Monday, May 4, 2009

An Update on Dear Henry

Isn't Blogville a wonderful community? Sparky over yonder at Red Bird Acres has some interesting ways of finding information on long dead folks. With her help we have been able to find the Van Hellen family who sleepily occupies the corner of Section A in the Fort Meigs Cemetery (from my last post).
However, Henry is not revealing himself as of yet.
The snapshot above is the Wood County 1860 Census record, thanks to Sparky. This record shows nearly every Van Hellen family member in Section A. However, Henry is in Section D, which is what I find so bothersome. Hopefully we can go back to 1850 and find some evidence of dear Henry. Maybe this is his family.
Sparky also found some information on some other Van Hellen's from another part of Ohio, but no lead on our Henry, dead at 10, sliding into the ravine. He is pretty quiet over there.
By way of history, Perrysburg, in Wood County Ohio, was probably a little messy in 1852. You see, we managed to settle ourselves along the Maumee River in the 1790's or so, but did so amidst the Black Swamp. (Remind me some time to tell you about the town of Orleans. If there was ever a haven for mosquito's those settlers found it in Orleans!) But I digress, there were plenty of diseases to go around in the 19th Century. A few years after the demise of our Henry, in July 1854 there was a mighty cholera epidemic that wiped out nearly 300 residents in Perrysburg and the surrounding area.
A last creepy oddity to share- the Van Hellen's were also in Lucas County (Where Toledo is located). There was another Henry Van Hellen who donated some of his land on what would have been the edge of Toledo, on the other side of the river, about 10 miles away from here. This land became the Park United Church of Christ, where my father in law attended church as a boy. My husband's uncle was also married in the church. A Van Hellen coincidence? I'm feeling creeped out just typing it.
I'll share more about Henry as we find it. I feel like Nancy Drew, but without the pencil skirt.


King of New York Hacks said...

I'm afraid to try in fear of what I may find out LOL !!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Your FIL going to the same church as the Van Hellen family is creepy to say the least! Makes me want to sing "It's a small world after all ..." (don't worry, I won't, that song is too creepy!).

I can't wait to hear what you uncover next.

Careful, this detective stuff is addictive. [tee hee]