Monday, August 25, 2014

Creating my own Coat of Arms, Part One

We have all done it.  At least once.  You typed your last name into a search box awaiting the Internets full knowledge of your family history.  You will usually wind up seeing a few links offering a way for you to purchase your family's coat of arms along with a brief history of the name.  If you are like me, it left a you with a generic coat of arms and a history that could cover very large sections of the world's population.

That first search is one of the things that got me to search my family history further on my own.  I have accomplished a small amount of what I hope to one day but I feel like I have enough information to make my own coat of arms.

Below is my second rough draft.  I haven't drawn in years but it is my hope that if I take my time it can grow to be impressive.  This draft took 30-45 minutes not including the extra research.

This version has a basic shield.  Most countries of note had shields that you could identify with them throughout the years.  My final draft will be using a shield from 1760 Germany.  The double headed eagle often symbolized the joining of two forces.  In my case I chose it to symbolize my marriage, a clover on the left for my Irish heritage and a Fleur-de-lis for my wife's French heritage.  

The seven inside boxes are for my eight great grandparents and how I chose to recognize them or what their heritage gave to me.

Moose-  Both of my paternal grandparents were born in Maine.  Maine's state flag has a moose sitting under a tree.  Needless to say, I have some more research to do. (Nelson-Stevens Line)
Cross- The cross is for my Swiss heritage, Mender (Minger) Line
Mining Pick- The mining pick is for my Essex heritage, that owned several coal companies in southern Ohio
Red Cross- The red cross is for the line of my family that hails back to Donegal County, Ireland (Smith Line)
Eagle-  The eagle represents Germany for my Eberts Line
Clover- The clover represents another Irish line in my family (Ryan Line)
Bare Arm- A bare arm in heraldry represents hard work, the Rains Line was built upon manual labor as any I've studied.

The middle circle is representative of me.  The laying stag stands for peace and harmony, a creature that will only attack when provoked.  The oak tree usually stands for strength and nobility, for me it is for my research into genealogy and loyalty to my family. before, now and forever.

Give it a try yourself.  Coat of Arms can be as difficult or simple as you wish and there are plenty of resources online at your disposal.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ebert's and The Easter Flood of 1913

 "North of Mound between Center and Glenwood Flood - ColumbusO3-25-13"
Ohio Historical Society
Easter is a week away, April 20th, 2014.  Over 100 years ago, Easter came early, March 23rd.  It proved to be a day of great disaster across the Midwest United States.  Tornadoes in  Nebraska and in my family's case, what stands as Ohio's most devastating flood.  The Great Flood of 1913 dealt its biggest damage in Columbus and Dayton.  From The Columbus Evening Dispatch (at present, The Columbus Dispatch)

    "At 8:20 Tuesday morning the government gauge at Mound street showed 21.9 feet, six-tenths higher than ever recorded in Columbus".

Nearly 100 people died in Columbus, with the Scioto River raging and overflowing into the westside.  Over 4,500 buildings were either destroyed or damaged.  The banks of the Scioto and Columbus as a city, would never be the same again.

The personal connection to this story is my 2nd great grandfather and grandmother, Christian Edward Eberts and Margaret Cecilia Leonard.  It cannot always be easy to have an emotional connection to your ancestors past your own grandparents.  The Eberts are a special case for me, the whole lot of them really.  My grandmother, Mary Lou (Eberts) Rains, lost her mother, Helen Mary Smith, to tuberculosis only a few months before the age of two.  Christian and Margaret cared for Mary Lou until she married my grandfather in 1948 (Harry Eberts, Mary Lou's father, is another topic, another day).  My parents had a great deal of influence in terms of molding into the person I am today but there is no one I knowingly molded myself after, looked up too, or tried to please as much as my grandmother.  So looking back at Christian and Margaret, bringing in, and raising one of the people of most impact in my life, I can only assume that they themselves were of the same quality.
Top Row Standing: Cecilia Josephine Eberts, William Howard Eberts, Mary Margaret Eberts, Harry John Eberts, Helen Eberts, Bernard Eberts
Sitting: Louis E. Eberts, Margaret Cecilia Leonard, Christian Edward Eberts, Uncle Red? (Christian had 5 brothers)

The Eberts Clan, pictured above, had there start on Thanksgiving Day, 1897.  Christian and Margaret married in Saint Augustine Church of New Straitsville, Ohio.  The couple moved around, to and from Columbus until they built their "big frame house" on Skidmore Street just south of Broad Street.  Here is an excerpt from Mary Margaret (Eberts) Rudolph's, A Story of My Family (pictured above, Mary Lou's aunt)

     "These were the happy years and we were located just a block away from Holy Family Church and School, where we all received our early training.  Just three years after we were in our home the tragic flood of 1913 took place.  We were all together, safe and free of the flood waters but the loss of lives and the damage that took place was all around us.  Over a hundred persons lost their lives and many too had no home to return to or their homes were not liveable.  Children we had gone to school with were among the casualties--  the numerous hearses that lined the street around the church impressed my memory so much that I have never forgotten (Blogger's Note- Mary would have been 7 at the time of the flood).  Other memories too, of the refugees that filled our home and my Dad(Christian) running as fast as he could coming from the Furnance telling people to get to safety as the flood was coming.  He made it home just before the swirling waters could overtake him.  God had spared us from any loss."

The house on Skidmore was eventually bought by Holy Family Church.  In a letter to the Pastor in regards to a "Founders Day", Louis E. Eberts had this to say about the flood of 1913,

   "I have just had a thought about the house of "Eberts Hill." The kids called it that.  I think it was the only house in the whole flooded area that had no water, even in the cellar.  We had a house full of people, some of whom had been taken off their roofs on State Street.  Just a block away or so away."

One of the worst weather events in Ohio's history were made at least a little better in part to Christian and Margaret Eberts.  I know without a doubt they had an affect on my life.  I can't end this post any better than Mary Rudolph ended her story, so here it is,

   "Now as the years have gone past and we all have grown older, we be thankful to see the fruits of this love being passed on to the next generation.  We hope too in their lives they share this happiness with their children in the years to come"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mansfield the Painter

One of my first posts reference my 4th great grandfather, who happened to be a painter.  I can't rule out that he was the Michelangelo of mid 1800's central Ohio but he was likely just a simple painter of walls and such.  Mansfield Rains (1820/24-1906) certainly lived liked a starving artist.  Through city of Columbus directories, which all state him as a painter, I tracked him moving to a new address every year, sometimes twice. (a chunk of examples;  74 Maple, ?? Chestnut, 148 N High third floor, 21 N Lazelle, 182 East Town, East Walnut, 211 E Naghten, 149 S Fifth 3, 149 S Fifth 1, 79 E Spring, 480 S 6th...).  The thought of that makes you appreciate the walls and roof over your head, especially since those examples are from the later stages of Mansfield's life.  Mansfield is one of my dead ends from my four main surnames (is there a genealogy term for them?).  Mansfield is the last of the Rains (spelling probably changes), having never found him in his home state of Virginia.  My next project is to track him through Pinterest or Google Maps, with hopes that something visual will make something pop.

Record of Marriage, Mansfield Rains and Loretta Montgomery.
9th of April, 1844 Columbus, Ohio

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gramma's Meat Grinder and Bologna Salad Recipe

Over the years I have had my fair share of bologna salad on long car rides and fishing trips.  For my mother it was an everyday type occurrence.  Grinding your own meats, which has become popular again, was a modern marvel around the beginning of the 1900's.  My Gramma's version is a Universal meat grinder #2.

As you can see, it has ground it's fair share of meats (nothing more than bologna I believe).  I cleaned it up some, especially the parts that actually come into contact with the meat.  These became a common wedding gift of their day, which is why they remain so available today.  A simple Ebay search and you will find hundreds of them in relative good shape for less than $20.

Talking with my mother I found that we shared the same excitement for cranking them as children.  Odd but I guarantee that it holds true for today's youth as well.  I asked if she recalled Gramma ever using it for anything other than bologna salad..."maybe ham salad?", so it didn't see multiple types of uses.  At first glance it is just an old meat grinder but to me it is another opportunity to get closer, to understand those that are no longer with us.

The bologna salad recipe below is from my mother, which can't be much different if at all from my gramma's. Like many of the recipes I have tried to learn from her...there isn't one.  She has the ability to just throw things together almost from muscle memory while getting a consistent result every time.  With that said, below is my attempt at writing it down.  You could try to fancy the recipe up by adding some things, or higher quality ingredients...don't.  It isn't healthy and isn't very adult, which is why we all love it so.  My Gramma was not one to use spices or seasonings, even salt.  Between her, my grandfather and 11 children, getting something to please that many mouths was not easy, certainly not affordable.


1 pound chunk bologna (order at deli, not packaged slices)
3-4 heaving spoons of Miracle Whip (do not substitute)
4-5 hard boiled eggs

Tear or cut the bologna chunk into quarter sized pieces and slowly crank through meat grinder (you can probably get a similar result with a processor but I don't recommend it).

Run hard boiled eggs through grinder.  Transfer bologna and eggs to bowl if not already, add Miracle Whip and mix.

Set covered in fridge for at least an hour for best results.  Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

Editor's Note: Not everyone can handle bologna salad on car trips or boats, use with caution.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The (1st) Aunt Down the Street

My first childhood home was only a block or two from one of my father's childhood homes.  The area has fallen into hard times, even more so than when we moved nearly 20 years ago.  Every few years we drive by the old house, built in 1928.  We planted a small pine tree a year or so before we moved and it has become impressive over these past two decades.  Thinking back on that time as someone who now has a deep invested interest in genealogy my thoughts go to my great grand aunt Nelly.  Nellie (Essex) Borror lived several houses down on the same street.  We often visited, or at least to a 5-6 year old it felt often.  Aunt Nelly collected things.  Not in a hoarder sense but the Essex line of my line family certainly has trouble letting things go.  My sister and I often came home with plastic figures of some kind, small California Raisins figures, clown coin banks, to name a few.

I never knew much about Aunt Nelly other than that her name was my father's nickname.  I hope to change that soon.  I have already heard of her confrontational relationship with her once husband, Harry Borror, a influential construction/real estate man in Columbus and the death of their only son, Rollin Borror, at the age of 19 in a auto accident.

Nellie was the scribe behind many of the family notes I have.  With that in mind I hope that it isn't too late to find out more about her and her story.

Dolores (Mender) Nelson, [Child], Ronald (Rollin) Borror, Nellie (Essex) Borror, Mary (May?) ???? and Edna (Essex) Mender....Grandmother, Great Uncle, Great Grand Aunt, ?? and Great Grand Mother

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Facebook Time

Meet You in Ohio is now on Facebook,

Not the biggest fan of Facebook, or its group page user interface but it the easiest way to reach my main audience, my family.  Like it, share it, embrace it.  Most of the genealogy blogger/research topics will remain on the blog, while the posts that reference family history/ancestors will make appearances in both places.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef, Part 2

[Pictures will be added later, phone is...drying]

This is the second half of my Corned Beef recipe which deals with cooking the Corned Beef and vegetables.  Part I, which covers brining, can be found HERE.  Part II can be done with a store packaged corned beef if you do not want to brine your own brisket.


This recipe feeds 12-16 people as an estimate.  I prepared this for 8 adults and two very small children and had nearly half a platters worth leftover.  Adjust as needed.

  • 8 lbs Corned Beef Brisket
  • 3 lbs Small Red Potatoes
  • 1 Jumbo White Onion
  • 2 lbs of Carrots
  • 1 large cabbage
  • Beef Broth

Rinse brisket off with water, add to stock pot and cover with beef broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for six hours (or 50 minutes per pound).

Leaving broth in pot, carefully transfer brisket to a glass pan.  Cover with foil and set in the oven @170.

In stock pot add washed and halved red potatoes, quartered onions and coined carrots, boil for 40 mins or until vegetables are soft.

Add quartered cabbage to pot, boil 15-20 minutes.  Remove pot from heat.  Remove Brisket from oven and slice into servings.

Serve with horseradish and soda bread