Saturday, June 30, 2012

Getting Grandpa Out of Prison

I am sorry to say, but in my last blog post about my grandfather, Edwin D. Brown, I transcribed his prison entry record, and left him there while I went off to investigate all the interesting facts that were brought to light. With the dates and place given, I was able to find several accounts of the burglary, arrest, and conviction in the Gladwin County Record newspaper at the Library of Michigan. The first article was published in the January 10, 1896 edition and was titled "Bold Burglars". It gave full details of the crime, arrest, and evidence of several previous burglaries by Edward (sic) Brown and Charles Stockford.

In the next weekly newspaper another article titled "Robbers Roost" told of late developments in the case including new depredations committed by Brown and Stockford, but the most interesting part of this article for me was the following; "Mrs. Clark, of Vassar, mother of Brown, was in Gladwin Saturday, and took Brown's two children to her home. Brown's mother is a minister of the gospel, and is connected with the Free Will Baptist church, having charge of a circuit in Sanilac county."

My next step was to revisit the Tuscola county records. I did find death certificates for Grandpa's first wife, Clara (Mosher) Brown and his mother, Wealthy Ann (Whitmore) (Brown) Clark. Both of them died in 1897 while he was still in prison. Clara would have been 21 years old, but as she was an inmate of the county home, there was no one to speak for her and the rest of the record was marked "unknown". Her parents names were on the marriage certificate so I looked at their Death certificates and both had already died of T.B. I suspect that was also the cause of Clara's death.Until I can get into the birth records of Tuscola County I cannot find the children of Edwin and Clara. The only one that I know about is Curtis who, according to the records I have,was born about 1893. If Edwin's mother picked up his two children, one of them disappeared before Grandpa was released from prison.

Yes, he was paroled and I have his parole certificate signed by Governor Hazen S.Pingree. My next post will explain what I learned from the certificate that solved the big problem I had about how my grandfather from southern Michigan met and married my grandmother from West Prussia in who immigrated to the Houghton-Hancock area in the Upper Peninsula.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What I Did On My Spring Vacation

Every once in a while I need a vacation from genealogy. It reminds me that there are other things going on in my life like a husband, three daughters, six grandchildren, two sons-in-law, three step-grandchildren, and one step-great-grandchild. Does that qualify my husband and me for being great-grandparents?

I also took time to prepare for our semi-annual move to our cottage on the beautiful shore of Lake Huron where, on a clear day, we can see the Mackinaw Bridge and watch the lake freighters go by. Because we face north, we also can see the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises, and occasionally, the northern lights.

All three of our daughters and one of their girlfriends decided that their "elderly" (their definition-not mine) parents needed help moving. Because it happened that the only time they could all get away was Mother's Day weekend, I had the rare treat of having all three of my girls with me to celebrate the day. And, I have to admit they were a big help in moving. They even ran the vacuum cleaner and dusted and, of course, cooked a few meals. They are all Food Channel fans.

I couldn't resist looking myself up on the 1940 Census. Since I remembered my address in Detroit, Steve Morse's one step gave me the ED number so I didn't have to wait for Detroit to be indexed. I did some genealogy "pay back" by doing a few pages of indexing through the Family Search program. I also wrote an article for Vintage View (our Rochester Hills senior newspaper which publishes quarterly and reaches about 2,000 people). The article was not about genealogy this time but about the Rochester-Avon Historical Society new website that uses a Google map to show locations of many historical sites and their history.

I confess, I also played numerous games of Spider on my computer. Then I took some time for recreational reading. We have a wonderful library in Cheboygan and if they don't have the book you want, they can usually find it in their consortium and have it for you, often within a day or two. Since I went on vacation, I have read at least seven books--none of them having anything to do with genealogy. Now, however, I have decided I have ignored my blog for too long and it is time for me to get back to my grandfather's story.