Jan 01

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year!

Today, the first day of 2015, I am not even going to mention last year’s resolutions. Since I have done so poorly with them I do not see any point in bringing up the same old unfinished goals yet another year.

I will only say that genealogical organization is an ongoing process and a struggle for me. I am beginning to believe that I will never be organized to the point I hope and expect.

Ditto for the goal of digitizing photos and documents.

However, one of my project goals will soon be realized. Finally! This project has been on my to-do list for several years now and I finally took the bull by the horns, taking the easy way out by having someone else do it. I will not say much about this project right now but will write about it later, after I receive the finished product. I will just say that it involves old home movies…

New Year PCSo on this day, the first day of 2015, I am going to say farewell to 2014 and look back at the year by listing some of my favorite 2014 blog posts, followed by reader’s favorites.

My favorites represent a compilation of my research put into writing, which fulfills several of my long-term goals–to research, organize, and write the results. Some posts generated a lot of interest and I learned something from my readers’ knowledge and help.

Karen’s favorite 2014 Karen’s Chatt posts, in no particular order:

Day Books and Hucksters

Private Hallot Bryan in the Civil War

Looking Around with Google Earth

Chattanooga on Google Earth

The Flourist

Four Rüeck Sisters

Lunch with Darrel “Pete” Brewster

One Old Postcard

One That Got Away—Seeking Information about Schumm

It Came from Under the Summer Kitchen

Holmes County, Ohio, 2014

Readers’ favorites, starting with number 1:

A Wild Man in the Woods

Charles Schumm Residence, 1908

The Post Office at Schumm

The Schumm Sawmill

About Grandmothers

Reunion Wrap-Up

This & That from the Willshire Herald

One That Got Away—Seeking Information about Schumm

Lunch with Darrel “Pete” Brewster

Another Schumm Centenarian

It Came from Under the Summer Kitchen


May the New Year bring you health, happiness, and prosperity! And may you achieve many of your dreams and goals in 2015.

Dec 30

Tombstone Tuesday–Maria Helena Heffner

Maria H Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Maria H Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Maria Helena Heffner, located in row 3 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Maria H.
Dau of
F. & A. Heffner
Died Sept 21, 1898
5m 9d

Maria Helena Heffner was born 12 April 1898 to Fredrick and Anna (Merkle) Heffner. She was baptized by Zion Chatt’s Rev. Carl August Affeld on 1 May 1898, with Lucinda Merkle and George Heffner as her sponsors.

Maria died 21 September 1898, at the age of 5 months and 9 days. Zion Chatt’s death records give her cause of death as summer sickness, which was likely diarrhea caused by spoiled milk. This record indicates that she was survived by her parents and 5 siblings.

Maria’s Mercer County Probate death record indicates she died of typhoid and that she was 6 months and 21 days old. This record does not name her parents but indicates that she was born and died in Liberty Township and that she lived in Chattanooga. [1]


[1] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.FamilySearch.org : accessed 28 December 2014), Marie Heffner, 21 September 1898; citing Deaths, Liberty, Mercer, Ohio, Vol 2, p.309, from FHL microfilm 914954.

Dec 25

Merry Christmas from Karen’s Chatt!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you enjoy these nostalgic Christmas postcards.

Christmas Girl old

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Old Santa PC

CLS 1919 a 001 - Copy




Dec 23

Tombstone Tuesday–Herbert Heffner

Herbert Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

Herbert Heffner, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. (2011 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Herbert Heffner, located in row 7 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Feb. 26, 1894
Aug. 13, 1908

Walter Herbert Heffner was born in the family home in Black Creek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, on 26 February 1894 to Fredrick and Anna (Merkle) Heffner. He was baptized 11 March 1894, with his parents as his sponsors. [1] [2]

He would have been confirmed at Zion in 1909, but an accident took his life a year earlier.

Herbert died 13 August 1908, at the age of 14 years, 5 months and 18 days. He was buried on the 16th. He was survived by his parents and seven siblings.


[1] “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” index and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 21 December 2014), Walter H. Heffner, 26 February 1894; citing Births, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, Vol. 3, p.85, reference Roll 1 P85 R4, from FHL microfilm 914953.

[2] Birth and baptisms, Zion Lutheran Church, Chattanooga, Mercer County, Ohio.

Dec 19

Christmas Memories–Toys

What was under the Christmas tree for a good little girl back in the 1950s?

I believe I can answer that. I still have some of my old toys that I received as Christmas presents over 55 years ago. Yesterday I gathered them together and arranged them around the Christmas trees in our basement.

Karen's Toys from the 50s.

Karen’s toys from the 50s.

The whistling top is one of the first toys I can remember. It is a little rusty now but it still works fine. A chalkboard with the alphabet and numbers was also a gift years ago.

Whistling top, chalkboard, mop & broom toys.

Whistling top, chalkboard, mop & broom toys.

The clucking chicken was a pull toy. I showed it to Chloe a few weeks ago and she didn’t quite know what to make of it. One year I received a set of small metal luggage, shown to the left of the chicken.

Clucking chicken pull toy.

Clucking chicken pull toy.

I received the little metal stove for Christmas when we lived in the house across the road from where I grew up. That would have been before 1959. The stove has an electrical cord and the little oven really worked. It came with tiny cake pans and tiny packages of cake mix. What fun! The little iron sitting on the stove is also electric. I have a little ironing board, too, somewhere… I don’t remember using the iron so I don’t remember if it got very hot.

Toy electric stove.

Toy electric stove.

Can you imagine a small electric stove or an electric iron for a child today? Electricity with sharp metal corners to boot! We have rules and regulations against that sort of thing today. Somehow we survived those dangerous toys of the 50s. I received some other domestic toys, too–a small mop and broom.

In the back of the top photo, standing in my old doll buggy, is Betty the Beautiful Bride. One year I wanted a bride doll more than anything and I received Betty for Christmas. She was truly beautiful in her satin and lace gown. Her box describes the doll as Betty—the Beautiful Bride with the most exquisite bridal gown ever made! Soft all-rubber body; Washable rooted hair. Comb it! Brush it! Curl it! Complete with bridal bouquet, colorful wall plaque, Bing Crosby’s recording “Because.” Unbreakable from head to toe.2 ½ feet tall.

Except for her yellowed gown, Betty looks just like new because I was not allowed to play with her. She was always stored high in my closet, safe in her box.

Betty the Beautiful Bride

Betty the Beautiful Bride

I did play with my Saucy Walker doll, however. She was a walking doll who turned her head as she walked. She still looks good and is dressed in her original dress. I believe she may have had braids at one time–before I decided she would look better in a ponytail.

Saucy Walker doll.

Saucy Walker doll.

One of my very favorite toys was Matt Dillon on his horse. I loved horses when I was a child and I unsaddled and re-saddled that horse over and over. The pair is in good condition and Matt still has his hat and gun, like a good lawman should.

Matt Dillon on his horse.

Matt Dillon on his horse.

Over the years I received several other boy-type toys, which I no longer have. I remember getting a cap gun and holster and a remote control police car.

I received the pink doll cradle from my great-aunt Clara (Miller) Reef. Clara was my grandpa Miller’s sister and she lived down the road from us.

Cradle from great-aunt Clara.

Cradle from great-aunt Clara.

Grandma Schumm gave me the Monopoly game one year and the Bird Fun game was a gift from my parents. Bird Fun was a game I could play by myself. The idea was to put the correct bird head on the correct bird body. The names of all the birds were included, too. I enjoyed the simple game and I learned my birds from it. Perhaps that game sparked my interest in birds, which I still have today.

Bird Fun game.

Bird Fun game.

I ventured up to the attic to get a photo of my old doll house and barn. I still have most of the plastic furniture that came with the doll house. At one time I had a lot of animals and fencing to go with the barn, but those are long gone.

Metal doll house and barn.

Metal doll house and barn.

I probably have a few more old toys stashed around here. I know my old Viewmaster-type stereo viewer is still around here. Maybe it is stored away with my little ironing board.

Those were the good old days, with classic toys, where you could use your imagination.

After Christmas I’ll put my toys away again.

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