31 December 2013

Last Day Local: 12 Days of a Michigan Christmas

My daughter, Kirsten, and her mother-in-law, Leslie, have an annual tradition of attending the One of a Kind Show in Chicago, held at the Merchandise Mart.  Artists from all over North America show their wares and let shoppers find a truly, one of a kind gift.  I was the recipient of one of the artists, David Price, work, 'A Michigan Christmas' cotton towel. I love it.  It is beautiful enough to frame.

Here are the 12 Days of A Michigan Christmas and their meaning:

  1. A Partridge in a White Pine Tree:  The White Pine is Michigan's State Tree
  2. Two Bowls of Kellogg's:  Kellogg's is located in the Cereal City of Battle Creek, my hometown.
  3. Three Feet of Snow:  Yes, we do get a lot of snow.
  4. Four Great Lakes:  Lakes Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Erie touch the shores of Michigan. The fifth Great Lake, Ontario, does not.
  5. Five Gold Motown Records:  Motown Records was founded by Berry Gordy, Jr in Detroit, Michigan.  It was the record company of The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, The Four Tops and many more.
  6. Six Cars a-Building:  Detroit is known as the Motor City and car manufacturing is an important part of Michigan's history.
  7. Seven Vernor's Ginger Ales a-Fizzing:  Vernor's Ginger Ale was invented in 1866 by James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist.
  8. Eight Yoopers Dancing:  A Yooper is a nickname for someone living in the U.P. or Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  9. Nine Tigers Batting:  The Detroit Tigers are Michigan's American League Baseball Team.
  10. Ten Cold Days in Hell:  Yes, there really is a Hell.  Hell, Michigan that is.
  11. Eleven Spartans and Wolverines Blocking:  This refers to the Michigan State Spartans and University of Michigan Wolverines Football teams.  
  12. Twelve Hockey Sticks a-slapping:  Michigan's beloved hockey team is the Detroit Red Wings. 

28 December 2013

Genealogy for Christmas: My Family is Getting the Message

I think my family is getting the message about how much I enjoy all things genealogy.  This year they gave me gifts that show their understanding of my obsession!

First, is one I don't think my daughter thought of as a genealogy gift, but that is how I plan to use it.  Every Monday I organize my week and this sticky note weekly calendar will come in handy.  I am going to use it to plan my blog posts, webinars and genealogy research.  I love organization and this will come in handy.

Next, is a book by Karen A. Clifford.  I put this on my wish list after her Legacy Family Tree Webinar on Pre 1850 U.S. Research Methodologies, last February. I used money that my parents gave me to purchase this.  I can't wait to sit down, read through it, and use the information to further my research.

I have wanted "My Brave Mechanics" by Mark Hoffman since I read about my 2nd Great Grandfather, Samuel S. Glover in it.  He was part of The First Michigan and Engineers Company and it gives an accounting of his gunshot wound. It is a great representation of the company and their role in the Civil War. My local library has this book, but it is not available for checkout, so I read bits of it every time I go.  I am so happy that my husband gave it to me for Christmas.

Did you receive any genea-gifts this Christmas?  Please share in the comments section, I may want to add them to my wish list for next year!

23 December 2013

German Symbolism at Christmas

I enjoy going to Christkindlmarket in Chicago at Christmastime and getting in touch with my German heritage. Christkindlmarket is set up much like a German Christmas market is.  It has delightful little shops selling everything from glass ornaments, to nutcrackers, to German baked goods, to wood carvings and more.

Cute wood carvings at Christkindlmarket in Chicago.

I went this year with my daughter, Kirsten, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I bought a pickle!  I imagine many of you have heard about the legend of the Christmas Pickle.  I have never had one and thought it was time to add one to my heritage tree.  A German tradition is to hide a glass pickle in the Christmas tree.  On Christmas Day, everyone searches for the pickle.  The person who finds the pickle first, gets an extra gift.

Other symbolism of Christmas decorations can be found in ornaments.  The middle of the 19th century found Christmas trees decorated with glass Christmas balls and ornament figures.  These figures had a meaning of their own. It was a sign of their wishes and dreams.  The following is the symbolism of ornaments:

  • heart-symbol of love
  • teapot-hospitality
  • flower-beauty
  • fish-goods blessing
  • owl-symbol of wisdom
  • gift package-charity
  • bells-prevent bad luck
  • ladybug-talisman, mojo
  • rabbit-hope and faith
  • grape-friendship and sociability
  • nutcracker-get awareness
  • bird-joy and happiness
  • angel-protection and a blessed home
  • fruits-generosity and good harvest
  • Santa Claus-goodness and courtesy
  • pine cones-fertility and motherhood
  • house-shelter and protection
  • frog-upgrade and success in business
  • flower basket-good wishes
  • star-hope and a kind destiny  
How many of these symbols do you have on your tree?  I have a few.  I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas.

19 December 2013

Happy Birthday, Kirsten

My daughter, Kirsten, turns 30 years old this year.  It doesn't seem like it has been 30 years since she was born.  She grew into a beautiful, talented young women. One that today brings memories of her third birthday, in 1986.

Her celebration was a simple family dinner with Kirk and I.  We went to La Senorita Restaurant in Petoskey, Michigan.  We were living in Harbor Springs Michigan at the time, about nine miles from Petoskey.  Kirsten liked LaSenorita because it had a treasure chest of little toys and as she left she could pick one to take home.  The picture above is Kirsten at the restaurant with a cake provided by the restaurant. The staff sang Happy Birthday to her.

The day was spent quietly at home.  I was ninth months pregnant with a due date six days away.  Kirsten and I waited for Kirk to come home so she could open her presents. Once her gifts were opened we played with them for a little while and then went to dinner.

 I love the expression on Kirsten's face.

Kirsten playing with her train.
Everyone needs a pearl heart necklace to play trains with.

One of her favorite presents was a T.C. Timber wooden train set.  Harbor Springs had a wonderful toy store, Rocking Horse Toy Company, and they had a wooden train set up for the kids to play with.  Kirsten loved going to the toy store and she always played with the train.  We bought her a starter train set.  It had track pieces, a freight train, trees, and a couple of buildings.  She loved it.  We still have the train set.  Many additional pieces were purchased throughout the years.  It is a classic toy and one I had as much fun with as Kirsten.

"Putting make up on" with her Fisher Price Vanity Set, a birthday gift.  
It came with play nail polish, perfume, comb, bracelet with animal charms, 
a pearl necklace with heart pendant, headband, and a key to lock it up with. 

Kirsten opening a gift and a very pregnant mom folding her suspender outfit.  
Other gifts in picture includes a bear puzzle.

We didn't have a big party for Kirsten that year, but I remember how nice having dinner with just the three of us was.  It wouldn't be long before Kirsten would be a big sister.  Kirsten was very verbal at the age of three and I remember her talking a mile a minute as she opened her gifts.  She was very excited about the train set and vanity set.  Both of those toys were played with a lot.  Kirsten and I would put make up on each other and do each others' nails. We would spend hours playing with the train set.  It was fun to see the track configurations that Kirsten would come up with.  Good times and good memories.  Happy Birthday, Kirsten.

17 December 2013

Christmas in Ireland

I have very little Irish in me, but I channeled what I have on a cold, Sunday afternoon to make an Irish Basket o' Greens.  My friend, Donna, and I went to Southern Exposure, a herb farm outside of Battle Creek, for a delightful afternoon of eating good food and making a basket o' greens.

Lunch consisted of an authentic 18th Century Irish meal.  We had a stew made with tender beef, carrots and tiny potatoes served over mashed potatoes, a salad of shredded carrots, and a slice of apple pie with Irish cheese.  It was delicious.  I wonder if my great grandmother, Katherine McGee Watt, ever made Irish stew.

Next, was the making of the basket.  The Basket o' Greens represented an Irish greeting and is meant to be placed at your doorstep.  Southern Exposure does a wonderful job of explaining the materials used and their meaning.  The greens and materials selected had specific meanings to the Irish:

  • Yellow twig dogwood was thought to turn yellow upon the birth of Christ.
  • Holly leaves were believed to have curled on the birth of Christ and the red berries represented the blood of Christ.
  • Fresh lemon leaves were used in Ireland to cradle fruit, which during the holidays was a treat,
  • Boxwood was used throughout the United Kingdom as an evergreen.  It was used by the early churches and garland was made with it,
  • Red Velvet Bow represented the coming of Christ,
  • 3 apples represented the Trinity-Holy Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
My basket may not be an Irish masterpiece, but I enjoyed making it and it is waiting to welcome guests to my home.

As the Irish say, "Nollaig Shona Duit" or Merry Christmas!

16 December 2013

Christmas in Scotland

The Royal Standard of Scotland

Christmas trees, stockings, Santa Claus, gift giving, and nativity scenes are the sights of the Christmas season in the United States, but what are the custom and traditions of other countries?

This year I thought I would take a look at how my ancestors celebrated the holiday season.  What customs and traditions are found in the various countries my ancestors emigrated from?  My paternal great grandfather, David Watt, immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1881.  I wonder what customs he brought with him to celebrate with his family.

If David Watt was to celebrate Christmas in the true Scotland tradition he would have gone to work that day!  It wasn't until 1958 that Scotland recognized Christmas as a holiday.  Before 1958, the Scottish people would go to work, go to church, have a Christmas dinner at home and the children would expect a gift from Santa Claus.

Christmas was known as Nollaig Beag or Little Christmas.  It was a solemn time, one to celebrate the birth of Christ.  The celebrations didn't begin until days later. The real Scotland celebration of the season was Hogmanay on New Year's Eve.  That was the time for a big celebration.

I am thankful that David Watt didn't pass the Scottish tradition of working on Christmas Day down to the family.  I enjoy celebrating Christmas with my family.

13 December 2013

Family Recipe Friday-Milk Chocolate Fudge

Milk Chocolate Fudge

Mix in a heavy 2 quart pan:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1-7 ounce jar marshmallow topping
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium when bubbles appear all over the top of the mixture.  Stir for 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and add 2 cups milk chocolate chips.  Stir until melted.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup chopped nuts. Stir to combine.

Pour into greased 8" square pan.  Cool thoroughly.

A Christmas doesn't go by that someone in my family asks for me to make fudge. This is my go-to recipe for fudge.  I have been making this recipe since I was a teenager.  I got the recipe from my mom.  It is a recipe from Hershey's.  It is definitely a family favorite.  I have tried other recipes for fudge, but this is one I come back to year after year.  It has a smooth, creamy texture and is easy to make.

I have varied the recipe by substituting 2 cups mint chocolate chips for the milk chocolate ones.  I have added 2 Tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur or 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Liqueur in place of the vanilla. I have made it with just about every kind of nut: walnuts, pecan, hazelnuts.  I sometimes make it without nuts.  It is a no-fail recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

11 December 2013

Eli Fry-Son or Grandson of David Samuel Mast?

The 1880 United States Census for Walnut Creek, Holmes, Ohio citing sheet 429C, family 10, the household of David Mast lists an Eli Fry, age 2, as a son of David Mast.  Adopted is written in the column for profession. I was curious about this and wondered how Eli fit into the family.  I did a little research on Eli.

According to "Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-23099-39857-27?cc=1932106 : accessed 21 Nov 2013), > image 1 of 1, Elias Fry was born 14 September 1878 to Noah Fry and Christina Mast in Holmes County, Ohio.  

I knew that Christina Mast was the daughter of David Mast and Anna Nancy Livengood, but further research was needed.  I tried to find a marriage certificate for Noah Fry and Christina Mast and was unsuccessful.  Another search was done for a death record of Noah Fry and Christina Mast and Christina Fry with negative results. These findings added to my determination to learn more about Eli.

I have more questions than answers.  Did Noah Fry and Christina Mast ever marry? Why was Eli listed as adopted son of Christina's parents two years after his birth? No Christina was in the David Mast household in 1880.  There was a Dinah listed in the census, is Dinah Christina?  When did Christina and Noah die?

Even though I have more research to complete on Eli Fry, I know that Eli was the grandson of David Samuel Mast.  Was he adopted?  I have yet to prove that.

08 December 2013

Sunday's Obituary: Tully Daniel Fenn

Published 6 February 1939, unknown newspaper

Tully Daniel Fenn was born in Chelsea, Mich., February 26, 1859 and passed away Monday, February 6, 1939 at his home in Pennfield township at the age of 79 years, 11 months and 11 days.
            His early life was spent around Jackson where he married Mary Ella Blake, April 26, 1882. She passed away April 6, 1930. He had spent the last twenty-eight years at his Pennfield home.
            Those left to mourn his loss are two sons, Bert and Warren; three daughters, Mrs. Henry Darwin, Mrs. Ned Kay, Mrs. Edgar Thomas; one sister, Mrs. Hattie Glover of Munising; also eleven grand children.
            Funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock at the Convis church with the Rev. John Foy and the Rev. V. J. Hafton officiating.  (Feb. 6, 1939)

The above obituary was found in Huldah Rowley Fenn's (Tully's grandmother) Family Bible, which is in the possession of Carol, the same woman who was responsible for me getting Hattie's Bible. Tully Daniel Fenn was the son of Daniel C. Fenn and Elizabeth Poor Fenn.  He was Hattie Fenn Glover's brother, my great granduncle.   

05 December 2013

Those Places Thursday: We Bought Our First House!

It wasn't long after the birth of our first child, Kirsten, that my husband and I decided it was time to move out of our small apartment and into a home.  We had to decide if we wanted to rent or buy. We looked at where we planned to be in ten years and came to the conclusion that we would stay in our small community of Deckerville.  We decided that buying a home would be the way to go.

We met with a realtor and went to see a few homes.  There wasn't much available to purchase in Deckerville.  We expanded our search to the nearby town of Sandusky, about 12 miles away.  We weren't finding what we were looking for until I saw an advertisement of a house for sale by owner.

 April 16, 1984  We always joked the "B" on the house was for Brenda, but it was for Block, the previous owners.  We took it down after we moved in.

2457 Maple Street, Deckerville, Michigan was a beautiful home on a corner lot, complete with a white picket fence.  We made an appointment to view the home.  It was a well maintained, two story, four bedroom, 1 1/2 baths house.  It was just what we were looking for.  We made an offer on the home, they countered, we countered again and it was ours!

It was a home that we could see out the living room window of the apartment we were living in. The move wouldn't be hard!   Also, I knew one of the owners of the home.  I had gone to high school with her.  Everything was falling into place.

We moved into our home in April of 1984, Kirsten was four months old.  We went from a cramped apartment to a home with lots of empty space. We would have fun filling it up.

The house had two big porches that went along the front and back of the house, the oval lead glass front door opened into a dining room, that we needed to furnish. The living room was to the left with a bedroom off of that.  We used this room as a den and later, a playroom.  The large kitchen was off the dining room.  A half bath was off of the kitchen.  The stairs led from the dining room up to three nice sized bedrooms. Another room that was too small to be a bedroom, became my sewing room, was at the end of the hall.  A full bath completed the second floor.  There were pull down stairs to an attic that ran the length of the house.  I loved everything about the house but the basement.  It was a Michigan basement, cold and damp.  I had to do laundry down there, but that was about it.

Kirk, Kirsten and Brenda on the front porch, July 1984

Although, we only lived in our home two and a half years, I have many memories of living here. It is where:

  • Kirsten celebrated her first birthday.
  • Kirsten learned to walk on the wood parquet floors of the living and dining rooms.
  • Kirk and I tested our skill at home improvements.  We painted the exterior, painted the kitchen and learned that if we wallpapered together, it would lead to a fight.
  • We entertained friends on snow days here.
  • I found out I was pregnant with our second child here.  I recovered from a miscarriage and grew more in love with Kirk for his support through this difficult time.
  • I found out I was pregnant for Travis.
  • I remember Kirsten would stand at the front window, waiting for Kirk to come home from school.  He would pull in the driveway and she would get so excited.  Kirk said all you could see was from her eyes up.
  • Kirk's parent's, Jim and Betty, brought the rocking horse to Kirsten and her squeals of delight as they pulled it out of their truck.
  • Kirsten crawled into a freshly painted pantry cupboard and ruined her brand new outfit.  She was so cute, I couldn't get mad.  She was 16 months old.
  • Kirk would build a tower with wood blocks and every morning Kirsten would come downstairs and knock it over, before she did anything else.
  • We grew in our early years of marriage, falling more in love with each other, having candlelight dinners, watching movies on DVD-a new invention, learning how to become parents, and being a family together.
  • We decided to move so Kirk could become an elementary counselor.
We didn't stay in Deckerville, like we thought we would, because Kirk had received his Master's degree in school counseling and elementary counseling jobs were opening up.  We decided if we were going to make a move, now would be the time. Kirk applied for numerous jobs and accepted a job offer in Harbor Springs, Michigan, 240 miles from Deckerville.  

We put our house on the market and waited, and waited.  We weren't able to sell it. Kirk had to move to Harbor Springs without Kirsten and I.  Eventually, my seven month pregnant self and Kirsten moved to Harbor Springs.  The house sat empty and it was tough making our house payment and our rent payment.  We decided to rent it to a teacher and her husband.  The spring rolled around and we accepted an offer on the house. One of the conditions of the sale was that the renters had to move out before they took possession. We gave our renters their notice and they moved out.  The buyers decided to back out of the purchase, sigh!, and we were left to put it back on the market.  Needless to say, we learned a lot about selling a house with our first try. Eventually, we sold it, but didn't recoup our down payment.  We were just glad to be able to sell it.

I loved that house and Kirk and I have always said we would have loved to have moved it, sans basement, because we wouldn't buy a house that big again.  I have fond memories of Deckerville and it was sad to leave good friends, but our family life was just beginning and their were many memories yet to be made.

03 December 2013

I Have a Genealogical Confession To Make

This morning I was adding a few facts to my Roots Magic database and I sinned.  I added an index, Dibean Michigan Marriage Index, as a source for the marriage of Frank H. Glover and Hattie Fenn.  One of the themes I heard at the FGS Conference in August was 'an index is not a source'. Now, before you quit reading this or call me out for my sin, let me explain.

I use my Roots Magic database as a research log of sorts.  I record all sources, whether I find information or not.  I record primary and secondary sources, original and derivative, and direct, indirect and even negative searches, and Indexes.  This is one of the reasons I like Roots Magic.  It allows me to evaluate my sources.  I can keep a record of where I have looked for information and whether I found what I was looking for or not.  It helps with where to look next.

I don't stop looking for sources once I find information in an index.  Usually, I will add a to-do item to my database.  For the above example, I would write, "Find the marriage record for Frank H. Glover and Hattie Fenn who were married 12 May 1882 in Jackson, Jackson, Michigan."  I might not have known the marriage date without the information from the index.

Once I had the information from the index, I knew I had to look for the marriage record in Jackson County, Michigan.  Eventually, I followed up on this 'to do' item and went to Jackson County and got a copy of their marriage record.  Additionally, I was fortunate to be gifted Hattie Fenn Glover's Family Bible and the original marriage certificate was in the Bible.  In this case, the information in the index was accurate.  This isn't always the case.  That is why it is important to follow up on the index information by looking for the original record.

Technically, an index is not a source, but I still record it as one.  I think where researchers go wrong is when they rely on an index as the only source.  It is like an index in a book.  It is there to help you find what you are looking for, the original record in this case.  It is important to find a primary, original source when possible. An index is a way to start you on the path to that primary source.

What do you think?  Do you record indexes as a source?

30 November 2013

Last Day Local: Seirn B. Cole House, Battle Creek, Michigan

August, 2013

One of the joys of living in Battle Creek, Michigan is seeing the history of a bygone area.  I love when a historical home has been restored.  One such home is the Seirn B. Cole Home on Capital Avenue, in Battle Creek.

Seirn B. Cole's house is a restored 1912 Arts and Craft Style design.  It has a Michigan Historical Marker in front of it. Seirn B. Cole and his wife, Elizabeth nee Farmer, lived here during their time in Battle Creek.  Mr. Cole was a contractor and responsible for many of the historical buildings in Battle Creek.

His work can be seen at the Battle Creek City Hall, Ralston-Purina Plant, Masonic Temple, and Battle Creek High School (Check back for posts on these historic buildings), all wonderful structures still standing in Battle Creek.  Seirn B. Cole retired in 1934 but his vision lives on in the Cereal City.

circa 1940 from Willard Library Historical Images Collection

 (This blog post is to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 25 years.  I try to post one article a month on the heritage and history of Battle Creek, The Cereal City!)

28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

L-R:  Kirk, Chase, Bruce, Audrey, and Scott, Thanksgiving 2012

My husband and I will be having a very low key Thanksgiving this year.  We have turned down all invitations to celebrate with family and friends and I have decided not to host it at my house this year.  This is the year our children celebrate Thanksgiving with their in law's family.  I guess I am being the 'turkey' or 'Thanksgiving Scrooge' this year.

I love to cook and Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where I can go all out.  But, this year I am not even cooking a turkey.  I bought a stuffed turkey breast, gasp!, and plan to have a vegetable and bake one pie.  This is so unlike me.  I feel a little guilty about it.

We have had an unusually hectic fall and we feel we need the down time to finish a few projects and start getting ready for Christmas.  Look out kids, Christmas should be spectacular!  I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.

26 November 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Sarah Lilla Watt Glover Bell

SARAH L.           EDNA W.
1884-1965            1885-1953

My paternal grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt, was married twice.  First, to my grandfather, Harry Glover; and second, to Ray Bell.  Ray Bell had been married previously to Edna V., the Edna on the above gravestone.

Ray Bell buried his two wives in the same plot in Queens Park Cemetery, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I don't know whose idea this was, but I know that my grandmother had a cemetery plot next to her first husband in Park Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan, which my father thought would be her final resting place.  I would guess that the logistics of transporting her body out of the country was more difficult than the Bell family wanted to deal with.

I have never been to Calgary to visit my grandmother's gravesite, but a wonderful volunteer on Find-a-Grave sent me the pictures.  I have to admit I was a bit shocked when I saw the two wives sharing a tombstone.  I wrote about my feelings here.

I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately.  Her birthday was 23 November, this past Saturday.  Happy Birthday and Rest in Peace, Grandma Bell.

24 November 2013

Church Record Sunday: Rochester, New York Churches

Church records are some of the best sources for genealogists.  I love when I find online church records because traveling to all of the locations my ancestors lived in is unrealistic.  I have contacted churches by mail or email, but when I find records online it saves me time and money.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society was present at the recent FGS conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  One of the freebies offered at their table was a copy of their Summer 2013 publication, The New York Researcher.

Jim Paprocki authored an article on page 34, Rochester Churches Indexing Project Online.  This article talked about the free searchable database at www.rcip.info for Rochester Churches, Monroe County, New York.  I have a few ancestors with ties to Rochester so I put this on my to do list to check out.

The Indexing Project was started by volunteers with the Rochester Genealogical Society.  They even have a facebook page, Rochester Churches.  The project has almost 30,000 marriages and 14,000 baptisms in its' database.

Searching the database is simple.  One can search by surname or by a specific church, or by the bride or groom's name.  Other features include the ability to leave messages or make corrections to the index.  A variety of information useful to genealogists is found on this website.

Currently, a list of 33 churches is listed on the website.  The churches included in the database as well as the dates covered can be found here.

Although the database is not a primary source, it is a valuable resource that will start you in the right direction and lead you to the original documents.  If you have Rochester, New York ancestors this may be a great resource for you.

22 November 2013

Funeral Card Friday: Emma Louise Fredrich Chalmers

I had the pleasure of meeting my Great Aunt Emma's granddaughter, Mari, and she generously shared many family photo's and mementos with me.  I made good use of my scanner with these photo's and mementos.  One of those mementos was the funeral card for Emma Louise Fredrich, beloved wife of James B. Chalmers.  Notice the spelling of her maiden name, Fredrich.  This was the original spelling of the name, but Emma's brother, my grandfather, Otto, changed the 'h' to a 'k' and eventually a 's' was added to that.  (Fredrich to Fredrick to Fredricks)

The above funeral card states:

At her residence, Church
St., on Sunday, Feb 27th
beloved wife of

Resting at the Rumley
Funeral Home, where the
funeral service will be 
held on Wednesday at
2:30 P.M.

Interment Fairview Cemetery.

Church St., Rumley Funeral Home, and Fairview Cemetery are all located in Acton, Ontario, Canada.

Emma Louise Fredrich is the daughter of J. August Fredrich and Louise Zastrow on 13 July 1876 in Manistee County, Michigan.  She married James B. Chalmers 6 June 1905 in Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada.

20 November 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Ray Fredricks and Life on the Farm

Meet "Billy" and "Lady"
"Billy" and "Lady" are the names given these two pet goats by admiring Ray Fredericks, age 13, son of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Fredericks of Brethren.  Although the goats are the property of the Adamczak farm next door, Ray has practically "adopted' them as his own.

The above clipping was found in the Manistee News Advocate, Manistee, Michigan on 9 April 1946 at the Manistee Public Library in Manistee, Michigan. 

Ray Fredricks is my mother's brother, my uncle. 

11 November 2013

World War II Mothers Form Chapter of Mom's of America

1942-43 Picture of a Chapter of Mom's of America, 
Hazel Park ,Michigan

Standing Fourth from Left- My grandmother, Sarah Lilla Glover.

My grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt Glover Bell, never liked the thought of her son, Bruce, and stepson, Francis "Hank" going off to war.  As a mother of a son, I didn't like it when my son had to sign up for selective service at the age of 18 and he didn't go to war.  I can't imagine how she felt seeing her son report for duty the day after his high school graduation.

The Mom's of America chapter was a source of support for her.  It was a group of mom's, all of whom had son's fighting in World War II.  The picture above was in a photo album at my parent's house.  I don't have a lot of information on it and I can only identify my grandmother.  My grandmother was living in Hazel Park, Michigan at the time.  I don't know if the chapter was a Hazel Park one or an Oakland County one.  

I tried cropping and enlarging the certificate in the picture, but I can only make out "Mom's of America" and "Chapter".  I posted the picture on the Hazel Park Historical Commission Facebook page and hope someone can identify others in the picture.

As we celebrate Veteran's Day today, I thought celebrating mom's was important too. Thank you to all those who have served or are serving in the military AND their families for the numerous sacrifices made to protect our freedoms.

20 November 2013 Update:  Facebook Groups are awesome!  I posted the above picture on the Hazel Park Historical Commission Facebook page on November 11th and by the 18th everyone was identified.  Richard Robbins of the Historical Commission found a newspaper article in their archives, which included this picture.  I only had an 8 x 10 copy of the picture.  I never realized it was published in the Hazel Park Palladium newspaper.  This MOMS Group was Chapter 17 and chartered 18 June 1942 and disbanded in 1990.

The caption stated:

The Hazel Park MOMS club held its installation on June 18. The State president of the club was the installing officer.

The new officers present were, standing, left to right: E. Garlinghouse, E. Langton, M. Armour, S. Glover, Mrs A. R. Knoblock, Mrs. H. Beecher, director; Mrs. Renfrew, Mrs. S. Abromski, president; Mrs W. Gibson, director; Mrs. C. Bemus, treasurer, Marie Fedorchuk, Mrs. V.F. Jones, State president and installing officer.

Sitting, left to right, are: Mrs. George McArdell, Mrs W. Webster, historian, Mrs. F. Connolly, financial secretary; Mrs L Knoblock, vice president; Mrs. Jess Landon national financial secretary; Mrs. R. S. Shannon, recording secretary; and Mrs P. West, corresponding secretary. Photo by William T. Dennis.

30 September 2013

Historic Battle Creek Firehouses

The last day of every month I try to write a Last Day Local post about my current hometown, Battle Creek, Michigan.  Battle Creek is filled with history and I am trying to capture some of that history in writing and pictures.  The first permanent Battle Creek settlements were in 1831.

This month I will share with you three of the historic firehouses that are in Battle Creek, all built in the early 1900's.  My husband and I were tourists for an afternoon and drove around to various historic sites in our hometown and took pictures.  Here are Battle Creek's historic firehouses, two of the three are still in use.

 Fire Station Number 2
Fire Station Number 2:  It was built in 1903 and is still in use today.  It is located on Washington Ave.  in Battle Creek.

Fire Station Number 4:  This fire station was closed in 1983.  It is located on S. Kendall St.  It was the last station to use horse drawn equipment.  This building is listed as a Michigan Historical Site.

Fire Station Number 3

Fire Station Number 3:  This stone sided fire station is located at the corner of Cliff St. and Grenville in Battle Creek.  It was built in 1902 and is still in operation today.

25 September 2013

Workday Wednesday: Farming: Hard, Hot Work in the 1920's

My great grandfather, Valentine Graf, was a farmer all of his life.  He farmed during a time when he and his horses did all the work. This summer I was visiting cousins and saw some photo's of Valentine and his sons farming.  I had my trusty flip pal scanner with me and I went to work scanning.  I am still in the process of identifying and dating the pictures.  The pictures are taken on Valentine's farm in Brethren, Michigan before 1933, the date of his death.  I do not know anything about farming so I won't attempt to give the names of the machines.  I think you can see from the pictures what a hard worker Valentine would have had to be during this time.

 Unidentified farm hands, not sure what they are doing

 Valentine Graf and his horses.

 Steam engine on the farm
 Unidentified farm workers

Transporting hay to the barn

Hard, hot work

22 September 2013

Church Record Sunday: Wilhelmine Fredrich Birth Register

This record is for Wilhelmine Fredrich, daughter of Christoph Fredrich and Susanna Koenig.  She was baptized 30 September 1832.  I received this record from one of Wilhelmine's descendants, Michael.  Michael lives in Germany and we have written back and forth a few times and shared information.  I wrote about our connection here and here.

