Monday, December 16, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013


Recently when I've gone to Find A Grave there's been an amusing advertisement for a psychic's hotline.  The tag line was something like, "Want to speak to the relatives who've passed?"  Or something like that.  I laughed and then got a little angry because it felt a little disrespectful.  Then I moved on.  Today I signed up for something called Genealogy Wise.  I thought it was a sort of research site, and I guess it is, but not in the way I thought.  My biggest problem with it is that it has a chat room that you're automatically logged into when you as a member go to the site.  Yeah, no.  I don't like chat rooms.

While on the site I visited the Forums page which is where people post questions and comments and information.  One post jumped out at me: Genealogy Research and the Paranormal.  Um, okay.  I read some of the entries and comments.  The original poster stated that he'd gone to Gettysburg with divining rods, the type used to find water.  I guess they can also be used to find spirits.  The poster has several entries where he describes his divining rods leading him to a cemetery and to a specific headstone of a woman named Rebecca Little.  He posts about "talking" to her using a flashlight.  Mildly interesting, but not really my particular cup of tea.

I wrote on my birthday how the phone rang once and didn't ring again and how I imagined it was my father calling from beyond the grave to wish me a happy birthday.  I know that's not what happened.  Someone dialed our number and then changed their mind is all.  But between that, the ad on Find A Grave and the posts I read today, I'm just a tiny bit spooked by all the coincidences.

When I got back into researching family after not having done it for almost 10 years, I used to thank my Uncle Dick out loud for helping me find people.  It was sort of a joke, but not really.  Richard Lemon, my father's twin brother, was an avid amateur genealogist who was relentless in his quest to figure out our Lemon family tree.  He died in 2003.  He was a bit angry with me for stopping in the middle of our research and moving to another state after I divorced my husband.  We were only in contact once after I left and before he died; he wrote me a letter telling me of his latest findings and told me he wouldn't tell me anything else until I wrote him back.  I'm ashamed to say I never did answer his letter.  I can say I was too busy starting a new life in a new state, but the real reason was that I had lost interest.  During that time I was also busy learning to build websites and writing, writing, writing.  The things I learned back then have been very useful now as I made a website for my genealogy research and I write in this blog.

I left Michigan in 1998.  I started back into genealogy research in 2007, four years after Uncle Dick died.  It hasn't been as much fun without him to share my findings with, but I do feel sometimes he's up there, watching me research and fleshing out his original theories.  Sometimes it feels like he even helps me out now and then.

But probably not.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fumbling Towards The Obvious or Reinventing The Wheel...Again

I'm disheartened and delighted.  The first because all that I've been researching has already been found and documented, the second because I'm pretty darn good at this for someone who is unskilled and pretty much unworthy of any pride I take in my ability to hunt people down for the purpose of tracing their ancestors and descendants.

I have done a pretty good job of documenting at least one mystery in the Lemmond Tree; who was Margaret Charlotte Lemon?  She was really Margaret Catherine Lemmond, and the rest is already written about in many previous entries in this journal.  I'm delighted that I solved that mystery.  I'm pleased that the profile for her on WikiTree is no longer empty, but filled with all that I've discovered about her and her family.  I feel like an expert on Mrs. Margaret Lemmond McCord.

Of course there have been some mistakes along the way, some roads that led no where, some very wrong turns, some grossly ignorant assumptions, but these mistakes serve (I tell myself) only to sharpen my skills (HA!) and make me a better researcher.

I have managed to find some information that was not found (so far as I know) by other people;  probate records for Margaret's grandmother giving the approximate date of her death of the deaths of others that haven't been recorded in any other trees, census records no one else found, burying places in at least one case.

But my personal life has suffered, to be sure.  Knapper was extremely upset with me most all of yesterday because I've been in front of this computer for days tracking these people down and ignoring his needs.  (I say, dude, if you're hungry, FIX SOMETHING TO EAT!  Don't wait for me to fix it for you.  You're grown, for goodness sake! But he's gotten used to me waiting on him almost hand and foot and has not taken kindly to be being rudely pushed aside for the sake of dead people who no longer need to eat or have their houses cleaned or their clothes washed.)  I did try to make it up to him by fixing him a wonderful meal last night, one that involved many pots and pans, fresh mushrooms and chicken stock that I turned into a delicious gravy to go with pork steaks I simmered until the bones fell off.  It's not my fault I didn't constantly remind him to get me some potatoes from the storage he built in our old well pit, I asked him 3 times since before Thanksgiving, and even then I had to buy a bag at the store because I can't get down in the pit to get them and he kept forgetting.  Then yesterday when he finally got around to it, he discovered the potatoes had all frozen.  We had the gravy over rice.

In all it's been a fascinating journey, and who knows?  These Lemmonds may well turn out to be related to my own Lemons yet.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemmonds, Search Them Every Day!

I'm ashamed to admit this, but it seems I do nothing all day but search the internet for people who are not even related to me.  I have no idea where this obsession with the Lemmond family came from, but it's driving me crazy and may lead to my early demise from pressure sores on my...well.  I sit all day, that's enough of that.

I found more information on this family; burial places for minor characters, census records that no one else had found, documentation for people who had none.  Every day I find more and more information which only adds fuel to the fire burning in the pit of my stomach to get these people sorted out and be done with them.

I need to get back into my own family lines.  I've got new research finding subscriptions and I use them to find...Lemmonds.  I'm disgusted with myself, but like an addict searching once again for that first "high", I can't seem to stop.

Here is a photo of the beautiful Flora Adeline Lemmond who married William W Davies:

I find her to be quite lovely.  There's something about her eyes.  The photo comes from David Hunter Brown from  Thank you, Mr. Brown, for sharing your family tree and giving me permission to use her photo.  Flora was the daughter of Milas Madison Lemmond and his wife, Mary Virginia Means.  Mary Means was the sister of Harriet, the mother of the woman who started me on this quest: Margaret C Lemmond McCord.  So Margaret and Flora were cousins.  I wonder if they had any type of family resemblance?  I'd like to think so.

It's almost 2:30 in the morning.  It's time to stop seeking and get some rest.  The Lemmonds records will still be waiting for me when I wake up.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Birthday, Genealogy, Live Family, Dead Relatives

It's been a long day and I'm tired.  My birthday is officially over, and that's good.  I'm uncomfortable about my birthday.  Not because I dread getting older, I'm not a vain woman, but because I get anxious from all the attention a birthday brings.

Two of my sons and their wives brought me cake and presents and that was nice.  I got to play with 5 of my 10 grandchildren, whom I adore.  We all laughed and I told about the Lemmond family I've been working on and they managed to hide their boredom pretty convincingly.  I was appreciative.

The phone rang off and on today.  I answered some calls and let the machine take others.  Then the phone gave a single ring and went silent and for a moment it crossed my mind that it was my father, who passed in 2010, calling me as he'd always done on my birthday.  Of course, says my rational, logical mind, it wasn't him.  But it could have been, says my magical, dreamy side.  I've been working so hard on other people's families lately, maybe I was given a small birthday gift, even think it could have been my beloved father calling me with birthday wishes.  And for a moment his face was so clear in my mind; his smile, his laugh, that tears welled up.  They didn't fall, and I went back to researching this other Lemon family that has become so important to me for reason I can't explain.

I have to remember to never take the living family I have for granted.  That I even have to remind myself of that means I'm getting too consumed by this passion for names and places and dates of people long, long gone.

Friday, December 6, 2013

North Carolina, Estate Files, 1663-1979, Cabarrus County, "M", Means, Margaret M (1864)

So this has been a fascinating journey.  Harriet C Means, daughter of John W Means and his (insane) wife, Margaret McCamey (not spelled like that at ALL in any of the records) Wilson, married John Q Lemmond. I first pieced together this family by working first on the family of Harriet and John's daughter, Margaret C Lemmond McCord.  When I first adopted her profile on WikiTree, she had the middle name Charlotte and her maiden name was spelled "Lemon", which was what got me interested in the beginning.  The profile listed her husband and using that, I was able to find online her death certificate which stated that her father was John Q Lemmond and her mother was (no first name given) Means.

I started an family tree for the "Lemon Family", naming it Wiki Lemon Family to keep it separate from all my other trees.  First I worked on John M McCord, Margaret's husband.  I found his family and I added the children of John and Margaret, discovering that they had named their son as detailed above.  That was an interesting name and I was sure it was significant, but then again, people name their children strange things all the time, so I could have been wrong.

I found the spouses and children of McCamey and Carolina Brite McCord, John and Margaret's surviving daughter.  Carolina married a man named Amos Philmore Whitley and supposedly committed suicide by blowing a hole in the center of her chest with a shotgun.  Um, what?  How on earth does one do that to oneself??  Haven't found anything other than the death certificate on that one.

Then I started on John "Lemon", Margaret's father.  I thought I'd found him (and I actually HAD) in Union County, but it didn't seem to add up, so I abandoned him, thinking that a Margaret Lemmond I had found living with another male Lemmond in the family of a couple named...oh, I forget now, but they were much older and had different names than this Margaret and the male Lemmond.  I worked on that theory for awhile until I started finding death records for other Lemmond children with the parent's names given as John Q Lemmond and Harriet Means.  That's when everything started to break for me.

I found Harriet and John Q in the census records.  Everything added up except they had a daughter, Catherine, born in 1847.  Harriet and John didn't marry until 1852.  I eventually found this Catherine living with Harriet, John W, Margaret M, and John M W Means in Cabarrus County in 1850.  On all records for this Catherine, whose name ended up being Sarah Ann Catherine Lemmond, her father is given as John Q Lemmond, but I think she was born illegitimately to Harriet before John Q entered the picture.

In the 1850 census, Margaret M Means is listed as "insane".  She's also listed that way in 1860.  I have been unable to find this family in census records after 1860, but that's because Margaret died, leaving a LOT of land and property which became the subject of a dispute between the heirs.  From the records, it looks as if Harriet is not the only one who married a Lemmond.  She had a sister, Mary, who married M. M. Lemmond, who I found when I thought I'd found the breadcrumb trail of Margaret McCord.  John Q and M. M. are brothers.

Margaret Means' estate file is 71 pages long and the images are available on  I can't believe I've been lucky enough to find all this information just by adopting a "Lemon" profile.  They may or may not be my Lemmonds, but either way, they've been fascinating to follow.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Addendum to the Lemmond Tree

After buying a month subscription (Knapper is going to kill me, but it's only 8 bucks a month) to, I have learned that yes, Margaret was the Catherine listed in the 1860 as being born abt 1854, her parents were John Q Lemmond, who died in 1893, and Harriet Means.

The truly funny part is that she is the 3rd great granddaughter of William Marr Lemmond.  I find that coincidence unnerving, to say the least.  I had been on this trail right after I adopted Margaret's profile, but had rejected the information because I didn't have enough information.  I was even emailed a woman on whose site I  had found William Marr Lemmond to tell her of our possible relationship, based on the Marr name, and to ask her about Margaret.  She wasn't able to tell me anything about Margaret and John, but she was very curious about the Marr name in her line and in mine.

Yes, folks, when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, we are all related.  If not by blood, then by marriage.

The Lemmond Tree

I'm not sure why I adopted Margaret Charlotte Lemmond McCord on WikiTree, probably because when I was adding my Lemons to the tree, her name popped up and I clicked on her.  I have the idea in the back of my mind for a one-surname website for Lemons.  The idea being that it would be a resource for everyone searching for Lemons.  And I was intrigued by Lemons in North Carolina because somewhere at some time I had seen that some of my New Jersey/Pennsylvania Lemons had wandered down south and started families.  Of course I can't remember now where I found that information.

I had no idea the magnitude of the responsibility one takes on when adopting a profile.  It's not just one person, you know, it's a family.  And Margaret's family included her unsourced father, her husband and his entire family who were almost all abandoned profiles.  And while it wasn't the McCords I was interested in, they were the ones with all the information spread all over and every where.  So having gotten most of the McCords cleaned up, I went back to Margaret and tried again to find this elusive John Lemmond.

I think I found him today.  Yesterday I paid for a subscription to  It was a birthday gift to myself.  I thought I was just getting a free trial 30 day subscription, but, once again, my memory failed me and I had already had one of those and used it up.  Instead of getting a free trial, I just paid for a year, and I'm glad I did.  I plugged "McCord" into it and "Charlotte, North Carolina" and got back loads of newspaper articles on various McCord doings in Mecklenburg County.  Again, the McCords were everywhere and their information has been relatively easy to find.  Most interesting has been the families surrounding them.  I kept coming across names associated with McCords and started looking them up and in a long, round-about way, I found, I think, Margaret's father.

John Q Lemmond b. abt 1821 in North Carolina, m. Harriet C. Means in on 2 Feb 1852 in Union County, North Carolina.  Margaret's mother's maiden name is listed as "Means", no first name given, on her death certificate.  I found Margaret in 1870 living with her parents and a virtual SLEW of siblings in Goose Creek, Union, North Carolina.  She's not listed in the 1860 census with them though.  However there are two Catherine Lemmonds listed in 1860 with John and Harriet and perhaps one of them is Margaret.  One Catherine is the oldest child, born in 1847, the other is 5, born about 1855, which works for Margaret, who was born in April of 1854, according to her death certificate.

I think I found Margaret's family.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Finding George Levi Meredith

WikiTree forces one to be accurate when detailing people's lives.  Or maybe only I feel forced.  Because there are no online connected sources, I have to look them up and verify their accuracy.  This has been a learning process.  I was so spoiled by just clicking on a census record and having its contents magically appear as a source on  I don't ever just click on other people's trees and then add them to mine anymore.  I mostly use them as hints on where to look and names to research. 

So George Meredith presents a challenge.  He's well documented, except for his death.  I searched most of the day, following his children around the state, until I found a headstone on Billion Graves for him.  The date of birth on the marker is off by 9 years, but whatever.  I'm sure it's him.  His wife is there, and a lot of his children, so it's a pretty safe guess that it's him.  Of course, to be sure, I should have his death record.  I can't find it.  It's like John Bowman all over again, only this time, because of the headstone, I know when he died and where he's buried.  I just can't get his name to come up with a death certificate on Family Search, no matter how hard I try. 

And speaking of death certificates, I'll never be able to express my gratitude to the Mitten State for allowing so much family history to be put online.  I was trying to find a family for someone on WikiTree last night and discovered that Maryland is a VERY hard state to research in.  There are only 3700 death and burial records for the entire state on Family Search.  Here in Michigan if someone died between 1897 and 1952, I'll find their record eventually.  There's the Library of Michigan site for actual death certificates online from 1897 to 1920, and Family Search just indexed all death certificates for the state of Michigan from 1921 to 1952.  To show my appreciation, I downloaded the software to index from the Family Search site onto Bruce's computer and indexed a batch of marriages for North Caroline.  Believe me, if they'd had anything to index for Maryland, I'd have done them instead.  Indexing records makes me feel good, like I'm contributing instead of just taking. 

If you'd like to try, go here.

Monday, December 2, 2013

And This Is What Happens When You Have A Break With Sanity While Trying To Prove Ancestors...

Sources, sources, SOURCES!  They are so important when documenting genealogy.  What happens when you've tried to write one too many biography with too little sourced information?  The following...

All that is really known about Charles Meredith is that he was married to Miriam Griffin and they had children together.  Okay, so a little more is known, but I can't find sources for it. I'll put it here anyway.

Muster Roll of Capt. Eli BRANSON's Company of Independent North Carolina Volunteers Attached to the New York Volunteers from 25 August 1783 to ye 24 of October following- Captain Eli BRANSON
Lieutenant Samuel JONES
Ensign John BLOXHAM Absent with leave
William BRYAN
Philip HENRY

Charles received a land grant in York, NB
Volume: B
Page: 41
Grant: 106
Place/Parish: St. John River
County: York County
Date: 1787/02/20
Accompanying plan: No
Acreage: 200
Microfilm: F16302
Comments: New York Volunteers

Esther Clark Wright's "The Loyalists of New Brunswick" listing of the loyalists, did note one Charles Meredith who was in the NCV (North Carolina Volunteers) attached with the New York Volunteers. He settled in Keswick.

Charles received land in Grimsby Township in 1794. Lot 7 con: 10, Date ID 1, Issue Date 1794 1212, Trans Type: FG, Archival Reference RG Series: MF Ms81, Vol. 050 page 055. He is listed in the Sons and Daughters of American Loyalists as being born in Pennsylvania. Charles' son William told the census takers that his father was born in North Carolina. Charles was probably a Methodist. He was one of the early Loyalists to settle in South Grimsby Township, which qualified him and each member of his family for a Land Grant. His name is on the first map on Lots 7-9 conc. IX near Smithville.

In October 1797, Charles signed a letter addressed to D. W. Smith, Acting Surveyor General complaining that the survey of Gainsborough and Grimsby townships wasn't carried out as instructed by a law of 1794. This letter was signed by the following (among others):
Charles Murredeth, Jonathan Griffin, Solomon Hill, Smith Griffin, Nathaniel Griffin, Isa Griffin, Stephen Roy, Hooks Roy, Abraham Griffin, et al.
!West Lincoln: Our Links From the Past 1784-1984: 1985, West Lincoln Historical Society.

Charles served on the Township Council in 1798 and thereafter until 1815, when it may be assumed that he died. He was overseer of Roads in 1798. In 1803 and 1815 Charles was again listed as an overseer of Roads. According to a family historian he was buried at Smithville with members of his family but only one stone inscribed with the Meredith name yet stands in the United Church yard there, and it bears the inscription Abraham Meredith, 1800-1882, Susan, wife of, 1811-1888.

Sons and Daughters of American Loyalists book refers to Charles and his family as being from Grimsby, Niagara, Ontario, Canada. Annals of The Forty, No. 6, Loyalist and Pioneer Families of West Lincoln 1783-1833, compiled by R. Jane Powell also include information about Charles.

Birthplace is not known for sure. Charles may have been born in Pennsylvania or North Carolina. North Carolina seems best supported by the evidence. Daughter Deborah, in the 1880 census, gives Maryland as the place of birth for her father.See 1st sources entry.

Some trees have a date of marriage for Miriam and Charles, but I can't source it.  I'll just say they were married sometime before the birth of their first child, Richard in 1791, in Canada.  Miriam herself was born in the United States and is first found in any census record living with her son Abraham and his family in Enumeration District 7 in the Township of...anyone's guess because that information is on another page.  No, this isn't very scientific, is it?  Well, I'm a bit upset with these ancestors who didn't leave hardly any records to document their journey through life, leaving ME to grasp at straws to try to prove they existed at all! So all I can really say is that Charles Meredith existed.  I think.  He was born, he grew up, he married and had children, he was given land too far away from me to prove, and I'm only here because one of his sons was Jesse Meredith, and Jesse was my 3rd great grandfather.  I can be relatively sure of that because it says so on the death records of my 2nd great grandfather's siblings.  And they must have been my 2nd great grandfather's siblings because he's mentioned in a couple of their obituaries.  Since I am descended from one of my 2nd great grandfather's daughters, I can't use DNA to tell me for sure that I am descended from Charles, but I'm claiming him anyway.

Charles Meredith died, probably in Canada.  There is no known headstone to mark his final resting place.  When I die, I'm going to ask him if we're related.  I'm sorry I won't be able to document that answer here, but at least I'll know, finally and for sure.

== Sources ==
Information from:  This link is no longer valid and takes the user to Roger Moffat's new website, which DOES have a genealogy site, but there are no Merediths in its database.  I have left a message on the new site and am awaiting a reply.

When The Thrill Is Gone

As usual, I was up at the crack of dawn and on the computer "doing" genealogy.  Ya know, there oughta be a verb for what I do, for what a lot of people do.  Why isn't there one?  Oh, I know, "research".  But that's dull, isn't it?  And implies tedium and spectacles. Whereas what I do is immerse myself in records and names and photos and stuff with great joy and abandon!  It's hardly ever tedious (I'd be lying if I said it wasn't.  I just got done looking at the entire population of St Clair county, Michigan in census records for 1840.  That got to be tedious.) and almost always exciting.

Anyway, I was wondering how Emilene Jane Kellogg came to be living in Port Huron in St Clair county.  She was married there in 1845.  She had stated in many census records that she was born around 1824 here in Michigan.  That's awful early.  Maybe not too early for the lowest part of Michigan, the Detroit and surrounding areas, but up further?  That was woods and bears and Indians in the 1820's.  Of course Port Huron, being on the western shore of Lake Huron, would be a bit more settled, I think, being a port and all.  Waterways were the main transportation highways before there were roads.  So I was looking at the 1840 census records of St Clair county and I found...a Kellogg.  Benjamin Kellogg.  He was in the village of St Clair.  There was one male aged 40 through 49.  That was him.  Head of house.  Also in the household were: 1 female under 5, 2 females 5 thru 9, 1 female 10 thru 14, and 1 female 30 thru 39.  That would be his wife, I'm thinking.  Four females under 15.  That could easily fit my Emily Jane.  But her father's listed as John Kellogg on her death certificate, and someone else has a female in their public tree on ancestry, having Emily as her sister, and her death certificate says her father's Palmer Kellogg.  Could this Benjamin be a relation of Palmer? Who is John Kellogg?

I haven't found Benjamin Kellogg in St Clair county after 1840.  I just have to keep digging.

Aldolphus Ruby: FOUND

I was a little angry with ol' Adolph for quite a while.  His was the only death date of my 2nd great grandmother's siblings I could not find.  And believe me, I searched.  I tried every combination of his name I could think of and still couldn't find it.

Then today, riding high on the emotion of finally finding John Bowman's DOD, I decided to do something I hadn't done; I just entered "Ruby" as the surname and plugged in the county where he'd last been into the place of death field.  Bingo!  His name was misspelled, and it says he was born in New York, but it's him.  While searching for him, I hadn't found any other Adolphus Rubys in Michigan except for his infant son who died shortly after he was born.

So.  He's found and I'm dancing in my chair again.

Adolphus Ruby Death Record

Sunday, December 1, 2013

John Bowman: FOUND

He was lost, now he's found.  According to his death record, he wasn't born in 1854, but in 1849.  When one is searching for someone and has tried everything one can think of, one should remember that birth and death records are not created using information obtained directly from the individual in question, but from individuals who may not always be completely sure of the facts.  A parent is a pretty good source and generally reliable.  Mothers more so than fathers, I think.  For death information a spouse is pretty reliable.  A child giving information on a parent, maybe not so much.

In 1880 John Bowman told the census taker he was 27 years old, making him born either in 1853 or 1854.  He was married and had no children yet.  In 1900 he gave his birth month as April and his age as 57.  In 1910 he said he was 56.  (It is the same John Bowman: the spouse and children are exactly the same.)  In 1920 he was 66.  In 1930, 9 years before his death, he said he was 78.  I believe he was born sometime between 1852 and 1854.  His only surviving child, Hessie, would have been the one giving the information.  I couldn't tell you the year my mother was born without looking, though I do remember my father's birth year.

I'm convinced it's the correct John Bowman.  He died in West Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan, where he'd been living and farming since 1910.  I haven't been able to find a headstone for him or his wife or for Hessie, but I'm sure he died in 1939.

I sound calm, don't I?  I'm anything but.  This is what keeps me hooked on genealogy; the sweet success of finding something that I searched so hard to find.  I'm going to consider it an early birthday gift, this finding the date of death for John Bowman.  And you can't see me, but I'm dancing in my chair. 

Dreams Realized

I'm into this thing called WikiTree, which is awesome.  The goal is to create one massive tree that connects everyone to everyone else, something I'm very hip to as I've been discovering that everyone is related to everyone else since 2007.  It's very cool and it's very challenging and it's very hard because the emphasis is on documentation, something I've just recently become serious about.  I've added bunches of people to the tree and am starting to document the lives of these people and it is slow going.  I used to take all information I found as the gospel truth, which was naive at best and stupid at worst.  I was stupid a lot when I first started this genealogical journey, and I'm paying for it now.

This morning I found out that I could get a badge for being a blogger.  I'm not a badge, um, whore, but I've had this genealogy blog since I started seriously digging for family.  That means something to me.  It means a lot.  So I applied to be put on the bloggers list at WikiTree and then read some of the blogs of other WikiTree'ers.  I am not worthy.  If I could take back my request to be added, I would.  But something wonderful came from it because I went back and read the earliest days of this blog and realized just how far I've come.

Back in 2008 I was still searching for John M Lemon, the brother of my great grandfather.  I found him.  And his wives.  And two sons.  And his grandchildren.  And when he died.  So in the future I can order a copy of his death certificate and find out where he's buried.  When I do, I will have documented each of Isaac B Lemon's sibling's final resting place.  Except for one.  William Lemon will always be a mystery to me.  He doesn't seem to have come down into Michigan with the rest of Isaac M and Ann Hepzibah Tiffin Lemon's children.  If he did, I can't find him.  Every lead I've ever found ran into a dead end. Did he die in Canada?  Did he stay in Canada?

I found every one of Mary Ann Lemon Mason's children.  And their spouses.  And her grandchildren.  And I even received in the mail one of my most precious genealogical pictures; one of Mary Ann at about the age of 50 or 60.  Her hair is white, her eyes are clear and piercing, and she looks like what she was; a survivor.

So I am celebrating dreams realized;  I have found so much.  I have gained so much.  I'm so happy today that words can't describe it.  I am rejoicing in the knowledge that all of these people are a part of me, that I am a part of them.  That I know they were born, they married, they had families, they lived their lives and then moved on to whatever comes next and they are remembered.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Phoebe Ellen DeWeese Barnard Simms Lacy

My 2nd great grandmother.  She was a little, loud woman with a horrible temper, according to the memories of my great grandmother, Edna America Stevens Barnard.  She was also an adulteress, according to the divorce record.  She divorced George Washington Barnard in 1892, then married James Simms in 1893.  She had a child with Mr. Simms; Charley.  I found him in two census records and then he disappeared.  Or maybe he's there and I just can't find him because his name isn't unique enough.  Either way, he's invisible to me.  So was Ellen, as she was called.  Until today.  Today I was looking for her sons and I found her.  In 1900 she's married to James Simms and living with him and Jerry B Simms (who is actually Jerry Barnard, her youngest son with George.) and Charley, and with James' brother, Mort, who ended up marrying Ellen's sister, Hester Ann DeWeese.  Hester has her own sordid past, which I will detail another time.

So while looking for Jerry, I found Ellen, who died under the name Ellen P Lacy.  Parents are correct and a "Jim Barnard" was the informant for her death certificate.  That would be James Spencer Barnard, another of her sons.  James and Jerry Barnard went to prison for killing a man, but they were released early.  Again, a story for another time.  I don't know who the Mr. Lacy was who gave her his last name, which she took to her grave.  I haven't been able to find Ellen in the 1910 census records.  I know she was buried in Mount Olive Cemetery, which used to be DeWeese Cemetery.  I think.  There is a Mount Olive Cemetery which at one time was the DeWeese Cemetery in Union County, Kentucky, where Ellen died.  But there's also a Mount Olive Cemetery in Hardin County, Illinois, where this particular branch of my family did most of their living and dying.  So which Mount Olive Cemetery is she buried in?  I wish I knew because if I did, I'd create a Find A Grave memorial for her so the rest of my Barnard side of the family could find her.

Here's her death record.  I (heart) Kentucky.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For Every Failure There Is A Success...Sometimes.

A few days (or maybe weeks, time gets blurry when I'm genealogy-ing) I wrote someone on about maybe having a connection to one of the people in her private trees.  I got an answer back tonight, but she stated she didn't think there was a connection.  She didn't have the person's parents, only the person's husband.

Well, that was enough for me! 

I'd been working on my Griffins in Canada, taking advantage of having full access to all the world's records with my new subscription (thanks again, Knapper!), and one of the families had moved down into Michigan, so I was following them here.  They were in Aetna Township in Mecosta County, which is where I've lived before.  I find that when it comes to some branches of my family or Knapper's, we've lived where they lived without knowing they lived there, much less that they were our relatives. 

Anyway.  I was following Sarah Ellen Griffin, the daughter of Isaac James Griffin, my 1st cousin 5x removed.  Sarah was born a twin, the last two children in a large family, and almost after-thought children, if you know what I mean.  The last child born before Sarah and her twin brother James Emmerson was a brother, David Griffin, who was born in 1839.  Sarah and James were born in 1849.

So Sarah Ellen Griffin was married twice:  first she married Henry Olin in 1863 in Mecosta County when she was 13.  Yes.  13.  She was 2 months pregnant with her first child, John Olin, when she married Henry in May.  Sarah and Henry eventually had 7 children. Six sons and one daughter.  Two sons as well as the daughter ended up dying very young.  It was a hard life.

Then something happened and the family broke up.  Henry remarried and had more children and Sarah remarried as well.  Her new husband's name was Charles Blackford.  Charles was born in Washington D.C. and together he and Sarah had 4 children.  I can't be sure, but it looks like they had a set of twins also: Chloe and Cleveland.  Chloe died at 5 months.  I don't know what happened to Cleveland.  Chloe is listed as female in the record I found and Cleveland as male, but I can't find a death record for Cleveland or find him in any census record.  Another mystery.

So Charles and Sarah have at least 3 children, maybe 4.  Their other children are Maude b. 1885, Gertrude b. 1887 and then the twins (maybe) born 1889. 

Gertrude Blackford married Franklin Alphson Adams in Barry County in 1906.  Franklin was the son of Stephen Adams and his wife, Irena Burd.  I love to hunt ancestors so of course I started learning all I could about the Burd and Adams families.  The Burds were pretty easy.  The Adams, not so much. 

I worked on that family for hours and hours.  I followed them from 1850 when Franklin (Franklin A's grandfather) and Susan Dilt married and set up house, through the 1860 census, the 1870 census, and the 1880 census.  In 1881 Franklin Adams died.  The Adams' had had 8 children by then:  Joseph F b. 1852, Alta A b. 1854, Stephen b. 1856,  Rufus b. 1859, (whom I think died early, I wasn't able to trace him any further than the 1860 census) then a Francombe, a female, b. 1861, Bryon  b. 1865, Carrie b. 1869, and finally Charles Randolph Adams b. 1874. 

Joseph, Alta, and Stephen were all out of the house by the time Franklin died.  In the 1880 census only Franklin, Susan, Byron, Carrie and Charles were left in the family home.  I can't find Susan after that census, but I found the last 3 children: Byron looks to have taken over the care of Charles until he grew up, and Carrie got married in 1884 at the tender age of 15. 

It took some looking, but I found these last three in Barry County in the 1894 Michigan Census.  Carrie is with her husband, Walter Scrambling, and Byron and Charles are working on the farms of other people.  I found an Alta Hubbard and my geni-senses started tingling.  I couldn't find a marriage record for Alta Adams, but I was sure I had the right Alta. 

Anyway, I've run on and on again, haven't I? 

So the person with the private tree I wrote to told me that she doubted we had the same Alta because that part of her own family was from...and she listed the counties where the Adams family had lived or married or died.  Using her Alta's married surname and husband, I tracked down my Alta and found where she'd remarried in 1906 in Kalamazoo.  Listed on the marriage record were the names of Alta Hubbard's parents, Franklin and Susan Diltz Adams.

That was a fun hunt.  I can't find Alta's death record using the name of her second husband, but it's out there somewhere.

Where ARE you, John Bowman?

I cannot find John Bowman anywhere after 1930. These are the things I know: he was married to Emma F Turner. They were married in Fremont, Tuscola County, Michigan in 1879 (Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925, index and images, Family Search). They were in Watertown, Tuscola County, Michigan in 1880. By 1900 they had two daughters and were living in Vassar, Tuscola, Michigan. By 1910 they had moved to West Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan. They were in that same place in 1920. Emma died in 1926 (Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952, Family Search). John was still there in 1930 with the two children of his dead daughter, Ella Bowman Lemon, and his unmarried daughter, Hessie J Bowman. In 1940 Hessie is living alone with one nephew, John Clayton Lemon, Jr., who is listed as "John Booman," an obvious misspelling of Bowman, and he's using his grandfather's surname. Hessie died unmarried in 1945 (Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952).

I am almost certain John Bowman died in Michigan between 1930-1940. I have tried everything I know to find him. His wife and unmarried daughter are not listed on Find A Grave. Plenty of John Bowmans on FAG, but none in the right place at the right time.

Oh, how I wish I had access to the images of the death certificates between 1921 and 1952! I know it's probably a case of misspelling of his surname.

In every census record, John lists Illinois as his place of birth. I cannot find him in Illinois unless I know his parent's names.

Why is he hiding? Why is he forgotten after his death? Where in Illinois was he born? Who were his parents? How did he come to be in Fremont, Tuscola, Michigan in 1879?

This is driving me crazy.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Full Week of Genealogy and a World Access Pass to

I have been able to indulge my passion for genealogy without any restraint this week, as Knapper has been gone on a hunting trip to Ohio.  Before he left, he gifted me with the most expensive subscription to, for which I will be forever grateful.  So, without Knapper here and with the whole world of genealogical records spread before me, I've been...frustrated.  Why, you ask?  Because just because you have access to the whole world doesn't mean most of your ancestors won't continue to hide from record-takers.  I have been able to document a great many of my family lines in Canada, but some, including one of my most-wanted records, are still swirling out there somewhere in the mists of time...or something.

Isaac M Lemon.  He was the father of my great grandfather, Isaac B Lemon, father of my grandfather, Russell Tiffin Lemon, father of my own father, Russell Raymond Lemon.  I found the record listing the death of Isaac M's wife, Ann Tiffen Lemon.  It was an addition to the 1871 Canadian census.  Nothing written, of course, of the whereabouts of her burial.  Isaac M Lemon supposedly died not long after, but I can't find any record of that.  Frustrating.

I cheated and took Knapper's computer downstairs to use for genealogy while he's gone.  It's been lovely not having to wait and wait and wait for pages to load, and it's almost silent as well, which is wonderful.  Hours and hours go by and I am lost in records and trees and names and dates and I've been loving every second of it.  I cleaned the house when Knapper left and it's stayed clean.  I clean as I go when cooking, so the kitchen has been spotless.  I've only eaten when I felt like it, which hasn't been often.  I think this must be a little what Heaven must feel like, except in Heaven there are no missing records and all dates and spouses and children and explanations are easily found and understood.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rubys and Smiths and Jefferys and Crows, Oh My!

Leah Rhae Ruby Smith Jeffery Crow, my 1st cousin 3x removed, continues to elude me, but I'm getting closer. Today I figured out that she had a child! Or I think she did. It gets confusing. I can't place her in Duluth, Minnesota, where her "daughter" was born in 1917, but the child's father, Bayliss David Jeffery, was definitely there. He was a salesman. I found Leah, Bayliss and Elizabeth al...l living next to her parents in, of all places, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas in 1920. Then something happens and the couple divorce by 1922, she's living alone, he's married to the secretary/receptionist of the ad agency he works for, and the new couple have 4 daughters, none of them Elizabeth, so she stayed with Leah, meaning she IS Leah's daughter, I think, and not just Bayliss' from a previous relationship. I find them in the 1930 census in Texas, and Elizabeth is not with them. Elizabeth is next found in 1940 in Texas living with Leah, Leah's parents, and Leah's husband, Fred Crow. Elizabeth's surname has mysteriously changed to Crow. Then everyone seems to die: Bayliss and his wife die before 1940, and their daughters are found living in Illinois with Bayliss' sister in the 1940 census. Leah's parents die and are buried in San Antonio, and her husband, Fred, dies. He's got a find a grave memorial with a headstone showing his name and dates of birth and death, and Leah's date of birth, but no death date. Meanwhile, Elizabeth has taken back her father's surname and enlists in the armed forces in Texas in 1942. Then nothing until I find an Elizabeth Rhae Jeffery marrying a man named Vilo Dean Bannon in South Dakota. I do find both of their death Spanaway, Pierce Washington! Elizabeth's Social Security Death index record shows she got her Social Security card in Texas, so I'm pretty sure I'm on the right track. There are also links to Vilo and Elizabeth's obituaries! But it's an index listing from a public library in Washington which no longer does the look-ups of the obituaries themselves, but they have links to people/places that do! For a fee.
So, what to do, what to do?  I found a public tree with Elizabeth Rhae Bannon in it, with her father listed only as "Jeffery", no first name, and no mother, married to Vilo and with a child, but the child is listed as "private", meaning s/he is living.  I sent a message to the owner of the tree, but she hasn't been on Ancestry in a year, so she may never see it.  And there are only 5 people in her tree.  I would so love to see the obituary, but I bet it doesn't even mention Leah, much less when Leah died.  

Genealogy can be so frustrating at times!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Griffins and Merediths and Smiths, Oh, My! (Part Two)

So this week has been all about the Merediths and Griffins and Smiths. I started at the beginning of the week with the Griffins and the Smiths, trying to track down the children of Abraham Smith, Sr, the father of Mary Smith, wife of Richard Griffin in Canada. Richard and Mary started out in New York in the 1700's, moving to Canada after the Revolutionary War. Or maybe before, I can't remember right now. I know Abraham Smith was born and died in New York. He was married twice. By his first wife he had 5 daughters. Ann, Bethiah, Jemima, Charity and Mary. The abstract for his will lists them all by their married names. Bethiah married William Hill and they had Solomon Hill who married Bethiah Griffin, his cousin, the daughter of Richard and Mary Smith Griffin. Abraham Smith married for his 2nd wife a woman named Margaret. That's all that's known about her. By her he had a son, Abraham Smith, Jr. He also lived and died in New York, though I can't find a will abstract for him. He married Mary Knapp, daughter of Daniel Knapp, of New York. I had been told once that Rebecca Smith, the wife of Jesse Meredith, son of Charles and Miriam Griffin Meredith, was the daughter of Abraham Smith, Jr and his wife, Mary Knapp. (Miriam Griffin was the daughter of Richard and Mary Smith Griffin, so if this had been true, Jesse and Rebecca would also have been cousins.) But I was unable to show that Abraham and Mary Knapp Smith were the parents of Rebecca. Plus, Rebecca is said to have been born in Pennsylvania. Her death record lists her parents as Abraham and Mary Smith, but I am positive they are not the Abraham Smith, Jr and Mary Knapp listed above. I have found all the listed children of them and only two of their children married and had children. Ironically, the only daughter to have children had a daughter who married and moved to Michigan. I cannot find a connection between that daughter and my Smith/Griffins.

These people, because they were born and died so long ago, and because I only have the United States subscription to, have been a bit frustrating. I moved on to the Merediths who moved down into Michigan in the early 1800's, when Michigan was still a wilderness. Jesse and Rebecca Smith Meredith were the parents of Cyrus Meredith who was the father of Rebecca Jane Meredith who was my Grandma Lemon's mother.

One of Cyrus' brother's had a son, Charles Wesley Meredith. Charles married Hattie F Morley. Hattie was in a lot of public trees on Ancestry, and while her parents were known, the dates of the death was not. I found that information for both of them, which pleased me no end, but that information is beside the point. Charles and Hattie had three children, two girls and a boy. The boy, Maurice Clare Meredith, was involved in a head on collision with another car at 2am on a Sunday morning while taking his date for the evening home. Maybe she was his date, I don't know. There were newspaper clippings detailing the crash, which killed both Maurice and the driver of the second car. The woman Maurice was taking home survived the crash with a concussion and cuts and bruises. Her name was listed in the clippings, along with the names of her parents. The clippings also gave the names of Maurice's sisters and parents. One sister was already married and I traced her through her married name until I found her Find A Grave Memorial. Her obituary was on the memorial. That gave me the married name of her sister, Wilma Lee Meredith Donaghy. While tracking her, I found all kinds of hints for records about her death, which took place last year. I followed one of the records to the funeral home which buried her, but the listing for her arrangements on the home's website has expired. It did, however, have current listings and one of them was for the woman who was in the crash with Maurice Meredith! She died last June of this year. It even had a picture of her taken when she was much younger. She was 90 when she died. It blows my mind that she survived the crash and lived to be 90, marrying and having many children of her own. My genealogy research is filled with odd coincidences like that.

Ardis Eleanor Neumann, 90, of Sandusky, died Friday, June 21, 2013 at the Sanilac Medical Care Facility in Sandusky, Michigan.

She was born September 19, 1922 in Sandusky, Michigan the daughter of the late Carl and Ella (Miller) Zentgrebe.

She was a lifelong area resident and a 1940 graduate of Sandusky High School.

Ardis was a bookeeper, a Real Estate Broker and owned Neumann Realty.

She was a member of the Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, Sandusky.

She is survived by:

Pamela & Daniel Zalenski (daughter) of Macomb,

Frederick Neumann (son) of Clinton Twp.,

Robert Zentgrebe (brother) of Sandusky,

Patricia Chesser (sister) of Alabama,

4 grandchildren, Heather Martino, Kimberly Zalenski, Carly Zalenski and Daniel Zalenski II.

5 great grandchildren,

Many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held Monday, June 24, 2013 at 11:30 A.M. at Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, Sandusky.

Pastor Jonathan Lorenz will be officiating.

Visitation will be held at Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church, Sandusky on Monday from 10 - 11:30 AM

Cremation will follow services at the Sunset Valley Crematory in Bay City.

Interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery, Sandusky.

Memorial suggestion to the Sanilac Medical Care Facility.

Arrangements by Marsh Funeral Chapel,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Griffins and Merediths and Smiths, Oh My!

I've been doing a lot of genealogy research lately, all of it online, of course.  If I were independently wealthy, I'd physically go to the cities of my ancestors and research them all in person.  But I'm not, so I sit at a computer for hours at a stretch and Google and "search all records" and evaluate other people's trees to see if their information can be trusted.

I was working hard on the Laper tree when I took a break from genealogy and turned my attention to my house, which was screaming to be cleaned.  I mopped and vacuumed and did laundry.  Then, while putting away Knapper's laundry, I decided his dresser drawers needed cleaning and reorganizing, which I did.  I found in one of his drawers 4 computer-copied and printed books my uncle, Dick Lemon, had made and given him.  They were all about the early pioneer days of Michigan, and one of them was called "The Bark Covered House" by William Nowlin.  Well, it seems as though this William Nowlin, who moved with his parents from New York to Michigan in the early 1830's, is probably a distant relative of mine.  This started me back to researching the Griffins, the Merediths, and the Smiths.  These are very tangled strands, not to mention very confusing to follow, but amazingly, there is a lot of information about these families online.  So last night and today, while recuperating from all of yesterday's housework, I've been trying to patiently unravel the knots and twisted strings in these three families.  I'm making some progress, but it goes much too slow for my liking.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Crashing Through A Brick Wall

The most amazing thing happened recently.  I've been stuck on my maternal 3rd great grandmother for years.  All I knew about her was her name, Lucina McDowell, and that she married Thomas James Hodges.  They were the parents of Elizabeth Hodges Penrod who was the mother of Sarah Penrod Oglesby who was the mother of Alvateen Oglesby Barnard who was the mother of Myrna Loy Barnard Lemon who was the mother of me.  Years ago I was gifted with a copy of a photograph of Elizabeth Hodges Penrod, which I cherish. 

She looks strong and stern and kind of scary.  She was born in 1850 in Indiana and died in 1930 in Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky, where my grandma's family lived.  I've tried repeatedly to find the family of Elizabeth Hodges Penrod, but have always failed.  One cold day last winter, having given up after another of couple of hours of fruitless searching of records on, I stormed into the basement to feed the fire and yelled out loud, "OKAY!  If you all want me to find you, you're going to have to help me out!"  I am serious, this really happened.  I then spent the next 5 or 10 minutes roundly cussing out my mother's side of the family because of their stubborn refusal to be found.  My father's side of the family, which for years had been so difficult to trace, had become almost easy compared to the Oglesbys, Hodges, McDowells and Penrods.  So then I gave up looking for them for a long time.  I worked on my father's family, the Lemons, as is documented here.  I worked on my husband's family, the Knapps.  I even began the search for his mother's biological family, she having been adopted out before she was a year old by her birth mother.  I was wildly successful, for which I take none of the credit.  I am lucky in genealogy and sort of an idiot savant.  I start to look for a family and their names start falling into my lap.  My hunches almost always pay off.  And I love tracing families!  It gives me hours and hours of enjoyment.  When I get stuck on my own families, I create new trees and start documenting them.  It never gets boring, the thrill of finding them never gets stale.
So on Monday I thought to myself, "Why not see what McDowell families were living in Switzerland County, Indiana the year Lucinda and Thomas were married?"  Just an idle thought, and I wasn't able to do it on Monday, I looked on Tuesday.  The heavens opened and names started throwing themselves at me.  I found Lucinda's mother's maiden name.  I found her father's name.  I found the record of her parent's divorce and her father's remarriage to a woman named Lucinda Gibbons.  The names kept coming and I traced siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles.  Then today I found a fully documented site with all the names I'd been finding, plus some I hadn't found yet. 
Roberta Tuller has a website, documenting my family.  :)  I am beyond happy.  I am, almost, beyond words.  Thank you, Roberta Tuller, for putting your research online so I could find it and break down this HUGE brick wall.
Now if I could only find the parents of David Stevens, the father of Edna America Stevens, my great grandmother on my mother's paternal side.  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Leaf on an Old Tree

My first great-grandchild was born on July 25. A girl her parents named Bella Ann. The Ann is not for me; I'm Denise Ann, but because Ann is a name that is passed down in her mother's family. I'm only 55, much too young, I think, to be a great-grandmother. Of course, her parents are young as well. Her father is only 16. That would be my grandson, the oldest child of my oldest child. Her mother is even younger than her father.

Children are blessings. They ensure that part of ourselves is carried on. The way they end up coming into the world is not always a blessing, especially when their parents are ill-equipped to care for them. I don't know if I'll be able to be an integral part of her life, this newest addition to my family, the circumstances are so strange and messed up. But I love her anyway, no matter how she ended up here.

I met Bella Ann for the first time yesterday. A happy occasion for almost everyone. Babies are possibilities and endless potential. She's quite beautiful. I wonder how much of my own mother and father will be expressed in her. Will she be as intelligent as my father was? Will she be the excellent cook my mother was? What will she do with her life? And my biggest question is whether she will have the passion for knowing who all came before her as I do. Time moves quickly and I hope someone will carry on the work I started.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Finding Mary Sophia Herr

I found her.  I am so thankful to Family Search for indexing all of Michigan's death certificates from 1921 to 1952.  I am so proud that I was one of the people who helped index them!  I found Mary Herr's death record and her name had changed from Jamieson to Meyers, though I can't for the life of me find any record of her marrying a second time, or find her living with anyone named Meyers in a census.  I found her in the 1940 Census with her two youngest children, Grace and Betty Ann Jamieson.  I can't find where she and George W Jamieson divorced, and he didn't die until 1964.  I think. 

But I know it's her in the death record because it lists her parents as Frank Herr and Christine Knolty.  I'm so happy to have found her!  I wish I knew where she was buried, and I wish I could know what happened to her daughters, who were 12 and 16 in the 1940 census, after she died.  I won't be alive when the 1950 census is released, but I suppose by the time it is, I'll have all the answers to every one of my questions.  Or at least I like to think that all questions are answered in Heaven. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Way It Goes

I love to research genealogy.  I'm also easily frustrated, so when I get blocked on a line, I like to work on others.  I'm one of those people on Ancestry who has more than 12 trees, only 2 of which are related directly to me.  It's fun!  It makes me feel smart, and I'm relatively good at it.  But a couple of months ago I got to feeling tree-bloated.  I went through all my trees and deleted more than half of them. 

So of course someone emailed me about someone in one of my trees, and Yay! I still had that tree!  But the tree with all the information on the family that had intermarried several times with that particular tree, well, that's one of the ones I deleted.  I deleted sources and records and pictures and death certificates.  Now I find that I really wish I had that tree back. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Finding the Herr Women

Females present more of a challenge than males when researching genealogy.  This is true in my own family.  I'm looking for all the siblings of Charles William Frederick Herr, the father of my father's mother, Clara Herr.  Charles Herr, or "Charlie" as he was called, came from a HUGE family.  His father, Frank Herr, who was born in Alsace-Lorraine, France, married Hannah Christine Whilemina Nolty in Canada.  She was born in Germany.  Together they had 14 children.  Not all of the children lived.  The first to be born were a set of twins.  The couple had moved down to Fort Wayne, Indiana and the twins were born and died there.  Two daughters died in infancy in Michigan as well. 

So trying to find the daughters has been tough.  Family Search has helped by having the Michigan marriage records available, which enables me to see who they married.  That was a huge help.  So I've been able to trace and track all of Frank and Hannah's children except one daughter; Mary Herr.  I know who she married, I've found her in the census records, but she is the only child I have not been able to find a death record for.  Is it because she remarried and I don't know her husband's name?  Is it because she moved out of Michigan?  That's possible because one of her sisters, Minnie, married a Russian man and the entire family moved west, first to Nebraska and then to Washington state.  One of Mary's sons moved out to Washington state as well, living in the same county as Minnie's family.

But not being able to find when Mary died is eating at me.  She was born in Michigan in 1882, married a man named George Jamieson, and had 12 children herself.  Where did Mary Herr Jamieson die, and when?

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Indelicate Subject of Incest

Yesterday I blogged about the Joseph and Lucinda Cashall Meredith family and their oldest child, Maude Mae.  Today I was researching Amanda Caroline Meredith, the daughter of Sarah Ann Meredith, the sister of Joseph.  I found the three of them, Sarah, Joseph and Amanda, living in Forestville, Sanilac County, Michigan in 1870 along with their mother, Rebecca Smith Meredith.  Sarah is older than Joseph and Amanda is 3.  Sarah married Matthew Hawksworth in 1876.  Joseph married Lucinda in 1875.  Rebecca died in 1874.

So I had Amanda down as the child of Sarah, and it bothers me that I have Amanda's father as Matthew Hawksworth, which I know isn't right, so I start combing through Family Search.  I find Amanda's birth record with her mother recorded as Sarah Ann Meredith, but no father.  I click on a hint in Ancestry and find a tree that has these family members and the notation for Amanda that says her birth record plainly states Amanda is illegitimate, her father unknown.  But something tells me that Joseph is her father.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Amanda's death record on Family Search says her mother was Sarah Meredith and gives her father as Matthew Hawksworth. 

So life goes on and Maude Mae, Joseph's child, and Amanda, Sarah's child grow up and get married; Maude to Jacob Thompson and Amanda to William Putnam.  Maude and Jacob's first child is a daughter, Loverta Thompson.  Amanda and William's first child is a son, Claude Putnam. 

I'm in the process of trying to track down when Amanda Caroline Meredith Putnam and discover she died in Detroit, Michigan in 1931.  Interesting.  I have her and her husband consistently living in Rose, Michigan, located in a county I've never heard of,  Ogemaw.  (I guess in my head if I don't hear it in a weather report, the county doesn't exist?)  So Amanda died in Detroit.  Where did William die?  I do some checking and find he also died in Detroit in 1924.  What's in Detroit that would cause this couple to move and then die there?

Turns out it was their son, Claude.  Claude is in Detroit in the 1930 census living with his wife, Laverta Putnam.  Also living with them are children with the last name of Schultz, one a male named Lorn.  Um, what?  Loverta Thompson, daughter of Maude Meredith who was the daughter of Joseph Meredith, the brother of Sarah (the mother of Amanda, the mother of Claude) has married her 1st cousin (and perhaps her uncle?) Claude Putnam.  Her first husband was Lorn Schultz, who I found on Find A Grave buried by himself, no Loverta with him.  He died in 1923 and is buried in Alpena.  The record I found for his death on Family Search doesn't have his marital status.

Claude and Loverta's first child together was Violet, born in 1928.  Altogether they would have 5 daughters, including a set of twin girls, Jean and Joan. 

I've run across incest in families before, but not in mine.  This gave me pause.  And I think someone didn't want me to keep researching this subject because weird things started happening when I started the research last night.  Family Search refused to work when I first started the hunt for Amanda Caroline Meredith around 1 am this morning, so I just went to bed.  Then today when I found the first hint of incest, Ancestry kept giving me errors while trying to add the census information.  Then my own genealogy and personal websites went down.  I called my hosting company to ask about it and was told, "Gee, it's working fine now."  Sure enough, when I checked again, the sites were back up.  The technician at the hosting company said, "Huh, that's weird," when I told him the error message I was getting;  "Your database is not communicating with your server."  I'm half laughing at myself for even thinking these things, but half of me is wondering...really?  Is it that big of a deal, you guys?

I think it just happens in families.  


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jacob Lemon Thompson

I was researching Merediths yesterday.  My father's mother, Clara Herr Lemon, was the daughter of Rebecca Jane Meredith and Charles Herr.  Clara's grandpa, Cyrus Meredith, lived to be almost 100 years old and it was his birth family I was looking at.  This was a large family with many sons.  One of Cyrus' brothers was named Joseph Meredith.   The whole Meredith clan moved down from Canada in the mid 1800's to the thumb area of Michigan. 

Joseph Meredith, brother of Cyrus, son of Jesse Meredith and Rebecca Smith, married Lucinda Cashall.  There was some confusion about his wife's last name.  I found it listed as Cassore in another tree and on the marriage record of Maude Mae Meredith, Joseph and Lucinda's oldest child.  But while researching the family further, I found a copy of their son's death certificate online at the Library of Michigan and Joseph was the informant for the details of birth and he listed his wife's name as Cyndia Cashall, and he would know his own wife's maiden name, right?  Or at least that's what I figure, so Cashall it is.

Their oldest child, Maude, married a man named Jacob L Thompson in Forestville, Sanilac, Michigan on the 21st of December 1892.  I found this record on, which I love.  I try to use information which only has an image attached as that seems to me to be the most accurate.  I started there and then started learning everything I could about Jacob L Thompson.  He was born in Canada in 1871 to John and Ann Wearq Thompson.  When I put him in as the spouse of Maude on, I got "hints" that he was on Find A Grave, and that Jacob Lemon Thompson was born to John and Ann in Canada.  Since I only have the American subscription on Ancestry, I can't verify for sure that this is the Jacob Thompson I'm looking for, but my geni-senses are a-tingling. 

What a strange coincidence if Jacob Thompson is somehow related to my Lemon family other than through the marriage to my 1st cousin 3x removed!   Because Maude's cousin, Rebecca Meredith, the daughter of Cyrus who was the brother of Maude's father, was the mother of my grandmother who married Russell Tiffen Lemon! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Relative Relations

My sister-in-law, Kennetta Dines Lemon, was here and spent the night on Saturday.  She's a genealogy buff like me, but much more detail oriented.  She created her own genealogy program on her computer using Excell.  She has notebooks filled with documents and sources and her trip up here was another fact finding mission.  She visited 3 or 4 cemeteries and then went to the Grand Rapids Public Library, which I didn't even know was open on Sundays.  She's one of those genealogists you love to hate.  She documents her sources to the "T", she contacts funeral homes and sextons and county registers of deeds.  She's the genealogist I aspire to be but probably never will attain.

We had great fun during her visit talking of dead and living relatives.  We also made plans to visit the Library of Michigan and Macomb County.  I see a trip to Salt Lake City in our future.  I wonder if she's aware of the Family History Libraries the Mormons run?  She lives with my brother in Indiana, near Fort Wayne, which has a library with an extensive genealogy library.  She says she hasn't been able to find much information there relevant to her searches. 

She did respark my own genealogy passion, which is always welcome.  I'm excited about tomorrow which is the start of the free 5 day access to's international marriage records.  So many of my ancestors lived, married and died in Canada and I can't wait to see what information I can gather.

Monday, April 8, 2013

One of those years, I think...

Genealogy and blogging have taken a backseat to life lately.  I paid someone to finish updating my genealogy website and tweaked a thing or two here and there and then just abandoned it.  Typical me.  I hit a brick wall and get discouraged and drop everything for awhile until suddenly one day, seemingly out of the blue, my interest is rekindled and I'm back on the trail of people dead hundreds of years.

I have emails to answer on, leads to follow up on, cleaning up of my website to do and yet I do nothing.  I was supposed to make a trip to Lansing to the Library of Michigan to see if I can find the obituaries of John Lemon and his son Frank, and see if the library has copies of Acorns to Oaks, the genealogy newsletter for Oakland County, which has an article on the Isaac Lemon bible.  I seriously doubt it's my Isaac Lemon, there were a few of them in Oakland County in the same time period as mine.  I guess that can wait, or so is my attitude lately.

Had a phone conversation with a descendant of John Lemon.  Her father was Clayton Lemon Jr, her grandfather Clayton Lemon Sr., the son of John Lemon, my great grandfather's brother.  I sent her email invitations to my site and to my tree on, but I haven't heard back from her.  I was hoping she'd have a picture of her dad and grandfather.  She said that her dad and grandfather were truck drivers, which is typical for Lemons.  My father and his twin brother were truck drivers, their father was a teamster as was his father.  Interesting how things like that pass down through families.  Her father sounded a lot like my father.

So until my passion for genealogy is rekindled, I apologize for the sparse nature of my updates.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Note To Self: ARGGGGGGH!

I have been struggling with upgrading my genealogy site software.  I use TNG, The Next Generation of Genealogy Software, written by Darrin Lythgoe.  It is most excellent software and before I found it, I despaired of ever finding a cogent way of displaying all my genealogy information.  I really love this software, but it's simple in a complicated way. 

I haven't been able to get the site software updated because I've been trying to force Dreamweaver to submit to my will.  This will never happen.  *I* have to submit to *Dreamweaver*.  Steep, steep learning curve for me.  I love Dreamweaver, too.  I downloaded a trial version and am working with that and it's been only in the last few hours that I've been able to come close to achieving what I want for the design of the site.  Which is: to keep the same design. 

It sounds as if it should be simple, doesn't it?  Oh, I only wish it were, because it is NOT.

In other genealogy news, I received an email from a distant "cousin".  My 3rd great grandfather was Cyrus Meredith.  Let's see if I did that correctly: Cyrus to Rebecca to Clara to Russell (my father) to me.  Nope.  Only 2nd.  Anyway, the woman I've been corresponding with is a descendant of the brother of Cyrus.  She's been in touch with my late Grandma Lemon's cousin, Billee Longuskie Escott. Billee wrote a book, something that would have tickled my father no end, he being a frustrated writer himself.  My Grandma, Clara Herr, was the daughter of Rebecca Meredith Herr.  Rebecca was the sister of Ersell Meredith Longuskie.  How wonderful to find new relations!  I'm hoping for more copies of pictures because I LOVE pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I'm going to have to reconnect all the photos on my site, and add all the death certificates I've collected.  I have a lot of them. 

Welcome all visitors from Geneabloggers!  Not much to see here, but I do appreciate the visits.  :)

And now to bed.