Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yahoo! I found it!

I’ve long loved this quilt. Partially because it has the oddest patches of any scrap quilt I’ve ever seen, partially because it is SO warm, and partially because of the story.  My Mom* told me that the quilt top was pieced by my great-grandmother Fannie Erwin [1872-1954] and my grand-aunt Julia (Hart) Siddall [1903-1978], who was my grandmother’s[Mabel (Erwin) Snyder]  step-sister. My Mom told me Julia worked in a drapery shop and whenever the new stock came in she would take the samples for the material they no longer carried home. This quilt top was made of those samples. They never quilted it. My Mom inherited it and she put the backing to it and tied it because the fabric was too heavy to quilt. She gave it to me for Christmas some years ago. I use it every winter and love it every day. 

Yesterday, for fun, I set myself the task of trying to find documentary proof that my grand-aunt worked in a drapery shop. I didn't expect it to be simple. Before tonight all I had on my tree for Julia was an approximate birth date, and I could find nothing on Julia Hart. Mom couldn't remember her married name.

Tonight, I went back to my stash of papers I copied from Mom’s box of family history the last time I visited, and looked through it all. In a copy of a letter sent to Mom, on August 2, 2001, from Ann, a cousin (I think) talking about family history, found several mentions of Aunt Julia. The letter included a copy of genealogy profile page on my great-grandmother, Fannie Susan (Hartman) Hart Erwin, which mentioned Julia’s birth & death dates and the men she married, and that Fannie had lived with her towards the end and died there in 1954. So I guestimated that Julia was in Findlay Ohio then as that was listed as Fannie’s place of death.  I plugged all that information that into her Ancestry.com profile hoping for some little hint leaves to confirm what I put in and, among other things that didn't match, I did get confirmation of all of my entries but one of the husbands and her residence in 1954.  And no drapery shop. So I tried running her name, specifically - now that I knew what her married name was - through Ancestry’s search function. There was a lot that wasn’t her. But then, after about hour, eureka! I found her listed it the 1960 City Directory for Findlay Ohio, p.488, contained in the 
U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 database,  which showed her to be a Clerk at Dall's Drapery Shop! [Entry: "Siddall Julia A Mrs clk Dall's Drapery Shop r217 Woodley"].

Now I’d like to find a picture of the store, but this is enough for tonight.

I’ve promised all my living relatives that they won’t be mentioned by name in my blog.


  1. JoAllison: You might want to check out this site and contact the webmaster for a specific inquiry about a photo of Dall's Drapery Shop from 1960 or earlier.
    http://www.tripthroughtown-findlay.com/blog/share-your-photographs It is not clear that the site is still being maintained, but it could be a lead.

  2. One more clue to look into. . . You found info about Julia and the drapery store in US City Directories, 1821 - 1989, but it appears there is a series of such directories specifically for Findlay, Ohio. You might try to find access to the Findlay City Directory for 1960 and earlier. The city directories MIGHT have photos of some of the business locations. Go here to see the evidence for the existence of Findlay City Directories and a place to make inquiry. Good luck!!


    1. Thank you again! You are validating part of my reason for starting the blog, in addition to keeping family informed. I'd been reading genealogy blogs for a month or so, and I kept seeing that some people would post helpful suggestions in the comments. I hoped that I would occasionally get helpful suggestions too. You are very nice to take the time to help me.

  3. A great story, and a wonderful find. The quilt is lovely, more so because it is filled with memories. Thank you for including the link to this post in your comments in my blog, As They Were...


Hello! Thanks for stopping by and choosing to leave a message. I read every message and I usually reply via the comment thread. [I recently discovered that I've been having technical difficulties with receiving notification of comments for the last year (2019 through Jan 2020). I think I've fixed that now. I hope. My apologies if you were caught up in that. I think I"ve caught up with, and replied to, all the comments now. EDIT: I continue to have problems. I will respond as soon as I find out there's been a comment.]