Friday, January 20, 2017

IT’S INAUGURATION DAY ~ How many Presidents were in office during my father’s lifetime? Let's use Legacy 8 to find out


It’s an amazing day in history. Every four years our country peacefully transfers power from one person to another (unless a President is chosen for a second term).  This process has been taking place since the election of George Washington, our first President.  It makes me very proud to be an American.

Today I asked myself – how many Presidents were elected/in office during the lifetime of my parents?  How about my grandparents?  Or me?  I’ll use my Dad as an example.

To find out, I used my Legacy 8 database.

Select the Chronology tab, then click on “Options” in the lower right corner.  You can customize your Chronology in many ways.  I will concentrate on the “Include” tab and choose “Select” under Other Options, as shown here.

Chron display options

Note, that you can even change the color of this display, by clicking on the “color” box above my red arrow.  This determines what color the item will show up as, in your timeline.  You can change all the colors in your timeline.

When you hit the “select” icon another screen comes up.  Note all your options on this screen.

chron selection screen

Now let’s click on the “Add a Timeline File.”

There are 51 different historical items for you to choose from on this list.  When you highlight one of them, the description field at the bottom tells you about that event.

Chron display timeline options

Here is a screen shot of my Dad’s timeline without any historical events.

Chron my Dad

Here is a screen shot of my Dad’s timeline with the historical event “U.S. Presidents” added.  I’ve marked the first 3.

chron with presidents_annot

You can see how valuable this display option can be for putting your ancestor in a place and time.  Want to know which wars went on during their lifetime, which amendments to the constitution were passed, which items were invented or any other of the 51 timeline options.

My Dad was born during the Presidency of William Howard Taft, the 27th President.  He died during the term of our 41st President, George H. W. Bush.

Which Presidents were in office during your lifetime or your parents?

Have you ever used the historical timeline in you genealogy software program?  If so, what did you discover?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, January 19, 2017

NEVER MARRIED ~ How many people do I have in my database who never married?

Let’s take a look and see who in our family is listed as never having been married?

The first thing I did was go to the “Search” tab in Legacy and select “Find.”  This allows me to enter the criteria for my search.

Never married in search window

This search created a list.  The first time I did it, I had 17 people.  I noticed right away that two of my ancestors, whom I know did not marry, were not on the list.  This means I had not checked the appropriate box in Legacy, to indicate this condition.  I went back into Legacy and checked the box and then created a new list.
TIP:  The box that is checked in Legacy to indicate that a person wasn’t married and had no children is located on the Individual’s Information screen.  However, I would like to see the wording changed.  Right now it says “This individual has no relationships and no children.”   It would be nice to have two boxes – one that says “never married” and the other “no children.”  We may not know the name of another party involved with our ancestor and the ancestor may well have had children and not named the other parent.

Please note that there are two boxes to check in the Marriage/Relationship screen – one for “This couple did not marry” and the other “This couple had no children”

Individual screen

Here is the list created by Legacy showing the names of those 19 individuals in my database for whom that box is checked.

Never married list

There are 5070 people in my Legacy database.  So, this cannot be a complete list of those individuals who never married.
We can perhaps, assume anyone who died young (under 15) would never have married.  However, I obviously didn’t check the box for those individuals, or they would be on this list.  Yes, some people may have married prior to that, but that number would be quite small, if any. 

What other type of list can I create that would help me with this statistic?  What I’m trying to find is a search by age.  I am unable to locate this particular criteria in the search conditions listed in Legacy.

Therefore, I am unable to create a list of those who are under 15 and go back and check the “never married” box.
Can any of you think of another way to check this statistic?

This little exercise today has made me aware that I need to make sure I mark all appropriate boxes in each person’s information screen.



Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, January 14, 2017

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS–Week #2–Thomas Gillespie–My 3rd Great Grandfather-1794-1868

I’ll start this post off by saying that I have limited information about the life of my 3rd great grandfather, Thomas Gillespie.  Here’s what I do know.

Thomas was born about 1794 in Stenton, Derbyshire, England possibly to Robert Gillespie and Elizabeth (maiden name not known).  My source for the parent’s is information I received from another researcher.  I have not been able to verify the information, yet.

Thomas married Susannah BARROWCLIFF in 1815 in Wilne, Derbyshire, England.  Here is the only image for that marriage that I currently have, from Pallots Marriage Index 1780-1837, found on

GILLESPIE_Thomas & BARROWCLIFF_Susannah_Pallots marriage index for England

Here is a map of the area where Derbyshire is located in England.  Also on this map is the location of Devonshire, where this family moves to after the birth of their son, John in 1821 and before the birth of twins, Joseph and Robert in 1825.

map of england_annot

I have located baptismal records for some of the children.  The children I have so far, for this couple are:

David, baptized 12 Jan 1817 in Derbyshire, died in 1866 in Tiverton, Devonshire
John, baptized 14 Feb 1819 in Derbyshire
William, baptized 29 Apr 1821 in Derbyshire
Twins, Joseph and Robert, born 23 Oct 1825 in Devonshire (I believe they may have died young and two other children were later named after them)
Robert, born about 1828 married Elizabeth COSWAY in 1849
Mary A. baptized 13 Sep 1829 in Devonshire
Thomas, born about 1832 in Devonshire, married Sophia CARPTENTER
Richard born about 1836 in Devonshire, married Eliza Jane PATTERSON in 1854
Joseph (my 2nd great grandfather), born 11 Apr 1837 in Devonshire, married Susan BURGESS on 24 Dec 1859 in Tiverton, Devon, England and immigrated to the United States in 23 Dec 1862 with his wife and their oldest child, also named Susan.

That’s 9 boys and 1 girl.  According to a letter written to me, by my grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne (who was the family historian before me), there were 12 boys and 1 girl born to this couple.  I’m still looking for 3 more boys.

I’ve located Thomas and Susannah and their family in the 1841 and 1851 English census records.  They were living in Tiverton, Devon at the time.  I have not been able to locate this family in the 1861 English census.
Here is the 1841 census.  This shows Thomas and Susannah with their children, William, Mary, Robert, Thomas, Richard and Joseph.  Thomas is working in the Lace industry, which fits with other records I have for him.

1841_GILLESPIE_Thomas and family_1841 Tiverton_Devon_England_annot

Here’s a close up of the family.

1841_GILLESPIE_Thomas and family_1841 Tiverton_Devon_England_annot - Copy

Here’s the family in the 1851 census. 

1851 EnglandCensus-Burgess-Gillespie_annot 
NOTE:  Living next door are Henry Burgess and his family.  Among the children in the Burgess household is a daughter named Susan.  She married Joseph Gillespie on 24 Dec 1859 and became my 2nd great grandmother.
Also of note in this census is a granddaughter named Mary A., age 8.  This would put her birth about 1843.  My original thought was that she was the daughter of Mary Ann Gillespie.  However, Mary Ann would have been 14 at the time of the birth.  Certainly not impossible.  I don’t have a husband for Mary Ann Gillespie, nor have I found other records for her.  So is Mary A. the 8 yr. old hers?  Or is she the daughter of one of the brothers and just named after Mary Ann?

The only other record I have for Thomas is a death record.  He died 16 Jan 1868, age 74 years.  His occupation is listed as Foreman of Silk department, Lace Manufactory.  He died of Bronchitis.  I obtained this record by sending a request to the General Register Office.

GILLESPIE_Thomas_1868_death cert_England

I have located no records for the death of Thomas’ wife, Susannah.  I also have no burial location for Thomas.  I’ve always wished the UK death records list the burial locations, as do many of the U.S. records.

I would certainly love to hear from any of you that may be related to either the Gillespie or the Burgess families.  With all those sons, there have to be many descendants.


AMANUENSIS MONDAY - My grandmother's journal with info & photos of Susan Burgess

AMANUENSIS MONDAY - With info & photos of Joseph Gillespie

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, January 12, 2017

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ The marriage record of my great grandmother, Susan Gillespie and her 2nd husband, Clyde J. Smith - 1904

MILNE_Susan nee GILLESPIE marriage to Clyde J SMITH_Apr 1904

My great grandmother, Susan Anne Gillespie married her second husband Clyde J. “C.J.” Smith on 11 Apr 1904 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  She had lost her first husband, my great grandfather, Andrew Charles Milne to tuberculosis in Dec 1892.  It must have been a very sad time, as Susan was pregnant with their fourth child, a daughter, who was born in Jun 1893, seven months after the death of Andrew Milne.
Other records that I have for Susan indicate that her middle name was Anne.  This record and her death certificate give her middle name as Mary.

One of the interesting things about the marriage of Susan and Clyde, is the age difference.  Susan was 43 years old at the time of the marriage and Clyde was just 25 years old.  This is the first time, in our family, I’ve found a wife that much older than a husband.
I always wonder how people met.  That is one of the questions I would ask all of my ancestors….if only I could.

Here is the handwritten marriage record for this couple.  One thing I noted on this record is that their ages appear to differ from what I have in other records for them.  I have Clyde being born in 1878, which would make his age 26 at the time of the marriage.  This record gives his age as 32.  I have Susan being born in 1860, making her age at the time of the marriage 44.  This record indicates she was 38.  They each changed their age by 6 years.

GILLESPIE_Susan to 2n husband Clyde SMITH_1904_Detroit_enh

I have found no record of any children born to this couple.  Susan’s two living children would have been 21 and 11 at the time of the marriage.  My grandfather, Joseph A. Milne, age 21 in 1904, is listed in the Detroit City Directory listing as living at the same address as Clyde J. Smith.

Clyde worked as an Electrician and a Mechanical Engineer, according to the 1920 census and various city directory listings.  I have yet to be able to find Clyde & Susan in the 1910 census.  I looked again today with no luck.

Unfortunately, Susan became a widow for the second time when Clyde died of a brain tumor on 14 Nov 1927, in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  He was only 49 years old at the time of his death.
Susan did not remarry, but lived another 20 years, passing away at age 87 on 12 Nov 1947 in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan. 
Both Clyde and Susan are buried at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit.  In the same plot are her first husband, Andrew Charles Milne, their stillborn son, A.C. Milne and Joseph Milne’s oldest daughter, Dorothy, who died at age 13.  Sadly, there are no headstones for any of them.
One of my goals is to somehow find a way (aka the money) to erect a headstone in memory of these five family members who deserve to be remembered.  Here are the FindAGrave memorials for Clyde #39725148 and Susan #39725085.


WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Andrew Charles Milne & Susan Anne Gillespie - married in 1880

AMANUENSIS MONDAY - Birth & Death Dates from my Grandmother's Journal - July - including Susan Smith nee Gillespie

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I located this interesting article, about my grandfather, Harry W. Gould, published in the Detroit Free Press, Saturday, May 12, 1956.

GOULD_Harry_W_who won_home_law_suit_DFP_12_May_1956_Sat_pg_2_annot

The home in question was located at 29060 Lone Elm Lane in Southfield, Michigan.  Here is an aerial view from Google Earth.  This street is located just north of Twelve Mile Rd., a few blocks east of Evergreen Rd.

This home was located about 8.5 miles from where my grandparents home was located on Asbury Park in Detroit.  I remember their home very well. 

asbury park to lone elm ln_annot

The dispute over who won the home, based on their guess of how many nails were used in building the home, took place in 1956.  I would have been six years old and my family was still living in Detroit at the time.  We were at my grandparent’s house a lot.  I have to think there was talk about this around the dinner table, or after dinner in the living room.  Don’t you wish you could go back in time and record every conversation?  The things your grandparents and parents talked about?  I know I wish I could.

Here is another newspaper article mentioning that the dispute will be heard in court.


I kept searching to see if I could find out what the court ruling was in the case, and sure enough I found an article published in the Detroit Free Press on December 18, 1957, page 3. 


According to this article, my grandfather, Harry W. Gould, didn’t get the house.  However, he did get a settlement amounting to $7,500 to be paid in monthly installments of not less than $75.
This settlement occurred in December 1957.  My grandparents moved to Pompano Beach, Florida within a year or two of that date.  My parents, my brother and I had moved to Pompano Beach sometime in 1957.  We lived a block away from my grandparents.  Sadly, my grandpa, Harry W. Gould, died in February of 1960.  By 1965 my Dad, my brother and I had all moved to San Diego.  My grandmother sold her home in Pompano Beach and moved in with us in about 1967. 

I calculated the payments of that $7,500, if paid at $75 per month, would have gone on for a little over 8 years.  Assuming that they were continued once my grandfather, Harry, had passed away.
This was certainly an interesting find and something I’d never heard a thing about.  I even talked to my brother this morning and asked him if he remembered anything about it.  He did not.
What newspaper articles have you discovered about your family?  I’d love to hear about them.



FRIDAY FINDS - Anna M. Bezner hit & killed by street car in Detroit in 1906

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS–Week #1–Cornelius FISHER, Sr. (1629-1698/99) of Wrentham, Massachusetts

2-Wrentham sign on highway
Photo taken by me as my husband and I entered Wrentham for the first time ever, in November 2009
Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I've been wanting to participate in this challenge since it began, I believe 2 years ago.  I’m going to try to write about one ancestor each week, in addition to my other posts.  Perhaps picking those I don’t yet know much about, in hopes that a cousin or two will pop up and help me fill in the blanks.

Today I’ve picked Cornelius FISHER, SR. who is my husband’s paternal 7th great grandfather.

My husband descends from Cornelius Fisher, Sr., as follows (note that the name Cornelius shows up in future generations of this family)

Cornelius FISHER & Sarah EVERITT
Sarah FISHER & Benjamin HALL
Capt. Jeremiah HALL & Dorothy HILL
Jesse HALL & Achsah CLARK
Cornelius Clark Hall & Elizabeth CONICK
Rev. George HALL & Almira ROSETTE
Thomas Cornelius HALL & Cora E. BROWN
Charles HALL & Daisy BRIGHT
Gordon HALL & Dorothy FINK
My husband

Here’s the information I have on Cornelius at this time:

He was born on 16 Aug 1629 in Denton, Norfolk, England to Anthony Fisher and Ales (maiden name unknown).1  On 22 Dec 16524 he married Leah HEATON in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts.  Leah was born before 13 Apr 1634 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England and died 12 Jan 1663/642 in Wrentham, Massachusetts.  Prior to Leah’s death I have 3 children being born to this couple:

Cornelius Fisher, Jr. (1660-abt 1723),
Ann Fisher (1661 – ?),
Eleazer Fisher (1663-1733)

Cornelius Fisher, Sr., next married Sarah EVERITT on 25 Jul 1665 in Dedham, Massachusetts.  I have no birth information for Sarah and I have recorded that she died in 1676 (no source for that info).  I have one child, a daughter, born to this couple; Sarah Fisher (1668-1751).

The information I have gives a death date for Cornelius Fisher, Sr. as about 2 Jan 1698, with his will being probated on 3 Feb 1699.3  He is buried at the Wrentham Center Cemetery in Wrentham, Norfolk, Massachusetts.
NOTE: I wish I’d have known this when my husband and I visited that cemetery in 2009.  I might have been able to locate his headstone, if there is one, and perhaps those of his two wives.  I did take over a dozen photos of other Fisher headstones at this cemetery.

I have located a FindAGrave memorial for him #142988235.  This memorial has his title as “Deacon” Cornelius Fisher.  I find no women named either Leah or Sarah listed on FindAGrave for this cemetery.

OBSERVATIONS:  If Leah and Cornelius were married in 1652 but the oldest child I have recorded for them was born in 1660, were there other children who were born to them prior to 1660?  That’s eight years and considering she had 3 children between 1660 and 1663, it’s likely.

NOTE:  I wrote the above observation prior to adding the sources listed below.  As I reviewed those sources I answered my own question, at least according to what is written.  On page 305 of The Great Migration Begins5, where Leah is mentioned, it states that she had 6 children.  This is an example of why I’ve found that writing posts for my blog has improved and enhanced my research.  We review material we have looked at before and notice new things.

Sources that provided various portions of the information listed above are:
1.  England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, FHL film 1657227, Item 29
2.  Massachusetts – Town & Vital Records, 1620-1988 – entry for death of Leah Fisher
3.  Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991, Vol. 13-14, Case #2523
4.  New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Clarence Amon Torrey, Volume 1, page 545
5. The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633, by Robert Charles Anderson, published 1996 – Biographical Sketch of Nathaniel Heaton, page 303-305.  Leah Heaton is mentioned on page 305.

Here’s the 3 pages from The Great Migration that talk about Nathaniel Heaton, Leah’s father and his descendants.
(These images are Used by permission of New England Historic Genealogical Society,

HEATON_Nathaniel_page 303 from the Great Migration HEATON_Nathaniel & widow Elizabeth_page 304 from the Great Migration HEATON_Nathaniel & Elizabeth & children_page 305_annot

Since I have a probate record for Cornelius Fisher, Sr., please stay tuned to a future Amanuensis Monday and I will transcribe and share that probate record.

I’d like to find out where both Leah and Sarah Fisher are buried.  I suspect they are also in Wrentham, so I will have to investigate.

If you are related to Cornelius Fisher, Sr., his wives or any of their descendants, I’d love to hear from you.  I’m hoping to make more cousin connections this year.


HAVE EARLY MASSACHUSETTS ANCESTORS?  This might be your lucky day

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Stats insert
This is a topic first shared by Randy Seaver on his Genea-Musings blog several years ago.  I enjoy seeing my progress for the year, so I’ve taken a look at these numbers for the last 4 years.
I can generate this information in Legacy 8 by selecting the “About Legacy” icon and then clicking on General.

Have I made progress in my research?
  • Have I added more people/individuals?
  • Do I have more Master Sources?
  • How about my source citations, more or not?
  • How does my percentage of citations compare to last year?

THIS IS MY REPORT FROM 2016 (created on 12/31/2016) – the build date refers to the date of the last update to my Legacy program.

I see an increase in almost every number, so that’s good news.
One of the statistics I’m always interested in is my Citations.  We all know how important it is to cite our sources. Have mine increased from last year to this year?  What is my percentage?  Last year my percentage rate was 225.9”% per person.
To get the number for this year,  I divide the Citations by the Number of Individuals – 11492 divided by 5060.
That gives me a percentage rate, per person of 227.1%.  That’s an increase of +1.2% from last year.  This means I continue to cite my sources and have improved over last year.  However, I’d like to see an even bigger improvement.  Because, between you and me, I’ve been a little bit lazy when it comes to entering my sources this year.
With an increase of 264 people in my database, I should be doing better.

Let’s take a look at the other numbers compared to last year.

2015 2016
CITATIONS 10834 11492

I’m happy with what I see.  I’ve added .72 individuals per day, 1.8 citations per day and 2 events per day.
My primary goal has never been to see how many people I can have in my tree.  I’ve been researching for 13 years.  Since I’ve been retired these past seven years, I research almost daily.  My primary concern is to document what I find and do thorough work, while growing the tree.  These results prove to me that I am meeting those goals.
If so, what are they?
  • Better sourcing
  • Finding more ancestors and adding them to your tree?
  • Going back to review the family members you added long ago?
Whatever they are, I wish you a successful year.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall