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GARFIELD FAMILIES NEWSLETTER

OCTOBER  2003

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT:
WWW.GARFIELDFAMILIES.COM

     
      JIM FAGERBURG                                                                                                                    DICK GARFIELD
  INACTIVE AT THIS TIME                                                                                                      GARF6019@YAHOO.COM

Dear Readers:
As you can see we have arrived back after about a 2 month rest from the heat here in Florida. As in the past we spent most of the summer in the Southwestern corner of New York State around the Clymer, NY area.

I am not going to get into Garfield History and etc this month but instead will talk about all the people we met. It was a great summer for us.

As I think I mentioned before leaving that I had been contacted by Allison Sharaba, operations manager of Lawnfield, the home of President James A. Garfield, in Mentor, OH. As you probably know, Lawnfield is a part of the National Parks Service, and is a National Historical Site, and is managed by the Western Reserve Historical Society located in Cleveland, OH. I had a luncheon date with Allison and James R. Garfield II, (whom I have met before) the great grandson of President Garfield. James is 84 years of age and told me he dosn't have a computer because he has a pencil with an eraser on it and that's all he needs. After a great lunch we went back to Lawnfield and looked over all the renovation that has been done since the last time I was there, and then got down to business. We exchanged ideas and all agreed that a Garfield Genealogical Center would be a great project where anyone could visit and where the complete Garfield Family Tree would be displayed and they could see where they fit into the overall picture. Also at that time they could add or correct information on their branch of the tree. At the present time we think the tree would be about 25 feet long and 4 or 5 feet high, also we concluded that the upstairs of the recently remodeled barn would be an ideal location. I stated that I would spend as much time as possible there during the summer months plus they were sure there wouldn't be any trouble getting local volunteers to help out as well. About the only expense would be for a computer and office supplies which we could raise thru donations. The next day along  with Allison, we met with the president of the Western Reserve Historical Society for about 2 hours. Their answer was that they thought we maybe were trying to duplicate what they had at the Cleveland Research Center and Library.  They have a huge research genealogical library second only to the one in Salt Lake City. They would like for us to get a more substantial program together showing what we have in mind and they would be willing to look into our request again. 

I asked Allison to please comment on the meeting and this was her reply;
"I think perhaps the focus of "our" part of this piece should be the great idea that came out of our talks, which was a workshop with family/other interested parties about how to create some sort of official, organized "Garfield group" that can assist with the gen research and perhaps raise money to support this effort, as well as becoming involved with the Site. This workshop would show the hard commitment that people have towards this kind of project, and the next step would be to present this commitment to WRHS management and go from there as they are willing to work with this idea. In the meantime, family that visits the site are welcome to drop their family tree info off with us, and we can forward it to you."

So, it looks like we can say at last that we will be having a workshop next summer. It will be held at the Garfield Home in Mentor,OH and hopefully in conjunction with a Garfield Reunion also at Lawnfield. Anyone who can help out for however many days during that time will be welcome. Will try to have the dates available by the Jan 2004 newsletter, Allison will be checking into rooms and etc. It won't be all work and no play, as there are many places in the area to visit, including the Presidents birthplace, his home "Lawnfield", his home in Hiram when he was president of the college, and ofcourse his burial, the James A. Garfield Memorial at Lakeview Cemetery plus many other places of interest in and around the Mentor/Cleveland area.

After meeting with James R Garfield II, and Allison, Nancy and I also met and had dinner with James R Garfield III, his lovely wife Sara,(Sally) their two sons James and Thomas, Jennifer the wife of Thomas, and Mollie & Edward the children of James. James' wife, Elissa, a school teacher had a teachers meeting and couldn't attend. We did a lot of talking for a few hours that night at an Applebee's restauant and when we left one waitress was overheard saying, "well there goes the campers".

After getting back to New York State, knowing that part of the French Creek branch of the Garfields had moved to Erie, PA. I called George Garfield, a name I found in the Erie Telephone Book. He was most interested in hearing from another Garfield and we decided we would get together sometime the next week, and also invite their daughter Lisa, as she was interested in the family as well. About an hour later Lisa called and said that they would like to get together the next Tuesday night at 6:00PM at her parents home in Erie and her mom was cooking dinner for us all. Tuesday night we went to Erie and met George and his gracious wife Marilyn, and shortly Lisa (Garfield) Gensheimer and her husband Rich arrived. We had a great dinner and evening with the Erie Garfields and talked a lot of Garfield Genealogy. It seems that George's grandfather and his grandmother had seperated and Mrs Garfield moved to Erie, PA with the 5 children, so George didn't really know where his grandfather and his family were buried. I was able to tell him about his grandfather George, great grandfather Hoyt, great great grandfather George, and where they were all buried. They promised to fill me in on that part of the family with whatever they know or can find out. I also found out that Lisa and Rich own Main Street Media, in North East, PA. They have a recording studio and do TV productions and documentaries. They gave me their latest DVD documentary called "Safe Harbor", about the underground railroad in and around southwestern New York State, and Erie, PA area. It is really great, very worth while viewing. They do fantastic work. You can check their site out at www.mainstreetmedia.tv

In Harbor Creek, PA I called my cousin, Susan (Garfield) Heuvel, a granddaughter of Claude & Lois Garfield who had a large fruit farm not far from Lake Erie.  Jack, the oldest of 4 sons of Claude's, took over the farm quite some time ago but was killed in a tractor accident. Susan (Jack's daughter) and Wayne, her husband, then took over the farm and are still raising grapes there. She also said she would forward to me as much information as she could find on that  branch of the family.

Next I met with another cousin, Robert Garfield and his wife Pat of North East, PA.  Bob is one of three children of Fred and Dorothy Garfield. Dorothy, still as young as ever and in her 90's was present and we had a great talk with her. I hadn't seen her in around 50 years. They are still operating the family grape farm at North East, PA. Everyone seemed interested in what we are trying to do and they too are to forward family information to us. So all in all it was a great summer for us, and we should have a lot of information forthcoming.

As for the new material that I have been receiving from Charlotte. I didn't get to work on it as much as I wanted this summer because of too much visiting I guess. That, that I did go over, starting with the first generation, shows there is going to be a lot of additions, not only in DOB and DOD but also names being added when I had none, or additions to families that I already had.  I will be doing this generation by generation and filling in the new information. It looks like maybe at least 500 new names will be added. I will tell you what generations I have completed in the past month in each months newsletter.  That way you can make the same changes to your files if you wish.

That about winds up this newsletter and next month will get back to posting the normal information and questions that I have received these last 2 months. I also would like to start a section on each, the Garfield Home in Ohio, and the Garfield Farm in ILL. Will see if that works out.

Untill next month, thanks for reading, and if you have anything for the newsletter get it into a e-mail to me and I'll take t from there. See you in November, Dick Garfield