Author Archives: needlesinahaystackblog

About needlesinahaystackblog

Avid Family Historian who write about her discoveries. Someday I just might write a book so today I blog to keep writing about all the things I find and uncover! Stay tuned for more fun!

Tombstone Tuesday – January 10, 2023 – Hattie Louise Griffin Hainer

Hattie Louise Griffin was born on June 13, 1865 in Jackson County, Iowa to Hiram and Sybil Elizabeth (Tubbs) Griffin. Hiram and Sybil had six children; Meritt (1857), Melissa (1859), Senaca (1861), Mord (1863), Hattie Louise (1865), Harry (1869). In the 1870 Federal Census, Hattie is found with her family in Maquoketa, Jackson County, Iowa. Her father, Hiram, is a farmer.

Hattie likely at about the time she was married. Thanks to Hainer descendant who made this publicly available on Ancestry.

In 1887 Hattie married Charles Edward Hainer in Maquoketa township, Jackson County. Iowa. They had seven children; Zora Meryl (1888), Verna Irene (1890), Madge Louise (1894), Helen Hannah (1899), Ford Albert (1902), Sybil Elizabeth (1904), Maxine Claire (1908).

In the 1900 Federal Census, Charles and Hattie are found in Fairfield, Iowa. Charles is a farmer . They have four daughters; Zora, Verna, Madge and Helen. They also have Allen Fowler living with them . He is listed as a servant.

In the 1910 Federal Census, Charles and Hattie are living in Waterford, Clinton County, Iowa. They have six children : Verna, Madge, Helen, Ford, Sybil and Maxine. They also have a boarder living with them, Henry Lockey. Charles is a farmer. They own their own farm.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Charles and Hattie remain in Waterford, Iowa. Charles is still farming and they have four children who still live at home; Helen, Ford, Sybil and Maxine. Helen who is 21 years old , listed Theater as her occupation and that she works for the school.

By the 1930 Federal census, Charles and Hattie have moved to Jackson , Maquoketa County, Iowa. They live two houses away from their daughter Madge and her husband Gale. Charles appears to have retired. They have Sybil Griffin living with them, She is a widow who is 94 years old. They have two daughters who remain at home, Helen and Maxine. Helen is a teacher in the public school system and Maxine is a bookkeeper for a Creamery. Both remain single.

Charles Edward Hainer Family 1934 – Back row L to R : Ford , Helen, Madge, Verna Front Row L to R: Sybil, Charles, Maxine, Hattie, Zora This was also made publicly available on Ancestry by a Hainer descendant.

By the 1940 Federal Census, Charles and Hattie are living in Rural Jackson County, Iowa. They are both 74 years of age. Maxine is 31 years old and still lives with them. No one in the household appears to be employed at the time of the Census.

Seventy seven years ago today, January 10, 1946, Hattie Louise Hainer died in Maquoketa, Iowa at the age of 80. She was buried next to her husband in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Maquoketa, Iowa.

Rest in peace, Hattie!

Love Jan

Hattie is the wife of my second cousin e times removed, Charles Edward Hainer.

Tombstone Tuesday – January 3, 2023 – Vada Schultz Stechow

Vada was the daughter of August and Hattie (Harriet Blim) Schultz. She was born on March 4, 1895 in New York. In the 1900 Federal Census, Vada is listed as a six year old. She is found with her parents, August and Hattie with her siblings, Grace (1883), Nellie (1886) and Lester(1890). They live in Dryden, Michigan. August is a Day Laborer.

Vada married Lloyd Stechow on November 22, 1813 in Flint, Michigan. They lived in Oxford, Michigan at the time of their marriage. In 1917, Lloyd and Vada had a son whom they named Donald Lloyd. He died a few week short weeks later due to an infection in his umbilical cord according to his death certificate. I find no other birth certificates or records of births for Vada and Lloyd.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Vada and Lloyd are found in Pontiac on Poplar Street. They rent a home and Lloyd works for a Coal and Ice Company. By the 1930 Federal Census, Lloyd and Vada now own their own home on Orion Road. Lloyd is a fireman at the Fisher Body Plant.

Eighty five years ago on January 3, 1938, Vada died at the age of 42 in her home of a cerebral hemorrhage with contributing factor of Malignant hypertension according to her death certificate. She was buried at the Perry Mount Memorial Park in Pontiac, Michigan.

Rest in Peace, Vada!

Love, Jan

Vada is the first wife of Lloyd Stechow, we are not related but Sarah E Densmore became the second wife of Lloyd Stechow after the death of Vada. I have several confirmed DNA matches to children of Sarah and Lloyd who are my second cousins.

It’s a wrap ….and a new Beginning….

Wow, 2022 is a wrap ! I can say that one year ago I never would have guessed that the year would have turned out as it did….

Bought a house…..

Trip to Arizona……

Renovated a house…..

Packed up a house…..

Moved our belongings……

Unpack our belongings ( not completed yet) ….

Prepared the old house to sell…..

Sell it……

Re-landscape the new yard……


Dog Bite……

Arrival of a new Great Granddaughter……

A two month Illness……

Arrival of another new Great Granddaughter……

A trip to Central Illinois for a special 50th Birthday……

A Christmas trip to Southern Ohio……

and a Christmas trip to Chicago…….

It is no wonder that I had a hard time getting any blogs written. I have taken a small amount of time for research ….Mostly verifying DNA matches on Ancestry and My Heritage…I plan to get back at my blogs on a regular basis in 2023. Happy New Year and Happy Hunting! My 2023 goal is to verify James Smith’s Parentage and to keep blogging about those who came before us!


Tombstone Tuesday – Mary Morgan Hayner Densmore – July 5, 2022

Mary Morgan Hayner was born on October 21, 1871 in Port Hope, Michigan. She was the daughter of Robert Wesley Hayner and Dorothy Ann Morgan. She was born just days after the Great Fire of 1871 raced across Central Michigan from Lake Michigan finally ending when it hit the water of Lake Huron on the eastern side of the state. Port Hope and the region which included the ” Thumb” was experiencing a boom in the logging industry. There were many jobs in the area. The fire wiped out a whole industry. Robert Wesley was indirectly involved with the logging industry.

I can not find the family in the 1880 Federal Census but an article written about Mary Morgan and Charles for their 52nd Wedding Anniversary indicates that Robert Wesley Hayner and his family remained near Port Hope until 1884. Dorothy, Mary’s mother had a sister who settled in the area for many years before moving to the western side of the state near Ludington, Michigan.

Mary Morgan married Charles Densmore in Port Lambton, Ontario Canada on March 27, 1889. I always wondered why they were married in Canada. I have since learned that it was common for people who lived near the Canadian border to cross the border to marry. They could elope with no license, blood tests or special paperwork much like people go to Vegas to get married quickly today.

Mary and Charles Densmore had 11 children; Addie Mae (1890), Nomer (1893), Charles Ray(1894), Elizabeth(1897), Dorothy (1901), Jay Morgan(1903), John Reynolds(1905), Harry Hayner(1908), Mary Kathryn(1910), Allan Glen(1912) and Alvin Chester(1912). Nomer died on March 18, 1893, 20 days after his birth. Dorothy died on November 6, 1920 at the age of 19 years old. Alvin Chester died on November 8, 1912, 8 days after he was born.

In the 1900 Federal Census, Charles and Mary Densmore in East China Township, St Clair County Michigan. Charles lists his occupation as Day Laborer. They have three children; Addie (1890), Charles Ray (1894), and Elizabeth (1897). They also have two boarders living with them; Gustav Schroeder and Charles Thurman.

In the 1910 Federal Census, Mary and Charles are living in Cottrellville, St Clair County, Michigan. They now have eight children living with them ; Ray C, Elizabeth, Dorothea (1902), J. Morgan ( 1904), John (1906), Harry (1908), Mary Katherine (1910), a Son-in-law, Andrew Anderson, Addie (Densmore) Anderson and an addition young woman , Ann Ehard, who appears to be a hired as a house keeper to help Mary. She is sixteen years old.

This family photo was likely taken around 1915. Allan, the youngest boy looks to be around 3 years old. Dorothy died in 1920. LtoR: Back row : Jay Morgan, Elizabeth, Charles Ray, Addie, Dorothy LtoR : Front row: Mary Katherine, Mary Morgan, Harry Hayner, Charles holding Allan, John Reynolds

In the 1920 Federal Census, Mary and Charles are living in Marine City, Michigan, Charles lists his occupation as Carpenter working in the Ship Yard. They have seven children living at home and Dorothy Hayner, Mary’s Mother, who is a seventy-eight years old widow. The seven children are ; Ray, Morgan, Dorothy, John, Harry, Mary, and Allan (1913).

By the 1930 Federal Census, Mary and Charles own a home on Delina Street. Charles is the sexton of the Marine City Cemetery. They have three children, a son-in-law and a grandson who live with them; C Ray, Allan G, son-in-law, Arthur W Kamer, daughter, Mary K Kamer and Grandson, Richard Kamer.

By the 1940 Federal Census, Mary and Charles live alone on Delina Street. Charles will work as the sexton in the cemetery until he died in January of 1943.

Mary outlived her husband by 15 years. Sixty four years ago on July 5, 1958, Mary Morgan died. Mary Morgan Hayner Densmore is buried next to her husband and her parents in Rosehill Cemetery in East China Township.

Rest in peace, Mary Morgan!

Love, Jan

Mary Morgan was my Great Grandmother. Since she died in 1958, she had the chance to meet seven or eight of her Great Grandchildren, I was too young to remember her. I wish we had had a few more years together. I have met three of my Great Grand children and will meet my fourth in a few weeks. I hope to have many more years so we can have time to know each other.

Tombstone Tuesday – June 28, 2022 – Barbara Kinnaman Whelchel

Barbara Kinnaman was born on February 3, 1826 in Montomery County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Walter and Barbara (Williard) 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)..

In the 1850 Federal Census for Green Township, Madison County, Indiana, Barbary is 23 years old and remains with her parents. Also living with them appears to be a widowed relative, Edmund who is with several children , John, Henry, Lucinda and Susan. Edmund, John and Henry were born in Indiana and Lucinda and Susan were born in Missouri. I am guessing that it is a son but I can not be certain. It’s an investigation for another time.

Barbara married Mayberry Whelchel some time soon after the 1850 Census. In the 1860 Federal Census, Barbary Whelchel and her husband Mayberry live in Green Township, Madison County, Indiana with their five year old daughter, Martha (1855). In the 1870 Federal Census, Barbary and her husband, Mayberry remain in Indiana and they have two children; Martha and John (1861).

In the 1880 Federal Census, Mayberry and Barbary are listed in Madison County with their nineteen year old son, John.

One hundred thirty six years ago on June 28, 1886, Barbara Whelchel died in Indiana. She is buried in Helms Cemetery, Hamilton County, Indiana.

Rest in peace, Barbara.

Love, Jan

Barbara Kinnaman Whelchel is the aunt of the wife of my third Great Uncle. I posted on the Haystack Blog too…by mistake…but I think I’ll leave it.

Tombstone Tuesday – June 21, 2022 – Newton Losee

Newton Losee was the son of Edwin and Julia Ann (Payne) Losee born on June 2, 1856 in Genesee County, Michigan. He was the youngest of 6 children born to Edwin and Julia Ann ; Their first child was a daughter who died at birth, Charles(1835) , George O(1844), Ester Ann(1847), Rosilla(1851), Newton W (1856).

In the 1860 Federal Census, Newton is found with his parents, Edwin and Julia Ann and his siblings ; Charles (1835), George, (1843) Ester (1849), Rosilla (1850), Newton (1856). They live in Thetford Township, Genesee County, Michigan.

In the 1870 Federal Census, Newton and his sister Rosilla are the only two children who remain at home. Newton lists his occupation as Farm Laborer. He is 14 years old and has finished his schooling and is helping his father on the farm.

He married Nellie Best on August 26, 1877 in Thetford Township, Michigan. They had 10 children; George Stephen (1879), Edwin E. (1881), Mert R. (1882), Sarah A. (1884), Frank (1888), Harry T. (1890), Grover C. (1892), Dorothy Emeline (1894), Gladys M. (1898), Verna (1899).

The children of Newton and Nellie Losee prior to Grover’s death in 1926 – Mert, Verna hugging Gladys, Edwin (behind), Grover (behind), Emeline, Sarah, George, Frank is seated in Front

 In the 1880 Federal Census, Newton and Nellie are living in Thetford township with their new son, George. Newton is a farmer.

In the 1900 Federal Census, Newton and Nellie live in Greenwood, Clare County, Michigan. Newton is a farmer and they have ten children; George O (1880), Edwin Edmund (1881), Mert (1882), Sarah A. (1884), Frank (1889), Harry T (1890), Grover C (1893), Dorothy Emeline (1895), Gladys (1898) , Verna (1899).

In the 1910 Federal Census, Nellie is running a boarding house at 1505 North Sycamore Street in Flint, Michigan. Living with her are four of her children; Frank, Emeline, Gladys and Verna. She has four boarders too. There is no sign of Newton. The Losee name is written many different ways in the Censuses; Losee, Losey, Locey, Losie, Locie but I have searched as many as I could and still see no signs of him.

Newton died on June 21, 1912 at the age of 56 in Burton, Michigan according to the death certificate and is buried in Thetford Cemetery with most of the members of the Losee Family plot.

The Death Certificate gives us some interesting side notes. I have been unable to find his grave at the Thetford Cemetery even though the death certificate says that he is buried there.  Nellie may not have had money enough to buy one. The township office which would have had all the cemetery records, burned many years ago and all the township records were lost.  I found it interesting that Edwin provided the information to the county about his father and listed Newton as a widow.  He indeed was not a widow. Nellie, his wife, was very much alive. She died in 1930. It is also interesting that he listed Newton’s father’s name as William Losee.  His father’s name was Edwin Losee.  Edwin, was named after his Grandfather. It is also interesting that he did not know his Grandmother’s maiden name, Payne. The Payne family members are also buried in the cemetery. 

The research I do for every Tombstone Tuesday blog most often answers many questions but sometimes it raises more that I will need to research.

Rest in Peace, Newton!

Love, Jan

Newton was my 2X Great Grandfather on my Father’s maternal side of the family.

This post is a rewrite of a previous blog on a different platform.

Tombstone Tuesday – June 14, 2022 – Milo Elvia Denney

Milo Elvia Denney was born on December 2, 1929 in Franklin Township, Lenawee County, Michigan. He is the son of Milo and Lydia (Mutton) Denney. Milo and Lydia had eight children; Forrest (1915), Nellie (1920), Ethel (1921), Agnes (1924), Elizabeth (1926), James (1928), Milo (1930), Rolandis Vern (1934), Frank (1936).

Milo Elvia Denney married Naomi A Deline on July 25, 1949. They divorced on November 24, 1951. Milo married Lidia Josephine . They have eight sons and five daughters ; Victor, Chad, Brandon. Todd, Wayne, Adam, Christopher, Elizabeth, Karen, Debra, Joanna, and Nickole.

Milo’s Obituary gives me more information that I can find on Ancestry due to the recentness of his birth and death. I am quoting it here.

In the Care of Gorsline Runciman Tiffany Chapel

Milo Elvia Denney

Delta Township

Milo Elvia Denney, 86, of Delta Township passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 with his wife of 31 years by his side. He was born in Tipton, Michigan to Milo Denney and Lida Mae Mutton on December 2, 1929. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Forest, James, Frank and sisters Nellie, Jan, Ethel and Peg. He is survived by his wife Lilia Josie, brother Vern, sons Victor, Chad, Brandon, Todd, Kirk, Wayne, Adam and Christopher, daughters Lizabeth, Karen, Debra, Joanna, and Nickole and numerous grandchildren. Milo was a very proud Local 580 union member and worked in the trucking industry for 35 years and was employed by C&J/Leaseway companies.

He was very passionate about his woodworking hobby and enjoyed that he could do more projects after his retirement in 1992. He built beautiful cabinets, boxes, candle holders, clocks, urns, flower vases and picture frames. He was always proud to say that he learned this beloved craft from just reading. He was most proud of the quarter scale Big Wheel logging wheel device he made and donated to the Michigan Historical Museum in 1994 which is still in use today. He loves baseball and was an avid Tigers fan. He coached his sons’ baseball teams and daughters’ softball teams. He spent a lot of springs and summers watching son Christopher’s baseball games and loved every minute of it.

His wife introduced him to Broadway musicals through Les Miserables which he loved and always had compared other musicals he saw to it. They traveled to Europe and fell in love with Spain’s Costa del Sol and enjoyed sipping coffee in Paris cafes.

A celebration of his life will be held 11:00 A.M. Saturday, June 25, 2016 at Tiffany Funeral Home, 3232 West Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917. A rosary will be prayed at 9:30AM then the family will receive relatives and friends from 10:00 to 11:00 AM followed by a service officiated by Fr. John Klein of St. Gerard Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Loaves & Fishes or St. Gerard Church in memory of Milo. Friends may visit the guest book at”

I do not have a tombstone picture at this time and the Obit does not state where or if he was buried.

Rest in peace , Milo

Love, Jan

Milo Elvia Denney is my 2nd Cousin twice removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – June 7, 2022 – William Andrew Kinnaman

William Andrew Kinnaman was born on November 15, 1854 in Madison County Indiana. He was the son of Hiram L Kinnaman and Cassander Crosley. Hiram and Cassender had fourteen children; David (1830), Elizabeth (died at birth), Conrad (1835), Walter (1837), Henry Madison (1838), Hannah Jane (1840), Emily (1841), Lane (1843), Francis Marion (1845), Sarah Ann, (1847), Margaret Levina (1849), Hiram Leonidas (1852), William Andrew (1854), Richard L. (1858)

In the 1860 Federal Census, William Andrew is found in Pendleton, Madison County, Indiana. He is listed with his parents, Hiram and Cassender, and seven of his siblings; Henry, Hannah J, Emily, Francis, Sarah Ann, Hiram, and Richard. Hiram Sr is a farmer and Henry who is 22 years of age is also a farmer. It is assumed that he is helping his father since he is still unmarried and living at home.

By the time of the 1870 Federal Census, Cassender has died. Hiram and three are his sons are listed together; Hiram Sr., Hiram Jr, William and Richard. William is 15 years old and lists his occupation as farm laborer.

He married Mary Belle Wiley in April 18, 1877 in Kansas. She died one year later. He married again to Mary Emma Hooper in May 22, 1880 in Kansas. They had three children; Clyde L (1881), Leroy L (1883), and Mollie (1885).

William Andrew Kinnaman died on June 7, 1886 in Cedar Vale, Chautauqua County, Kansas. He is buried in Round Mound Cemetery in Cedar Vale, Kansas.

Rest in peace, William!

Love, Jan

William Andrew Kinnaman is the brother of Hannah Jane Kinnaman, the wife of my third Great Uncle William Smith of Pendleton, Indiana.

Summer has gotten away from me (again) and I am WAY behind in my blogging…Hoping to catch up one of these days…

Tombstone Tuesday – May 31, 2022 – John Chester Densmore

Johns Chester Densmore was the son of Norman Alvin Densmore and Cora M Hamacher. He was born in Clare Michigan on May 26, 1905. Norman and Cora had seven children; Charles Oscar (1901), Norman Alvin (1903), John Chester (1904), Sarah E (1907), Lila (1907), Thelma (1910), Alfred LeRoy (1914).

In the 1910 Federal Census, Norman and his family are found on Klacking, Ogemaw County, Michigan. He and his wife (listed as Sarah) have five children and the children are recorded as Charles(1901), Norman(1903), John (1903, Sarah and Lila. By the time of the 1920 Federal Census, six children are recorded. They are Charley, John, Sarah, Lila, Thelma (1910) and Alfred (1914). Norman Alvin Densmore was a farmer.

John C Densmore married Carmen Williams on July 23, 1927 and they were married in Clare, Michigan. In the 1930 Federal Census, John and Carmen were living in Clare with their one year old son, Jules. John was doing general farming mostly likely with his father. In the 1940 Federal Census, John and Carmen remain in Clare. They have five children; Jules (1929), Jerome(1931), Joyce (1933), Janice (1935), Ivora (1936). John is working as a carpenter.

In 1940, John registered for the WWII draft on May 16, 1940. He stated that he lived in Clare, Michigan. His occupation was farmer and he worked for his self. He had brown hair and blue eyes, was 5′ 11” tall and weighed 180 pounds, His next of Kin was listed as Mrs Carmen Lucile Densmore.

In the 1950 Federal Census, John C Densmore is 44 years old. He list his occupation Farming. He and Carmen have three daughters who remain at home; Joyce , Janice and Sarah (Ivora, 1940). In the 1958 Bay City Directory, John and Carmen are listed at 1300 Euclid Ave. John is a driver for Robt Gage Co. In the 1960 Bay City Directory, John is still working as a driver for Robert Gage Co but they now live at 509 Kelton.

Forty nine years ago, John C Densmore died in Bay City, Michigan. He is buried at Floral Gardens Cemstery in Bay City, Michigan.

John’s Obit reads “ John C. DensmoreJohn C. Densmore, 68, of 509 Kelton St., Bay City, died at Mercy Hospital Thursday, May 31. He was born in Ogemaw County May 26, 1905. He left Ogemaw at the age of 7 and went by wagon train to Clare County, and has resided in Bay City for the past 20 years. He was a retired truck driver. Surviving are his wife, Carmen (Williams); 2 sons, Jules Densmore, of Louisville, Ky., and Jerome Densmore, of Lake City, 3 daughters, Mrs. Don (Joyce) Russell of Beaverton, Mrs. Willis (Janice) Bennett, of Saginaw, and Mrs. James (Ivora) Miller, of Bay City; 16 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild; 1 brother, Alfred Densmore, of Coleman; 3 sisters, Sarah Stechow of Pontiac of Pontiac, Lila Decker of Coleman, and Thelma Sawdon of Pontiac. Two brothers, Alvin and Charles, are deceased. Funeral was Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m. at the Ambrose Funeral Chapel, with the Rev. Zina Bennett, of the United Methodist Church of Beaverton officiating. Burial was in Floral Gardens Cemetery, Bay City. Gladwin County Record dated 6-6/1973 Column – 5 Page – 2.


Rest in peace, John!

Love, Jan

John Chester Densmore is my first cousin twice removed. I do not have a picture of his tombstone yet but I will get one and update this blog when I do.

Tombstone Tuesday – May 24, 2021 – Jonathan Silverthorn

Jonathan Silverthorn tombstone, Woodhouse United Old Methodist Cemetery, Woodhouse Twp., Norfolk County, Ontario

Jonathan Silverthorn was born on January 14, 1791 in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. He was the son of George and Anna (Morgan) Silverthorn. They had six children; Agnes (1785), Morgan (1789), Jonathan (1791), William (1793), Nicholas (1795), George (1798). George and Anna and two of their children are listed in Rowan, North Carolina in the 1790 Federal Census. The Silverthorn family arrived in Canada prior to the the 1810 marriage of their son, Jonathan and the War of 1812. Anna died in Ontario in 1811 and George died eleven years later in 1822. It is obvious that they felt a loyalty to the British Monarch.

Jonathan married Phoebe Green in Townsend Township, Norfolk County, Ontario in 1810. They had nine children; Edith (1812), Elisha (1816), Rebecca (1818), Isaiah (1824), Ephraim (1824), Hiram (1826), Elizabeth (1828), Jeremiah (1830), John Wesley (1833).

Jonathan and Phoebe (Phebe Green) Silverthorn are listed in the Loyalist registry in Ontario.

One hundred and seventy three years ago, Jonathan died on May 24, 1849 in Norfolk County, Ontario. He is buried in the cemetery at Woodhouse United Church also known as Old Methodist Church.

Woodhouse United Church formerly Old Methodist Church

Rest in peace, Jonathan!

Love, Jan

Jonathan is my four times Great Grand Uncle. George Silverthorn and Anna Morgan are my 5 times Great Grandparents. I have four DNA connection thru Jonathan Silverthorn through Ancestry.