30 April 2016

Battle Creek's Log Schoolhouse: Part II

Michigan Pioneer Collection at Helen Warner Branch 
of Willard Library, Battle Creek, Michigan

My March Last Day Local Post: 1834 Log Schoolhouse, Battle Creek received a comment from Linda: "Are there any records of the students that attended this school?"

I didn't have the answer to Linda's question, but decided I should find more information about the school and any records that might have survived.  I checked with Local History Librarian at the Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library in Battle Creek, George Livingston.  George replied, 

"Your best bet for historical information on the old log schoolhouse is in the tens of thousands of pages and dozens of volumes of the "Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections." A complete set with index is located at the Helen Warner Branch of Willard Library.  The records tend to be anecdotal but illuminating nonetheless. Worldcat.org would let you know what library has the collection close to you. Check archive.org for an online copy as well.  The index can be found here: 

This is the number one reason researchers should get to know the local history experts in the area. George Livingston is a wealth of information for researchers in Battle Creek.  

George sent a snippet from this collection that relates to the schoolhouse:

Source: Michigan Pioneer Collection, Volume 5; page 266

There are nine students that were identified: Hannah and Lucinda Angell, Eliza and Ellen M. Hall, Mary McCamly, William Kirk, Hastings Hall, Albert and Ezra Convis.  This may not be the type of information Linda was looking for, but I found it interesting.  So far, I have not found any other records for this school.

Here are a few tips for using the Michigan Historical Collection volumes, also known as Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collection, online.
  1. Go to  https://archive.org/stream/michiganindex1to15michuoft#page/228/mode/2up  for the index.  Enter your search term in the box at the top right. It will take you to the page of the index for the term you searched.
  2. Make note of the roman numeral, it is the volume you need, and the page number.
  3. Go to the following websites for access to the volumes:
    1. Volumes 1-15: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95889&p=628952
    2. Volumes 16-30: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95889&p=628955
    3. Volumes 31-40: http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=95889&p=628956
  4. There are a few options for viewing the volume.  Google books, University of Michigan, and Internet Archive are a few of the options.  I use Internet Archive.  The volumes are available at Hathi Trust, too.
  5. If using Internet Archive, use the full screen icon, four arrows, to the right for a larger view.
  6. If using Internet Archive, use the slider at the bottom of the page to find the page number you are looking for.
  7. Double check the page number of the book as I found a few that were off.  Example: the slider said page 276, but the page was 274.  You can use the arrows on the bottom right to go forward or back in the book.
The Michigan Historical Collection contains 40 Volumes of Pure Michigan Gold! The first seven volumes have pioneer reminiscences, biographical sketches, memorials and more.  The volumes are rich in history and loaded with people's names. 

To give you an idea of the time frame of these volumes, here is the publication information:

  • 1876-1886 (Volumes 1- 9): Pioneer Collections. Lansing : Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan.
  • 1886-1912 (Volumes 10-38): Historical Collections. Lansing : Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society.
  • 1915-1929 (Volumes 39-40): Michigan Historical CollectionsLansing : MichiganHistorical Commission.
If you want to know more about early Michigan Pioneers and History, or perhaps find a Pioneer ancestor, check this resource out.

28 April 2016

A Stitch in Time Quilt Trail

One of 43 Barn Quilt Squares Available on "A Stitch in Time" Quilt Trail
Ada, Michigan

A quilt is a treasured family heirloom, one that many people would love to possess. They are lovingly quilted by hand and hung in our home or laid over a bed.  They are beautiful works of art.

Another beautiful work of art is a barn quilt.  Barn quilts are made of wood, not fabric.  Many resemble fabric and those are some of the loveliest.  A barn quilt is a large piece of wood that is painted to look like a quilt block.

Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st as part of their "Spring Into the Past" museum tour, the Tri-River Historical Museum Network will be kicking off a new quilt trail: "A Stitch in Time" Quilt Trail.

43 barns, building and posts are adorned with barn quilt squares in a four county area of western Michigan.  Each barn quilt is a unique piece of public art.  They feature sunflowers, spinning spools, stars, flowers, leaves, geometric shapes, animals and more.

The weather in Michigan is improving and now is the time to take a road trip to see these unique quilt squares.  Just remember they are on private property and you need to be courteous to the owners and view them from the street or road.

26 April 2016

Natalie Glover Kisor in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Source:  Natalie C. Kisor gravestone photographed by Brenda Leyndyke

Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti, Michigan is a wealth of information for Glover researchers.  I was amazed at the number of gravestones I found in one area of the cemetery that had ties to the Glover family.

A wonderful map is available here.  The Glover and related family member plots can be found in Block 100, Lots 18, 19, 20, 21.  They are at the top left along Glacier Way.  

Natalie C Kisor, nee Glover, was the daughter of Hal Willis Glover and his wife, Annie Overton Crary.  She was born in 1901 and died 18 March 1976.  She married Lt. Col. Lorenz Kisor on 28 December 1929.  She is buried in Highland Cemetery, Block 100, Lot 20, Number 1.

Natalie Glover Kisor was active in Ypsilanti Civic Organizations.  She was a charter member of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.

22 April 2016

The Great Big New England Genealogy Tour: A Visit to Indiana

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Why would one visit Indiana if they are preparing to go to New England to conduct research? Why wouldn't one wait until she got there to do New England research?  The answer is because the Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society(KVGS) was taking a bus trip to the Allen County Public Library's (ACPL) Genealogy Center.  KVGS invited my local genealogical society, Calhoun County Genealogical Society and even offered a pick up in Marshall, Michigan.

I thought this would be a wonderful way to go to the genealogy center and get a little research done that would save me time when I get to New England.  I couldn't see using time at libraries in New England if I could conduct the research closer to home.  I figured it would give me time to research items that I don't have access to here.

So, I went and I had a great time.  I had a list of resources (seven pages) that I had prepared by using the Genealogy Center's website.  One of the problems I have is when I go to ACPL I feel I need to take advantage of their resources and I research all over the place.  This time I narrowed my research down to two research questions and using the Fold 3 database at the library:

  1. Who were the parents of Daniel Fenn, that was born circa 1789, possibly in Vermont and married Huldah Rowley 28 Feb 1808 in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont?
  2. What is the maiden name of Lucy Powers Hyde, who married William Powers? 
  3. Check Fold 3 for the following records:
    1. Hopkins Rowley-American Revolution
    2. Jonathan Rowley-American Revolution
    3. Daniel Fenn-War of 1812
    4. William Powers-War of 1812
I thought if I just concentrated on these three things I would be focused on my research. Hah! Have you ever been to Allen County's Genealogy Center?  It is hard to stay focused.  First, you find what you thought you wanted on the shelf and next to it are three more books that look interesting.  Next, you find what you want and it takes you in another direction than you thought you would be going. These aren't bad things, they are just bright shiny objects that distract me.

I did pretty good, I think.  The library has carts that patrons can use to bring multiple books back to the table to look through.  I had a lead that the Fenn family may have come from the Litchfield area of Connecticut and decided to pursue that lead, so the morning was spent with mostly Connecticut records.  I had two and a half shelves of the cart full.  I looked at early census records and early settlers of CT. I spent a lot of time with the Master Index to Early Connecticut marriages.  There are seven volumes of marriages.  The problem I have is just looking at one or two surnames.  I figure if I have the book in my hands I might as well check other surnames.  I had nine surnames in Connecticut to look for and found eight of the nine.

I decided I better stick with the Fenn surname and looked at early Connecticut probate records next. Of course, I found my Rowley family and had to make copies of that.  The History of Litchfield, Connecticut looked interesting, but I decided to see if that was available online, which it is, so I just made copies of the Fenn names and pages in the index.

Next, I wandered into church records.  This was a blind search on my part as I wasn't sure which church they belonged to at the time, but the records were available and I checked.  It was a negative search, but at least I know to keep looking.

I used my Flip Pal scanner and scanned lots of pages to look at and analyze when I got home.  I had gone through my cart and decided to load up a second time.  This time I wanted to look at two books that would help me once I got to the New England Historic Genealogical Society library: 1) Manuscripts at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and 2) Guides to Diaries in the R. Stanton Avery Collection, on to the cart they went.  Next, I decided to spend some time with Vermont records.  Huldah Rowley's father, Hopkins Rowley, was a member of Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys, and I thought I would use a few resources to look into that further.  Other Vermont records I checked were rosters of soldiers in the war of 1812 for Vermont, Migrations from Vermont, Vermont families in 1791, and probate extracts.  I found Daniel Fenn in a few of these, but nothing that furthered my research into his parentage.

It was time for lunch!  I was back at it after lunch.  I decided to shift focus and use the Fold 3 database that is available at the library.  I had taken my own computer and could hook into their databases on it. I found information on all four people I was looking for.  I can't wait until the Preserve the Pension project uploads the "P" pension files, as William Powers received a pension.

I ended the day by looking at periodicals.  I had used PERSI before my visit to the library and had a few articles I wanted to find.  The ones I used were Connecticut Nutmeggar, Colonial Genealogist, Americana, and Connecticut Ancestry.  I finished a half hour before the bus was due to pick us up and so I went outside and got some fresh air and waited for the bus.

Two carts full of resources, not a bad day.  I did miss my research assistant, Kirk, when he goes he gets the materials and I can research.  I had more positive searches than negative ones and I think narrowing my research down helped me focus better than I have in the past. I used the report feature in Roots Magic, which helped as well.

"Who Was There" Roots Magic Report for Shoreham

One of the reports I ran before I went to ACPL was the "Who Was There" report in my Roots Magic software program.  The "Who Was There" report is wonderful.  It lets you create a list of people who were in a certain place at a certain time.  It is found under reports, either all reports or lists. A pop up menu lets you fill in the search parameters that you are looking for.  The one above I just put Shoreham in the space for "Find people who may have lived in this place" I used a date range of 1600-2016 for the "On this date (or during this time period)".  You can filter by people to include and minimum and maximum age.  The report above is an example of what is generated.

I made reports by state, mainly New England, for my visit to ACPL:  Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.  I figured the reports would come in handy when I go to New England. 

I am still processing the information that I found at ACPL.  Although I wasn't able to answer my two research questions, I found information that helped.  I think the clue to Daniel Fenn's parents may lie in Connecticut and Vermont records.

I am looking forward to my New England research trip and the information I found at ACPL will help me once I get to New England.  ACPL is a wonderful research repository and if you ever have a change to go there, you should.  Just don't blame me when you get sidetracked by all the information that is available there.

20 April 2016

Captain Merle M. Glover, My Granduncle, Visits Battle Creek

Source: News of our Men in the Services, "Captain Here From Washington", Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan, United States, 22 August 1944, page 12; column 3 and 4.

During World War II, the Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, Michigan ran a "News of our Men in the Services" series.  It was here that I found news about my Granduncle, Merle McKinley Glover, the son of Frank H. Glover and Hattie Fenn Glover.

Merle was in World War I and served during World War II, also.  The above article is about his visit to his sister, Adeline Glover Tyson, who lived in Battle Creek at the time.

Transcription:Captain Here from WashingtonCapt. Merle M Glover, an officer in the Army since the First World war, has been visiting his sister Mrs. Victor Tyson of 1833 West Goguac for the last 12 days, due to the recent illness and death of her husband.  Mrs. Tyson has left for Washington where she will visit Captain and Mrs. Glover for a few days. Captain Glover, whose home is in Munising, is the officer in the chief signal office in Washington.

I keep saying I don't have any ancestors in Battle Creek and then I find an article like this.  I guess I need to quit saying this.  The above article has provided information that will help me research Merle's military history further.

18 April 2016

Where in the World is Eleanor Begole Poor?

Where in the World is Eleanor Begole Poor?

24 Nov 1804
Possibly Maryland, United States

Dansville, Steuben, New York, United States

Dansville, Steuben, New York, United States

Washtenaw County, Michigan, United States

9 May 1848
Possibly Washtenaw County, Michigan, United States

My Where in the World series is getting to the point where it is harder to source the census records. Enumeration Districts started with the 1880 United States Federal Census.  Some of the early census records don't even have a page number.

Eleanor Begole Poor is my third, great grandmother.  She was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Begole and Anna Matelda Nancy Bowles.  Anna Matelda Nancy Bowles Begole records have her name as Ann and as Nancy.  It makes for interesting research.

I have a Washington county, Maryland marriage record for Thomas Begole and Nancy Bowles.  They were married 21 Nov 1803.  Eleanor was born in 1804 and the first mention of Thomas Begole in Steuben county, New York was in 1814.  He was listed as an early settler of Wayland, Steuben, New York.  

Eleanor Begole married Samuel B. Poor around 1822, probably in Steuben County, New York.

I have a lot of possibles and probables in my research of Eleanor.  Eleanor's birthdate was derived from a date calculator using date of death and age of 43y 5m 15d at death.  I have had to use other records to determine the facts for Eleanor.  No birth certificates or death certificates to source.

Eleanor died young, at the age of 43, and is buried in Vermont Cemetery, Washtenaw county, Michigan.

One of the first place family historians search for their ancestors is in the United States Census records.  I am compiling my census information into a table format. Each month I share a Where in the World post.  Compiling my information this way shows me where I have gaps in my research.

14 April 2016

John Watt Marries Anna Smith in 1888

Source: "Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3NJ-ZPJ : accessed 3 April 2016), John Watt and Anna Smith, 14 Feb 1888; citing Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, item 2 p 420 rn 37, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,483.

Family Search has a record group of Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925 that has been a wonderful resource for my Michigan ancestors.  My latest find is the marriage of my great grand uncle, John Watt and his wife, Annie Smith.

John Watt, the son of John Watt and Jane Wilson, married Anna Smith, the daughter of Sebastian Smith on 14th of February, 1888.  They were married in Marquette, Michigan.  John Watt was born in Scotland and Anna Smith was born in Michigan.  John's occupation was listed as Engineer.

The witnesses were Thomas Lumpton and B?lla McGee.  John's brother, David, married a Katherine McGee, who had a sister, Isabella.  I wonder if that is her as a witness?

If you are looking for Michigan marriage records be sure to look at this resource.  

12 April 2016

Lt. Col. Lorenz Kisor of Ypsilanti, Michigan Burial

Photograph taken by author

My husband and I traveled to Ypsilanti, Michigan and visited Highland Cemetery, 943 N River Street, Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I was looking for my Glover family who is buried there. The plot next to the Glover plot is the Blodget plot and in the margin of the two plots I found Lorenz Kisor. Lorenz Kisor married Natalie Glover, the daughter of Hal Willis Glover and Annie Overton Crary, 28 December 1929 in Ypsilanti.

Lorenz Kisor has two tombstones; one regular one and one military.  Lorenz Kisor retired as a Lt. Colonel in the United States Army and served during World War I and II.  His military stone states his birth date as 18 January 1898 and his death as 7 October 1975.

The card below was obtained from the Highland Cemetery office, which by the way, has an incredible staff.  Tina helped me and made copies of the burial cards.  Lorenz Kisor and his wife, Natalie, are buried near her parents, Hal and Annie Glover.  The owner of the plot, Amos C. Blodget would be Natalie Glover Kisor's great uncle.

Source: Highland Cemetery (943 N. River Street, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States) to Brenda Leyndyke, photocopies of sexton record cards, June 2014, Lorenz Kisor Headstone in Lot 20, Block 100.

If you haven't stopped at the cemetery office when you are looking for ancestor's gravesite, you must. The records I received from the office were very helpful, especially when some of the headstones were unreadable.

10 April 2016

David Watt of Marquette, Michigan Obituary

Source:  The Mining Journal, (Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, USA), 22 March 1945, p2; column 3, microfilm; J.M. Longyear Research Library, Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, USA.

This is the obituary for my great grandfather, David Watt, who died 21 March 1945 in Marquette, Michigan.  He lived in Marquette Michigan 63 of his 86 years of life.

The detail in his obituary is wonderful.  It tells me:
  • where and when in Scotland he was born.  
  • where he was employed and for how long
  • what church he went to 
  • what family members are still living and their relationship to him
  • and where he was buried.
I love when I find resources that allows me to research further and this one was one of the best I found.


David Watt, 86, veteran locomotive engineer for the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic railway, died at 4:45 Wednesday afternoon in the home of his son, Burt L. Watt, 137 West Michigan street, after a month's illness.

He was born in Methil, Scotland Sept 25, 1858 and had lived in Marquette 63 years. He was employed by the South Shore railway company 50 years, retiring in 1932 at the age of 74.  He was a member of the First Presbyterian church congregation and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Mr. Watt leaves three daughters Mrs. Harry Glover, Detroit; Mrs. Henry Bittner, Marquette, and Mrs. Ray Keefe, San Diego, Calif. and two sons, Burt L. Watt, Marquette and John R. Watt, Tacoma, Wash.  There are 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.  He also leaves a brother, William Watt Marquette and two sisters Mrs. William Gibson and Mrs. Charlie Scarborough, Methil, Scotland.

Services will be held Friday afternoon in the Swanson funeral home and burial will be made in the family lot in Park Cemetery.

08 April 2016

German Potato Salad Recipe

My mom made the best German Potato Salad.  She got the recipe below from a friend when we lived in Harbor Beach, Michigan.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

German Potato Salad
from Audrey

Cook 12 potatoes with jackets on.  When cool, peel and slice.

Chop 1 onion and fry with six slices of cut up bacon.

4T. sugar
4T. flour
2T. salt
4T. vinegar
1 and 1/2 cup boiling water
1T. oleo or bacon grease
Blend dry ingredients and make paste by adding vinegar.  Add this to the boiling water and oleo/bacon grease.

Cook until smooth.  Combine potatoes and gravy.  Heat only until potatoes are warm.  Sprinkle top with parsley and paprika.

My memory of my mother's bacon grease container.

My thoughts:  Who remembers having a jar of bacon grease in the refrigerator?  I do.  My mother had one, it was a brown ceramic crock with a metal snap lid.  It was recycled and it originally came with cheese spread.  I had a bacon grease container when we were first married, but I kept mine in a jar.

I rarely cook bacon now, and do not keep the grease.  For this recipe you would use the grease from the fried bacon.  Oleo is oleo-margarine or margarine as we know it today. I think using bacon grease adds to the flavor of the dish.

You may think 2T. is a lot of salt and it is, but remember you have 12 potatoes and they need salt.

I remember my mom making German potato salad at New Year's Eve and in the fall. I was lucky enough to be able to take leftover German potato salad back to college with me my sophomore year, after Christmas break. I think it was gone the first night I got back to college, it was that good.

06 April 2016

Tri-River Historical Museum's "Spring Into the Past" Tour

The five counties bordered in red make up the counties in the Tri-River Historical Museum Network.

Where can one visit twenty six museums or historical societies all in one weekend? In Barry, Eaton, Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties, Michigan, that's where!

Every year, the Tri-River Historical Museum Network has a "Spring Into the Past" tour.  It is held the first weekend in May.  The 2016 dates are Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. This annual event showcases the wonderful museums and societies that are in their network.

The Tri-River Historical Museum Network museums and societies are located along the Flat, Grand, and Thornapple River areas of Western Michigan.  The architecture of the various building would be worth the trip alone, but coupled with historical information and displays and it is a Win! Win! The museums and societies are housed in churches, houses and barns, depots, dormitories, schools, town and township halls, parks, masonic temples, Victorian mansions, old stores and more.

The 2016 theme, "Quilts-A Stitch in Time", will have some museums displaying quilts.  In addition, the Tri-River Historical Museum Network will be kicking off a Tri-River Quilt Trail.  The trail will showcase 43 quilt squares that are mounted on barns, buildings, or posts in the area.  A brochure of the quilt locations will be available in the member museums tour weekend.

The participating museums and societies are:

1. Alton Historic Church Museum – in old church, north of Lowell
2. Ada’s Averill Historical Museum – house and barn
3. Barry County Historical Society-in the Middleville Depot
4. Belding Museum & “The Bel” – in Belrockton Silk Mill Dormitory
5. Boston/Saranac Historical Society – a depot museum in Saranac
6. Bowne Township – museum, carriage house, school – near Alto
7. Byron Center Historical Society and Musuem-in the former town hall
8. Cascade Historical Museum – in old township hall
9. Cedar Springs Museum – in Morley Park, local artifacts and research
10. Charlton Park Historical Village – a 300 acre complex with museum, reconstructed village and   recreation area near Hastings
11. Clarksville/Campbell Historical Society – has no museum as yet
12. Fallasburg Historical Village – near covered bridge, north of Lowell
13. Fighting Falcon Military Museum – Restored CG 4-A glider, and military exhibits honoring local veterans from Greenville
14. Flat River Historical Museum – with Danish charm - in Greenville
15. Freeport Historical Society – located in the old Masonic Temple
16. Grattan Township Historical Society – in a restored 1853 structure west of Belding
17. Ionia’s Blanchard House and Museum – in a stately Victorian Mansion
18. Lake Odessa Historical Society Depot Museum – displays, archives
19. Lowell Area Historical Museum – in old home with Victorian flair
20. Lyons/Muir Historical Museum in Lyons – newly redone in old store
21. Oakfield Museum in Podunk – west of Greenville
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

I plan on going, I hope to see you there. There is a lot of history in Pure Michigan and Tri-River Historical Museum network is helping to bring it to you.

04 April 2016

Arthur Roy Kellan's World War I Draft Registration Card

Source: "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," [database on-line], Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2014), entry for Arthur Roy Kellan; United States, Selective Service System. Registration State: Michigan; Registration County: Wayne; Roll: 2024110; Draft Board: 9 World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. 

World War I draft registration cards are a wonderful family history resource because of the type of information that is recorded on them.  Researchers can find place of residence, birth date, occupation, a signature, physical description and more on these little cards. 

The card above is for Arthur Roy Kellan, who married Jean Ethel Watt, my grand aunt.  He was know by my father as Uncle Art.  My father has many fond memories of his Uncle Art.  Uncle Art took my father to his first Detroit Tigers game.  

Arthur Roy Kellan married Jean Ethel Watt on 12 October 1910, Jean died, in 1914, before this card was completed.  That is the reason that Kellan used his sister, Leslie Clark, as nearest relative. She was living in Portland, Oregon at the time.

Arthur Roy Kellan was born 15 September 1881.  He was 36 years old when he completed this card. He lived at 177 Trumbull in Detroit, Michigan, near Detroit Public Library. Today, it is an area with a lot of empty lots.

Attributed to Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36194617

Other information of family history interest includes he was a native born, white male.  He was employed as a clerk for American Railway Express at 18th and Newark, in Detroit.  American Railway Express was across from the Michigan Central Railway Station.  American Railway Express was established by the federal government and provided rail transportation of parcels, much like UPS does today using roads.

Arthur Kellan was medium height and medium build.  He had blue eyes and brown hair.  One distinguishing feature of him was that he had a goiter.

Draft registration cards provide a lot of information that is sought by family history researchers.