Tuesday, November 6, 2018

TUESDAY’S TIP–Didn’t find that record in the newspaper? Here’s how to look a little deeper...

This morning I was looking for an obituary on my 2nd great grandaunt’s husband, John R. Tibbits.  He died 3 Oct 1903 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan.

I went to the newspapers.com website and entered his name “John Tibbits” and the year 1903 along with the state, Michigan.

The only two records that showed up were an estate hearing notice and a list of those who had died.  No obituary.

Here’s the results of my first search. 
(Click on any image to enlarge it)
John R Tibbits search results

Here’s the hearing notice.
John R Tibbits estate hearing_annot

This is good information, but I wanted more.

Was there an obituary published?  If so, why isn’t it coming up in my search?

We all know that broad searches result in more hits.  I could narrow it down to the exact month and year.  But, I decided to look for this obituary by going directly to the newspaper itself.  I happen to know that this was then a small newspaper, not like a big city paper with dozens of pages.

I brought up the image that took me directly to the page with the notice of his estate hearing.  The green arrows indicate the entry for John Tibbits.  The red arrow shows you the name of the newspaper, date and page number.

John R Tibbits hearing page annot

The next thing I did was click on the name of the newspaper, to take me directly to that publication.
Daily Herald selection annot

Since I had information that John Tibbits died on 3 Oct 1903, I didn’t want that exact date.  Obituaries are usually published a day or several days later.  In this case, there was no option for 4 Oct 1903 (perhaps that day of the publication hasn’t been scanned yet). 
So, I selected 5 Oct 1903.  LOOK!  Only 6 pages!

Daily Herald pages

Such a small newspaper, so let’s begin with page 1.  Although, I generally wouldn’t expect obituaries to appear on the first page.

Right there on page 1, about half way down, in column 5 is a section titled OBITUARY

05 Oct 1903, 1 - The Daily Herald at Newspapers_annot

Would I find John Tibbits’ obituary in that article?  Yes!

Copy (2) of 05 Oct 1903, 1 - The Daily Herald at Newspapers

Here’s a readable close up of John’s obituary.

TIBBITS_John R_obit_cropped_5 Oct 1903_MI

Now we have a little more information than we got from the death notice, which only gave his name and age.  Or, the estate hearing notice, which only gave his name and the date of the hearing in 1903.

I know that John’s wife, Olive Parmelia Hart Tibbits did outlive him (she died in 1915).  And I know that he is buried in Armada, Macomb, Michigan at Rose Hill Cemetery, FindAGrave #32188509.  I’ve been to that cemetery and taken photos of headstones, including his.

REMEMBER – Just because you don’t find what you’re looking for on your first or second or tenth try, doesn’t mean it’s not there.  Try to think of others ways you can search. 

I hope this tip has been helpful.  I’d love to hear how you may have located a record by thinking outside the box.


THOSE PLACED THURSDAY - Armada, Michigan & Rose Hill Cemetery

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Thomas W. Davis (1873-1952) –husband of Gladys Olive Grout

DAVIS_Thomas W_obit_13 Apr 1952_SanDiegoUnion_CA
Published in the San Diego Union 13 Apr 1952, page 9

I’m always surprised when I find a San Diego connection among my ancestors.  Over the years, I’ve found the majority of them stayed in the Midwest or on the east coast.

This week I located the obituary of Thomas W. Davis, who was living in San Diego at the time of his death.

Thomas W. Davis
Funeral services will be held at 2 tomorrow afternoon in La Jolla Mortuary under auspices of La Jolla Masonic Lodge for Thomas W. Davis, 79, retired railroad agent and telegraph operator.  He died yesterday at his home, 844 Archer St., Pacific Beach.
For more than 50 years he was employed by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.  He was a member of the Order of Railroad Trainmen and the Masonic Lodge.
Survivors include his wife, Gladys Davis, a brother and a niece both of Cuyahoga Falls, O.  Burial will be in the family plot in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Thomas was married to Gladys Olive Grout, daughter of Bradley B. Grout and Nellie E. Tibbits. This makes Gladys my 2nd cousin twice removed.  I had located her death record, also in San Diego and that lead me to search for the death record and obituary for her husband Thomas.

Thomas was born 21 Dec 1873 in Glencoe, Belmont, Ohio to Samuel Davis & Mary Jane Warren.  He spent over 50 years working for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, as an agent and telegraph operator.  I find that Thomas and Gladys were still living in Ohio in the 1940 census.  There move to San Diego took place between then and his death in 1952.
It looks like they came west after his retirement?  The address given in the obituary is 844 Archer St., in Pacific Beach (a community here in San Diego).  It must have been quite a change for he and Gladys, having lived in the colder climates all their lives.  I hope they enjoyed it here.

Using Google maps you can see they were living just a few blocks from the ocean.  Having been in the area many times, I can attest to how beautiful it is.

844 Archer st map
Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps©
844 Archer st
Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps©
I looked in the city directory listings for San Diego and the first listing for Thomas & Gladys is in 1950.  They were living at the same address on Archer St.
On Genealogy Bank I ran the address, 844 Archer and found an article about Thomas having been struck by a car on 23 Feb 1951.  He was a pedestrian and sustained critical head and internal injuries.  I wonder if the injuries he sustained had anything to do with his death the following year?  I don’t have his death certificate, so I don’t have a specific cause of death, at this time.

Here’s the article:

DAVIS_Thos struck by car
Published in the San Diego Union 24 Feb 1951, page 6

Gladys stayed in their home on Archer St. for a few years, but later moved to different addresses nearby, according to city directory listings.  She died in San Diego 25 Nov 1985 at the age of 93.

Thomas and Gladys are both buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery here in San Diego.  Thomas #112364040 and Gladys #112364020.

All four of my husband’s grandparents are buried at the same cemetery, so I’ve been there a time or two.  Next time I go, I’ll have to visit the Davis gravesites.  There are no headstone photos on FindAGrave, so I wonder if they have headstones or not?  Perhaps they just need to be photographed.  I have submitted a photo request as well as some edits to enhance their memorials.
If you are related to the Davis or Grout family, I’d love to hear from you. 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ Archibald Ritchie & Margaret Ewen–my maternal 3rd great grandparents–married 1809 in Scotland

wedding bells_thumb[5][5]
Archibald Ritchie & Margaret Ewen – married 26 Nov 1809 in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Finding records for my Scottish ancestors has always been fun for me.  This is a record I located back in 2011.  I use the Scotland’s People website to find a lot of the records.  Although some of them can be found on Ancestry.com or Family Search.

In this case I did located the image on Scotland’s People. 

RITCHIE_Archibald marriage to Margaret EWEN_26 Nov 1809_Scotland

The reference at the bottom is transcribed exactly as it appeared on the document.

Archibald and Margaret had 9 known children.  I almost always say “known” because we never know if a child was born that we aren’t aware of.  Especially when there are gaps of more than 2 years between births.
Here is a list of the children I have for this couple:
Archibald, born about 1812, Jonathan born about 1814, William born about 1818, John born about 1819, Margaret (from whom I descend) born 23 Oct 1820, Mary born 1825, Andrew born 4 Apr 1829, Charlotte born about 1831.  I still have work to do on this family to try and find exact birth dates and some marriages I don’t yet have.

Archibald worked as a Farmer, so with 6 boys and 3 girls, he had plenty of help on the farm.

I descend from this couple as follows..
Archibald Ritchie & Margaret Ewen – 3rd great grandparents
Margaret Ritchie & Charles Milne – 2nd great grandparents
Andrew Charles Milne & Susan Gillespie – great grandparents
Joseph Albert Milne & Florence Lee Nora Bowden – grandparents
Patricia Anne Milne & Harry Norman Gould – parents

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

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ THEOPHILUS CLARKE (1670-1737)–My husband’s 6th great grandfather

Photo used with permission of Nate Bramlett
Here lies buried the body of Mr. Theophilus Clarke who died October 1737 in the 67th year of his age
Mr. Theophilus Clark is my husband’s 6th great grandfather.  He is the third of ten known children born to Benjamin Clarke and Dorcas Morse (Tombstone Tuesday – Dorcas Morse Clark 1645-1725)

Theophilus married first, Rachel Partridge about 1692 in Medfield, Colonial Massachusetts.  They had 12 known children together.  She died 1 Dec 1717. Theophilus next married Elizabeth Underwood (who was the widow of Nathaniel Cutler) on 24 Feb 1717/18 in Reading, Colonial Massachusetts.

I’m trying to imagine the household shared by Theophilus & Elizabeth.  She had two children by her first husband, Nathaniel, who were likely still living with her.  He had 12 children by his first wife, Rachel.  Of those it’s likely that, at least, the four youngest girls were still at home.  Then Theophilus & Elizabeth went on to have their own 3 children. It certainly must have been a busy household.
Theophilus did leave a will naming Elizabeth as his executor and naming several of his children as heirs.  You may find the probate record and image here.  Elizabeth lived for 20 years after Theophilus’ death.

I have traced the Clarke/Clark family (spelled with and without the ‘e’) back to the late 1500’s to Joseph Clark & Alice Pepper who were Theophilus’ grandparents.
You can find reference to this Clark family on the archive.org website:
Theophilus and Elizabeth are buried in the Old Ashford Cemetery, in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut.  You can visit the memorials for Theophilus and his wife Elizabeth on FindAGrave #29214297 and Elizabeth #32043125.  His first wife, Rachel also has memorial on the site, but no burial location is given for her #29214889.

I located this reference to the burials of Benjamin, Hannah, Theophilus and Elizabeth Clark in this transcription of headstones for Old Ashford Cemetery.
CLARK_Theophilus & Elizabeth & Benjamin & Hannah_headstone inscriptions from Hale Cemetery collection Vol 1

If you are connected to this Clark family (and there must be many of you), please contact me if you have additional information, corrections or would like to exchange information.


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

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 Ancestry.com  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