Power of Maps – Two Families in Same Neighborhood

While examining various City Directories and Census records, I have begun to pay attention to the additional details available, such as street addresses. I need to confess that I also get lost in collateral lines A LOT. But sometimes being lost in the collateral branches show very interesting stories.

I love this photo of a person on the front porch.

One of these stories deals with was seemingly unrelated neighbors who actually are ‘family’ later in life. To begin with, my grandmother Louise Eleanor Long married Lewis Sherman Brown in February 1940. They lived in my mother’s early childhood home of 716 Hanford Street, Columbus, Ohio. I love this old picture in the late 1940s. My mother has many fond memories here and can tell you which room was her’s, her sister’s, her parent’s, etc.

My mother married into the Geiszler family. As such, I research the Geiszler line often. One of the members of the Geiszler familyis Aleta Philomena Bower. There is an interesting story about why she’s sometimes referred to as Aleta Kirchner, but that’s for another day. Aleta is the wife of my father’s grand uncle named William Joseph Geiszler. Now, William and his brother George Joseph Geiszler had a falling out during their adult years. So William’s children and George’s children didn’t really grow up in association with each other.

Regardless of the distance these families put between themselves emotionally, I still research them. And, I suppose Aleta really isn’t that collateral of a family member. As I was researching Aleta, I discovered that in 1949 she lived at 226 Hanford Street. 226 Hanford Street is less than 1 mile from 716 Hanford Street where my grandmother Louise lived. In one sense of the word, they were neighbors. Not immediate neighbors, but certainly close enough to be considered in the same neighborhood.

Two ancestors only one mile apart

In any case, Aleta would have been 70 and a widow of 14 years. Louise would have been 29 with a young family. With the age variance and distance between their homes, it’s quite likely that they did not associate. However,   Aleta lived near Moeller Park. Moeller Park was often mentioned in my mother’s memories, so Louise probably took her young girls to that Park. It’s possible that these two neighboring families at least saw each other in passing. They could never have imagined that their families would have been joined in marriage some 20+ years later when Aleta’s grand nephew married Louise’s daughter. And, it’s interesting that it would be Aleta’s grand nephew that she didn’t have close ties too. This just fascinates me.

It just goes to show that our ancestor’s world was much smaller than we think.

Here’s another interesting piece of information. Between Aleta’s house and Louise’s home was Parson’s Avenue was Parson’s Avenue. Parsons Avenue stands out to me because Louise’s father-in-law had a Automotive Shop in the 1910s. The shop would have been a little over 1 mile south of the Hanford / Parson intersection.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

6 thoughts on “Power of Maps – Two Families in Same Neighborhood

  1. That's really cool. We've had a similar thing happen when we realized that my great aunt on one side probably went to school with great-great aunts on the other side.

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