Online Resources

Catalogue of Wellington Union Schools, 1881-1882
This small publication includes a wealth of information: board of education members; teacher list; superintendent’s report; enrollment numbers; curriculum by grade; required text book titles; bylaws; and an annual list of graduates from 1873 to 1882. A paper copy is held in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection. “The Catalogue of the Wellington Union Schools, just issued from the ENTERPRISE office, is as neat and handsome in quality of paper and in typographical style and execution as anything we have seen in that line from any office. It is a credit to our Foreman, Mr. F. Ladd, who is experienced in fine printing and binding, and this specimen of his work shows that there is no need of going away from Wellington to get a superior job of printing done” (Wellington Enterprise, 11-1-1882, pg. 3).

Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Huron and Lorain, Ohio (1894)
This compilation of biographical sketches includes profiles of nearly fifty notable men from Wellington, including Deacon John S. Case, Mayor George L. Couch, multiple members of the Horr and Wadsworth families, John Howk, William Rininger, and many more. Approximately twenty percent are accompanied by portrait photographs or engravings. A hard-bound copy is held in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection.

Greenwood Cemetery
The most complete index to the graves of Wellington’s Greenwood Cemetery is a published volume compiled by Linda Navarre in 1996; it is available in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection. Partial lists of graves (some illustrated with headstone images) are also available via RootsWeb and Find-A-Grave.

History of the First Congregational Church of Wellington, Ohio (1892)
Pamphlet written by the Reverend W. E. Barton, pastor of the church. A paper copy is held in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection.

History of Lorain County, Ohio (1879)
This early county history was issued just sixty years after Wellington was first settled. The main section describing the village begins on page 347 and runs to page 366 (do not overlook the full-page illustrations included both before and after the text). Wellington is also referenced in multiple other chapters and biographical sketches throughout the volume. Multiple hard-bound copies are held in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection.

History of the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue (1859)
An eyewitness account, including full court transcripts, of the famous rescue case of 1858. Compiled by Jacob R. Shipherd. A hard-bound copy is held in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection.

History of Wellington (1922)
Carrie Vischer (1861-1940) delivered this paper before the Sorosis Club, Wellington’s ladies literary society, in 1922. Walter Cole, then editor of the Wellington Enterprise, offered to print the piece in its entirety as a special supplement to the newspaper. It contains factual inaccuracies, but is an enjoyable read and a good jumping off point if you are just beginning to study the history of the village. A paper copy is held in the Herrick Memorial Library’s local history collection.

Lorain County Auditor GIS
The Lorain County Auditor’s office maintains this interactive county map. It is an invaluable tool for those tracing the history of individual properties. Each structure has associated metadata including parcel number, address, current and sometimes former owners, multiple photographs, detailed footprint drawing, and even scans of legal conveyance documentation. One caution: the default year of construction listed for “old” structures, if the actual year is unknown, is 1900.

Lorain County News, The (1860-1873)
This newspaper was briefly co-published in Oberlin and Wellington during the Civil War. Issues dating from 1860 to 1873 are digitized and searchable. The Herrick Memorial Library owns a complete run of the newspaper on microfilm.

Lorain County Probate Court
A searchable index of wills, inventories and marriage licenses dating back to 1824. Access to microfilm of all indexed documents is available free of charge onsite at the Elyria Justice Center. (Photocopy fees do apply.)

Lorain County Records Retention Center Early Tax Duplicates
Tax records for Wellington and its surrounding communities can be found here for the years 1824 until approximately World War II. (Available content varies by location.)

Map of Lorain County, Ohio (1857)
This oversized, hanging map–digitized and available through the Library of Congress–contains an inset map in its upper right-hand corner that is the earliest detailed representation of Wellington of which I am aware. An accompanying business and residential directory provides names and addresses that I have often been unable to find anywhere else. The map can be used in conjunction with Archibald Willard’s painting, Village of Wellington, 1857 (available through the digital repository Ohio Memory) created the same year.

Memorial to the Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve (1896)
This publication was originally released in four parts, issued over the period from July 1896 to February 1897. It was later reprinted in two volumes. The section describing Wellington is in Part Two (September 1896), from pages 308 to 317. Herrick Memorial Library holds hard-bound copies of the reprinted two-volume set and an accompanying index.

Pioneer or West Herrick Cemetery
No known paper records survive for the oldest Wellington cemetery, located on West Herrick Avenue. A partial list of burials can be found on Find-A-Grave.

Rise and Decline of the Cheese Industry in Lorain County, Ohio (1960)
This excellent study by Wellington native Frank Chapman Van Cleef (1881-1984) was first published in the Ohio Historical Quarterly, after he delivered it to the Lorain County Historical Society in 1958. Van Cleef worked in the industry as a youth, as did his father, an employee of Horr Warner & Co. The Herrick Memorial Library holds a printed copy of this article in its local history collection.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Sanborn maps are an extraordinary historical resource. The insurance company compiled detailed drawings of densely populated areas all across the United States as tools for assessing liability risk. They contain an enormous amount of information about commercial, public and residential structures. The Ohio Web Library allows access for research purposes to a collection of black and white digitized maps of Ohio communities. There are forty-three maps of Wellington, dating from October 1884 to April 1949. Note: you will need a valid Ohio library card in order to access this content; you will be asked to provide your card number and verify your library upon sign in.

Standard History of Lorain County, Ohio (1916)
A significant portion of the Wellington content in this two-volume set seems to be lifted without change from the 1879 History of Lorain County, Ohio. Chapter twenty-four in volume one focuses on Wellington (pages 510 to 530), though it is mentioned in numerous sections and biographies throughout the work. Volume one contains general histories; volume two contains biographical sketches and portraits. Herrick Memorial Library holds multiple copies of this set in its local history collection.

Wellington Enterprise, The
The years 1879 to 1899 are digitized and searchable in the free Library of Congress online repository Chronicling America. Additional years are available via microfilm and hard copy at the Herrick Memorial Library. Hard copies of some years are also available at the Southern Lorain County Historical Society, a.k.a. the Spirit of ’76 Museum. An index to all births, marriages and deaths is hosted on the library website. (Note: content for the years from 1921 to 1948 is currently incomplete, but is constantly being updated as available issues of the newspaper are indexed by the Wellington Genealogy Group.)

Wellington Family Album
The Herrick Memorial Library hosts an online photographic repository called the Wellington Family Album. A searchable index of thumbnail images and descriptions can be found here.

Wellington Genealogy Group
The website of the WGG includes free online publications such as an index to the 1851 tax maps of Lorain County, Ohio; an index to the records of the Cowling-Truman Funeral Home; and church records of Huntington, Ohio (1833-1897). There are also publications for sale, including the records of the First United Methodist Church of Wellington from 1858 to 1974.

20 thoughts on “Online Resources

  1. Allen Koenigsberg

    Hello,

    I am looking for any information on DeVillo L. Bennett, a 2-year-old child who died on March 5, 1859, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetry. Even the names of the parents would be very helpful.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Armchair Historian Post author

      Hello, a quick check of the Greenwood Cemetery index shows a “Devillo I. Bennett” (buried March 9, 1859 at age 2) is interred in plot 159A. Plot 159B contains a “Cora Bennett” (no date or age). That *may* be his mother. You might check the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses for Wellington. That might reveal more information about Cora, her age, spouse and possibly even a general location where she was living.

      Reply
      1. Armchair Historian Post author

        Sorry, I noticed something else after I hit send. Even though there are no other Bennetts listed on that page of the index, just out of curiosity I looked at the section map. Through pure happenstance, the way the graves are laid out, the plot next to Cora/Devillo (number 159) happens to be plot number 142. I checked and the occupants of that plot (142) are S.C Bennett and his wife. Neither have any dates. So–again, pure speculation in the absence of any age information for three of the parties involved–S.C. and his wife could be parents/grandparents of Cora and/or Devillo. If any of these folks lived as long as the 1870s or later, you could check the “Wellington Enterprise” index. You might find an obituary that would shed some light. Hope this helps!

      2. Allen Koenigsberg

        Thank you very much indeed. Very helpful info. The Index by Linda seems to have DeVillo T. Bennett (diff middle initial).

        What is curious here is that there was another individual with the same general name (DeVillo Levi Bennett) who was born in Wellington on Dec 4, 1862, to Levi and Sarah Bennett. They had been married in April of 1862. It would almost seem as if he were named to “compensate” for the child that died in March of 1859. “Devillo” seems an unusual name (to me).

        A real conundrum.

        Best
        Allen

      3. Armchair Historian Post author

        I have heard of children being named after deceased siblings. That did happen. I have not run across the name “Devillo” before. Perhaps it was the mother’s maiden name? I have also run across that naming convention, though in my experience, the maiden name was usually given as a middle name.

      4. Allen Koenigsberg

        I have a related question. Devillo Levi Bennett was born in Wellington on Dec 4, 1862. His birth parents were Levi Bennett and Sarah Bennett (nee Lambert). I was once told (by Linda) that they were married in April 1862, but can no longer remember the exact date. The father Levi Bennett died on Mar 15, 1876 in Wellington of “paralysis” and was already a widower. But I could not find a death date for the mother, Sarah Bennett, who must have died between 1870 and 1876, prob of consumption – so he was raised by a Guardian, Edmund Lambert. I have tried all the online genealogy searches without success. Perhaps an old newspaper might have the answer? Thanks for any suggestions! This son (Devillo) later became an inventor and changed his name to Thomas B. Lambert.

        Allen
        (allenamet@aol.com)

      5. Armchair Historian Post author

        I would look at the “Wellington Enterprise” index, listed above, to see if there are any marriage/birth/death notices for the folks you are interested in. I will say the “Enterprise” is very spotty before the early 1870s (meaning copies do not survive and are not available on the microfilm). If you find an obituary, etc., the pre-1900 “Enterprise” is digitized free of charge through the Library of Congress newspaper website, “Chronicling America” (also linked). If you find a confirmed date and are having trouble using the site, let me know and I’ll look it up for you. We’re on spring break from school here for the next two weeks, so I likely won’t see messages for a day or two. Happy hunting! P.S. Are you a local person? Marriage records are held at the records office in Elyria. You could likely confirm an exact date for your Bennett couple. I’ve confirmed wedding dates there as early as the 1828.

      6. Allen Koenigsberg

        Hi,
        I am a far-off person, in Brooklyn, NY.
        Thanks for the suggestions. I have been told that there exists (also) some kind of Guardianship Records in Wellington. This Devillo Levi Bennett became the “ward” of Edmund and Rebecca Lambert as a result of his parents’ deaths while he was a teenager. Levi Bennett (the father) died Mar 15, 1876, but I could never find the exact date of death for his mother Sarah Bennett (but between 1870-1876). Maybe the Guardianship would contain the April 1962 marriage date for Levi & Sarah Bennett and her date of death. Neither shows up on FS or Ancestry.

        Best
        Allen

      7. Allen Koenigsberg

        I have finally determined the marriage date of Sarah Lambert and Levi Bennett, in April of 1862.
        Sarah Bennett died in late 1875, and Levi Bennett died on Mar 11, 1876 (leaving behind one son).
        How would I find/learn where the husband and wife were buried in Wellington?

        Thanks!

        Allen

      8. Armchair Historian Post author

        There are two cemeteries in Wellington Village. The earlier of the two is known locally as Pioneer Cemetery; the main location is Greenwood. I’ve checked the index for Greenwood and found nothing for either of those names. There are no extant paper records for Pioneer. I checked findagrave.com but turned up nothing for the names and dates provided for Wellington, but you should double check that.

        Did the folks in question live in the village, or in the larger township? If the latter, they may be buried in a smaller family plot somewhere nearby, or even in one of the surrounding communities. A broader findagrave search might turn something up.

  2. Allen Koenigsberg

    I did find out a little more about the marriage of Sarah Lambert and Levi Bennett, who both lived in Wellington, Ohio at the time, April 7, 1862.
    For some reason (unknown to me), they were married by Rev. Ansel R. Clark in Huntington.
    So, is there a “good” reason for such a “move” from home – was Huntington considered a better venue?
    And can we find out what denomination/religion Rev. Clark was? Can I assume he was “Baptist” like the Lambert/Bennetts?
    Perhaps this change of location could help explain why we still haven’t found the graves of Sarah Bennett (d. late 1875), or Levi Bennett (d. Mar 11, 1876). Both husband and wife died of Consumption.

    Thx.

    Allen
    allenamet@aol.com

    Reply
    1. Armchair Historian Post author

      Huntington is the next community south of Wellington on what is today St. Rt. 58. There is less than five miles between the two village centers. Many people listed as being “from” Wellington in 19th century publications (the most famous example being Ohio governor Myron T. Herrick) actually came from/lived in Huntington.

      Reply
      1. Allen Koenigsberg

        Hi,

        I note that Devillo Bennett graduated from Wellington High School on June 17, 1880. I have also learned that he was among 19 graduates that year and was honored as one of the Class Orators as well. The topic of his speech was, “The Power of Music.” What are the odds of finding at this late date a copy of his Speech?

        Devillo had been twice-orphaned at the age of 13, but the graves of his parents (Sarah and Levi Bennett, d. 1875/1876) have never been found.

        TIA.

        Allen

      2. Armchair Historian Post author

        The “Wellington Enterprise” did give extensive coverage to events like the annual high school graduation exercises. I’m not sure you’d find the complete speech, but it is not impossible that you would find some mention of it. You can find all the 19th-century extant issues digitized on “Chronicling America,” the Library of Congress newspaper archive. You can look by specific issue or do a general search for his name.

      3. Allen Koenigsberg

        Hi,
        Thank you for your suggestion. Actually, that is how I learned of the Speech in the first place!
        But the article just said that he delivered it at Graduation in 1880 (“The Power of Music”) but didn’t bother to give any of the contents. My only hope would be that a copy turns up in a local library or something like that. It’s probably a very long shot…

        Best
        Allen

      4. Armchair Historian Post author

        With the exception of one speech (1922) on the history of Wellington that was later printed as an insert in the “Enterprise,” I have never run across the texts of any speeches delivered in the village’s history. Sorry!

      5. Allen Koenigsberg

        Thanks for your observation about the difficulty of ever coming across such a long-ago speech delivered by a teen-ager (1880)!

        The reason I ask is that this Devillo Bennett eventually changed his name to Thomas Lambert and acquired 7 US patents involving the use of celluloid in making unbreakable sound recordings, the contents of which were, ahem, “musical”. I thought it would be interesting to see what he thought when he was a youngster. He died in 1928 and is buried in Graceland (under his later name). But we can’t even find the graves of his Wellington parents, Levi and Sarah Bennett who died there in 1875/76. Their adjacent deaths (from TB) made him an orphan at 13 yo.

        Thx.

        Allen

      6. Allen Koenigsberg

        I see that Rebecca Lambert (1834-1909) is located at Greenwood Cemetery. Can anyone guess why her husband Edmund Lambert (1828-1905), also a Wellington native, is not also there?

        Edmund [and Rebecca] were (legal) Guardians of Devillo Bennett from 1876-1883, on account of Devillo’s birthparents both dying from Consumption in 1875-76. Their graves have never been found.

        A recent article (Sep 2021) on Devillo Bennett (1862-1928) has recently appeared. His ashes are buried in Chicago – but by that time, he had changed his name to ‘Thomas B. Lambert.’ He invented (and patented) the first unbreakable phonograph record – cylinders made of celluloid. Some of them still survive. He was often sued by Thomas Edison, but legally triumphed.

        If anyone would like a copy of the illustrated article, just drop me a note.

        Best
        Allen
        allenamet@aol.com

      7. Allen Koenigsberg

        In looking at the burials in Greenwood Cemetery (Wellington), I notice a small problem with Lot #471. There Mr/Mrs D. L. Bennett are interred (no headstone), but there is no date year for their demise or even their individual ages. Or even the full names for D. L.

        Is there a reason for this, or perhaps another way of finding that information?

        I do see that Rebecca and Edmund Lambert are buried together in Lot #1619 (with dates).

        Thanks.

        Allen

      8. Armchair Historian Post author

        The published Greenwood Cemetery volume is a straight transcription of the contemporary written records. I believe the originals are still in the possession of Mrs. Linda Navarre, who for many years managed the cemetery. If a slot is blank, my assumption would be that it was not filled in at the time (i.e. human oversight/error). It was extremely common in the 19th century for men to be recorded publicly by only first and middle initial.

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