Saturday, April 27, 2013


o you have a name that has been in your family for centuries? I have several, but one stands out--JANE. In keeping with family tradition, my middle name is JANE.


My paternal grandmother was Martha JANE Brashear.  One second great grandmother was Martha JANE Turner. Another second great grandmother was JANE McFarland.  My seventh great grandmother was JANE Prather. Another seventh great grandmother was JANE Braunston. My ninth great grandmother was JANE Fallin. My tenth great grandmother was JANE Bates.  Another tenth great grandmother was JANE Curwen. Another tenth great grandmother was JANE Stark.

My great grand aunt was JANE Barbara Stewart. My fifth great grand aunt was JANE Bean.  My sixth great grand aunt was JANE Beall.

And then there are all the cousins: Three women with the name JANE Magruder, JANE Mullikin, another JANE Prather and JANE Baldock.


My mom’s name was JANE. My great grandmother’s name was JANE Owen. My second great grandmother was JANE Lewis. Another second great grandmother was JANE Pritchard. My ninth great grandmother was JANE Hulet.

And then there are the cousins: JANE Crandall, JANE Babcock, JANE Foote, JANE  Cutler and JANE Hinklin.

Through, I found a living cousin from my mom’s Welsh side of the family. Guess what? Her middle name is Jane too.

Frankly, I was never wild about the name Jane but, after seeing its importance in my family tree, I have grown to love it.

Here are some “J” pins passed down from my women ancestors:

Wikipedia has a good list of name variants as well as famous people named Jane, such as Calamity Jane and Jane Austen:

If you want to read up on the name Jane, here are some links I found:

Do you have a favorite family name that has been used numerous times? Will future generations continue the pattern?


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Full-Color Old-Time Vignettes, 2002.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013


The Farmington Community Library is a district library that serves Farmington Hills and Farmington, Michigan ( (For those of you unfamiliar with this area, Farmington Hills is in the Southeast corner of Michigan.) I must confess that I hadn’t been to the Farmington Hills Library in several years, and I have never been to the Farmington Library.  Yesterday I visited the Farmington Hills Library to attend a lecture on Genetic Genealogy hosted by the Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan ( As a member of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research (, I was invited.  

As I walked up to the Farmington Hills Library, I looked down and saw the following tile on the walkway:

I thought it was so appropriate in light of all the horrific events that have been occurring in Boston this last week. As a graduate of Boston University, I felt a special pang of sorrow for the B.U. student who was killed. 


The talk on Genetic Genealogy was given by Robert Sliwinski, a biologist and genetic genealogist, who flew in from Chicago to make his presentation. First of all, he was hilarious—he said his arms hurt from the flight, and he made a great Viking imitation.  Robert gave a two hour presentation (with a short break) on the different DNA testing companies and how DNA can help you with your genealogical research.  He shared his own DNA results as well as photographs and stories from his family. He showed a slide of pictures of his mother and various other female DNA hits—the facial shapes were amazingly similar. His company (DNA Explorers-- helps people interpret their DNA results. He spoke about markers, haplogroups, genetic distance, genetic sequences, the Seven Daughters of Eve and much more. I have had my DNA tested by Ancestry and 23andme, and I have plenty of questions. I just might hire him to help me.


I was impressed with the Farmington Hills Library. The presentation was held in an auditorium on the second level. The first level had a well-stocked coffee shop, and the people at the Circulation Desk were helpful.  I didn’t have time to explore the library materials, but I plan to return. In the meantime, I have explored their website, and it is amazing.

If you click on the Local History Link on the top right, you will see a screen with a number of options. I clicked on Heritage Room Resources and was astonished at all the free information available on the computer in the convenience of one’s home.  For example, under Church Records I found a link to the Farmington Area Genealogical Indexes Online Search Tool  ( This tool helps you locate obituaries, maiden names, marriages, surnames and cemeteries.  I entered the surname Cutler and came up with six people along with their dates of death and where their obituaries are located. In some cases there was a direct link to the newspaper page.


I went back to the Local History page and clicked on Digital Collections, then Browse/Search Farmington Newspapers ( Here I found links to Farmington newspapers from 1888 to 2003 ( is also a tab where you can search papers from 2003 to the current previous quarter ( And, lastly, there’s a tab where you can view the current issue of the Farmington Observer. Old newspapers are great ways to discover information on your ancestors, and the information is FREE.


I then went back once again to the Local History page and clicked on Digital Collections.  This time I clicked on Browse/Search our Digitized Historical Monographs ( I can’t begin to describe all the goodies you will find here. One in particular that caught my eye was Farmington’s Centennial Families (  Be sure to check out the historical monographs.


Once more I returned to the Local History page, Digital Collections. I clicked on FCL Heritage Collection: Local Telephone Directories ( There are links to the complete Farmington telephone directories as far back as 1939. There are also links to directories for some surrounding towns such as Southfield, Livonia, Walled Lake, Northfield and Mayfair.


As if the above is not enough, there is a tab for Historic Images where you will find pictures and a brief description of Farmington:
  • Churches
  • Hotels
  • Inns & Taverns
  • Schools
  • Street Streets and Scenes


There is much more, including a set of links to Oakland County resources ( ), Michigan resources (, major genealogical collections ( and libraries with strong genealogical collections (

Thank you Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan and Farmington Community Library.

We are so fortunate to live in this great and free country. God bless America!


t’s not easy researching a name like William WILLIAMS. Fortunately, my mother kept fabulous scrapbooks about her maternal Welsh ancestors.  Here is a picture of William WILLIAMS and his wife, Jane OWEN, my great grandparents. 

Jane Owen and William Williams

William and Jane left their home in Holyhead, Wales in 1883 to come to this county. Here is a search result from Castle Garden ( that shows what I believe to be their arrival:


From this record, you can see that William was 27, Jane was 26 and their son William was 1 month old.  It is amazing that they made the trip with a baby so young.  (Infant William would eventually die while working as an electrician for the railroad in Rome, New York. See my previous post at

This family arrived at Castle Garden on 16 April 1883.  There were two other males, John and Roland, with the surname Williams who arrived on that date on the ship Spain. Currently, I have no Roland Williams in my family tree. That is a name that needs to be investigated.  William WILLIAMS had an older brother John, and that could possibly be his brother.  John’s age is listed at 39, whereas William is 27. My records indicate that John was only three years older than William. Also, the Castle Garden entry states that John was born in England. (2) Williams is a common name so these other men by the name of Williams could possibly be strangers.

If you click on the father William on the Castle Garden search results, you will see this:


This is what I gleaned from this record:
  •  William Williams was a laborer.
  •  He was 27.
  •  He was on a ship named Spain.
  • He arrived on 16 Apr 1883.
  • The ship departed from Liverpool and Queenstown.
  •  He was born in Wales.
  •  He paid for his own trip.
  • He was destined for the United States.

I then went to the Ancestry database “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957” and found this identical data, along with a copy of the manifest.  The manifest gives the same information as the transcription on the Castle Garden site. (4)

Here is a picture and information about the ship Spain:

Have you searched for your ancestors on Castle Garden?  If you suspect that they arrived in this country between 1820 and 1892 (5), then be sure to check out the free website


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.


(1) America's First Immigration Center, search results for "Williams," "Spain," and "1883" ( accessed April 21, 2013).

(2) America's First Immigration Center, untitled database ( accessed April 21, 2012), entry for John Williams, age 39, arrived 16 Apr 1883 aboard the Spain.

(3) America's First Immigration Center, untitled database ( accessed April 21, 2013), entry for William Williams, age 27, arrived 16 Apr 1883 aboard the Spain.

(4) "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," database, ( accessed April 21, 2013), entry for William Williams, aboard Spain, Liverpool, England and Queenstown, Ireland to the United States, arriving 16 Apr 1883, citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

(5) Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Genealogy at a Glance: Immigration Research, (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2011), 3.

Friday, April 19, 2013


orking for a living is a reality. Genealogy is a hobby. Those are the rules.

Lunchtime is my time, so I use it wisely.  I walk (good for mental and physical health) and I listen to genealogy podcasts.

These are some of my favorites:

Fieldstone Common with Marian Pierre-Louis. This podcast/radio show focuses on New England and Northeast history and genealogy. Marian conducts excellent interviews of authors who have written historical or genealogical books concerning the Northeast portion of the U.S.   Since I am from the Northeast, this podcast is especially interesting to me, and I find myself buying quite a few of the books she features.


The Genealogy Gems Podcast with Lisa Louise Cooke – Your Family History Show. This podcast is more of a general nature. It is not location specific. Lisa is upbeat and full of genealogical knowledge and clever ideas. She is also technically proficient and gives helpful tips for conducting Internet searches.


The Genealogy Guys Podcast (Drew Smith and George Morgan). This podcast will keep you up to date on genealogy events, searching techniques, new publications and more.


Genealogy podcasts are also great when your eyes are tired and you just want to relax and listen to someone talk about your favorite subject.  Give them a try—you’ll be glad you did!


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1100 Pictorial Symbols, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Early American Design Motifs, 2003.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


ne of the genealogical societies I belong too is the Waterford Genealogical Society in Waterford, Michigan ( It is a very active and progressive group.  Similar to many societies, it works in conjunction with the local library. 

Genealogy U

A favorite perk from my association with the Waterford Genealogical Society and Waterford Township Public Library is their series of Saturday morning classes called Genealogy U. These free classes are run by Irv Rabideau, a retired librarian and genealogist.  The fact that a large room is filled on Saturday mornings during the winter and spring attests to the fact that Mr. Rabideau (he would say to call him “Irv”) is well worth the effort. He’s funny and extremely knowledgeable. I really like his style.  Check out this list of PDF handouts from his various classes.  He teaches Genealogy 101, 102, 103 and 104. I like these classes so much that I have taken them twice. He also holds special classes such as French Canadian Research, Irish Research and African-American Research.  Be sure to check out this link—you will come away with all sorts of goodies!

Great Links

The Waterford Library also posts a helpful list of links to genealogical information on: Waterford, Oakland County, Macomb County, St. Clair County, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Texas, California, Tennessee, Canada, Immigration, Ethnic groups and general genealogy sites.

Genealogy Lock-In

On the evening of May 4, the Waterford Genealogical Society is hosting a “lock-in” at the Waterford Public Library.  This event is great fun for the genealogy-minded. You arrive for dinner followed by a series of classes. There is a break for prizes, and then you continue on with more classes. You can choose from a nice variety of topics. It’s a great way to meet other people who are hooked on this habit.


The society has a fabulous newsletter that discusses genealogical events happening in numerous places in Southern Michigan as well as Ohio.  In addition, there’s a section of useful genealogy websites that have been submitted by members.

If you want to check out prior newsletters, here is the link: 


The Waterford Township Public Library has a splendid selection of genealogy books, many more than you usually see in a public library. If you do a search for “genealogy” on their home page (, you will see what I’m talking about.   Be sure to check out the libraries in your area. National Library Week is April 14 – 20.

I belong to a number of historical and genealogical societies, but many of them are out of state so I can’t reap the full benefits of my membership.  Be sure to check out your local libraries and societies. If one doesn’t thrill you, keep looking. There are plenty of small towns around you, and there can be substantial differences in their programs and outreach.

Thank you, Waterford Genealogical Society and Waterford Township Public Library!


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1100 Pictorial Symbols, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


recently learned about a new source for information on Michigan ancestors. It is called the Michigan Biographical Index and can be found at The Michigan Biographical Index contains names of people associated with Michigan and links to publications about these people. It is organized alphabetically by surname. When you locate a person with the name you are seeking, you click on the link and you are given sources where you will find information about that person. Some of these sources are free, others you may purchase. One did not have to be a hero to appear on this list, so you may very well find one of your Michigan ancestors.

James N. Jackson, an author and lecturer, created the Michigan Biographical Index.  Be sure to check out his blog at

It turns out that many of my ancestors left New England and New York and ended up in Michigan, which is a great thing for me since I ended up here too. I have a number of surnames I can search in Michigan: Bartlett, Beal, Boyden, Brown, Coon, Cutler, Crandall, Green, Hibbard, Kitchen, Nash, Scripture, Spaulding, Stevens, Tooley, Totten and Waugh.

I decided to start with my SCRIPTURE family, who settled in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Hiram SCRIPTURE, my 3rd great grand uncle, and his wife Margaret had a number of children including one named Langdon. Langdon SCRIPTURE (1841-1919) was my 1st cousin, 4 X removed. 

First I went to the home page of the Michigan Biographical Index and clicked on “S.” Then I scrolled down to the range of names that would include Scripture. After clicking the appropriate link, I found a list of people with the surname SCRIPTURE, as well as a few variations such as SCRIPTER and SCRIPTNER. The joy of the unique surname SCRIPTURE is that I have a good chance of being related to people bearing that name.  

There were a number of hits for Langdon Scripture, including:


I then clicked on a8e834 and got:


This refers to Heritage Quest, so I made a note to check Heritage Quest for this cite on my local library website.

I then clicked on wa_hc and got:


Since it said it was available online, I clicked that link. Soon appeared History of Washtenaw County, Michigan

Just as the citation indicated, on page 393 Langdon W. Scripture’s name appeared. He was on a list of privates in the Twentieth Infantry during the Civil War. The Twentieth Infantry was comprised of men mostly from Washtenaw County. (4) This is valuable information for further research.

I then went back to the Scripture results and found another Langdon Scripture, this time without a middle initial.

I clicked on a6mbwf and got this result:


This led me to an page where I could purchase the What I Remember of the Great Rebellion in a variety of formats, including on Kindle for $6.99.  A quick check of WorldCat ( showed that this book is available at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan and at the Library of Michigan in Lansing, two locations fairly close to me.

I then went back to the Scripture results and found a Landon W. Scripture:


I clicked on a6m20b and got this result:


Since the publication is available online, I clicked on that link and got:
Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865, vol. 20

I jumped to page 83 and found Landon W. Scripture, who enlisted in Company B in the Twentieth Infantry on 4 Aug 1862 in Ypsilanti for three years. He was 21. He mustered in on 16 Aug 1862 and mustered out at DeLaney House in D.C. on 30 May 1865. (9)

Excellent information! Even though the name is spelled “Landon” instead of “Langdon,” I am pretty certain this is my cousin. This man was also in the Twentieth Infantry and was from Ypsilanti, which is in Washtenaw County. That, plus a rare surname, makes me feel good about this finding.

Just for fun, I searched for the surname “Hadden” in the Michigan Biographical Index, and I found over 100 hits. Search Michigan Genealogical Index ( with your surnames and see what you get.

Thank you, Jim Jackson, for your hard work on this website!


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Decorative Silhouettes, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Civil War Illustrations, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.


(1) Jackson, James N. "Michigan Biographical Index," 2003-2013. Accessed April 7, 2013. (accessed April 7, 2013).

(2) Ibid.

(3) Ibid

(4) The Pioneer Society, History of Washtenaw County, Michigan; together with sketches of its cities,villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens, (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881) text;view=image;q1=History of Washtenaw County (accessed April 7, 2013), 392-393.

(5) Michigan Biographical Index.

(6) Ibid.

(7) Ibid.

(8) Ibid.

(9) Michigan Adjutant-General’s Dept., Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1961-1865, (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Ihling Bros. & Everard, 190-);seq=9;view=1up;num=i (accessed April 7, 2013), 83.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013


While browsing through my family’s scrapbooks, I found the following death notice postcards from the Utica, New York, Lodge, No. 33, B.P.O. Elks.  They were mailed to William Earl Hamlin (1892-1953), the husband of my grand aunt ISABEL WILLIAMS.  The cards contain a picture of the deceased, his date of death and how long he had been a member of the Elks. In addition, frequently the cards give the address of the late home of the deceased, where the Elks funeral ritual would be performed. In other cases, they give the name and address of the funeral parlor where the funeral would be held. And, lastly, the cards indicate the names of the Secretary and Exalted Ruler of the Elks at that time.

Although these cards contain images of people who are not my ancestors, I wanted to share them with the world in case someone is researching these individuals. 

Eugene J. Crave

Harry Curtis

Gustav Detlefsen

Theodore S. Butterfield

Don F. Wilson

You just never know where you will find information on your ancestors!