Tombstone Tuesday – June 11, 2019 – Mary Platt Dutterer

Mary L Platt was the daughter of George F. and Sarah L (Crites) Platt, she was born on December 12, 1904 in Markle, Wells County, Indiana. George and Sarah had five children; Merton (1893), Cletus (1897), Weston (1898), Donald (1899), Mary (1904).

In the 1910 Federal Census, Mary is found with her parents and brothers in Union Township, Wells County, Indiana. George Platt, Mary’s father, is a farmer. In the 1920 Federal Census, Mary is fourteen years old and attending school.

Mary married Rex J Dutterer on May 18, 1929 in Markle, Indiana. By the 1930 Federal Census, Rex and Mary have moved to Toledo, Ohio, They are running a boarding house with five boarders, none of whom seem to be related to Rex and Mary. Rex is an engineer.

By the time of the 1940 Census, Rex and Mary now have two daughters; Corrine Alice (1932) and Margaret Joan (1933). They remained living in Toledo until some time after the 1940 Federal Census, Rex and Mary moved to Hastings, Michigan. In 1950 Rex and Mary are listed in a local address registry for Hastings, Michigan. Rex is employed by the Hastings Manufacturing Company as an engineer.

There is a public record for Mary Dutterer in 1989 in Mesa, Arizona I assume that this maybe related to her husbands death in 1986. She is also found in Mesa in a phone and address directory for the year 1995- 1996. Her social security record seems to indicate that she was living in Lisle, Illinois when she died on June 11, 1997. I do not find a burial record for her or her husband who preceded her.

Rest in peace, Mary!

Love, Jan

Mary is my first cousin three times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – June 4, 2019 – Margaret Kitzer Wall


Margaret was born on September 29,1894 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of William Walter and Anna (Trollinger) Kitzer. William and Anna had twelve children; Anna (1886), Estella (1887), Rebecca (1889), William Walter (1891), Harry Eugene (1893), Margaret Louise (1894), Jacob (1896), Martha (1898-1899), John Doleman (1900), Roy Gilmore (1903), Blanche Edith (1905), Charles Alfred (1910).

In the 1900 Federal Census, William Walter and his wife Anna are found in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania with seven of their children. William Walter lists his occupation as Farm Laborer. Margaret is five years old. In the 1910 Federal Census, the Kitzer family is found in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. William is a farmer and they have eight children. The oldest three children are grown and no longer live at home. Margaret is now 15 years old.

Margaret Louise married John Wall on December 29,1919 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. In the 1920 Federal Census, Margaret is still living at home with her parents but she does indicate that she is married. John and Margaret had one son, Ralph Ernst , who was born on September 3, 1920. John Wall died in 1925, leaving Margaret a widow. In the 1930 Federal Census, Margaret and Ralph are living with her parents, William Walter and Anna Kitzer.

MargaretKitzerWallEighty-two years ago today, Margaret died. It appears that she had Epilepsy but her cause of death was listed as Acute Encephalitis. She died in Rochester, Pennsylvania. She was buried in Plum Creek Cemetery in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. She was forty two when she died.


Rest in peace, Margaret.

Love, Jan

Margaret is the sister to my Great Aunt’s Husband.


Tombstone Tuesday – May 28, 2019 – Russell Robert Bradley

RussellRBradley- Birth Cert

Russell Robert is the son of Russell Hayner and Mabel Elinore (Johnson) Bradley. He was born in December 26, 1918 in Livingston Montana. According to his Birth Certificate, Russell Hayner is a Lieutenant in the Army serving on a base in Montana. This would be during the WWI time period. Russell and Mabel had six children ; Russell (1919), Lyle (1920), Wellington (1922), Gloria (1924), Betty (1927), Richard (1931).

russell robert bradley (1)

Russell Robert – (approximating – 1921-1922) provided by Paula Bradley

In the 1930 Federal Census, the Bradley family, including an eleven year old, Russell Robert, are found in Romulus, Michigan. Nine years later, Russell Robert enlisted in the Army on June 29, 1939 according to information found on post by Paula Bradley. His enlistment record appears to indicate that he may have been married, that his young wife had died and that he had no dependents. He listed his occupation as Police Officer. He lived in Wayne County, Michigan.

Russell Hayner and son Russell Robert Bradley


In the 1940 Federal Census, Russell Robert in listed in Green County, Ohio at Patterson Field in Fairfield Village. Russell served as a Staff Sergeant & Togglier (Bombardier) on B-26 #40-1467 in 33rd Bomber Squadron, 22nd Bomber Group, Medium, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.  Four of the B-26 planes including B-26 #40-1467  from the the 33rd Bomber Squandron, took off  from the 7-Mile Drome near Port Moresby on a bombing mission over Lae Airfield, Morobe Province Papua New Guinea. Over the target they were attacked and shot down by Japanese Zeros and crashed into the Huon Gulf.

Russell Robert Bradley, Page 4

Russell was declared Missing in Action and eventually declared deceased  in this formal  letter from the War Department.

“This is a transcription of the article written in a Detroit area newspaper in 1942 at the time that Russell Robert Bradley was missing in action.  I have transcribed it due to the poor quality of the pictures of the article.




Russell R. Bradley, the first lad to enlist from Romulus, Mich., is “missing”. He was a bombardier and one purple twilight his plane took off and out across seas that were soon to be moonlit and beautiful. The plane did not come back.

He may be somewhere on this earth. He may be sitting beside the wreckage of a plane where palm trees thrust up from coral sands and the world is so lovely to look upon that the human heart grows weary with longing that things might be so filled with peace and beauty. Who knows?

The War Department does not know. It merely listed his name today among a group of United States soldiers “missing in action in the Far Eastern Theater, including Australia and the South Pacific.”

Out in Romulus live his father and his two brothers and three sisters and mother. It is a pretty good example of an American family.  Dad – Russell H. Bradley – knew 18 months on the firing line in France, a lieutenant with the 337th Machine Gun Battalion.  Grandpa Bradley fought all through the Civil War. 


Lyle Bradley, brother of the missing man, is an officer in training in Miami.  Wellington, a younger brother, is having fits because an Army doctor and a Marine doctor said he had a punctured ear drum and couldn’t join.

“Don’t worry”, he says.  I’ll get in some way.  There are a lot of outfits I haven’t tried yet.”

Mother – well, mother is working.

“She’s a soldier, too.” explained Dad.  She’s raised six swell kids, had 13 operations and she’s getting old beautifully – I mean her hair is silver gray and – and – she’s taken Russell’s not coming back with her chin up.

“A fortune teller said the boy was coming back and she sort of likes to cling to that – although we know it’s just nonsense.  Gloria, our oldest girl, is married.  Her husband is in the Army and she’s working.

“I’m trying to get in.  I’m 49, but I had a good overseas record.  Mother says she can get along all right if I go.  We own this house and I’ve got three acres down south of here.  She’s got a good job over at Eloise – and I’d be a captain at least.  I’m in good shape physically.  Yes, sir.  I’m trying mighty hard and I have hopes.


“Guess this yard looks sort of ragged, huh?  I had the finest lawn you ever saw but the kids liked to play ball and they had dogs, so I said – “Well, it’s either a good lawn and the kids in the streets – or it’s a scuff lawn and the kids at home.

“They stayed home.  Russell went to school here in Romulus.  He was on the track team in high school.  He loved the army.  Gosh.  I was overseas when he was born.

“He was a good soldier.  He was a bombardier.  He enlisted four years ago and had a year’s special training and then he re-enlisted.  I was mighty proud of Russell.”

Over his head the breeze set swaying a service flag with its two blue stars in a field of white.  Some springer pups whined for affection and he lifted them up into his lap.

“Like dogs, mister?  I’ve got 25 – cockers and springers.  We all kind of like dogs.”

“You’ve got 25? And six kids?”

Yep. I sort of raise dogs as a hobby. Good pedigreed pups. This old house isn’t so much – but we have been comfortable – and we’ve eaten well – and my kids are grand boys and girls.

“I’ve got no regrets – not even if my oldest boy – well, he did what any of us will do – if we have to – he’s proved he’s a good American.” (Thanks to Paula Bradley for sharing this Family information on

Russell was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. Russell’s name is honored on the Memorial at Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines.
On this Memorial Day we salute you, Russel Robert Bradley, as a brave America soldier who gave his life so that we maybe free.

RussellRobertBradley-Burial Card

Love, Jan

Russell Robert Bradley is my third cousin one times removed.

A special Thanks to Paula Bradley for sharing these family photo and historical family document which allowed us to remember Russell Bradley today

Tombstone Tuesday – May 21, 2019 – William Skinner


Photo by Donna Skinner Shuey on Find a grave

William Skinner was born on February 11, 1774 in Virginia. He was the son of Joseph and Mary (Bromley) Skinner. They had four sons; Richard (1773), William (1774), Henry (1776), Joseph (1779).

William married Amelia Barnett in 1794. They had ten childre; Rosanna (1795), John (1798), Milly (1800), Catherine (1802), Sarah (1803), William Jr. (1810), Elizabeth (1810), George (1812), Barnet Gaines (1812), Nancy(1814).

William Enlisted into the Army on May 14, 1814 in Suffock, Virginia at the age of 36. He was honorably discharged in March of 1815.

MIUSA1798_102871-00195 - Wm Skinner


In the 1810 Federal Census, William Skinner and his family lived in Harrison, Kentucky. William and Amelia have two sons and five daughters. In the 1820 Census, the Skinner family is found in Georgetown, Kentucky and they have two sons and five daughters. By the time of the 1830 Federal Census, William and Amelia are now living in Franklin County, Indiana and they have five sons and one daughter. In the 1840 Federal Census, William and Amelia are in Decatur, Indiana with two sons and a daughter.

One hundred and sixty three years ago today, William died on May 21, 1856 in Michigantown, Clinton County, Indiana. William Skinner had a last will dated May 6, 1856 registered in Clinton County, Indiana, fifteen days before he died.

WmSkinner Will

Transcribed version of Wm Skinner  last will.

He was buried is buried in Layton Cemetery which is being reclaimed by the surrounding forest.  Sadly, this cemetery is no longer maintained.


Rest in peace, William.

Love, Jan

William is my third cousin five times removed.



Tombstone Tuesday – May 14, 2019 – Frank Hayner


Frank Hayner was the son of John H. and Sarah (Seaburn) Hayner  was born on September 19, 1874 in St Clair, Michigan.  John and Sarah had nine children; William (1863), John (1867), Nellie (1869), Charles(1871), Frank (1874/5), Paul (1878), Leslie (1879), Fred (1884), Alex (1886).

In the 1880 Federal Census, John and Sarah are found in St Clair, Michigan living on Mulberry Street. John works in a tannery. They have seven children living with them; William, John, Nellie, Charles, Frank, Paul and Leslie. Frank is listed as 7 years old and is attending school. In the 1900 Federal Census, Frank remains living with his parents. He is a single man who works as a day laborer. By the 1910 Federal Census, Frank is now working as a sailor on the Great Lakes. His residences is still with his parents in St Clair.


One hundred years ago today, Frank died in the US Marine Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Frank was working as an sailor on the SS Stadicons when he sustained a spinal injury in an accident which was his eventual cause of death.


He is buried in the Hayner plot in Hillside Cemetery in St. Clair, Michigan.

HillsideCemetery St Clair MI

Rest in peace, Frank!

Love, Jan

Frank is my first cousin three times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – May 7, 2019 – James G Barkham


Barkham Family Plot in Lakeside Cemetery, Holly Michigan

James Barkham was born on December 25, 1842 in Rochester, Michigan. He was the son of Edmund and Mary (Wilkinson) Barkham.  Edmund and Mary had ten children; Sarah (1836), Christopher (1837), Agnes (1840), Stephen (1841), James (1842), Robert (1845), Myrtie (1848), Marshall (1852), Lina (1853), Evaline (1854). In the 1850 Federal Census, James is a a seven year old living with his seven siblings and his parents in Avon, Oakland County, Michigan. Edmund is a Miller by trade. By the time of the 1860 Federal Census, James is eighteen years old and there are eight siblings living with him and his parents. The family remains in Oakland County.

James married Mary Thomas. They were married in Michigan and most likely Oakland County but I have not found the marriage record yet. They had four children; Myrtie (1867), Harry (1869), James (1872), Carlton (1873). In the 1870 Federal Census, James and Mary are listed in Holly Michigan with two children, Myrtie and Harry. James is a Miller by trade. By the time of the 1880 Federal Census, James and Mary have four children; Myrtie, Harry, James and Carlton. Mary Thomas Barkham died on March 10, 1881 at the age of thirty four.

James married Myra in 1892. I do not know her maiden name at this time. In the 1900 Federal Census, James, Myra and Harry are found in Plano, Texas. He is a Miller working at a flour mill.  By the 1910 Federal Census, James and Myra have returned to Michigan and they live in Detroit.   James is employed at a flour mill. They live on Winder Street. They have one son, James and daughter Myrtie and her husband Joseph Bellford living with them. They seem to be running a boarding house and have eight lodgers living with them. In the 1930 Federal Census, James is living with his daughter, Myrtie and her family.  They are living in the Village of Holly.  Myra has apparently died.

James Barkham

Eighty five years ago today, at the age of ninety one, James died in Holly, Oakland County, Michigan. I have not been able to locate where James is buried. His death Certificate indicates that it is in Holly Michigan. He is likely buried with his first wife Mary but I am unable to locate her also. His Parents and siblings are buried in Commerce Village Burial Grounds. His children are buried in Lakeside Cemetery in Holly. When I find him, I will update this post.

Rest in peace, James.

Love, Jan

James is the Uncle of the husband of my Great Grand Aunt.


Tombstone Tuesday – April 30,2019 – Miriam Best Howell


Miriam Best was the daughter of Conrad and Catherine (Loucks) Best born  on February 21, 1826 in Bayham Township, Elgin, Ontario.   Miriam Best married Nathan Howell on July 25, 1848 in Middlesex, Ontario.

In the 1851 Census, Miriam and Nathan have several children living with them; W. H. Howell (1835), Nathan (1836) , Elizabeth (1837), Elisha (1848), Lorenzo (1849), Margaret (1850). I can only assume that the older Howell children are either siblings of Nathan or children from a previous marriage. Nathan is 14 years older that Miriam.

In the 1861 Canadian Census, Miriam and Nathan have seven children living with them; Elisha (1848), Lorenzo (1849), John (1853), Lewis E (1854), Alvin M. (1855), Margaret (1851), Alice (1859).

In the 1871 Canadian Census, Miriam and Nathan Howell are found in Bayham Township. They have seven children ; Elisha (1849), Lorenzo (1851), Margaret (1852), John (1854) , Lewis (1856), Alvin (1857) , Alice (1858) and Miriam’s Mother, Catheren Best (1801) living with them.

The birth dates for all the children are not the same within the Census records. These errors could be as an result of the census taker or inaccurate information provided by  Miriam. It is hard to tell at this time. The names are all accurate.

One hundred and twenty one years ago today, Miriam died at the age of 72 from what appears to have been a stroke. The death record indicates that it was a blood rupture. She is buried in the Best cemetery in Corinth, Elgin, Ontario.


Rest in peace, Miriam!

Love, Jan

Miriam is my three times Great Grand Aunt.