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

Stay Home, Stay Safe and Me

31 March 2020

Normally, I would be posting a "Last Day Local" blog post, but nothing is normal right now. Michigan's Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order which went into effect at 12:01 am, March 24th.  This order was in response to the coronavirus pandemic. What this means to the citizens of Michigan is that all businesses except those deemed "essential" remain closed until at least April 13. Businesses that can remain open include health care, grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks to name a few.  Workers in essential occupations can go to work. 

These are historical times we are living in. This pandemic is affecting all the United States at this time. Many states are issuing the same orders and I imagine more shelter in place orders will be forthcoming.  

It is scary times when one stops to think of the impact this will have on families, the economy, businesses, and our local communities.  The news coverage is insane. There is 24-hour coverage of the pandemic on many news cable channels. Much like we do with our genealogy research we have to analyze the source. There is a lot of misinformation on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and even partisan news channels. I have relied on NPR (National Public Radio) and information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) for my information. 

I haven't used this blog for my own personal thoughts or for political purposes, but due to the historical impact of the pandemic I thought I would share my thoughts on the times which we are living.

March 10th: Today was my mom's 90th birthday. I woke up with a sore throat and knew I couldn't go celebrate with her and risk making her sick. The coronavirus is worldwide. The United States hit 1000 cases with 31 deaths. It is scary times and the federal government response has been unfocused. The virus hit Michigan today with two confirmed cases. Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, issued a state of emergency. She ordered school closures until April 5th, 2020.

March 14th: My sore throat is gone, but I am having sinus pressure. I don't think it is related to the virus; it is just seasonal stuff I go through every year. It does make one think what it could be though. 

March 15th: My aunt, Alyce (Sleeman) Fredricks died today. It was first announced that the funeral would be by invitation only because of the limit of no more than 50 people gathering. Next, it was decided that there would be no church funeral. A graveside service would be held for immediate family only. It will be live streamed on Facebook by the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Caledonia, Michigan. I have been thinking about my aunt's family because I know how comforting it was to have extended family at my dad's funeral. Aunt Alyce's family won't have that. It is sad times we are living in right now.

March 16th: I am feeling fine now. but things in Michigan are not getting better. All restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and other businesses are to close for two weeks, March 17-April 5. No groups larger than 50 may congregate. People can order food for takeout or delivery. I am concerned about take-out food at this point. Many restaurant workers do not receive any sick pay or time off. I can't be sure that workers are staying home and not going to work if they are sick. The CDC are saying that people over 65 are at risk for complications for this disease. I am 62, Kirk is 68. Those with other problems such as heart disease, diabetes, lung conditions, asthma, obesity, and immunocompromised individuals are at a greater risk. I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions today. It was the first day I was out since March 6th. I went to the drive through. I used antibacterial hand sanitizer in the car. When I got home, I washed my hands and used a Lysol wipe to wipe off my medicine bottles. This virus is making one think about what they are touching and what others have touched. I was scheduled for a uterine lining biopsy on Thursday, the 19th. The doctor's office called and said they had to cancel my appointment. I wasn't given a rescheduled date. This is a cause for concern for me. I don't like waiting to know what is wrong, I feel better when I know what is going on and I can make a plan for action. 

March 18th: Michigan reported its first death due to coronavirus today, two more occurred later in the day. I think this is just the beginning. The individual counties are reporting when they get there first case. Currently, 116 cases have been announced in Michigan. Tests for the virus are scarce and hard to get, so people feel there are many more cases that have not been able to be diagnosed. I find myself worrying about others more than myself. My mother lives in Story Point Living facility in Portage Michigan. Story Point is restricting visitors to essential people only. No visitors are allowed. Luckily, my mother can get all three meals where she lives. My in-laws live in Aurora Ponds, in the Grand Rapids area. They are still allowed visitors at this time. All three are 90 years old and older and I worry if they were to contract the virus they wouldn't survive. I worry about my children as well. Travis and his wife, Alayna, live in Houston, Texas and Kirsten and her husband, Chase, live in Forest Park, IL, a suburb of Chicago. They are both in big cities with international airports. The news creates anxiety in me. I try to limit how much news I watch a day. The federal government wasn't on top of things and tried to downplay the effect it would have on the United States and for the first time in my life I don't trust the news coming out of Washington, DC. I didn't vote for Donald Trump and I won't vote for him in November of this year. I feel his leadership of this pandemic could have been so much better. I am sure history will have a lot to say about this period of time.

March 19th: I had groceries delivered from Meijer today through Shipt. I placed the order online with what I wanted and then a Shipt shopper shopped it and delivered it. The shopper left it on the back porch, Kirk and I put gloves on, wiped the bag handles down, and brought the groceries into the house and set them on the floor. We took each item out and wiped them down with a disinfectant wipe before putting them away. The virus can live on metal, cardboard, and paper. Jeesh! there is so much to think about. I couldn’t get everything on my list because some of the grocery store shelves are empty. The virus has brought out the hoarders. For some reason, toilet paper is being bought out. I guess people figure if they are going to be home for a couple of weeks, they don't want to run out of it. Other items that are scarce are milk, eggs, snack foods, flour, yeast, meat, frozen vegetables, ready to eat canned and frozen food, paper towels, soap, and disinfectant type supplies. I think people are panicking and worried we will run out of food. I only bought what I needed to get through two-three weeks of staying home. 

March 21st: Today is Kirk and my 39th wedding anniversary. We had a couple of plans to celebrate that had to be changed because of the pandemic. First, we were going to go to Bardstown, KY for a long weekend and explore the bourbon trail. When the virus first started increasing in numbers, we decided we better stay closer to home. I looked for a nice restaurant to go to that would have a good steak and seafood. There isn't much like that here in Battle Creek. Next, we decided we would go to the Shipshewana area of Indiana and get a good Amish meal. After Michigan closed restaurants, except for takeout, we decided to stay home.  I decided to make a Chinese meal for us. The week Kirk and I met, the teachers at the school he was teaching at went for a Chinese dinner in Sarnia, Ontario. It was about an hour from Deckerville, Michigan, where we met. Kirk went and it was that night that he asked me on what would become our first of many dates. I figured a Chinese dinner would bring back good memories.  I made Lemon Chicken, Beef with Cashews, Rice, Egg Rolls, and Crab Rangoon. The only thing missing was the fortune cookie. I still remember the fortune from that Sarnia dinner. It was, "he is someone to be taken seriously."

March 23rd: I am feeling anxious today. I have felt anxious in the past and I could usually attribute it to thyroid problems, but my thyroid levels are normal. I know it is the constant barrage on social media and the television of how severe this virus can be. There is still a lot of misinformation out there and trying to find reputable sources for information is more important than ever. Seven deaths have been reported in Michigan. Nationally, over four hundred have died. Kirk and I spend our days reading, watching television, streaming shows or movies on Amazon Prime or Netflix. I am catching up on Call the Midwife and started watching The West Wing. Kirk watches science fiction shows. We watched the movie, Outbreak, which we had seen years ago. It was a timely re-watching of it. Of course, there is a lot of time for genealogy and I have been organizing my files and sourcing previous research in my Roots Magic genealogy software.  States are starting shelter in place orders. Illinois is under one. Kirsten works from home so no change for her. The Chicago Blackhawks games were cancelled and now Chase, the director of photography for the Blackhawks, is working from home. Chase's parents, Dwight and Leslie, live in Spain. They have been visiting Kirsten and Chase since the first part March. Now that Illinois has issued a shelter in place order, they will be staying with Kirsten and Chase until that is lifted. Plus, Spain has closed their borders and I don't think they would be able to travel home at this time. Leslie's father, Les Agnello, died. His memorial service was scheduled for late March, in California. The service was cancelled due to the virus.

March 24th: Michigan has issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe order. What that means is we are expected to stay home unless we work at an essential business or have essential business to conduct. Many places have closed. Grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, banking, and getting gas are still allowed. Most bank lobbies have been closed and if you need to conduct business it is by appointment only. The drive throughs are open in order to make deposits or get cash. Kirk and I are not planning to go out unless it is an emergency, or we need prescriptions filled. I haven't been out of the house for eight days. Kirk went to the grocery store yesterday to pick up a couple of items we needed to get us through the next couple of weeks, or longer.  Each day that goes on and the more cases that are diagnosed causes Kirk and I concern. We are concerned for each other and for our parents, who we are not able to help at this time. The last thing I would want to do is to carry the virus to our parents and have them get sick. The constant need to wash hands and sanitize everything we encounter is overwhelming. Many people don't take the stay home order seriously. I see neighbors coming and going all day long. We are such a mobile society; it is hard for people to stay home. I don't have a problem at all. I have enough projects, reading, and researching to keep me busy for months. I wouldn't mind going out to dinner, but that is a very small thing to give up in the scheme of things right now.

March 27th: The United States has over 100,000 cases of the virus and over 1500 deaths. This is a serious virus. Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with cases. The need for hospital beds, respirators, gloves, masks, and gowns is severe. The federal government isn't stepping up to lead. The individual states are expected to obtain their own resources and every state is bidding against each other for the needed supplies. New York, Washington, California, and Michigan seem to be the worse states in number of cases right now. More states will be affected in the coming weeks. The stay at home orders are increasing and the reason for this is to "slow the curve" as they put it. If we can keep the cases from sky rocketing it will give hospitals time to treat individuals. If we slow the curve our hospitals won't be overwhelmed. It is too late. The hospitals in these four states are overwhelmed. I fear it is going to get much worse. My feelings range from anger to disbelief. I am angry at the current state in Washington, DC. and our President. I can't believe that a nation such as the United States didn't take this seriously when intelligence started briefing the President about the pandemic and its effect on the United States. What kind of person would subject his citizens to this? 

March 29th: The numbers are getting worse. The Michigan Governor is doing all that she can to get the hospitals the supplies that are needed to fight and treat this virus. She had supplies under contract and the federal government told the supplier not to sell to Michigan. This is politics at its worse. The President did grant Michigan a state of emergency status. Kirk and I are still staying at home. We have done a couple of projects around the house. Kirk painted the bathroom. We had the supplies before the crisis started. Buying these types of supplies would not be essential. I have Spring cleaned the kitchen, dining room, and living room. I had deep cleaned my office when I bought two new bookcases, in February. I have our bedroom left to do. In the middle of all this stressful living our water heater decided to stop working. It took a few days to find out if we could get it fixed because of the stay home order. There is some confusion about what businesses can stay open and what ones have to close. It was decided we could get a new one installed. I am thankful for that because I wasn't looking forward to cold showers and boiling water for washing dishes. 

March 30th: We woke up to a flooded basement this morning. Kidder Heating and Air Conditioning, Marshall, MI did the work on our water heater. One of the shut off valves broke and no one told us. Kidder said they didn't use that valve, but Kirk and I haven't been able to move that valve for years. The valve was in the bypass position, not where we had it. Kidder said they would come out and look at it, but it wasn't their fault so we would have to pay a $130 service call.  No way were we going to pay them for something that was their mistake in the first place. This shut off valve is attached to our water softener too. Kirk called Besco Water Treatment Company in Battle Creek, they were here within 15 minutes, replaced the valve and tuned up the water conditioner, for FREE. They are a great company and we appreciate them so much more now. That is the way to treat your customers during a crisis. Pooh on Kidder!

A lot of genealogy meetings, seminars, and conferences are being cancelled. Many organizations are choosing to hold virtual meetings. I am President of the Michigan Genealogical Council and we are scheduled to hold our monthly meeting April 9th. Our February meeting was cancelled because of weather, March meeting was cancelled because of the pandemic and I didn't have a plan in place for a virtual meeting, in March. Our April meeting will be held virtually using Zoom platform. One of my council colleagues, Tom Koselka, offered to let me have a practice meeting and he walked me through the options on Zoom. I feel a lot less nervous about hosting the board meeting now.  

Michigan has 6498 confirmed cases with 184 deaths. Each day more and more people are getting sick. I worry about the people who have to work on the front line of this crisis. All hospital employees, janitors, and grocery store workers are at increased exposure of getting this. The state health department says Michigan hasn't reached its peak yet. The Detroit area has the most cases. My county, Calhoun, has 17 cases. No age bracket is immuned to this disease. I talk with my mother about three times a week and she is doing well under the situation. She seems a little lonely and I am thankful she lives in a place where if she needs help it is there for her. I need to see about having her prescriptions transferred to a place that will deliver. There is so much to think about these days.

This is what the first three weeks of dealing with the pandemic, coronavirus, has been for me. I will continue to keep track of my thoughts and activities so that those in the future can see what a 21st century pandemic does to a society.

Stay home, stay safe, please.






Andover, Massachusetts Connection to the Salem Witch Trials

16 March 2020

In the Shadow of Salem: The Andover Witch Hunt of 1692 by Richard Hite was a Christmas gift given to me by my daughter. I started reading it and decided I needed to either get a highlighter or take notes! I decided to take notes because there were references I wanted to put on my list to look up the next time I went to the Archives of Michigan.

I knew I had a Salem Witch Trial connection through Mary Clements Osgood, but I was surprised to see other family surnames mentioned. Those included Poor, Farnum, Ingalls, and related families in the Andover, Massachusetts area.  Twelve petition signers, those asking for release of prisoners, could be considered Osgood family members. (Hite, page 225)

The Hite book was insightful to what was going on at the time and how it reached Andover which was about 30 miles from Salem. The Osgood family was drawn into the witch hunt when on 6 January 1693 Mary Clements Osgood participated in the 'touch test'.  Mary and Deliverance (Haseltine) Dane, Sarah (Lord) Wilson, Mary (Lovett) Tyler, Abigail (Wheeler) Barker, and Hannah Tyler were blindfolded and the afflicted were there. The afflicted fell into fits as soon as the women were brought in. The women's hands were laid upon the afflicted and the fits stopped. This was the evidence that led to the women's arrests. They were immediately taken to jail. (Source: Hite page 119 from Records of the Salem Witch Hunt (2009) by Bernard Rosenthal pages 737-738)

Mary Osgood confessed to

  • submitting to a baptism by the devil in Five Mile Pond in Boxford
  • afflicting three victims
  • attending a meeting at Moses Tyler's home for the purpose of afflicting
  • carrying the shape of Minister Francis Dane, along with Deliverance Dane, to make people believe he was afflicted.
Next, Osgood was asked, "What hindered you from accomplishing what you intended?" (Hite, page 122) Osgood replied, "The Lord would not suffer it to be that the devil should afflict in an innocent person's shape." (Hite, page 122)  Mary Osgood may have saved Danes life according to Hite.

Why was Osgood targeted as a witch? Mary and her husband, John Osgood had a long history in Andover.  John and Mary Osgood were prominent, and powerful, in the community. John served numerous times as a selectman of Andover. Mary would have been one of the most prominent citizen arrested.

John Osgood became a leader in the effort to free the accused. He paid multiple bonds, with others, to free some of the accused. His name was on an October 12, 1692 petition, along with other family members of the accused, to free the prisoners. The petition did not work to release them. 

Minister Increase Mather's work, Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating, Men, Witchcrafts, infallible Proofs of Guilt in such as are accused with that Crime, is believed to be the beginning of the end of the witch trials. Mather refuted Mary Osgood's testimony.  Next, 26 Andover residents submitted a petition to the Governor, the council, and colony reps. John Osgood, his sons Timothy and Samuel, and his nephew, Hooker Osgood signed the petition. (Hite page 156)

Mather quoted recantations by Mary Osgood first. Osgood declared her statement of guilt as "wholly false". She says she was urged and pressed to confess. She states she never did the things she confessed to. John Osgood and John Fyre bonded themselves for 400 pounds to enable their wives, Mary Osgood and Eunice Potter Fyre, to be released on condition they would return for trial.

Spectral evidence was not allowed and Mary Osgood was acquitted on 12 Jan 1693.  John Osgood continued to help others and posted bonds, with others, for Mary Barker, Sarah Wilson and her daughter, Sarah after his wife's acquital.

John Osgood was elected selectman at Andover's Annual Town meeting held in March of 1693. Other selectman were elected who defended the suspects, or didn't take a stand, for the next several years. John Osgood died in August, 1693.  Mary Osgood died October, 1710.














My Mom is 90!

10 March 2020

Today marks my mother's 90th birthday. Imagine all the changes she has seen over that time. She was born in 1930, during the depression, on the family farm. My mom felt they survived the depression better than others because they could raise their own food. She doesn't remember being hungry as a child. That doesn't mean it was easy by any means. My mother was one of 12 children. She deserve a special day and I hope she has one.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of my mother as a young girl. Happy Birthday, Mom.

 Grade School
 Grade School
 on the Family Farm

 As a young girl (front) with her sister, Marie
 My mom (back) and her niece, Kathryn Marie  If you look closely you will see a young man near the tree, it might be her brother, Ray.
Taken, circa 1940, at the home of Leo Sandberg, who married Daisy Marie Fredrick.
Left-Right: Jean, Kathryn Marie, Norman, Audrey holding Rose Marie

Jean, Norman, and Audrey were siblings. Jean and Norman were twins. Kathryn Marie and Rose Marie are the nieces of Jean, Norman, and Audrey 
My mother holding unknown baby. The picture was taken at the home of her sister, Kathryn, in Brethren Michigan.

Leona Fredricks Graf Wagoner and Robert Wagoner Gravesite

03 March 2020

WAGONER
LEONA I.        ROBERT D.
1926-1996       1922-1996

Leona Inez Fredricks Graf Wagoner and her second husband, Robert Dale Wagoner, are interred in Onekama Village Cemetery, Erdman Road, Onekama, Manistee, Michigan. (GPS (lat/lon): 44.37305,-86.20222)

Leona is the daughter of Daisy Ellen Graf and Otto August Fredricks. She is one of 12 children, my mother being one of them. Leona married Raymond Paul Graf in 1947. They had one son, Ronald. She married Robert after Raymond's death. Leona and Raymond lived for years in the Bear Lake area of Michigan. 

Aunt Leona was a wonderful, kind person. She had a vibrant personality and distinctive voice. She was a gifted cake decorator and cook. She would bring her ice cream maker to the family reunion and make the best ice cream. I have many happy memories of visiting Aunt Leona. She gave me beautiful crystal goblets for my wedding and I loved them so much I added to the set over the years.  

Bob worked on the Great Lakes and he would dock at the power plant in Harbor Beach, MI. Sometimes Aunt Leona would come to Harbor Beach, where we lived at the time, and visit us while he was in town. 

My memories of Aunt Leona keep her in my heart. 

Leona and Bob Wagoner, Fredricks Family Reunion, Brethren, MI


10 Years of Blogging!

01 March 2020

I AM
10!

Today is the tenth anniversary of my blog. Other than the past couple of years I was pretty consistent with blogging. I enjoy blogging. It makes me a better researcher because I make sure what I write can be proven. It allows me to see gaps in my research and I can look for more information before posting.

One of the best things about blogging, besides the research aspect of it, is the people I have "met." I have communicated with others who enjoy genealogy and blogging. I have connected with cousins. Those connections have led me to receiving a family Bible, photographs, documents, and research.

Looking back on the past ten years has brought me joy. I am proud of the work I have done, not only on my family members but on my local interest and research help stories as well. Here are the top 10 blog posts, by traffic, as of last night (29 Feb 2020).

1. Daniel C Fenn-Ancestor Biography

2. Historic Adventist Village, Battle Creek, Michigan

3. Pure Michigan Genealogy: Records

4. Ancestor Biography: Otto August Fredrick

5. Michigan's Role in the War of 1812

6. Tech Tuesday: Social Media for Genealogy Analysis

7. Pure Michigan Genealogy-Migration and Immigration

8. The Kellogg House in Battle Creek, Michigan

9.  Was Your German Ancestory Recruited to Come to Michigan?

10. Lt. Col. Merle M. Glover-Tombstone Tuesday

Happy Blogiversary to Me! I better go see what gift the hubby got me because I am sure he wouldn't forget my 10th blogiversary.






Last Day Local: Harmonia Cemetery

29 February 2020

Previously, I wrote about the spiritual utopia, Harmonia, that was once on the land where Fort Custer Training center is now. Harmonia Cemetery sits in a remote area of Fort Custer Industrial Park near Fort Custer. 

The cemetery was laid out in 1862. Find a Grave holds 71 memorials and 69% of the cemetery is photographed. Harmonia is not an easy cemetery to access. An 8 foot tall barbed wire fence surrounds it. It is closed to the public and permission from Bedford Township Offices is required to visit it.

Many of the surnames in the cemetery trace to the earliest settlers of Harmonia: Sampson, Beecher, Terry, Cox, Clevenger, Mead, and Schuyler. Other surnames are Adrian, Baugh, Baumfree, Bevier, Bradley, Brown, Cox, Forshey, Garman, Gray, Burnflo, Lipsitz, Ledeman, McCreary, Merrill, O'Malley, Roy, Sawtell, Sayton, Smith, White, Wilde, Wingate, Wright, and Zollinger.

Sojournor Truth's daughter Sophia Truth Schulyer is buried here. When Sojournor Truth left slavery she took her daughter Sophia with her. Sophia Truth married Thomas Schulyer. A 1900 Detroit News editorial talks about Sophia Truth Schuyler going to the Calhoun County poor house. Sophia's death certificate can be found at Michiganology. It is listed as Sophia Schyler. Sophia died, in 1901, at the "poor house" in Marengo Township, Calhoun county, near Marshall, MI. She was buried in an unmarked grave at Harmonia Cemetery. Thomas McLeichey, of Battle Creek, purchased a marker for Sophia.  It says "Sophia Schuyler 1821-1901 Daughter of Sojourner Truth." Sophia Truth Schulyer was Thomas' great grandmother. (Source:  "Sojourner Truth's daughter was buried in an unmarked grave until a descendant took action" 1 Feb 2019 Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI accessed 29 Feb 2020.)

Harmonia being a community of Spiritualists believes that one can communicate with the spirits. It makes me wonder how many Spiritualists are talking to those buried at Harmonia Cemetery today.

Last Day Local is a blog prompt I use to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 32 years.  I try to post one article on the last day of the month about the heritage and history of Battle Creek, The Cereal City!








In Memoriam: Bruce Glover

17 February 2020

Today, February 17, 2020 would have been my dad's 95th birthday. What a milestone that would have been! He lived in ten decades before his death in 2018. He was born in 1925. Imagine the changes he saw in his 93 years of living.

I have stories of some of those changes, and events, that molded his life because my dad left his family a great gift-his autobiography. In honor of his life I will share my favorite stories he wrote.

He entered Kindergarten in the fall of 1930 and only remembered that when the rest of the Kindergarteners were playing tag, or in the sandbox, he went to watch the older kids play softball. He would chase their foul balls and hoped they would ask him to play, which they never did. My dad had a love of sports which started at the age of five!

Another grade school memory was he collected baseball cards. He always lamented that his mother threw them out when he went to college. He would regularly read the sports page of the newspaper and knew every starting player's name in the National and American baseball leagues. There were eight teams per league at the time. My dad would attend the men's softball games in Hazel Park, Michigan and they got to know my dad. One of the players would say, "see that little kid over there? I bet you can't stump him on a starting player for any major league team." My dad wrote, "he might want to know who was the starting centerfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies and without blinking an eyelash I would spit out Richie Ashburn." My dad was in third and fourth grade at the time.

Another story I remember my dad telling me when I was a kid was about a car ride he took with his dad, " I remember going to the store, one Saturday morning, with my Dad in his old Reo back in the days when cars had running boards to help you climb up into them.  As my Dad and I were puttering down John R Street on the way home one Saturday morning from shopping, I leaned against the door and next thing I remember I was laying on the pavement by the side of the road.  How I’ll never know, but hardly suffered a scratch.  Worst for wear, however, was Dad who I think went a block before he realized he was missing a passenger, namely me. When he came back he was understandably shaken, but thankful I was ok."  I can just see it in my mind, now I can chuckle but I imagine it scared him at the time. I never met my grandfather, but wouldn't that be a great story to hear from his side of things.

His junior high summers were pretty carefree, my dad talks about hanging out with friends and biking to Palmer Park which was about 6-7 miles from home. They would have their mom's pack a lunch and they would head to the tennis courts at the park, sign up for a court, play for an hour or so, go to the concession stand and buy a pop and eat lunch. After lunch, they would sign up for a court and play another hour or so.  If he wasn't playing tennis, he and a buddy would go to a vacant lot two lots north of their house on Reynolds Ave, in Hazel Park and golf. My dad had a seven iron and a couple of golf balls. He and his friend would dig a couple of holes, about 20-25 yards apart, and play for hours. He would always try to better his score.

My dad served during World War II in the European Theater at the Battle of the Bulge. When the war ended in Europe he was sent back to the United States. He often said the most beautiful sight he ever witnessed in his life was when the ship entered New York harbor and he saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time.


He ended up at Fort McClellan, Alabama as a physical training and bayonet instructor. During the evening he coached and played on a company basketball team. A regimental tournament was organized and my dad was asked by Colonel Reeder to coach the 7th Regiment team. There were seven regiments in the tournament. His team hit the jackpot when a bus from New York arrived with five boys asking if they could join his team. My dad said once they took one trip up and down the court he knew he had his starting five. My dad always wondered what happened to the boys from that team.  He only remembered two: Jack Gilcrest and  ? Pommerano. The 7th Regiment won the tournament with a win over the 3rd regiment and my dad believed this was the catalyst for what would become a fifty year coaching career.

My dad shared many wonderful stories in his autobiography, but these were the ones I enjoyed reading. My dad loved sports, all kind of sports. Well, maybe not fishing, but all the others. It didn't matter what sport was on television, my dad would watch it. My mom would joke that he would watch a flea match if it was on television!

I think back over the years that my dad grew up in and all the events that molded him into the man and father he was. I miss my dad but I have his autobiography to keep his memories close. I hope my dad is enjoying his birthday in heaven and that there are golf courses, and flea matches, there.




Where in the World is Alexander Glover?

11 February 2020


Where in the World is a series of blog posts I write to show where my ancestors were at a certain time. It helps show gaps, much like a timeline, in my research.  Alexander Glover is my fourth great grandfather, who married Sarah Salisbury, in 1780.

FACT
DATE
PLACE OF RESIDENCE
ENUMERATION DISTRICT/PAGE ID./DWELLING
Birth
20 Mar 1756
Lebanon, New London, Connecticut, British America

Mar.
1 Feb 1780
Sarah Salisbury-Conway, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States

Census
1790
Conway, Hampshire, New York, United States
/136/
Census
1800
Conway, Hampshire, New York, United States
/59/
Census
1810
Phelps, Ontario, New York, United States
/807/
Census
1820
Phelps, Ontario, New York, United States
/284/
Death
27 Jan 1826
Phelps, Ontario, New York, United States





Tinder Collection Showcases Michigan Photographs

08 February 2020

Would you like to see a picture of Mr. and Mrs Santa Claus in 1885? What about the 1931 Highland Park School of Nursing? or the Grand Trunk Accounting Division, circa 1930? Are you a fan of the television show, Pimple Popper? There is a picture of a growth that makes that show look tame. 

All of these and more are a part of the David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography housed at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I first heard of David Tinder because I was researching family pictures. The Tinder Directory of Photographers is an online directory of early Michigan photographers. It lists the photographer by city or township, years in business, and name of business. Supplemental information includes an alphabetical list of photographers with biographical information, business addresses, comments about business practices, and specializations when known. It is a wonderful resource for Michigan photography research.

Another wonderful resource is the Tinder Collection at the U of M. Tinder, a U of M alumnus, started collecting Michigan stereoviews in the 1970's. This start led to over 100,000 images being donated to the University of Michigan. This collection includes all forms of photographic images. It is a wonderful collection to explore.

Tinder's collection of images cover a vast array of Michigan History. Lumbering, mining, paper making, and cereal making to name a view. It includes african-americans, native americans, ethnic dress, schools, occupations, organizations and more. There are finding aids available online.

One group of finding aid is categorized by counties. For example, the Calhoun County finding aid shows that there are 90 photographs, 1 document, and 1 booklet. The year range is 1870-1930. This part of the collection has store fronts, street views, residences, a train wreck, flooding destruction, Fort Custer, sports teams, police brigade, and more. The document is a fraternity certificate from Albion College. The booklet is from Albion College. Each county is different in its collection and the finding aids will help you to know what is available. Wayne County has 1,937 photographs, 16 real photo stamps, 6 booklets, 101 pages, clippings and ephemera.  Benzie county, the smallest county in Michigan, has 51 photographs in the Tinder Collection.

Unfortunately, not all of the collection is open to researchers. The finding aid will tell you that when you click on the category. Some of the ones not open to researchers include steriographs, over-sized file, photographers file, real photo postcards, photographers albums, framed photographs, glass slides and negatives.

Don't despair that still leaves an awful lot of images to capture your imagination and almost 700 of them are available online. The Clements Library Image Bank houses the online images. I spent some time looking at the image bank and it was a diverse slice of life in Michigan.

Remember photographs are copyrighted and you will need permission to use any of the images in the Tinder Collection. If you are going to be in the M Go Blue (University of Michigan) area, plan a visit (there are a few rules to follow before visiting) to the Clements library and the Tinder Collection.







Michigan University Libraries and Genealogy

05 February 2020

Photography by Brenda Leyndyke

Many posts have been written about the genealogical treasures found in local libraries, but are you using university libraries in your research? I have written about the Bentley Library in Ann Arbor, MI on the campus of the University of Michigan and the great records I found there earlier. Michigan is home to many university libraries that can further one's family history.

University of Michigan: The U of M has the Hatcher Graduate Library. It has sources of genealogical related information, including Biographical Resources, Census Resources, Databases, News and Periodicals, Maps, Atlases, and Gazetteers, Court Records, Immigration and Ethnic, Local History and more. Their materials can be print ones and online ones. It is worth taking a look at their website to see if they have what you are looking for. The University of Michigan's card catalog can be searched for all U of M's libraries.

University of Michigan: The William L. Clements Library on the campus of the U of M is another resource for researchers. It has a few rules you must follow so check out the "Plan Your Visit" section online. All users must register in advance and making an appointment is encouraged. The strength of the Clements Library lies in its collection of 18th and 19th Century American History. It includes books, manuscripts, maps, digitized collections, and more. The manuscript collection is over 2700 items and includes diaries, family and personal papers, military records, journals, school notebooks, business records and more. A few subject guides are available.

Michigan State University: The Main Library at MSU has online databases, Michigan county histories, maps, and more. MSU has a special digitization project called "Making of Modern Michigan", it includes photographs, family papers, oral histories, and genealogical materials for researchers. A research guide on Genealogy and Family History is available. You can search their card catalog too.

Central Michigan Univeristy: Clarke Historical Library on the campus of Central Michigan University , Mt. Pleasant, MI is a regional depository for the Archives of Michigan. Its strengths include Native American history, Old Northwest Territory collections, and 20th Century history. It covers the counties of Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella and Midland. Clarke is a closed stack library, meaning you are not allowed to browse the stacks, you have to ask for the material you need. Planning for a visit by using their card catalog will make your visit go smoother. CMU is home to the Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal which provides free access to Michigan newspapers. Yes, I said free! Just this week, CMU announced that Hazel Park, MI will be the recipient of the latest digitization grant.

Western Michigan University: Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collection Center on the campus of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI is another archives depository and covers the southwest Michigan counties of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, St. Joseph, and Van Buren. This library is an open stacks library. Manuscripts, governmental records, business records, WMU historical records, diaries, journals, and county records can be found in this collection. Check their finding aids.

Michigan Technological University: The J. Robert Van Pelt Library, Houghton, MI covers some of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan including the counties of Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon. Their strengths include mining company history, Great Lakes research, and Copper Country Historical Images, some of the images are available online. A Guide to Researching Genealogical Sources is available.

Northern Michigan University: Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives, Marquette, MI covers the counties of Alger, Delta, Dickinson, Marquette, Menominee, and Schoolcraft counties. Their strength lies in local government records, local history, and mining records. A finding aid ArchivesSpace can help one find materials.  The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company Historical Record Digitizing Project is one to check out for mining ancestors.

Use your local libraries in the area you are researching but remember that university libraries can provide genealogical researcher new resources to check.





Last Day Local: Harmonia-A Spiritualist Utopia

31 January 2020

Harmonia, a now defunct village, was on the land where Fort Custer Training Center in Augusta, Michigan is. Harmonia's name emphasized the harmonious relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds. Harmonia was established, in 1850, by Quaker pioneers who believed in Spiritualism. 

Spiritualists believed one could communicate with spirits. They believed in health reform, education reform, women's rights, abolition of slavery, and the temperance movement. Sojourner Truth is the most well-known resident of Harmonia.


Sojourner Truth statue in Battle Creek, MI. Photograph taken by Brenda Leyndyke

Sojourner Truth can be found in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census in Harmonia with her daughter, Elizabeth Banks and grandsons, James Caldwell and Sammy Banks.[i] Harmonia was in Bedford Township, Calhoun County, Michigan. 

Sojourner Truth is best known for being an African American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Her well known speech, “Ain’t I a Women?” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention, in 1851. Sojourner Truth lived in Harmonia and Battle Creek Michigan. She is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, MI.

Land that would become Harmonia was purchased in June of 1835 by George Casey of Cayuga county, New York and William Carr of Wastenau(sic) Michigan.[ii] Neither man, Casey nor Carr, settled on this land. Carr sold his land to Casey, and in November 1842 Henry Hopkins and Charles Nichols paid $850 for 390 acres to George Casey's heirs.[iii] 

In 1850, Reynolds and his wife, Dorcas, Cornell paid $924 for 230 acres of land that became Harmonia. Other early landowners included Hiram and Abbie Cornell, E.T. Cornell, Rufus and Lucy Houghton, and Louis Houghton.

Hiram Cornell was Reynolds oldest son. Hiram and Reynolds established Bedford Harmonial Seminary or Bedford Harmonial Institute. It was established in 1852 and disbanded in 1860.

Other early residents of Harmonia included:
1.     Thomas E. Currier
2.     Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, a New York senator
3.     George H. Haskell, of Rockford, IL
4.     J.H. Roffee
5.     H. Sampson
6.     L.B. Beecher
7.     Melvin Terry
8.     Edmund Cox
9.     Mark H. Austin
10. James Watts
11. Johnny Lawler
12. Simon Lawler
13. Alice Clevenger
14. Frank Parmalee
15. Marion Mead
16. Mable Mead, Guy Mead
17. Fred Barr
18. Schuyler, Sojourner Truth’s grandson
19. George Swift
20. J.H. Bunnell
21. Chambers
22. Sophia Truth, Sojourner Truth’s daughter, who married Thomas Schulyer.

Harmonia was a community of like-minded people until 4 August 1862, when a tornado destroyed much of the village. J. H. Roffee was interviewed for the 22 July 1917 edition of the Battle Creek Enquirer and told of the tornado that destroyed his farm and killed his son.[iv] Roffee was 92 at the time and believed to be the oldest surviving person who had lived in Harmonia at the time.

The tornado, financial troubles, and the outbreak of WWI ended the village. In 1917, Camp Custer began building a training camp on the former Harmonia site.  What was once a utopian village became a place to train soldiers for war.



[i] Year: 1860; Census Place: Bedford, Calhoun, Michigan ; Roll: M653_539; Page: 308; Family History Library Film: 803539

[ii] Tract Book, Original Purchasers, U.S. Land Office, Kalamazoo, MI, 8th day of October 1847. p 305, 310 Office of County Clerk, Marshall, MI

[iii] Heritage Battle Creek 4(Spring 1993) “Harmonia: Memories of the Lost Village” by Frances Thornton p 16-23

[iv] Battle Creek (MI) Enquirer, “Settled in Harmonia 64 years ago; was there when cyclone struck”, 22 July 1917. p7