Sunday, January 4, 2009

Random Relative of the Week

Caroline Flory Saurer
20 Mar 1844 ~16 May 1884

Well I know it's been less than a week, but I've decided that Sunday would be the best day for my Random Relative post of the week. It's a day where I have more time to reflect and just sort through my pictures. Besides, it's called "RANDOM Relatives" so who knows if the next one will really appear on Sunday!

Caroline FLORY is my gr-gr-grandmother on my father's side. The picture to the left is a large charcoal rendering of a tintype [see picture below.] Fortunately it was at least labeled on the back as "Caroline, mother of John Saurer." This picture intrigued me from the first time I saw it when visiting my Great Aunt Pearl [daughter of John Saurer.] I always thought that Caroline looked sad, or at least wistful.

I picked Caroline for today because she was the cause of one of my first truly thrilling genealogical moments. I had just started to seriously get into research. By "seriously" I mean actually looking for records to back up all the information I had collected over the years from hearing my relatives talk. I had quite a bit of information at this point because I just loved looking at old pictures and, of course, when people show you pictures they tell you about them. My fascination for pictures is really what propelled me into genealogy in the first place. But I digress.

On a trip to Apple Creek, Ohio to visit relatives I decided to run over to the court house in Wooster. Not really knowing what I was doing at this point I was fortunate that the person there was very helpful and pointed me to some indexes which had been published by the local historical society. I happily looked up births for quite some time and made copious notes. I found more children listed for Caroline and John Saurer then I was previously aware they had.

Then I decided to look for marriage records and bingo! There was a listing for John Saurer and Caroline FLORY. I felt so proud of myself ~ an actual new piece of information that no one else in my family had been able to tell me. That, however, wasn't even the thrilling part. This was just the index so I asked the nice lady about the actual record and she showed me where the big ledger-type books were kept. I looked up the record and nearly fell off my chair [really, it was hard to keep from shouting with glee.] The record had some writing next to Caroline's signature which was HER FATHER'S consent to the marriage because she was only 16! So, right there I was able to go back another generation. If that wasn't cool enough, I also found and was able to make copies of her father's will.

WOW! I was totally hooked for life. Of course I soon found out that not every single trip to a courthouse was going to yield up such treasures. I don't mind though. Looking at old records just fascinates me almost as much as looking as old pictures. It's a way of touching history.


  1. Poor Caroline---only lived 40 years. This was a terrific story. I know JUST how you felt when you saw her father's approval written in the margin. I've had a few of those moments. A few is enough to keep us going for the rest of our lives! Thanks for this great story!

  2. Oh, yes, those "thrilling genealogy moments" are what really get you hooked. I really enjoyed this post and could really relate to it.

  3. And I totally agree with Becky and Greta. You've given us a great account of one of your first triumphant moments. Greta and I are currently in a search for a possible link of some of our ancestors. We'll keep you all informed!


  4. Thanks ladies!

    Becky - yes, I always think of her as "poor Caroline" myself. Her husband was 21 yrs older than she was!

    Greta & Judy - that would be a cool find a link with someone you know. I'll be watching your blogs for updates.


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