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Area genealogy suffers big losses

August 25, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

To the editor:

The genealogy community in Jefferson County has lost three very dear friends in recent years. Reva Ashcraft passed away on July 24, 2010. Leila Francy passed away on July 19. Both of these ladies contributed more than a dozen books to the Schiappa branch of the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County. All of these books are used on a daily basis. They are used by library staff in answering the volumes of family research that comes to the local history and genealogy room located in the Schiappa branch. The books are also used by out-of-town researchers seeking their Jefferson County roots. To say these books are invaluable resources would be an understatement.

Ashcraft and Francy had a genealogy research business they called Double Tree Researchers. Reva and Leila were neighbors living on state Route 213. They were friends and genealogy researchers for more than 50 years. They spent many years compiling county records from original sources that were found in the Jefferson County Courthouse. They would compile them into bound books and sell them. They also donated copies to our library. The genealogy community, including myself, is still reaping the benefits of their efforts.

There is yet another person that Jefferson County is indebted to for his efforts in supplying easy access to Jefferson County records that are located at the Schiappa branch. Richard Roe, now deceased, went to many of the cemeteries located in Jefferson County and read all of the headstones he found. When he was finished with a cemetery reading, he would then donate them to our library. Over the years, Richard donated 20 books.

It is with much gratitude that I honor these three individuals who have helped to make my work easier. I have had phone calls from as far away as Spain and Italy that were seeking their family history here in Jefferson County. The books supplied by Reva, Leila and Richard always come in handy for this effort.

If anyone wants to see some of these books or look at our hundreds of Jefferson County high school yearbooks, feel free to stop by. The Schiappa branch is open seven days a week.

Sandy Day

Local historian/genealogist

Schiappa branch of the

Public Library of Steubenville

and Jefferson County

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