30 January 2011

Marriage of William John McGee and Laura Kirby Determines My Great Grandmother's Parentage

Ancestry.com and Genealogical Research Library (Brampton, Ontario, Canada). Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1926 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

William John McGee, age 28, married Laura Kirby, age 18, on 30 January 1900, in Thornbury, Grey, Ontario Canada. (111 years ago, today)  William is the son of Richard McGee and Sarah Jackson.  Laura is the daughter of Robert Kirby and Maggie Theakston.

William McGee is the brother of my great grandmother, Katherine McGee Watt.  I was having trouble finding Katherine's parents.  I couldn't find any birth record for her.  I decided I would research her siblings in hope of finding the information.  I found this document and had my answer to who her parents were. 

Of course, now I am stuck on who Richard McGee's parents are!    My advice on brick walls is don't overlook siblings when researching your ancestors.

29 January 2011

Ymmm! Shrimp: 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 5 Favorite Food

Week 5:  Favorite Food.  What was your favorite food from childhood?  If it was homemade, who made it?  What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite?  What is your favorite dish now?

Blogging:  A good excuse to fix shrimp, so I could take a picture!

It was hard to narrow down my list of favorite foods to just one, but as I thought about special dishes I had when I was a child-I kept coming back to shrimp.  It wasn't something we had often, so when we did-it was special.  I am guessing it wasn't an economical meal to prepare for a family.  My mom would buy breaded shrimp and deep fry it.  I remember my mom serving it with coleslaw and sometimes french fries.  I preferred tartar sauce as a child, but like cocktail sauce now.

Once in third grade we were reading in social studies class about shrimp.  I was one of the few students who had eaten shrimp.  I don't know if I volunteered my mom, or if the teacher asked her, but my mom made shrimp to share with the class.  She made it at home and brought it into the class for all to try.  I think back on it now and realize what a generous thing that was for her to do.

Sometimes in the summer we would get food baskets and drive to Lake Huron and have a picnic.  My dad was a teacher in a small town, and when he was hired he was told that teachers weren't to be seen in the local bars or restaurants that served alcohol.  So, my mom or dad would call the local bar/restaurant and order takeout baskets for us.  We would drive up to the back door of the bar/restaurant and my dad would go in and pick it up.  We would have to sit in the car smelling the delicious food until we drove the seven miles to the lake.  I remember ordering a shrimp basket many times.  The place on Lake Huron that we would go to was a scenic turnout with picnic tables and a beautiful view of the lake. 

I still enjoy shrimp, but very rarely make it.  My favorite food now is anything Thai.  I have three Thai cookbooks and enjoy trying new recipes.  I especially like pad thai, maybe it's the shrimp in it!  I like the combination of spicy, sweet, and salty.  My favorite homemade pad thai is:

8 ounces rice noodles
2T peanut oil
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2T. chopped shallots
3/4 cup cooked small shrimp
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar substitute
6-8 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup chopped blanched peanuts
1 medium egg, beaten
1 cup bean sprouts

1.  Soak the noodles in water at room temperature for 30-60 minutes or until soft.  Drain and set aside.
2.  Heat the peanut oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and shallots.  Stir fry until they begin to change colors.
3.  Add the noodles and all remaining ingredients except the egg and bean sprouts, stir fry until hot.
4.  Stirring constantly, drizzle in the beaten egg.
5.  Add the bean sprouts, stir for about 30 seconds.
6.  In a small bowl mix together the following for garnish:
     1 T. lime juice
     1 T. tamarind concentrate
     1 T. fish sauce
     1/2 cup bean sprouts
     1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts    
7.  Place Pad Thai mixture on serving dish.  Top with garnish (see #6) and lime wedges.

Finding all the ingredients in Battle Creek, Michigan is not easy.  I found fish sauce at our local oriental market, but had to buy tamarind concentrate online.  My favorite Thai restaurant is in Chicago, Opart's Thai House.  It is in the same block that my daughter and son-in-law live on. 

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

28 January 2011

Where Were You on January 28, 1986?

In Memory- (front row) Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair;
 (back row) Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

Today commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Challenger explosion.  Do you remember where you were when this happened?  I remember it very clearly, including the sinking feeling I had in my stomach.  I was teaching preschool at the time and the parents were dropping their children off.  One parent asked if I had heard about the Challenger explosion.  I hadn't.  I had the overwhelming urge to call my husband.  I had my aide take over the class for a few minutes and I went to call Kirk.  Kirk was home sick that day and I asked if he had heard about it, he hadn't. 

One might wonder why I would have an urge to call my husband.  All I could think of was Christa McAuliffe, the teacher in space.  Kirk had applied for the teacher in space project!  I was thinking of what might have been.  Kirk and I talked for a couple of minutes and then I headed back into the classroom.  I put it out of my mind as I didn't want to scare the four year olds I was teaching.  Once I got home, I was glued to the television. 

My thoughts and memories are with the families of those who gave their life that day:  Michael Smith,  Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnick, and Christa McAuliffe. 

26 January 2011

Where Do You Do Your Genealogy?

One of the benefits of being an empty nester is having extra room.  I converted my son's bedroom into a genealogy/computer room.  A benefit of setting up a new room is organizing it.  How long it will stay looking like this is hard to say.  What you don't see is the crate of pictures and papers hidden next to the file cabinet.

One of the things I wanted to do when setting up the room was to make a place for family pictures.  The shelf to the left of the desk has pictures of my husband and children, siblings, nieces, nephews, and both sets of parents.  I have pictures of my children on the desk and file cabinet.  These are the people who motivate me to research the family.

In addition to pictures I have placed a few heirlooms around the room.  I have a hot pad my grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt Glover Bell,  made on the desk.  My great grandmother, Hattie Fenn Glover, crocheted doilies and I was given them, recently.  I have one front and center on my desk.  I have a couple of art projects my children made near the desk too.  All of this is inspirational to me.

The wall behind my desk is a tree of our ancestor's pictures.  Near the bottom of the tree are my children and then Kirk and my wedding picture.  I have pictures of both sets of parents, 4 sets of grandparents, 6 great grandmothers, 4 great grandfathers, 2 great great grandmothers and 1 great great grandfather.  They are looking over my shoulder as I work.

Also on this wall is a hope chest that belonged to my husband's grandmother.  It is here that I store other family heirlooms.  I have linens, doilies, and other heirlooms stored here. 

I am very comfortable researching here.  Where do you do your genealogy? 

24 January 2011

Hattie's Bible: Letter from Claude Glover Amanuensis Monday

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.  Amanuensis Monday is a theme hosted by John Newmark at Transylvanian Dutch.

 Zast lake    1894

I will write a few lines
to you.  we are all well
I go to sundayschool
every sunday I have
made bobs with Harrys
sled I set with Rudolph
Donahue I am most
thru the second reader.
I go slideing on the
hill every night and I go
scateing every saturday
I want you to come
home dear mamma.
Your own dear boy Claudie

I found this letter in Hattie's Bible.  Claude Glover is the son of Hattie and Frank H. Glover.  Did he write this letter to his mother?  If so, I wonder where she was when he wrote it.  Claude would have been about 10 at the time he wrote this.  The two highlighted words were my best effort at transcribing the words. (I wondered if maybe the Z was a backwards E) 

Because he mentions skating and sledding the letter must have been written in the winter.  The Harry that is mentioned in this letter is his older brother.  Harry is my paternal grandfather.  Claude was two years younger than Harry. 

When I first read this letter, I was filled with emotion.  I never met Claude Glover, but from this letter he must have loved and missed his mother very much.  Religion must have been important in his house as he mentions going to Sunday school.  It must have been special to Hattie that she saved it for so many years.

22 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 4-Home: My First Home

Week 4:  Home:  Describe the house in which you grew up.  Was it big or small?  What made it unique?  Is it still there today?

The floor plan of my first home.

I lived in seven different houses the first 18 years of my life.  I thought about what home I grew up in and couldn't pick just one.  I decided I would pick the first home I lived in to write about.

I lived in this red brick, three bedroom home in Deckerville, Michigan from 1957-1962.  This was the house I came home from the hospital to.  I remember it as being a nice size house, but I am sure if I went back today it would seem smaller.  The last time I was in Deckerville, the home was still there.  The uniqueness of the house was the in the layout.  My sister and I could chase each other in circles!  We could go from the bedroom, to the bathroom, dining room, living room and back to the bedroom.  I am sure it drove my mother nuts.  Also, the room on the back of the house, seemed big.  It was a laundry room, toy room, furnace room and storage room.  We had a toy chest to the right as you entered from the kitchen. 

The kitchen was long, one end had the kitchen table and chairs.  The other end, toward the front of the house, had a U shaped kitchen.  The sink was at the head of the U, the stove to the left of the sink, and the refrigerator to the right of the sink.  There was a window over the sink.

The front door opened into the dining room.  I remember a blond dining room table, chairs, buffet and desk in the room.  This room went from the front of the house to the back, with windows on the front and back wall.  I think it had wood floors.  The bathroom, kitchen, living room and stairs were off of this room.  I remember the telephone being by the front door.

