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to Journey to the Past, I'm Brenda (Glover) Leyndyke and I believe researching your family history is a fascinating journey.

Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections

26 October 2014

The Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections is now housed at the Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center, 1650 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, Michigan.  People who visited the archives before the move will be amazed at the new facilities.

Recently, I had the opportunity for a behind the scenes tour of the archives and was very impressed with the state of the art facilities.  The building is set back from the street and surrounded by mature trees.  Researchers enter the facilities and can see the beauty of the trees from the floor to ceiling windows in the library.

Most of the information one needs for a successful visit (hours of operation, parking, location, and contact information) can be found on their website.  Some resources need to be collected before your visit and contacting the Archives before a visit is recommended to insure what you need is available.

I found the behind the scenes tour fascinating.  The majority of the archives collection is stored in what is called "The Box".  It is a generation fifth retrieval system which is a storage facility management system that allows for greater security and collections management.  The archives are stored in 32 foot tall racks that require the use of a lift machine called 'Raymond', which only trained operators may use, and are retrieved using bar codes.  This part of the tour showed how massive the WMU collection is.  It is the largest in Southwest Michigan and one of the largest in Michigan.

In addition to "supporting the mission of the University it also meets the needs of historical and genealogical researchers", according to its website.  Some of the collections available at the WMU Archives includes:

  • Regional History Manuscripts-letters, diaries, business records, photographs and more.
  • Regional Governmental Records-public records from 12 southwest Michigan counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, St. Joseph and Van Buren.
  • Michilimackinac Research and Translation Project Collection-microfilmed French documents about the settlement of the Great Lakes and North America.
  • University Archives-departmental records, yearbooks (1906-1987), photographs, Western Herald (WMU newspaper) and more.
  • Oral Histories-histories collected throughout the 1960's and 1970's from the Kalamazoo community.  This is one collection that researchers need to schedule to use.
  • Census Records-Federal and State.  See website for dates.
  • Books, Magazine, Newspapers-city directories, county histories, rare volumes, Michigan Civil War resources, and other local resources.
  • Photographs-individuals, Ward Morgan Collection of Kalamazoo area, Southwestern Michigan Civil War, University and more.
Five collections are digitized and available for all users on the WMU Archives Website:

Researchers to the new facility will find the staff ready and willing to help.  It is a wonderful addition to the resource facilities of Michigan.

Would you like to tour the facility yourself?  Join the Calhoun County Genealogical Society on Tuesday night, October 28th at 7 p.m. when they tour the Archives.

Last Day Local: Postum Cereal Company

31 August 2014

 "The White House" 245 Cliff St, Battle Creek, Mi
Original site of Postum Cereal Company, now Post Foods

Side 1 of Michigan Historic Marker for Postum Cereal Company

The Postum Cereal Company Historic Site, located at 245 Cliff Street in Battle Creek, is another part of cereal history in my hometown. The company has been owned by various companies throughout the years and the Postum Cereal Company has changed names as well.  Currently, it is known as Post Foods, or to the locals, just Post. It has been a part of Battle Creek history for over 100 years. The historic marker shares this history:

Charles William "C.W." Post (1854-1914) began his breakfast empire in 1892 when he opened La Vita Inn sanitarium on this site.  Post's first commercial success occurred in 1894 when he created the hot beverage Postum.  In 1896 he organized the Postum Cereal Company. His continued experiments with grains resulted in Grape-Nuts, his first cold cereal, in 1897. In 1908-09 sales from Grape Nuts, Postum, and Post Toasties surpassed $5 million. Upon Post's death, his daughter Marjorie ran the company, continuing to advertise extensively and expanding the product line.  In 1929 Postum became the General Food Corporation.  The Philip Morris Companies purchased General Foods in 1985, and the plant became Part of Kraft Foods in 1989.
Breakfast cereal production began on this site in 1894 when C.W. Post perfected his Postum drink. Remarkable as a factory with structures dating from as early as 1895, the complex reflects the evolution of cereal making. Post began commercial production from one barn. Eventually everything from research to grain processing to packaging occurred here. Known during the early 1900s as the "White City" because of the widespread use of white paint, the complex grew to include grain silos, a power plant offices, processing plants, a paper factory, and warehouses. Post had his office in the Elizabethan building at the center, which also housed the advertising department. It became the employee clubhouse in 1925.

 Last Day Local is a blog prompt I use to celebrate the history of Battle Creek, Michigan, my hometown for the past 25 years.  I try to post one article on the last day of the month about the heritage and history of Battle Creek, The Cereal City!

Tombstone Tuesday: Alexander Glover, Ypsilanti, Michigan

26 August 2014

Alexander Glover

This headstone was very hard to read during a recent visit to Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I thought it said Alexander and part of Glover was readable, but that was about it.  It wasn't until I visited the cemetery office that I knew for sure who it was.

Alexander is a common first name in my Glover family.  The information provided by the office helped me to identify which Alexander he was.  Alexander Glover was the son of Charles W. Glover and Mary Ann Glover, nee Powers.

His grave can be found in Lot 21, Block 100 in the back row.  There are a line of headstones which are all the same in looks.  A Glover family stone makes finding it a little easier.

Huldah Rowley Fenn's Bible Pages

22 August 2014

Some of you may remember my blog posts about Hattie's Bible.  Hattie's Bible was a series of posts sharing the contents and information found in my Great Grandmother's, Hattie Fenn Glover, Bible. I was extremely fortunate to be the recipient of Hattie's Bible.  I think it is amazing to have one set of family Bible records, but having two is truly a gift.

I have Hattie's Bible in my position, but Huldah's Bible is owned by someone else, Carol.  Carol graciously scanned and shared the pages of Huldah's Bible with me. Huldah is Huldah Rowley Fenn, Hattie's grandmother, my third great grandmother.

The information in Huldah's Bible wasn't as rich as the information in Hattie's.  Most of the information found in Huldah's Bible was added by someone other than Huldah herself, based on the year of the information. The first page I am sharing is the history of ownership of the Bible.  I am not sure of who provided the information.


Transcription:
This book was Great Grandma Fenns was then given to Elizabeth Fenn wife of Daniel Fenn her son  given to Zealton Myron Fenn Elizabeth and Daniel Fenn oldest son who died Dec the 15th 1908
This book was given to Mabel Fenn Darwin by her father Tully Fenn brother of Zealton Myron Fenn in the year 1939 
Who's Who? 

  • Great Grandma Fenn is Huldah Rowley Fenn.  Huldah was born in Vermont about 1789.  She married Daniel Fenn 28 Feb 1808 in Shoreham, Addison, Vermont.  Huldah Fenn died 8 March 1836, Chelsea, Washtenaw, Michigan. I believe the parents of Huldah were Hopkins Rowley and Elizabeth Stuart or Stewart, but more research is needed before I definitively say they were.
  • Elizabeth Fenn is the daughter in law of Huldah Rowley Fenn.
  • Daniel Fenn is the son of Huldah Rowley and Daniel Fenn.
  • Zealton Myron Fenn is Huldah's grandson.
  • Mabel Fenn Darwin is Huldah's great granddaughter. She is the daughter of Tully Fenn.
  • Tully Fenn is Huldah's grandson, the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Fenn.

The Family Tree Historical Maps Book Review

21 August 2014


The latest book in my collection is the The Family Tree Historical Maps Book: A State by State Atlas of U.S. History 1790-1900 by Allison Dolan and The Editors of Family Tree Magazine, which I am going to call Historical Maps Book in my review.

I bought the book because I wanted a concise, all in one, resource for historical maps. Plus, I like to look at old maps.  I like to envision my ancestors at the time. I enjoy looking at their migration trail and the terrain they would have traveled over to get from place to place.  Many of my ancestors were in the United States very early and these maps will help me to understand the changes in state and county borders.

Historical Maps Book is a wonderful atlas of full color map reproductions.  As the sub-title states the maps are from 1790-1900.  The book is laid out in a very easy to use format.  A two page introduction is followed by United States maps, individual state maps, special interest maps, and sources for maps.

One can follow the development of the United States in the thirteen maps depicting our nation's growth from 1755 to 1890.  Key dates in United States history are included.  These dates cover wars, land purchases, annexations, and more.

The United States maps are followed by the state pages.  The number of pages varies from state to state. The state pages include state maps from various times through its' history, key dates timeline, and occasionally, a city map.  Not all state pages have a city map.  The city maps seem to be for some of the larger cities.

For example, my home state of Michigan has ten maps over four pages.  One from the Michigan Territory, one of Detroit in 1889, and then the rest are of the state of Michigan at various times throughout history.  The key dates timeline includes seven dates from 1668, when Sault Ste. Marie was settled, to 1847, when Lansing was named the state capital.

The section of the book that I have spent a lot of time looking at is the Special Interest Maps pages.  Fifteen pages of maps are included in this section.  The maps cover topics such as population density in 1820, foreign population in 1880, average family sized in 1900 Census, Indian Tribes in 1600, taxation per capita, regional industries, deaths from known causes in 1890, climate map, San Francisco Earthquake zone, and more.  These maps go beyond what we think of as a map and show readers what was going on at different times in the United States.

Lastly, Historical Maps Book provides information on where each map came from.  Each state is listed and each map by date includes a source.

Overall, I find this book to be a beautifully laid out book with maps that show different era's in 200 years of United States growth.  The book centers around maps that are useful to genealogists and anytime a book makes my research easier, I am a fan.


Workday Wednesday: Back to School with Teacher Adda Dyer

20 August 2014

This is the first time in fifty two years that I have not had someone going back to school!  Yes, fifty two years!  I started school when I was four, I turned five that September.  I attended school for the next seventeen years; thirteen years of public school and four years at college.  The next few years included myself and/or my husband going back to school as teachers.  Once I had children, my husband was the one going back to school in the Fall.  The remaining years included Kirk, Kirsten and Travis going back to school or college.  Kirk retired in June and this is the first Fall we will not be getting ready to go back to school; no back to school shopping, no coordinating schedules, no packing lunches, no alarm clocks!

I always found back to school time an exciting time. The school year has been such a part of my life for so long that it is a big change not preparing for back to school. The change is refreshing and the freedom it will give us will be wonderful. We can travel anytime we want, no waiting for school breaks.

I wonder if my ancestor, Adda Dyer, felt excited about going back to school.  This article was found in the Adrian Daily Telegraph, 8 September 1900, page 6, column 3.
School commenced Monday in the Crane district with Miss Adda Dyer teacher for the second term. At the annual school meeting Monday night Warren Bolt was elected director for three years.

East Madison was south of Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan in what is now Madison Township.  Can you imagine the changes in education that have occurred since 1900?  I wonder what Adda would think of using computers in the classroom, or not being able to use a dunce cap or switch.  If you have loved ones going back to school, enjoy!




Samuel Stillman Glover Ex-Communicated and the Reason Shocked Me!

17 August 2014

Those of us who are beyond researching the names and vital record dates of our ancestors and looking to fill in between the dashes, look for records that will help us in our journey to understand those ancestors better. I found more than I was looking for when a Glover researcher, Peter, sent me a few church records that he had found on my third great grandfather, Samuel Stillman Glover, Senior.

Peter and I share Samuel Stillman Glover as an ancestor.  We are both descended from Samuel through his children.  Peter through Samuel's daughter, Annette, and I through Samuel's son, Samuel Jr.  Peter was doing research at Ypsilanti Historical Museum Archives and shared church records that he found with me.

Anytime I receive an email with records attached, I immediately read it.  I was shocked and saddened by these records!  The records were from First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  I knew I had to plan a trip to Ypsilanti, Michigan to see these records for myself after reading them.

Photo Courtesy of the Ypsilanti Historical Society.  Used with permission.
First Presbyterian Church, Ypsilanti Michigan 1836-1857

Kirk and I visited the archives and I did get to read first hand the records pertaining to my ancestor, Samuel Stillman Glover.  The record group that these records were found in were First Presbyterian Church 1899 (up to).  The records were the recorded session minutes of the First Presbyterian church elders.  The records of interest to me were dated from 2 January 1834 to 13 November 1835.

First, let me give you a little background on Samuel Stillman Glover.  Samuel was born in 1798 in Conway, Massachusetts to Alexander Glover and Sarah Salisbury. He married Vinera Eglantine Powers, the daughter of William and Lucy Powers, nee unknown, around 1817.  Samuel and Vinera were the parents of twelve children: William, Samuel W., Sarah, Alanson, Dennis, Samuel S., Daniel, Vinera, George, Annette, Henry and Polly (twins).  The twins died within two weeks of birth.  Vinera died about a month after giving birth on 14 February 1847, in Oceola Township, Livingston county, Michigan.

Samuel and Vinera lived in Phelps, New York before migrating to Michigan.  Samuel and Vinera were received into the First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan on 2 January 1834 having transferred from "the church in Phelps".

It was sometime in early 1835 that session minutes recorded charges against Samuel:
 "The clerk was directed to cite Samuel S. Glover to appear before them and answer to the following charges brought by common fame, viz.;  
1.  For abusive treatment of his family, particularly his mother-in-law.
2.  For using profane language
            also to give satisfaction for neglecting family and public worship."

Samuel appeared before the elders on 11 April 1835. The session minutes for this date state,

      "Samuel S. Glover appeared and to the charges brought plead not guilty.
      The names of the witnesses by whom the respective charges are expected to be sustanined were given to him and were as follows,
     To the first charge, Allen Hammond and wife, Dennis Hammond and Lucy Hyde. 
     To substantiate the second charge, Dennis Hammond, Amos Syler and Joseph Dunsmore.  
     For breach of covenant in neglecting family prayer and public worship, he was admonished.
     Session adjourned to meet in two weeks at 10 o'clock a.m. to attend to the case of Mr. Glover. 
       Closed with prayer.  
                                                                            Ezra Carpenter, Clk."

The next session where a quorum was present was 27 April 1835.  This is where my shock came from. Three pages of session notes were included here.

In essence, Samuel's case was called.  He wanted to proceed to trial and witnesses were sworn in.  The witnesses were Allen Hammond, Mary Hammond, Lucy Hyde, Virena Glover, William Glover and Worcester Glover. Lucy Hyde was Samuel's mother in law, William Glover was his oldest son, and Worcester Glover was Samuel Worcester Glover, his second oldest son.

Allan Hammond testified,
"On hearing that Mr. Glover had turned Mrs. Hyde, his mother-in-law out of doors, as a friendly neighbor I called upon him and introduced the subject.  Mr. G. said it was an unpleasant affair and was sorry it had happened.  He admitted that he ordered her out of the house if she would not cease her noise, that he was sorry it had happened. I thought from what Mr. Glover said that Mrs. Hyde had better return and consequently on going to see her I advised her to do so.  She consented to adhere to my advice provided that I would return with her which I did. On her return Mr. G. repeatedly asked her if he had not always treated her well.  I noticed that Mrs. Hyde evaded giving a direct answer to this question as often as it was put to her." 

Next to testify was Mary Hammond,
"Soon after Mrs. Hyde left Mr. Glover's, I called at his house and while I was conversing with Mrs. Glover, Mr. Glover came in and spoke in very abusive and severe terms of his mother-in-law which very much surprised and grieved me."

Lucy Hyde's testimony is the one that shocked and saddened me.
"Since I came to live with Mr. Glover, which is something like two years, in a fretful manner he has spoken of my being a bill of expense to him and indulged in other remarks which very much wounded my feelings.  On the morning when I first left, in some conversation he became very angry, placed his hand upon me, pushed me towards the door and ordered me out. I obeyed and repaired to Mr. Sears, where Mr. Hammond found me. By the advice of Mr. Hammond I returned, after which nothing particularly unkind in his conduct occured for some days.  One evening on hearing some reports to his disadvantage about my first leaving, he became very much enraged and again ordered me out of doors.  I told him I would go in the morning and not before.  On my leaving in the morning he told me never to darken his doors again, and that if I rotted above ground he would never bury me.
In regard to his abuse of others of his family I consider he has frequently been guilty of it-particularly his wife. One time about a fortnight previous to his leaving the state of New York, I saw him take his wife by the throat and choke or push her over. Their son and myself interferred and he desisted. Since we arrived in the Territory I have seen him box or strike her repeatedly. On one occasion he took a large ox whip and shook it over head and swore by J_____ C______ that he would whip her.  I interferred and he put up the whip. At another time when bringing in potatoes on asking his wife to aid him, in taking the basket from his shoulders and she refusing he became angry and through(sic) some potatoes at her. I remonstraited(sic) with him and he stopped."

The minutes continue to explain that the testimony of Mrs. Glover and William, her son, corroborated Lucy Hyde's testimony in regard to his boxing or striking his wife but not in choking her.  The testimony of Vinera and William was not recorded in the record.  This concluded the testimony on the first charge.

 The session concluded with the following notes:
"Having finished the testimony on the first charge, proceeded to the second charge.  There being none of the witnesses present by whom, Mr. Glover has been informed, it was expected this charge would be sustained, by Mr. Glover's consent the witnesses present and which had already been sworn were introduced. After having asked a few questions, Mr. Glover became very angry, addressed the Session in very abusive language and refused to proceed any further with the trial. The Session accordingly cited him to appear before them at the usual place of worship on the 2nd of May at 1 o'clock p.m. to attend to the remaining parts of the trial. Joseph Sears, Dennis Hammond and Lucy Hyde, he was informed would be introduced to sustain the second charge."
The 2 May 1835 session starts and Samuel did not appear. Witnesses were Joseph Sears, D. Hammond, and Lucy Hyde.  The transcribed session notes stated,
"Session met agreeably to adjournment and began with prayer. Present I.M. Wead, Moderator, Ezra Carpenter, J. Bacon and J. Loomis, Elders.  Mr. Glover not appearing, the Rev. Root from Ohio was appointed to manage his case, agreeably to the rule provided in the Directory for such a case. 
Mr. Joseph Sears testified as follows: "On some altercation occuring between me and Mr. Glover he called me a God damned frenchman." 
Mr. D. Hammond testified and stated: "During last summer I frequently heard Mr. Glover when in a passion use the word, devilish and heard him call his children devils." 
Lucy Hyde states, "I have heard Mr. Glover on two different occasions swear by J_____ C_____ and by God that he would whip his wife.  About a year ago I heard him swear by God that no one should work on the farm which was in possession of his brother in conjunction with himself."
The Elders found that the two charges were fully substantiated.  They also felt that the reasons for his neglect were not good.  The Elders further ruled that Samuel S. Glover be "suspended from the ordiances (sic)of the church for three months or until he makes satisfaction."

The next record in the Session minutes that I found was dated, 13 November 1835.  The notes were as follows:
"The Session met at the call of the Moderator. 
Present- I.M. Wead, Chairman
              Ezra Carpenter
              James Loomis
Began with prayer
The case of Samuel S. Glover was called up. He having been visited and labored with and still manifesting an unrelenting spirit and a contempt of the Session. 
Therefore, resolved that Samuel S. Glover be and hereby is excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ.
Closed with prayer
Ezra Carpenter, Clerk
All I can say is "Wow!" I am amazed at the detail that was found in these session records.  It isn't the most flattering account of Samuel and it has left me with many questions.  Why was Samuel abusive to his wife? Did her abuse his children? Was this a pattern of behavior passed down through generations?  And poor Vinera, or is her name Virena? It looks like she had a very hard and short life.  Vinera died in her 40's. Previously, I had written about Samuel leaving his children, moving to New York, and remarrying after his wife's death.  I wondered why he left such small children in Michigan.  Do I have an answer to that question in these records? I wonder what other records are available.  Samuel married again, but it only last a short time.  Did he abuse his second wife, Maria.

The Session Records of First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan filled in between the dashes, alright. The records I found were heart breaking to me, but it helped me see a side of Samuel that I would not have found in a birth, marriage, or death record.  Don't limit your research to vital records.  Dig deeper, you won't be disappointed.

(Session records of First Presbyterian Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan can be found at the Ypsilanti Historical Society Archives.)