Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tombstone Tuesday – January 12, 2021 – Leah May Jester

Leah Mary Jester Bierig

Leah Mary Jester was born on July 16, 1890 in Kansas. Her parents were John Jacob Jester and Elizabeth Rade, John and Elizabeth had two daughter by the 1900 Census; Leah (1891) and Bertha (1899). John and Elizabeth state that they were born in Russia in the 1900 Federal Census. They lived in Deer Creek, Woods County, Oklahoma. The last name listed on the census is Rade but Leah’s marriage license states the last name is Jester.

Leah married Jacob Bierig on December 18,1907 at the age of seventeen in Garfield, Oklahoma. By the time of the 1910 Federal Census, Leah and Jacob are living in a boarding house in Enid, Garfield, Oklahoma with their one year old daughter, Pearl. Jacob states that he is a Farm Laborer and that he is a Naturalized citizen.

Special Thanks to Jay Jones on Ancestry for sharing this photo.

By the 1920 Federal Census, Jacob and Leah now have three children; Pearl,(1910) Walter (1912) and Ethyl (1917). They lived in Deep Creek, Oklahoma. Jacob is a farmer. Ethyl died on June 27, 1921. She is buried in the family cemetery. Pearl married Loran Reynolds on June 10,1927 in Garfield, Oklahoma. In the 1930 Federal Census, Jacob and Leah have four sons living with them; Walter (1891), Glenn(1924), Robert (1926) and Earl Dean(1928).

By the 1940 Federal Census, Jacob and Leah live in Seay, Blaine County, Oklahoma. They have four sons living with them. They are listed as Glenn Leroy, Bobbie Lee, Earl Dean, Ray Loren (1936). Jacob is a farmer.

Leah died thirty four years ago on January 12, 1987. She is buried in Bierig Cemetery in Major County, Oklahoma with her husband and daughter.

Rest in peace, Leah.

Love, Jan

Leah is the Mother in Law of a distant Crites cousin and not really related to me. Thanks to Jay Jones on Ancestry who shared Leah’s Photo and to the dedicated people who add tombstone and cemetery photos to

Tombstone Tuesday- January 5, 2021 – Charles S Densmore

Charles S. Densmore was born on December 23, 1864 to John and Sarah (Reynolds) Densmore in Mount Clemens, Michigan. He was the fifth child born of ten children; Elizabeth M. (1857), William A. (1859), George E. (1861), Alice V. (1863), Charles S. (1864), Effee M. (1867), Norman A. (1869), Delbert D. (1871), Worthy L. (1873), Harvey R. (1882).

He married Mary Morgan Hayner in Port Lambton, Canada on March 27, 1889. Charles and Mary had eleven children; Addie Mae (1890), Nomer (1893), Charles Ray (1894), Elizabeth L. (1897), Dorothy S. (1901), Jay Morgan (1903), John Reynolds (1905), Harry Hayner (1908), Mary Kathryn (1910), Allan Glen (1912), Alvin Chester (1912). Nomer and Alvin both died as infants.

1915 Family Photo – Standing from left to right: Jay Morgan, Elizabeth, Charles Ray, Addie, Dorothy
Front row and seated left to right: Mary Katherine, Mary Morgan Hainer, Harry Morgan, Charles S Densmore holding Allan , John Reynolds

In the 1900 Federal Census Charles occupation is listed as day laborer and he and his family live in East China Township, St Clair County, Michigan. In the 1910 Federal Census, Charles and his family are in Cottrelville, St Clair County. Their adult daughter Addie and her husband Andrew Anderson are living with them and Anna Ehard . She is 16 years old. Charles was doing farm labor in 1910. In the 1920 Federal Census, Charles and family are listed in Marine City, Ward 3. They now own their home. Charles is working as a carpenter in the shipyard and builds houses. Six of the Children remain at home and Dorothy Hayner (Mary’s Mother) is living with them.

By the 1930 Census, Charles lists his occupation as a Sexton of the Marine City Cemetery. They have two adult children living with them, Charles Ray Densmore and Mary K and Arthur Kammer with son Richard. Allan Densmore is still living at home at the age of 17. In the 1940 Federal Census, Charles is 75 years old and still working as the sexton of the Marine City Cemetery. In the census, it is revealed that that Charles had a 3rd grade elementary school education. He was quite an accomplished man for only having a 3rd grade education.

Seventy eight years ago, on January 5, 1943, Charles S Densmore died at his home on Delina Street in Marine City. His Obituary read ; Charles suffered a heart attack and died at his home on Delina Street early Monday evening, January, 5th, 1943. As a young man he sailed and operated a farm. Later he became a sexton of the Woodlawn Cemetery in Marine City.. He was an active member of the volunteer fireman for 51 years.

The obit states that he was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery but he is actually buried in Rose Hill Cemetery with his wife and several of his children.

Rest in peace, Charles,

Love, Jan

Charles is my Great Grandfather on my Mother’s maternal side of the family. This “Tombstone Tuesday” was published on a different blog site.

Tombstone Tuesday – December 22, 2020 – David Minor Boyer


David Minor was the son of Valentine and Nancy Jane (Leet) Boyer born on March 31, 1849 in Rose Center, Michigan. Valentine and Nancy had six children; Amy(1843), Dennison (1845), Austin (1848), David Minor (1849), Sarah Ann (1852), Elizabeth (1857). Valentine was a farmer in Rose Township, Oakland County, Michigan. In the 1850 Federal Census, Valentine and Nancy had four children living with them; Amy, Dennison, Austin and David.

In the 1860 Federal Census, David is listed as a nine year old but he is really closer to eleven years old. Valentine and Nancy have six children with the addition of two daughters; Amy (Nora), Dennis, Austin, Davis, Sarah Anna (1853), Elizabeth (1856).

David M. Boyer was married twice. His first marriage was the Rhetta Blowers. She was born in Wisconsin. The marriage likely occurred around 1875 but I am unable to find a marriage record. They had two children; Edith (1778) and Henry P (1876).

In the 1880 Federal Census, I find Austin Boyer, his first wife, Aritt and their son Lennie, David and Rhetta and their two children living in Rose Township with Valentine and Nancy. Rhetta died in 1883. He married Eunice White on April 4, 1886 in Oakland County, Michigan. The Boyer brothers, Austin and David married White sisters, Mary Florence and Eunice. For both Boyer brothers, this is a second marriage.

The next available Federal Census is the 1900, By that time, Eunice and David have had six children; George (1884), Nellie (1887), Daniel (1889), Clarence (1890), Flossie (1895) and Celia (1898). Nancy Boyer is living with David and Eunice. She is an eighty six year old widow who is blind. George is likely the last child born to Rhetta and David since he was born before Eunice and David were married. His older siblings have married and are living on their own. On November 14, 1905, David and Eunice had a son, named David Valentine. David Valentine died on March 7th, 1906 at the age of 5 months.

By the 1910 Federal Census, David and Eunice have their three youngest children still living at home; Clarence, Flossie, Celia. By the 1920 Federal Census, David and Eunice are living alone in Pontiac, Michigan.

Ninety three years ago on December 22, 1927, David Minor Boyer died in Highland, Michigan. He is buried in the Boyer family plot in Beebe Cemetery in Rose Township, Oakland County, Michigan.

Rest in Peace, David.

Tombstone Tuesday – December 15, 1966 – Walt Elias Disney

Walt Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the son of Elias and Flora (Call) Disney. Elias Charles and Flora Disney had five children; Herbert Arthur (1888), Raymond Arnold (1890), Roy Oliver (1893), Walter Elias (1901), Ruth Flora (1903). Walt Disney taught himself to draw at a young age. In the 1910 Federal Census, Elias and Flora Disney and their children are found in Marceline, Missouri. They have three children living with them ; Roy, Walter and Ruth. Walter is eight years old in 1910. When he was sixteen years old in 1917, Walt lied about his age and joined the American Red Cross Ambulance Corps and served in WW1. When he was mustered out at the end of World War I, he set up shop as a commercial artist in Kansas City, Missouri. There he was introduced to the profession of animation, which he found he excelled at.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Walter is living with his brothers, Herbert and Roy and Herbert’s family in Kansas City, Missouri. Walter lists his occupation as a commercial Artist/Cartoonist. In 1923, Walt moved to Los Angeles to live near his successful brother, Roy Disney. On July 13, 1925, Walter married Lillian Marie Bounds in Nez Perce, Idaho. Walt and Lillian had two daughters; Diane Marie (1933) and Sharon Mae (1936).

In the 1930 Federal Census, Walter and Lillian Disney are living in Los Angeles. Walter is a Producer in the Motion Picture Industry.

In the 1940 Federal Census, Walt and Lillian are listed in Los Angeles. They have two daughters; Diane and Sharon. They also have several employees listed in the census; Olive A Smith who is a nurse, Almyr B. Buddhie who is a butler and Verda Buddhie who is a cook. Walter’s occupation is listed as Motion Picture Producer.

Walt’s Bio from Findagrave:

Walt Disney began drawing commercially, making a modest living by drawing for the “Alice” series of cartoons, about a live action girl who travels to the world of animated cartoon animals. In 1927, his first really successful commercial cartoon, featuring ‘Oswald the Rabbit’, became a success, but he lost the rights to the character when sued by his distributor. From then on, he insisted on owning the distribution rights to his creations. In 1928, Walt Disney created ‘Mickey Mouse’. His third ‘Mickey Mouse’ film, “Steamboat Willie,” was the first animated cartoon motion picture to use synchronized sound and became an overnight success. He was the voice of the character for the first ten years of the cartoon. In 1934, Disney pioneered the first full length cartoon movie, “Snow White”, and again, critics were overcome by the sheer popular response of the public to the movie. In 1950, he produced his first live-action film, “Treasure Island,” and in 1955, he opened his first theme park, “Disneyland”. Prior to his death in 1966 in Los Angeles, California, of lung cancer, he began work on his latest theme park in Orlando, Florida: “Walt Disney’s World”. His brother, Roy, the business genius behind the scenes, continued to run the company, and decades after Walt Disney’s death. Shortly after his death, the Disney Company executive board was shown a short film that Disney made just before his death, where he addressed each board member by name, telling him what he expected of him, and ending the film by saying “I’ll be seeing you.” Walt Disney was one of the few Americans to be honored with a United States postage stamp issued less than two years after his death (the United States Postal Service prefers to issue stamps at least ten years after a person has died; an exception is made for United States presidents), when a 6 cent stamp was issued in September 1968 in his honor.

Fifty-Four years ago today, Walter Elias Disney died on December 15, 1966 in Burbank, California. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Rest in peace, Walter. You live on everyday making children and adults happy when they visit your theme parks around the world.

Love, Jan

Walt E. Disney is a ninth cousin once removed. I would not normally use a cousin who is so distantly related but since it was Walt…. I decided he should be honored here too!

Tombstone Tuesday – December 8, 2020 – Elizabeth McGoogan Clark

Elizabeth McGoogan was the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth McGoogan born on August 30, 1812 in Unity, Pennsylvania. Robert and Elizabeth had eleven children; Jane (1804), Rachel (1808), Sarah (1811), Elizabeth (1812), Clementine (1815), John (1815), Robert 1820), Mary Ann (1822), William (1823), Angeline(1827), Joshua (1828). The McGoogan family lived in Unity which is located in Westmoreland County, in western Pennsylvania. By the 1820 Federal Census, Robert and his family are now in Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio. They have ten children.

Elizabeth McGoogan married Daniel Clark in Harrison County, Ohio on April 13, 1833. In the 1840 Federal Census, Daniel and Elizabeth remain in Harrison County, Ohio. They have 5 children; two sons under 5 years of age, one son who is over 5 but under nine and a daughter under five. By the time of the 1850, Federal Census, Daniel and Elizabeth had moved their family to Lafayette Township, Allen County, Indiana. Daniel and Elizabeth are listed with seven children; Charles (1834), Sarah J., (1835), William (1836) , Robert (1838), Benjamin (1843), Sarah/Sophia (1846) and Mary(1850). Daniel is a Carpenter.

By the time of the 1860 Federal Census, the Daniel Clark family lists four children; William, Robert, Benjamin, Sarah J. and Sophia (She was transcribe as Sarah in the 1850 Census.). Daniel list his occupation as a farmer. Daniel died in 1866. In the 1870 Federal Census, Elizabeth Clark and her son Benjamin are living in Zanesville. Elizabeth is a widow. There is also a nine year old Mary Hardin living with them. Her relationship to Elizabeth and Benjamin is not defined. Benjamin is farming. In the 1880 Federal Census, Elizabeth Clark is listed in Zanesville Indiana as a widow.

One hundred and thirty nine years ago on December 8, 1881, Elizabeth McGoogan Clark died in Zanesville, Indiana. She was buried in Hoverstock Cemetery.

Rest in peace, Elizabeth!

Love, Jan

Elizabeth is my first cousin four times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – December 1, 2020 – Jennie L Carson White Davis Barnes

Jennie L. Carson was born in Ottisville, Michigan on April 10, 1878. She was the daughter of William Henry and Eleanor (Bouttell) Carson. William Henry and Eleanor had four children; Harriet (1876), Jennie (1878), Charles (1880 -1900), Ruby(1882-1900). In the 1880 Federal Census, (William) Henry and Eleanor live in Thetford Township, Genesee County, Michigan. They have three children; Harriet, Jennie, Charles. William Henry Carson lists his occupation as farmer.

Jennie married Britton White on August 7, 1899. In the 1900 Federal Census, a twenty two year old Jennie is living with her husband Britton in the third ward of Flint on Beach street. They have an infant son, William White. Britton and Jennie were divorced on June 10, 1901 in Genesee County, Michigan. The picture below is a darling photo of Jennie and her son William H. White.

Photo from Wendy Kerbs on Ancestry

On March 13, 1902, Jennie Carson White married Floyd T. Davis. By the time of the 1910 Federal Census, they are found living in ward one in Monroe, Michigan on Eighth Street. Floyd is a Machinist for Weis Manufacturing Company. They have two sons; William and Gilbert. William is listed as Davis not White which would make me think that he was adopted by Floyd.

In the 1920 Federal Census, Jennie and Floyd are found in Ferndale, Oakland County, Michigan. They live on Beuhla Street. Jennie is a clerk in a Dry Goods Shop. Floyd is selling Real Estate , William is a farm hand, and Gilbert is attending school.

Jennie filed for divorce from Floyd and it was granted on August 28, 1926. By the 1930 Census, William has married Florence Losee. Jennie is living with William and Florence on Newport Street in Detroit, Michigan. Jennie married James Henry Barnes after her divorce from Floyd Davis and became Jennie L Barnes.

Photo by Patrick Caram from Ancestry

This photo is from the 1952 wedding of Jennie’s Granddaughter, Harriet Davis to William Caram so it is safe to say that they married prior to that. Jennie is on the left, and James Barnes is on the right with the happy newlyweds in the center. I hope that this last marriage was the marriage that Jennie dreamed of after two divorces. At this time I am unable to find this marriage certificate.

Photo by Wendy Kerbs from Ancestry

The date of this photo is unknown and I received it because a cousin, Wendy Kerbs, shared it on Ancestry. This is how I remember Aunt Florence and Uncle Bill Davis looking in the 1960’s when they visited us. This appears to be a Mackinaw Island trip which William and Florence took with Jennie.

Fifty years ago today on December 1, 1970, Jennie died most likely in Detroit. I have been unable to find death certificate, or any burial information. (I will continue to work on it. When I get the information I will update it here. I kept working on this today thinking that I would find it.)

Rest in peace, Jennie wherever you are.

Love , Jan

Jennie Carson White Davis Barnes is the Mother-in Law of my Great Aunt Mary Florence Losee Davis

Edmund Fitzgerald – November 10, 1975

I will never forget forty five years ago when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank. I live in Michigan and Great Lakes shipping industry is very important to the states that border the Great Lakes. My Grandfather and his sons, my Uncles, worked on the Great Lakes for many years. They had moved on to different careers by 1975 but we still felt that heart tuck when we saw a freighter just as my Grandmother did when her husband came back home after being at sea.

In 1975, I was a young mother of one son. My husband and I had bought our first home and I was redecorating the kitchen. The previous owner had put contact paper on the kitchen walls, NOT wallpaper, contact paper. It was a nightmare to remove. I was listening to the radio when they announced that the ship had sank. I was stunned could hardly believe it. “Those big freighters don’t sink. ” I thought. In all my life I had never heard of a freighter sinking. I began to cry not for anyone I knew but for the crew of 29 that I did not know.

For the next few weeks, I read everything I could find about the Edmund Fitzgerald. In the ensuing weeks, Newsweek wrote an article which inspired songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot to write his most famous song, “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” .

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ship’s bell rang
Could it be the north wind they’d been feelin’?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too
T’was the witch of November come stealin’
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin’
When afternoon came it was freezin’ rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin’
“Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya”
At seven PM, a main hatchway caved in, he said
“Fellas, it’s been good to know ya”
The captain wired in he had water comin’ in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they’d have made Whitefish Bay
If they’d put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the maritime sailors’ cathedral
The church bell chimed ’til it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early”

The song was released a few weeks after the ship sank. For a very long time I could not help but cry when I heard the song and to this day, I still get goosebumps.

Tonight, on the forty fifth anniversary, we have a storm racing across Lake Michigan. The weathermen predicts for several hours tonight gale force winds on Lake Michigan with the possibility of 85 mile an hour gust and sustained winds of 50 miles an hour.

There are no ships in Lake Michigan tonight but several nearing Mackinaw. The storm will race across our state tonight rather quickly and when it hits land, the winds will diminish some before it races across Lake Huron in the wee hours of the morning.

There are three northbound ships headed into the path of the storm. Hopefully they will wait it out in the St Mary’s river for a time and let the storm pass but the movement of goods is important to their business and they have a schedule to keep.

So tonight I will pray for the 29 crew member who were lost forty five years ago and for the crew members on the ships who are headed into the path of the storm.

Love, Jan

(Will do my regular Tombstone Tuesday next week.)

Tombstone Tuesday – November 3,2020 – Sarah Elizabeth Densmore Stechow

Sarah Elizabeth Densmore was the daughter of Norman and Cora (Hamacher) Densmore. She was born in West Branch Michigan. Norman and Cora had seven children; Charles (1901), Norman (1904), John C (1906), Sarah E. (1908), Lila M (1908), Thelma (1911), Alfred (1915)

In the 1910 Federal Census, Norman and Cora are found in Klacking, Ogamaw County Michigan with five children; Charles, Norman, John C, Sarah E and Lila M. Norman is a farmer. By the 1920 Census, Norman and Cora are living in Gladwin. He remains in farming. They have six children living with them Charley, John C, Sarah, Lila, Thelma (1911) and Alfred (1915).

By the 1930 Federal Census, Sarah is working as a clerk in a retail store in Clare Michigan where she remain living with her parents and the remain siblings who are still at home.

Sarah Densmore became the second wife of Lloyd William Stechow. They were married in Pontiac on the 16th of February, 1939 by Rev. H. L. Sheffield. They lived in Pontiac, Michigan. Lloyd’s first wife, Vada died in 1938.

In the 1940 Federal Census, Sarah and her new husband Lloyd live at 2221 Opdyke Road in Pontiac. Sarah is employed by Fisher Body as a seamstress. She was sewing seat covers for Automobile seats.

In the 1945 Pontiac City directory, Lloyd and Sara are listed and they are employed at Fisher Body. In the 1960 Pontiac Michigan directory Sarah remains in Pontiac. She is now a widow.

Sarah and Lloyd had one son for certain. Lloyd and Vada had one son, Donald Lloyd who died shortly after he was born. I also saw a reference to a newspaper notice of a marriage which indicate that Barbara Stechow , daughter of Lloyd Stechow married David Harrison. I have been unable to verify this information due to the recent nature of this information.

Twenty two years ago today, November 3, 1998, Sarah Elizabeth Densmore Stechow died in Waterford, Michigan. She is buried at the Perry Mount Park Cemetery according to online researchers. When I browsed for her in the Perry Mount Park Cemetery on, I did not find an entry. There are over 9000 graves in this large cemetery.

Rest in peace, Sarah!

Love, Jan

Sarah E. Densmore Stechow is my first cousin two times removed.

When I obtain a tombstone picture or can otherwise verify some of the family information, I’ll update this post.

Tombstone Tuesday – October 27, 2020 – Clarissa Blake Densmore

Did you notice? I am struggling this week! The chatter about the election is deafening….. my brain can’t focus….Covid is on the rise…people are dying…. And here I am writing about people who I never knew but it feels like I do and I should. I am filled with bits of them in my own dna. They shared the essences of their cells with me…and I will share with those who come after me… Long after me ! So here I sit trying to put the pieces of a life together.

Every where I looked this week I found very little usable, reliable, verifiable information. Clarissa Blake is my three times Great Grandmother. Some people believe that she was born in Canada. Others think she was born in England. The year was likely 1819. I have no idea who her parents were. I spent time looking for Blakes in the areas that I know that she lived. There were a few but no information that would tie Clarissa to them… So for now she stands alone.

Clarissa Blake married John Dingman on May 6, 1835 in Whitby, Ontario according to On Ancestry, the marriage record shows fairly clearly “ Dinsmore” but was transcribed as Dingman. (Densmore, Dinsmore and Dunsmoor are all associated with this family at one time or another. The marriage was witnessed by Margaret Thomson and Daniel Way. So I searched around this week to see if there was a Margaret Blake? Maybe her sister…but found nothing. When John had arrived from Ireland is also a state of confusion. He was thought to have arrived as a 24 year old clerk in 1838…three years after his marriage?? How can that be?

So here is what is known. John and Clarissa had six children; Nancy (1836), John (1839), William Thomas (1842), Mary Perry (1843), James (1849), Caroline (1852).

I find the Densmore family in the 1851 Canadian Census in Whitby, Ontario with 5 children; Nancy, John, William, Mary, Jane. The records lists the last child, Jane as a female, not a misspelled James…even though this is more likely according to most researchers.

We do find death records for some of the children which indicate that their parents were indeed John Densmore of Ireland and Clarissa Blake including my two times Great Grandfather, John Densmore. I find a marriage records for James which identifies that his father as John Dunsmoor and his wife as Clarissa Smith? I find a marriage record for Caroline Rebecca to an Archibald McKechnie which identified her parents as John Dunsmoor and Clarissa.

So even though the information is mixed today I write about Clarissa Blake Densmore, my 3 times Great Grandmother who died one hundred and forty five years ago on October 27, 1875. I wish I knew for sure where she was buried but I don’t. Someday when the border with Canada reopens, I ‘ll go spent time with my cousin, Corlene Taylor in Canada and see if we can clear up some of this information . I’ll update you all then!

Rest in peace, Clarissa!

Love, Jan