Thursday, August 15, 2013

Erie County, Ohio

What do I say about Erie County, Ohio?  It is the only county where I have spent any time.  It was the late 80s and my son had a full scholarship to Bowling Green State University. We drove him up – all new territory for the three of us.  I remember how beautiful Kentucky was, especially the thoroughbred horse farms.  My other memory? There was a reception for freshmen and their parents. Everyone was so comfortable with each other, or knew each other, and they were so ‘Ohio’ -- except for us. I really don’t know how my son felt.  I didn’t feel welcomed; I suppose my husband felt that way, too. We were outsiders in this crowd of Midwesterners. Our son was a gifted musician and deserved his scholarship but I left him with some hesitation . . . this Florida boy . . .  we were strangers in a strange land – Ohio.  We made sure he found his dorm and I hoped I was wrong and that we hadn’t just left him in the lion’s den.

Did he stay? Well, it could be that after that initial reception he found his Ohio school mates more welcoming but lions did roar in off the Great Lake carrying lake-effect snow and freezing temperatures. And by the end of that first semester our Florida boy put down his trumpet, gave up the scholarship, and came home to Florida State to major in creative writing. I’m sure he could write about Ohio.

So this I know, it gets pretty darned cold in Erie County. When I started looking into county history and checked to see who our ancestors were there I found the same problem that I had with Darke and Miami Counties . . . Eire was formed from Huron County. Our ancestor lived in Oxford Township; probably close the border of the two counties. 

And I got so carried away with the genealogy and the puzzles there I ran out of time to look into the history of Erie/Huron County.  In the 1870 census there is my 4th great grandmother, Sarah "Sally" Case Carskadden (1785-1871). She lived at Four Corners. At first it looks as if this 84 year old woman was living by herself, but there was something about the name of the people next door, it rang a bell. . . they were her step-mother’s people. There has to be a story there. Why wasn’t she living with her own children?
Here is a photo of Sarah Case Carskadden.  Like so many farm women of this era she doesn't look happy, and her work-worn hands tell the tale that 'women's work is never done.' This is my mother’s 3th great grandmother on her father’s side – her father’s father’s family. She also favored her father’s mother’s family.  Echoes from the past.  

Clip art, photo Wikipedia

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