Unique Visitors
Total Page Views
View Teri Hjelmstad's profile on LinkedIn


Good Library Help from Indiana and Ohio

Recently I read an article by Curt Witcher, a well-known genealogy librarian at the Allen County Public Library in Indiana. He wrote about getting more online for your family history.

He suggests that a good research plan begins with checking the local public library. These libraries often have searchable records or links to other important sites.

I decided to give this a try and look for more information on my brick wall ancestor John Davis Riddle who married Olive Dunbar in Summit County, Ohio in 1843. I do not have any information about J. D. Riddle before that date except that he was born in 1821 in Pennsylvania. Perhaps one of the Summit County libraries would have some resources to help along my search for him.

I know that Olive Dunbar lived in the city of Stow in Summit County prior to her marriage, so I began there. I found that the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library website ( has a genealogy section.

This website proved quite valuable. There a found a map of Stow from the time when my Dunbar family lived there. I filed it away for future reference.

I also found a link to the online index of Ohio obituaries at the Rutherford B. Hayes library. It names the Ohio newspaper that printed each obituary and tells where to find it.

Some of Olive Dunbar’s siblings had remained in the Stow area, and I found several family names on this index. A couple of their obituaries had been printed in the Akron, Ohio newspaper. The index pointed me to the Akron-Summit County Public Library ( which offers an obituary look-up service at no cost for electronic copies. I collected these and filled in more of Olive Dunbar’s family tree.

Unfortunately, I have not yet found the Riddle family name on any of these library resources. The origin of John Davis Riddle remains a mystery.

There may be more for me to discover in the libraries of Summit County. I have not yet given up hope. If nothing turns up there, I will move on to the next step suggested by Mr. Witcher—the State library.

Leave a Reply