Henry Kooken Harris

My paternal great-grandfather Henry Harris was born, lived, and died in Fairfield, Ohio.  February 10, 1894 Henry was born to parents Valentine and Hanna (nee Reed) Harris.  He died September 10, 1972 at the OSU Medical Center, Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.

Those are the two most basic facts about him.  I am trying to find out what happened between those two events.

In 1900 he was six years old and single living with his parents at 347 Deshler Ave. in Fairfield, Ohio.  Ten years later he was working as a laster in a shoe company.  A laster shaped shoes or boots.  Still living with his parents but now on Park Street.  

Sometime before 1916 twenty two year old Henry met Ella Marie Snyder*.  Ella was sixteen going on se when she gave birth to their first child Ralph Henry.  Eighteen months later my grandfather Charles was born. 

In 1918 Henry’s mom died.  

1920 Henry and his family was living at 303 Fifth Ave. in Lancaster, Ohio.  He was still working at the shoe factory. In 1921 daughter Helen was born and 1922 Betty Jane was born.  The decade ended with the death of his Father Valentine.

From 1920 to 1940 I can’t find Henry.  In 1940 at 46 Henry was living with his new wife Luella Wiseman age 47 in Berne, Ohio.  Henry was living in Lancaster in 1935.  He is listed as a Laborer and is no longer at the shoe factory.  Ella Marie is living at 416 Mulberry St. in Lancaster Ohio divorced living with children Ralph and Betty.  She is working as a laundress.

In 1972 just five months apart Henry and Luella both died and are buried together at the Forest Rose Cemetery in Fairfield County, Ohio.

I have found Henry’s draft cards for both WWI and WWII but no record of service.  


*I am waiting for a response on a possible DNA match on this line.


  • Year: 1900; Census Place: Lancaster Ward 1, Fairfield, Ohio; Roll: 1265; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 0011; FHL microfilm: 1241265
  • Year: 1910; Census Place: Lancaster Ward 1, Fairfield, Ohio; Roll: T624_1179; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0061; FHL microfilm: 1375192
  • Year: 1920; Census Place: Lancaster Ward 1, Fairfield, Ohio; Roll: T625_1378; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 16
  • Year: 1940; Census Place: Berne, Fairfield, Ohio; Roll: T627_3065; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 23-5
  • Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001
  • Directory Title: The Farm Journal Farmers’ Directory of Fairfield County Ohio; Year Range: 1915; Page #: 54; Publisher: Wilmer Atkinson Company; Publication Year: 1915
  • U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current
  • U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
  • Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007
  • U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
  • Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Fairfield; Roll: 1832195
  • The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147

Grandpa Charles

Time to step away from my Alajko line for a bit and work on my Harris line.

This is my father’s father Charles.  I never met him and he was hard to find.  The name Charles Harris is very popular, especially in Ohio.  It wasn’t until my half brother mentioned he spoke to our grandfather after our grandmother died.  I was able to search using a guess based on the birth date based on my father’s birth and lining past 1995.

That was able to narrow down the Charles to one.  I was able to start filling information on his life.  Then, I found this great record.

My father was born in 1938, his parents were divorced in 1939.  By 1941 Charles was remarried and divorced.  1946 brought divorce number three.  Here we are in 1950 and he is starting marriage number four.

Charles Harris marriage 4 application Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959, index and images, FamilySearch, Wayne 1950-1950 Volume cropped

To the best of my knowledge this was his last marriage.  He may have found someone that was able to keep him.  I’m using this record to help find more information.  I have close to nothing from this to his death in 2006.

I usually don’t have much information when I do these profile updates. If i waited until I had enough enriching details showing their personality I’d never to a single post.  I just keep adding what I know as I learn it.

This is the side of my family that was hidden from me.  Finding this document was a huge boost to learning about the Harris side.  I have his parent’s names, my father’s name, and all those divorce dates.

It does make me wonder if my grandfather leaving his first wife and child had an affect on my father.  He left his first wife after having two children.  Then he left my mom before I was four.  This shows how the actions of our ancestors can affect generation away on a small scale.

The one that started it.

Years ago sometime in the early 80s after my great grandmother died my mother and I went through her things.  We had lived with her since about 1972 so we took our time.   I was a month before my 11th birthday when she died.  One thing we found is this picture with the name Jakob on the back.  We had no idea who it was.  After a while my mother was able to figure out that it was my great grandmother’s father Jacob Gulczewski.  This lead both of us to start looking at genealogy.  Since I was just starting high school by the time we figured out who he was I didn’t spend that much time on research.  There was no internet and not much in the way of “how to” do genealogy at the time.  Since then I have learned more about research and visited a few cemeteries.


This picture is now framed in my kitchen out of the sunlight.

So here is what I know about my great great grandfather.

He was born in 1853 in Pozen, Poland.  According to the 1910 US Census he arrived in the US as a laborer at 21 in 1874.  Buffalo, New York was his destination.  He went back to Poland.

On November 10, 1875 he married Catherine Szafranska.  In 1876 Anthony, the first of thirteen children was born.  Stella, the last was born in 1908.  In 1899 my great grandmother Joanna the 11th child was born.  His first four children were born in Poland.  1879 was his last entry in the US, he and the family stayed in Buffalo.

From a family story they lived at 12 Newton St. where my great grandmother was born.  Later on she ended up moving to 18 Newton St.

Jacob’s siblings that came to the US ended up in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area.  He moved around the Buffalo area.

When he came to Buffalo he worked as a laborer.  It wasn’t until the 1910 US Census where he worked at a coal dock,  Per the 1920 US Census he worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad.

On December 6, 1925 he left Buffalo to go to the St, Stanislaus Cemetery for his last resting place.   His wife Catherine died 12 years later.

Jakob Golczewski grave


Jakob Golczewski grave close up


jacob obit

Where did they come from?

Last year there were a bunch of these ideas on Twitter to show different parts of your lineage.  One was where were your ancestors born.  I have a lot of Polish and German ancestry.  I expect that the Ohio where I haven’t found a European connection was also Germany.  Also though I haven’t found the German connection I believe the Pennsylvania family was part of the Germans leaving the Palante area.  Now, that French connection I have no idea what happened there, must have been love.  Or a French fur trader.


County lines