Friday, August 29, 2014


Gould Gladys family screenshot

I have recently been researching my Grand Aunt, Gladys Lillian Gould.  Today I want to take stock of what I have collected for her and what I still need to look for.

Gladys was born, lived and died in Detroit, Michigan.  I have no record of her living any place else.

Gladys was my grandfather’s sister.  One of three girls in a family of six siblings.  She had three older brothers, Ford, Harry (my grandfather) & Roy.  And two younger sisters,  Adele and Helen.

(Click on any image to enlarge it) 

Gladys was the daughter of William Val Gould and Mae Thorp.  She was born 11 Jul 1890 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. 

GOULD Gladys birth

There is no image associated with her birth record, above.  (Even though there is a little camera icon next to the record indicating that there should be an image)

I will order the image using the Family Search Photo Duplication Request process which I wrote about here on my blog recently. Photo Duplication Requests on Family Search

The first record I have for Gladys is the 1900 census.  She is a little girl, living with her parents and siblings.  From that point I have tracked Gladys in the following records:
  • 1909 Detroit City Directory, working as a stenographer at an optical company, living with her parents at 828 14th Ave.
  • 1910 census – Living with her parents at 828 14th Ave. and working as a stenographer at an optical company.
  • 1920 census – taken in January 1920, she is living with her parents at 818 Hudson Ave. and working as a secretary.
  • 1920 – On July 3rd she married Charles E. Smith, born 30 Oct 1887 in Wigan, England according to his WW I Draft Card.  Died 2 Oct 1966 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
  • 1930 census – She and her husband Charles are living with her widowed mother and her brother, Ford, at 5639 Linwood Ave.
  • 1945 – She is the informant on her sister, Helen’s, death certificate.  Her address is listed as 3739 14th St.
  • 1966 – October 2 she is the informant on her husband, Charles’ death certificate.  Her address is listed as 10607 Outer Drive, Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1966 – October 8 – Gladys dies of metastic carcinoma, just 6 days after her husband.
  • 1966 – October 11 – She is laid to rest at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.
I have all of these events from Gladys’ life entered in Legacy.  This allows me to keep track of what I have and don’t have for a particular person.  And, it allows Legacy to create a timeline for that individual.

GOULD Gladys screen shot of ind info & events

Are there any other records that I could collect for Gladys?  Let’s think this through.
1.  She was probably listed in other Detroit City Directories and I know many of those are available online.

2.  She may have been listed in probate records, if they exist, for either her mother, her father, her sister Helen, her brother Ford or her brother Harry, who pre deceased her.   Or even, for that matter, her husband, although she died a few days after he did.

3.  Was there an announcement in the Detroit papers for her marriage to Charles Smith?

4.  Was she a member of any organizations that may have a record of her?

5.  Was there a death notice or obituary published for her husband, Charles?

6.  Was her death notice or an obituary published in the Detroit papers?

Can you think of any other records?  Am I missing anything?  

WAIT!!!  I am missing something.  The 1940 census.  Hang on, while I go and look for it.

I found it.  And look at that, a new family member.  An Aunt named Lena E. Barsh is living in the household with Charles & Gladys.  I’ve never seen that name before.  I know very little about Charles E. Smith’s family.  This may be a clue I can follow up on.  Assuming that the relationship is to the head of household, which makes Lena E. Barsh the Aunt of Charles Smith.

1940_SMITH_Charles E & Gladys with Aunt Lena BARSH_DetroitWayneMichigan_cropped

I have learned by going back and evaluating my records, I can, in nearly every case, find something I've missed.

I’m going to begin looking for any Detroit city directories with Gladys or Charles listed in them.  When did Charles come to the United States?  Is there an immigration record?  The questions are popping into my head as I write this. 

ONE LAST NOTE:  We should always remember that these are people, not just documents and statistics.  I know you all know that.  As I looked at this couple it made me a little sad.  First of all, I never got to meet my grand aunt Gladys or her husband. We moved away from Detroit when I was 7 yrs. old.  Maybe I met them as a little girl, but I don’t remember.  Charles & Gladys died within 6 days of one another.  He suffered a stroke and lived 26 days.  Since Gladys died of Metastatic Carcinoma of the Ascending colon (cancer of the colon), we can assume she was already sick at the time of Charles’ death.  How very bereaved she must have been in those last days.  Her surviving brother, Roy and sister, Adele along with other family members such as my grandmother and my Dad had to deal with the loss of two family members in 6 short days.  

R.I.P. to both of them.  Here is a link to Gladys & Charles’ memorials on FindAGrave.

Gladys L. Smith Memorial
Charles E. Smith Memorial

Reviewing your events and time lines is an excellent method for evaluating the information you have collected for any of your ancestors.

Please share what you have found when reviewing your records. 
Were there surprises?  Things you missed?

ANALYZING EVIDENCE - What you can learn - John & Bertha Doller 

WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Things are not always what they seem or what they say 

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall


  1. It evidently paid off to make a list & timeline! I think I'll give it a try! :)

    1. Thank you for your comment. I find that the timelines really do help me. I've heard this so many times at seminars and webinars, but only in the past year or two begun to really use them. Let me know what you turn up when you do your first couple of timelines.
      Thanks for stopping by.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.