Tombstone Tuesday – March 19, 2019 – John Riley


John was born on December 22, 1833 in Quebec, Canada, the son of John and Amanda (Sanderson) Riley. John had two half brothers; James A, and David A,

On September 15, 1859 in Elgin, Ontario, he married Dorotha Best. In the 1861 Canadian Census, John is twenty eight. He is living in Elgin, Ontario with the Best Family and his wife.  In the 1870 Federal Census, John and Dorothy are living in Burnside, Michigan. They have one daughter whose name is Mary A. Riley. She was born in January of 1861. On October 9, 1873, a second daughter was born.  Her name was Myrtle Riley.  She died on October 28, 1873. In the 1880 Federal Census, John, Dorothy and their daughter Mary are found in Burnside. He is a farmer.

One hundred and thirty-three years ago, John Riley died in Burnside, Michigan. He is buried in the Fox Farm Cemetery near Burnside, Michigan.


Rest in peace, John

Love, Jan

John was the husband of my first cousin five times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – March 12, 2018 – Martha Griffiths Smith

Martha Griffiths Smith


Martha Griffiths was the daughter of Rev. Joseph Griffiths and his wife, Elizabeth (Lozier). She was born October 27, 1817 in New York. Joseph and Elizabeth had twelve children; Joseph (1806-1822), John (1807), Charles (1810-1822), Mary (1813), Elizabeth (1815) , Martha (1817), William (1819), Rachel (1822), Joseph ( 1824-1830), Julie Ann (1826-1829) , Margaret (1830), Alfred (1831).

Martha married John Dewitt Smith after the death of his first wife Eleanor Blauvelt Smith in 1850. John and Martha had a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1854.  In the 1860 Federal Census, John and Martha are found in Orangetown, Rochland County, New York.  John is 53 years old and Martha is ten years younger. John’s occupation is listed a “Gentleman”. His real estate is valued at $30,000 which is a lot of money for 1860. Their daughter Elizabeth is six years old. In the 1865 New York State Census, they remain in Orangetown, New York.  In the 1870 Federal Census, John Dewitt Smith lists his occupation as farmer. He has $20,000 in real estate value, Elizabeth is now 16 and Martha is 63. They have a servant working for them, Minnie Fields, and a laborer whose name is Jesse Blauvelt. Jesse was likely related to John Dewitt Smith’s first wife, Eleanor Blauvelt.

One hundred and twenty six years ago, Martha died in Orangetown, New York. The follow is a transcript of her obit found on posted by Jenny.

The Funeral of the Late Mrs. Martha G Smith”

The funeral services for Mrs. Martha G. Smith widow of the late John D. Witt Smith, who died Saturday last, was held on Tuesday last at her late residence on Broadway, north of First Avenue. The house was filled with friends of the deceased and the services were solemn and impressive. The Rev. J.L. Campbell, of New York, who a few years ago was Mrs. Smith’s pastor in the Nyach Baptist Church, was present and conducted the service and spoke feelingly of the deceased and her good work in her Master’s cause. The interment was at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Mrs. Smith is the daughter of the late Rev. Joseph N. Griffiths, who in 1817 held the first religious services under the auspice of the Baptist Church in Rochland County.  Rev. Griffiths, who may have said to have been the father of the Baptist Church in Rochland County died in 1860 at the age of three score and eight years. Mrs. Smith became connected with the Nyach Baptist Church in her early years and her labors for that organization and the cause it represents were faithful to the last. Side by side with other devoted members, she worked for the upbuilding of the church and was identified with all its interests, her labors never ceasing until her final illness brought her to her bed and broke the cord which bound her to the earth.

Mrs. Smith leaves one daughter, Lizzie Hopper, wife of G.H. Hopper, one of the dry goods merchants of this place. One sister also survives her, Mrs Margaret Gurnee, widow of the late Alfred Gurnee.”

As the Obit states she is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.


