to Journey to the Past, I'm Brenda (Glover) Leyndyke and I believe researching your family history is a fascinating journey.

Social Media for Genealogy

24 March 2015

My local genealogical society, Calhoun County (MI) presented a program on Social Media for Genealogy tonight.  I tapped my daughter, Kirsten Agnello-Dean, to present.  Kirsten is a Chicago based Social Media Strategist and Creative Copywriter. She is currently working as the Social Media Manager for Artisan Talent; Social Media Strategist and Creative Copywriter for Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide; and Copywriter for Liquid Thread.  I couldn't think of a better presenter than Kirsten. Plus, I get to spend some time with her and she showed her mom some blog love in her presentation.

Kirsten did an excellent job sharing her passion for social media with a group of genealogists.  She has given me permission to share her handout on my blog. Thank you, Kirsten, for helping your mom and my society out. Thank you to my son-in-law, Chase Agnello-Dean, who created the promotional flyer for the program.

Social Media for Genealogy

Kirsten Agnello-Dean

Recommended Reading
The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki
Social Networking for Genealogists by Drew Smith

Facebook:  www.facebook.com

Search for:
·         USA-National and Regional areas
·         States
·         Countries
·         Cultures: African American, Hispanic, Jewish and more
·         Cemeteries
·         DNA
·         Lineage Societies
·         Military
·         Surnames and more.                       

·         # means hashtag in twitter
·         Search #genealogy to find people to follow
·         Search areas of interest, libraries, societies, etc. and follow them.

·         http://www.geneabloggers.com/genealogy-blogs/2/  to see a list of over 3000 genealogy related blogs.  Search alphabetically, by type, by surname, or by location.
·         http://www.familytreemagazine.com/article/Top-40-Genealogy-Blogs-2013  a list of the top 40 blogs honored by Family Tree Magazine.
·         http://www.journeytothepastblog.com/ One of the above top 40 blogs, written by CCGS President, Brenda Leyndyke

Other Social Media Platforms
·         Pinterest- www.pinterest.com
o   Look for genealogy related materials, resources, libraries, areas of interest,etc.
·         Instagram-available for ios (i-phone) and android devices. View-able on computers.

o   Follow libraries, National Archives, and more to see great pictures on topics that are of interest to genealogists.

Searching the Michigan State Census Records

19 March 2015

Two important databases have become available at seekingmichigan.org this past week: Detroit News Index Cards and Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1939.  I have been spending a lot of time with these two awesome sources, but there is much more to the Seeking Michigan website than those two collections.

The Seeking Michigan website is the work of the Archives of Michigan and the Archives have been working hard to bring records to those with Michigan research interests.  Currently, Seeking Michigan has 22 searchable collections:
  1.  Death Records, 1897-1920
  2.  Death Records, 1921-1952
  3.  Architecture
  4.  Archives of Michigan Finding Aids
  5.  Civil War Battle Flags
  6.  Civil War Manuscripts
  7.  Civil War Photographs
  8.  Civil War Service Records
  9.  Civil War Volunteer Registries
  10.  Early Documents
  11.  Early Photography
  12.  GLO Plat Maps
  13.  GLO Survey Notes
  14.  Governors of Michigan
  15.  Lighthouses and Life-Saving Stations
  16.  Main Streets
  17.  Maps
  18.  Music of Michigan
  19.  Oral Histories
  20.  Rural Property Inventories
  21.  State Census Records, 1827-1874
  22.  State Census Records, 1884-1894
I use the death certificates, civil war, maps and state census records the most.  The first couple of times I used the state census records I was frustrated because I couldn't find any of my relatives in the Michigan Census.  Eventually, I got around to reading about the State Census collections and discovered why I couldn't find my ancestors in it: the county they lived in wasn't online. Duh!  Tip: Check what is available in the collection before searching.

I will help you and post the available counties and years that are currently available at Seeking Michigan.

The Counties and Years Available for the Michigan State Census Records, 1827-1874 are:
  • Branch (1857, 1874)
  • Clinton (1864)
  • Eaton (1845, 1854, 1864, 1874)
  • Houghton (1864, 1874)
  • Lenawee (1845)
  • Kalamazoo (1874)
  • St. Joseph (1845)
  • Sanilac (1864)
  • Washtenaw (1827, 1845, 1854)
To read more about this collection, check here.

The Counties and Years Available for the Michigan State Census Records, 1884-1894 are:
  • Baraga (1884)
  • Barry (1884, 1894)
  • Bay (1884, 1894)
  • Benzie (1884)
  • Gratiot (1894)
  • Hillsdale (1884, 1894)
  • Ingham (1884, 1894)
  • Iosco (1894)
  • Jackson (1884, 1894)
  • Kalamazoo (1884, 1894)
  • Kent (1884, 1894)
  • Keweenaw (1884)
  • Lake (1884)
  • Lapeer (1884, 1894)
  • Lenawee (1884, 1894)
  • Livingston (1894)
  • Menominee (1884, 1894)
  • Midland (1894)
  • Montcalm (1884, 1894)
  • Muskegon (1884, 1894)
  • Newaygo (1884, 1894)
  • Ottawa (1884, 1894)
  • Roscommon (1884)
  • Sanilac (1884, 1894)
  • St. Clair (1884, 1894)
  • St. Joseph (1884, 1894)
  • Washtenaw (1884, 1894)
  • Wayne (1884, excluding Detroit)
For more information on this collection, check here: 

The Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1939 Are Now Available

17 March 2015

Downloaded version of Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1939 for August Fredrick, my great grandfather.  Found at seekingmichigan.org

The Archives of Michigan has been working on getting the Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1939 added to their seekingmichigan.org for some time now.  THEY ARE NOW AVAILABLE, ONLINE! and yes, I am shouting! I spent the morning looking for dead people!  I have thirty death certificates so far.

To find these death certificates: use the advanced search at the top of the Seeking Michigan webpage and check the box, Death Records, 1921-1952 OCLC LOADING.   Enter your search parameters in the search boxes and happy searching.  A copy of the death certificate is available for download or printing and best of all, it is free.

Currently, the death certificates cover the years 1921-1939.  Each January another year will be added until all the death certificates are online.  An index through 1952 will be added to the website in the coming weeks.

The Archives of Michigan has been working with the Michigan Department of Community Health and Family Search to bring these records online.  Below is the press release that the Archives of Michigan sent to the Genealogical Society of Michigan:

The Archives of Michigan is thrilled to announce that images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free at Seeking Michigan: http://seekingmichigan.org/ The index for records from 1940-1952 will be made available in the next few weeks, with additional certificate images to be released each year as privacy restrictions are lifted; for example, 1940 images will be released in January 2016. Together with the records from 1897-1920 that have been available at the site for years, this collection makes Seeking Michigan the one-stop destination for more than 2.6 million free, publicly-available 20th century death records for Michigan ancestors.

This 1921-1952 collection of death certificates and indexes, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health and FamilySearch, covers a critical period in the growth and development of Michigan. Here, researchers will find evidence of the influx of Eastern European immigration, the emergence of Detroit as the automotive capital of the world, and a state crippled by the Great Depression. Those ancestors that immigrated to Michigan, worked the assembly line, and struggled to make ends meet can all be found here.

An individual’s last name, first name, county and township/village/city of death, birth year, age, and parents’ names are all indexed and searchable. Additional information, including the decedent’s occupation, cause of death, burial location, and birthplace is listed on the certificate itself.

Michigan death records from 1897-1952 are now all in one place, for free! And, as luck would have it, Seeking Michigan is also celebrating its 6th birthday today.

Sunday's Obituary: Estelle Fenn Shaw

15 March 2015

You never know what you will find when searching newspapers for family obituaries!  I was at my local library, Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library, searching for Battle Creek Enquirer news articles.  I was looking for an obituary for my great grandmother, Hattie Fenn Glover.  I didn't find Hattie's obituary, but I found her sister's, Estelle Fenn Shaw.


Mrs. Estelle Shaw Was Member of Prominent, Mother of Publisher.

     Mrs. Estelle Shaw, member of a well known family of Jackson and sister of Mrs. Hattie Glover of Goguac lake, died at 2:30 o'clock Friday afternoon at the home of her daughter, Mrs. R.H. Rossman, in Jackson. Mrs. Shaw was the widow of the late James F. Shaw, who was a prominent shoe merchant of Jackson. She had been ill about two weeks according to the message received by her Battle Creek relatives.
     Mrs. Shaw is survived by two children, the daughter at whose home she died and a son, Arch Wilkinson Shaw of Chicago, well known publisher.  She is also survived by the sister, Mrs. Glover, who lives with her daughter, Mrs. Victor Tyson, 103 Lakefront, Goguac lake and two brothers, Tully D. Fenn of route five, Battle Creek and George Fenn of Hersey, Osceola county. Mrs. Shaw had often visited in Battle Creek.
     Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2:30 from the daughter's home in Jackson.  All of the Battle Creek relatives will motor over to attend the service.  Burial will be in Jackson cemetery.

Source:  Obituary: Local Woman's Sister Succumbs in Jackson, Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan, United States, 15 July 1934, page 3; column 6.

Exciting Times for the Archives of Michigan

13 March 2015

It is an exciting time to be researching at the Archives of Michigan.  Kris Rzepczynski, Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan presented at the Michigan Genealogical Council Delegate Meeting yesterday.  He shared with the group what is going on within the Archives and there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

First, the Archives of Michigan received a large donation from the Detroit News, this includes:
  • Detroit News Card Index- 1 million subject card index spanning 1890-1990's has been scanned and will be available within the week at seekingmichigan.org.  To find, click Seek, then Indexes, then Detroit News.
  • Newspaper Clipping Subject Files that the above index points to are available through the Archives of Michigan.  These are stored off site, so if one is interested you would have to notify the Archives of Michigan which clippings you would like to see before visiting the Archives, about two-three days before your visit. Due to copyright issues, the clippings will have to be viewed at the Archives, no email requests for clippings to be sent will be available.
  • Detroit City Directories-Pristine condition, nearly complete run of these directories are now on the shelf at the Archives of Michigan.
  • Other newspaper files that will be available after processing includes:
    • Newspaper photo files/negatives from 1930-present.
    • Set of Detroit Times microfilm
    • Full run of Detroit News in bound volumes
    • Detroit Free Press clipping files
The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press included the Detroit area, statewide, and national news. Do you want to know about the Detroit Riots that took place in July of 1967?  This would be a great resource.

Next, and Kris wasn't going to elaborate other than to say soon, is the long awaited Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952.  Kris knew the date that they would 'go live', but was very tight-lipped about it. We begged, but he wouldn't give us any other clue.  He did say the images and index are done and linked and will be made available online 'soon'.  Kris encouraged us to keep checking SeekingMichigan.org. The certificates that will be available will be deaths that occurred from 1921-1939. Each January a new year will be added.  This is due to Michigan privacy laws.

Of course in a group of genealogists we wanted to know what would be next!  Next, to be digitized will be the Naturalization records that are in the Archives collection. Approximately, 61 of the 83 counties are in their collection.  Hopefully, other counties will get with the program and share their records with the archives.  Are you listening, Manistee county?  No time line was given for this project and I am sure it will be awhile before we see them online due to the complexity of the process.

Seeking Michigan is an excellent resource for anyone researching in Michigan and it is FREE! Currently, Michigan Census Records, Death Certificate Images 1897-1920, Civil War manuscripts, photographs, records, and volunteer registries, Photographs from early photography and Michigan Main Streets, Early Michigan History documents, Governors of Michigan, Surveyor Plat Maps, Sheet Music, Rural Property Inventories and more are available.  If you haven't been to Seeking Michigan before, it is a must see website for Michigan history and genealogy.

Lastly, Kris announced the key note speaker for the Abrams Seminar which is held in July each year. This year Michael Lacopo will be speaking on 1) Evidence and 2)Between the Census Years.  There will be a lock-in at the Archives the night before the seminar.  More information will be available in the next week at the seekingmichigan.org website under events.

As you can see it is an exciting time for researchers in Michigan.  I am looking forward to the death certificates coming online, in fact, I am going right now to create a report from Roots Magic on Michigan deaths from 1921-1939!  

Military Monday: S.S.Glover, Jr. Compiled Military Service Records

09 March 2015

Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr. Compiled Military Service Record Cards

My excitement is slowly dissipating from the phone call I received from my daughter, Kirsten, when she was visiting the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and asked if she could do any research for me.  Kirsten wrote about her visit here.

Kirsten provided me with my Civil War veteran, Samuel S. Glover, Jr's compiled military service record (CSMR).  I had been thinking about ordering the record ever since I ordered Samuel's pension file.

The CSMR contained seventeen cards and a certificate of disability.  I knew from Samuel's pension file that he had been injured while carrying dispatches to General Buell.  He was shot in the knee and spent time in a military hospital. The cards in his compiled military service record document his time spent in the hospital.  I have a copy of the cards and decided to take the information from those cards and create a table of dates and places.


Nov/Dec 1861
Louisville, Kentucky
Enrolled Dec. 7th in Hanover. Mustered In Dec 25/61 at Louisville, for 3yrs.

Jan/Feb 1862

Mar/Apr 1862
Nashville, Tennessee
Detained in University Hospital without descriptive list
May/June 1862
Nashville, Tennessee
Detained in Hospital
July/Aug 1862
Nashville, Tennessee
US. Hospital No 12 June 8th 1862
Sept/Oct 1862

Nov/Dec 1862
Nashville, Tennessee
Absent in Hospital since Nov 20th 1862

Jan/Feb 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Left sick in Nashville Feb 13 1863
Mar/Apr 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Left sick in Nashville Nov. 20, 1862
April 10 1863

Left sick Nov 30, 1862
May/June 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Sick in Nashville since Nov. 20/62
July/Aug 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Sick in Nashville since Nov 20, 1862
Sept/Oct 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Sick in Nashville since Nov. 20, 1862
Nov/Dec 1863
Nashville, Tennessee
Sick in Nashville since Nov. the 20th/62

Jan/Feb 1864

Discharge and final statement Dec. 8, 1862

David Watt's Passport

07 March 2015

Source: "U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925," [database on-line], Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2015), entry for David Watt; Passport Applications, 1795-1905; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1372, 694 rolls); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C.Passport Applications, January 2, 1906-March 31, 1925.

David Watt was planning a visit to England and Scotland in August of 1920 to visit relatives. He applied for a passport for this trip.  I found his passport application at Ancestry.com in the database, "U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925.  David's application was filled with information that genealogists love to find.

This form was filled out by David himself.  He swears to the following information:

  • Birth: 25 September 1858
  • Birth Place: Methil, Scotland
  • Father's Name: John Watt
  • Father's Birth Place: Scotland
  • David's Emigration Date: about 28 April 1879 from Glasgow
  • Residence: Marquette, Michigan from 1882-1920
  • Naturalization: Marquette County, Marquette, Michigan on 5 December 1886
  • Occupation: Locomotive Engineer
  • Signature: See Document
  • Description of Applicant: 
    • Age: 61 years
    • Stature: 5 feet, 7 1/2 inches, Eng.
    • Forehead: high
    • Eyes: blue
    • Nose: straight
    • Mouth: medium
    • Chin: round
    • Hair: brown, partly gray
    • Complexion: fair
    • Face: long
    • Distinguishing marks: left ear partly gone
And the best part of the whole application:  THE PICTURE!  

I had known some of this information, but it is always nice to have a second source that confirms it. It amazed me how one document could provide such rich information and description of my great grandfather, David Watt.

Next steps for me was to 1) look for his naturalization papers-which I found at the Archives of Michigan and 2) look for David Watt on a passenger list-I found the passenger list for his return to the United States from this trip. I am still looking for the passenger list when he emigrated from Glasgow.  

David arrived back in the United States on the 23 October 1920 having sailed from Southhampton, England to New York, New York aboard the Mauretania.  Images of the Mauretania can be found here, at ancestry.com.

Who knew that a two page document would provide such rich genealogical information.