Almost a Genealogy Blog and searching for the Erb Family in Richland County, Ohio Land Records

The Separate Genealogy Blog Question

In a post about a month ago I pondered the question of whether my genealogy posts should be in a separate blog. I really appreciated the comments, including one from the king of genealogy blogging, Thomas MacEntee, who manages a
group of over 900 genealogy bloggers at GeneaBloggers ( He clearly has a Google alert set up for the words "Genealogy Blog"!

Thomas recommended a separate blog and others said they would like all the content in one place. For the time being I've compromised. I've added a link in the navigation bar at the top of this blog to my genealogy content. You can also go to the genealogy content directly at

Searching for the Erb Family in Richland County, Ohio

My Dad's Mother, my Grandma Ruth was an Erb. She told me that her Grandparents were Joseph Erb and Mary Harris Erb but she didn't know a lot more about them than their names and the fact that they lived in Wabash County, Indiana.


Over the years other family researchers and I have discovered that Joseph Erb's father was also named Joseph. Joseph Senior was born in 1788 in Maryland. His wife's name was Elizabeth. They show up in the census in Allegany County, Maryland.  He was drafted and served for a few months in the war of 1812. In the early 1830s Joseph and his family which by that time included 8 children moved to Richland County, Ohio. In the mid 1850s they moved to Wabash County, Indiana.

In my genealogical digging the questions about Joseph Senior and Elizabeth that I am working on right now include:

  1. Where and when did Joseph die?
  2. What was Elizabeth's maiden name?
  3. Where and when did Elizabeth die?
  4. Who were Joseph and Elizabeth's parents? (An family tree may take the Joseph Erb family back several generations. The tree shows that Joseph's father was Michael Erb. There is a Michael Erb of about the right age on the same page as Joseph in the 1820 census but I'd like some real proof.)
  5. Did Joseph have siblings?

In addition to these specific questions I like to fill in details about my ancestors to make them more than just names.

So……. I am currently working on finding the land records for Joseph and Elizabeth and their children in Richland County Ohio. I ordered the microfilm of the Grantee Index for the Richland County Ohio Deed Books (film # 388652) from the Family History Library and it arrived while I was gone on my road trip. A couple of days ago I spent several hours pouring over the index and extracting all the entries for the names Erb, Arter, Caldwell and Calwell. I created a Google spreadsheet of the relevant entries and I took digital pictures of each page that had an interesting entry.


The next step is to search the Grantor index and to start looking at the Deeds. I have the microfilm of the Grantor index to the deed books and  the microfilm of deed book volumes 13-14 on order. I love doing research and solving mysteries. I'll keep you posted on what I find out.

Her is a picture of Joseph Erb Junior, my Great Great Grandfather.


The Retired Ladies Road Trip to Zion National Park – Part 2

My friends and I just returned from our Retired Ladies Road Trip to southwestern Utah. My post for part one of our trip is here. It covers the first three days of the trip.

On day four we hiked to see some petroglyphs at Anasazi Ridge above the Santa Clara River west of St George.


After lunch we hiked in Snow Canon State Park to a natural amphitheater set in white sandstone.


On day five, Saturday, we hiked again in Zion National Park. We hiked the Angels Landing Trail. It was amazing and spectacular. The first part of the hike is up, up, up a trail cut into the rock of the canyon wall. You can see my friend Amy on the trail about two thirds of the way up the cliff.


From the first cliff top we switched back through a narrow canyon.


And then along the cliff face and up using chains to hold on. This was the part of the trail that was scary although if I didn't look down it wasn't too bad.


We stopped for lunch at a flat spot with a fantastic view. From there the trail goes up a very narrow crest to the top. We decided to go no further. The trail is challenging enough without adding ice and snow! The picture below is of our lunch stop. You can see the top and the crest that the trail goes up to get there.


I think the Angels Landing  trail is perhaps the most amazing trail I have ever hiked.


On day six of our trip we headed home across Nevada on Highway 50. It is a beautiful drive. We saw very few cars but we did see plenty of hawks, some pronghorn, and a very unusual weather phenomenon, hundreds of little mist columns coming from the clouds to the ground. It was beautifully unearthly. Here is a picture of some of the pronghorn from the truck window.


The Retired Ladies Road Trip to Zion National Park – Part 1

My friends Amy and  Linda and I are on a road trip to visit another friend Stephanie. She lives near Zion National Park in southwestern Utah.

On day one we drove from Reno to Lone Pine down the east side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was overcast as we drove south so we didn't have too much of a view of the mountains. We stopped at Manzanar, one of the World War II Japanese internment camps. It is a sobering place with an excellent visitor center. Well worth a visit,


On day two we awake to beautiful blue skies and a wonderful view of Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.



From Lone Pine we drove down into Death Valley, the lowest place in the United States, and back up to Stephanie's house in southwestern Utah



Today – day three we went to Zion National Park. It was snowing when we started our hike up Zion Canyon and then the sun came out as we reached the end of the trail and started back to the truck.


From Zion Canyon we went east and did the Canyon Overlook Trail. We saw very few people and we saw a family of mountain sheep right near the trail. I took a lot of pictures.


The view from the overlook was phenomenal too. Do I look like I am having a good time?


All my pictures form this trip are on Flickr here.