Tuesday, October 20, 2015

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY–William & May Thorp Gould–My great grandparents

Gould_William V_1859-1924_headstone_cropped
GOULD_May E_headstone_1862-1946_MtOlivetCem_DetroitWayneMichigan_enh
Mt Olivet Cemetery_rock sign
These are the headstones of my paternal great grandparents, Vivaldo William “Val” Gould & Mary “May or Mae” Eve Thorp.  I took these pictures when I first went to Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit, back in 2007.
I never new my great grandparents on either side of my family.  However, my Dad talked about his grandparents, Val & Mae all the time.  He called them Beepa & Meema.  My Dad was the only grandchild born to the six children of Val & Mae Gould.  Because of this, he was well loved and doted upon.

I’ve done extensive research on both sides of this family.  However, I’ve come up against a brick wall when it comes to Vals father, John C. Gould.  I know quite a bit about his life, but have no idea who his parents were. Not being able to take my own surname back further is one the biggest regrets of my research, so far.  I wrote a post about John C. Gould in my Mystery Monday-Who’s Your Daddy? series.  You may read it here.

Mary “Mae” Eve Thorp was the second of ten children born to Horace Henry Thorp & Catherine C. Dorsey.  She was born 4 Apr 1862 in Oswego, Oswego Co., New York.  By 1867-1868 her family had moved to Detroit, Michigan.
I have not been able to locate the marriage record for Val & Mae.  I’ve looked in U.S. and Canadian records extensively and often, using so many spelling variations.  So far, no luck. 

Their first child, Ford was born in 1884, so the marriage may have taken place sometime prior to that birth.  All of their children were born in Detroit and most of the family never left the area.

Here are their children.  I descend from their son, Harry.

Ford Val Gould 1884-1947, never married.

Harry Whipple Gould 1886-1960, married on 6 Jun 1912,  Marie Wallace Lindsay 1888-1970. They are my grandparents.

Roy V. Gould 1888-1971, married on 30 Jun 1909, Emma S. Redcap. They had one child who was stillborn.

Gladys Lillian Gould 1890-1966, married Charles E. Smith on 3 Jul 1920.  No children.

May Adele Gould 1898-1984, married first James Connors on 30 Jun 1920.  Married second Myron Albert Sine on 4 Sep 1934.  No children.

Helen C. Gould 1901-1945.  Never married.

I have many pictures of this family and have located nearly every vital record associated with all of them.  Except for that pesky marriage record for Val & Mae.

Here are pictures of Val & Mae

William Val Gould-headshot-circa 1900
GOULD_Mae_headshot wearing fur stole
Here are Val & Mae with all 6 of their children, and my grandmother, wife of Harry, and their son, my Dad, Harry Norman Gould

You may visit the findagrave memorials for Val & Mae by clicking on their names.

PLEASE contact me if you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog. 
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2015   Diane Gould Hall


  1. I've often blamed my own brick wall on the fact that my ancestors were poor and poor people often seem generate fewer records, but looking at the pictures of your ancestors, they appear to have been very comfortable, so maybe I can't blame my brick wall on my ancestor's financial situation.

    I've solved a few brick walls by finding individuals who have a piece to the puzzle in their private collection of documents and I keep holding out hope that someone out there holds the piece to the brick wall of my own surname as well. As much as we find, there seems to be a special thrill in finding out about those who share our surname.

    1. Hi Michelle - Oh those brick walls. Will I ever solve some of them? I've solved a few, so my hope endures. As to the family financials. William Val Gould worked in a paint store. The children didn't go to college and worked at factories or in clerical positions. Comfortable, yes, maybe. But certainly not well off. Most of my family are farmers, machinists, laborers etc. We might not find them in books or yearbooks, but we know they left records. We just have to find them.
      I too have had various cousins surprise me with documents and/or photos. It's one of the reasons I keep blogging and I'm sure the same for you.
      Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Fabulous pictures, I absolutely love those big collars in the group photo! Good luck finding your 2nd great grandparents.

    1. Thanks Anna. I'm fortunate to have photos of the family from back then. There are a few group pics with unidentified people, but I hang on to them in hopes of someday knowing who they are.
      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.