Sunday, May 19, 2019

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS- Week 13 ~ A fire at the Witchell shoe factory 16 Oct 1900 in Detroit–Horace Thorp, my 2nd great grandfather mentioned in an article

Honoring those who were killed and injured in this fire
Alonzo D. Ireson, age 63 – died
Ernest Lizzote, age 28 – died
Charles O’Connor, age 63 – injured
Joseph Pullare, age 21 – injured
Jennie McTaggart, age 16 – injured
Augustino Sufurto, age 28 – injured
Charles H. Dessottell, age 55 – injured
Daniel Cardinal, age 45 – injured
Mabel Straight, age 14 – injured
Minnie Corbett, age 22 – injured

Sometimes when we run our ancestor’s names on the newspaper websites we find surprises.  Whether it’s general articles about visiting family, a car being stolen or a court case, I’m always intrigued.

In this case I was trying to find out more about my 2nd great grandfather, Horace Henry Thorp (1836 in New York to 1907 in Washington), married to Catherine C. DORSEY and together they had 10 children.

I found this article mentioning him.  It said he worked next door to the Witchell shoe factory which caught on fire and injured several people and killed two.  I know from Detroit City Directory listings that Horace, indeed, did work at the laundry next door to the shoe factory.

Detroit Free Press, 19 Oct 1900, pg 2

I went on to find a couple of more articles referring to the fire.  It’s very sad to think of those who lost their lives and those who were injured.
Detroit Free Press, 17 Oct 1900, pg 1 and 24 Oct 1900, pg 4

From the article published 24 Oct 1900, page 4, in the Detroit Free Press, we can read that there was an “open verdict” as to the cause of the fire.  What they had at that time was a probability and some evidence on how it may have begun. 
Was there further investigation?  If so, what was the conclusion or verdict? 
I located this article about one of the fire victims, Jennie McTaggert, who died of shock from another incident just 2 years after the fire.  Here is the article about her death.
Death of Jennie McTaggert - Detroit Free Press 2 Dec 1901, pg 5

It seems to me the families would have wanted to know more about how the fire started which injured and killed family members.  I have not located any other articles.  

If you know anything more about this incident, I’d love to hear from you.  If you are connected with anyone mentioned in this article, please contact me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ Charles J. Thorp & Clara Peterson–3 Jun 1899 in Spokane, Washington

Honoring the marriage of Charles J. Thorp & Clara C. Peterson

Charles J. Thorp is my 1st cousin 3 times removed.  He’s the son of Monson Thorp, Jr. (my 2nd great granduncle) and Eudora Louise Searls. He married Clara C. Peterson on 3 Jun 1899 in Spokane, Spokane Co., Washington.

Charles worked as a Merchant at a woodyard, a Foreman at a dairy farm and as a Laundryman at a laundry, according to the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records.

He and Clara had the following children: Monson, born 1900, Perry E., born 1903, Glenn H., born about 1915, Verris, born 1917 and Wayne M. born about 1922.

I have not yet located a death record for Charles Thorp.  However, he is enumerated in the 1930 census and by 1940, Clara is living with two of her sons, Monson and Wayne, and listed as a widow.

If you are connected to anyone mentioned in this post, please contact me.  I’d love to learn more about this family and exchange information with you.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ William Ritchie & Agnes Craigmile–my maternal 2nd great granduncle and aunt–17 Mar 1839, Midmar, Aberdeen, Scotland

Celebrating the marriage of William Ritchie & Agnes Craigmile in 1839

William Ritchie, my 2nd great granduncle descends from my 3rd great grandparents, Archibald Ritchie & Margaret Ewen of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

He was about 21 years old when he and Agnes married. Agnes was about 27 years old.  They were married on 17 Mar 1839 in Midmar, Aberdeen, Scotland1 a month after the birth of their daughter, Margaret.  I wondered if perhaps, Agnes had been married prior to William? Two reasons to ask this question are: She would have been about 27 at the time of marriage which is “older” at that time in history.  And, their daughter was born, according to birth records, a month prior to the banns being filed.  I have searched for another marriage for Agnes and not found one.

William worked as a shoemaker in the census records for 1841, 1851 and 1871 and as listed on his death record on 21 Aug 18792.  Agnes had died just a year earlier on 18 Jul 1878.

This couple had 7 known children – Margaret born 17 Feb 1839, Alexander born 17 Sep 1840, William (1842-1868), David (1844-1928) who married Louise Henrietta Frey, Agnes born 13 Jun 1848, Andrew born 6 Jul 1850 and Mary Anne born about 1854.  All the children were born in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Both William & Agnes are buried in Glentanar Kirkyard, Aboyne, Aberdeen, Scotland.  You may visit their memorials here #135839094 and #1358391683

Sources: 1Scotland’s People ©Crown copyright and copyright brightsolid ltd: Genealogy, family history and family tree information.  A partnership between the National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon enabled by brightsolid. 2 – Scotland’s People; 3

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Monday, April 15, 2019

Hello readers - well, it's springtime and that means cruise time.

Be on the lookout for new posts coming the week of May 6th.

Until then, thanks for following my blog.

Michigan Girl

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Hazen P. Ward and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lindsay–Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lindsay is my 1st cousin twice removed.  This makes her the granddaughter of my 2nd great grandparents, William Lindsay and Mary Wallace.

I learned more about Lizzie when I connected with my 3rd cousin, Marian.  She is a descendant of Lizzie’s parents Robert Lindsay, Sr. and Catherine “Kittie” Erb.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lindsay was born 22 Jun 1893 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. She was a twin.  Her twin brother was Robert Lindsay (1893-1977).

Lizzie was married four times.  First to Robert Bruce on 16 Oct 1912, divorced in 1922; 2nd to Thomas A. Bollman on 30 Jul 1923, divorced in 1933; 3rd to Frederick Ollson 26 Sep 1935 who died 21 May 1950 and last to Hazen P. Ward.  I haven’t located the marriage record for Lizzie & Hazen as of this date.

I plan to write a follow up post about Lizzie’s marriages and life.
She is buried at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  Her fourth husband, Hazen P. Ward is buried alongside her.  They are in the South Lake Section, Lot 429, Spaces 7 & 8.  You may visit their memorials here – Hazen #194746445 and Elizabeth “Lizzie” #194746577.

If you are connected to any of the people mentioned in this post, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, April 3, 2019



No one wants to have to search and search to try to find a document or image that you KNOW you saved to your computer. Whether it was last week or last year, you should be able to locate anything you want, easily, with a click or two of your mouse.

Here is how I do it:
  1. CREATE YOUR MASTER FOLDER:  Decide where on your computer you want your genealogy information to be located. Such as in your C drive under PICTURES, DOCUMENTS, GENEALOGY, MEDIA or something else. You decide where that “Master” location will be. From that point on, ALL of your images will be located in that folder and in the subsequent sub-folders you will create. When I say "images" I am talking about photos, census, land records, probate etc. Anything that you scan or download to add to your family tree.
  2. CREATE YOUR SURNAME FOLDERS: Once you’ve decided on the MASTER folder, it’s time to create your surnames folders.  I began this process about 12 years ago when I only had 2,000 people and not very many surnames. Therefore, I created folders for each surname.  You could also create a set of folders for paternal lines, maternal lines or set of grandparents etc.  There are many ways to do this.  Just remember YOU WANT THIS TO BE EASY.  As the years have gone by, many more surname folders have been created in my files. 
  3. Here’s what I’m talking about. I use Windows 10 and this set of surname folders is under my MASTER folder which is located on my C drive.

Under each surname I want sub-folders to identify the documents/images I have saved. I want them to be very clear and very easy to identify. Birth, death, marriage, cemetery info, immigration, newspaper articles, probate etc.  In the ensuing years I have added a DNA folder for each surname.  Others have added their own particular folders, depending on their needs and their own family.  That's the advantage of having this system.  You can update & change it at any time, while still keeping your base system in place. 

I have found over the years that these folders cover most everything. I rarely use the Misc. folder, but it’s there in case I run across the odd item that won’t fit elsewhere.

Just to be clear. Here are the steps: 
· Create your MASTER folder in you C drive – called Genealogy or My Surnames or whatever you want.
· Create surname folders
· Create your sub folders (see my suggestion below so you don't have to create all these sub folders each time under every surname.  YOU CREATE THEM ONLY ONCE AND COPY AND PASTE THEM.

Under each surname you will have a list of sub-folders to easily identify your items. Create these sub folders just ONCE (see my instructions below) and keep them where you can find them. Then copy & paste them under each surname.

Nobody wants to have to right click, then go to “new folder” and create each of those sub-folders for every surname, over & over, right? Here is how I avoided that problem. 
I created a folder under C:/GENEALOGY called “Gene-folders for each surname file.”

Here is the list I have created.  ONE TIME.

I do this just ONE time and then I SELECT ALL the folders, copy & paste them into each of the surname folders. BINGO! You are done and ready to move on.
NOTE: Shortcuts that make it even easier.

Ctrl A to highlight the folders you want to place in the surname folder
Ctrl C to copy copies the highlighted folders. Now go to your surname folder &
Ctrl V to paste these sub folders in the surname folder.
The keyboard shortcuts above can be used for anything and will save you tons of time, no matter what you are copying & pasting.

NOW THE FUN PART - Find all of your documents/images scattered all over your computer and move each of them to the folders you have created.  WOW!  How easy is this going to be when you want to find that specific birth, marriage or death record?
EXAMPLES: Let’s say I’m looking for a birth or death record for someone with the surname HART.
Here are examples. I want to find a birth record for Henry G. Hart. You can see that I’ve clicked on birth under the Hart surname and there are all my records.  It's easy to find Henry G. Hart on the list.  I like to view my files in list format with a preview on the right hand side.  And, here it is.  Just like that you've found the exact record.

Now I want to find a death record for Ashley Hart.  I go to the HART surname folder, then click on "death-obits," then on the right hand side you see all the death records and can easily locate Ashley's record.

How easy was that?

We all or at least most of us started out with file names like, Grandma, Easter 1910, or my Mom in 1950.
We have learned that those file names don’t work. In fact, if that kind of identifier is written on the back of any photo we should “fix” it so that someone in the future knows who this person is. 
These rules apply to ALL photos and to documents.
Whether you are scanning & saving them, or you grab them from a website. Whether they are census records, birth records, probate records or family photos. 

There MUST be a file naming standard.
I use this rule for naming all of my files.

I begin with the LAST NAME IN CAPS, then proceed from there with the first name (if known), what the record is and then when & where. You may use underscores, dashes or spaces between the items. I have used underscores for years and still do.  You might not always have all 4 pieces of information, but you record what you do have.
In viewing the sample above for the HART family, you can see how easy it is to locate a record using this method.

A WORD ABOUT CENSUS & CITY DIRECTORY RECORDS - My naming standard for these two records does change.  I want to be able to locate those records by the year, since there are generally so many of them for each surname.  Therefore, I put the year first, then the Who, What, Where. Example: 1910_GOULD_William & family_1405 Cole_DetroitMI

NOTE:  Use of the A-L, M-Z folders that you see in the very first screen shot.  I created these folders for those surnames that I don't think I will do very much research on.  Like perhaps a 4th cousin twice removed, or grandfather of your great uncle's wife's father.  Maybe you were only looking at them to try and find more information on a particular person.  You might only want to save one or two documents.  To me this doesn't generate a whole new surname folder. You can still copy & paste the sub folders under the A-Z folder so I can locate items easily.
If you should find that a particular surname that started in the A-Z folder has now become more of a focus and you are saving a lot of documents or images, then just create a surname folder and transfer the images to those files by using copy and paste.  
I have had to do this, but not very often.  I still find the A-Z folder useful for my purposes.  
Now multiply this by how many times you are searching for a record and you will find that having a system is worth its weight in gold. It may take you a little bit of time to create your system, but in the end you will be forever grateful for having done it. I know that back when I had to come up with something that would actually WORK, it made my life going forward a thousand times easier.
I certainly hope this has been helpful. If you have comments, please share them with me. I’d love to hear your success stories too. Did this system work for you once you implemented it? Have you come up with an even better system? I’m all ears.

COPYRIGHT © 2013-2019 Diane Gould Hall   All rights reserved

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A few fun questions

This topic and the questions were originally posted by Randy Seaver on his blog  Genea-Musings.

1. Who are you named after?  My middle name is my mother's first name, otherwise, no other Diane's in the family.

2. Last time you cried? Honestly, it's been a while.

3. Do you like your handwriting?  It's ok.  Readable, but nothing fancy.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?  Tuna

5.  Spicy or sweet?  Spicy.

6. Longest relationship?  Sibling

7. Do you still have your tonsils? No

8. Would you bungee jump? Not at this time in my life

9. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Trader Joe's O's

10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes

11. Do you think you're strong? Physically - yes, because I work out a lot at the gym

12. Favorite ice cream? Dark chocolate gelato

13. What is the first thing you notice about a person? Their smile and their teeth

14. Football or baseball? Neither - hockey

15. What color pants are you wearing? black

16. Last thing you ate? English muffin and yogurt

17. What are you listening to? The sound of the birds outside my window

18. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Royal blue

19. What is your Favorite Smell?  Night blooming jasmine

20. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Ramona Disposal :)

21.  Are you married?  Yes

22. Hair color? Only my hairdresser knows

23. Eye color? Brown

24. Favorite foods to eat? Mac & cheese is my go to comfort food.

25. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.

26. Last movie you watched? Remains of the Day - seen it many times

27.What color shirt are you wearing? grey

28. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas

29. Beer or Wine? Wine

30. Night owl or morning person? Night owl, but I work best from 8 a.m. to about 2 p.m.

31. Favorite day of the week?  Any day - I'm retired

I look forward to seeing everyone's answers!