Cornelius Keating of Cleveland, Ohio

4025 East 89th

My great grandfather Ned Rodgers usually had a boarder or two in his house at 4025 East 89th, Cleveland, in addition to his family of nine, and his daughter Margaret Cushing kept up the tradition. Margaret owned the home in 1920, and besides herself, her mother, two daughters, her sister and her four children, and another two nieces, she had a boarder named Con Keating. I've written articles about the other Rodgers' boarders, so here goes the article about Mr. Keating.

According to his death record, Cornelius Keating was born on May 11, 1859, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of John Keating who had been born in Ireland. In the course of my research I found that Cornelius' mother's name was Sarah, but I didn't find her maiden name.

The family was at 2553 Bluff, on the southeast side of Cleveland, by 1876. That became 2553 Bissell, then 86 Bissell, and then 4134 East 76th Street. John Keating died there in 1892, and Sarah Keating was still living there in 1920. She died in 1923 at the Little Sisters of the Poor home on Superior Avenue but was buried from Holy Name, so I imagine that East 76th was her home address when she died.

For his part, Cornelius married Mary Downs on March 28, 1900. They had three children, but only one, John, lived to adulthood. Mary died March 28, 1913, and Cornelius on May 26, 1927. They are both buried in St Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Cleveland.

Con Keating ended up boarding with the Rodgers clan after Mary's death. When she died in 1913, they were living at 4018 East 89th, so it was a short step to the Rodgers' home when Con was left without a wife. Their son John was with his maternal uncle in 1920, though he and his father were together at 1389 Penhurst on the northeast side by the time of Con's death in 1927.

I'd hoped to find the Irish place of origin for the Keatings, but could not from the available records. That's twice that I've drawn a blank on someone named Keating.

What I did learn along the way was that the name was probably originallly pronounced something like Cat'n with a long A. The earlier records often had spellings like Caton, Cating, etc. In fact the 1880 census had John and "Conroy" listed as "Kayton." Cornelius signed his wife's death record as "C. Kating."

So there you go, just about all I know about Cornelius "Con" Keating, one of the multitude of boarders at 4025 East 89th over the years. He is the last that I know of—I wonder if any more will turn up.

Sources and a little more information are in the Ohio Families tree on this site. See the sidebar for the link.

How a non-Python-programmer survived a Pelican point upgrade

A while ago I decided I was tired of handcrafting an individual .php file every time I added an article to this website. So I decided to shop around again for a static site generator. I had used Jekyll a few years ago so I thought I'd give it another try. This time it was broken on arrival–I forget how–so I swept up all the little rubies and gems in my home directory, I hope, and went on with my search.

Hugo was still as sparse as ever, so after a bit of looking I settled on Pelican, and found a beautiful theme called backdrop at backdrop pelican theme, which I modified using his updated css from his personal site, my colors, etc.

Things went well until one day last December I started editing a new article and got an error message. "Oh no! Why me? Why now?" I was using Debian Sid, so my second or third thought was "I wonder if there was a major upgrade? Let me go check." Sure enough, pelican 4.0 had been released November 13, 2018, and had just hit Debian's unstable repository without my noticing.


The logical place to look for help seemed to be the theme repository on github. In fact, Googling one of the error messages turned it up as a top hit. But the theme doesn't seem to be currently maintained, as the writer has gone on to bigger and better things. I mean that sincerely, without saying more about him than is required for this context. By the way, are any of the pelican themes maintained?

It looked like I was on my own. Welcome to the world of code hacking. Well not quite, I'd adjusted a few files in Gramps, article to follow someday. But this was more serious. Without a working site generator I'd be going back to writing each file by hand.


The first error message had something to do with slugs. Besides being slimy creatures that get run over by cars, slugs have something to do with naming your files, don't ask me what. I found the 4.0 docs, even though Google still insists on listing 3.x higher, and fixed the slug format. Not too hard.


Next was a message to the effect that PAGINATED_DIRECT_TEMPLATES are removed in favor of PAGINATED_TEMPLATES. OK, I'll just change the name of the setting in Nice try. Pelican said "not so fast" and gave me the message "articles_paginator not defined."

Real code problems

python code

Big trouble now, since that looks like some deep code thing, either a variable, object, inductor, conductor, or some other abstract noun way beyond my expertise.

I turned on debug mode, and was either further confused or able to trace the error to a specific file in the theme. Probably the first, since I think I found the file by just searching for "articles_paginator" in the theme folder. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was doing and how to get it to stop. Or, in programmer speak, what values it took and how to feed them to it.

A tactical retreat

I gave up, downloaded pelican 3.7 from the Debian Stretch repository, put a hold on pelican in the package manager, and went back to the .php format anyway. But that gets tired quick. If you want to delete a file, you have to delete all references to it in your tags, categories, and archives files as well.

'It was pagination, my love'

So last weekend I worked up the nerve to take another run at pelican 4.0. I looked again at the error messages and realized that the ones that were causing the trouble all had to do with pagination. Now I didn't use, need, or want pagination. Could I take it out of the theme on my own and make things work? Not a chance.

loose papers

So I went through the pelican themes on github and found someone who felt the same way toward paginating as I did, namely "We don't do pages." I grabbed the category.html file from the Just-Read theme and dropped it into my theme folder. It worked! I modified it for the tags and archives pages and they worked too!

I didn't like everything about it though, so I cut out the unordered lists and the date stamp. And I really liked having a summary of each article on the category and tag pages. So I grafted back the code from the backdrop theme for summaries, and Voila! things were just the way I wanted them. The results are what you see on the main part of this website. If you like the theme, you are welcome to it. You will find it in The background picture is mine though—I'd prefer you didn't use that, at least not without asking.


So I changed a few configurations, removed a couple of settings, and swapped out some code for some other code. Do I understand eveything I did? Not really. Do I know how it works? No, but I know it works. Do I have to understand it to use it? I hope not. Besides, how many Python programmers know what Griffith's Valuation is? Hint: it's not an algorithm.


The picture of the typewriter is from Typewriter by Michael, at flickr, and is used under the Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license.

The picture of Python code is from File:General6545.gif at wikimedia, uploaded by Sagaru9535, and used under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

The drawing of the blank pages came from pixabay.

The "No" sign came from Wikipedia and is used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

A Third Side in the American Civil War

Jacob Snider

Jacob Snider

Jacob Snider of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, was born June 10, 1826, in Bavaria. Jacob began life as a Lutheran but was a River Brethren for fifteen years, then a Dunkard until his death in 1900. His experience during the American Civil War shows that there was a third way of looking at things during this time in our country's history. I will let his grandson tell the story:

"Much more serious times were in store for the family however during the war, for when men come to a time when there is fighting between their own brethren, the political life is strained everywhere. Grandfather, on account of his religious belief would not enlist in the army, and, because he was a Democrat he was held in suspicion as a southern sympathizer, and in time was almost in danger of his life. He was drafted, but in view of his church position, was excused; again he was drafted and this time paid commutation money to avoid joining the army. These things aroused a feeling of enmity in the strong Republican locality, and one night, after a great amount of drinking, one worthless fellow was for mobbing grandfather at his home, and grandfather was advised to hide for a while till things quieted down. However nothing came of these drunken plannings, and he was never harmed in any material way."

Not all who risked their lives carried weapons.


Jacob Snider married my great grandmother's sister, Mary Ann Kiel, in her home town of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on February 6, 1849. They raised twelve children. Jacob and Mary Ann are buried together in Antietam, or Price's, Cemetery in Waynesboro.

This article was written for The Second American Civil War Genealogy Blog Challenge, by Bill West at West in New England.

The quote is an excerpt from page 15 of Mary Ann Kiel, Reminiscences, by Jacob S Royer, an unpublished typescript, Dayton, Ohio, 1907. See the Documents section of this site for the manuscript. My thanks to a third cousin for the photo and the manuscript.


1880 Census Waynesborough, Franklin, Pennsylvania, NA Film Number T9-1132, Page Number 569A. site for Jacob and Mary Ann Snider.

Marriage and Death Notices from Weekly Newspapers, 1818 - 1865, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Volume 1, Della Reagan Fischer, copier and compiler (McKeesport, PA, typescript, 1963), page 196, from the [Greensburg] Pennsylvania Argus of February 9, 1849.

Lottie Orton of Hastings, Nebraska

1911 postcard, Sakonnet RI to Hastings NE

1911 postcard, Sakonnet RI to Hastings NE

Continued from Mary Orton of Fall River, Massachusetts.

As mentioned in the previous article, in 1911 Lottie Orton of Hastings, Nebraska, received a postcard from her cousin Mary Orton of Fall River, Massachusetts. The question is, can we find any more evidence that Lottie and Mary's fathers were brothers?

The Ortons of Hastings, Nebraska

The address on the card was "321 Kansas Av C St" which is close enough for my money to "321 West C St" where we find Lottie in 1910 with her parents and younger brother Clarence.

I am not at all familiar with Hastings, Nebraska, so I am only guessing, but the street might have been known by both names, or underwent a name change about that time. In 1920 the family is at 501 Kansas Avenue.

Lottie Orton was the second of three known children of Edward Orton and Lillie Amanda Smith, who had been married in La Salle County, Illinois, on November 19,1884. Lottie married Lloyd Dufford, apparently on June 18, 1913, in Jamesville, Iowa. They had one (adopted) child, Howard. Lottie died in 1982, preceded by her husband Lloyd, who died in 1963.

A lot of my information on Lottie's family came from a tree starting with the Lottie Ulola Orton page at familysearch.

That tree says that Edward was born June 1844, in Shilton, Warwickshire, although it does not give a source for the location. According to all but the 1900 census though, Edward had been born about 1840 in England. That includes his information in the following household on the 1851 Census of Shilton Village, Warwickshire:

George Orton, 77, head, widowed, handloom weaver, silk, born Shilton, Warwickshire
Edward Orton, son, 34, handloom weaver, silk, born Shilton, Warwickshire
Dinah Orton, son's wife, 40, born Bramcote?, Warwickshire
Mary Anne Orton, granddaughter, 14, born Shilton, Warwickshire
Edward Orton, grandson, 12, born Shilton, Warwickshire
John Orton, grandson, 9, born Shilton, Warwickshire
George Orton, grandson, 7, born Shilton, Warwickshire
Dinah Orton, granddaughter, 5, born Shilton, Warwickshire
Jemima Orton, granddaughter, 11 months, born Shilton, Warwickshire

That is the same household in which we found George Orton of Fall River, Massachusetts, if you remember.

And this is probably the index reference to Edward's birth, as found at

2nd Qtr 1840
Orton Edward Foleshill Vol 16 page 412

Which is in the same registration district as George's birth in 1844.

John Orton of Hastings, Nebraska

If you noticed, there was also a John Orton in the 1851 Shilton household of George and Diana (Wesley) Orton. I'm guessing that he is the same John Orton who is in Hastings, Nebraska, on the 1880 census, though I can't be positive. I didn't find much more about him, but I mention him in this article and have included him in the database just in case.


So, can we conclude that Edward Orton of Hastings, Nebraska, and George Orton of Fall River, Massachusetts, were brothers? I think we can. Did the postcard help? Again, yes. We could have found their relationship with just the records, but would we have known where to look for the other brother? I don't think so.


Mary Orton of Fall River, Massachusetts

1911 postcard, Sakonnet RI to Hastings NE

1911 postcard, Sakonnet RI to Hastings NE

In September 1911, Miss Lottie Orton, of Hastings, Nebraska, received a postcard from her cousin Mary Orton, postmarked Sakonnet, Rhode Island. The message read:

Dear Cousin Lottie;-
I hope you received my letter. Florence and I are going home Thursday. Mr. + Mrs. Wainwright go to Philadelphia for the winter. You can address my mail up home because I expect to be home all winter. Write soon.
With love, Cousin Mary O
Mary Orton


This post card is an excellent example of how postal covers and letters can be helpful in genealogical research. Mary Orton called Lottie Orton her "cousin", not just once, but twice. That's pretty strong evidence that their fathers are brothers, wouldn't you say? Let's see if this conclusion is borne out by the documents we find. What can we learn about these two young women and their families?

The Ortons of Fall River, Massachusetts

Mary V Orton was born September 1893, in Fall River, Massachusetts, one of eleven known children of George E Orton and Clarissa Chace Brown. Her sister Florence was born in November 9, 1892. They were both evidently working in Sakonnet for the summer, since Mary says she would be "up home" all winter. That was my first clue to locating them, when they didn't turn up on records in the Sakonnet/Little Compton area.

In 1910, Mary and Florence can be found at 284 Meridian Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, with their parents and family. Their father had been born in England, allegedly about 1854, and their mother in 1861 in Rhode Island. I say "allegedly" because further digging into George's records turned up his Petition for Naturalization to become a United States citizen, which he submitted on October 10, 1883. On that he said he was born in Shelton, England, on or about 17 November 1845. His death record (November 30, 1910, Fall River) added his parents' names: Edward Orton and Diana Wesley.

"Shelton" turned out to be Shilton Parish, Warwickshire, where we find George on the 1851 Census of Shilton Village in the household of Edward and Dinah Orton. There is an index reference to a birth of a George Orton in Foleshill registration district in the fourth quarter of 1844. There were a lot of Ortons in the area, but I am pretty sure this is "our" George.

The Browns

Mary's mother, Clarissa Chace Brown, was born June 9, 1861, the daughter of Otis Lake Brown and Caroline Chace Wilbor. You just have to love those old New England families who use a family surname as a second given name. I was really tempted to get sidetracked into the Lake, Brown, Chace, and Wilbor families of Little Compton and the area—they had all been there a long time. If you want to take a look at them for yourself, you can start with this tree at Clarissa Chace Brown. I didn't verify that research, but it looked ok at a quick glance. Or see Clarissa Chace Brown in Google Books' preview of Little Compton Families, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1967.

1911 postcard, Sakonnet RI to Hastings NE, back

1911 postcard, Sakonnet RI to Hastings NE, back

Mary and Florence Orton

Mary Orton was married a few years after this postcard was sent, on January 30, 1917, to Albert J Suprenant, of Fall River. They were found on the 1920 through 1940 censuses in that city, and at last look they were living at 41 Lafayette Street. They had two children, whom I will leave unnamed, since I didn't find death records for them. Albert died on October 12, 1973, and Mary on August 31, 1974. They are both buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River, as are much of Mary's family, including her parents.

For her part, Florence married John S Dupont on October 4, 1920, in Fall River. They were living in Fall River in 1930 and 1940, but had no children listed with them. Florence died February 15, 1982. I didn't find John Dupont's death.

The Wainwrights

Before we leave New England, lets take a quick look at the Wainwrights, the family that Mary and Florence evidently worked for, and who were going back to Philadelphia for the winter.

Joseph Reeves Wainwright and Laura Lloyd Coates were married in Philadelphia 30 April 1901; it was the second marriage for both.1 In 1910 they were living at 1635 Spruce Street in Philadelphia.2 Joseph was the founder of Penn Chemical Corporation3 and, more to the point of this article, a member of the West Island Club, Sakonnet.4 When the Club ceased operations in 1906, Mr Wainwright bought East and West Islands from the club. He died 7 July 1917, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and his wife Laura on 2 February 1941, also in Ardmore.5, 6

If you really want to get sidetracked, read about the history of West Island at In Search of the West Island Club, at New England Boating, and O’CONNOR aka “East & West Island”, at the Sakonnet Preservation Association.

Sakonnet Post Office

Sakonnet Post Office

The Post Office

Thanks to the Little Compton Historical Society, I came up with a picture of the post office where Mary Orton mailed her card to her cousin. The staff member told me that it was at Sakonnet Point near the dock, and was probably only open in the summer. The sign over the door indicates that it was also the Office of the Sakonnet Steamboat Company. According to the Historical Society's site, this picture was taken between 1910 and 1920, which would include the summer that we know Mary spent in Sakonnet.


Getting back to our main theme, so far we have established that Mary Orton's father, George Orton, was born about 1844 or 1845 in Shilton, Warwickshire, the son of Edward and Diana (Wesley) Orton. Did he have a brother in Hastings, Nebraska, the father of Lottie Orton? Let's see.

Sources and more information about the Ortons of Fall River can be found in the Other Families section of this website.

Continued in Lottie Orton of Hastings, Nebraska.


^1."Pennsylvania Civil Marriages, 1677-1950," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 September 2017), Joseph R Wainwright and Laura L Coates, 29 Apr 1901; citing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Register of Wills Offices from various counties; FHL microfilm 1,276,674.

^2."United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 January 2019), Laura L Wainright in household of Joseph Wainright, Philadelphia Ward 8, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 127, sheet 2A, family 33, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1387; FHL microfilm 1,375,400.

^3., Joseph Reeves Wainright page, citing his obituary, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 10, 1917.

^4. New England Boating, In Search of the West Island Club.

^5., Joseph Reeves Wainright page.

^6., Laura L Lloyd Wainwright page.


The photograph of the Sakonnet Post Office comes from the Little Compton Historical Society Collection at Little Compton Historical Society, Online Collections Database. Choose Advanced Search, and enter "Post Office" in the title box.

The best history of Sakonnet Point I have found so far is a .pdf file at Sakonnet Point Perspectives.

Most of the information here is about my family or my wife’s, or about families with ties to Cleveland, Ohio, or the area near Rostrevor and Kilkeel in County Down, Ireland. There are also some unrelated families included that I came across. Whatever the case, I hope the material is helpful in your own efforts.
-- Ed Hamilton