Welcome

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

My Ancestry and a German Script Cheat Sheet

24 April 2015

Julie Cahill Tarr has been writing her blog, Gen Blog, since 2008 and I have been a reader for awhile now.  It was only recently that I discovered her post, Tips for German Research-Write it out in GERMAN! and what a helpful post it was. I have always wanted to have someone who knew how to write in German do this for me.  Now, I can do it myself.

Julie explains about the German alphabet and how difficult it can be to try and read it using handwriting guides. Julie gave an excellent tip and the links for creating your own cheat sheet using the German names in your family.  I followed Julie's tip and created my own table:

Ancestor
Fraktur
Sutterlin
Johann August Fredrich
Johann August Fredrich
Johann August Fredrich
Christoph Fredrich
Christoph Fredrich
Christoph Fredrich
Susanna Koenig
Susanna Koenig
Susanna Koenig
Louise Fredrike Zastrow
Louise Fredrike Zastrow
Louise Fredrike Zatrow
Casper Graf
Casper Graf
Casper Graf
Mary Wrightweasner
Mary Wrightweasner
Mary Wrightweasner
Johann Philipp Graf
Johann Philipp Graf
Johann Philipp Graf
Sophia Kolter
Sophia Kolter
Sophia Kolter
Heinrich Kolter
Heinrich Kolter
Heinrich Kolter
Anna Susanna Denzer
Anna Susanna Denzer
Anna Susanna Denzer
Johann Caspar Graf
Johann Caspar Graf
Johann Caspar Graf
Katarina Margareta Philip
Katarina Margreta Philip
Katarina Margareta Philipp
Johann Philipp Graf
Johann Philipp Graf
Johann Phillip Graf
Maria Catharina Geffinger
Maria Catharina Geffinger
Maria Catharina Feffinger
Johann Caspar Graff
Johann Caspar Graff
Johann Caspar Graff
Anna Cecilia Colter
Anna Cecilia Colter
Anna Cecilia Colter
Johann Nickel Grav
Johann Nickel Grav
Johann Nickel Grav
Anna Christina
Anna Christina
Anna Christina

Now, I have a useful cheat sheet to help me with Fraktur and Sutterlin handwriting. If you would like to download the fonts for your use, check Julie's blog post where she has written about this.  Thank you, Julie for the excellent tip.

The Death of Zalton Fenn

22 April 2015

My great grandmother, Hattie Fenn Glover, had an older brother, Zalton.  They were the children of Daniel C. Fenn and Elizabeth Poor Fenn.  I found Zalton's death certificate and noticed that his brother, Tully, was the informant.  

Further research shows that Tully knew what he was talking about when he gave information on this death certificate.  
  • Zalton's name is spelled correctly.  
  • The birth date is accurate, 19 November 1850. 
  • The parents names are given, including mother's maiden name: Daniel Fenn and Elizabeth Poor.
  • The parent's birthplace is accurate: Daniel in Vermont and Elizabeth in New York.
This isn't always the case and one needs to analyze death certificates to determine the accuracy of the information.  I have found more errors than accurate information on death certificates.  This time I got lucky and the information provided was verified by other records.

Zalton Fenn died 15 December 1908 in Big Rapids, Michigan, at the age of 58.

Source: State of Michigan, "Death Records 1897-1920," database, State of Michigan, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org/discover-collection?collection=p129401coll7: accessed 20 September 2011), certificate of death for Zalton Fenn; citing Michigan Department of State, Lansing, Vital Statistics Division.




Veterans Stories at Grand Valley State University, Michigan

20 April 2015



Grand Valley State University(GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan has been preserving oral histories since 2006.  The history department and GVSU library in partnership with the Library of Congress have been collecting the stories of combat and non combat veterans and civilian witnesses over the past nine years.

The Veterans History Project is a digital collection of interviews with people who served during war time, whether one saw combat or not.  It includes veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  Civilians have been interviewed as well.  Stories have been collected from workers in the war industry, aid workers, peace activists, and civilian contractors.

Interviews have been conducted throughout West Michigan.  All interviews have been videotaped and are archived at Grand Valley State University and the Library of Congress.  The Library of Congress has other oral histories besides the ones from the GVSU project.

Currently, Grand Valley State University has conducted over 1200 interviews, most which are available at their website under digital collections.  Some of the interviews are available on I-Tunes, as well.

The Veterans Collection is another digital collection that is available at Grand Valley State University.  This collection has papers pertaining to World War I and World War II.  This collection was gathered, in part, through the work of the Veterans History Project. Information found in this collection includes, photographs, correspondence, and a scrapbook,  This is an ongoing project of Grand Valley State University.

The oral history interviews has led Grand Valley State University into creating documentaries.  There are three documentaries so far:

  1. Nightmare in New Guinea is the story of those who served in the 126th Infantry, 32nd Red Arrow division during World War II in New Guinea.
  2. Up from the Bottoms is the story of the migration of African Americans to Muskegon, Michigan during World War II.
  3. A Team of our Own is the story of the All American Girls Profession Baseball League, that played from 1943 to 1954.  47 oral histories were conducted with for this documentary.
Another part of the Veterans History Project is education outreach to schools. Training is provided to students who are interested in learning how to conduct interviews.  Plus, presentations and materials are available to teachers interested in including Veterans History as part of their curriculum.


Currently, there are 23 digital collections available at Grand Valley State Universities website, many of them that would be of interest to family history researchers.  I have written about three of them. Some of the other collections include Civil War and Slavery Collection, Grand Valley State University photographs and publication, 15th Century printing, Navy Recognition Training Slides, Grand Rapids Oral Histories, other photographs and more.  

Often researchers don't think of university collections unless our ancestors attended that school.  That is a mistake when the resources are as rich as the ones provided by Grand Valley State University. Be sure to check your local university for collections that might help in your research.


Teacher in Salem, New Hampshire Finds Cellar Hole of Moses Poor

19 April 2015

Do you ever wonder if anyone is reading your blog posts?  Sometimes I wonder and then one special comment is left that makes writing worth it.


Source: From A History of the United States by Wilbur F. Gordy, Copyright 1920 by Charles Scribner's Sons of New York. This illustration of The Battle of Bunker Hill is between pages 142 and 143.


The blog post that the comment was left on was "Moses Poor Killed at Battle of Bunker Hill"


I'm a Social Studies teacher in Salem, New Hampshire. This is kind of a strange story, but I'll relay it to you anyway in hopes that you have any information you would be willing to share! 
Out behind the school I teach at, there is an old "cellar hole" that I always wondered about. Last year, I became curious enough about it that I did quite a bit of research and was excited and surprised to discover that it was the home of Moses and Hannah (Sinkler/Sainclair) Poor from 1770 until Moses' death in the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. The cellar hole is in remarkably good condition with a set of steps (probably side/back steps) still in place and apple trees on either side of the threshold. There's even still a boot-scraper! 
 Anyway, many of my students are interested in the site as well, especially since we're making some great discoveries on the site. I've learned a little bit about Moses Poor, but I'd love any more information you have. So far, all I know is that he was born in Newbury, MA in 1742, married Hannah in Hampstead, NH in 1767, had three sons (one named George was born, I'm assuming in the "cellar hole" house since he was born in 1773 in Salem, NH), and died in the Battle of Bunker Hill. I also recently discovered that he was a "surveyor of lumber" for the town of Atkinson, NH upon its incorporation in 1767.
I hope that you will respond [email address for private use] with any more information you have about Moses or his family. Thanks so much in advance!

I think this is an awesome discovery and for the teacher to share it on my blog was most welcome. I replied to the comment and sent what few items and information I had on Moses Poor via email.  The teacher replied and shared research that she had conducted.

Moses Poor is my fifth great grandfather.  He married Hannah Sinkler 31 March 1767 in Hampstead, New Hampshire.  I am a descendant of their son, Moses Augustus Poor.  

This research was very well done.  It was a timeline starting with Hannah Sinkler's birth in 1739 and ending with her death in 1815.  Other timeline entries included Moses Poor birth and parents; his siblings; land records; marriage record; town history; children of Moses and Hannah Poor birth record; Moses Poor enlistment in the military; research on Moses Poor's regiment; and a public auction held after Moses Poor's death. It was a genealogist's treasure trove of information.

It was obvious that a lot of time went into the research and I appreciate being the one to receive it.  Teachers impact student's lives in so many ways and for this teacher to research what started as a 'cellar hole' and add to it to bring historical context to what is in the school's backyard is a wonderful thing.  One that I am greatly appreciative of.

Happy Birthday, Kirk!

17 April 2015

Kirk Anthony Leyndyke
17 April

Twins Kirk Anthony and Karen Anne were born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to

James and Elizabeth Leyndyke.
Kirk graduated from Forest Hills High School, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Kirk and I were married in 1981, in Palms, Michigan.

