Wednesday, November 20, 2013


World War II Army Officer Cap Device

My father wore this "officer cap device" on his hat during World War II. To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure what it was at first, but my husband explained it to me.

If you'd like to know more about World War II collectibles, the following book might help:

Warman's World War II Collectibles: Identification and Price Guide by John F Graf (available on 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


am fortunate to have easy access to the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan (313-481-1401). While the library emphasizes records on the history of Detroit and Michigan, there are countless resources on the Great Lakes region, New England, the South, the Mid-Atlantic  states, as well as foreign countries. There are books, microfilm, maps, photographs, business records, scrapbooks, military records, manuscripts, census schedules, vital records, church records, family histories, newspapers and more.  For a list of the many resources, see the PDF files located at the bottom of the page on this link:

When you first enter the Burton collection you will see banks of card catalog drawers—just like in the old days. (You can, of course, search for items online.)

I stopped here to perform some surname searches. After jotting down my findings on a piece of paper, I entered the main room and asked a librarian for guidance.  She needed to obtain a few of the items offsite. 


In the meantime, I browsed the stacks. Some of the books I chose to review were:
  • 7,000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley (NY) Vital Records: 1808-1850 by Fred Bowman and Thomas J. Lynch
  • A Brashear(s) Family History, Descendants of Robert and Benois Brasseur by Charles Brashear
  • History of the Town of Stonington, County of New London, Connecticut by Richard Anson Wheeler
  • The Roster of Confederate Soldiers: 1861-1865 by Janet B. Hewett
  • State of Vermont: Roster of Soldiers in the War of 1812-14 by Herbert T. Johnson
  • Vital Records of Putney, Vermont to the Year 1900 by Ken Stevens


Some periodical articles I found of interest were:
  • “Early Church Records in Madison County, New York” by Roberta Kincaid, Tree Talks, March 2006, Vol. 46, no. 1, p. 3.
  • “Genealogical Research in Oneida County, New York” by Mary Anne Buteux, Tree Talks, March 2007, Vol. 47, No. 1, p. 3.
  • “How to Write a Page Turning, But True, Family History” by Leslie Albrecht Huber, Crossroads, September 2010, Vol. 5, p. 10.
  • “Mug Books: Boon or Bane?” by Joyce H. Cook, Tree Talks, March 2009, Vol. 49, No. 1, p. 3.
  • “Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Brookfield,” Tree Talks, Sep 2009, Vol. 49, no. 3, p. 149. (Here I found a number of references to my Crandalls, Burdicks, Babcocks and Clarks.)


At my request, a librarian brought me a clipping file containing references to the surname “Scripture.” In the clipping file, I discovered a newspaper article about Dulcie Scripture, a former Detroit resident, who was Miss Illinois in 1969. In this article I learned, among other things, that she was the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. George Scripture of Hamilton, Ohio. (1) Because the Scripture surname is so unique, it is possible that Dulcie is a distant cousin.

A quick Google search turned up a picture of Dulcie. See

Another Google search found an obituary for Rev. George Scripture who, apparently, was born in Chittenango, Madison County, New York, five miles from my home town. See

Another article from the clipping file was an obituary for Charles M. Scripture, a Detroit architect, who died in 1982. (2)  This was filled with genealogical information and will be a great source for further research.

As you can see, The Burton Historical Collection does not just contain Michigan information.  

If you don’t live near Detroit, you can still enjoy some of the benefits of the Burton via the Internet. For example, if you look at the right side of their Biography and Genealogy page (, you will see a database search box. Click the drop down menu to Biography and Genealogy. Here you will find a Biography and Genealogy Master Index. Enter the surname you are searching. I used “Scripture” and received 8 hits. One of them was a citation to Who’s Who in America for William Ellis Scripture, my 1st cousin 4 X removed.  Another database you can search from home is Heritage Quest Online ( Here you can search census records, books, PERSI, Revolutionary War records, Freedman’s Bank and the U.S. Serial Set.

Brief, factual questions can be answered via the Ask-A-Librarian link:

If you would like newspaper articles, see this link:

As a courtesy, the Burton provides a list of researchers you can hire:

I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the Burton’s holdings. 


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

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


(1) "Miss Illinois Honored," Detroit News, Detroit, Michigan, September 8, 1969.

(2) “Charles M. Scripture,” Detroit News, Detroit, Michigan, August 17, 1982.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I found this photograph in one of my grand aunt's photo albums.  It was probably taken in Utica, New York. I can't say for sure the identity of the three people, but I suspect that the ladies are my aunts. The young man on the right, possibly one of my uncles, appears to be holding a walking stick/cane. I love the hats and the old train in the background!

Trains were an important means of transportation back in the early 1900s. My Aunt Winifred WILLIAMS married a train conductor, Frederick Boyser.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


In honor of Veterans Day, I am going to share with you some information about my father, Stewart V. Taylor, who was a pilot of B-17s during World War II.   His service records show that he entered the Army on 25 Feb 1943 and was honorably discharged on 1 Jan 1946.

Stewart V. Taylor

His military record papers indicate that he had the following decorations and citations:
  • European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon

  • American Defense Service Medal

  • American Theater Campaign Ribbon

  • World War II Victory Medal

  • Air Medal

His battles and campaigns were in the Rhineland and Central Europe.

I am fortunate to have in my possession his air medal:

The paperwork inside the Air Medal box states, in part:

“8 March 1945

For meritorious achievement while participating in sustained bomber combat operations over Germany and German occupied countries. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by those Officers and Enlisted Men upon these occasions reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States

305th Bombardment Group (H)
STEWART V. TAYLOR, O-1178362, 2nd Lt. New Hartford, New York”

For more information about Air Medals see:

My father is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Clinton, Oneida County, New York. Rest in peace, Dad.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited Frankenmuth, Michigan (,_Michigan), a city founded by German settlers. I don’t have many German ancestors, but, as a genealogy student, I want to know as much as I can about every type of ancestry.

We started with the Frankenmuth Historical Association, where I purchased Teach My People the Truth: The Story of Frankenmuth, Michigan by Herman F. Zehnder.  If you are a compulsive book buyer, you’ll want to check out their online gift shop ( The historical cookbooks might help you learn about your female ancestors. 

Frankenmuth Historical Museum

The Frankenmuth Historical Association’s website ( is worth exploring if you have ancestors from Saginaw County.  For example, there is a link to the Frankenmuth News Archives (, where you can search the Frankenmuth News back to 1906. Also on the Frankenmuth Historical Association’s website is a link to the Cass River Genealogy Society, where you will find online indexes for obituaries, death notices, marriages and anniversaries in the Frankenmuth News (  There are also links to the Saginaw News Obituary Index ( and Saginaw County on MichGenWeb (

The Frankenmuth Historical Association also has a fabulous collection of quilts shown on their website ( and, if you are lucky enough to be related to a quilt maker, you will find a mini-biography of that person.

Frankenmuth does a wonderful job of recreating the little Bavaria experience.  Here are a few links to places you might want to see:
Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn

If you have ancestors who were involved in the brewing industry, you should visit the Frankenmuth Lager Mill Beer Store & Brewing Museum ( Here you will find not only endless bottles of beer, but also thousands of pieces of German glassware, photographs, artifacts and more about the history of brewing.

Frankenmuth Lager Mill Beer Store & Brewing Museum

I found the following books online about Germans in Michigan:

There are also a number of interesting articles about German settlers in Michigan:

Hopefully, you will have a chance to visit Frankenmuth. If not, thanks to the Internet, you can enjoy a virtual experience. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

THE JOY OF NEWSPAPER RESEARCH: Frederick Scripture is Missing

very few weeks, just for fun, I go onto Old Fulton New York Post Cards (, the free historical newspaper website. This website features predominantly New York newspapers, but you can find, on occasion, articles from surrounding states. I have discovered countless articles that have helped me chip away at brick walls and learn details about my family that I probably would never have found in other sources.

Recently, I happened upon an article about Frederick A. SCRIPTURE (1877-1918), my 1st 2x removed. Apparently, Fred, age 19, was reported missing in July of 1897.  (1)


I love it when I find a picture of an ancestor or, in this case, a description.  You will notice that Fred had a scar on each cheek. I believe those scars were from an accident in his childhood where he was burned in 1889. (3)


In addition to the above description, the following news article let me know that Fred was 6 feet 2 inches tall. (5)


Fred’s parents were devastated by Fred’s disappearance. (7) Articles appeared in papers around Central New York.


You will be happy to know that Fred came home.  Apparently, he went out of the county to find work. (9)



I am thankful for this incident because it allowed me to learn more about Fred.  

Have you explored historic newspapers lately? They are filled with tidbits of information on your ancestors. In addition to Old Fulton NY Post Cards, there are other free historic newspaper websites, such as Chronicling America ( For more information on historical newspaper sites, see “Digital Historical Newspapers” at In addition, your local library may allow you access to ProQuest historical newspapers (

I also subscribe to, a paid newspaper website.,, and have newspaper databases as well.  There are other paid newspaper websites such as and, but I have not yet subscribed to those sites. It is only a matter of time before I check them out.


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

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


(1) “Two Missing Youths,” Utica, New York Daily Union, July 9, 1897, digital image 271415, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(2) Ibid.

(3) “Explosion at the Clinton Mines,” Utica, New York Weekly Herald, February 19, 1889, digital image 352785, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(4) Ibid.

(5) “Briefly Told,” Rome, New York Roman Citizen, July 9, 1897, digital image1520350, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed 2 Nov. 2013).

(6) Ibid.

(7) “In Neighboring Localities,” Watertown, New York Daily Times, July 9, 1897, digital image 493763, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(8) Ibid.

(9) “Not Missing,” Utica, New York Daily Sentinel, [?] 1897, digital image 2400300, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed 2 Nov 2013).

(10) Ibid.

(11) “Briefly Told,” Rome, New York Roman Citizen, July 13, 1897, digital image 1502174, Old Fulton NY Post Cards ( accessed 2 Nov 2013).