Sunday, September 9, 2018

TAX & ESTATE RECORDS ~ What I learned at a seminar featuring Michael Lacopo

San Diego Genealogical Society

Guest Speaker: Michael Lacopo, D.V.M.

Session 1: More than the Census-Our Families did exist within those ten-year intervals

Session 2: Using Tax Records for Genealogical Problem Solving

Session 3:  Estate Files: Are you getting the most out of them?

Session 4: The German Immigrant experience in the 18th Century

It’s always fun to attend classes, seminars and conferences.  In a dozen plus years, I’ve never attended one and walked away without more knowledge than I started with.  In addition to learning how to do research by actually doing it, and watching various webinars, I cannot say enough about attending seminars and conferences.

I wrote a blog post about this subject in 2014 and what I said still holds true today.


The San Diego Genealogical Society will be celebrating it’s 72nd year next month.  It’s still very active and up to date. Please visit our web page here San Diego Genealogical Society.

Our speaker yesterday was Michael Lacopo.  He has an impressive resume and once you attend one of his classes, you’ll want to hear him speak again. When I attended a class back in 2016 at Jamboree, I couldn’t wait for another opportunity to hear him lecture.  He’s knowledgeable, easy to understand and has a great sense of humor.

Here are some of the highlights from the seminar:

Session 1 – make sure you are paying attention to where your ancestors went during those 10 year intervals between U.S. censuses.  Michael pointed out, using real examples, the surprising movements that could occur during those intervals.  We all know that, contrary to what me might have been told, our ancestors didn’t always stay put.  There are many resources you can use to obtain information between censuses: tax records, land records, probate records, church records, voter and poll records and newspapers are just a few. 

Session 2 – Tax Records – I learned a lot during this session.  I’ve used tax records before, but not often.  And, I never understood the real value of them until Michael explained it.  I can’t possibly cover, nor do I want to duplicate, what Michael told us.  It is after all his presentation.  Here’s what I realized though – from tax records you can determine what kind of property your ancestor owned and where.  This could lead to you finding probate and land records.  Who was taxed in the same location as your ancestor?  Are they related?  Did your ancestor’s property increase or decrease between taxations?  Take a look, you won’t regret it.  I’m doing just that today and I’ve already located quite a lot of information.

Session 3 – Estate Files – I expect that most of you have looked at estate files, probate records, wills etc.  BUT, are you like me and just look for the actual will among those papers?  I always kind of skipped over the administration papers, bond papers and something called a Vendue List (an auction list of the value of items). Who bought items at the auction?  Michael shared that if a buyer came from a county over or some other long distance, they were probably related.  Why was there still activity going on for a probate 15 years after someone died?  It could have been the executors weren’t doing their jobs.  If there was more than one auction of items, check those names.  Did the same name show up again and again?  Probably a relative.  I now realize I may have missed some extremely important clues to family connections.  I have vowed, as of today, to change my ways.  Michael recommended and so do I, that you use Cyndi’s List as a place to find more links to estate files.  I have a lot of work to do now that I know better what to be looking for.

Session 4 – German Immigrant Experience – This was a case study for one of Michael’s ancestors who came to America from Germany.  But, the things we learned can apply to any immigrant experience.  Learning more about what our ancestors went through, just to get here, makes us appreciate all the more, their sacrifices.

I’ve been busy today revisiting tax & estate records for my own ancestors and my approach is completely different.  Thank you Michael.



Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ DANIEL MORSE & LYDIA FISHER circa 1638–My husband’s 8th great granduncle & wife

wedding bells_thumb[5][5]
Marriage of Daniel Morse and Lydia Fisher circa 1638
It’s not always easy to document our ancestors births, marriages and deaths when we go back to the days of Colonial America.  Although not required by law, records were kept back then.  Especially marriages.  It was important to document a marital union as it affected the distribution of property and goods when someone died.
Today, I’m highlighting the marriage of Daniel Morse to Lydia Fisher in 1638 or 1642, depending on which record you use.
The first record I located was the U.S. International Marriage Records, 1560-1900

Name:    Daniel Morse
Gender:    Male
Birth Year:    1613
Spouse Name:    Lydia Fisher
Spouse Birth Year:    1623
Year:    1642
Marriage State:    MA
Number Pages:    1

To learn more about this source, please use this link: Information about the U.S. International Marriage Records and how they were collected

Another source for this marriage is Torrey’s New England Marriages prior to 1700.  This is a 3 volume set.  You can now view them online, but when I first began researching they were not available.  My husband purchased the 3 volume set for me, one year for Christmas.

Here is a page from the Torrey book, available on  In the hard copy of the three volume set, this record is in Volume II, page 1061.

Copy of MORSE_Daniel marriage to Lydia FISHER_1638_Dedham MA

Daniel & Lydia went on to have 9 known children.
Here is a list of their children as stated in North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000

MORSE_Daniel list of children

What was life like back in the era of 1638 to their deaths in about 1688/89?  We know it was difficult.  If our ancestors survived the trip over here from Europe, then they were in danger of many diseases or illnesses taking their lives.  Or, even death at the hands of American Indians, who owned this land to begin with, and were defending their territory.
 Colonial life

Daniel & Lydia lived to their 70’s.  They must have been hardy individuals.  If they were married around 1638, as records state, then they may have celebrated 50 years of marriage. An amazing accomplishment for any family and especially one back then.  It was more normal for our ancestors to have multiple spouses due to early deaths.

Wouldn’t I love to sit and talk to them.
There are many descendants out there.  If you are one of them, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Sunday, September 2, 2018

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Elizabeth Gillespie Verney–my great grandaunt (1865-1948)

Copy of VERNEY_Elizabeth_obit_DFP_20 Mar 1948_pg 16
VERNEY – March 19, Elizabeth, at residence 4843 Seminole Ave., beloved mother of Mrs. Charles Lindow of Detroit; Mrs. D. H. Cockburn, Mrs. James Shields, James G., George C. and Norman J. Verney of Toronto, Ont.: sister of Mrs. James Forsyth.  Services from Fred G. Marshall Sons Parlors, 3462 E. Jefferson Ave., Saturday evening at 8 o’clock.  Burial at Toronto, Ont.

Elizabeth Gillespie was born to Joseph Gillespie and Susan Burgess on 9 Feb 1865.  She was one of 3 daughters and 1 son born to this couple.  Her older sister, Susan Gillespie is my great grandmother, who pre-deceased her by a year.

Elizabeth married James Burgess Verney on 25 Sep 1884 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  They celebrated 50 years of marriage just a few days prior to his death on 7 Oct 1934.  James served on the Toronto Police force starting as a Constable and reaching the position of Chief of Police.

The couple raised 8 children: Florence “Nettie” (1885-1968), Louise “Lulu” (1887-1974), William Harry (1889-1944), Margaretta “Etta” May (1892-abt 1961), James G. (1894-1957), George Clarke (1896-1971), Norman Joseph (1898-?) and Minnie E. (died at 7 days old).

Could this couple have been cousins on some level?  Elizabeth’s mother was Susan Burgess (1841-1933) and James’ mother was Elizabeth Burgess (1823-1909).  Both mothers were born in Devon, England.  However, at this time, I have not found a connection.  Do I think there may be one?  Absolutely!  I have more work to do on this family.

I have not been able to locate James & Elizabeth in any census record in 1930.  I did locate an Elizabeth Gillespie in the 1940 census, listed as an inmate at Eloise Hospital in Nankin Township, Wayne, Michigan.  This record gives her place of residence in 1935 as Highland Park, Michigan.  Her age in this 1940 census, is listed as 76 yrs and a birthplace of Canada (which is a place she lived, however my records show her born in Michigan).  These are all close to what I have for Elizabeth.  Her maiden name was Gillespie, so she could have been admitted under that name instead of Verney.  Records no longer exist for this hospital but you can read about this institution here.  It has a long history.  She is one of several of my ancestors who ended up at Eloise Hospital toward the end of their lives.
Elizabeth was living in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan at the time of her death in 1948.  I have the death index, but no death certificate.
Michigan, Death Records, 1867-1950
Name:    Elisabeth Verney
[Elisabeth Gillespie]
Gender:    Female
Marital Status:    Widowed
Birth Date:    Feb, 1864
Birth Place:    Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Death Date:    19 Mar 1948
Death Place:    Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, USA
Death Age:    84
File Number:    377839
Father:    Joseph Gillespie

She is buried in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Prospect Cemetery, along with her husband James and other family members.  You may visit her findagrave memorial here #127128510.

VERNEY_James & Elizabeth_headstone_ProspectCem_TorontoOntarioCanada

Edwin and his wife Alison Verney were Elizabeth’s brother-in-law and his wife.  Charles Verney and Shirley Ford are Elizabeth’s nephew and his wife.

The Verney family was quite large and there are a great many descendants.  If you are related to them, I’d love to hear from you.

MATRILINEAL MONDAY ~ Richard Gillespie & Eliza Jane Patterson–My maternal 2nd great granduncle & aunt–England
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, August 30, 2018

THOSE PLACES THURSDAY ~ Towns or roads in Michigan using the name GOULD

GOULD street sign
GOULD Rd. sign in Bruce Township, Macomb Co., Michigan

Ever curious about my maiden name, I thought I would find out how many places in Michigan have Gould in their name.

I’ve always known about Gould Rd. in Macomb County, Michigan.  I’ve been on the road during a genealogy road trip and I photographed the street sign.  I’ve even contacted the County of Macomb and tried to find out who the road was named after.  So far, no luck with that.

Since my Gould family lived in Armada, Macomb, Michigan it’s a curiosity as to whether this road could have been named for them.  The burial location of immediate family related to these Goulds is at Rose Hill Cemetery (a place I’ve also been), and is 1.6 miles from Gould Rd.

(All screenshots shown here are courtesy of Google Maps)

Gould rd near Rose Hill cem map
Gould Rd. near Rose Hill Cemetery where many of my ancestors are buried

This past week I discovered there is a GOULD City in Upper Michigan.  I never knew that.  It looks very rural.  I would love to visit.  I’ve never been to Upper Michigan and it’s high on my list of places to go.

Here’s the location of Gould City and also an aerial view.
GOULD city map GOULD city aerial view
There’s even a road in Gould City named S. Gould City Road.

GOULD city S GouldCityRd map

And to my surprise, when I conducted a Google search of Detroit, Michigan, looking for the Gould name, I located a Gould Street.  It’s down along the Detroit River, not too far from Ambassador Bridge.  And, it’s only 12.9 miles, a 20 minute drive from where my grandparents, Harry & Marie Gould lived, at 14520 Asbury Park.
Gould-street-in-Detroit-map-reshaped Gould St to Asbury Park

This has been a fun exercise.  I learned things I didn’t know before, and that’s always a good thing.
Now to find out, if possible, who these streets and roads and cities are named after.  Are they related to me?  I know here in my small town of Ramona, CA., we have many roads named after people who once settled here and had an impact on our town.
Have you ever looked for places named after your family?  I’d love to hear about it.


THOSE PLACES THURSDAY - Armada, Macomb, Michigan

THOSE PLACES THURSDAY - Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, August 25, 2018

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ My Grandaunt May Adele Gould, age 9, plays piano in “remarkable” concert - 1909


I have to admit, newspapers are a complete source of fascination to me and always have been.

I never cease to be surprised what I can find when I start putting ancestor’s names in the search box.  Today was no exception.  I had already located several obituaries and other articles of interest.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about, and then I came upon this gem.

My Aunt Adele (full name May Adele Gould), mentioned with another young girl when they played in a concert together at ages 9 & 10. And what?  There’s even pictures of the girls!

Copy of GOULD_MaeAdele_plays piano_DFP_4 Jul 1909_pg 7

Transcription – Miss Mae Adela Gould, Miss Dora Easterbrook – Two child pianists, Miss Dora Easterbrook, 10 years old, 141 Lincoln Avenue, and Miss May Adela Gould, 9 years old, 828 Fourteenth Avenue, both pupils of Mrs. Marie Wolverton, gave rather a remarkable concert in Grinnell Hall Thursday evening.

They played from memory selections of Beethoven, Grieg, Haydn and MacDowell in most artistic manner, displaying wonderful technique and interpretation for their age; Miss Vila Hoffman assisted with songs.

At first I wasn’t 100% positive this was “my” May Adele Gould.  The age was off by a year or so, her having been born (according to my sources) 25 Feb 1898.  And, her middle name being given as “Adela” and not Adele.  This concert took place in 1909.  The article gives her address as 828 Fourteenth Ave. and don’t you know, that’s the exact address she and her family were living in the 1909 Detroit City Directory and the 1910 census.  That put to rest any doubts I had.

I was curious as to where Grinnell Hall, the location of the concert, was located in Detroit.  I conducted a Google search and found out that Grinnell Brothers Music was a prominent company.  They built a music house on Woodward Avenue in 1908.  Was that what was called Grinnell Hall?  You can read about the Grinnell Brothers here Grinnell Brothers Music House.

Oh to be able to have a copy of that picture of Adele with the big bow in her hair. Adele is one my grandfather’s three sisters.  I have absolutely no photos of he or his siblings when they were young.  I’m sure that at some point in someone’s items they probably existed. 

My Aunt Adele moved to California (where I have lived since 1965).  She didn’t pass away until I was in my mid 30’s, but I never went to see her.  One of her other brothers, Roy Gould, lived with her after the death of her husband.  So, there were two of my grandfather’s siblings within about a 3 hour drive of where I lived.  What family heirlooms, photos and memories were disposed of when they died?  It makes me shudder to think.

We had moved away from our family when I was pretty young and staying in contact with them was just never a priority.  Makes me pretty sad now.

I understand from cousins I’ve talked to, that Adele continued to play piano and organ throughout her life.  Here is a picture of her in her later years (generously shared with me by a cousin).  And, there she sits, right in front of her organ.

GOULD_May Adele_1974-rec'd from Bonnie Nymberg 7-13-09_resized for FAG

Thoughts that came to mind as I was writing this blog post. 

  • Did any of the other five children in the family take music lessons?
  • Adele’s father, William, worked as a supervisor at a paint store in some census and city directory listings.  In the 1900 census he is said to own the home they were living in.  By 1910 they were renting in another location.  It’s wonderful that they were able to afford music lessons.
  • I have had an affinity to the piano since I was a young girl.  I’ve taken lessons at many times during my life, but don’t consider myself really able to play. No one else I know, in our family, played.
  • I wish I would have taken the time to go and visit Adele when I was in my late teens and twenties.  My Dad (her only nephew) certainly spoke of his Aunt Adele often.
  • I also remember when we moved from Florida to California in 1965, we stayed at Adele’s home in San Bernardino, for a couple of days.  As a teenager it certainly never occurred to me to ask her about our family, or to show me photos.

What other stories will I find in my newspaper searches?  What interesting items have you found? I’d love to hear about them.



TOMBSTONE TUESDAY–William & May Thorp Gould–My great grandparents

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, August 20, 2018

AMANUENSIS MONDAY ~ The Last Will & Testament of George F. Hall–1837-1896

Probate header
What does Amanuensis mean?
To put it simply, it means a “person employed to write what another dictates or copy what has been written by another.”

I’ve been writing about my husband’s great granduncle, George F. Hall.  First I wrote about his Civil War Pension and then about how I located his probate record.

Today, I am presenting the transcription of his last will & testament and a couple of gems it contained.

Here is George in his Civil War uniform.  He fought for the north out of units from New York.

HALL_George F_in uniform
Photo used with permission of Brian White

George’s wife Sarah Wilson Hall had died 4 years prior to him on 20 Sep 1892 (date is from her findagrave memorial and I haven’t yet located the death record).

Here are the two pages of George’s will.


HALL_George F_will_Jul 1896_pg 1 of 2 HALL_George F_will_Jul 1896_pg 2 of 2


I didn’t transcribe the second page which discusses the death of one of the witnesses.

HALL_George F_will transcription_highlighted

If George’s wife, Sarah did die on 20 Sep 1892, as her headstone states, then George drew up this will just 9 days after her death.  Sarah was only 49 years old when she died and George just 55 years old at the time of her death.  Maybe her death made him realize that he needed to get his affairs in order.  After all, George had ongoing health issues from his service in the military.

What this document provided me, that I didn’t have before, was the married name of his sister Cornelia and her location in Iowa.  And, the name of a sister that I don’t have listed in my tree, yet.
Needless to say, these are gems and will lead to further research on this family.

Probate records are important family documents and usually lead us to more information and to further finds.
Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Sunday, August 19, 2018

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ David W. “Pete” Frampton–about 1863-1945–Former District Judge in Huntington, West Virginia–Hit by a car and fatally injured

FRAMPTON_David W_obit_Advocate_BatonRouge_30 Mar 1945-pg 8

David W. Frampton, Jr. is my 2nd cousin 4 times removed.  He is the son of David Frampton, Sr. and Clara Beams.  He married Ruth H. Delebar about 1890.  They had four sons, Peyton G., Lt. Charles Edward, David W., and John M.

David’s obituary states that he had served as a district judge in Huntington.  Sadly, at the age of 80 yrs. 6 mos. 22 days, it wasn’t illness that took David Frampton, but being hit by a vehicle.  His death certificate states that he suffered a fractured skull, fracture of both legs below the knees, a “mashed & crushed” right hand and that he died on route to the hospital.

At the time of his death David, in spite of his age, was working as a Guard at the Huntington Tent & Awning Co.

Here’s my transcription of the obituary.

DAVID W. FRAMPTON dies in West Virginia
New Orleans, March 29 (AP)
Friends were advised here today of the death in Huntington, W.VA., of David W. Frampton, 82, father of Charles E. Frampton of New Orleans, public relations representative for Mayor Robert S. Maestri and a former newspaperman.
Mr. Frampton, a former district judge at Huntington, was fatally injured in an automobile accident at this home.  Funeral services were held yesterday at Huntington.

You can visit David’s FindAGrave memorial here #46444232.

The Frampton family is a direct line for me.  I know there are thousands of Frampton descendants out there.  If you are one of them, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s exchange information.


FRIDAY FINDS ~ Newspaper article–David Frampton, Rebel Prisoner–Dec 1861

HIRAM FRAMPTON ~ abt 1834-1864–Did he die in prison, in battle, or some other way?

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall