23 November 2023

Stuffing and Savings: A Closer Look at 1974 Thanksgiving Grocery Prices

 The Harbor Beach Times, 21 November 1974, Harbor Beach, Huron, Michigan

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States and grocery prices are high. I thought it would be fun to look at grocery prices in November 1974. It was my Senior year of high school. 

The above ad is from Merrifield's Market IGA in Harbor Beach, Michigan. Harbor Beach had three grocery stores when I was in high school: IGA, A&P, and Sandman's Market. Do you remember A&P and IGA's? A&P is no longer in operation, but there are still IGA's. The only store in Harbor Beach now is Sandman's. Sandman's is a locally owned market. It was the go-to store for deli products. Their sliced lunch meat was a favorite of many people.

The prices above are a bit lower than today. Turkeys from $.43 to $.59 per pound. Do you want duck for Thanksgiving? It was $.89 per pound. How about white bread at 3/$1? 

What else do you need for dinner? Green beans for your green bean casserole were $.29, cranberry sauce $.25, tea dinner rolls 3 for $1, pumpkin for your pie was $.33. You don't like to bake your own pies; you could buy a frozen Banquet pie for $.39.  And don't forget the Alka Seltzer for $.49. Wow! I sure could use some of these prices today. Look at the price of butter-85 cents.

I am sure my mom had a grocery list with a lot of these items for our Turkey Day that year. It has been fun to look back on 1974 grocery prices.


This blog posts used the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. While the content reflects my ideas, writing, and research, AI was used for grammar and spelling suggestions.

The headline on this blog post was suggested by AI algorithms. I reviewed and selected the most fitting one to capture the essence of the content.


22 November 2023

The Marriage and Divorce of Leo Sandberg and Daisy Marie Fredricks

Daisy Marie Fredricks, who went by Marie, was the daughter of Otto and Daisy (Graf) Fredricks. She was born 13 November 1921, probably at the family farm in Dickson Township, Manistee, Michigan.

When Marie was eighteen years old, she married Leo Sandberg, age twenty-one, on 23 November 1939 at the Trinity Lutheran Church Parsonage in Onekama, Michigan. It was Thanksgiving Day. 

Leo and Marie Sandberg had one daughter, Rose Marie. They lived at 267 Christingdon Street, Manistee, Michigan. Leo worked in a hotel in Manistee. Marie worked in a restaurant in downtown Manistee. 

A divorce record can be found at ancestry.com in Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952. The divorce decree date was 27 Feb 1943, state file number 51 408; docket number 2558. The divorce was granted to Leo and the record states it was contested. The reason for the divorce was cruelty. No alimony was granted. 

The custody of Rose Marie, age two, was granted to Leo. When Rose Marie was a young girl, she went to live with her grandparents, Otto and Daisy Fredricks, in Brethren, Michigan. Leo eventually remarried, Marjorie Adamski. Leo and Marjorie would visit Rose Marie occasionally. Marie moved to California and remarried, Walter Kurth, but she rarely saw Rose Marie.

15 November 2023

Book Review: Michigan POW Camps in World War II

First, I need to provide full disclosure about this book. I met Greg Sumner at the Battle Creek Barnes and Noble and shared what I knew about the POW's held at Fort Custer. I had written a couple of blog posts about the POWs and their graves at the Fort Custer National Cemetery. I shared what pictures I had with him. I received no compensation for my information or for this review.

The book that resulted from Sumner's research, Michigan POW Camps in World War II, is a great look at a little-known subject during World War II. Sumner spent days travelling throughout Michigan visiting and meeting with the people who had a connection to Prisoner of War camps. He talked to people who owned farms where the prisoners had worked. He talked to museum organizers. He visited many of the places that had a history with the German prisoners and camps. 

His book is informative and filled with stories, photographs, maps, and more from his travels. Each chapter engrosses the reader in what being a prisoner in Michigan was like. He talks about the relationship the community had with the prisoners. Sumner uses interviews, newspaper articles, historical facts, and more to tell the story. He uses resources that tell the story from the prisoners and community viewpoint. Be sure to read about the Owosso "conspiracy" and the Blissfield 16, both are excellently written sections.

