05 August 2010

Ancestor Biography: Sarah Lilla Watt

The David and Katherine Watt Family
(Sarah Lilla is the first one in the back row)

My paternal grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt, was born 23 November 1884, in Marquette, Michigan.  Sarah Lilla was the second of eight children born to David Watt and Katherine McGee.  Her birth record can be found in Michigan Births 1867-1902 at the pilot family search website.  It is transcribed as Sarah A. Watt.  Her birth date is transcribed as 28 November 1884, but if you zoom in on original image you can see it is a 23.  Sarah was known to friends and family as Lilla, rarely using her first name.

Marquette High School Junior Class 1902
(Lilla is third from left in front row; Ray Bell is 3rd from right in second row.)

Lilla Watt Senior Picture-Marquette High School, Marquette, Michigan

Lilla spent her school years in Marquette, Michigan.  She graduated from Marquette High School in 1903.  While in high school, Lilla played on the girls' basketball team.
The 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Marquette, Michigan shows Lilla working as a stenographer in the mining industry.  She is living at home with her parents at this time.

Lilla Watt married Harry Glover on 23 August 1919 in Marquette, Michigan.  Baptist Minister E.M. Martinson officiated.  Burt L. Watt (Lilla's brother) and Doris I. Bowron were witnesses.  They were married for 31 years.  Harry died in 1950.

Harry and Sarah Lilla Glover
Unknown Date (Pre 1950)

Harry and Lilla lived at 484 Cass Avenue, Detroit, Michigan after their marriage.  They later moved to Reynolds Avenue, Hazel Park, Michigan around 1925.  Harry and Lilla gave birth to their only child, Bruce David, in 1925, who is my dad.  My dad has fond memories of growing up in Hazel Park. 

After Harry's death, Lilla remarried.  She married, Ray Bell, a classmate of hers in Marquette.  (See Junior class picture above)  They were married on 22 November 1954.  Lilla and Ray split their time living in Arizona and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

L-R:  Linda (my sister), Grandma Bell holding me in 1958

I have fond memories of my grandmother.  She use to visit us when we lived in Deckerville, Michigan.  I remember she loved to knit and crochet.  I have a pair of slippers that she knitted me.  I have doilies that she embroidered, too.  I was seven when she died and I remember crying when I found out.

Lilla died 31 March 1965 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada from cancer.  She is buried in Queen's Park Cemetery, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


  1. I really like reading your Ancestor Biographies. You bring the story alive by including visual additions to the story for each ancestor. It gives me ideas for my own. Thank you for sharing!


  2. Thank you, Kim I only wish I had a few more visuals to share!