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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What happened to Baby Louise?

Louise Mary Valley abt six months old
Up until recently I had a little girl, Louise Mary Valley, living with my Great Grandparents, Stanley and Lillian Lardie.  That's how Louise showed up on the census.  I had one of those moments where it finally occured to me that Louise's last name was Valley, not Lardie, not to mention I knew she wasn't my grandma's sister...or at least I hadn't heard of her from Grandma.  When I asked my Grandma about her, all she could remember was vague details.  So I set off to find out who Baby Louise was.

Louise as a toddler
I actually discovered who Baby Louise's parents were when I came across the article about John Peter Valley's death.  John was killed from injuries resulting from a car accident on 26 October 1917.  In the article is lists that John is survived by one daughter, Louise.  I found John and Louise's death certificates online at Seeking Michigan.  Louise's death certificate lists her parents as John Valley and Mildred Evans.  I also found that Louise was born 10 January 1912 and died 23 December 1920.

I knew from previous research that Mildred, or Millie as she is frequently listed, was John Peter Valley's wife.  Another search of Seeking Michigan's website revealed the Millie died from complications due to childbirth seven days after Louise was born.  Again this information was obtained from Millie's death certificate online at Seeking Michigan. 

Louise about age 8, I believe this was taken the summer before she died
So the sad death of both parents explains why baby Louise came to live with my Great Grandparents.  Sadly Louise contracted diptheria and died at eight years old.  At the same time my Great Grandparents, Stanley and Lillian's oldest son, John George, also died of complications of diptheria.  Baby John died on 18 Decemeber 1920, only seven months old.   Louise and John George were both laid to rest in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Mapleton, Grand Traverse County, Michigan in the family plot. 

The Lardie/Valley family plot in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Mapleton, Michigan

A closeup of the plaque on the center of the cross with the names of the family members buried in the plot. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday

Lyndell Burdette Sanderson
b. 26 June 1907 Weidman, Isabella County, MIchigan
m. Amber June Manigold 23 Feb 1929 South Bend, Saint Joseph County, Indiana
d. 24 Aug 1940 Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan
buried Oakwood City Cemetery, Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Family Affair

For those of you that remember my top ten things I cannot research without, my number one was my husband. Well I was reflecting today as we were packing up the kids, age 5 and 20 months, into the family van and off to search for Findagrave.com requests, on how much my love for genealogy has become a family affair. My daughter, 5, gets really excited when we drive by a cemetery and says, with much enthusiasm, “Mommy, Look! Genealogy!” Both my children have taken first steps in cemeteries and I even have a photo of my daughter at a younger age in a local rural cemetery.

My husband has always been very good at spotting headstones in cemeteries when we are looking around for headstones, that skill I attribute to 10 years as a police officer.

Now my son, 20 months, spends time with mommy at the library and in cemeteries. He even has taken to having his own research forms and his crayons and filling in his own “research”. As an infant my son spent many society meetings snoozing in his car seat carrier and being oogled by the women of the society.

I hope to pass on at least some of the curiosity that I have for my family history to my children and to ignite their own passions for whatever hobbies that they choose, even if it isn’t genealogy. Heaven forbid!  Most of all I just want my children to have good memories of family times together when they are older, even if they don't appreciate it until they are adults. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday

Stanley (Wheeler) William Wood
b. 11 August 1893 Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York
m. Lillian Helen Lardie 9 June 1919 Mapleton, Grand Traverse County, Michigan
d. 17 Dec 1960 Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan
buried St. Joseph's Cemetery, Mapleton, Grand Traverse County, Michigan

Traverse City Record Eagle

Monday, December 19, 1960

 Stanley Wood Taken by Death
Page 7

                Stanley W. Wood, 67, of Traverse City R. 1, died at Munson hospital later Saturday morning after suffering a heart attack at a Traverse City store.
                Son of Mr. and Mrs. George Wood, he was born August 11, 1893, in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, N.Y. and came to Traverse City in 1915.  He had been and employe[e] of the Grand Traverse county road commission for the past 30 years.
                Mr. Wood was a Traverse City fireman for four years and at the time of his death was the chief of the Peninsula township volunteer fire department.
                He served in France with headquarters company of the Second Field Artillery in World War I and was a member of Peninsula township’s Garland-Tompkins Post 339 of the American Legion.