Find A Grave Site Now at 19 Million Grave Records

I noticed over at Find A Grave that they now have 19 million grave records which you can search, in their non-famous grave area (for most of us, those would be where our ancestors are listed!).

When I first starting using this wonderful site over six years ago, I believe they only had about 5 or 6 grave million records. Even a year ago, when I presented a tutorial on using this site to the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, there were only about 13 million grave records! If you would like a copy of my syllabus from that presentation, please e-mail me (click on “View my complete profile” in the lower right-hand side bar to get my contact information).

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Obituary of Mahala (SAYERS) WILKINSON – 1937

VENERABLE LADY IS SUMMONED BY DEATH AT LUCHINI HOME

Mrs. Mahala Sears [sic] Wilkinson, 89 years old, died at the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Luchini, 115 Walnut street, at 2 o’clock Wednesday [2 Jun 1937] morning, following a critical illness which began with a heart attack last Saturday.

The aged lady had been in precarious health since July 8, 1936, when she was found to be suffering from a serious heart malady. She got along quite comfortably, however, until last week when the sudden heat wave brought on the condition which resulted in her death.

The body was taken to Whitehall [Muskegon Co.], Michigan, Mrs. Wilkinson’s old home, Wednesday morning, and the funeral and burial will take place there beside her husband, and among loved friends and scenes.

Mrs. Wilkinson was born July 8, 1847, at Prince Edward [County], Ont., and came to the States many years ago. She is survived by Mrs. Floyd Luchini, Alma; Mrs. George Lewis, Mrs. A. L. Ainger and John Wilkinson, all of Whitehall, and Fred Wilkinson, of Kelso, Wash. Mrs. Luchini has the sympathy of many Alma friends in her loss.

–from The Alma Record and Alma Journal, Alma, Gratiot Co., Michigan, Thursday, 3 Jun 1937, unknown page.
————————
Mahala was my paternal 3rd-great-grandmother, a Canadian immigrant, herself the child of Ulster Scot immigrants from Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. My paternal grandfather fondly remembered her from his early childhood. She used to run her finger down the slope of his nose and say, “Love is like this,” then run it back up, saying, “but marriage is like this!” I had some digital scans of photos of her with my grandfather and his younger brother taken around 1923 in Whitehall, and she appeared rather frail even then. Unfortunately, I did not know enough about re-writable CDs at that time, and those digital scans have been lost. The originals remain with my paternal grandmother in Texas.

This obituary gives me more detailed birth information (date and location) and a complete death date, than what I originally had. A photo of her tombstone in Oakhurst Cemetery, Whitehall, Muskegon Co., Michigan can be found at Find A Grave here.

More Online Michigan Resources – Clarke Historical Library

A couple of weeks ago, I was surfing online and ran a Google search to see if there is a website for the genealogical society in Lapeer County, Michigan (there isn’t). It turned out to be rather serendipitous, however, because while running the search, I came across the site of Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

If you have ancestors from Michigan (and not just the central lower peninsula), this website is a must-visit. The links that seem to be most useful for online research include “Web-Based Resources,” “Isabella County Obituary Index,” and “Resources in the Library > Material in the Library > local history material,” which lists the materials in their collection for each and every Michigan county. This is wonderful resource information, because you can e-mail the staff and ask for lookups and/or photocopies for a small fee.

I discovered that Clarke holds copies of the Alma Record and the Alma Record and Alma Journal for Gratiot County for the period of time in which my 3rd-great-grandmother, Mahala (SAYERS) WILKINSON, lived there with her daughter during the last years of her life. I requested an obituary lookup last week via e-mail, sent in my check for $2.25, and yesterday received it (it appears in the next post). I was overjoyed, because I had not been able to find a RAOGK volunteer who had access to these records!

Find A Grave Site Now at 19 Million Grave Records

I noticed over at Find A Grave that they now have 19 million grave records which you can search, in their non-famous grave area (for most of us, those would be where our ancestors are listed!).

When I first starting using this wonderful site over six years ago, I believe they only had about 5 or 6 grave million records. Even a year ago, when I presented a tutorial on using this site to the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, there were only about 13 million grave records! If you would like a copy of my syllabus from that presentation, please e-mail me (click on “View my complete profile” in the lower right-hand side bar to get my contact information).

Obituary of Mahala (SAYERS) WILKINSON – 1937

VENERABLE LADY IS SUMMONED BY DEATH AT LUCHINI HOME

Mrs. Mahala Sears [sic] Wilkinson, 89 years old, died at the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Luchini, 115 Walnut street, at 2 o’clock Wednesday [2 Jun 1937] morning, following a critical illness which began with a heart attack last Saturday.

The aged lady had been in precarious health since July 8, 1936, when she was found to be suffering from a serious heart malady. She got along quite comfortably, however, until last week when the sudden heat wave brought on the condition which resulted in her death.

The body was taken to Whitehall [Muskegon Co.], Michigan, Mrs. Wilkinson’s old home, Wednesday morning, and the funeral and burial will take place there beside her husband, and among loved friends and scenes.

Mrs. Wilkinson was born July 8, 1847, at Prince Edward [County], Ont., and came to the States many years ago. She is survived by Mrs. Floyd Luchini, Alma; Mrs. George Lewis, Mrs. A. L. Ainger and John Wilkinson, all of Whitehall, and Fred Wilkinson, of Kelso, Wash. Mrs. Luchini has the sympathy of many Alma friends in her loss.

–from The Alma Record and Alma Journal, Alma, Gratiot Co., Michigan, Thursday, 3 Jun 1937, unknown page.
————————
Mahala was my paternal 3rd-great-grandmother, a Canadian immigrant, herself the child of Ulster Scot immigrants from Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. My paternal grandfather fondly remembered her from his early childhood. She used to run her finger down the slope of his nose and say, “Love is like this,” then run it back up, saying, “but marriage is like this!” I had some digital scans of photos of her with my grandfather and his younger brother taken around 1923 in Whitehall, and she appeared rather frail even then. Unfortunately, I did not know enough about re-writable CDs at that time, and those digital scans have been lost. The originals remain with my paternal grandmother in Texas.

This obituary gives me more detailed birth information (date and location) and a complete death date, than what I originally had. A photo of her tombstone in Oakhurst Cemetery, Whitehall, Muskegon Co., Michigan can be found at Find A Grave here.

More Online Michigan Resources – Clarke Historical Library

A couple of weeks ago, I was surfing online and ran a Google search to see if there is a website for the genealogical society in Lapeer County, Michigan (there isn’t). It turned out to be rather serendipitous, however, because while running the search, I came across the site of Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

If you have ancestors from Michigan (and not just the central lower peninsula), this website is a must-visit. The links that seem to be most useful for online research include “Web-Based Resources,” “Isabella County Obituary Index,” and “Resources in the Library > Material in the Library > local history material,” which lists the materials in their collection for each and every Michigan county. This is wonderful resource information, because you can e-mail the staff and ask for lookups and/or photocopies for a small fee.

I discovered that Clarke holds copies of the Alma Record and the Alma Record and Alma Journal for Gratiot County for the period of time in which my 3rd-great-grandmother, Mahala (SAYERS) WILKINSON, lived there with her daughter during the last years of her life. I requested an obituary lookup last week via e-mail, sent in my check for $2.25, and yesterday received it (it appears in the next post). I was overjoyed, because I had not been able to find a RAOGK volunteer who had access to these records!

How Do You Spell Hartal?

If you saw Monday’s Spokesman-Review (story at the top link here), you may have seen the humorous front page photo of Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick and her team, “Crime and Punishment,” as Whitworth University professor Dr. Victor Bobb announced that they were the first to be eliminated from the Spokane is Spelling adult spelling bee. This fund raising event was held at The Big Easy Concert House last Sunday, October 21st, at 4:00 PM.

Three members of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society formed “The Genealogists” team in order to support the Spokane Public Library Foundation and get our society’s image out to the public. The team consisted of President Bill Hire, Distinguished Service Member and EWGS Bulletin editor Doris Woodward, and myself. We were very excited and a little nervous about participating. There were some well-known Spokane names and faces among both the participants and the audience, including Washington State Senator Chris Marr, Spokane Public Schools Board of Education President Christie Querna (participating), and Mayor Dennis Hession (audience). Directly behind us in line were Spokane Symphony Orchestra members Brenda Neinhouse and Don Nelson, with Maestra Eckart Preu…and were they ever a riot! When the word “requiem” came up for another team, the SSO team groaned. Of course, their team was not going to be lucky enough to get any of the music vocabulary as spelling words!

The first two rounds consisted of fifth- and sixth- grade words, to shake out our nerves and–as emcee Mike Gonzalez retorted–to see if we were “smarter than a fifth-grader”! Our first word was “party.” Easy enough. Rounds Three and Four brought harder words: “centaur” and “deterrent”. Then Round Five brought the challenge: “hartal”. Bill and Doris had conflicting spellings. They’re both sharp spellers, but on the pad we were supplied, Bill wrote h-a-r-t-o-l, while Doris had h-a-r-t-a-l. I was the team’s announcer, and we had 15 seconds from the time the word was announced and the definition given before we had to give the correct spelling. Together, we made a snap judgment, and chose Bill’s spelling. All we could say was that at least we were eliminated on a toughie!

We didn’t do too badly, getting knocked about about halfway through; there were 26 teams total. “The Pacific Northwest Inlander” team won, then had to compete among themselves for the final grand prize, a $1000 shopping spree at River Park Square, dinner for two at Fugazzi and an overnight stay in the penthouse suite at Hotel Lusso. Michael Bowen won with the word “urceolate”. Whew!