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 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 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  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