Sumner's book is professionally researched and a welcome addition to the history of World War II in Michigan. If you would like to read a story from a prisoner of war who was held in the United States, check out Ernst Floeter's "I'll See You Again, Lady Liberty."

I had an interest in the German POW's because of the section of the Fort Custer National Cemetery where some prisoners were interred. Upon writing about it on my blog, I would get emails from people who had a connection to those prisoners, many from Germany. Imagine my surprise when I got an email from a 'cousin' who I had been communicating with about our common Fredrich family and he told me his father was at Fort Custer as a prisoner, talk about a small world. Of course, I had to send him Sumner's book and everything I had about that time at Fort Custer. 

If you are looking for a great read about World War II and German and Italian prisoners of war kept in Michigan, then Gregory D. Sumner's, Michigan POW Camps in World War II, is the book for you. 


14 November 2023

Death Certificates at Michiganology.org

The majority of death certificates found at Michiganology.org are from 1897-1947. Due to Michigan law the records must be seventy-five years old or older to be online. The years 1948-1952 have indexes, but no images. You have to wait until January of the new year before next year's certificates are posted. January 2024 is when the 1948 death certificates will be posted. 

Every January I would have my list of Michigan deaths I needed to find. I got behind on lookups for about four years. Recently, I took some time to catch up. One of my 1947 certificates was for Charles Zobel, my first cousin twice removed. 

Source: Michigan Department of Health, "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1950," Index and Images, , Michiganology (www.michiganology.org : accessed 1 May 2023), Entry for Charles A Zobel, 25 June 1947; Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing

Above is what the certificates look like. This one is nice because most of it is typewritten. Some are not and those can be hard to read.

Search tips: On the search within this collection page, put the name you are looking for in the seach box, select sort by "title/last name" in the drop down menu at the top of the page, next select "table" in the display drop down menu. Using "table" is the only one that gives you last name, first name, and county information in the search results. I have found this to be successful for me. You can't refine the search. Other sort by options include type, first name, or place. If you aren't sure of the last name you can search by these other options. 

If you have ancestors who died in Michigan, check out the death certificates at Michiganology. Remember some of the genealogical relevant information is only as good as the informant.

12 November 2023

The Death of John Tritten

John Tritten
High School Graduation
Brethren, Michigan

Conducting family history research leads one to happy and sad records. The obituary records that hit my generation are sad ones. For a long time I was saving obituaries of the generation of my aunts and uncles. Now, I am printing those of my generation. We are too young to die.

John Tritten, my first cousin, was a wonderful man. I have fond memories of John from when my family would visit and stay at Aunt Kate's home. John was the son of Carl Tritten and Kathryn Fredricks Tritten. We were traveling when John died and I wasn't able to go to his funeral. I was thankful that I had seen John the previous year. I will remember him as being a kind, devoted, Christian son, husband, and father and that he shared a birthday with my son.

John C. Tritten, 73, of Manistee, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Thursday Sept. 29, 2016 with his loving wife at his side.

He was born on Jan. 6, 1943 in Manistee, the son of the late Carl and Kathryn (Fredricks) Tritten. He was united in marriage to Susanne Winkler on Dec. 27, 1969 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Onekama.

John served in the U.S. Navy and was a former Township Supervisor in Dickson Township. John was retired, having worked for Martin Marietta for 36 years.

He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Manistee, where he was a past Elder, served on the Fellowship Board, and a member of the Dart Ball team. He was also a member of the American Legion Manistee Post No. 10 and the NRA. What he enjoyed the most was fishing, camping and spending time with his grandkids.

John is survived by his wife Susie, by his children, Eric (Chris) Tritten, of Stow, Ohio; Heather (Jason) Youngstrom, of Denver, Colo.; Brian (Kimber) Tritten, of Paneswick, England, and Timothy Tritten, of Manistee; by nine grandchildren, Ricky, Katie, Libby, Ada, Josiah, Lucy, Ellen, Joseph and Isabella, and by his sister, Kathryn Welch of Barnsville, Ohio. He is also survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law, and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for John will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 4 at Trinity Lutheran Church of Manistee with Rev. Dr. Eric Tritten and Rev. Dennis D. Rahn officiating. Burial will follow in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Manistee United Veterans Council Ritual Team. 

Source: https://www.legacy.com/funeral-homes/obituaries/name/john-tritten-obituary?pid=181694352&v=batesville&view=guestbook

Pictures of John Tritten from Audrey Glover's (my mother) photo album.

11 November 2023

The Death of Myrta Fenn

 Source: Michigan Department of Health, "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1946," Index and Images, , Michiganology (www.michiganology.org : accessed 5 September 2023), death certificate state file number 481 2126; 23 Jun 1945 for Myrta A. Fenn; Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing

Myrta A. Fenn, the daughter of Courtney Fenn and Ann McDonough, was born 5 April 1869 in Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan. She lived her whole life in the Chelsea area. She died 23 June 1945, at the age of seventy-seven. She died at Ypsilanti State Hospital, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan after a twelve day stay. The cause of her death was chronic myocarditis with the contributing cause of senile psychosis.

Myrta's death certificate states her body was removed to Oak Grove Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan, but Myrta is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan. (Find a Grave Memorial Number 52828647)

10 November 2023

"Navigating the AI Abyss: A Neophyte's Journey into the World of Artificial Intelligence"

Photo by Sanket Mishra on Pixels

This is the fifth blog post I have written this week about my experience with artificial intelligence (AI) for genealogy or blogging. I have given overly simplistic examples of AI. If there is something lower than a neophyte that would be me. 

I know little about the scientific method behind AI. I don't know about all the sophisticated uses of AI, but I am a lifelong learner. I enjoy learning new things. I enjoy researching current ideas and finding out how they can help me do my job better. Work better, not harder. 

I have used AI generators, like ChatGPT, for writing family stories and research help. What else can it do? I can see AI and AI generators becoming a powerful help when researching family history. Something I plan to try next with ChatGPT is historical county history. I have ancestors from the Colonial Period forward and during that time there were many boundary changes. I would like to delve into the boundary changes and land disputes between New York and Vermont. Another thing I want to try is to see if it will help me create a research plan. There are many ways ChatGPT can be a research assistance. I plan to continue exploring those options.

AI generators are a big topic now. I am seeing more information every day about AI and AI generators and their application to genealogy. If you are looking for people with more knowledge than I in this area, look at these resources.

AI Genealogy Insights-multiple articles

Legacy Tree Genealogists-Using AI Effectively for Genealogy Research

Thomas MacEntee at Genealogy Bargains-AI and Genealogy Subscription

Lisa Louise Cooke- Genealogy Gems-Should you use AI chatbots for Genealogy

National Genealogical Society-Empowering Genealogists with Artificial Intelligence

Genealogy with Amy Johnson Crow-You Can Use ChatGPT for Genealogy (with accuracy) Here's How.

Find My Past with Jen Baldwin and Blaine Bettinger-Unlocking Family Secrets with AI

Lifehacker-Your Ultimate AI Glossary and other articles

Facebook Group-Genealogy and Artificial Intelligence

and more! Share your favorite AI resource in the comments.

Disclosure: This blog posts used the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. While the content reflects my ideas, writing, and research, AI was used for grammar and style suggestions.

The headline on this blog post was suggested by AI algorithms. I reviewed and selected the most fitting one to capture the essence of the content.

09 November 2023

"Transparency in AI: Mastering the Art of Writing a Disclosure Statement"

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a modern technology that I have been exploring. I wondered how it could help me in family history blogging. I wrote a couple of blog posts about AI, family history, and blogging. 

One of the things I have been thinking about when writing these blog posts is how to let my readers know if, and when, I am using AI. I have cultivated a loyal reader base and I want to be transparent in my writing. It is important to have a disclosure statement to keep the trust of my readers.

How did I write my disclosure statement about AI? I went to AI and ChatGPT! I asked ChatGPT to "create examples of a disclosure statement for using AI when blogging."

I got five examples, but none of those were quite right. One thing about ChatGPT is if you don't like what you see you can click a regenerate option and get more examples. I got ten new ideas which fit my use better.

I used ideas from a couple of different examples to create my disclosure statement. I put my new AI specific disclosure statement on the right sidebar above my other disclosure statement. The bolded words are copied from ChatGPT 3.5 results. My disclosure statement for AI usage is:

Journey to the Past blog posts uses the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. While the content reflects my ideas, writing, and research. the AI was used for grammar and style suggestions.

The headlines on this blog may be suggested by AI algorithms. I review and select the most fitting ones to capture the essence of the content.

Some of the images used on this blog were created by AI software. These visuals were designed to complement the content and enhance the reader's experience.

A clear and concise explanation of how AI is used on relevant blog posts will be stated at the end of the blog post.

Next, I needed to create disclosure statements that I could use on each blog post using AI technology. I foresee me using AI in the areas of editing, headlines, images.

Statement for editing: This blog posts used the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. While the content reflects my ideas, writing, and research. the AI was used for grammar and style suggestions.

Statement for headline: The headline on this blog post was suggested by AI algorithms. I reviewed and selected the most fitting one to capture the essence of the content.

Statement for images: The image used on this blog post was created by AI software. The visual was designed to complement the content and enhance the reader's experience.

I do not plan to use an AI generator to do the writing of the blog posts. If I ever do use AI generated content I would update my disclosure statements.

The use of disclosure statements are to inform my readers about the use of AI and to maintain transparency.


This blog posts used the assistance of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. While the content reflects my ideas, writing, and research. the AI was used for grammar and style suggestions.

The headline on this blog post was suggested by AI algorithms. I reviewed and selected the most fitting one to capture the essence of the content.

The image used on this blog post was created by AI software. The visual was designed to complement the content and enhance the reader's experience.

08 November 2023

Unlocking the Power of Artificial Intelligence for Blogging

I have been writing about my experience with Artificial Intelligence (AI) generators. I decided to see what an AI generator could do for blogging. 

I have been researching a blog post on the lumber industry in Manistee County, Michigan. My great grandfather worked in a sawmill upon immigrating to the area in the early 1870's. The lumber industry was huge during that time.

Using ChatGPT 3.5 I wrote, "Create an outline about the lumbering history of Manistee Michigan." ChatGPT 3.5 returned the following.

I. Introduction A. Brief overview of Manistee, Michigan B. Importance of lumbering in the region C. Purpose of the outline

II. Early Settlement and Lumbering Beginnings A. Settlement of Manistee in the 19th century B. Natural resources in the area C. Pioneering lumbermen and early sawmills D. Impact on local economy and population growth

III. Boom Years of Lumbering A. Introduction of steam-powered sawmills B. Expansion of the lumber industry C. Key lumber barons and companies D. Logging techniques and transportation methods E. Impact on Manistee's infrastructure and development

IV. Environmental and Social Consequences A. Deforestation and its environmental impact B. Labor and social conditions in the lumber camps C. Role of immigrants and diverse workforce D. Effects on Native American communities E. Development of conservation and sustainability efforts

V. Decline of the Lumber Industry A. Resource depletion and economic shifts B. Forest fires and their devastating effects C. Transition to other industries D. Closure of sawmills and consequences for the community

VI. Legacy and Preservation Efforts A. Historical significance of Manistee's lumbering history B. Creation of museums and historic sites C. Lumbering festivals and cultural events D. Modern industries and economic diversification

VII. Conclusion A. Recap of the significance of Manistee's lumbering history B. Impact on the community and the environment C. Preservation of the legacy for future generations

This is a robust outline. One that could be used for a series of blog posts. I regenerated the prompt and included the word 'short'. ChatGPT returned the same outline.

The above outline is a well written one. It is one that provides options to write about. I will use ChatGPT to write outlines in the future. I will use it for those posts that require me to go beyond my family history. For example, occupation posts, places posts, posts for historical context, etc.

For what else could I use ChatGPT? One of my weaknesses when blogging is writing headlines. My daughter, Kirsten, is awesome at writing headlines, but not me. I put ChatGPT to work for me. I wrote "Create five headlines for a blog post about the lumber industry in Manistee Michigan."

  1. "Timber Titans: Manistee's Lumber Industry Chronicles"
  2. "From Forest to Fortune: Manistee's Lumbering Legacy Unveiled"
  3. "Sawdust and Success: A Deep Dive into Manistee's Timber Trade"
  4. "Manistee's Logging Legends: Pioneers of the Lumber Industry"
  5. "Preserving the Past: Manistee's Lumber History Comes to Life"
Wow! I would have titled it, "The Lumber History in Manistee, Michigan." (Boring!) ChatGPT is more creative than I am. I can see me using ChatGPT to write my headlines.

I do feel like I am taking someone else's work. I think there are going to be discussions about the ethics of using ChatGPT and other AI generators, but if you let your readers know what part of the post AI generated you are giving credit.

It will be harder to give credit and source if you are using it to write blog posts. ChatGPT 3.5 does not cite its sources.

I feel like the space pioneers must have felt back in the 1960's. I am excited to see what AI and AI generators will produce.

Previous AI Posts:

Disclaimer: I used ChatGPT 3.5 to generate the title of this post. I used Canva Magic Media to create the image using the words Michigan, lumbering, and sawmills.

07 November 2023

Writing a Family History Story Using Artificial Intelligence Part Two

Image created in Magic Studio by Canva
Text to Image using the words library, writer, short white hair, female

Previously, I wrote about using artificial intelligence in genealogy and demonstrated what AI could do using facts from my Roots Magic Software program. I used ChatGPT 3.5 to create a story about my father, Bruce Glover in the previous blog post.

I am not one to be satisfied with using only one AI Generator, I had to try another one. I use google products in my daily life and decided to check out Google Bard, an AI generator. Using the same set of facts, and the same prompt, Google Bard returned the following story.

Bruce Glover was born on February 17, 1925, in Detroit, Michigan. He was raised in Hazel Park, Michigan, where he attended Hazel Park High School. After graduating from high school in 1943, Glover enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. He served in World War II as a radio operator and gunner on a B-24 Liberator bomber. After the war, Glover returned to Hazel Park and worked as a sports editor for the Hazel Park Journal. In 1950, he moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he worked as a teacher. In 1952, he married Audrey Jane Frederick. The couple had two children together.

Glover was a member of the Palms United Methodist Church in Palms, Michigan. He was also a member of the Kalamazoo Kiwanis Club. In 1983, Glover moved to Denton, Texas. He retired from teaching in 1990. In 2003, he moved back to Kalamazoo. Glover died at his home in Portage, Michigan, on September 8, 2018, at the age of 93.

"Just the facts, ma'am", is my first observation. There are no additional details that make the story interesting like there was in ChatGPT. The Google Bard story is shorter, two paragraphs vs. seventeen. 

Also, Google Bard using the facts provided returned a story with multiple errors. The highlighted words are inaccurate. I wonder where Bard gets its information. Google perhaps?

  • The sentences about his military service are far from the facts provided. My father, Bruce Glover, was in the Army. He never operated a radio or served as a gunner.
  • The returning to Hazel Park after the war to work as a sports editor is the same problem I had with ChatGPT. It leads me to think I need to fix something in my fact list.
  • The teaching in Kalamazoo is another erroneous fact. This is created because I have a fact about teacher certification that was given from Western Michigan University in 1950. ChatGPT returned the same interpretation from this fact.
  • My mother's name was Fredrick, not Frederick. I have the correct spelling in the fact list.
  • They had four children, not two. I didn't include any number of children in my fact list.
  • The Palms church was Lutheran, not Methodist.
  • Bruce Glover never belonged to the Kiwanis Club in Kalamazoo, or any Kiwanis Club.
  • Bruce Glover moved to Kalamazoo in 1990.

Some of the errors in the story have to do with the gaps in my listing of facts in Roots Magic. The AI generated story shows I need to clarify some things in my database. The AI generated story is only going to be as good as the information given to it.

 I am guessing here because I don't know what sources Bard uses, probably Google search engine, but AI generation finds online information (Palms Methodist Church, Kiwanis Membership) and pulls it from the web into the story.

 I wrote before about AI generation not being perfect and I caution family history researchers to analyze any results they get before posting it publicly. We have seen many trees that are shared with erroneous information and people repeatedly keep sharing these trees. Don't do this with stories. If you write using an AI generator inform your reader of this fact.

 I tried out two AI generation products, ChatGPT and Google Bard. These aren't the only ones that can generate stories from a set of facts. I don't plan to try them all out, but you may find one you like better than another. For now, I will play around with ChatGPT, but it won't replace writing my own blog posts.

For a list of AI generators for text, check out We are Developers, The Best AI Chatbots: ChatGPT and Other Alternatives, article for a list of generators and their pros and cons. 

AI and genealogy will be a good fit and I am looking forward to what the future brings in this area. 


06 November 2023

Writing a Family History Story Using Articial Intelligence (AI)

I watched Wiki Tree's panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Genealogy, Sunday, November 5th via YouTube. I know very little about AI and this panel discussion was well done and had noted people in the fields of AI and Genealogy.

The panel participants were Facilitator, Eowyn the Elf, from Wiki Tree; Drew Smith, The Genealogy Guys podcast guru; Dana Leeds, genealogist and founder of the Leeds Method for DNA; Steve Little, AI program director for National Genealogical Society; Thomas MacEntee, genealogist, educator, and founder of Genealogy Bargains; Rob Warthen, DNA gedcom developer; and Willie Williams, genealogy software developer of MORI.

The discussion started out explaining what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is and segued into uses relating to genealogy, copyright and AI, ethical considerations, and more. 

One thing I learned is the difference what Artificial Intelligence is and what an AI generator is. Artificial intelligence is a computer that acts more like a human. It is the intelligence of machines as opposed to humans.

An AI generator is a type of software that uses Artificial Intelligence for written copy. These are simplistic definitions, and the panel went into more scientific definitions, but this is what I understand it to mean. There are different AI generators, but the one people may have heard about is ChatGPT. There are AI generators for art, too.

One thing the panel stressed is that AI is changing rapidly. What we see today will be totally different in a month. 

I decided to see just what ChatGPT 3.5 could do for me. Could it write a story based on a number of given facts? The results blew me away. This was the process I used.

First, I went to my Roots Magic Genealogy Software and created a Timeline (Chronology) List for my father, Bruce Glover. I chose the Individual timeline list. I could have selected other people to include, but I chose just my father. I clicked generate report.

Next, I saved my timeline in RTF (rich text format) to My Documents. I copied the Timeline and pasted it into ChatGPT 3.5. The timeline is below. 

The facts generated in a timeline on Roots Magic are:

Age    Date                Fact/Place

0 17 Feb 1925 Birth: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States1 5 1930–1936 Education: Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, United States2 5 1930 Census: Royal Oak, Oakland, Michigan, United States3 11 1936–1938 Education: Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, United States2,4 18 17 Feb 1943 Military: Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, United States5 18 Jun 1943 Occupation: sports editor; Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, United States 18 Jun 1943 Graduation: Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, United States2 18 From Jun 1943 to May 1946 Military: newspaper articles; Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, United States6 18 From Jun 1943 to May 1946 Military: World War II2,7 25 3 Apr 1950 Census: Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States8 25 Jun 1950 Education: Teacher Certification; Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States9 27 31 May 1952 Marriage: Audrey Jane FREDRICK; Onekama, Manistee, Michigan, United States10 30 1 Jul 1955 Occupation: Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States11 39 20 Mar 1964 Baptism: Palms, Sanilac, Michigan, United States12 39 22 Mar 1964 Confirmation: Palms, Sanilac, Michigan, United States13 57 24 Jan 1983 Occupation: Denton, Denton, Texas, United States14 78 21 Sep 2003 Misc: Mt. Pleasant, Isabella, Michigan, United States15 79 5 May 2004 Awd: Driver of the Year; Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States16 87 31 May 2012 60th Ann.: Audrey Jane FREDRICK; Portage, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States17 93 8 Sep 2018 Death: at home; Portage, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States17

The AI generated story was:

Bruce David Glover's life was a tapestry of events that unfolded across nearly a century. Born in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, on February 17, 1925, his story was marked by a remarkable journey through education, service, love, and achievement.

As a young boy, Bruce's education began in Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan, where he attended school from 1930 to 1936. Those early years in Hazel Park would lay the foundation for his future endeavors.

In 1930, a snapshot in time, the U.S. Census recorded young Bruce and his family residing in Royal Oak, Oakland, Michigan. The country was in the midst of the Great Depression, and the world was slowly emerging from the grip of economic hardship.

By 1936, Bruce continued his education in Hazel Park, further honing his knowledge and skills. Little did he know that the next few years would bring significant changes to his life.

On his 18th birthday in 1943, Bruce embarked on a new chapter when he joined the military, enlisting in Hazel Park, Oakland, Michigan. World War II was raging, and young men like Bruce were answering the call to serve their nation. It was a courageous step for a young man, filled with dreams and aspirations.

However, Bruce was more than just a soldier. In June 1943, he took on the role of a sports editor while still stationed in Hazel Park. His love for sports and his writing skills combined in a unique way, allowing him to share the stories of his fellow servicemen and women. It was during this time that he also graduated, marking an important academic milestone.

Throughout his military service, from June 1943 to May 1946, Bruce continued his work as a sports editor and wrote newspaper articles, capturing the essence of his comrades' experiences during World War II. His words became a bridge between the soldiers on the front lines and the folks back home.

After the war, at the age of 25, Bruce was enumerated in the 1950 U.S. Census in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, reflecting the changes in his life as he transitioned from the military to civilian life.

Bruce's commitment to education was unwavering, as evidenced by his pursuit of a Teacher Certification in Kalamazoo in June 1950. His dedication to learning was a testament to his passion for knowledge and self-improvement.

The greatest milestone in Bruce's personal life occurred on May 31, 1952, when he married Audrey Jane FREDRICK in Onekama, Manistee, Michigan. Their union marked the beginning of a beautiful journey together.

In the following years, Bruce found occupation in Kalamazoo, where he continued to contribute to his community. His work became a testament to his determination and his commitment to making a difference.

As time passed, Bruce's faith played a significant role in his life. On March 20, 1964, he was baptized in Palms, Sanilac, Michigan, and on March 22, 1964, he received confirmation in the same place. His spiritual journey was an important aspect of his identity.

Bruce's life took him to Denton, Denton, Texas, where he found a new occupation on January 24, 1983. This marked another chapter in his professional journey, highlighting his adaptability and willingness to embrace change.

In 2003, Bruce experienced a notable event in Mt. Pleasant, Isabella, Michigan, which left its mark on his life and memories. The details of this event remain a cherished part of his personal history.

In recognition of his achievements and contributions, Bruce was honored as the Driver of the Year in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, on May 5, 2004. This recognition celebrated his dedication and excellence in his field.

On May 31, 2012, Bruce and Audrey celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Portage, Kalamazoo, Michigan, a testament to the enduring love and commitment they shared.

Bruce David Glover's journey reached its final chapter on September 8, 2018, when he passed away at home in Portage, Kalamazoo, Michigan. His legacy lives on through the memories of those who knew him and through the stories he wrote and the life he lived. Bruce's life was a story of service, love, achievement, and the enduring bonds he forged throughout his long and meaningful journey.

I was gob smacked by the way ChatGPT made it interesting. Was it perfect? No. The highlighted sections about his military time needed correction. It is probably because of the way facts are recorded in Roots Magic. My father had to graduate high school before he entered the military. He went to basic training in the summer and never wrote about his military experience for the Hazel Park paper.

He never worked in Kalamazoo after the war. This fact was from his graduate school time in Kalamazoo.

I copied the story just the way it was written. Upon reading it, I saw gaps in my research and areas where I needed to write descriptions. One example was the highlighted "details of the event". I need to include that in the facts for that event.

I noticed I was missing facts. Where is the 1940 Census fact? It is in Roots Magic. Another one was a big gap from his time in Kalamazoo to his time in Denton, Texas. He had thirty years of teaching and coaching during these years. I haven't recorded it in Roots Magic.

This is one example how artificial intelligence can help with our research. Imagine what all it can do! As I said above, AI is changing rapidly. I bet I could go back to Chat GPT with the same facts and get a different story in a week or month.

The panel envisioned future AI possiblilities including looking at databases and giving feedback on errors beyond what we have now, facillitating collaboration, creating transcriptions, and more.

Where I think Chat GPT shines is in organizational type things, i.e. outlines, presentation organization, brainstorming ideas, or suggesting topics.

I am looking forward to the AI future and all it can do for genealogy.

Gunner's Mate 3/c Ray Fredricks Served Four Years in Navy


Photographs in the collection of Audrey Glover, my mother.

Ray Edwin Fredricks, is the ninth child of Otto August Fredricks and Daisy Ellen Graf Fredricks. He was born 16 June 1932 on the family farm in Dickson Township, Manistee county, Michigan.

Uncle Ray entered the service on 10 Jul 1951 and served until discharge on 17 Jun 1955. He was a Gunner's Mate 3/c in the Navy. An 8 December 1953 article in the Manistee New Advocate, Manistee, Michigan reports that Ray was at the U.S. Naval Receiving Station, Norfolk, Virginia awaiting further assignment to the Naval unit in the Atlantic area. He was in the Korean War.

03 November 2023

Fort Custer Friday: The Postcards

Fort Custer related postcards are numerous at the Fort Custer Historical Society. There are eight eras of postcards and Fort Custer has postcards from so of these eras. The eras and examples from Fort Custer's collection are: 

Pioneer Era (Pre-1898) The address was the only thing allowed on the back of the card. Writing was on the front of the card. I haven't found any postcards from this era at Fort Custer

Private Mailing Card Era (1898-1901) no known postcards of this type have been found at Fort Custer. Private Mailing is on the front of these postcards.

Undivided Back Postcard Era (1901-1907)
 The first time the word 'postcard' was used on what we know as postcards. Only the address was allowed on these postcards.This is a 1914 postmarked postcard, but it shows the undivided back. Writing was supposed to be on the front. The back was reserved for the address. This postcard was sent to George V. Orban, Brooklyn, N.Y. The sender is unknown.

Divided Back Era – Golden Age of Postcards (1907-1915) The first-time messages were allowed on the back of postcards along with the address. This covers the WWI era. "Chow Time" shows World War I soldiers eating in a trench. Notice the explanation telling senders where to write the 'correspondence' and where to write the 'name and address'.  

White Border Era (1915-1930) A white border was used to control printing costs during this period. Many of the postcards have white borders. I chose this one for historical value.

Linen Era (1930-1945) Brighter colors were used on paper that resulted in a texture appearance. This linen postcard is of the day room at Percy Jones Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. It was sent to Mrs. J.A. Campbell in Berlin, N.H. from Pvt. E.W. Campbell, a patient at Percy Jones Hospital in 1943.

Photochrome Era (1939-1970) New technology was developed that allowed printing on glossy paper with photographic images on the postcards. The 1957 Camp Grayling, Grayling, Michigan postcard shows vibrant colors and was taken from a photograph.

Continental Period (1970-present) Standards for size were introduced during this time. 4" x 6" became the standard in the United States. Today's postcards fit into this category.

Categories for the Fort Custer collection includes: 

Buildings                           Musicians                         Training

Formations                        Weapons                           Personnel        

Maneuvers                        Dormitory Life                 Camp Life

Mess Hall                         Parade Grounds                Arrivals

Recreation                        Exercise                            Uniforms

Vehicles                            Street Scenes                    Engineers

There are a number of Souvenir Folders which have multiple postcards in a set. 

Camp Custer

Camp Custer, Mich

For Home and Country

U. S. National Guard Camp Custer

U.S. National Army Cantonment Camp Custer

In Camp and Out

Fort Custer

Currently, the library is only available by appointment. If you are interested in visiting the library, please contact the Fort Custer Historical Society via their website.

I plan to use my blog to let others know what is available at the Fort Custer Historical Society library. Check back on the first Friday of every month for more information. I will be sharing manuscript information, unique resources, vertical file topics, postcards, photographs, and more.

Previous posts 

Fort Custer Friday: The Library

Fort Custer Friday: Manuscripts