29 October 2009

All Roads Lead to Cemeteries

While typing up the list of cemeteries in Newaygo County, I decided a brief description of how the roads are named in the county may be of help.

The two main roads that the others are named from are Baseline, which runs through the middle of the county east and west. The north/south center line is named Centerline Rd. Original huh?

Anyway, the roads south of Baseline are numbered, with each half mile being eight higher than the mile before. Half miles are numbered four higher. Thus, 80th Street would be 10 miles south of Baseline. And 44th Street is 5 1/2 miles south.

The roads north of baseline are numbered by miles--One Mile Rd, 14 Mile, etc. When there is a half mile road, those are what I call the presidential roads. One half mile north of Baseline would be Washington, 1 1/2 mile north is Adams, and so on. The names don't repeat, so John Quincy Adams doesn't get a street. But if you know the order of the presidents, you have a relative idea of where you are, knowing that Jefferson is before Lincoln.

Then we have the north and south roads. To the east of Centerline the roads are named for trees. There is Evergreen, Beech, Pine, etc. To the west the roads were named for local dignitaries from the times the roads were named. Our county histories are littered with the same names as many of the roads--Stone, Warner, Luce and so on.

I hope that anyone planning on hunting up some of the local cemeteries finds this helpful. Or if I have you completely confused, stop by the Local History Room of the Fremont Area District Library. We have county maps that can clear the confusion I hope.

28 October 2009

Newaygo County Cemeteries

I poked around in the computer Sandy and I share and found a list of all the Newaygo County Cemeteries as well as the addresses. Sorry for the wobbly columns, I can't find out how to post this as a spreadsheet in Blogger.

Cemeteries ----------Township----------Section-----Location

Amish -----------------Wilcox ------------------26--------Poplar & 2 Mile Rd
Ashland----------------Ashland ----------------22--------120th St & Ferris Ave
Big Prairie-------------Everett-----------------13---------See Community Cemetery
Bridgeton--------------Bridgeton---------------13--------Warner Ave & 118th St
Bull--------------------Denver-----------------34--------Baseline Rd & Green Ave.
Christian Plains--------Croton-------------26--------80th Street & Cottonwood Ave
Clark------------------Dayton----------------31--------Maple Island Rd & 48th St
Community-----------Everett----------------13--------20th St & Pine Ave
Crandall---------------Ensley----------------35--------22 Mile Rd & Pine Ave
Croton----------------Croton-----------------7---------Croton Dr & Pine Ave
Culp------------------Croton-----------------10--------56th Street & Chestnut Ave
Curtice---------------Home------------------9----------Walnut Ave & 17 Mile Rd
Danish----------------Ashland---------------24---------128 St & Mason Dr
Davenport-----------Barton----------------13-14-------15 Mile & Beech Ave
Dayton Center--------Dayton--------------17-----------See Jewell Cemetery
Ensley-North--------Ensley----------------2-----------104th St & Cottonwood Ave
Evans----------------Dayton--------------29------------40th St & Fitzgerald Ave
Everett--------------Everett--------------13------------See Community Cemetery
Fremont------------Sheridan---------------2------------See Maple Grove Cemetery
Goodwell------------Goodwell-------------16-----------3 Mile Rd & Cypress Ave
Gowell & Huber-----Denver----------------9-------------4 Mile & Comstock
Hesperia-East------Denver----------------30----------1 Mile & Dickinson Ave
Hiller---------------Merrill----------------12-----------Centerline Rd & Hayes
Indians-----------Sheridan-----------2---------Adjacent to East end of Maple Grove
Jewell---------------Dayton-------------17----------20th St & Dickinson Ave
Lilley-----------------Lilley--------------15-----------Bingham Ave & 15 Mile Rd
Lincoln-----------Lincoln----------16-------3 Mile Rd, 1/2 mile West of Wisner Ave
Maple Grove--------Sheridan-----------2-------East end of Division, inFremont
Merrill--------------Merrill------------12-------------Centerline Rd & Hayes Ave
Monroe Twp-----Merrill-------12-----See Merrill Cemetery (used to be Monroe)
Mount Calvary----Sheridan----------10--------64th St, 1/2 mile East of Green
Newaygo---------Brooks----------18------------1/2 mile East of M37, Croton Dr
Oak Grove--------Croton-----------29---------------Elm St & 80th St
Old County Farm---Sherman---31----48th st, btw Luce Ave & Croswell Ave
Parkvew----------Ashland----------24--------------120th St, East of M37
Pioneer------------Sheridan----------1------------West of Luce on 48th St
Prairie--------------Croton-----------2-----------56th St & Chestnut Ave
Prospect Hill-------Everett----------6-----------See White Cloud Cemetery
Reeman-----------Sheridan---------16----------Brucker Ave, South of 64th St
Sherman----------Sherman---------16----------Wisner Ave, North of 24th St
Shippy-------------Ashland-----------33-------136th St, West of Wisner
Sitka-------------Bridgeton----------5----------a private Cemetery
St. John's---------Ensley------------11------------104th St & Cottonwood Ave
St. Joseph's-------Everett------6------City of White Cloud, West end of Wilcox
St Mary's----------Croton------------6------------48th St & Locust Ave
St Michaels--------Sheridan--------7---------Maple Island Rd, South of 60th St
St Bartholomew's---Garfield--------13-----------72nd St & Centerline Rd
Stern's-------------Croton----------2-------------See Prairie Cemetery
Stern's Prairie------Croton----------2------------See Prairie Cemetery
Surrerar------------Croton------------35-----------Oak Ave & 88th St
Township-----------Merrill----------12------------See Merrill Cemetery
Troy---------------Troy-------------30---------13 Mile Rd & Dickinson Ave
Volney------------Beaver-----------7-----------Grant Rd & Dickinson Ave
Whipple----------Home-------------24----------Pine Ave & 14 Mile Rd
White Cloud-----Wilcox------6-------City of White Cloud, West end of Wilcox
Woodville-------Norwich---------30---------Pine Ave & Polk St

27 October 2009

Tombstone Tuesday--Maple Grove

The pictures today are from the big main Fremont, Michigan cemetery: Maple Grove. This cemetery is quite old and has stones ranging from early 1900's to the current year. Even the old broken ones are preserved as much as possible.
These are some of my favorite stones. They are made in the form of trees. There are several in the cemetery. One plot even has a couple stumps, with a matching bench. They are usually made of concrete, though other materials have been sighted. Every item shown, like the lilies on the bottom of the tree have symbolic meanings. A subject no doubt for a future posting

The monument back near the flag is the Civil War Veterans Memorial. When we had the Cemetery Walks, we had a Civil War re-enactor stationed here, in his uniform and with his pup tent.
And I always love the more rustic stones like this one. I would like to find a natural granite boulder (fairly common around this area) and just have a brass plaque posted with Hubby and I each listed.

While fairly plain, it has a substantial look about it that I enjoy.

26 October 2009

Do you know what the word casket means?

The attempt to draw a link between death and beauty was found in the word for the use of the word "casket" for the coffin it meant jewel box. People began looking at a new type of cemetery in 1831 when the Massachusetts Horticultural Society purchased 72 acres of fields, ponds and gardens in Cambridge and built Mount Auburn Cemetery, a new kind of cemetery. The new garden cemetery was a place that the grieving friends and relatives could find peaceful solace in the beauty of nature.