Oak Hill Cemetery


Rest in peace, Martha

Love, Jan

Martha is my seventh cousin two times removed.


Tombstone Tuesday – March 5, 2018 – Ernest R. Smith

Smith Ernest R Gravestone Photo

Ernest Roy Smith was born on May 20, 1895 in Madison County, Indiana. He was the son of Branson and Cynthia (Whetsel) Smith.  Ernest had one brother, Harry (1889) who was four years older and seven half brothers and sisters; Charles (1865-1874), Dora (1867), Ida (1869), George Albert (1871), Thomas (1873), Flora (1877-1877) and Cora (1877).

In the 1900 Federal Census, Ernest and his brother are found with Branson and Cynthia in Fall Creek, Indiana. Branson is a farmer. Ernest is four years old and not yet in school. By the 1910 Federal Census, Ernest is in school. At the age of eighteen, on June 4, 1914, Ernest enlisted in the army. He served as a cook during WWI. This information is available thru his Veteran’s interment record. I do not find his enlistment record. He was discharged on June 4, 1920 in San Francisco, California. In the 1920 Federal Census, he is found living with his wife, Ruth and his mother-in-law, Anna Van Buren. In the 1930 Federal Census, Ernest, Ruth and a daughter, Mildred on twentieth Street in San Francisco, California. In the 1940 Federal Census, Ernest is not listed with Ruth and Mildred.

ErnestSmithWWIIDraft Registration

But on Ernest’s Registration for the WWII draft, he states that he lives at 984 Valencia Street in San Francisco. He lists Hannah Plamondon as a person who will always know where he is. It appears that he is a boarder in her home at this time and I did find him in the 1940 Federal Census listed with Hannah. Looking back a few years it appears that Hannah and her husband, James, ran a boarding house at this location in San Francisco. In 1948, after the death of his first wife Ruth, Ernest married Zelma Elizabeth Hook.


Death Certificate for Ernest Smith

Fifty nine years ago today, Ernest Roy Smith died in San Francisco, California. He died of Lung Cancer. At the time of his death he was working as a bottler for the Hamms Brewing Company.

He as buried with full military honors in Golden Gate National Cemetery with first wife Ruth Smith (who died in 1948) according to National Cemetery Interment records in San Bruno, California.


Interment Record

GoldenGate National Cemetery

Golden Gate National Cemetery

Rest in Peace, Ernest.

Love, Jan

Ernest is my first cousin three times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – February 26, 2018 – Charles Henry Anderson ( Moon)


Charles Henry (Moon) Anderson, son of Addie (Densmore) and Andrew Anderson, was born on March 5, 1925. Andrew and Addie had eight children; Olga Marie (1911), Ray Densmore (1916), Robert Wesley (1920), Andrew Fredrick (1922), Charles Henry (1925), Leah Mae (1928), Herbert William(1930), John (1932).


Charles and Leah -1929 in the yard in Marine City

In the 1930 Federal Census, Charles is listed with his parents and siblings at 242 North Elizabeth Street in Marine City. He is 5 years old and not attending school yet. By the 1940 Federal Census, he is an eight grader and attending school and the address is now 272 North Elizabeth.  .


This family Photo was taken in in either 1937 or 1939. In the back row standing is Andrew F, Robert W , Ray D. and Charles H. The front row is Addie (seated), John, Andrew (seated), Leah, Olga (seated), Herbert.

Charles enlisted in the Navy on June 24, 1943 and served throughout World War II until he was honorably discharged on April 6, 1946.

Charles married Carol Marzolf on February 19th, 1955 in Marine City, Michigan. Charles was known as Moon. It was a nickname given to him by his mother, Addie. Unfortunately the story of why she called him that was not passed down. Perhaps she was “over the Moon” happy when he was born. Or his round face reminded her of the Moon. We will never know for sure but Uncle Moon is all I ever knew him by.  Moon and Carol had 4 children ; Connie, Cathy, Charles and Carrie.

Charles was a boiler operator for the Automotive Industry for 25 years. He was a member of the South Eastern Michigan Conservation Club and a member of the Marine City Fire Department.


Thirty years ago today, Uncle Moon died. He was sixty three years of age. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Marine City, Michigan.


Rest in peace, Uncle Moon!

Love, Jan.


Tombstone Tuesday – February 19, 2019 – Sarah Kathryn Castor Hedger


Sarah Kathryn was the daughter of Howard and Ida (McDonald) Castor on August 4, 1907 in Hamilton County, Indiana. In the 1910 Federal Census, Howard and Ida had five children;  Clem (1898), Laurel (1901), Lois (1903), Mary (1905), Sarah Kathryn (1907). They lived in Noblesville, Indiana, Howard was a farmer.  By the 1920 Federal Census, Howard and Ida have added a son to their family, Mac born in 1913.

Sarah Kathryn, now known as Kathryn, married Harold Hedger on October 22, 1928 in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana. An Indiana birth certificate for Patty Ruann Hedger shows that she was born on March 14, 1929. She was premature and died on March 18, 1929. By the 1930 Federal Census, they have moved to Pendleton, Madiosn County, Indiana. Harold is a truck driver.

In the 1940 Federal Census, Kathryn and Harold are living in Wayne, Hamilton County, Indiana.  Harold lists his occupation as a laborer. They have no children. Kathryn is thirty two and Harold is thirty three. On May 16, 1942, Kathryn and Harold had a son, Stephan Mac Hedger.


Twenty four years ago today, Kathryn died in Vermont where she was living with her son, Stephen.  She is buried in the Prairie Baptist Cemetery next to her husband Harold and daughter Patty.


Rest in Peace, Kathryn!

Love, Jan

Kathryn is the wife of my second cousin twice removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – February 12, 2018 – Daniel Fisher


Daniel Fisher was born on June 14, 1826 in New Philadelphia (Dover), Tuscarawas, Ohio. He is the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Crites) Fisher. Henry and Elizabeth had ten children; John (1822), Daniel (1826), Solomon (1828), George (1830), Joseph (1832), Anna (1835), Elizabeth (1839), Lydia (1840), Henry W. (1843), Mary (1845).

The quoted paragraphs come from Biographical Memoirs of Wells County” written in 1903 on pages 549 – 550

Daniel Fisher was reared to farm life and was educated in the common schools; being an apt scholar and possessing a retentive memory, he succeeded in securing a good education and at the age of twenty-one years, on quitting school, he began learning the cooper’s trade, at which he worked one year, when, having saved sufficient funds, he came to Wells county and entered eighty acres of wooded land on the site now occupied by Jesse Crites. He returned to Ohio and remained at his trade two years longer. “

Jesse Crites and Daniel Fisher were first cousins. Jesse Crites is my three time Great Grandfather.

Mr. Fisher was united in marriage in 1850, with Miss Sophia A. Myers and the young couple lived on the farm alluded to for seven years, when Mrs. Fisher was called to rest July 17, 1857, leaving three children, named Henry, Elizabeth and Margaret A. At the death of this, his first helpmate, Mr. Fisher returned to the home of his father in Ohio and remained on the old homestead, until his second marriage, which took place March 25, 1859, to Miss Sarah J. Shull. In April, 1859, he returned with his wife to Wells county, Indiana, and resumed the occupancy of his original farm, on which he resided until 1862, when he sold it and bought one hundred and twenty acres of his present farm, to which he has since added forty acres, having now a compact farm of one hundred and sixty acres of as good land as can be found in Wells county.”

In the 1860 Federal Census, Daniel and his new wife Sarah are found in Union Township, Wells County, Indiana. Daniel is a farmer and they have three children listed with them; Elizabeth, Henry Wm and Emmet H. It appears that Daniel served in the military during the Civil War. He and his brother Solomon, signed up at the same time. Daniel was 37 years old when he signed up. Daniel may have served in several Battalions during the conflict but I do not find a pension record. The pension record usually gives you the greatest amount of information on a soldier.

In the 1870 Census, Daniel and Sarah now have nine children living with them; Elizabeth (1851), Henry Wm (1853), Margaret (1855), Ellsworth (1859), Emmet (1859), Matilda (1861), Clare (1863), George (1865), Rachel (1869). Daniel is a successful farmer whose estimated real estate value is $6000.00 in farm land. By the 1880 Federal Census, Daniel and Sarah have ten children at home; Ellsworth (1859), Emmet (1859), Matilda (1861), Clare (1863), George (1865), Elmer (1866), Rachel (1869), Daniel B. (1871), Della (1875), Mary E. (1876). The three oldest children have married and moved on. In the census records, Emmet E who is twenty, George who is 14, Elmer who is 12 and Rachel who is 11, all list their occupation a farm laborers.


In politics Mr. Fisher is a stalwart Republican and has been a zealous supporter of the party ever since its foundation, having probably cast more presidential votes than any other man in Wells county, at least in Union township, including candidates nominated by both Whigs and Republicans. Mr. Fisher thinks for himself and is possessed of strong convictions, but is not obtrusive and is a kindly neighbor, and has lived to witness Union township developed from a genuine wilderness into a blooming garden. His only neighbor, in fact, when he first settled here, was Jesse Crites, each owning a horse and wagon, and when necessary to go to mill, the two would hitch the animals together, thus making a double team, and while one of them carried an ax with which to hew a road through the woods, the other would drive the horses.”

One hundred and fourteen years ago on February 12, 1905, Daniel Fisher died in Huntington County, Indiana. He was buried at Hoverstock Cemetery in Zanesville, Indiana next to his wife, Sarah Jane.


Rest in peace, Daniel!

Love, Jan

Daniel Fisher is a first cousin 5 times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – February 5, 2019 – Minnie A. Hartsock Hood


Minnie A. Hartsock was born on August 5, 1867, the daughter of Jeremiah and Barbara (Rouch) Hartsock in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana. Jeremiah and Barbara Hartsock had five children; Anna (1866), Minnie (1867), Harry (1870), Eason (1872), Lilly (1878). In the 1870 Federal Census for Jeremiah and his wife Barbara, three children are listed, Anna, Minnie,Harry and Daniel Hartsock, Jeremiah’s father.  By the 1880 Federal Census, the Jeremiah Hartsock family now has two additional children, Eason (1872) and Lilly ( 1878). Daniel is also still living with them. He is now 80 years old.

On January 13, 1887, Minnie A. Hartsock married Robert Franklin Hood in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana. The next available Federal Census record is the 1900 Federal Census. Robert Franklin and Minnie Hood have two children; Thomas (1892) and Ellen(1898). In the 1910 Federal Census, Robert and Minnie now have three children; Thomas, Ellen and Robert (1904). Robert J Smith died of TB and Meningitis when he was 13 years old in 1917.

In the 1920 Federal Census, only Robert Franklin and Minnie are listed. They live at 310 North Washington Street, Columbia City according to all of the Census records which listed their address.   In the 1940 Federal Census, Minnie is alone, Robert died in 1935. She remained that the North Washington Street address the rest of her life.

Minnie A. Hartsock-Hood

Minnie A Hartsock Hood

Minnie A Hartsock Hood

Sixty years ago today, Minnie died on February 5, 1959 at the Barkle Nursing Home in Columbia City, Indiana. She had lived there the last three months of her life.  She died of Myocardial Degeneration and Senility. She is buried beside her husband in Green Hill Cemetery.

Greenhill Cemetery

Rest in peace, Minnie!

Love, Jan

Minnie is the wife of my first cousin three times removed.