Tombstone Tuesday – April 18, 2023- Elmer Paul Kinnaman

Elmer Paul Kinnaman was born on February 22, 1879 in Flora, Clay County, Illinois. He was the son of Henry and Mary Ann (Luse) Kinnaman. In the 1880 Federal Census, Elmer is with his parents and they are living in Monroe, Anderson County, Kansas. Listed with him are his parents, Henry and Mary Ann, his 12 year old sister Mamie and his five year old brother, Charles. Henry lists his occupation as farmer. By the 1900 Federal Census, the Kinnaman family are back in Clay County, Illinois. Henry is 79 years old and Mary Ann is 59. Elmer remains with his parents. He is 21 years old.

Elmer’s father, Henry Kinnaman , owned 160 acres in the southeast corner of Section 23 in Clay County, Illinois according to the 1881 Land map for Clay County. It was located northwest of Village of Flora. Henry had three wives. The first wife was Phebea Grim, she died 1862. They had two children; Martha Jane (1843) and Alonzo Clay (1855) who are half siblings to Elmer and his siblings. Henry married his second wife, Martha Rawlings in 1862. She died in 1865. They had no children. Henry then married Mary Ann Luse, who is the mother of Elmer and his siblings.

Elmer Paul married Avis Manda Nash in 1904. By the 1910 Federal Census, Elmer and Avis have two daughters, Mary Ester (1905) and Naomi Sophia (1908). They lived in Harter Township, Illinois. Elmer is a farmer. On September 12,1918, Elmer registered for the draft for WWI. He states that he is a self employed farmer. Elmer and Avis live on Route 1, in Flora, Illinois. By the time of the 1920 Federal Census, Elmer and Avis have three children; Mary and Naomi and a son, Paul Donald (1911). In 1925, Elmer Paul and Avis had a son name Lee Ellmore born on October 1, 1925 who died of an undisclosed illness on June 18, 1926. By the time of the 1930 Federal Census, the older girls have left home and 19 year old Paul remains with his parents. In the 1940 Federal Census, Elmer, Avis and their son, Paul are living in the same location.

In 1942, Elmer Paul registered for WWII along with his son, Paul. He is sixty three years old and stated that he is a self employed farmer. He and his wife Avis, live at RFD2, Harter Township, Clay County, Illinois.

Sixty-six years ago on April 18,1957, Elmer Paul died at the age of 78. He is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in the Kinnaman Plot in Flora, Illinois.

Rest in peace, Elmer!

Love, Jan

Elmer was the first cousin to Hannah and Emily Kinnaman. They are Kinnaman sisters who married Smith brothers; Branson and WiIliam Smith. William and Branson are my 3rd Great Grand Uncles, Brothers to my 2X Great Grandfather, James W Smith

Tombstone Tuesday – April 11, 2023 – Margaret Pocock Young

Margaret Pocock was born on September 5, 1858. Her death Certificate states she was born in England but she was most likely born in Ohio or Indiana since all the other siblings were either born in Ohio or Indiana. She was the daughter of Elijah Pocock and Nancy Middaugh.

Elijah and Nancy (Middaugh) Pocock had eight children; Milton (1843), Mary Catherine (1845), John (1848), Emeline (1852), Elias (1856), Margaret (1858), Nancy (1861). In the 1850 Federal Census, Elisha Pocock and his wife Nancy reside in Wayne Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Elijah is working in the Construction Industry as a carpenter. He and Nancy have three children; Milton, Mary C and John H. They also have Andrew Middaugh living with them. Andrew is likely a brother to Nancy.

In the 1870 Census, Elijah, (is misspelled in most of the Census records..) is living in Lafayette Township, Allen County, Indiana. He has five children living with him; Emeline, Elias, Margaret A., Nancy M and Charles (Grandson, 1868). Nancy died in February 28, 1866. Elijah is a carpenter who builds houses. In the 1880 Federal Census, Elijah states that he is a widower, living with him are three children; Margaret, Elias, Nancy J., and Charles Pocock who is a grandson.

On September 8th,1880, Margaret married Samuel Young in Allen County, Indiana. On August 6, 1881, Margaret and Samuel had their first son, Albert and their second son, Clarence Floyd was born in 1883. In the 1900 Federal Census, Margaret and Samuel are listed and their sixteen year old son Clarence. They lived in Fort Wayne at 105 High Street. By the time of the 1910 Federal Census, Samuel and Margaret are listed with their son Clarence and his wife, Ore B Young. They live on Helle Street in Ward 8 of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The census records states that Margaret has given birth to two children and both are living.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Samuel and Margaret are listed and Margaret’s sister Emeline is living with them. They live on Fletcher Avenue in Ward 8 of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Ninety-eight years ago on April 11, 1925, Margaret died of cancer of the bowel according to her death Certificate. She was buried at Hoverstock Cemetery in Zaneville, Indiana. There is no photo of her tombstone on Findagrave. My next visit to Hoverstock, I’ll look for her.

Rest in peace, Margaret!

Love Jan

Margaret was the sister of Joseph Smith’s wife. Joseph was my three times Great Uncle on the Paternal Smith lineage of our family.

Tombstone Tuesday – April 4, 2023 – Mary Jane Anderson Dalton

Mary Jane Anderson was born on November 24, 1867 in Wabash, Illinois. She was the daughter of Samuel and Polly (Leet) Anderson. Samuel and Polly had six children; Jonathan Henry (1859), Julie C (1865), Ella (1866), Mary Jane (1867), Louis M. (1872), Laura E.(1875). In the 1880 Federal Census, Samuel and Polly are found in Leech Township, Wayne County, Illinois. They have five children living with them; John (Henry), Julia, Mary Jane, Louis (Lewis) M, and Laura E. Samuel lists his occupation as farmer.

Mary Jane Anderson married John W. Dalton on October 3, 1889 in Wayne County, Illinois . Eleven years later in the 1900 Federal Census, John and Mary Jane Dalton are found in Wayne County, Illinois. They have five children; Lizzie (Elizabeth, 1890), Henry (1892), Charley (1896), Clarence (1898), and Andrew (1899). The Census states that Mary Jane has had 6 children and one has died. John lists his occupation as a farmer.

The 1910 Federal Census, shows John and Mary Jane living in Romine, Marion County, Illinois. The census states that she has had nine children. Listed in the census are; Henry J, Christopher (Clarence Christopher – age 12) Charley (age 14), Andrew (age 10), Florence V. (1903), Hester (1907), Hazel (1909). Mary Jane’s brother, Lewis is living with them too. Charley is helping his father on the farm. Lewis is a laborer but working in “Timber” according to the census.

In the 1920 Federal Census, John and Mary Jane remain in Marion County, Illinois. They have Christopher, Andrew, Florence, Hester and Hazel living with them. In addition they a grandson, Lee Haizlip who is 7 years old, born in 1913 listed. Lee was the son of Lizzie. She died in 1919. The brother-in-law, Lewis remains with them. There is also a nine year old daughter whose name is Pearl Burkitt. I can not at this time determine who Pearl is. John is still farming and Andrew is working with him. Lewis is still working in Timber.

A side note…..Lizzie (Elizabeth Dalton) married Charles Haizlip. They had three sons. Carl, one of their son, died in 1918. Her husband, Charles Haizlip, died in November of 1918. He was a coal miner and it appears that he died in a mining related accident. Lizzie died six months later which is why Lee , Earl Lee, was living with his grandparents in the 1920 Federal Census. (This story might be a good research project for a future blog.)

In the 1930 Federal Census, John and Mary Jane have one daughter, Hazel Mount, living with them. John is no longer working. Hazel is divorced and works in a Shoe Factory.

Eighty four years ago on April 4, 1939, Mary Jane Dalton died in Marion County, Illinois. She was buried in Palestine Cemetery in Luka, Marion County, Illinios.

Rest in peace, Mary Jane!

Love Jan

Mary Jane is my first cousin 5 times removed on my Father’s Maternal line of his family. I have two DNA matches on thru the Mary Jane Anderson Dalton line. These connections are thru daughters, Hester and Florence.

Tombstone Tuesday – March 21, 2023 – Henry Kinnaman

Kinnaman Grave stone in Elmwood Cemetery

Henry Kinnaman was born on September 30, 1820 in Montgomery County, Ohio. He was the son of Walter and Barbara Kinnaman. Walter and Barbara had nine children; Hiram (1809), Samuel (1810), Susannah (1813), Margaret (1818), Solomon(1818), Henry (1820), Andrew (1822), Hannah (1824), Barbara (1826). The first three children were born in Stokes, North Carolina. Walter and Barbara moved to Montgomery County, Ohio, where the remaining children were born.

Henry came to Flora, Clay County, Illinois in 1850. He married Phebe Grim and they had three children; Martha Jane(1843), Virginia Louise (1850), Alonzo Clay (1856). In the 1860 Federal Census, Henry and Phebe are found in Clay County, Illinois. They have three children; Martha Jane, Virginia Louise and Alonzo Clay. Phebe Kinnaman died less then two years later on January 17, 1862.

On July 16, 1863, Henry Kinnaman married Martha Rawlings Lack in Marion, Illinois. They had two children; William Franklin and Susan Ida. Martha died on April 30, 1865.

This photo was shared on Ancestry by Edward Lang – Thanks for sharing.

In November of 1865, Henry married Mary Ann Luse in Clay County, Illinois. In the 1870 Federal Census, Henry and Mary Ann are in Harter Township, Clay County, Illinos. They have Alonzo Clay (1856) and Sophia (1868) living with them. In the 1880 Federal Census, Henry and Mary Ann are found in Monroe Kansas. They have three children; Sophia (Mamie), Charles and Elmer. Henry lists his occupation as farmer.

This photo was shared on Ancestry by Edward Lang – Thanks for sharing.

In the 1900 Federal Census, Henry and Mary Ann are found in Harter, Clay County, Illinois. They have Elmer living with them and he is twenty one years old. Henry is still working as a farmer and Elmer is a Day Laborer.

One hundred and twenty-two years ago, Henry Kinnaman died of pneumonia on March 21, 1902, at his home. He had been ill for a month.

From provided by member 49058811.

Husband of Mary Ann (Luse) Kinnaman.
From The McHenry Plaindealer (McHenry, Illinois) – 03 Apr 1902, Thu – Page 7 :
“The funeral of Henry Kinnaman, one of the best known residents of Clay county was held at the First Christian church, Rev. A. B. Cunningham conducting the services. Decedent was a native of Indiana and had been a resident of Harter township for fifty years.”

Excerpt Copied from an Obit shared by a Eward Lang on Ancestry

The Funeral service was conducted by Elder A.B. Cunningham at he Christian Church on Sunday afternoon. Seldom has a funeral been so largely attended, that the church could not hold all the mourners . No better evidence could be shown of the respect and esteem for this departed citizen.”

Henry was buried with many Kinnaman family members at Elmwood Cemetery.

Elmwood Cemetery, Flora, Clay County, Illinois

Rest in peace, Henry!

Love, Jan

Henry is the uncle to Hannah Jane Kinnaman Smith and Emily Kinnaman Smith who are my three times Great Grand Aunts. These Kinnaman sisters married Smith brother’s, William and Branson Smith. I have one DNA connection with the Kinnaman Family lineage in Ancestry.

Tombstone Tuesday – March 14, 2023 – Sarah Hainer Bradt

Sarah Hainer was the daughter of Albert and Catharine (Vollick) Hainer. She was born in 1807 in Grantham, Niagara County, Ontario, Canada. Albert and Catharine had twelve children; Dorothy (1784), Henry (1789), Isaac (1791), John (1796), Deborah (1800), Hannah (1803), Elizabeth (1807), Sarah (1807), George (1809), James 1810), Mary (1812), Catharine (1812).

Albert was a Loyalist from New York State who crossed the border into Canada with his father and brother when it was obvious that the Revolutionary War was eminent. It is believed that the Hainer’s arrive in the colonies in the mid 1700’s. Albert and his family were grateful to England for providing them safe passage and the chance to start over in the colonies. They were Germans who left their homeland due to the harsh conditions and near constant turmoil between regional fractions in the region that they lived in. Albert fought with his father, Henry and brother, Derrick (also known as Richard) with John Butler’s Rangers.

Sarah married John Bradt in about 1830 it is believed. Sarah petitioned the government for a land grant as the daughter of Albert Hainer, a loyalist from Grantham and the wife of John Bradt as of July 12, 1831. Her brother, James Hainer issued a statement of Identification for her. Her request came before the court on February 2, 1832 and she was granted land in Plympton Township, Lambton County, Ontario. Sarah’s first son was baptized at Port Dalhousie at St John’s Church on May 11, 1851 but his birth date was recorded as June 3, 1835. All of the daughters were also baptized at St John’s Church at a later date and all on the same day.

In the 1861 Canadian Census, John and Sarah Bradt are found in Haldimand County, Ontario. None of their children remain at home. John and Sarah are fifty-five and fifty-six years old, respectively. In the 1871 Canadian Census, a John and Sarah Bradt are found in Sherbrooke, Monck, Ontario. This is south west of Montreal which is a good distance from the Niagara area where all their relatives are located. I am doubting that this is the same Bradt family but they are the correct age. I do not see any close relatives nearby. I’ll have to look at this further because I do find them back in the Niagara area later until I find her death record.

John and Sarah had six children based on my research; Sarah Catherine (1831), Elizabeth (1833), John (1835), Permilla (1837), Mary Magdelene (1837), Nancy Jane (1845).

One hundred and forty six years ago, Sarah Bradt died in Welland, Ontario. Her cause of death was listed as “old age.” She is buried at Hillside Cemetery in Ridgeville, Ontario.

Rest in peace, Sarah,

Love, Jan

Sarah Hainer Bradt is my four times Great Aunt. I have 6 DNA connections to this family. Three are through the daughter, Sarah Catherine Bradt Crumb. One Connection is through Elizabeth Bradt Green and two are thru Mary Magdalene Bradt Becken.

Tombstone Tuesday – March 7, 2023 – John Andrew Dolton

John Andrew Dalton was born on December 08, 1900 in Leech, Wayne County, Illinois. He was the son of John and Mary (Anderson) Dalton. John and Mary had eight children ; Lizzie (1891), Henry (1892), Charley (1896), Christopher C. (1898), John Andrew (1899), Florence V (1903), Hester J. (1907), Hazel T (1909). They live in Leech, Wayne County, Illinois where John Sr is a farmer.

In the 1900 Federal Census, John and Mary are found in Leech, Wayne County, Illinois. They have five children; Lizzie, Henry, Charley, Clarence (Christopher) and Andrew (John). By the 1910 Federal Census, John and Mary have moved to Romine, Marion County, Illinois and they have seven children children; Henry, Christopher, Charley, Andrew, Florence, Hester, Hazel. Lizzie has married and is no longer at home. They also have Lewis Anderson living with them. He is Mary’s brother. He is likely helping out as a farm laborer.

In the 1920 Federal Census, a nineteen year old, John Andrew, listed as Andrew is living with his parents. They are recorded in Marion County in the town of Romine, Illinois. Andrew list his occupation as a Farm Laborer. Also listed at home are Chris, Florence, Hester, Hazel, a Grandson, (Earl) Lee Hizlip (son of Lizzie who died in 1919), Lou Anderson and a daughter Pearl Burkitt who is nine years old.

On July 8th, 1922, Andrew (John ) married Floy Henson in Marion County, Illinois.

In the 1930 Federal Census, Andrew and Floy are found in Salem, Illinois. Andrew is an Inspector for the railroad. Andrew and Floy have three children ; Lorene V (1922), Johnie G. (1924), Thelma M. (1927).

In his 1941 registration for the draft of WWII, John declares that he lives at 506 South Hamilton Street, Salem, Illinois. He list his brother Chris as next of kin. He was born in Fairfield, Illinois on December 8, 1900. He was self employed. He registered on February 6, 1942.

In the 1950 Federal Census, John Andrew and Floy are still in Salem, Illinois. John lists his occupation as truck driver. He is self employed and hauls freight and is for hire for moving personal property. John and Floy have three children listed ; Frances J. (1937), Ronnie D. (1940), and Charles L. (1941).

I also found a Lawrence Dalton who was reportedly the son of John A. and Floy Dalton who was born in 1932. This information is pulled from Lawrence’s obituary. In the obit all of the siblings are listed as well as John Andrew. If I had found the 1940 Federal Census then he would have been listed.

Sixty-five years ago on March 7, 1958, John Andrew Dalton died in Salem, Illinois. He was buried in Paradise Cemetery in Salem. Illinois.

Rest in Peace, John Andrew!


Jan Smith

John Andrew is a second cousin 3 times removed through the Leet/ Leete Family line. I have two DNA connection with this line of the family. One is thru Hester Dalton and the other is thru Florence Dalton both of whom are sisters to John Andrew. These connections are at the fourth cousin level.

Tombstone Tuesday – February 21. 2023 – Dora May Hurd

Dora May Hurd was born on September 22.1877 in Vienna Township, Genesee County, Michigan. She was the daughter of Sawyer and Mary Etta (Toogood) Hurd. Sawyer and Marietta Hurd had seven children; Walter R. (1859), Hattie (1861), Dayton ,(1864), Ada (1866), Charles (1869), George (1875), Dora M. (1877). All of whom are pictured below when they were adults.

Sawyer and Mary Etta Hurd’s adult children – Back row L to R: Dora May, Hattie, Ada Middle Row L to R: Walter, George Front Row L to R: Dayton, Charles

In the 1880 Federal Census, Dora is two years old and living with her parents and six siblings in the township of Vienna, Genesee County, Michigan. In the 1900 Federal Census, Dora lives with her Mother who is a widow. Dora lists her occupation as a livery keeper.

Dora married Alvin Elgin Best on May 31, 1906 in Clio, Michigan. In the 1910 Federal Census, Dora and Alvin Best are living in Birch Run, Michigan. They have a one year old daughter, whose name was recorded as Jane but I later learned her name was Genevieve(1909). Alvin is a merchant who runs a General Store. By the 1920 Federal Census, Alvin and Dora have three children; Genevieve (1909), John Sawyer (1913), Max Elgin (1918). Alvin died on on December 10, 1928.

In the 1930 Federal Census, Dora is living in Flint with her three children; John, Max and Genevieve. Dora is a clerk for a Power Company. They live on Edwin Street in Flint’s 7th Ward. Genevieve is a Public School Teacher. In the 1940 Federal Census, Dora has married Ernest Helfrich. They have moved to Birch Run, Michigan.

Eighty two years ago on February 21, 1941 Dora May Hurd died. She died after having a ruptured appendix. She is buried in Pine Run Cemetery in Vienna Township, Genesee County, Michigan.

If you look closely, you will notice that the tombstone with the flags is for Captain Robert L Hurd, a Rev War Veteran and member of the New Hampshire Legislature for several terms. He is Dora’s Great Grandfather.

Rest in peace Dora!

Love Jan

Dora is the wife of my third Great Uncle making her my third Great Aunt on the Maternal side of my father’s family. I have two second cousins twice removed identified thru DNA from this family. One cousin through Genevieve and one cousin through Max Elgin.

Thanks to all those on Ancestry who shared pictures of this Hurd family and to those on who share tombstone pictures.

Tombstone Tuesday – February 14, 2023 – Sybil Robart Hopkins

Sybil Robart was born in April of 1832 to James English Robart and Annie Croy in Ohio. James and Annie had nine children; Phebe (1819), Minerva (1825),John Croy (1826) Amelia ( maybe Anna born 1827), Rachel M. (1832), Sybil (1833), Mahala (1835), Catherine (1839), Franklin (1843).

In the 1850 Federal Census, Sybil Robart ( found as Robert) is found in a boarding house in Coldwater, Michigan. She is a seamstress working for Alanson and Emma Bacon. On September 21, 1852, Sybil married Andreas S. Hopkins in Cook County, Illinois.

In the 1860 Federal Census, Sybil and Andrew are found in Chicago’s Ward 4, Cook County, Illinois. They were counted with 44 other nonrelated individuals living in a Hotel run by Hiram Langley ad his wife, Mary. They have a daughter, Ida, who is 4 months old. Andrew is a printer.

The 1870 Federal Census, Sybil and Andrew are now in Chicago’s 10th Ward. They live in a boarding house and they have their ten year old daughter, Ida living with them. Andrew works for a printing house.

In the 1880 Federal Census, it appears that Sybil and Andrew have moved back the Detroit area. Andrew is a proofreader. They live at 171 Beach Street, Detroit, Michigan. By the time of the 1900 Federal Census, Andrew and Sybil are living on 17th Street in Detroit’s 10th Ward. Andrew is 68 years old and Sybil is 67. Andrew remains a proofreader. They have been married for 48 years.

Ida Hopkins, never married and died on January 27, 1900 of TB at the age of 38. Andrew Hopkins died in 1902. In the 1910 Federal Census, Sybil is a widow. She is living on Porter Street with her sister who is also a widow, Mahala Crego. Sybil is listed as head of household. Sybil’s nephew, Alton Crego, son of Mahala is also living with them. Sybil states that she bore three children and none of whom are living.

One hundred and ten years ago on February 14, 1913, Sybil died. She was buried in Woodmere Cemetery. All three family members are buried at the cemetery but I do not at this time find burial records except each of their death records state that they are buried at the cemetery. There are no Tombstones at this time.

Rest in peace Sybil!

Love Jan

Sybil is my first cousin 5 times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – February 7, 2023 – Irene Almira Beutal Fritz

Irene Almira Beutal was the daughter of Martin Frederick and Catherine Dorothea (Labuhn) Beutal. She was born in Fair Haven, Michigan on February 11, 1900. She was the youngest of fourteen children; Mary (1878), Emma (1879), Albert (1882), Fredrick C (1887), Ernst (1889), Louisa J. (1891), Martha M. (1892), Hilda (1894), Florence E, (1896), Ester (1899) Irene A. (1900). Mary and Emma were found in the 1880 Federal Census and the remaining children listed were found in the 1900 Census. Four children are unknown to me, but are referred to in the memoir quoted below. It may have been that they died as infants or children between the 1880 Census and the 1900 Census. In the 1910 Federal Census, Martin and Catherine had five remaining children living at home ; Fred C, Hilda, Florence, Ester, Irene.

Irene married William Albert Fritz on March 16, 1920 in Ira Township, St Clair County, Michigan. They had nine children; Richard (1920), Robert (1921), Warren (1923), Delmer (1924), Loralie (1926), William Albert (1928), Eldon (1929), Delores (1934), and Patricia Ann (1938). William Albert was a farmer who ran his family farm.

Quoted below from a Memoir written by Francis Louise Vondett Fritz called “ The Past Year 1767- March 1984


Irene was born February 11, 1900 at the family farm on Arnold Road.  She was the youngest of fourteen children of Martin and Catherine Labuhn Beutel.  At the age of twenty, she married William Albert Fritz on March 16, 1920.  They lived on a farm all their married life and raised nine children.  She was on her second pacemaker when she died of Congestive Heart Failure in General Hospital, Mt. Clemens on February 7, 1977.  She was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Marine City, Michigan.

Irene’s parents, Martin Frederick Beutel (3-25-1848/9-24-1922) and the former Catherine Labuhn (6-21-1859/9-25-23) lived on a farm on Arnold Road until shortly before his death, when illness forced them to move to Marine City.  He raised skunks for extra income.  He sold the pelts to a furrier in Detroit and the carcasses to the Broadway Hotel in Marine City where they were served as muskrat, because that sounded better.  Catherine developed cancer on her forehead in her later years.  It was diagnosed as “Lupus” and was treated by rubbing table salt into the raw area.  It spread rapidly and caused her death just a year after her husband had died of a heart attack.  They are both buried beside his father in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Ira Township.

Irene grew up on the farm and attended Poplar Grove School, a long walk.  When it was time for her to be confirmed, she went to Detroit and lived with her older sister, Anna Abend, and took her confirmation classes there.  As a teenager, she played the organ at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, where the family attended worship services.  They usually walked to services and seldom missed.

As the youngest in the family, Irene had been quite pampered by older brothers and sisters until they all left home and she had all the farm work with horses, to do by herself, since her father was not well.  Her sister Lena Wiedman, lived on a farm on Arnold Road.  Her husband came to help Irene with heavy work when he could spare the time from his own farm.

Irene was a pretty, vivacious girl, very active in church young people’s group and other social affairs of the community.  A number of the young men went overseas in World War I.  Irene was amazed when two and a half years later, a good friend, Larry Fritz, from Marine City, showed up asking her to marry him.  He had even bought a ring in France for her.  She was already planning her marriage to his cousin, Bill Fritz, so had to refuse.  They continued to remain good friends the rest of their lives.  Larry later married Gretchen Schnepp and she became one of Irene’s best friends.  The family was grief stricken at Gretchen’s untimely death when her first child was born in 1926.  She had fallen on the steps and bumped her spine.  The abscess which formed broke during childbirth and poisoned her system.

When Irene and Bill were married on March 16, 1920, they moved to a sixty acre farm his father had bought on Swan Creek Road in Section 2 of Ira Township.  Irene was kept busy raising a family.  She had seven children in eight and a half years, six boys and a girl.  Because she was so busy with outdoor work and sick children, her childless sister, Anna Abend, worried that the little girl, Loralie was not getting enough of her mother’s attention.  She took the little girl to Detroit to live with her until her brothers were well.  Thus it was that Loralie spent much of her early life in Detroit.

The seventh baby, Eldon, was three weeks old when the Bill Fritz family moved in with Bill’s parents on the Broadbridge Road Farm.  Irene didn’t have another baby for six years, a girl Dolores, and her ninth and last baby was born four years later in 1938.  But Irene was still kept busy.  She cared for her mother-in-law until her death in 1939.  Eliza’s niece came to help care for her, but this also made extra work.  Irene then cared for Eliza’s brother, William Zentgrebe, until his death in 1946.  With these sick folks to care for, Irene also had hired men and teen-aged boys to cook and clean for with no help or cooperation from her husband.

Baking was done three times a week in the wood stove oven.  Irene made eight to ten loaves of bread at a time, plus six coffee cakes to help fill up her gang of hungry boys.  She had no conveniences.  Since the well had capsized, all water for cooking, cleaning, and laundry was hauled in ten gallon milk cans which were stored on the back porch.  The large kitchen had a wood floor which had to be cleaned with a mop, scrub brush, and lots of bleach.  Irene found time to mend as she sat alone, late at night, but her ironing never got all done.  She had a large garden and did lots of canning and made crocks of dill pickles.  The children helped when they could, but they were quite busy with outdoor chores and farm work.  Bill and the boys butchered their own beef and pork, and cured hams, bacon, and sausage in the smoke house and kept a crock of corned beef down in the cellar.  Having their own meat, eggs, milk, and bread, and vegetables was a God-send because times were hard, and there was never any money.  In fact, Bill believed a woman didn’t need money.  He bought all the groceries, brought home what he thought they ought to have.  He bought their clothes when he felt like it, and only what he thought they should wear.  Like his mother before him, he did as he pleased, and refused to listen to ideas from anyone else.”

Forty six years ago Irene died in Mount Clemens, Michigan on February 7, 1977. She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Marine City Michigan.

Rest in peace, Irene

Love, Jan

Irene was the Mother-in-law of my first cousin once removed. There is no photo of her tombstone at this time. Next time I am in the area I will look for it and place it in the blog when I find it. I have seen Irene’s middle name as Almira and Alvina in several sources. I am using Almira because the family member who wrote her Memoir stated it as her name, I assume that it is her correct name. I have also seen her maiden name Beutal and Beutel. Noted for people who may research her in the future.

Much of the information in the blog was provided by Barbara Fritz Roberts who shared family information on

The Quoted Memoir above was from: The Years Pass 1767 – March 1984
Compiled by: Fritz, Frances Louise Vondett, (1921-2009
Francis was Irene’s daughter-in-law. She married Irene’s son , Warren Fritz.

Tombstone Tuesday – January 17, 2023 – Cleora Mae Payne

Cleora Mae Payne was born on July 16/17, 1874. She was the daughter of Silas Huntington and Ophelia (Butler) Payne. Cleora lived a very short life. Her tombstone seems to indicate that she lived just short of 6 months to be exact. She was born in Clio in Thetford Township, Genesee County, Michigan. She died and was buried there too. The records are conflicting. There is a death record for a Clara M Payne whose parents are Silas and Orpha Payne and it states that she died on January 17, 1879 at the age of 4 years and a few days shy of six months. This record comes from a Michigan Mortality Record which is a record that is kept to record deaths for the year preceding a census year. Cleora did not live long enough to be recorded in a federal census. The Mortality record seemed to indicate that she had Bronchitis /Croup. So there is little to tell about this little girl . Michigan does not have Official birth records yet at this time period. My first thought was that Silas and Ophelia may have had twins, Cleora and Clara in 1874 and Cleora died in 1875 and Clara died in 1879 but I can not find any records to indicate this. There is no Clara buried in the Thetford Payne cemetery plot. So I really had no luck clearing this up. The death entry for Clara is the third entry from the top.

Mortality Record for Genesee County, Michigan – 1880

Silas and Ophelia lost several children at a young age. They had a daughter whose name was Mary who was born in July 26, 1851 and died two months later on October 2, 1851. Ida Jane was born on August 6, 1862 and died on August 28, 1862 at the age of 22 days. A daughter, Julie Ann, was born on December 23,1860 and died in January 16, 1869. On July 29, 1858, their son, Nathan was born and he died unmarried at the age of 35 on March 5, 1894 when a tree fell on him.

May all the Payne family members buried in Thetford Cemetery “ rest in peace “ !

Love , Jan

Cleora, Mary, Julie Ann, Ida and Nathan are all first cousins four time removed.