Sunday, January 9, 2022

A VERY WONDERFUL WAY TO BEGIN THE NEW YEAR ~ A morsel of new information on my brick wall, John C. Gould


All of us have them.  Brick walls.  Genealogical mysteries that we are unable to solve……yet.

In my case I’ve written blog posts about my brick walls and you can read those posts here Mystery Monday - Who's Your Daddy - My Brick Walls

The number ONE most frustrating genealogical brick wall for me, is not knowing my paternal 2nd great grandfather’s parents or siblings.  Who were they? Where did they live?

People don’t just drop out of the sky via the stork, so the answers are out there someplace.  But WHERE????? So, John C. Gould, who is your family?

New information to shed light on this mystery has not been easy to come by. In fact, based on my notes in Legacy, which I date, the last little tid bit was about John Gould being mentioned on a deed for Rose Hill Cemetery in Armada, Michigan.

Here is my note

2/27/16 - Located a website for Armada Township today
The site had cemetery information.  Rose Hill, Hadley and Willow Grove Cemeteries were listed.  I contacted the sexton for Rose Hill, Marv Wolak 586-784-5537 and left a message. He called me back and said that he found no actual burials in either Hadley or Rose Hill for John C. Gould or Sarah Gould.  However, he did find a John Gould mentioned on a deed along with Warren Tibbits (1798-1861) at Rose Hill Cemetery.  Warren Tibbits is buried there.  No record of a burial for John is indicated.

Fast forward to December 2021.  Met a nice woman in a Facebook group.  Her name happens to be Melinda Gould. We began communicating trying to figure out if we are related.  Of course, that meant I had to mention that I had no idea of my Gould line beyond my 2nd great grandfather, John C. Gould. She said she would love to help me figure out who his parents were AND that she knows a lot of great researchers in Michigan.

On New Year’s Eve she posted a request “calling all genealogy researchers, especially those with Michigan roots!”

Within a few hours one of the researchers, Deb, had posted a newspaper article about the burial of John Gould at Rose Hill Cemetery! 

WHAT?! Oh my gosh! I had searched newspapers many times and never found this. Did I miss it? Was the newspaper for the particular year and date recently updated?  I don’t know and don’t care. 

The article reads – ARMADA – The remains of John Gould, of Detroit, were brought to Armada for burial, Wednesday. He left many relatives in this community. Interment was in Rose Hill Cemetery. Rev. R. J. Chase officiated.

First question I asked – Which newspaper and what was the date of the article?

It was The Times Herald, Port Huron, Michigan and the date the article was published was 23 May 1919.  WOW! I have a death certificate that I’ve always believed to be John’s.  Date of death 19 May 1919.  Port Huron is just north of Armada and Detroit. AND, the article states that his remains were transported on Wednesday to Rose Hill Cemetery in Armada.  That Wednesday date would have made it 21 May 1919, two days after his death.

Conclusion – This is DEFINITELY my John Gould.

He, according to Rose Hill cemetery records, co owned a plot there. Many family members are buried there.  I’ve been to Rose Hill three times on visits back to Michigan.  I’ve looked at every headstone in this small cemetery.  There is no Gould headstone.  However, we know that may mean there wasn’t one, or that it has disappeared, or sunk into the earth.  I have many ancestors with no headstones. Next time I visit, I will try to find out which plot was on the deed and use a device that allows me to poke into the ground to locate sunken headstones.

In the meantime, I am seriously happy to have found a new piece of information in my ongoing search.


Those Places Thursday – Armada

Those Placed Thursday - Towns or roads in Michigan using the name Gould

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, December 31, 2021

THE END OF ANOTHER YEAR ~ 2021 comes to a close–What have I accomplished this past year?

Hello readers.  It’s been a very quiet year here at Michigan Family Trails.  I have not blogged as regularly as I have in years past.  Truth be told, I haven’t done much research either.

What are the reasons?  If I thought 2020 was a rough year, 2021 has proved much tougher.  My husband has had some health issues in the form of needing back surgery and hip replacement. I’ve had to pick up the slack of chores and animal care etc. here at home. 

I have noticed in past years that if I have distractions in my regular life, my research and my writing take a hit.

However, all was not lost as far as family preservation.  I began digital scrapbooking in April, taught myself how to use Photoshop Elements, and have created 75+ pages honoring our ancestors. You can see some of those pages here Ancestor Scrapbook  In addition, in August, I started my own Facebook group devoted to heritage scrapbooking, here is the link for that, Digital Heritage and Vintage Scrapbooking We have 168 members so far.  There are some very talented people in the group.

Other good things have happened as well.  My nephew Joshua married his wonderful fianc√© Katya, we had a visit from our granddaughter Chalyssa and great grandson, Conrad. I was officially welcomed into the San Diego Mayflower Colony at the November meeting (first in person meeting since before Covid) and we welcomed a puppy into our home in January. Her name is Libby and she’s a Bernadoodle and we love her to pieces. I also presented and co-presented some classes for the San Diego Genealogical Society via Zoom.

As I do every year, good or bad, I will share my Legacy family statistics with you.  I’m sure it won’t be pretty, but let’s see what changes occurred in my database in 2021.

Here are the stats from 2020

Here are the stats from 2021

Surprisingly, there have been increases in all the numbers I normally keep track of.  That’s a good thing, in spite of a very slow research year.

Here’s the comparison

Goals for 2022 – In general I just hope that this coming year is happy, healthy and safe for everyone. As to research and blogging, I am hoping for a more productive year and sharing more family stories and learning tips.

What are your genealogy goals for 2022?

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, November 7, 2021


In January 2010, I wondered 

“would anyone would read what I wrote?”

You never know unless you try. So, I began. Tentatively, and with only a small hope that anyone would read my posts. Here is my very first post Blogging about family research - Day 1

Some years I've been more productive in terms of posts and others, not as much. But, I’ve managed to publish 660 posts. I’ve received 2,188 comments on those posts and have replied to every one.

Cousin connections have been made and furthered my research and theirs.

The support of our blogging community has been a huge part of my success.  Shout outs to the following bloggers for promoting my posts in their “Best of” series.

Randy Seaver of Geneamusings  (by far my top supporter and a very big thank you)

Jana Iverson Last in Jana’s Genealogy and Family History (I miss your Friday Finds posts)

Gail Deaver in Genealogy √° la carte

Jo Henn in Climbing my Family Tree

Miriam Robins in AnceStories

Julie Cahill Tarr in Julie’s Genealogy & History Hub

Let’s look at what posts have been my ALL TIME most read. 

Here are the TOP 10 and how many “hits” they’ve had



TUESDAY’S TIP–How to Determine Which War Your Ancestor May Have Participated In – 6,954


MICHIGAN DEATH RECORDS ONLINE–Where can you find them? – 8,421

INTERMENT RIGHTS for Ancestor’s burial plots ~ How to gain ownership – 6,254


HOW I AM KEEPING TRACK OF DNA CORRESPONDENCE–Update from last November’s post – 4,491


ANCESTOR WALL OF PHOTOS ~ It’s finished–Here’s how I did it – 3,593

THANK YOU to all the readers who have made this journey possible.  I’m not done yet. Here’s to more discoveries and more connections.

Disclaimer – I do realize that some of the stats on all of our blogs reflect “hits” from people who are not necessarily readers, but trollers etc. Since we cannot distinguish those in our total numbers….as they say, it is what it is.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


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