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You Tube for Genealogy

30 November 2021

 


Do you use YouTube for your genealogy research? I have watched videos from genealogists Lisa Louise Cooke or Crista Cowan but now I am using it for my personal research. I'm not looking for people, but for places. I was able to tour the town of Methil, Fife, Scotland, the birthplace of my second great grandfather, David Watt, via YouTube.
If you have Calhoun county, Michigan ancestors you will want to check out the videos from Michael Delaware on YouTube. A lot of his videos are of places in Battle Creek but he has some from other areas of Southwest Michigan.



Michael Delaware's videos are well done. He explores the past, and in a few cases the present, with topics that are of interest to genealogists and history buffs. The YouTube videos covers topics such as cemeteries, defunct villages, historic people, historic places, Sojourner Truth, Quaker Pioneers and more. 

So often as researchers we get caught up with facts and forget to learn about the places our ancestors lived. Using YouTube to search the areas your ancestors lived and worked will let you feel as if you are there.


Glovers in Phelps and Oaks Corners, New York

26 November 2021

I am embarrassed to say this, but Kirk and I went on a Great Big New England Genealogy Tour in the Fall of 2016, and I have written less than a dozen blog posts about it. We spent twenty-six glorious days visiting the states of New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.


OAKS CORNERS
SETTLED 1790
BY JONATHAN OAKS
FIRST GROUP SETTLEMENT 
IN TOWN OF PHELPS


One of our first stops was Phelps and Oaks Corners, New York. Both are located in Ontario county, New York and not too far from where we spent a couple of nights, Geneva. 



My fourth great grandparents, Alexander Glover and Sarah Salisbury Glover, are found in Phelps in the early 1800's. Alexander is found in land records in Ontario county in 1803 and on a jury list in 1808. Sarah is the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Beal) Salisbury, my fifth great grandparents. All four, Alexander, Sarah, William, and Elizabeth are buried in Oaks Corner.



Alexander and Sarah Salisbury stones

Alexander died Jan 27 1826
Sarah died Feb 28 1827


We visited Joslyn Cemetery in Phelps, New York and found their headstones. A complete list of burials can be found here. Unfortunately, many stones were damaged. I don't know if this was due to age or vandalism. 


Salisbury Stone

William-born Sep 29 1731-died Jan 22 1821 Phelps-ae 90 yrs
Betsey Beal, his wife-died 1865 Phelps


A six month old son of William and Betsey is listed as being interred here. I didn't see the headstone so maybe he is buried with his parents.



Oaks Corners 
Prebysterian Church
Established 1804


A cousin, Charley aka Apple, did an outstanding job of transcribing records from the Presbysterian Church in Oaks Corners. They can be found on her blog, Apple's Tree.


There is something tranquil about walking in the footsteps of one's ancestors. The first stop of many on our Great Big New England Genealogy Tour was a good one.

Historic Kitchen Tools

24 November 2021





Those of us in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov 25th. Are you the one hosting family and friends this year? I have hosted many Thanksgiving Dinners over the years with the largest one being for seventeen people. Today's cooks have it much easier than their ancestors with all the modern conveniences like an oven and stove top, electric roaster, electric beaters, refrigerators, indoor water supply, electric knives, and more. 


I thought it would be fun to look back at some kitchen utensils from long ago and be thankful I have the utensils I have in my kitchen. All images were in the public domain or found on Wikipedia Commons. (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)


Butter Mold


Today, I can go to Amazon or my local Target store and find colorful, silicone butter molds. Easier yet is to find molded butter in your grocery store. That wasn't the case many years ago. Butter makers had to carve their own molds and people could purchase butter from the farmer. Butter molds came in many designs and I imagine the design was specific to a farmer. For more history of butter molds including how to make your own butter, check out the Museum at Michigan State University.


Potato Masher


Imagine mashing five pounds of potatoes with this wooden masher. I bet your arm and hand muscles get a work out. I have my mother's 1950's red handled, potato masher, but I use it on my cookbook shelf as decor. I have personally mashed potatoes with a modern potato masher, but I prefer to use an electric mixer now, especially since I have so much hand arthritis. No matter what method you use to mash potatoes I am sure they are on many of your Thanksgiving menu's.




Food Chopper

Imagine chopping your onions and celery for dressing for Thanksgiving dinner with this handy tool. No, thank you! I will use my knives. Occasionally, I will use a food processor, but I don't like the unevenness of the pieces. I might use something like this for nuts though.


Crumb Scraper

How many of you use a crumb scraper, or bread crumber, at your Thanksgiving dinner table? The one pictured is pretty fancy. Crumb removal became popular during the Victorian era among the artistocratic diners. You can bet they weren't removing their own crumbs, but having servants do it. The purpose was to protect the tablecloth. It makes me wonder were there that many crumbs on the table back then they needed to scrape them up?


Ice cream scoop

Apple Pie a la mode, anyone? Today's ice cream is usually scooped from an ice cream container bought at the grocery store. In years gone by, ice cream was made at home in large wooden bucket like containers and a long handled scooper would be needed. A patent was obtained in 1897 for an ice cream scoop. Extra points if you know who is credited with inventing it. (Answer below)


I  think we can agree that we have it a lot easier than our ancestors did when it comes to kitchen utensils. If you want to know more about historical kitchen tools a good resource is the Feeding America Museum at Michigan State University.  Pictures of 104 items can be viewed. In addition, there is a Feeding America online collection of cookbooks at Michigan State University Feeding America site. 76 American cookbooks, from the late 1700's to the early 1900's have been digitized and placed online for your viewing. The oldest one I found was a 1798 edition of American cookery, or The art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: adapted to this country and all grades of life. By Amelia Simmons. Don't you just love the archaic word, viands? All it means is an item of food.

No matter what kitchen utensil you are using to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you have a day filled with family, love, joy, and stretchy pants!


Answer: The ice cream scoop inventor was Alfred L. Cralle, an African American businessman and inventor.

R.I.P. Faith Brown (1956-2021)

23 November 2021

Walter and Lola (Fredricks) Brown Family

L-R Back Row Fred, Walter, Lola

L-R Front Row John, Faith, Bertha


No matter when one experiences a death in the family it is hard, but the death of my cousin Faith shocked me. She was too young to die. She was only one year older than I.


I didn't grow up around my cousins and would only see them about once a year. I do remember spending the night at Faith's home as a child. She lived in the middle of an orchard on Jebavy Road in Manistee, Michigan. It was beautiful. It seemed like we would visit when the apples were starting to grow and the cherries were plentiful. Faith's dad, Walter Brown, was the manager of the orchard. Her mom was my beloved Aunt Lola.



We lost touch with each other as we became teenagers and made our way through high school and young adulthood. It wasn't until years later that I started going to the family reunions and was able to reconnect with Faith. We talked about our lives and food. We both were foodies. My Aunt Lola was an excellent cook as all the Fredricks' girls seemed to be and Aunt Lola would bring a big roaster full of spaghetti to the family reunion. It was Faith who made it as her mom got older. I begged for the recipe one year. I was told there wasn't really a recipe, as most good cooks will tell you. Faith told me how it is made. I could never figure out how the spaghetti didn't get all stuck together and dry.


Here is the recipe:

Fry one pound hamburger.  Season with Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder.
Add onion and celery.  Amount at your preference.
Add 1 can small tomato paste and 1 large can tomato sauce.
Simmer about 1 hour.  Put in roaster, bake at 325 for 1-2 hours.  Add tomato juice to keep it moist.


Faith Brown was born 31 May 1956 to Walter and Lola (Fredricks) Brown. She graduated from Manistee High School in 1974. Her death on 17 November 2021 occurred suddenly at home. Faith was cremated and a private graveside service will be held later.


I will remember Faith fondly and keep her and her family in my prayers. Rest in Peace, Faith.


A copy of Faith's obituary can be found at Terwilliger Funeral Home's website.






Gifts for Genealogists 2021

22 November 2021

Do you have genealogists on your shopping list this year? Genealogists love everything and anything genealogy related. I know I appreciate it when my family gives me something. It allows me to use my genealogy budget for other things.

Here are a few gift ideas for your favorite genealogists.


DNA Kits


DNA Kits are available from a number of companies. Prices vary depending on the type of test chosen. Look for Black Friday deals. Some companies have a health component to their tests. The companies combine DNA testing with discovering one's own health traits. 

    1. 23 and Me
    2. Ancestry.com
    3. My Heritage
    4. Living DNA
Family Tree Charts

Your loved ones have put a lot of time and effort into tracing their roots and why not showcase that effort with a nice family tree chart. You may need your loved one's help to access their database. There are a lot of different types of charts available, one of my favorites is the fan chart. (Hint! Hint!)
  1. Family Chartmasters- Janet Horvoka has a variety of options for genealogists. 
  2. Family Tree Chart
  3. Check sites like Etsy for custom genealogy charts.
Now that I have you excited about this idea, it may be a little late to custom design one for this year, but a gift certificate is an option.

Books


I don't know a genealogist that doesn't like books related to genealogy as a gift. I have a lot of books and still enjoy getting them as gifts. I have listed a few books that should be on every genealogist's book shelf. Check out "My Library" for more ideas. 
  1. Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy by Val D. Greenwood
  2. Mastering Genealogical Proof or Mastering Genealogical Documentation by Thomas Jones.
  3. The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger.
  4. Organize Your Genealogy by Drew Smith
  5. How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records by Sunny Jane Morton
  6. A book in the area, or subject, one is researching. Think about maps, local and county histories, military, land, or country specific books.
Find these books at your favorite bookseller or order online from Amazon, Better World Books, American Ancestors, Genealogical Publishing Company, Maia's Books, and more.  Many genealogy books can be found as ebooks as well as print.

To find recommendations of other books, check out this Family Tree Magazine article.

Archival Products

Protect your loved ones' research with archival products. Two of the companies I have used are Hollinger Metal Edge and Gaylord. Archival boxes, file folders, envelopes, and conservation supplies are a few of the things genealogists use.




Magazine Subscriptions

I have put magazine subscriptions on Santa's list in the past and I enjoy sitting down with a cup of chai and reading them throughout the year. 
  1. Family Tree Magazine
  2. Internet Genealogy
  3. Special Issues of Magazines  For example, Mayflower Centennial Edition or Tracing Your English and Scottish Ancestors
Jewelry

You can find everything from family tree necklaces, DNA earrings, rings, bracelets, pendants and more.
  1. Etsy A lot of creative people have custom designs. Search 'genealogy jewelry'.
  2. Amazon
  3. Local stores-once I found a tree of life necklace at my local Kohl's.
Office Supplies

Who doesn't love office supplies? It can be as simple as a pack of post it notes or more complex as an all-in-one printer scanner. 


One of my favorite office supplies gift was a variety pack of post it notes. Pens, pencils, notebooks, binders, file folders, or sleeve protectors are good ideas as well.

Something Fun!

Lastly, something fun. This category can be anything family tree related that you think your loved one would like. T-shirts, note cards, mugs, tote bags, key chains, or something of your choice.

A real splurge would be a personalized family tree serving bowl from Uncommon Goods at $150.

Check out Fun Stuff for Genealogists and Etsy for more ideas.

These are a few ideas to get you started with buying a gift your family historian would love. Have an idea of your own? Please share in the comments section.


Disclosure: I do not receive any monetary reward for the products mentioned or links you click on.


GRIP, SLIG, CGVRI-SAY WHAT?

19 November 2021



If you know what GRIP, SLIG, CGVRI, MAAGI or IGHR are then I am guessing you stay on top of your genealogical education.

  • GRIP is the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh
    • Registration opens in February 2022
  • SLIG is the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
    • Registration has been held for 2022; check their website for available openings
  • CGVRI is the Canadian Genealogical Virtual Research Intensive
    • Registration opens in early 2022
  • MAAGI is the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute
    • Registration is open until June
  • IGHR is the Institute of Genealogical Historical Research
    • Registration open March 19, 2022


All of these are wonderful ways to expand your genealogical studies. They are weeklong intensive studies usually concentrating on one topic. Some are held virtually as the CGVRI one, and others are held in Pittsburgh, Salt Lake, or Atlanta. The COVID-19 pandemic allowed many genealogists to attend one of the institutes as they were all held virtually, and one could attend in their bunny slippers.

 

One of my genealogical goals has been to attend an institute. I attended my first institute, GRIP, in 2020. It was "Digging Deeper: Records, Tools, and Skills with Paula Stuart-Warren, Carla Cegielski, Karen Mauer Jones, and Debbie Mieszala. I wouldn't have been able to attend if it were held in Pittsburgh, but when I saw it was going to be virtual, I signed up.

 

I am a lifelong learner. I love to read, research, and study. GRIP was the perfect fit for me. It was a very intensive week, but the instructors did an excellent job of keeping things going, including breaks, homework, and groupwork that allowed attendees to apply what they learned that day. I learned so much during the week and I left with an excitement to use what I had learned in my own research. 

 

The Digging Deeper class covered the topics of Analyzing Documents, Manuscripts, Probate Records, WPA Records, Vital Records Substitutes, Sources, Legal Savvy, Court Records, Newspaper Research, Government Records, Institutional Records, and Post Military Service Records. You might look at this list and think you know about each one of these topics, you don't. I was amazed at the depth of each of these topics and how much I learned. This would be a good class for a beginner or intermediate learner. 

 

I enjoyed the class so much I decided to try to enroll in another GRIP class in 2021, which was virtual as well. This time I signed up for Research in the Great Lakes Region with Cari Taplin, Cyndi Ingle, Judy Russell, and Paula Stuart-Warren. The reason I signed up for this class was so I could further my knowledge of the region I live in. I have numerous ancestors in this area. Plus, I have been asked to speak on research in Michigan a few times.

 

This class was highly informative. No homework and not as much group work this time. I have to say the group work allows you to get to know your fellow attendees even when it is in a virtual environment. I don't even mind homework because it allows you to apply what you have learned. It reinforces the concepts presented. This would be a good class for all learners, especially if you do a lot of research in this area. 

 

Topics for this class were Geography, History, and Migration, Land Records, Census Records, Vital Records, Border Crossings, Shipping, Military, Law, Religion, French Canadian, Ontario, Newspapers, Naturalization and Citizenship, Archives and Libraries, and Mapping-all related to the Great Lakes Region of Canada, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. I didn't feel as challenged in this class and I will be looking for a challenge the next time I take an institute class.

 

Again, I did enjoy spending a week learning about the Great Lakes region. So much so that I decided to sign up for another institute a few weeks after the Great Lakes one ended. I attended the CGVRI class, Researching Ontario and Quebec Ancestors, with Katherine Lake Hogan and Christine Woodcock. This was the inaugural year for this institute and what a good year it was. If you want to know anything about Ontario and Quebec, taught by Canadians, this is the class to take. It was so good that I used the information to discover my brick wall ancestor, Richard McGee, was born Richard Walmsley! I know I will be attending the 2022 CGVRI class as I won a door prize for free tuition!

 

Topics for this class included Early Settlers, Border Entry, Newspapers, Crown Land Records, Military, Maps, Ontario Vital Records, Notarial Records, Quebec Census and Church Records, Criminal Records, Seigniorial Land, Wills and Estates, and more. The best part of this course was learning about the Library and Archives of Canada website, which is a must use website for research.

 

I am still processing everything that I learned in this class. I can't wait to get into the Quebec online records to research the French-Canadian side of Kirk's family. The map sources were phenomenal. This was an excellent follow up course to the Great Lakes one.

 

Now that you know what an institute is all about, this is why you should attend one, either in person or virtually, First, the best of the best is hired for instructors. You get to spend a week with them. Next, you get to meet fellow genealogists who have the same interests as you. You might even connect with a cousin. You get to spend a week immersed in your favorite thing-genealogy. It brings a new excitement to your research. It is something everyone must try at least once.


I will admit it isn't the easiest thing to sign up for because of its popularity. You will want to have two or three choices in case your first choice is full when you go sign up. The first year I signed up I didn't have the full list to choose from because I had only registered after it was decided to go virtual. The second year I didn't get into my first choice, but I did get into my second. You need to sign up as soon as it is available. Waiting even a few hours will limit your choices. If you don't get into a class, sign up for the waiting list. Many people attended from being on the waiting list at GRIP. One last tip, go to the website of the institute you wish to attend and enter your personal information, it will save you time when the registration opens.

 

Did an institute make me a better researcher? You bet it did! No matter what course you take you will become a better researcher with the information you glean from an institute. I learned about new resources in the area I was researching and how to use these resources. I learned how to analyze sources to ensure I am only using the best quality ones. I learned where to find good quality sources. There is so much to be learned from attending an institute.


Institutes are for genealogists of all levels. If a class is for advanced researchers, it will state that in the course description. There are not many prerequisites for taking an institute and everything is laid out on the institute's website. 


If you are interested in attending an institute, check out the websites now and get on their mailing lists. You need to make note of the day and time that registration opens and explore what classes are offered. I highly recommend trying it at least once. See you there in 2022!

 




Largest Labor Archives is in Detroit Michigan

17 November 2021

 Reuther South

Image courtesy of Jackiepete, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


Since the 1960's Michigan has become known for its labor movement and it should not be a surprise that Detroit, Michigan is home to the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs. The Reuther Library is housed on the campus of Wayne State University.


It is the largest labor archives in North America. In addition to international labor archives, Reuther houses resources about Michigan Community Life in Detroit and its superbs, Wayne State University archives, Michigan and national Civil Rights movement, and women's struggles in the workplace. 


The strength of the collection is during the 20th century and Jewish Community Archives (JCA). The 75,000 linear feet records cover items created by a person or organization. Additionally, electronic records are available.


Your starting place for using the Reuther Library should be their website. The latest information one needs to visit is found here. The collection is organized by title, but you can scroll through the collections and see that they are sub organized by family. Family might include the union, organization, personal papers, university archives and urban affairs to name a few. The dates covered are included as well.


Oral histories can be found at the Reuther Library. One I was interested in was the Grace Hospital, Ascession Number UR001352. Seven oral histories by Dr. Philipp Mason are in this collection. The Grace Hospital records aren't open to the public, but the finding aid will tell you that.


Many of the resources have .pdf finding aid guides with further information on the collection. Using the JCA, Jewish Community Archives, as an example, the search returns over 26,000 resources. Birmingham Temple Archives is one. The main page of the resource shows collection overview, finding aid view, and box list tabs.



Scroll down the page to find Scope and Content, Dates, Creator, Language, Access, Use, History, etc. This provides more information about the collection.


I have barely touched on what all is available at Reuther Library. Check out their blog, podcasts, publications, and image gallery. The publications area of the website shows the non manuscript sources in the library.


Don't think you will only find Michigan Labor Unions, or only UAW or CIO unions, or Michigan only materials. The scope of the Reuther Collection is world wide. You can always use the "Ask an Archivist" button to get your questions about the collection answered.

The Reuther Library at Wayne State University is one of the gems of Michigan research. Take a minute, or ten, to check it out.


Faith and Life of Mennonites and Amish in Indiana

15 November 2021


Menno-Hof Shipshewana, Indiana


Have you ever wondered how your Mennonite and/or Amish ancestors lived and worshiped? I was in a Mennonite family history phase when I decided I wanted to take a long weekend in Shipshewana, an Amish area about an hour from my home.

 

One of the attractions in Shipshewana is Menno-Hof. The word "Menno" is in tribute to Menno Simons, an early anabaptist leader. "Hof "is the German word for homestead. 

 

The Menno-Hof site seeks to portray accurate information about the Mennonites and Amish. Menno-Hof tells the historical story by using movies, displays, stories, quizzes, charts, audiotapes, and tours. It is an interactive, interesting, living history site.

 

The first stop, "Good Fences Make Good Community", introduces visitors to the Anabaptists. Menno-Hof uses the anabaptist term to describe the Mennonites, Amish, and Hutterites whose movement began during the Reformation in the 1500's, in Europe. It is a good introduction to the anabaptists. 

 

Menno-Hof is laid out so that you follow the building through twenty-four areas, each area with its own story to tell. I will highlight a few of these areas, but if you go don't skip any, they all are interesting.


 


The Anabaptist movement began in Zurich, Switzerland in 1525. Menno-Hof's courtyard stop acknowledges this beginning. 

 




A dungeon, like the one where Anabaptists were imprisoned, tortured, and executed, is replicated. Anabaptists were persecuted for wanting to have a church free from state control. Anabaptists was the first church in over one hundred years to call for and practice the separation of church and state.


The Harbor tells the story of emigration from Switzerland. Anabaptists travelled to places throughout Europe. Also, during this stop on the self-guided tour visitors are told why the Anabaptists divided into Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish. 




The Harbormaster’s Shack, Sailing Ship, and Coming to America explores the migration to America by the Anabaptists. William Penn invited them to Pennsylvania, around 1683. It wasn't until 1841 that the anabaptists settled in Indiana. Other migrations included Russian Mennonites to America and Canada West.

 

Are you confused about what is Mennonite, Amish, and Hutterite? A separate display at Menno-Hof charts the similarities and differences. Anabaptists refers to all three at Menno-Hof. Mennonites is the name that first became attached to anabaptists. The Amish, under Jacob Amman, left the Mennonite group around 1693 because they felt the Mennonites were becoming too much like the world around them. The Hutterites are named after Jacob Hutter. They organized in Moravia (the Czech Republic).

 

Other displays include a print shop, story corner, song samples, children's play area meetinghouse, and residence set-up. Time is spent learning about the community and its people and their beliefs. 

 

Toward the end of the tour is the "Tornado Theater" where one can experience the wind power of a tornado and learn about how Mennonite and Amish crews helped with the cleanup of natural disasters.

 

All and all I found Menno-Hof to be a very, educational experience. Here are a few things I learned at Menno-Hof.

  • the Rhine River was the way many emigrants traveled to get a ship to America
  • Mennonites and Amish were drawn to Indiana by the size of the trees and the friendliness of the people
  • Conestoga wagons, prairie schooners, and horse and buggy were modes of travel from the East to Indiana
My maternal side of the family has quite a few surnames that are of Mennonite or Amish heritage: Mast/Maust, Livengood, Seese, Beiler, Berkey, Hershberger, Schrock, Forney, Nafzinger, and Schrag/Schrock.


Rest in Peace, Betty

13 November 2021

I hit the jackpot when I married Kirk. I got a loving, mother-in-law too. I am not just saying that because this is a memorial to her, I truly did get a wonderful one.


Chase, Kirsten, Betty, Alayna, 
Travis, Jim

Elizabeth "Betty" Lorraine Corcoran Leyndyke died at the age of 93. She lived every one of those days with strength and grace. Betty's death will be felt by the family for a very long time. 


This part is hard to write, but I feel it is important to understand why her death certificate's cause of death was accidental. Betty had a number of ailments which any one of them could have been the cause of death. She suffered from crohn's disease, heart disease, severe arthritis, and more.


Betty had been suffering with a sore toe for a few months when she went to see a podiatrist. She had a follow up appointment with the podiatrist and an infection was discovered. She went to the hospital on September 2nd, and ended up needing a toe amputation, the infection had spread. The family had hoped that she would go home upon healing. She went into the hospital feeling pretty good except for the toe. The toe next to the big toe was amputated and for some reason she never rebounded. She had the surgery under local anesthesia.


Kirk and I went to see her the next week. We were told she was delirious, uncommunicative, and not eating. We walked in the room and were greated with a huge smile. Betty wasn't 100% but she knew who we were. She was having trouble swallowing and was on some type of a liquid diet. She did get a few things mixed up, but so do I. We visited for a couple of hours. We left and Kirk talked to her aide. We were told she would be ready to go to a rehab facility once a bed could be found for her. Sometime between Wednesday when we visited and Sunday when she was moved, something happened because she was moved to an inpatient hospice care facility.


Unfortunately, Kirk wasn't notified of this until he called the hospital and they told him where she was placed. Family communication is not their strong suit. I'm not going into any more of the family dynamics but it was a stressful week to say the least.


Betty was placed in Faith Hospice in Byron Center, MI on a Sunday night. Wednesday during the day she fell. No x-rays were taken until Friday. She had broken her hip and shoulder. It is from this point on, in my opinion, that Betty was kept so sedated she couldn't wake up. My daughter, Kirsten, Kirk, and I visited Betty on a Sunday and she never woke up, and we tried talking to her. It was so sad to see her like this. 


The family had had a care meeting on a Friday, which Kirk attended, imminent death was not mentioned. The doctor felt she had months to live. She died four days later.


The day she died, September 28th, we got a call from Joanne, Kirk's sister, that Betty's breathing had changed. We decided to go and be there with Betty. We missed saying good bye to her by minutes. 


I know that people don't live forever, but to think that a loved one is placed in the care of hospice, she falls, and dies from complications of that fall. I have so many questions for Faith Hospice, but I am sure we will never get any anwsers.


Betty was born 20 July 1928 to Bertrand and Leona (Dollaway) Corcoran. She married James Marvin Leyndyke on 24 June 1950. They were married for 71 years. She died 28 September 2021 in Byron Township, Kent, Michigan. 


Betty you will always be remembered by me and my family. This was a hard loss to accept. Betty's obituary can be found here

Teacher in Salem, New Hampshire Finds Cellar Hole of Moses Poor

12 November 2021

Important Update-November 2021
I have been contacted by the Salem NH Historical Society. They wanted me to know that the "school department here in Salem is constructing a very elaborate zip line that impacts the area of Moses Poor's cellar foundation. Since you visited  five years ago, the condition of the site has changed significantly. Tree branches, stumps, and debris have been thrown into the cellar 'pit' and with the ongoing construction of the zip line, the condition will only get worse." The Salem NH Historical Society Museum curator spoke at a school board meeting in the hopes that the area would be cleaned up and a fence put around the cellar hole to preserve it. The society is waiting for a response. 

I hope it is a positive one. Please check back here as I will update you on the progress of their request. If the school district does not take its' civic responsibility and preserve this historic cellar hole I will be 'marshalling the troops' in a letter writing and/or phone campaign.  If you are a resident of Salem New Hampshire and would like to contact the school board, please do so.

I feel passionate about this because I descend from Moses Poor, who gave his life fighting for independence. It is important from a historical perspective as well. This is the cellar hole of the house that Moses Poor lived in when he left to fight the British. It is a piece of American History, one that is over two hundred and forty years old. It deserves to be preserved.

Here are a few current pictures that were sent to me.



Photo credit to the Salem NH Historical Society, Salem, New Hampshire






Do you ever wonder if anyone is reading your blog posts?  Sometimes I wonder and then one special comment is left that makes writing worth it.



Source: From A History of the United States by Wilbur F. Gordy, Copyright 1920 by Charles Scribner's Sons of New York. This illustration of The Battle of Bunker Hill is between pages 142 and 143.


The blog post that the comment was left on was "Moses Poor Killed at Battle of Bunker Hill"


I'm a Social Studies teacher in Salem, New Hampshire. This is kind of a strange story, but I'll relay it to you anyway in hopes that you have any information you would be willing to share! 
Out behind the school I teach at, there is an old "cellar hole" that I always wondered about. Last year, I became curious enough about it that I did quite a bit of research and was excited and surprised to discover that it was the home of Moses and Hannah (Sinkler/Sainclair) Poor from 1770 until Moses' death in the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. The cellar hole is in remarkably good condition with a set of steps (probably side/back steps) still in place and apple trees on either side of the threshold. There's even still a boot-scraper! 
 Anyway, many of my students are interested in the site as well, especially since we're making some great discoveries on the site. I've learned a little bit about Moses Poor, but I'd love any more information you have. So far, all I know is that he was born in Newbury, MA in 1742, married Hannah in Hampstead, NH in 1767, had three sons (one named George was born, I'm assuming in the "cellar hole" house since he was born in 1773 in Salem, NH), and died in the Battle of Bunker Hill. I also recently discovered that he was a "surveyor of lumber" for the town of Atkinson, NH upon its incorporation in 1767.
I hope that you will respond [email address for private use] with any more information you have about Moses or his family. Thanks so much in advance!

I think this is an awesome discovery and for the teacher to share it on my blog was most welcome. I replied to the comment and sent what few items and information I had on Moses Poor via email.  The teacher replied and shared research that she had conducted.

Moses Poor is my fifth great grandfather.  He married Hannah Sinkler 31 March 1767 in Hampstead, New Hampshire.  I am a descendant of their son, Moses Augustus Poor.  

This research was very well done.  It was a timeline starting with Hannah Sinkler's birth in 1739 and ending with her death in 1815.  Other timeline entries included Moses Poor birth and parents; his siblings; land records; marriage record; town history; children of Moses and Hannah Poor birth record; Moses Poor enlistment in the military; research on Moses Poor's regiment; and a public auction held after Moses Poor's death. It was a genealogist's treasure trove of information.

It was obvious that a lot of time went into the research and I appreciate being the one to receive it.  Teachers impact student's lives in so many ways and for this teacher to research what started as a 'cellar hole' and add to it to bring historical context to what is in the school's backyard is a wonderful thing.  One that I am greatly appreciative of.

Visiting an Ancestor's New Hampshire Cellar Hole

Important Note: November 2021
I have been contacted by the Salem NH Historical Society. They wanted me to know that the "school department here in Salem is constructing a very elaborate zip line that impacts the area of Moses Poor's cellar foundation. Since you visited  five years ago, the condition of the site has changed significantly. Tree branches, stumps, and debris have been thrown into the cellar 'pit' and with the ongoing construction of the zip line, the condition will only get worse." The Salem NH Historical Society Museum curator spoke at a school board meeting in the hopes that the area would be cleaned up and a fence put around the cellar hole to preserve it. The society is waiting for a response. 

I hope it is a positive one. Please check back here as I will update you on the progress of their request. If the school district does not take its' civic responsibility and preserve this historic cellar hole I will be 'marshalling the troops' in a letter writing and/or phone campaign.  If you are a resident of Salem New Hampshire and would like to contact the school board, please do so.

I feel passionate about this because I descend from Moses Poor, who gave his life fighting for independence. It is important from a historical perspective as well. This is the cellar hole of the house that Moses Poor lived in when he left to fight the British. It is a piece of American History, one that is over two hundred and forty years old. It deserves to be preserved.

Here are a few current pictures that were sent to me.



Photo credit to the Salem NH Historical Society, Salem, New Hampshire


A few years ago my husband and I went on an extended trip to New England to do genealogy research. Ever since we returned I wanted to blog about my trip and what I found, but as often happens, life takes it twists and turns. I haven't even processed all the records I found, let alone blog about it.

There were many family history things I explored during this trip, but one stands out in my mind as the best. I knew before I left for New England that a teacher had found a cellar hole that once belonged to my ancestor Moses Poor.  I wrote about it in a blog post titled, Teacher in Salem, New Hampshire Find Cellar Hole of Moses Poor

I made sure it was on my list to visit on our trip. We arrived in Salem, New Hampshire on a beautiful fall day. All I knew about the cellar hole was that it was near Woodbury School, 206 Main St., Salem, New Hampshire. There is a little park called Field of Dreams, Geremonty Dr., in Salem, N.H., and there is a path that goes into the woods and the cellar hole is really close to the beginning of the path.


Kirk and I arrived and found the park without any difficulty. We walked the path and went straight but didn't see a cellar hole, so we kept walking. There were other paths leading from the main one so we walked a couple of those. No luck finding it.  We decided to retrace our steps to the entrance and see if we missed it. Kirk started walking the path on the left, just inside the entrance. He met an older gentleman on the path and asked him if he ever saw a cellar hole in the woods. He said yes, it is just down the path Kirk was on. Bingo! Kirk found it. I was so excited.


Imagine someone living in what is now New Hampshire in the 1770's. He walks down the steps to his house to go fight the Revolutionary War. Moses Poor died in the Battle of Bunker Hill and never got the chance to walk back up those stairs. But, I did. I was amazed that after over 240 years the cellar hole of his house still existed.



Moses Poor, the son of Enoch Poor and Bethiah West, was born 10 March 1743 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. He married Hannah Santclar (St. Clair) 31 March 1767 in Hampstead, Rockingham, New Hampshire. Moses died 17 June 1775 at the Battle of Bunker Hill.  (Massachusetts and New Hampshire were part of British America at this time.)

Please enjoy a few pictures of Moses Poor cellar hole which I visited in the Fall of 2016.










Yes, There Really is a Kalamazoo!

11 November 2021


Yes, There Really is a Kalamazoo!

My summer and early fall was an extremely busy one. Kirk and I decided we were going to sell our Battle Creek home and move to Kalamazoo. We spent May through August getting the house ready to list for sale. If you would like to see the finished product check here.


Kirk and I lived here for 32 years. I thought it would be hard to leave, but it wasn't. I was excited for what our senior years would bring us. We decided on Kalamazoo for a number of reasons. We liked the area and felt it had more to offer. It was closer to our aging parents. It was closer to Chicago area, where our daughter lives. It just felt like a good fit. I had lived in Kalamazoo for four years during college. Kirk, Travis, Kirsten, and I lived here for one year before we found housing in Battle Creek. 


We sold our house within 5 hours of opening showings and at a very good price. The housing market is crazy. Kirk and I decided we didn't want to get in a bidding war and the stress of buying and selling at the same time so we looked for an apartment to rent. We started in May and it wasn't until August that we were at the top of a waiting list. Renting an apartment is as crazy as the housing market. Our thought is we would wait for things to calm down and look for a condo. Now, I'm not sure what we will do. I like where we are so much. 


We found just what we wanted. A walk in level apartment (no stairs), 2 bedrooms, in apartment washer and dryer, and two bathrooms. A third bedroom would have been nice, but those are few and far between. We found all that and more at Saddle Creek apartments in Texas Township/Kalamazoo. We took possession on Oct 1st, moved on Oct 4th, and closed on our house Oct 6th. It all came together in the end.


I couldn't be happier. I love it. We have a screened in porch that overlooks Al Sabo Nature Preserve. The entire apartment was upgraded to include new appliances, carpeting, paint, blinds, and bathrooms. The main bedroom suite is big enough for us to finally get a king size bed! I enjoy having two full bathrooms. 



Kirk and I are using the second bedroom as an office. We are sharing it. It is working out so far. It is just nice to be settled. We have a storage area in the basement and that needs to be organized, but for the most part we are done in the apartment.


IF you have been a reader of my blog for awhile, you may remember that I had a very nice office at the Moorland house. It was in a spare bedroom. I had wanted to take the furniture from there. I planned to take anything screwed into the walls down, but the realtor said to leave it because it would show that room could be an office. She said we would exclude it on the purchase agreement. In my excitement to have a great offer on the house I didn't catch that she didn't exclude it. It all had to stay except for two white bookcases. I was disappointed at first but then realized that it was all custom to that room. We asked the buyers if they wanted the bookcases and ended up leaving it all. It made moving easier, I didn't have to patch and paint walls in that room.



Sharing the office has been a challenge due to having less work space, but I know how to pack a closet! The banker's boxes and plastic ones will be my winter project. They are filled with pictures and documents from our parents. Some of it is our mess.

One thing about downsizing and moving to an apartment is no raking the leaves, weeding the gardens, and upkeeping a sixty year old home. I plan to use that time for genealogy and blogging.