The living room seemed big.  There was a couch, 2 chairs, tv, stereo and tables in this room.  I remember flowered curtains, but I am not sure if it is a memory from a picture or an actual memory. 

My sister, Linda, and I shared the downstairs bedroom for awhile.  We had a double bed, and at least one dresser.  The closet in this room was under the stairs.  It seemed like it went on forever.  We stored games, books, and clothes here.

Sometime while living here, I was given the bedroom upstairs.  It was the one to the right of the stairs.  It seemed small to me.  I had a twin bed here. 

The other bedroom upstairs seemed big.  My parents had this room.  I thought the closet was cool.  It had two doors and you could walk through it.  My mother had a neat vanity.  It had a place you could sit up to it, with 4 drawers, two on each side, and a big round mirror.  It matched the other dresser, and bed, I think.

I believe what makes a house a home is the memories.  I have some fond memories of this home.  Here are some of the other memories I have from this home:
  • my mother making donuts in the kitchen and when she went to answer the phone I dipped my donut in her coffee and drank all her coffee
  • getting a bath in the tub that was in the laundry room
  • hiding vitamins in the toy chest that was in the laundry room
  • sneaking out of the downstairs bedroom and into the kitchen to get bubble gum
  • my sister, Linda, throwing up on me in bed
  • going to the grocery store which was across the alley from the backyard
  • playing games at the dining room table in the dining room
  • walking to Kindergarten-my mom would help me cross the main street and off I would go, it was about a 4 block walk
  • playing tag with neighborhood friends, The Goheen's and The DuCharme's
  • putting on a play in the garage
  • learning to ride a two-wheel bicycle in the driveway
As I write this, the memories keep coming.  I think I will go make a floor plan for the next house we lived in and see what memories it triggers.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

21 January 2011

Merle McKinley Glover's Birthday

Merle McKinley Glover was the youngest son born to Frank H. and Hattie (Fenn) Glover.  He was born 21 January 1902, 109 years ago today.  I don't believe McKinley is a family name, so I wondered if he was named after President McKinley, who was assassinated in September, 1901, just months before Merle's birth.

Merle spent his youth in Marquette, Marquette, Michigan.  He left home at the age of 15 and enlisted in the Canadian army.  He listed his age as 19 on his enlistment papers.  He went on to have a great career in the United States military, retiring with the rank of Lt. Col.

Merle and Genevieve Dout married on 31 May 1927.  They had two daughters, Marylyn R. and Barbara Elaine. 

Merle died 12 November 1981 in Arlington, Arlington, Virginia.  His obituary states he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but I haven't been able to find his burial there. 

19 January 2011

Don't Let Yourself Be A Future Brickwall

I don't want to be a brickwall for my descendants.  I am sure they will have enough of those to solve without me adding to the frustration.  When I was making my 2011 genealogical goals one of my 11 for 11 was to "Research myself!  Add personal facts to my genealogical software."

I started using Roots Magic as my software program and it has a very nice selection of facts to add to each person.  If by chance there isn't a fact for your situation, you can create one.  So, I really don't have any excuse for not adding my facts to the program.  I guess I just get hung up on researching the past.

Well, no more!  I am going to research myself!  Here is some of the information I plan on leaving for future generations.  I hope they will be thanking me and I become one of their favorite ancestors.

  1. Records and Certificates recording significant events in my life.  For example, birth certificate, baptismal certificate, school records (high school and college), and marriage certificate.  In addition to the certificates I am trying to write a few lines about each document.  For example, future researchers may want to know why I was baptized 200 miles from my birth place.  It was the church my parents were married in and there wasn't a Lutheran church in my hometown.
  2. Residence/Census Information.  They won't be scratching their heads wondering where I lived in 2010 Census, I have put a residence fact for each place and a note with the time period I have lived there.  I added who was head of household and who else lived there at that time.  I  included the street address, too.  I included pictures for those places I have pictures for.
  3. Property/Land Records. We have owned two houses in my 30 years of marriage and I plan to add that information with a scan of the deeds and/or mortgage papers. 
  4. School Information and Pictures.  I have quite a few class pictures from elementary school.  I plan to scan them into my program.  I scanned my Kindergarten one in and when I went to list my classmates, I couldn't remember all their names.  So, I posted it on facebook and asked my friends (I have connected with a few friends from elementary school there) and we came up with all but 4 names out of a class of 28 or so.
  5. Information from scrapbooks and memory books I have.  I have a memory book from confirmation, high school senior year and my wedding.  I have receipts from various things in each.  I plan to go through them and scan (with my flip pal!) interesting things I saved.  I have 2 scrapbooks from my childhood and teen years that I want to go through.  They are in pretty rough shape.  I have newspaper clippings from the Detroit Riots, Top 100 Song lists for a few years, TV Guide articles on Batman, and clippings about the Detroit Tigers in the 60's.  All things I remember being interested in, and maybe a little obsessed about(Batman!?).
  6. Memories of my life.  In addition to having the facts for my ancestors, I especially enjoy when I can learn more about the person.  I plan to write in the notes section information about my likes, dislikes, activities and any other memories from my past.  I think I will write a few blog posts about this, too.  I have a feeling 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History will keep me focused.
  7. Pictures!  I would like to scan in pictures from various points in my life and write a little about my memories of the picture.  I may even ask my parents about them and see what they remember.
I am sure there are more facts I will think of as I get going.  Researching myself should be fun as I know just where the information is and I won't have to spend any money to get the information.  I suppose I am taking some of the fun out of their research, but as I said before, they will have others that give them headaches.  Hopefully, I can leave enough information for future generations and I will be smiling down from above as they read about me.

What kind of information would you like to leave for your ancestors?

17 January 2011

Who is Catherine Wheeler? Part II-Mystery Monday

I posted a Mystery Monday post about Catherine Wheeler in November.  I could not figure out who she was and why she was living with my great grandparents, Frank H. and Hattie (Fenn) Glover in the 1900 and 1910 Census'.  Her relationship to the head of household was listed as mother-in-law.   Later, I discovered this relationship not to be true.

On the same day as I posted my blog on Catherine Wheeler, I received an email from Apple of Apple's Tree blog.  Apple and I have Glover's in our family tree and connected through blogging.  In an act of incredible genealogical kindness, Apple researched Catherine Wheeler.  Apple discovered this about Catherine Wheeler:

  • Her death certificate is mis-indexed as Cathione L Wheeler. It lists her parents as Able Ellis and Dorothy Bishop.
  • 1850 Census: Coldwater, Branch, MI, page 50. Stephen Wheeler age 20 b NY. In home of Horace & Eliza A Rockwood.
  • 1860 Census: Bethel, Branch, MI, page 126. Stephen L Wheeler, age 28 b NY, Painter; Martha L. age 26 b NY; Emma age 4 b MI; Albert Cummings age 26 b Canada
  • 1870 Census:  Mason, Vevay Twp, Ingham, MI, page 43: Josiah Tyler age 53 b NY, Physician. Catherine Tyler, age 38 b NY. Emma age 15 b MI, William age 6 b MI and Frances age 11 b NY - in that order
  • 1870 Census:  Blackman, Jackson, MI, page 8. Stephen Wheeler age 39 b NY, Engineer; Martha age 37 b NY; Emma age 14 b MI; Fred age 6 b MI.
  • Emma A Tyler married John Branchflower, 19 Aug 1875. Jackson, MI (Michigan Marriages, 1822-1995 @FamilySearch) Says she was born 1856, Albion, Orleans Co, New York. I did not find Josiah or Catherine on the 1855 census index for Orleans Co.
  • Catherine L Ellis Tyler married Stephen Wheeler 4 Nov 1875 Jackson, MI. He was born 1830, Niagara, NY. (Michigan Marriages 1822-1995 @FamilySearch)
  • 1880, Rives, Jackson, MI, Stephen Wheeler, age 49 b. NY. Louisa Wheeler age 50 b. NY and Frederic Wheeler age 15 b. MI (FamilySearch 1880 census index) William Tyler not with them.
  • 8 Jan 1883 death of Wm H Tyler, Jackson, Jackson, MI. Son of Josiah and Catherine Tyler. (Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897 @FamilySearch)
  • 8 Jan 1884 death of Willie H Tyler, Jackson, Jackson, MI. Son of J J and Catherine Tyler. (Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897 @FamilySearch)
I really appreciate all the information that Apple found.  We weren't able to place Catherine Wheeler in either of our families.  I believe that Catherine Wheeler was living with Frank H. Glover and Hattie Fenn Glover because of Frank H. Glover's relationship with Catherine Wheeler's step son, Fredrick Wheeler.  Fredrick Wheeler was a witness to Frank and Hattie Glover's marriage. 

Thank you Apple for filling in a few holes concerning Catherine Wheeler.

15 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 3-My First Car

Week 3:  Cars:  What was your first car?  Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle.  You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

1978 Pontiac Sunbird and me
 Bay City, Michigan

It was my senior year in college and I was getting ready to do my student teaching and I didn't have a car.  I chose to student teach at Bangor Township Schools in Bay City, Michigan.  This was miles from my hometown and even further from where I went to college in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

I remember getting a phone call from my dad and he said he thought I needed a car for my student teaching.  He had looked at the local GM dealership and thought a red 1978 Pontiac Sunbird would be a good choice.  I was thrilled.  He offered to pay for it (even more excited) and I could pay him back.  He also said he would cover a part of it as my college graduation gift (still excited!).  I believe the cost of the car was $4500-$5000.

I remember getting off the phone and telling my college roommates about it and they said, "let's go check Pontiac Sunbirds out".  So, off we went to the local Pontiac dealership in Kalamazoo and I got my first look at a Sunbird.

I don't remember the specifics of how I got the car, but I am guessing I picked it up the next time I came home, possibly for Christmas Break.  I know I had it when I moved to Bay City to do my student teaching. 

It was a good little car.  I do remember the mileage was recorded in kilometers, the car had been made in Canada.  I never changed that, even though the dealership ordered the part to change it.  The problem with changing it would have been the kilometers would now be recorded as miles making my mileage higher than it actually was.

I kept the car until I got married.  My husband and I lived in a small town at the time and decided we didn't need two cars.  We sold it and I had to write a statement explaining the mileage was in kilometers.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

14 January 2011

Ancestor Biography: Johann August Fredrick

Johann August Fredrick (Friedrich, Fredrich, Fredricks), my maternal great grandfather was born 8 January 1845 in Germany.  His obituary states his birthplace as Paden, which I can't find any other reference too.  My mother remembers the family saying he was from Posen.  One of the census states his birthplace as Prussia.  I haven't been able to determine his exact place of birth or who his parents were. 

He had at least three siblings who came to the United States.  A sister, Henriette married John Zobel and lived in Manistee, Manistee, Michigan.  Another sister, Amelia, married Leo Englehuber and a third, who's first name I don't know, married August Guske.  I have tried researching his sisters in order to break through this brickwall.  I have found a few facts about their families, but nothing to suggest who their parents were or where they came from.

(Source:  1920 U.S. Census,Michigan, Manistee, Population Schedule, Dickson Township,
ED 61, p 4A, dwelling 71, August J Fredrick.)

According to the 1920 U.S. Census, Johann, known as August, immigrated to the United States in 1872.  He settled in the Manistee, Manistee, Michigan area.  He worked in a sawmill when he first arrived here.  He was naturalized in 1909 but, unfortunately, the naturalization records for Manistee county have been destroyed.
(Source:  Manistee, Michigan, marriage certificate no. 653 L.2 p44, Johann August Fredrick and Louise Fredrike Zastrow; Manistee County Clerk Office, Manistee, Michigan.)

Family stories tell of him sending back to his homeland for a bride.  In April of 1875, Louise Fredrike Zastrow arrived to marry J. August, whom she had never met.  Johann August Fredrick, age 30, and Louise Fredrike Zastrow, age 19, were married 8 May 1875 in Manistee, Manistee, Michigan.  Louise's brother, John, and August Tose were witnesses.  Reverend Herman Lemke officiated. (The person copying the information in 2007 read the L as S on my copy of the certificate.)  Reverend Hermann Lemke was pastor of the German Lutheran Church in Manistee, for many years.

August and Louise Fredrick Family
L-R:  Alma, Mary, August, Louise, Leonard, unknown, Emma,
William, Otto August (holding Katherine Fredricks, his daughter)

August and Louise Fredrick had eight children:
  • Emma A Fredrick, born in 1876, married James Chalmers.
  • Otto August Fredrick, my maternal grandfather, born in 1878, married Daisy Ellen Graf.
  • Mary H. Fredrick, born in 1884, married John Bruce.
  • William L. Fredrick, born in 1890.
  • Alma Fredrick, born in 1893, married Joseph Prantle.
  • Leonard 'Sonny' August Fredrick, born in 1897, married Elizabeth Pearl Smith.
  • Leonia Fredrick, born in 1897, died in 1899.
  • Augusta 'Gustie' Fredrick, married H.A. Breen. 
J. August and Louise lived in Manistee county, Michigan their whole married life.  J. August worked in a sawmill, then bought a farm and removed all the timber and became a farmer.  He and Louise eventually(between 1910-1920) moved to a farm in Dickson Township, near Brethren, Michigan in Manistee County.  The farm became known as the Fredrick's family farm and is still in the family today.

J. August Fredrick died, at home, on 27 January 1924, of bronchitis.  He was considered a pioneer of Manistee county.  He was one of the oldest settlers of the county.  

 I found two obituaries for J. August Fredrick.
  1. Aged Pioner Passes Away at Dickson was found in the 1 February 1924, Pioneer Press, Bear Lake, Manistee, Michigan
  2. Aged Dickson Farmer Dies was found in 28 January 1924, Manistee News Advocate, Manistee, Manistee, Michigan.

12 January 2011

Museum of History at Brethren, Michigan

Brethren Michigan is the hometown of my mother and her parents, Otto August and Daisy Ellen (Graf) Fredricks.  It is a very small village located in the northwest area of lower Michigan.  Our family visited this area at least once a year for as long as I can remember, usually going in the summer for the Fredricks Family Reunion.

The Brethren Heritage Association is responsible for a delightful museum at the corner of Cart Avenue and Park Service Road, near Lake Eleanor.  The museum is a restored log cabin once owned by Christy Brown,who owned a general store.  Local artifacts, historical items, newspaper clippings and more can be found at the museum.  A second building, Ostrander's Cabin, in being restored, too. 

The museum is open by appointment only.  One year it was open during the family reunion and I was able to walk through it.  Some of the items in the museum include a bed, pioneer kitchen area, old tools and dishes, and news clippings of area residents.

Bricks are laid in front of the museum as memorials to loved ones.  Family members can purchase bricks and the proceeds go toward supporting the museum.  The Fredricks family has purchased numerous bricks.  Every year at the reunion a white elephant auction is held.  The money raised from this goes towards purchasing supplies for the reunion.  In addition, memorial bricks were purchased.

Fredricks Family Memorial Bricks

August-Lousie Fredricks
Valentine and Nancy Graf
Harold C Fredricks
Otto & Daisy Fredricks
Margaret E. Fredricks 1912-2006
Daisy M. Kurth 1921-2004
Bob Fredricks 1923-1997
Leona Wagoner 1925-1995
Ray Fredricks 1932-2001
Norman E. Fredricks 1934-1995
Carl Tritten
Mark Kaskinen 1958
Michael Fredricks 1948-1963
Richard Fredricks 1953-1969
Leonard-Pearl Fredrick

10 January 2011

S.S. Glover, Jr. Pension File Information Sheet-Military Monday

Samuel S. Glover Jr.'s Information Sheet from Civil War Pension File

This information sheet was included in Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr's Civil War Pension File that I ordered from NARA.  The transcription is below:

(Beginning of Transcription)
                                                    Washington, D.C., Oct 24, 1889
Will you kindly answer, at your earliest convenience, the questions enumerated below?  The information is requested for future use, and it may be of great value to you family.
                                                   Very respectfully,
                                                                 (Signature unable to transcribe)
Samuel S. Glover Jr
Bear Lake

1.  Are you a married man?  If so, please state your wife's full name, and her maiden name. 
Answer:  Adaline L. Glover   Adaline L. Dyer

2.  When, where, and by whom were you married?  Answer:  Aug 1st 1857 by Rev AH Perrine at Adrian Michigan

3.  What record of marriage exists?  Answer:  Marriage Certificate Witness Chauncy Stuart and Mary A. Dyer

4.  Were you previously married?  If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death or divorce.  Answer:  No

5.  Have you any children living?  If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.  Answer:  Charles W Glover born Oct 29, 1858.  William E. Glover Dec 21st 1860.  Francis H. Glover August 7 1862.  Mary J. Glover May 19th 1864.  Louis B May 15th 18?6. Louise J Glover July 22 1869.  Sarah W Glover May 20th 1871. W??ter ? Glover Feb 27 1875.

Date of reply, Nov 1st, 1889

                                                                      Samuel S. Glover jr
(End of Transcription)

When I first saw this I was very excited.  It was the first time I saw a birth day for my great grandfather, Francis H. Glover (Frank H).  Other things this information sheet confirmed for me was his wife's maiden name and his other children's birth dates.

I think it would be interesting to have his handwriting analyzed.  I don't have a picture of him so it would be interesting to see what a handwriting analysis would say about him. 

I don't know if the Department of the Interior knew what a great find this would be 121 years later when they wrote 'it may be of great value to your family" or not.  But, it definitely was a great value to me.

08 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 2-Winter

Week 2: Winter. What was winter like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

Me in my front yard on Parrott Street in Deckerville, Michigan.  11 years old

One of the great things about living in Michigan is the ability to enjoy the four seasons.  Winter in Michigan can be an adventure.  The weather will dictate how much of an adventure you will have.  Winter weather in Michigan can go from temperatures in the 50's to Teens in a day.  Throw in the wind chill and you can have some bitter, cold days.  Lake effect snow storms (cold winds move across warmer expanses of water, like any one of the Great Lakes, and creates lots of snow) is another joy of living in Michigan.  I remember two significant blizzards in my younger days.  One was from the picture above, woke up Thanksgiving morning to snow.  I don't remember how much snow we got during this storm, but I remember seeing snow drifts as high as some people's roofs.  Another one was when I was attending Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It was January of 1978, the area got 24 inches of snow in about a days time.  The biggest advantage to getting 'dumped on' was snow days! 

As a child I loved snow days.  A snow day usually was spent with friends.  We would gather at each other's houses and play games.  I liked Monopoly, Careers and Life.  Another activity we enjoyed on snow days, or any day it snowed, was sledding.  We would bundle up in our winter gear and head to the local golf course to go down the hills there.  Winter gear comprised of layers and layers of clothes.  Mittens over gloves, long underwear, scarves, 2 pairs of socks, stocking hats that reached to your waist, winter coats and snow pants were a necessity.  It also included bread bags over your shoes, so you could get your boots on!  I remember having a sled, some of my friends had toboggans.  We had a great time.

Another winter activity was ice skating.  The local tennis courts would be frozen over to allow for skating and hockey playing.  One half was for skaters and the other half for hockey.  I never played hockey, but I remember spending lots of time skating.  Everyone I knew had their own skates.  I spent my youth in two towns in Michigan, Deckerville and Harbor Beach.  Harbor Beach was situated on Lake Huron.  The lake would freeze over and sometimes we would skate there.  It wasn't as nice as it had bumps and dead fish in it!  My mother would never approve of us skating on the lake.  I remember a farmer, who lived on a creek, set up a skating place where you could go and skate on the creek.  It had a warming house, and hot drinks.  A step up from the local tennis courts.

Other times were spent making a snowman and snow forts. Snow forts were essential if you were going to have a snowball fight.  Have you ever made a snow angel or caught snowflakes on your tongue?  I still feel the urge to do this when it snows!

The best part of playing in the snow was coming inside and making hot chocolate.  Nothing warms you up after playing outside than a nice cup of cocoa, with marshmallows, of course.  Other great winter dishes, that I remember, were chili, beef stew, beef noodle soup, and chicken a la king.  My mother was an excellent cook and made everything from scratch.

We are experiencing lake effect snow today as I write this.  What have I planned for dinner?  Why, chili, of course.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

06 January 2011

Travis' Birthday: My Thoughts on His Birth

Happy Birthday, Travis Kirk
Just hours new

"It's a boy" my husband exclaimed the morning Travis was born.  We had pretty much decided that two children were all we were going to have, so having a girl and then a boy was perfect.

Travis Kirk's due date was December 25th, and being 12 days overdue the doctor decided it was best to induce my labor on January 6th.  The doctor said the baby was just getting fat in there!  Travis, being the independent person he is, decided to make his appearance into the world on his own.

My in-laws had arrived Monday afternoon to stay with my daughter.  I was preparing dinner and getting ready to go to the hospital in the morning.  I didn't give any thought to the back ache I was experiencing most of the evening.  A little before 10 pm I decided to take a shower and as I was getting my pajama's on my labor came on fast and hard!  My husband and I hurried into the car and travelled the 12 miles to the hospital.  I wasn't sure we were going to make it in time, especially when he took the railroad tracks a little fast. 

I arrived at the hospital at 10:20pm, Monday night.  I had a 19 hour labor for Kirsten, so I figured I had a few hours to go yet.  Travis thought otherwise.  He was born at 12:02am Tuesday, January 6th.  It looks like his birthday was going to be January 6th one way or another. 

We had moved to Northwest Michigan during my pregnancy.  The hospital was a bit more progressive than the one Kirsten was born in.  I labored and delivered in a birthing room.  Kirk was present the whole time and even was allowed to cut the umbilical cord.  I immediately held Travis as the nurse cleaned him up.  They even let me nurse him within minutes.  Kirk went with the nurse to the nursery and was able to bathe, weigh and measure him.  Travis weighed 9 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. 

I remember the excitement in my husband's voice as he told me we had a boy.  I remember thinking how big Travis looked.  I thought his hands looked big.  I also thought of how blessed I was to have given birth to a healthy baby boy.  When he opened his blue eyes (later turned brown) I knew I was in love.  Travis was the perfect second baby.  He was calm and content and slept through the night starting with his second night home from the hospital. 

When Kirsten woke up on January 6th, her grandmother told her she had a baby brother.  The first words out of her mouth were "I didn't want one with a penis".  My poor mother-in-law!  I had taught sex education previously and taught my children the proper body part names early.  Kirsten, who was 3, came to the hospital with her grandparents to visit and see Travis for the first time.  She was very excited.  She thought he had wrinkly feet.  

Travis has brought a lot of joy and laughter into my life the past 24 years.  I am very proud of the young man he has become.  Happy Birthday, Travis!  I love you.

05 January 2011

5 Things to Save for Your Kids

My daughter sent me an article from the 2010 Real Simple magazine titled "5 things to save for your kids".  She said "saw this & thought of you".  It listed 5 items worth saving:

  1. Eric Silver, director of Lillian Nassau, a New York City based antiques gallery, and an appraiser on PBS's Antiques Roadshow suggests saving "Insignificant objects from significant occasions".  He gives an example of a concert handbill that meant a lot to him.  He suggests keepsakes that help your kids understand you.  So, kids-I think I will save my signed Batman photo for you!
  2. Mike Bender, cofounder of AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com suggests saving "Something mortifying from your childhood".  For example, teen mementos or embarrassing pictures.  I wish I had the blue and white star hot pants I wore as a teenager to pass on! 
  3. Rafael Guber, a consulting genealogist to the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, in Los Angeles picked "Your practical, high quality household items".  He gave as an example, soup ladles, prayer books or rosary beads.  I have a couple of items in mind to pass on to my children. 1) a relish tray that belonged to my grandmother and 2) silver candlesticks that were my husband's grandmother's.  Are you getting excited Kirsten and Travis?
  4. Jennie Eisenhower, actor and director, and granddaughter of Richard and Pat Nixon, chose "Something your descendants can repurpose."  She is fond of the sugar bowl that belonged to her grandmother, Pat Nixon.  She uses it to keep spare change in and says she thinks fondly of her grandmother when she sees it.  I have my great grandmother's handmade doilies and a few of my grandmother's hand made hot pads that I put on my desk where I do genealogy.  I, too, think of them as I work.
  5. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, professor of history at Harvard University and author of The Age of Homespun and A Midwife's Tale thinks you should save, "What you wear to work on Monday"  She thinks everyone saves wedding dresses and baby clothes, so when you have a piece of clothing that is just ordinary clothing it is special.  I have a pair of Calvin Klein blue jeans from the 70's, that I swear will fit again, I didn't know I was saving them for my kids.
This article made me think of just what I would like to save for my children and what I would like of my parents.  Is there anything you think should be saved for our descendants?  Please share them in the comment sectionn.

04 January 2011

Did You Get What You Wanted For Christmas?

Week 47 of '52 Weeks to Better Genealogy' had bloggers list their Genealogy Wish List.  I posted mine and Santa(with a little help) was quite nice to me.  I received 2 out of the 3 gifts I had listed. 

  1. My great husband gave me a Flip Pal scanner.  I can't wait to explore all the possibilities of scanning with this.  I have a few quick projects, mainly photo's I plan to start with.  I also have one major project-I would love to scan all my children's art projects that I have saved.  Eventually I would like to make a book of them.
  2. This is a gift I decided to give myself.  I renewed my subscription to the NEHGS.  I have found their website to be very helpful in my research of my colonial ancestors.
  3. In addition, I was given a renewal subscription to Family Tree Magazine from my hubby.  One of my favorite magazines!
  4. My son and his girlfriend gave me the Genealogical Problem Solving Quicksheet by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  This laminated two-sided sheet is a 10 step solution to genealogical problems.  I have a few of those (genealogical problems) in my research so it should come in handy.
I think my family understands my addiction  love of genealogy.  Even though I received wonderful gifts for Christmas, my greatest gift this year was having my son and his girlfriend here from Florida, and my daughter and her husband here from Chicago.  It has been a couple of years since that happened, it made my Christmas. 

What made your Christmas special?

01 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 1-New Year's Day

52 Weeks Personal Genealogy and History

Week 1: New Year’s. Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?

Sports have always been an important part of my family's New Year traditions.  I remember as a young child watching the bowl games on television.  The day usually started with the Rose Bowl parade and lots of football afterwards.  It seems the Rose Bowl was always my favorite, probably because the Big Ten football conference was in it.  It was always a good year if Michigan made the bowl game.  Food was usually simple on that day, sometimes leftovers from the previous evening's party that my parents hosted.

Later as the family grew apart by distance, my father started a college bowl mania contest.  We would sign up and make our picks for all the bowl games to be played.  Bragging rights went to the winner.  This year's contest has 21 family members of all ages.  It is another way to stay connected as our family now lives in six different states.

As of this writing my husband, son and daughter are 1,2 and 3 in this year's contest.  Where am I you ask, barely hanging on to 14th place!  Oh well, there is always next year.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.