21 September 2022

Wordless Wednesday: Unidentified Children

 I have many pictures in my collection of people that are not identified. This one is interesting because of the clothes. If I had to guess it is from my maternal grandmother's side of the Mast family. She came from Mennonite and Church of the Brethren ancestry. Any thoughts?

19 September 2022

The Oregon Death of Jean Watt Kellen

Source: Archives, "Oregon, U.S., State Deaths, 1864-1968," database, Ancestry.com, entry for Jean Ethel Kellan; death certificate number 19, 1914.

Researching one's family can bring excitement when you find what you are looking for, but it can bring sadness when the record shows unexpected details. Previously, I wrote about Baby Kellan, the son or daughter of Arthur Kellan and Jean Ethel Watt Kellan. 

While researching my paternal great-aunt, Jean Ethel Watt Kellan, her death certificate1 of 4 January 1914, was one day after Baby Kellan's birth. I had such a feeling of sadness knowing that Baby Kellan would grow up without his mother.

Jean Ethel Watt was the daughter of David Watt and Katherine McGee Watt. She was born 4 March 18862, in Marquette, Marquette, Michigan. She married Arthur Kellan 12 October 19103, in Marquette, Marquette, Michigan. Sometime after October of 1910, Arthur and Jean found themselves in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon.

Jean died at Rose City Sanatorium in Portland, Oregon at the age of twenty-seven. Are you wondering what happened to Baby Kellan and his father? Check back for that story.

1Archives, "Oregon, U.S., State Deaths, 1864-1968," database, Ancestry.com, entry for Jean Ethel Kellan; death certificate number 19, 1914.

2 "Michigan Marriages 1868-1925," volume 3, page 23, record number 312.

3 Ibid.


16 September 2022

What Happened to Baby Kellan?

Rose City Sanitarium in 1909
Photo credit: City of Portland Archives, A2004-002.9249. 

Note to readers: Please do not download or share this picture, for your own copy, seek permission from  https://vintageportland.wordpress.com/tag/rose-city-sanitarium/

My recent research has taken me to the family of Arthur Kellan and Jean Ethel Watt. Jean is my paternal great aunt. She died at the age of twenty-seven. My dad never knew her, but he had fond memories of his Uncle Art. Art was the person who took my dad to his first Detroit Tigers game.

Arthur Kellan and Jean Watt Kellan had a son, born on 3 January 1914 at Rose City Sanitarium, Portland, Oregon. In all my research I never came across the fact that they had a child until I found Baby Kellan's birth information in the state of Oregon.

Source: Oregon Center for Health Statistics; Portland, Oregon; Oregon, Birth Records, 1903-1918. Citing the birth of Male Kellan; record number 1  47, Ancestry.com.

I knew that Arthur Kellan was living in Detroit, Michigan in the 1920 Census. I knew that Jean Watt Kellan had died by 1920, but never knew about the baby or what happened to baby Kellan.

I was afraid of what might have happened to him/her and looked for the baby in the Oregon State Death Records.

Source: Ancestry.com. Oregon, U.S., State Deaths, 1864-1968 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2021. Citing the death of Baby Kellan, 6 January 1914.

Why did I say him/her? If you look at the birth record, the child is listed as male. The death record says female. Baby Kellan lived three days. 

Can anyone read the cause of death? If so, leave a comment, please.

14 September 2022

12 September 2022

The Marriage of Samuel D. Breed and Orpha A. Fenn in 1841

One hundred eighty-one years ago today, Orpha Ann Fenn, the daughter of Daniel Fenn and Huldah Rowley Fenn, married Samuel Dwight Breed on 12 September 1841 in Grass Lake, Michigan. Michigan marriages were not recorded at this early date and I needed to look for other records to confirm this date. One such secondary source record was on page 16 of The 1900 Congregational Yearbook. In addition to marriage information a biography of Samuel Dwight Breed was provided. The transcription is

BREED, SAMUEL DWIGHT, son of Reuben and Martha (Everett) Breed, was born in Volney, N. Y., 1820, Nov. 3. Grass Lake, Mich. 

Academy. Chicago Seminary, 1859. 

Ordained, Augusta,now Whittaker, Mich., 1862, Feb. 19; acting pastor there, 1862-7 ; Grand Blanc, 1867-9; New Haven and Chesterfield, 1869-70; Napoleon, 1870-2; Rochester, 1872-5; without charge, Ypsilanti, 1875-85; Ann Arbor, after.