Family Histories

We always welcome people to add their family histories to the Local History Room. Here are a few of the names that we have histories of presently on our shelves.
Aiken, Dorsey
Alberta, Vredeveld, Hossink, Vandervelde
Allen, Delva Carroll and Edna Abigail J. Cross Allen
Bacon, Frank Amos
Barton Family
Bird, David William
Branstrom, William J.
Bristol, Clarence Norman
Cate Derk Ten and Berendina Oonk
Crofoot, David Skinner
Crosby Family
Danford, Earl H.
Danford, John C.
Davis’s of Ashland Township Newaygo, Michigan
Dawe, Dickinson Daniels
Dekuiper, Edythe Swanson
Demmon and Allied Families
Deters, J.H.
Deters, Kline
DeWeerd, Christine (Kole)
Dickinson, William
Dill Family
Donahoe Story & The Reed Story
Dougans of Ashland Township, Newaygo, County
Dudley, Thomas
Dyk, Gerrit Jan
Erps, The Erps of Tombstone Martin D. Douglas
Fink, Sak and Zoran Immigrants
Folkema Doeke & Klaaske
Frodey, Ray My Poems, my papers and my ancestors
Fuller Family
Giddings – Gyddyns
Giddings Family
Graichen Family of America
Hills, William
Hindst & McDonald Reunions
Hornby, Clark Walter
Howard Family
Huisjen, David R.
Jewell Family
Johnson, Lincoln & Julia
Kimball, Merritt W.
Klomp, Evert
Kole, Cornelis & Neeltje
Kolk, Harm and Jantje
Lane, Robert T.
Lewis & Macumber Families
Lewis, Macumber Family
Lewis, Meriweather & Kindered Families
Lt. John and Elizabeth (Freeman) Ellis
Mahn, P.H. & B. A,
Martin, Elta Jay – After Glow
Masters, Marjorie
Matson, Francis A. The Prophecy
Matson, Velma Who am I?
Maxson, Walter J. (Mike) & Barbara
Maynard, John
Merrill, James
Meyer, Hendrick, 30 years
Murphy, Family (John & Elizabeth)
Norberg Roots
Nyes of English Origin Vol. 2
Nyes Vol. 1
One of Ten Albert K. Stevens
Parker, Joshua & Anna
Reinoldts of Ashland Township
Roossinck Family History
Rozema Family
Ryerson, Martin
Samis and related families
Schmitt, Anton
Sharps of Ashland Township
Shattuck, Family
Shaver Family History
Shaw, Edwin O.
Small, Robertson and related families
Smith, Jack
Smith, William and Hattie Smith Family
Sneller, Gerrit Reijers
Spooner Family Tree
Stevens, William
Stroven, Strowenjans
Sundell Roots
Tanis Family Tree
The Ancestry of Nathan Lewis Harrison
The Love of Emeline (Shepard)
The world Book of Nelsons Vol. 1
The world Book of Nelsons Vol. 2
Three Dutch Families by Mary Hathaway
Titus, Obediah Maat & Bessie Ann “Cooper” Titus
Troutier, Joseph (Truckee)
Troutier, Joseph “Truckee”
Truesdell, Gideon
Ulrichs of Fuerstentum Waldeck
Van Hemert
Vautrim – Wotring Woodring Family
Visker Family
Vredeveld, Hossink, Vandervelde, Alberta,
Wantz - Dickinson- Phillips – Titus
Washa, William (Indian Bill)
Weaver Family
Westbrook Family
Whitman, Putman, Wilson, Merrilll families
William Julius Champion
Williams, Roger and Hart Line – Free born
Williams, Roger and Waterman Line
Wilson, Dear John
Wilson, Dear John Supplement
Wolters – Watsing Family
Woodhouse Family
Woodhouse, One Woodhouse Family

Please help by contributing a copy of your family history to help preserve your families history for future generations.

22 October 2009

Just a reminder for those who care for a grave site

I just had a patron in and our conversation turned to the importance of caring for the grave site in the fall as well as the spring. If you have a urn or any planters don't forgot to turn them over, the water will freeze in them and cause cracks or break. Some plants need mulching or removing so in the spring when the snow melts the grave site does not look dirty and uncared for. It will have happy and healthy plants and look nice and neat.

21 October 2009

Local History Databases

I mentioned that one of my duties here at the Local History room is entering basic data from the obits, birth announcements, weddings, anniversaries, etc in our database. The names are available by searching the databases on the Local History page of our Library website.
We keep the paper copy in notebooks, in addition to the microfilm in their drawers. Here is a picture of the notebooks.
The 5 shelves on the right are all the obituaries. The column of shelves next to that, plus the top shelf on the next row, are the births, weddings, anniversaries, and divorces. We also have been keeping clippings of military service. There is a data base for that as well, but unfortunately, it is lower priority for genealogy purposes.
We also have information on many of the small area communities that now are just an intersection. We have books on the old county one room schools, and myriads of pictures of buildings, schools, and pioneers.
I love this place.

Follow up on Obituary Suggestions

1. It is OK to list pets, just list family too. I plan on having my pets listed.
2. Write up the obituary before the person passes or write your own and keep it updated. It is so much easier then than at the time of passing when every ones emotions are going every which way.
It is fine to keep it short but make sure you add the basic information such as dates and places of deaths and births and parents and childrens names. It is amazing how such a little thing can be so important to future generations.

20 October 2009

Tombstone Tuesday--various

A handmade stone belonging to my paternal great-grandfather, located in Curtice Cemetery, Newaygo County MI. I think after divorcing my Great Grandma he was rather a black sheep, and hence, no one wanted to buy a stone for him.
Another curious stone, from Pioneer Cemetery, also in Newaygo County, near Fremont.
As you can see, the old fragile stones from the early area pioneers in this cemetery have all been laid on their back to prevent further damage.
As you can see, even in the veterans hiding behind the trees get their marker and flag each year.

These gravestones are from Clark Cemetery, Newaygo County MI. The cemetery lies near the west of the county, near the corners of Muskegon and Oceana Counties

19 October 2009

Basics for Good Obit Writing

I picked out the obituary here as simply the first one I grabbed from my family files.
I am not saying it is perfect, but there are some good points here that should always be included. Now keep in mind that this is not current, but the basics are the same.
1--Give the date of death. They almost have it here. No year is listed, but given her birth date and age at death, you can figure it was 1927.
2--Give place of death. Helps in finding death certificates for later generations.
3--Give date and place of birth if known. I realize you may not always know them for some next of kin, but it helps if you find out.
4--List parents names, if known. If they are your parents or grandparents, you better know them.
5--If married, give spouse's name, and when and where married if known.
6--Names of survivors. Try to get the names of children, and possibly grand children if not too many. Also nice to list surviving brothers and sisters. Not necessary to list pets, or favorite cars. Listing a special friend of Trixie or Bambi for your elderly grandfather could have more distant relatives asking questions that can't be answered in later years.
7--If deceased was known by nickname that can be listed in quotations marks. "Bob" for Robert may be obvious, but if Francis was commonly know as "Freddy" some people may not even realize whose obituary it is!
8--It seems not many people are being interned now days, at least from the obituaries I have been typing up for our data base. But, if so, list the cemetery. Or state if just cremated. It could save descendants searching cemetery after cemetery if it states Uncle Potsie was scattered over Lake Michigan.
9--If the deceased served in the military, or some other notable service--be sure to mention it. Other items from personal history could be profession, public service work, and societies person was involved in.
If you are lucky to live in area like we do where the local paper publishes obituaries for free, don't go too crazy, but list the facts and try to make it easy for future genealogists.

16 October 2009

The Importance of a Good Obituary

One of my duties in the local history room is to copy vitals from the local paper for entry into our databases and for saving in notebooks in our room. We have shelves and shelves of big notebooks with copies of obituaries, birth announcements, weddings, and anniversaries from the local newspaper. The web site for our local history room (see sidebar) has a brief summary of the names and info available. After making the copies, I enter the data in an unending process. We have most of the early years fairly complete, the 1920’s, 19-teens. But many of the middle years are pretty sparse, as the only entries may be copies that were donated.
Fear not, we will get to them. Someday at least. I only work 15 hours a week, and sometimes other jobs that take priority.
But someday, there will be some genealogists who get very excited to find a hit on the database, only to be be greatly disappointed. There are many obituaries that do not list date of birth or even death date, only saying the age (maybe), or say died recently. Arugh!!! Then there are the ones who list everyone person the deceased ever came in contact with as surviving, and others who list no one. I’ve seen others showing survivors who may be their pets, or significant other. I can just imagine the confusion that is going to send their descendants into.
A newer trend is cremation, apparently. Many obits do not give a place of internment, but neither do they state if cremated. How sad that their family will have no cemetery to visit.
OK, we may be a bit prejudiced about that one, but still!
So, I think that an upcoming posting must dwell on how to write a good obituary.

14 October 2009

Why we do it

One of the first things people often ask is why the interest in a bunch of dead people? Why do you do genealogy? For me there are many reasons I do it. It gives you a sense of who you are and where your family came from but most importantly it gives you a sense of belonging to a group of people who have helped form this world. Genealogy helps you understand history by looking at it through their eyes as they must of seen it and experienced it.
Anyone can dig up dates of births and deaths and so on but to me genealogy is so much more. There is a poem that states we are the story keepers and we keep the stories and people alive by putting their stories on the bones. Making that person not only a bunch of numbers but a person who lived and breathed. They had a name, a spouse, children they had a story, they lived life. Our job as the story keepers is to keep that persons story even after they have passed on. As a tribute to them but also to say thank you for the heritage they have left for us.

The Thrill of the Hunt

One of the best things about genealogy has got to be the excitement of finding an unknown ancestor. I know when I made my first discovery that gave me the name of my Great-grandpa’s father I was thrilled. Before this, none of my family members could tell me anything. The oldest family members on that branch were an uncle and aunt. The aunt had Alzheimers and would say anything I wanted to hear. My uncle, the oldest sibling, was unable to do much better.

However, once I came up with a name, the uncle opened up with pictures of his own. Although he only knew this ancestor as “the Old Gent,” which was what my great-grandfather called him, he was able to tell me a little, including where he was buried.

Now GGGrandpa Armenus is my pride and joy. He was not only my first discovery, but also my first confirmed Civil War vet. Through his name I was able to contact distant cousins who generously shared more information and pictures.

It was exciting to make this first step and start learning about this whole branch of ancestors and put names, and occasionally faces to them. A young girl captured by Indians and later ransomed, who married and then ran off with another man—who was my ancestor. A young man who bravely served in the Spanish-American war and later was killed in France at the end of World War I. The 3 successive generations who lived to be 90, and the families who lost small children.

My family.

13 October 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Nothing like a trip to a family cemetery.
Just a few pictures from some of the family graves.
This is one of my favorites, with the look of piled logs. Even if they didn't carve any of the family names on the big blank area.
I've always loved the stone basket made from field stones and cement.

Intro to Me Too

I'm Sandy the opinionated one and occasionally outspoken. I have been doing genealogy since I was 14, trying to settle an argument between my Grandma and her step-brother as to where their father was born.

Thirty Seven years later her I am, still doing genealogy. My search has taken me to the Eastern states researching the Colbys, Tillinghasts and Herricks. To New York researching Ackermans and New Hampshire Researching the Georges. And always finding myself in a cemetery.
My husband and family have realized, that traveling with me, all roads lead to a cemetery.

Intro to Me

I’m Linda, the quiet and shy snow-loving member of our twosome. I’m married to a farmer who has never lived more than half a mile from where we now live. I have two grown sons, both farmers through and through. While I have moved around some, I have stayed in the West Michigan area all my life. My love of family history began with my grandmother telling me stories of how we were related to Ethan Allen (un-proven as yet) and how Gerald Ford used to attend our Ford family reunions as a child. Much work had been done on my father’s family history, so my first breakthrough came when I discovered my first Civil War ancestor on my mother’s side. It has been an exciting quest to dig into the Allen, Ford, Cross, Samis, Gilbert, Cunningham, Wells, Stiver, Hagen, and Walsworth lines. (Just to name a few.)
One of my biggest college regrets was that I decided not to pursue a history minor. Digging into the family history as well as the area history has been never-ending and rewarding adventure.