Sunday, November 29, 2020

CENSUS SUNDAY ~ Finding 3 ancestor families on one page–GOFF, LUNSFORD, SOWARDS–1870 Missouri

Today I was researching part of my LUNSFORD family.  I got to the 1870 census and got a bonus.  As we know, it should be common practice to look at every name on a census page.  It’s also recommended that you look at the page before and after the record you have found.  I think that’s a great idea, but I don’t always practice it, although I should. In this case I did look at the page before and after and didn’t find any more families I recognized. 

I located 3 ancestor families, with familiar surnames, on one page of an 1870 census for Benton, Polk, Missouri.1 Actually there is a 4th, working as a laborer in one of the families and his surname, BIRD, is also familiar to me.

I've underlined the family names on this page

(Click on the image to enlarge it)

So, who have I found today?

Line 10-18 - My maternal 3rd great grandaunt, Elizabeth LUNSFORD and her husband James GOFF along with their children John, Sarah A., Dow, Elijah, James M, Reuben and Alice B.  James is a Farmer and Elizabeth is keeping house.  Sarah, Dow, Elijah and James all attend school.  The value of James’ real estate is $1,000 ($19,876 in today’s money) and his personal estate is valued at $393 ($7,812 in today’s money).  James was doing quite well for himself.  Sadly, Elizabeth died just 5 years later in 1875, age 47.

Line 19-25 – My maternal 3rd great granduncle, Reuben LUNSFORD (brother to Elizabeth Lunsford) and his wife Elizabeth B. nee PEYTON and their children Byron, Sarah B, Mary B. and Elizabeth’s mother Mary Lunsford nee HUDSON.  Also in this household is James M. BIRD working as a Farm laborer. The Bird family married into my Hudson family.  Reuben is listed as a farmer, Betsy is keeping house and Byron is a school teacher.  There is no real estate valued for Reuben, but there is a personal estate value of $1150 ($22,862 in today’s money).  I notice that Elizabeth’s mother, Mary does have real estate valued beside her name. I wonder if Reuben is working her land? The value is $1000 ($19,876 in today’s money).

Line 26-30 – My maternal 1st cousin 4 times removed, Archibald SOWARDS and his wife Zippora nee MARKEL.  Their children are Malissa, Maggie and Zula.  The surname is enumerated as Sowers, but the family name is known as Sowards.  Archibald doesn’t have a real estate value listed, but does have personal property valued at $100 ($1,988 in today’s money).  Archibald is the youngest of the 3 men who are farmers in this group.  He is 26 and just starting out, so it makes sense that he doesn’t yet have as much in personal property.

Another item I look at on these census records is the boxes on the right hand side.  In this case, let’s look at who is listed as “cannot read” and “cannot write.”

Cannot Read: James M. Bird, age 18, Zipora Sowards, age 23.

Cannot Write: Dow Goff, age 14, Elijah Goff, age 11, James Bird, age 18 and Zipora Sowards, age 23.

I wonder if those individuals learned to read and write later in their lives?

I also wonder what brought these three families to Missouri?  They were originally from Ohio and Virginia. Did one family go and the rest follow?  Or did they all go at once?  These are questions I always ask, knowing I will probably never find out.

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

Source citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Benton, Polk, Missouri; Roll: M593_800; Page: 13A; Family History Library Film: 552299


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

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, November 28, 2020

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Carl E. Lindhorst, age 17–Dead in a car crash, 1954, Illinois

Carl E. Lindhorst was the son of Edwin Lindhorst (1912-1996) & Helen Marian Hunter (1917-1994).  Carl is my maternal 2nd cousin once removed.

Carl was born 24 Jul 1937 in Illinois.  He is the only recorded child I have for Edwin & Helen.  How very difficult this must have been for them.  I had basic information in my database about Carl, until doing more research while writing this post.

First though, here is the article about Carl’s death in an accident between a car & a truck, on 12 Aug 1954.  Both Carl and another young man, Michael Mernick were killed in this tragic accident.

St. Louis Dispatch 13 Aug 1954, page 14A


2 Dupo Youths Killed as Auto, Truck Collide – Carl Lindhorst and Michael Mernick, Dupo(Ill) youths, were killed and two other persons were injured last night in a head-on collision between a truck and an automobile on Illinois Route 3 near Columbia, 15 miles south of St. Louis.

Lindhorst, 17 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Lindhorst, was driving the automobile.  Mernick, 15, son of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Mernick, was a passenger. 

The injured – Stanley Hudson, 16, and DeWayne Davis, 17, both of Dupo also were riding in the dar driven by Lindhorst.  Hudson suffered injuries of the neck and wrist, Davis cuts.  They were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis.

Paul R. Miller of Charleston, Mo., driver of the truck was not injured.

I was able to locate his high school annual on MyHeritage and found a photo of him with his basketball team in 1953.

Carl Lindhorst in the front row - 3rd from left

Then I located an entire page in the Dupo High School yearbook from 1955, dedicated to Carl and a bio about him.  He sounded like a promising young man with many friends.  Like the death of anyone at age 17, you wonder what his future would have been.

1955 Dupo High School yearbook - Honoring Carl Lindhorst


We, the members of the class of 1955 of D.C.H.S. dedicate this page of our yearbook in loving memory of Carl Edwin Lindhorst, who was a member of our class until his fatal accident near Columbia on August 12, 1954, had been chosen editor of the 1955 El Tigre. He had been on the annual staff for two years and took part in many other activities.  He played center on the football team, and was student manager in other sports.  Popular and well liked, Carl’s friendly smile is missed in the halls of D.C.H.S.

While Michael Mernick may not be one of my ancestors, I will still honor him today by posting the memorial page from Dupo High School in 1956, the year he would have graduated.

1956 Dupo High School yearbook - Honoring Michael Mernick

I have also located a court case that was filed on behalf of those young men who were killed.  The case alleges misconduct and negligence on the part of the truck driver.  You may read the article here Mernick vs Chiodini - 1956 court case

You may visit Carl’s memorial on FindAGrave here #104355292.

It’s always sad for me to share these stories from our ancestors lives. But, as in our own lives, not everything or everyday is all ice cream and cake.  I share all of their stories to honor & remember them. 

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

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ Episode 2 – Thomas C. Hall & Cora E. Brown marriage announcement, 1877

This is the story of my journey through Cora’s scrapbook.  I will give a link to all posts at the beginning of each new post.  Here’s that link My posts about Cora's Scrapbook

The very first piece of family history I find in this scrapbook is the wedding announcement of Cora to Thomas C. Hall.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I knew they had married 5 Feb 1877, based on information in his Civil War Pension file.  But, what other evidence did I have.  None! 

Thomas was 32 at the time of the marriage and Cora was 22.  Their only child, Charles Schuyler Hall was born 13 months after the marriage, on 5 Mar 1878, in Saratoga Springs, New York. I have no record of any other children born to this couple.

Here are the newspaper clippings from the scrapbook.  It doesn’t say what newspaper they are from, so I’m going to try and find that information.  It also looks like a portion of the article is missing.

(Please click on any image to enlarge it) 


HYMENEAL – Mr. Thos. C. Hall, a former resident of Saratoga, now a citizen of Poughkeepsie, came back to Saratoga yesterday and carried away with him one of those most attractive features of our village – a charming young lady, Miss Cora E. Brown.  Mr. Hall always had good sense and fine taste when he dwelt here, and we are glad that they cling to him.  Our best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Thos. C. Hall

A nice package of wedding cake comes to our table accompanied by a notice of the marriage, on the 5th inst., at the residence of the bride’s father on Church street; by the Rev. Mr. Carey, of Miss Cora E. Brown, of Saratoga, to Thomas C. Hall, of Poughkeepsie.  The wedded pair, on return from their wedding tour, will make their home in Poughkeepsie.  The marriage service was attended by a large number of relatives and friends who manifested their regards for the wedded couple by a liberal bestowment of presents. Among these was a piano by father and……

Another of Saratoga’s fair daughters has left to make a house elsewhere.  Miss Cora E. Brown, daughter of Charles Brown the tobacconist, changed her name preparatory to making her home in Poughkeepsie, on Monday.  The best wishes of many friends attend her………..

Even with the missing portions of this article, we can learn something about our couple. 

  • Their wedding was well attended
  • There was a wedding cake
  • The marriage location was Cora’s father’s residence on Church St.
  • Cora was the daughter of Charles Brown, a tobacconist
  • The officiant was Rev. Mr. Carey (this can help us figure out which religion the couple may have been and lead to church records)
  • The couple was going on some kind of “tour” or trip after the wedding
  • They were going to make their home in Poughkeepsie

That’s quite a lot of genealogical leads to follow. Admittedly in my case, some of the items are facts I already know about.

Update: I cannot help but research as I write.  I have located a portion of the articles transcribed above, plus another small wedding announcement. The first place I go for any east coast newspapers is to Fulton History Postcards website where Tom Trynski has been scanning newspapers for years.  He’s a one man show and a blessing to us all.

Here is a cropped portion of the page from The Daily Saratogian from 6 Feb 1877. 

Cora & Thomas had moved from Poughkeepsie to Halfmoon, New York by the time of the 1880 census.  He was working as a baggage handler for the railroad.  I can’t wait to share more about this couple’s life.

If, while you are reading this post, you find you are connected to any family mentioned, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, November 22, 2020

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ The BEGINNING of a new series– My husband’s great grandmother, Cora Emma Brown Hall (1854-1933)

BACKGROUND ~ I have been researching mine and my husband’s family for over 17 years now.  My husband’s paternal side was one of the first lines that brought me those jumping for joy moments in my genealogy research.  I know his lines, names, dates and places very well.

When I began blogging in 2010 I had no idea I would still be at it 10 years later.  I also had no idea how many new cousins and connections I would make because of my posts.

In Feb 2018, I was contacted by a lady named Kathy who said she was my husband, Ron’s cousin.  She was someone who was previously unknown to us.  She lives within an hour of us.  When her father passed away in 2019 she told me of a scrapbook that came into her possession.  Our goal was to try and get together so I could have a look at it.  She said she didn’t know who it had belonged to, but that it contained newspaper articles and perhaps other family memorabilia.  As happens, time went by and we were no closer to arranging a meeting.  Then add Covid to that and here we are.  Kathy contacted me a few weeks ago and said she’d like to mail the scrapbook to me as she felt I could make use of it better than she could.  Well, of course I was blown away and said “sure.” 

This box arrived a couple of days later.

I opened the box and found a very carefully wrapped, very old, falling apart scrapbook. 



I couldn’t wait to find out.

Of course I opened the box and ever so carefully removed the scrapbook.  I even peeked inside, just a little bit.

The cover

A view of the spine - you can see how torn apart it is

I had to proceed with due caution so as not to destroy any contents.  I already have the white gloves to handle the pages.  But, what I didn’t have was the archival tissue paper I knew I would want to put between each page.

I immediately went onto Amazon and ordered Acid Free Archival Tissue Paper.

While I waited for the tissue paper to arrive, I began thinking of what size box to order, to store this scrapbook.  I knew I had ordered some archival boxes several years ago.  I looked inside my office closet and lo and behold there was a box that might be just right.  The one and only box of this size.  The box is 13” x 13” x 3”.  IT WAS A PERFECT FIT!  Just a bit bigger than the scrapbook which allows for placing protective tissue paper around it.  And not allowing for any movement.  I was thrilled.

The box that was a perfect fit

I only had to wait 2 days for delivery of the tissue paper.  Now my work begins.

My next step is open this treasure page by page and take photos of each page. I use my Canon Sure Shot camera, which has served me well in many libraries and courthouses. 

TIP:  Why not use my iPhone 11, which has a great camera, to digitize these pages?  Believe me, I do love the cameras provided on smart phones these days.  But, I prefer the stability of a regular camera as well as the ease of transfer.  I just remove the SD card and transfer it right to my computer.  Once that’s done, I back the folder up to Dropbox and also store it on an external hard drive.  And….I have Carbonite cloud backup for my whole computer.  This is what works well for me.  I always keep that original order of the images.  When I begin to edit the images I will work from a copy and can arrange those copies in any order I choose.

I cannot wait to share all the wonderful genealogical treasures that I’ve found in this scrapbook.  Thank you Cora Brown Hall for creating it.  And thank you cousin Kathy for so kindly allowing me the privilege to be the caretaker of such a treasure.

Stay tuned for the next episode.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, November 16, 2020

MILITARY MONDAY ~ Locating a picture of Frank Gillespie (1894-1916) A young man who gave his life fighting in World War I

I wrote a post about Frank Gillespie, my 2nd cousin twice removed, back in 2019.  You can read that post here MILITARY MONDAY ~ FRANK GILLESPIE–Killed in action in France during World War I–age 22

As genealogists it’s always our hope to connect with other descendants and share information.  I have found, over the years, that my blog has allowed me to do that on numerous occasions.  This past week was one of them.

I received an email from a lady named Marion, who said she was researching her family for veterans day, specifically the Gillespie line, and came across my blog post in a Google search.

We are 4th cousins, descending from my 3rd great grandparents, Thomas Gillespie (abt 1792-1868) and Susannah BARROWCLIFF (1791-1876), both from England.  This couple had 11 children, ten boys and a girl.  Marion descends from Robert Gillespie (1827-1869) and I descend from his brother Joseph Gillespie (1837-1908).

I responded to Marion’s email right away and we quickly began communicating, even though we are on different continents in different time zones.  What fun!  She shared information that I didn’t know about this Gillespie line and I was able to share some photos with her.

One thing she did share with me was a link to a website honoring young men and woman from Grangetown, Wales, UK who served in the military.  One of those young men was our cousin Frank Gillespie.  She sent me a link to the website and I was able to see what they had for him and that included a picture.  Here is a link to that website Grangetown at War and here is a link to the specific page about my cousin, Frank Gillespie The Grangetown men who died at the Somme.  FYI – I had visited this website back in 2019 and hadn’t located this information.  It was kind of buried within the site.  I use CNTRL F when I want to search a website.  However, if a particular name is on a page accessed from a link within the website, you won’t find it.  A big thank you to Marion for pointing me to that specific part of the site.

If you have a moment please read about the other young men from Grangetown, who lost their lives and are honored on this page.

(You can click on any image to enlarge it)

Here’s a transcription of the short biography from the image above.


On 1st July 1916, the British Army suffered its largest number of casualties in one day - nearly 55,000, including 20,000 deaths. The first battle of the Somme carried on for four months. In those first few days though, 18 men from Grangetown died. Here are a few of their stories.

Private Frank Gillespie was your typical Grangetown soldier in many ways. He was 22 years old and newly married when he was sent to France for the final time. He lived with his parents in Knole Street – number 36 – and worked down at the Docks. There was an engineering firm called Loveridge in Hannah Street which made equipment for ships and he was a smith’s striker. Hot work.

He was the eldest of 10 brothers and sisters, the son of a Somerset man who had also worked in the shipyards. Frank enlisted as soon as he could at the start of the war as a 20 year-old. He joined the South Staffordshire Regiment. He had been invalided home twice, before the Battle of the Somme. Frank married around the time his baby daughter Ellen was born in March 1916 but he was soon forced to leave his wife Agnes at home and was back over to France.

The South Staffs were in the 7th Division, 91st brigade – and part of a diversionary attack on Gommecourt, north of the main Somme battle early on the morning of Saturday 1st July. The Germans were well dug in to withstand the artillery barrage and responded with machine gun and rifle fire. Frank was one of those missing presumed dead.

Here is the photo of Frank downloaded directly from the site and enlarged.  You can see how grainy it is.

I used Photoshop Elements and the Filter>Gaussian Blur option to smooth it out a bit.  Smoothing too much caused blurring.  Only slightly improved from the original.

I still wasn’t happy with the results.  I’m no photo restoration expert, that’s for sure.  So, I thought I’d upload it to MyHeritage and use their enhancement feature.  I was happily surprised to actually see this young mans face.  Granted it’s not the best and I’m sure someone with more skills could probably do better.

What mattered to me was actually being able to see his eyes and face more clearly.

To all of Frank’s cousins, his daughter Ellen and any descendants, I hope I’ve honored him here today.

If any of you are connected with this GILLESPIE family or the BARROWCLIFF line, please get in touch.  I respond to all comments and emails.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, November 9, 2020

A COURT CASE (1680-1685) INVOLVING MY 9th Great grandfather ~ Jacob Jansz GARDENIER - New York

Today I was doing a bit of research on my GARDENIER line. This is a paternal line through my great grandmother.  I don’t have a date of death for my 9th great grandfather, Jacob Jansz Gardenier aka Jacbo Jansz FLODDER

While doing some digging, I came across a court case from 1680-1685 (no exact date is given).  This does help me because it seems he was still alive during those years.  I have an approximate birth for him of 1618. This assists me in moving forward to try and locate his death date. Using all available records can be invaluable to us in ascertaining facts about our ancestors.

To see how I descend from Jacob please read this blog post FOLLOW UP ~ The Jacob Jansz Gardenier line of Colonial New York–My 9th great grandfather

Here’s what I located today on Ancestry.  This comes from the book Minutes of the court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck, and Schenectady, 1668- 1685, vol. 3, translated & edited by A.J.F. Van Laer and published in 1932. This particular link will take you to Family Search as I believe it’s easier to search in the volume from that site vs Ancestry.

On page 202 I find this record.

“Jacob Janse Gardenier, plaintiff, against Jan Bronk, defendant.  Jacob Janse Gardenier says that the defendant, Jan Bronk, has failed to deliver 16 logs on account of 200 boards delivered to him five years ago, as also 51 logs by balance of account of 200 boards delivered, making together 67 logs.  And as he has failed to deliver the same on the shore, in the presence of Leendert Phillipse and his wife, he requests that the defendant may be ordered to deliver the 67 logs in the kill, according to his promise.

Default of the defendant.

The honorable court condemn the defendant to deliver to the plaintiff the 67 logs in Flodder’s kill, as soon as the water is fit to float them down, unless the defendant meanwhile can produce any evidence to the contrary.”

Here is an image of page 202.


These are questions I have:

  • Did the defendant ever comply? This volume has 601 pages and no index, so other than reading each page I may never know.
  • What is Flodder’s kill? (I know that the plaintiff used the name Jacob Jansz Flodder) So this land or tributary may be named after him.
  • What is a “kill” as defined in the 17th century?  I did find that it was used as a place name in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and meant a stream, creek or tributary.  The origin being derived from Middle Dutch “kille” which meant riverbed or channel.  Thank you Google for always coming through for me on my crazy searches.
  • Based on the information above I’ve probably answered my own question as to what was Flodder’s kill.

That’s it for today.  I have a burning desire to go to Albany and spend some quality time in the libraries, courthouses and archives there.  Lots of ancestors have history in that area.  I’ve never been to New York, except as a stopover when I’m flying.

If you are connected to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please get in touch.  I’d love to connect with you and perhaps expand our family histories.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #7–Cornelia Gardenier Cooper–My 7th great grandmother

SURNAME SATURDAY–COOPER–Have I really gone back 3 more generations?

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

ELECTION DAY ~ HEADLINES FROM 1904–1944–How much has really changed?

It’s a BIG day in this country, every four years.  We have the privilege of electing who will be our President for the next four years. In addition many congressional seats are also decided.

It is most always controversial and contentious. With each side wanting their candidate to win.  Much is always at stake.

I thought I would take a look at some headlines from the Detroit Free Press for each election day from 1904 through 1944.  This will consist of 10 front pages.  I am missing the 1932 edition as it has not yet been scanned and added to  I picked the Detroit Free Press.....well, because I am Michigan Girl, born in Detroit. 

Tell me what you see as you read through this very brief clip of what made the headlines during those ten years? 

I see that the issues really haven’t changed too much. 

  • There is encouragement for people to get out and vote.
  • I see worry about election fraud
  • I see each side predicting their candidate will win

Is this any different than today?  I don’t think so.

Here they are.  Detroit Free Press headlines from 1904-1944.

(Please click on any image to enlarge it)

1904 Detroit Free Press front page

1908 Detroit Free Press front page

1912 Detroit Free Press front page

1916 Detroit Free Press front page

1920 Detroit Free Press front page

1924 Detroit Free Press front page

1928 Detroit Free Press front page

1936 Detroit Free Press front page

1940 Detroit Free Press front page

1944 Detroit Free Press front page

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall