Dedicated to those who have helped to make this Web site possible.
by Charles A. Bliley, January 9, 2011


On a regular basis I receive correspondence or comments such as these: "What a wonderful Web site. Thank you for all of your work." Or, "You must have worked very hard researching and creating the content for this Web site."

Yes, I have put in a lot of work doing just those things, but I stand tall on the shoulders of the work of many other individuals alive and dead. Below is a partial list of those who have generously given of their time and talents to help me out in pursuit of our mutual mutual interests. Deceased members marked with "[D]". All listed in random order.


  1. Frank Anderson Bliley [D] --My grandfather, genealogy research, transcriptions of old letters, archivist of family photographs and heirlooms.
  2. Charles Anderson Bliley [D] -- My great grandfather, encouraged and supported family efforts to document their lives.
  3. Josephine "Joanie" Bliley Oldham [D] -- Aunt who encouraged me to take an interest in family history and history at large. Gifted me a scrapbook of genealogy information in 1960 when I was 16 years old.
  4. Samuel Wagner [D] -- Wonderful documenter of family life through photography.
  5. Inez Wagner [D] -- Samuel Wagner's "righthand man". Created photo albums of Sam's work and writing captions. Nearly 20 survive today and are the core part of the photo collection on this Web site.
  6. Wallace "Wally" and Norma Venable -- Field research, historical writing, Great Lakes historians, photographers and archivist.
  7. Elliott McConnell -- Family history GEDCOM files, miscellaneous family photos and documents and scans of the "Dear Gerty" letter.
  8. Elizabeth "Beth" Simmons -- Major contributor to several Web site selections and Harbor Creek Township historian.
  9. Carl Wolf -- Genealogical field research, architectural photography, photographic and document scans, and excellent family history consultant.
  10. Joan Blila Boettcher & Bruce Boettcher -- Development of biographical resources and photography of the works of Andrew Blila.
  11. David C. Wagner -- preservation and sharing the photographic works of Sam and Inez Wagner.
  12. Dave Moufarrege -- Translations of German scripts and genealogical research.
  13. Rush Maxwell Blodget Jr. -- Son of Rush M. Blodget who researched and wrote the family history of the Darius Mead and his descendents in 1937.


  1. John Hall Bliley -- Protecting and supporting our Bliley family archives in Boulder, Colorado. Producer of transfers of audio recordings to audiotape and digitizing Bliley family movies.
  2. Jean Bliley Everberg and Carl Everberg -- Web site and publication review and editing assistance on multiple projects.
  3. James Bliley Oldham -- Contributor of Lula Dawson Bliley's personal photo album.
  4. George Dawson Oldham -- General consultation and history buff.
  5. Patty Mead -- Early photographs of the Mead and Bliley families.
  6. Janice McLaine -- Provided access to Bliley farm on Station Road in 1999. Parents owned the Bliley farm for over 40 years.
  7. Kara & Michael DeJohn -- Latest owners of the Blila family home in Erie, PA. Have provided access several times for private tours to family members.
  8. Daniel & Melissa Toperzer -- Most recent owners of the Bliley farm and host to family tour of the farm in 2005.
  9. Barbara Chambers -- Geological information on the Chambers family of Wesleyville, PA.
  10. Ed Caudill -- Genealogy: "Descendants of Andrew Coover, Sr."
  11. Sue Yosten Bullion -- Early encouragement and family history data.
  12. Paul (Chip) Bliley -- Photos and information on the Sebastian Bleile/Bliley and his descendents.
  13. Lyle Bishop -- Information on the descendents of my great great grandfather, Andrew Bleile/Bliley's, brother, Sebastian, who emigrated from Germany at the same time.
  14. Nancy Brown -- Transcribed the old and fuzzy memoirs of Mary Jane Mead Bliley and Charles A. Bliley.
  15. Kim Schneider -- Genealogy: "Descendants of Joseph Bleule"

Over the last decade, there have been some stand-out supporters and contributors who have made major content of this Web site. There are several superstars from the past like Sam and Inez Wagner to thank for their wonderful photo albums. These are people listed below have worked very hard, diligently, and thoroughly. In some cases, providing significant contributions without being asked. They are my principal collaborators on a daily basis. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Here they are, and a little bit about them. All are interesting and capable people. I can honestly say, we have never lacked for something to talk about, be it in person, on the phone, or by e-mail. The list is in chronological order of appearance in my life.

Frank A. Bliley
Frank Anderson Bliley
Erie, PA

While my grandfather may have died shortly after I was born in 1946, he remains alive in my mind today. Thanks to his interest in preserving family history, researching the Bliley and Mead lines, and saving so many things, we have a wonderful treasure trove to aid us in our research.

At times he seems to have saved almost everything that touched his life. As I write this, work is being done to archive and transcribe many of the 400 or more personal letters he saved from his siblings and friends in the late 1800s. Some may say he was a "pack rat", but others, like myself, will claim he was a saint.

Thank you Grandpa Bliley!

Beth Simmons
Elizabeth "Beth" Simmons
Denver, CO

Superstar? This lady ranks in the top of the many fields in which she is participates--geology, education, paleontology, and local history. She defines "high energy" and delivers. Beth has written thousands of pages on Harbor Creek Township history, and was cofounder of the Harbor Creek Historical Society. And, the author of several local history books. She has been a regular editor of my Web pages and publications, a solid source of information on people of Harbor Creek, and volunteered to index the journal and scrapbook of my great grandmother, Mary Jane Mead Bliley. That was no easy task.

The fact that she now lives in Denver, Colorado has not diminished her interest in the history of her hometown of Harborcreek Township, PA. Beth was the first living"superstar" of this Web site when she contacted me in 2001.

Carl Wolf
Carl Wolf
Warren, PA

Carl is another Blila descendant and by definition my cousin. He was born in Erie, Pennsylvania and attended grade school with my Uncle Robert McGrorey. Carl's life as a professional photographer in the medical field has brought some wonderful field photograghs to this site. He is an avid genealogist and has "read" several cemeteries and shared the data with the public. He is also an incredible historian of Erie County, Pennsylvania where so much of the Bliley's life took place that is documented on this Web site. He has also supported several my efforts on family history tours of Erie, the Blila house on West 9th Street, and the "Bliley Farm" on Station Road in Harborcreek. My first contact from Carl was June 15, 2003.

Norma & Wally Venable
Wallace "Wally" and Norma Venable
Morgantown, WV

This wild and crazy couple, of which Norma is my cousin, have a serious side. Norma was born in Rochester, New York and is the great grand daughter of descendent of Mary Agnes Bliley Wagner, and grand daughter of son Sam Wagner.

They both Norma and Wally are very interested in history in general, and have done extensive research on the Venable and Wagner families. Both have written historical documentary books on subjects unrelated to our family history, and are amateur historians, and Great Lakes enthusiasts., and well educated in various areas including history, mechanical engineering and the ecological sciences.

Wally invested hundreds of hours in the fall of 2003 scanning more than a dozen black paper photo albums and hundreds of loose photos. Most of this was the work of siblings, Sam and Inez Wagner. Wally's work brought this wonderful collection into the 21st Century and is now available to the world on this Web site. In all, Wally created 600 data files containing nearly 2000 photographs. They are currently providing major support on the review, scanning and transcribing of the letter archives of my grandfather, Frank Anderson Bliley. The letters were discovered in the family archives in Boulder in October 2010 and are showing promise of intricate and intimate insights in the the Bliley family between 1882 and 1889.

Wally and Norma have also support many of may efforts since I first met them in November of 2003. Their help has included research, editing, and guidance on many projects. They also are working on several major new projects that I will be privileged to post on this site.

I would be remiss if I did not mention, in addition to their material support, their encouragement to keep up the development of the Web site.

Joan & Bruce Boettcher
Joan Blila Boettcher
& Bruce Boettcher

Eden Prairie, MN

Joan came into my life in on April 15, 2010 with an e-mail letter of introduction which opened with, "I feel like I am a "missing link." She was right and has since provided information on what was at the time an eccentric but relatively unknown great uncle, Andrew Blila, brother to my great grandfather, Charles A. Bliley. Since that first meeting, Joan, with the able assistance of her photographer husband, Bruce, has made it possible for me to provide a comprehensive profile of this interesting man, and his equally interesting life and family.

The completion of the biographical material on Andrew was very timely. Just as we were concluding the first rough draft, I was approached by a book author, Alvin F. Oickle, who was researching the sinking of the steamship Erie in 1841. Andrew was a teenager who was crew on the ship and he wanted to know about Andrew's life and experience on the sinking. Thanks to Joan's input, I was able to help Alvin out. Andrew's life is used in the book as a point of reference throughout the book. Talk about great timing and a wonderful collaboration.

She consistently provides inspiration and motivation like an artesian well. Bruce has been stellar in scanning and photographing family artifacts.


It all began in December 1960 when my Aunt Joanie gave me, and all of my siblings, scrapbooks containing a selection of family history and genealogical items. These included family trees for two branches and a copy of the "Dear Gerty" letter, and a few photographs, among other things. She enclosed a short note that resonates today as an invitation for one of us to pick up the family book and carry it forward in time. Here is what she wrote:

Note from Joanie

Full-Sized View (140k)

Dec. 17, 1960

Dear Chuck,

These are some records of your father’s family which you will want to keep. You will probably be more interested in your family history when you are older.

They were honest, industrious and good people. This is your heritage.

Because of your ancestors, you exist. Mostly because of them, you are the kind of person you are.

But the future of the family depends on you – and the kind of person you marry. When that time comes, choose well.

Carry on the traditions of our family – and may God bless you.

Your loving aunt,


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