WINTERSVILLE - Flora VerStraten-Merrin, Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society president and researcher, said she wants the Survivors and Seekers group she addressed at a recent meeting to know she received the McCullough Children's Home registry ledger at the dictate of the late Gordon Grafton, McCullough Children's Home superintendent.
"I met with Grafton several months before his death and he stressed that if something happened to him that he wanted the book in a place where everyone could look at it. That designated place was our genealogical society," she said.
"My genealogy chapter is thrilled, but the book is nearly 100 years old and will only last so long in its present form, therefore we will be digitalizing it the way we are doing the probate packets. In this way, it can be seen one page at a time on the computer," she said.
VerStraten-Merrin said information about the ledger will be forthcoming in a newsletter and the media, but she was thrilled to show the book to Survivors and Seekers members whose names would be listed in the records, dating from 1917 to 1943.
The genealogical president said she can be found at the 100 Fernwood Road, Wintersville office from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
VerStraten-Merrin discussed two groups of missionaries working at the office, one group to rehydrate and put probate documents in the proper order and the second group working to digitalize them.
"The first 100,000 images are now done," she said.
"We held a meeting recently to honor Grafton, your group's president, and I wrote an editorial about his wonderful work. In my meeting with him several months ago, he told me about you people, about your stories from the children's home in the book that he wrote called 'Lost Children of the Ohio Valley.' Now I know a little part of what he felt when he wrote that book," she said.
"I remember when your group was started in 2004. In 2006, your members put up a commemorative monument at the Jefferson County Children's Home, and in 2008, you buried a time capsule," the speaker noted.
"I received a call from a Jackie Burge of Avon Lake telling me that her dad was in McCullough's Children's Home and that she would like a copy of Gordon's book. We are going to meet and I will be able to sell her a copy of 'Lost Children of the Ohio Valley.' And now that we have the registry, she can look through that as well," VerStraten-Merrin said, noting it had records since its beginning.
Darlene Pehanic presided over the business meeting after the covered-dish luncheon at the Wintersville United Methodist Church.