Friday, June 08, 2012

The Story of Jesse Demott-Marshall, Michigan

I came across Jesse DeMott in my search for members of my extended family. I find myself often going down the ancestral tree branches of families that some have married into but that has no blood relations.This person leads to that person and then you find a newspaper article and you read it and want to find out what happened. That's the case with Jesse. No blood relation and I can't find how he fits into the rest of the Demotts but I saw where he got married.
But then there is no record for him but I did find one for his new wife 2 years later at the age of 19 she was a servant for a family. That meant she was only about 17 when she married Jesse.  Finally I found an article about his wife filing for divorce because he was cruel. Ok, that explains why she had to be a servant for a family. This was in 1910. Then I found this account of what happened.
Now I need to see if I can find out what happens to both of them. I know she must live from the pneumonia because she is filing for divorce and because I found a record in the 1910 US census listing her as a servant for a family. Totally waste of time except it is like reading a book with a good plot and do you think that is a waste of time?

Monday, June 04, 2012

Odd or Interesting Stories from Old #1

Researching is one of my loves and I come across some bizarre things from time to time. I decided to write them down and share. Some of local interest....or not.

Indiana Progress (Pennsylvania) Dec 1891

John McClurg, of Oil City, who during the
storm last week was knocked into a vat of
boiling water by a swinging door at the
Imperial Wax Works of that city, died Tuesday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bay-breasted Warbler-Blackpoll Warbler

Today gave us new lifer birds. After birding in Scott Park (which we saw the usual Hooded Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cedar Waxwing and others) we headed for Fry's Landing on this most beautiful afternoon. We were given a real treat when I spotted the Bay-breasted Warbler. We hadn't seen one before so it was really exciting. Getting a photo was hard with all the leaves out. But I got a few shots from my camcorder that I can share. Then we spotted our first Blackpoll Warbler. At first we thought we were seeing a Black and White Warbler but it wasn't acting like one. When it came out into the open I realized what it was. We saw two working the trees and bushes. With all the leaves out I could only get a tiny picture of one. We also spotted a Wilson's Warbler bouncing around. With all the leaves out now, it is really hard to spot birds. You see movement, a bit of color, and then they disappear in the leaves. So I'm thankful for the look we got at these beautiful birds today. I didn't get any decent pictures of the Blackpoll Warblers but not for the lack of trying.
Bay-breasted Warbler
Wilson's Warbler-his black cap doesn't show too much in this photo but he had a good one.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Canada Warblers are Plenty

More warblers are coming through. It's a great time of year. Today we took a really nice walk in Scott Park to show my mother-in-law some of the birds we have spotted. We saw several Canada Warblers as well as Indigo Buntings, Black and White Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, Wilson Warbler, Baltimore Orioles to name a few. We saw a Great Crested Flycatcher, and a White Crowned Sparrow. My mother-in-law loved the Indigo Buntings. They sure are pretty, especially when the sun hits them while they are flying. I only took a few photos today. I saw 3 warblers that I couldn't identify. They were some we were not familiar with. I wish I could have gotten photos of them but they were too quick.

Indigo Bunting

Female Magnolia Warbler

Great Crested Flycatcher

black and white warbler


Mother's Days come and go and even though I'm a mother, I really never think of it as my day. It was my mother's day. I miss her terribly. There was so many wonderful things that she would have loved to have been a part of that she missed. But I know she is in a better place. I miss you Mom. Marjorie Mary McCuaig 1926-1996

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our First Cape May and Nashville Warbler

My husband and I went out birding today in Scott Park and Presque Isle. At Scott Park we saw a number of Indigo Buntings, loads of Yellow Warblers, one Hooded Warbler, lots of American Redstarts and what we thought might be a Yellow-Breasted Chat. We just aren't sure and didn't get a picture. It had a yellow breast and a gray top and was a larger size than the warblers we saw. It had a loud not-pleasant call. When we got back to the car we listened to what their call sounded like and it seemed similar. We'll never know. Maybe we will go back and try and find it again. We left and went to Fry's Landing about 4 PM or a little later in the afternoon. Surprisingly, there wasn't anyone else there at first. Then we met Mike and started talking about birds. He was truly an expert on birds. I'm so glad we ran into him. What a nice guy! He walked us around Fry's Landing and pished out a Nashville Warbler and a Common Yellow Throat. He could name birds left and right that he heard. He knew all the birds by their calls. How wonderful to be able to do that! He heard a Scarlet Tanager but it didn't come in close enough to see. Mike also spotted the raccoon in the tree which my husband and I walked right by. Real birders are sharp and nothing gets past them. We learned so much from him on our chance meeting. It was getting late so we left and on the way out stopped at Thompson Circle. It was an evening gold mine. Our first Cape May Warbler and I got pictures! Not good pictures but good enough. We also saw Yellow-rumped Warblers,a Palm Warbler, a Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warblers (of course, so many of them) Black and White Warbler and even a Northern Waterthrush. For being past 6 PM and just sitting in the parked car near the brush at Thompson Circle we did pretty good finding birds. Here are my pictures and below them is the video of the birds.

Cape May Warbler (Thompson Circle Presque Isle)

Cape May Warbler (Thompson Circle Presque Isle)

Hooded Warbler (Scott Park)

Indigo Bunting (Scott Park)

Monday, May 07, 2012


The wait seemed forever until the migrating warblers would start coming through. That's my favorite time of the year (except for vacation!) The birds are here and they are beautiful! We spent a few hours on May 3, 5, and 6th walking the trails to see what would flutter around us. Without binoculars you probably wouldn't even notice those tiny little warblers hopping through the thickets and tree tops. They are ghostly movements that are gone before your eyes focus. But bring up a pair of good binoculars and they shine like gold. My favorite is the Magnolia Warbler. The Black Throated Green Warbler is gorgeous, too. Last year we saw lots of Black Throated Blue Warblers in Scott Park but I only saw one from a distance so far this year. We got serenaded by an American Redstart yesterday in Scott Park. What a beautiful bird they are, too. Next week is the Festival of Birds here in Erie. It is the one time we don't go to the peninsula. We like birding alone. We like quiet, just us and the birds. Each year, though, we are softening our stance on whether to go or not. The speakers would be very interesting. The one that is held in West Virginia has me interested, too, if it weren't for the rustic accommodations. We just aren't quite ready to do the festival thing. However, we did go to the Nature Pilgrimage in Allegany State Park in New York a few years ago. It was really interesting and we learned a lot. I saw my first Cuckoo bird there that day. Well here is the video that was salvageable from our outing showing some of the birds. The female Pileated was awesome. She really works the woods. The warblers are just horrible to try and film. They bop along and very seldom are still. The American Redstart was very cooperative, though.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The 1940 Census Results

The 1940s census did provide some surprises in my ancestry research. I got one last name of a child that was living with my grandfather and his new wife in Chicago. That last name gave me his new wife's last name before she married my grandfather and from there I found their marriage certificate using her name that I couldn't find before because it was indexed as Horman instead of Norman in the South Dakota marriage registry. And from there the information just came snowballing in. It looks like there was no children from that marriage and the only child was from the woman's previous marriage. There doesn't seem to be any half siblings to my dad and thus no new aunts or uncles in my family that I didn't know about. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I almost was excited that I may find some new relatives. There are still 4 years between 1940 and my grandfather's death (accidental shooting in a tavern when the bar owner was showing him his new gun in Chicago.) I guess those will be lost years. In 10 years when the 1950 census comes out, he won't be on it and his wife had remarried and moved. It will be hard to trace to see if there are some children with her. But I did find relatives from the message boards about my French Quebec roots that had moved to Bangor, NY and then to Wisconsin. They have photos. Lots of photos from the 1800s. My family had practically no photos. I'm going to meet one of my distant cousins when I take our vacation. We only have one day to visit and that includes the day I wanted to visit all the cemeteries Wahkon, Isle, Cove, Opstead, Princeton, Milaca and Hopkins, MN where my ancestors are buried. We'll be rushed for sure but it will be so great! Here is a photo of my sister and I on the front steps of my grandmother's (Grace Patterson McCuaig) house in Wahkon, MN back in the early 50s. My sister looks cute, I look extra chubby, the curse I fight every day of my life! At least I had shoes on. My mom told me I was a bean kid. I loved pork and beans and couldn't shovel them into my mouth fast enough. She said I'd scream for more as soon as the spoon came out of my mouth when I was a baby. That is all bean fat on that little body. Mothers, don't let your kids eat pork and beans! Maybe beans are the obesity problem in this nation. :-)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Hector High School 1945

This is another of my genealogy posts. Not of interest to locals, most likely, but to someone whose parents or grandparents graduated from Hector High School, Renville County, Minnesota, it may be the bees knees.

My late mom, Marjorie Seaman, graduated from Hector High School in 1945. We found her graduation photo in a box with other photos of which I have no idea who the people are. But I'm sure they are all from Minnesota and I'm determined to try and identify as many as I can so they are not lost to the ages. At least there are names under the students in this photo. I'm posting this photo because had I not had this photo I would have loved to come across it when researching my family.

This photo will be uploaded full size so you may need to scroll to see all of it. I put a watermark on it so Classmates dot com or that yearbook site don't steal it and try to profit from it. If you are a family member of one of the people in the photo just leave a comment and I'll email you the photo without the watermark on it to add to your ancestry tree. I did find some of the people in some of the records on ancestry dot com but I couldn't find but 2 family trees that had one of these students in them. Girls are hard to find because the maiden names are lost in the records.Some of the guys graduated and probably joined the military even after 1945 because the conflict was still going on against Japan. The Korean War then followed 1950 to 1953. All of these kids' high school years were wwII war years.



Tags: Ralph Wilkinson, Arvel Schafer, Arlyn Janke, W R Smythe, Lawrence Pfeil, Keith Duehn, Lloyd Broderius, Normandeane Johnson, Ruby Boss, Marjorie Seaman, Irene Hedberry, Eileen Johnson, Gloria Brede, Paul Wedin, Clinton Johnson, Ilo Mae Krueger or Krueyer, Robert Hanson, Marion Beske, LeRoy Taber, or Le'Roy Tabor, Arthur Newman, Lucille Peterson, Florence Precht, Lorraine Redmann, Donna Anderson, Frances Person, Phyllis Johnson, Inez Clark,

Monday, January 30, 2012

Presque Isle Bubbles

On our weekly drive around Presque Isle this past Sunday we visited the North Pier. Not one person on it. Not one fisherman. I think that is the first time we have been out there this winter where there wasn't someone braving the cold fishing.

It was a pretty dead day out there except for Mercyhurst girls running. It has to be hard running in the cold like that. Their lungs must hurt. Then we came upon some bubble makers. We stopped and watched a while. I think our blood pressure went down a few extra notches which normally happens anyway just getting out to Presque Isle. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This is great! I love that we are almost having a non existent winter.

I volunteered for "Find A Grave" which is a website where volunteers take photo requests from people for photos of a relative's headstone. People that do genealogy can find these headstones full of information. You can often find birth dates, death dates, who they are married to and their children buried in the same plot by the headstone and the area and sometimes there aren't free accessible records with this info on it so it can be very helpful. Or if someone can't visit a grave for some reason or another, they can, maybe, find some kind of comfort looking at a photo. I think most are for genealogy records, though.

Some photo requests take some detective work. I tramped all over Laurel Hill the other day looking for a specific headstone. Snow covered everything and I left without a photo on my first attempt at photographing for Find A Grave. Rain melted the snow that night and I ran out again the next day. It was wet and slushy and I froze my feet off. The map they have online is hardly useful as it only shows sections, not rows or plots. There are hundreds of graves in a section. I made it my day's exercise. Find it, though, I did. I went home and immediately posted the photos and soon after got a very nice thank-you note from the person who requested it.

It will be a pleasant experience when the weather changes to summer and the birds and flowers are all out. Even in the winter it is an outing to walk and read the headstones. So much history!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Finley, He Just Fell Over Dead

These ancestry entries are just something extra right now. I'll be back to posting my about other things soon.
As I said in my last post, I was set to cancel my free 14-day free trial of Ancestry dot com.  I couldn't do it. I am so hooked on it. I suppose it is just like the people playing that silly-looking farm game on Facebook that, thankfully, I never tried or those people that play for hours on end those X-box games.I love research.

Finley is the brother of my great grandfather. I couldn't find anything much but a listing in the census when he was younger. But then I found a clue. When Finley's father died only 5 of the 7 offspring were still alive to attend the funeral. The obituary listed the 5 still alive that attended. That gave me at least a smaller window of years to  search for Finley as he was not listed as one that was still alive. By his birth date he had to have been under 30 years old when he died. I narrowed the newspaper search and then started scanning just the front-page headlines of the archived online newspapers. I figured if he died under 30 years old it would have been front page news in that little town. And there is was! Yeah!  A 1902 headline that read,
"A Sudden Summons"
"Finley McCuaig Drops Dead at the
Home of His Parents in Greenbush
Monday Night."

"A Sudden Summons and His Untimely 
Death a Shock to His Folks 
and Many Friends."

The detail they go into in these old newspapers! The family gave a minute-by-minute report of his last minutes. The whole town probably wanted to hear all the details. The article goes on to tell of his trip out west where he contracted typhoid  and recovered earlier and how his travel mates had died of typhoid. It was just packed with info. Finley was no longer just a name without any info with it on my family tree. Here is the article. I know this doesn't interest most people. But for people doing ancestry this may be the tidbit they are looking for.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Ancestry and Archives

I took up on their 14-day free trial. I have been working continuously for 12 of those days, literally all day and night, going to bed at 6 in the morning sometimes and I'll cancel tomorrow so I don't get stuck paying for a year.(editor's note: I went ahead and subscribed, I'm addicted!) I made big strides in my family tree. But there are so many dead ends because they won't release the Census after 1930. Whoever transcribes those records to digitize them has an awful job. I always look at the original record to see what I think it really says because the transcriptions are wrong about 30 percent of the time with my family. I mean, how many ways can you misspell McCuaig?  There are plenty!! Man, all my life people have misspelled my name. And the records online are no better, from M'cuaig, M'Quag to McQuiage, McQuaig, McCuaide, MacQuade, to Mackeg, Macuaig, Macaig one record even had McCusag. Going through archived newspapers up to 1922 from Mille Lacs, Princeton and Bemidji areas in Minnesota was the most fun and I pieced the pieces together and solved a huge part of the puzzle.

My grandmother and grandfather 1915

I so enjoyed reading about my grandmother's wedding write-up in the newspaper archive I found online and how my great grand-uncle was mayor of Bemidji for 3 terms. This photo was before that time as he was running for County Commissioner in this photo.It is funny because when I spotted this photo I knew our family still carries some of the characteristics of our ancestors. I see a resemblence. I emailed it to my sister who laughed and agreed. Something about the shape of the head.

I read he was not re-elected as mayor after 1916 because he was accused of being a prohibitionist (though he told the newspaper reporter he was not, just holding up the laws of the land, whatever they were.) Obviously, people wanted to drink and they didn't vote for him.  I was so into these generations of past families of mine that I couldn't stop searching for more information about them and hours went by.  One night it was 1 AM and I found some tidbit leads for more information and decided to search until 1:30 AM and call it a night and the next thing I knew a blast of wind shook the house and knocked me out of the spell and I looked at the clock and 3 hours had passed and I had no idea of it. It was like I was enthralled in a movie.

Then there was the little newspaper write-up making fun of one of my ancestors who sold his "ancient bronchos" to some poor unsuspecting guy who was clearing his land and needing a team of horses.Hmm, where they shysters?

I read about my dad at the age of 6, in 1922, taking what was probably his first ride in an automobile, a 1922 National with 10 people inside with the children. My dad's uncle bought it. What a car! I can picture them riding down the bumpy road, there were no seat belts! This would have been really a special outing because most people in those way-out towns still used horses and most roads in that area weren't paved. The newspaper used to even write about somebody visiting an aunt in another town or if someone came to town to conduct business. That was how everyone kept up with the goings-on back then. No social media needed. The guy delivering the milk often stopped and gave the newspaper the scoop of what people had told him during the day of deliveries.He knew whom was visiting whom and other gossip of the day. My 2-week journey back in time is almost over. I will miss it. My husband will be glad I'm back home.

1922 National

My relative with the National, trading it in for a Chevrolet Baby Grand.
He must have told the milkman because it was put in the paper.

Walter Patterson and his wife Lenora Steinmetz Patterson
Walt was recruited to play professional baseball but he chose Nora instead.
I don't know which team.
I was very young and they were very old but I remember
them. They were happy and laughed a lot.