31 May 2015

Last Day Local: Battle Creek City Hall

Ernest W. Arnold designed
 this Beaux-Arts Classical-
style city hall "to harmonize
 with the "post office" located
 directly across Division Street. 
It was built in 1914 by Seirn B. 
Cole Construction at a cost 
of $305,000.  The building's
 interior is embellished with
 marblized columns and trim
 and cherry millwork.  Two 
stained glass windows, one of 
which depicts the original
 city seal, highlight the stair-
wells.  The city hall was 
listed on the National Register
 of Historic Places in 1984.

Battle Creek City Hall
Battle Creek, Michigan

The business of Battle Creek, also known as the Cereal City, is conducted within the walls of the historic city hall building.  City Hall may be found at 10 North Division Street, Battle Creek, Michigan.  It is over 100 years old, having opened on 31 October 1914.  Columns of marble and cherry wood trim can be found throughout City Hall.  Historic pictures of Battle Creek and early politicians are hung on the walls throughout the three floors.

The landing between the second and third floors has two stained glass windows.  One of the windows has the first seal of the City of Battle Creek. It is far from politically correct today as it shows a surveyor clubbing a Native American.  To read more about the city seal, click here.

The original seal of the City of Battle Creek, Michigan 

 One of two stained glass windows on the landing between the second and third floors.

Second of two stained glass windows in Battle Creek City Hall.

29 May 2015

Moses Poor Sells Land in Plasitow/Atkinson, New Hampshire

One of the best things about blogging is the contacts I make in response to a blog post that I have written.  One such contact was a history teacher in New Hampshire who was interested in Moses Poor's family.  She found a cellar hole behind her school and was interested in it and decided to do a little research into whose cellar hole it was. She discovered it was Moses Poor's, who married Hannah Sinkler, cellar hole. I wrote about her comment to my blog here.  

The teacher sent a very nice timeline filled with property records which I will share with my readers, below. All of the following research was conducted by a wonderful Salem, New Hampshire history teacher.

  • February 26, 1766: Willett Peterson sells 70 acres in Plaistow to Moses Poor (listed as a cordwainer, or a shoemaker) and Joseph Chandler (listed as a tanner). The deed mentions a dwelling house, a barn, and a saw mill.
  • September 3, 1767: Inhabitants of the western side of Plaistow decided to become a separate town. The town name was declared to be “Atkinson.”
  • ***November 16, 1770: Moses Poor sells 10 acres of land in Atkinson to Ithamar Emerson.
  • ***March 28, 1771: Moses Poor sells 18 acres of land in Atkinson to Daniel Page.
  • ***March 28, 1771: Moses Poor sells 6 acres of land and saw mill in Atkinson to Jonathan Poor. The mill is listed as “Poor’s Saw Mill.”
  • April, 1771: James Clough sells two parcels of land in Salem to Moses Poor; one parcel containing 2 ½ acres and the other containing 46 acres. Moses is listed as living in Atkinson.
  • July, 1771: James Clough sells 5 ½ acres to Moses Poor. Moses is now listed as living in Salem.
  • July, 1772: Moses Poor sells 30 acres of land in Hampstead to James Shepaird.
  • June 17, 1775: Moses Poor dies at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • January 15, 1777: A public auction is held at the dwelling house on the Widow Hannah Poor’s property. “Spinster” Hannah Poor (the sister of Moses) with the help of (attorney?) Jonathan Tenney auctions off ⅔ of Widow Poor’s land to Samuel White. The other ⅓ of the land is retained by Widow Poor as part of her right of dower.
  • 1796: Widow Hannah Poor and her son George sell the Widow’s remaining “third” (or right of dower) to Timothy Clough. The deed states that both Hannah and George were living in Candia at the time.

Note: ***These three sales occurring between 1770-1771 show that Moses Poor sold exactly half of the 70 acres that he bought jointly in Plaistow with Joseph Chandler in 1766. When the property was purchased, it was recorded as being in Plaistow, but the western section of Plaistow removed itself from the township in 1767 and became the town of Atkinson. When Moses Poor sold the land in 1770-1771,it was recorded as being in Atkinson.

27 May 2015

Fredricks Family Memories: Part 2

Last month, I introduced a new series of blog posts called Fredricks Family Memories. Four of the five aunts and uncles completed the questionnaire I sent that is used for this series.  Since then I have been to one family event and I think this was well received.  It opened up topics of conversation when I saw them and best of all-they all know I love to hear their stories.

Question 2: Who is the oldest relative you remember as a child?  What do you remember?

  • Aunt Lola: I remember Grandpa Fredrick had a big beard.  Aunt Lola is the only relative alive who remembers her grandfather, Johann August Fredrick. 
  • Uncle Richard: Grandma Fredricks made us kids hot biscuits with butter and jam on them. Grandma Fredricks is Louise Zastrow Fredricks and us kids would be the children of Otto and Daisy Fredricks.
  • Audrey, my mother: My Grandma Fredricks, I went to Grand Rapids to the Bruce house for Thanksgiving once and I remember she was upstairs in her room and she didn't come down for dinner.  Her meal was taken up to her.  I went up and talked to her. Grandma Fredricks is Louise Zastrow Fredricks, the Bruce house was the home of Louise's daughter Mary Fredricks Bruce.
  • Aunt Jeannie: Aunt Gusty and Uncle Herman. They came to the farm and drank beer. Aunt Gusty and Uncle Herman are Augusta 'Gusty' and Herman Breen, they lived in Manistee, Michigan most of the time.  The farm would be Otto and Daisy Fredricks farm.  Gusty was Otto's sister.
This question is one that would have been better asked in person.  I could follow up on it and maybe draw more stories out about them.  All of the sharing my aunts and uncles have done has been awesome and I appreciate it.  I enjoy hearing from the aunts and uncles individually and seeing what memory they hold of their older relatives.  This exercise has prompted me to start writing down my memories and to answer the same questions.

25 May 2015

Cutie Pie is 5!!!!!

My niece, Cutie Pie, turns five today!  Happy Birthday, Cutie Pie!  Cutie Pie and her family live in another state than I do. I don't see her as often as I would like to, but this past December my husband and I drove my parents to see Cutie Pie's family for Christmas.  It has been awhile since I have celebrated Christmas with young children and I loved it.  I tried to make the most of my time with Cutie Pie and her brother, Lord Stanley while I was there.

Cutie Pie is in full on "Frozen" mode!  She isn't a fan of Olaf, though.  Needless to say Santa knew about this and her gifts had a lot of Frozen items included.  She delighted us, in full Elsa costume, with a song and dance of "Let it Go".  This brought back so many memories of when my daughter, Kirsten, would dance and sing that I gave "Elsa" a standing ovation. Cutie Pie did a great job of singing and dancing. Cutie Pie loves to dress up and I got to see her as Elsa from Frozen and Tinkerbell from Peter Pan.

Cutie Pie and I had a lot of fun during Christmas vacation.  We created crafts, including a Santa Claus made from her hand print. She painted two snowflake pictures on canvas to give to her mom for Christmas.  Cutie Pie and I even decorated a gingerbread house.  We spent some time watching animated movies on my Netflix account.  Now, I am still getting recommendations of movies to watch and it brings a smile to my face when I see The Pirate Fairy recommendations!

Once Christmas and Santa arrived we had more toys to play with.  I had bought Cutie Pie a game called "Jolly Octopus".  It is a mechanical one where the octopus tentacles go up and down while the player is using tweezers to collect little crabs. Cutie Pie was a whiz at that.  Another game I bought her was "Take the Cake". Cutie Pie wasn't too sure of it as the box had a creepy face on it, but when we played this shape sorting, cupcake decorating game, she liked it.

Cutie Pie and I taking a break from playing. 

Cutie Pie is an adorable four year old, now five, with boundless energy, a sweet disposition and great smile. She is an awesome big sister.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent with her and I hope she has an awesome birthday.  The last day we were there I tried to take a picture of Cutie Pie and Lord Stanley with their grandparents. As the picture above shows, that wasn't an easy task, but boy what memories were made.

Cutie Pie will be leaving Preschool and entering Kindergarten in the fall, look out world here comes an awesome little girl ready to take on school and all it has to offer.

Have an absolutely, beautiful, awesome, tremendous birthday and have a piece of cake for me.  I will be thinking of you.  I love you, Cutie Pie.

(Lord Stanley and Cutie Pie are nicknames I have chosen to use for my nephew and niece on this blog to protect their identity at such a young age.)

22 May 2015

Book Review: Among the Enemy-A Michigan Soldier's Civil War Journal

I first heard about the Kimball manuscript, which "Among the Enemy" presents, when I read Mark Hoffman's book, My Brave Mechanics.  I put a 'To Do' list item in my genealogy software program to find the manuscript and read it.  Mark Hoffman used the manuscript as a source for information about my Civil War veteran ancestor, Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr.

I never went to the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library, where the manuscript/papers are kept, but I was at the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing, Michigan and browsing through their museum gift store when I saw the book, "Among the Enemy" edited by Mark Hoffman.  Of course, I bought it after seeing it contained Kimball's journal entries.

William Horton Kimball was a member of the First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics during the Civil War. His personal writings are what make up what I call the Kimball manuscript.  The manuscript is two books that includes a memorandum volume and a ledger.

Kimball shared, through writing, his experience during three years of union civil war service. Kimball included detailed accounts of combat and guerrilla warfare, interactions with civilians, personal opinions of military leaders and more. Mark Hoffman has taken Kimball's manuscript and added to it.

Among the Enemy: A Michigan Soldier's Civil War Journal edited by Mark Hoffman provides the reader with unique insight into the life of a civil war soldier, especially one who is in the background of the conflict. Hoffman states, "I have intentionally tried to let Kimball tell his own story, providing only introductory and contextual material in each chapter and limiting footnotes." (p3)  Hoffman has spent many years researching the civil war and has read many Civil War diaries and journals.  He "considers Kimball's to be among the most interesting and valuable..."(p1).

Hoffman starts his book with a short introduction, followed by Chapter 1, "Off to War".  This chapter's introduction provides a biographical sketch of William Horton Kimball.  Kimball's journal starts in September of 1861 when he decides to enlist and continues until 17 November 1864, when Kimball arrives home to Jackson, Michigan.

Other chapters detail the work that the First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics did in such places as Kentucky and Tennessee, building and repairing bridges and railroads in order to keep supply lines open as well as support troop movements. Each succeeding chapter is filled with Kimball's words describing his experiences through short journal entries, all of which are dated.

Additionally, Among the Enemy, includes maps and pictures which adds to this wonderful work about the civil war. Hoffman's book was well written and I appreciated being allowed to experience the Civil War through Kimball's eyes.

My second great grandfather, Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr. was always in my mind as I read Kimball's entries.  The August 18, 1862 entry mentions Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr. "We were mustered by order of the President. Capt Grant returned having gone after Glover, but finding him wounded left him. He was shot while carrying dispatches for some general." (p57)

A footnote was added at the bottom of the page, "Samuel S. Glover of Company H was shot in the thigh on July 13 near Fayetteville, Tennessee, while carrying dispatches to Buell's headquarters. He was discharged by the surgeon on account of the wounds, which still bothered him decades later." (p57)

My research of Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr. through his compiled military service record and pension record confirms what Kimball wrote. Samuel volunteered to carry dispatches to General Buell's headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama. He was attacked by guerrillas and shot in his right knee.  He clung to his horse until he met the 35 Indiana, from there the dispatches were sent to Huntsville.

I highly recommend Mark Hoffman's Among the Enemy book to anyone who has an interest in Civil War history.  Hoffman's introductions adds context to Kimball's journal entries and allows the reader to see the Civil War through the eyes of someone who was there, William Horton Kimball.  It is an experience you won't want to miss.

20 May 2015

Richard Fredericks is 90!

Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard!

My uncle, Richard Lewis Fredericks* turns 90 this month.  His family gave him a surprise birthday party on Saturday, 16 May 2015 at the Spirit of the Woods Conservation Club in Brethren, Michigan. My husband, Kirk, and I went and I am glad I was able to celebrate this wonderful milestone with him.  Here are a couple of pictures of the party and a few older ones of Richard's younger years.

 Mickey, Pam and Richard

Party Go-ers

Early picture of the Fredricks Family
Richard on left folding his hands.

Richard and Mickey Fredericks Wedding Day

Uncle Richard and Aunt Mickey at home in Brethren.

Fredrick's Brothers Standing L-R: Otto Robert, John, Harold, Norman, and Richard

Richard Fredericks, a big University of Michigan fan, and his sister, Jeannie-2013

*Note: Although the family name is Fredricks, Richard's name was spelled Fredericks on his birth certificate and he has kept that spelling.

18 May 2015

Michigan Genealogical Council Elects Board of Directors

I have been a delegate to the Michigan Genealogical Council (MGC) for the last year or so. Delegates serve as liaisons between the council and their local genealogical societies.  I have enjoyed being a delegate and when asked if I would consider serving in some capacity on the MGC board, I said yes!. I had been wanting to become more involved on the state level and guess what?  I did.

Last week elections for the Michigan Genealogical Council were held at the delegate meeting and I was elected as corresponding secretary. My official start date is in July. The board is comprised of five incumbents and four newly elected members.  I will be joining a great group of people and I am looking forward to working them.

Newly elected members are Vice President Kathryn Willson; Treasurer Jill O’Sullivan and Trustee Faye Ebach.  We will join current board members President Thomas Koselka; Recording Secretary/Delegate Sue Irvine; Recording Secretary/Board Marilyn Sayler; Trustee James Thornton and Trustee Jan Tripp for the next year.

The Michigan Genealogical Society was organized in 1972.  MGC membership is open to any genealogical or family history society, amateur or professional, with a primary interest in genealogy.  MCG serves the citizens of Michigan through coordinating genealogical activities of statewide interest; cooperating in the location, preservation, publication and deposit in suitable repositories, of Michigan records of value to genealogists; providing information to the genealogical societies membership regarding speakers, teachers, seminars and workshops and encouraging and/or working with other organizations or agencies involved in promoting improvements in genealogical facilities and holdings of Michigan archives, libraries, museums and record repositories.

I will continue serving Calhoun County Genealogical Society as President in addition to serving the state.  MGC has provided great service to the Michigan genealogical community and I look forward to helping continue that tradition.

Military Monday: Jack Tyson Describes Patrol on Leyte During WWII

It is so much easier to do research when it is in the town you live in.  Such was the case when I went to my local library, Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library in Battle Creek, Michigan to do newspaper research.  The Battle Creek Enquirer is digitized and available at the library.  I can access issues from 1846-1923 from my computer at home with my library card, but for 1924 to the present a visit to the library is needed.

The Battle Creek Enquirer published articles during World War II under "News of Our Men in the Services" section. It was here that I found numerous articles about my dad's first cousins Jack and James Tyson, the sons of Victor and Adeline(Glover) Tyson.

John 'Jack' Glover Tyson (8 July 1923-17 Sep 2010) lived in Battle Creek when he went to serve in the Army during World War II.  He was a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division, the Angels.  The 11th Airborne Division consisted of one parachute and two glider infantry regiments as well as supporting troops for the three regiments.

The 11th Airborne Division was transferred to the Pacific Theater in June of 1944.  Its first action was on the island of Leyte in the Philippines, which the below article is about. This division saw action with the invasion of Luzon and Manila, and conducted a raid on Los Banos internment camp in the Philippines.

I have left the article as it was written at the time in 1945, it is not politically correct by today's standards.

Describes Patrol on Leyte-Patrol activities in the jungle covered mountains of Leyte and a narrow escape from a Jap ambush were described by Corp. Jack Tyson, in a war department release. "Tyson, an 11th Airborne Division paratrooper, was part of a small patrol which, during the height of the Leyte campaign, was crossing a swift running mountain river. Suddenly a nip machine gun opened up on us from the tangled jungle on the opposite bank, Tyson said. Bullets were cracking all around us and splashing in the water, but the only thing we could do was bend low and keep on going. By a miracle, none of us was hit and when we reach dry land, we were able to outflank the position and destroy it. The mud though, was a worse enemy than the Japs. The tropical deluges, which were constant, turn the narrow trails into a thick gumbo and coated us to our waist with slime. It was like walking with sacks of cement tied to your feet." Corporal Tyson is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Victor Tyson of 1833 West Goguac, and his wife Rosalene lives at 23 Newark avenue. His brother James a signal mate, third class, in the Navy, was last known in action around Manila.

Source:  News of Our Men in the Services: Describes Patrol on Leyte,  Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan, United States, 13 February 1945, p14; column 2.

15 May 2015

Phillip Graf of Peru, Indiana Family Photo

The Philip and Elizabeth Graf Family
L- R Seated: Philip, Katharine, Charles, Elizabeth
L-R Standing: Henry 'George' and August

Philip Valentine Graf is my second great granduncle.  He is the brother of my second great grandfather, Johann Caspar Graf.

Philip Graf was born 2 January 1838 and baptized 8 January 1838 in Rockenhausen, Pfalz, Bavaria. He was one of seven children born to Johann Philip Graf and Sophia Kolter.  He arrived in New York City having traveled aboard the ship "Southhampton", in 1851.

Philip married Elizabeth in 1861, possibly in New Jersey.  They were the parents of four children: Charles, Katharine, Henry 'George', and August.  The Philip V. Graf family settled in Peru, Miami, Indiana.  Philip was a saloon keeper in Peru. He died on 23 August 1919 and is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Peru, Miami, Indiana.

13 May 2015

Where in the World is Daniel Fenn?

Where in the World is Daniel Fenn?

This question has been asked by me many times as I research Daniel Fenn.  My records of him start in 1808, at the age of 21, when he married Huldah Rowley.  I have no record of Daniel's first 21 years of life.  Where in the World are you, Daniel?

Daniel Fenn is my paternal, third great grandfather, of parents yet to be identified. I don't have a place of birth for him. I have done some research with census records, that I don't have, and this is what I found.

  • 1790-Daniel would have been about 3 years old. There are 33 Fenn's in this census.
  • 1800-Daniel would have been about 13 years old.  There are 14 Fenn's in this Census with a boy between the ages of 10-15.  12 are living in Connecticut and 2 in New York. Narrowing it down further is hard because I don't know if Daniel had any siblings.
  • 1810-Daniel would have been about 23, married to Huldah Rowley, age 21. Daniel and Huldah were married in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont in 1808.  I could not find Daniel in Shoreham census records during this time.  I found Huldah's father, Hopkins Rowley, with a male and female living with him that were Daniel and Huldah's age.  Could Daniel and Huldah be living with her father in 1810?

More research and information needs to be conducted to determine Daniel's residence during his early years and to identify his parents!

Page Id
about 1787

28 Feb 1808
Shoreham, Addison, Vermont, United States

Vermont Militia, War of 1812

Shoreham, Addison, Vermont, United States
Shoreham, Addison, Vermont, United States
Sylvan, Washtenaw, Michigan Territory

Church Membership
5 July 1833
First Baptist, Lima, Washtenaw, Michigan Territory

8 March 1836
Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan Territory

10 May 2015

Sunday's Obituary: Susanna Koenig Fredrich of Manistee Michigan

Susanna Koenig Fredrich, my second great grandmother, has been the source of a couple of "geneadances"!  No one in the family knew that she came to the United States and lived in Manistee, Michigan for many years.  The family believed that she had stayed in Germany.

I found Susanna's obituary on a research trip to Manistee, Michigan.  I visited the local library and looked up obituaries and found hers.  Although, the obituary is short there is enough information to know that this is the Susanna Fredrich I am researching.  There are a couple of mistakes in this obituary. One, Mrs. Radtke is a granddaughter.  Secondly, Oak Grove Cemetery, in Manistee, has no record of her burial there.

The people mentioned in the obituary are:  Mrs. August Guhse is Susanna's daughter, Ottillie.  Mrs. Engelhuber is her daughter, Amalia. Mrs. John Zobel is Susanna's daughter, Henriette.  Mrs. Radtke, is Susanna's granddaughter.  The one son would be my great grandfather, Johann August Fredrick.

The obituary and transcription are below.

Source: Manistee Daily News, Manistee, Michigan. 4 November 1906, microfilm owned by Manistee Public Library, Manistee, Michigan.

Mrs. Susanna Fredrich, a widow, died today at the home of her daughter, Mrs. August Guhse, 187 Lincoln street, at the age of 97 years and 10 months.  She leaves other daughters, Mrs. Engelhuber, Mrs. John Zobel, and Mrs. Radtke, and one son.  The funeral will be held at the Guhse home Wednesday at 2 p.m. with burial at Oak Grove.

08 May 2015

Ancestor Biography: Richard McGee of Collingwood, Ontario, Canada

Richard McGee's family were pioneers in Canada West (Ontario) Canada, which I thought would make him an easier person to research than others.  Alas, this is not true.  I have been writing ancestor biographies since I started blogging and have been writing them in the order they appear on my pedigree chart.  I did not write one ancestor biography in 2014 because Richard McGee was the next ancestor to be highlighted.  I didn't think I had enough information to write one on him, but have decided to write up what I know and see where the blanks in my research are.

Trying to nail down a birth year for Richard McGee has been a challenge.  Just about every record I have found for him has a different year of birth.  Since I have not found an exact birthplace I have been unable to find a birth record.  For the time being, based on death records only, I am placing his birth year about 1835, in Ireland. The 1901 Census of Canada gives a date of birth as 24 May 1850, but since I am pretty sure he didn't father a child at age of 12, this is incorrect. Richard's daughter, Catherine McGee Watt, my paternal great grandmother, was born 2 September 1862.  My thoughts on the changes of birth year have to do with marrying his second wife, Mary, who was 24 years his junior.

Source: 1871, Collingwood, Grey North, Ontario, Canada, district 37 Grey North, subdistrict Township of Collingwood, division 1, p77-78, Line 20 p77, Richard McGee ; digital images, Ancestry.com, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 December 2010); Roll C-9953.

The first Canadian record I have found for Richard McGee is the 1871 Census of Canada, age 28 and birth year 1843.  He is living in Collingwood, Grey North, Ontario, Canada with his wife, Sally J, age 26; Catherine, age 8; and Isabella, age 2.

Richard married Sarah Jackson about 1861-1862.  I base this date on the fact that Sarah is found living with her parents in the 1861 Census of Canada and their first born child, Catherine, was born in 1862.  A marriage record for Richard and Sarah has not been found and further research in Ontario, Canada will be needed to confirm their marriage.

Richard's information on successive census is uniform in the areas of Birthplace-Ireland and Occupation-Farmer.  Otherwise, nothing is the same from census year to census year.  Year of birth is recorded as 1824, 1841, 1843, and 1850.  Religion is recorded as Church of England, Methodist, and English.  Obviously, I have a lot of work to do with Richard McGee's research.

Richard and Sarah McGee were the parents of four children:

  • Catherine McGee (2 September 1862-22 January 1932). Catherine was born in Collingwood, Grey, Ontario, Canada.  She married David Watt on 16 May 1883 in St. Ignace, Mackinac, Michigan.  She died in Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, United States.
  • Isabella McGee (1 October 1868-14 September 1952).  Isabella McGee married Richard Simmons on 8 November 1896.  She died in St. Louis County, Minnesota, United States.
  • William John McGee (10 July 1871-).  William was born in Collingwood, Grey, Ontario, Canada.   He married Laura Kirby on 30 January 1900 in Thornbury, Grey, Ontario, Canada.  I haven't found a date or place of death, yet.
  • James McGee (25 February 1877-) This is the only information that I have for James McGee.
Richard McGee lost his wife, Sarah, on 11 May 1877, just two and a half months after the birth of their son, James.  Sarah died in Collingwood, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada and is buried in Thornbury-Clarksburg Union Cemetery, Collingwood Township, Grey, Ontario, Canada.  (Note: Collingwood has been a part of Grey and Simcoe counties.  I have tried to use the county it was in at the time of the record.)

Richard marries Mary May, prior to March of 1881, when their first daughter is born. Richard and Mary can be found in the 1881 Census of Canada.  Richard, age 40; Mary, age 22; Catherine, age 18; Isabella, age 13; William J, age 9 (all Richard and Sarah's children) and Margaret, age 1 month.  There is no James McGee living with Richard and Mary.  I wonder if James' birth was a difficult one and resulted in his death, and Sarah's shortly after.  

Richard and Mary May were the parents of  seven children:
  • Margaret 'Maggie' McGee (1881-)
  • Annie Eliza 'Mabel' McGee (1883-1969), married Ambrose Welson McArthur
  • Samuel Zachariah McGee (1885-1965)
  • Hibernia Sarah 'Bernice' McGee (1888-), married William Herbert Heighes
  • Laura Myrtle McGee (1889-1944), married Arthur Wilfred Reid
  • Edna May McGee (1893-1932), married James Francis Charles 'Frank' Boell
  • William McGee (1899-), married Mary Theakston
All seven children are living with Richard, age 50, and Mary, age 42, in the 1901 Census of Canada.
Source: 1901, Ontario, district District Number 64 Grey East, subdistrict Collingwood, division A-7, p 4, Family Number 33, Richard McGee ; digital images, ancestry.com, ancestry.com (: accessed 5 December 2010); Library and Archives Canada. Census of Canada, 1901. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2004. . Series RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels: T-6428 to T-6556.

Source: "Ontario, Canada Deaths, 1869-1934," digital image, ancestry.com (http://search.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=8946&offerid=0%3a7858%3a0 : accessed 13 May 2009), Entry for Richard McGee; Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1934. MS 935, 496 reels. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Ontario Overseas Deaths. MS 944, 11 reels. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Archiv.

Richard McGee died 20 July 1905 in Collingwood, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada at the age of 70. He died of Chronic Brights Disease, which is a disease of the kidneys. Richard McGee is buried in Thornsbury-Clarksburg Cemetery in Thornbury, Grey, Ontario, Canada.  His gravestone can be found at Find a Grave.  He is buried with his wife, Mary, and next to his wife, Sarah.

Richard McGee's biography has been filled with information on his family and census records.  There is so much more to know about Richard.  I believe a trip to the Collingwood area in Ontario is going to be needed to know more about Richard and his life. Further research is needed in the areas of land records, immigration, and church records.

06 May 2015

The Death of Miss Addie Dyer Plays Out in the Newspaper

Newspaper articles provide some of the richest information when it pertains to our ancestors.  This was certainly true when I was researching Adeline Lavina Dyer. Adeline, who never married, was the daughter of William B. Dyer and Susanna 'Anna' Wootten.  She was the niece of my second great grandmother, Adeline L. Dyer, who married Samuel Stillman Glover, Jr.  Was she named after her aunt, or was there another Adeline, in the family, that I have yet to discover?

Unfortunately, the articles I found were an accounting of events leading up to her death.  The first article found in the 7 January 1903 Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan was about a sojourn to Colorado for health reasons and its outcome: 

The friends of Miss Addie Dyer will be sorry to learn that her sojourn at Arvado, Col., is not proving a curative measure for her ailment, and that she will probably return home in a month's time.

Next, the 18 March 1903 article was informing readers of Addie's return to Adrian, Michigan:

Miss Alice Dyer and sister, Miss Addie Dyer, are expected to arrive in the morning. Miss Addie, it will be remembered, went to stay the ravages of tuberculosis, but the trip did not have the desired effect. She is now unable to walk. 

The next three articles dated the 9th, 11th and 15th of May, 1903 are about Adeline's death.  I imagine those who read of Adeline's illness started out with hope that her illness could be helped, but within four months they are reading of her death.

The death of Miss Addie Dyer, occurred this afternoon at 1:30 o'clock at the home of her father W.B. Dyer, in this city.  Miss Dyer had been a sufferer for some time past, with consumption and had but recently returned from Colorado, where she went with her sister in hopes of recovery.  Funeral notice will appear later. (9 May 1903)

The funeral services of Miss Addie Dyer will be conducted at her late home at 2 o'clock standard time Tuesday.  Miss Dyer will be greatly missed.  She was superintendent of the primary department of the Bible school until failing health required her to give up this work which she did so faithfully and zealously.  She was greatly beloved by those under her care. (11 May 1903)
On Saturday, May 9, occurred the death of Adeline, daughter of William B. Dyer and Susanna Dyer, deceased. Death was due to tuberculosis, from which she had been suffering the past year. The burial took place from the home Tuesday, May 13, with interment at Oakwood. Reverent C. W. Stephenson officiated.
Adeline Lavina Dyer was born in Adrian, December 15, 1878. She was a graduate of Adrian high school, having been a member of the graduating class of 1899. Teaching was her chosen profession, and she was engaged in that work until March 1902, when failing health forced her to resign her position. During the past year she has been sojourning in Arvada, Denver, and Montclair, Colorado hoping that the climate of that state might benefit her. A marked improvement was noted in her condition at first but during the latter part of the winter she failed so rapidly that her return to Michigan in March was necessary. The decline since the arrival home has been scarcely perceptible to her hopeful friends, and the news of her death comes as a shock to all.
Deceased was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church of this city and long and active worker in the Bible school of that church, in the primary department of which he acted as superintendent until ill health made her resignation obligatatory.
Together with her father, William B. Dyer, two sisters, Jesse Nina and Alice M. Dyer, survive her, with one brother, Edward L Dyer, of Walkerville, Ontario. Her loss will be keenly felt not only in this thrice bereaved home, but in this city and every other community where her exalted Christian life has exerted its influence.  (15 May 1903)

Adeline was only twenty-five years young when she died from tuberculosis.  The above articles provide a story of a young woman who was educated having graduated from Adrian High School in 1899.  She was a teacher, which I had written about here, until illness forced her to resign in March, 1902.  Following her resignation she spent the next year looking for relief from her illness.  Unfortunately, she didn't find one and died fourteen months after resigning her teaching position.

Although these articles have a sad ending, they provide details of her life.  Her obituary states, "thrice bereaved home".  Adeline's illness and death followed her brother's death, in December of 1901 and her mother's death in March of 1902. The Dyer family suffered three deaths of family members in a short seventeen month period.

Don't over look newspapers to fill in the details of an ancestor's life.  They are rich in information.

Source: All quoted articles are from

  • Adrian Daily Telegram, Adrian, Michigan (dates cited with article transcription), online images, Genealogy Bank (www.genealogybank.com : accessed 10 March 2015), Historical Newspapers.

04 May 2015

Military Monday: World War I Draft Registration for Warren Fenn

I don't have very many ancestors to research in my home county of Calhoun, in Michigan, but Warren Fenn is one.

Warren Fenn is the grandson of my second great grandparents, Daniel C. Fenn and Elizabeth Poor Fenn.  He was living in Ceresco, Calhoun, Michigan when he registered for the World War I draft. His draft registration record is below:

Source:  "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," [database on-line], Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 June 2014), entry for Warren Orlo Fenn; 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.

01 May 2015

Tri-River (MI) Historical Museum Network Offers Free Admission

Michigan has a lot of historical museums in its state, but none are better than those of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.  The best news is that the first weekend in May, every year, they are open and free.  "Spring Into The Past" featuring "America's Pasttimes" will be held Saturday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, from 11 AM to 5 PM.

26 museums, historical villages and historical societies located along the Flat, Grand and Thornapple Rivers in Southwest Michigan host this annual open house when the museums are all open on the same days and hours for free.  Many small town museums and societies, located in Barry, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties, are part of the Tri-River Historical Museum Network. They are: 

  1. Alton Historic Church Museum – in old church, north of Lowell 
  2. Ada’s Averill Historical Museum – house and barn 
  3. Belding Museum & “The Bel” – in Belrockton Silk Mill Dormitory 
  4. Boston/Saranac Historical Society – a depot museum in Saranac 
  5. Bowne Township – museum, carriage house, school – near Alto 
  6. Cascade Historical Museum – in old township hall 
  7. Cedar Springs Museum – in Morley Park, local artifacts and research 
  8. Charlton Park Historical Village – a 300 acre complex with museum, reconstructed village and recreation area near Hastings 
  9. Clarksville/Campbell Historical Society – has no museum as yet 
  10. Bolthouse Agriculture Building, Farmall Acres Farm Museum - Clarksville 
  11. Fallasburg Historical Village – near covered bridge, north of Lowell 
  12. Fighting Falcon Military Museum – Restored CG 4-A glider, and military exhibits honoring local veterans from Greenville 
  13. Flat River Historical Museum – with Danish charm - in Greenville
  14. Freeport Historical Society – located in the old Masonic Temple 
  15. Grattan Township Historical Society – in a restored 1853 structure west of Belding 
  16. Ionia’s Blanchard House and Museum – in a stately Victorian Mansion  
  17. Lake Odessa Historical Society Depot Museum – displays, archives 
  18. Lowell Area Historical Museum – in old home with Victorian flair 
  19. Lyons/Muir Historical Museum in Lyons – newly redone in old store 
  20. Oakfield Pioneer Heritage Museum in Podunk – west of Greenville 
  21. Old Fence Rider Historical Center in Edmore – barbed wire and more! 
  22. Pine Forest Historical Museum – variety in an 1881 Edmore church 
  23. Plainfield Charter Township—Hyser Rivers Museum – northside Grand Rapids 
  24. Portland Area Historical Society — no museum but memorabilia is housed at the Portland Area Library 
  25. Rockford Area Museum — exhibits early life in Rockford 
  26. Welch Historical Museum – in former hardware store in Sunfield 
Visitors will find old churches, historical homes and barns, one room schoolhouses, railroad depots, restored rural villages, and more during their travels.  All of these unique museums are maintained and preserved by local historical societies.

A full .pdf booklet with information on each site and a map can be found here.  This would be a great activity for the whole family.  Gas up your car, grab grandma and grandpa or the grandchildren, and discover the rich history that Pure Michigan offers.