Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#NameCollecting - Research Odysseys

This week, I hope you'll indulge me as I speculate about:

Leo Homer Callin

As I may have mentioned, I'm trying to prepare our revision of the Callin Family History for publication. Pushing my way through the editorial process, Leo's whole family has presented some difficulty for me. I'm trying to focus on tying up the kinds of loose ends that his parents and siblings have left dangling for me on their branch of the family tree - while information about them seems to melt away.

Here are some of the challenges:

Leo's mother, Katie Imhoff, seems to have been born in Ashland county, Ohio, but she doesn't seem to belong to any of the Imhoff folks I can find living in or near Ashland county; the only record I found that might be her is a 2 year old Catherine Imhoff in a household with a Catherine Reckard (20) and Charles Reckard (1). Just two households above them is another Catherine Imhoff, age 56, and two daughters (Mary A, 26 & Theodosia, 19), but being 1870, there is no information about how they might be related to each other. The next record that is definitely her is the 1900 Census, when she is already married to Leo's father, George.

Leo's older brother, Thomas Jefferson Callin, was immortal. No, not really - but he shows up in each successive Census and Mansfield, Ohio, town directory, usually listed as an unmarried truck driver living in his parents' household, until 1934... when he simply stops appearing at all. Catherine is in the 1940...but despite searching Newspapers.com, Ancestry.com, and extensive Googling, I haven't discovered Tom's (or "Jefferson's") fate after 1934.

Middle brother Trell was a little easier to trace. Sadly, this seems to be the case because he and his wife, Myrtle, had one daughter and died a year apart in 1935 and 1936. Youngest of all, there was a sister, Ruth, who seems to have been a school teacher, and lived in Ohio until she passed away in 1987.

But Leo... he leaves a few mysteries.

Based on newspaper accounts, he married a Mildred (Apger) in 1915; they had a daughter, Evelyn, that same year. According to marriage records, he married a different Mildred (Hartman) in 1925. In 1937, Mansfield papers carried a legal notice to Mildred, who was believed to be in New York, announcing Leo's suit for divorce - presumably this was intended for the second Mildred. In 1939, Leo was admitted to the hospital, and in 1940 he appeared in the "pauper's infirmary" on the census. In 1958, he died in the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital.

The mysteries are between the records; the absent evidence of what really happened to Leo and Tom suggests less than happy endings for them. But there is a chance that Leo's grandchildren may know more - and we can at least say for certain, rather than merely watching these brothers vanish into the background shrubbery of history.

This is not what Leo looked like.

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