Maternal Side, My Family Tree

My Warner Family – Mazie

As most of the world is resigned to stay home and be in isolation, I finally have found my genealogy groove. And though I normally try to partake in Amy Johnson Crow’s fabulous challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks, I find myself struggling with the recent week’s prompts.  So I think I’ll focus on a specific surname in my family, and I’ve chosen the Warner’s (I suddenly have the Animaniac’s theme going through my head, if you have never watched this outstanding cartoon brought to us by Steven Spielberg you really should, I discovered it in college and it is one of the greatest animated shows ever, if I do say so myself). I figure this can be the first of many tributes to my Warner clan and could possibly get me to find out more about them.

Mazie Lorenia Warner

The last of my line of Warner’s was my great-great-grandmother Mazie Lorenia Warner.  I know I’ve spoken of Mazie before because she is one of my favorite relatives on my mother’s side of the family.  She was born on 21 July 1877 to Winfield Warner and his wife, Orienta Gustin in Potter County, Pennsylvania. She had 3-sisters: Cymanthia Lencretia, Jeanette, and Catherine “Cassie” Belle.

Mazie Lorenia Warner – no idea when this was taken (another project!)

Mazie was one of my first successfully solved puzzles.  Just getting her name correct was one of my first obstacles as every document I found seemed to be something different – Mazie, Magie, Daysa (still trying to figure that last one out), but then my mom clarified it all for me (she was going off memory as Mazie passed away 2 years before my mom was born).

Mazie married my great-great-grandfather, Arthur James Dunbar on 2 Jan 1894.  To this marriage came 4-children with the 3-girls surviving: Myrtle Iona, Merle Winfield (he passed away at 8 months), Ina Mae and Mildred Laura (she is my great-grandmother).

On 18 Dec 1912 Arthur died of polio (adult onset).  A few years later Mazie married a second time to Samuel Randol, in 1916 they moved to Ohio and this is how this portion of my family settled in Akron. Oddly enough the area of Akron where they settled is not far at all from where I live with my own family.

Mazie and Samuel had a son, Richard LeHoty, but he passed away when he was 5-months old.

Because my library (Akron Summit County Public Library) has digitized the local city directories, I have been able to follow where Mazie and Samuel lived from 1916 until Mazie passed away in 1945.  Mazie has come across as a loving soul, always taking her daughters in when their marriages failed (or at least that is how I assume her to be as my own great-grandmother returned home more than once and Mazie even let her and her third husband live with them for a bit when they first got married while I assume they saved up for a house – I have nothing to confirm these stories because my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have all passed).

At one point in time Samuel and Mazie ran a store on Howard Street, and I believe it was called SJ Randol’s according to the 1924 city directory, and back in the 1920’s Howard Street was the place to be.  According to a lady my parents’ were guardian’s of, Clara Mueller, she claimed that you could find things at the shops on Howard Street that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

SJRandol Store
SJ Randol Store, circa 1924

Samuel passed away on 16 Oct 1938 in Decatur, Illinois. He was a truck driver and wasn’t feeling well and passed away after he had been “ill for a week over a complication of diseases” according to the 17 Oct 1938 edition of the Decatur Herald.  This made me sad to learn of Samuel’s death. The 1937 City Directory is the first where my great-grandmother, her husband and my grandmother finally moved into their own home, which gave Mazie and Samuel basically 1-2 years to finally enjoy life together.

Mazie continued to live alone until 1943 where she moved in to her old house which is where her daughter, Ina lived with her second husband, Ralph, and her daughter, Almeda. She passed away there on 19 May 1945.

Mazie and her nephew, Bob Bergan, and his wife, Thelma Bessie circa 1942.

I drive down Howard Street every day when I go to and from work and I look to the spot where the store stood that Mazie and Samuel ran.  I look to the abandoned lot with just a very slight portion of a brick wall standing that would most likely been the back of their store, and wonder what it would have been like to know her, if she ever looks down on me and is happy to know that I am making sure my family doesn’t forget her and her legacy.


My Trip to the Health Department

Last week I finally did something I’d wanted to do for a few months: I made a genealogical appointment at my county health department.

Have you heard of a genealogical appointment?  I hadn’t either until I was trying to find out if there was a way I could get death certificates cheaper than purchasing a certified copy for $22.  That’s fine and dandy if I needed one for legal reasons, but for genealogy, with as many as I needed for my specific county, it was going to cost me well over $400 for these death certificates and that’s money I just don’t have.

That’s where a genealogy appointment saves you money (at least where I live in Ohio).

Mine was for 9:30am last Thursday morning.  I was so excited and extremely prepared (but still forgot a few people).  I arrived and they set me up at a computer where I put in the names of my deceased ancestors and from 1964 and on (this took 5 people automatically off my list).  I wrote down their name, their date of death, and their file code/certificate number and the ladies who work there then print them out on plain white paper where they are stamped with the words “For Informational Use Only” on them and though I couldn’t keep them, I was allowed to take photos of each death certificate.  (I also did some birth certificates for my mom, her siblings, and my maternal grandparents).

Two of the five death certificates I had on my list I was able to find by searching death certificate by death certificate on FamilySearch. The one for my great-great-grandmother, Mazie Randol, I was thrilled to find as she never came up in any of the searches I’ve done anywhere.  The other, her mother, Orienta Gustine Warner, was found a little easier as I had found her information on the Ohio Death Index.

My last three I have mailed away to purchase through the Ohio History Connections, the state historical society, but my cost is now just $22.58 for all of them ($7 each plus tax). Still a better budgeting tactic when you have so many to find.

Now the blank spaces for some of my people are filled-in on my software.  It’s amazing what having all the information for a person does for peace of mind.  The individuals seem a little more complete now.  Below is an example:


See how Mazie looks more complete than her first husband, Arthur? (Don’t worry, I’m gathering up names to send in with Arthur’s to get his death certificate from Pennsylvania).

Just wanted to share my money saving tip on the chance you were unaware that you can contact your local health department for this genealogical appointment.  In the state of Ohio where I live, the county health department’s can only print out death certificates for those who died in Summit County (the county where I live).  Both my grandfathers died in other counties so I’ll either have to make a trip there or contact them to see if they could scan it and send it to me or if those may be the ones I pay full price to have.  Time will tell.

It was also nice for health reasons to see what caused their death just to give me a clue as to what I may need to keep an eye on.

I am not sure if every state does death certificates this way, but it was very helpful with putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.