History buff a ‘Joy’ to have

By Regina Villiers. Originally published March 23, 1994 in the Community Press, added October 2022

Warren Joy

For a proper Bostonian whose speech still retains most of his Boston accent, Warren Joy behaves like a native Madeiran. Warren has become sort of an unofficial historian for Madeira and knows more Madeira lore than anyone n Madeira. “Ask Warren Joy” is the standard answer you get when trying to research a bit of Madeira history.

Warren moved to Ohio in 1952, just out of college at M.I.T., to work at General Electric as an aeronautical engineer. But, he didn’t move to Madeira until 1968.

Although his career was in science, Warren has always been interested  in  history  and research. He has an insatiable desire to collect information on an extended list of topics.

In the 1950s, as a genealogy neophyte, he started researching his own families. As genealogists are prone to do, he became totally engrossed.

He learned how to use census records and court records. He. studied migration patterns, marriages, and local history. He pored over history books. He spent his free time in libraries and haunted the archives in Boston and in Maine.

By the time he had researched his families, he was hooked on ferreting out obscure information. So he started researching his new home town.

In the beginning, Warren was interested in architecture, and he researched the old buildings. Also a photographer, he took boxes of slides which he squirreled away.

He was so wrapped up in genealogy that he started “doing the family trees” of Madeira’s founding fathers and mothers. He has researched most of the old families of Madeira, starting with the Hos brooks and the· Muchmores. He has also done the families Druce, Dones, Black, Mann, Hetzler, DeMar, Jones and Kitchel. All of these go back to the founding of Madeira, and many streets bear their names.

During his research of Madeira families, he has uncovered full files of stories, such as local people who served in the “Squirrel Hunters,” a band of minute men who defended Cincinnati in the early days of the Civil War.

His search has led him to interesting people and a bulging mailbox, with letters from descendants of the old families His correspondence is voluminous

He has talked to John Madeira, a descendent of the John Madeira for whom Madeira received its name. The Madeira family roots go back to Switzerland.

Although Warren retired for G.E. in 1987, he probably works harder now than he did. He spends days at his computer, logging  information and writing letters.

He insists that his purpose in gathering this information is just because it’s there, and it’s fun for him. He says he does not plan to write a book. “I couldn’t if I tried,” he said.

 He says his wife, Shirley, nags him about writing it up and getting it into readable form where other people could make heads or tails of it.

He hopes to do this someday. He says he will give copies of it to libraries when he does.

Warren has many spare time interests covering a range of topics. He reads extensively, mysteries and history. He collects coins and is an expert on stamp collecting.

Most of all, he likes to travel. He and Shirley have been to Europe several times and have traveled extensively in the United States. States. They go to New England every year and to Nova Scotia every three or four years.

Since retiring, they’ve been doing Elderhostels and have done about 25 already. He has taken

genealogy courses in Elderhostels.

Wherever he goes, he hits the libraries and archives. Warren Joy is always learning.

Because of his thirst for knowledge, Madeira will have much of its past written down for future generations.

Darlerie Yancey has a small mystery on her hands, and she’d like help in solving it.

When the Yanceys moved to their home at 7266 Jethve Lane in Madeira, Darlene found a silver baby’s fork. She cleaned and polished it and discovered an engraved initial “A” on the back _ of the fork.

The Yanceys have lived in the · house about two years, but Darlene has no idea how long the

fork had been lost. It had dropped down in back of a cabinet.

Darlene feels that this fork would be of great sentimental value to someone, and she hopes someone can help her return it to its rightful owner.

I hope so too, for it sounds like a story.

Regina Villiers is a writer who has lived in Madeira for 25 years