Monday, January 28, 2019

FINDING A LETTER FROM MY GRANDMOTHER–Florence Bowden Milne 1888-1986

As genealogists, there are many things that make us go WOW!  But, for sure one of the biggest ones for me is finding correspondence from one of my beloved grandparents.  In fact, the ONLY correspondence that I have in my possession happens to come from my maternal grandmother, Florence.  I do remember that she and I wrote back and forth quite often in the 1970’s and early 1980’s.  I sure wish I’d have saved every letter.

Here’s a screenshot from my Legacy tree.  You can see that I have a HUGE problem on my grandmother’s paternal side.  I used to ask her questions about her family.  Trouble is, I didn’t write everything down.  One of her responses to my question about her father, Robert Bowden’s parents was that she didn’t know their names.


However, my grandmother, Florence, was our family historian and left me a LOT of ancestor information.

Anyway, while cleaning out boxes in our garage yesterday I did come across a letter from my grandmother to me.  The other letter I have from her is dated 1978, this one is 14 Sep 1980.  AND, it’s in an envelope!!  Future DNA testing may be possible from the envelope so I’m thrilled with that find.

NOTE:  Still having trouble inserting images as Open Live Writer is not working properly and using Blogger directly is less than satisfactory.  So forgive any misaligned images etc.

Here’s the letter itself.

Here’s my transcription of this treasured letter.  I explained a couple of things, which I’ve highlighted in red.

hands shaking and writing awful (my grandmother wrote this at the top of the page)
                                                                                Sept. 14, 80
Dear Diane: – You must think I am a very neglectful grandmother but it just seems like so many things come up and people coming in. So, if you can forgive me I will try to do bettr.  Joan (she is my Aunt, Florence’s daughter) is slowly recovering then just as we are having a breathing spell she over does and she gets the shaking inside again.  You know that the last bad time in hospital she stopped breathing and in their efforts to revive her they broke 3 ribs. So that complicated everything but it is all coming out well.  We have a very nice apt. in a big complex, quiet and beautiful grounds.
I don’t know if I shall ever get rested but the Lord provides the strength we need.  I used to knit bed socks for Red Cross in Houston but Red Cross (she means in Livonia or Detroit) has no such thing so when the most of the confusion etc. died down I didn’t have a project on hand but Joan’s church has a lady has 3 homes orphans and others she supplies with bed socks, but told church members she needed knitters.  She supplies the money for yarn!  So I am in business again.  I finally got toenails & eye glasses fixed but need to have lower plate repaired.  Joan can drive now so my gson does not have to do my needs.  I finally got a letter from Pat (Pat is my mother, Florence’s youngest daughter). I was worried about them and in the letter very little news but – Bless you my dear for writing.  Love for you and Norman

I tried to leave the transcription exactly as the words on the page are written.

My Aunt Joan died 5 years later on 2 Dec 1985.  I don’t have her cause of death and need to ask my cousin if he has a copy of her death certificate.

The letter has a return address of 31189 Morlock Apt 519, Livonia, Michigan.  I looked on Google Earth and found that the apartment complex still exists, at least according to Google Earth’s view.
3119 Morlock, Livonia, MI - courtesy of Google Earth


To see more items from my grandmother Florence, you can click on this tab on the top of my blog My Grandmother's Journal.

Let’s see if we’re cousins.

Happy hunting, 
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #4–Who Would I Like to Talk to?

Isn’t that a question we often ask ourselves?  If only we could talk to _______fill in the blank.  Maybe we could get answers to our family mysteries or just a better background on who, what, when and where.

Since the theme for this week doesn’t say we have to pick just one person, I am going to name a few of my beloved ancestors and why I’d like to (need to) speak to them.  If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you will recognize these names. I apologize for bringing them up again.  However, we all know that it only takes one person/reader to say “hey, I know the answer to that question!”  It’s what we all hope for.
William "Val" Gould - my great grandfather, son of John C. Gould

FIRST AND DEFINITELY AT THE TOP OF MY LISTMy paternal great grandfather, William V. Gould (born Vivaldo William Gould) (1859-1924).  I know, from many sources, who is father & mother were.  HOWEVER, I am completely stuck as to who his paternal grandparents were.  Who were the parents of John C. Gould?   What could William tell me about his own father?  Did he know who his paternal grandparents were?  Did he ever meet them?  What stories did his father tell about the family?  And lastly, why doesn’t there seem to be a single photo of his parents in family pictures?  They were alive until 1911 and probably 1919.  And, the next question would be – is the John Gould on the death certificate I’ve located, the correct person?  Is this William’s father?

I’ve written about this nearly two decade brick wall mystery and you can read it here MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? John C. Gould 1833-1919?

THE NEXT ANCESTOR I NEED TO TALK TOMy maternal great grandfather, Robert Edward Lee Bowden, 1863-1906.  Who were his parents?  Did he have siblings?  I know absolutely nothing about his family.  

Interestingly, it was his daughter, Florence Bowden (my grandmother) who was the family historian/genealogist before me.  She kept meticulous records of family births, marriages and many deaths.  She drew a family tree by hand.  However, back in the 1970’s she wrote me a letter and in that letter is a response to a question I’d asked about her family.  Who were her father’s parents?  She could only say that she thought Robert Bowden’s mother was named Susan and that she died when my grandmother was 4 yrs. old, which would have been about 1892.  Since Robert and his wife divorced when my grandmother was about 11 yrs. old and he died when she was just 18 yrs. old, there may not have been a time when she could ask questions. Robert was a railroad brakeman and I expect he was often gone from the home.
 I’ve never found a picture of him and surely there must have been one taken at some point.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I’ve also written a blog post about this brick wall and you can read it here MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Robert L. Bowden 1863-1906

Catherine Dorsey - my 2nd great grandmother with her children Annie & Horace Jr.

NEXT ON MY LIST -  My paternal 2nd great grandmother, Catherine C. Dorsey about 1842 – 1898.  She, by all records I’ve obtained, was born in Dublin, Ireland about 1842.  Her death cert lists her parents as Jno and Mary.  She lies in an unmarked grave at Mt. Elliott Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.  

She was the wife of Horace Henry Thorp (1836-1907) and the mother of 10 children.  I have a picture of her.  I also have most of the information on 9 of her 10 children.  When did she arrive in the U.S.?  Was she really born in Dublin?  What were the full names of her parents and did she have any siblings?  How did she meet Horace?  
As you might guess, I’ve also written about her before and you can read it and see her picture here - MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY? Catherine Dorsey about 1842-1898

My Dad - Harry Norman Gould

AND LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEASTMy own Dad, Harry Norman Gould 1912-1991.  He absolutely loved to tell family stories and talk about when he was growing up.  He was an only child, and the grandchild of William & Mae Gould (although they had 6 children, he was the only grandchild).  I did listen to his stories growing up and when I became an adult.  I did ask him questions and we sat down and I had him label family photos for me.  But, you know how it goes.  Until we begin doing actual family research we don’t know what questions we should have asked.  

I didn’t begin my genealogy journey until 12 years after he died.  Now I have a hundred questions that I would be willing to bet he could answer for me.  And, we would have such a good time, laughing and talking about his beloved Mema and Bepa (what he called William & Mae Gould), his grandparents.  If only…….if only. 

There are dozens more ancestors that I’d love to sit down with, but for now, I’d settle for all or one of the four I’ve mentioned here.

Who would you like to talk to?  And why?
If you find that you are related to anyone mentioned in this post or have information for me, please get in touch.

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

Sunday, January 20, 2019

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ William H. Thorpe–1862-1909–Detroit, Michigan

Detroit Free Press, 23 Mar 1909, page 4

William H. Thorpe was the husband of my great grandaunt, Catherine “Kittie” Thorp.  Yes, you read that maiden name correctly.  Catherine THORP married William THORPE.

Did that cause a little confusion in my research at the beginning.  Oh yes!  But, between my cousin Bonnie (married to a Thorp descendant) and me, we figured it all out.

Here’s a transcription of his obituary.
William H. Thorpe, steward on the D. & C. and the C. & B. lines for the last 20 years, died at the Marine Hospital Saturday of Bright's disease, from which he had been suffering for six months. He was 48 years old. Besides his widow he leaves three daughters, Mrs. W. Hayes, Mrs. J. Stanton and Miss Blanche Thorpe. He will be buried today at 2:30 o'clock from the residence of his daughter, Mrs. J. Stanton, 568 Fifteenth St. Interment will be at Elmwood cemetery.

William was only 46 years old when he died.  His widow, Catherine never remarried and lived another 32 years without him.
I haven’t done a lot of research on the Thorpe (with an “e”) line of the family.  I have William’s parents names from his death certificate as Hamilton Thorpe and Jane (maiden name not given).
Catherine and William married in Detroit on 9 Mar 1884.  They had 5 children, only 3 of whom lived to adulthood.  The children were: William G. born and died 1884, Mabel Catherine 1886-1958, Grace M. 1889-1945, William 1891 to before 1900, Blanche, 1892-? (Blanche married at least 3 times and I haven’t located her death record yet).

It appears that William and his family moved to Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio for a short time.  They were enumerated there in the 1900 census.  What precipitated the move?  Was it his work?  However, by the time of William’s death in 1909, the family was back in Detroit.

Let’s try to fill in the years between their marriage in 1884 and his death in 1909 by checking some city directories.

I have located William in Detroit city directories for 1888, 1889, 1905, 1906 and the year of his death in 1909.  According to the index, in each of the listings William is working in some capacity for the railroad.

NOTE: Although I’ve been trying for the past 2 hours to bring up the images of the city directories on Ancestry, I’ve had no luck.  Even switching browsers didn’t help.   I will continue this search another time, and also try my luck on Fold3.

Here is a photo of William (courtesy of my cousin, Bonnie).  A little blurry, but it's all I have.

William and Catherine are buried in different cemeteries.  According to Elmwood Cemetery staff, there is no headstone for William.  However, I have created a memorial for him and you may visit it here #149488550.

If you are related to either of the THORPE or THORP families mentioned here, I’d love to hear from you.  I’m always eager to hear from new cousins.


THOUGHFUL THURSDAY - Why don’t I have a death date or record for William H. Thorpe? (this was a particularly interesting afternoon of research that you may find helpful)

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

Saturday, January 19, 2019

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS–Week #3–Unusual Names

There’s certainly no shortage of unusual names in our ancestry.

I had written a blog post about this last July and you can read it here - Unusual Ancestor Names - How many are in your family? Where did they originate?

When speaking of given names, what we consider unusual today, was common 100, 200 or 300 years ago.  As to surnames, there are some that I’ve found in my research and I think “how did they come up with that?”

One of my more recent finds is the wife of a 1st cousin once removed, William Allen Lindsay. He married a lady named Edith A. SIDEBOTTOM.  I’d certainly never heard that surname before.  We also know that sometimes a surname is used as a middle name or even a first name.  Many Biblical names were used by our ancestors. Achsah, Bethsheba, Barnabas, Cornelius, Ebezezer, Ezekiel, Moses, Theophilus etc.

What are some other unusual names that I’ve run across over the years? 

Here’s a list in no particular order and just a sample.
  • Okla Allen (1912-2004)
  • Mahala Armstrong (1822 – ?)
  • Wild Auten (1895-?)
  • Cemanthe Avery (1831-1899)
  • Sophie Baerbalck wife of Homer Clay Smith
  • Pheriba Barbour (abt 1840-1879)
  • Renick Beverage (1874-?)
  • Burritt Blakeslee (1800-1866)
  • Freada Emma Meta Fink (1895-1981)
  • Eglatina Blodgett
  • Ovde Boggs
  • Awilda Booth (abt 1854-?)
  • Rebecca Plybon (abt 1790-1873)
  • Elzina Power (1899 – ?)
  • Eunishba Rosette (1798-1872)
  • Albert Edward Schmadel (1870-1945)
  • Qiuelletta Scovell (1846-1922)
  • Lavancha Searls (1847-1923)
  • Fred Woodfin Siler
That’s just a sample from my database of 5950 individuals. I’m sure I’ve missed a few and I’m sure other bloggers will have some great names to share.

Do you have an unusual first, middle or surname in you family?  I’d love to hear about them.

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

Friday, January 18, 2019

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Detroit PD - Sgt. William Hayes Confiscates Weapons - 1924

Detroit Free Press, 2 Jan 1924, page 5
I always enjoy newspaper articles featuring family members.  The newspapers of yesteryear were the social media hubs for our ancestors.  From wedding, birth and death announcements to social gatherings and out of town visits.  The newspapers covered many events.

This particular article is about the confiscation of weapons during the first hour of 1924, in Detroit, Michigan. Sgt. Hayes was married to my 1st cousin twice removed, Mabel Catherine Thorpe.

Here’s what it says:

Roundup of Suspicious Persons is Made New Year’s Morning
Twenty-on revolvers, a shot gun and 500 rounds of ammunition were seized by police of the first precinct during the first hour of 1924.  The firearms were taken in a general roundup of persons with suspicious bulges in their clothes at points where the bulges would not ordinarily indicate hip flasks or quart bottles.
The first prisoner to be taken in 1924 was Edison Green, 22 years old. When halted on Gratiot Avenue he was found to have a revolver up his sleeve, held in place by a rubber band.  He was charged with carrying concealed weapons.
The guns were confiscated by Lieutenant Charles Wiggle, and Sergeants William Hayes, George Ludwig and William Maloney.

I wondered what else was going on in Detroit on January 2, 1924.  The cost of the paper was 3 cents, the weather was cloudy and the top headline is about a Rich Oil Man being Shot.

Here’s the front page from that day. 
(Click on any image to enlarge it)


ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS - Patrolman William Patrick Hayes Discovers Huge Warehouse Fire – 1907

You can see all my Ancestors in the News Posts here.

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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ My Grandaunt Helen C. Gould–1901-1945


Transcription of obituary - GOULD - Feb 17, 1945.  Helen C. suddenly at residence, 5639 Linwood, beloved daughter of May E and the late Wm. V., dear sister of Ford, Harry and Roy Gould, Mrs. Chas. E. Smith and Mrs. Myron A. Sine of Grants Pass, Oregon.  Funeral service from Floyd L. Hamilton Funeral Home, 12th near West Grand Blvd. Wednesday at 9:15.  St. Leo's Church 10 a.m.  Interment Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

Here is Helen pictured with some of her family.
Gould_Val_Mae & Helen
Helen Gould with her parents Mae & William - circa 1920
Gould_Helen - 2
Helen C. Gould
GOULD_Adele & Helen on steps_circa 1913-1915_DetroitMI_enh
Helen Gould on the right and her older sister Mae Adele on the left - circa 1913-1915
Helen C. Gould was the youngest of my grandfather’s siblings.  The family had 3 boys; Ford, Harry (my grandfather) and Roy.  Then they had 3 girls; Gladys, May “Adele” and Helen.

Helen was born 12 Mar 1901 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  She was living at home with her parents, Wm. Val & Mae Gould in the 1910 and 1920 census.  In 1920 she was working as a Stenographer at a motor factory.  Working in the auto industry was a common thread for my ancestors in Detroit during this time when the auto business was booming.  By 1930 she was living with her married sister, Adele (now Mrs. James Conner) and working as a Stenographer at a trust company.

I have found no evidence that Helen ever married or had any children.  Her brother, Ford, also never married.  Of the 6 children born in this Gould family, only one of them had a child and that was my grandfather, Harry.  Talk about not having collateral family to research.  Helen seemed to be a good looking, well dressed woman.  I always wonder why someone doesn’t marry.  It was much less common back then than it is now.

Strangely, I cannot locate Helen in the 1940 census.  Her place of death, 5639 Linwood is the home where her mother lived from before 1930 until her death in 1946.  In the 1940 census, Helen’s mother, Mae Gould is living in the home on Linwood, with her son, Ford and sister Catherine Thorp.  So, where is Helen?

Helen was only 43 years old when she died.  I don’t have a copy of her death certificate.  I either need to order it and pay the fee or wait 3 more years for it to be released to the public.
However, thanks to my cousin, Marian, I do have the information contained on the certificate.  You see, Marian was doing some transcribing/indexing for when she came across Helen’s death certificate.  She didn’t grab a screenshot, but wrote down most of the important items as follows:
  • Certificate #333216
  • Address – 5639 Linwood Ave., Detroit, Michigan
  • Date of birth - 12 Mar 1901
  • Date of death – 17 Feb 1945 at 11;30 p.m.
  • Occupation – Stenographer for Frisbee Insurance Co.
  • Date of burial – 21 Feb 1945 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan
  • Cause of death – Cardiac failure following chronic myocarditis and acute dilatation pyogenic nephritis
  • Informant – Gladys L. Smith (sister) of 3729 14th St., Detroit, Michigan
  • Funeral director – Floyd L. Hamilton at 7334 Twelfth St., Detroit, Michigan
Until doing this review for Helen, I had forgotten that I don’t have a place of residence for her in 1940 or a copy of her death certificate.
Helen is buried with her parents at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.  I visited their gravesites when I was there in 2007 and took the following photos.
Copy of GOULD_Helen C_dauther of William & Mae_1901-1945 GOULD_headstones_William_Mae_Helen_MtOlivetCem_DetroitWayneMichigan
You may visit Helen’s FindAGrave memorial here #32439516.

If you have any further information to share about Helen, I’d love to hear from you.  I’m always looking to connect with anyone who has information about my Gould family.

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

Saturday, January 12, 2019

IT’S BLOGIVERSARY TIME ~ I began this journey 9 years ago

9 candles with words

It’s been 9 years now since I began this blogging journey.  WOW!  It’s sure been wonderful.
I’m a better genealogist because of my blog.  When you are putting something out there for all to see, you realize it better be correct.  As I write about each ancestor I see where the holes are in my research.  I take the time to go back and find missing sources and that will often lead to more records.
I’ve made many wonderful friends along the way.  Bloggers are a generous group and we all enjoy helping one another and welcoming new bloggers to the fold.

Each year I have all my blog posts printed into a book or books.  I use Blog2Print and they make it super easy to do.  My current book is in the printing process right now, so here’s a display of my books so far.

The first 3 years I didn’t write much so that white soft cover book on the left covers 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Blog books displayed

I’ve written 515 posts so far and have had well over 1000 comments left by readers.  Blogger stops counting at 1000.  I have responded to each and every comment.

What does the future hold for my blog?  I hope I continue to write posts that people enjoy reading and that I continue to get feedback and make connections with family.

Here’s to a really productive 2019!

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Thursday, January 10, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #2–Challenge is the theme–what are my challenges?

52 Ancestors header darker
Research challenges.  We all have them.  Whether it’s the missing 1890 census, burnt courthouses, records being held that are not available to the public or any number of other reasons.

My biggest challenges have come from my brick walls.  After 16+ years of research (on a weekly and daily basis) you’d think “what else is there to find?”  Let me tell you.

I haven’t been able to take my own maiden name, Gould, past my 2nd great grandfather.  I also haven’t been able to find my maternal great grandfather’s family.  Both of those families remain a mystery to me as of this day.  I’m hoping with DNA I will break down those brick walls and open some floodgates to my ancestors in those lines.

What I’d like to do today is share with you here, my blog posts about John C. Gould, my paternal 2nd great grandfather (1833- ?) and Robert L. Bowden, my maternal great grandfather (1863-1906).

GOULD_Wm V headshot
Wm. V. Gould (John Gould's son), my great grandfather
GOULD street sign
GOULD Rd. sign in Macomb Co., Michigan
BOWDEN_Robert-article about his death
2nd page of the article about how they discovered Robert Bowden's body in a hotel
The posts are titled MYSTERY MONDAY - WHO’S YOUR DADDY? By sharing the links with you here, I’m hoping someone, anyone, can help me solve these brick walls.  I’ve carefully outlined what I’ve done to find the families of these two men.  It’s pretty extensive.  I encourage you to read it carefully and perhaps you can tell me what I’ve missed.  I’ve covered a lot of bases….and databases….and libraries.

Here’s the link to the post for John C. Gould Mystery Monday - Who's Your Daddy? John C. Gould

Now on to my great grandfather, Robert Lee Bowden also known as Robert Edward Lee Bowden.  Born 8 Feb 1863 in White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier, Virginia – died 8 Oct 1906 in McKees Rocks, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  I’ve just re read this post and the comments associated with it.  We all know that a second, third or fourth or tenth look at anything we have on our ancestors can reveal information we missed.  I see a comment by Miriam Robbins about a possible maiden name for Robert’s mother.  I never followed that lead and will do so today.
That being said, here is the link to my post about Robert.

MYSTERY MONDAY - Who's Your Daddy? Robert L. Bowden 1863-1906  IMORTANT NOTE:  There is a Robert Lee Bowden about the same age, living in the same area, born to Elias & Sarah Bowden.  I have followed him forward in time and HE IS NOT MY ROBERT.

I respect the opinion of other researchers and I welcome your input.  Maybe this will be the year one or both of these walls are knocked down.  I sure hope so.

ONE MORE THING I have met with 2 professional genetic genealogist in the past two years and they weren’t able to solve these cases during our time together.  They did give me excellent tips on doing DNA research.  We are all thinking these men could be the result of unrecorded adoptions and their birth names were not the names they went by throughout their lives.  Anything is possible.

Thanks for listening.  I hope 2019 is the year we all break through our brick walls.

For a list of all my WHO’S YOUR DADDY posts, click HERE.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, January 7, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #1–Vera Violet Allen 1902-1991–wife of my granduncle

52 Ancestors header
Amy Johnson Crow began this theme several years ago.  Many bloggers participate.  I have tried before and only got to week 9.  My goal this year is to try very hard to get all 52 weeks done.  Wish me luck.  It’s week one and here we go.

Amy supplies us with a word that we can build a theme off of for each week’s post.  We decide how to interpret the words and how we’ll use them.

This week the theme is “first.”

I’ve decided to just make it my “first” post this year.

I thought I would randomly go into my Legacy database and pick the person who has RIN 100.  RIN stands for Record Identification Number.

That person is Vera Violet Allen who was the second of four wives married to my granduncle William “Bill” Lindsay.  I’ve written about his marriages in this post William "Bill" Lindsay & his many wives - the story of my granduncle Bill

What do I know about Vera Violet Allen?
  • A birth record from Rockingham, Vermont indicates she was born 16 Feb 1902 to Almon F. Allen & Minnie Luella Fisher1
ALLEN_Vera Violet_birth record_16 Feb 1902_RockinghamVermont
  • The marriage record for Vera & my granduncle Bill from 23 Sep 1919 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan gives her parent's name and they match the birth record.2
  • In the 1910 census Vera is living with her divorced mother, Minnie Allen and her siblings.
  • By 1920 she is living with her husband, William “Bill” Lindsay whom she married on 23 Sep 1919 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  They, in fact, are living with Bill’s sister Marie (my grandmother) and Marie’s husband Harry Gould and my young father who was 7 at the time.
  • In about 1927 a son, Robert Lindsay was born in Massachusetts.  I don’t have any details on him at this time.  However, I do have the divorce record for Vera and Bill, filed in Detroit, Michigan and granted on 19 Jul 1928.3 
LINDSAY_William divorce from Vera_19 Jul 1928_DetroitWayneMichigan
  • In the 1930 census, Vera is listed as divorced and living in Waltham, Middlesex, Massachusetts with her sister, Christine, brother-in-law, Henry Vear and their young daughter Gwendolyn.  Also in the household is Robert Lindsay age 3 1/2 and William Lindsay, age 5. 
  • NOTE: This is why I love blogging.  I taking another look at the divorce record for Vera & Bill, I see that both sons, Robert and William are listed as their children and it gives ages and middle initials for them.  This should help me learn more about those two little boys.  How did I miss those clues before?
  • In the 1940 census I have located Vera living with her two sons, William and Robert and a husband, Laurence Aiken.  Laurence died in 1953.
  • In the 1960 Berkshire, Massachusetts city directory Vera is listed as Vera Aiken widow of Laurence Aiken.
  • I have located a FindAGrave memorial for Vera.  The memorial lists her as Vera Violet Allen Lindsay Aiken Marlow #190733872.
  • I haven’t yet located a marriage to anyone named Marlow, but will continue to look.
Good things always come from my blog posts.  I end up doing more research on a particular person or family and the end result is enhanced information, more records and better sourcing.  In this case I was able to find additional information about Vera & Bill Lindsay’s sons, William & Robert.  They married and at least one of them had children.  Perhaps now I can connect with descendants of my granduncle Bill Lindsay?

I’m hoping I can keep up with the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks theme.  I look forward to sharing even more about mine and my husband’s ancestors with you.

Here’s a link to my other 52 Ancestors posts from 2017.

Sources: 1 - State of Vermont. Vermont Vital Records, 1871–1908. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.  2 - Michigan Marriage Records, 1867-1952  3 - Michigan Divorce Records, 1897-1952

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

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


my desk with all the notes on it 1 Jan 2019

YIKES! Do you have notes on or around your desk?  I removed these from various notepads that I keep on my desk.  I’ve laid them on display for you to see.  I try to begin each year by doing various organization tasks in my office and around my home.
The plan……
  • Select a note
  • Look at each individual item on the note
  • Is this something I need to take action on (research? add to my Legacy database?)
  • If so, then take action and cross off the items as I complete them
I’m not a big “paper person.”  I store things digitally and rarely print anything.  I do keep originals of vital records I’ve sent for (after they’ve been scanned and entered in Legacy). I put them in a page protector and then into a binder.

But, honestly, I have to say I rarely order records any more.  Fifteen years ago I did a lot of ordering.  I know there are a couple I need to order this year and I will.

What I’m going to do now is stop writing this post.  I’ll work on these notes one at a time and then I’ll tell you how long it took me to go through them.  It’s currently 10:56 a.m.

Time of completion – 12:18 p.m.  I began with 11 pieces of paper with notes all over them and 8 post-it notes.

I’m done!  It took me 1 hour and 22 minutes.  Here’s what I accomplished and how.

1. I took action on and threw out 11 pieces of paper with notes all over them.
  • I either completed a task in Legacy or online. 
  • I also created a note in Evernote that was dated today and tagged with “notes from my desk.”  There were only a few things that went into that Evernote note – like Gedmatch numbers I’d written down or a possible DNA connection I need to remember.

2.  I took action on and threw out 8 post-it notes by doing the same thing stated above.

TIP:  There are 3 things that can be done with a piece of paper – act on it, file it or throw it away.
Here's my desk now. What a difference from the photo at the top.  

my clean desk

I know you’ve all seen me write about cleaning my desk or office before.  In fact, not long ago I wrote a post about going through the various piles sitting on my desk area.
The point is…..we have to continually keep at the task of organization so that it doesn’t get away from us and become an overwhelming task.

As most of you probably know, there's even a Facebook group devoted specifically to this subject The Organized Genealogist.  It's a wonderful group full of ideas and genealogists just like us who need help.
I encourage all of you to take that hour and accomplish a specific chore in your own work area.  When you do, please tell me what you did and how it feels to have accomplished the task.  Leave me a comment or send me an email via the contact me tab.

HERE ARE SOME OTHER POSTS I’VE WRITTEN – I hope they’ll inspire you

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