books, and among them were two beautiful, soft leather bound booklets with an image of a baby embossed on the front of each. The touch of the leather was as soft as a new baby's skin. I was curious to look inside and after carefully opening the booklets I found they were baby books with three generations of family history recorded.
Along with the baby booklets, I found a 1926 school autograph book from Marysville, Ohio. I thought to myself, "How can a person put this in a yard sale?" Then I remembered the speaker saying, "Save those things from destruction." I gave the seller $10 and protectively took my treasure home. I thought that I would give the books to the Marysville Historical Society, but it was always on the "to do" list.
Originally, my mother and I joined the Delaware City Chapter DAR, but after her death, I transferred my membership to the Ann Simpson Davis Chapter DAR in Columbus. I met a new member there named Marilyn. Of course, the usual ice-breaker is discussing your ancestry. When Marilyn and I first met, I never thought about the baby books that I kept all of those years.
At our most recent meeting, Marilyn and I were discussing her family from Marysville. I had no recollection of the babies' names appearing on those booklets hidden away, but curiosity got the cat!
When I arrived home, I immediately dug out the treasures and quickly discovered that Marilyn was one of the babies. I had just learned her maiden name, Meade, and to my amazement, upon checking the names in those precious little books I realized I had made friends with the lady whose baby book I had purchased so long ago.
The second book was her brother's, and the high school autograph book belonged to her mother.
It is another story how the baby books ended up at the yard sale, but Marilyn had no idea what happened to them and she was shocked and very happy to have them back.
A lesson well learned!
You are invited to attend our Aug. 10 meeting, during which Jan Augenstein of Marion will present a program on Sacagawea at 7 p.m.
Jan, who has loved history since she was a young girl, shared her interests with the students she taught for 32 years. One of the many volunteer roles she plays is serving as state chairman of DAR Schools.
For information, call (614) 889-1182.
Jo Cornish-Gerwig is a Powell Liberty Historical Society board member.