Kirk is a wonderful father and husband, who brings peace, joy and love to our family.

Kirk is a retired, school counselor from Lakeview School District, Battle Creek, Michigan


Happy Birthday, Kirk

Where in the World is Mary Ann Swallow Dyer?

15 April 2015

Where in the World is Mary Ann Swallow Dyer?

Census records are some of the first records I search for when researching an ancestor. I have been doing a series of Where in the World? posts in table format to see where there are gaps in my research. This table is for Mary Ann Swallow Dyer, my third great grandmother.

FACT
DATE
PLACE OF RESIDENCE
ENUMERATION DISTRICT/PAGE ID./DWELLING
Birth
7 Aug 1818
New York, New York, United States

Marriage
about 1837
to William G. Dyer

Census
1840


Census
1850
Cazenovia, Madison, New York, United States
/76A/1072
Census
1855
Syracuse, Onondaga, New York, United States
/234/Line 44
Census
1860
Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
/139/1007
Census
1870
Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
/9/72
Death
10 Sep 1875
Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States



















Mary Ann Swallow Dyer married William G. Dyer, place unknown. William and Mary Ann Dyer's daughter, Adaline L. Dyer, married Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr., placing her in my Glover ancestry. 

Mary Ann Swallow is one of my ancestors that I need to do more research on.  I do not know who her parents are at this time.  Her birth information is secondary and taken from census records, with the 1855 New York Census providing the place of birth for her.


Obituary of Businessman John Zobel, Manistee, Michigan

12 April 2015

I would love to have a detailed obituary on every one of my ancestors like the one I found for John Zobel.  John's obituary provides details of where and when he came to Manistee county that genealogists love to read.  His obituary goes beyond the dates and places by sharing stories. The only piece missing that would be helpful was the name of his wife. Most days I am thankful for finding any type of obituary for my ancestors.

John Zobel was the husband of Henriette Fredrich Zobel, my great grand aunt.  It was through my research of Henriette's marriage that I found information about her parents, my second great grandparents, Christoph Fredrich and Susanna Koenig.  I still remember the excitement I felt when I found her marriage record.

John Zobel died 31 October 1921 in Manistee, Michigan.

Below, in two parts is John Zobel's obituary with transcription.


Source: Manistee News Advocate-Manistee Daily Advocate, 31 October 1921, front page, column one, newspaper owned by Manistee County Historical Museum.

Transcription:
JOHN ZOBEL, 87, HERE 51 YEARS, TAKEN BY DEATH

PASSES AWAY AT 8:30 THIS MORNING AT HOME, 182 LINCOLN STREET

OPENED CLOTHING BUSINESS IN 1889

WORKED IN WOODS WHEN HE FIRST CAME TO MANISTEE-RETIRED 13 YEARS AGO-WAS MARRIED 60 YEARS

In the death at 8:30 this morning of John Zobel, 182 Lincoln St., Manistee lost another pioneer. He had lived in Manistee 51 years and was 87 years old.

Death was due too general debility. About a year ago Mr. Zobel fell critically ill with pneumonia, but recovered. Later he began ailing and for the last five weeks had been in bed. He was able, however to be up for a short time Saturday.

In business 20 years
Mr. Zobel 32 years ago opened the clothing and shoe store which is now operated by Charles Zobel & Sons. He retired from business 13 years ago.

Mr. Zobel was born in Guhringen, West Prussia, Nov. 23, 1834. He came to the United States in August, 1870, and a month later moved to Manistee. For a year he worked in the lumber woods, when he suffered an accident.

He was in the woods during the big Manistee fire. His trunk and belongings were buried in a pit by his boarding house landlord, at the mouth of the river. When he came down from the woods he found the trunk but the contents were gone. The trunk was still in his possession.

Joined by family
A year and a half after he came to Manistee his family which had been left at New York, joined him. He went into the clothing business in 1889, with his son Charles, in a building at Poplar and River streets, on the site now occupied by the Manistee County Savings Bank building.

Later the business was removed into the place which is now the Woman's Shop, which building he owned until his death. In 1894 the business was moved into the Cameron block. Although he retired from the business, he retained an interest in the building.

Mr. Zobel was married 60 years ago last May. Besides his widow he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. William Walter and Miss Ottilie Zobel, and three sons, Charles, Henry and Julius Zobel. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren also survive him.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed.