31 January 2015

Last Day Local: Battle Creek Historic Post Office

 Entrance to 67 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, Michigan

Historic Post Office in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Currently, Commerce Point

The historic Post Office of Battle Creek, Michigan opened for business in 1907.  It was designed by Albert Kahn. Albert Kahn was known as the man who built Detroit. Kahn designed over 2000 buildings; many of them were factories for Ford and General Motors.  He used the same principles of factory design, using reinforced concrete in place of wood or masonry, for the post office as he did for his factories.  The arches on the building are indicative of the second renaissance revival architecture.

The Historic Post Office building was listed as a Michigan Historical Site in 1972.  A marker is placed outside of the building commemorating this.  The building was used as the Hall of Justice in the late 1970's.  Currently, it is known as Commerce Point.  A building used for commercial purposes.  The Battle Creek Enquirer newspaper offices and Battle Creek Visitor Bureau are found here.

Last Day Local is a blog prompt I use to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 26 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!

27 January 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Sarah Salisbury Glover Blodget, Ypsilanti Michigan


Sarah Salisbury Glover was born 18 May 1827 in possibly Phelps or Oaks Corners, Ontario, New York to Charles Williamson Glover and Mary Ann Powers.  

She married Amos Criffin Blodget, circa 1852.  They lived many of their married years together in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan.  Amos and Sarah Blodget moved to Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee prior to 1900.  

Sarah Salisbury Glover Blodget died 30 January 1910 of bronchial pneumonia in Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee. 

She is buried in the Blodget family plot with her husband, Amos, in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan.

25 January 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Tully Daniel Fenn, Pennfield Township, Michigan

The obituary transcribed below was found in Huldah Rowley Fenn's Bible. It is for Tully Daniel Fenn, the brother of my great grandmother, Hattie Fenn Glover.  Tully Daniel Fenn was born 26 February 1859 to Daniel C. Fenn and Elizabeth Poor Fenn.


Tully Daniel Fenn

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)

23 January 2015

Where in the World is Vinera Eglantine Powers Glover?

Where in the World is Vinera Eglantine Powers Glover?

Circa 1802

Phelps, Ontario, New York, United States
23 Mar 1820
Oaks Corners, Ontario, New York, United States

Phelps, Ontario, New York, United States
2 Jan 1834
Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States

Oceola Township, Livingston, Michigan, United States
Circa 1847
Oceola Township, Livingston, Michigan, United States

Vinera Eglantine Powers Glover has been one of the hardest ancestors to research. The census records during Vinera's life only listed the head of the household.  The three censuses I have cited are for Vinera's husband, Samuel Stillman Glover.  I included church records where Vinera Glover was listed by name to help place Vinera in a certain place at a certain time.

I do not have primary sources for her birth and death dates.  That is why I put the circa there.  I believe I will have to rely on church records for this information.  First, I need to determine where she was born.

I have seen Vinera's name as Venera, Veneria Englantine and Veronica in my research.  I have often wondered if there was any significance to her middle name "Eglantine" as it is an unusual name.

21 January 2015

Huldah's Bible: Fenn Family Deaths

This is the last page of Huldah's (Huldah Rowley Fenn 1789-1862) Bible that had information on it. Although most of the information was saved years after Huldah's death in 1862, I am still in awe of it being in the Fenn family today.

The information transcribed below was written in Mary Louise Fenn Blades handwriting.  Huldah Rowley Fenn was Mary Louise Fenn Blades 2nd great grandmother.


Fenn Bible
Mabel died July 11, 1979
Warren died March 16, 1979
Elizabeth Huggett Fenn (wife of Warren) died January 26, 1983

ObituaryHorace A. Smith, who departed this life December 10, 1891, was born in Connecticut October 13, 1814, but the most of his boyhood days were spent in Plainfield, N.Y. At the age of twenty-one he came to Michigan and settled in Sylvan township. He was married to Martha Fenn July 12, 1836. After her death he was married to Helen Ellis April 3, 1856. He was the father of eight children, five of whom are still living.
            Mr. Smith experienced religion when a boy living in New York. On removing to Michigan he transferred his church relationship first to the Lima Congregational church. In 1851 he became a member of this church which at that time was known as the Sylvan Congregational church. He held the office of clerk of this church from January 1868 to January 1874. He was elected deacon in 1853, serving until March 4, 1871 and was again elected in 1874, and has held the office of deacon continuously since that time.
            The Christ’s kingdom have ever been dear to his heart. It is safe to say that he had not lived with a feeling......

Who's Who?
Mabel:  Mabel Fenn Darwin, daughter of Tully Daniel Fenn and Ella Mary Blake.

Warren:  Warren Orlo Fenn, great grandson of Huldah Rowley Fenn.  Tully Daniel Fenn and Ella Mary Blake were Warren's parents.

Elizabeth Huggett Fenn:  Elizabeth was the wife of Warren Orlo Fenn.  They were married 10 Aug 1916 in Convis Township, Calhoun, Michigan.

19 January 2015

Researching at The National Archives (NARA) in Washington, DC.

Guest Blog by: Kirsten Agnello-Dean

Humble Brag: My very first genealogical research experience was at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, DC.  How cool is that?  I was in DC for a quick trip but decided to stop by and check out the gift shop for a certain genealogist I know.  After viewing the Magna Carta, since I was there, I popped into the Research Library side and called Brenda Leyndyke to she if I could get her anything.  An excited mom-genealogist said YES. So I was texted the details and my mission was simple: Find the Civil War Compiled Military Service Record for my Great Great Great Grandfather, Samuel S. Glover Jr.

The research library is vast, impressive, and full of very helpful people.  Once you go through security and sign in with I.D. to get your Temporary Researcher Pass (top right), you need to register for a Research Card. Next, you go through a power point presentation, fill out some info, and then get your picture taken for your free swipe card (this card allows you into the research rooms and can be loaded with money for the copier).  Once you have that done it's time to check the computer in the Consultations Room to see if they have the records you're looking for. A very nice gentleman helped me search and shared a great tip: When searching for Samuel Stillman Glover, nothing came up. The research assistant pointed out that if it wasn't entered in that way it wouldn't appear, so searching for Samuel Glover only (middle name omitted) worked and found two records: service and pension. I filled out the slip and popped it in the box to have the records pulled.

The entrance to the 2nd floor Central Research Room
Files at the archives are pulled only a few times a day. Since it was a quiet day, I only had to wait about a half hour after the 3:00 pull for my records to come up to the Central Research Room on the 2nd floor. There are a LOT of rules for this room: No pens, pencils are discouraged, no food or beverage...only laptops and cameras, etc. are allowed. You may not bring coats or bags in (lockers are available) and they discourage you from bringing your own papers in.

The Military Records Room
I headed inside, my wallet barely passing for being potentially "too large," and went to the Military Records Room. Once your records are pulled, you can sign them out one at a time for researching and photocopying. Research Tip: There are scanners available if you bring your own computer, or you can photocopy directly to USB, if you brought one, from the copier (after getting permission to copy the records you received, of course).

Compiled Military Service Records from the Civil War
Samuel S. Glover, Jr.
It was only after I opened the military service record envelope in this quiet, genealogist filled room that I realized what was so cool about genealogy...here I was in 2014, touching actual papers of someone I was related to that were over 150 years old. It was very much like the cheesy scenes in Who Do You Think You Are. A giant red DEAD stamp on a cotton canvas piece of paper literally had me whispering "wow" out loud.

I snapped 55 photos and made 2 dozen copies then headed out. Once you finish, your copies are searched and locked in green "Property of National Archives" canvas bag by security. Intense, but as my Mother put it, "I don't want anyone stealing my ancestors records."  Once you're finished for the day, the security guard at the main entrance unlocks the bag and you can take your papers.

It was an amazing experience.  I secretly wish I had had more time to research things. You can have records pulled and copies mailed to you for a fee, if you don't happen to have a daughter in Washington, DC, but I highly recommend an in-person visit.

Want to learn more about researching at the NARA? Check out the Archives Information for Genealogists section. See more photos of my visit on my personal blog here.

Imagine how I felt getting this phone call.  It was a genealogist and mom's dream come true.  First, I was so excited that I could give Kirsten a couple of records to look up. Although in the excitement I had to calm down and think about what I needed.  This was one time I wish I had a prepared list of research for NARA to consult. Secondly, my daughter was kind enough to call me and volunteer to do research on her vacation!  It was something I was not going to say no to.  Thank you, Kirsten. You are a kind and generous daughter.  One who makes her mother proud every day.  Thank you for sharing your NARA research experience with my readers.  I may make a genealogist out of you yet. 

16 January 2015

Family Photographs of a Fredricks Family Reunion

The Fredricks side of my family has been having family reunions for as long as I can remember.  One of the activities that has carried throughout the years is one of family photographs.  Sometime during the day the family groups will get together and pictures will be taken.  The pictures I am sharing below are from a family reunion held at my Aunt Kate's house in 1964. Kate, Kathryn Louise Fredricks, was one of eleven children born to Otto August Fredricks and Daisy Ellen Graf.  The oldest son, Harold, was born to Daisy Graf before her marriage to Otto Fredricks and he took the Fredricks surname. He was considered a full brother by his siblings. I believe all twelve siblings were in attendance at this reunion, but I am missing a picture of the Richard Fredericks family. These are my ten aunts and uncles and their children, my first cousins.

Other cousins with families of their own were in attendance that day as well.

  • Kathryn Marie Welch is the daughter of Carl and Kathryn Louise Tritten.
  • Rose Marie Hillard is the daughter of Leo Sandberg and Daisy 'Marie' Fredricks Kurth.

Last, we needed a picture of all of Otto and Daisy Fredricks grandchildren.

The family was pretty complete at this reunion.  The family members missing that day were Larry and Nancy Fredricks, children of Harold and Margaret Fredricks. Richard, Mickey, Pam, and Richie Fredericks, although Pam is the first one on the left in the back in the picture above, so I am guessing my Uncle Richard was camera shy that day.  A very excellent turnout if you ask me.  I didn't get to see my cousins very much when I was younger so I always looked forward to family reunions.  It was a day to hang out with them.

14 January 2015

Wedding Wednesday: George Fenn's Two Marriages

Wedding records are some of the easiest records to access in Michigan.  The county clerk offices that I have visited are very open with their marriage records.  Many Michigan marriage records are available online through Family Search.  The Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925 records are the ones I used for researching George B. Fenn's two marriages. (Source Citation: "Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925." Index and images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Secretary of State. Department of Vital Records, Lansing.)

George B. Fenn is the son of Daniel C. Fenn and Elizabeth Ann Fenn, nee Poor. George B. Fenn is my great grand uncle. He is the brother of my great grandmother, Hattie Fenn Glover, who I have written about a lot.

Heading and Marriage Record for George B. Fenn and Leona A. Parker.  (Click to enlarge)

I found two marriage records for George B. Fenn.  The first one he married Leona A. Parker, the daughter of Charles Parker and Martha Crumb Parker.  Don't you love it when they record the parents names on marriage records?  George and Leona were married the 26 Oct 1901 in Hersey Osceola, Michigan.  They were married for ten years before Leona died the 22 March 1912 in Hersey, Osceola, Michigan.

Heading and Marriage Record for Geo. B. Fenn and Etta L. Cline

Next, there is a registration entry for Geo. B. Fenn and Etta L. Cline.  The marriage date was recorded as 30 Sept 1914 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  If you look at the record above you will see that a line has been drawn through the record.  I don't know the significance of this.  I do know that the records on this page were mostly from Osceola county, Michigan.  Grand Rapids is in Kent county, but I can find no record of their marriage in Kent county.  For now I am using the Grand Rapids as the place of marriage.  George Fenn is listed as married at the time of his death in 1935. A deed shows George B and Etta Fenn sold their house in Hersey, Michigan to their daughter, Mary Brockett Fenn in 1936, one year after George died.

Although the entry was crossed off, I do not believe it was crossed off because the marriage never happened.  I enjoy the depth of information recorded on Michigan marriage records.  If you have Michigan ancestry be sure to check the marriage records.

11 January 2015

Adeline Dyer's Baptismal Record in New York City Found

Finding an 1838 birth record for New York can be challenging when the earliest statewide registration began in 1847, so I needed to use other sources to verify Adeline Dyer's birth.  The first mention of Adeline's birth date was found in her husband's, Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr., civil war pension file, which I wrote about here.

Glover, Samuel Stillman; Pension File No. 28715, Civil War Pension File,
(Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration), p 40

Adeline Dyer Glover states that she was born on 6 March 1838 in New York City. Further research has determined that her parents were William G. Dyer and Mary Ann Swallow.  I thought finding this information would satisfy me, but since it wasn't primary information I kept digging.

The source I turned to for further information was FamilySearch and the "New York, Births and Christenings, 1640-1962" online database.  I found an entry for the baptism of Adeline Dyer with a father, William Dyer and mother, Mary Ann.  I do believe I found my Adeline.  Since this is an index entry without an image I will need to find the actual document to confirm the accuracy of the information found but for now I have one more piece of Adeline's genealogical puzzle to work with. The information found is listed below:

 William Dyer in entry for Adeline Dyer, "New York, Births and Christenings, 1640-1962"
Name:Adeline Dyer
Christening Date:02 Jan 1842
Birth Date:06 Mar 1835
Death Date:
Name Note:
Father's Name:William Dyer
Father's Birthplace:
Father's Age:
Mother's Name:Mary Ann
Mother's Birthplace:
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number:C51058-1
System Origin:New_York-ODM
GS Film number:974.7 B2N V. 71-72
Reference ID:

One may look at this and wonder how I came to the conclusion that this was my Adeline Dyer.  The birth year on the transcribed index is 1835, three years earlier than Adeline reported in the pension file with the baptism taking place seven years later.  This information prompted me to look at the other records I have about Adeline.  This is the only record that deviates from the 1838 date for birth. Her marriage record, all census records, family Bible record, and death record is consistent with a 1838 birth year.  Since this is a transcription of an index, I need to look at the index myself and find the original record before I change her birth year to 1835. The only other explanation would be another child born to William and Mary Ann Dyer, named Adeline, who died before the second Adeline's birth.  I have found no evidence of that occurring. I made note of the discrepancy in my Roots Magic software.

Next, I decided to do a little research on the church listed in the index, Saint Mark's Church, New York, New York.  St. Mark's-In-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street, is the official name of the church and has a rich history.  It is New York City's oldest site of continuous worship and the second oldest public building in Manhattan.

Petrus 'Peter' Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam, purchased the land the church is on, in 1651. He had built a family chapel on the land by 1660. Petrus' grandson, Petrus, sold the land to the Episcopal Church, in 1793, for one dollar. Governor Stuyvesant is buried beneath the church.

The building of St. Mark's-In-the-Bowery began with a cornerstone being laid in 1795.  The fieldstone Georgian style church was completed in 1799.  The church saw 200 summer worshipers and 70 winter ones by 1807. The steeple was erected in 1828, ten years before Adeline Dyer's birth.

St. Mark's In-the-Bowery has its place in New York City history.  It is a New York City landmark and part of the St. Mark's Historic District.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in what is now East Village.

Although I still have to find the original records and analyze them, I feel confident that the Adeline Dyer who was baptised in St. Mark's-In-the-Bowery is my second great grandmother.

08 January 2015

Those Places Thursday: Shoreham, Vermont

Larabee's Point, Shoreham, Vermont  
Courtesy of Josiah Goodhue's History of the Town of Shoreham, Vermont

Shoreham, Vermont is going to be the focus of my attention this month as I research my Fenn family. It is the last known place the Fenn's lived before migrating to Michigan in the spring of 1833.  Daniel Fenn and his wife, Huldah Rowley traveled, via the Erie Canal, to make their home in the territory of Michigan.  I have found records about Daniel and Huldah Fenn in Michigan, but cannot find much about their time before this.  Daniel Fenn is one of my brick wall ancestors.  A brick wall I am going to break through this year if at all possible.  My first plan of attack is through Shoreham, Vermont!

Courtesy of Google Maps

Shoreham was incorporated in 1761 by a New Hampshire Grant.  The first settlement in Shoreham was in 1766.  Shoreham is located on the east side of Lake Champlain, with Ticonderoga, New York just across the lake.  Currently, it is located in Addison County, Vermont.  Prior to 1785, it was Rutland County, Vermont.

Daniel Fenn and his family lived in Shoreham for the 1820 and 1830 United States Census enumeration.  The book, "Early Families of Shoreham" by Susan Holt MacIntire and Sandord Stowell Witherall states that "FENN, Daniel m. in Shoreham, Vt 28 Feb 1808, Hulda Rowley".  This is the earliest mention of Daniel Fenn being in Shoreham, Vt that I have found.  Daniel was about 21 years old at the time of his marriage.

I haven't been able to find Daniel and Huldah in the 1810 Census.  Could they be living with Huldah's father, Hopkins Rowley?  Hopkin's census record has a male and female of the age Daniel (23) and Huldah (20) were, but without further proof I can't say for sure it is them.  Ah! The joys of researching pre-1850.  I haven't a clue who Daniel's father or mother was.  What do you think my next research step should be? 

I have found a few resources in my research of Daniel Fenn and Shoreham,Vermont that I thought I would share with you.

  1. History of the Town of Shoreham Vermont by Josiah Goodhue.
  2. Shoreham, Vermont at Family Search
  3. Township Information-Shoreham, Vermont
  4. Rutland County, Vermont Gen Web
  5. Addison County, Vermont Gen Web
I know I need to have feet on the ground in Shoreham to further my research and a New England trip is a couple of years off, but I want to explore all resources available to me locally, either online or at local repositories.  Any suggestions of resources or researchers in the area would be greatly appreciated as I try to find Daniel Fenn's parents. 

07 January 2015

Jesse and Annette (Glover) Youngs Celebrate 62nd Anniversary in 1922

I am at the point in my research where I am trying to fill out what some call "in between the dashes"; the happenings in a person's life that goes between their birth and their death. Newspaper articles are a great way to flesh out an ancestor's story.

The above newspaper article is one such find.  It is an announcement of Annette Glover Youngs and Jesse Youngs' 62nd Wedding Anniversary in 1922.  First, it is awesome that a couple has been married for 62 years, but just as awesome that both people were around 80 years of age when they did so.

The above newspaper article is rich in genealogical treasures.  I wish I had one for each of my ancestors.  Although I don't know who wrote the article, I know it was published one month after their anniversary and the Youngs were still alive.  Some of the information included in this article was Annette Glover's birth date, the family of Annette, her early years, the migration of the Youngs family, how Jesse and Annette met, where they married and by whom, their children and more.

Annette Glover Youngs is my second great grand aunt.  She is the daughter of Samuel Stillman Glover and Vinera Eglantine Powers, my third great grandparents. Annette Glover Youngs is the younger sister of Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr.  A descendant of Annette, Peter, sent me a copy of this wonderful tribute to his ancestors.  Peter has been very generous sharing his research with me and I am grateful for that.

Annette Glover married Jesse Youngs on the 13 December 1860 in Canton Center, Michigan.  Below is a transcription of the article.


Famed For Their Hospitality


Tuttle Hill, Jan. 31.- Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Youngs of Tuttle Hill, who celebrated their sixty-second wedding anniversary Dec. 13, 1922, are the parents of 8 children, the grandparents of 40 grandchildren and the great-grandparents of 37 great-grandchildren.
     Mrs. Youngs, nee Glover, was the daughter of Samuel Stillman and Veneria Eglantine Glover of Howell.  She was born March 17, 1844.  When an infant her mother died, leaving a husband and a family of seven sons and six daughters.  When Annette was five years old she came with her father to Ypsilanti township where she has ever since made her home.

                                     In Days of Migrations
     Jess Youngs, son John and Eve Youngs, was born on the farm, where he has always lived, March 24, 1841.  He grew to manhood in a home where hospitality and neighborly helpfulness were the watchwords of the family.
      Settlers going through to the west with the few wordly (sic) possessions of the pioneer loaded in ox-drawn wagons, the women and children walking or riding by turns, often stopped with "Uncle John" and "Aunt Eve", as the parents of Jesse were known.  These pioneers would remain for a night's or day's rest before resuming the long journey.  Frequently those who came to settle in Michigan made the Youngs' home their stopping place while they looked for a new home.
     John Youngs and Hiram Tuttle, for whom Tuttle Hill was named, were among a party of five who came to make their homes here.  The deed to the Youngs' famr reads,  "The United States to John Youngs, June 8, 1833." Loyal Tuttle, a cousin of Hiram Tuttle, followed soon afterward.
     On Dec. 13, 1860, Jesse Youngs and Annette Glover, schoolmates at Tuttle school, drove to the home of Elder Isaac Cannon at Canton Center and were married.  They established their home in the same spirit of helpfulness and hospitality as was manifested in the household of John and Eve Youngs.  
     Nine children were born to this union.  They were Jesse Edward, who died July 15, 1918, the first break in the family in 58 years of married life; Mrs. Ella Kelly of near Tuttle Hill, Charles of Madison, Wis., John of Ypsilanti, Eugene of Highland Park, Bert of Ypsilanti, Mrs. Eva Bunton of Highland Park, William of Ypsilanti, and Mrs. Louise Faragher of Loraine, O.
     For more that 40 years Mr. Youngs owned and operated a threshing machine.  He is known to hundreds of farmers throughout Washtenaw county.  When sickness or death or trouble of any nature came to a home in the vicinity Jesse Youngs and his wife were always among the first to call and offer their services.  Many a person in financial straits has been welcomed to the table in the Youngs' home and invited to stay until things turned out right again.
     Said one of the sons to the writer: "There were not many days we sat down at the table with just ourselves present.  Anyone coming by would be given a place in the family often for several days if in hard luck.
                                        Mother of Neighborhood
     During her lifetime Mrs. Youngs has cared for scores of babies and their mothers in the community.  The first baby whose entrance into the world she assisted and whom she dressed was R. F. Walters of Willis, whose parents were at one time near neighbors of the Youngs.
     Mrs. Youngs was a cousin of the late H.P. Glover of Ypsilanti.  George Grimstone of Ann Arbor and Mrs. Youngs are the last of a long list of cousins.  Several years ago she fell and injured one of her legs severely, and has been trouble with its (sic) at times since.  But her hospitable spirit is as strong as of old and she still delights to have a neighbor or friend come in for a chat over a cup of tea.
     At the sixty-second wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Youngs 80 guests were present, five of whom were more than 80 years old.  Mrs. Rhoda Derbyshire, 87, was the eldest, the others being John Bunton of Arbor, Hiram Eaton of Ypsilanti, Mrs. Rachel Tuttle of Tuttle Hill and Mr. Youngs.  Seven, D.C. Griffin and Mrs. Mariam Sanderson of Ypsilanti, Mrs. Hattie Prince of Waterloo, J.C. Tuttle, Mrs. J.C. Tuttle and Charles Newton, all of Tuttle Hill, and Mrs. Youngs, were more than 70 years old.
     Mr. Youngs, though nearly 82 years old, is still hale and vigorous.

     Among the chief delights of Mr. and Mrs. Youngs today are the visits they receive from their 37 great-grandchildren.


06 January 2015

Happy Cowabunga Birthday, Travis

A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vehicle.  It was a hit!

January birthday parties are tough to plan in Michigan because you never know what the weather will be like.  There were many 6th of January's when it snowed, making travel difficult.  There were many times when one or more sets of grandparents were planning to come and celebrate Travis' birthday and couldn't because of the weather. This year, 1991, found Travis' paternal grandparents living in Florida.

Travis and Kirsten before the gift opening 
in our living room in Battle Creek, Michigan

Travis' 4th birthday was one such year.  Travis turned four with a quiet party at home with Dad, Mom, and Kirsten.  I still made sure he had a great birthday.  We celebrated in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (TMNT) style.  The wrapping paper, cake, and party accessories were all TMNT.  A few of the gifts were turtle related, too. Travis loved all things turtle that year.  He would play for hours with his turtles.  I still have a big box of TMNT stuff saved for him.

Travis blowing out his birthday candles.

I wanted all their birthdays to be special and I would set the table with a tablecloth, good stoneware and even let them use my Fostoria Virginia Blue crystal goblets, pictured above.  It was a treat for them.  I learned a long time ago that I was not a cake decorator!  Travis always liked his cake from the Felpausch grocery store, a local grocery store at the time.  This one was decorated with one of the ninja turtles and four ninja turtle candles.  One each for Michelangelo, Rafael, Donatello and Leonardo, the ninja turtle names.  Birthday cake was served on TMNT plates with matching napkins.

My tow-headed four year old was such a happy guy.  I loved his energy and enthusiasm for everything.  He had a smile on his face most of the time.  The sticker in the picture above was given to him by his preschool teacher.  Travis attended Woodlawn Preschool in Battle Creek, Michigan at the time.

This was the age when Travis first showed an interest in Lego's.  He wanted the castle Lego building blocks.  Our whole family would sit down and put together the castle Lego building blocks.  I have another box of Lego's waiting for my children to take them to a new home.

Another gift that Travis got excited about was money as you can see from his expression above. A trip to Toys R Us was usually in order the day after his birthday.

Nerf blast-a-matic toy pop gun was a big hit with Travis that year.  This Nerf gun shot little yellow, rubber balls out.  This would be one of many Nerf toys received throughout his childhood.  It is a wonder that nothing every got broken with that toy.

What boy doesn't like Dinosaurs?  The sweatshirt above was given to Travis by his Grandma and Grandpa Leyndyke.  The dinosaur on the sweatshirt was cross stitched on the shirt. He got a lot of wear out of this sweatshirt.

Another favorite character that Travis enjoyed at this age was Waldo.  Where's Waldo books would keep him occupied for hours.  Travis received a Waldo sweatshirt, book, and puzzle as well for his fourth birthday.

Celebrating birthdays as a family was a memorable part of Travis' childhood and his fourth birthday was one to remember.  Cowabunga, Dude and Happy Birthday, Travis.

05 January 2015

Santa Brought Me Books!

Santa, aka my husband Kirk, knows me well and knows what will make me happy when it comes to gifts.  He did not disappoint this year.  He gave me one of the Great Migration bundles from New England Historic Genealogical Society(NEHGS) as a gift.  I could not have been happier.  Anyone who has read my blog knows how much I love books.  Books and Genealogy go together well in my opinion.

The books I received are The Pilgrim Migration, The Great Migration Begins, 3 Volumes, and The Great Migration 7 Volumes.  I have used these numerous times at the library, but to have my own set to refer to is heaven especially since the books at my local library are for reference use only and not available for check out.

The book gift giving didn't stop there.  My parents gave me The Planters of the Commonwealth by Charles Edward Banks and Our Daily Bread: German Village Life, 1500-1850 by Teva J. Scheer. Lastly, I treated myself to a book, The History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts by John Warner Barber.

Needless to say the NEHGS Books + Gifts catalog got a good workout this Christmas.  I get the same excitement looking at that as I did as a child looking at the Sears Christmas catalog.  The only difference now is that I use sticky notes to mark what I would like.  Santa was so good to me that I only have three sticky notes left.  They are:

  • Elements of Genealogical Analysis by Robert Charles Anderson.  Does anyone have this book?  What do you think?  I read one review and it made me think maybe I don't need it.
  • The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1640 A Concise Compendium by Robert Charles Anderson.  This one is being published in 2015.  I will wait and see about this as I don't know if it duplicates the information in my Great Migration books or not.
  • A Guide to Massachusetts Public Records: Parishes, Towns and Counties by Carroll D. Wright. This book will be used to help in my preparation for a future New England trip.  

Getting books for Christmas prompted me to clean my office and find a space for them.  I decided not to put them on my bookshelf yet because I plan to spend most of my January looking through them and adding facts to my Roots Magic software.

Did you get a genealogy related gift for the holidays?  Please share in the comments section.  If it is a book, I may need to add it to my wish list.

03 January 2015

Happy Birthday, Alayna

Soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Alayna and my son, Travis, on Mackinac Island

It won't be long and I will be able to add another person to our family tree, Alayna. Alayna is the one chosen by my son, Travis, to love and marry, but she is already a cherished and valued member of our family.

Happy Birthday, Alayna!  I hope you have a wonderful birthday and a year filled with many blessings.