Parles-tu Français?

Image courtesy of Chat GPT

Later this summer I will be presenting at an international conference in Boston. One of the requirements is that my Power Point Slides be in two languages, English and either French, German, or Spanish. The problem for me is that I’m presenting on what was the Austria-Hungarian region, particularly what is now Croatia, so I already have two languages on most of my slides – English and Croatian. Adding a third language makes the slides overly filled with text but it is a requirement so it is what it is.

The next issue is I don’t write well in any of the languages so I decided to use AI to help me out.

I had learned at the National Genealogical Society conference that Transcribus was an excellent source to use for translation. Funded by the European Union, it was used throughout Europe.

I created an account easily but had extreme difficulty in getting it to work. It is in English but I didn’t find it to be intuitive to use.

I first tried to upload my .ppt but it can’t read that as Chat GPT can. I then typed the text I wanted translated into Word to upload. It wouldn’t take a .doc so I had to convert to .pdf. It uploaded fine but when I tried to get the AI to learn it I received a message that I needed to add more pages, at least 20. Sigh.

I had little time to watch a YouTube video, not even sure one exists, so I decided I would upload my .pdf to Claude, Gemini, and ChatGPT. Interestingly, I received some very different translations.

As I said, I don’t write in French so I couldn’t be sure what I was getting was correct. Since the syllabus was due I didn’t have the luxury of having a human translation. Plus, to be honest, I didn’t want to spend the money on it.

So, I decided to try to rationalize the correct responses. Here’s how I did that:

The first difference was in translating the English word JOURNAL – as is a professional magazine. I received Revues and Journaux as my choices. I selected journaux as a revues is mostly associated with theatre.

Another difference was translating the term Coat of Arms. I received Blason from Chat GPT and Armoiries from the two other AIs. I went with Blason because it means heraldry and that was what my intention was. Armoiries can be a symbol or design varying from a crest to a family badge to a coat of arms as we think of in English.

Now I would not have thought I would have gotten diverse responses for the request to translate “Thank you for attending” but I did. Attending was the problem word – the responses were assisté (no, no one was helping me), votre presence (for your presence) and votre participation (no, no one was participating unless you consider listening as participating). So, I went with votre presence. Thank you for showing up.

We don’t really think about meaning when we are speaking. We know what we mean and just say it intuitively. AI has helped me realize that the words I use may not be the best choice in getting my message across. I believe in working to perfect the AI prompts so that I obtain exactly what I want. I believe it has helped me to improve my own speaking and writing skills. Not what I would have ever expected could be considered as an AI bonus!

Favorite Genealogy GPTs

AI Generated

I’ve been blogging alot about AI and genealogy and today I’d like to introduce you to some tools that can help you get the most out of AI and your research.

Enter GPTs! GPT is the acronym for Generative Pre Trained Transformers. All that means is this is a tech way to communicate with artificial intelligence. Other terms that are sometimes used instead of GPT are bots, assistants, and agents.

You’ve been using bots for several years though you probably didn’t know it. When you are on a website for your bank or credit card company and can’t find the info you want, you may have clicked on the Chat box. You typed in your question and hopefully, got the information you requested. If not, it usually directs you to a human.

Enter chat boxes for genealogy! The recent class that I completed on AI through the National Genealogical Society tasked us with creating GPTs for genealogy. Here are my favorites through open.ai:

GenealogyAtHeart – Yes, I created this and I’m shamelessly listing this as my favorite because I have linked it to my website. This means that all the useful hints, heartwarming stories, and recommendations to get the most out of your genealogy can be quickly accessed by you on open.ai. Yes, I do have a search box on my website but the search box will only find the terms I’ve entered into it. Through ChatGPT’s Genealogy At Heart you can find EVERYTHING I’ve entered. Side note: If we share an ancestor you’ll be able to find everything I’ve written about the individual quickly and in a summary format. If we don’t share a relative, you can still find all the hints, helpful links, and recommendations I’ve made in the over 500 blogs I’ve posted in the last 9 plus years! Have a brick wall? Need help in planning a project? Thinking of planning a genealogy research trip and don’t know where to begin? This GPT is for you!

DeKalb County, Indiana Resources – Okay, I get it! Most of you don’t have any interest in DeKalb County, Indiana but I am the county genealogist so this is very important for those people who do need this resource. I created this GPT for those folks.

I’m working on a census GPT for U.S. federal census records. Hopefully, that will be available for you your use soon. This will help you access quickly the enumerator directions, dates of the census, compare quickly census results from decade to decade, and so on.

I am not the only person creating genealogy GPTs so here are my other favorites from colleagues:

Diagrams: Show Me – for creating mind maps or showing relationship commonalities with Venn Diagrams, this is the way to go! It is a little slow so be patient. Not so good for creating a family tree.

Genealogy Eyes: Designed by Steve Little, NGS AI Director, this is an awesome one for you to try if you have a picture of a tombstone you are having trouble deciphering or an older family pic you need more info about, such as time period or event. MyHeritage does offer something similar but I’ve found Genealogy Eyes to provide more info and be more accurate (I always try something with AI that I already know the answer for first, to test for accuracy).

GPTs aren’t just about genealogy. I’ve created one for native plants, Native Green Thumb, which is another passion I have. Remember that old commercial that repeated, “There’s an ap for that!” Well, GPTs are the new aps. Everyday more and more are being developed.

Have an idea for one that hasn’t been created? It’s simple to do as AI will help you formalize your thoughts. Just log onto ChatGPT. Click “ExploreGPTs and on the upper right side, click the green +Create box. It defaults to Create which is the simple way; it’s like computer coding in English. If you are a techie than by all means select Configure. Under Create, give the AI your thoughts in the Message GPT Builder and press enter. It will ask you questions and you provide your thoughtful responses. Don’t like what it created? No worries, you can delete it. Want only family and friends to see it? Just select the link option when saving. You can then share the link with them. Or, you can have the link publicly visible to everyone or just yourself.

Want to find more GPTs that can be useful for you? Click “Explore GPTs” and in the “Search public GPTs” type what you’re looking for. It will save your favorites on the bar on the left so you can refer to them quickly anytime. I’m working on one now to help analyze U.S. federal census records quickly.

Please let me know if you see a problem with Genealogy At Heart or DeKalb County, Indiana Resources. Email me at genealogyatheart@gmail.com.

AI and VHS Tapes

AI Generated

I have not tried this AI tip noted on Facebook by Michael Cassara but it is something I’ve placed on my to-do list.

Do you have lots of old VHS tapes? I do and I’ve had them digitized as they do fade away with time.

Michael uploaded his digital file to ParrotAI and had the former VHS tape transcribed. It can then be summarized and you can even ask questions, such as “Where was immigration mentioned?” of “What did Aunt Dot say about her first job?” This would be a real time saver if you can’t watch the entire video and need to refer to a certain part.

Creepy Genealogy AI – An Update

AI Generated

In December, I blogged about a creepy AI discovery I had made when testing ChatGPT’s ability to extract and summarize from newspaper articles. Information in the summary was provided by AI that was no where in the articles uploaded. Although errors like this, called hallucinations, are known to happen with this budding tool, the information that AI proved was 100% correct. That’s what made this feel creepy. How did it know more about my family than the articles I entered?!

You can read the blog I’m referring to here.

I’m now enrolled in my second AI for Genealogy class through the National Genealogical Society and my instructor, Steve Little, noted in class this past week that AI was trained by, among other information, through blog posts.

Bingo! That explains how ChatGPT got my correct ancestors to include in the summary as I have blogged extensively about my Leininger and Landfair families.

Since I’ve blogged about my families for years much of my research is available online. I’ve spoken with other family historians who haven’t had as good a result as I have with using AI. Perhaps this is why I’m getting the results that I am.

When the world wide web was in its infancy, I had difficulty with understanding the concept that once something is place there you can’t get rid of it. Sure, websites come and go but the information is still out there if you look hard enough with tools like the Wayback Machine. Personally, I was involved with an educator only web in the early 1990s and on the world wide web since 1995 so my digital footprint is a large size. Who knew that it would be a help to me with the latest technology?!

If AI is not giving you the results you’d like, I’d suggest that you upload the info you’re working with as a pdf when you prompt it. This might also be a good time for you to start blogging about your family. I will be providing more info on how to do that next week. Happy Hunting!

Customize Instructions with AI

AI Generaated

If you have a Chatgpt account ($20.00/month) you have the ability to customize how you want AI to respond to you. It’s simple to set up:

Setting Up Customized Instructions:

  1. On the left side bottom of the screen, click on your name.
  2. Click on “Customize Instructions”
  3. Make sure the button is enabled on the new screen!
  4. Type in the box your instructions to AI. Mine were that I wanted it to be creative. I’m interested in responses that would be given to a professional genealogist. When I type “Geni” I want the response addressed to “Lori”. I also requested a limerick every so often as they make me laugh.

