Thursday, December 31, 2020

Year End Post ~ 2020 - A Look Back–What were the highlights of my family research?

This blurry image is kind of how I will look back at 2020

None of us will ever forget this year, will we?  Nothing like we ever expected or ever thought of.  I have to say that I wish I’d have kept a journal.  If not a daily journal, at least a weekly one.  It would have made great reading for future generations.  Did any of you keep one?

As a blogger I have not written as many posts as I like to.  When all of this began, I couldn’t concentrate and had no desire to write at all.  I barely wanted to research.  I think many of us were disconcerted and unsettled as all of this unfolded.  At least I know I was.

Thus, I ended the year with my fewest posts since 2013.  Only 56. But, I must think of it as 56 stories that might never have been told.

The first part of this year (before we were all staying home), I had such fun at Rootstech.  My friend, Pam and I were in Salt Lake City for a week, from Feb 23 – Mar 1.  About 30,000 people attended this conference and just two weeks later, we were all told to stay home and isolate.  I’m so glad we got to go and cannot wait to go again.  

Here’s a link to my summary of Rootstech

Here I am writing on the Rootstech Story Board

This was the 10th anniversary of my blog, or as we call them blogiversaries.  I started the year by celebrating that milestone.  Celebrating my 10th Blogiversary


  • Some very interesting FRIDAY FINDS – included was the ever so elusive marriage record of my great grandparents, William V. Gould and May E. Thorp,   The Hospital Register for Death of Volunteers in the Civil War,   The 6th child of Rev. George Hall & his wife Almira
  • My journey to join the Mayflower Society.  From FINALLY finding the record I needed for my 3rd great grandmother, Olive Doten Hart, linking her to her father, to my application process and finally receiving my certificate.  It was a longtime dream of mine and to have finally “made it” was incredibly rewarding.  My Mayflower Society Journey
  • And the final highlight from this year would be the incredible gift of receiving my husband Ron’s great grandmother’s scrapbook.  A cousin sent this treasure to me for safe keeping.  What a treasure it is.  Here are the posts I’ve written so far, with many more to come Cora's Scrapbook.  There are newspapers from 1800-1865, personal correspondence, a photo of a wedding cake from 1877 and so much more, so stay tuned.

I can see from writing this post, that, although it wasn’t my most prolific writing year, it was certainly one filled with many great finds and lots of family stories.

I hope you’ll all stay with me as we welcome 2021 and hope for a much better year for all of us.


Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

TUESDAY’S TIPS ~ New cousin connections made from watching a 10 minute video

No matter how long we have been researching our ancestors, we are always learning something new.  Whether we attend classes at our local society, read any of the wonderful blogs by my fellow bloggers (there are over 3,000 of them), get a tip from a fellow genealogist, watch webinars, learn from Facebook groups,  or attend a conference in person (when that becomes possible again).  There is no shortage of learning opportunities.

I decided to watch a quick 10 minute video offered by Legacy (the software program I’ve used for years).  This was a short tutorial about how to make connections on the 23&Me website for DNA.

While my DNA and my mother’s are on that site, as we both tested there.  I’ll admit to not using the site very often (I use the Ancestry DNA site all the time).  All of us have our favorites.  I’ve tested or have results uploaded to all the major DNA sites.

The tutorial I watched was called Connection Requests at 23andMe by Michelle Leonard M.A., PgCert.  As I said before it is 10 minutes long and rated as Beginner.  Click here for a link to the video. 

After watching it, I went right to 23 & Me and began inviting some of my matches to share their DNA with me.  Now, we all know that sending any kind of message to someone on any of the sites is a “longshot.”  Will they respond?  Did they even receive my message? The chances of getting a response are low (I speak from experience and information from others).  But, I had not really sent requests for more than a handful of matches on 23 & Me over the past 7-8 years.

I wanted to try and make contact with some of the people in the DNA tree automatically built on the website.  Knowing that some of the suggestions I’ve seen on that tree are quite accurate and others are not.  I was going for the low hanging fruit.  These are the people at the bottom of the tree created using my DNA.  Here is an image showing how these people appear in the automatically created tree.

(Please click on any image to enlarge it) I have blurred the names for privacy 

I sent 9 requests to connect, using the suggestions from the video.  As suggested I kept it simple, no attached message, just a request to share DNA. This allows me to see the matches we share in common and to view the chromosome browser.  Viewing the chromosome browser allows me to paint that match into DNA Painter.

How many would you expect to hear back from?  I thought I’d be very fortunate if one person responded. 

SURPRISE!  I heard back from 3, accepting my invitation to share.  They all responded within a day. None of the other 6 have responded...yet.

In the past few days I’ve been communicating with all 3 of those matches and have new cousins to add to my tree, as a result. 

As a matter of fact I was so excited to figure out the match between me and a match named Cheryl, that I spent 4 hours building a tree on Ancestry, for her family.  She only gave me 2 names to go on, Edward Riggs and Audrey Gerkin.  No dates, no places.  Using Blaine Bettinger’s Quick & Dirty trees idea, I began building.  I used obituaries, census records, birth, marriage and death records to try and build this tree back several generations.  We’ve all seen CeCe Moore and others go through this process to find unknown parentage and criminal suspects.  I’ve built several of these kinds of trees before, but cannot claim much success. 

NOTE:  When you do build a Q&D tree it should be private AND UNsearchable. You don’t want anyone else to use it or take items from it since you are not conducting exhaustive research on each person and do not want to proliferate errors.

Within four hours of starting that Q&D tree, at 10:59 p.m. I located who I believed to be our Most Recent Common Ancestor!  WOW! I was excited and very proud of myself. 

Now what?  Time to go down the descendant line from that common ancestor and really look closely to make sure I’m correct.  This is where you slow down and look at all the records as in our regular, due diligence, research.

What was my conclusion?  I was right on the money.  Cheryl and I share my 3rd great grandparents, Monson THORP & Lany COOPER.  They are my 3rd and her 4th great grandparents.  She's a generation younger than I am.  I also share DNA with her mother, a woman who’s name I have seen numerous times on various DNA sites and had no idea how we connected…..until now. 

Here is an image of that Q&D tree

Now, Cheryl and I are talking back & forth and she told her mother about our discovery. There are things they didn’t know about some of the lines I have information about.  We will talk more after the new year and they may have some photos and other information for me.  I will gladly share anything I have with them.

On another note. One of the other matches and I have also been in touch and she actually lives in Detroit.  We are also connected through the Thorp line, but via another route.  She has all her parent’s family research and lots of information.  We also plan to talk after the new year.

ALL of this from a 10 minute video.  Never stop learning and never stop looking. 

If you have any comments or you’ve had a similar experience, I’d love to hear about it.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall 


Friday, December 25, 2020

CHRISTMAS 2020 - What else is there to say? Let's look back at some Christmas Memories Past


This isn’t like any Christmas I’ve ever known.  Because it’s 2020, the year of the Covid Pandemic, people are not gathering as they usually do. 

But, to have some kind of Christmas post, I will share some pictures from previous Christmases.  Happier times are ahead of us.

Me, my brother Norm and our Mom - 2006

My nephew Joshua and niece Myriah

My stepson, Scott

Our granddaughter Lexi
 Me as a little girl, when we lived in Detroit


Michigan Girl


Sunday, December 13, 2020

CEMETERY SUNDAY ~ East Monkton Cemetery, Monkton, Addison, Vermont

East Monkton Cemetery also know as Morgan Cemetery is in Addison County, Vermont.  You can go directly to the FindAGrave page for this cemetery here East Monkton.

According to the findagrave website there are 337 memorials added to this cemetery and 99% have been photographed. 

According to the Cemetery Registry the address is 41 Church Rd., in Monkton, Addison, Vermont.  Although I conducted some pretty thorough searches on Google trying to learn more about this cemetery, it’s history etc., I didn’t have much luck.  One site said it was established in 1812.

As to the area of Monkton, Vermont I did locate this information on Wikipedia:

“Monkton is located in northern Addison County at 44°15′14.5″N 73°7′26.13″W. It is situated on the eastern edge of the Champlain Valley, in the foothills of the Green Mountains. It is bordered by the town of Ferrisburgh to the west, New Haven and Bristol to the south, and Starksboro to the east. To the north are the towns of Charlotte and Hinesburg in Chittenden County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Monkton has a total area of 36.3 square miles (93.9 km2), of which 35.9 square miles (92.9 km2) is land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2), or 1.04%, is water.[3] Monkton is home to Cedar Lake, located north of the center of town between the communities of "Monkton Boro" and Monkton Ridge.”

To find out who I have in my tree, buried at this cemetery is as easy as a few mouse click in Legay.  Master Locations>Find>type in the name and you get a list.  As long as you are consistent with your entries in any database, you should be able to easily use the “find” feature to create such lists.

(Click on any image to enlarge it)

As you can see I have records of 12 ancestors being buried in the cemetery.  At least these are the burials I’m aware of at this time.

CHAMBERLIN, Emily (1815-1892) – wife of 2nd cousin 4 times removed (married to Ryland Doten)

DOTEN, Clarinda E. (1819-1898) – 1st cousin 4 times removed (married to Abisher Lawrence)

DOTEN, Daniel (1798-1812) – 3rd great granduncle

DOTEN, Emily M.(1869-1881) – 3rd cousin twice removed (died age 12)

DOTEN, Isaac Sr. (1768-1852) – 4th great grandfather (married to Sally Follett)

DOTEN, Isaac Jr.(1789-1866) – 3rd great granduncle (married to Artemesia Follett)

DOTEN, Julius H. (1845-1893) – 2nd cousin three times removed (married to Loretta D. Scott who is buried in Massachusetts)

DOTEN, Millison (1808-1868) – 3rd great grandaunt

DOTEN, Ryland (1812-1881) – 1st cousin four times removed (married to Emily Chamberlin)

FOLLETT, Artemesia (1791-1861) – wife of 3rd great granduncle (married to Isaac Doten, Jr.)

FOLLETT, Sally (1766-1849) – 4th great grandmother (married to Isaac Doten, Sr.)

LAWRENCE, Abisher (1818-1893) – husband of 1st cousin 4 times removed (married to Clarinda Doten)

How many of these do I have headstone pictures for?

Looks like I have photos for 11 of the 12.  I’m only missing Artemesia Follett Doten’s.

First row left to right - Emily Doten - Abisher & Clarinda Lawrence - Daniel Doten;  Second row - Sally & Isaac Doten, Sr., little Emily Mary Doten, Millison Doten; Third row - Julius Doten, Ryland Doten & Isaac Doten, Jr.

If you are descended from or connected with anyone mentioned here, I’d love to hear from you.  Let’s exchange information

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall


Thursday, December 3, 2020

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ Episode 3–The obituary of her Aunt, Caroline Matilda Snyder Avery – 1841-1885

This obituary along with others, appear on various pages of Cora’s scrapbook.  I’m grateful she kept them because some of them are new to me.  I’m a newspaper hound and love to search the various websites for articles.  Some of the ones Cora kept are ones I have not been able to locate.  The only better thing would have been the names of the newspapers and dates.  Cora left that for me to figure out.

Cora’s mother Cemanthe AVERY has a sister named Mary, whom I know very little about and a brother named Calvin Montgomery Avery.  I knew he had married Caroline M. Snyder, and I have one child born to them, a daughter.  I don’t have a date of marriage for Calvin & Carolyn, but based on census records, they married between 1860 & 1865.  Will I find the marriage record in Cora’s scrapbook?  Or will some of her information lead me to finding it?

Here is a portion of the page from Cora's scrapbook, with the obituary toward the bottom.  I believe these were from two different newspapers.  I've tried finding them on, genealogy bank and Fulton postcards website (where I had located her husband's obituary).  No luck so far. As a result I can tell you the source.


AVERY - In Saratoga Springs, at No. 69 Lawrence street, Nov 23, 1885, of peritonitis.  Caroline Matilda Snyder, wife of Calvin M. Avery, in the 44th year of her life.
  Mrs. Caroline Matilda, wife of Calvin M. Avery, died at her residence, No. 69 Lawrence street at an early hour yesterday evening from peritonitis.  She was taken ill in August last but had nearly recovered.  On Tuesday afternoon last she was seized with the disease which carried her off.  On Saturday last she was more comfortable, but during the night a change for the worse, was observed and she gradually failed until death came to her relief.  Her husband and one child, Miss Gussie, survive her.  The funeral will be held on Thursday next at 12:30 o'clock at Bethesda Episcopal church.

I have located another record of Caroline’s death in the NY Death Index

New York, Death Index, 1880-1956
Name:    Caroline M. Avery
Death Date: 23 Nov 1885
Death Place: Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
Certificate Number: 26886

I have ordered other death records from Saratoga Springs, New York.  I expect I could request Caroline’s and may, in fact, do that.  I like to have as much documentation as I can.

Caroline’s life was fairly short, dying at age 44.  I do hope those years she had with her husband and daughter were happy ones.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright © 2010-2020   Diane Gould Hall