Michael and I share a common ancestor, Susanna Koenig, mentioned above.  My great grandfather, J. August Fredrich, and Wilhelmine Fredrich were brother and sister, making Wilhelmine my great grandaunt.

I posted the above record at the German Genealogy Facebook page and asked for help transcribing it.  The information I received was that it is an excerpt from the birth registers of the Protestant Parish of Schubin.  Parents were Christoph Fredrich of Baerenbruch and Susanna born Koenig. Wilhelmine's birthplace was listed as Baerenbruch, Kreis Schubin.  The date the excerpt was made was 5 February 1938. I wish I could read German.  I would love a full translation of it.

Wilhelmine was born 18 September 1832 and my great grandfather, J. August was born 8 January 1845.  Since I don't have the place of birth for my great grandfather, I wonder what the chances are that he was born or baptised at the same place as his sister.  Does anyone have any thoughts on that? This is on my to-do list to research.

J. August Fredrich immigrated to Manistee County, Michigan, but his sister, Wilhelmine stayed in Germany.  She was one of the few family members who didn't emigrate.  Her mother, Susanna, and three of her sisters, Henriette, Amalia, and Ottilie came to Manistee County after J. August did. There were two other siblings, Auguste and Wilhelm, that I believe stayed in Germany.  More research is needed on them.

One never knows what kind of information an ancestor's sibling's record will give you.  This one gave me clues to my research and I look forward to finding out more.

Updated January 2014:  A very generous person, Rafael, sent me the below translation for the above record.  I appreciate it so much.  Thank you Rafael.

from the Birth Register of the Protestant Congregation of _Schubin_
Year 1832, Number 101
Given name and surname:
Wilhelmine Fredrich, Protestant1
Name, Profession and Place of Residence of Father:
Christoph Fredrich, _____2, Baerenbruch, Protestant1
Of Mother:
Susanna née Koenig, Protestant1
Year, Month and Day of Birth
1832 (Eighteen Hundred Thirty-Two
(in letters and numbers):
The 18th Eighteenth of September
Place of Birth:
Baerenbruch, Schubin District3
Date of Christening:
The 30th of September 1832
The accuracy of the above extract is certified by a stamp bearing the church seal.
Schubin, the 5th of February, 1938
Parish Office of the Protestant Church
[Illegible signature]
[Text of inked stamp on either side of document, in Polish: “Board of the Protestant Church in Szubin”]

[Text of revenue stamp, bottom right, in Polish: “1 Złoty Revenue Stamp”]

1. I’m 90% certain that the handwritten abbreviation that comes at the end of each family member’s entry is evang., which means ‘Protestant’ and makes perfect sense in context.
2. The handwritten entry for the father’s profession is unclear. The first half of the word may well be ‘Firms-’ (meaning ‘company,’ in the sense of a commercial enterprise or business), so the father could have been involved with a business of some kind.

3. I’ve translated the German word Kreis as ‘district’ here, but it can also be translated as ‘county,’ since either word can signify an administrative subdivision of a province or state. 

21 September 2013

Sports Center Saturday: MHSCA Hall of Fame

My father, Bruce Glover, was inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Association (MHSCA) Hall of Fame ten years ago, today.  The MHSCA was founded at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan in 1954.  My father was a charter member of the MHSCA. This organization was founded to represent and support Michigan coaches.

The first induction into the MHSCA Hall of Fame took place in 1957.  The original Hall of Fame room was at Win Schuler's Restaurant in Marshall, Michigan.  Eventually, it was moved to the Student Services Building of Central Michigan University (CMU). Currently, it is housed in the Student Activities Center next to the Dan Rose Arena at CMU.  Over 500 coaches have been awarded this honor.

Qualifications for induction into the MHSCA Hall of Fame are: one must have served a minimum of twenty-five years in high school coaching and/or athletic administration, have exemplified service to his/her community, state and affiliated organizations.

My dad's qualifications include:

  • 36 years as a basketball coach
  • 7 Conference and 8 Michigan High School Athletic Association District titles
  • 18 years as a golf coach with 2 league, 1 regional and 1 runner-up titles
  • Class C Regional Boys Coach of the Year in Golf, in 1995
  • Class C State Boys Coach of the Year in Golf, in 1995
  • 3 years as a baseball coach
  • 33 years as a football coach
  • 17 years as a track coach
  • 26 years as an athletic director
  • Charter Member of the Michigan High School Coaches Association.
As you can see my father was well deserving of this award.  My father was a coach in Michigan and Texas throughout his career.  The schools my father coached or was an athletic director at included:
  • Brethren High School, Brethren, Michigan
  • Kingsley High School, Kingsley, Michigan
  • Deckerville Community Schools, Deckerville, Michigan
  • Harbor Beach Community Schools, Harbor Beach, Michigan
  • Strickland Middle School, Denton, Texas
  • Hackett Catholic Central High School, Kalamazoo, Michigan
The family celebrating Dad's induction.

The Hall of Fame induction was a wonderful opportunity for our family to celebrate all of my father's accomplishments.  My two sisters, brother and I were all in attendance for this award, given at the Terrace Room in the Student Services Center at Central Michigan University on 21 September 2003.  In addition, a number of my father's former athletes attended.  It was a wonderful experience and one I am sure my dad won't forget.

My dad in front of the picture of his high school coach, Coach Grba.  Coach Grba is the one standing by the fence.

After the induction ceremony we visited the Hall of Fame room.  It is a room filled with plaques of the MHSCA recipients.  One recipient was my father's high school coach, Mr. Grba.  It was a beautiful fall day and one that will be treasured in our family history.

Outside the Student Activities Center, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

19 September 2013

Those Places Thursday: My First Home as a Married Women

I remember how excited I was after Kirk and I got married to be able to set up our home together. We rented a small, two bedroom apartment on Main Street above Ballentine Drug Store in Deckerville, Michigan. There were steps from main street and the alley leading up to our apartment.  Our apartment overlooked the alley. We parked in the back and used the alley stairs.

These stairs led to an entrance way and the hallway.  Our apartment was the first one on the right. You entered the apartment and were immediately in the kitchen. It was a nice size kitchen for the two of us.  It was carpeted, which I wasn't a fan of.  A window overlooked the entry way.

Straight ahead of the kitchen was the living room.  It had two windows that let lots of light in.  It was a southwest exposure getting lots of late in the day light.  The view wasn't the greatest nor was the insulation.  In the winter we would put plastic over the windows and blankets over that to keep the drafts to a minimum.

To the left of the kitchen was an area that led to the two bedrooms.  This area had a nice pantry cupboard and a closet.  We used the first bedroom as an office area and later a nursery.  This room had another door to the hallway that we never used.

Adjoining this room was another smaller bedroom.  Kirk and I used this as our bedroom.  It was an odd shaped room and we ended up curtaining off an area for storage.  The only bathroom was connected to this room.  The only downside to this arrangement was that if visitors were over they had to go through both bedrooms to get to the bathroom.

This is the first home that Kirk and I created together.  We came home from our honeymoon here. We grew together as a young married couple.  We entertained family and friends.  I would love to have home cooked Chinese dinners for guests.  Sunday morning breakfast was another favorite meal for us.

Other memories of living here included relaxing and reading in bed on Saturday mornings.  We liked to watch the Smurfs, Remington Steele and Hill Street Blues on television. I would cross stitch while we watched football games.  Kirk and I would clean house together.  I think it took half an hour.  We had to go to the laundromat to wash our clothes.  We shared that duty.

Perhaps, the most memorable experience was when I found out that we were expecting our first child.  I remember doing the home pregnancy test.  It wasn't an instant read, so we had to wait for the results to show up.  I was teaching thirty miles away and had to get going or I would be late. Finally, the results gave a positive reading.  I was so excited.  I stopped on my way home from work that day and bought a stuffed animal for our new baby.

 All ready for our first child.
Early days in our new home with our first child, Kirsten.

This is where we brought our newborn daughter home to.  We set up a nursery in the first bedroom. There was a fish tank, rocking chair, changing table, and crib in our nursery.  We decorated it with a gnome theme.  I had cross stitched gnome wall hangings.  It was during the time when you didn't know the sex of the child until you gave birth.

Our new family of three only lived here for four months, then we bought a house.  Coincidentally, we could see our house from the living room window of our apartment.  I will always remember this home as the place where I grew from a young women into a wife and mother.


17 September 2013

I Have a Michigan Governor in My Family Tree

It took me awhile to figure out my connection to the 19th Governor of Michigan, Josiah Begole, but I think I calculated the relationship right.  He is my first cousin, five times removed.  I bet you are impressed.  I don't usually blog about such a distant relative, but since he was the Governor of Michigan, I am going to.

Josiah Begole was born 20 January 1815 in Groveland, New York to William Begole.  He migrated to Michigan in its' early years settling in Genesee county. He worked in a variety of occupations prior to his election as governor. Early political jobs included Flint, Michigan councilman and Michigan Senator.

Josiah Begole began his political career as a Republican.  He was a Greenback and Democrat at the time of his election for Governor.  He was anti slavery and an early supporter for women's rights.

Josiah Begole was Governor of Michigan from 1 January 1883 to 1 January 1885. He ran for re-election but was defeated and only served one term as Governor. Governor Begole returned to his home near Flint, Michigan and lived there until his death on 5 June 1896 at the age of 81.   

Josiah Begole is the only prominent politician in my family tree, that I know of.  I guess if you only have one, it might as well be one who was Governor of Michigan.  How cool is that?

Josiah Begole is the first cousin to my third great grandmother, Eleanor Begole.  Eleanor is the daughter of Thomas Begole and Ann Matelda Nancy Bowles.  Thomas Begole and Josiah's father, William were brothers.

Photo credit:  This image is a photograph from the Brady-Handy Collection, which was purchased by the United States Library of Congress in 1954. Mathew P. Brady died in 1896 - making his images in the public domain worldwide; Levin C. Handy died in 1932. While, in theory, some of Handy's photographs could have been taken after 1922 and thus have qualified for copyright, according to the library, all images that make up the collection are considered to be in the public domain.