Sunday, January 30, 2022

SUNDAY'S OBITUARY - John Gillen, my maternal 3rd Great Granduncle (1804-1880)


Today I’m writing about my maternal 3rd great granduncle John Gillen.  John was born 17 Oct 1804 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

He was the oldest son of William Gillen & Rachel Frampton who are my 4th great grandparents. John was the eldest child of 8 known children born to this couple. I’ve written about this family before and you can find a couple of the posts here:


·                SURNAME SATURDAY ~ GILLEN–my maternal 3rd great grandaunt, Sarah Gillen (1808-1878)

John was a Farmer according to the 1850 and 1860 census records. In the 1880 census, not long before his death he worked as a Liveryman (an owner or employee at a stable).

Here is my transcription of the obituary.

  Obituary - Mr. John Gillen, a resident of this city since 1856, died quite suddenly of paralysis at his residence on Fifth street last Monday afternoon, at four o'clock. The disease first manifested itself last Thursday night. Mr. Gillen was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1804, removed to Lawrence county, Ohio in 1829, March 22, 1832, he married Miss Nancy Miller. In 1856, Mr. Gillen removed to this city with his family and has since resided here; most of his children growing up under his fatherly care. Mr. Gillen has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church for many years. His wife, five sons and three daughters survive him; one son was killed serving his county at the battle of Stone River in 1862. The funeral occurs from the First M.E. church this afternoon, Rev. E. D. Wilkin officiating. Mr. Gillen was a good citizen, kind husband and indulgent parent, and his death is universally regretted by a large circle of friends.

With up to 9 children in the house, I expect things were quite busy for the Gillen family. He and his wife, Nancy had moved from Lawrence County, Ohio to Champaign Co., Illinois in 1856. It appears that all 9 children went with them.  Although there is one daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1835, for whom I have no details, other than her name and year of birth. 

Five years later, the Civil War (also known as the War of Rebellion) breaks out. John’s 2nd and 3rd sons, John and Isaac both joined the Union Army. 

Young John was the first to join on 1 Jun 1861. He was just 20 yrs. old. Sadly, he was killed at the Battle of Stones River in Tennessee on 31 Dec 1862.  According to his Civil War pension file he was shot in the right lung. You can read about this young man, age 21 at the time of his death here: MILTARY MONDAY ~ Civil War Pension File–Private John Gillen–Killed in Action 31 Dec 1862 at the Battle of Stones River

It was 3 yrs later when John’s son Isaac joined and fought in the Civil War. Happily, he did come home.

You have to think it was a very stressful time for the family.  As it was for all the families living during this time of unrest in our country.

John died of paralysis on 29 Nov 1880 and is buried at Mt. Hope Cemetery and Mausoleum in Urbana, Champaign, Illinois. He and Nancy had been married 48 yrs. when he died. She continued on without him for 33 yrs. and died at age 97 in 1913.  They are buried together and you can visit their FindAGrave memorial here: John - 61697100 and Nancy - 61697397

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall


Sunday, January 9, 2022

A WONDERFUL WAY TO BEGIN 2022 ~ A morsel of new information on my brick wall, John C. Gould


All of us have them.  Brick walls.  Genealogical mysteries that we are unable to solve……yet.

In my case I’ve written blog posts about my brick walls and you can read those posts here Mystery Monday - Who's Your Daddy - My Brick Walls

The number ONE most frustrating genealogical brick wall for me, is not knowing my paternal 2nd great grandfather’s parents or siblings.  Who were they? Where did they live?

People don’t just drop out of the sky via the stork, so the answers are out there someplace.  But WHERE????? So, John C. Gould, who is your family?

New information to shed light on this mystery has not been easy to come by. In fact, based on my notes in Legacy, which I date, the last little tid bit was about John Gould being mentioned on a deed for Rose Hill Cemetery in Armada, Michigan.

Here is my note

2/27/16 - Located a website for Armada Township today
The site had cemetery information.  Rose Hill, Hadley and Willow Grove Cemeteries were listed.  I contacted the sexton for Rose Hill, Marv Wolak 586-784-5537 and left a message. He called me back and said that he found no actual burials in either Hadley or Rose Hill for John C. Gould or Sarah Gould.  However, he did find a John Gould mentioned on a deed along with Warren Tibbits (1798-1861) at Rose Hill Cemetery.  Warren Tibbits is buried there.  No record of a burial for John is indicated.

Fast forward to December 2021.  Met a nice woman in a Facebook group.  Her name happens to be Melinda Gould. We began communicating trying to figure out if we are related.  Of course, that meant I had to mention that I had no idea of my Gould line beyond my 2nd great grandfather, John C. Gould. She said she would love to help me figure out who his parents were AND that she knows a lot of great researchers in Michigan.

On New Year’s Eve she posted a request “calling all genealogy researchers, especially those with Michigan roots!”

Within a few hours one of the researchers, Deb, had posted a newspaper article about the burial of John Gould at Rose Hill Cemetery! 

WHAT?! Oh my gosh! I had searched newspapers many times and never found this. Did I miss it? Was the newspaper for the particular year and date recently updated?  I don’t know and don’t care. 

The article reads – ARMADA – The remains of John Gould, of Detroit, were brought to Armada for burial, Wednesday. He left many relatives in this community. Interment was in Rose Hill Cemetery. Rev. R. J. Chase officiated.

First question I asked – Which newspaper and what was the date of the article?

It was The Times Herald, Port Huron, Michigan and the date the article was published was 23 May 1919.  WOW! I have a death certificate that I’ve always believed to be John’s.  Date of death 19 May 1919.  Port Huron is just north of Armada and Detroit. AND, the article states that his remains were transported on Wednesday to Rose Hill Cemetery in Armada.  That Wednesday date would have made it 21 May 1919, two days after his death.

Conclusion – This is DEFINITELY my John Gould.

He, according to Rose Hill cemetery records, co owned a plot there. Many family members are buried there.  I’ve been to Rose Hill three times on visits back to Michigan.  I’ve looked at every headstone in this small cemetery.  There is no Gould headstone.  However, we know that may mean there wasn’t one, or that it has disappeared, or sunk into the earth.  I have many ancestors with no headstones. Next time I visit, I will try to find out which plot was on the deed and use a device that allows me to poke into the ground to locate sunken headstones.

In the meantime, I am seriously happy to have found a new piece of information in my ongoing search.


Those Places Thursday – Armada

Those Placed Thursday - Towns or roads in Michigan using the name Gould

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2022   Diane Gould Hall