Genealogy Rule #1: The best ‘finds’ are the ones you were not looking for.
When I located the birth certificate at OHC for Charles Haddock, my maternal greatgrandfather, I discovered that his father’s name was Jasper Haddock, an ancestor previously unknown to my family. Then, in OHC’s newspaper microfilm archive, I found Jasper’s obituary in the 3/15/1905 Barnesville (Ohio) Whetstone, which mentioned that Jasper was a Civil War veteran!
Jasper’s military records revealed that he was one of the Ohioans who served in the
heralded 55th Massachusetts Colored Infantry, the unit consisting of the overflow of African-American recruits for the legendary 54th, featured in the 1989 movie, Glory. Jasper was wounded, 11/30/1864, in the Battle of Honey Hill, SC, a bloody engagement in which the 55th lost 1/3 of their soldiers in one afternoon. After the war, Jasper returned home to Captina (aka Guinea /Flatrock), a settlement of freed slaves near Barnesville. Jasper died in 1905, and was buried at Captina A.M.E. Cemetery, a long-forgotten African-American cemetery not easily found on maps.
Undaunted, my husband, 95-year-old Mother and I traveled to the former site of Captina, in
search of the cemetery, not knowing what we might find. On a dirt-and-gravel road, we managed to locate the cemetery. Many headstones were missing or broken. The A.M.E. church that once stood nearby was gone. And, we found no headstone for Jasper Haddock.
Disappointed, we briefly stopped in Barnesville to find the now-vacant Bethel A.M.E.
church that my mother remembered attending as a child. As we stood in front of the church, a stranger greeted us with a friendly ‘Hello’. We told him we had just returned from an obscure cemetery outside of town, in search of a distant ancestor. He said, “You mean Captina Cemetery?”, and then asked, “What’s the person’s name?” When we told him ‘Haddock’, he just smiled and explained that he (Hiram Bowen) just happened to be the volunteer caretaker of that cemetery. What were the odds?
Hiram then stunned us by stating that he could get a granite headstone for Jasper at no
cost to us, if we sent him his military records. We were amazed. And 6 months later, Hiram called to let us know the headstone had been placed!
We rushed to Captina to see the new headstone and to perform an impromptu dedication ceremony. The resulting video is now on YouTube for all to see.
Deborah M. Tracy
Ohio History Connection
My research is related to the History of Education of gifted children in Brazil.
I found that Brazilian history, to be better understood, must be related to American
history, from where the sources of great researchers and scholars on this topic come from
and have been widely read and cited by Brazilian educators, inspiring practices performed
This study is linked to the idea of circulation and production of knowledge in educational
The research I conducted in CHP occurred between March and June 2014.
I could have access to a vast collection of documents of interest to the research I have
been developing in Brazil.
In CHP’s archives are found documents of several authors who have worked with the
theme of education and psychology of gifted in the U.S. who established professional
relationships with each other (both via correspondence, and in person)
But due to the length of the doctoral stage of only two months, and in addition to the
enormous amount of documents found, I made the choice of prioritizing some of them,
namely: Leta Stetter Hollingworth, Catharine Cox Miles and authors related to Lewis
I also found a wealth of material that goes from the 1910s to the 1970s, but those were
not all consulted collections.
My experience at CHP was extremely happy and fruitful. I counted with the aid of the
entire team who, with all promptness and goodwill helped me in everything I needed for
the feasibility of data collection. In addition, my studies were facilitated by the
organization of the files which made it easy to obtain the materials and documents
independently when necessary.
For those interested in the History of Psychology, CHP is most certainly a reference place
to visit. Not only for the wealth of material, but also the organization and the people who
are part of that place.
Cecília Andrade Antipoff
University of Akron Center for the History of Psychology
“If He Hadn’t Shot the Town Sheriff…..
As the only grandchild on my mother’s side of the family, I spent a great deal of time with
my grandparents, Harry Robertson and Gertrude Kramer Weymouth, in Dayton, Ohio. Over
breakfast, my grandfather and I would plan for the day and I would learn several family
stories. He told me one morning that HIS grandmother was Hannah Good…”because she
was a good woman…”. I always remembered that as I started on genealogy as a hobby in
As I became school age, another story became the primary one. If I got a good grade card,
I would get $1. My grandfather would sigh and say, “It would be more if my Uncle Ike
hadn’t shot the town sheriff and we had to sell the farm to keep him out of jail.” As a six
year old, I would nod and about that time my mother would some in from the kitchen,
proclaim that the story was not true and to not tell me ‘stories like that’ because I would
go to school and tell everyone. After she left, he would light a cigarette and say that it was
true and that I should remember this.
This scenario played out several times a year (I was a good student) until junior high.
Then, a dollar just didn’t go very far and we neglected the routine…..but, I never forgot the
I retired in 2007 and now, having a lot of time on my hands with nowhere to go, I decided
to pursue my hobby a little more seriously. I found that I was eligible to join the Daughters
of the American Revolution through my maternal line—Hannah Good (that Good Woman)
married James D. Robertson in Cedarville, Ohio. James, ancestor had fought in the
Revolution and I needed their marriage record as part of my proof.
Since I live in Michigan, I called the Greene County Archives and asked for help. The
marriage record was no problem…..but, while on the phone, I asked about my childhood story. How would I go about researching this? I was advised that there were newspapers
available from that period and that my marriage license copy would be in the mail shortly.
Several days later, a rather large envelope came to the house. My goodness….that must
be quite the marriage license! Much to my delight, there was information about Isaac
Prugh Weymouth—my Uncle Ike. The Archivist wrote a short note and remarked that he
was ‘quite a character.’
Due to limited space, I learned that Ike did shoot Constable John Harris in 1883 in
Cedarville, Ohio and since there were ‘no witnesses’ he was not charged. Ike was quite the
‘media sensation’ and over the years he was in and out of jail for disorderly conduct and
such. Unfortunately, nineteen years after the event, he committed suicide at a sawmill in
Lagonda (October 6, 1902). His mother said that “he had never gotten over being falsely
accused”– however, frequent jail records seem to indicate otherwise.
We don’t talk about this in front of my mother.
Deborah Clark Dushane
Greene County Archives