Fallen Heroes: Bugler Victor J. Mattevi

This fallen hero’s parents immigrated from Europe in order to provide a better life for their future children in America. Unfortunately, one of their sons would return to a Europe at war and make the ultimate sacrifice. Celeste Mattevi (1868-1940) was born in the southern part of the province of Tyrol in what was thenContinue reading “Fallen Heroes: Bugler Victor J. Mattevi”

The “Black Hand” in Tuscarawas County

During the early 1900s, the burgeoning Italian immigrant community in Tuscarawas County watched with trepidation as the local newspaper carried stories of the extortion of their fellow countrymen in cities like New York and Pittsburgh by a shadowy group referred to as the “Black Hand Society”. It would not be long before the “hand” appearedContinue reading “The “Black Hand” in Tuscarawas County”

“Sure I Shot Him”: Murder on Panhandle #34

The State of Ohio was, and still is, crisscrossed with railroad tracks and routes. While the heyday of railroad passenger travel has long since left Ohio, in the early 20th century it was abundant. Those passengers often found themselves travelling through Tuscarawas County on their way to destinations east and west. Sometimes those trains wereContinue reading ““Sure I Shot Him”: Murder on Panhandle #34″

The Unsolved Murder of Antonio D’Alassandro

The story of America is a story of waves of immigration. During the late 1800s and the early 1900s that wave consisted principally of immigrants from central and southern Europe. These immigrants, in their search for a better life in America, brought with them aspects of their previous lives in Europe. Religion, language, culture allContinue reading “The Unsolved Murder of Antonio D’Alassandro”

A Titanic Dover Mystery

While exploring a 1912 issue of a local newspaper, I came across the paper’s reporting on the RMS Titanic disaster. Included in that report was a reference to individuals who were allegedly on the ship, making their way to Dover and a new life in America. It was a thread I could not help butContinue reading “A Titanic Dover Mystery”

John H. Kearns: Louisville, Kentucky

My neighbor’s whiskey-distilling ancestor, John H. Kearns, faced a fight in his hometown of Lebanon, Kentucky. The Temperance Movement worked hard and convinced his neighbors in the whiskey distilling town to go dry. John Kearns turned his attention to other business endeavors. While the Sunny Side Saloon was a popular watering hole in Lebanon, KentuckyContinue reading “John H. Kearns: Louisville, Kentucky”

John H. Kearns: Marion County, Kentucky

My neighbor is very aware of my interest in family histories and, after looking into his family history, I better understood his love of whiskey (which I share). His family, like mine, was scattered across the country and I have discovered that he has some very interesting ancestors; John H. Kearns (1858-1910) of Kentucky isContinue reading “John H. Kearns: Marion County, Kentucky”

An American Dream Denied

One of the things I love the most about conducting genealogical work for clients is the ability to tell them stories about their ancestors that they have never heard before. Sometimes an ancestor is referred by living relatives in hushed terms or not discussed at all for reasons long lost. The tale of Stephano DiContinue reading “An American Dream Denied”

Who was Walter James Ashworth?

My family talked very little of my great-grandfather Walter James Ashworth. What little I had heard of him came from various anecdotes told me by my grandmother, mother and uncles. He seemed like a bit of an enigma and a black sheep, for reasons still untold to me, but often speculated on. For all ofContinue reading “Who was Walter James Ashworth?”