31 March 2010

My Packing List for Cemetery Trips

I am a list maker from way back. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, packing lists, you name it lists. Lists help me to stay organized and I enjoy being organized, just ask my family! I thought I would share one of my lists with you, my cemetery visit packing list. Here is what I take when I visit a cemetery:

  • list of gravesites I need to visit

  • digital camera

  • notepad and pencil or pen

  • cemetery map, if available ahead of time.

  • supplies to help see the gravestones better: spray bottle of water, grass clippers, small whisk broom, flashlight
  • bug spray
  • hat for sun protection

  • old shoes

What do you take?

29 March 2010

Who is Frank Henry Glover, Jr.?

This is the first document I found when I was researching my grandfather. I was so happy, I had his name and birth date, or so I thought. I continued to research my grandfather and found out there were a couple of errors on this record. The birth record from Jackson County, Michigan states a Harry Glover was born to Frank H. Glover and Hattie L. Glover on 6 May 1883. So I ask, why did my grandfather use the name Frank Henry Jr? Was the error in the birthdate his or the recorders? Other information on the card confirms this is indeed my grandfather, Harry Glover. It's too bad I never knew him. I can only get to know him through my dad and my research into his past.

27 March 2010

Surname Saturday: Graf

The surname Graf is German in origin. It has been found written as Graf, Graff,Grav, Grafe, and Graaf. The Graf side of my family arrived in the United States in the mid 1800's coming from Rockenhausen, Germany. The first Graf ancestor in my family to come to the United States was Casper Graf. His son, Valentine Graf is my great grandfather. Casper Graf settled in the Miami County area of Indiana. Valentine Graf and his family moved to Manistee County, Michigan in the early 1900's.

25 March 2010

Ancestor Biography: David Watt (continued)

Train Accident (continued)
When I left off, at the last blog posting, David Watt had been urged to jump from his train engine after a train on the Soo Line failed to stop at the crossing intersecting the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic line. David's train was hit by the other engine and David was badly injured. He was pinned in the overturned engine and his face and head were burned by steam and live coals from the firebox of the train. David's son, Burton, reported that his dad lay there about 20 minutes until the fireman realized that David must still be in the engine. An unknown salesman soaked his coat in water, put it over his head, and went into the engine and got David out, saving his life. The family was never able to identify the man who saved David's life. David recovered from his injuries, but lost his left ear due to the accident.
Onlookers at the scene of the accident at Trout Lake Station, Trout Lake, Chippewa, Michigan Derrick attempting to right one of the locomotives. The Locomotives David Watt sometime after the accident showing the loss of the left ear. David Watt worked for the DSS&A railroad for 52 years; retiring in 1932, at the age of 74. David Watt applied for a passport in 1920. He was going to Scotland to visit relatives. David's passport provides me with a lot of information. It has his birth date and place, father's name, emigration date and place, residence from 1882-1920, occupation, signature, picture, and physical description. 1930 U.S. Federal Census David and Katherine Watt can be found in the United States Federal Census. They are living in Marquette, Marquette, Michigan in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930 Census.
When researching at the J.M Longyear Research Library in Marquette, Michigan I found this. The only information I have is what is on the picture. What is 'Members of Div. 94 at Hiawatha Beach'? They were guests of Brother A. Danielson at his camp. David was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, could they be from this organization? I will have to do more research to find out.
David Watt's Death Certificate
David Watt died 21 March 1945 in Marquette, Marquette, Michigan from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 86 years old.
David Watt is buried in the Watt Family Lot in Park Cemetery, Marquette, Marquette, Michigan.
David's obituary is from The Mining Journal, 22 March 1945; page 2, column 3
I never knew my great grandfather, David Watt. My father remembers visiting him as a child, they would travel from the Detroit area to the upper penisula every summer. This was before the Mackinac Bridge was built. I will have to write about that in the future.

23 March 2010

Ancestor Biography: David Watt

David Watt
is my great grandfather on my dad's side. David's daughter, Sarah Lilla Watt, is my grandmother.


25 September 1858 Methil, Fife, Scotland

David Watt's Certificate of Entry of Birth

Contained in the Register-Book of Births for the Parish of Wemys in the County of Fife, Scotland
The Watt Family
First Row (L-R) Sophia, Elizabeth, David
Second Row (L-R) William, Mary, Jeanne, George
(Missing from picture: Jessie, Maggie, John, Christina)

David Watt was one of eleven children born to John Watt and Jane Wilson. John Watt is listed as a sailor on David's birth record, in 1858. When David's sister, Mary, was born John Watt's occupation was listed as flax dresser. The year was 1876.


David Watt's son, Burton, told the story of David's immigration. He thought David immigrated to Canada with his Uncle Wilson and five other boys, in 1874. They went to work for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. David became a train engineer. David's Uncle Wilson moved to Marquette, Michigan to take a master mechanics job on a young railroad called the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic (DSS&A). David came with him and worked for the DSS&A railroad as an engineer.(David's census records give the date of immigration to the United States in 1879, 1880, and 1881.) His train route went from Marquette, Michigan to St. Ignace, Michigan.

Marriage and Family

David Watt married Katherine McGee, daughter of Richard McGee and Sarah Jackson, in St. Ignace, Mackinac, Michigan. According to Michigan Marriages 1868-1925, found at pilot.familysearch.org, David Watts married Catherine McGee 16 May 1883 in St. Ignace, Mackinac, Michigan. The 1900 U.S. Federal Census has 17 as the number of years of present marriage.

The David and Katherine Watt Family

First Row: (L-R) David, Burton, Katherine, Mary

Back Row: (L-R) Sarah (my grandmother), Jean, John, Eva, Florence

(A son, David, died at the age of 14 months, in 1888.)

Train Accident

In 1914, David was involved in a very serious train accident at the Trout Lake Station in the Upper Penisula of Michigan. The Soo Line and the DSS&A tracks crossed at right angles, right at the Trout Lake Station. The trains were supposed to stop 400 feet short of the crossing and blow the whistle four times. David did this, but the other train didn't stop. After he had started up again, he saw the other train and tried to stop in time. When he realized he couldn't make it, he told the fireman to jump out. The fireman did, urging David to jump, too. David didn't jump, he stayed with the train and tried to stop it by applying the brakes. The cab of David's train was hit by the other engine. David (to be continued)

The rail crossing of the Soo Line and Duluth South Shore and Atlantic at Trout Lake Station, Michigan.

Thank you to Judith Watt, Cousin Judy, for sharing the pictures on this post.

21 March 2010

Happy Anniversary

29 years ago, today, I married my husband, Kirk. Kirk and I met in January of 1980. I had recently moved to the town my parents lived in. I was unable to get a job after college graduation, and decided to substitute teach. The first day of substitute teaching, I was called minutes before school started. I arrived at the school prepared to teach fifth grade. The other fifth grade teacher was told I was a new sub who had been called with very little notice. They asked this teacher if he could help the new sub out. He says he looked in the window and said sure! The other fifth grade teacher was Kirk. We started dating shortly after that and 14 months later we married.

March 21, 1981

St. John's Lutheran Church

Palms, Sanilac, Michigan

Christmas, 2008

My Family
Kirk and I have two wonderful children, Kirsten and Travis, and
a great son-in-law, Chase.
L-R Chase Agnello-Dean, Kirsten Agnello-Dean, Kirk Leyndyke,
Brenda Leyndyke, Travis Leyndyke

20 March 2010

Surname Saturday: Watt

The surname Watt originated in England or Scotland. The earliest recording of the surname in Scotland was in 1586. It has been found written as Watt and Wat. The Watt side of my family set sail from Glasglow, Scotland in April of 1879. David Watt was born 25 September 1858 in Methil, Fife, Scotland and died 21 March 1945, Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States.

19 March 2010

My Favorite Library-Allen County Public Library

Fort Wayne, Indiana is home to Allen County Public Library. What is so special about this library you ask? It has a wonderful Genealogy Center on the second floor. This library resources are so vast that they have East of the Mississippi resources and records on one side and West of the Mississippi on the other side. In addition, they have a large selection for Canadian, British Isles, African-American and American Indian research. Also, they are host to the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), which is an index for genealogical and historical periodicals. You can stop at the Ask desk where you will find very friendly, helpful people. You can register for a guest pass to use the computers. You can bring your own computer, each research table is equipped with electricity. Copy cards are available for your copying needs or each machine accepts cash. In order to maximize your time at the library, use their online catalog before going to the library. Check out the link above for more information on their resources. If you get hungry there is cafe on the first floor or check out the Old Firehouse Cafe, just a short walk on W. Washington. The cafe is on the second floor of an old firehouse. The first floor houses a museum of Fort Wayne firefighter history. Old Firehouse Cafe is open 11-2 for lunch. They have delicious lunches, but take note cash only!  (UPDATE NOTE:  OLD FIREHOUSE CAFE IS NOW CLOSED)

17 March 2010

Five Favorites

1. Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana: My favorite library to go to. The genealogy center is huge. An added bonus is the cafe on the first floor and a wonderful staff to help you. 2. Manistee County Historical Museum, Manistee, Michigan: The surname card catalog is worth the trip alone. The staff is very friendly and helpful. 3. J.M. Longyear Research Library, Marquette, Michigan: They have a biographical card file, Chase Interviews-Interviews of over 350 Marquette county pioneers, Mining Journal newspaper issues on microfilm and much more. Rosemary was very friendly and helpful. 4. Vermont Cemetery, Chelsea, Michigan. This little cemetery located at the corner of Jerusalem and Chelsea-Manchester/M-52 Roads has an engraved stone honoring the pioneers who came from Vermont in 1832 and settled in area. 5. Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library, Battle Creek, Michigan: For a small branch they have a surprisingly decent selection of materials. They have some Michigan county histories which have been helpful and great Colonial Ancestry resources. Plus, it is just minutes from my home.

13 March 2010

Surname Saturday: Fredrick

The Fredrick name is German in origin. It comes from "Frid" or "Fred" for peace and "ric" for power. Other spellings include Freidrich and Frederick. The Fredrick side of my family arrived in the United States in the early 1870's coming from Prussia, Germany. My great grandfather, Johann August Fredrick was born 8 January 1845 in Prussia, Germany. He died 27 Jan 1924 in Manistee, Manistee, Michigan.

11 March 2010

The Great Lakes

Michigan borders four of the five Great Lakes: Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Superior. My ancestors lived in cities on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, some of them even earning a living on the Great Lakes. My maternal grandfather, Otto August Fredrick, sailed the Great Lakes for 14 years. He was born in Manistee County, Michigan on 1 November 1878 to Johann August Fredrick and Louise Fredricke Zastrow. He died in Brethren, Manistee, Michigan on 5 Feb 1968 at the age of 89. To learn more about shipping on the Great Lakes check out this website.

10 March 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is my mother's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! I am blessed to still have my mother in my life. Here is a photo tribute to my mother on her special day.

 Circa 1940, Age 10
1949, Age 19

31 May 1952-Her Wedding Day

Mom and Daughter(me) June 2008

09 March 2010

Tombstone Tuesday-Glover and Watt, Marquette, Michigan

Frank H. Glover Born August 1862-Died 7 October 1925 (1863 is an error)
Hattie Fenn Glover Born June 1863-Died 14 December 1951

Harry Glover Born 6 May 1883-Died 6 September 1950

David Watt Born 25 September 1858-Died 21 March 1945

Catherine McGee Watt Born 2 September 1862-Died 22 January 1932

Anyone who is into genealogy has probably spent hours searching cemeteries for an ancestor's gravestone. I thought I was being so organized by researching the cemetery and contacting the sexton before I left home. I had information on the grave sites of David and Katherine Watt and Frank and Hattie Glover, my great grandparents. Plus, I wanted to find my grandfather's grave, Harry Glover. The sexton was very helpful and had the information ready when I got there. He mapped out where to find them; the first four in the same area. He said that Harry Glover was not buried in Park Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan. My father, who was with me, was sure his father was buried there. Off we went to find the four we knew were there. We found David and Katherine Watt first. There were other Watt's buried nearby, many who my father had known. I took pictures and went on my way to find Frank and Hattie. My husband, Kirk, was walking along a row and said here is a Glover. I was intent on reaching my next destination, but I walked back and said "Harry Glover-that's my grandfather!" So, Harry Glover was buried in Park Cemetery. More pictures were taken and we moved on to Frank and Hattie's grave, which was very close to their son Harry's grave. I guess the message from this visit is don't be too intent on only going to the graves you seek; take time to check the surrounding area. Who knows who you might discover?

08 March 2010

Madness Monday: Daniel Fenn and his son, Daniel C. Fenn

Daniel Fenn has been a source of frustration for a few genealogists. I have seen message board posts that confirm this.

Daniel Fenn Information:

  • Born circa 1787 Shoreham, Addison, Vermont
  • Married 28 February 1808, Huldah Rowley, in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont
  • Died 8 March 1836 in Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • Buried in Vermont Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • Enlisted War of 1812 from 12 April 1814 to 20 May 1814 in Captain George Fisher's Company, Sumner's Regiment
  • U.S. Federal Census: 1820 Shoreham, Addison, Vermont
  • U.S. Federal Census: 1830 Shoreham, Addison, Vermont
Daniel C. Fenn Information:

  • Born circa 1823 Vermont to Daniel Fenn and Huldah Rowley Fenn
  • Married 4 March 1846 , Jane E. Poor(e), in Washtenaw County, Michigan (Jane E. Poor died 12 April 1848 and is buried in Vermont Cemetery, Chelsea, Michigan)
  • Married unknown date and place, Elizabeth Ann Poor(e),
  • Died (according to a family bible) February 1873 in Jackson, Jackson, Michigan
  • U.S. Federal Census: 1830 Shoreham, Addison, Vermont
  • U.S. Federal Census: 1860 Manchester, Washtenaw, Michigan
  • U.S. Federal Census: 1870 Jackson, Jackson, Michigan
  • Tax List-January 1863- October 1864 Sylvan, Washtenaw, Michigan
Sources of Madness:
1. Who are Daniel Fenn's parents?
2. Why can't I find the death record for Daniel C. Fenn?
3. Is Daniel C. Fenn buried in Vermont Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan?

There is quite a bit of information on Huldah Rowley's family, but very little on Daniel Fenn's.

What do you think, any suggestions for further research sources?

06 March 2010

Surname Saturday: Glover

The surname Glover is an ancient name in England. It is Saxon in origin. It has been found written as Golofre, Glouver, and Glover. It has remained with this spelling, Glover, since the 14th century. The Glover Surname follows the occupation tradition of surnames; being for a glove maker. The first Glover's in the American Colonies were Charles in 1632 and Henry in 1634.

04 March 2010

The History of the White Wedding Dress

My Great Grandparents
Frank H. and Hattie (Fenn) Glover on their wedding day, 12 May 1882

Seeing this picture made me wonder when white became the traditional color of wedding dresses. The history of the white wedding dress can be traced to Queen Victoria in 1840. She was married in a white wedding dress. During the industrial revolution department stores started opening. A white wedding dress was available to more brides. By the 1890's it began gaining in popularity.

I chose white when I got married in 1981. Now brides are seeking individuality
and not all brides choose white.
What color was your wedding dress?

03 March 2010

How to Photograph Gravestones

1. When shooting gravestones flat to the ground, stand directly over the stone. Make sure your shadow doesn't cover the stone by shooting in full sun or full shade. The ideal time of day to take photographs outdoors is in the early afternoon when the sun is not at its highest point.

2. To shoot vertical, upright gravestones, get down on the ground and make sure you are eye to eye with the stone. Again, make sure your shadow isn't in the way. You can angle your body off to the side a bit if you need to.

3. Need to shoot a mausoleum or large tomb? Shoot from a corner angle so you can see the depth and scale of the building. When you shoot straight on, directly from the front, the building will look two dimensional.

4. If you are shooting close up details or text, try not to use a flash if the stone is shiny. It's better to move back a few steps and zoom in rather than putting the camera right up to what you're taking a photo of, this allows the lens to focus.

5. As always, be repectful and quiet. There could be greiving families nearby, so don't use a lot of equipment. A tripod isn't necessary.

Written By ~ Kirsten Agnello-Dean

Kirsten is the daughter of Brenda, a budding social media maven and is married to photojournalist Chase Agnello-Dean.

01 March 2010

Coughing and Sneezing

Have you ever looked through yellow and brittle newspapers? Genealogists never know what kind of conditions they will be subjected to when researching old records. One trip my husband and I took, in June 2009, was to the Manistee County Historical Museum in Manistee, Michigan. I had recently found out that both my mother and father’s families had ties to Manistee County. The Manistee museum has a huge index card catalog sorted by surname. Surname references may be from newspaper articles, which they site on the card. I could hardly wait to look for my surnames (Fredrick, Graf, and Glover) in the card catalog. In addition to the card catalog, they have stacks of newspapers in the county going back to the 1870’s. What a find! I found birth announcements, marriage announcements, obituaries, and even an article on a Fredrick family reunion in 1922. Although it was a dirty and dusty task to find the articles (they actually let you look through the original newspaper) it was a marvelous resource that added to my family history records.

The Manistee County Historical Museum can be found at 425 River Street, Manistee, Michigan. (231 723-5531)
or online at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mimanist/Page63.html

When Did You First Fall in Love with Genealogy?

For me it was a cold, December day and I had an email for a free trial membership to ancestry.com. My father was working on his autobiography but he didn't know a lot about his father, Harry Glover. I was curious as well. I signed up for the free membership to see what I could find about him. The first piece of information that I found about him was his World War I draft registration card. There has always been some confusion about Harry's given name. He was also known as Frank H. Glover. His name on his registration card was Frank Henry Glover Jr. Other information I found on his card was birth date, occupation, and nearest relative. Although I later discovered some of the information was inaccurate on this form, it will always be remembered as my first source. From this one find I was hooked and able to trace Harry's ancestry to Colonial America. (Photo of Harry Glover)

Journey to the Past

I find that song lyrics frequently pop into my mind as I go throughout my day. The same thing happened when I brainstormed ideas for a family history blog. "Journey to the Past" is a song in the movie "Anastasia". My family history research has also been a journey to the past. I plan to share my journey with you in the form of stories, pictures, and research finds as they pertain to my family history. Anastasia sings, "home, love, family; I will never be complete until I find you." How true when you have genealogy as a hobby. Join me in my journey to the past to find my family's history.