Why Customize? If you want answers tailored to your role, then customized instructions are a must. If you have more than one person sharing an account, you definitely want to add customized instructions. My husband does not use Chatgpt often but when he does he does not want a response that would be given to a genealogist. So, we added into the customized instructions when his name for AI is typed, AI is to respond with my husband’s name and the information he would want from an expert by adding what the his interest and preferred responses would be. He didn’t want a limerick. He wants a response that is engaging to a reader.

I then created a new chat, addressing Chatgpt by the name my husband has given it and asked it to generate reasons why people shop on eBay. He received a response directed to his name with 10 sound reasons. I then replied and used the name I have given AI and asked why would a genealogist use eBay. I got 10 more sound reasons directed to me (using my name).

In case you’re wondering, here’s reasons it came up with why a genealogist would use eBay:

  1. Variety and Rarity: eBay offers a wide range of products, including rare and hard-to-find items. Collectors or those seeking unique items often turn to eBay.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Many users shop on eBay to find better deals or lower prices than in traditional stores or other online platforms.
  3. Auction Format: The excitement of bidding in auctions can be a draw. It gives shoppers the chance to snag items at potentially lower prices.
  4. Second-hand and Vintage Items: eBay is a go-to place for second-hand goods, vintage clothing, and antique items, appealing to those who prefer pre-owned or retro products.
  5. Seller Diversity: From individual sellers to small businesses, eBay hosts a range of vendors, offering shoppers unique buying experiences and a broad diversity of goods.
  6. Global Marketplace: eBay connects buyers with sellers worldwide, providing access to products not available in one’s own country.
  7. Convenience: The convenience of shopping from home and having items delivered to the doorstep is a significant advantage.
  8. User Reviews and Feedback System: eBay’s review system helps buyers make informed decisions based on seller ratings and feedback.
  9. Protection Policies: eBay’s buyer protection policies can make consumers feel more secure in their online purchases.
  10. Niche Markets: eBay caters to niche markets and specific interests, making it easier for buyers to find exactly what they’re looking for.

To sum up, ChatGPT will allow you to customize how you want your responses and for what audience (a child, a teen, a college student, adult, etc.), and by your role (author, editor, marketer, teacher, etc.). It will respond with the request immediately after you enter it following the directions above. You can switch your roles within a chat. Enjoy!

AI and Translations

Newspapers.com

Perhaps you are like me and you have ancestors who spoke a variety of languages. This can become problematic if you don’t read the language where they left records. Sure, there has been Google Translate, an AI program, but Google Translate was unable to translate fully the article shown above in December 2022 when I needed it for a lineage society application I was submitting.

I tried to type in what I saw from the article but it is written in old German style and my guesses of what the letters were was not accurate. I had family members who can read German take a look at it but they couldn’t decipher the entire article either. I placed the article on two list servs I use and there was disagreement among German speakers of what the translation was because some of the words used were archaic. I eventually got a translation but it took a lot of time, effort, and connections to get it done.

Enter Chatgpt.

I uploaded the article and in seconds got a translation. Wow, it was extremely close to the one that I eventually submitted after the German “experts” looked at it.

I then decided to try translations from French and Latin. I had needed that for the very same lineage society application. The ancestors lived in what is now Germany so they read the German newspaper, however, Napoleon had taken over their area by the time they were married so the record was in French. Their birth record was in Latin. Sigh, that’s alot of language translations needed!

I used records from geneanet.org for birth and marriage that had been transcribed into French. Again, in seconds, I had a very good English translation.

Now, for the final test – I had a letter written in pencil from 1950 that was faded from someone who had written to my grandparents from Croatia, then called Yugoslavia. I could never translate it because I couldn’t even see it clearly. I had once tried uploading it to MyHeritage.com’s photo enhancer but it still wasn’t readable.

Since I had such luck with German, French, and Latin I decided to let ChatGPT attempt a translation. My goodness, it was wonderful! I only wish that I had the envelope or an address of the sender. I now know that the letter was written by one of my maternal grandfather’s relatives. This solves a mystery for me as I know my grandparents sent care packages for years to a relative but I didn’t know who. I never thought to ask as a kid and my grandmother’s address book disappeared when she made several moves as she got older.

ChatGPT’s translation allowed me to get a better understanding of this family question mark. Try it – so far ChatGPT is able to translate into about 50 languages. If it doesn’t know exactly it will give you a hint. For example, I did another query asking for information on plementi ljudi – people of nobility. It wasn’t familiar with the term which would equate with a Von or Van status of a German. What ChatGPT did recognize was that it was a Slavic language and it asked me to be more specific. I then stated it was Croatian and if AI knew what p.l. status meant. It correctly gave me a brief history of the honor awarded going back to Hungary. It acknowledged it didn’t know specifically about the meaning in Croatia but that in other Slavic countries, it came with privileges dependent on the time period. When I gave it a time period I got more specific info. This is important as language based AI’s are not the same as search engines. You cannot ask them to tell you when your local library is open or what the library address is. But they can tell you ideas of what you should research in a library or other archive to get the answer you are seeking.

I have enrolled in the National Genealogical Society’s second AI class so I’m hoping to learn lots more of this new genealogy tool. As always, I’ll be sharing it with you.

AI and Pictures – Will it Enhance your Genealogical Research?

Created by ChatGPT

Happy New Year! Hard to believe this is my last blog of 2023. I’ve been writing about using Artificial Intelligence in family history research for the past few weeks. I hope it has been helpful and taken the fear out of the tech. Whenever I’ve talked about it with my personal FAN Club, I get the same reaction which is either a sign of the cross and the question, Haven’t you seen the terminator movie? to Oh, I want to learn how to do that. Absolutely no reactions in between!

Which I think is quite interesting because I’m a middle of the roader. I love the time saving aspect and the assistance in handling large amounts of data to analyze but I also am very cognizant that this tech is still in it’s infancy, makes mistakes (like people do), and due to lack of transparency from the companies involved, we have no idea what training information was used. So, it could have been an item that was under copywrite, it could have been biased information, or it could have been false information.

That said, I still think it can be useful. I really miss an early Google AI attempt called Picasa. I had saved all of my family photos there and it could identify family members that were infants I could not. I have two sets of twin cousins and in some of the photos I can’t tell them apart. Picasa was able to separate them out individually.

Today, AI can also create pictures. I haven’t tried to input photos from say, 1890, and ask it to take the person in the photo and create a new picture in 1820 period clothes but I suspect that can be done. Sounds interesting and want to get started?

Through ChatGPT I use Dall-E. It has become one in the same since November. Before that, Dall-E was Beta but now they are joined. Here’s how to use AI to get a picture.

  1. In the chat box, ask to “Create a picture or photo of” whatever. You can be specific or not.
  2. When you get a response you might want to edit the picture. You can have the AI do that by specifically stating what you want altered. In the photo above, I asked to update the first image with the word “2024” added. I never told it where to add but perhaps you wanted it front and center. You can then tell it to add a calendar showing the month of January and the year 2024 displayed.

I will be one of seven professional genealogists giving a lecture at an upcoming genealogical conference later in 2024. I will be using AI to create some of the slide pics. For some slides, I had an idea but for others, I let AI create for me with only the slide title as the instruction.

Ethically, I believe that I need to credit AI for the pictures, just as I would source any photo that I use.

I hope you are enjoying the holidays with family and friends. I look forward to 2024 and providing you with more heartfelt and informative blogs. All the best to you and yours!

AI and Your Genealogy Notes

AI Image

Previously I blogged about using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create narratives of your ancestor’s lives. Today, I’m going to show you how you can take those online classes you are attending and make concise notes from the chat box.

Why the chat box you may think? Because the chat box often contains important information that participants have thought about the subject to add – new questions to ask the speaker – and resources and links that someone attending found useful.

Here’s the how to turn your chat box chatter into useful info:

  1. At the end of the session, either highlight the enter chat box conversation and copy (ctr c) to a Word document (ctr v). Save as a pdf.
  2. Upload to ChatGPT, Claude, or Bard. (Try more than one to see the results and which you prefer).
  3. Provide a prompt – “You are a professional genealogist and expert writer. Please create an executive summary from the information provided. List attendees, key topics discussed, key questions raised, and notable moment.

You can also do this from YouTube videos for the class itself if you don’t have time to view it. Here’s a how to get a copy of the transcript. Then, follow the three steps noted above. You can tell your AI helper to make a title of the video you watched, add the date, and add the speaker’s name, too. Personally, I’d save the results to my Dropbox as I keep syllabi there to refer to in the future, if needed.

Can AI Establish Relationship from Indirect Sources Only?

Picture Courtesy of Chat GPT

Like last week, my answer is a strong maybe! I’ve been researching my John Duer, Patriot, and his relationship to his purported son, Thomas for YEARS! I have so much indirect evidence and one piece that does state Thomas was the son of John but it is in a collection made beginning in 1865 that doesn’t provide the source. Of course!

So, I turned to AI to get its take on the problem.

Before I tell you the result, I want to share with you how to take data and create an Excel table using AI. It’s so super simple and saves a lot of time. WARNING: Like with all new tech, you much check for accuracy. Don’t assume it is 100% correct. Even with the time taken for that, it will be a time saver in the long run.

  1. Create a prompt to “extract structured data from…” whatever you uploaded. From the class I took, it was suggested we add “prioritize fidelity to the information below; dry recitation, avoid editorialization. Prioritize sentence-by-sentence from beginning to end. Extract from the (uploaded item) this structured data… (list whatever info you want). Display your response in the form of a CSV file. The response should have the header row: (titles you want – could be) “Person’s Names”, “Relationships Noted”, “Evidence of the Relationship” (or whatever you deem important). Enclose all cells or fields in quotation marks, omit, ignore, and avoid commas and other punctuation in the original text in your response in an attempt to keep the CSV error-free. Display your response in a code window for easy copy-and-paste.
  2. Upload your item as a .pdf file.
  3. A black box will display with the text in white letters. You can ctr c and ctr v into Notepad (you can find notepad by typing Notepad or Text in your computer search bar). Or, you can click on the upper right screen on ChatGPT and share, then copy code.
  4. Open the file in Excel and clean it up, if necessary.
  5. Then I opened a new ChatGPT message and gave the following prompt: Today you and I are an expert genealogist and writer. Your goal is to generate true and accurate reports. Find below the contents of a CSV file created from my research on the relationship of John and Thomas Duer. Transform the structured data into a narrative report; dry recitation, no editorialization, please.
  6. This is what I received:

John Duer was born on January 19, 1748, in Cranbury, Middlesex, New Jersey. Various sources, including family data collections and genealogical websites, document this event. The death of John’s mother, Mary Ann Hollingshead Duer, occurred in 1751 in Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, although specific source documentation is absent beyond public family trees.

In 1773, John married Susannah Miller in Sussex, New Jersey. Their marriage is recorded in the Family Data Collection and referenced in genealogical records from Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio. The couple had several children, the first of which was Esther Duer Hopkins, born in Monmouth, New Jersey, in 1774. However, there is a discrepancy in her birth location, as other sources suggest Sussex County, New Jersey, as her birthplace.

John’s military service is confused with that of a cousin who served in the Pennsylvania militia. Despite this error, records from Ohio acknowledge John Duer’s service, including listings in the official roster of American Revolution soldiers buried in Ohio.

Thomas Duer, John’s son, was born in 1775 in Sussex, New Jersey, with multiple sources confirming this, though his gravestone lacks specific dates. Jonathan Duer followed on November 11, 1777, also in Sussex, with his life documented through family data collections and census records.

Joseph Duer’s birth in 1779 is only supported by public family trees, lacking concrete source documentation. In 1780, Mary Duer Hazen, another of John’s daughters, was born in Sussex. Her lineage is established through the DAR lineage book and a family history published in 1947.

John Duer was a church member at the First Baptist Church of Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, in 1783, with historical records from the Sussex County Historical Society likely supporting this fact. His military service is further documented in DAR and New Jersey Revolutionary War records, as well as in family genealogical files.

In the following years, John resided in Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, where he is listed as a vestryman in a history of Christ Church, and in Hanover Township, Morris County, New Jersey, as indicated by tax records. He also engaged in land transactions, including purchasing land that would later become part of West Virginia, and in 1797, he was a resident of Mansfield Township, Sussex, New Jersey, acting as a bondsman.

John’s life from 1798 to 1829 included various land dealings, military service records, family events such as the deaths of his sister Anna Duer Hull and his son Thomas Duer, and his own death on April 3, 1831, in Jackson Township, Trumbull, Ohio. His will was probated in March 1832, and his estate included guardianship arrangements for his grandchildren.

The narrative concludes with references to Thomas Duer’s estate papers, tax records, and land transactions that involved John Duer and his son Thomas. The document also notes a DNA connection to the family through Elizabeth Suriner and references to historical maps and newspaper articles related to the Duer family in Hubbard, Trumbull, Ohio.

Interesting, huh?! Nowhere in the csv data did it say that Thomas was John’s son. My headings were Date, Event, Place, Source, Name. Would this be accepted by a lineage society? Definitely not but it was an unbiased analysis of the indirect evidence. I did provide in the prompt to look for a relationship of John and Thomas Duer but did not state it was father-son.

I’d love to hear what you find in using AI to establish relationship.

AI Prompt Chain and My Creepy Genealogy Result

Prompt Chaining in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to me just means taking baby steps to get to your desired end product. It’s like wanting your three year old to follow four directions but that’s too much so you give them three and then add the fourth.

What I wanted to do was use AI to extract (pull out) key parts of newspaper articles about my grandfather Edwin Anton Leininger to do the following:

Create an executive summary of the articles

List the FAN club noted in the articles

Determine the FAN Club relationship to my grandfather

List locations from the articles

Note dates from the articles

Create a narrative based on the relationships and key details from the articles

Think about how long this would take you to do. It took ChatGPT less than 5 minutes.

Was it entirely accurate? Nope, and here’s where it got creepy.

My first step was to select six newspaper articles over the time period my grandfather lived and from various locations. Chat GPT can only handle about four newspaper articles at a time so I uploaded those first sets (one from 1918 where he was collecting money for the war effort for YMCA in Ohio, a 1970 article about the historic dairy farm he once ran in Indiana, a 1950 story about a calf who had escaped from the farm, a 1940 article about him buying the farm). I didn’t upload them in chronological order. I then asked for a summary of the four articles. What I received was all correct; each article had the heading taken from the article and key points bulleted.

Next I uploaded his obituary and a photo from 1944 with a short heading of his job with the railroads. I asked AI to add the two latest articles to the summary.

But AI has a short memory so what I received was the summary for just the two last articles. I wrote a new prompt asking for a creation of an executive summary for the articles combined.

AI did as I asked so I then requested to extract the names and provide relationships. I also asked to list locations from the articles. Here’s where it got weird!

First, there were errors with names. I quickly figured out Mrs. Troncale was misread and should have been Tronolone. AI didn’t figure out that my grandfather was listed by different names – Edwin A., E.A., and Ed. AI thought these were all separate individuals. It also placed locations with names; technically this is correct as the name of a dairy is a name and I hadn’t given a clear direction for geographic names only.

I informed AI of the mistakes/corrections and received a new list. I then asked AI to substitute first names for women who had “Mrs.” only. That was done correctly.

In reviewing the last list three names appeared that were related to my grandfather but I didn’t recall those being in the articles. I went back and read all six articles. Nope, none of these names appeared. Where did this come from?

I asked Chat GPT to let me know where the names were found. I received an apology and a name removal.

The creepy part here is that the names were correctly related to my grandfather. One was his sister, another was his mother-in-law, and the third was his grandfather. How in the world did AI happen to select the right first and last names that were related to him?

We know AI is not 100% accurate but to select three people, all with different last names, and tie them to the extraction when they weren’t listed in simply weird. So I asked (response above). The response doesn’t provide the answer. I don’t believe AI is psychic and the information came from somewhere. I suspect that information is in fact being pulled externally and perhaps not now, but had been in training.

The end product, a summary of the six newspaper articles taken from throughout my grandfather’s life, was correct. Here it is:

A Legacy Through Time
Edwin Leininger, often referred to by his acquaintances as Ed or E.A. Leininger, led a life characterized by commitment and dedication. Born in Mercer County, Ohio, he later made Fort Wayne his home for nine years. Professionally, Edwin was recognized for his unwavering commitment to the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he diligently worked as a car inspector. Later in life, he became an
indispensable figure at the Hobart post office, where he was affectionately referred to as “the man with the muscles.” For years, he efficiently managed both outgoing and incoming mail, handling approximately 9,500 pieces of outgoing mail and 2,000 pieces of incoming mail daily.
On the personal front, Edwin’s life was richly woven with familial bonds. In his earlier years, he was married to Lola Leininger. Together, they embraced the joys of parenthood with the birth of their children: a son, Guy Leininger; a daughter, Mrs. Bonita Cook; and another daughter who later became Mrs. Ted Tronolone. Later in life, Edwin’s heart found companionship again with Gladys
Leininger. Through this union, Edwin warmly welcomed Gladys’ three sons, Duane, Donald, and Capt. Robert Landfair, as his step-sons.
Edwin’s family circle extended further with his brothers, Sam and Lew Leininger, and a sister, Bertha, who later became Bertha Pifer. The bond of the Leiningers remained strong, binding them together through the tapestry of time.
In 1976, Edwin’s journey on Earth reached its sunset in Fort Wayne. Yet, his legacy—reflected in his professional dedication, familial bonds, and community impact—lives on.