Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ohio Genealogical Society Annual Conference

It's that time of year when the genealogy conferences get into full swing. The first of the major conferences will be held 17-19 April 2008, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Topics vary from German to Irish, migration to Ohio, Ohio Probate records, and Indian Wars in Ohio. Nationally known speakers such as Craig R. Scott, CG; J. Mark Lowe, CG; Diane VanSkiver Gagel; Amy Johnson Crow, CG; Tacy Lewis; Jana Sloan Broglin, CG; Tim Pinnick; and Curt Witcher will be presenting.

To sign up for the conference and see a complete registration booklet (with speakers, topics, and meals!) go to

See you there!
Aunt Merle

Friday, March 28, 2008

Musings by Aunt Merle."

Okay, who was Aunt Merle? She was born in East Toledo, Ohio, to Alexander Cabisher and his wife Maria Herkimer, with the name of Gertrude Mearl Cabisher. The only ones who called her "Gertie" or "Gertrude" were family members as the rest of the world knew her as Mearl/Merle.

Other than census records for the family, she was found in a deposition to obtain a pension from the death of her brother, James, during the Civil War. She was married when she made the deposition in 1891, and living in Columbus, Ohio. Who was her husband? No record has been found as to his name. A search was made of the Columbus City Directory for 1891 and the only mention was of an Edward Eagle who had "moved back to Toledo." Was he the husband?

Merle married again. This time to John DeMoss Boring from Licking County, Ohio. The marriage license was located in Newark, Licking County, but the information for Merle is sketchy to say the least.While the information was filled out for John, Merle didn't give any information whatsoever. Across the license was the notation, "Do not publish," not wanting this marriage license to appear in the local newspaper. Why? Did she fail to get a divorce from Mr. Eagle? Another idea to follow.

John and Merle are located in various census records from Manhattan, New York, to Washington, D.C., and back to Brooklyn, New York, where Merle died in 1941.

But why the fascination with this particular woman? Ah, that goes back to the stories my father told me.Seems when Aunt Merle came to visit her niece, his mother, she was dressed in such finery! Silk dresses, loads of jewelry with rings on all her fingers, and pearl necklaces, fur coats...and a chauffer driving limosine! Wow! Mind you, this was during the Great Depression. When asked what Merle did for a living the reply was, "She runs a boarding house." Well it may be a "house" but it wasn't a "boarding house."

Dad asked his uncle who was still a resident of East Toledo, about the theories regarding Aunt Merle. Much to his amazement, his uncle confirmed the suspicions. Merle truly was a "madame." When asked how he knew, the uncle stated simply, "I visited her."

Now, now... he had been on the Great Lakes Shipping and got in to New York quite often. Merle had him to her house for dinner, driven by that chauffer, so he had seen for himself.

And you thought family history was boring!

Through subsequent postings, tips, ideas, brickwalls, and genealogical events will be entered.Visit often!