I decided to take a look at my THORP family. My great grandmother was Mae Eva Thorp 4 Apr 1862, New York to 3 Nov 1946, Detroit, Wayne Michigan. She married William Val Gould 1859-1924. I have never been able to locate their marriage record.
Now, this particular Thorp family seems to spell the name without an “e” at the end, most of the time.
This presented quite a problem when researching my great grandmother’s sister, Catherine “Kittie” Thorp. WHY?
Because she married William H. THORPE. Yup, she went from being a Thorp to a Thorpe.
Let’s take a look at William H. Thorpe today. Here is what shows up in my Legacy database for him.
Not very darn much information, right?
- I have him as head of household in a 1900 census, living in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. The family is a perfect match to this couple and their children.
- In the 1910 census, Kittie Thorp is widowed and living with her daughter and son-in-law and family, back in Detroit, Michigan.
First thing I’m going to do is go to my Ancestry tree and see if any new record hints have popped up on William.
- Nothing new in hints. The two census records shown appear to be another couple. I do look at the trees to check for clues or leads, but don’t use them as sources.
- Next, I clicked on the “search records” tab from William’s profile page in Ancestry. AH HA!!!
- What is this city directory I see for 1916 in Detroit, Michigan?
- It’s a listing for Kittie Thorpe (wid Wm), boards 154 Alger Ave.
This is great because now I have one more piece of evidence that Kittie was widowed.
If Kittie is boarding at 154 Alger Ave., who is she living with?
I went to the street directory portion of the city directory and located Alger Ave. I found 154 and noted that J.D. Stanton is listed as the resident. I immediately recognized the name Stanton as being one I had researched. Sure enough I checked my Legacy database and there he was, John Davies Stanton married Kittie’s daughter, Grace on 24 Jul 1907. So Kittie was living with them in 1916. Yeah!! I have the right Kittie Thorpe.
When did William & Kittie Thorpe move back to Michigan? Did she moved back after his death? Or before. I’m now going to check for Detroit City Directories for the years 1900-1910.
Although the family was in enumerated in Ohio for the 1900 census, they could still show up in a 1900 Detroit city directory.
1900 – 1904 - Not in Detroit
1905 – Located Wm. H. Thorpe at 422 4th. Also living at that address is Mabel Thorpe, which is his daughter, who didn’t marry until 1908. This gives me reason to believe this is our William.
1906 – Wm. H. & daughter Mabel living at 393 15th. He is working as a steward.
1907 – This Detroit Directory is not complete and does not have the “T’s”.
1908 – Neither Wm. H. or Catherine, his wife are listed in this directory.
1909 – Catherine (wid Wm) bds 401 15th.
I have concluded from this evidence that William probably died between 1907 and 1909.
Next step SeekingMichigan.org. I looked and looked and searched for a long time on this site. The 1897-1920 deaths are there, as are the images. But, no manner of searching turned up William H./Wm. H. Thorpe. I tried just the year, just the first name, just the last name and many other combinations.
HAVE I ACCOMPLISHED MY GOAL TODAY?
NO, I haven’t. I still don’t have a death date or burial location for William H. Thorpe. I’ve certainly narrowed it down.
OH MY GOSH!!!!!
I was just about to post this and thought, well, I'll just look one more place before I share this with my readers. I had checked FindAGrave many many times in the past. BUT, don't we all know that we have to keep checking? YES!!!!!
I FOUND A MEMORIAL FOR WILLIAM H. THORPE WHO DIED IN 1909 (Just at I had narrowed it down to).
When was this memorial posted? Just 18 days ago!
Do I seem excited? Well, I'm doing the genealogy happy dance right now.
Here is a link to William's memorial #149488550 The memorial includes his obituary from the Detroit Free Press.
He is buried at my favorite Detroit cemetery, Elmwood.
So, now have I accomplished my goal today? YES!!!! How long did this take me. The better part of the afternoon. Worth it? You bet.
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MICHIGAN DEATH RECORDS ONLINE - Where Can You Find Them?
PLEASE contact me if you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog.
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