Welcome

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

Tuesday's Tip: Preserving Historic Cemeteries

25 November 2014



"First, do NO harm" are words every genealogist should remember when conducting research, whether one is in a library, archive, courthouse or cemetery.   Those words are especially important when visiting a cemetery. Many gravestones are in delicate condition and all efforts should be made to maintain the condition of the gravestone and keep it available for generations to come.

The Michigan Genealogical Council (MGC) addressed this issue in its fall newsletter.  MGC publishes a newsletter four times a year that is available on their website for anyone who is interested in reading it. The newsletter covers items pertinent to societies and genealogists.  It shares information on Michigan genealogical resources and events, articles from its member societies and other items of genealogical interest.

The article, Gravestone Cleaning and Restoration,  was a timely article for our society, Calhoun County Genealogical Society, which I am the President of. Last year, our society had a presenter who talked about cemeteries and wasn't concerned if he did any damage to them as he had gotten the information he wanted.  I cringed when I heard that. Luckily, someone asked a follow up question about the best way to take care of gravestones and we were able to minimize the damage, in my opinion, of the speaker. Even though we addressed the issue at another meeting I never felt that we provided enough information for our members.

I was happy to see the MGC Fall newsletter article.  It was just what our society needed to inform our members of proper cleaning and preservation methods of gravestones. The newsletter shared a resource that is available to all.  The book, Michigan Historic Cemeteries Preservation Guide by Gregg G. King, with Susan Kosky, Kathleen Glynn and Glady Soborio is available free as a pdf from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_shpo_Cemetery_Guide_105082_7.pdf 

This book addresses many aspects of preserving historic cemeteries.  The 200 page book addresses organizing a project, surveying a cemetery, documenting your work, mapping a cemetery and more. Chapter 3 centers on the actual cleaning and repairing of the gravestones. Included in the book are appendices of forms, definitions, organization abbreviations, Latin phrases, symbols and more.

I was so impressed with the well researched book that I shared it via email to all our society members.  The information is too important not to.  Be sure to take a look at the guide, you won't be disappointed.

Latest NEHGS Poll Shows I Have Too Many Books

24 November 2014

The Weekly Genealogist Survey
Last week's survey asked the approximate number of books in your personal genealogical library. 4,131 people answered the survey. The results are:
  • 12%, 0-10  
  • 16%, 11-25   
  • 13%, 26-50   
  • 6%, 51-75   
  • 4%, 76-100   
  • 3%, 101-150   
  • 2%, 151-200   
  • 2%, 201-250   
  • 3%, 251-1,000   
  • 1%, Over 1,000    

Source: The Weekly Genealogist, Vol. 17, No. 47, Whole #714, November 19, 2014

Each week, New England Historic Genealogical Society, NEHGS, has a survey in their The Weekly Genealogist newsletter.  The results above were published on November 19, 2014.  I am in the 51-75 category or 6% of the 4131 respondents.  I love books and keep a wish list of books I would like to get as gifts.  

I wrote about my genealogy library and how I keep my costs under control in February.  I am still practicing those cost savings today.  It has been harder as I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that many genealogy companies have been having sales on books.  I have had a hard time controlling myself.  I have been adding to my wish list instead of buying them for myself.

The companies that I received email notices about sales are: 
Part of my genealogy library

I have been asked if I read all of the books I have. Yes, I do! I keep the ones I haven't read on a separate bookshelf and after I read it I put it on my genealogy bookshelf.  Currently, I have two books to read and one book to finish.  When it comes time to conduct research, I will pick a book to use depending on my area of research.  For example, when I am doing German research I will have four or five books on my desk. One might be a general research help book, one a map book, another has a list of online resources, a German dictionary and so on.

This year's wish list includes the following:
  1. History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts by John Warner Barber
  2. Genealogy Toolkit: Getting Started on Your Family History at the National Archives
  3. Our Daily Bread: German Village Life, 1500-1850 by Teva J. Scheer
  4. Elements of Genealogical Analysis by Robert Charles Anderson
  5. Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies by Hugh F. Gingerich and Rachel W. Kreider
  6. The Planters of the Commonwealth by Charles Edward Banks (on order a gift from my parents)
I don't know if Santa will bring me any of my wish list or not.  Santa may think it isn't a very good gift, but it is.  I pour over the NEHGS gift catalog like I use to poor over the Sears Christmas catalog! I read every entry and circle ones I would like to have.

If you are curious about what books I have in My Library check the pages at the top of the blog.  I have recently updated it.

Follow Friday: Bridges to Yesteryear

21 November 2014



A couple of months ago I was contacted by Nora about starting a genealogy blog. She had some questions about how to get started with setting up a blog, layout, etc.  I was happy to help her through the process and after a few emails and a lot of work on her part, Nora has a wonderful, genealogy blog:  Bridges to Yesteryear.

Nora is a blogger from Michigan, my home state, and writes about her family.  The surname "Bishop" is the first line of her family she is concentrating on.  Nora shares land records and deeds; probate records, biographical sketches, Bible records, timelines and more.  In addition to sharing the records, she provides a source for those records.

I encourage my readers to take a look at Nora's Bridges to Yesterday blog and leave a comment welcoming her to our great genea-blogging community.  Welcome, Nora!  I look forward to seeing your blog develop and reading more about your family.

Where in the World is Sarah Jackson McGee?

19 November 2014

Where in the World is Sarah Jackson McGee?

Census records are some of the first records I search for when researching an ancestor.  I have been doing a series of Where in the World? posts in table format to see where there are gaps in my research.  This table is for Sarah/ Sally Jackson McGee, my paternal, second great grandmother.  She is the daughter of William Jackson and Isabella McClenahan.  She married Richard McGee and is the mother of four children:  Katherine (my great grandmother), Isabella, William John, and James.  

FACT
DATE
PLACE OF RESIDENCE
Enumeration District/Page/Line
Birth
Abt 1842
Ireland

Census
1851
Marlborough Township, Carleton, Canada West (Ontario), Canada
/3/1
Census
1861
Marlborough Township, Carleton, Canada West, Canada
3/35/11
Census
1871
Collingwood, Grey North, Ontario, Canada
37/78/1
Death
1877
Collingwood, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada

Book Review: I'll See You Again, Lady Liberty

17 November 2014




One of the best things about blogging is the contacts you make through your blog. The posts I have received the most emails about are the ones I wrote about the German POW's buried in Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.  I have been contacted by researchers; family members of those buried, who are living in Germany now; and historians.  I enjoy this aspect of blogging very much.  I have learned things from these contacts that I wouldn't have found out through my usual methods of research.  I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my 'snail' mail one day and found a flyer about a new book that was being published.  A sticky note was attached that said "I think you might enjoy this".  It was from the author, Lynne Breen and the book was titled, "I'll See You Again, Lady Liberty".  Lynne had included her email and I emailed her thanking her for thinking of me. Next, I asked if she or Mr. Floeter did any public speaking.  At the time I was in charge of programs for my local genealogical society and I thought this would be an excellent topic to offer our members. Lynne said she would forward my email to Mr. Floeter and later that day I heard from him and we set a date for him to speak.  I was so interested in his book that I ordered a copy to read for myself and I am glad I did. It is historical, autobiographical, funny, and well written.

I'll See You Again, Lady Liberty: The True Story of a German Prisoner of War in America is written by Lynne Breen, but told by Ernst W. Floeter.  The 107 page book is filled with stories of Mr. Floeter's life in Nazi Germany during the war, his time as a prisoner of war in the United States, and his decision to return to the United States after the war to make it his home.

Ernst grew up in Stettin, Pomerania and details his life as a young boy in Hitler's Germany.  He tells of his and his family's anti-nazi feelings during this time, including his mother making prank calls to the Nazi's. The book is told as if he was in the room talking to you.  It is filled with warm stories of the love of his family during the turbulent historical times. He tells of living a normal life during very difficult times.

His time in the German Youth and eventually, the German army offers an interesting perspective of the preparation for war that Germany made.  Ernst, at one time, hoped he would be captured.  He got his wish and details his time spent as a Prisoner of War.  He was transported to the United States and spent time at camps in Michigan (Camp Custer), Illinois, and New Mexico.  He tells of camp life, his love of candy bars, and his treatment by his guards.  The way he tells of his travels lets the reader see what he was seeing on his travels from Germany, to England, and to the United States.

Ernst returns to Germany after sailing out of the New York Harbor promising Lady Liberty he would return, which he did.  The last few chapters complete the story of Ernst Floeter, his marriage, family and the time he has spent living in Grand Ledge, Michigan, just north of Battle Creek.

I'll See You Again, Lady Liberty is a well written book filled with interesting stories and great photography.  It gives the reader a better understanding of war time in Germany and what it was like to be a prisoner of war on this side of the Atlantic.  It allows the reader to see America through the eyes of a foreign born person. Mr. Floeter's love for his new country is a joy to read.

If you would like to hear Mr. Floeter speak of his time as a prisoner of war, join the Calhoun County Genealogical Society on Tuedsay, February 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in Marshall, Michigan at the LDS Church.

Huldah Rowley Fenn's Bible: Fenn Obituaries

15 November 2014

Page of obituaries from Huldah Rowley Fenn's Bible, click copy above to enlarge.

The second in a series of posts relating to the information in Huldah Rowley Fenn's Bible is for a page of obituaries that someone clipped and saved to the Bible.  Since Huldah died in 1862 she wasn't the one to paste them in the Bible, but someone who received the Bible after her did. The Bible was in the possession of Tully Daniel Fenn at one time.  All of the obituaries are related to the Fenn family. I have transcribed the ones in red below. They are:

  1. Elizabeth Poor Fenn, who was married to Daniel C. Fenn, Huldah's son.
  2. Ella Blake Fenn, who was married to Tully D. Fenn, Huldah's grandson, through her son, Daniel C. Fenn. (two obituaries included)
  3. Tully Daniel Fenn, who was married to Ella Blake Fenn, number 2 above, Huldah's grandson, through her son Daniel C. Fenn. (two obituaries included.)
The last item on the page was a business card for Z. M. Fenn, Zealton Myron Fenn, Huldah's grandson, the oldest son of Daniel C. Fenn and Elizabeth Poor.  


Glover Family Photo's

13 November 2014

I found the following pictures in the Glover and Blodget Family File at Ypsilanti Historical Museum Archives this summer.  The files had a lot of Glover family photographs that I will be sharing in the coming months. The first two photographs are of Sarah Salisbury Glover who married Amos C. Blodget.  

Amos C. Blodget
31 Jan 1822-3 Sept 1906

Sarah Salisbury Glover
18 May 1827-30 Jan 1910

Sarah is the daughter of Charles Williamson Glover and Mary Ann Powers.  Sarah was named after her paternal grandmother Sarah Salisbury, who married Alexander Glover.  Amos Blodget and Sarah Glover were married about 1852.  The photographs were labeled with the spelling of Blodget with two 't's, many public records have only one 't' and I have chosen to use the one 't' spelling at this time.