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.