Monday, March 6, 2017

MILITARY MONDAY ~ Have you looked at the second page of your ancestor's World War II Draft Registration? It may contain physical characteristics of your ancestor

military monday header
Over the weekend I was looking at some pictures of my grandparents.  I wondered to myself “how tall were they?”  My brother, Norm and I are tall.  Our Dad was 6’ 2” and Mom was 5’ 6”.
Where am I likely to find physical descriptions for my grandparents?

For the women, I don’t know.  However, for the men, my grandfathers, it would be on the back of their World War II Draft Registration Card.  The back of those cards are on the page after the front, as you view the record online.  The World War I Draft Registration Cards were scanned so that you see both the front and back of the card on the same image on Ancestry.  Not so, with the World War II Draft cards.

Commonly referred to as the “Old Man’s Registration.” This draft registration was for those men alive in 1942, who were born between 1877 and 1888.
“This database is an indexed collection of the draft cards from the Fourth Registration, the only registration currently available to the public (the other registrations are not available due to privacy laws). The Fourth Registration, often referred to as the "old man's registration", was conducted on 27 April 1942. The records include name of registrant, age, birth date, birthplace, residence, employer information, and physical description.”
My paternal grandfather, Harry Whipple Gould was born in 1886 and my maternal grandfather, Joseph Albert Milne was born in 1883.  So, both of them fall in the birth years covered by this registration.
I immediately looked at my Legacy database where I record all information for my family.  Much of that information is added to the Events/Facts area of the file.  I checked the entry for my paternal grandfather, Harry W. Gould, and found that I did not have the WW II Draft Registration entered.  Had I located it and just failed to enter it? I looked at my maternal grandfather, Joseph A. Milne and the draft record and image are recorded as they should be.
I looked in my digital files and did find an image for the WW II Draft Card for Harry W. Gould, BUT, only the first page.
Off I went to Ancestry to find and download the second page, which contains the physical description.
Here is the card, both front and back.  You can see that Harry has listed himself as 5' 7" and 160 pounds.
GOULD_Harry W_WW II Draft Card 1942_DetroitWayneMI

TIP: I use the program Paint in order to combine the two images into one.  This is a free program on your PC (I can’t speak to Mac’s) and is very easy to use.  I use it daily.
There it is, the physical description of my grandfather, Harry W. Gould.  In reviewing family photos with everyone standing together, this description seems about right.
Here’s a photo of Harry W. Gould with his mother and brothers.  His brother Roy is listed as 5’ 6” tall on his WW II Draft card.  He and Harry look to be close to the same height.
 Gould_Mae & her boys-Ford-Harry & Roy_circa 1920_B&W_labeled

My next question was – Do I have a WW II Draft Registration Card for Ford Gould, the brother on the far left?  If not, why not?
It turns out that I had not downloaded and recorded the WW II Draft Card information for Ford Gould.  He is listed as 5’ 1”.  As he is several inches shorter than his brothers in this photo, is another piece of evidence that the height is about right.  We can never be sure that these registration cards are 100% correct.  The individual could easily have misrepresented any number of items.  

However, we take the information and compare it to what else we have and can come to a conclusion as to the validity.

This information allows me to estimate the height of the ladies in the family too.  If I can see that they are all standing at the same level I can estimate within a reasonable margin of error, their approximate height.

In this case for my great grandmother, Mae Thorp Gould, I can see that she is a bit taller than Ford.  Take into consideration her hair and that the ground may not be completely level, I would estimate her height between 5’ 1” and 5’ 3”.  She appears taller than Ford, but shorter than Harry & Roy.
Now I’m going to go back to my family photos and begin compiling the approximate heights of my ancestors.  I won’t be able to do this for everyone, but I bet I can find photos that allow me to guess a few of them.
Were your ancestors short or tall?  What other characteristics did they have that may or may not have passed down to you and your siblings?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, March 4, 2017

SEPIA SATURDAY ~ Great grandparent’s pictures–How many do you have?

Copy of Gould_Mae Thorp_full shot wearing fur stole in front of steps_enh
Mae Thorp Gould
Copy of GOULD_H.Norman-MyDad w-parents-grandp-Mae&Val 1918-WashDC
William V. Gould
GILLESPIE_Susan sitting on steps cropped from pic with Aunt Lulu
Susan Gillespie Milne

We each have 8 great grandparents. Depending on how old or young, you are, you may or may not have pictures of them.  Depending on the research you've been able to do, maybe you don't even know all their names.
Photography has been around since 1839.  I’m not going to go into the history of photography here, because I’m not an expert.  However, if you would like to learn more, there are experts out there.  One of them, I’ve followed for years is Maureen Taylor.  She is also known as the Photo Detective.  I own several of her books. She featured one of my family photos on her website in December 2008 you can see it here – Photo Clones, Duplicates in the Family.

The question today is, how many photos do you have of your great grandparents?  Here is what I have for me and my husband, Ron.

My great grandparents are:

William Gould & Mae Thorp – paternal greats

William Val Gould-headshot-circa 1900 GOULD_Mae_headshot wearing fur stole_enh

William Wallace Lindsay & Bessie Fitzcharles – paternal greats
LINDSAY_William W-repaired headshot-2 Elizabeth aka Bessie Fitzcharles Lindsay-headshot-repaired

Andrew Charles Milne & Susan Anne Gillespie – maternal greats

MILNE_Andrew C_5 x 7 restored portrait MILNE_Susan nee GILLESPIE_headshot wout hat

Robert Lee Bowden – no photo & Florence Hunter – maternal greats

Copy of Hunter_Florence Bowden

So, for my family I have photos of 7 out of 8 great grandparents.
Now for Ron’s family.

Ellmer E. Bright & Malissa M. Hunt – paternal greats – no photos

Thomas C. Hall – no photo & Cora E. Brown – paternal greats

HALL_Cora nee BROWN_sitting in chair_enhanced

George A. Fink & Barbara Ludwig – maternal greats – no photos

John Doller & Bertha A. Keller – maternal greats

DOLLER_John_headshot circa 1895_enh DOLLER_Bertha nee Ludwig_headshot circa 1895_enh

Sadly, for Ron’s family I have been able to locate pictures of only 3 out of 8 of his great grandparents.  If you are reading this and have any pictures of the family mentioned here, please contact me.

This has been an interesting study.  I cropped and enhanced photos as I was writing this post.  Always a good chance to review the images we have.

Because of the time frame of the lives of all of mine and Ron’s great grandparents, there were likely photos taken.  Most of the people mentioned here were alive after photography was common.  Most of them well into the 1900’s.
How many pictures of your great grandparents do you have?  Or maybe if you are of a younger generation, then how many pictures of your 2nd great grandparents do you have?  I’d love to see the pictures.


From Here to There - my family in a parade

From Here to There - Visiting Washington DC in 1917
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

TUESDAY’S TIP ~ Have you documented everything? Take another look at those closest to you

Mom & Dad screens hot-redacated
A screen shot from my Legacy 8 database - I have redacted the month and day of my parent's births just because of identity theft and my Mom's death being fairly recent

It will be one year, next month, since my mother died.  Of course, I think about her all the time.  But, this morning I looked at her entry in my Legacy 8 database and realized it was incomplete.
Not only did I not have her death certificate attached or cited, I didn’t even have it scanned in my digital folders.

Take a look at your own parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins and even spouses. 
  • Have you documented them the same way you would a great grandparent or granduncle etc? 
  • Have you cited all your sources and attached any images that pertain? 
  • Or, did you just enter the information because you knew it?

I believe it takes all of us a while to be able to go to someone close to us and document the cold, hard facts.  At least that was true for me.  I had entered her date & place of death and burial and even the cause of death.  But, not the source citation that is necessary to complete the information.

This morning I completed that task.  My Mom was 91 when she died.  She didn’t have a good quality of life and had many ongoing health issues and daily pain.  She had been in assisted living for the last 4 1/2 years of her life.  We had so many conversations over the years.  I interviewed her about her life. I asked a multitude of questions (she would say too many).  I had her help me identify photos and peoples names.  I shared my research with her, even though sometimes she wasn’t that interested.
Funny thing about the genealogy research.  My grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne (my Mom’s mother), was a genealogist for most of her life.  She left me copious quantities of information about our family.  Of course I still have a LOT of unanswered questions.  But, her information gave me a heck of a start.
I think the genealogy bug skipped a generation though, because my Mom had absolutely no interest.  Sure, she would listen to me and answer my questions, when she was able to remember, but it wasn’t her favorite thing.  Her statement to me a couple of times was “why in the world do you care about all these dead people?”

Genealogy research is either something you “get” or you don’t “get.”  For those of us who do “get” it, we love finding those stories and chasing down those leads.

I am confident that I have documented and cited all the various entries for my Mom, my Dad, my sisters and my grandparents.  Have you?

Let me know if you’ve discovered the same kind of thing in your tree.


How To Save A Book from to Evernote or Your Computer

A Database or a Website?  What's the Difference?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Friday, February 24, 2017

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #5–Susannah Barrowcliff–My 3rd great grandmother–1792-1868–England

I recently wrote a post about Susannah’s husband, Thomas Gillespie.  You can read the post here.

In that post I documented his marriage to Susannah and their children together.  I also mentioned that I did not have a death record for Susannah.

Shortly after I published that post and made that statement, I ordered the death record for Susannah.  I received the record this week.

I located the death record on Family Search under the England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007.
This is the index record I located

Name     Susan Gillispie
Event Type     Death
Registration Quarter     Jan-Feb-Mar
Registration Year     1876
Registration District     Bridgwater
County     Somerset
Event Place     Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Age (available after 1866)     84
Birth Year (Estimated)     1792
Volume     5C
Page     324
Line Number     308

Why did I conclude that this might be “my” Susan Gillespie?
  • Because in 1871 she was living with her daughter, Mary Ann Addicott & family in Bridgwater. 
  • The age for the person in this record would be close to what I have based on the 1841, 1851 and 1871 census records for Susannah.
  • I cannot locate her in the 1881 census records for England.
  • It’s the record that matches closest to the information I have.
Sometimes when we order records we cannot be sure they will be the correct record.  However, in this case, I thought it was worth the $11.84.  So, I sent for the record.

The record was ordered from General Register Office.  You can order online and the process is very easy.  I’ve ordered from them before and the response time is usually less than a month.

Of course, like all of you, I checked my mailbox every day, after about the two week mark, hoping to see that envelope.
I was well rewarded when it came.  The information on this record gives evidence that this is the correct record for my Susannah.

Here is her death certificate.

GILLESPIE_Susan nee BARROWCLIFF_death cert_22 Feb 1876_Bridgwat
As I have noted in red, there are many indications that this is the correct Susan Gillespie.

English records aren’t as complete as Scottish or U.S. records.  I know the cause of her death now.  But, I still do not know who her parents were.  I would very much like to find out so that I can take this family back one more generation, at least.
I’ll keep looking.  In the meantime, if you have any connection to this family, please contact me.  I’d love to exchange information.

To see my other 52 Ancestors posts please click on the tab at the top of the page or 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.


FRIDAY FINDS ~ Newspaper article for the death/possible suicide of Ralph Gillespie Forsyth – 1952

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


This subject has always been near and dear to my heart as a genealogist.  It is important/imperative that we view the actual record for our ancestor and NOT just a transcription or index.

Early in my research, I sent for and received death records for my 3rd great grandparents, Henry Hart and Olive G. Hart.  I did not know what Olive’s maiden name was and had hopes that a death record could provide that for me.  In addition, I had no idea who her parents were.
I received both their death certificates in April 2005.  I was still pretty much of a rookie genealogist back then.  I was excited to have the certificates.
The certificates were both typed and on “official” certificates from the County of Macomb in Michigan.
There they were – the names of Olive’s parents – Isaac DOLERI and Sally DOLERI (no maiden name for her).  Now I had names to search for in hopes of learning more about Olive.

Here is that certificate.

HART_Olive nee DOTEN_DOLERI_death cert_Michigan_1887_annot

I began my search for the DOLERI family.  I searched and searched and searched.  I located not one single reference to a family with the surname DOLERI.  Not on any website I went to, from Ancestry to Family Search to NEHGS, FindAGrave and RootsWeb.  I set this search aside and went on to other family members.

However, I never forgot about it and have from 2009 forward recorded my efforts to find more information.  I made inquiries to people who had trees on Ancestry and to a researcher at the New England Historical Genealogical Society (I never heard back from NEHGS).  However, I did get responses from some of the Ancestry tree members.
The responses I was getting were leading me to believe that there was a transcription error on the death certificate in regards to Olive’s parents surname.  I now believed that her maiden name was probably DOTEN.

I contacted the County Clerk for the County of Macomb and asked if they would just send me a copy of the actual record, at my expense of course.  They declined.  I did make a note to order the microfilm containing the Michigan death records, however, I never ordered it.

In 2011 (now 7 years after receiving Olive’s death certificate), I located death records for two of her children.  These records gave Olive’s maiden name as DATEN.  Fast forward to 2015 and I located another child’s death certificate and this one gives Olive’s maiden name as DOTEN.

Without going into too much more detail I will tell you that I located many records related to the DOTEN family in Vermont, where Olive was stated to have been born.  I was also given the middle names of all the children by a cousin, Judy, who contacted me.  She said that Olive & Henry’s first born son, Isaac’s middle name was DOTEN.  Which does make sense as far as naming patterns.
TODAY I was doing yet another quick search to see if I could locate the actual death record for Olive.  Maybe I would find it online. I never give up.  Don’t you know, there it was.  The actual ledger containing her death information.
And what do I see…..her parent’s names listed as Isaac and Sally DOTEN!

Here is the record.

HART_Olive nee DOTEN_death record_10 Apr 1887_ArmadaMacombMich_annot 
Here is the actual entry.
Copy of HART_Olive nee DOTEN_death record_10 Apr 1887_ArmadaMacombMich

If you zoom into the parent’s name in the third column from the right, you will see the last name is written DOTEN.  There is an obvious cross of the “T” on both instances.  I do understand how things are misread by transcribers and indexers.  It happens.

I have a lot more research to do on Olive.  I have not yet located her in any Vermont records for her birth, nor any probate records for Isaac Doten, that might mention her.

So, keep looking for those records.  Don’t ever give up!

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

TUESDAY’S TIP–Using the Master Location List in Legacy 8

Master location list heading

I use this feature in Legacy 8 a lot.  Today I was specifically looking for a list of all the people in my database who are buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.

There are differing viewpoints on how we should list our locations in the database.  I’m not going to talk about those options here today.  I will show you how I do my own locations and what works for me.

When I locate a burial place for an ancestor, I enter the information in that portion of the Individual’s Information screen.  Additionally, I will enter the address of the cemetery, if I have it, in the address field for “burial.”  This field is located when you click on the + sign to the right of the burial field.

Master locations a1

I like to see the name of the cemetery in the actual burial field and not have to click on the address to find it, or look in Events, if it’s entered there.  Again, not everyone does it this way, but it works for me.
Therefore, when I want to locate everyone who is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan, this is how I would go about it.

Locate the Master Location list in your Legacy program.  There are a couple of ways to do this. 
  • You can go to the “View” tab and use the drop down list under “Master Lists”
Master locations 1b
  • I have the Master Lists saved to My Toolbar, so I always have quick access to it.
Master locations 1a

Once you’ve opened your list you will be able to search for the location you are trying to find.  In this case I just typed in Elmwood.
Master locations 2

If you want to see a map, in addition to the list you can select “show map” which is located on the right side of the list of names.  Here is the view with the map.  Note that you have a red balloon at the location and also the longitude and latitude.

Master locations 1

Something else to note when you bring up the various lists are your List Options – located under the names and your Options – located on the right hand side of the names.

Master locations 3 
Master locations 4

These location lists can be used whether your looking to write a blog post, like I am, or preparing to visit a particular location.  When I traveled back to Detroit I created lists of every person buried in each cemetery in Michigan.  Whether I save those lists digitally or print them out, they are of great value and save you a lot of time and effort in your genealogy trip.

Have you used these lists?

If so, how have they helped you?

To see ALL of my Legacy 8 tips please click on the tab of the same name at the top of my blog or click HERE

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, February 18, 2017

A STEAMBOAT EXPLOSION ~ The death of Nelson Klinefelter in January 1862 - age 35

Copy of KLINEFELTER_N_killed in explosion_TheBaltimoreSun_5 Feb 1862_pg 1
The Baltimore Sun - 5 Feb 1862, page 1

So, who was Nelson aka Horatio Nelson Klinefelter?

Nelson Klinefelter was the first husband of Mary Jane Flynn/Flinn.  Mary Jane later married William Bright, my husband’s 2nd great grandfather.

I had learned about Mary Jane’s marriage to Nelson Klinefelter from the Greenwood Cemetery website, back in August 2008.  Here is a link to the FindAGrave page for Greenwood Cemetery.
Following is an excerpt from my notes for Mary Jane Bright.

“Bright, Mary J. , (view ), 1839 - 1903, Section 2, Range 18, Lot 7, [was the second wife of William Bright of Sharpsburg. She was first married to a Kleinfelter in Virginia, according to researchers at Ancestry, and when she married William Bright, she brought 3 children into the household from her first marriage. She and William had at 4 children, bringing the house total to 9 children]” contributed by Diane Nichols

I was able to locate the marriage record for Mary Jane Flinn and Horatio N. Klinefelter.  They were married 27 Nov 1851 in Wood County, Virginia.

This record was found on the West Virginia Culture website.  Wood County became part of West Virginia in 1863.


FLINN_Mary J marriage to KLIMEFELTER_Horatio N_27 Nov 1851_Virginia

Nelson and Mary Jane had 3 children: Horatio born in 1854, Mary born in 1856 and Anna born in 1859.

The family can be found living in Collins, Allegheny, Pennsylvania in the 1860 census.  Also enumerated on this page is Nelson’s brother, Jesse and family and his father Jacob and family.

Nelson’s father, Jacob, was also a River Pilot.

1860_KLINEFELTER_Nelson & family_CollinsAlleghenyPA

As I began conducting a search on, I came across the sad story about the explosion of the steamboat, Advance, and the death of Nelson Klinefelter.  I also located one article in Chronicling America.
All images of these articles are screenshots.

The first article I located was the one at the top of this page.  Then I also located the following articles.

Klinefelter_TheWheelingDailyIntelligencer_31 Jan1862_pg 3
 The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer - 31 Jan 1862, page 3
Klinefelter_CincinnatiDailyPress_3 Feb 1862_pg 3
Cincinnati Daily Press - 3 Feb 1862, page 3

Klinefelter_PittsburghDailyPost_4 Feb 1862_pg 3
Pittsburgh Daily Post - 4 Feb 1862, page 3 - talking about an investigation into the explosion
Klinefelter_TheLocalNews_AlexandriaVA_5 Feb 1862_pg 1
The Local News, Alexandria, Virginia - 5 Feb 1862, page 1

Klinefelter_ThePittsburghGazette_4 Feb 1862_pg 3
The Pittsburgh Gazette - 4 Feb 1862, page 3
Klinefelter_TheWheelingDailyIntelligencer_5 Feb1862_pg 3
The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer - 5 Feb 1862, page 3

The article above, on the left gives us the exact date of death for Nelson.  The explosion occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1862.  Based on the statement in this article, Nelson died 3 days later, on Friday, January 31, 1862.

“The other pilot, N. Klinefelter, was asleep, his head and one arm lying over the edge of the bed.  His face and arm were terribly scalded and it is believed that he inhaled steam.  He died of his injuries on Friday morning, some hours after the arrival of the Hornet, after being removed to that boat.”

These excerpts are from the article, above, on the right.

“The late explosion of the Steamer Advance – Another Victim – N. Klinefelter, one of the person’s injured by the explosion of the steamer, Advance, at Matamoras, has since died.  The explosion appears to have been one of the most terrific and disastrous on record.”

“The Captain was not on board, one of the pilots named Stweart, filling his place.  He escaped with a severe burn on the right hand.  The other pilot, N. Klinefelter, was asleep, his head and one arm lying over the edge of the bed.  His face and arm were terribly scalded, and it is believed he inhaled steam.”

When I first began reading the articles only stated that N. Klinefelter had been “terribly” burned.  As I continued to locate more articles, I learned of his death.

Nelson’s death left behind his 28 year old widow, Mary Jane, and their three young children, ages 3 to 8 years.  Mary Jane married (in Feb 1864) William W. Bright, a widower with two young children, ages 7 and 5.  The couple went on to have 4 children of their own.

I have searched high and low on the internet and cannot locate a burial place for Nelson.  There were few, if any, actual death records back in 1862, so the only record of his death are these articles and the statement in the Civil War Pension of William Bright saying that Mary Jane’s first husband, Klinefelter, was deceased.

If you have any additions or corrections to anything written here, please contact me.
If you are related to anyone mentioned here, I’d love to hear from you.


SURNAME SATURDAY - Who was Daisy Bright?

AMANUENSIS MONDAY  - Elmer E. Bright - Last Will & Testament – 1889

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall