Saturday, October 28, 2017

SEPIA SATURDAY ~ My maternal grandparents, Joseph & Florence Milne and my Uncle Robert Milne–circa 1950

MILNE_Joseph-Robert & Florence_circa1950
Joseph A. Milne (1883-1957), Robert A. Milne (1909-1969) and Florence Bowden Milne (1888-1986)

This is a picture of my grandparents and their son (my Uncle Bob).  The photo was taken in the basement of their home in Detroit, Michigan.

I haven’t enhanced or made changes to the photo, because sometimes I like to see them in their original condition.  A little yellowed and a bit frayed at the corners.

I don’t have any information about what the occasion for this dinner was.  I do know that I’ve seen other pictures of parties (such as their 50th anniversary in 1956) that were thrown in their basement.

Everyone is dressed up.  Of course, back then it was quite common for all the men to wear ties and the women to wear nice dresses and pearls even if they were just having someone over for a casual dinner.  It’s how it was back then.  We certainly don’t dress that way now.  I kind of wish we still did.

I’m not sure of the exact address my grandparents were living at this time.  I have their address in 1940, from the census, but I believe they moved to another home after that.

GOOD FIND - While I was writing this post and reviewing family photos I’ve scanned, I located another picture that would appear to be taken at the same time. My grandmother is wearing the same dress and her hair looks like it’s done the same way as the picture above.  My grandfather’s tie is tilted the same way as the photo above and he’s wearing a suit.

It looks like my grandmother is opening a card in this second photo.  Was it her birthday or perhaps their anniversary?

Copy of MILNE_Florence and Joseph_circa early 1950s

Here’s a question.  Why is there a Jewish Menorah on the mantle?  How interesting.  According to family lore and DNA, we don’t have any Jewish ancestry.  Mmmmm…could this be someone else’s home they were having dinner at?  Something to look further into.  Intriguing.

I’d welcome input from family members or others who may recognize this home.

To see other Sepia Saturday posts from my blog please click here.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, October 26, 2017

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ Transit Permit for the remains of Wm. A. Boggs (1815-1899) – My 3rd great grandfather

BOGGS_Wm A_burial transfer permit from KY to WVA_Dec 1899

I found this record several years ago, thanks to a friend from our San Diego Genealogical Society, who told me about the West Virginia Culture website.  The website contains birth, marriage and death records for thousands of people.  I’ve found a lot of my ancestor’s records there.

But a Transit Permit was something altogether new to me.  My first question was, is this the correct Wm. A. Boggs.  My 3rd great grandfather was William Allen Boggs born 28 Sep 1815 in Gallia County, Ohio.  He married on 11 Apr 1839 in Lawrence County, Ohio, Nancy Delilah Lunsford.  Nancy was born 8 Nov 1819 in Virginia and died 10 Apr 1895 in Huntington, Cabell, WV.
Four years later, had William moved to Kentucky?

Yes, it seems he had, according to the 1898 Lexington City Directory.  I notice that he and Nancy had also lived in Kentucky back in 1869.

1898_BOGGS_Wm A_39 Forrest_LexingtonKY_pg 335
1898 Lexington, KY city directory, page 335 - Wm. A. Boggs

The fact that the Transit Permit give the address as 34 Forest Ave. and the directory lists him living at 39 Forest Ave. doesn’t bother me.  We all know that mistakes are common on many of the documents we locate for our ancestors.  It’s the evidence taken together that bring us to a reasonable conclusion.

I have not located a death record for William, with my latest search having been conducted today.
William and his wife Nancy are buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia.  There are no headstones for them.  The person who entered the dates on the memorial (Ernie Wright, RIP) entered William’s death year as 1899.  Further proof that the Transit Permit is for him.

You may visit William’s memorial here #58500265.

Would you have come to the same conclusion regarding that Transit Permit?

Here is the evidence that I used to come to my conclusion.
  • The Transit Permit has his name correct – Wm. A. Boggs
  • The place of interment is correct – Huntington, West Virginia
  • The place of death is at 34 Forest Ave. and in 1898 William was living at 39 Forest Ave.
  • His age at death is given as 84 years, which coincides with the year of birth I already had for him – 1815
  • I cannot locate William in the 1900 federal census
  • His findagrave memorial gives his year of death as 1899
If you have further information on William or his family, or are connected in any way, please contact me.


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ The story of Susan Hunter and James W. Trail–1846, Franklin Co., Ohio

wedding bells_thumb[5]
Celebrating the marriage of
James W. Trail & Susan Hunter

Susan Hunter is my 2nd great grandaunt.  She is the daughter of Rev. Isaac C. Hunter and Emily Gillen.  Susan was born 8 Nov 1829 in Ohio.1   She was the first child of 5 (known) children born to the couple.

On 16 Apr 1846 she married James W. Trail in Franklin County, Ohio.  Franklin County is located just about in the middle of the state of Ohio.  Most of my ancestors on this side of the family are from Lawrence County, which is southeast Franklin County, just on the border of West Virginia.  When I looked at the map of Ohio, I found that Susan was living with her parents and three siblings in Pickaway County, Ohio in the 1840 census.  Pickaway is just neighboring county to Franklin.  Susan’s father, Isaac, was an itinerant preacher so the family may have had to move around.  I wonder how Susan met her future husband, James Trail?

Here is a close up of the record of their marriage record.2

HUNTER_Susan marriage to James W TRAIL_16 Apr 1846_Ohio

James was 25 at the time of the marriage, but Susan was only 16.  As I researched further, I found that Susan had to obtain permission from her mother in order to get married.  I was able to locate on, the record of permission which is signed by her mother, Emily.3  I was redirected to to view the image.

HUNTER_Susan marriage to James TRAIL_Apr 1946_OH

I wonder if the reason Emily granted permission to Susan had anything to do with Emily having been widowed 4 years earlier.  She had 5 children in the house at the time ranging in age from a few months to 16 years.  It certainly couldn’t have been easy for her.  What did she do for income?  Emily then remarried a few months after Susan’s marriage to James Trail and went on to have two more children.

In the 1850 census, four years after their marriage we find James & Susan living in Fayette, Lawrence, Ohio.  They have one infant daughter, Emily A. and Susan’s brother, Isaac is living with them.  James is working as a Millwright.4

Susan & James had two more daughters, Ida & Lavina and one son, Isaac.  (The name Isaac obviously run in this family as Susan’s father, her brother and now her son all bear the name)

I wonder if there were more children born to Susan and James?  The fact that the first child we have for them is Emily, born 3 years after the marriage makes me wonder if other children may have died prior to her birth.  The rest of the children were all born in the “usual” time frame of about two years between each child.

This story has a sad ending.  Susan Hunter Trail, wife of James W. Trail died on June 16, 1856 (according to her headstone).  She was only 26 years old.  I find no record of her after that date.  I have never located her death record and I don’t know what she died from.  She is mentioned in the Ironton Register obituary on 19 Jun 1856, page 3.  I have never seen a copy of that article. These obituaries were referenced on the Lawrence Register website, which is how I learned about them.  However, at the current time they are no longer on the website. 

James went on to marry after Susan’s death.  I have not located the marriage record, if there is one, but he appears in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records with a woman named Sarah and a young son, named William D. Trail.

I believe that James Trail died in Apr 1886 as there is an obituary reference in the Ironton Register on 22 Apr 1886.  This newspaper is not online.  Oh how I wish it was because of the many ancestors from the area.

I was able, in 2012, to visit the cemetery in Burlington, Lawrence Co., Ohio where Susan Hunter Trail is buried. 

Here I am next to her headstone.

HUNTER_Susan married name TRAIL_headstone_1829-1856_BurlingtonGreenlawnCem_FayetteLawrenceOH_Diane Gould Hall beside headstone

The headstone reads: Susan wife of J. W. Trail daughter of Rev. I.C. & E. Hunter born Nov 8, 1829 died June 16, 1856.

Don’t we wish all headstones had reference to the parents of our ancestor?

If you have any additional information on this couple or you are descended from them, I’d love to hear from you.

1.  Headstone from findagrave memorial #96395510
2.  Ohio County Marriages, 1789-1994, Index & images, Film No. 285143, image number 00180
3.  Ohio County Marriages, 1774-1993, film number 000285167
4.  Definition of Millwright – a person who designs or builds mills or who maintains mill machinery

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Isaac Hunter Trail and Emma Floyd Trail of Indiana

TRAIL_Isaac H_headstone_1900_HighlandLawnCem_TerreHauteVigoIndiana
Both of the photos seen here are used with permission of the Wabash Vly Genealogy Society Cemetery Committee
Isaac Hunter Trail is my 1st cousin 3 times removed, on my maternal side of the family.  Emma Floyd Trail is his wife. 
Isaac was the only son of James W. Trail and Susan Hunter (stay tuned for a blog post about them which will be published tomorrow)  Isaac Trail was a well known Detective and long member of the Terre Haute Police Force.  He went home after work, where he died so suddenly that a physician could not be summoned.  He was only 47 years old. 
Emma lived for 26 years after Isaac’s death.  She was a teacher. She died at age 66 of cerebral hemorrhage and pneumonia.  It doesn’t appear that she remarried after Isaac’s death.  They had one son, James F. Trail.
Both of them are buried at Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana.  Isaac’s memorial can be found here #28222519.  And, Emma’s can be found here #28222518.
If you have additional information about this family or are descended from or connected to them, I’d love to hear from you.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, October 21, 2017

SEPIA SATURDAY ~ The Doller Family of Buffalo, New York, early 1900’s

FINK-Irving-Bertha-Frieda in bar in BuffaoNY c1900

I’ve always loved this photo that was found among my mother-in-law, Dorothy’s many pictures.  According to a piece of paper attached to the back of the photo this is Dorothy Fink’s Uncle, mother and grandmother and two unidentified men.

Here is the actual note from the back of the photo.  I believe (cousin Tammy, correct me if I’m wrong), this is Dorothy’s writing.  I don’t think the writing belongs to Dorothy’s sister, Delphine.

Back of photo in bar identifying what it is

In this photo, left to right are: Irven Dollar, Sr., Bertha Keller Dollar, Freada Doller Fink and two unknowns

Irven J. Doller, Sr. born 2 Sep 1885 in Germany, died 22 Jan 1963 in Buffalo, Erie, New York.  Married Lena M. Boskat and had 6 sons, four of whom served in World War II. 

Bertha A. Keller, born 28 Jun 1865 in Berlin, Germany, died 6 Oct 1950 in Buffalo, Erie, New York.  Married John Doller about 1884 in Germany.  It’s believed the couple had four children born in Germany, but only Irven survived. Their daughter, Freada was born in Buffalo.

Freada Emma Meta Doller, born 24 Aug 1895 in Buffalo, Erie, New York, died 1 Mar 1981 in San Diego, San Diego Co., California.  She married Heinrich “Henry” August Fink  8 Oct 1911 in Fort Erie, Welland, Ontario, Canada.  They had two sons and two daughters.

The note says that this photo was taken in a bar on Genesee St., owned by “my grandparents.”  That would mean the bar was owned by John Doller and his wife, Bertha.  I’ve checked city directories to try and locate this bar and have not yet had any luck.  The directories I do find coincide with other records I have for John Doller, listing his occupation as Mason, or Stonemason. 

I do find references to John Doller and his wife living at 1728 Genesee Street in Buffalo in the 1920 federal census, the 1923 Buffalo city directory, 1925 New York state census, 1930 census and the 1933 Buffalo city directory. 

Here’s the photo in black & white, perhaps it’s more clear?

FINK-Irving-Bertha-Frieda in bar in BuffaoNY c1900_blk &wht

If you can provide any additional information about this photo, the bar on Genesee or the identification of the two unknown men, please contact me.

I’ve written other posts about the Doller family and you may access them with these links:

Analyzing Evidence - John Doller & Bertha Keller - Who Were They?

Amaneunsis Monday - Birth Records featuring Mita Freda Doller

Sunday's Obituary - Irven J. Doller, Sr. 1885-1963

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall


SIBLING SATURDAY ~ Corp. John E. Hunter and his brother Isaac C. Hunter–Union and Confederate soldiers

Union vs confederate

I have come across the first instance in my family where brother opposed brother in the Civil War.  Much has been written in recent months about this subject.  But, I’ll stay out of the political debate and just report history as it related to my own family.

It all began when I requested and received the Civil War Pension File for my 2nd great granduncle John E. Hunter.  Until a few weeks ago I knew only an approximate birth year and place for John E. Hunter.  After contact with a cousin, via DNA, I have begun to fill out his life.  Please refer to my blog post here if you’d like to read about that cousin connection.

Another brother in that same family has been a mystery to me too.  All I had on Isaac C. Hunter was an approximate year of birth and place.

After receiving the pension file for Corp. John E. Hunter I learned the following.  That he had served with Company H, 6th Regiment, Ohio Cavalry from Oct 1861 until the end of his term of service in 1864.  During that time he had been taken prisoner of war for a short time and also sustained a gun shot wound to his left shoulder.

After his discharge from the service he married and had a son, but his shoulder continued to cause him pain and an inability to do any hard labor.  To try and improve his health he went to Shreveport, Louisiana where his brother Isaac C. Hunter was a River Boat Pilot.  John Hunter was, according to his brother’s deposition, able to work with him for a while on the river boat.  However, John became ill and ended up being treated by a physician while at Isaac’s home.
In reading Isaac’s deposition (see image below – click on it to enlarge it) I learned that they didn’t agree about the war and had “very little to say about it.”  That, of course, makes me want to know more.

HUNTER_John E_CivilWarPension File 58-annot

Here is a close up of the section of the page outlined in red above.

HUNTER_John E_CivilWarPension File 58-cropped

Transcription from excerpt above – “He told me he was wounded in the U.S. Army, but said very little about it, we did not agree about the war, and had very little to say about it, I don’t know on what part of his person the wound was."

As I was able to conduct further research (and thanks to my cousin Amy) Isaac C. Hunter’s FindAGrave memorial was located. Memorial #7425900.  On the memorial you will see that Isaac aka Ike was a Private in the 1st Btn Co E Trans-Mississippi Confederate Cavalry C.S.A.  Isaac Hunter was also a member of Benevolent Association of Confederate Veterans.

NOTE:  I have no experience in looking for or finding Confederate records.  Now I get to learn something new.

It was quite obvious that these two brothers fought on opposite sides during the war.  I am still trying to find military records that would tell me more about Isaac Hunter’s service for the Confederate Army.

This is the first time I have found a member of my family who served in the Confederate Army.  It seems the majority of both mine and my husband’s family came to and stayed in the northern states.  You always read about brothers fighting against brothers, but I’d never heard of my own family on opposite sides. 

I have more information to share about these Hunter brothers, but I’ll save that for another post.

If you believe you are connected to this family, I’d love to hear from you.  Please get in touch with me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, October 19, 2017


4th cousin
Here’s how it happened a couple of weeks ago.  I received a message on my Ancestry account from a cousin, I’ll call “J.”  Here is her message to me:

“You came up as a DNA match for me . Would you be interested in linking family trees? I am related to Hunter & Frampton.”

I wrote back and said that I would be very interesting in exchanging information.  My Hunter and Frampton lines are direct ancestors, so a connection is always good news.

Next, I went to my DNA matches on Ancestry and immediately began looking for this match. 

Here is what I found.

I’m only showing a portion of the pedigree in order to protect privacy.
My match is on the left hand side and J’s match is on the right.  So, we are connected via my 3rd great grandparents Isaac C. Hunter and his wife Emily Gillen.  I have no contact with any of their descendants so this was BIG news!

Ancestry match to Janelle

You’ll notice the name John E. Hunter on the right hand side.  I have never been able to find out information about that descendant of Issac & Emily.  He was a brother to my 2nd great grandfather James Gillen Hunter. 

TIP: Whenever, I look at someone’s match on Ancestry, I make a note in the “Add Note” portion of the DNA page.  I note how many centimorgens and any other possible, such as what part of the family they may be from, maternal, paternal etc.  That way the next time you review this person you will already have some information.  I learned this tip from another researcher.  Thank you Carol.

Ancestry match to Janelle-1

Now, 22 cm’s is not a lot.  Considering the small amount of DNA passed between 4th to 6th cousins, it’s lucky there is any match.  Having said that, she did not match either my brother or my maternal half brother.  She does match my Mom at 25.4 cm's.  
J's connection to me is 4th cousin once removed.

We chatted back & forth and armed with new information, I was able to learn more about John E. Hunter.  I learned that he’d been married and had a son, from whom this cousin descended.  The bigger thing I learned was that he served during the Civil War and there was a pension file for him.

I requested a copy of the pension file the next day.  Having received four other pension files, I know the worth of the information contained in those files.  I use Twisted Twigs to order pension files.  It’s much faster than ordering directly from NARA and also less expensive.  (Disclaimer – I have no association with Twisted Twigs nor do I gain any remuneration from mentioning the service, nor can I guarantee your satisfaction) 

I received the 111 page pension file for Lottie R. Hunter, widow of John E. Hunter a few days later.  I am currently going through the pension file, page by page and making notes, as I usually do.
Corporal John E. Hunter was a prisoner of war for a short time and he also received a gunshot wound to his shoulder, during his service.  He didn’t live very long after the war, dying at age 28.


How important is all the DNA testing many of us are participating in?  VERY!!!

I’d like to hear your stories of connections made through DNA.  Share them with me in a comment or on your own blog and leave a link in the comments.
As always….Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ James C. Morrison (about 1886-1958) –My Aunt Joan’s father-in-law

MORRISON_James_Grand Lawn
JAMES C. MORRISON HEADSTONE – Photo taken by Diane Gould Hall

James C. Morrison is the father-in-law of my maternal Aunt, Joan Esther Milne Morrison.  He was born in Canada about 1886 and immigrated to the United States, according to the 1930 federal census, in 1910.  He and his wife, Edna Amanda Gleason were married 14 Sep 1910 in St. Mary’s, Perth, Ontario, Canada.  Together they had only one child that I know of, Raymond Gleason Morrison born 25 May 1912 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.

This is a branch of the family that needs more of my attention.  I do have records indicating that James’ parents were William Morrison and Mary A. Beatty.

James C. Morrison is buried at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  Many of my ancestors are resting at Grand Lawn.  You may visit his FindAGrave memorial here #184363280.

If you are related to this family, please contact me.  I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall