Group works to keep memory of Portage County's War of 1812 veterans alive

By Rachel Hagenbaugh | Staff Writer Published:

Some may call it the Forgotten War, but the Ohio Society of Daughters, a branch of the United States Daughters of 1812, is making sure its veterans will always be remembered.

In commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the society began developing a website locating veterans buried in Ohio. According to the Ohio Historical Society, 26,280 men from Ohio served in the war. The website's goal is to provide a list of all of the veterans who are buried in Ohio. The society has been tracking veterans and anyone who directly supported the war effort since the early 1900s. It last updated the list in 1988, when the collection totaled about 4,000 people. The website, which displays a list of veterans by county and cemetery, features about 9,000 graves.

"Ohio was a hot spot for the war," said society president Susan Leininger. "We wanted to update our index and were looking at making it available to libraries. We thought the internet would be a great tool for that."

Summit County and Portage County each have about 300 veterans buried in the counties' cemeteries. Aurora Cemetery has the most veterans buried there than any other cemetery in Portage County with 30 graves.

"A lot of Ohio veterans moved out west, but it seems that many of them stayed and lived out their lives here," Leininger said.

The organization has been asking for volunteers to help them find as many veterans as possible.

Leininger said those who are part of the society are descendants of military personnel or government officials from the close of the Revolutionary War through 1815. Leininger's fourth great-grandfather served in the War of 1812 out of Beaver County, Pa.

With an organization of 200 members it's difficult to get everything documented.

"We're slowly but surely getting through the counties but with a small volunteer force, it's going to take awhile," she said. "People can go online and volunteer to sign up to photograph graves in their area."

Those who wish to sign-up to document veterans in their area can visit ohiodaughters1812.org for more information.

The list of veterans also includes those that fought for the opposing forces. John Chapman, who served with the 41st Regiment of Foot on the H.M.S Queen Charlotte, is buried at Locust Grove in Summit County, Leininger said. He was captured Sept. 10, 1813 in the Battle of Lake Erie and became a U.S. citizen in 1843.

"I can't imagine we'll ever hit 100 percent simply because we won't have the right service records available to us," Leininger said. "It's difficult to research in that aspect, but we've had an amazing response from the public."

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1123 or rhagenbaugh@recordpub.com

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