catch up with their past at Athens County Museum...
the Athens Messenger, Sunday, December 10, l995.)
wars and several years of poor weather left much of the Europe in 1819
destitute, providing incentives for scores of emigrants to leave for
United States. Among the thousands of people who undertook the long
passage across the stormy Atlantic was a young man, Frédéric
Louis Junod, whose ancestors had lived in Lignieres,
Switzerland since at least the 16th century. Along with about 60
of his countrymen, Junod journeyed from Bern, Switzerland, to the coast of
France, by ship to New York, overland to Pittsburgh, then by flatboat down
the Ohio river to the wilderness of what is now Ames Twp. There they had
purchased more than 5000 acres along what is now known as Dutch Creek Road.
Swiss men, women and children settled and began farming and other
endeavors. Many of their legacies are evident around Athens County
in November this year, a kinsman of Frédéric Louis undertook a similar
journey from Lignières, but instead of spending weeks at sea, Nicolas
Junod flew overnight to Cleveland, where he was met by distant relatives,
Charles and Laurie Junod of Castalia, near Sandusky.
group traveled to Athens to learn more about their ancestors who were
Athens County's pioneers. On their arrival at the Athens County Museum,
they saw their family name emblazoned on the side of a building at
88 N. Court St., the site of a former mill owned by the Junods of
Athens County. The building is now owned by Alan and Stephanie Goldsberry
Junods are among growing number of travelers to Athens bent on discovering
their families' pasts. Most of these visitors trek to Southeastern
Ohio with one goal: to visit the Athens County Museum and the extensive
collection of genealogy records housed there.
decided to come down and stopped here at the museum and at the university's
we were amazed at the records that were here," said Laurie Junod,
who with her husband began researching their family history about
years ago. "In the matter of a few hours, we found almost 90 percent
of the information we were seeking," Laurie Junod said of the records
at the museum, which include U.S. census counts, birth and death
reports, military records and other items.
Junod's visit to Athens was part of an extensiv search to find his
entire family tree.
he was determined to find out what happened to Frédéric Louis. He has
tracked his family back more than 500 years, and has discovered several
branches which emigrated to this country during the past two centuries.
He met Laurie and Charles by accident, each researching their families
from different directions and countries.
is to come up with the history of our family, and what happened to
them," Nicolas Junod said. According to Joanne Prisley, executive director
of the museum and the Athens County Historical Society, researching
family histories and genealogy becomes a passion which is difficult
begins as an interest, becomes a hobby, continues as an avocation,
takes over as an obsession and, in its last stage, is an incurable
disease," Prisley said. "That's our biggest business people who are
obsessed," Prisley said. The museum owned by the society on North
Court Street has a steady stxeam of people using its genealogy records,
some of the best and most complete in Ohio.
the society purchased a microfiche scanner to make viewing microfilm
records easier. People travel from all over the country - and in the
case of Nicolas Junod, the world - to conduct research at the museum.