Dating An Early Grand Rapids Photo

I love the following glimpse into Grand Rapids' past.  Taken at 9:30 according to the tower clock in the background it is a northwestern look down Monroe Center toward the Pantlind Hotel. The photo is now in the public domain.  It was taken by the Detroit Publishing...

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Finding the Father of Betty DeYoung Part 1

Betty Jane DeYoung 1921-2009 Mystery Photo that Pauline carried with her for many years.  Why? 9 September 1921 On the 9th day of September 1921, my paternal grandmother Betty Jane was born to Pauline Mastbergen.  Betty took the surname of her mother due to her being...

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Michigan’s 1894 Census Substitute

The 1890 Federal Census was destroyed by a 1921 fire at the United States Commerce Department in Washington D.C.   What was not incinerated was flooded with the water used to extinguish the fire.  A plethora of irreplaceable genealogical information was lost that day....

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Early Grand Rapids News – Morning Telegram 1884-1886

The short-lived Grand Rapids Morning Telegram was founded 30 September 1884 as a Republican Daily (liberal).  No Sundays.  The paper was sold April 1886 and merged with Brezee’s Grand Rapids Herald to form the Telegram-Herald.  It was one of the first papers to...

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How to Find Buried Headstones

I love cemeteries. I’ll occasionally drive to a cemetery, park my car and walk along the paved or dirt roads. There is something very peaceful about the setting. Perhaps its my way of escaping the busyness of life… or perhaps it is because I enjoy the resident...

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Requesting Michigan Records of Insanity – My Proposal

At the time of this writing in the State of Michigan many patient records from the various mental institutions across the State are housed at the Michigan Archives in Lansing, Michigan. Unfortunately… you can’t view them.  Patient records are closed to the public. In...

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How to Find “Missing” Michigan Birth and Death Records

Birth and Death records in the State of Michigan began around January of 1867; however, these were in no manner enforced. It may very well be that you have a Michigan Ancestor that you know was born or died in Michigan around 1870 but can’t locate a death record. This...

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How to Request Your Michigan CW Soldier’s Service Record

The above pastel portrait of my 2nd Great Grandfather, James Pennington (1828-1903) hangs in the Cannonsburg Museum, Cannon Township, Michigan.  The author of this article borrowed the portrait, had it professionally photographed, and reproduced full-size.  It now...

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How to Locate Michigan Adoption Records

Adoption records in the State of Michigan are sealed and generally inaccessible to the public.  However, there are methods, allowed by Michigan Law, where an adoptee and/or direct descendant of an adoptee can request nonidentifying or identifying information...

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