Married, 1841. Sept. 12, Orpha Ann, daughter of Daniel and Huldah (Rowley) Fenn, of Shoreham, Vt. She died, 1846, Feb. 12. One son died in the civil war.

Married, 1848, Sept. 14, Amelia Eliza, daughter of Amos and Laura (Mills) Bosworth, of Sandisfleld, Mass., who died, 1893, Sept. 28. Two daughters and two sons, the latter being Revs. Dwight P. and Merle A. Breed. 

Died of arterial sclerosis, 1899, Aug. 16, aged 78 years, 9 months, and 13 days. '

My next step in my research would be to look for Grass Lake church records. I know in 1836 there were three churches in Grass Lake, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian, which the later became a Congregational Church. Currently, it is the Federated Church of Grass Lake.

'States, General Council of the Congregational and Christian Churches of the United. The Congregation Yearbook: 1900. Boston: Congregational Publishing Society,. Digital images. Google Books. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=9BRKAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en&pg=GBS.PP1 : 2015

08 September 2022

The Birth Anniversary of Estella Fenn Shaw 175 Years Ago

Source: Family data, Hattie L. "Fenn" Glover Family Bible, The Holy Bible: with Revised New Testament, (Chicago: GW Borland & Co., 1882); original owned in August 2022 by Brenda Leyndyke, [address for private use] 

Estelle Jane Fenn, daughter of Daniel C. Fenn and Jane E. Poor was born on 8 September 1847, in Jackson, Michigan. Estelle lost her mother when she was seven months old. Her father, Daniel C. Fenn married Jane's sister, Elizabeth Poor between 1848-1850.
Estelle spent most of her life in Jackson, Michigan. She married James Shaw in Jackson on the 10th of May 1866.  Later in her life Estelle travelled to Florida and California to spend her winters there. 

Estelle died 13 July 1934, of cardiac degeneration, in Jackson, Michigan. Interestingly, I found her obituary in my local Battle Creek newspaper archives.

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.


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.

07 September 2022

Can You Identify These Pictures at the Fort Custer Library?

Some of my readers know that I volunteer at the Fort Custer Historical Society library. It isn't open to the public because my helper, Jan, and I are still in the process of inventorying things. 

Our latest project is working on the thousands of photographs in the library. We grouped them by war or subject. If a photo didn't have any identifying information, we scanned it using Google Lens. The photographs below are the ones needing identification. 

This is where I need your help. If you can identify anyone, anyplace, or anything about the photograph, please leave a comment below or email me at brae957@gmail.com.  If you know which war it was, which arm of service it was, or even the smallest hint, I would be grateful. Thanks for your help. I will update the photographs as I get more information.

The numbers are under the pictures.



















Tritten Store in Brethren, Michigan

An undated photograph of Brethren, Michigan.

I never visited my aunt and uncle, Kate and Carl Tritten, when they had the store on N. Coates Hwy, in Brethren, Michigan. My stories come from my mother, Audrey, who went to live with her sister, Kate, at the age of nine. 

She tells stories of having to clean and polish the wood floors of the store, pumping gas, babysitting Kate and Carl's children, Katherine Marie and John, stocking shelves, and waiting on people. I don't have a picture of the inside of the store, but I have a few that were taken outside of the store.

Carl Tritten holding his daughter, Katherine Marie Tritten, on the steps of the store.

Lola Fredricks, Kate Tritten's sister, holding her niece, Katherine Marie Tritten, in front of the gas pump.
John Tritten on his bike. The gas pumps are behind him, the store would be to his left. To John's right were railroad tracks. The store was a stopping place for the train. The train would pick up mail bags that were hung on a hook. If no passengers were getting on at this stop, the train didn't stop. The train would slow down so the mail bag could be grabbed. My mother told the story of how it was her sister's (Kate) job, but my mom would have to go out and hang the bag.

1984 picture of Aunt Kate's home. The store entrance would have been at the front of the house.

The Trittens lived there for many years. The room that was originally the store was a huge room. A bathroom was added at some time. There was a large dining table and huge hutch on one end. A washer and dryer were near the kitchen. The other half of the room was a living room type area and an office area.