As long as I was in the neighborhood, I paid a visit to the Genealogical Room at the Morley Library in Painesville. I would have loved to have been able to stay longer and do some serious research in their beautiful, well-laid out facility. But I had just one objective in mind on Monday morning and that was to get the obituaries I had requested back in April. I easily found the films I needed and printed the obituaries.
Myrtle Pettit’s obituary didn’t provide much new information nor did it confirm her relationship to Flora Osmond Fleming. George Center’s obituary didn’t have the information I needed either but it was very interesting to read. Apparently Mr. Center had led quite a life. He came to America from Scotland as a young man and worked for (or with) Generals Custer, Casement, and Garfield. He was involved in the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad and several other railroads, eventually coming to Painesville, Ohio where he met, and married, my third great-grandmother, Jerusha Nichols.
Of course, it was Jerusha Center’s obituary where I expected to find the confirmation I sought. It lists her three daughters — Mrs. James Fleming (Flora Osmond), Mrs. E. E. Longenberger (Etta Osmond) and Mrs. “Mertyl” Pettit (nee Center). It also mentions her son Bert (Myrtle’s twin) and her brothers Alonzo and Ira Nichols.
As near as I can tell, this is the Webster connection with the Pettits. We have a common ancestor in Jerusha Nichols. Her eldest daughter Flora married James Fleming and their daughter Mabel married Willis Webster. From their union came my grandmother Laura who married Frank Warren. Flora’s half-sister Myrtle married Harry Pettit and their son Frank married Frank Warren’s sister Mabel. It all comes together.
Now, I need to set aside some time to process my stack of obituaries to add to the site. That’s one of many genealogical projects I have pending.
As always, finding new information leads to new questions and new leads to follow. Jerusha’s brother Ira married Sarah Jessie Center and the evidence I’ve found so far leads me to believe she is probably George’s sister. His obit is very sketchy on family details, alluding only to his wife and two children. Sarah’s death certificate shows her parents as Alexander Center and Sarah Brodie. I’ve seen them references as parents for both George and Sarah on some family trees I’ve seen on Ancestry.com but I’m looking for more conclusive information. I always take user-submitted trees and data with a grain of salt. I’ll use it as a lead to find a more qualified source.
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