Monday, July 30, 2018


Copy of HALL_George F_portrait in ambrotype frame
George F. Hall wearing his Union Army cap - used with permission of Brian White who owns the photo

George F. Hall, my husband’s great granduncle, was born 3 Sep 1837 in New Jersey, the oldest son of Reverend George Hall and Almira Rosette Hall.  He had four younger siblings; Cornelia B.R. Hall, Charles A. B. Hall, Thomas Cornelius Hall and Susan Emily Hall.  According to his father’s obituary there was a 6th child born to the couple, but I don’t know what became of that child, when he/she was born or anything else, at this time.

By the age of 14, George F. Hall and his parents and siblings were living in Smithfield, Madison, New York.  All records indicate that George stayed in New York the rest of his life.  In the census taken in 1860, just prior to the beginning of the Civil War, George was living in New York City with the Howe family.  He was 23 years old and no occupation is listed for him.  Also in the household with him were his siblings, Emily & Thomas.  I have a death date for his mother, Almira in 1858.  The whereabouts of his father, Reverend George Hall is unknown in 1860.

Now to George’s military service.  He enlisted before April 1862.  He would have been 25-26 yrs. old at the time.  He served in Company H 1st U.S. Sharpshooters and Company I, 14th Heavy Artillery, N.Y. Volunteers.  And was discharged 25 Jul 1865.

Not only did George serve, but so did his brother Thomas Cornelius Hall (who is my husband’s direct ancestor), his great grandfather.
To learn more about Thomas’ service and his pension file you can read my blog post CIVIL WAR PENSION FILE ~ Cora E. Hall widow of Thomas C. Hall ~ What gems does it contain?


Page 3 from his pension file

HALL_Geo_CW file page 3

As I read through George’s pension file I learned that he experienced quite a bit of illness during his military service and that it continued for the rest of his life.  The entire pension file is focused on medical examinations and letters from George and others, trying to prove that he got sick in the service and remained so, which made him unable to perform manual labor.

Page 8 from his pension file

HALL_George F_Civil War Pension file pg 8_annot

George applied for his Civil War pension in 30 Jun 1880.  You can find the pension index files on genealogy websites, such as Fold3,  These index cards then allow you to order the pension file.  The files vary a great deal in size and information contained.  I have some that are 50 pages long and others that are 225 pages.  The files can be ordered directly from NARA (National Archives) or from a third party.  I order mine from Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy.  The turnaround is less expensive and quicker than what NARA can do. 
I make no guarantees nor do I make any remuneration from referral to Twisted Twigs.  The service has worked well for me.
Here is George’s index card, that got me started in seeking his file.

HALL_George F_CW pension index card

It seems that he contracted a fever, possibly Malaria and was taken sick in Yorktown, VA in April 1862.  In May of 1891 George was examined by a physician and said to be 5’ 10 1/2” tall, weight 124 pounds and 54 years old.  This physical description varies on some of the other examination records.  Was he 5’8, 5’9 or 5’10 1/2”? His statement to this physician is “I am totally disabled.”  He is also stated to have Dyspepsia (indigestion) and disease of the heart.

In Dec 1884 George was examined, yet again, and the doctor said “General appearance is unhealthy and very nervous, tremulous when he walks. Appears very much exhausted.  Exam of heart show no physical signs of heart disease.  In the opinion of this doctor he suffers from nervous exhaustion.” 

Throughout the pension file, one thing is clear.  George F. Hall is not a healthy man.  Although it states that prior to his service he was quite healthy and able.

There are several letters back and forth to the Commissioner of Pensions.  Not only from George himself, but one letter from a Lieutenant named William Worsley Winthorp.
Here’s the letter written to George F. Hall from Lt. Winthorp.  Dated 9 Aug 1862 from Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C.
HALL_Geo_CW file page 14_ltr from Winthrop 1862 pg 1 of 4 HALL_Geo_CW file page 16_ltr from Winthrop 1862 pg 2 of 4 HALL_Geo_CW file page 16_ltr from Winthrop 1862 pg 3 of 4 HALL_Geo_CW file page 14_ltr from Winthrop 1862 pg 4 of 4

I found out about Lt. Winthrop via a Facebook group for the 1st U. S. Sharpshooters.  I searched Facebook to see if there was a group for them.  It’s not uncommon to find specific pages devoted to units from any of our wars. You can find that Facebook group here Company H, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters.  I was unable to read the signature on the letter above and posted a query to see if someone in the group could read it.  Someone responded and told me it was William Worsley Winthorp.  As it turns out Lt. Winthorp, who later became a Captain, was well versed in Military Law and taught at West Point for a while.

Although there isn’t much in the way of family information in this particular file, there was mention of George being married in 1869 and moving to W. Stockholm, New York where he began practicing medicine.  He practiced something known as Botanic Medicine, according to a statement in his pension file.  I found this definition of Botanical Medicine
“Herbal medicine, also known as herbalism or botanical medicine, is a medical system based on the use of plants or plant extracts that may be eaten or applied to the skin.” 
However, his headstone is engraved with the word “surgeon.”  I wonder if I can find out more about George’s medical training?  When did he become a surgeon?

This is page 58 from George’s file.  A deposition from Gilbert Constable in Jun 1882. He states he had known George for 24 years, which would mean both before and after the Civil War.  He says George was able to do a “farmer’s work” and worked for Gilbert’s brother-in-law.

 HALL_Geo_CW file page 58_annot

The last piece of information, important to my research, is the U.S. Pension Agency letter stating that the pension has been dropped due to the death of George F. Hall on 14 May 1896.  This date matches what I had located on his FindAGrave memorial.

HALL_Geo CW pension giving his death date

One of the best finds I had in this journey with George, is finding his memorial on #81670494.  The memorial contained a photo of George in his uniform.  Being a thorough researcher, I wanted to find out how the person who posted the photo, knew this was George F. Hall.  I sent a message to Brian White who added the picture of George to his memorial.  I got a response almost immediately, not only granting permission to use the photo, but sending me an image of the back of it.  AND…..he sent me the beautiful ambrotype framed photo displayed at the beginning of this blog post.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  My sincere thanks to Brian.

Always remember, it never hurts to ask.  I can’t tell you how many positive responses I’ve received over the years.

Here’s the picture of George in his uniform and the back of that same photo.
HALL_George F_in uniform
George F. Hall in his Union Army uniform - used with permission of Brian White, who owns the photo
HALL_George F_in uniform_back of photo
Back of the photo of George in his uniform - used with permission of Brian White who owns the photo
As to George’s life after the war.  I find he and Sarah in the 1870 census, living in Stockholm, St. Lawrence, New York (just like the statement in his pension record said).  There are no children listed with them.  He is 39 years old and his occupation is listed as “physician.”

In 1880 he and Sarah are in Brasher Falls, St. Lawrence, New York and living with them is a Florence E. Wilson, age 26.  Based on earlier census records, I believe Florence to be Sarah’s younger sister.  Again, George is listed as a Physician.

In the 1890 Veteran’s census schedule, George is listed as living in Brasher Falls, St. Lawrence, New York.  I’m always so grateful for the 1890 veteran’s schedule, because it can put our Civil War ancestors at a place in time.  With the loss of the majority of the 1890 U.S. Federal Population census to a fire, this can be very helpful.

George’s wife, Sarah died 20 Sep 1892.  I don’t have a death record for her.  If she died in New York, you know their records are difficult to obtain.  She is buried with George and you can find her memorial on FindAGrave #81670795.

George died 14 May 1896.  There is an obituary posted on his FindAGrave memorial.  I have looked long and hard on various newspaper sites and have not found this obituary.  I will continue to look for a copy of the actual newspaper article.  As with Sarah, I have not located a death record yet, either.

I do hope that George and Sarah lived a happy life together.  His obituary said he had “many friends, lived alone after Sarah’s death and lived an exemplary life with a Christian spirit.”

If you are related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, I’d love to hear from you.  Likewise, if you have any corrections or additions, please contact me.


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

Sunday, July 22, 2018

SEPIA SATURDAY ~ Today’s theme is STUDIOS : BACKGROUNDS : GROUPS : HATS–I had so many photos to choose from

Sepia saturday theme photo

“Launched by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen in 2009, Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs.  Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don’t have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history, in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.”

My grandmothers, great grandmothers and aunts, all wore hats.  Some of them were born in the mid to late 1800’s and came of age at the turn of the 20th century.  Hats were all the rage back then.  This trend continued into the 1950's.  The men also wore hats.  In fact, I had so many pictures of my ancestors in hats, it was difficult to choose which ones to use.

My paternal grandmother, Marie Lindsay Gould had her photo taken with hats on more than one occasion.  I didn’t know my grandma until she was in her 60’s.  By then it wasn’t fashionable to wear hats.  I wonder if she missed those times?
Marie Lindsay Gould, her sister Ellen Lindsay Pickard and their husbands.
LINDSAY_Marie_in largestraw hat__probably circa 1910-1915_enl
Marie Lindsay Gould, my paternal grandmother
PICKARD_JamesFred_LINDSAY_Ellen_GOULD_HarryW_LINDSAY_Marie in hats_
Fred Pickard, his wife, my grandaunt Ellen Lindsay, my grandfather, Harry Gould and my grandmother Marie Lindsay Gould
LINDSAY_Ellen_portrait with her wearing a straw hat_unk yr_enlr
My grandaunt, Ellen Lindsay Pickard

Now to my maternal grandmother and great grandmother.  Florence Hunter Bowden Bell is my great grandmother.  Born in 1869 in Kentucky and died in 1946 in Missouri.  She had two daughters, the oldest, a name sake, Florence Lee Nora Bowden (my grandmother) and Edna Mabel Bowden.
Here’s my grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne, about 1909, with her little girl Dorothy and her son Robert.  Notice that all of them are wearing hats.

MILNE_Florence in hat on porch with Dorothy & Bob circa 1909
My maternal grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne with her first two children, my Aunt Dorothy (1907-1920) and my Uncle Robert (1909-1969)

Here is my great grandmother, Susan Gillespie Milne Smith (1860-1947) and her daughter, Irene Milne (1893-1989) showing off their hats.

Gillespie_Susan_circa 1911
My maternal great grandmother, Susan Gillespie Milne Smith
MILNE_Irene_headshot wearing a hat_enh
My grandaunt, Irene Milne, daughter of Susan Gillespie Milne

In times past newspapers would take pictures of people walking in downtown areas and publish them.  I don’t know how many of you have photos like these?  If you do, please share.

Here’s my great grandmother, Florence Hunter Bowden Milne Bell, mentioned above and her daughter, my grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne standing downtown together.  And a separate one of my great grandmother, in foreground.  I don’t know if these were taken in Detroit (that’s the most likely place), but they could have been elsewhere.

BOWDEN_Florence & her mother Florence downtown
My grandmother, Florence Milne with her mother (my great grandmother) Florence
BELL_Florence walking downtown in hat_1938
My great grandmother Florence Hunter Bowden Bell

I’ve covered groups and hats.  Let’s post one of my favorite photos of my grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne sitting in a studio in a rocking chair.  Her Aunt, Grace Hunter married Charles Henry Fenner.  He and his brothers, Nicholas & William Fenner owned a couple of photo studios in Ohio.  Many of the pictures I have from my family have the Fenner studio name on them.  I feel very fortunate to have had a photography studio connected with my family.

BOWDEN_Florence in rocking chair at Fenner studio
My grandmother, Florence Bowden

Let’s not leave the men out of this story.  They wore hats too.  Here are both my grandfathers and my Dad sporting their hats. And lastly, my great grandfather William Val Gould (1859-1924), always debonair.
MILNE_Joseph_close up in hat probably 1950s
My maternal grandfather, Joseph A. Milne - circa early 1950's
My paternal grandfather, Harry W. Gould - circa 1912
GOULD_H Norman in a hat in from of 16814 Winston_1950_DetroitMI
My Dad, Harry Norman Gould in front of the house I was brought home to when I was born 16814 Winston, Detroit, MI
GOULD_William V_standing w-coat and hat on
My paternal great grandfather, William V. Gould circa 1920

I had to stop here or I could go on all day with this particular theme.  Thanks for enjoying these memories with me.


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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

SEPIA SATURDAY ~ Today’s Theme is Children, Dogs, Prams & Sticks or any combination thereof


“Launched by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen in 2009, Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs.  Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don’t have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history, in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.”

My offerings today include dogs and children.  I’ll be darned if I could locate a pram or a stick in any of my photos.  These are photos from my paternal and maternal side, my husband’s family, and my cousin’s family.

MILNE_Patricia with her little dog
My Mom, Patricia A. Milne with her dog, circa 1928 - Detroit, Michigan

GOULD_William and his wife Mae Thorp and their dog
My great grandparents, Mae & William Gould with their dog, circa 1920 - Detroit, Michigan
GOULD_Norm & his 3rd grade class at Norcrest Elementary 1960-61_PompanoBchBrowardFL_annot
My brother Norm (brown arrow) and his 3rd grade class, 1960-61 - Norcrest Elementary School, Pompano Beach, Florida
Gypsy_our little cockapoo_Jul 1967_Monarch St backyard_San Diego California
Our dog, Gypsy, July 1970 - in our backyard in San Diego, CA.
FINK_DorothyandAl_as toddlers_enh
My husband's mother Dorothy Fink and her brother Elwood "Al" Fink, circa 1915-1916 - Buffalo, New York
Hockster_Everett & Ellen_circa 1925
My 1st cousin once removed, Everett William Hockster and his sister Ellen, circa 1915
My half brother, John Zimmerman, 1946 - probably Detroit, Michigan


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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Patrolman William Patrick Hayes Discovers Huge Warehouse Fire–Detroit Free Press - 1907

  • Newspapers are one of my favorite resources for finding out information about my family.  It’s not just the engagement, marriage announcements and obituaries that can be of interest.
  • Today many of us use social media, email or texts to share with one another.  However, before those technological advances, there were newspapers.  They were the gossip columns and information disseminators of their day.
  • Did someone leave on vacation or go on a trip to visit family, did they hold a party or for the ladies, perhaps a tea?  You may read about it in the newspaper.  Those are the items that fill out our ancestors lives with every day activities.
What have I located today? An article in the Detroit Free Press in December 1907 about a large, destructive warehouse fire.  The fire was discovered by the husband of my 1st cousin, twice removed, William Patrick Hayes (1884-1949).  He was a Detroit Police Lieutenant upon his retirement in 1933.  At the time of this event he was a rookie patrolman.

It seems a warehouse located at Woodward & Jefferson Avenues, caught fire in the early morning hours.  The contents of the building were a complete loss.  Estimated damages were $250,000.  That equates to $6,403,214 in 2018.  A whole LOT of money.  Once I read the story it became obvious why the contents were worth so much.  The warehouse was full of furs.

Here’s the newspaper clippings from the Detroit Free Press and below is my transcription of one of the articles.  In the original article Pipeman, Robert Hummel was said to probably recover after his injury.  However, in an article published the next day, it states that Fireman Hummel “may die.”  I did a search of the Detroit papers for the following few weeks after the incident and found nothing further on Mr. Hummel.

HAYES_Wm_warehousefire pic_DFP_22 Dec 1907_pg 1 - Copy HAYES_William_discovers fire_21 Dec 1907_DFP_pg 1 - Copy
Here’s my transcription of the article:

Originating in Defective Wiring, Blaze Quickly Spreads Through Entire Building and Nothing is Left but the Walls
Two firemen were hurt and damage aggregating perhaps $250,000 was caused by a blaze which swept the wholesale store of Edwin S. George, furrier, at Woodward and Jefferson avenues, early this morning.

The interior of the building was thoroughly burned out, and the entire stock of furs incinerated. Only the walls of the structure itself, still stand.
D.E. Kellogg & Company, wholesale milliners, who occupy the first floor of the building, also were heavy sufferers. Their entire stock was destroyed. No estimate of their loss could be obtained this morning.

It is said that both Edwin S. George and D.E. Kellogg & Company are well protected by insurance. The building, the los on which will be heavy, as it is almost valueless now, is also said to be insured.

The blaze was first noticed at 2:40 o’clock this morning, by Patrolman William Hayes, who saw smoke issuing from the basement on the Jefferson avenue front of the building. Others saw the smoke about the same time, and three alarms were turned in almost simultaneously. Soon after the firemen arrived a third alarm was sent in, and almost all available fire-fighting force of the city was put to work, including both the fire boats.

The blaze which apparently started in the basement, presumably from a defective electric wire, soon gained access to the elevator shaft, on the southeast corner. Up the shaft it roared, and by the time the first stream of water was directed upon it, it had reached the upper floors, and was making sad havoc with the rich stock of furs stored there.

Engine after engine and company after company of firemen arrived and hastily went into position. Thousands of gallons of water were thrown every minute upon the blaze, but for a long time it had no apparent effect.

Indeed, at first the flames seemed to thrive on it. In spite of the fire-fighter’s efforts, the blaze gained headway, and soon it broke forth from the fifth, the top floor. For two hours it roared steadily, leaping from the windows and roof. One by one the floors fell in, and the and the flames, given freer access, leaped higher.

Flames Under Control
By 4 o’clock the blaze, though still burning steadily, was under control. Nothing was left of the building but the walls, and though it seemed likely they would fall every minute, they stood and the firemen standing almost under them and directing the great streams of water upward seemed unconscious of their danger.

Two Firemen Hurt
Shortly after the fire started a hose nozzle on Jefferson avenue got away from the men who were handling it. In its writhings it knocked another loose. Chief George J. Kelly, of battalion No. 5 and Robert Hummel, pipeman of engine company No. 6, were knocked down and injured.

Hummel was the more seriously hurt. In his fall his head struck the curb, and it is believed his skull was fractured. He was carried into Waldorf hotel, nearby, and when the Detroit ambulance arrived he and the chief were taken to St. Mary’s hospital.
The physicians at the hospital trephined Hummel’s skull in the hope of relieving the pressure on his brain. Immediately after the operation it was said he probably will recover.

Chief Kelly Hurt Twice
Chief Kelly suffered only severe bruises. He was hurt twice last night. Besides being knocked down by the hose at the fire, he was thrown from his buggy on his way. He was driving his horse furiously down Michigan avenue, and at Abbott street one wheel of the buggy caught in a cartrack, and the rig was turned over.

The Chief was thrown out, but when passersby rushed to him and picked him up he said he was not much hurt, and after a vain attempt to find his horse, which had galloped on, he proceeded to the fire. There he was injured again.

I enjoy reading any newspaper article that mentions my ancestors.  In this case, I am actually in contact with descendants of Patrolman William Patrick Hayes.  We matched up via DNA, as his wife Mabel Catherine Thorpe is the granddaughter of my 2nd great grandparents, Horace Henry Thorp and Catherine C. Dorsey.  We are currently exchanging pictures and stories.

To read other posts about Ancestors In The News – please click on here.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Friday, July 6, 2018

SEPIA SATURDAY ~ My Grandparents, Marie & Harry Gould enjoying their Lake Huron cottage home in Michigan–early 1950’s


“Launched by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen in 2009, Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs.  Historical photographs of any age or kind (they don’t have to be sepia) become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history, in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.”

This weeks theme for Sepia Saturday is Rooms, Tables, Chairs and Wood. 

My paternal grandparents, Harry Gould and Marie Lindsay Gould owned a cottage right on Lake Huron in Michigan.  I remember going there as a young girl.  My grandmother loved to swim.  Even in her later years when they lived in Florida, we would go to the beach and she would get right into the ocean to swim.  She always wore her bathing cap.

Here are two pictures that feature my grandparents relaxing in their cottage.  They would have been in their mid to late 60’s when these photos were taken.

GOULD_Marie_sitting at table at LkHuronHouse_PortHuronMI_enh

I wonder what my grandmother is thinking as she sits there?  She seems to be staring out the window and in deep thought.   Their cottage was small, as cottages tend to be.  This is looking from the sitting area/living room into the dining area and kitchen.  My grandma also loved to cook and she was very good at it.  I wish I had some of her recipes.  I do have recipes from my other grandmother (the thing is, she wasn’t a very good cook).  Isn’t that just how it goes?

Here is my grandpa sitting on the couch that would be in basically the same area that my grandma was sitting in, only on the other side of that room. In fact, he could have taken the picture of her from where he is sitting. He looks to be browsing a newspaper or magazine.  I see a book sitting on the end table atop what looks like a box.  The book looks very much like a Bible to me, but I can’t tell for sure.

GOULD_Harry W_sitting on couch_PortHuron house_PortHuron_StClair_Michigan_enh

I was just telling my friend and fellow blogger, Debby Warner Anderson, that looking at these pictures makes me very nostalgic.  I want to go back in time and hug my grandparents.

Here’s a map of the exact lot that the cottage was located on.  And following that a screenshot of a street view via Google maps of what it looks like now.  The red arrow is pointing to the water you can just barely see in the photo.  I don’t have an exact street address of the property.  However, I obtained a plat map at the courthouse during one of my trips to Michigan.

port Huron map where cottage was_annot 

Port Huron - lakeshore rd.

I mentioned earlier that my grandma loved to swim.  Here she is with my Dad (her only child) on the beach in Pompano Beach, Florida.  My Dad worked as a lifeguard at the time.  This would have been 1960-1965.  Since there is a wooden beach chair in the background of this photo, it fits in with today’s theme quite well.

GOULD_Norman & Marie_on beach 1960-65 in PompanoBchFL_ehnhanced

That’s all for Sepia Saturday this week.  It’s been a sweet walk down memory lane for me.  I hope your family photos can bring back fond memories for you too.


Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall


Thursday, July 5, 2018

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ Two 1841 English records for my Gaydon family

Gaydon family group

Richard Gaydon and his wife Mary Thomas are my 4th great grandparents on my Mom’s side.  I have limited information on this couple……so far.

Here is the 1841 census for Richard and Mary.  They are 50 years old, and he is still employed as a Mason.  There are no children or grandchildren enumerated with them.
 Copy of 1841_GAYDON_Richard & Mary_Barnstaple Devon England

It gets increasingly more difficult to find records the further back you go.  This couple was born in the late 1700’s in England.  Parish records are my best chance for finding birth, baptisms, marriages and deaths.

I felt very fortunate when I located an 1841 marriage record on Family Search via, for Richard Gaydon and Elizabeth Burrows, in Morwenstow, Cornwall, England.  Richard is the fourth child listed in the family group view you see at the beginning of this post.  I am still in the early stages of learning more about him.  He is my 1st cousin, 4 times removed.  Their record is the one below outlined in red.  I always like to keep a copy of the whole record page for future reference.
GAYDON_Richard marriage to Elizabeth Burrow_1841_CornwallEngland_annot

I wanted to see where Morwenstow, Cronwall, England was located on the map and then learn how far it was from Barnstaple.  This couple was married in March 1841 in Morwenstow, but when the 1841 census was taken later that year they were living in Barnstaple.  And again in 1851 and 1861, they were in Barnstaple. 
I am guessing (need to find proof) that perhaps Elizabeth was from that town in Cornwall or perhaps either she or both of them had family there.  Or, maybe they just wanted to get married on the coast?

According to Google maps it is 29.4 miles between the two cities.

Morwenstow Cornall map - Copy

Richard was a Mason by trade, according to the records I’ve located. He followed in his father’s footsteps.
I have located this couple in the 1861 census, living at 43 Hardaway Head in Barnstaple.  They now have 4 children.  I expect that work as a Mason would keep a man busy, considering all the brick work we see in Europe.  It was probably a very good way for him to support his family.  Although I know it’s hard work.

Name:     Richard Gaydon
Age:     42
Estimated Birth Year:     1819
Relation:     Head
Spouse's Name:     Betsy Gaydon
Gender:     Male
Where born:     Barnstaple, Devon, England
Civil Parish:     Barnstaple
Ecclesiastical parish:     Holy Trinity
Town:     Barnstaple
County/Island:     Devon
Country:     England
Street address:

Occupation: Mason
Condition as to marriage:
Registration district:     Barnstaple
Sub-registration district:     Barnstaple
ED, institution, or vessel:     16
Household schedule number:     44
Piece:     1489
Folio:     120
Page Number:     8
Household Members:    
Name     Age
Richard Gaydon       42
Betsy Gaydon          42
Elizabeth Gaydon     17
Eliza Gaydon            10
Richard Gaydon         6
Fanney Gaydon         3

As you can see from the map below, Hardaway Head still exists today.  Although using Google Earth and going to street view it now seems to be an industrial area.

hardaway head map as of today

I don’t yet know when or where either of these couples died or where they are buried.  I still have lots of work to do on my Gaydon family.

If you are connected to this family, please contact me either by message here on my blog or by email (found in the Contact Me tab).

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #4–Elizabeth GAYDON Burgess–1813-1884–My 3rd great grandmother

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall

Monday, July 2, 2018

UNUSUAL ANCESTOR NAMES ~ How Many Are in Your Family Tree? Where Did They Originate?

Unusual names header

Most of us have them.  Those ancestor names that you just don’t see any more, or very seldom.

I’ve run across them for years, names like Achsah, American, Ancil, Artemesia, Awilda, Burdell, Calvary, Carpas, Dorcas, Gershom, Hazen, Jerusha, Kezia, Lavancha, Nabby, Orpha, Philena, Serepta, Simeon, Udora, Vivaldo, Zenis, Zilpha.  Those are just some of the examples from my own family tree, which has 5,539 individuals in it.

Of course we know that names can be passed down from generation to generation.  Isn’t that what keep us wondering “do I have the right person?”

There are common names like Mary, David, William, John, Matthew, Susan etc.  We certainly have no shortage of those.

Here is an article in Wikipedia about the origin of given names.

What got me thinking about his subject was yesterday’s church service.  We were studying from the book of Philemon in the New Testament.  Now that’s not a name you hear every day, or one I’ve ever heard at all, outside of Bible study. 

Yesterday afternoon, I met my long time friend, for lunch and we were discussing the church service when she told me that one of the landscape workers in her community was named Philemon.  Spelled exactly the same way.  What are the chances?

That got me thinking about another name in the book of Philemon, which is Onesimus.  It’s actually Onesimus about whom the Apostle Paul was writing when he wrote the letter to Philemon.

I know that many of the names given to our ancestors were from various books, whether it was the Bible, some other religious book or a book someone had just read.

Being a curious person, I decided to check the records on Ancestry and see if anyone had the name Onesimus. 

I did a general search in United States records and found there were 29,054,223 records containing the name Onesimus or a variation of it.  WOW!  I was quite surprised.

Onesimus on Ancestry

I found many of the records were in “modern” times, from 1900 to now.

Let’s see how many Philemon’s there are.  This time I searched both United States and All Collections.  Here are the results.

United States only – 75,441,670

Philemon on Ancestry

All Collections – 103,751,123

Philemon world wide results

This has been a fun little excursion away from my usual research today. 

I know I’m not the only one who wonders about these things.  What fun searches have you conducted?

Guess I better get back to finding records or figuring out DNA or something useful, huh?

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall