Thursday, February 28, 2019


Right now up in Salt Lake City there’s a gathering of thousands of genealogists.  They are attending Rootstech.  I went last year with my friend, Pam and we had a wonderful time.  We hope to attend again next year.

Want to view live streaming from Rootstech – here’s the link Rootstech Live Streaming Schedule

Coinciding with the conference and not coincidentally, are announcements from major websites about additional functions to assist us with identifying our DNA matches.

There are other people who have already blogged about these new items.  Rather than re-create the wheel, I’m going to share what the new features are and then direct you to the other blogs and websites that can help you better understand how to use them.
Let’s begin with  They are in a beta phase for these features right now.
  • Thru Lines – illustrates how you may be related to your DNA matches through a common ancestor
  • Labeling – This feature, which was previously available as a Chrome add-on, is now being offered by Ancestry.  It allows you to create groups and designate them by color.  This means when you are viewing matches or shared matches you can see exactly how they fit into your family. The labeling is up to you.  Here’s a sample of my labels so far.

MyHeritage new tools
  • Theory of Family Relativity – theories about how DNA matches may be connected to a particular person.

  • AutoClusters – An automatic tool that organizes your DNA matches into clusters that likely descend from common ancestors.  This can really help you determine how your matches are connected to one another.

I just began experimenting with these new tools yesterday.  I’m very excited about the opportunity this gives us to identify how our matches fit into our family trees.

For excellent explanations and tutorials about these new tools, please go to the following blogs.  There are other bloggers also writing about these exciting enhancements.

Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings
MyHeritage Theory of Family Relativity
Ancestry DNA Thru Lines

Kitty Cooper’s Blog
MyHeritage Theory of Family Releativity

Extra tid bit – Kitty has also written about how to use the new Genesis that has replaced Gedmatch
Genesis - Gedmatch reinvented - How to Use it - Part 1

I’m sure there will be much more to come on both of the listed blogs and many others.  For now, I hope this will get you started.

Have you tried out these wonderful new features?  If so, are they helping you?
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, February 21, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #8–Family Photo - What can those photos tell you?

It’s difficult to find anything I like more than family photos.  They are a source of joy and reflection for me.
  • What was going on when the photo was taken?
  • Is everyone in the photo identified?
  • Where was the photo taken?
  • What year was the photo taken?
  • Do others in the family have similar photos from the same event?
1. What do you like about family photos? 
2. Do you have a lot of them or just a few? 
3. Have you connected with cousins who have shared family pictures with you?
4. Who are the ancestors you’d like to have a picture of, but don’t?

Since I’m asking questions, here are my own answers:

1.  Most of all I like being able to look at the faces of my ancestors.  I like being able to see my ancestors at different stages of their life.  I like being able to see them interact with others, whether family or friends.  I enjoy looking at the place where the photo was taken – do I recognize anything in the photo?
2.  I would say that I have a quite a few family photos.  I was pretty curious when I was in my teens and twenties (a long time ago), and I asked to see family photos.  I also asked my Mom and Dad to write on the back of the photos to identify the people. They did do that for a few of them.

Here are screenshots from the "pictures" folder for some of my ancestors. Click on the screenshots to enlarge them.
My husband's Fink line

My maternal Milne line   

My paternal Gould line

3.  I have absolutely been able to connect with cousins who have family photos, and it’s been wonderful.  One cousin even had a portrait photo of the same sitting for my great grandmother and her 5 sisters, only in a different seating order than the one I have. Florence Hunter is my great grandmother.

4.  Who would I like to have a picture of?  I suppose our list is endless, but my top choices would be:  John C. Gould, my 2nd great grandfather (1833-1919?); Sarah M. Hart, my 2nd great grandmother (1835-1911); Robert L. Bowden, my great grandfather (1863-1906); Edna Mabel Bowden, my grandaunt (1890-1932).

Where are good places to find photos of your ancestors?
  • From family members or even family friends
  • Online on other people’s trees (keep copyright in mind if you plan to use them)
  • On FindAGrave attached to a memorial (ditto on the copyright issues)
  • In books or written histories about your family or the place they lived
  • In newspapers
Can you think of other good places to find family photos?

I would love to read your blog about family photos or have you share your thoughts in a comment on this post.

ANCESTOR WALL OF PHOTOS - It's finished, here's how I did it

SEPIA SATURDAY - Great grandparents pictures - How many do you have?

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks ~ Week #7–The theme is Love–How many wedding pictures do I have from immediate family?

Love is in the air this week, as Valentine’s Day approaches.  This got me wondering how many wedding pictures I have from immediate family?

I know I have many wedding records, but very few photos.  What did I find?


Ronald Gordon Hall & Diane Patricia Gould – 12 May 1990

My brother H. Norman Gould & Melinda Frances Davies – 20 Jun 1987

My brother John Whitney Zimmerman & Judith Ann Meyers – 26 Jun 1965

My paternal grandparents – Harry Whipple Gould & Marie Wallace Lindsay – 6 Jun 1912

My maternal Aunt – Joan Esther Milne who married Raymond Gleason Morrison – 10 Dec 1938

My 1st cousin – Richard Milne Morrison & wife Mary Ellen Lamoureux – 1979

My husband’s maternal Aunt – Delphine “Honey” Irene Fink & Marion Nelson Long – 11 Jun 1944

My husband’s 1st cousin – Tamara Gail Long & Daniel P. Cocco – 11 Jul 1970

My husband’s 1st cousin – Robert Dale Long & Susan Kathryn Becker – 23 Feb 1978

My niece – Sondra Ann Zimmerman & Kevin Wayne Schmidt – 14 Nov 1987

My nephew Shaun Whitney Zimmerman & Kerianne Thompson – 11 Apr 1995


WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Marriages in Scotland - How many have I located and where did I find them?

WEDDING WEDNESDAY & VALENTINE'S DAY - How many of my ancestors or family members where married on Feb. 14th?

Happy hunting
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, February 9, 2019

SURNAME SATURDAY ~ WUNDERLICH–Johannes (1700-1760) my 7th great grandfather

The Wunderlich family are one of two known families that give me some German heritage.  According to DNA ethnicity results from various sites (which we all know are a work in progress), I do have German ancestry.
Here’s a screenshot from my Ancestry DNA.

How am I related to this Wunderlich family?
This is a maternal line for me.  I only recently revisited this line and have added many more people to the tree because my 7th great grandparents, Johannes Wunderlich and Anna Barbara Densler had 13 children.1  I descend from their second child, Jacobina Elizabeth, born 3 Jul 1723.  She married Johann Eberhard Martin (my other German line) on 16 Feb 1745 in Notzingen, Teck Donau, Wurttemberg, Germany.

Here’s the record of the marriage of my 6th great grandparents in 1745.  I originally located this at the Family History Library in 2015. You can also view the record on Ancestry W├╝rttemberg, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1985

This book Genealogical Record of the Wunderlich Family in America –Seventeen Branches compiled by Charles Albert Cornman, assisted by Daniel Wunderlich Nead, M.D., copyright 1911, is a good starting point for research on the Wunderlich family.  There is a name index as well as a place index in the back of the book.

According to the forward in the book, much of the information was obtained via correspondence with descendants.
My ancestor Johannes Wunderlich was said to have had a home in Ludwigsburg in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg. He was the Overseer and General Foreman in the King’s work yard.   Two of the sons of Johannes emigrated to America, Daniel in 1751 and John (Johan) at age 18 in 1753.  They settled in Pennsylvania, marrying sisters and engaging in farming.

John is said to have served as a private in the Pennsylvania Militia during the Revolutionary War.  I need to verify this with proper records.


Johannes Wunderlich & Anna Barbara Densler – 7th great grandparents
Jacobina Elizabeth Wunderlich & Johann Eberhard Martin – 6th great grandparents
Anna Barbara Martin & John Frampton, Jr. – 5th great grandparents
Rachel Frampton & William Gillen – 4th great grandparents
Emily Gillen & Rev. Isaac C. Hunter – 3rd great grandparents
James Gillen Hunter & Susan Caroline Boggs – 2nd great grandparents
Florence Hunter & Robert Lee Bowden – great grandparents
Florence Bowden & Joseph Albert Milne – grandparents
Patricia Anne Milne & Harry Norman Gould – parents

Surnames listed above are: Boggs, Bowden, Densler, Frampton, Gillen, Gould, Hunter, Martin, Milne, Wunderlich.  I’d love to hear from you, if you are also connected to these families.
Source Information
1. Genealogical record of the Wunderlich family in America [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data: Cornman, Charles Albert,. Genealogical record of the Wunderlich family in America : seventeen branches. Carlisle, Pa.: Cornman Print. Co., 1988.

I have a lot more work to do on this family and I’ll be sure to write about what I find.



WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Martin & Wunderlich - Married 1745 in Germany

Happy hunting.
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Thursday, February 7, 2019

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS–WEEK #6–Am I related to Ida Elvira Smith Rattray? (1865-1942)

Ida Elvira Smith was born on 16 May 1865 in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan to parents Herkimer SMITH and Mary A. GOULD.  She had one known sibling, an older sister named Eva Smith (1860-1928) who married George B. BERK.

Ida married James Ferguson RATTRAY on 30 Sep 1886 in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan.  According to the 1900 census, Ida was the mother of 2 children, one of whom was still living.  I know the son who lived was named James Harvey Rattray.  I have not located a marriage record for James.  At the time of Ida’s death 31 Jul 1942, according to her obituary, she was widowed and living with her son.

Ida, her husband and their son are all buried in West Berlin Cemetery, Allenton, St. Clair, Michigan.  Their memorials can be found here, James #36750937 and Ida #36750936, son James #36750938.

Ida’s husband, James worked as a Farmer and they lived in Michigan their entire lives, according to the research I've conducted.

RATTRAY is not a common surname.  Certainly not like a Smith or Williams or many others.  I have had a couple of DNA matches that have the surname Rattray in their trees.  I’m still trying to figure out our most recent common ancestor and how we are related.

Because Ida Elvira Smith who married James Ferguson descends from one of the GOULD lines I’ve had on my radar for about 15 years.  Unfortunately, with Ida & James having only one son, and there being no known descendants of that son, I am going to turn my attention to Ida’s sister Eva Smith.  She and her husband George R. Berk had 8 children, six of them sons.
I’m hoping to either confirm or disprove any connection with this GOULD line by researching this family.

In the meantime, if any of you reading this, are connected to this line of Smith or Rattray’s or Gould’s, you know I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

TUESDAY'S TECHNOLOGY UPDATE - With Google Plus Going Away - How Will Bloggers and their Readers Be Affected?

Most of you probably already know that Google+ will be effectively shut down on April 2nd this year.

However, effective yesterday, there have already been changes.

  • You can no longer access blogs via Google +
  • You can no longer make comments via Google +
  • You can follow your favorite bloggers by using many other social media forums
  • Below is a list of places to follow my blog
Twitter @michigangirl313
Facebook page for Michigan Family Trails
Pinterest board for Michigan Family Trails
Or just come and visit via an RSS feed.  Of course you can also type in your URL and my blog will pop right up.
  • If you want to leave a comment on my blog you will need to choose another method, such as Blogger Comment.
I will continue to write and I hope you will continue to read my posts.  This is just another bump in the technology road.  We all know technology doesn’t stand still and changes are a fact of life. 

Thanks for your support and stay tuned for many more interesting stories and tips.

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


Saturday, February 2, 2019

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS–Week #5–In the Library - Some tips from my own trips

An isle of books at the Family History Library - like a genealogy gold mine

When I think of libraries, I think of books.  And when I think of books, I smile.  I have always loved reading, studying & learning.  Much of that is done with the aid of books.  Especially back when I was young and growing up.
But, libraries these days are hubs of activities and technology, as well as books.

Let’s talk about the two BIG libraries in the world of genealogy.  The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City and the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  I’ve been to the FHL three times and each trip was wonderful.  I learned a lot and spent most of my days there on the third floor where it’s wall to wall books.  I have never had the pleasure of going to the Allen County library, but it’s on my list.

How important are libraries to our genealogical research?  VERY IMPORTANT!

Not all, or even close to all of our research can be done online.  WHAT?  Yes, it’s true.  Many millions of records and the information we seek about our ancestors is still only available with boots on the ground research.

I’ve taken several genealogy road trips.  What could be more fun?  Each time I go I visit a library or two.  I also go to historical societies, but that’s for another blog post.

Let’s review where I’ve gone and what libraries I’ve visited:
When you visit a library, always try to have a plan. 
  • What are you looking for?
  • Who do you need information on?
  • What does this library offer?  Search their card catalog before you go
  • Take your laptop, tablet, smart phone and camera
  • Clothes pins to hold books open
I prefer to take photos of books with my camera. It’s actually quicker for me and more reliable, less chances of blurring than with my iPad or iPhone.  I have a Canon Sure Shot and it has served me well.

Here’s a screen shot of some of the items from a trip to the FHL in June 2015. Remember to always FIRST photograph the title page and/or the copyright page if they are on two different pages. Then you will know exactly which book your images came from.

This is what your images will look like.  I transfer them to my computer from my camera card, each day.  After they are transferred I crop and straighten or enhance them as needed.

Take advantage of the local histories that may be on file at the libraries. Also check for city directories for that location.  Use the microfilm readers to view items that may not be available online.  Especially local newspapers.
Ask questions of staff, as they can be a wealth of information.
Have fun and enjoy.  I can literally get lost in libraries for hours on end.


BOOKS - Why We Still Need Them - Which Ones Are in Your Library?

MY BIGGEST LIBRARY FIND EVER - The real name of my husband's great grandfather!

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, February 1, 2019


1810  - FRAMPTON, Samuel - maternal 2C 1 removed

1889 – SEIGLE, Arthur George - maternal 1C 2x removed

1921 – KLEIN, Helen Frances - maternal 3C 2x removed

None on this date


1765 – DENSLER, Anna Barbara - maternal 7th great grandmother

1884 – ROSETTE, Cornelia - husband's 1C 4x removed

1892 – YOUNG, Whilemina - father's 1st wife great grandmother

1935 – LUNSFORD, Orville - maternal 2C 3x removed

1935 – WILSON, Dewitt Clinton, Dr. - maternal 1C 4x removed

1951 – FORSYTH, James Ferris - maternal husband of great grandaunt

1981 – FREEBURN, William L. - father's 1st wife's 2nd husband

2002 – HART, Elva M. - paternal half 3C once removed

2012 – GOODBODY, Thomas Leavenworth III - husband's 1C once removed

1886 – MILNE, A.C. - maternal granduncle

1926 – DUNFEE, Gladys - maternal 2C 3x removed

1939 – HUMPHRIES, Fitzhugh Lee - maternal 2C 4 times removed

1942 – WHITSELL, Charles Wesley - husband of half 1C 3x removed (paternal)

What happened in your family on February 1st?

Please contact me if you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog.
Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall