Tuesday, March 30, 2021

TALENTED TUESDAY ~ Today I’m going to share something I’ve been doing this week

Most of the genealogists I know also have other hobbies or interests.  For some it’s quilting, for others gardening or sewing.  Still others use their scrapbook skills to create family books they can share.

Before I began this amazing genealogical journey, I was an avid (my husband might say obsessed) paper scrapbooker.  I attended group scrapbooking sessions and conferences all the time.  I still have all my supplies, but haven’t touched them in over 15 years. 

Always in the back of my mind I’ve wanted to create ancestor scrapbook pages.  At first I was going to do this on paper.  But, as time has gone by, I realize the most obvious choice for me is to do digital scrapbooking. 

PROBLEM: Where do I start?

I decided to look for groups on Facebook that were dedicated to scrapbooking, specifically heritage scrapbooking.  In joining a couple of groups I learned that there are programs out there that you can use to create your digital pages.  I also learned that many people just use Photo Shop or Photoshop Elements for this purpose. That seemed the logical choice to me since I already have PS Elements 15 and have used it many times.

Trouble is, I know I’m not very good at manipulating the images and using layers.  I struggle with this every time I want to create a new header for my blog or create a collage. 

SOLUTION:  Go go Google and find tutorial videos on this subject.

This is just what I did and was rewarded for my efforts.  Shoutout to my friend Devon Noel Lee at Family History Fanatics for her excellent videos on YouTube.  Very easy to follow and lots of good information.  I watched one of her videos 3 times.

Then I moved on and found other tutorials and have been watching them for the past couple of days.  I have MUCH more to learn.  But, I’m thrilled to be using this particular talent again.  I very much enjoy the artistic side of scrapbooking.

I thought I would share my first three pages with you today.  These are just my beginner pages and I’m still learning how to better arrange the images in PS Elements.  My goal is to create pages that I can print and give to family members.

Yes, I have a blog and write family stories, but I think having photo albums or scrapbooks is also important.

So here they are.  From my very first digital page about my parents bringing me home from the hospital.  No journaling and I’ll probably go back and tweak that one a bit.  Then on to my maternal grandparent’s wedding day and then my paternal grandparent’s wedding day.

Do you have other hobbies that you enjoy?  I'd love to hear about them.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, March 27, 2021

CORA’S SCRAPBOOK ~ The obituary of her Aunt, Caroline Matilda Snyder Avery in 1885

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

Today I’m sharing a death notice and obituary found in the scrapbook.  Cora’s Uncle was Calvin Montgomery AVERY (1833-1891), brother to her mother, Cemanthe M. Avery (1831-1899).

For reference here is how my husband, Ron is related to Caroline Matilda Snyder.

Caroline married his paternal 2nd great granduncle Calvin M. Avery.  Calvin’s sister Cemanthe Avery is Ron’s 2nd great grandmother and her daughter is Cora, the author of the scrapbook I write about.  So, it makes perfect sense that Cora would have newspaper articles such as obituaries in this scrapbook.  I’m so glad she saved these items.

Calvin married Caroline Matilda Snyder sometime between 1860 and 1866.  They had one child, Edith August “Gussie” Avery born about 1866, died 1915.

 Glued on one of the scrapbook pages is the death notice and obituary for Caroline Snyder Avery.  There is no mention of which newspaper published these notices.  I have checked Genealogy Bank, Newspapers.com and Old Fulton Postcards to try and find the publication, but have not been successful…..yet.

Here are the death notice and obituary as they appear in the scrapbook, with no editing or enhancing.

(Please click on any image to enlarge it)

Here is the death notice cropped from the page and below it my transcription.

DIED - AVERY - In Saratoga Springs, at No. 69 Lawrence street, Nov. 23, 1885, of peritonitis, Caroline Matilda Snyder, wife of Calvin M. Avery, in the 46th year of her age. 

Funeral services at Bethesda Episcopal church, Nov. 26 12:30

Here is the obituary cropped from the page in the scrapbook and my transcription below.

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.

Caroline was only 46 when she died of Peritonitis.  Her husband, Calvin Avery died 6 years later in 1891 at age 52.  Caroline’s daughter, Edith Augusta “Gussie” Avery was 19 years old when her mother died. 

Without Cora saving these items, I would not have the death notice or obituary. I’m so grateful for this information.  I have so much more to share from this wonderful resource.

As always, if you are related to anyone mentioned in this post or any of my posts, please get in touch with me, I’d love to exchange information. Additionally, if you have a correction to anything I’ve shared, please let me know.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

WORKDAY WEDNESDAY ~ What is a Snowman?

As we research our ancestors we learn a lot about the times they lived in and the things they did for a living.  I always find it incredibly interesting when I see an occupation that I’ve not heard of before.

In this case, it was for Henry Bryan Clark, my maternal 3rd cousin 3 times removed.  I was doing a bit of collateral research when I ran across an employment record for Henry.  Upon further review it was actually a Social Security Application handled by the railroad.

Henry’s occupation is listed as “Snowman" for the Chicago and North Western RR [railroad] Co.  I accessed this record here U.S., Chicago and North Western Railroad Employment Records, 1935-1970

These employment cards give valuable genealogical information.  Information similar to that found on an SS-5 (social security application form)

In this case it give the following:

  • His full name – Henry Bryan Clark
  • Current address – Daws Hotel, Chicago, Illinois
  • Date and place of birth – 14 Jul 1888 in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Names of his parents, including his mother’s maiden name – James Arthur Clark & Kate Everett
  • His social security number – 353-05-7913
  • His previous employment – working for his father
  • Place of employment prior to this – South Water St., Chicago, Illinois
  • His occupation title – Snowman
  • Hire date – Mar 1948
  • Signature – he signed the card

That’s a whole lot of great information. 

My biggest question is What is a Snowman?  What does that person do?

The obvious thing that comes to mind is that they are responsible for removing snow from the railroad tracks.  But, I didn’t want to just guess.  I began Googling my question.  I looked at lists of “old” occupations, railroad specific occupations and many other general inquiries.  I found nothing to tell me about this specific job title. 

My next idea was to contact my very good friend in Amarillo, Texas.  He worked for the railroad for over 30 years, as did his father and grandfather.  Will he be able to answer my question?

Upon talking with my railroad friend, Steve, he believes this was probably someone who operated the snow plows that cleared the tracks. He had never specifically heard the term “snowman,” but had heard terms like Switch Tender, for those that did this job.  If anyone else had heard this term or had more information, please get in touch. 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Saturday, March 20, 2021

SATURDAY HAPPY DANCE ~ FINALLY! Located the marriage record of my paternal 3rd great grandaunt, Hannah DOTEN in 1810, Vermont

We all know that many, if not most of the records we are looking for are out there…..somewhere.  We just have to conduct the right search online, go to the right repository or connect with the right cousin to find them.

I don’t know why these records hide from us.  I think a lot has to do with our knowledge.  As we build our knowledge of a certain family and likewise our knowledge of what’s available, it seems that one day the light bulb goes off.  We have an idea, we search and BINGO!!  HURRAY!! We find what we were looking for.

In this case, it was the marriage record of my paternal 3rd great grandaunt, Hannah Doten Burrell. 

BACKGROUND: First of all, I didn’t even know she was my 3rd great grandaunt, until I began my Mayflower  research.  I knew that there was a Hannah BURRELL living with my 3rd great grandmother, Olive DOTEN HART and her family in the 1860 Michigan census.  However, , that census record does not tell us the relationship of people living together.  It’s not until the 1880 census that we are given the relationship status of the members of a household.

I’d always wondered who this 69 year old woman, named Hannah Burrell, said to have been born in Massachusetts and now living in Armada, Macomb, Michigan, with my Hart family was.

My Mayflower research lead me to the probate record of my 4th great grandfather, Isaac DOTEN.  This record named his daughters, by their married names………….and there she was.  Hannah Burrell, sister to my Olive Doten Hart.  Wow!  You can read about that wonderful find here FINALLY! Proving the father of my 3rd great grandmother, Olive Doten Hart (1805-1887–WHAT DID I FIND?

That happened back in 2019.  Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out who Hannah’s husband was.  I periodically go back to her and conduct a search.  I’ve located a lot of Burrells in Vermont and Massachusetts.

Today, I was looking at Massachusetts Town and Vital records.  When suddenly, I thought, why am I not looking for Vermont vital records?  Are there any online from that time period?

Off I went to Ancestry.  I conducted a search by state and found all the records available for Vermont.  Search>All Collections>pick the state and look at what is available.

I located Vermont, U.S., Vital Records, 1720-1908, which covers the time period I’m interested in.  I entered Hannah Doten.  That’s all, no dates, no places and got the following 4 hits.  I knew that my Doten family lived in Monkton, Vermont so the last entry was definitely of interest.  I also knew that 1810 would be about the time frame for Hannah to have married.  She was born in 1791 and that would have made her 19 years old.  I'm beginning to get excited.

As I hovered my mouse over the “view record” option I see that this record was indexed as Hannah Doten marrying an Esra Bursel.  There is an image available.  I’m guessing that the indexer typed what they thought was written.  BUT, we all know that looking at those images with knowledge of a family is way different than just indexing.

Here’s the index.

Name: Hannah Doton

Gender: Female

Marriage Date: 31 Oct 1810

Marriage Place: Monkton, Vermont, USA

Card Type: Bride

Spouse Name: Esra Bursel

Look what that image reveals.

I see a first name of Ezra not Esra.  And as to the surname.  It certainly wouldn’t be easy as an indexer to determine exactly what it says.  BUT, for me, it reads BURREL. Right time, right place, right bride. 

I have to tell you, I did the happy dance when I found this.  My job now, is to locate more information on Ezra Burrell and his family.

  • Did Hannah and Ezra stay married? 
  • Did they have children together? 
  • What other records can I locate that will further prove this is indeed the right marriage for Hannah?

I have work to do. 

If you are connected to this family, you know I’d love to hear from you.  Maybe you have information to share with me and vice versa.  Please get in touch.

Happy hunting (it indeed was a happy day for me today)

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, March 15, 2021

AMANUENSIS MONDAY~Probate record for Isaac Frampton Jr died 1860, age 18

What does Amanuensis mean?
To put it simply, it means a “person employed to write what another dictates or copy what has been written by another.”

Today I will transcribe the last will & testament for Isaac Frampton, Jr.  He is the youngest person in my tree for whom I’ve located a will/probate record. 

Isaac Frampton, Jr. was the son of Isaac Frampton (1790-1859) and Jane MANN (1805-1857).  He was the youngest of 7 children born to this couple.  His parents, one brother, James and one sister, Barbory J. all predeceased him. 

(click on any image to enlarge it)

Here is my transcription to the best of my ability to read this record.

Isaac Frampton will:                                                                                             347

In the name of God amen I Isaac Frampton of the County of Cabell and State of Virginia being of sound mind & memory and considering the uncertainty of this frail & transitory life do therefore make ordain publish decree this to be my last will and testament that is to say first after all my lawful debts are paid and discharged I direct my executors, who are hereafter named first to have my body interred beside the ____ of my father & mother then to inclose the grave w an iron railing having first erected a neat tombstone over my remains  I give and bequeath to Charles Everett the entire use controll & benefit of my whole landed estate proceeds of the present years crop all moneys due by note document or otherwise for the next two ensuing years the money notes acounts & __ with my sorrel filley & my bed and beding to be his forever  I next give & bequeath to my Sister Rebeca J EVERETT the forty acre field including the two lots & houses now ocupied by H McCULOUGH bounded on the East by the farm of the late G L Busing on the south by the James river & Kanawha turnpike on the west by the land runing from said turnpike to the Ohio River & on the North by the Ohio River to be hers forever then at the expiration of the two years above mentioned I give & bequeath the residue of my ___estate to be divided equally between David Frampton Hyram Frampton & Charles T Everett by each one paying to Ephram Frampton the sum of one hundred dollars Likewise I make constitue & ____Charles T. Everett & H McCulough to be Executors of this my last will & Testament there by revoking all former wills by me made in writing where of I have here with subscribed my name and affixed my seal this 27 day of September A D 1860

Cabell County court clerks office Oct 1st 1860 The last will & testament of Isaac Frampton decd was this day presented in court the same is ordered to be recorded  A copy teste H H Wood clk

For such a young man, age 18, to have to write a will is sad.  What did he died of?  The only cause of death I have for the other family members, is his father Isaac Sr., who died of Dropsy.  That was recorded in the 1860 Mortality schedule.

Of those mentioned in Isaac’s will, sadly, both his brothers, David & Hiram and his brother-in-law, Charles Everett, all died in 1861.  Again, wondering how did they die?  David was 29 yrs, Hiram was 30 and Charles Everett was 32.

Isaac is buried at Burlington Green Lawn Cemetery in Fayette, Lawrence, Ohio.  I've been to this cemetery and visited the graves of many family members, including Isaac.  You may visit his memorial here #66806705

If you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, please contact me.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, March 14, 2021

SUNDAY’S OBITUARIES ~ I’ve been busy finding obituaries this week for my Gillen line

We all know that obituaries can be a great source of information about our ancestors.  This week I’ve been working on my GILLEN line and have located several obituaries that I didn’t previously have.  These have all been located on newspapers.com, my favorite newspaper source.

Here are the obituaries I’ve located and their relationship to me.  I hope they can be helpful to other family members.


GILLEN, Clinton A. – 2 Dec 1860 to 25 Mar 1939 – My 2nd cousin 3 times removed

GILLEN, Frank Martin – 1 Sep 1876 to 29 Mar 1958 – My 2nd cousin 3 times removed

GILLEN, Silas Sr – 6 Feb 1851 to 3 Aug 1931 – My 1st cousin 4 times removed

GILLEN, Silas Sr - Times Picayune - 4 Aug 1931, page 2

GILLEN, William – 1 Jun 1833 to 16 Dec 1906 – My 1st cousin 4 times removed

Gillen, William - obituary - The Champaign Daily News, Illinois - 18 Dec 1906, page 1

GILLEN, William D. – 29 May 1913 to 18 May 1930 – My 3rd cousin twice removed - This young man was only 16 yrs. old.

GILLEN, William D, obituary - Times Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana - 23 May 1930, page 19

If you are related to anyone mentioned here, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

USING MICHIGANOLOGY WEBSITE–Finding death certificates from 1944 & 1945

For a very long time I made use of the Seeking Michigan website.  They offered us death record images that were 75 years or older and various other historical documents.

Every year I looked forward to January 1st when the new records would come online.  I would use my Legacy program to figure out which of my Michigan ancestors died in a certain year and look for those records.  I believe we were up to 1942 or 1943 death records, when the Seeking Michigan site was taken down and all records were transferred to Michiganology

When this change over first took place it was nearly impossible to find records that were so easy to locate on the Seeking Michigan site.  Many of us with Michigan roots were pretty frustrated.  I offered a LOT of feedback to the new site, as did others.

In the ensuing 4 or so years I have pretty much avoided the website. 

Recently I decided that there really were records I needed and maybe, just maybe there had been some improvements in the search engine on the site.

I’m happy to say that I was well rewarded for my efforts. 

I went in with a list of 1944 and 1945 deaths for which I needed a certificate.  There were 11 people on my list.  In review I had two of the certificates already, shared with me by my cousins Paula & Marion. 

That left 9 death certificates to find.  

How many was I able to locate?  8 of the 9.

I found that the less information I entered the better my chances were of finding a record.  Just a first and last name or even just a last name and year of death. It seemed to me that the website was working better than it had a few years ago.  I still think there is room for improvement.  On the occasion when I didn’t enter a year of death I was given a list of names and the county they died in.  When you get a long list of results with the same name, it would be nice for them to list the year of death to narrow it down a bit.

As you can see below, in entering William Gould, I received 31 hits. This screen shot just shows the first few.  But, if I didn’t know what county I might end up having to look at all 31 records.  Having a death year would improve this. 

(Please click on the image to enlarge it)

Here are the list of names for those death certificates I located

CURRY, Frederick William – 5 Nov 1944, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

ERB, Catherine – 8 Dec 1945, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

GOULD, Helen C – 17 Feb 1945, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

HEAD, Emogine – 19 Nov 1945, Three Oaks, Berrien, Michigan

LINDOW, Charles Herman – 10 Feb 1944, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan 

McTAGGART, Sarah – 10 May 1944, Bad Axe, Huron, Michigan

PRATT, James William – 26 May 1944, Richmond, Macomb, Michigan

SINE, Hattie – 6 Apr 1944, Albion, Calhoun, Michigan

I was not able to access the record for Grace M. Thorpe Stanton, who died May 29, 1945.  It’s possible those images just haven’t been uploaded yet.  I’ll try again later this year.

UPDATE - On March 15, 2021, I went back to the Michiganology website and searched again for Grace Thorpe Stanton's death certificate and found it.  Perhaps I hadn't searched correctly the first time.  Never give up!

Overall, I’m very pleased with being able to locate this many death records.  Wouldn’t it be great if all states had vital records available like this?  I know many do….but not all.

If you have Michigan ancestors and haven’t used the Michiganology website in a while, I’d encourage you to try again. 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, March 7, 2021

SUNDAY’S OBITUARY ~ Cornelia B. R. SMITH (1838-1897) –my husband’s paternal great grandaunt

Cornelia B. R. Hall is my husband’s paternal great grandaunt.  She is the daughter of Rev. George Hall and his first wife Almira ROSETTE.  You can read about their wedding here WEDDING WEDNESDAY–Rev. George Hall & Almira Rosette married March 11, 1834

 (please click on any image to enlarge it)

Obituary - Cornelia B. Smith - The Algona Republican, Algona, Iowa, 26 May 1897, page 5

Here is my transcription of the obituary:

Widow of the late A.A. Smith of Irvington Dies at Her Irvington Home Last Saturday
Mrs. Cornelia B. Smith, widow of the late A. A. Smith died at her home in Irvington Saturday last, after an illness of about seven months.  The funeral was on Sunday, the services being conducted by Rev. J. W. Innes of the Presbyterian church. The remains were buried in the Irvington cemetery.
Cornelia B. Hall was born in Hoboken, N. J., in 1839.  She was the daughter of a Congregational minister.  She married in 1859 to Almon A. Smith and with him came to Iowa and settled on the Irvington farm in 1868.  Her husband died some five years ago.  Three children are living, F. W. Smith, R. R. Smith and Mrs. Etta, wife of O. W. Cleary, all of Irvington.  Two brothers of Mrs. Smith have died during the past year.  They were Dr. G. F. Hall of Brazier Falls, N.Y., and Thos Hall of Saratoga. The news of the death of the latter, a younger brother to whom she was strongly attached, came during the critical period of her illness, and she was not told of it.  One sister of the deceasd survives.  The family wish to express their thanks for the kindness of their neighbors in their days of trial and sorrow.

Cornelia was the second oldest child and had five siblings, Dr. George F. Hall, Charles A.B. Hall, Thomas Cornelius Hall (husband of Cora who kept the scrapbook I'm writing posts about), Susan Emily Hall and Ellen M. Hall.  I have written other blog posts about her siblings.  I will list them at the end of this post.

Cornelia’s mother died when she was a young girl of 20.  Cornelia married Almon A. Smith about 1859 (date given in the obituary).  They had 3 sons and 1 daughter; Fred W. (abt 1863-1929), Robert R. (1864-1935)m Clara Lloyd and second Mina G. Bliss, Ettie L. (abt 1867- ?) married Omer W. Cleary, and Howard M. (abt 1879 – 1881).

The 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records all have Almon working as a Farmer or a farm laborer.  In 1860 & 1870 he appears to be working on his father’s farm.  Almon recorded a personal estate worth $3500 in the 1870 census.  By 1880 he was a Laborer and no estate or personal worth is listed.

The only items I’ve located in the newspapers for Cornelia (other than her obituary) are these 3 notices for letters remaining at the post office.  Sadly, the last one is dated after her death.

22 Jun 1877 from the Muscaltine Weekly Journal and 6 Oct 1894 from The Gazette  both publications in Iowa

Mr. or Mrs. Smith - letters remaining at post office, Steamboat Rock Echo, Iowa, 25 Feb 1898

Cornelia was just 59 years old at the time of her death.  I have not located a death record that can tell me the cause, yet. Her husband Almon was only 57 when he died of heart disease.



FOLLOW UP FRIDAY - How I located the probate record for George F. Halll - Civll War Veteran, died 1896

AMANEUNSIS MONDAY ~ The Last Will & Testament of George F. Hall–1837-1896 

CIVIL WAR PENSION FILE ~ Cora E. Hall widow of Thomas C. Hall ~ What gems does it contain?

FRIDAY FINDS ~ The 6th child of Rev. George Hall & his wife Almira–Meet Ellen M. Hall 

If you think you might be related to anyone mentioned in this blog post, or have additional information, please contact me.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall