Thursday, January 19, 2023

FOLLOW UP ~ Answering my questions from the blog post about Charles Brown & Cemathe Avery's wedding


I published a post, yesterday about another great find in Cora’s scrapbook.  But, that lead to some questions.  Did I get answers to those questions? 

Here are the questions I asked myself:

·   Which Presbyterian Church did John Woodbridge officiate as Pastor?  Was there only one Presbyterian Church in Saratoga Springs at the time?

·   Who are William & Charlotte Ayers?  There are no Ayers in my database/tree.  Were they friends or relatives?

·   Would it be possible to locate the actual church record for this marriage?

·    What other types of records would tell me more about the Pastor?

Here’s what happened………….

The first thing I did was search for a John Woodbridge (the Pastor) on Ancestry in census records from 1850 forward, in Saratoga Springs, NY.  I was rewarded in finding him listed in the 1870 census as a “Dd” living in Saratoga Springs with his wife and children.  I suspected that Dd meant Doctor of Divinity.  In looking on Google I confirmed that suspicion.  Now I know I have probably found Pastor John Woodbridge.

Further searching reveals Pastor Woodbridge in the Presbyterian Ministerial Directory for 1898 as follows.  And this matches up with the census records.

Let’s move on to William & Charlotte Ayers.

I have located them in the 1850 Federal census living in Saratoga Springs, New York and also the 1855 New York state census.  This does not tell me how they are associated with the bride and groom, but it does confirm them in the place and time of the marriage.

Can I use city directories to give me more information?  I entered Charles Brown in the Ancestry U.S. City Directories 1822-1995.  I found him in the 1882 directory on page 66.  His home address is one I’m familiar with 59 Church and I know that Charles was a Cigar Maker (although cigar is misspelled in the directory).

1882 Saratoga directory showing Charles Brown

Knowing that directories also contain lists of businesses, churches, associations etc., I am now going to try and find the Presbyterian Churches listed

In the Table of Contents for this directory from 1882, the churches are listed on page 45.  In reviewing that page I find two Presbyterian churches listed:

Ø First Presbyterian church, Broadway, north of Town Hall.  Rev. Peter Stryker, D.D. pastor and

Ø Second Presbyterian church, Spring street near Regent. Rev. William R. Terrett, pastor.

Neither of these shows a pastor named John Woodbridge, but this is 31 years after the marriage record and he likely had moved on or perhaps died. 

Can I locate a directory closer to the time of the marriage? I need to adjust my search on Ancestry and see if I can bring up other directories for Saratoga Springs.

The best I could do was a directory for Saratoga Springs from 1868.  That’s 17 years after the marriage, but let’s see what I can find in it.

I want you to know that I’m doing a little happy dance here.  On page 31 of the 1868 Saratoga Springs Directory is the list of churches.  And there is the “Presbyterian Church, Broadway, north of Lake avenue.  Rev John Woodbridge, D.D., residence South Broadway, a short distance below Circular street.”

Table of Contents from page 31 of the 1868 Saratoga Springs directory showing John Woodbridge as the Pastor/Reverend of the Presbysterian Church 

I made a couple of phone calls trying to locate the actual marriage record.  Afterall, the letter signed by Pastor Woodbridge states “that record of the same has been made in the Register of the Presbyterian Church.”

I made phone calls to the County Clerk for the County of Saratoga (518) 885-2213, the City of Saratoga Springs (518) 587-3550 and the Presbyterian Church (518) 584-6091 that is located in Saratoga Springs.  I spoke to some very nice ladies. We talked about the weather and had a few laughs about the difficulty in finding old records. 

Unfortunately, none of them could provide any marriage records from 1851.  I made sure to record in my Research Notes in Legacy, what organization I called, who I spoke with and the phone number.  I date all my research notes and going back to them provides me with a record of the things I’ve done in my research for a particular person or event.

When I record a marriage in my Legacy database I always include as much information as I can by using the Events/Facts entry.

Here is what this marriage looks like in my Legacy record.

This is the marriage event for this couple. 
Note the Event entries.

In the end, I did locate more information and answered some of my questions.

Ø I still don’t know how the witnesses, William & Charlotte Ayers were connected with the bride and groom.

Ø There were 2 Presbyterian Churches in Saratoga Springs at one time, but I still don’t know which one the couple was married at.

Ø I was not able to find the original church record of the marriage.

This was a good research session and I enjoyed the process. I hope that I’ve shared some ideas that would be helpful to you in your own research.

If you are related to or connected to anyone in this or any of my other blog posts, please get in touch.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

CORA'S SCRAPBOOK ~ The marriage of her parents - Charles H.K. Brown & Cemanthe Avery - 1851 in New York

This is the story of my journey through Cora’s scrapbook.  Cora Emma Brown Hall is my husband's paternal great grandmother.  She created a scrapbook during her life and it was passed down through the generations.  It contains an amazing amount of family and general history.

Here’s that link to the posts I've written so far

 My posts about Cora's Scrapbook

Today's item from Cora’s scrapbook is a letter certifying the marriage of her parents Charles H.K. Brown and Cemanthe Avery.

My husband’s paternal 2nd great grandparents were married in Saratoga Springs, New York on 12 Jun 1851.

Charles H. K. Brown was 25 years old and Cemanthe Avery was 20 years old.   Her parents were Frederick AVERY (abt 1810-bet 1850 & 1868) & Emeline CASE (abt 1809 to 1889)

I don’t have any information as to who Charles H. K. Brown’s parents were.  I’d certainly like to know, but so far my research has come up empty.  If you happen to uncover any information about his family/parents, please get in touch with me.

Until seeing this letter/record in Cora’s scrapbook, I had not located any other marriage records for Charles & Cemanthe. So, of course, I was excited.

This letter gives me a date and a place.  I also have a clue as to the church this couple may have been affiliated with, the Pastor’s name and names of witnesses.  That’s quite a bundle of good genealogical information.

Transcription of letter:

This certifies that Charles H. K. Brown and Cemanthe Avery were united in marriage at Saratoga Springs on the 12th day of June A.D. 1851; and that record of the same has been made in the Register of the Presbyterian Church.


John Woodbridge, Afficiating & Pastor

Given at Saratoga Springs, Sept. 2, 1851

Names of witnesses – William & Charlotte Ayers

What questions does this prompt me to ask?

·   Which Presbyterian Church did John Woodbridge officiate as Pastor?  Was there only one Presbyterian Church in Saratoga Springs at the time?

·   Who are William & Charlotte Ayers?  There are no Ayers in my database/tree.  Were they friends or relatives?

·   Would it be possible to locate the actual church record for this marriage?

·   What other types of records would tell me more about the Pastor?

Of course I will try to find answers for those questions.

Please check back tomorrow for my post about what further information I was able to locate and how many of my questions I got answers for.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

WORKDAY WEDNESDAY ~ Which of my ancestors were employed by a Railroad?

I know I have run across employment with railroads, several times in my research.  I hope I have recorded all of them, but I doubt that I have.  However, working with my Legacy database, let’s see how many “railroad” occupations I have recorded.

According to my Search there are 14 individuals in my database, who have an Occupation associated with the Railroad.  To find this I used the Search>Find tab in Legacy and entered my parameters.  I eliminated 3 of them in the list.  Two are not a confirmed ancestors and one is somehow on this list although I find no reference to a railroad occupation. I'm curious about the one with nothing listed as "railroad" and need to look more closely as to why Legacy added him. I doubt the program is wrong, so what did I miss? 


Looking at the exact description of the occupations, we have Brakeman, Railroad Agent/Telegraph Operator, Bookkeeper, Baggage Handler, Interlocker, Sashman, Cabman, Switchman, Conductor, & Snowman (to learn more about a Snowman, see this blog post WORKDAY WEDNESDAY ~ What is a Snowman?

So many different jobs available.  Some were quite dangerous and others were not.  Some of the men stayed with the Railroad and other moved on to other jobs.

Most of the occupation titles are self-explanatory. But what is an Interlocker and a Sashman?

Interlocker - On operator who would manually set the signal(s) to the appropriate reading (proceed, stop, caution, etc.).  It was a demanding job requiring constant vigilance.

Sashman – I tried learning the definition of this occupation when I wrote a previous post about one of the ancestors listed here, and could not locate it.  I searched again today and was unable to find a definition. If any of you can shed light on it, please let me know. 

I have tried, in the past, to find employment records from railroad companies, but have not been successful.  If you have any tips on that I’d love to hear them.  I’ve been told the records don’t go back very far and I need records from mid to late 1800s and early 1900s.

Here is a list of the men in mine and my husband’s family who were associated with the railroad.

BOWDEN, Robert L. – my maternal great grandfather

CLARK, Henry B. – my maternal 3rd cousin 3x removed

DAVIS, Thomas – husband of my paternal 2nd cousin twice removed

FITZCHARLES, George B. – my paternal 1st cousin twice removed

HALL, Charles S. – my husband’s paternal grandfather

HALL, Thomas C. – my husband’s paternal great grandfather

HART, Elijah E. – my paternal half 1st cousin 3x removed

HART, Henry A. - my paternal half 1st cousin 3x removed

SOUTHWELL, Samuel – Husband of my paternal half 2nd cousin twice removed

THORNTON, Andrew R. – my maternal 1st cousin twice removed

THORNTON, John Jr. – my maternal 1st cousin twice removed

Did you have any Railroad employees in your family?  I’d love to hear about them in comments or your own blog post. 


WORKDAY WEDNESDAY–What kind of work did your ancestors do?

FRIDAY FINDS ~ Henry A. Hart Killed By A Train–His story

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall


Monday, January 9, 2023

MYSTERY MONDAY Repost with Updates - Who's Your Daddy? John C. Gould (1833-1919)


Green tree with question marks_John C Gould
If I could ask for just one thing regarding my genealogy research this year, it would be to find out who John C. Gould’s parents were.
This is an update on my original post from 2015.  I have indicated in Red where new information or discoveries have been made
Gould is my maiden name.  Only being able to take that name back to my 2nd great grandfather and no further is my biggest genealogical brick wall.  And, if I don’t uncover this mystery my youngest brother may never consider my research a success.  He listens to my great finds and revealing stories and then asks “but, have you found out who John’s parents were?”

Here is a brief bio:

JOHN C. GOULD – born Jan 1833 in Michigan, married Sarah M. HART on 7 Oct 1858 in Armada, Macomb, Michigan.  Had one son, William Val Gould (probably born as Vivaldo William Gould) in 1859. Had one daughter, Julene E. Gould who lived 2 years 1861-1863.  Wife Sarah died on 11 Nov 1911 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  John died 19 May 1919, age 86, in Nankin Township, Eloise, Wayne, Michigan.  He is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery, Armada, Macomb, Michigan.

GOULD street sign

Here’s what I’ve done during the past dozen or so years to find John’s parents:
  • Looked at census records for the years 1840-1920 that could possibly contain his name.  Including tracking the Gould heads of household for the census years 1830 and 1840 in Michigan.
  • Located him in the 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 census records in Michigan.
  • Located his Civil War Draft Registration card
  • Located a purchase and sale of land in Macomb County, Michigan in 1863 and 1871.
  • Located him on Agriculture census records in 1850 and 1870.
  • Ordered and received his marriage record to Sarah M. Hart
  • Located him in Detroit City Directory listings beginning in 1878.  With the final City Directory listing I could locate in 1912.
  • Researched his wife, Sarah M. Hart’s entire family, including siblings and their spouses.
  • Located the death record and obituary for his wife Sarah in 1911.
  • Found out everything I could about his son, William V. Gould and his family.
  • I’ve hired two professional researchers back in Michigan to assist me.  They added a little bit of information, but found nothing about his parents.
  • I’ve gone back to Michigan and gone to the courthouse in Macomb County and researched probate records for a Gould family I have always strongly believed could be connected.  No mention of John in the records.
  • I’ve posted inquiries on RootsWeb beginning in 2006.
  • Sent emails to Macomb County genealogy group – no records found
  • Gone to the Mt. Clemens Library in Macomb County and looked for records, books etc. – Nothing found
  • Talked to people in the Armada Village office, asking about the naming of Gould Rd. in the town of Armada.  They could provide no information.
  • Checked all Goulds buried in Michigan on the FindAGrave site.  I have entered a memorial for him (burial unknown) #32438846 and was later able to confirm his burial at Rose Hill Cemetery.
  • Checked marriage records for the same time frame that he and Sarah were married, looking for possible siblings for John.
  • Sent numerous other emails to people I’ve found on mailing lists or websites.
  • Located a possible death certificate on  This John Gould died in Eloise State Hospital.  Much of the information on this certificate fits, but no parents are listed.  I have contacted people who may have information on Eloise Hospital records or burials and come up empty. UPDATE - After finding the article about his burial I am convinced this death certificate is the correct John Gould. (see image below)
  • I’ve also read several books about brick walls, hoping for some spark that might lead me to John’s parents.
  • Had my brother, direct descendant of John C. Gould, provide DNA.  There are no other known direct male descendants.  He has done both YDNA and Ancestry autosomal with results uploaded to all the sites.   As of 10 Jan 2019 I have not located a good match.  My brother's Gedmatch number is A567536.
1.  What have I missed?
2.  Where should I look next?

Here is a descendant report that shows John & Sarah’s son, William and his children, which includes my grandfather, Harry Whipple Gould.
1-John C. GOULD [56]{FindAGrave #32438846 & #125849145}
born: Jan 1833, , , MI
died: After 1910
+Sarah M. HART [130]{FindAGrave #32439008}
born: Dec 1835, , , , Canada
marr: 7 Oct 1858, Armada, Macomb, MI
died: 11 Nov 1911, Detroit, Wayne, MI
parents: Henry HART [143]{FindAGrave #31946503} and Olive Glasier DOTEN [144]{FindAGrave #31946513}
2-William Val GOULD [7]{FindAGrave # 31868691}
born: 31 Aug 1859, Armada, Macomb, MI
died: 24 Feb 1924, Detroit, Wayne, MI
+Mary "Mae" Eve THORP [8]{FindAGrave # 24216381}
born: 4 Apr 1862, Oswego, Oswego, NY
marr: 1881
died: 3 Nov 1946, Detroit, Wayne, MI
parents: Horace Henry THORP [131]{FindAGrave #32025637} and Catherine C. DORSEY [132]{FindAGrave ~
3-Unknown GOULD [2485]
3-Ford Val GOULD [17]{FindAGrave #61960668}
born: 31 Aug 1884, Detroit, Wayne, MI
died: 17 Jun 1947, Detroit, Wayne, MI
3-Harry Whipple GOULD [5]{FindAGrave #14481532}
born: 10 Feb 1886, Detroit, Wayne, MI
died: 17 Feb 1960, Ft. Lauderdale, Broward, FL, United States
3-Roy V. GOULD [16]{FindAGrave #61961339}
born: 26 May 1888, , , MI
died: 18 Jul 1971, Yucaipa, San Bernardino, CA.
3-Gladys Lillian GOULD [19]{FindAGrave#88657246}
born: 11 Jul 1890, Detroit, Wayne, MI
died: 8 Oct 1966, Detroit, Wayne, MI
3-May Adele GOULD [18]{FindAGrave #91531460}
born: 25 Feb 1898, , , MI
died: 28 Sep 1984, , San Bernardino, CA
3-Helen C. GOULD [21]{FindAGrave #32439516}
born: 12 Mar 1901, Detroit, Wayne, MI
died: 17 Feb 1945, Detroit, Wayne, MI

2-Julene E. GOULD [221]{FindAGrave #132128928}
born: 1861, Armada, Macomb, MI
died: 27 Sep 1863, Armada, Macomb, MI
Documents associated with John C. Gould    (Click on any image to enlarge it)
GOULD_John C & Sarah HART_1857-Mich
Marriage record - John C. Gould & Sarah Hart 1858
GOULD_John C_purchase of land from Hannibal & Amelia Stone_22 Dec 1863_Armada Macomb Michigan
Land Purchase in Macomb Co., Michigan 1863
GOULD_John C_US Civil War Draft Reg Record_Jun 1863_Macomb Co Michigan
Civil War Draft Registration for John C. Gould 1863
GOULD_John C_sale of land to Walter Hibblewhite_23 Nov 1871_ArmadaMich_pg 1
Sale of land in Macomb Co., Michigan 1871
GOULD_Sarah_nee HART_death cert_1911_Michigan
Death certificate for Mrs. Sara Gould 1911
GOULD_Sarah_nee HART_death notice_DetroitNews_13 Nov 1911_pg 12_cropped
Death notice for Sarah Gould 1911
GOULD_John_possible death cert Eloise Mich 1919
Death certificate for John Gould - 19 May 1919

Newspaper article about John's remains being moved
from Detroit to Rose Hill Cemetery in Armada - 23 May 1919

And here are his direct line male descendants with their relationship to him:
William Val Gould-circa 1900-cropped
Son - William V. Gould 1859-1924
Grandson - Harry W. Gould 1886-1960
H. Norman Gould-1933-cropped
Great grandson - Harry N. Gould 1912-1991
GOULD_Harry Norman II_headshot cropped from family picture_circa 1992
2nd great grandson - H. N. Gould II
3rd great grandson - Joshua J. Gould

There you have him.  My biggest genealogical mystery & brick wall to date. 
If you have any ideas, suggestions or strategies to knock down this wall, please contact me. 

Breaking Down A Brick Wall - Finding Elizabeth Fitzcharles Parents
Setting Goals, Focusing, Organizing - How Do We Handle These Issues?
Happy hunting,
A_michigan girl
Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY – Rachel Frampton, my 4th great grandmother

Courtesy of Fran Wheeler, used with permission

This is another story of never giving up and don’t stop looking.

My maternal 4th great grandmother, Rachel Frampton, died 1 Nov 1855, probably in Lawrence County, Ohio. 

I had never located her place of burial.  I suspected she may have been buried in the same cemetery as her husband, William Gillen, but had no proof of that.  He is buried in Burlington Green Lawn Cemetery in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  I have a total of 43 ancestors buried in this cemetery.  Perhaps more, because there are probably some I haven’t learned of yet.

This is a lovely old cemetery.  I was able to visit back in 2012, but didn’t have the same base of knowledge on these ancestors that I do now.  I found a few headstones in this old cemetery, but not hers.  Was it buried?  Or did I miss it?  I don’t know.  There is no sexton nor any cemetery office to check with.

The entrance to Burlington Green Lawn Cemetery
and a partial view of the grounds

A couple of days ago I received an email saying that one of my edits to a FindAGrave memorial at that same cemetery, had been approved.  When I receive those emails I always check the memorial and make a follow up note in my Legacy program that the edit was completed.

While on the site I decided to check Green Lawn Cemetery (also known as Burlington Green Lawn Cemetery) for any other Gillen’s.  Perhaps I had missed some or there may have been new ones added.

To my complete surprise and delight, up popped a memorial for my Rachel Frampton Gillen.  AND……ta da!  There was a photo of her headstone.

The wonderful volunteer who took the photo and created the memorial also gave permission to use her photo.  I sent her a message thanking her.  Any time a volunteer takes a photo or creates a memorial for my family, I send them a thank you message.

You may visit Rachel’s memorial here #230233403.

She is indeed, buried at the same cemetery as her husband, William Gillen who had died in 1841.

Today’s Tip – Always keep checking back on various websites you use.  New information, documents, photos and in this case, memorials are always being added.

I hope you’ve had similar discoveries and will continue to have more.

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2023   Diane Gould Hall