Monthly Archives: October 2019

Tombstone Tuesday – October 22, 2019 – Mariah Catherine Wert Bratton


Mariah Catherine was the daughter of William Homer and Lydia (Miller) Wert, born in Markle, Indiana on February 23, 1851. William Homer and his wife Lydia had six children; Emmanuel(1840), William (1849), Mariah (1851), Cyrus (1853), Isaac S. (1854), Lydia.

Mariah married Franklin Ashbury Bratton on April 3, 1870 in Wells County, Indiana. Mariah and Franklin Bratton had five children; Lydia L.(1871), Sarah L. (1874), Cyrus F (1878), Mary E. (1879), Charles (1892). Some researcher believe that John Wm Bratton (1900) may have been their son but I do not find any evidence of  it.


Franklin Ashbury and Mariah Catherine Bratton – this photo was shared on by a researcher.

In the 1880 Federal Census, Mariah and Franklin are living in Celina, Ohio. Franklin is a Foreman in Stone Mill. They have four children; Lydia (1871), Sarah (1874), Franklin (1878), Mary E. (1879).  In the 1900 federal Census, Franklin and Mariah are living in Salamonie, Indiana.  They have three children living with them; Franklin (1878), Mary (1879), Charles (1892). The two oldest daughter have married.  By the time of the 1910 Federal Census, Mariah and her husband are living in Van Buren, Grant County, Indiana. Franklin is a merchant who is running a grocery store. They have one seventeen year old son, Charles, who remains at home.  In the 1920 Federal Census, Franklin and Mariah remain in Van Buren, Grant County, Indiana. They are now seventy three and sixty eight years old.  In the 1930 Census, Mariah and Franklin still live in Van Buren, Indiana. Franklin is eighty years old and Mariah is seventy-nine.


Franklin and Mariah Bratton seated in the front.  Mary, Charles, Sarah and Lydia – this photo was shared by a researcher on


Eighty two years ago today, Mariah Catherine died in Van Buren, Indiana at the age of eighty six years old.  She is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Warren Indiana.


Notice the reference on the death certificate to Lydia Wilson as her mother.  Lydia’s father was John Miller.  I am not sure why it says Wilson.  If I ever clear this up. I’ll reference it here. All my research indicates that she is Lydia Miller.


Rest in peace, Mariah!

Love, Jan

Mariah is the aunt, Homer Wert, who was the husband of my Great Grand Aunt Etta Clare Smith Wert.

Tombstone Tuesday – October 15, 2019 – Ione Genevieve Best Stine


Ione Genevieve was that daughter of Alvin Elgin and Dora May (Hurd Helfrich) Best. She was born in Birch Run, Michigan on April 28, 1909. Alvin and Dora live in Birch Run in the 1910 Federal Census with their one year old daughter, Ione Genevieve. Alvin is a merchant in a General Store. By the time of the 1920 Federal Census, Ione Genevieve is ten years old. She has two brothers, John S. (1913) and Max (1918). They live in Birch Run. Ione Genevieve attended Aurora High school in Saginaw, Michigan.  She is pictured in the 1926 High School yearbook.


Ione Genevieve – 1926 High School Photo

Genevieve completed two years of college obtaining her teaching degree. Her father, Alvin, died in 1928. She and her mother, Dora and her younger brothers are living in Flint by the time of the 1930 Federal Census.  Genevieve is working as a  school teacher in the public school system in Flint and her mother works as a clerk for the Post office.


Ione Genevieve married Earle John Stine on April 2, 1931. The marriage license indicates that Ione Genevieve lives in Clio Michigan and Earle lives in Midland. Earle is an armature winder.  In the 1935 State of Michigan Census, Earle and Iona live in rural Midland County.  The 1940 Federal census, Earle is working as an electrician for Dow Chemical Company and they now live in Richland township, Saginaw County.  They have three children; Earle Jr. (1932), Frances(1935), Peter (1939). They also have a teenage lodger/servant living with them whose name is Virginia Seifreid.  Virginia is from Kentucky and is fifteen years old.

Forty four years ago on October 15, 1975, Ione Genevieve died in University Park, Iowa. I am not certain when they moved there. It appears that at some point Earle become a minister.  It may be that they moved there for a ministry assignment. Ione died before Earle.  She was buried in Tanner Cemetery in Genesee County, Michigan.


Rest in peace, Ione Genevieve!

Love, Jan

Ione Genevieve is my first cousin three times removed.




Tombstone Tuesday – October 8, 2019 -George S. Stranahan

George Stranahan

George S Stranahan was the son of John and Lucy (Buck) Stranahan who was born on October 4, 1783 in Canaan, Columbia, New York. John and Lucy had eleven children; Mary Polly (1764), James (1766), Jane (1868), Aaron (1771), Lucy (1773), John (1776), Farrand (1778), Peleg (1780), George S (1783), Gibson J. (1786), Daniel J (1789).

George fought in the War of 1812 in the New York Calvary. He was a private who served in Asa Ransom’s Company. As a result of his service, he received a land Grant for 40 acres on August 1, 1853 in Jackson County, Michigan.

George married (Bethenia) Catherine in Caanan, New York where they had nine children; Caroline (1806), Hiram (1812), Catherine (1816), George (1816), Maranda (1820), Mary (1825), Betsy, Julia (1829), Cordelia. In 1833, George and Catherine moved their family to Jackson County, Michigan. George bought 349 acres on October 15, 1835 through the Bronson Land office according to land record document # 1083. Catherine died on November 4 1840. George married Mary W. Powers on August 7, 1844 in Jackson, Michigan.

In the 1840 Federal Census, George and his family are living in Jackson County, Michigan.  George and his two son, Hiram and George Jr are farming the land that George purchased. By the 1850 Census, both sons have married and live next to their father and his second wife, Mary. George and his two sons remain farmers. George S, George Jr and Hiram appear in the Agricultural Census of 1850. The sons, Hiram and George each claim 90 acres and George claims 160 acres. It is stated that George Sr and George Jr planted the first orchard in Jackson County on the north side of Clarklake. By the time of the 1860 Federal Census, seventy seven year old George, is living with his daughter Mary and her husband, Stole Clark, in Jackson County, Michigan.

One hundred and fifty five years ago today, George S Stranahan died in Jackson County, Michigan. He is buried next to his first wife Catherine in the Clarklake Cemetery.


Rest in peace, George!

Love, Jan

George is the Great Grand Uncle of the husband of my Great Grand Aunt Addie Jane Hayner.

Yes, I know that the relationship is way out there but… Have a good week and we’ll see you again next week.



Tombstone Tuesday – October 1, 2019 – Joseph Matthew Smith


Joseph Matthew Smith was the son of Ashley J. and Helena (Schlinger) Smith. He as born on November 27, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois. In the 1920 Federal Census, Joseph is found with his parents, Ashley and Helena, and siblings, Ashley C (1909) and Elenora (1913) on South Honore Street in the 18th Ward of Chicago. There is a boarder living with them whose name is James Allie. Joseph is 3 and a half years old.  Joseph’s father, Ashley is a taxi driver in 1920.

By the time of the 1930 Federal Census, Ashley and Helena live on Adams Street with their three children; Ashley C who is twenty-one years of age, Elenora who is seventeen and Joseph who is thirteen. They have a boarder living with them whose name is Helen Walsh.  Ashley remains a taxi driver.

Joseph married Genevieve Theresa Mikrut on March 25, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois according to the marriage database for Illinois but the 1940 Census seems to indicate that they are married before that.  By the time of the 1940 Federal Census, Joseph and Genevieve  are living in Thornton, Illinois with one son named Joseph Jr. who is four years old.  Joseph works as a Boiler Foreman for a Chemical Company in Thornton, Illinois.  Joseph enlisted in the Army on April 26, 1943 and served during WWII until is discharge on November 12, 1945. I did not find information specifically about where he served.

Joseph and Genevieve had five children, four daughters and one son.


Nineteen years ago today, Joseph died in Anderson, Indiana of cancer at the age of 83. He is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne Indiana.


Rest in peace Joseph!

Love, Jan

Joseph Matthew Smith is my second cousin two times removed.