Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Friday, July 26, 2019

#189--Easy--A Festival of Pictures

This week’s theme is easy.  For me an easy thing to do is to assemble some pictures around a theme.  So I decided to use some pictures that I have from my collections and from my cousin, Anna.  They are pictures of the children of John Wesley Hannah from the late 1800’s.  Anna discovered a scrapbook when cleaning out her grandfather’s house and it was filled with wonderful pictures.  Not all the pictures were labelled, but we sent the pictures back and forth until we were pretty sure who the people were. 

The first picture is a picture is a formal posed picture of John Wesley and Jennie (Willey) Hannah and their children.  Capt. John Wesley Hannah is on the far left, next to him is his only son, William Hannah, then Marinda Hannah (DeArmond) , Gertrude Hannah (Turner), Cora Hannah (Parke),  Anne Charlotte Hannah (Ross), lastly, Jennie Sophia Hannah.

The second picture is of William Hannah in his military uniform from Wentworth Acaademy.  I believe it was a school picture for the yearbook. 

This is one of my favorites.  Someone evidently got a pair of scissors and gave some hair cuts.  From left to right they are Gertrude, Tim and Toots.  Marinda and Cora, I believe did not like their names so they changed them to Tim (Cora) and Toots (Marinda) and they were known by those names until the day they died.

Growing up a little, here is one of William with his two sisters, Gertrude and Anne.

Lastly, I have one of Tim and Toots as teenagers.  I love their blouses and their ties. 

I would to talk to all of these relatives to find out what they remember about the pictures.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


Here I am, sitting on the front porch with my great grandmother, Charity Mears Hannah.  I wanted to chat with her about a couple of people her family and what they are doing now.  Charity was born in Ohio on 11 FEB 1806 to David and Elizabeth Mears.  She married by John M. Hannah on 22 April 1822 in Brown County, Ohio.  They were married by David Rankin, a well-known abolitionist

 “Grandma, I am interested in learning a little about some of your brothers and sisters.  What can you tell me about Aunt Catherine. “

“Well, Catherine was born on March 1, 1799, in Kentucky. She is 6 years older than I am so she often took care of me when I was little.  I loved to play dolls with her.  When I was older, she sometimes showed me how to cook.  She married Robert Legate and they had two children together. After he died in 1822—that made her so sad--, she married Israel Donnelson Sayre and they had seven children. You know that Israel bought a good bit of land in Ross and Prairie Townships.  He’s a successful farmer.  While I do not ask, I think they have a good bit of money.  Ever since he died in 1848, she and the children have run the farm.”

“Wow, I did not know all that.  You know, I have never met Aunt Elizabeth because she still lives in Indiana.  What do you know about her?”

“I have not seen her in a very long time, but we do occasionally write to each other.  You know what? She is named after our grandmother, Elizabeth Mears and because of that when grandmother died, she inherited part of her estate.  She had a rather unusual will—she left her possession to those children who were named for her or for her husband, David.  Didn’t seem to fair to me, but they were her things to give away as she wished.”

“I agree.”

“Anyway she married Jonathan Shreve in October 15, 1812 in Indiana. They had 12 children in 25 years. . They had a lot of children, probably more than ten, I do not know their names off the top of my head, but will get them for you later.  You know, she is ten years older than I am.  Very often, Mother would put her I charge of the younger children, especially me.  She is one of the people who taught me how to read.  If I am correct, Jonathan built a flat boat and moved his
family down the Ohio to Cross Plains, Indiana.  Elizabeth told me it was an easy journey. So day, I hope to see her.”
“So interesting, one more Grandma and that will be it for today.   I was wondering about Aunt Mary?”

“I have not seen her in a long time, because she lives in Brown County, Ohio.  I hear from her once in a while or when friends and family come to visit from Ohio.  She is a lot older than I am and I did not much to do with her when I was a child.  She married Lemuel Boyle Sayers and they had only one child, David Mears Sayres.  They live in Eagle township now; he retired from farming and is now working making cabinets.  One thing I do remember is that Mary made the best pies, particularly her peach pie.”

 “Thanks you do much Grandma for the information, I have a better understanding of your family, but maybe next week you can tell me a little more.”

Thursday, July 4, 2019

#187--Another Brother Fighting for Freedom--John Richards

The Fourth of July is this week so when the theme was Independence I immediately though of those in my family who fought in the Revolutionary War.  I have previous blogged about my third and fourth grandfathers, Abiathar Richards, Sr. and Abiathar Richards, Jr. and their brother, Abel Richards—all who fought for freedom.  Now I am going to add another brother to that list, my uncle, John Richards. 

John Richards was born in Dedham Massachusetts on March 19, 1723.  His parents were John and Abigail (Avery) Richards.  He married Rebecca Herring.  They had two sons and six daughters.
John’s service was fairly brief, but not unusually so.  Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolutionary War Indicated John was a private in William Ellis’s Company, Colonel Heath’s   He also served in a company commanded by David Fairbanks, Colonel McIntosh’s Regiment for 4 days at Dorchester Heights.  According to the website Boston’s Revolutionary War
Regiment which marched o
n the alarm of April 19, 1775 and served 9 days.

“In the evening of March 4, 1776, George Washington's army and local volunteers quietly fortified the summit of Dorchester Heights with cannon captured at Fort Ticonderoga. When the British army in Boston woke the next morning, they discovered that they were now surrounded. This action by the colonial militia hastened the decision by the British army to evacuate Boston nearly 2 weeks later.”

I would like to talk to John about his service.  Just what did he do?   Were any of his brothers or other relatives serving in the same units?  How hard was it to maneuver the cannon into place?