Today's obituary contains another one of my "name peeves." So many of these old obituaries abbreviate the names of the individual. Chas., Jas., Wm., Benj.....While you can assume these are short for Charles, James William and Benjamin, you really don't know. Perhaps it was for Chatsford, Jason, Wilbert, or well, Benj. probably is Benjamin, but the point is, you can't be SURE. Genealogists like "just the facts Ma'am", not just the probables.
From the 15 January 1914 Fremont TimesIndicator:
Chas. bitgood was born in the state of New York in the year 1851 and died December 31, 1913. When but a child he came to Michigan with his parents and settled in Barry county, where he lived until about 28 years ago when he came to Newaygo county, living here since that time. He was married to Miss Alice Hough and to this union were born four children, all of whom survive him. He was a kind and loving husband and father and a prosperous farmer. It was his desire to do good. Aside from his making a living and gaining property, he preached the gospel and labored for souls, and his last words were "My hope is like an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast, bless the Lord. " He suffered with Brights disease and heart trouble, but with all patience and an uplifting eye to the Lord. He leaves to mourn their loss a true and loving wife, two sons, Wm. and Ira. also two daughters Violet Brown and Carrie Leslie. The funeral was held January 2, 1914, at the Wrangleburg schoolhouse. Rev. T. J. Clement, of Soian, preached from 2 Tim., 4th, 7th and 8th verses, they being his own selection.
Even one of the sons has his name abbreviated. And of course many obituaries only list men's initials, and women only are listed as Mrs. Definitely one of those things that drive me crazy.