Saturday, April 2, 2022



It happened!!  The release of the 1950 census

April 1, 2022

To read about my preparations for this big event click here Are you ready for the 1950 census? 

In addition to creating my list with Legacy, I also used Steve Morse’s website to try to narrow down enumeration districts. Steve Morse & Joel Weintraub Unified 1950 Census ED Finder 

A name index using Artificial Intelligence was released on the National Archives website.  But, how accurate will it be? 

That being said, I wanted to do everything I could to be ready. 

The 1950 census enumerates people who were living at a certain address as of April 1, 1950. This is quite significant to both myself and my husband, Ron.  Why? Because we were both born in March.  If the enumeration was done correctly this will be the first time we appear on a census record. 

I couldn’t wait to find us and our parents! 

All the social media sites were a buzz with anticipation of this release.  Amy Johnson Crow began a countdown at 11:50 pm EST, which would be 8:50 pm here on the west coast. 

I tuned in and waited with everyone else. 

Sure enough at EXACTLY midnight eastern time, the census went live on the National Archives (NARA) website.  

OH BOY!!!!! 

The very first thing I did was put in the location where I would be found, as well as the enumeration district.  I crossed my fingers and hoped. 

I entered Michigan, Detroit, Wayne and enumeration district 85-2559.


I could see that I would have 29 pages to scroll through.  Not too bad and easily doable. 

When I got to page 16………………..WOW!  There they were my parents, Harry & Patricia and their baby daughter, Dianne (written with two n’s instead of one, but that’s ok).

Census image showing me with my parents

I repeated the process with my husband’s place of birth, San Diego, California.  I already had the ED’s saved.  I entered the information and began scrolling through the census images.  This time there were 27 pages.  

There they were with their infant son, Ronald, on page 23 of the image set.

Census image showing Ron with his parents

Here are the ways you can find your family. 

·       Use the Ancestry 1950 census district finder (which worked very well for me) Enter the location/address etc. and it should give you an ED

·       Use Steve Morse’s page as another way to locate the ED

·       Go to the NARA (National Archives website) 1950 Census and read their Tips for Searching the Census and proceed.

·       Use the census images on MyHeritage to search for the records.

·       And last that I know of – use the Family Search website.  I used this one for the first time this morning.  I’m not finding it as easy to use right now.  I need to spend some more time learning how their system works for this census.

I hope everyone is having a good time finding their families in this latest census release.

I have so far located both sets of grandparents, my uncle and my Dad’s ex wife and my two half sisters.  I have a lot more people to try and locate.  Can I find them without use of a name index?  I’m not sure.  I’ve tried entering the names on the NARA site, but so far, have not been successful in locating the exact families.

I’d love to hear your success stories. 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, March 12, 2022

SATURDAY NIGHT GENEALOGY FUN ~ Are you ready for the 1950 census?


Randy Seaver, blogger extraordinaire, does a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post each week.  It’s always fun to play along. Here is this week’s post.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:


1)   The 1950 United States Census will be available to search on 1 April 2022 - less than three weeks away. How have you prepared yourself to search it? Have you found 1950 addresses of your family members and persons of interest? Have you identified the State, County, Town and Enumeration District? Have you made a table of your findings so you can systematically find everyone on your list? What will you do with the information you gather?

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post. Be sure to leave a link with your answers in a comment.

I am excited about the release of the 1950 census for a few reasons.  First of all, it’s the first release of a census that  should have both myself and my husband included.  Albeit, only by a few days.

Secondly, who doesn’t want another census in which to find our ancestors?

And finally, what knew information can I learn from the census?

Here’s how I’ve prepared.

I use Legacy Family Tree software.  They have a feature called “Census List.”  This is located in the Search tab.

My created list give me 1854 individuals who may appear on the 1950 census.

WOW!  That’s great. I guess I won’t lack for something to do in the coming weeks.

My primary focus will be myself and my husband, our parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  And, of course siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles.

We will have to depend on the index created by Family Search volunteers. It may take several months for the indexing to be complete.

In the meantime, as with the 1940 census release, 10 years ago, we have other options.

You can use the Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub Enumeration District (ED) Finder.  Here’s a link to their website Enumeration District Maps in One Step

When I entered my primary search focus, which is Detroit, Wayne, Michigan I got the following list of Enumeration Districts. While all those links appear to have the same ED number, when you click on each one, they go to a different map.

Since Detroit is a big city it might be a bit of a search to find the correct ED. However, if you practice by using the 1940 census it may make it easier for you.

However you prepare for this big event, I wish you lots of luck in your searches. 

I’d love to hear what your going to do, either in a comment or on your own blog.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2015   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, February 25, 2022

CORA'S SCRAPBOOK ~ Deed of Lot for Greenridge Cemetery - Apr 1897, Saratoga Springs, NY

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

Today I’m continuing the story of Cora’s scrapbook and featuring the Deed of Lot in Greenridge Cemetery dated 6 Apr 1897.

Cora’s husband, Thomas Cornelius Hall had died in Jan 1897. To read more about Thomas you can click here. Civil War Pension File.  Thomas was 52 years old at the time of his death. He had worked as a Railroad Baggage Handler. He and Cora had one child, a son, Charles Schuyler Hall (my husband’s grandfather).

This deed is dated 6 Apr 1897 and is for Plot K, Lot No. 9. The amount paid was $193 to Ellen M. Ames. Cora’s signature is on this page (I have seen her signature on other items and I recognize it). 

Recorded on Association Book, Record of Deeds, No. 4, Page 183.

Elizabeth M. Hyde, Recorder of Deeds, G.C.A.

What does this cemetery deed look like? 

Do you have any cemetery deeds from your own family?

Here is the one page deed.

Here is my transcription.

Know all men by thse presents, that Ellen C. Ames, Executrix of the Town of Saratoga Springs in the County of Saratoga and State of New York of the first part, in consideration of the sum of One hundred ninety three Dollars, to her in hand paid by Cora E. Hall of the second part, at or before the ensealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof hereby acknowledged, has granted and conveyed and by these presents does grant and convey, unto the said party of the second part, her heirs and assigns the certain burial Lot or Plot known as Plot K Lot No 9 on a map or plan of the land of said Association, made by George L. Ames, Superintendent of grounds, and filed in the office of the Clerk of Saratoga County, described as follow: The N.E. Angle is situated S 17’-30’ W distant 127”-3’ from monument No 8 thence N 89° 30° W 25’-7’ thence S. 42° E. 26’-10’ thence S. 89°-30’ E. 7’-50” thence N. 0°-30 E. 20’-0”. Containing 386 Sq. ft. of land @ 50¢ per square foot $193.00 together with all the rights of the said party of the first part, under or by virtue of a certain deed made by the Greenridge Cemetery Association to George L. Ames  

Greenridge Cemetery is located at 17 Greenridge Place, Saratoga Springs, New York.

Here is a record of Thomas’ burial, from the cemetery website. Cora is not listed in the burials.  Possibly because she died in 1933 in San Diego, California and her ashes were transported back to Greenridge.

He and Cora are buried in the Old Cemetery Section. Here is where that is located.

I had located Thomas & Cora’s burial place on FindAGrave some time ago. But, having this additional piece of information adds to the evidence and gives us more information.

Imagine paying $193 for a burial plot.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, February 4, 2022

FRIDAY FINDS ~ Michigan Death Certificates from 1946 - HART, LINDSAY & GROUT

Every 75 years the State of Michigan releases death certificates to public domain. There is a website dedicated to presenting these certificates, it’s called Michiganology.  Many of you may remember the former site we used, it was called Seeking Michigan.

I use my Legacy database to determine which of my ancestors died in a particular year in a certain place.  The list this year was a short one with only five people on it.  One of those 5 was my great grandmother, Mae Thorp Gould.  I had ordered her death certificate years ago.

The others on the list were:

John Murray HART, my half 1st cousin 3 times removed

Roy Jerome HART, my half 2nd cousin twice removed

Robert “Bobby” LINDSAY, Jr., my 2nd cousin once removed

Nellie E. Tibbits GROUT, my 1st cousin 3 times removed

I was able to go to the Michiganology website and conduct the searches to find all 4 of the death certificates. In one case I had to get creative with my search, but eventually located the correct certificate.

Why is it important to locate the actual vital records for our ancestors?

·       To obtain unknown information

·       To verify information we may already have

·       Because it helps us complete the picture of that persons life

·       Because as genealogists we cannot have enough evidence to prove the “facts” we have listed for our ancestors

Here are the four death certificates I downloaded and saved.

They have been added to my Legacy database and each one was sourced and information gleaned from them.

Click on any image to enlarge it

You can see that these certificates contain a wealth of information.  Do they add to already known facts or events? Does it give me new information to verify? Let the fun begin.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, January 30, 2022

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - John Gillen, my maternal 3rd Great Granduncle (1804-1880)


Today I’m writing about my maternal 3rd great granduncle John Gillen.  John was born 17 Oct 1804 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

He was the oldest son of William Gillen & Rachel Frampton who are my 4th great grandparents. John was the eldest child of 8 known children born to this couple. I’ve written about this family before and you can find a couple of the posts here:


·                SURNAME SATURDAY ~ GILLEN–my maternal 3rd great grandaunt, Sarah Gillen (1808-1878)

John was a Farmer according to the 1850 and 1860 census records. In the 1880 census, not long before his death he worked as a Liveryman (an owner or employee at a stable).

Here is my transcription of the obituary.

  Obituary - Mr. John Gillen, a resident of this city since 1856, died quite suddenly of paralysis at his residence on Fifth street last Monday afternoon, at four o'clock. The disease first manifested itself last Thursday night. Mr. Gillen was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1804, removed to Lawrence county, Ohio in 1829, March 22, 1832, he married Miss Nancy Miller. In 1856, Mr. Gillen removed to this city with his family and has since resided here; most of his children growing up under his fatherly care. Mr. Gillen has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for many years. His wife, five sons and three daughters survive him; one son was killed serving his county at the battle of Stone River in 1862. The funeral occurs from the First M.E. church this afternoon, Rev. E. D. Wilkin officiating. Mr. Gillen was a good citizen, kind husband and indulgent parent, and his death is universally regretted by a large circle of friends.

With up to 9 children in the house, I expect things were quite busy for the Gillen family. He and his wife, Nancy had moved from Lawrence County, Ohio to Champaign Co., Illinois in 1856. It appears that all 9 children went with them.  Although there is one daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1835, for whom I have no details, other than her name and year of birth. 

Five years later, the Civil War (also known as the War of Rebellion) breaks out. John’s 2nd and 3rd sons, John and Isaac both joined the Union Army. 

Young John was the first to join on 1 Jun 1861. He was just 20 yrs. old. Sadly, he was killed at the Battle of Stones River in Tennessee on 31 Dec 1862.  According to his Civil War pension file he was shot in the right lung. You can read about this young man, age 21 at the time of his death here: MILTARY MONDAY ~ Civil War Pension File–Private John Gillen–Killed in Action 31 Dec 1862 at the Battle of Stones River

It was 3 yrs later when John’s son Isaac joined and fought in the Civil War. Happily, he did come home.

You have to think it was a very stressful time for the family.  As it was for all the families living during this time of unrest in our country.

John died of paralysis on 29 Nov 1880 and is buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery and Mausoleum in Urbana, Champaign, Illinois. He and Nancy had been married 48 yrs. when he died. She continued on without him for 33 yrs. and died at age 97 in 1913.  They are buried together and you can visit their FindAGrave memorial here: John - 61697100 and Nancy - 61697397

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall