Patrolman Patrick Gaffney’s Murder

Newspaper articles about Policeman Patrick Gaffney’s shooting and other related articles: Some of the images are small and illegible, so I transcribed the articles so that you can read them more easily.

Dec 19, 1918 – Lexington Herald


CLEVELAND, Dec. 19.-In a running battle between East Cleveland police and suspected automobile thieves in which seventeen shots were exchanged tonight, Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney and Police Captain Patrick J. Hendricks were wounded, Gaffney probably fatally. The police believe they wounded the fugitives, who escaped.

The automobile abandoned by the pair was full of, hams and groceries, believed stolen.


Dec. 27, 1918 – Cleveland Plain Dealer


East Cleveland Citizens to Care for Wife of Thug’s Victim.

A committee of East Cleveland citizens has been organized to collect funds for the assistance of the widow of Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney, who was shot by a thug Thursday night.

Mrs. Gaffney has been left with the care of four young children. Her husband carried no insurance and reserve funds are lacking. C. M Caborn, city manager, conceived the plan of soliciting voluntary assistance.

The committee includes the following: Chief of Police, E. C. Kraus, R. C. Morris, H. D. Trader, W. G. Dillon, J. P. Arter, R. C. Potter.


Dec. 28, 1918 – Knoxville Independent


Cleveland, Ohio.–Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney, who was shot as the result of a running battle with two gunmen several days ago died.


Dec. 29, 1918 – Cleveland Plain Dealer


Priest, at Funeral, Points to Sacrifice of Patrolman

“He died in your defense and mine.” was the statement of Rev. William S. Nash, assistant pastor of St. Philomena’s Catholic church, Euclid avenue and Wellesley street, East Cleveland, in his sermon at the funeral of Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney of the East Cleveland police department yesterday morning.

Patrolman Gaffney, who was shot ten days ago, died in East Cleveland hospital Christmas morning.

Solemn requiem mass was said by Father Nash, with Rev. M. J. Casey and Rev. Charles Frey assisting.

Mr. Gaffney leaves a widow and four young children.  A committee of East Cleveland citizens has been named to raise a fund of $5,000 for their support.


March 18, 1919 – Sandusky Star-Journal


Cleveland Crook Puts His Case Up to Judge When Arraigned. CLEVELAND, March 18. – John Grogan, gunman, pleaded guilty to homicide  when arraigned in criminal court today on a charge of first degree murder for  the shooting of Patrolman Patrick Gaffney.

Under the homicide plea it is up to the judge to decide the degree of crime.   Judge Levine will set a date for hearing for witnesses.

Grogan for years has been mixed up in major crimes in Cleveland and special  state prosecutors believe that his story will link up the chain of evidence against  those responsible for making Cleveland and “easy town” for crooks. pgaffneyarticle3-18-1919 *************************************************************************************************

June 27, 1919 – The Coshocton Tribune


CLEVELAND, O., June 27. – John Grogan, notorious gunman, today was sentenced to the Ohio penitentiary for life for the murder of Patrick Gaffney, East Cleveland policeman. Sentence was imposed by Criminal Judge Stevens after Grogan pleaded guilty to second degree murder. 


November 8, 1920 – Sandusky Star-Journal


CLEVELAND, Nov. 8. – Guarded by nearly 100 policemen, detectives and deputy  sheriffs, George “Jiggs” Losteiner, 35, wounded Bedford bank bandit, was taken  from the hospital to court here today.  He entered a plea of guilty to the robbery  charge, but pleaded not guilty to the charge of slaying Patrolman Patrick Gaffney  here in 1918.  Losteiner’s trial on the murder charge was set for November 29.   Police said they had a good case against him.


December 3, 1920 – Sandusky Star-Journal


CLEVELAND, Dec. 3 – Fourteen witnesses will be produced by the state here Monday when the trial of George Losteiner, charged with the murder  of Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney, gets under way.  Losteiner was wounded  and captured while he and several others tried to escape with $2,500 after holding up the Bedford bank.  Gaffney was killed in December of 1918.   John Grogan, a pal of the prisoner, is now serving life for the killing.  Police  charge Losteiner had a hand in the murder.


July 22, 1921 – LIMA NEWS (OHIO)

The two youths were said to have fired the shots, after an attempted holdup.

The first man to be sentenced by the trial judge for stated periods of solitary, was Alexander Kish, Seneca-co convict, who was received Feb. 16, 1915, to serve a life sentence, after having been found guilty of first degree murder charges, with recommendation of mercy.

Kish’s sentence included “the fifth day of each month, and the four previsions days shall be spent by the prisoner in solitary confinement in a darkened cell.”  This later, on the recommendation of Warden P. E. Thomas, was changed to solitary the first day of each month.


Kish brutally murdered an aged woman at Bellevue, and rifled her home, disposing of most of the goods in the town limits.

The most notorious of the eight men who regularly go into the “C. C.”s” or corrective cells, as they are known, is George Loestiner, Cleveland gangster.  He spends each Christmas Day in solitary.  On Christmas Day, 1920, Patrolman Patrick Gaffney of East Cleveland, died from wounds inflicted by Loestiner.

pgaffneyarticle7-22-1921 *************************************************************************************************

July 27, 1937 – The News Journal


Clevelander Who Led Break 11 Years Ago, Succumbs. COLUMBUS – (AP) – George “Jiggs” Loestiner, 52, serving a life term for  murdering a Cleveland policeman during a robbery, died today in Ohio penitentiary.

Loestiner died in the prison hospital.  He had been ill about three days, but  physicians had not diagnosed the ailment.

He was sentenced to prison Dec. 12 1920 for killing Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney.

In 1926, six years after entering the penitentiary Loestiner was one of the leaders in a bold escape by 12 convicts through the main entrance, he and the others were  captured within a few hours, however.


Irish Naming Rules

Irish naming rules are used in many ethnic groups. It can be confusing when you are looking up your ancestors when you find many relatives with the same first name.  However, the Irish naming rules can be a big help too.   This guide will help you to sort through the names, if your family seems to have followed these rules.  When there are multiple first names in one family, your next focus should be on tracking the dates that they lived to sort them more easily.

For Boys

  • Oldest son is named after the father’s father
  • Second son is named after the mother’s father
  • Third son is named after the father
  • Fourth son is named after the father’s oldest brother

For Girls

  • Oldest daughter is named after the mother’s mother
  • Second daughter is  named after the father’s mother
  • Third daughter is named after the mother
  • Fourth daughter is named after the mother’s oldest sister

German Town Name Meanings


The more I involve myself in genealogy research, the more curious and interested I become with other aspects of history that I might not have otherwise given much thought to. Take for example, the names of German cities, towns and villages.

Oftentimes while researching, I have stopped and pondered a name, wondering what it meant, why it received such a name, and about the people who called such places ”home”. German and American localities share many of the same physical characteristics as one another. Three types of these localities that I found worth referencing, and briefly discussed, are “Stadt, Dorf, and Weiler”. German towns and cities are both generally referred to as stadts. A stadt is a locality with a large number of inhabitants, buildings, and significant businesses. Stadts are complete with their own local government and serve as a civil center for the surrounding area. When stadt comes to my mind, I think of the cities and towns, with their hustle and bustle, around my own home. A dorf is known to most people as a village.

These localities are smaller than a stadt, but they have their own local government, church, school, and assortment of businesses. You might think of a dorf as suburbia – those places a short drive out of the city that offer a little more breathing room for residents. A weiler is akin to a hamlet. These very small localities often have only a small number of houses, with no local administration and generally no church. Residents of a hamlet are typically administered by the local government and church of a larger village that they belong to. When I think of a weiler, I think of rural America; getting away from it all; blinking while I’m passing through and missing the place altogether; and the how far a ”country mile” really is. I have found that referencing these names – stadt, dorf and weiler – to their American counterparts – city, village and hamlet – has helped my understanding of my ancestors with their surroundings.

There are also a number of common root words associated with some of these localities. Again, having come across these words with some regularity, I thought it would be useful to find out what they meant, and in doing so, perhaps gain some further knowledge about my family and their neighbors.

Examples of some common words include:

Bach – Brook, Baum – Tree, Berg – Mountain, Born – Fount, Braun – Brown, Bruck – Bridge, Burg – Castle, Dorf – Village, Feld – Field, Garten – Garden, Hafen – Harbor, Heim – Home, Hof – Yard, Kirch – Church, Loch – Hole, Rath – Clearing, Schied – Separated, Parted, Tal – Valley, Wald – Forest, Weiler – Hamlet.

Using this understanding of stadts, dorfs and weilers, and throwing their characteristics into the mix with some of the aforementioned root words produces some fun and informative translations of the names I’ve seen over the years. It is easy to understand why some places, like Falkenberg, the “Falcon’s Mountain” and Rastenfeld, “Resting Fields” have received their names; others, like Langschlag, “Long Hit”, and Raschdorf, “Rapid Village”, are less obvious.

Some other locality examples and their name meanings:

Allenfeld – All Field
Badenheim – Bathing Home
Bärenbach – Bear Brook
Bayerfeld – Bavarian Field
Braunweiler – Brown Hamlet
Derental – Their Valley
Desloch – The Hole
Feuerscheid- Parted Fire
Fischersdorf – Fishing Village
Friedrichhafen – Frederick’s Harbor
Guldental – Golden Valley
Gutenberg – Good Mountain
Hallgarten – Resounding Garden
Hochstätten – High Places
Hundsbach – Dog Brook
Johannesgarten – John’s Garden
Münster – Cathedral
Nußbaum – Nut Tree
Rehbach – Deer Brook
Schöneberg – Beautiful Mountain
Schönewald – Beautiful Forest
Sommerloch – Summer Hole
Vierkirchen – Four Churches
Wallhausen – Living Barrier
Weinsheim – Wine Home
Weitersborn – Far Fount
Windesheim – Wind Home
Winterbach – Winter Brook
Winterburg – Winter Castle
Zweibrucken – Two Bridges

The next time you come across an interesting locality name while reading through a history book, viewing a microfilm, scanning a census record or perusing a naturalization record, do yourself a favor. Stop for a moment and consider the name, what it means today, and what it meant to the inhabitants of that place years ago. Aside from a translation, it might just give you a bit more insight into the lives of the people who called such a place ”home”.

About the Author:
Joseph Yakel is a freelance writer and author of three books. His articles have appeared in publications such as OGS Genealogy News, Communications Technology, The Pipeline, Army Reserve Magazine, and numerous other Internet websites. For great humor, genealogy and family history resources, visit his bookstore at Joe offers free chapter previews.

Family Lineage is a Treasure Hunt


Family lineage is one of the most interesting topics for anyone to discuss because it is unique to each family. Finding everything from royalty to heroes in family lineage is exciting. Having a personal record of family lineage is a great treasure. Recently, the Latter-day Saint church provided Larry King with a copy of his family history during his evening TV show. King commented that although he had received many gifts during his life, he would cherish the gift of his family lineage above all the rest. How do you find the origin and story of a family name as unique as von Niederhausern der Hoboëken Dans or as common as Jones? 

There are three major sources for finding information about your family lineage without the help of one of those little kiosks in the mall.

1) Family History Libraries

The easiest way to learn more about your family lineage is to download all the information that has already been compiled. You can do this with the Ancestral File database that is indexed at the world’s largest genealogy library, The Family History Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Downloading your family tree onto a GEDCOM file can help you do research on the ancestors you are most interested in. In order to find as much information on your lineage as possible in the database, you’ll need to gather information about your parents, your grandparents, and your great-grandparents.

2) Internet

Since only a small percentage of genealogy enthusiasts will ever make it to the Salt Lake Valley, the information has been placed online at–a non-profit website that helps make vital records available to researchers.

3) Field Research

Field research is not always the most practical method for filling in the gaps of your family lineage. It’s certainly the most time-consuming, but it is also often the most rewarding. After exhausting the data that’s already been compiled in indexes, the next step is to do your own research. You can hire an accredited genealogist to do this for you, or you can tackle it yourself. Field research is done by going into census records, birth/death records, marriage records, and anything else that’s available in order to find information on a family. 

These are some basic sources of finding information. Certainly, volumes have been compiled on the subject of family lineage, but only recently has a new method of research been revealed–DNA testing. Through DNA, people whose research has hit a roadblock and hasn’t moved for years can conduct a DNA test to either confirm records already obtained, link themselves to someone they believe to be a relative, or determine what ethnicities make up their DNA.

Remember that building a record of your family lineage is a very time-consuming process, but it is extremely rewarding. Through either the help of a professional or your own efforts, family lineage is a treasure worth discovering. 

About the Author:
Tom LeBaron is a marketing representative of – accredited genealogists who specialize in family lineage. For more information about your family roots, visit



Tap the Power


If you’ve spent any time at all researching your family tree, or looking into your last name origins, you probably already know just how valuable libraries can be in helping you get to the bottom of the riddle that is your family’s history. The problem, of course, is that finding the time to trek to the library that actually has the clues you need can be difficult, if not downright impossible.

But the good news is this: you can most likely get access to exactly what you need without ever leaving home. Thanks to the Internet and tried and true “snail mail,” the information in the world’s best libraries is right at your fingertips.

How to access the best library in the world? Before we get into the tips, ask yourself this question: what is the best library in the world for genealogy researchers? Before you start racking your brain, here’s the simple answer – it’s the one that has the info you’re looking for. Sounds simple, right? But the fact is, lots of people overlook this. If your ancestors came from Tumbleweed, Nowheresville, then that town’s library is going to be invaluable for your research. In this case, size definitely doesn’t matter.

Now let’s look at how to visit the library…without ever really having to visit the library (if you know what I mean).

You can access many library sites online and look through their catalogs. (A catalog is a database of the library’s holdings.).

Not only can you access the catalog of your local library online, but you can also access the catalogs of many libraries around the world. Start with LibWeb (, which gives you access  to libraries in 125 countries.

Also remember that most libraries have an inter-library loan program, which means that you can request a book in your local library that is held many miles away, and the book will be sent to your library so that you can borrow it. Not all books can be borrowed in this way. Older and valuable reference books may only be available to you if you visit the library itself. Here are a couple of sites to help get you started:

* Library of Congress Genealogy: The Local History and Genealogy Reading Room of the Library of Congress ( is a great resource. You can access the catalog at this page:

* The Allen County Public Library in Indiana: The Allen County Public Library has the second largest genealogical collection in the USA (

* Ask a Librarian: Don’t let the thought of working your way through a mass of books intimidate you. The librarians at any library will be pleased to help you, and that includes librarians at libraries you find online. Many libraries have an “ask the librarian” service. Look on the library’s home page to check whether your library offers it. Here’s the “Ask a Librarian” page at a library in Florida, with links to the same service in many other libraries:

4 tips for writing to libraries

If the Internet fails to turn up anything, you can still go the old-fashioned route and write to the librarian at the library in question with your requests. Here are four tips on how to contact librarians and get an almost guaranteed answer:

1. Keep your request brief. If you ask for a complete history of your family in that area, your letter is likely to be ignored. However, if you ask for a date of someone’s death, or the date they were married, most librarians will be happy to help.

2. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. And if you need copies of documents, enclose a donation to go toward the costs.

3. Check your letter carefully. Make sure you’ve spelled the names correctly, and that the dates are correct.

4. If you’re trying to track down a source for information, explain how you came by the information (for example, an interview with someone in the family, an old newspaper, or a letter).

About the Author
Chris Simeral is the creator of the 7 Day Family Tree Genealogy Research Toolkit.

Designing a Fun Family Coat of Arms


Armorial bearings, or coats of arms, take us back to the glamour of the middle ages. In days of old, knights displayed heraldic devices on their horses” comparisons, their servants” liveries, and on their banners and shields. As war medals are awarded today, so coats” of arms and other heraldic devices could be awarded to knights for their service in battle. But the primary role of coats” of arms was identification in battle – the bright, vibrant colors and symbols identified the knight to his men, and his flying banner was a rallying point for them.
Heraldry refers to the study of coats of arms, and takes its name from the Heralds, who were the special ambassadors and messengers of feudal times. They were employed by all great lords, and by the king. Because Heralds traveled freely around the country, they were also the armorial officials. They granted armorial bearings. At tournaments, it was the Heralds” job to check that no knight appeared in the tournament lists displaying the heraldic devices of another. In battle, it was the Heralds” job, on both sides, to identify the living and the dead, and to declare the winner.
Many families today seek a connection with their ancestors through their coat of arms. However, obtaining an official right to display a true coat of arms – i.e. an armorial bearing that was granted to your ancestor – can be a long and tedious process. And for many people, they may not even have an ancestor who was granted an official coat of arms in the first place.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun designing your own coat of arms. Of course, it will never be recognized by any government or College of Heralds (the folks charged with keeping track of official armorial bearings), but it can be a fun family project nonetheless.
If you have an artistic bent, design your own coat of arms using art from one of the dozens of heraldic clip-art libraries online.
To make your fun family coat of arms look authentic, you’ll need two basic components: the field, and the charges (also known collectively as “the shield”)
Over time, the coat of arms has come to simply mean the shield we so often think of when imagining a classic coat of arms. The color that the shield is painted is called “the field.” Any item which was painted onto the field of the shield was called “the charge.” Therefore, if a shield has a lion painted on it, it’s said to be “charged with a lion.”
Common charges on shields included animals, mythical beasts, birds, plants, flowers, and inanimate objects. Charge your own coat of arms with any symbol which has meaning for you. The Knebworth House site at has an excellent brief guide to designing a coat of arms, and even provides an outline of a coat of arms for you to print out.
More Resources for Designing Your Own Fun Coat of Arms
* The Free Heraldry Clipart site:
* Need complete instructions for designing a “do it yourself” coat of arms? A book from Dover Publications, “Design Your Own Coat of Arms: An Introduction to Heraldry” gives you all the information you need.
Other Resources
don’t feel like making a coat of arms from scratch? These sites offer to put a coat of arms based on your last name on a wide variety of products. (Note to serious genealogy researchers: These sites should be consulted and used for entertainment only. They shouldn’t be deemed to accurately contain a coat of arms to which you may have a legitimate claim.)
* at is widely known, and sells all kinds of fun family name paraphernalia, with coats of arms painted on everything from T-shirts to glassware.
* Armorial Gold Heraldry Art:
* House of Names:
About the Author:
Chris Simeral is the creator of the 7 Day Family Tree Genealogy Research Toolkit.

Family Dynamics

This week, I worked with a Patron of the Family History Center to find information about his Grandmother.  It was very interesting to say the least.  Looking in the Census records under proved to be very successful!  We were able to find his Grandparents and also found out that there were Step-Children listed.  What a great clue!  This means that those children were the step-children of the Head of the House hold.  This also means that the Wife/Mother was probably married once before.  Chances are that she lost her first husband through death or she may have divorced him, which was highly unusual in the 1930’s. I read an article recently that I added to my Genealogy Articles page that talks about divorce in the early years.  It seems that most often, divorces happened through abandonment by one of the spouses.  The majority of the time it was abandonment by the husband because Mothers tended to stick around. So, even though we found this patron’s Grandparents, it opened up a whole new can of worms.  Who was the father of the step-children and what happened to him?  This is something that has definitely piqued his interest in finding out more information on that side of his family. Clues like these will help you add pieces to the puzzle of your family history.  Please keep your eye out for things like this in your own families records.

Family Speak

The holidays are getting closer and that means that we will be preparing to get in contact with some of our relatives.  We’ll share our annual news about our families too.  This is a great time to gear up to talk to your relatives about any information that they can share about your ancestors.

Not only that, even though a loved one may have passed away, you might be surprised at what they left behind.  Sometimes, within their possessions that are passed down, you find out that they have photos, papers and items that can give you “leads” about your family history.  You may even have a cousin, niece or nephew that may not understand the importance of a piece of paper or a photo but has held onto a gold mine of genealogy information.  A good way to bring up the topic of your past family members is by telling a story that was handed down to you.  After sharing the story, you could mention that it would be nice if the family had pictures that could be copied/scanned or papers that could be copied/scanned and shared with everyone in the family that has an interested.  There’s nothing wrong with hinting around for information.  A few times that I have done this, I’ve been blessed to find out that the person is more than willing to share their information with me.  For instance, my Father’s cousin was kind enough to actually mail two of her photo albums to me so that I could scan all of the pictures!  What a treasure that is!  She was so wonderful to do that for me.  I will forever be grateful for her kindness and cooperation.

There are so many great phone plans now that calling our relatives costs very little to nothing at all.  It’s really wonderful how easy it is to stay in touch.  Not to mention using the internet for email.  We are truly blessed to have these  easy ways to communicate!

So, don’t wait.  Make plans now to get in touch with your loved ones!  There are treasurers to find with your relatives!

Easy Ancestor File Short-cut

Have you ever gone to a library looking for your family members but forgot that one piece of paper with their information on it that you needed?  I know that I have.  Once you have progressed in your genealogy enough you will find that you have potentially hundreds of ancestors to keep track of.  This is no small task.  Many of us don’t have laptop computers to take with us and even if we did, does that library have a wireless connection or outlets near by to use when our batteries run low.  These are things that we need to contend with when we are doing our research.

The solution is a neat tip that I picked up from one of my genealogy buddies.  What you need to do is buy a Rolodex!  Surprising but true!  In a Rolodex you can alphabetize your family and put their basic info. on each card.  You could go even as far as printing out their info. and taping it to the Rolodex card.  This is an awesome way to carry your ancestors information with you in a small container to any location that you might be going. Another tip, if you want, you can now buy different colors of Rolodex cards.  Then you can color code your family lines.

Then, if you have Smith’s on both sides of your family, you know which ones belong to which line.   This is a very easy solution to keeping track of your ancestors and the information that you need on them.