One Lovely Blog Award!

blogaward

I was very surprised to see that the Genealogy Sisters nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you so much!! I can’t begin to tell you how honored and surprised I am to receive your nomination :) I started this blog nearly one year ago and wasn’t quite sure where it would take me. I know I have fallen off a bit on blogging on a more regular basis but I’m still here and not planning on going anywhere.

With this blogging award, there are a few guidelines:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog

2. Share seven things about yourself

3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!)

4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you’ve tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award.

So with that, here are seven things about me:

  • The main reason I love genealogy so much is to help me discover who I came from. I know for some, knowing who your great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather/mother was isn’t very exciting because of how far removed we are. But for me, once I place that person then I have someone to follow through history with. They are like little time machines for me. I love figuring out how they lived their life and even, if possible, what kind of person they were.  I also like to try and figure out if any traits have been passed down through the generations. I find it very inspiring.
  • I have lived in three states so far and have always lived near very large bodies of water. My husband and I toyed with the idea of moving west, maybe to Colorado, but the idea of being in a place without a large body of water is foreign. And I feel very dry just thinking about it.
  • I am a runner but it’s because I’m lazy. Wait, wait! Let me explain! I like the idea of burning a certain amount of calories (usually goes along with how many goodies were consumed over the weekend!) but I honestly don’t like to work out for that long. I’d have to walk for about 2 hours to get the same amount of calories burned for a little over half an hour of running. So, I run. Makes sense, right? :)
  • I am a HUGE reader. And I love goodreads.com for that reason. It’s a great place for me to keep track of what books I’ve read and what I want to read. Plus, I love the reading challenges! I challenged myself to 60 books this year but I’m a bit behind. I read a few very LONG books this year!
  • I love to travel. In fact, if I could, I’d sell the house and get some sort of RV to travel all the time. My husband and I had a plan to do just that for a year but as things usually go, life happened and plans changed. But we still travel as often as we can.
  • I painted for the first time (ever) this past weekend at a Wine and Canvas event. Now all I want to do is order paint and canvases and go crazy! But really, if you have one of those Canvas type places by you (not all include wine!), try it. It’s amazing what you’ll be able to do! Maybe some of my grandma’s talent is in me? :)

painting

 

  • One of the main reasons why I started this blog was to see if I could pull some Witherell’s out of the woodwork. What I once thought was an uncommon name, I’ve discovered is not. So I’ve been ever hopeful that someone, somewhere is also searching for the same Witherell’s I am! My fingers are still crossed!

For the fifteen or however many blogs, I know not all like awards. If I nominated you and you don’t like awards, I apologize (I also apologize if you’ve already been nominated)! Not all are genealogy related but all are worthy reads. So here are some of the amazing blogs that I nominate (in no particular order):

  1. If Destroyed Still True
  2. Tracing Amy: My Ancestral Journey
  3. Anglers Rest
  4. A Day in the Life of Patootie
  5. A Hundred Years Ago
  6. Family History Across the Seas
  7. On the Upcycle
  8. Past Smith
  9. Genealogy Adventures
  10. Turquoise Compass
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Six Word Saturday: Pets

455 spoiling the dog

Spoil the dog? We would never! ;)

Categories: Photo, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Thankful Thursday: Digital Records

How to Store These???

How to Store These???

One of my society’s has an off branch group that meets once a month to go over a specific topic. This last week we discussed scanning items – specifically photos. I found this incredibly useful as I don’t have much experience with that yet.

At the moment, I use a portable scanner like this one. It’s great for documents and when I travel to visit family I can easily scan documents and photos without having to ask to borrow the picture/document or bring a clunky machine from house to house.

The only problem is that it doesn’t have the best DPI as it only does 300 or 600 DPI. That is fine for documents and even newspaper clippings but I would like something better for pictures. And as you all know, I have a LOT of pictures. We got to watch some demonstrations that showed what a higher DPI could do for photos and I was amazed! I am now hunting for a good scanner.

Along with that, we got to talking about photo editing. I use Picasa because it’s free. It works for the most part but I can’t move the margins of a picture so I can then write the citation below the image. This is okay for most of my documents as I’ll then be sure to scan a bit below the document so I have room to type the citation without writing over the image. However, with some documents that doesn’t work. So I’d like to have something better. Everyone at the meeting seemed to use Adobe Photoshop Elements. What about everyone who reads this – what is your preference? I’d be working with old photos so something that could help me touch up photos or make them look better is what I’d want.

So, any suggestions for scanners? Photo editing?

 

Categories: Method | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Three Generations

454 1929 grandpa

 

1929- My great-great grandpa, Arthur Almy, my beloved grandpa Bobbie Witherell (only three months old here!), and my handsome great-grandpa Glenn Witherell. I miss my grandpa a lot this time of year (and well, every time of the year really) and felt this picture was fitting for the my mood. :)

Categories: ALMY, Photo, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Happy Fall!

This is in no way genealogy related really but I had a moment to post and wanted to welcome everyone to my favorite season! Bring on the chili, pumpkins, squash, colors, sweatshirts, hot-cider, spooky costumes, candy, trick-and-treaters,  last-minute bike rides and hikes and more!

IMG_0147

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Wordless Wednesday: 11th Michigan Infantry

453 Civil War in White Pigeon Library file cabinet labeled White Pigeon history a-l civil war folder

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Friday’s Faces from the Past: The Kids

452 G-grandma

 

I believe my great-grandma (Erma (Almy) Witherell) is in the back on the right with the glasses. Some of these kids could be neighbors, cousins, even her siblings but I can’t tell.

 

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy the beginning of the fall weather :)

Categories: Photo | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Wordless Wednesday: Doggie Tricks

At the bottom of the photo it says: "Mugs and Bobby Dog"

At the bottom of the photo it says: “Mugs and Bobby Dog”

 

This was taken in 1929 when Bobbie (my grandpa) was not even a year old yet. Mugs shows up in several pictures and I assume she is a friend of Erma’s, my great-grandmother.

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Mystery Monday: Lily Witherell Take Two!

One of the first mysteries I discussed on here was about my 3times great-grandmother, Lily (McLeod) Witherell. She is still a mystery, but during my BU course, I took a look at her burial record more closely. That gave me clues that I had missed up to that point. With that, I used part of my research on Lily for one of my assignments for the BU course. We were to create a research question and form a hypothesis based on our research. If we couldn’t answer the question completely, we were to give our further research goals. This is part of my result from that assignment. I think it’s very interesting to note the improvement in my research writing from the first posting on Lily and this one. I learned quite a bit about research writing from the BU course!

If you haven’t read the original post on Lily, this post includes the background information so there’s no need to read the previous post for information. 

Possible photo of Lillian McLeod and maybe a relative of hers.

Possible photo of Lillian McLeod and maybe a relative of hers.

Lily’s Death

Lily’s death record no longer exists and the Saginaw County Clerk only has a death register book left with her information. That information does not include anything about where she was buried.[1]  Her obituary also does not include any information about where she was buried. Her funeral was simply held at her home and no officiate was mentioned to look into church records.[2]

A clue of her burial is where her husband, Gard Witherell is buried.  Gard never remarried so it would make sense that he was buried with his wife. Gard’s obituary includes his place of burial: Oakwood Cemetery in Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan.[3]  No Gard Witherell is buried in any Saginaw cemetery, however; but there is a Gardener Witherell.[4] This Gardener Witherell died in 1895 at the age of 34 from stricture of the intestine.[5] Gard died in September 1915 at the age of 58 from heart disease, so Gardener could not be the same person.[6] In the same lot, there exists a Charles Witherell. Charles Witherell died in 1915 at the age of 58 and from heart disease.[7]

The death information on Charles Witherell matches Gard’s death information so the index here could very well be an error but going from the name of Gard to Charles is quite a leap.[8] A look into the actual cemetery records shows that the record on file is for a Chas G. Witherell, not a Charles. So the online index does have that incorrectly recorded as Charles Witherell, but since Chas is a nickname for Charles it’s easy to see how the mistake was made.[9] Plus, there are records to show that Gard goes by the name of Chas later in life.

Chas Witherell AKA Gard Witherell

Gard Witherell named his first-born son after him[10]. In the 1900 census, we see Gard living with his two sons, Gard Cyrus and Ostrom, along with his mother. Here we can confirm that Gard’s son was also named Gard.[11] In records and family tradition, the men did not use Junior or Senior to tell the difference between the two. Perhaps that is why in the 1910 census, we see Gard Cyrus living with his wife and young family along with his father, Chas.[12] This Chas matches all the information from Gard as far as birth date and career but the simple point that he was identified as Gard Cyrus’s father confirms that Gard started to go by Chas later in life.

One item that conflicts is that the death record. The record is for a Chas G. Witherell, not a Gard Witherell.[13] To confirm that this record is indeed for Gard, a look at his obituary helps to connect the death information. According to his obituary, Gard died 1 September 1915 of a heart attack in Battery Park in Saginaw and was 58 years old at the time of death.[14] Chas G. Witherell’s death record is for a 58-year-old man who died 1 September 1915 of heart disease in Battery Park in Saginaw.[15] These connections show that Chas G. Witherell has the same death information as Gard Witherell. Gard’s obituary does not include his nickname but does correlate with the death record. There are no other records of a Charles Witherell who died, or even lived, in Saginaw at that time; only the older Gard fits where Chas appeared.[16]

Another connection to Gard and the nickname Chas is through Gard’s older brother, John.  Gard’s death in a park made it unusual but even more unusual is that his older brother John had died in the same way a few months earlier, all of which Gard’s obituary mentions.[17] John’s death record gives his parents as David and Martha (Wolcott) Witherell, which matches the parents named on the death record for Chas G. Witherell.[18] Martha is also the same woman who is marked as Gard’s mother in the 1910 census, which is another connection that Gard and Chas are the same man.[19] Plus, the fact that Martha’s obituary only mentions that she had two surviving sons when she died in 1911 and named them as John and Gard; no Chas is mentioned. [20]

All the correlations between Chas and Gard show that they are the same man and that the grave for Chas Witherell is actually for Gard Witherell.

Lily and Gardner Witherell

Understanding that the grave of Chas Witherell is really Gard Witherell, brings into the question of who is buried under Gardener Witherell’s name. The cemetery record shows this to be a man who died at the age of 34 from stricture of intestines and was buried on 10 June 1895.[21] Lily’s death record shows she died 8 June 1895 at the age of 32 from paralysis of the bowels.[22]

There are several bits of conflicting evidence here that I believe can be explained. First, Lily’s age was actually 34 according to her obituary, the 1880 census, and her marriage record.[23] Since the death record is in register form and not the original, an error was probably made when copying the age into the book.

The cause of death in both records sounds very similar. Stricture of the intestine is something found with Crohn’s disease where the intestine has been damaged by inflammation and swelling which can cause a bowel obstruction.[24]  Since neither record is the original and the original is no longer available, the information could have been simply reworded since they both mean the same thing.

The name on the burial record can also be explained. If the original cemetery record had Mrs. Gard Witherell on the form, it could have easily been rewritten with the Mrs. not included. Because of that, the typist would not have known that the record was for a female, not a male. Gard was also a very unusual name and is misspelled in many records. The typist could have thought it was shortened and was meant to be Gardener, hence the mistake.

Also, to support that this is Lily’s grave, not a Gardener Witherell, at the time of Lily’s death, there were no other Witherell’s in Saginaw who died at the same time with such similarities. Therefore, it is very likely that Lily is buried where a “Gardner Witherell” is said to be buried.[25]

The Burial Record Owner and Future Research

Sadly, the section and lot number in Oakwood cemetery does not have any grave markers for anyone buried in that area. However, the burial record does have some clues to support that Lily is most likely buried under Gardener’s name because of the owner of the graves. Thomas Sims owned the graves in that section. There are two actual plots. In one plot are Gardener and Chas. In the other plot, there are five people buried. Three of whom where Sims, two being less than a year old and one with no age attached to him. The other two were also children and were most likely some relation to Thomas Sims but do not share his last name.[26]

Looking for more information on Thomas Sims shows that there was a Thomas Sims who lived in Bridgeport, Saginaw County, who married a Katherine McLeod.[27] Later on, these two lost a son named John while they lived in Saginaw County.[28] Unfortunately, that John does not match the death date for the John that is recorded in the same lot. The lot has a John H Sims who died 17 September 1874 and the county register book recorded a John Sims who died 1 August in 1872.[29] Since the cemetery records have already been called into question on the accuracy, it isn’t too farfetched to believe that the records were incorrect, however, so far only the names have been incorrect, not the death dates.

Further research is necessary to connect Thomas Sims to those children that are buried in the lot he owns, and to connect him to the Thomas Sims that married Katherine McLeod. The McLeod name is popular enough in Saginaw where more research is needed to confirm that Katherine and Lily could also be related. There is a strong possibility that this is so which helps the argument that Lily is buried in that plot.

My next steps in getting more evidence to make a stronger argument that Lily is buried where Gardener Witherell is buried are as follows:

  • Go to the county clerk to find the death records of the children buried in the same plot to see if their parents name are included.
  • If Katherine is connected to this Thomas, find them in census records
  • Find Katherine’s death record and obituary once last place of residence is known to find mention of where Katherine was born, who her parents were, and where they may have lived to find more census records to see if Lily and her connect as family.
  • See if there are railroad work records to see if Thomas and Gard knew each other from work.
  • Once the children connection is made and a wife’s name can be confirmed, find census records to see if Thomas lived nearby Lily and Gard during their life.

[1] Saginaw County, Michigan, Death Book D, 1895-1898: pg. 11, line no. 921, Lily Witherell, 8 June 1895; Saginaw County Clerk’s Office, Saginaw. Note: Death Book D’s first half has been placed into Death Book E.

[2] Lillie Witherell Obituary, Saginaw Evening News, Saginaw, Michigan, 10 June 1895, p. 7 col. 5.

[3] “Second Brother Dies in City Park,” Saginaw Courier Herald, Saginaw, Michigan, 2 September 1915, p. 7, col. 3. Also “No Inquest on Death of Gard Witherell,” Saginaw Courier Herald, Saginaw, Michigan, 3 September 1915, p. 5, column 6.

[4] Public Libraries of Saginaw, City of Saginaw Cemeteries Search, database, Public Libraries of Saginaw (cemeteries.saginaw-mi.com/search/ : accessed 15 July 2014); Oakwood Cemetery search with last name of Witherell

[5] Public Libraries of Saginaw, City of Saginaw Cemeteries; Gardener Witherell, 1895.

[6] “Second Brother Dies in City Park,” 2 September 1915, p. 7, col. 3.

[7] Public Libraries of Saginaw, City of Saginaw Cemeteries; Charles Witherell, 1915.

[8] Library of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” database, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org/discover/death=records-1897-1920 : accessed 14 April 2014), entry for Chas G. Witherell, registered no. 528 (1915).

[9] Oakwood Cemetery, (Saginaw, Michigan), plat book page 56, citing owner Thomas Sims, lot N ½ 21, section 22; Saginaw Public Works Service Center, Saginaw. Also, Public Libraries of Saginaw, City of Saginaw Cemeteries; Oakwood Cemetery search with last name of Witherell.

[10] The younger Gard will be identified as Gard Cyrus throughout this report.

[11] 1900 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw Ward 15, sheet 4A (penned), p. 162(stamped), dwelling 71, family 74, Gard Witherell and family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 July 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm publication T623, roll 740.

[12] 1910 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw Ward 1, sheet 26A (penned), p. 26 (stamped), dwelling 503, family 528, Gard Witherell with his father Chas; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 July 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 672.

[13] Library of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” entry for Chas G. Witherell, registered no. 528 (1915).

[14] “Second Brother Dies in City Park,” 2 September 1915, p. 7, col. 3.

[15] Library of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” entry for Chas G. Witherell, registered no. 528 (1915).

[16] An Ancestry.com search was done using Chas and Charles Witherell (and variations) in Saginaw County, Michigan, for the years 1870-1900 with no results.

[17] “Second Brother Dies in City Park,” 2 September 1915, p. 7, col. 3. Also, “Find Dead Body Lying in Park: John Witherell Supposed to Have Suffered Attack of Heart Failure,” Saginaw Courier Herald, Saginaw, Michigan, 11 July 915, p. 7, col. 4.

[18] Library of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” database, Seeking Michigan (http://seekingmichigan.org/discover/death=records-1897-1920 : accessed 14 April 2014), entry for John Witherell, registered no. 439 (1915). Also, Library of Michigan, “Death Records, 1897-1920,” entry for Chas G. Witherell, registered no. 528 (1915).

[19] 1900 U.S. census, Saginaw Co., Michigan, pop. sch.,  sheet 4A (penned), p. 162(stamped), dwell. 71, fam. 74, Martha Curtis.

[20] Martha Curtis Obituary, Saginaw Daily News, Saginaw, Michigan, 14 January 1911, p.2, col. 5.

[21] Oakwood Cemetery, (Saginaw, Michigan), plat book page 56, burial record for Gardener Witherell, lot N ½ 21, section 22; Saginaw Public Works Service Center, Saginaw.

[22] Saginaw County, Michigan, Death Book D, 1895-1898: pg. 11, line no. 921, Lily Witherell, 8 June 1895.

[23] 1880 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw Ward 4, sheet 8 (penned), dwelling 67, family 71, Lily McCloud; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 July 2014), citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 602. Also, Saginaw County, Michigan, Marriages 1867-1878 v. B C, Witherel-McLeod; images database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/search/collection/list : accessed 15 July 2014), path: United States > Michigan > Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1935 > Browse images > Saginaw > Marriages, 1867-1878, v. B C > image 93, line 1339. Also, Lillie Witherell Obituary, Saginaw Evening News, Saginaw, Michigan, 10 June 1895, p. 7 col. 5.

[24] Michael Kerr, “Intestinal Blockage,” Healthline, article; (http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/intestinal-blockage : accessed 15 July 2014), 1 March 2012, specifically information on strictures.

[25] Public Libraries of Saginaw, City of Saginaw Cemeteries; search with last name of Witherell and variations.

[26]  Oakwood Cemetery, (Saginaw, Michigan), plat book page 56, citing owner Thomas Sims, lot N ½ 21, section 22.

[27] Saginaw County, Michigan, Michigan Marriages, 1822-1995, Simms-McLeod, 28 November 1870; index database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/ : accessed 15 July 2014); FHL microfilm 967189

[28] Saginaw County, Michigan, Michigan Deaths 1867-1897, John Simms, 1 August 1872; Department of Vital Records, Lansing, Michigan; index and images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/ : accessed 15 July 2014); FHL microfilm 2363451.

[29] Oakwood Cemetery, (Saginaw, Michigan), plat book page 56, citing owner Thomas Sims, lot N ½ 21, section 22. Also, Saginaw County, Michigan, Michigan Deaths 1867-1897, John Simms, 1 August 1872.

Categories: McLEOD, Problem, Research | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Sanford Dam

450 glenn and random

This picture was taken in 1929 at the Sanford Dam. I am assuming it was given to Erma because on the back it states: “Mother, I + Glenn” and I know that is not Erma nor her mother/step-mother. In the loose photo album sheet that this picture was found in, Erma wrote on the side “Mrs. Anbach & Bertha – Sanford”

I have never heard those names before. Perhaps they were family friends or neighbors?

 

Categories: ALMY, Photo, WITHERELL+ | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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