Saturday, March 30, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A few fun questions

This topic and the questions were originally posted by Randy Seaver on his blog  Genea-Musings.

1. Who are you named after?  My middle name is my mother's first name, otherwise, no other Diane's in the family.

2. Last time you cried? Honestly, it's been a while.

3. Do you like your handwriting?  It's ok.  Readable, but nothing fancy.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat?  Tuna

5.  Spicy or sweet?  Spicy.

6. Longest relationship?  Sibling

7. Do you still have your tonsils? No

8. Would you bungee jump? Not at this time in my life

9. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Trader Joe's O's

10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes

11. Do you think you're strong? Physically - yes, because I work out a lot at the gym

12. Favorite ice cream? Dark chocolate gelato

13. What is the first thing you notice about a person? Their smile and their teeth

14. Football or baseball? Neither - hockey

15. What color pants are you wearing? black

16. Last thing you ate? English muffin and yogurt

17. What are you listening to? The sound of the birds outside my window

18. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Royal blue

19. What is your Favorite Smell?  Night blooming jasmine

20. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Ramona Disposal :)

21.  Are you married?  Yes

22. Hair color? Only my hairdresser knows

23. Eye color? Brown

24. Favorite foods to eat? Mac & cheese is my go to comfort food.

25. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.

26. Last movie you watched? Remains of the Day - seen it many times

27.What color shirt are you wearing? grey

28. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas

29. Beer or Wine? Wine

30. Night owl or morning person? Night owl, but I work best from 8 a.m. to about 2 p.m.

31. Favorite day of the week?  Any day - I'm retired

I look forward to seeing everyone's answers!

Monday, March 25, 2019

MILITARY MONDAY ~ FRANK GILLESPIE–Killed in action in France during World War I–age 22

Memorial at Grangetown Baptist Church with Frank Gillespie listed among those from the congregation who died during World War I

Today I’m honoring my 2nd cousin twice removed, Private Frank Gillespie.  He is a member of my Gillespie family from England and Wales.  Frank & I share common ancestors, Thomas Gillespie & Susannah Barrowcliff of Tiverton, Devon, England, who are my 3rd great grandparents.

Frank Gillespie was the oldest of 9 children born to Robert Gillespie and Ellen Eliza Potter.  He was born in the 1st quarter (Jan-Mar) of 1894 in Canton, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom.1 
I first find him living with his parents & 4 younger siblings in the 1901 census.2  His father works in a shipyard.  In the 1911 census he is living with his parents & 8 younger siblings.3  Frank is 17 and single, working as an “ordinary seaman.”  It seems he followed his father’s lead and went to work in and around ships.

I have not located any record that tells me when young Frank decided to join the service to fight in World War I.  I do have his enlistment place as Penarth.

I do know that during the 1st quarter (Jan-Mar) 1916 he married Agnes O’Callahan in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom.  A daughter, Ellen was born 19 Mar 1916.

England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
Name:    Frank Gillespie
Registration Date:    Jan-Feb-Mar 1916
Registration district:    Cardiff
Inferred County:    Glamorganshire
Spouse:    Agnes O'Callaghan
Volume Number:    11a
Page Number:    599

Here’s where the story takes a sad turn.  On 1 Jul 1916, Private Frank Gillespie, married father of a 3 month old daughter, was killed in a battle in France.  He was only 22 years old.  This must have been devastating news to his young wife and his parents and siblings.

I’ve located several records of Frank’s death, evidence that his wife’s name was Agnes and memorials to his sacrifice.

The Battle of Somme began on July 1, 1916 and ran until November 18, 1916.  It has been called the bloodiest battle of World War I.  It seems our Frank, was killed on the very first day.

Is this what it was like for Frank & his fellow soldiers?
This is a video filmed during the battle.

Here is a website honoring those who died at the Roll of Honor - Battle of Somme

(Please click on any image to enlarge it)

Private Gillespie died in the capture of Mametz and a part of the Danzig Alley and is memorialized on this website 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment Roll of Honor

Frank is memorialized at the Thiepval Memorial in Somme, France.

After his death, Frank’s information was entered is this registry showing any money owed to him and to whom his personal effects should go.  This record indicates that Widow Agnes is the recipient of Frank’s effects.  This record, along with the record of the birth of their daughter Ellen, and the marriage record, give me 3 pieces of evidence that Frank and Agnes were, indeed a couple.

Close up from the above page

Frank Gillespie died fighting in what was then called “The Great War.”  I believe his daughter grew to adulthood and married a man named Albert E. Smith in 1937 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales.  I have located a record of her death in 2003 at the age of 87.  

England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
Name:    Ellen Smith
Death Age:    87
Birth Date:    19 Mar 1916
Registration Date:    Mar 2003
Registration district:    Cardiff
Inferred County:    Glamorgan, Monmouthshire
Register Number:    D38B
District and Subdistrict:    890/1D

Records from 1937 forward are not easy to locate in the U.K.  I am very interested to know if Ellen had children.  It would be nice to know that Frank’s lineage was carried forward. 

I also wish I had a photograph of Frank.  Maybe one day I will connect with a descendant who has one.

R.I.P Private Gillespie - you were gone too soon.

Sources: 1England & Wales Birth Index; 21901 Wales Census Class: RG13; Piece: 4988; Folio: 146; Page: 39; 31911 Wales Census Class: RG14; Piece: 32162; Schedule Number: 301

If you are connected to this Gillespie family in any way, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s exchange information.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, March 24, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #11–This week’s theme is the number 12

The theme this week is the number 12.  This could be used many different ways.  The 12th person in your Ahnentafel list, number 12 in your RIN (Record Identification Number) in your genealogy program, the 12th month or 12th day. By the way, Ahnentafel is a German word for “ancestor table.”

At first I thought I would write about the ancestor who has number 12 in my Legacy program.  These numbers are randomly assigned.  But, that number belongs to my sister-in-law, Melinda.  While I’d love to write a story about her, because she is one of my favorite people, I won’t because of all the people associated with her, who are, thankfully, still living.  Here is a post I wrote last year, about Melinda's 2nd great grandfather William Davies. SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ William Davies, born in Scotland in 1825–died in Washington, D.C. in 1904
I’ll refocus and use my Legacy program to tell me which ancestors have a birthdates, marriage dates or death dates in December.  To do this use Search>Detailed search and enter your criteria as shown below, then click on “create list.”

My results were:
228 people born in December
216 people married in December
210 people died in December

Exercises like these can be a fun way to take a break from your research.  Most genealogy programs will allow you to do searches like this one and so many more things.  We are all lucky to be doing our research at a time when we have such robust software to assist us.

To read my other tips on using Legacy click on this link Legacy Tips


How to Conduct a Location Specific Search on Family Search

Michigan Death Records Online - Where Can You Find Them?

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Samuel Morse & Elizabeth Jasper - married 29 Jun 1602, Redgrave, Suffolk, England

Samuel Morse and Elizabeth Jasper are my husband’s 9th great grandparents.  To be able to document family going this far back is always amazing to me.  Why is it that my husband’s ancestors are so much easier to find than my own?

Samuel & Elizabeth were married 29 Jun 1602 in Redgrave, Suffolk, England.1 Samuel having been born about 1585 in England and Elizabeth born before her baptism date, which was 6 Jan 1579 in Redgrave, Suffolk, England.2

Here is the document showing the record of their marriage.
 (Click on any image to enlarge it)

According to sources I’ve located this couple left England and came to Colonial America in 1635, settling in Massachusetts.3  I can only surmise how grueling a trip that would have been and with children, even more difficult.
Click here to read about Daily Life in 17th Century England.

Did it look something like this?

There is so much written about Samuel Morse and his family that I have a total of 63 hints on Ancestry.  I don’t believe I’ve ever had that many on anyone.
Samuel & Elizabeth settled in Dedham, Colonial Massachusetts. He was one of the original 19 settlers of Dedham in 1635.  To read more about him please click here, Samuel Morse Memorial.

Samuel was the 3rd signer on the document creating the town of Dedham.  While reviewing the signatures of the 125 men who signed the Covenant, I found another of my husband's 9th great grandfather's, Ralph Wheelock.  There are other surnames that are linked to these families, that also appear on the list.  To see those, click on the link below the image.

Click here to read about the History of Dedham, Massachusetts

As it turns out my husband is a distant cousin to one of the bloggers whose posts I have followed for years, Heather Wilkinson Rojo.  She wrote about her connection to the Morse family in this post Surname Saturday – Morse of Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts.
An update since this post was published this morning - Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings is also a 9th great grandson of Samuel Morse & Elizabeth Jasper.  Randy lives here in San Diego County like we do and we are both members of the San Diego Genealogical Society.

If you are related to this Morse family (and I know there must be hundreds of you out there), I’d love to hear from you.

Sources: 1England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973; 2England, Select Births & Christenings, 1538-1975; 3U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500’s – 1900’s

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, March 18, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #10–This week’s theme is Large Family–Let’s look back at John & Mary Lunsford’s 16 children

I thought I would update one of my blogs from 2014, about my Lunsford family.  I enjoy researching this particular line for the very reason, that they had so many children.  Here’s a link to the original post, if you’d like to take a look Sibling Saturday – 16 Lunsford siblings

“These are the children of my 4th Great Grandparents John Lunsford and Mary “Polly” Hudson.  I descend from their daughter, Nancy.

I still don’t know everything about all the children.  Other than my 3rd great grandmother, Nancy, I probably know the most about her brother, Richard.  He was an interesting character and he also had 16 children.  I also have quite a bit of information about Elijah and Andrew."

What have I learned about this family in the ensuing almost 5 years since the original post?

1. Andrew Lunsford born about 1815 who, in 1835,  married Jane Gillilan – they had 8 known children.

2. William Lunsford (1816-1887) who married Nancy Massie in 1836 – they had 12 known children.  He is buried at Dayton National Cemetery and you can see his memorial here #67338739

3. Melvina Lunsford (about 1817-after 1850) who married Adam Christian in 1837 – I’ve actually learned nothing more about her.  This is due to not having done any more research on her.

4. Margaret Lunsford who married Henry Sowards – I have 6 children born to them. DNA has connected me with MANY Sowards cousins.  I have much more research to do on this line.

5. Nancy Delilah Lunsford – my 3rd great grandmother who married William Allen Boggs in 1939.  Together they had 5 known children.  Their daughter Susan Caroline Boggs is my direct line and I know a lot about her.  As to her 4 siblings, they have been very difficult to research.   I won’t give up though.

6. Richard Lunsford who married twice and fathered at least 16 children.  Kind of following in his father’s footsteps.  First he married Nancy Peyton (they had 9 children together). Then he married Martha Ann Morrison with whom he fathered another 7 children.  This is an interesting family and I need to spend more time with them.

7.  Susannah “Susan” Lunsford who married Dr. Benjamin F. Cory.  They had 2 children.  I still haven’t located Dr. Cory’s burial place.  I know that Susan is buried at Banana Lake Cemetery in Florida.  You can visit her memorial here #129782350.  But where was Dr. Cory layed to rest?  There are several Benjamin Cory’s and even another one who was a doctor.

8. Reuben Lunsford born about 1825 and married a woman named Betsy – that’s all I have on this couple.

9. Levine Lunsford born about 1827.  He may have been a twin to his sister Elizabeth, but more work needs to be done on this couple.

10. Elizabeth Lunsford who married James Goff in about 1848-1849.  They had 7 children and Elizabeth died in 1875 at age 47, leaving behind at least 4 underage children.  James remarried within 7 months.

11. Martha Lunsford born 24 Jul 1829 in Mason Township, Warren, Ohio.  Martha may have married a cousin or distant relative named Silas Lunsford.  I know she had a son named Reuben (a recurring name in the Lunsford family).  On Reuben’s death certificate his father is named as Silas Lunsford.  However, I cannot locate any record of a marriage (did they perhaps not marry?) nor can I locate Martha living with Silas in any census records.
12. Amanda “Mandy” Lunsford who married Jacob Pinkerman 8 Nov 1855 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  I have 5 children born to this couple.  I also have them in several census records and have located her death certificate and their burial location.  You may visit their memorials here Jacob #78396285 and Amanda #92404372.

13. Andrew Jackson Lunsford who married Martha E. Vermillion 24 Jan 1856 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  This couple had 9 children and I’ve been able to locate quite a bit of information about them.  Andrew outlived Martha by 32 years, but I don’t find any record of him remarrying.  They are both buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Pike Co., Ohio.

14. Sally Sarah Lunsford who married Logan Vermillion 13 Mar 1856 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  She and her brother Andrew married the Vermillion siblings.  In looking at my research notes, I have not done any further research on this couple since 2009.  Ten years!

15. Elijah Lunsford who married Marguerite Morris on 14 Mar 1861 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  I have 10 children born to this couple.  Elijah died of consumption in 1886 at age 48 and Marguerite lived 41years without him.  She was 84 when she passed away in 1927.  They are buried together at Perkins Ridge Cemetery, Scottown, Lawrence, Ohio.  To visit their memorials click here Elijah #84248074 and Marguerite #84248174.

16. Private Thomas J. Lunsford, the youngest of this large family.  I have no record of Thomas ever marrying. He is enumerated with his mother and a couple of siblings in the 1860 census.  There are 2 Thomas Lunsford’s both died in 1865 and are listed in the database Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1861-1904, located on Ancestry.  In reading through the soldier records on Fold3, I believe my Thomas Lunsford died in 1865 from wounds received in a battle at Harper’s Ferry.  The records even list the name of the man who fatally wounded Thomas.  Since Thomas left no known heirs and his mother lived until 1871, I looked for a Civil War Pension Index card, indicating she had filed for a pension in Thomas’ name.  I have not found one.

That’s the end of the list of children born to my 4th great grandparents.  Whew!  Quite a brood.  There was consistently 2 years or less between each of these births.  Were there any other children born who didn’t live?  I don’t know.  But, I’d say, if you have 16 children and most or all of them lived into adulthood back in the early 1800’s, you were very blessed.  They must have been a hardy bunch.

Obviously I have more research to do on this family.  If I can ever get myself to focus on one family for a few days at a time, I might actually find out the rest of the story on these children.
If you are related to anyone mentioned here or the children of those mentioned here, let’s talk.  We must be cousins and maybe we can work together and solve some of the remaining mysteries.

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - March 13th - Honoring my Mom & Dad

Left picture -Shortly before my birth - On the right - my parents bringing me home.  My Dad looks like he's afraid he'll drop me

I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post specifically about my own birthday.  So, here it is.  

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves as this is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday.  Or as Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings says “Not So Wordless Wednesday.”  Because it’s hard for a blogger not to write a little something.

Born in Detroit, Michigan - what were the headlines 100 years ago and in 1950?

1919 headline in Detroit Free Press

1950 headline in Detroit Free Press

On the day before my birthday, in 2016, I lost my Mom.  Because of that my birthday will never be quite the same. I miss you Mom.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall