Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick's Day


Love is in the Air

In honor of Valentine’s Day, tomorrow will be dedicated to stories about engagements, weddings, and golden wedding anniversaries.  There’s even one 60th wedding anniversary story included.  There have already been a few today, but tomorrow will be a wedding bonanza.  Be sure to check in frequently tomorrow, as there are posts scheduled to appear throughout the day.

These articles can be a goldmine for researchers, describing what a wedding looked like in 1900 and listing the out-of-town guests in a way that provides clues to married names and family locations.

Thanks for reading.

A Note from Me

I don’t know why someone would want to spam a genealogy blog like mine, but I’ve spent the past week dealing with spam comments on virtually every entry I’ve posted. In the process, I believe that I inadvertently deleted one legitimate comment from a Walling family researcher who I know follows this blog. Please accept my sincere apologies, Mr. Vaughn.  You can look forward to a bunch of Walling content this week.

In the meantime, I continue to work through a significant backlog of transcription work from clippings I’ve accumulated through the years. I bought an external 3.5 floppy drive and recovered information from a stack of disks I’ve had collecting dust in my home office for years, not just genealogy research but some great writing samples from previous jobs, for example. It was like discovering a time capsule.  If you’ve got any mystery disks, I highly recommend it.  The suggestion came from Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.

I’m also trying to go through all my content to insert “Read More” tags where appropriate and to link more entries that logically relate to each other.  It’s an ongoing process.

I continue to be committed to posting at least every Tuesday and Friday throughout 2018, but look for extras throughout the year. For example, in honor of Valentine’s Day, you can look forward to stories about weddings and engagements.

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope that you enjoyed my daily updates in December.  For 2018, my goal is to post at least twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday.  I do, however, have a significant backlog of obituaries and death notices and plan to post daily in January until I’m caught up.  After that, the content will become more varied again.

In addition, one of my goals for this site for the coming year is to write more about how and why I am so engaged in family history research.  I’d like to start with newspaper research, since I do so much of it. The historic newspaper articles that I have transcribed here add so much detail to the lives of the people that I’m researching.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite free newspaper sites that I have used to compile the material that you find here:

California Historic Newspaper Collection

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections

Historic Oregon Newspapers

Historic New York Newspapers

Chronicling America, from the Library of Congress

The Lake Orion Review (Michigan)

The Cass City Chronicle and Cass City Enterprise (Michigan)

Historic Quincy Newspapers (Illinois)

Happy hunting!

Etta Sutton in the Family of Amzy Sutton in the 1880 Census

In the 1880 Census of Orion, Oakland County, MI, the family headed by  Amzy R. Sutton  includes an Etta Sutton, aged 18.  Some online genealogies, therefore, include her as a daughter of Amzy’s, even though her date of birth would be well before the age at which Amzy’s one known wife would have been capable of bearing children.  Who was Etta Sutton?

She provides us with an illustration of why all information should be checked against alternate sources.  Her name was Etta Place, and she was an orphan who was taken in by the Sutton family.  A census taker erroneously named her as Etta Sutton in the 1880 census.  Her obituary, which tells the known facts of her life, appears below.  

Death of Miss Etta Place

Passed Away at Woman’s Hospital After Two Month’s Illness

Miss Etta Place passed away at the Woman’s hospital at 11:30 o’clock Sunday night after an illness of over a year’s duration with acute mania.  Very little is known of Miss Place’s life.  About thirty years ago when Mrs. A.R. Sutton of 900 Hoyt avenue was going by boat from Cheboygan to Marine City a woman who said she was the mother of Miss Place, then a girl of 14 years, gave her to Mrs. Sutton as a nurse girl.  Mrs. Sutton brought the girl home with her but in all the years that have elapsed since that time, the mother has never appeared nor made the slightest inquiry about her child.  The girl refused at all times to speak of her parents.  She has worked in the Sutton home since then up to about 2 months ago when she was taken to the hospital.  She was broken down in health and, it is said, was losing her mind.  Her condition did not improve and death was the result.  Mr. Sutton said this morning that so far as he knew Miss Place had no living relatives whatever, and if she had, they were unknown to her at the time of her death.

The News was later told by a friend of Miss Place that Miss Place was the daughter of the head partner of Carruthers & Place lumber dealers who were very prominent in this section of the state about 40 years ago.  The family resided at North Newburg a little village about four miles from Durand, Mich., at that time a thriving lumber town.  Mr. Place died, leaving a daughter, Etta, an older son and a younger daughter.  He left his wife considerable money together with a large amount of insurance.  From the first it was alleged that the mother was inattentive to her children.  In a few years she went to St. Louis, Mo., where she lost all her money and finally married a shoemaker.  The abandoned children were carried for at first by an uncle, a brother of their father but he was poor and had a large family and they were finally given into the care of the Masons in whose ranks the father was very highly esteemed.  What became of the children after that is unknown.

Miss Place was about 45 years old.  At the Sutton home there is nothing but praise for her faithful nature and kindly services and there her loss will undoubtedly be deeply felt, as her long service had almost made her one of the family.  The funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the residence and she will be laid at rest in Forest Lawn.  Rev. W.H. Gallagher, of whose church Miss Place was a life-long member, will officiate.

Source:  Saginaw Evening News, February 27, 1905.

Relationship to the Descendants of James Madison Rorick

I am often asked if the Rorick family that settled in Allen County, IN, is related to the Rorick family of Sussex County, NJ, that is the primary focus of my website. I think so. James Madison Rorick can be found in the 1840 census for Hardyston in Sussex County in proximity to descendants of Gaspar Rorick. And, I did find this article linking him to Michael Rorick Kemble, who was a prominent lawyer in Sussex County at the time. Was M.R. Kemble in Fort Wayne looking to connect with J.M. Rorick on an urgent legal matter? Additional research is needed.

Who knows him? Any person will confer a favor on a friend to furnish this office or M.R. Kemble, at the Rockhill House, with the whereabouts of James M. Rorick, residing in this city, and formerly of Sussex County, New Jersey. Who will give the information?

Source:  Fort Wayne Daily Times, October 3, 1855.