Rhoda J. Edwards Provost was a sister to my 3rd great-grandfather, John Edwards.  She lived to be 100 years old!!

Even though I didn’t find my ancestor mentioned in any of the newspaper articles I found on her family in Michigan, I was able to paint a clearer picture of their lives as children, moving from Ontario to Michigan, right before the Civil War (John lied about his age and enlisted).

Her obituary was found in The Times Herald from Port Huron, Michigan, dated 7 Nov 1946. Transcription follows.2016-12-05_0001Carsonville, Nov 7-Dec 29, 1941. Mrs. Rhoda Edwards Provost, more than 96 years old, told a Times Herald reporter that her hope was to live to be 100 years of age and that she confidently expected to see the end of the war, then just begun, with this country triumphant.
Mrs. Provost died Wednesday in the Chambers Nursing Home here, at the age of 100 years, after seeing both her hope and prediction become realities.
She was born in Lobo, Ont., Dec 29, 1845, and moved to Port Huron a few months prior to the historic shots on Fort Sumter which heralded the beginning of the Civil War.
Her first recollection of Port Huron was of a handful of houses crowded together in the dense forests which then covered this section of the state.
When 16 years of age, she married Peter Provost and a few years later the couple moved to Sanilac county, where she lived most of the time since. Her husband died in 1916. She moved back to Port Huron in 1924, where she made her home with a daughter for a time.
The aged woman well remembered when wolves were as common as other wild game in this area. Port Sanilac in those days was known as Bark Shanties, because the homes were made of wood and bark.
Mrs. Provost retained her vitality through the years and displayed a remarkable memory.
She is survived by four sons, Peter Provost, Sandusky, Samuel Provost, Port Huron, Frank Provost, Marysville, and William Provost, Flint; three daughters, Mrs. Nora Summers and Mrs. Blanche  Aimley, both of Port Huron, and Mrs. Lois Conklin, Sandusky, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday in the Latter Day Saints church. Elder William Rustin, Applegate, will officiate. Burial will be in Greenwood cemetery.
The remains are in the Hacker Funeral Parlors, Sandusky, until the services.

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Lyman Parks Weeks was my husband’s great-great grandfather’s younger brother.

He was walking home at 3 in the morning after a night of drinking, and he fell into a hole and got so wedged in that he ended up dying.   What a horrible accident.  The transcription of the article follows the copy of it.

On a side note, almost exactly a year after he died, his widow, Priscilla Galusha Weeks, married his nephew, Lyman Charles Weeks.



Special to the News.
SALIDA, Colo., July 20 – Lyman P. Weeks, an old-time resident of this city, engaged in painting and paper hanging, was found dead beneath a window of his home at 10 o’clock this forenoon by workmen employed in the construction of a business block nearby.
It is said Weeks was intoxicated when he started home at 3 o’clock this morning. He had evidently approached the window to wake his wife, and stumbling fell head-first into a three-foot hole just dug by the Colorado Telephone company, and in which a large pole was temporarily braced.
Weeks’ body was wedged in so closely that had he been sober the work of liberating himself would have been doubtful, An inquest will be held this afternoon.

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Do you ever use divorce records in your research? 

Everyone wants to hear that their ancestors were happily married and lived to celebrate their golden anniversary with their family and friends around them  That’s definitely not always the case though.

I’ve found a few divorces in my family tree – including a few in the 1800’s, which for some reason surprised me.  Why I have it in my head that people were more happily married 150 years ago is beyond me.

One of my great-great grandmothers was committing adultery in two counties and lost custody of her children.  Another of my ancestors left his wife and hadn’t been seen for years, so she was granted a divorce. I realized that if I didn’t have these records to explain the situation, I would have been wondering what had gone wrong. (Of course, we’ll never know all of the details,  but it’s nice to get a bit of information to help better understand the situtation).

The records were extremely helpful in giving information on property they owned, marriage dates, names and ages of children, and often the little details to daily life which are so exciting to us genealogists.

So, why have I put off ordering the divorce records for my great-grandparents, Lars Julius and Eugenia Bergman?  I guess it’s because they are a closer generation than the others I have used in the past.  Even though I never met them (they died 15-20 years before I was born), there are people who knew them that are still living and that somehow makes it different.  It makes me feel like I’m prying a bit.

Despite my initial misgivings, I went ahead and finally ordered the records.  It was incredibly easy (it was delivered as a 30-page PDF) and it gave me a surprising amount of information.Bergman Divorce2

The first thing I noticed when looking through the records is that Lars drank too much.  The reason I found this so interesting is that his own father had died of “excessive consumption of strong drinks” a month before Lars was born.  It makes me sad that he seems to have followed along the same path.

Also, I appreciated the description of their home life.  They had been married for almost 30 years when they divorced, so this wasn’t a sudden decision.  It sounds like the home situation wasn’t a very happy one. My grandma was 14 when her parents divorced, so that means that this was her childhood, and it didn’t sound like a happy one. 🙁

Bergman Divorce 1Some of the pages gave me information on my Grandma Eleanore.  She was attending the University of Washington, but was still unmarried and not working.

Bergman Divorce3
Lars was pretty far behind on child support payments. I wonder if she had any contact with her dad.  Did he ever visit?
Bergman Divorce4It looks like Lars was brought in for not paying child support in 1942.Bergman Divorce5His wages were going to be garnished.  This was helpful information for me, because I found out where he was working – The Standard Table Company.Bergman Divorce6All in all, I’m glad that I ordered the records. They’ve given me a bit more of a picture of their lives, even if it wasn’t all good.


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My 8th great-grandparents John Nicholas Blankenbaker and his wife, Appelonia Käfer were part of the Second Germanna Colony, which came to Virginia in 1717. I visited the Germanna Colony Visitor Center last month, and a few weeks ago we were on a trip to visit friends and were able to stop by and see the Hebron Lutheran Church, which the members of the colony started in 1740 after moving to the area.

It is the oldest church building in continuous use as a Lutheran church in the U.S and one of four surviving wooden churches from Virginia’s colonial period.
I wasn’t able to go inside, as we were just passing through and I hand’t called ahead. It was still so nice to see the area that they lived in though – picturesque farms and rolling hills.  It’s hard for me to believe that just one generation later, my ancestors decided to move on to Kentucky.  Really, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to leave this area!!  It belongs on a puzzle or a calendar or something. 🙂
2016-03-30_00122016-03-30_0014One pleasant surprise was the fact that the church was on the corner of Hebron Church Rd and BLANKENBAKER RD.  Their name lives on in the area. 🙂2016-03-30_0013

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I know that this isn’t technically an obituary, but more of a death notice.  It was such a sad accident.

Nathan W. Rigway was a farmer in McLouth, Kansas. and was married to Eliza (Lida) Stafford in about 1900.

Later in life, he decided to become a minister and they moved to Barclay, Kansas.

Please be careful around railroad tracks!!!


Relatives here received word Monday morning of the accidental death of Rev. Nathan W. Ridgway, Sunday evening at 8:45 at his home in Barclay, Kansas. Mr. Ridgway and wife were returning from church and as they were crossing the railroad track Mrs. Ridgway fell, and Mr. Ridgway in assisting her was struck by the fast express just due at that moment. Mr. Ridgway lived only a short time, but Mrs. Ridgway was unharmed by the accident. On the account of the inability of near relatives to arrive here funeral services will not be held till Thursday morning, at the Methodist church in McLouth, conducted by Rev. Ballard on Tonganoxie. Mr. Ridgway had lived nearly all his life, except the past few years, near McLouth where he was held in high esteem among his friends and neighbors. He leaves a devoted wife, three sons and one daughter to mourn his sudden death.

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