Friday, February 26, 2021

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ Are you an Avery? This is a query on a page in her scrapbook

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

AVERY is a name I’m more than familiar with from researching my husband, Ron’s family.  In this case, it is Cora’s mother who is an Avery. I’ve been able to find out very little about this branch of Cora’s family.  But here is what I do know.

Cora’s mother was Cemanthe M. Avery (1831 to 26 Mar 1899). She married Charles Henry Brown or as he was also know C.H.K. Brown (1826 – 14 Apr 1903) on 12 Jun 1851 in Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., New York.  This couple had 2 known children, Cora Emma Brown, the creator of the scrapbook I write about, and Albert Walton Brown (1856-1937).

Cemanthe Averey’s parents were, Frederick Avery (need confirmation on birth & death dates) and Emeline CASE (about 1809-14 Dec 1889).  I know of 4 children born to this couple – An unknown child, Mary Avery (1826-after 1915) who married a MAYNARD, Cemanthe Avery and Calvin Montgomery Avery (about 1833-22 Dec 1891).

That’s as far as I have been able to trace the AVERY surname back.  I haven’t fared any better on Cora’s surname/maiden name BROWN either. Here’s the pedigree view for Cora from my Legacy program.  I have tried very hard over the past 15 years to track down these families and have obviously not been successful.  I’m hoping information from Cora’s scrapbook will help me with that.

Glued to one of the pages in the scrapbook was this notice.

There is no indication of where this inquiry was posted.  Did it appear in a newspaper or publication of some other kind?  Let’s go over what it says.


If so, please send your name and address to Elroy M. Avery, 657 Woodland Hills Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.  He is writing a history of the Avery family.  Please give the full names ofyour or your wife’s parents (not initials merely), of grand parents in the Avery line, etc., as far back as you can.  He will be glad to send you a printed blank for the complete record of yourself and family.  Then hand this card to


On each side of this inquiry are the following notations.

On the left side - If you see an Avery marriage or obituary notice, please send a marked copy of the paper containing it.

On the right side – Also send the names and post-office addresses of other Averys and Avery descendants.

My first inclination when reading this is to find out who Elroy M. Avery of 657 Woodland Hills Ave., in Cleveland, Ohio is?  And second, is to try and locate a book about the history of the Avery family.  Those will be my next steps. 

I have no idea what other possible family gems are contained in this scrapbook left to us by Ron’s great grandmother, but you can be assured I will be sharing them all here.

That being said.  If anyone reading this is an Avery or married to an Avery, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ My 5th great grandparents–Obadiah F. Cooper & Lena Albrecht–1781 in New York

Today I present the marriage record of my paternal 5th great grandparents, Obadiah F. Cooper and Lena Albrecht.   They married on 8 Jun 1781 in Albany, New York.

I located their marriage record in the U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-2000.  I have found many of my ancestor’s records in this record set.

Here is the index

Name:    Lena Albrecht
Event Type:    Marriage
Gender:    Female
Spouse:    Obadia Cooper
Spouse Gender:    Male
Marriage Date:    8 Jun 1781
Marriage Place:    Albany, Albany, New York, USA

Here is the image of their marriage

Notice in the image, there is another Obadiah Cooper (5 lines down) who marries Lena Helburg.  We know that we run across people with the same names, frequently, in our research.  It's the sum total of what we find for each individual or couple, that gives us the evidence we need to conclude we have the correct person.

I have little information about Obadiah and Lena.  I do have church records indicating they had 2 daughters, both named Cornelia. I believe the first Cornelia born 22 May1786 may have died young.  The second Cornelia was born 16 Nov 1787. There was then a son born 25 Dec 1793 named Jacob.  He sadly died from exposure while intoxicated, at the age of 33.  I wrote about his death here ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ Jacob Cooper found dead from exposure–Dec 1827, New York

I am connected to this couple as follows

Obadiah Cooper & Lena Albecht – 5th great grandparents

Jacob Cooper & Mary Polly Byrne/O’Brian – 4th great grandparents

Lany Cooper & Monson Thorp, Sr. – 3rd great grandparents

Horace Henry Thorp, Sr. & Catherine Dorsey – 2nd great grandparents

Mae Eve Thorp & William Vivaldo Gould – great grandparents

Harry Whipple Gould & Marie Wallace Lindsay – grandparents

Harry Norman Gould & Patricia Anne Milne – parents

If someone mentioned in this blog post is also connected to you, please get in touch.  I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Thursday, February 18, 2021

ANCESTORS IN THE NEWS ~ My maternal grandmother, Mrs. Florence Milne injured in an auto collision 2 May 1933

This was a small news article I located back in 2018.  While it isn’t dramatic and barely newsworthy, it was printed in the paper.

Here is the article.

The Ludington Daily News, page 3 - May 2, 1933

Here is my transcription

Eight are Injured in Auto Collision
Grand Rapids, May 2 - J.C. Beck, 65, of Lansing was cut and bruised severely in an auto collision at 12:30 a.m. today, and seven residents of Detroit received minor injuries.  The accident occurred on US 16 near Cascade, during a heavy rain.
The Detroiters are Gordon Allyn, 50, his wife Nellie, 30, their three children, and
Mrs. Florence Milne, 43, and Mrs. A. Allyn, 76, Mr. Allyn's mother.

This article appeared in the Ludington Daily News.  Interestingly, I had never heard of Ludington, Michigan, until about 3 years ago when we met a couple from there, on our Alaskan cruise. We became friends and still communicate today. 

As a reference regarding the location.  Grand River Ave., which is a major road in, not only Detroit, but other nearby cities, was also called US 16. 

US Highway 16 (US 16), also called Grand River Avenue for much of its length in the state, was one of the principal roads prior to the post-World War II construction of freeways in the state of Michigan.
U.S. Route 16 in Michigan

US Highway 16

Length - 210.643 mi (338.997 km)

Existed - November 11, 1926–1962

History - Replaced by I-96

This would be an approximate location for the intersection of Cascade & I-96 today.

I have checked the 1930 and 1940 census records for Detroit and find no other Florence Milne’s.  Although her age of 43 is two years off, I still believe this to be her.  We all know that not everything in newspapers is correct all the time.  Still the same today.

I wonder where these people were headed?  Who were the Allyn’s?  It’s not a name I’m familiar with, so I don’t think they are related to us.  This could certainly have been some church or other social friends of my grandmother.

I’m happy no one was injured badly.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ William Beechey, his wife Elizabeth and 3 children–William, Helena & Margaret

My previous posts about this family can be found here:

WEDDING WEDNESDAY ~ The marriages of my great grandaunt’s husband, William James Clifford Beechey (1860-1915), England

FOLLOW UP ~ The rest of the William Beechey story–a sad ending–he and his wife and 3 children all killed in a World War I Bombing

This is the final resting place for all 5 members of the Beechey family killed in the Zeppelin bombing in London in Sep 1915, during World War I.

Here is the headstone for the family. The photo is used with permission of Steve Johnson who added the image to FindAGrave on 10 Oct 2019.  You may visit this memorial here #201989227


Names on this headstone that are connected to our family are:

William J. Beechey, his wife Elizabeth E. F. Beechey and their children, Margaret Beechey, Helena Beechey and William Beechey

May they rest in peace.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, February 14, 2021

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Susan Burgess Gillespie–my maternal 2nd great grandmother (1841-1933)

My maternal 2nd great grandmother, Susan BURGESS was born 20 Nov 1840 in England (no specific location known).  She was the daughter of Henry Burgess (about 1812-before 1875) and Elizabeth GAYDON (1813-1884).  She had two known siblings, William and John.

Susan immigrated to the United States on 23 Dec 1862, with her husband Joseph GILLESPE, two infants, and her widowed mother, Elizabeth Gaydon Burgess. This is recorded in the book Passage to American, 1851-1869, page 68, a record of Passenger Agent, Richard Elliott. 

At the time of her immigration Susan was 22 yrs. old, her husband Joseph was 25, infant daughter Susie was 2 years old and her infant son Joseph, 9 months old.  Other than the reference in the book noted above, I have not located an immigration record. 

Susan and her husband Joseph went on to have two more children, born in Detroit. Elizabeth in 1865 and Louise in 1866. 

Susan became a widow on 26 May 1908, when Joseph died at age 71.  She lost her only son, William Henry Gillespie just 3 years later in 1911. He was only 49 years old and left a wife and 3 sons. 

Susan lived for 25 years after the death of Joseph and was 92 when she died.  I am fortunate to have several pictures of Susan. 

Left to right - Joseph & Susan Gillespie with their great granddaughter Dorothy Milne circa 1907, Susan and Joseph with their granddaughter, Irene Milne circa 1910 and photo on far right is Susan age late 80's-90 standing on the left, the young child is her great granddaughter, Betty Jane Roe, the woman with the little girl is someone named Aunt Sally and the woman standing on the right is Susan's daughter, Susie Gillespie Milne 

We each have 16 2nd great grandparents.  Of those, I have pictures of only 5.  I feel quite fortunate to have those.  Depending on your age, you may have more pictures of your 2nd great grandparents.

At the top of this post, you can see the page from the scrapbook where the information about Susan Gillespie’s death was kept all these years.  I visited her great granddaughter Betty Jane Roe in 2009 and she was kind enough to share many family photos and articles with me.

Here is Susan’s obituary and below that, my transcription.

Obituary for Mrs. Susan Gillespie - Detroit Free Press, page 5 - 10 Mar 1933

Funeral services for Mrs. Susan Gillespie, for 70 years a resident of Detroit, will be held Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock in the Church of the Messiah, Lafayette Ave. and E. Grand Blvd.  Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery.

Mrs. Gillespie died Wednesday in the home of her daughter, Mrs. James Forsyth, at 1438 Helen Ave.  She was 92 years old.  Her husband, James [misprint, should be Joseph] died 25 years ago.  A son, William, formerly circulation manager of the Free Press, died 22 years ago.

Surviving are Mrs. Forsyth and two other daughters, Mrs. Clyde Smith of Detroit, and Mrs. James B. Verney, of Toronto.

I searched the Detroit Free Press for any articles that might have included Susan’s name.  Any societies she was a member of, teas or gatherings she attended etc.  I found none.  I have no idea about the details of Susan’s life.  What did she enjoy doing?  Who were her friends? 

I wish I had those answers.

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


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks–Week #4–Elizabeth Gaydon Burgess–1813-1884–My 3rd great grandmother – this post is about Susan’s mother

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Elizabeth Gillespie Verney–my great grandaunt (1865-1948) – this is Susan’s daughter

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, February 7, 2021

FOLLOW UP ~ William Beechey, his wife and 3 children killed in WW I Bombing - 1915

Pictures of the scene at some of the Zeppelin bombing sites

I featured William James Clifford Beechey in a Wedding Wednesday post on 13 Jan 2021. William had 3 marriages and from them, 11 children.  William’s first wife was my maternal great grandaunt, Margaret Ewen Milne.

I mentioned at the end of the previous post that there was a sad ending to his story.  And, indeed there is.

William, his third wife Elizabeth Emma Frances Stevens and 3 of their children, William, age 11, Margaret, age 6 and Helena, age 3 all died in a Zeppelin bombing in London, England, in 1915, during World War I.

What a tragic story to find. 

William & his family were living in Hughes Field in Deptford, London, England.  According to the news and other articles I’ve read, this area was tenement buildings.  I know that in 1908, William had been admitted to the Poor Law Hospital,  It does sound like this family had a tough go of it financially.

William had married Elizabeth on 15 Apr 1900 in Deptford, London, England.  Seven months later their son, Claude was born, followed by William in 1904, Elizabeth about 1906, Margaret about 1909 and Helena in 1912.

It was actually through contact with Liz, the wife of my 3rd cousin, that I learned of the tragic deaths of William & his family. 

TIP – I had stopped doing research on William when I learned that my maternal great grandaunt, Margaret had died in 1886, after only 7 years of marriage to William.  Although I did follow through on the two daughters they had together. This isn’t the first time that further research on someone linked only by marriage, has proven to reveal stories that should be told. So, if you have the time, it’s not a bad idea to keep researching those lines. 

I located the following articles about this incident.  And, of course, many more about the entire story of the Zeppelin raids/bombings during this time.


Picture of a Zeppelin from this time frame

Poster from the UK

Article recounting the Zeppelin raids in London

On January 31, 2021 I went to the FindMyPast website and ordered William’s death record.  This was my first time ordering from the General Registry Office (GRO) in the UK.  I selected to receive the order in PDF format via email.  Not only is it less expensive, the order arrives more quickly. 

On February 3, 2021 I received William’s death record.  I wanted the exact information about his cause of death and his exact death date etc.

Here is his death record

Death registration for William James Beechey

Transcription of the information in the image

No. 143 – eighth September 1915 Miller Hospital – William James Beechey, male – of 34 Hughes Fields, Deptford, General labourer – Cause of death – Shock from burns received caused by an incendiary bomb from a German Zeppelin. 3 hours – Certificate received from H.B. Sewell, Deputy Coroner for London, Inquest held 10th September 1915.

Did William live for 3 hours after the bombing?  Is that what the 3 hours written under cause of death means?  He did die at a hospital, so perhaps he was found alive and transported. 

What I need to do now is order the death records for the rest of the family and see how they compare.  Were other family members found alive?  Did some of them die on scene?  It’s certainly an awful thing to think about. 

I hope by telling William’s family stories 106 years later, honors them and keeps their memory alive.

If you are connected to this family, please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.  I know there must be quite a few descendants out there.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Friday, February 5, 2021

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK–Her wedding cake & marriage to Thomas C. Hall–1877, New York

In all of Cora’s Scrapbook, there were only a handful of images.  One of those was a cabinet card with the image of a cake.  I might always have wondered who’s cake it was and what the occasion might have been.  Thankfully, Cora wrote on the back of the card and identified it as her own wedding cake from 5 Feb 1877.  I was pretty excited when I turned that image over and found the writing.

 “My wedding cake Feby 5th 1877, Cora E. B.”

(Please click on any image to enlarge it)

The cabinet card from from L.V. Myers, Artist, No. 9 Grand Hotel Site, Opposite Congress Park, Saratoga Springs.  And that is the exact place you will find Thomas C. Hall and family during this time of their lives.  Saratoga Springs, New York.

I had found out the date and time of Thomas and Cora’s marriage a couple of years ago.  I make research notes as I’m working on my ancestors.  I have found these notes invaluable over the years. 

TIP:  I learned the hard way that I wasn’t going to remember what I’d done or what I’d located on a particular ancestor.  You think you will, but most of the time you won’t.  Sometimes we move on to some other family and may not revisit an ancestor for several years.  In this case for Cora & Thomas’ wedding here are the notes I’d made. 

Dates based on her being single and living with her parents in the 1875 NY state census.  And then being married to Thomas with a 2 yr. old son in 1880.

12/28/16 - I've located a NY State census with what I believe to be a record of Thomas C. Hall living in Saratoga Springs, NY as a boarder with the Granger family.  He is working as a Clerk.  His age is listed as 30 and born in New York.

2/10/17 - In reviewing Cora's CW widow's pension file, the date of her marriage to Thomas C. Hall was 5 Feb 1877.

There it was, the wedding date and how I had figured it out.  I did not, however, have a place for the wedding.  That was about to change thanks to another item I found in Cora’s scrapbook 

Her marriage certificate!!!

Joined together in Holy Matrimony - Mr. Thomas C. Hall & Miss Cora Emma Brown - 5 Feb 1877

I notice another item of interest on the marriage certificate.  The names of the witnesses to their marriage.  Mrs. Charles Brown (that would be Cora’s mother) and Mrs. F. Schuyler.  I immediately recognize the name Schuyler, but have no one with that surname in my family database.  I do however, know that Cora & Thomas named their only son, Charles Schuyler Hall.  I’ve always wondered if that was a family name?  Now I can try to find out who Mrs. F. Schuyler was and perhaps connect those dots.  OH boy!  I love finding new clues.

That’s all for today’s post. I’ll keep on writing about Cora’s scrapbook.  There’s a LOT more!

Remember, if you are connected to anyone I write about, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall