31 August 2014

Last Day Local: Postum Cereal Company

 "The White House" 245 Cliff St, Battle Creek, Mi
Original site of Postum Cereal Company, now Post Foods

Side 1 of Michigan Historic Marker for Postum Cereal Company

The Postum Cereal Company Historic Site, located at 245 Cliff Street in Battle Creek, is another part of cereal history in my hometown. The company has been owned by various companies throughout the years and the Postum Cereal Company has changed names as well.  Currently, it is known as Post Foods, or to the locals, just Post. It has been a part of Battle Creek history for over 100 years. The historic marker shares this history:

Charles William "C.W." Post (1854-1914) began his breakfast empire in 1892 when he opened La Vita Inn sanitarium on this site.  Post's first commercial success occurred in 1894 when he created the hot beverage Postum.  In 1896 he organized the Postum Cereal Company. His continued experiments with grains resulted in Grape-Nuts, his first cold cereal, in 1897. In 1908-09 sales from Grape Nuts, Postum, and Post Toasties surpassed $5 million. Upon Post's death, his daughter Marjorie ran the company, continuing to advertise extensively and expanding the product line.  In 1929 Postum became the General Food Corporation.  The Philip Morris Companies purchased General Foods in 1985, and the plant became Part of Kraft Foods in 1989.
Breakfast cereal production began on this site in 1894 when C.W. Post perfected his Postum drink. Remarkable as a factory with structures dating from as early as 1895, the complex reflects the evolution of cereal making. Post began commercial production from one barn. Eventually everything from research to grain processing to packaging occurred here. Known during the early 1900s as the "White City" because of the widespread use of white paint, the complex grew to include grain silos, a power plant offices, processing plants, a paper factory, and warehouses. Post had his office in the Elizabethan building at the center, which also housed the advertising department. It became the employee clubhouse in 1925.

 Last Day Local is a blog prompt I use to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 25 years.  I try to post one article on the last day of the month about the heritage and history of Battle Creek, The Cereal City!

26 August 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Alexander Glover, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Alexander Glover

This headstone was very hard to read during a recent visit to Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I thought it said Alexander and part of Glover was readable, but that was about it.  It wasn't until I visited the cemetery office that I knew for sure who it was.

Alexander is a common first name in my Glover family.  The information provided by the office helped me to identify which Alexander he was.  Alexander Glover was the son of Charles W. Glover and Mary Ann Glover, nee Powers.

His grave can be found in Lot 21, Block 100 in the back row.  There are a line of headstones which are all the same in looks.  A Glover family stone makes finding it a little easier.

22 August 2014

Huldah Rowley Fenn's Bible Pages

Some of you may remember my blog posts about Hattie's Bible.  Hattie's Bible was a series of posts sharing the contents and information found in my Great Grandmother's, Hattie Fenn Glover, Bible. I was extremely fortunate to be the recipient of Hattie's Bible.  I think it is amazing to have one set of family Bible records, but having two is truly a gift.

I have Hattie's Bible in my position, but Huldah's Bible is owned by someone else, Carol.  Carol graciously scanned and shared the pages of Huldah's Bible with me. Huldah is Huldah Rowley Fenn, Hattie's grandmother, my third great grandmother.

The information in Huldah's Bible wasn't as rich as the information in Hattie's.  Most of the information found in Huldah's Bible was added by someone other than Huldah herself, based on the year of the information. The first page I am sharing is the history of ownership of the Bible.  I am not sure of who provided the information.

This book was Great Grandma Fenns was then given to Elizabeth Fenn wife of Daniel Fenn her son  given to Zealton Myron Fenn Elizabeth and Daniel Fenn oldest son who died Dec the 15th 1908
This book was given to Mabel Fenn Darwin by her father Tully Fenn brother of Zealton Myron Fenn in the year 1939 
Who's Who? 

  • Great Grandma Fenn is Huldah Rowley Fenn.  Huldah was born in Vermont about 1789.  She married Daniel Fenn 28 Feb 1808 in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont.  Huldah Fenn died 8 March 1836, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan. I believe the parents of Huldah were Hopkins Rowley and Elizabeth Stuart or Stewart, but more research is needed before I definitively say they were.
  • Elizabeth Fenn is the daughter in law of Huldah Rowley Fenn.
  • Daniel Fenn is the son of Huldah Rowley and Daniel Fenn.
  • Zealton Myron Fenn is Huldah's grandson.
  • Mabel Fenn Darwin is Huldah's great granddaughter. She is the daughter of Tully Fenn.
  • Tully Fenn is Huldah's grandson, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Fenn.

21 August 2014

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book Review

The latest book in my collection is the The Family Tree Historical Maps Book: A State by State Atlas of U.S. History 1790-1900 by Allison Dolan and The Editors of Family Tree Magazine, which I am going to call Historical Maps Book in my review.

I bought the book because I wanted a concise, all in one, resource for historical maps. Plus, I like to look at old maps.  I like to envision my ancestors at the time. I enjoy looking at their migration trail and the terrain they would have traveled over to get from place to place.  Many of my ancestors were in the United States very early and these maps will help me to understand the changes in state and county borders.

Historical Maps Book is a wonderful atlas of full color map reproductions.  As the sub-title states the maps are from 1790-1900.  The book is laid out in a very easy to use format.  A two page introduction is followed by United States maps, individual state maps, special interest maps, and sources for maps.

One can follow the development of the United States in the thirteen maps depicting our nation's growth from 1755 to 1890.  Key dates in United States history are included.  These dates cover wars, land purchases, annexations, and more.

The United States maps are followed by the state pages.  The number of pages varies from state to state. The state pages include state maps from various times through its' history, key dates timeline, and occasionally, a city map.  Not all state pages have a city map.  The city maps seem to be for some of the larger cities.

For example, my home state of Michigan has ten maps over four pages.  One from the Michigan Territory, one of Detroit in 1889, and then the rest are of the state of Michigan at various times throughout history.  The key dates timeline includes seven dates from 1668, when Sault Ste. Marie was settled, to 1847, when Lansing was named the state capital.

The section of the book that I have spent a lot of time looking at is the Special Interest Maps pages.  Fifteen pages of maps are included in this section.  The maps cover topics such as population density in 1820, foreign population in 1880, average family sized in 1900 Census, Indian Tribes in 1600, taxation per capita, regional industries, deaths from known causes in 1890, climate map, San Francisco Earthquake zone, and more.  These maps go beyond what we think of as a map and show readers what was going on at different times in the United States.

Lastly, Historical Maps Book provides information on where each map came from.  Each state is listed and each map by date includes a source.

Overall, I find this book to be a beautifully laid out book with maps that show different era's in 200 years of United States growth.  The book centers around maps that are useful to genealogists and anytime a book makes my research easier, I am a fan.

20 August 2014

Workday Wednesday: Back to School with Teacher Adda Dyer

This is the first time in fifty two years that I have not had someone going back to school!  Yes, fifty two years!  I started school when I was four, I turned five that September.  I attended school for the next seventeen years; thirteen years of public school and four years at college.  The next few years included myself and/or my husband going back to school as teachers.  Once I had children, my husband was the one going back to school in the Fall.  The remaining years included Kirk, Kirsten and Travis going back to school or college.  Kirk retired in June and this is the first Fall we will not be getting ready to go back to school; no back to school shopping, no coordinating schedules, no packing lunches, no alarm clocks!

I always found back to school time an exciting time. The school year has been such a part of my life for so long that it is a big change not preparing for back to school. The change is refreshing and the freedom it will give us will be wonderful. We can travel anytime we want, no waiting for school breaks.

I wonder if my ancestor, Adda Dyer, felt excited about going back to school.  This article was found in the Adrian Daily Telegraph, 8 September 1900, page 6, column 3.
School commenced Monday in the Crane district with Miss Adda Dyer teacher for the second term. At the annual school meeting Monday night Warren Bolt was elected director for three years.

East Madison was south of Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan in what is now Madison Township.  Can you imagine the changes in education that have occurred since 1900?  I wonder what Adda would think of using computers in the classroom, or not being able to use a dunce cap or switch.  If you have loved ones going back to school, enjoy!

17 August 2014

Samuel Stillman Glover Ex-Communicated and the Reason Shocked Me!

Those of us who are beyond researching the names and vital record dates of our ancestors and looking to fill in between the dashes, look for records that will help us in our journey to understand those ancestors better. I found more than I was looking for when a Glover researcher, Peter, sent me a few church records that he had found on my third great grandfather, Samuel Stillman Glover, Senior.

Peter and I share Samuel Stillman Glover as an ancestor.  We are both descended from Samuel through his children.  Peter through Samuel's daughter, Annette, and I through Samuel's son, Samuel Jr.  Peter was doing research at Ypsilanti Historical Museum Archives and shared church records that he found with me.

Anytime I receive an email with records attached, I immediately read it.  I was shocked and saddened by these records!  The records were from First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I knew I had to plan a trip to Ypsilanti, Michigan to see these records for myself after reading them.

Photo Courtesy of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.  Used with permission.
First Presbyterian Church, Ypsilanti Michigan 1836-1857

Visiting the YHS Archives

Kirk and I visited the archives and I did get to read first hand the records pertaining to my ancestor, Samuel Stillman Glover.  The record group that these records were found in were First Presbyterian Church 1899 (up to).  The records were the recorded session minutes of the First Presbyterian church elders.  The records of interest to me were dated from 2 January 1834 to 13 November 1835.

Who was Samuel Stillman Glover?

First, let me give you a little background on Samuel Stillman Glover.  Samuel was born in 1798 in Conway, Massachusetts to Alexander Glover and Sarah Salisbury. He married Vinera Eglantine Powers, the daughter of William and Lucy Powers, nee unknown, around 1817.  Samuel and Vinera were the parents of twelve children: William, Samuel W., Sarah, Alanson, Dennis, Samuel S., Daniel, Vinera, George, Annette, Henry and Polly (twins).  The twins died within two weeks of birth.  Vinera died about a month after giving birth on 14 February 1847, in Oceola Township, Livingston county, Michigan.

Samuel and Vinera lived in Phelps, New York before migrating to Michigan.  Samuel and Vinera were received into the First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan on 2 January 1834 having transferred from "the church in Phelps".

Ypsilanti Presbyterian Church Early Session Minutes

It was sometime in early 1835 that session minutes recorded charges against Samuel:
 "The clerk was directed to cite Samuel S. Glover to appear before them and answer to the following charges brought by common fame, viz.;  
1.  For abusive treatment of his family, particularly his mother-in-law.
2.  For using profane language
            also to give satisfaction for neglecting family and public worship."

Samuel appeared before the elders on 11 April 1835. The session minutes for this date state,

      "Samuel S. Glover appeared and to the charges brought plead not guilty.
      The names of the witnesses by whom the respective charges are expected to be sustanined were given to him and were as follows,
     To the first charge, Allen Hammond and wife, Dennis Hammond and Lucy Hyde. 
     To substantiate the second charge, Dennis Hammond, Amos Syler and Joseph Dunsmore.  
     For breach of covenant in neglecting family prayer and public worship, he was admonished.
     Session adjourned to meet in two weeks at 10 o'clock a.m. to attend to the case of Mr. Glover. 
       Closed with prayer.  
                                                                            Ezra Carpenter, Clk."

The next session where a quorum was present was 27 April 1835.  This is where my shock came from. Three pages of session notes were included here.

In essence, Samuel's case was called.  He wanted to proceed to trial and witnesses were sworn in.  The witnesses were Allen Hammond, Mary Hammond, Lucy Hyde, Virena Glover, William Glover and Worcester Glover. Lucy Hyde was Samuel's mother in law, William Glover was his oldest son, and Worcester Glover was Samuel Worcester Glover, his second oldest son.

Allan Hammond testified,
"On hearing that Mr. Glover had turned Mrs. Hyde, his mother-in-law out of doors, as a friendly neighbor I called upon him and introduced the subject.  Mr. G. said it was an unpleasant affair and was sorry it had happened.  He admitted that he ordered her out of the house if she would not cease her noise, that he was sorry it had happened. I thought from what Mr. Glover said that Mrs. Hyde had better return and consequently on going to see her I advised her to do so.  She consented to adhere to my advice provided that I would return with her which I did. On her return Mr. G. repeatedly asked her if he had not always treated her well.  I noticed that Mrs. Hyde evaded giving a direct answer to this question as often as it was put to her." 

Next to testify was Mary Hammond,
"Soon after Mrs. Hyde left Mr. Glover's, I called at his house and while I was conversing with Mrs. Glover, Mr. Glover came in and spoke in very abusive and severe terms of his mother-in-law which very much surprised and grieved me."

Lucy Hyde's testimony is the one that shocked and saddened me.
"Since I came to live with Mr. Glover, which is something like two years, in a fretful manner he has spoken of my being a bill of expense to him and indulged in other remarks which very much wounded my feelings.  On the morning when I first left, in some conversation he became very angry, placed his hand upon me, pushed me towards the door and ordered me out. I obeyed and repaired to Mr. Sears, where Mr. Hammond found me. By the advice of Mr. Hammond I returned, after which nothing particularly unkind in his conduct occured for some days.  One evening on hearing some reports to his disadvantage about my first leaving, he became very much enraged and again ordered me out of doors.  I told him I would go in the morning and not before.  On my leaving in the morning he told me never to darken his doors again, and that if I rotted above ground he would never bury me.
In regard to his abuse of others of his family I consider he has frequently been guilty of it-particularly his wife. One time about a fortnight previous to his leaving the state of New York, I saw him take his wife by the throat and choke or push her over. Their son and myself interferred and he desisted. Since we arrived in the Territory I have seen him box or strike her repeatedly. On one occasion he took a large ox whip and shook it over head and swore by J_____ C______ that he would whip her.  I interferred and he put up the whip. At another time when bringing in potatoes on asking his wife to aid him, in taking the basket from his shoulders and she refusing he became angry and through(sic) some potatoes at her. I remonstraited(sic) with him and he stopped."

The minutes continue to explain that the testimony of Mrs. Glover and William, her son, corroborated Lucy Hyde's testimony in regard to his boxing or striking his wife but not in choking her.  The testimony of Vinera and William was not recorded in the record.  This concluded the testimony on the first charge.

 The session concluded with the following notes:
"Having finished the testimony on the first charge, proceeded to the second charge.  There being none of the witnesses present by whom, Mr. Glover has been informed, it was expected this charge would be sustained, by Mr. Glover's consent the witnesses present and which had already been sworn were introduced. After having asked a few questions, Mr. Glover became very angry, addressed the Session in very abusive language and refused to proceed any further with the trial. The Session accordingly cited him to appear before them at the usual place of worship on the 2nd of May at 1 o'clock p.m. to attend to the remaining parts of the trial. Joseph Sears, Dennis Hammond and Lucy Hyde, he was informed would be introduced to sustain the second charge."
The 2 May 1835 session starts and Samuel did not appear. Witnesses were Joseph Sears, D. Hammond, and Lucy Hyde.  The transcribed session notes stated,
"Session met agreeably to adjournment and began with prayer. Present I.M. Wead, Moderator, Ezra Carpenter, J. Bacon and J. Loomis, Elders.  Mr. Glover not appearing, the Rev. Root from Ohio was appointed to manage his case, agreeably to the rule provided in the Directory for such a case. 
Mr. Joseph Sears testified as follows: "On some altercation occuring between me and Mr. Glover he called me a God damned frenchman." 
Mr. D. Hammond testified and stated: "During last summer I frequently heard Mr. Glover when in a passion use the word, devilish and heard him call his children devils." 
Lucy Hyde states, "I have heard Mr. Glover on two different occasions swear by J_____ C_____ and by God that he would whip his wife.  About a year ago I heard him swear by God that no one should work on the farm which was in possession of his brother in conjunction with himself."
The Elders found that the two charges were fully substantiated.  They also felt that the reasons for his neglect were not good.  The Elders further ruled that Samuel S. Glover be "suspended from the ordiances (sic)of the church for three months or until he makes satisfaction."

The next record in the Session minutes that I found was dated, 13 November 1835.  The notes were as follows:
"The Session met at the call of the Moderator. 
Present- I.M. Wead, Chairman
              Ezra Carpenter
              James Loomis
Began with prayer
The case of Samuel S. Glover was called up. He having been visited and labored with and still manifesting an unrelenting spirit and a contempt of the Session. 
Therefore, resolved that Samuel S. Glover be and hereby is excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ.
Closed with prayer
Ezra Carpenter, Clerk
All I can say is "Wow!" I am amazed at the detail that was found in these session records.  It isn't the most flattering account of Samuel and it has left me with many questions.  Why was Samuel abusive to his wife? Did her abuse his children? Was this a pattern of behavior passed down through generations?  And poor Vinera, or is her name Virena? It looks like she had a very hard and short life.  Vinera died in her 40's. Previously, I had written about Samuel leaving his children, moving to New York, and remarrying after his wife's death.  I wondered why he left such small children in Michigan.  Do I have an answer to that question in these records? I wonder what other records are available.  Samuel married again, but it only last a short time.  Did he abuse his second wife, Maria.

The Session Records of First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan filled in between the dashes, alright. The records I found were heart breaking to me, but it helped me see a side of Samuel that I would not have found in a birth, marriage, or death record.  Don't limit your research to vital records.  Dig deeper, you won't be disappointed.

(Session records of First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan can be found at the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives.)

14 August 2014

Finding County Clerks in Michigan

Thomas McEntee asked Geneabloggers on Facebook this week if anyone received an email about a contest that county-clerks.com was holding.  A number of people left comments for Thomas.  Thomas being the diligent Geneablogger guru he is researched and wrote a blog post reviewing it.  In essence, the contest was a way to drive viewers to the website, which is heavy in advertisements.

I had already chosen to ignore the email and not participate in the contest.  The contest did get me thinking about county clerk resources, which are an important resource for genealogists.  Thomas mentioned the Family Search Research Wiki which is an excellent resource.  A good resource for finding Michigan county clerks is at Michigan County Clerk Office.

Michigan has 83 counties. The above website is a good starting place for finding the county clerks. The information provided includes clerk's name, address, phone number, fax, clerk's website, and the county website. There is a map and a list of other related sites to explore.

In Michigan, most research is done at the county level and knowing who and where the clerk's office is, is very helpful.

Those Thursday Places: Wah Wah Tay See Way, Battle Creek, Michigan

Travis and Kirsten , December 1988, on Wah Wah Tay See Way in Battle Creek, Michigan

Moving to Battle Creek, aka The Cereal City, was our third move in as many years.  We were hoping it would be one of our last moves for awhile.  Kirsten and Travis were really good about the moves. We had a few nights of transition at bed time, but they handled it very well.  I am not so sure about me.  I never felt that I was able to get everything unpacked during those years.

The Wah Wah Tay See Way home enabled us to become part of the community that Kirk worked in.  We were of the belief that it was important to spend your pay check in the community that supported it.  Kirk was a public school employee.  It is interesting how that philosophy has changed over the years.  Overall, we never regretted it as Kirsten and Travis got a wonderful education, but at times I think it would have been nice to distance ourselves a little bit.  It was hard to be a parent and a school employee at the same time while advocating for your children and their education.

We moved into this home in the spring of the 1988, just before school was out for the summer.  The first summer in Battle Creek was filled with exploring the city.  It was like playing tourist, but coming home to your own bed at night.  Battle Creek had a lot to offer that summer and we tried to take advantage of it.

Our Family at the World's Largest, now Longest, Breakfast Table

We went to our first World's Longest Breakfast Table in 1988!  It was our kick off to our first summer in Battle Creek. Battle Creek has long been associated as the place that cereal was invented and what better place to have a cereal festival.  The Cereal Festival and World's Longest Breakfast Table was started in 1956 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Kellogg's Company.  Over the years Post and Ralston have joined the Festival and made it quite the event to go to. The Breakfast Table experience has changed throughout the years, but the year we attended you found a seat at the table and you were served cereal, milk, tang, and doughnut holes. Now, you stop at centralized tables and serve yourself.  Kirsten and Travis enjoyed it.  Tony the Tiger was a favorite character to get your picture taken with as well as Toucan Sam, Snap, Crackle and Pop and others, all roaming around the area.

Next, was a visit to Binder Park Zoo.  Our family spent many hours riding the train, seeing many animals, visiting the gift shop and more.  We bought a family membership to the zoo and we were able to visit it whenever we wanted to without paying more money for the entrance fee.  The stroller got a great workout that summer at the zoo.

 Travis discovering hot air balloons for the first time.  
The balloons are coming, the balloons are coming!

The Balloon Festival was another fun part of our summer.  Each year Battle Creek has held some type of a balloon festival, or air show.  The first few years we were in Battle Creek the balloons were awesome.  Kirsten and Travis loved seeing the hot air balloons flying over our house.  The one week festival let us enjoy many different balloon sightings throughout the city.  The specialty balloons were their favorite.  They enjoyed finding Sugar Bear, Mickey Mouse, the Sun with Sunglasses and Tony the Tiger.  They thought the balloons were 'Grrrre-at'.

Moi, Travis and Kirsten at Cornwell's.  I remember it being 100 degrees that day, it was hot!  The outfit Kirsten had on looked like a strawberry.  So many people would comment on it when she would wear it.  Travis was a tow headed cutie. who always had a smile on his face.

A trip to Cornwell's Turkey Farm was a must see place that summer.  The 'Turkey Farm' is a fun, family friendly place where you can get a delicious turkey dinner all year round.  Kirsten and Travis enjoyed going to the Turkey Farm to see the turkeys, some roaming around freely and others in the barn.  An old fashioned ice cream parlor, game room, candy corner, and gift shop were fun to explore.

The Turtle Pool, I wish I had a video of us bringing it home. We brought it home on the top of a Toyota Corolla, when we got to the end of our block, Kirk took it off the car and carried it home.

This was the first summer I remember Kirsten and Travis playing well together.  I have always felt I hit the jackpot with great kids.  I know every mother says that, but I don't remember my children fighting.  Yes, they had the occasional disagreement as they grew up, but Kirsten was a very, loving, older sister and Travis was a very, easy-going child.  

Playing firefighters with the Fisher Price Fire Truck play set.

They loved the kiddie pool in the backyard and a small slide on the back, screened in porch.  The brown chair, above, was a favorite place of theirs.  Kirsten would 'read' books to Travis, they would play fire fighters, share a bowl of popcorn, and just hang out in it.  I really enjoyed them that summer.  It was a relaxing and fun time with lots to do and see.

Kirsten, ready for her first day at Woodlawn Preschool, September, 1988.

The summer ended and Kirk went back to school and so did Kirsten.  Kirsten attended Woodlawn Preschool.  This was her second year in Preschool.  Woodlawn Preschool had the parents line their cars up along 22nd Street in Battle Creek and staff would open the door for each child and escort them into the school.  Travis, about 20 months old at the time, was in his car seat in the back seat with Kirsten. The minute the car door closed, Travis started crying.  He wanted to go with her. We would pick up Kirsten the same way, lining up on 22nd Street, and he would be so happy when he spotted 'sis', his name for her, waiting on the porch for her turn to go home.  I have always credited Woodlawn with creating in Kirsten a life long love of music. She loved music time at Woodlawn.

The singing career gets it start!

Music was always a big part of our day at this age.  Kirsten loved Sharon, Lois and Bram and their "Elephant Show".  She would have to dress up when the show came on and she would sing her heart out. She loved I Am Slowly Going Crazy, Skinnamarink, and If I Knew You Were Coming I'd Have Baked a Cake songs.   Travis would be in the same room playing, but his love was Raffi.  Raffi would come on and he would be the one singing.  He loved Baby Beluga, Six Little Ducks, and Shake My Sillies Out songs. I remember playing with Travis and Kirsten at this age.  We would play restaurant at the Fisher Price Kitchen. Memory was a favorite board game for Kirsten and I to play. Travis and I would play with blocks or 'Bristle Bears'.  Both children loved to be read too.  

A clown and a princess were the choices for Halloween that year.  Kirsten had a party at Preschool.  We took the kids to Binder Park Zoo for the Zoo Boo.  They walked around the zoo and got to trick or treat among some of the animals that were on exhibit.  The kids were amazed by the small size boxes of cereal that were handed out. Getting pop tarts in their trick and treat bags was special too. It is the Cereal City!

It wasn't long and spring rolled around.  We were looking forward to another great summer at Wah Wah Tay See Way.  We were renting here and were surprised when the owner put the house up for sale.  We didn't want to buy it as we thought there was too much work that needed to be done.  I wasn't a big fan of the gold shag carpet!  One of the two bathrooms needed major repair work and the layout was weird. 

It was a three bedroom home.  The living room area was huge with a lovely fireplace that housed racoons from time to time.  A L shaped hallway led from the front door to the bedroom and main bath area.  There were two good size bedrooms and one very small one.  You could walk through the small bedroom from the hallway to the kitchen.  The entrance to the screened in porch was from this bedroom.  The kitchen needed some serious updating.  The configuration of it was weird.  There was a nice size breakfast nook here.  The cooking area was a galley type with led from the back door to the living room area.  An unfinished full size basement was underneath it all. The water was from a well and there was a faucet in the garage that when it froze, a gusher came from it.  I remember a sold sign going up and we weren't even notified it had been sold. We started looking right away.  We were moving again!

The memories I have at Wah Wah Tay See Way were wonderful.  We got to explore our new town and spent a lot of family time together.  I met a wonderful friend, Donna, and we are still friends today. Check back next month to see what our next move would bring.

13 August 2014

Wedding Wednesday: August Guhse and Ottilie Fredrich

Source: "Michigan Marriages 1868-1925," index and images, , Family Search (https://www.familysearch.org/ : accessed 5 February 2011), 
Marriage Record number 537 for Otilie Frederick and Augustus J. Gau 

During the early days of Manistee, Michigan my ancestor, Ottilie Fredrich, married August Guhse on 28 October 1873, just a little over one year from when Ottilie immigrated to the United States.

The record which can be found at Family Search under Marriages, 1868-1925, record number 537, shows Augustus J. Gau and Otilie Frederick marrying in Manistee.  They are both age 22 and born in Germany.  He is a laborer.  They were married by Herman Lemke, Minister.  Witnesses were August Frederick and Emilie Guse, both of Manistee.

Further research shows that Herman Lemke was the minister of the German Lutheran Church, now Trinity Lutheran Church, in Manistee.  One of the witnesses was August Fredrick (correct spelling).  August, my maternal great grandfather, was the brother of Ottilie.  Their parents were Christoph Fredrich and Susanna Koenig.

An interesting side note to this record page is if you look underneath their marriage record for record numbers 538 and 539 you will see those couples were married by a Justice of the Peace, S.S. Glover.  My Samuel Stillman Glover Jr, my paternal second great grandfather.  I find it amazing when I see these coincidences.  I wonder if the families knew each other.  Although, my parents met seventy seven years later in Manistee county, the Glover family didn't live in Manistee county after the early 1900's.  The Fredrick's family did and still does today.  This is why I love genealogy, you just never know what you will uncover.

12 August 2014

Where in the World is Richard McGee?

Where in the World is Richard McGee?

Abt. 1835
Possibly Ireland

Collingwood, Grey North, Ontario, Canada
37/77/Line 20
Collingwood, Grey East, Ontario, Canada
155/21/Family 90
Collingwood, Grey East, Ontario, Canada
67/21/Family 90
Collingwood, Grey East, Ontario, Canada
64/4/Family 33
20 July 1905
Collingwood, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

Richard McGee is one of my brickwall ancestors.  He has been a tough one to narrow down except for his time in Canada.  One of the problems with using the Census of Canada is that he has such different ages listed.  The reason for this discrepancy in age could be that his second wife was twenty three years younger than he.  That is just a guess on my part though.  More research is needed to determine the birth place and parentage of Richard McGee and when he came to Canada.  

08 August 2014

Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan

I am a proud new member of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County (GSWC) in Michigan.  I bought a family membership for $15 on a recent research trip to Ypsilanti Historical Museum and Archives when I met the President, Marcia.  She was very helpful with the surname research I was doing.  Once I saw what the GSWC database had to offer members I was sold.

GSWC offers an online index search access to their quarterly magazine, "Family History Capers".  Anyone can search online in the index, but members have access to the actual issues.  Once you find the name in the index you are looking for, you can go to that issue and read it online.

I have quite a few ancestor surnames in Washtenaw County, many from the Michigan Territory time. They are Begole, Dyer, Fenn, Glover, Poor, Powers and Rowley.  You add to this the collateral relatives and I have quite a lot of people to research.  I decided to search by surname in the index and wow! was I surprised.  I had so many hits that I decided to run a paper copy of the search in order to highlight the names as I completed reading the corresponding article.  I had ten pages and over 200 names to explore.  I was excited.  The names were ones I recognized from my research.

I searched by surname only to start with.  The index search returned a page with the name of the person, the volume, issue, and page number of Family History Capers magazine and a place to click to be taken to the article (if a member).  I have just touched the surface with the index.  I could spend days just reading their old Family History Capers issues.

GSWC has a library housed at the Family History Center, 525 East Woodland Drive, Saline, Michigan. I haven't been to the library yet, but it houses how to books, genealogies, and collections with an emphasis on Washtenaw county and Michigan.

The GSWC website is one of the best I have seen for a genealogical society.  It is filled with information for anyone researching in Washtenaw county, members and non members.  The Washtenaw Research area of the website has lots of information about repositories, records, places and more.

GSWC has excellent education opportunities.  Their meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcome. They have had some awesome speakers in the past.  I am looking forward to the September 28th meeting.  I plan to attend.  Dr. Michael Lacopo will be presenting two lectures:  "Methods for Identifying the German Ancestors of American Immigrants" and "Finding and Using German Church Records".  I heard Dr. Lacopo speak for the first time at FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois.  I was so impressed I made sure I attended his lectures at FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana as well.

GSWC meets at Education Center Auditorium, St. Joesph Mercy Hospital Campus, 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti, Michigan.  The Sunday, September 28th meeting begins at 1:30 p.m.  More information can be found online.

GSWC is a terrific resource for Washtenaw county research.  I am looking forward to using my membership this year.  I will keep you posted on my research finds.

06 August 2014

Abandoned: Hospitals, Prisons, Railroad and More, Oh My!

Lee Plaza in Detroit
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.  Attribution:  Mikerussell@en.wikipedia 

What is the Abandoned Website?

Abandoned is a word genealogists don't like to come across in records of loved ones because it usually means heartache.  It might be an abandoned or cast off baby, child, or family.  It could be a husband deserting his wife, or vice versa.  Any way you look at it, abandoned, usually, isn't a cause for excitement, but it was when I found a website titled:  Abandoned.

Abandoned is a website loaded with vintage finds, photographic works, and historical accounting's of abandoned United States places in a blog format.  One will find places such as a military ammunition depot in Indiana, and the Old Crow Distillery in Kentucky. Using the tags at the bottom of the home page, or by clicking 'start here' gets you started on finding abandoned, endangered, demolished and ,in some cases, restored places.

One can search by city or state.  Clicking on the "Detroit" tag will bring up blog posts with places such as St. John Berchman's Catholic Church and Servite High School, Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church, Lee Plaza, Lafayette Building, Packard Automotive Plant and more.  One might be interested in hospitals, prisons, or in my case, railroads. There is much to see at this website and the photography is wonderful.

The Glover Connection to Railroads on Abandoned

I discovered Abandoned when I was researching my Great Uncle Claude Glover's occupation as listed on his World War I draft registration card.  He was an engineer for MM&SE Railway Co.  I didn't have a clue what those letters stood for.  I conducted a Google search and "Abandoned" was listed in the results.  MM&SE, the Munising, Marquette and Southeastern Railway Co, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  MM&SE went through a couple of mergers and ended up being the LS&I Company, Lake Superior and Ishpeming, which it was at the time of Claude's retirement. A brief history of the company as well as four pictures from the route are included on Abandoned.

Later, I went back to search more Michigan railroads because my Great Grandfather, David Watt, was a train engineer also.  He worked for the DSS&A Railroad Company, Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic, for many years.  Again, a brief history and pictures are included.

Abandoned isn't your typical genealogical resource, but it is one that I found to be very helpful in understanding the railway companies that two of my ancestors worked for.  It is the type of resource I like to find to flesh out my ancestors and their lives. It brings to life the time period that is long forgotten. Abandoned preserves places of importance in the social history of the United States. Even though the pictures are of abandoned places, they capture the essence of the beauty that once was. Although it is sad that these places no longer exist, I am grateful that someone took the time to create a website where they will always be remembered.

04 August 2014

A Peek Inside My Blog Writing Process

I launched "Journey to the Past" about four and a half years ago. During this time I have done a lot of organizing, planning, designing, writing, re-writing, editing, publishing and more as I try to make my blog a better one for my readers.  I even redecorated my office space to make it genealogy friendly.

This summer I decided to analyze my blog.  I asked myself, "How can I make my blog better?"  I asked my daughter, Kirsten, for some help.  Kirsten, a social media strategist in Chicago, created a social media plan and I have incorporated many of her ideas already.

Next, I took a look at "How I Blog".  I jotted down a few notes about my blog process and decided to share it:

I can't blog without ideas. Ideas come to me in many ways. I might be watching television, reading a book or magazine, watching a webinar, attending a seminar, reading another blog, participating in blog prompts, trying to go to sleep, driving in the car, etc. The key for me is to keep track of all these ideas.  I have a couple of different ways that I do that.

First, if I am at home when the idea comes to me, I write it down.  I have an inexpensive spiral bound notebook that I have organized into sections.  I have a section for surnames, ancestor biographies, my "Where in the World" posts, civil war pension, Last Day Local, places, and miscellaneous. If I am not at home or near pen and paper, I use the Evernote app on my cell phone to create a note with ideas.

I Heart Organization.  I have mentioned before how I like to be organized and when I sit down to write I like an organized space. I make sure my desk area is free from clutter before I sit down to write. I try to keep my work space cleaned up so this doesn't take more than a few minutes.  My genealogy resource books are to the left of the desk. One shelf of a three tiered shelf holds my blogging notebook and other blogging related folders.

Creating a blogging calendar.  I like to work a month at a time and schedule posts on a calendar. Recently, I have started using google calendar.  I had been using paper and pencil before.  I think whatever people are comfortable with, use it.  The image to the right is my calendar for August.  I try to schedule three posts a week.  I may end up adding to it if something timely needs to be written about. Once my blogging calendar is filled out, I go into blogger, create titles, and save them in draft. Sometimes, I write notes to myself about the idea in the writing area.  I don't worry too much about the title, because I usually change it after I write the post.  I have 40 posts saved in draft now.  Some are for August posts, some for the future, and some are just ideas that may or may not get written. Eventually, I can see my drafts becoming the only way to write down ideas.

Just Write!  I was so concerned about my writing when I first started blogging.  I didn't want the grammar police on my case.  Now, I just write.  I can proof it and edit it before publishing.  Most of my blog posts can be written in 15-20 minutes.  Detailed posts with records and sources take longer.  I know of bloggers who have a writing schedule, like four hours every morning.  I don't have one.  I write when I feel like it.  I try to write one to two weeks ahead of schedule, that way I don't feel pressured to write if something unexpected comes up.  I have a tendency to write shorter posts.  I don't like to read long, drawn out posts. I lose interest before I get to the end of them.  My longer posts are saved for Ancestor Biographies, description of research places, tips on researching, and this one!  I like to write in quiet, no music or television in the background.  I try to add pictures to every post.  I think it makes the post more interesting.  I add links when needed.

Final Touches This is where I go back and proof my writing.  I preview it to make sure the format looks nice on my blog.  I make sure I have added the links I wanted to, double check the title and make changes, add labels, schedule it, and hit publish.

Tell Others About It. No one wants to spend time writing a blog post and not have anyone read it. I use Hoot Suite to help with promotion.  Hoot Suite is a social media management tool.  Currently, I use Hoot Suite to schedule posts to Twitter and Facebook. I have been trying to improve in this area.

Interact with Readers.  Your blog post isn't done the minute you hit publish.  In my opinion, a good blogger is one who interacts with their readers.  I try to reply to every comment and email I receive from a reader.  I appreciate each and every person who reads my blog, and the few minutes it takes to respond to a comment or email makes my blog better.  Plus, it irritates me if I take the time to post a comment on a blog and get no response.  Most readers are using a blog reader and I know it takes extra time to click on the blog to leave a comment and go through the hoops to have it posted.

This is how I blog.  If I was more creative, I would do a blog process map, but I just have the written words above. It has been a work in progress over the past four and a half years.  I am evolving as a writer and a blogger. I make changes to make Journey to the Past better for you, my readers.

Do you blog? I would enjoy reading about your process.