This is one of my favorite pics of Dad that resurfaced for the funeral.
Now that I’ve managed to take a deep breath, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who took some time out of their busy lives to offer support, and comfort, and to lend a helping hand to me, my sisters and brother, and to Lana while we dealt with our unexpected loss. It was especially endearing to note that the hundreds that came to calling hours all remembered my dad in pretty much the same vein...he was a character. He made a lot of people laugh.
I think that no matter how old or young you are, you are never quite prepared for the toll the death of a parent will have on you both physically and emotionally. We all deal with that on a personal level and, for me, I chose to focus on memories of my dad mostly from when I was a little girl because, after all, he was my daddy. And he made sure to teach me a bunch of practical things that all little girls should know, like:
~How to properly hold your stick when playing pool and how to avoid scratching.
~How to bait your hook so the bait doesn’t fly off when you cast. When to use “minnies”, and when to use worms, and how to gently take the hook out to release your fish without harm if they weren’t intended for dinner.
~The proper positioning of your fingers in your mouth in order to produce a LOUD whistle that will get people’s attention.
~The proper positioning of your fingers on the bow-string to allow your arrow to fly straight and true (and the difference when using a compound bow.)
~How to approach a dog that doesn’t know you.
~How to use a mitre box and which saws to use for different projects.
~The name of every tool in his toolbox (and standing by to assist him when he was working under the car. Dad: Hollie, hand me a 3/4 socket wrench.)
~How to load, unload, and clean his shotgun. (And explaining that a shotgun was the only gun a woman ever needed to protect herself at home. Dad: Just hold it at hip-level and pull the trigger.)
~How to change a flat tire.
How he bought me my first guitar when I was 10 years old and how pleased he was when I sat down and picked out Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” by ear.
How he still had a tape for his reel-to-reel tape recorder of me singing “Ring of Fire” from when I was about two feet tall.
How he came to my house several years ago and showed me how to change the plugs and wires on my car.
How he got WAY too much pleasure teasing me and laughing about how hard it was for me to learn how to ride a bike. Every. Time. I saw him.
How his strong, baritone voice sounded belting out old country songs by Ferlin Husky, Faron Young, Hank Snow, Hank Williams (Senior), and Johnny Cash while he was getting ready for work in the mornings…
“I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away
When I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away
Some bright morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away
To a land on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away…”
And so you have…
Rest in peace, Dad.
“We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men… We are who we are because they were who they were. It’s wise to know where you come from, who called your name.” ~ Maya Angelou
Sometime in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s I stopped by to visit my paternal grandmother, Erma, and she took me down into her basement saying that she had something that she wanted to give to me. I must have been around 21, because I didn’t have a car or my license to drive until then because I either walked everywhere that I wanted to go or hopped on a city bus during inclement weather. I was surprised and touched when she pulled out some old quilt tops that she had made and asked me if I wanted them because I was the only granddaughter that she knew of that sewed.
And I did love to sew. I spent time when I was young with the Mary-Martha Fellowship at the Mennonite Church that I went to and with my favorite Sunday School teacher, Martha King, learning stitches and embroidering. My maternal grandmother taught me to basic knitting and crocheting and I remember knitting lots of headbands with variegated yarn. Because I was a kid in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s it was a time when fashions were changing and kids were splitting open the seams of blue jeans and inserting calico material to make bellbottoms. I did this, too, and also did a lot of embroidery on my jeans. At that time, embroidery was my favorite thing to do (besides reading) and I used to take whatever I was working on to church with me and work on it while sitting in the pew during services. And…I majored in Home Economics in high school along with music, art, and English – all those things that absolutely would not help me to get a job later in life. But I certainly can entertain myself!
I believe that my grandmother told me that she had made those quilt tops during The Depression but had never gotten around to actually finishing them up. So she wanted me to have them because she didn’t think that she ever would. So I stored them away in tissue paper to keep them safe and have hauled them around with me wherever I have lived. In the small town where I raised my children, there was a house over on the next block that, for whatever reason, was selling off the contents of the house in yard sales for several weeks. Because it was a small town, we could walk most everywhere that we wanted to go and walked by this house often. One day my daughter and I were walking by and noticed that there was one lone item standing in the front yard that had a sign on it that said “FREE” and then I noticed that it was an old, handmade quilting frame. Yes! Perfect! My daughter and I picked it up and carried it down the alley.
A couple of years ago, I got the quilt tops out and made some minor repairs where the thread had come loose from dry rot and then packed them away again. Soon, though, as soon as time permits, I will start to work on them since I have the space to spread out and get busy. I cherish these quilt tops as being a part of the family that has been entrusted to me and I’ll give one to each of my children as I finish them up.
One of the reasons why I adore these quilt tops is because they showed me a different side of my dad’s mother. I never suspected that she sewed. It seemed at the time like a small bond between us. My two grandmothers lived for a time right across the alley from each other, which is, of course, how my parents met. When I was in 2nd grade, my maternal grandmother went to live with her cousin and we moved into Grandma’s house, so for a while, we lived right behind my dad’s mom and my dad’s sister lived a couple of houses away. Two of my cousins and an aunt lived with Grandma, two more cousins lived nearby, and we were mostly pretty close to the same age. My grandmother’s house had a parlor-ish front room with covers on the furniture that we, as kids, were not allowed to enter. What I remember the most about my grandmother at this time was that she had housework duties scheduled. Although I don’t really recall what that schedule was, I’m pretty sure that she did laundry on Monday (sometimes we got to help sprinkle the clothes, roll them up, put them in a plastic bag and into the refrigerator), because Tuesday was ironing day.
She had a big metal glider on her front porch and petunias in flower boxes on the banister. In her back yard was a big bed of peonies that we kids were supposed to stay away from. That was something that we always kept in mind while playing games of “Mother May I”, “Witch in the Well”, “Colored Eggs”, “Red Light – Green Light”, and “Freeze Tag”. The fence surrounding the backyard was bordered with marigolds and zinnias (with which my Aunt Dorothy taught me how to save seeds) and there were irises surrounding the house (with which Aunt Dorothy taught me how to divide). Also in the backyard was a huge cherry tree with sour cherries that were not so good for eating, but great (I hear) for making pies. Just outside her fenced in backyard was a handful of apple trees that produced very sour green apples (Which I didn’t like, but some of the neighborhood kids did.)
I’ve not been able to find much of a paper trail for this grandmother, but there are some things that I do know through various documents. Erma R. Minnie Pittman was born 06 August 1907 in Flushing, Belmont County, Ohio to Jeremiah Mason Pittman and Sarah “Lena” Pool. She was the seventh of eight daughters and also had two younger brothers. So far, I have not found any actual birth document for her, but I have with her siblings.
Those siblings were:
Lottie Esther, born 11 October 1893, married William Dennis Gatten
Francis Estelle, born 10 February 1898, married James “Matthew” Brandon
Esther Mae, born 29 September 1899, married Carl Victor Medley
Eva Louella, born 24 October 1901, married John Orville Piatt
Lillie Van Vesse, born 05 January 1904, married Raymond Clarence McWilliams
Elma Jane, born 21 April 1906
Celesta Ann, born 21 November 1910, married Walter S. Burkhart
Raymond Mancel, born 12 June 1913, married Esther Ickes
Thurmond “George”, married Dorothy B. Unknown
In the 1930 census, we find Erma living with her husband Lloyd Albert Schrader in North Industry in Canton Township, Stark County, Ohio along with his two young sons from a former marriage, Junior and Wayne, and their infant son.
In 1940, the family is living in Plain Township, Stark County with their growing family, which now includes my father, George. Lloyd and Erma would have nine children, one of whom died as an infant. The youngest, Melvin, passed away a couple of years ago, otherwise, all of my paternal aunts and uncles are living today (with the exception of my dad’s two half brothers from Lloyd’s first marriage who have also passed away). In January of 1943, Lloyd would die leaving Erma with a house full of young children. Erma passed away 25 May 1994 and is buried at Sunset Hills Burial Park, the same cemetery as my maternal grandmother, Elsie, in essence, making them neighbors one final time.
This is my Week #24 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.
The optional theme for week 24 was “Heirloom”.
I had originally planned to write about this ancestor some time in the fall of 2015 after I had, hopefully, stumbled upon more information about my paternal grandfather, Lloyd Albert Schrader. However, the optional theme for this week in the 52 Ancestor challenge, “Different”, prompted me to move this post up some months. I would have loved to have titled this post after the infamous (at least, to my generation) catch-phrase from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, because it was my exact thought upon finding a piece of information a few years ago. But, you know…although I could not find information that the phrase is copyrighted, I would rather err on the safe side and not use it. I believe that a majority of us probably have some version of Michael Lacopo’s Hoosier Daddy? simmering on the back burner in our family histories, but probably few of us are able to put forth that story in such an eloquent and entertaining manner. (I admit that after I had found his blog, I binge read his installments until I got caught up with the series.)
I have admitted here before that I have not researched my father’s family as often or as in-depth as I have my mother’s. A lot of that has to do with the fact that it was my maternal grandmother who peaked my interest in the family history and who passed me a lot of information, sometimes just written on the back of an envelope. When I started actually working on a family tree, though, it bothered me a lot that I knew nothing at all about my paternal grandfather’s father. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. The only thing that I had to go on was the name of the father listed on my grandfather’s death certificate, “Wm. A.”.
I had spent somewhere around seven years attempting to track something down with that information. During this time, I would take my children along with me to the county library for a Saturday “Library-a-thon”. With my daughter in a Snuggly front carrier or a backpack and my son close by my knee, we would pretty much spend the entire day at the library while I searched through old books and microfilm and while the kids looked through a huge stack of board books, and then later on, as they were grew older, they would check in with me every half hour from the children’s department. With the advent of genealogical information becoming available online, everything changed. Slowly, at first, tediously trolling through bulletin board systems. And then, the information available (literally at your fingertips) exploded! And that’s when I found the fact that had me doing a 180, or at the very least, a 165…
The facts, then:
My dad’s father was born, Lloyd Otto, on Wednesday, 19 April 1899, in Plain Township, Stark County, Ohio to Lydia Pearl May, the unmarried daughter of Joseph C. May and Margaret F. Dobson. The father is listed as Albert Otto.
In the 1900 census of Plain Township, we find Lydia listed in the household of one Louisa Stoner as a servant, along with her year-old son, A. Lloyd Otto. Although technically, Lloyd is listed as the son of the head of household, we know that census takers can and did note things incorrectly and that the 61 year old, widowed, Louisa Stoner could not be the mother.
Lydia Pearl May married William S. Garner on 16 February 1905. In the 1910 census, we find 11-year- old Lloyd Otto listed as a servant in Lydia and William’s household and it is noted that he is a “helper” on the farm.
In 1918, Lloyd registers for the WWI draft using the name Lloyd Albert Schrader. Hmmmmmmm. This is the first instance where I have a document with the surname Schrader. Lloyd is described as being tall, of medium build, with brown eyes, and dark hair. He lists his mother, Lydia Garner, as his nearest relative. He states his occupation as a thrasher working on the farm of a Fred Brown where he is apparently also boarding, according to addresses given.
In the 1920 census, we find Lloyd Schrader living in North Industry as a boarder in the house of Albert F. Deible. His occupation is listed as a truck driver, hauling coal. Mr. Deible is a coal dealer, so it would seem that Lloyd is probably working for him also.
On 29 October 1923, Lloyd married 19-year-old Mary Bruce Geisinger, daughter of Erin Bruce Geisinger and Rosa Manley, in Holmes County, Ohio. Lloyd’s occupation is a steam shovel operator and he lists his parents as Harry Schrader and Lydia May.
We find Lloyd and Mary Schrader in the Louisville City Directory living at 123 S. Chapel St. in 1927 and Lloyd is working at Oyler Brothers.
Lloyd and Mary have two sons, but on 06 June 1928, Lloyd is granted a divorce from Mary. Around this point in time is where my grandmother Erma R. Minnie Pittman, daughter of Jeremiah Mason Pittman and Sarah “Lena” Pool, comes into the picture. We find Lloyd and Erma in the 1930 census in North Industry, Stark County with Lloyd’s two sons from his previous marriage and a new son. Lloyd’s occupation is still as a shovel operator and says that he is a “road-builder”.
In December of 1936, Lloyd applies for his Social Security Number. Notice that the year of his birth is incorrect on this document (below). He is now working for Garaux Brothers and has listed his parents as being Albert Schrader and Lydia Pearl May.
The 1940 census finds Lloyd and Erma and their growing family living in Plain Township, Stark County, Ohio. It is stated that they were living in Canton, Ohio in 1935, but this might be the North Industry home as the area is also known as Canton South. Lloyd is working for Garaux Brothers as a shovel operator.
On 03 January 1943, Lloyd died of a “heart malady”. He left seven sons and three daughters besides his widow, Erma. He is buried at Valley Chapel Cemetery on Trump Road in Stark County, Ohio in Section 3 South End, Row 7.
There are a lot of unanswered questions for this line of my ancestry. Besides Lloyd, my grandmother, Erma, the two oldest sons and the youngest son, have all passed away. I have two documents that I have not been able to find that would prove my descent from Erma and Lloyd and those are the marriage document of Erma and Lloyd and the birth document for Erma. Neither one seems to be in existence where they should be located. I have no idea and no viable theories about the name change from Otto to Schrader. After a long search, I have located an Albert Otto associated with the May family in Pennsylvania, and believe him to be the father of Lloyd; however, this is just speculation at this point. It took looking at many, many census records and looking at collateral lines to come up with this information. Because of obvious reasons, foremost being that this is only a theory, I have not laid out my research here that led me to this conclusion.
As far as DNA? I realize that when comparing autosomal DNA results, the results for comparison are only as good as the number of people from a certain surname who have tested, but it is interesting to note that, so far, I have not a single match to anyone with the Schrader surname in their lines, but have more than a dozen carrying the Otto surname. Until more members from my family test, I’m just kind of grasping at straws here. I have no doubt that eventually this mystery will get figured out. It’s just taking such a very long time…
I have to remind myself that patience is a virtue.
This is my Week #13 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.
The optional theme for this week was “Different”.
Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Plain, Stark, Ohio; Roll: T623_1323; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 143.
Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Osnaburg, Stark, Ohio; Roll: T624_1232; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0215; Image: 646; FHL microfilm: 1375245.
Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Canton, Stark, Ohio; Roll: T625_1433; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 21; Image: .
Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Canton, Stark, Ohio; Roll: 1871; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 60; Image: 539.0.
Database online. Year: 1940; Census Place: Plain, Stark, Ohio; Roll: T627_3151; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 76-91.
Database online. Certificate: ; Volume: Lloyd A Schrader – Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, & 1958-2007
Social Security Administration. Copy of original document.
Database online. Registration Location: Stark County, Ohio; Roll: 1851190; Draft Board: 2.
U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989. Louisville 1927 Directory. Database Online.
“Ohio County Births, 1841-2003” https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X6JD-KR8
“Ohio County Marriages, 1789-2013” https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8PB-6ZW
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