Sunday, August 8, 2021

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Amanda D. Adams (1873-1937) wife of Martin Hunter Gillen of Chesapeake, Ohio

When I decided to write a Sunday’s Obituary post, I thought I would check my Legacy file and see just how many obituaries I had.  How many have I written about?

I was shocked to find that I have 449 obituaries. WOW!  I never thought I’d collected, saved and recorded that many over the years. I didn’t count how many I’d written about because I knew it was not even close to that number.  Guess I better get busy.

I began with the “A’s” and today I’m writing about the wife of a maternal 1st cousin, four times removed, Amanda Adams. My 4th great grandparents, William GILLEN & Rachel FRAMPTON are common ancestors for her husband, Martin Hunter Gillen & myself.

Here is the transcription of her obituary.


  Mrs. Amanda D. Gillen, widow of the late Hunter Gillen and mother of Hugh Gillen of the Ford Motor Sales Company of Chesapeake, died this morning at 11:30 o’clock at her home in Chesapeake.

   Mrs. Gillen had been in failing health for several years but her condition did not become critical until a few days ago. During her illness the members of her family were constantly at her bedside and she received every attention that her loved ones could give but from the first it was apparent that she was making no progress against her illness and the end came this morning.

   Mrs. Gillen was born and spent her entire life in Chesapeake and was widely known through that section of the county. She was a kindly and charitable woman whose principal interests in life were centered in her family and friends and to them she was devotedly faithful. She was a zealous member of the Christian church in Chesapeake.

   Mrs. Gillen was preceded in death by one son, Garland, in 1932 and her husband died in 1935. She is survived by one son, Hugh Gillen and the following brothers and sisters: Mart Adams, Chesapeake; Elizabeth Adams who resided with her; Mrs. Sarah Lake of Huntington and Mrs. Laura Brammer of Bradrick. Four grandchildren also survive: Bobbie, Jerry Taylor, Dilly and Patty Gillen, all of Chesapeake.

  The funeral arrangements had not been completed today and will be announced later. Burial will be in Rome cemetery. Mrs. Gillen’s body will remain at her home and the services will be held there.


Amanda D. Adams is the daughter of Joseph Adams & Frances Whitehead. Here’s a blog post I wrote about the Adams family Lawrence County, Ohio SURNAME SATURDAY–Adams of Lawrence County, Ohio 

Amanda was born in Mar 1873 in Lawrence County, Ohio.  When she was 26 years old on 3 Dec 1899, she married Martin Hunter Gillen. Martin who went by his middle name “Hunter” was born Jan 1873, also in Lawrence County, Ohio, to parents Isaac Fisher Gillen & Amy “Emma” Kimball.

Amanda & Hunter had 2 sons, Hugh Loder Gillen & Garland A. Gillen. In 1900, shortly after their marriage, Hunter worked as a dry goods clerk.  By 1930 he was a co-proprietor at a Ford dealership, with his sons.

Amanda & Hunter were married for 35 years prior to his death in 1935. Amanda died two years later on 18 Jan 1937.  That is certainly a nice obituary write up about her.  Sounds like she was beloved by her family and the Chesapeake area.

Both Amanda & Hunter are buried at Rome Proctorville Cemetery in Proctorville, Lawrence, Ohio.  I have been to their gravesites. You can visit their memorials here – Amanda #31015043 and Hunter #66569356

If you find you are connected with this family, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ A letter from her husband Thomas to his son, Charles

This is the story of my journey through Cora’s scrapbook.  Cora is my husband, Ron's, paternal great grandmother. I will give a link to all posts at the beginning of each new post.  Here’s that link My posts about Cora's Scrapbook

Today I am presenting one of the letters I found when I went through Cora’s wonderful scrapbook.  I’m so very happy that she preserved these pieces of family history for us.

Cora & Thomas only had one child, their son Charles. There are, of course, many references to him in the scrapbook.  This one is particularly sweet, as it’s a letter from Thomas to his son Charles.

There is no date on it.  Thomas mentions Christmas, so we know what time of year it was. It has to be before Thomas died on 18 Jan 1897, age 52.  Charles was only 18 when his father died.

(Please click on this image to enlarge it)

Where was Charles when his father wrote to him?  From the sentence in the letter, “hoping he has a splendid time,” we must imagine he was on some sort of outing.  Perhaps attending an out of town event?  Maybe as I examine other documents in the scrapbook I will come to know the answer?

I do think it’s a sweet letter from father to son.  I wish I could have known Thomas. He sounds like a loving, caring father.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

TUESDAY’S TIP ~ Working on your Brick Walls & unknown connections–How I Keep Track

If you’re like me, you have a few brick wall ancestors.  We all need a way to keep track of who we’ve researched and what we have or have not found.  No one wants to duplicate their efforts or work on a particular line and forget all the things you’ve located. 

Here’s how I have been keeping track of them in Legacy.  I’ve used this method for several years and so far, it’s worked well.

Two of my biggest brick walls are John C. Gould and Robert L. Bowden.  Who are their parents?  That’s been a burning question for nearly 2 decades now. Without knowing that I have not been able to locate any siblings or other family. This mystery continues, in  spite of DNA testing by many family members and having that DNA on all the sites.

In my Legacy 9 database I like to enter the families I am researching.  If they end up not being connected, that’s fine.  But this way I have kept track of my progress, made necessary notes of what I’ve located and what conclusions I’ve reached.  You could, I’m sure, easily do the same thing in RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Reunion or most of the other software available.  Although I haven’t used them all.

Let’s begin.  I find a family I believe is either connected or could be.  Or, that will assist me in my search.

I enter the person into Legacy as an “unlinked” individual.  Menu>Add>Add unlinked male or female. I don’t want these people attached to my tree, but I want them available in my database.  Adding them as unlinked, means they are searchable in my Index or Name List and I can see all their information at a glance.


Notice that I have used double [[brackets]] in the suffix area of each name.  What this means is that my notation of “GOULD surname search” will not show up if I decide to print reports. 

BUT, it allows me to easily spot the people I’ve entered as part of this particular surname search project.

Here is a view of how this person appears in the Individual View in Legacy.

And how they appear in the Index View as well. You can see they are clearly designated.

Another thing I can do is create a list of ONLY these people.  I simply use the Search>Find>Primary Condition = Individual, Where To Look = Suffix, How to look = Contains, What to look for = [[Gould surname search]]

Here is the list of 52 individuals in my database with the Gould Surname Search designation

I treat these people as if they are connected to my family, in regards to my entries in Legacy.  They are assigned hash tags, sources, events and images.  I also keep research notes for them.  Just think, if I do ever find out they are connected, I can attach them to the rest of my tree with a mouse click or two.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Example of some notes I have for Benjamin Gould

Speaking of hash tags.  When I began using these brackets several years ago, Legacy did not have the hashtag feature.  I now use that, as well, to indicate individuals who are in a particular group.  See the example below. It's a bit difficult to see, but you can enlarge it by clicking on it.

I’m sure there are many other ways of keeping track of your unconnected individuals.  But, this works for me.  

What is your method for keeping track?



Mystery Monday Brick Walls Posts - read all about my problem ancestors here

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, June 26, 2021

MAYFLOWER SOCIETY ~ Episode 8–I received my certificates for 2 additional passengers–Stephen Hopkins and Francis Cooke


Last year I wrote about my journey to join the Mayflower Society.  I had applied through a paternal line that I believed lead to passenger, Edward Doty.  You can read all about that journey, from application to receiving my certificate, here Mayflower Society.

Once I was able to frame and proudly display that certificate, I had my eye on submitting a couple of supplementals for additional passengers I’m related to.  I asked the California Mayflower historian (Dianna S.) who had helped me originally, what the process was.  She explained it to me and even offered to fill out the forms for me.  She said since she has done it many times it wouldn’t be a problem.  That is a kindness I can never repay.

When the filled out forms arrived at my house I checked them over, as I was told to do.  Once I determined there were no errors, I wrote a check, put everything in the mail, sent it back to the historian and waited. They were mailed 30 Nov 2020. 

I received my certificates May 21, 2021.  Yes, I did another little happy dance.

It was a dream to be able to join the Mayflower Society and finding one ancestor was amazing.  Finding out I was connected to 2 others, came as a surprise.  However, it shouldn’t have.  Most members can connect to more than one of the passengers.  Why? Because there were not many people in the colony and the children of one couple married the children of another couple etc.

So here is a list of my descendants from both Stephen Hopkins and Francis Cooke.


If your in the process of applying for the Mayflower Society, I’d love to hear about it.  Which passenger are you connected to?  Maybe we’re cousins?

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Happy Father's Day 2021


Who are all the men who came before us?  I try to tell their stories and learn about their lives. Some were adventurous, some studious, some a bit mischievous.  Whatever their stories I like to remember them.  

A shoutout to all the Dad's out there who are an integral and important part of each family.

Michigan Girl

Monday, May 17, 2021

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ A day of the week calculator for the years 1801-1900

This is the story of my journey through Cora’s scrapbook.  Cora Emma Brown is my husband's paternal great grandmother.  She was born 3 Aug 1854 in Syracuse, Onondaga, New York.  She married Thomas Hall (1845-1897) on 5 Feb 1877 in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga, New York. They had one son, Charles Schuyler Hall (1878-1953). 

If you'd like to read all my posts about Cora, I will give a link at the beginning of each new post.  Here’s that link My posts about Cora's Scrapbook

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written about Cora’s scrapbook.  Today I present something she had pasted into her book that allows you to calculate the day of the week using this chart.

The instructions for using the chart on in a boxed area on the left hand side and read as follows:

NOTE – To ascertain any day of the week in any year of the present century, first look in the table of years for the year required, and under the months are figures which refer to the corresponding figures at the head of the columns of days below.  For example: To know what day of the week May 4 will be on in the year 1870, in the table of years look for 1870, and in a parallel line, under May is fig. 7, which directs to col. 7, in which it will be seen that May 4 falls on a Wednesday.

This is quite clever. Sometimes I think “how did they figure this or that out, back in the old days?”  It seems they could always find a way.

Of course today we can Google the question or ask Alexa, or use our genealogy software programs.

I tested this little handy chart using my Legacy calendar feature.  I picked several months & days in different years. The chart was correct each time.

Why do we as genealogists need to know the days of the week?  I find for me, it most always has to do with a newspaper article or obituary or death notice.  You’ll find the article and it will say “last Sunday” or “next Wednesday.”  We are left to figure out those dates based on the date the newspaper was published. 

If you need a quick way to find days of the week in the 19th century, you might want to print this out and keep it handy.

What other reasons can you think of to use a day of the week calculator?

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, May 14, 2021

A LETTER FROM MY GRANDMA–1980–Florence Milne writes to Diane Gould

I don’t know about you, but I cherish any correspondence that I have from my parents, grandparents or other family members.

I must have always known I would be a genealogist, because I saved SO much stuff that some people may have tossed.

In this case it’s a letter from my maternal grandmother to me, written 14 Sep 1980.  Florence Lenora Bowden Milne (1888-1986).  She was living in Detroit, Michigan at the time, with her daughter Joan Milne Morrison (1915-.1985).  She had recently moved back to Detroit, after living in Houston, Texas, where my mother was living.  My mother, Patricia Milne Gould Cornelius (1924-2016) is her youngest daughter.

Here is a transcription of her letter.

Across the top of the letter she wrote “hands shake and writing awful”

Sept 14 1980

Dear Diane

You must think I am a very neglectful grandmother but it just seems like so many things come up and people coming in.  So if you can forgive me I will try to do better.  Joan is slowly recovering then just as we are having a breathing spell she over does and she gets the shaking inside again.  You know that the last bad time in hospital she stopped breathing and in their efforts to revive her they broke 3 ribs.  So that complicated everything but it is all coming out well.  We have a very nice apt in a big complex, quiet and beautiful grounds.

I don’t know if I shall ever get rested but the Lord provides the strength we need.  I used to knit bed socks for Red Cross in Houston but  “    “ (meaning Red Cross) has no such thing so when the most of the confusion etc. died down I didn’t have a project on hand but Joan’s church has a lady ____ 3 homes (orphans and others) she supplies with bed socks but old church members (?) she needed knitters.  She supplies the money for yarn!  So I am in business again.  I finally got toenails & eye glasses fixed but need to have lower plate repaired.  Joan can drive now so my g son does not have to do my needs.  I finally got a letter from Pat.  I was worried about them and in the letter very little news but – Bless my dear for writing.  Love for you and Norman


My grandma loved to knit and talks about knitting bed socks in this letter. I actually have a pair of her bed socks.  A cherished heirloom. 

I also have my grandmother’s desk.  I wonder, did she write this letter while sitting at that very desk?

My grandma was the family historian and genealogist.  I know she would have been thrilled with all the records and information we have access to today.  And, I think she would be very proud of me for telling our family stories. 

If you’d like to read more about the great family information she left me, please click on this link My Grandmother’s Journal.

Do you have family letters that you enjoy reading over and over? 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall