Friday, February 28, 2014


Detroit city directory title page 1879

One of my favorite sources for information are city directories.  They can tell you so many things about your ancestors.  

City Directories aren’t always easy to locate on  They often don’t show up when we do searches, or perhaps they are several pages into the search listings. 

I use the general search feature up at the top of the home page to conduct a specific search for directories.  Once I've clicked on "search," I do the following:

- Go to the right column and scroll down to “Schools, Directories & Church    Histories” and click on City & area directories. 
- Then I click on USA and from there I type “Detroit” in the title
- If I type Detroit in the keyword box instead, I get 96 hits and some of those are not for Detroit.

By typing Detroit in the title box I get EVERYTHING in the Detroit directory category.  I had 50 results when I did it this way.

If I go straight to the card catalog and type “directory” in the title box and then put “detroit” in the keyword box, I get 86 results.  HOWEVER, those results also include Bay City, West Bay City, Ann Arbor, Battle Creek and even an Iowa Gazetteer & Business Directory.  

Someone else may have a better way to bring up the exact results and if so, please let me know.

Detroit directory screenshot

When I select the highlighted 1884 directory this is what comes up on the screen.

1884 screen shot

You can see that on the right of the screen you can go into the directory and locate the General Index, Advertisements, Deaths in Detroit, Mayors, Business Directory & several other items.  That allows you to scroll through those sections, if you want to.  Or you can type a name into the search boxes and be taken directly to the page containing that name.

  • Where your ancestor was living
  • Where your ancestor worked
  • What your ancestor’s occupation was
  • Who else was living at the same address
  • Who else might be living nearby with the same surname
  • What organizations, lodges, clubs were in the area
  • What churches were in the same neighborhood
  • Who were the elected officials
  • Deaths during a certain year
  • What businesses were operating during that year      
UPDATE - On March 10, 2015 I located my great grandfather's listing in the Detroit city directory giving his exact date of death.  This listing was in a directory in the year following his death.
I find directories very interesting and informative.  Let’s take a look at some of my finds.
Here is an 1879 Detroit, Michigan city directory.  I will look at the GOULD’s listed on this page. (click on any image to enlarge it)

1879_GOULD_John C. and W. V._living 254 Howard_DetroitMich
As I scroll down this page I look at each of the Gould surnames and find my family.

Gould, John C., teamster, h 254 Howard
Gould, Willard V, clk, bds 254 Howard

John C. Gould is my 2nd Great Grandfather and this information tells me where he is living as the “h” indicates home.  Willard V. Gould is another story.  John C. Gould’s son, was named Vivaldo William Gould.  He always went by William V. Gould.  So, is the Willard V. living at the same address as John, actually William V.?

I see no other names that I have proof as being related to me. 

Let's take a look at the 1881 directory.



 Here we see Gould, Wm V, color mixer Detroit White Lead Wks, h 32 Church.  I believe this is my Wm. V. because he is known to have worked in the paint industry for many years and in many records I have found.   I don’t think the John C. listed here is my ancestor.  It’s possible, as we shouldn’t ever just discount something.  However, I know that my John C. was a farmer and a teamster in every other listing, census or record I have found him in.

NOTE:  If you look at the listings on this page you can see it lists Gould, Adeline (wid Allen).  This lets you know that Adeline is the “widow” of Allen.  If you didn’t know a death date for an ancestor this would be helpful.

Now let's check one more listing for John C. & Wm. V. Gould - 1885

1885_GOULD_John C_ Detroit City directory_J.W. Weeks & Co

Here again, we see John C. and Wm. V.  This time they are both working at Acme White Lead Wks.  One is living at 368 1/2 Grand River Ave., and the other at 520 6th.

I became curious about what type of business this Acme White Lead Wks. was.  In the 1881 directory it seems to be named Detroit White Lead Wks.  Is it the same company?
I went to the pages of the directory that list information.  This is usually found at the beginning of the book.  I found on page 63 of the 1894 Detroit Directory, that they had a listing for Incorporated Companies.  There I found Acme White Lead and Color Works.

Here is the cropped information from the page I pulled up.

1894_Acme White Lead & Color Works listing in Detroit Directory_cropped ad

You can see that this is some sort of paint and/or varnish company.  They have several locations, they were incorporated on 9 Dec 1884 and they have capital of $25,000.  It also gives the names of the corporate officers. 

Working at a paint store or company is consistent with what I know my great grandfather, Wm. V. Gould did for a living for many years. 

Let’s take a look at the 1884 “Deaths in Detroit” and see what is listed.

The page states that the deaths are from Jun 1st, 1883 to May 15th, 1884.  Compiled from City mortuary reports.  Here is the first page from this section.

Detroit deaths 1884

I don’t know about you, but this sure gets me excited to look at more city directories.  

TIP: Even if you were to use the search feature at the beginning of the directory, I would still check this section.  You never know if an indexer could have missed a name.  

I hope this post has gotten you thinking about the possibilities of information available in city directories.  I’ve demonstrated with Detroit directories because I am most familiar with them.  Which now leads me to tell you that I need to begin looking at city directories for many other areas of the country.  

Let me know what you find in those directories from your ancestor’s areas.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


If you do have one of “those” spaces, then you are not alone and there is hope.

Recognize any of these items?
Closet - floppy disks etc
  • What are those things still doing in my house? 
  • Why do I need them? 
  • Why do I keep them?
We all love to chase those ancestors.  We can sit for hours at the computer and search, save, record and search some more.

BUT, how do you keep your area, your computer files, your folders, your desk….everything, organized and neat?

Isn’t that the big question?

It is for most of the genealogists I know.  

What I am doing right now is reorganizing my office.  I am fortunate to be able to have a room in our home that is my own little genealogy haven.  However, it doesn’t matter the size of your area, it still must be organized.  How else are you going to be able to find anything?

I was doing pretty well in my office area, but there is a closet in this room too.  And I will confess right now…..IT WAS A HUGE MESS!!  Nearly 20 years of living in this house and using that closet as the catch all for everything.  It took it’s toll  But, hey, if I didn’t open the door then I didn’t have to think about it, right?  WRONG!

I decided this was the year.  That closet was getting cleaned out no matter what.

It began with the emptying of everything from that horrible space.  So much stuff.  Seriously?  Tax records in boxes, going back to 1984.  Old computer books, floppy disks, modems, hard drives, dresses that I didn’t have a space for, old uniforms, you name it, we had it in that closet.  The rest of our home doesn’t look like this, I swear.

Here is a picture of what I’m talking about.  

closet before cleaning

That space is completely empty now.  Of course, much of it is out in the office area.  But, I have thrown away countless numbers of things that I definitely DO NOT NEED.

Here is the second big bin of trash I have gotten rid of.  The first one was over flowing and this one will be too.

Closet trash bin

1.  You WILL locate items, documents, photos that you have forgotten about.
2.  You WILL be able to locate everything without hunting.
3.  You WILL actually be able to research without the guilt of thinking “gosh, I should be scanning, sorting, cleaning, filing or whatever.”
4.  You will just feel better, more calm and happier.  Unless disorganization is what you like and there are those folks who do.  Nothing wrong with that, it’s how they are comfortable.

Here is what that closet looks like now.

Closet painted & shelves up

Can I get a big YIPPEEE!!!!

Can you believe the difference?  I painted it a tan color to contrast with the shelves.  We (my helpful husband) still has to install the baseboard and a new light fixture. The shelves were purchased at the Container Store during their yearly Elfa Shelf sale.  I have used that system in our master closet and have been very happy with it now for about 15 years.
It’s really coming along and it’s only been 2 weeks since the project began.  

Here are some of the treasures I have located so far:
  • Negatives of photos of my Dad’s first marriage from 1934.
  • Pictures of my brother and me when we were kids in Florida.
  • Documents that were somehow never filed in their proper place.
  • Pictures of me and my Dad from back in the 1970’s.
  • An album of photos that belonged to my husband’s grandmother.  We had obtained that album when his Mom died 20 years ago and not seen it since then.
  • Lots of other miscellaneous items that I won’t bore you with.

JOIN A GROUP - Whether it’s a small area or a big area. It really helps to have the support and encouragement of other genealogists who have similar issues. 
There is a FACEBOOK group called THE ORGANIZED GENEALOGIST that is absolutely wonderful.  This group was started just last year and has grown by hundreds of people.  We all support, share, confess and help one another.  I highly recommend it.

START SOMEWHERE  - Pick up any pile of papers you have sitting out and begin.  Tell yourself you will spend 10 minutes or 15 or whatever works for you, and do just the tasks that involve organizing.  It might be filing.  It might be scanning.  It might be throwing things away.  Taking small steps helps you to not become overwhelmed.  And, think how good you’ll feel at the end of that time.

REMEMBER THE RULE – Only touch each piece of paper ONCE.  Don’t pick it up and move it to another space or pile.  There are THREE things you can do with a piece of paper or document.


That’s it.  It seems simple, but we all know how hard it is sometimes.

I encourage you to start your own organizing project.  Please don’t forget to tell me about your progress and successes.  

I will post a picture of that closet once it’s all organized.  I’m hoping that will be by the end of this week.  Wish me luck.

Digital Folder Organizing & Naming Made Easy
Easy Document Editing

Happy organizing and happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, February 22, 2014


In a post on February 13th, I wrote about the tragic killing of Hobart B. Stewart.  He was killed during an escape attempt from the Boys  Industrial School in Fairfield County, Ohio.  You can read about it in this post:

I could not locate any death certificate or burial record for Hobart Stewart, in my usual haunts like FindAGrave, Ancestry or Family Search.  I checked on FindAGrave in Woodland Cemetery, Ironton, Lawrence, Ohio, as that is where is deceased wife, Marcella is buried, according to her death certificate.  Neither of them were listed on the site.  

Next, I went to the Ohio Historical Society website, as I know that they have vital records information at that site.  I put his name into the search criteria and up popped this record:  STEWART, Hobart B., 12/17/1936, Fairfield County, Cert. 75584 (Ohio Death Certificate)

I knew that had to be our Hobart because the date of death and location matched what information I already had.  I was able to order the certificate online for only $7.  About 6 days later the certificate arrived in the mail.

NOTE:  I'm as excited as a kid at Christmas when I get the mail and see that a record I ordered has arrived.
STEWART_Hobart B_death cert_1936_HockingFairfieldOhio
DEATH CERTIFICATE FOR HOBART B. STEWART (click to enlarge the image)

This certificate confirms much of what I already know such as his date of birth, date of death, his parent’s names and that his death was a homicide.

  • His residence at the time of his death – 1123 S. Broad
  • That he was married at the time of his death to a woman named Ruth who was the informant on this certificate.
  • That he was either buried or removed to Ironton, Ohio
  • That an autopsy had been performed after his death
  • The name of the Coroner who performed the autopsy
  • The name of the funeral home and that his body was embalmed
All of these items help to complete the story for Hobart B. Stewart.  Of these items the most surprising to me was that he was married at the time of his death.  There was no mention of a wife in any of the articles I read.  

NOTE:  I have not located an actual obituary for him yet.  

We know his wife, Marcella died in 1930. 
So who is Ruth and when did they marry?

I have not located a marriage record for Hobart & Ruth yet, despite my intensive efforts on and Ancestry.  

However, I did locate two CITY DIRECTORY listings which have Hobart and a woman named Ruth in the same house in 1934 & 1936.  This certainly fits with her being his wife on the death certificate.  Also of note is that his son Charles H. is listed in this directory at the same address.

Here are images of those directory listings.

1934_STEWART_Hobart-wife Ruth-son Charles H_1127 S. Broad_LancasterFairfieldOhio_page 262
1934 Lancaster, Ohio directory listing for Hobart B. Stewart
1936_STEWART_Hobart-wife Ruth-son Charles H_1123 S. Broad_LancasterFairfieldOhio_page 262
1936 Lancaster, Ohio directory listing for Hobart B. Stewart
TIP:  City Directory listings can tell you a great many things about someone and they are a very useful source of information which I use frequently.

What did I do next?

I went onto one of the genealogy Facebook pages I belong to and posted a query about the burial location for Hobart B. Stewart.  The name of the page is  I Come from Lawrence County/Ironton, Ohio   

Here is my post.

"Looking for burial site in Ironton. Hobart B. Stewart died on 17 Dec 1936. Actually he didn't just die, he was murdered. The incident occurred in Hocking, Fairfield, Ohio and the Boys Industrial School. I sent for and have just rec'd his death certificate. I have tried locating him on FAG, with no luck. His death cert states he was buried/removed to Ironton. It does not have "cremation" circled, so I'm assuming he was buried, although not certain. His first wife was M...arcella Jean Wood who died in 1931. She is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Ironton. I'm wondering if he could also be in Woodland?
If any of you have any idea, records from Woodland or other info, I would be very grateful. AND, if any of you are related to this family I would love to hear from you. Thanks!"

Within an hour I had a response from someone I have communicated with often via the Ohio Facebook groups I belong to.  She told me that Hobart is buried at Woodland Cemetery in Ironton, Ohio and gave me a burial number.  

TIP:  As I have said before, belonging to regional groups on Facebook and being on social media in general, is a great way to enhance your research and meet others who can assist you.  It’s also fun to assist them when they need something.

Now I need to call Woodland Cemetery and see if I can find his exact location.  

What I did today was to double check entries at Woodland Cemetery on FindAGrave.  There were none for either Hobart or his wife, Marcella.  

I created memorials for them and requested photos of their headstones.  There are several Facebook friends who are regular photo volunteers in the area.  I may have to wait til the weather clears though, in order for the photos to be taken.

Here are the links to the memorials:

As I said in my previous post about Hobart B. Stewart.  I would like to know what became of his children and I am still looking.  I have not been able to locate any information about them after the 1940 census.

If you are related or have information about Charles H. Stewart, born 30 Apr 1918 in Ohio or Phyllis Jane Stewart, born Feb 1926 in Ohio, please contact me.


Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WEDDING WEDNESDAY–Things are not always what they seem….or what they say

When we evaluate records we know that we have to take all evidence we find and combine it with other evidence in order to come to a conclusion.  

We also know that our ancestors weren’t always truthful when they gave information to be entered on forms or when they talked to enumerators.  

Here is a perfect example.

Bessie Lindsay is my Grandaunt on my paternal side.  She was my grandmother’s younger sister.  She married William Bryant Curry, Jr. on 11 Sep 1911 in Windsor, Essex, Ontario, Canada.  Her status on the marriage record is listed as spinster (what we now call single).

Lindsay_Bessie_Curry_William_Marriage in Canada 1911

Now look at her marriage to Stewart Frances Hockster on 19 Jul 1913 in Windsor, Essex, Ontario, Canada.  

LINDSAY_Bessie to Stewart HOCKSTER_1913_Canada

What is her status listed as?  Spinster.  Not divorced or widowed.

And her name is listed as?  Lindsay….not Curry.

We learned that Bessie did divorce her first husband, William Curry and gained full custody of their minor child.  

Why did Bessie aka Elizabeth say she was a spinster when she appeared before the magistrate for the second marriage?  Was it because back in those days it wasn’t considered desirable to be a divorced woman?  This is not the first incident of this kind that I have found in my family.  Or was there another reason?  We may never know.

TIP:  Always look at all the details on any document.  Never believe everything you see on any document.  With good research techniques you can combine evidence and come to a solid conclusion.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Copy of familysearch logo

Today I want to talk about the images on Family Search.  The two sites that are always open on my computer are Family Search and Ancestry.  

I use Family Search and Ancestry simultaneously for locating records and images.  I’ve found this to be very successful over the years.  


Check the pages before and after the image you are looking at!

Am I always consistent in doing this?  I’m sorry to say I’m not.  Should I be? YES!

I’m most certainly better at this now than I was a few years ago.  I just want to remind you that going back to those images you found when you first began, and looking for that second or third page, may provide you with more information on your ancestor.

Yesterday I was reviewing information on my grandfather’s family and decided to look for birth records I don’t have and review the ones I do have.  In doing so, I did what I’m supposed to be doing and looked for that second page.  AND, also checked several pages before and after.  There they were.  The second pages for the birth records of my grand uncle Ford and my grandfather, Harry.  

GOULD_Ford V_birth record_1884_DetroitWayneMichigan_page 1 of 2
GOULD_Ford V_birth record_1884_DetroitWayneMichigan_page 2 of 2

GOULD_Harry Whipple_birth record 10 Feb 1885_DetroitWayneMichigan_page 1
GOULD_Harry Whipple_birth record 10 Feb 1885_DetroitWayneMichigan_page 2

What we had with only the first page:
  • record number
  • date of birth
  • name of the child
  • Sex of child
  • place of birth. 
What we have now with the second page:
  • names of the parents
  • residence of each parent
  • birthplace of each parent
  • occupation of the father
  • date of the record
That is a LOT of additional information.  

I am currently taking the time to go back to all of my records (as time allows) and make sure I have ALL the pages of that document.  Who knows what new information I might turn up?

This was a good reminder for me and I thought I’d pass it along to you.  Let me know if you turn up any new clues or information as you go back for those additional pages.

Other posts that you might enjoy that relate to records.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Boys industrial school sign

This is a follow up to my post about the murder of my ancestor Hobart B. Stewart.  He was a guard at the Boys Industrial School in Fairfield County, Ohio.  
You can read the post here:

There are many websites with information about this school.  This school was the first minimum security correctional facility for youthful offenders in the nation.

This article appears on the website:

Boys industrial school taken 1940-49“In 1857, the Ohio government established the Ohio Reform School, the predecessor to the Boys' Industrial School. The Ohio Reform School was a reformatory for boys between eight and eighteen years of age. It was located approximately five miles south of Lancaster, in Fairfield County, Ohio, and the institution accepted its first inmate in 1858.
Before the creation of this institution, the State of Ohio imprisoned male juvenile offenders in the Ohio Penitentiary with adult criminals. The Ohio Reform School was not like a traditional prison. Walls and fencing did not surround the inmates. Rather, the Ohio Reform School utilized the "open system." The boys could traverse the grounds freely. They lived in cottages -- not prison cells -- with forty boys to a cottage. The cottages were named after rivers in Ohio. Guards, cottage matrons, and other workers supervised the boys, but the intent was to create an institution that would educate and instill good and productive values in the boys. Because of the Ohio Reform School's success, by 1901, twenty-eight states adopted the "open system" for their juvenile prisons.
Each boy arrived at the Ohio Reform School with a certain number of demerits, which were based on the severity of their crime. For good behavior, students lost demerits. Once they reached zero demerits, the boys were freed and returned to their families. Students could also have demerits added for bad behavior, and in extreme circumstances, corporal punishment was permitted.
The boys spent one-half of the day in school and the other one-half either working on the Ohio Reform School's farm or learning a trade in one of the vocational education buildings. In 1901, the school offered training in blacksmithing, tailoring, baking, carpentry, stenography, brick making, shoemaking, horticulture, and cattle-raising, among numerous other professions. This same year the institution also boasted a forty-two-member band, and the children received military training as well.
In 1884, the Ohio Reform School became known as the Boys' Industrial School. Comedian Bob Hope spent some time at the Boy's Industrial School as a child. As an adult, Hope donated sizable sums of money to the institution. In 1964, the institution became known as the Fairfield School for Boys, and in 1980, the school became the Southeastern Correctional Facility for adult offenders. In 2004, juvenile inmates were held in eight juvenile detention centers across Ohio.”
I located a site that has an index for the school that allows you to enter the name and bring up the information for those who spent time at this facility.  I located the entries for the two suspects who killed my ancestor, Hobart B. Stewart.
Inmate Name: Sedar, Frank (boy)
Inmate Number: 36811
Volume Number: 51
Page Number: 411
Volume Dates: 1936
SAS Number: 1097

Inmate Name: Brown, Albert (boy)
Inmate Number: 35729
Volume Number: 50
Page Number: 29
Volume Dates: 1935-36
SAS Number: 1097

I also learned, from a couple of readers, that actor, comedian, Bob Hope (real name Leslie/Lester Hope) spent some time at this facility.  Below is an excerpt from this site:

“From age 12, Hope earned pocket money by busking (frequently on the streetcar to Luna Park), singing, dancing, and performing comedy patter.[4] He entered many dancing and amateur talent contests (as Lester Hope), and won a prize in 1915 for his impersonation of Charlie Chaplin.[5] For a time Hope attended the Boys Industrial School in Lancaster, Ohio. As an adult, Hope donated sizable sums of money to the institution.[6]”

Inmate Name: Hope, Lester (boy)
Inmate Number: 20546
Volume Number: 26
Page Number: 246
Volume Dates: 1918
SAS Number: 1097

Here is another site for good information on this facility:

One of the many aspects of doing genealogy research that is very interesting to me, is the amount of history we learn as we go.  The history of people, places & cultures never gets boring.  Well, history was my favorite subject in school, so I guess this is no surprise.

I'm sure there is a lot more to learn, so I'm off to find it.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

THRILLER THURSDAY–Hobart B. Stewart Murdered - 1936


STEWART_Hobart_newspaper article re murder_page 9_18 Dec 1936_ClevelandPain Dealer_Cleveland Ohio_cropped

Hobart Basil “Hob” STEWART is a 3rd cousin twice removed on my maternal side of the family.  I was surprised to find this article at Genealogy Bank when I was researching his family.  Hobart was the son of Dr. Charles E. Stewart and Ida Lunsford.  He was born on 18 Sep 1896 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  I have located many articles about his murder, but so far have not located an obituary.  

Hobart married Marcella Wood, daughter of Royal H. & Matilda Wagner, on 9 Jun 1917 in Ashland, Boyd, Kentucky. Hobart & Marcella had three children, Page Albert, Charles & Phyllis Jane. 

In 1920 we find Hobart & Marcella living with their two young sons in Mingo Junction, Jefferson, Ohio.  He is working as an Engineer in, I believe, a steel factory.  The entry for the type of industry is a bit difficult to read.

1920_STEWART_Hobart & Marcella & 2 sons_MingoJunctionJeffersonOhio_annotated

On 21 Oct 1923, their young son, Page Albert, dies of meningitis at the young age of 4 years. 


In 1926 their daughter, Phyllis Jane was born.

The family moved from Mingo Junction to Hocking, Ohio sometime between 1920 & 1930.  The 1930 census is enumerated on 6 Apr 1930  and you see that Hobart has taken a job as a Stationary Engineer at the power plant in a Boy’s Industrial School.

1930_STEWART_Hobart & Marcella_Charles & Phyllis_HockingFairfieldOhio_annotated

On 7 Aug 1930, just 4 months after the 1930 census was taken, Marcella Wood Stewart, Hobart’s wife, died at Deaconess Hospital of a post operative embolism after a laparotomy.   Now Hobart has his son Charles, age 12 & daughter, Phyllis, age 4 to raise by himself.  What trials he and his children went through during those times we may never know.  

But, it’s about to get much worse.

On 17 Dec 1936 Hobart is killed, at work, during an escape attempt by two youth’s at the Boy’s Industrial School.
STEWART_Hobart_newspaper article re murder_page 1_18 Dec 1936_ClevelandPain Dealer_Cleveland Ohio_cropped

This was a very horrible and sad thing for the Stewart family.  They lost a young son, then the mother dies and now their father is murdered.  Stories like this break my heart.
The two youth’s who committed this crime were caught, tried and convicted.

 STEWART_Hobart_newspaper article_conviction of killers_page 20_9 Jun 1937_The Repository_Canton Ohio_cropped 
In the 1940 census we find Charles, now 21 and his sister, Phyllis, now 14 yrs. old, living with their Grandmother Ida Lunsford Stewart.  Also in the house is their Uncle Mark & his wife, Myrtle. 

I haven’t taken this story any further, yet.  I need to find out what became of Charles & his sister Phyllis.  Did they marry and have children of their own?  I hope whatever they did that they were happy.  They certainly experienced a lot of tragedy when they were young.

NOTE:  Normally I wouldn’t spend this much time researching a 3rd cousin, twice removed and his wife and children.  They aren’t closely related to me and certainly aren’t blood relations.  However, sometimes you run across stories that peak your interest and you just have to follow them.  Of course, any time we research one part of the family, we never know what we will run across that will help with another part of the family.  As genealogists it isn’t always about  how close to us the person is, but about their story. 

Our ancestors were no different than we are today.  They lived and loved.  They made mistakes, they worked hard, and, they experienced the joys and sadness life brings.  

If anyone reading this is related to this Stewart family, I would really enjoy hearing from you.

I apologize for the fact that the articles are blurry when you enlarge them.  I have tried and tried to fix that issue and don't seem to be able to.  

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, February 8, 2014


girl with red top jumping for joy

It’s Saturday Night, so let’s have a little fun.  This was a post from a while ago.  I found it interesting and something I had not done yet. 

What is it you ask?
Counting your ancestors by generation

Here is the chart.  

What is your number
Going back to our 7th Great Grandparents we have a possible 1,023 people.

Here are my numbers next to Crista Cowen’s. 

What is your number_with my numbers filled in

Those 4 brick walls in my family, on both sides sure do make a difference, don’t they?  Once I hit 3rd great grandparents, that’s where my trouble begins.  This means I still have LOTS of work to do.  Only 74 out of a possible 1,023!  Oh my!

How about you?  How do your numbers compare?

Off I go to try to find some leads.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright © 2014 Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


NAME CLOUD WITH TEXT_ALL SURNAMES in cloud shape_multi color black bkgrnd

I think one of the biggest problems I have these days is getting distracted, stuck, sidetracked or whatever you want to call it.  It frustrates me.  I’ll sit down at my desk, open up my Legacy database and then….what?  Where do I start?  Who should I work on?

Sometimes I do know what I want to work on because it’s something I left unfinished from a previous day.  But, many times recently I find myself wondering “who should I work on today.”  

Am I the only one who has this problem?

I suspect, from entries I have read on genealogy Facebook posts and in talking to other researchers, that I am not alone.  


We all have access to so much information from so many sources. 

Logo for FBLogo for Ancestry       logo for Yahoo  logo for FAG  

  • Emails telling you the latest deals from Family Tree or
  • Notifications on your Facebook page from genealogy sites you belong to.  Here are some of mine.  The Organized Genealogist, Technology for Genealogy, The Lawrence Register, Detroit Genealogy.
  • Notifications from family & friends on Facebook that relate to your research.
  • Hints on your Ancestry tree.
  • Messages from someone about a Find A Grave memorial.
  • Perhaps you get questions from friends or family about how to do something regarding research.
  • Oh, and did I mention – creating posts for my blog?
So, how do you go about weeding through all these distractions and focusing on your research?   I’m currently trying to come up with a method.  

I suppose I could just not get online for a few days.  YIKES!  I could decide that I’ll only spend 10-15 minutes once or twice day.  Will that really work for me?  Probably not.

I admit it, I have GADD – Genealogy Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Seriously, though, I do want to focus more on my research.  I guess after having done this for 11 or 12 years (many of you have been at it much longer), it’s not the same as it was in the beginning.  What I mean is, I've already done so much, but there is a lot more to do.   I’m still having fun and completely enjoy researching.  It’s just that I guess I feel as if I need a direction.  

Maybe I should set a particular goal or goals? 

  • I will work only on the Boggs family this week.
  • I will exhaust all my resources for trying to break down that brick wall.
  • I will go through each family beginning with my parents and make sure I have cited all sources and have all census records recorded.
  • I will look at the Master Location list on Legacy and clean up misspellings, combine duplicates and purge unused locations (which the program does for you).
  • I will go through my digital files for the surnames beginning with the letter ‘A’ and make sure the naming pattern is consistent.
  • I will go through my digital files in the ‘pictures’ folders and crop & edit any documents that have black borders or are crooked.
  • There is that pile of unscanned documents in the box under my desk.
  • There are those pictures I took on my last genealogy trip that I still haven’t all been labeled.
You get the idea.  There are all sorts of things that we can do to become more focused, more organized and improve our strategies for researching.  I’ve listed a few that came to mind as I wrote this.  

In fact, this has really helped me to decide what I want to work on next.  

Aha!  Maybe making a list is another way we can focus?

We all have strategies.  What are yours?  I’d love to hear about them so they can inspire me.  

You might also like these posts.

When our folders are organized we can find what we are looking for

Not the way we want our doucments to look

Thanks for helping me figure out what I want to do today.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall