Monthly Archives: May 2017

Tombstone Tuesday – May 30, 2017 – Robert E. Barkham


Robert Enslie Barkham was born on December 25, 1890 in Commerce, Michigan. He was the son of Marshall Barkham and Lillian Cozadd. Marshall and Lillian had five children; Edmund, Alice, Amber, Robert, and Beryl.

In the 1910 Federal Census, Robert is living at the home of his parents with his brother and youngest sister. On December 9, 1912, Robert married Kathleen Kirkwood in Flint. They were divorced on January 9, 1916. The divorce was granted in Grand Traverse and both parties were instructed to not remarry for one year. (I do not think I have ever seen that before.) In 1917, Robert registers for the WWI draft and he states that he is a single man living with his parents and that he is their sole support. At that time he was working for Buick Motor Company as a machinist in Plant #6 in Flint, Michigan. Robert married Gladys Losee on on May 31, 1919 in Flint Michigan.

In the 1920 Federal census, Robert and Gladys are living in Flint with Robert’s parents, Marshall and Lillian. Robert is a Salesman at a Grain House. (Grain House is what is written on the census but I am wondering if the Census taker misunderstood, it maybe Greenhouse instead.) His father, Marshall and his wife Gladys are also employed at the same place. His father is a laborer and Gladys is a helper.

Robert and Gladys are found in Mount Morris, Michigan in the 1930 Federal Census. They have Frank Losee, Gladys’s brother, living with them. They live on Elm Street. Roberts’s brother, Edmund and his wife, Ethel are living next door to Robert and Gladys. These two brothers list their occupations as proprietors who run a greenhouse.

In the 1940 Federal Census, Robert and Gladys are living on East Witherbee Street in Mount Morris, Michigan. Frank Losee is living with them. Robert has gone back to work in the auto Industry in Flint.

Two doors away, Edwin Losee and his wife are listed as neighbors who also live on Witherbee Street. Edwin is also a brother to Gladys and Frank.

Robert died on May 30, 1968 in Mount Morris Michigan. He is buried in Mount Morris Cemetery.


Rest in Peace, Robert!

Love Jan

Tombstone Tuesday – May 23, 2017 – The Colvin Family

I am departing from my usual routine today…Why, you ask? Because I can not find anyone in my Family Tree who died on this day. It is very likely that I have several but I have not identified those death dates yet.

So instead, I want to talk about a friend of mine who uncovered a heartbreaking story about the Colvin Family who lived near Columbus, Indiana.  My friend’s name is Mark Davis. We met several years ago in Crown Point, Indiana at one of his cemetery restoration projects. He runs seminars on the proper methods of cleaning and restoring tombstones. He has a company called Stone Saver Cemetery Restoration. Mark gets hired usually by local townships or counties to go into an old neglected or damaged cemeteries and fix them.  He does amazing work.  He cleans tombstones and monuments. He fixes tombstones that are broken. He places tombstones back in there base and secures them. He adds the proper base to stones that need to be leveled and straightened.  Mark is an amazing guy!  He is a man of many talents and he loves a beautiful cemetery and so do I! Visit him at Check  out the beautiful work he has completed and current projects that he is or will be working on. Or find out when he will be working in a cemetery near you!

While working on a job in early May, Mark found a family plot that was truly heartbreaking and he shared a little bit about it on Facebook. I asked him if it would be OK to share on Tombstone Tuesday sometime and he said “Sure”. So I think I’ll share it today. So today I did some research and quite frankly, I was able to find out quite a bit about this family.  So instead of highlighting one person today, we will talk about the whole family.

ColvinFamily Plot

Colvin Family Plot

Knowing Mark, I am sure that it was this interesting family monument which first caught his attention.  And then, the story of this family touched his heart.

The Republic Newspaper – Columbus, Indiana – October 3, 1962

The Time for Tears was Past” The headline read as the newspaper story reported on the tragic lost of all six children in one family on September 29, 1962.

“The time for tears seemed past Tuesday as nearly 100 mourners gather with the Walter Colvin family under an overcast sky at the Bethel cemetery at the burial rites for the couples six children”

“The youngsters were suffocated in a fire Saturday at their home near West Harrison on the Indiana- Ohio State line where they had lived about six months since moving from East Twenty-third Street. “ the article read. “The Colvin couple held hands as the Rev. Ivan Miller of the United Lutheran church spoke the final rites, but neither wept. Their faces showed the anguish now past tears”

“ A procession of 50 cars followed the five hearses from the Barkes and Inlow funeral home and continues the trip to the cemetery where six pallbearers carried the light colored caskets with embroidered flowers from the hearses one by one.”

Six Colvin Children

Barry Joe – 1947 1962  and  Karon Lee – 1948-1962

Berry Joe-3 Karon Lee-3

Terri Lynn – 1949 – 1962 and Robert Lee – 1951 -1962

Terri Lynn-3 Robert Lee-3

Cheryl Ann – 1954-1962  and Walter Alan – 1956- 1962

Cheryl Ann-3 Walter Alan-3

Colvin Family Plot


The Colvin children tombstones

Barry Joe-2  Karon Lee-4

Terri Lynn-2  Robert Lee-2

Cheryl Ann-2  Walter Alan-2

It is hard to imagine the heartache that this couple felt with the loss of all of their children on the same day. According to Julia Terry, a Facebook friend of Mark’s, Barry, the oldest child found the fire and woke his mother, Mina Jo, who was sleeping downstairs. She ran to the neighbors to get help.  Barry remained in the house to tried to get the rest of the children out. By the time Mina Jo returned to the burning house it was too late and all the children were caught in the fire. Walter Albert Colvin, the father, was a truck driver who was on the road at the time of the fire.

Mina Jo

Mina Jo Rice Colvin was born in Danville, Illinos on July 4, 1926. She was the daughter of John and Carrie Roth Rice. She married Walter Albert Colvin on November 7, 1953 according to Findagrave. I was unable to find a marriage license for  Mina and Walter on ancestry. It would seem to me that they may have married sooner than 1953. She died on June 25, 1998 at her home.

Walter married Linda Lois Grimes on October 8, 1998.  She died six months later on March 3, 1999.  She was buried in South Park Cemetery in Greensburg, Indiana.

Walter Albert

Walter was born on August 5, 1927. He was the son of Clifford and June Hansen Colvin. He was born in Paris, Illinois. Walter was a veteran of the Air Force in WWII. He was a member of the American Legion and the Veteran of Foreign Wars. He was a truck driver for Stone Container. He died on February, 17,  2009 in Columbus, Indiana.

Walter Albert Colvin-1

The Colvin Family is buried at the Bethel Baptist Cemetery in Walesboro, Bartholmew County, Indiana.

Bethel Baptist Cemetery

Rest in peace to all of the members of the Colvin family.

Love, Jan Smith

Note: Mark Davis intends to return to this cemetery and he will clean the dirt and grime of 50 plus years from these stones. Thanks Mark for finding this story for me and the newspaper article about this tragedy so I could record it here. Thanks too for all your hard work in cemeteries in Indiana. You are an inspiration!

Note: All the photos are courtesy of  Thanks to the volunteers who added them to the database.





Tombstone Tuesday – May 16, 2017 – Elnora Rehnen

Elenor J Rehnen


Elnora(Elinor and Nora) Rehnen was born in October of 1880. An exact birthday or birth record was not found.  She was the daughter of Henry Rehnen and Susannah Smith. Henry and Susannah had five children; Katherine (1871), Edward Bernard (1875), Francis (1878-1881), Elnora (1880), Rebecca (1884). The lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In the 1900 Federal Census,  Elnora was 19 years old. She was living at home with her parents and her siblings.  Her occupation was listed as a seamstress.  In the 1910 Federal Census, she resides with her parents and all of her siblings, two of whom are married with children of their own. They live on Force Street in Fort Wayne, Indiana during the 1900 and 1910 Census. Elnora is now working as a salesperson in a factory.  It was listed as a Waist Factory.

The term “Waist” is short for Shirtwaist which was a garment worn by working woman in the early 1900.   This industry boomed at the time because woman were entering the work force across America.   Since they were working, they no longer had time to make their own clothing.  The garment industry flourished with the demand for “off the rack” Womens’ clothing.  Factories sprang up and woman who were accomplished seamstress were drawn to them for employment.

The Shirtwaist consisted of a long sleeved blouse which was gathered at the waist so it could be tucked into a skirt. The shirt was usually just several inches longer than a woman natural waist.  Often the skirt was dark so it did not show dirt. They would have one or two skirts which they wore everyday.  They would have three shirts that they would alternate between so they always had one clean, one they were washing and one they were wearing.  It was often embellish with an interchangeable belt type garment which they sometime referred to as a waist. They were inexpensive garments that they could afford to have several of. This enable them to wear what looked like a different garment everyday.


Classic garment worn by working woman in 1910 and made in Shirtwaist Factories.

Elnora worked in this type of a garment factory in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

By the 1920 Federal census, her father, Henry Rehnen has died.  Elnora is living with her Mother and two adult siblings, Katherine and Edward and Edward’s son, Parnell. Elnora has been promoted to Forewoman in the Waist Factory.  That is quite and accomplishment for a forty year old woman in her day. I found it interesting that in the Census, it actually said “Forewoman” instead of “Foreman”.

In the 1930 Census, Elnora, Edward and Katherine remain at home of their Mother, Susannah. They live on S Hoagland Avenue. Elnora never married and lived in her Mother’s home her entire life.  I did not find a 1940 Census records for any of the Rehnen families in the Fort Wayne area. Their surname is often written wrong or translated wrong. On the July of 1944 death record for Katherine Rehnen, her address is listed as the 3231 S Hoagland Avenue which was her Mother’s home and the same address that was in the 1930 Census.

Elnora died on May 16, 1944 at the age of sixty four years old.  She is buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Henry Rehnen2

Rest in Peace,

Love, Jan

I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to sort out whether Elnora or Elinor is how her name is really spelled.  I am able to find death certificates for her siblings but not for her which tells me that there is likely a spelling issue. I did see her listed as Nora in Fort Wayne Municipal directories but a search on Nora Rehnen did not  produce a death certificate either.  If I ever sort this out, I will update this post.

Tombstone Tuesday – May 9, 2017 – Lorne Percy Hainer



Private Lorne Percy Hainer – 1890 -1917

Lorne Percy Hainer was born on January 5, 1890 in Norwich, Oxford County, Ontario to Jasper Wellington and Fanny (Knight) Hainer. Jasper and Fanny Hainer had ten children; Edmund Henry (1879), John Alvey (1881), Alice Maud (1883), Clarence Roy (1885), Lorne Percy (1890), Harold (1893-1893), Dina (1894-1894) Lucy (1897) Jasper William (1901-1901), Irene Fanny (1905).


Enlistment Papers from February 26, 1916

Lorne Percy Hainer joined the Overseas Battalion of the Dufferine Rifles on February 26, 1916 in Brantford, Ontario. The battalion sailed from Halifax on the SS Scandinavian on August 6, 1916 arriving in Liverpool on August 18, 1916 .


He received orders to depart for France on November 16, 1916 arriving November 28, 1916. His Military records show several deployments in France. He was gravely wounded on May 7, 1917 with a head wound and a leg wound. He died of his injuries on May 9, 1917.


The following are official communications received by Fanny Hainer from Canadian officials and printed on Lorne Percy Hainer’s profile page on the Great War Centenary Association (GWCA) of Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations web page.

“ On May 10, 1917, Mrs Fannie Hainer, 125 Alfred Street has received notification that her son, Private Lorne Percy Hainer, was severely wounded in the head and leg on May 7, 1917 and is seriously ill in a military hospital in France. Private Hainer was a member of the first oversea battalion of the Dufferin Rifles. “

“On May 16th, 1917, Mrs. Fanny Hainer received official word that her youngest son, Lorne Percy Hainer, had died of his wounds in No.24 General Hospital, Etaples, France. Private Hainer was born in the vicinity of Norwich 26 years ago and remained at home with his parents, Mr and Mrs Jasper Hainer until his father died five years ago. Since that time he had lived in Brantford with his mother and brother at 125 Alfred Street. At the time of his enlistment, he was a foreman at the Hygienic Dairy, where he had been employed for three years. He enlisted on February 26 , 1916 with a local battalion which was sent to England in August, 1916. From there he was sent to France in December.”


He was buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery in France. Plot XIX. R. 8


Etaples Military Cemetery, France

Bless you for your service, Rest in Peace, Lorne.

Love, Jan



Tombstone Tuesday

This blog is a weekly blog that I write to honor those in my family tree who have died.  There are two important days in every human life.  The day a person is born and the day that a person dies.  To a family historian, both days are equally important bits of information about the life of a relative.  During a life the birthday is celebrated every year over and over….. and then the person dies and a funeral is held to honor them once.

In this blog, I find a person who has died on the current Tuesday date.  I research as much about their life and their family as I can and I honor them again, their birth and their death.  Some Tuesdays I find a lot about a person, other Tuesdays I find just a little,  a sentence or two.  It is my pleasure to learn about their life.  Maybe some day I will put it all in a book.

Stay tuned….


Tombstone Tuesday – May 2, 2017 – Dorothy Hainer May Gildea

Dorothy Hainer was the daughter of Annetja (Hannah) Vollick and Richard (Derek) Hainer.  She was born on April 26, 1784 in Schoharie, New York.  Richard and Annetja (Hannah) Hainer had 9 children; Eve, Dorothy (1784), Mary (1785), Catherine (1785), Cornelia (1790), Chloe (1792), Margaret (1800), Sarah (1801). Some time after Dorothy’s birth the family left New York and moved to Niagara, Ontario, Canada.

Dorothy married John May in Ontario. They had six children; George William (1802), Hannah (1804), Magdalen (1805), William (1808), Sarah (1810), Elizabeth (1812).  John May died in November 8, 1812 in Ontario.  Dorothy Hainer May married her second husband, Columbus Gildea,  sometime before April of 1819. They had one son named John Condy Gildea.

She died on May 2, 1830. She is buried in the cemetery at the St John’s Anglican Church, Port Dalhousie, Ontario.

Rest in Peace Dorothy!

Love, Jan Smith