"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, November 27, 2010

There's One in Every Family!

The 100th Carnival of Genealogy topic is "There's One in Every Family".  When reflecting on this topic, many names come to mind.  The Loomis Gang, my 3rd Great Grandpa Wood, (I wrote about earlier this summer), and various other colorful characters. Although, one comes to my mind.  My Great Grandpa Stanley Wood. 

Stanley and His father, George C. Wood.
My Grandma tells me fondly of her father's days with the circus.  And not just any circus, the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. Grandma always speaks of great fondness of her father.  Apparently Stanley ran away from home when he was 15 and joined the circus.  (How many of us said we would od this at one time or another during our lives.)  Stanley worked with the elephants and horses.  One story she tells me is of Stanley taking the elephants down to the river to bathe them.  The townsfolk would come down to the river to watch the elephants and occasonally they elephants would spray the onlookers.  I've never been able to find any record of Stanley being part of Barnum and Bailey Circus, but I haven't done much intensive research on this.

Another interesting story about Stanley that I can confirm is that he was one of the founders of the Peninsula Township Fire Department in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.    I have a copy of the newspaper article about the formation of the department and I have a photo of the founding members of the department. 

1963 Members of Peninsula Township Fire Department-Harry Heller, Arnie White, Roy Hooper, Claude Watson, Isadore Lardie, Stan Wood, and Ray Heller. Not pictured is Oakley Lardie.
 So who is your one in your family?  I'd love to hear!  Don't forget to check out the Carnival of Genealogy on Facebook!

Happy Hunting!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oakwood Cemetery CD is finally available from GTAGS!

The long awaited Oakwood Cemetery CD is now available from the Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society!   There are a limited number of the CDs available and this is the most complete collection of information on Oakwood Cemetery!  See the info below from the GTAGS blog:

Oakwood Cemeteries CD-rom for sale!

Oakwood Cemeteries

is published and for sale!!!!

by Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society of Traverse City, Michigan

Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society has just released its third CD; this one covers the four Oakwood Cemeteries of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan burials. Oakwood, established in 1861, encompasses a total of four cemeteries: Traverse City, Catholic Diocese, Beth El Jewish and the Northern Michigan Asylum. The four cemeteries are all at the same location on E. 8th Street.

There are a total of 22,185 burials recorded with information that includes, if known, full name including maiden name, birthdate, death date, birthplace, cause of death, parents, military service, place of death and cause of death.

The price is: $35.00 plus $3.00 S&H. Send orders, with check or money order made out to GTAGS, to:


POB 2015

Traverse City, Michigan 49685 2015

For further information, email Kathi: kfarley40@charter.net, Cemetery Chair

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Lillian H. Lardie
My Great Grandmother as a small girl.  The photo was found in a box of old family photos.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you to all the men and women who have and who are currently serving in our armed forces!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Valley/Lardie Family Plot in St Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Mapleton, Michigan

Close up of the cross that marks the family members buried in the plot

Mary Elizabeth Deverney Valley
 Mary Elizabeth Deverney Valley
b. 11 Feb 1837, P. Eulia(?), Wisconsin
d. 3 Jun 1916 Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan
buried 6 June 1916 St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Mapleton, Grand Traverse County, Michigan
m. Isadore Valley
Find a Grave Memorial

mother to:
Rose Magdaline Valley
Mary Catherine Valley Lardie
Frances J. Valley
George H. Valley
John Peter Valley

I edited this post to include the link to the Find A Grave memorial that I created.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Growing up in Michigan and having the last name of Fitzgerald, I was frequently asked if my Grandpa's name was Edmund.  No, his name wasn't Edmund, it was Thomas.
SS Edmund Fitzgerald Courtsey of NOAA
The challenge this week for GeneaBloggers is to write about a song or poem that has some signficance to your ancestors of to the area where your ancestors lived.  For me "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" has always had a special interest even though, as far as I know, there is no relation between me and the famous ship's namesake.
The ship sank in Lake Superior in November during a storm.  It is unknown for sure what happened that illfated day, but all on board were lost.  I have visited the Whitefish Point Museum where several artifacts from the Fitzgerald have been brought up.  More information Here on the Fitzgerald.
The song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot, gives a haunting account of the sinking...

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they call 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 - 26,000 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 the 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 ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone 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 ruins 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 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

Deacon John Loomis
born 1622
died 1 Sept 1688 in Windsor, CT
buried Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, CT
The Son of Joseph and Mary (White) Loomis
Married Elizabeth (Scott) Loomis
Find a Grave Memorial

If the stone is still intact, it is believed to be the oldest Loomis headstone in the U.S.