Sunday, February 25, 2018

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ William Davies, born in Scotland in 1825–died in Washington, D.C. in 1904

DAVIES_William_death notice_EveningStar_pg 5_20 Jun 1904_WashingtonDC
Transcription: Davies. On Saturday afternoon, June 18, 1904, at 5:30 o’clock, William Davies, aged seventy-nine years.  Born in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, Scotland.  Funeral from his late residence, 309 I street southeast, Monday, June 20, at 4 p.m.

William Davies is my sister-in-law’s 2nd great grandfather.  Born in Kilbarchan, Renfewshire, Scotland he married Jane Cameron on 7 Apr 1849 in his home town.

William first married Jane Cameron on 7 Apr 1849 in Kilbarchan, Renfew, Scotland and they had two known daughters, Frances, born about 1852 and Mary Jane (9 Mar 1863-21 Jun 1863).  Because of the large gap between the births of Frances & Mary Jane, there may well be other children that were born to this couple.

Here is there marriage record from Scotland.

CAMERON_Jane marriage to William Davies_1849_Scotland_annot

William and his wife Jane immigrated to the United States between 1849 and 1855.

Sadly, William’s wife, Jane died 5 Apr 1863, age 36 and his infant daughter, Mary Jane just a couple of months later.  You may visit Jane and Mary Jane’s memorial on FindAGrave here – Jane #69470171 and Mary Jane #147481252.  They are buried at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Their names appear on the same headstone. I wonder if childbirth played a roll in Jane’s death?  It so often did back then.

Bye the time of the 1870 census, William had remarried.  His second wife was Elizabeth C. Kirkwood born 21 Jan 1839 and died 19 Apr 1890, age 51.  She is also buried at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. #69469749.

William remained in Washington, D.C. and can be found in the 1900 census in a household with 6 of his children.

1900_DAVIES_William & children_WashDC - Copy

A record of William’s death can be found on, however, the image is not available unless you are at the Family History Library or an FHC location.  I will be at the FHL later this month and will locate this film and get a copy of the image to add to my Legacy database.

District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961
Name:    William Davies
Event Type:    Death
Event Date:    18 Jun 1904
Event Place:    District of Columbia, United States
Address:    309 I St S E
Gender:    Male
Age:    79
Marital Status:    Widowed
Birth Year (Estimated):    1825
Birthplace:    Scotland
Burial Date:    20 Jun 1904
Cemetery:    Congressional Cemetery
Father's Birthplace:    Scotland
Mother's Birthplace:    Scotland
Frame Number:    720
Reference ID    155492
GS Film Number    2115159
Digital Folder Number    004024880
Image Number    720

If you are related to this family, I’d love to hear from you.  Should you have any additional information or correction, please contact me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Saturday, February 24, 2018


rootstech sponsors
I’m pretty excited that I will be attending Rootstech for the very first time this year.  It’s been on my wish list for a long time.  Why not?  It’s the biggest genealogy conference in the world, with thousands of attendees, hundreds of speakers and a huge exhibit hall.
I’ve been to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library twice.  Once in 2011 and again in 2015.  But, never during a big seminar or conference.  This at least makes me familiar with the library, the Plaza hotel and the surrounding area.  My friend Pam is joining me, coming in from Colorado. She started her genealogy journey not long ago and is anxious to learn more.  I expect we will both be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people, classes and activities.

  • Meeting face to face some of the people who have been my virtual friends for several years.
  • Attending the plethora of classes that are offered each of the four days.  It’s very difficult to choose which ones to attend.
  • Walking through and experiencing all the vendors in the exhibit hall.  I’ve hear reports there will be as many as 200 of them. 
  • Being able to share my passion for family research with my friend of over 30 years and helping her with her research.
  • Spending time at the FHL and hoping to find some of the hidden treasures and dare I hope….break down a brick wall.
  • Being around others who share my love for our ancestors and making sure they are never forgotten.
  • I long ago made my reservation for the conference and my hotel reservation at the Plaza.  And, of course, my plane reservation.
  • Over the past several months I have been making a list of the people, places and things I want to look for.  Whether it’s microfilm or books.  I keep this list in Evernote so it is with me on all my devices.
  • I do all my work on my desktop PC.  Of course I’ll need to take my laptop and I’ll be taking my iPad.  I’ve made sure that everything that’s on my desktop is also on my laptop.  All the programs I use for editing, my Legacy program etc. are all synced up. 
  • I’ve made new “business” cards so that I can share them with the people I meet.  My genealogy is not really a business, but it’s an easy way to share websites, email and phone numbers with others. 
  • I’ve downloaded the Rootstech app to all my devices.
  • I’ve pre selected the classes I’d like to attend.  They are first come first serve, so I also need to be sure I have a second choice for that time slot.
  • I’ve washed and packed all my clothes.  It’s not easy for a southern California girl  to prepare for the cold weather in Utah this time of year.  I hope I’ve chosen wisely and brought enough layers.
  • I’ve secured my ride to the airport.
  • Now…..I just wait until Monday for my flight and let the fun begin. 
I’m hoping to be able to write a blog post or two while I’m attending the conference.  But…I won’t be surprised if I’m so busy or tired, I don’t write until I get home.
If you will be attending, please look me up on the Rootstech app and get in touch.  The more people I meet the more fun I’ll have.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ Marriages in Scotland–How many have I located and where did I find them? Am I missing any?

map of scotland
Areas in Scotland where some of my ancestors married and lived
Today I’m going to post a few of the marriage records I have from our Scottish ancestors.   I have located most of these records at the website Scotland’s People.  It is a paid site, but the cost is minimal.  You purchase credits and it costs 6 credits to view an image.  Six credits = $2.10 US.  You can purchase the actual certificate and have it mailed, which costs $16.83 U.S.

I have created a list in the usual way, using Legacy 9.  Search>Find>Detailed Search then criteria Marriage-Marriage Place-Contains-Scotland and Create List.

Creating these kinds of specific lists helps me to know more about records I may be missing.

This search gives me a list with 42 individuals. 
 Search-Scotland marriages

I printed the list from my search and went through the couples, one by one.  I am happily surprised that out of 21 marriages, I have 16 of their marriage record images in my Legacy database.  Yeah!  Now, I need only go back online and see if I can locate the other 5 missing marriage records.

The oldest of the marriage records is for my maternal 4th great grandparents, William Ewen and Ann Cooper who were married in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 2 Dec 1773.

EWEN_William marriage to Ann COOPER_2 Dec 1773_AboyneScotland_annot
1773 Marriage Record for William Ewen & Ann Cooper, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Here are the 3 marriages of my 2nd great grandfather, John Fitzcharles, who didn’t have good luck when it came to his wives.  He first married at age 21 to a woman 15 years his senior.  That marriage to Elizabeth McGovern lasted 12 years until her death from Dropsy at age 48.  His second marriage to Eliza Jane McKenna lasted 10 years until her death from heart disease and bronchitis at age 54.  His third marriage to Helen Docherty lasted 8 years until her death from pneumonia at age 48.  John died two years after his last wife, at age 60, of bronchitis.
FITZCHARLES_John marriage to Betty McGOVERN_in 1854_Scotland
Marriage to Betty McGovern 1854
FITZCHARLES_John marriage to Eliza Jane McKenna Montcrief_in 4 Sep 1872_from Scotlands People site
Marriage to Eliza McKenna 1872
FITZCHARLES_John marriage to Helen DOCHERTY_13 Jul 1883
Marriage to Helen Docherty 1883
They are no longer missing.  I went back to the Scotland’s People website and located ALL 5 of them and have them added to my Legacy database now.  Those 5 images cost me $12.60 which is $2.52 each.  I’d say that’s a great price for any document, wouldn’t you?

Was this a good exercise and good use of my time?  I’d say so. Including writing this blog post this whole process has taken me about 2 hours.

How do you use the lists in Legacy or whatever genealogy program you use?  Do you find them helpful?


TUESDAY'S TIP - Dragging & Dropping Images into the Media Gallery in Legacy

Breaking Down a Brick Wall - A 10 Year search for Elizabeth Fitzcharles parent's ends

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ George Steven Thorp–1876–1933, Detroit, Michigan–My Great Granduncle

THORP_George S_heastone photo from Grand Lawn Cem DetroitMich_taken Nov 2011
Photo taken by Diane Gould Hall

George Steven Thorp is my great granduncle on my father’s side.  He is the son of Horace Henry Thorp and Catherine C. Dorsey. He was one of 10 children born to this couple.  He was their 9th child.  My great grandmother Mae Eve Thorp was his older sister.

George and his wife Mary (Mariett) Ainsworth are buried at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  They are located in Section 8, Lot 108. He is in grave 3 and has a headstone, Mary is next to him, in grave 4, but has no headstone.

THORP_George S_view of headstone from a few feet away_taken Nov 2011 - Copy
Photo taken by Fred and used with permission

George married Mary on 23 Nov 1904 in Detroit, Michigan. Here is their marriage record.
THORP_George to Mary Ainsworth_1904_Detroit

George worked as an Engineer at Troy Laundry Co. and as a Stationary Engineer at Valve Manufacturing Company.  His father, Horace was also a Stationary Engineer.  What exactly was a Stationary Engineer?

Definition of Stationary Engineer from Wikipedia 
Power engineers are trained in many areas, including mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical, metallurgical, computer, and a wide range of safety skills. They typically work in factories, office buildings, hospitals, warehouses, power generation plants, industrial facilities, and residential and commercial buildings.
Power engineers are responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of a wide range of equipment including boilers, steam turbines, gas turbines, pumps, gas compressors, generators, motors, air conditioning systems, heat exchangers, refrigeration equipment, heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) that may be directly (duct burners) or indirectly fired (gas turbine exhaust heat collectors), hot water generators, and refrigeration machinery in addition to its associated auxiliary equipment (air compressors, natural gas compressors, electrical switchgear, pumps, etc.).

George and Mary had two children, a son, James H. Thorp and a daughter, Edith Agnes Thorp.  The son, James died in an accidental drowning at age 18 on 27 Jun 1926.  Edith married, had children and lived into her 80’s.

George died in his home town of Detroit, Michigan on 8 Sep 1933 at age 57 of lung cancer.  I wonder if he smoked, or did his occupation somehow contribute to the carcinoma of his lungs?  We know a lot more about those things today than they did back then.
If you are related to anyone mentioned here I’d love to hear from you. I need to connect with more of my Thorp cousins.


TOMBSTONE TUESDAY - Who in my family is buried at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan?

MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Brick Walls Post #4 - Catherine Dorsey Thorp about 1842-1898 (This post is about George’s mother)

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Sunday, February 18, 2018

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ James Hunt, Civil War Veteran–1840-1884


Transcription of the entry in the above image, for James Hunt
HUNT_On Thursday morning, April 17 at his residence at Natrona, PA., James Hunt aged 44 years of age,  late of Company L, 102d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Funeral Sunday at 2:30 p.m.  Members of regiment and friends invited to attend.  Sunday train leaves West Penn. Depot, Federal street at 12:50 p.m.

James Hunt is my husband’s 2nd great grandfather on his paternal side.  I have limited information about him.  I know that he married a woman named Catherine and that I have 4 children born to them: Malissa M. (my husband’s great grandmother), Nannie E., Thomas and Jenna. 

Both James and Catherine are buried at Prospect Cemetery in Brackenridge, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  You may visit their memorial here James #21911467 and Catherine #42828404.

James was working as a Machinist as stated in the 1870 and 1880 census enumerated in Pennsylvania. I have not located a death certificate or register that might give me the cause of his death at the age of 44. 

I do know that James served in the Civil War from 1861-1864.  He was a Corporal in Company L., 102nd Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers.  Was his death related to his service?

Here is his Veterans Burial Card
HUNT_James_veteran burial card_1884_PA

Sadly, James’ wife Catherine preceded him in death.  She died in 1881 at age 47.

I have made a note for myself to look for Pennsylvania death records while I am attending Rootstech later this month.  I will have time to research at the Family History Library while I’m there.

If you are connected with this family in any way, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

WEDDING WEDNESDAY & VALENTINE’S DAY ~ How many of my ancestors or family members were married on Feb. 14th?



Let’s find out which romantic couples in my database got married on this special day.

I created a list using Legacy 9.  Search>Find>Detailed Search.  Use the following search and then “create list.”

14 feb query

My list came up with 5 romantic couples.  Who are they and what year did they marry?  I have entered only first names of living individuals.

My great granduncle & aunt – Michael Fitzcharles & Euphemia Anderson – 1879, Scotland

My grandaunt’s 3rd husband and his 1st wife – Earl Pettit & Gertrude Cole – 1925, Michigan

My grandaunt and her 3rd husband – Bessie Lindsay & Walter Heien – 1947, Michigan

The granddaughter of a distant cousin – Jill  & Curtis – 1992, Nevada

My 3rd cousin – Candis  & Kin – 1995, Michigan

How long did these marriages last?

The 1879 marriage lasted 39 years and ended due to the husband’s death.

The 1925 marriage, I don’t know.  I have no record of the death of the wife or a divorce.

The 1947 marriage lasted only 4 years because the husband died.

The 1992 and 1995 marriages are still going strong and celebrating their anniversaries today.

Here are some links to websites that explain how Valentine’s Day originated, in case you are interested.

What is Valentine's Day and How Did it Start?

History of Valentine's Day

The Dark Origins of Valentine's Day

How do you and your significant other celebrate?  Ron & I long ago chose to be completely unromantic when it comes to this day.  We, instead, take the money that would have been spent on cards or flowers and celebrate our romance when we go on vacation.  We are both fine with this and I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing.

Enjoy your day, whatever you decide to do,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, February 2, 2018


Verrill scrennshot

On July 15, 2016 I wrote a blog post about the tragic suicide of Gordon Wallace Flower, just 3 days after his marriage to Lovina McNinch.  You can read the article here FRIDAY FINDS ~ Gordon W. Flower, dead, only 3 days after his marriage to Lovina McNinch–What was the cause of death?

At that time I had very little information about 16 year old Lovina.  However, I wanted to follow up and find out what became of this young lady who suffered such a traumatic event at a young age.

I found a birth record for Lovina.  The date and place match with other information I have located for her.

Michigan, Births and Christenings Index, 1867-1911
Name    Lovina McNinch
Gender    Female
Birth Place    Hope, Barry Co, Michigan
Birth Date    4 Dec 1880
Father's Name    Patrick McNinch
Mother's Name    Frances McNinch
FHL Film Number    1008314

It was in October 1896 that Lovina married Gordon Flower.  There are no known children born to the couple. The marriage only lasted 3 days prior to his death, however, I was thinking, perhaps they had gotten married because she was pregnant.  Gordon was 16 years older than Lovina.
Lovina didn’t wait long to marry again.  I located a marriage record for her to James K. Verrill on 10 Feb 1897 in Hastings, Barry, Michigan, only four months after Gordon’s death.

She is listed as being 18 years old and James as being 30.  Fortunately, I looked under his name and not hers, as the record is written Suveara Flower nee McNinch.  And that’s just how the indexer transcribed it.

(Click on any image to enlarge it)
VERRILL_James marriage to Lovina McNinch Flower_1897_HastingsMI
Marriage record for James Verrill & Lovina Flower nee McNinch - 1897

James & Lovina had their first child Miles James, on 22 May 1899.  Miles died at age 17, while serving as an Apprentice Seaman in the U.S. Navy.  You may visit his memorial on FindAGrave here #11625361.

Other children born to this couple were: Frances M. in 1901, Martha A. in 1904, La Vera M. in 1906 and Leslie R. in 1908.
Lovina & her husband James can be found in the 1900 census in Prairieville, Barry, Michigan with their one year old son, Miles.  James is working as a Sawyer and they own their home.   Of note is that Lovina’s previous father-in-law David Flower and a few of his children are living nearby.  There is another Flower family on this page (Homer & Mary). I don’t yet know how or if they may be connected to David Flower.

1900_VERRILL_James & Lovina & son_PrairievilleMI

The next record I find for Lovina is the 1910 census, she is 29 yrs. old.  She and James are still living in Prairieville, Barry, Michigan.  Only now they have added 3 daughters and a second son to their family. James is working as a house painter, and they still own their home.

1910_VERRILL_James & Lovina & children_PrairievilleMI - Copy
Excerpt from 1910 census for Verrill family

Lovina is next found in the 1913 Kalamazoo City Directory listing with James.  He is working as a Watchman and they live on the east side of Douglas Ave 2 north of city limits.

As I continued searching for records for Lovina, I sadly, located her death certificate from 24 May 1913.  At the age of 32 Lovina died, during or after some sort of surgical procedure.  The informant on the death certificate is her husband, James and her parents names are correct.  Their is an error in the spelling of the last name as Berrill instead of Verrill.
VERRILL_Lovina_Death Certificate_1913_KalamazooMI

From there I was able to locate her memorial on FindAGrave #165353953.  She and James are buried together.  James never remarried and died in 1956 at the age of 92, leaving a legacy of 11 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.  On his death certificate it gives his wife’s name as Lovina.  He lived 43 years after her death without remarrying.  It was quite common for men to remarry after the death of a wife, especially with young children.  Their 5 children ranged in age from 5 to14 at the time of Lovina’s death.

I have not located an obituary for Lovina, but did find the following on her FindAGrave memorial.  This would appear to have come from an obituary.  I have checked both and genealogy bank with no success.

MRS. LUVENA VERRILL. Mrs. Luvena Verrill, aged 32 years, died this morning at the Borgess hospital following an operation for appendicitis. Previous to the operation Mrs. Verrlll had been confined to her home on Douglas avenue for a period of two weeks. She is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick McNinth of Plainwell, her husband, three daughters, Frances, Martha and Luvera, two sons, Miles and Leslie, one brother, William McNinth of Alamo, and two sisters, Mrs. Ella Mills of Battle Creek and Miss Minnie McNinth of Plainwell. The funeral will be held Monday morning at 10 o'clock from the Truesdale chapel and burial will take place at the Plainwell cemetery. Kalamazoo Telegraph-Press May 24, 1913
Married Gordon W. Flower 5 Oct 1896 Hastings, Barry, Michigan

I would be very interested in exchanging information with anyone related to Lovina and her family.  Does someone out there have a photo of Lovina or James or their children?  Please contact me if you are connected to this family.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall