Friday, December 6, 2019

FOLLOW UP FRIDAY ~ The obituary for Isaac Doten Hart–died 2 Sep 1920 in Bay City, Michigan

Published in Bay City Times, 2 Sep 1920, page 3

 A couple of days ago I wrote about Isaac D. Hart having been injured in an accident in 1905, involving a street car.  I said that I located those articles, about the accident and following court case, while searching for his obituary.

Well, I did find his obituary.  It was published in the Bay City Times on 2 Sep 1920, page 3.  This was 15 years after the street car accident and there’s no indication that his death was related to the accident.  His death certificate lists cause of death as Senility
Here is my transcription of his obituary:

Isaac D. Hart aged 86, died Wednesday afternoon at the home of his son, Ellis C. Hart, 230 Lincoln avenue, north, after an illness of several weeks.  Mr. Hart, years ago, was a teacher of music in the Saginaw schools.  Later he moved to North Williams, where he lived for many years and for a number of years past he has made his home with his son in this city.  His wife died a little over a year ago.  He is survived by his son, two brothers, Leonard of Lansing and Simeon of Detroit, a sister, Mrs. Arminda Ingram of Saginaw, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  Funeral services will be held at the home at 2:30 Friday afternoon and the remains will be taken to Armada, Mich., for interment Saturday morning.  The family requests that flowers be omitted.

Isaac was predeceased by his wife, Eliza who died in 1915.  Both of them are said to be buried in Armada, Michigan (as stated on their death records).  I have not yet located the cemetery where they are buried.  I looked again this morning, conducting all sorts of searches on FindAGrave and Billion Graves.  I also looked again, for an obituary for Eliza and could not locate one.

If anyone reading this has more information as to the burial location of Isaac & Eliza, I would love to hear from you.  Or, if you are related to this family and perhaps have information to share or want to ask me questions, please get in touch.


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Isaac D. Hart takes Bay City Traction Co., to court for damages - Michigan 1905

Today I was looking more closely at Isaac Doten Hart, the oldest child of my 3rd great grandparents, Henry Hart and Olive Doten.  It’s through Olive’s line, the Doten’s, that I hope to be accepted into the Mayflower Society.

Isaac Doten Hart is my 2nd great granduncle.  He was born 18 Mar 1834, probably in Canada.  He married Eliza Maria Richards on 20 Apr 1860 in Lapeer, Lapeer Co., Michigan.  They had one child, a son, Ellis.
I was searching for an obituary for Isaac when I came across a couple of other interesting tidbits.  I enjoy finding newspaper articles about my ancestors that tell me more about their daily lives.
In this case, Isaac D. Hart was struck by a street car and thrown from his rig, while delivery butter & eggs in his “wagon.”  The incident took place on 13 Jul 1905 in Bay City, Michigan while he was crossing Columbus Street.  He was not badly injured, but did sustain bruises.

Article 1 – Isaac Hart Dumped out of His Wagon
Bay City Daily Tribune, 14 Jul 1905, page 5

Article 2 – Says he want $2,000 in damages
Bay City Times, 31 Jul 1905, page 4
Article 3 – The case goes to trial and now the damages are $2,500
Bay City Times, 11 Oct 1905, page 3

Article 4 – The jury decides on $50 - I'm sure, a disappointment to the plaintiff, Isaac
Bay City Times, 13 Oct 1905, page 1

I’m happy that no one was seriously injured in this mishap.  I’ve certainly learned that taking people or companies to court is nothing new.  It’s been happening for centuries and usually makes for interesting reading.

Have you found newspaper articles or other references to your ancestors going to court?  I’d love to hear about them.



Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, November 29, 2019

FAMILY RECIPE FRIDAY ~ How to make Parker House Rolls, early 1900’s, from by maternal grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne

My grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne left us a spiral bound notebook, written entirely by hand.  The notebook was begun about the time of her marriage to my grandfather, Joseph A. Milne in 1906.  In it she left a treasure chest of family information and wonderful clues to life back in the early 1900's.
P.S.  That's my grandmother in the group picture of the ladies in the right column of this blog.  She’s the one in the center.


Here’s my transcription of the recipe.  There are some words in doubt, but I’ll do the best I can.

Put  3 Tablespoons of butter
        2    “         “       of sugar
        1 Tea “     “       of salt
2 cups   “  hot milk in bowl
  When luke warm add
1 cake of yeast disolved in a quarter of cup of luke warm water and
3 cups flour   Beat well cover and let rise till light  Stick a knife down center of dough add
2 1/2 cups of flour knead and return to bowl to rise untill double _ Toss it on biscuit board _____ one third inch think cut with biscuit cutter.  Dip handle of spoon in flour make think crease across each biscuit
Brush with melted butter fold and place in butter pans one inch apart let rise untill light
Bake in oven (hot) 15 minutes
I have never tried any of my grandmother’s recipes.  I suppose one day I should.  However, anyone who knows me, knows I’m not “into” cooking.  Preserving these recipes from the early 1900’s though, does allow us to take a look back and that time in our history.


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, November 24, 2019

MAYFLOWER SOCIETY ~ Episode 3–Nearly ready to submit my application and attending the San Diego Mayflower Society Colony meeting with friends

I’ve been working hard to gather all the necessary vital records and other proof to take my application from generation 6 (Isaac Doten & Sally Follet) to generation 12 – me!

I’m doing pretty well, but I am missing some birth, marriage and death records.  The biggest surprise was that I don’t have a copy of the official county record of my own marriage.  What?  I have the record filled out by the Pastor and signed by our witnesses, but not the official record.  I’ll be picking that up this week at the San Diego County courthouse.

Most of the other records I’m missing I already knew I didn’t have.  That just means that I will have to provide other evidence of the connection of these family members to one another.  I should be able to do that.

In the meantime, I attended my 3rd Mayflower Society meeting.  My friend and fellow blogger, Debby Warner Anderson and friends Darlene Conner Sampley and Sally Inglis are already Mayflower Society members.  All of us sat at the same table at this meeting.  There were, I estimate, about 150 people who attended.  The meetings are held at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum in Carlsbad, California.  That’s about an hour from where I live.
This meeting included a lot of members dressed in period clothing, including my friend, Debby.  What fun it is to see the men and women dressed as the early Pilgrim ancestors might have dressed back in 1620.

Here is a group photo taken just after the meeting.

There was society business conducted, then we had a delicious lunch (the food at this restaurant is always very good) and then we listened to Caleb Johnson’s presentation about recent discoveries involving the English origins of Mayflower passengers.  It was a very informative presentation.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us Caleb.

At the end of the meeting I was able to chat with one of the members and get some confirmation on questions I had about completing my application.

My goal is to be admitted to the Society during the year 2020 which is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower arrival.  I also hope to be able to wear a period costume at the meeting next November.

Here are some other photos from our fun day.

Left to right - Me and Debby, a shot of how full the room was, Kathy (who made Debby's costume) and Debby

To read my other posts about this journey please click on the tab next to my Home tab at the top of the blog.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Friday, November 22, 2019

DNA CONNECTIONS AND DISCOVERIES ~ A new 2nd cousin leads to more information on my Mom’s family line

I find myself checking for new DNA matches, pretty much daily.  Most of the time it’s while I’m watching TV and using my iPad.  My DNA site of choice is Ancestry, although my DNA is on all of the sites (FtDNA, 23 & Me, Gedmatch, MyHeritage and Living DNA).

The other night while checking on new matches, I came across one that was 30 cms on 3 segments and had a tree of 102 people and shock, also a common ancestor.  I say shocked because while I have a lot of matches, I don’t have all that many that have common ancestors.

I looked at the match and saw that it was managed by someone I’ll call her Anna.  Right away I clicked on Anna’s name to see what her profile said about her.  She lives in Australia and joined Ancestry in 2005.  Her last sign in was that same day.  That’s certainly a positive sign that someone is actively working their tree and/or matches.
Next I checked our shared matches (hoping we had some) and sure enough we did.  She matches my brother, my nephew and a first cousin on my maternal side.
My next step was to check her tree and take a look at our common ancestor.  Woohoo!  The common ancestors are my 3rd great grandparents Charles Milne and Margaret Ritchie.  And I see not only the name Milne in the tree but also Beechey/Beechy which I know to be associated with my Milne family. 

(Click on this image to enlarge it)

This is a SOLID match which also follows my own paper trail and years of research.  I did a little more looking at her tree and discovered she had information on that Beechey line, that I had yet to uncover.
Next step – send her a message.  We all know that sending messages to our DNA matches is a gamble at best.  Will they respond?  Many times the answer is no.  But, when someone has checked in recently and is managing other people’s DNA you have a better chance that the person will respond.

Sure enough, I heard back the very next day.  After all, we are in very different time zones.  She was excited to make contact with me and told me that the person who actually took the DNA test and is a match to members of my family, is her mother-in-law who is 98 years old.  So, I’m actually related to Anna’s husband and not her.  The test taker who is 98, is my 2nd cousin once removed.

Testing the oldest members in our families is so useful, as it can take you back another generation or two.

Anna and I have exchanged emails and invited one another to be viewers on our DNA.  We have a lot to share with one another and are both excited.

Huge bonus when you connect with cousins is not only the extra information, but the possibility of pictures.  Sure enough, Anna has already shared a beautiful wedding photo with me.  I haven’t asked her permission yet, so I cannot share it.  If she does give me permission I’ll be sure and share.

I have new stories to add to my tree and have located lots of new records on Ancestry.  And that’s the only site I’ve checked so far.  There’s still Family Search, MyHeritage and others.

There’s a whole lot to like about DNA.  One of my favorites is the verification of years of research.  What a wonderful feeling to know that we have been doing it correctly and following the right trail.  This is just one example of a DNA success story.  I have so many more.

Do you have DNA connection stories?  I’d love to hear about them.

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Aboyne Parish Kirkyard in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland – my visit to my 3rd great grandparents, Charles Milne & Margaret Ritchie’s burial site

Surname Saturday - A Very Early Post about my Milne family

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

DISCOVERIES ~ Biographical sketch of Henry Gaylord Hart (1874-1919) in The Book of Detroiters

Today’s discovery is from The Compilation of Published Sources on the My Heritage website.  I have 365 references in this one source alone.  I began with the first one.

Henry Gaylord Hart is my 1st cousin 3 times removed. This means that our common ancestors are my 3rd great grandparents, Henry Hart and Olive Doten.

Genealogy blogger extraordinaire, Randy Seaver, recently wrote about this particular record set in his blog Genea-Musings.  It’s from him that I got the idea to check these records and see what I could find.

Here is the source information from MyHeritage:
About this source
Title: Biographical Dictionary of Leading People of Detroit, MI., 1914
Publication date:    1914
Publisher:    Chicago, A. N. Marquis company
Author:    Marquis, Albert Nelson. [from old catalog]
Sponsor:    Sloan Foundation
Tags:    library_of_congress, americana
Notes: some of the pages in this book were stuck together which caused some of the text to be missing page 304 305 318 319 334 335 362 363 380 381 414 415
Contributor: The Library of Congress

Here is the book excerpt

Here is my transcription:

HART, Henry Gaylord; born, Detroit, Oct. 20, 1874; son of Simeon Henry and Emma (Gaylord) Hart; educated in grammar and high schools, Detroit; married, Detroit, Aug. 6, 1907, Emma Bezner; 1 son, Frederick Henry.  Began with the Michigan Central Ry. at Detroit, in purchasing department, remaining for 12 years; then with Gregory, Mayer & Thom Co. for 12 years; treasurer and general manager since Apr., 1910 of Hilton, Hart & Koehn Co., stationers, etc. Republican. Baptist. Club: Detroit Boat. Office: 193-195 Jefferson Ave. Residence: Grosse Pointe Shores.

I’ve done quite a bit of research on my Hart line.  I’ve even been to Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, where Henry and many other family members are buried.

However, finding this piece of biographical information fills in some of his story that I was not aware of.  I think I will go and do a bit more searching in this particular book, for other family members.  After all, I am Michigan Girl and all trails lead back to Detroit for a lot of my family.

If you are connected to anyone mentioned in this blog post, I’d love to hear from you.





Happy Hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark,Ohio–I've surpisingly located members of my family and my husband’s buried here

Sometimes I randomly pick what I’m going to write about and today was one of those days.  I decided to write about a cemetery, but had no idea which one.  I went to my locations list in Legacy and selected Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, Licking, Ohio.

According to the list in Legacy, there are 5 people in my tree buried there.

What I was surprised to learn, when I looked at each of those 5 individuals, is that 3 are from my family and 2 are from my husband’s.  Those paths have not crossed before, in this manner.  What fun.

Cedar Hill Cemetery is located in Newark, Licking County, Ohio.  It’s located at 275 N. Cedar St.  Newark is located northeast of Columbus, Ohio in just about the center of the state.

Here are names from my family – all are on the maternal side.

Martin Gillen Alexander (1863-1924) and his wife Mary E. McCarty (about 1861 – 1934)  Martin is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed.

 Headstone photos courtesy of Nancy Ann Mull Buchanan,  FindAGrave volunteer

Lawrence C. Diebel, Jr. (1928-2012) – he is my maternal 2nd cousin once removed.

  Headstone photo courtesy of baack40, FindAGrave volunteer

And from my husband, Ron’s family, on his paternal side.

James Dwight Williams (about 1869-1955) and his wife Anna Rosette (1874-1945).  Anna is my husband’s 2nd cousin 3 times removed.

I have asked but not yet received permission to use their headstone photos, so here are links to their memorials.
James – #51784895 and Anna #51784635

Here’s my question for all you readers/researchers.  Have you run across your family and your spouses family buried in the same cemetery?  I suppose if everyone was from a close knit community and didn’t stray from the area, it’s quite likely.  However, in the case of my husband’s ancestors and mine, they are not normally found in the same locations.

If you are connected to anyone mentioned in this post, I’d love to hear from you.


A HEADSTONE LOST FOR 256 YEARS – Now Found ~ The story of 9 year old Betty Clark (1752-1761)

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY–Triplet daughters of Elijah & Rebecca Frampton - died 1827

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Friday, November 1, 2019

FRIDAY FINDS ~ The 6th child of Rev. George Hall & his wife Almira–Meet Ellen M. Hall

We all have those missing children.  We have census records or death records or some other piece of information that tells us that a couple had 6 children.  BUT, we have only identified 5 of them.

This was the case for Rev. George Hall (1804-1878) and his wife, Almira Rosette (1806-1858).  My first indication that I was missing a child, was the obituary for Rev. George Hall, which stated he and Almira had 6 children.  Since they married in 1834 I would have access to the 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records, prior to his death in 1878.

How did I finally figure out that the missing child was Ellen M. Hall?  
From a link on Ancestry.  As you know they have recently added those obituary links from the website.  I already have a subscription and use the site all the time.  However, not knowing the name of the missing child, there was no way to search for her. 

Up popped a link to the obituary for Cornelia Hall Smith, who happens to be one of the 5 children of Rev. George Hall & Almira Rosette.  I began looking at other records for Cornelia and found that Ellen Hall was living with her for most of her life.

Since this 6th child, Ellen, was born in Oct. 1850, she was not enumerated in the 1850 census, which took place in August.  I have never…..yet, been able to locate the 1860 census for Rev. Hall & his family.  I know that Almira died in Sept 1858 in New York. Reverend Hall remarried on 6 Oct 1859 to Mary A. Bolles, in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Thus far, that 1860 census eludes me and that’s where I would have probably located the 6th child, Ellen, assuming she was living with them.

By the time of the 1870 census, Rev. Hall and his wife, Mary were living in Fayette, Jefferson, Mississippi and his 23 year old daughter, Emily was living with them.  Ellen would have been 19 or 20 years old at that time and must have already left the family home, since she isn't enumerated with them.

However, I have located her.  Living with her sister Cornelia and husband Almond A. Smith and their children, in Irvington, Kossuth, Iowa. I’m not quite sure how I missed this when I originally found this census record.  I had recorded it and saved it to my digital files, but I had not investigated who the Ellen Hall, domestic servant, was who was living with this family. 
1870 census

I have to tell you that writing my blog posts nearly always leads to discoveries.  In this particular case, I thought I’d try, once again, to locate Rev. George Hall and his wife Mary in the 1860 census.  Young Ellen would have only been about 10 at that time and I figured she should be living with them.  Now that I had her name, I could use that in my 1860 specific search for the family.

WELL…….guess what?  I have located Ellen, age 9, but not living with her father, George and stepmother.  She is again, found living with her sister, Cornelia and husband Almond Smith and the Smith family in the 1860 census in Iowa.

1860 census

Now I’m curious where I’ll find Ellen in the 1880 census.  Was she still living with her sister Cornelia?

Sure enough, I’ve located Ellen in the 1880 census living with the Smith family and listed as a boarder.

Cropped portion from 1880 census

Finally, I have a completed family for this couple.

There was no mention of Ellen having an occupation, either in the census records or in her obituary.  I don’t know what her life was like.  I do know it was too short, as she died at age 42 on 11 Oct 1893.

Here is her obituary and my transcription of it.

The Algona Republican, Iowa - 18 Oct 1835, page 5

Transcription of Ellen's obituary
The grim reaper of Death, has again thrust in his sickle and garnered in his harvest.  On last Wednesday afternoon Miss Ellen M. Hall of Irvington, passed peacefully away to that bourne from whence no traveler returns.  Her death was very sudden and totally unexpected, as she was around as usual, but was found in an unconscious condition from which she never rallied, and died a few hours after being found.  Her death was due to heart failure.  The funeral services were held Friday at 2 p.m., at the residence of her sister Mrs. C.B. Smith, where she had made her home for years.  The service was conducted by Rev. Davidson, and the remains were taken to the Irvington cemetery for interment.
The deceased was born in Petersborough, Maidson county, N.Y., November 18, 1850, and she removed to this county with Mr. A.A. Smith's family in the year 1869, and has since resided here.  Her death removed another of the early settlers, and although but a little more than 42 years of age, the greater share of her life was spent in this county.  Her relatives have the sympathy of their many friends in their bereavement.
We wish to tender our sincere thanks to the friends who so kindly assisted us during the illness and subsequent death of our beloved sister and aunt, Miss Ellen M. Hall.
Mrs. C. B. Smith and Family

You can visit Ellen’s memorial on FindAGrave here #204017832

If you have any information to share about Ellen or her family, I’d love to hear from you.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, October 10, 2019

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ The 1906 church record of the marriage of my grandparents, Joseph A. Milne (1883-1957) & Florence L. Bowden (1888-1986)

Today I’m featuring the church marriage certificate for my maternal grandparents, Joseph Albert Milne & Florence Lenora Bowden.

This certificate was rolled up in a box of papers & other items I retrieved from the home of my  maternal first cousin, during a visit, several years ago.

TIP - I did not put this old, delicate document in a scanner.  Instead, I took a photograph of it.

This certificate offers many good genealogical clues as follows:
  • Date of marriage
  • Where the couple have their residence
  • Place of marriage
  • The denomination and name of the church to which the officiant belonged
  • Name of the person who married the couple
  • Names & signatures of both witnesses to the marriage
It’s been a while since I’ve looked at this document and in reading it again I see that I will be entering new information into my Legacy database.

Here is a transcription of the certificate

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost…Amen
This certifies that Mr. Joseph Albert Milne of Detroit, Michigan and Miss Florence Lenora Bowden of the same place were united by in Holy Matrimony on Wednesday the Eleventh day of April A.D. nineteen hundred and six at the residence of the bride’s mother 187 Townsend Ave. in the diocese of Michigan according to the Rites of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Unites States of America, in accordance with the laws of the State of Michigan.
Dated Detroit this Eleventh day of April A.D. 1906
The witnesses are Fred Henry Gillespie, 1st cousin to the groom and Edna Mabel Bowden, sister of the bride

Here is a photo of my grandmother, Florence, in her travel outfit upon leaving for their honeymoon.


My grandmother, Florence was the genealogist in the family before me.  I have written several blog posts from the notebook/journal she left.  Here is a link to those posts: My Grandmother's Journal

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Friday, October 4, 2019

MAYFLOWER SOCIETY–Episode 2–My Journey to become a member

As I wrote about on June 22nd this year, I am in the process of trying to join the Mayflower Society.  You can read my first post here THE MAYFLOWER SOCIETY ~ I’ve begun my journey to join–Come along as I take my first step

It’s been nearly four months since I submitted my Preliminary Review Form.  How much longer would it take until I heard from them either yay or nay?  They review the information you submit and then tell you if you can proceed with your application.  Oh my the waiting…………………….

Yes, that’s me, jumping for joy.  I received a phone call yesterday from the very nice lady who had reviewed my preliminary form.  She was happy to tell me that I could now proceed with my official application.  AND!!!!  That she is confident I should be able to join the society.  WOOHOO!!

Now what?  What is the next step and what do I need to do?

As with any society everything revolves around proving who you are and how you are descended from the patriot, the first settler or in this case the Mayflower passenger.
My mind was a whirl of thoughts as I started going over the documents and proof that I would need.

The very good news is that my 4th great grandfather has been proven.  His name is Isaac DOTEN (1768-1852).  I will need to provide proof of his marriage and everything down the line all the way to me.

Look at that.  Everyone I need information on is already in my tree.  The red lines indicate the ancestors who lead me directly to the DOTEN line I'm trying to prove.

What does that entail?  First of all, I’ve been a researcher for a long while now, over 16 years.  During that time I have recorded everything I could find about my direct line ancestors.  I use Legacy as my database, as well as having a working tree on Ancestry.  One thing I have is LOTS of records.  Some I have downloaded from various websites and others I’ve ordered directly from counties or states.

Here’s the types of records you need to begin an application process such as this one.  I’ll begin with me and list all the ancestors for whom I’ll need to gather records and what type of records I might need.  This is just a list off the top of my head and there may be more.

Me – Birth, Marriage
My Dad, Harry Norman Gould – Birth, marriage, death
My grandfather, Harry Whipple Gould – Birth, marriage, death
My great grandfather, William V. Gould – Birth, marriage, death, obituary
My 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Hart – Birth, marriage death, obituary, census records
My 3rd great grandmother, Olive Doten Hart – Birth, marriage, death, obituary, headstone, probate record of her father
My 4th great grandmother, Sally Follett – marriage, death, obituary, headstone, probate record

Doesn’t seem so bad, does it?  After all, those are the records we try to collect for all of our ancestors, right?  We’re talking about mostly records from the mid 1800’s.  That shouldn’t be too difficult.  Plus, as a thorough researcher I really should have most of these records already recorded, along with the images of those records.

The answer is YES.  I should have all of that.  Once I began to review my files I found I did have many, if not most of those records.  But, oh my, do those records have the information I’m seeking?  Are they all complete?  Was the information recorded properly?
Stay tuned for my next post to find out how many ways things can be recorded and what might it mean to my application process.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Monday, September 30, 2019

MILITARY MONDAY ~ Honoring Pfc Robert Dean Thornton–killed in action in World War II - 1945


Robert Dean Thornton is my 2nd cousin once removed. Meaning we share a common ancestor – my 3rd great grandparents,  Charles Milne (1822-1877) and Margaret Ritchie (1820-1902).

BACKGROUND: Robert was the son of George Thornton (1881-1951) and Goldie Downing (1883-1962) of Muskegon, Michigan.  Robert was their youngest child.  He had older siblings, Lottie Mae, Goldie M., Marjorie and George “Williard.”

According to his headstone and military records, Robert was born 29 Aug 1919 in Michigan. NOTE: There is one record that gives his birthdate as 29 Sep 1919.

I first find Robert as a 4 month old in the 1920 census, in Muskegon, Michigan.  He again appears in the 1930 and 1940 census records with his parents, living in Muskegon, Michigan.
On 16 Oct 1940 Robert reported to the Local Board No. 2 in Muskegon, Michigan to register for the draft.  He is listed as 5’ 7 1/2”, 150 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes and a light complexion.  He was working for Hercules Motor and he was 21 years old.
On 6 Mar 1941 Robert married Jacklyn M. Ritersdorf, in Definance, Defiance Co., Ohio.

Ohio, County Marriage Records, 1774-1993
Name:    Jacklyn M Ritersdorf
Gender:    Female
Age:    21
Birth Date:    abt 1920
Marriage Date:    6 Mar 1941
Marriage Place:    Defiance, Ohio, USA
Father:    William Ritersdorf
Mother:    Mary Edgerly
Spouse:    Robert D Thornton
Film Number:    001977645

Just 9 months after their marriage on 7 Dec 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed. This as we all know, began the U.S. entry into World War II.

On 25 May 1943 Robert D. Thornton enlisted in the Army.  Less than 2 months later he and his wife, Jackie divorced. That means the divorce would have begun prior to his enlistment.  Did the divorce proceedings have anything to do with his enlistment?  I have no way of knowing.
However, just 18 days after the divorce was final, Robert married Paula Evelyn Johnson on 27 Jul 1943 in Comanche, Stephens, Oklahoma.
Oklahoma, County Marriage Records, 1890-1995
Name:    Robert Dean Thornton
Gender: Male
Age:    24
Birth Date: abt 1919
Marriage Date:    27 Jul 1943
Marriage Place: Comanche, Oklahoma, USA
Spouse: Paula Evelyn Johnson
Film Number:    001869740

Robert was a Private First Class in the 378 Infantry Division, 95th Division, Company G.  According to military records Robert was killed in action, at age 25 on 6 Apr 1945 in Germany.  That means that Robert was killed just 32 days prior to the war’s end.  He made it for two years and then sadly, died just a month before he could have come home.

Robert's body was returned home for burial in October 1948, along with others from Muskegon, who had died in the war.  The local high school that Robert attended displayed a bronze tablet honoring those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice.

They also mentioned them and shared photos of them in the 1945 yearbook.

Robert is buried at Mona View Cemetery in Muskegon, Michigan. His headstone memorializes his service to our country.  You may visit his memorial here #46411967.

I am honored to be related to this military hero.  May he rest in peace.

If you are related to anyone mentioned in this post, or have additions or corrections, please contact me.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

DISCOVERIES ~ This week’s focus will be Texas Marriages and Divorces from the My Heritage website

DISCOVERY – Detection, finding, spotting, unearthing

I have had a subscription to My Heritage for two years now.  I will be the first to admit that it is not my “go to” website.  I first go to Ancestry (to which I’ve had a subscription since 2004).
That being said, I recently attended a seminar hosted by the San Diego Genealogical Society and the speaker was Daniel Horowitz, Chief Genealogist for My Heritage.  To read about this presentation please click here Daniel Horowitz Presents for the San Diego Genealogical Society Fall Seminar  I learned a lot about the My Heritage website and what is available and how to use those features to my advantage.
Since I have DNA uploaded to this site and I’ve also added a family tree, it is in my best interest to use the site.  As researchers we should take advantage of all resources available to us, if possible.

Today I’m focusing on one feature, DISCOVERIES. These are located on the menu bar and can be sorted by Matches by People, Matches by Source or Instant Discoveries.  As of today I have 225 sources with 9,305 matches.  Some of these will duplicate information I already have, but as I’ve recently learned, many will not.

Today’s focus will be the Texas Marriages and Divorces.  There are 5 matches in this record set. Will these be new discoveries for me?  Let’s take a look and find out.

I will not be revealing the names of anyone still living.

The matches are:
1. Joseph Edward Cornelius
2. Living
3. Living
4. Gary Lee Hart
5. Robert Stanley Luckock

1. Joseph Edward Cornelius was my mother’s 2nd husband.  This record gives their marriage date & place and approximate ages at the time, as well as a file #.
Did I have this information already?  Yes

3. Gary Lee Hart is my paternal half 4th cousin.  I did already have the record of his marriage.

5. Robert Stanley Luckock married one of my husband’s cousins.  I did not have this information prior to seeing it here.  Now I can add this to my Legacy database.

This was a useful set of records because I found 1 out of 5 to contain information I did not already have.

My plan is to continue to use the My Heritage database to obtain more information about my ancestors.  With 9,305 matches I expect this will take some time, but also reveal some great new information and probably answer some questions as well.  

Stay tuned.

Have you used the My Heritage website?  If so, have you found it useful?  Do you use it exclusively or combined with other sites?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ A follow up on Bertram SEAVER (1873-1942) & his first wife Gertrude (1871-1908)

Headstone for Bertram Seaver - used with permission from CHayes

In learning more about Bertram Seaver who married Mary Ada Seigle, my 1st cousin twice removed, I found out he was buried at Mount Washington Cemetery, Mt. Washington, Hamilton, Ohio.  You may read my previous post about Bertram SEAVER here MY GRANDMOTHER’S JOURNAL ~ Let’s look at some anniversaries–Bert SEAVER & Mary Ada SEIGLE - 1929

I immediately recognized that location as the same cemetery his first wife, Gertrude, had been buried, after her suicide.  I was a little surprised that he was buried with her and not his second wife, Mary Ada Seigle.  He’s been married to Gertrude for 13 years and Mary for 24 years.  Sometimes our ancestors don’t do what we might expect them to do.

I looked on FindAGrave and determined that there had been no memorial created for Bertram, so I created one.  I also put in a photo request, hoping that a volunteer would someday take a photo of the headstone (if there was one).

I was surprised, actually shocked, when I received notification the very next day, that my request had been fulfilled.  I additionally, received an email from another person who took photos of the headstone.  Now I had two sets of pictures.  My continued thanks to all the people who volunteer via the FindAGrave website, to take headstone photos.

TIP:  Whenever I create a memorial for someone, I always request a photo of the headstone (unless, of course, I already have one).  I have been very fortunate over the years and have had dozens of requests fulfilled, all over the country.  I immediately send a thank you to the volunteer via the messaging on FindAGrave.  At the same time, I check their profile to see if they give permission to use the photos.  Since I have a blog and I frequently like to post headstone pictures, I don’t want to violate anyone’s copyright.  If the permission isn’t stated in their profile and I think I may use the photo in a blog post, I send them an email asking permission.  If you look at my FindAGrave profile you will see that I give blanket permission to use any of my own photographed headstone photos (my profile page)

Here is the other picture I received for Bertram who is resting beside his first wife, Gertrude

Headstones of Bertram & Gertrude Seaver - used with permission of Steve Barnett
Click on the links to visit the memorials for Bertram #203005133 & Gertrude #170861969

How often to you request photos of headstones on the FindAGrave website?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall