18 February 2015

Where in the World is William G. Dyer?

Where in the World is William G. Dyer?

8 February 1814
New York, New York, United States

Circa 1837
Possibly New York, United States

Cazenovia, Madison, New York, United States
Syracuse, Onondaga, New York, United States
Ward 8
Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States
8 May 1875
Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan, United States

* New York, State Census of 1855

William G. Dyer, my third great grandfather, is one of my brick walls.  I think it is because I haven't spent a lot of time researching him.  I have found the "low hanging fruit" resources, ie. census records, but not many other records.  Are you related to William G. Dyer?  Let's connect, please leave a comment.

17 February 2015

Happy 90th Birthday, Dad

Can you believe my Dad is 90?  This is a picture of my dad with his youngest grandchild, Alex, in December 2014.

Happy Birthday, Dad

A lot of history has taken place over the last ninety years.  My dad, Bruce, has seen and been a part of many great events in his life.  He is a World War II veteran, having served in the Army at the Battle of the Bulge. 

He is also an avid fan of sports.  He was a team member in Junior High and High School, he coached a regimental team during World War II, he went to college to become a Physical Education Teacher and Coach, he had a great career in coaching, he is a member of the Michigan High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, he played on many recreational sports teams and even continued coaching after retirement.

He is a Detroit Tigers fan having attended many of their games starting with his first at Navin Field.  He roots for the Detroit Lions, even when that isn't the easiest thing to do.  He attended many of his grandchildren's sporting events and when my son, Travis, was growing up they would sit at the dinner table and discuss sports. 

In honor of my Dad's 90th birthday, today, I thought I would share what was going on in the world of sports in 1925.
  • French Baseball Federation awards silver medals to John McGraw, Charlie Comiskey, & Hugh Jennings
  • Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, sets indoor record, 4:13.6 mile & 14:44.6 5,000m
  • AL decides to alternate leagues for game 1 of World Series each year
  • US female Figure Skating championship won by Beatrix Loughran
  • US male Figure Skating championship won by Nathaniel Niles
  • Longest win streak in Toronto Maple Leaf history (9 games)
  • NHL Championship: Montreal Canadiens sweep Toronto Arenas in 2 games
  • Stanley Cup: Victoria Cougars (WCHL) beat Canadiens (NHL), 3 games to 1
  • Yankees whip Dodgers in exhibition 16-9 but Babe Ruth collapses due to an ulcer
  • Babe Ruth rushed to hospital
  • Babe Ruth has ulcer surgery
  • 1st regular-season Cubs game to be broadcast on WGN radio
  • NHL's NY Americans (formerly Hamilton Tigers) 1st game, lose 3-1
  • 29th Boston Marathon won by Charles Mellor of Illinois in 2:33:00.6
  • No baseball games played in NL due to Charles Ebbets' funeral
  • Ty Cobb goes 6 for 6, (16 total bases)
  • Yankee Everett Scott is benched, ending his 1,307-game playing streak
  • Ty Cobb hits his 5th HR in 2 games tying Cap Ansons record of 1884
  • Phillies have their 8th game postponed in a row
  • Pirate shortstop Glenn Wright makes an unassisted triple play
  • 51st Preakness: Clarence Kummer aboard Coventry wins in 1:59
  • Walter Hagen wins PGA golf tournament
  • 51st Kentucky Derby: Earl Sande aboard Flying Ebony wins in 2:07.6
  • Cleveland Indian Tris Speaker gets his 3,000th hit
  • Babe Ruth is finally out of bed, 5 weeks after ulcer surgery
  • Tigers' Ty Cobb is 1st to collect 1,000 extra-base hits (ends 1,139)
  • Peter DePaolo became 1st man to average over 100 mph at Indy
  • Indianapolis 500: Peter DePaolo wins in 4:56:39.401 (162.748 km/h)
  • Lou Gehrig replaces Wally Pipp (1st of record 2130 consec games)
  • NY Yankee Lou Gehrig begins his 2,130 consecutive game streak
  • 29th US Golf Open: Willie Macfarlane shoots a 291 at Worcester CC Mass
  • William DeHart Hubbard of US, sets long jump record at 25' 10 3/4"
  • 38th Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Suzanne Lenglen beats Joan Fry (6-2 6-0)
  • 45th Wimbledon Mens Tennis: Rene Lacoste beats J Borotra (6-3 6-3 4-6 8-6)
  • NY Yankee Lou Gehrig hits his 1st of 23 career grand slammers
  • 29th US Golf Amateur Championship won by Bobby Jones
  • 20th Davis Cup: USA beats France in Philadelphia (5-0)
  • Washington shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh is named AL MVP
  • 8th PGA Championship: Walter Hagen at Olympia Fields CC Matteson Ill
  •  NY Giants play 1st NFL game, lose to Providence 14-0
  • Albert Michelsen runs world record marathon (2:19:01.8)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates beat Wash Senators, 4 games to 3 in 22nd World Series
  • 1st hockey game at Madison Square Garden, Montreal Candiens 3, NY Americans 1
These events all took place the year my dad was born. My dad has many memories over the years of other sports events.  He has many memories of growing up and loving sports.  He remembers the first baseball game that his Uncle Art took him to.  I am thankful he has shared his passion of sports with his family and captured many of the stories in his autobiography.

Happy 90th Birthday, Dad.  I love you.

16 February 2015

Military Monday: WWI Draft Registration of Burton Watt

Source:  "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," [database on-line], Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2014), entry for Burt L. Watt ; number 109; United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

The World War I draft registration card for my Great Uncle, Burton Lewis Watt, didn't provide me with a lot of new information but it was still a record I wanted in my genealogy software program. 

The reason it didn't provide a lot of new information was because I knew my Uncle Burt.  He visited many times when I was a child and I visited him as an adult.  I remember what he sounded like and how generous he was.  Those things are not recorded on this record.

This record does correlate what I do remember about him.  The record provides an accurate description of him and I knew he worked most of his life at Lake Shore Engineering, becoming a Vice President there.

I have tried to save a copy of every member of my family's draft records.  Although this time it didn't provide a lot of new information, it did provide evidence that reinforced my memories.  It isn't often that you find a 98 year old record of someone you remember.

Burton Lewis Watt was the son of David Watt and Catherine McGee, he was the youngest brother of my grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt Glover Bell.

15 February 2015

Original Fenn Family Members at First Baptist Church of Lima

Source: Google Maps  The First Baptist Church of Lima was formed in Lima Township in 1833.  The map above shows the present day boundaries of Lima Township, Washtenaw county, Michigan.  The 'A' pin denotes Lima.  Lima Township is located between Chelsea, Michigan and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Church records can be a great find when researching your ancestors.  I have found a few church records on my third, great grandfather Daniel Fenn, who married Huldah Rowley.  These church records were found in Washtenaw County, Michigan.  I am a member of the Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County (GSWC) and I have access to past issues of their publication, Family History Capers.  These past issues have been a treasure trove of information and worth every dollar I have spent for membership in GSWC.

Blogging as 'cousin bait' helped with these records as well.  Peter, a descendant on the Glover side of my family, found some Fenn family records and shared them with me.  Peter visited Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which houses some Baptist records.  Peter has been a wonderful source of information.  It is from the Family History Capers and Peter's research that I compiled this early history of the First Baptist Church of Lima.

Early History of the First Baptist Church of Lima
The early pre-1833 meetings, of what would become the First Baptist Church of Lima, were held in the home of Samuel Clements.  It wasn't until 5 July 1833 when Baptist Christians met in a log schoolhouse in the South Part of Lima in the Michigan Territory that the church was organized.  Here Rev. Twis and fourteen people organized and named First Baptist Church of Lima. Articles of Faith, the Baptist Covenant, were adopted and it became the church home for twelve years. The fourteen original members were:

  1. Benjamin M. Danielson
  2. Daniel Fenn*
  3. Tulley C.P. Fenn*
  4. Orlo H. Fenn*
  5. Luther C. Chipman
  6. Calvin Chipman
  7. Eunice Danielson
  8. Huldah Fenn*
  9. Sally Gage
  10. Fanny Hammond
  11. Useba Chipman
  12. Celinda Chipman
  13. Ruth Easman
  14. Betsy Ann Fenn*
* My Ancestors:  Daniel Fenn, his wife Huldah Fenn; their children: Tulley C. P. Fenn and Orlo H. Fenn; and Tulley's wife, Betsy Ann Fenn, nee McIntyre.

I think back to what this first meeting must have been like.  Lima Township was a wilderness at the time, it was in the Michigan Territory, four years before Michigan would become a state.  I imagine the importance the members felt to have an organized church to attend.  This tells me how important religion was in their lives. Daniel Fenn arrived in the area in the Spring of 1833.

The First Baptist Church of Lima continued to worship in Lima until 1845 when the meeting place was changed to Pierceville, in Sylvan Township, the next township to the east of Lima Township.  In 1851 the church became Sylvan Baptist Church and met at Sylvan Center.  The church eventually became a part of Chelsea Baptist Church, Chelsea, Michigan.  

One never knows where church records will be found.  Don't rule out the resources of the historical and genealogical societies in your ancestors area, I am glad I didn't.

For more information:
Clements, Samuel. Early History of the Town of Lima, Michigan. 1874?  Available online at Hathi Trust.

Dexter Area Sesquicentennial-1976.  49,000 cards. Available at McKune Memorial Library, Chelsea, Michigan

Everett, Jessie Chelsea Standard-Herald Newspaper, Chelsea, Michigan, 13 December 1906.

Everett, Jessie (History of) First Baptist Church of Chelsea, 1921. Available at Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Family History Capers, Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan. Volume 5, Issue 2: October 1981.

History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships,...portraits of prominent persons...and biographies (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881). Available through Google Books.

14 February 2015

John Watt, Marquette, Michigan Death Certificate

Source:  State of Michigan, "Death Records 1897-1920," database, State of Michigan, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org/discover-collection?collection=p129401coll7: accessed 23 January 2013), death certificate number 102 for John W. Watt, Marquette, Michigan; citing Michigan Department of State, Lansing, Vital Statistics Division.

SeekingMichigan.org is an excellent website for researching Michigan ancestry and in this case, death records.  The website has images of death certificates from 1897-1920, with additional years promised to be added soon.  Although, the Archives of Michigan has been saying that for months. The delay has to do with changing companies and getting the records into a format that can be uploaded easily and grow in the future.

The image above is for John W. Watt, one of twelve children born to my second great grandparents John Watt and Jane Wilson.  John W. Watt was the brother of my great grandfather, David Watt.

John was born in Scotland in 1862.  He immigrated to the United States in the early 1880's, settling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in Marquette, Michigan.  He married Annie Smith on 14 February 1888, in Marquette, Michigan.

John Watt died at the age of 40, in Marquette, Michigan, of carcinoma (cancer) with hemorrhage of bowels as a contributory factor.  He was the father of three children, Annie, John and Clarence, all under the age of 13 when their father died on 16 September 1902.

According to this death certificate John W. Watt is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan.

13 February 2015

Using Blogger Pages to Help Others Researching in Michigan

How many bloggers have a page on their blog with resources that will help others if they are researching the area the blogger lives in?  I think this is a great idea to include on blogs.  After all, who knows the local area better than you!

I have had a Calhoun County page, the county I live in, for a few months now.  It is a work in progress and I add resources to the page as I learn about them.  I don't have any direct ancestors who left records in Calhoun County, but in my role as President of the Calhoun County Genealogical Society I am quickly learning about county resources.

Recently, I updated the Calhoun County page and thought I would update my readers about it.  At the top of the blog page, click on Calhoun County tab and it will take you to the variety of resources I have shared.  You will find information on the following, all about researching in Calhoun County, Michigan:

  • Libraries
  • Societies
  • DAR Chapters
  • Cemeteries
  • Churches
  • Communities
  • History of the County
  • Schools
  • and more.
Although, I haven't done a lot of research in Calhoun County, I have done a lot of research in Michigan.  My eight great grandparents settled and had children in Michigan.  I decided I needed to add a Michigan page as well.  You will find that tab right next to the Calhoun County tab at the top of my blog page.

I wrote nine blog posts, in the Spring of 2014, about researching in my home state of Michigan. Clicking on the Michigan Resources tab will take you to the page of my Pure Michigan Genealogy posts.  These posts are filled with resources, tips and links to help with researching in Michigan.

Please check both pages/tabs out and learn more about why Michigan is a great place to have Ancestors from.