Welcome

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

Follow Friday: Michigan Biographical Index

30 July 2010

For today's Follow Friday, I have chosen the Michigan Biographical Index.  This index is a work in progress and currently has over 2 million citations compiled by James N. Jackson.  It is a full name index from various Michigan publications.

To use the index look for the first letter of the surname you are researching in the alphabet at the top of the page.  Scroll down to find the surname you are researching.  Once you find an ancestor, you will see a source code that if you hover the cursor over-the publication name appears.  You can click on the source for further information.  If the source is available online, you will be able to access it from here.  Information on purchasing the source, if available, is included.  Otherwise, you will have to locate the source at your local library.  Below is an example of one source.  On the actual website you are able to click on purchase information and available online information and be taken to new pages.

Example:  a6m32b Brown, Geo. H. Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865. vol 32. 1903. [2,383] 28 May 2003 Purchase Info   Available OnLine


The names in this index are not necessarily all from Michigan, but are names that can be found in Michigan publications.  The publications sources include county histories, Civil War service records, cemetery records, land records, biographies, diaries, census, immigration, probate and tax records to name a few.

I have searched for many ancestors in this index.  When I searched my own surname I was surprised to see my husband and two children listed.  You never know what you will find with the Michigan Biographical Index, take a look.

Wordless Wednesday: Humble Beginnings

28 July 2010

The J. August Fredrick Farm
Dickson Township, Manistee, Michigan

Tombstone Tuesday: Jean Ethel Watt Kellan

27 July 2010

Jean Ethel (Watt) Kellan
Birth:  4 March 1886  Marquette, Marquette, Michigan
Married:  Arthur R. Kellan 12 October 1910  Marquette, Marquette, Michigan


Death:  1914
Burial:  Park Cemetery, Marquette, Marquette, Michigan

Jean Ethel Watt is the daughter of David Watt and Katherine McGee.  She was my grandmother, Sarah Lilla Watt Glover Bell's, sister. 

Ancestor Biography: Harry Glover

22 July 2010

Harry Glover
at work for Chrysler Corporation in Highland Park, Michigan

Harry Glover, my paternal grandfather, was born 6 May 1883 in Jackson, Michigan.  He was one of four children born to Frank H. Glover and Hattie (Fenn) Glover.  Researching Harry has proven to be an interesting challenge.  The birth record found in Michigan Births 1867-1902 lists his name as Hally.  Other records have shown his name as Frank H. Glover, Jr. and Harry Glover.  My father says his mother had a difficult time when Harry/Frank died because she didn't really know his legal name.  My research has shown that Harry Glover was the name recorded at birth.


United State, Michigan, Benzie, Crystal Lake Township
1900 U.S.  Federal Census, population schedule.
Digital images. ancestry.com. : 2006.

Harry's family moved from Jackson to Crystal Lake Township, Michigan between 1884-1898.  Harry can be found living in Crystal Lake Township, Benzie, Michigan in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  He is living at home with his parents.  His occupation is listed as electrician.

When Harry was 18 years old he was running to catch a train and fell under the wheel and his right leg was severed just below the knee.  He had an artificial foot and leg that he wore for the rest of his life.

United States, Michigan, Marquette, Marquette Ward 4
 1910 U.S. Federal Census, population schedule.
Digital images. ancestry.com. : 2006.


Sometime between 1902 and 1910 Harry and his family moved to Marquette, Michigan.  Harry's dad was working in the railroad industry.  Could this be why the family moved?  The 1910 U.S. Federal Census shows Frank H. Jr(Harry) living in Marquette, Michigan with his parents.  He is 27 years old and working as a machinist in a diamond mill. 


Harry (although on marriage certificate it's Frank Glover, Jr.), age 28, married Emma Winkler on 2 October 1911 in Marquette, Michigan.  Emma Winkler was the daughter of John Winkler and Johanna Lindner.

Harry and Emma moved to Detroit, Michigan between 1911 and 1915.  Their son, Francis Henry Glover was born 12 September 1915 in Detroit, Michigan.  Unfortunately, Emma only lived 15 days after giving birth.   This small newspaper clipping was found in Hattie's Bible (Hattie Fenn Glover). 


I can't imagine what my grandfather must have felt like when he lost his young wife and was left to father a two week old son.  My grandfather travelled from Detroit, Michigan to Marquette, Michigan with his wife's remains.  Emma Winkler Glover is buried in Park Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan.

My grandfather eventually returned to Detroit to work.  He left his son Francis, later known as Hank, with his parents.  Francis continued to live with his grandparents for many years. 


Edythe Glover (Harry's brother, Claude's wife), Harry Glover and Sarah (Watt) Glover

Harry Glover (Frank H. Glover, Jr on marriage record) married Sarah Lilla Watt on 23 August 1919 in Marquette, Michigan.  He was 36 years old.  Sarah Lilla Watt was the daughter of David Watt and Katherine McGee Watt of Marquette, Michigan.  Harry and Sarah resided in a second story apartment on Cass Avenue in downtown Detroit, Michigan when they were first married.  My dad tells of his parent's talking about how hot it would get in the apartment in the summer.  Harry and Sarah would go across the street and sleep in the park when it was too hot. (I pretty sure the residents of Cass Avenue in Detroit today aren't sleeping in the park.)  Harry was working as a superintendent in a Chrysler auto factory during this time. 

My father, Bruce David Glover, was born in 1925.  His parents, Harry and Sarah, decided downtown Detroit wasn't the best place to raise a child so they bought a place on Reynolds Street in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, known for the Detroit Zoo.  This area later (after 1930) became Hazel Park.  Sometime around this time, Harry's son, Francis came to live with them.  My father was in high school before he even knew Francis 'Hank' was a half brother.  My grandmother raised him as her own.


Harry Glover and his son, Bruce

Harry, Sarah, Francis and Bruce continued to live in Hazel Park, Michigan on Reynolds Avenue for years.  My dad remembers his father liked to fish and smoke cigars.  Harry was mechanically inclined and worked as an electrician, tool engineer, and mechanical engineer during his life.

My father tells one story about going to the store with his dad:

I remember going to the store one Saturday morning with my Dad in his old Reo, back in the days when cars had running boards to help you climb up into them. As my Dad and I were puttering down John R Street on the way home, one Saturday morning from shopping, I leaned against the door and next thing I remember I was laying on the pavement by the side of the road. How I’ll never know but hardly suffered a scratch. Worst for wear, however, was Dad who I think went a block before he realized he was missing a passenger, namely me. When he came back he was understandably shaken but thankful I was ok.




Harry Glover


Harry Glover died on 6 September 1950 from leukemia. He is buried in Park Cemetery, Marquette, Michigan.

Sources:
1900 U.S. Census, , Population Schedule, Crystal Lake Township, ED 5, Sheet 19A, , Harry Glover.



1910 U.S. Census, , Population Schedule, Marquette, Ward 4, ED 191, Sheet 4A, dwelling 71, Frank H. Jr.


1920 U.S. Census, , Population Schedule, Detroit Ward 2 Part of District 6, ED 69, Sheet Number 4A, Family 83, Harry Glover.


1930 United States Federal Census, , Population Schedule, Royal Oak, Oakland, Michigan, ED 122, 16B, Dwelling 381, Frank H. Glover Head of Household.


Grave marker for Harry Glover, Harry Glover 1883-1950, Park Cemetery, Marquette, Marquette, Michigan, USA. (301 W. Ridge Street; Corner of Ridge and 7th Streets). Photographed by Brenda Leyndyke, July 2009.


Michigan. Jackson County. 1874-1889. FHL microfilm 0941624. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Michigan. Marquette County. 1850-1976. FHL microfilm 1007540. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS]. "New FamilySearch." Database. Michigan Marriages 1868-1925. http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start

Tips and Tricks: Research Checklist

21 July 2010



As you may remember from previous posts, I like lists!  So when I came across this research checklist I had to make a copy of it.  This checklist has helped me organize my research and I thought I would share it.

The checklist has spaces for the following:
  • Birth Record
  • Death Records
  • Probate Record
  • Military Record
  • Marriage and Children
  • US Census Record
  • State and County Census Record
  • Mortality Schedule
  • Land Records
  • Miscellaneous Records

Even though my genealogy program, Roots Magic, has ample space for the same type of facts; I like this paper copy because I can see at a glance what records I don't have information for.  It helps trigger my memory to look for certain records and helps me plan my next steps for research.

If you like lists like I do, check this one out.  Thank you jelleyjar.com (Jelley Jar Country Home) for sharing it.





Tombstone Tuesday: German P.O.W's

20 July 2010



You wouldn't think if you visited a National Cemetery in the United States you would find German Prisoner of War burials.  Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan has 26 such prisoners.



Fort Custer, Augusta, Michigan was a training camp during World War II.  It also housed about 5,000 German prisoners from 1943-1946.  During this time, 16 of the prisoners were killed when their truck was struck by a train.  They had been returning to the fort from a work detail.  The other 10 prisoners died of natural causes.



The German Prisoners of War Buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Michigan
(Headstones from Left to Right) (Date of Death Included)

1. Josef Ensgraber June 20, 1946

2. Rudolf Vogler November 24, 1945

3. Paul Beiersdoerfer October 31, 1945

4. Kurt Behring October 31, 1945

5. Heinz Bialetzki October 31, 1945

6. Karl Arzberger October 31, 1945

7. Kurt Bernock October 31, 1945

8. Rolf Arnold October 31, 1945

9. Ernst Ahrens October 31, 1945

10. Richard Ackermann October 31, 1945

11. Karl Acker January 1, 1920 -October 31, 1945

12. Anton Beckmann December 29, 1908-November 1, 1945

13. Norbert Berghofer October 31, 1945

14. Hans Becker December 12, 1907-October 31, 1945

15. August Baumgartner January 29, 1911-October 31, 1945

16. Ferdinand Auer October 31, 1945

17. Franz Allmer Ogefer November 16, 1914-October 31, 1945

18. Philipp Allmann October 31, 1945

19. Alois Wadler September 13, 1945

20. Kurtz Ludwig June 8, 1945

21. Wilhelm Marschollek May 10, 1945

22. Hans Rinde December 22, 1944

23. Johann Patsch October 16, 1944

24. Franz Janofzek October 1, 1944

25. Authur Aissen September 29, 1944

26. Johann Scheck June 22, 1944

Follow Friday: Dorothy Martich Black History Photo Archive

16 July 2010

This month's local history blog post is the Dorothy Martich Black History Photo ArchiveWillard Library in Battle Creek, Michigan makes this photo archive accessible through their website.

This photo archive is made possible through local historians, Dorothy and Michael Martich.  There must be hundreds of photo's that focus on the African American community in Battle Creek.  There are pictures of individuals, clubs, churches, schools and more in the archive.

The website says that sometimes you can get more information by contacting the library.  They also appreciate hearing from those who can add information to the photo's, some of the photo's are unidentified.

Check out the historical images in the Martich Photo Archive.

Finding a Family Researcher at the Family Reunion

14 July 2010


This year's t-shirt design

My husband and I attended the Fredricks family reunion this past Saturday, July 10th.  As stated previously, the Fredricks side of my family has been having reunions for years.  I had a new look on the reunion this year.  I wanted to make good use of my time and see if I could get some of my genealogy questions answered.

One of the things that surprised me was the number of people who thanked me for posting pictures and information on the family.  I have a Fredricks Genealogy Group page on Facebook, in addition to this blog.  Isn't it nice to be thanked for something that you enjoy doing?  I would never have guessed it brought enjoyment to others.  It also gave me the opportunity to encourage them to post pictures and information on the group page.


Looking through old pictures and sharing information

The first thing I saw when I arrived at the park was a group of people going through a box of old pictures.  How fun.  One of my cousins, had gone through her mother's house and found a bunch of family pictures she wanted to share.  This same cousin had previously sent me some family pictures as she knew I was researching the family.  The time around the 'picture box' provided some good information and helped to identify those in the pictures.

Shortly after looking at pictures, another cousin came up and said she wanted to introduce me to someone.  This 'someone' was a first cousin of my mother's.  He had a piece of paper and was looking for genealogy information!   I was very happy to meet him, Bill Fredrick, for the first time.  We chatted and agreed to sit down and chat further after we ate, which we did.  We compared what information we had and decided it would be easier to just chat and then exchange detailed information via email.  Since he was from one line of the Fredrick family and I was from another, I knew I could fill in the blanks from my family line.

I didn't breakthrough any brickwalls that day, but just connecting with a new cousin and reconnecting with other cousins was enjoyable.  I did find out a few things:
  • My great grandfather was in the military in Prussia right before he left for America.
  • My cousin, Rosie, has all my grandmother's recipes.  (I hope she will share)
  • No one is fessing up to who has the Family Bible, though. (Believe me, I asked!)
Before we left I made sure I visited a cemetery, the museum, and took pictures that will be posted in future blogs.

Discombobulated!!

13 July 2010

Discombobulated! That's been me for the past six weeks.  At the end of May, our home computer decided to act up.  The loss of the computer that I was comfortable with threw me into a state of confusion.  I had written a few blog posts, but not enough for what was to eventually be 6 weeks. 

Luckily, my darling hubby, had his school laptop home for the summer.  He was nice enough to share.  I shouldn't complain, but it just wasn't the same as having my own computer.  Plus, I didn't want to have a bunch of my pictures and files on his laptop.

I was a good girl and had listened to my other geneabloggers and had backed up my information.  No pulling my hair out on that front, and I don't think it can get any grayer.  I didn't want to transfer my backed up files unless I absolutely had too.  But, I eventually had to transfer some files in order to keep my blog up and running.

So, I am back and feeling less befuddled-for tonight anyway!  The home computer was beyond repair (why it took 6 weeks to figure that out I don't know), but it was under warranty and the warranty company cut us a check for the purchase price.  Yahoo! 

I am up and running with my new Dell laptop and it is better than the old desktop.  Will it help me write better blogs?  Probably not-but at least I have everything all in one place again.

Hattie's Bible

12 July 2010

I have written in the past about how generous I thought genealogists are, but nothing can compare to the recent generosity I have been the recipient of-my great grandmother's family Bible.

In January 2010, I saw a posting on genealogy.com from someone researching the Fenn family, the same family in my ancestry.  I contacted, Carol, via email and explained our common ancestry.  I asked her if she would be interested in sharing information.  She emailed me back and said she was interested. Yay!

We exchanged what information we had on the Fenn family over a few weeks.  Then, one March day, she told me she had been visiting her mother's home.  Her mother opened a chest, that Carol didn't even know opened, and brought out three family Bibles.  As I continued to read her email I was brought to tears.  One of the Bibles was my great grandmother's, Hattie Fenn Glover.  Now, as if it isn't enough that the Bible is in existence, Carol's mother wanted to know if I would like the Bible.  I couldn't say 'yes' fast enough.  I felt honored, privileged and so excited.  Carol's mother wanted the Bible to go to someone in Hattie Fenn's direct line.  Carol and her mother were descendants of Hattie Fenn's brother, Tully.

In the same email Carol had sent pictures of my great grandparent's, Frank H. Glover and Hattie Fenn Glover, on their wedding day.  I cannot begin to put into words what that email meant to me.  I never thought I would see pictures of my great grandparents from the Glover side.

The logistics of getting the Bible had to be worked out as the three of us lived in different parts of the state. So, I waited patiently. (really, I did)  On June 24th I got a call saying the Bible was in Marshall, Michigan, just 10 miles away.  Of course,  I wasn't available to go get it until June 27th.  I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas morning.

June 27th arrives and we are having a thunderstorm.  Nothing was going to keep me from getting this Bible.  I put a rubbermaid container(to keep it dry) in the car and off my husband and I went.  I'm not sure he trusted me to drive home in all my excitement.  By the time we got to Marshall, the rain had let up.  The Bible was at Carol's aunt's home, a first cousin, twice removed of mine.  I visited and shared a few stories and picked up the Bible to go home.  The Bible was boxed up and it was a lot heavier than I thought.

I was so excited.  I couldn't wait to get home and open it.  My mind was spinning.  Should I wear gloves when I open it?  Is it OK to take pictures of it?  How fragile is it? Will I be able to look at the pages? How should I store it?





The condition of the Bible wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The front and back covers were in rough shape, but the inside binding was OK.  I gingerly unwrapped it and the first thing I saw was pages of pictures.  I had opened the back cover, first. 



I have been very carefully examining the contents of the Bible.  I have ordered an archival safe box, tissue, and sheet protectors to store it in.  I will share the contents of it in future posts. 

How do you ever thank someone for a gift that means the world to me?  Words don't seem enough.  So, I guess I will be a good caretaker of this treasure and see that it is saved for future generations.  I will continue to research the Fenn family and share whatever I find with my 'cousins'- it is the least I can do.

Fredricks Family Reunions

10 July 2010

Family Reunion July, 2007
The Grandchildren of August and Louise Fredrick
L-R:  Audrey, Richard, John, Kathryn 'Kate', Norma Jean 'Jeannie', and Lola


The Fredricks side of my family has celebrated with family reunions for years.  I enjoyed attending them as a young child.  My mother came from a family of twelve brothers and sisters.  My family lived on the other side of the state, so going to the family reunion was a time to see my grandparents and lots of cousins.

Past reunions have been held in Brethren, Michigan.  They have been held at various aunt's or uncle's homes and at the original family farm, which is still in the family.  The earliest reunion I remember attending was held at my Aunt Kate's home.  She lived in Brethren, Michigan.  My grandparents, Otto and Daisy(Graf) Fredricks lived next door to her.  One of my favorite memories at past reunions is food.  There are a lot of good cooks in the family.  Aunt Kate, in particular, made the best homemade noodles.  No one has been able to replicate the deliciousness of her noodles.

This is Aunt Kate's recipe exactly as she wrote it:

1 beaten egg (with fork)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 or 4 drops yellow food coloring
2T. milk or water (I use water)
1 cup flour or enough to make a stiff dough.

Roll very thin on floured surface-turn so they dry evenly-I cut mine in strips as soon as I can cut them and they hold their shape.

Don't try to keep in cupboard, they'll mold-keep in freezer if you have more than you cook at one time-experiment-use 2 eggs if you want.


My sister, Linda, and Aunt Kate at the reunion in 2007

For the past 23 years at least, I'm not sure how many, they have been held at Dickson Township Park and Pavilion in Brethren, Michigan on the second Saturday in July. (It is being held today!)  This park is just a short walk from Aunt Kate's original home. Children games, lots of great food, white elephant auction and family stories provide for a good time.

While doing research on the family in Manistee, Michigan I came across the following article about a Frederick (sic) family reunion held in 1924.  I don't think family reunions have been held every year since 1924 but there have been reunions for years. 

Mr and Mrs. August Frederick held a family re-union Sunday, Sept.3, the first time the children had met at home for 19 years.  Sixty people were in attendance, among the number being Mrs. Chalmers of Canada, Will Frederick and family of Grand Rapids, John Bruce and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Breen and family of Manistee.  (Source:  "Brethren (News)" Manistee News Advocate(Manistee) 16 September 1922)  (Repository:  Manistee County Historical Museum, Manistee, Michigan)

Mr. and Mrs. August Frederick in this article were my great grandparents.  Mrs. Chalmers is their daughter, Emma;  Will Frederick is their son; their daughter, Mary, married John Bruce; and their daughter, Augusta 'Gustie', married Herman Breen. 

Do you have family reunions?  What makes your reunion special?

What's in a Name?

Instead of focusing on one surname for Surname Saturday I decided to focus on first names.  Do you have names that are unique to your family? Here are few from my family tree:

Angharad
Dionysus (Artz)
Wrestling (Brewster)
Tamisen (Brike)
Ievan (Cadwgan)
Teague (Crehore)
Nest (Cynric)
Hattie (Fenn)
Aminda (Fenn)
Tully (Fenn)
Damaris (Francis)
Thankful (Fuller)
Gamaliel (Glover)
Vinera (Powers)
Mehitabel (Rowley)

What's the most unique name in your family?

Wordless Wednesday: Stanley Cup 2010

07 July 2010



My son-in-law, Chase, is the Coordinator of Photography for the
Chicago Blackhawks, the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions!

Tombstone Tuesday: J. August Fredrick and Louise (Zastrow) Fredrick

06 July 2010

Oakgrove Cemetery Entrance
Manistee, Manistee, Michigan

Johann August Fredrick
Birth:  8 January 1845  Germany
Death:  27 January 1924  Dickson Township, Manistee, Michigan

Louise (Zastrow) Fredrick
Birth:  9 April 1856  Germany
Death:  27 July 1940 Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan

I am not sure why the "H" was engraved in place of the 'K'.  Some family members believe the surname was pronounced Fredrich, this may be why it is this way on their gravestone.   

Surname Saturday: Begole

03 July 2010

The surname Begole has been found as Begole and Begold.  The Begole side of my family comes from Maryland and later Wayland, Steuben, New York and eventually Sylvan Township, Washtenaw, Michigan.  The Begole's I have researched so far include:

First Generation
1. William W Begold was born (date unknown).
Rachel Rivers was born (date unknown).


William W Begold and Rachel Rivers had the following child:
+2 i. William Rivers Begole.


Second Generation
2. William Rivers Begole (William W-1) was born (date unknown).
Rachel Starr was born (date unknown).


William Rivers Begole and Rachel Starr had the following child:
+3 i. Thomas Jefferson Begole, born 12 Jan 1776, Maryland, USA; married Ann Matelda Nancy Bowles, 21 Nov 1803, Washington County, Maryland, United States; died 18 Jan 1854, Wayland, Steuben, New York, USA.


Third Generation
3. Thomas Jefferson Begole (William Rivers-2, William W-1) was born on 12 Jan 1776 in Maryland, USA. He died on 18 Jan 1854 at the age of 78 in Wayland, Steuben, New York, USA.


Thomas Jefferson Begole and Ann Matelda Nancy Bowles were married on 21 Nov 1803 in Washington County, Maryland, United States.2–3 Ann Matelda Nancy Bowles, daughter of Thomas Bowles and Eleanor Price, was born on 20 May 1783 in Hagerstown, Washington, Maryland, USA. She died in 1850 at the age of 67 in New York, USA.


Thomas Jefferson Begole and Ann Matelda Nancy Bowles had the following children:
+4 i. Eleanor Begole, born abt Nov 1804, New York; married Samuel B. Poore, 1822, Steuben County, New York; died 9 May 1848.
5 ii. William Begole was born in 1806 in Danville, Steuben, New York, USA.


Fourth Generation
4. Eleanor Begole (Thomas Jefferson-3, William Rivers-2, William W-1) was born about Nov 1804 in New York. She died on 9 May 1848 at the age of 43.5 She was buried in Vermont Cemetery, Sylvan Township, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA.5


Eleanor Begole and Samuel B. Poore were married in 1822 in Steuben County, New York.6 Samuel B. Poore, son of Moses Augustus Poore and Elizabeth Barber, was born on 9 Sep 1792 in Dunbarton, Merrimack, New Hampshire, USA.


Samuel B. Poore and Eleanor Begole had the following children:
+6 i. Elizabeth Ann Poore, born Oct 1827, New York; died 20 Sep 1894, Hersey, Osceola, Michigan, USA.
7 ii. Jane Poore was born (date unknown).
8 iii. George Poore was born on 29 Feb 1828 in Steuben County, New York.
9 iv. Hannah Poore was born (date unknown).
10 v. Samuel Poore was born on 8 Feb 1833 in Steuben County, New York.
11 vi. William Poore was born (date unknown).
12 vii. David M Poore was born (date unknown).
13 viii. 10 Evan J. Poore was born (date unknown).
14 ix. Harlan Poore was born (date unknown).

A Special Take on 3 Generations

02 July 2010

What's so special about 3 generations?  I imagine many people have 3 generation pictures.  I even have some.  My 3 generations is a little different-it is 3 generations of cancer and I am one of the generations.  I rarely think of myself as a cancer survivor, but I give thanks for surviving it every July.  I am a 30 year cancer survivor.  On July 2, 1980, I underwent surgery to remove a malignant thyroid and lymph nodes.  I was 22 years old.  Luckily, the surgery removed the cancer and I didn't need any further treatment.  I am sure modern medicine helped in my early diagnosis and treatment.  My grandmother and great grandmother weren't so fortunate.

My grandmother, Sarah Lilla (Watt)(Glover) Bell, underwent surgery of the neck area in 1965.  The cancer had spread to the point that they were unable to treat her.  They closed her up and informed the family that she probably wouldn't live long.  She died shortly after that on March 31, 1965 at the age of 80.  Her death certificate doesn't have a cause of death on it.  I don't know for a fact it was thyroid, but do know the cancer was in her neck area.

Sarah's mother, Catherine (McGee) Watt died of cancer on 22 January, 1932 in Marquette, Michigan.  Her death certificate lists the cause of death as carcinoma.  Her obituary states she had been sick for 18 months.  I do not know where her cancer was, but know that Catherine suffered from a goiter for years.


Cancer seems to run on the female side of my dad's family.  I went with my younger sister, a breast cancer survivor, to a genetic specialist.  The specialist believes we have a mutation of the P-10 gene.  The geneticist recommended further testing but due to insurance restrictions neither of us explored it further.

I can only imagine what the diagnosis of cancer did to my grandmother in 1965 and my great grandmother in 1932.  I am sure they felt it was a death sentence.  I remember, vividly, the day I was told I had cancer.  I was shocked.  It had never even crossed my mind.  Being young, I was sure I could beat it.  I did!  I had wonderful surgeons, doctors and medical personnel with the newest technology available at the time.  I am not sure what their treatment was like. 

My hope and prayer is that future generations will live in a time when cancer is cured.  Wouldn't it be nice if future generations have to look up what cancer is when they see it on death certificates like I have had to look up a few obsolete conditions?  July 2nd is here and I have reminisced about being a cancer survivor and I am thankful for the wonderful care I received at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.  Here's to many more years of good health for all cancer survivors!