26 January 2013

Starting a Sports Career Early-Sports Center Saturday

Source:  Win South Oakland Junior High Title, citing newspaper photograph from Royal Oak Tribune; Personal Papers of Bruce Glover; privately held by Bruce Glover, [address for private use], Portage Michigan 49024, 2012. Photograph of Hazel Park Junior High basketball team from 1938-1939. Original held by Bruce Glover; digital image by Brenda Glover Leyndyke.

Caption:  Meet the winners of the Southern Oakland county junior high school basketball league.  They're the undefeated team of Hazel Park, coached by B.N. Grba.  Back row:  Howard Hamilton (left), forward; Jack Scott, guard and captain; Everett Baldwin, center; Al Green, guard; and Tom Tischhouser, forward.  Front:  Don McIlvride, forward; Bruce Glover, guard; Jim Bilbrey, center; Chuck Eastland, center; Bill McIlvride, guard; and Roy Wallace, forward.

My flip pal scanner and I visited my parents last fall and I put it to good use.  This was one of the pages that I scanned from that visit.  It is about my dad, Bruce Glover, and his undefeated Junior High basketball team at Lacey Junior High School, Hazel Park, Michigan.

My dad started his sports career early in his life and is an avid fan of sports even today.  His playing days led to a coaching career that spanned almost fifty years.  I will be sharing more about that in future posts.

Here is what my dad had to say about his junior high basketball days:

     " In 1938, I entered Lacey Junior High School, located on the main corners of Hazel Park at 9 Mile Road and JOHN R, which was about same distance as Hoover only in the opposite direction.  It was at Lacey that I was first introduced to basketball as a sport, which I immediately became addicted to.  I played on the 7th and 8th grade first team.  This was still in the days when the one hand shot was unheard of at this level.  The games we played were very low scoring usually ending with both teams score somewhere in the teens. I compare our team then with today’s junior high teams and I’m sure we would be blown off the court.  I was never a scorer but pretty good defensively and usually was assigned to guard the opposing teams high scorer, a trend which continued for me on JV and Varsity later in high school."

Lacey School has been torn down but the above picture is what it once looked like.

24 January 2013

Battle Creek Pioneers Burial Place

What do the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, James and Ellen White, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, musician Junior Walker and cereal magnate C. W. Post all have in common?

Their final resting place is in Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan, my current hometown.

Oak Hill Cemetery is the burial place of many Battle Creek Pioneers.  W.K. Kellogg, his brother John Harvey Kellogg, Eurastus Hussey, C.W. Post, Bill Knapp, Sojourner Truth, George Willard, and many other burials can be found here.  Oak Hill Cemetery was founded in 1844.  It is an important piece of Battle Creek history.

I even have ancestors buried here.  My great uncle and Hattie Fenn Glover's brother, Tully Fenn, and some of his family members are here.

My daughter, Kirsten, was in 6th grade when I chaperoned a field trip to this cemetery.  The students were given a list of tombstones to find.  I don't know how interesting the students thought it was tromping around the cemetery, but I was fascinated.  I went with the students that day, but was planning a return visit to take pictures, which I did a few years later.

A visit to the cemetery on a non-Winter day is a good time to visit.  If you would like to visit from the comfort of your home you can.  Oak Hill Cemetery pictures can be found online.  The most comprehensive website is from the Tombstone Transcription Project at US Gen Web. One starts with the Surname Index page for Oak Hill Cemetery to find the person they are looking for.

Find a Grave has a page for Oak Hill Cemetery, too.  Find a Grave states that there are 28, 502 interments,  fifteen that are considered famous.

Oak Hill Cemetery published a book, Beyond These Gates, that covers the cemetery from 1844-1989.  It tells the history of the cemetery and stories about some of the people interred at Oak Hill.

If you would like to see where the pioneers of the Cereal City-Battle Creek, Michigan are buried then Oak Hill is the place to look.

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!

20 January 2013

Ancestor Biography of Nancy Mast Graf

Do you have one special ancestor that you would give anything to know more about in your family history?  I do, she is Nancy Mast Graf.  Nancy Mast Graf is my maternal, great grandmother and someone I have been very curious about since I started researching my family history.  I wish I had asked my grandmother about her mother when I had a chance, but as a teenager I didn't think of those things.  Now, I have to try and piece together her life and it has been hard.

This will be the hardest ancestor biography I have written, but I wanted to give it a go and see where my gaps are.  If you are reading this and have a connection to Nancy Mast Graf, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment or feel free to email me.

Nancy D. Mast was the 14th of 17 children raised by David Samuel Mast and Anna Nancy Livengood.  I say raised because David and Anna Nancy Mast raised two children, Alexander Saylor and Eli Frey, that weren't their own.  Eli Frey is listed as adopted in the 1880 Census.

Nancy Mast was born in Walnut Creek, Holmes, Ohio  on 23 February 1871.  The Mast family were members of the Amish Church and later, the Mennonite church.  Sometime before the 1870's Nancy moved with her family to Walnut Creek, Holmes county, Ohio.  Holmes County, Ohio is the oldest and largest Amish community in Ohio.  Many of the early settlers of Holmes County came from Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  I believe the family migrated to Holmes county with other Somerset county members of the Amish Mennonite faith.

Nancy Mast can be found living in Walnut Creek Township, Holmes, Ohio in the 1880 United States Census.  Other names on the page include Miller, Hershberger, Troyer, Schrock and Yoder.  I have come across those surnames in my Somerset County, Pennsylvania research.

Source: 1880 U.S. Census, population schedule, Walnut Creek Township, Holmes, Ohio, enumeration district (ED) 138, p130, family 72, David Mast Head of Household; digital images, ancestry.com (: accessed 11 October 2011); Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1880. T9, 1,454 rolls.

During the 1880's Nancy's family moved again.  This time to Indiana, possibly Miami county.  It is in Miami County, Indiana where Nancy Mast married Valentine Graf on 24 November 1888, at the age of 17.  (Source:  "Indiana Marriage Collection 1800-1941." [Online database]. ancestry.com. www.ancestry.com : 2011.)  Nancy and Valentine eventually moved to Howard County, Indiana where some of their children were born near Plevna, Indiana.

Valentine Graf and Nancy Mast on their wedding day, 1888.  
Thank you to Hannah, a Graf researcher, for sharing the above picture.

Nancy and her husband, Valentine, had eight of their ten children in Indiana.  The following children were born in Indiana:  
  1. Henry Jerome Graf (1890-1964)
  2. Ernest Franklin Graf (1891-1974)
  3. Daisy Ellen Graf (1892-1978)
  4. Mary Ann Graf (1894-1981)
  5. Willie Graf (1896-1896)
  6. Pearly Mae Graf (1897-1898)
  7. Maggie Jane Graf (1899-1986)
  8. Nina Belle Graf (1901-1990)
Another move was in Nancy's future when Valentine and Nancy moved to Brethren, Manistee, Michigan around the turn of the twentieth century.  An unconfirmed family story is that Valentine, Nancy and their six children, all under the age of 11, traveled by wagon train to Brethren, Michigan to help start the German Baptist Brethren Church, in Brethren.  I know Valentine and Nancy were early members of this church.

It is here that Nancy gave birth to two more children:
  1. Martha Beulah Graf (1905-1993)
  2. Infant Graf (1907-1907)
In 1907, when Nancy's last child was born, Nancy was 36 years old.  Up to this age, Nancy had moved from Pennsylvania, to Ohio, to Indiana, (both Miami and Howard counties), to Michigan.  She gave birth to ten children, two who died in infancy and one who lived a short nine months.  Nancy's time in Brethren, Michigan could not have been easy.  

Shannon McRae in her Images of America Manistee County book tells of the early days of Brethren.  The pine forests in the area had been forested and the land was useless.  An agent, Samuel Thorpe, of the Michigan Land Association, wrote to members of the German Baptist Brethren church promising them "fertile soil and gentle climate".  Some German Baptist Brethren chose to take Mr. Thorpe up on his offer.  Valentine and Nancy Graf being among them, if the family stories are true.  They arrived in Brethren and through a lot of hard work made the land into farm land that would sustain their family.  Valentine and Nancy Graf's farm was on what is known today as Graf Rd, just west of the four corners in Brethren.  Nancy would have been responsible for setting up a house while raising six children.  I can only imagine that Nancy had an adventurous spirit and extreme faith in God to move that many times.

Nancy Mast Graf died at the age of 36, on 18 January 1908.  This was a few short weeks after the birth and death of her last child.  The cause of death was septicemia, a blood infection.  The word puerperal is written after septicemia on the death certificate.  Puerperal fever use to be known as childbed fever.
Source:  State of Michigan, "Death Records 1897-1920," database, State of Michigan, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org/discover-collection?collection=p129401coll7: accessed 7 October 2009), Death Certificate for Nancy D. Graf #502; citing Michigan Department of State, Lansing, Vital Statistics Division.

L-R:  Daisy, Mary, Valentine, Henry, Nina, Margaret, Frank, date unknown.
Nancy Mast Graf left her husband, Valentine Graf, to raise seven children ages 3-18.  Valentine Graf never remarried.  I have admired the strength of Valentine Graf to raise his children without his wife.

Nancy Mast Graf is buried in Brethren Cemetery, Brethren, Michigan.

(Updated 19 January 2014 with changes to Nancy's birthplace.)

16 January 2013

Why Samuel Poor DID NOT Die in the War of 1812

I have a love hate relationship with ancestry.com.  I love when I find good sources and I hate when members publish erroneous information in their family tree and then it gets added to lots of other trees.

The death of Samuel Poor is one such source of misinformation.  Many public trees have Samuel Poor dying in the War of 1812.  Of course, these trees are unsourced, but that doesn't stop people from adding the information to their tree.  There may be a Samuel Poor who died in the War of 1812, but not my Samuel Poor.

Samuel Poor, the son of Moses A. Poor and Elizabeth Barber Poor DID NOT die in the War of 1812 and here are a couple of reason why:
  • First, he had children from 1826-1845. (Elizabeth, Jane, George, Hannah, Samuel, William, David, Evan, and Harlan.) 
  • He received a land grant in 1837.
  • He can be found in the 1830, 1840. 1850 and 1860 Census. 
I am still researching Samuel Poor, but my advice for all genealogists is to take the time to see if the records you are adding to your tree make sense.  If you have fathered children, bought land, and can be found in four census's- you have to be alive to do this.

If you would like sources for the above information, please contact me and I will be happy to provide them for you.

14 January 2013

Harlan Poor Dies at Battle of Spotsylvania-Military Monday

I saved this post in draft last month because I didn't have time to write it due to the holiday season. Of course, I didn't write how I found Harlan Poor's death, or saved the records, and had to re-do my research.  I was sure I had added it to my genealogy software, but it isn't there.

Harlan A. Poor, the son of Samuel and Eleanor (Begole) Poor, was born around 1844-1845 in Michigan.  Harlan A. Poor is my second great-uncle, the brother of my great, great grandmother Elizabeth Poor Fenn.  He died in the Battle of Spotsylvania on 12 May 1864.

I had to do a little research as I didn't know there was a Battle of Spotsylvania and then I discover it was one of the bloodiest in American History.  18,000 Union soldiers and 10,000 Confederate soldiers lost their lives over the two week battle. 

I do know that Harlan A. Poor enlisted in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the Civil War on 22 July 1862. This record can be found at ancestry.com under the U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles  by searching for Harlin A Poor.  He enlisted in Company D, Michigan 17th Infantry Regiment.

The next record I found was the Roster of Union Soldiers Buried at Fredricksburg National Cemetery.  Information on how the records were compiled is included.  Harlan A Poor is listed on page 147.  The entry below is the information found.

"(1205) Poor, Harlan A. (ROH has Pool) Private. Co.D, 17 MI. Age 18. Res - Johnstown. Enlisted 22 Jul, 1862 at Kalamazoo for three years and mustered in 11 Aug, 1862. Killed in Action at Spotsylvania 12 May, 1864 (SR). Originally buried at Beverly's Farm, Spotsylvania (ROH)"

Further research found the above record at ancestry.com.  It is the U.S. National Cemetery Internment Control Form for H. A. Pool.  The information provided is very similar to the record from Fredricksburg National Cemetery Roster.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Database has Harlin A. Poor's record too.  A history of the 17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry can be found at this site.  The information found there includes:

Poor, Harlin A.






M545 roll 33


Lastly, Find-a-Grave has a memorial for Pvt. Harlan A. Poor.   Someone else set up the memorial and transferred it to me.  Harlan A Poor was originally buried at Beverly's Farm in Spotsylvania and removed to Fredricksburg, Virginia.

More research is needed on Harlan Poor and I look forward to that research.

13 January 2013

Week 2: Pennsylvania-Genealogy by the States

Jim Sanders at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets website and blog has created the Genealogy by the States blogging prompt, suggesting each week we blog about an ancestor or one of our families that have a connection to that state.  This week's state is Pennsylvania.
My connection to Pennsylvania comes from my mother's Mast ancestry.  Immigrant Jacob Mast is the earliest Pennsylvania settler in my ancestry, coming to the United States when many Germans were immigrating to Pennsylvania, the 1700's.  Other Pennsylvania surnames include:  Berkey, Forney, Hershberger, Livengood, Schrock, and Seese. 
A book written by Eli Mast titled Mast:  1737 Immigrant Jacob Mast,  that I found at Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, details Jacob's life.  I have used this book to find clues for further research.  It details Jacob's immigration to Pennsylvania.  The book states that Jacob Mast immigrated in 1737 aboard the ship, Charming Nancy.  He is listed aboard the Charming Nancy which arrived in the United States in November of 1738. 
Jacob Mast lived most of his life in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  He died in March 1772 leaving a family that has expanded and flourished throughout the United States. 
Here are a few of the many internet sources I have used to research my Pennsylvania ancestry.  Click on each on to be taken to that website.

  1. Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  2. Historical Maps of Pennsylvania
  3. Pennsylvania State Archives
  4. Mennonite Heritage Center
  5. Cyndi's List-Pennsylvania

10 January 2013

Where in the World is David Watt?

One of the first places genealogists look for information on their ancestors is in census records.  United States Census records can be found through Family Search and Heritage Quest for free.  Heritage Quest is available through many local libraries.   

I am compiling that information for my ancestors in table format, once a month.  This month shows where David Watt can be found in the Scotland Census and United States Federal Census.  I am missing the 1871 Scotland Census.  David immigrated to Canada in 1879 and the United States in 1881, causing him to miss the 1880 U. S. Census and the 1881 Census of Canada.

25 Sep 1858
Methil, Fife, Scotland

Wemyss, Fife, Scotland

Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States
Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States
Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States
Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States
Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States
21 Mar 1945
Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States


08 January 2013

Lt. Col. Merle M. Glover-Tombstone Tuesday

My great uncle Merle M. Glover's obituary said he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, but when I used the Veteran's Gravesite Locator I could not find him.  The reason for that is that Arlington National Cemetery has its' own gravesite locator website.  After I requested a photo through Find a Grave I discovered that Arlington National Cemetery website has a picture there, too.

Next, I found his memorial at Find-a-Grave and requested a photo.  David McInturff graciously accepted the request and posted three marvelous pictures there.  Lt. Col Merle M. Glover and his wife, Violet Genevieve (Dout) Glover, are buried there in Section 53 Gravesite 1828.

Photo credit David McInturff

JAN 21 1902
NOV 12 1981

 Photo credit David McInturff

53   1828
DEC 20 1907
DEC 27 1984

Photo credit David McInturff

The website for Arlington National Cemetery provides a location map with the search results.  The green number 1 shows the location of the burial.  The picture below is in hybrid mode, you can click imagery for another view and map for the map view. 

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia 
Cemetery Map Locator

If you click on the number on the website, it provides birth date, death date, burial date, section and grave site information, and a picture.  

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Information and Picture

Merle McKinley Glover was born 21 January 1902 to Frank H. Glover and Hattie Lodema Fenn Glover.  He married Genevieve Dout 31 May 1927.  They had two daughters, Marylyn and Barbara.  I wrote a previous post about Merle running off to Canada to join the military here.  He made a career in the military, retiring as a Lt. Colonel.

06 January 2013

Happy Birthday, Travis

Our son, Travis, is celebrating a birthday today and I plan on reminiscing about his second birthday.

We were living in Battle Creek, Michigan on WahWahTaySee Way at the time of Travis' 2nd birthday.  Kirsten and I took Travis to Bill Knapp's for lunch.  Bill Knapp's was a great place to celebrate birthdays.  The children's menu had their meals labeled with animal names.  Kirsten and Travis liked ordering that way.  They gave the birthday person a free chocolate Celebration cake and "Happy Birthday" was played over the loud speaker.  My kids loved Bill Knapp's and their chocolate cake.  We were sad when it closed.  Bill Knapp's Celebration Cake recipe was purchased by Awrey's and can be found at some grocery stores now.

 Travis trying to put his soccer goal together as his sister, Kirsten, looks on.

Kirk was working at Minges Brook Elementary that day.  When he got home Travis opened his presents.  Kirsten got Travis a Little Tikes Ferry boat.  Other gifts he got were a Fisher Price soccer set, clothes, wooden peg sorter (which I still have) and money.

Travis opening clothes, he looks happy.  The Little Tikes ferry boat is in the background.

We weren't living near any family at this time, so we had a quiet dinner with just the four of us.  I had made a small cake, so he got two cakes for his second birthday!  Travis is living in Florida now and I hope he has a great birthday.  

Happy Birthday, Travis!!

03 January 2013

Happy Birthday, Alayna

Happy Birthday, Alayna!

Our son, Travis, is dating a wonderful young lady named Alayna.  Today is her birthday.  Happy Birthday!  I hope your year is as special as you are.

02 January 2013

Facebook for Genealogy-Family Group

Are you looking for a way to connect with family members?  Try Facebook Groups.  I started a Fredricks Genealogy group on Facebook in 2010.  I thought it would be a great place to share family information and pictures with family members who might not read a blog regularly.  This group covers information on the family of my grandparents, Otto August Fredricks and Daisy Ellen Graf.

I am so pleased with the results of this group.  My hope was that this would be a place to connect with family members.  I hoped we could open up our photo albums and share; and share, they did.

One of the pictures shared was an early photo of my aunt, Lola Fredricks Brown.  I had never seen it.  Her granddaughter shared it along with their wedding photo.

Lola Fredricks Brown, date unknown

Another one I loved seeing was of the twins, Norma Jean 'Jeannie' and Norman Eugene Fredricks and their cousin, Rose Marie.  It is precious, and another one I don't know if I would have seen if it wasn't posted by Rose Marie's daughter.  A discussion ensued on facebook about this that was fun to read.

L-R Norma Jean 'Jeannie', Norman Eugene, and Rose Marie taken on the Fredricks Farm, Brethren, Michigan

In December, I started posting mystery pictures.  Some I knew who were in it and a couple I didn't know.  The first one I posted was of Valentine Graf and Nancy Mast on their wedding day in 1888.  Valentine and Nancy Mast Graf were Daisy Graf Fredricks parents.  It was a photo I was sure no one had seen before.  It was fun to see the guesses.  Eventually, someone guessed correctly and then I re-posted it with the information about it.
Valentine Graf and Nancy Mast, 24 November 1888, Indiana

The pictures I didn't know about were solved by other family members.  I posted baby pictures, Christmas pictures, etc.  My cousins seemed to enjoy the guessing games, from these posts stories started coming out.  I was even contacted by a cousin in California.  She shared pictures with me via email.  She gave me permission to post the pictures on Facebook.

The Fredricks Facebook group has been a fun way to share the information I have found on the family, but even more fun has been seeing what others share.  Do you have a unique way that your family shares information?  Please share in the comments.