Adams Family Update

Who can resist a skunk farming lawyer?

That was the thought on my mind when I originally set out to research my great great great grandfather Daniel E Adams. All the information I found on his life indicated he was a larger than life type of man and his story screamed to be shared.

As I was researching Daniel E Adams for my blog about him, a distant cousin contacted me. This cousin, Frank Poss III, had in his possession several old family photos of shared relations.

This brings me to my Adams family update. I received copies of photos that previously I had never seen.

Photography was a popular profession not just among the Adams family but also among the Hamilton family. Siblings, Daniel and Emma Adams, married siblings, Daniel and Rachel Hamilton. Daniel and Emma Adams Hamilton would spend a lifetime operating Hamilton photo studios and many of their photographs are still in existence. Several of these photos bear the mark of Hamilton studios.

 

 

This photograph is of the five Adams brothers. I suspect it was taken sometime after the end of the Civil War, perhaps as late as when their father, Erwin Adams, died in Lapeer County, Michigan. The fifth brother, Plumer Adams, is not labeled in the photo.

Adams brothers

The 5 Adams brothers: Calvin, Daniel, Dexter, Eli, and Plumer. Photo taken sometime prior to 1889.

This photo is of Charlotte Murray Adams, the mother of the Adams brothers. She died in 1890 and is buried in Mt Hope Cemetery in Lapeer County, Michigan and is buried next to her husband.

charlotte murray adams.jpg

I will be adding further updates to this line as I continue researching the Adams family and trying to track them as they moved from Connecticut, to Vermont, onto Canada, out west to Iowa, split into separate fractions with some going west to establish Utah while others eventually settled for generations in Michigan. Stay tuned.

Remembering the Korean War

It seems that after over sixty-fives years of war the Korean War may finally be ending.  Many of our combat veterans from the era of active fighting on the Korean peninsula have already passed away. My Grandfather was a Korea combat veteran. He died before they actually achieved peace.

At this momentous time in world history, it seems an appropriate moment to remember one of the Korean War dead from my own family tree.

My maternal grandfather’s family was from an isolated community in the mountains of West Virginia. Coal mining was the predominate form of employment of the region and many of his immediate family, including his father and older brothers, worked in the mines. Military service was the most common way young men avoided going into the mines. Statistically a man had greater odds of getting hurt in the coalmines than he did in the military even during World War II.

My Grandfather’s first cousin, Andrew Calvin Shuck, joined the military. He enlisted in the Army on 8 July 1948. He was twenty years old.

andrew c shuck kia korea service pic credit michael shuck

Photo Credit Michael Shuck

Andrew C. Shuck was born 12 Jan 1928 in Lawton, West Virginia. He was the son of Landon Lawson Shuck and Pina Propps. He was unmarried.  Andrew C. Shuck was assigned to Company F, 5th Calvary Regiment, 1st Calvary Division. When combat broke out on the Korean Peninsula, his unit was one of the early ones to see action.

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Photo Credit FAG

Andrew C. Shuck was also one of the first combat casualties of the Korea War. He was killed 25 July 1950. He recieved the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

andrew c shuck obit killed in korea

It took over a year before Andrew C. Shuck was laid to rest in his home state of West Virginia. By the time they held his memorial in the At the End of the Trail Cemetery several of Andrew’s relatives had already signed up to go to Korea. My grandfather, his brothers, and cousins all flocked to sign up for duty.

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The Korean Armistice was signed on 27 July 1953 effectively ending active hostilities between North and South Korea in a stalemate. My Grandfather died in 2011 without even seeing an end to the conflict that resulted in his cousin’s death. I hope that in 2018, with the signing of the Panmunjom Declaration, peace can finally come between the two Korean nations.

By the numbers:

Active War: 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953 (3 years, 1 month, and 2 days)

Total American Casualties of the Conflict: 36,516

Sources:

United States Military Casualties of War Wikipedia

Korean War

Andrew Calvin Shuck Find a Grave

 

 

In Memory of Fannie Meadows

A common tradition in many areas is to mark the death of a person with small memorial cards that contained important details about the deceased and the service to mark their passing. Often there will be a comforting bible verse or poem in the card.

This is the memorial card for Fannie B. (Bennett) Meadows. My great grandmother kept the memorial card from her mother’s funeral tucked away in an old family bible until I found it after her death in 1999.

gma meadows funeral card

Tucked inside the memorial card she also kept the obituary that was published in the Flint Journal at the time of Fannie’s death.

gma meadows obit

 

 

Photograph Mysteries

Inevitably, anyone who studies genealogy will find themselves feeling like they need to be a jack of all trades in all things historical. Photographic history, military history, immigration history, clothing history, even transportation history at some point in time will come into play when doing research. Our ancestors were just one small cog in the world they lived in. Understanding the time they lived in helps drive effective research by knowing where to look and what records may exist.

Photographs are often one of the greater genealogical mysteries researchers face. For me they can be my greatest challenge and my greatest joy. I love seeing faces from generations ago and spotting resemblances to modern relations. Often times it seems the identity of the subject in the photographs have been lost to the sands of time. We are left trying to ponder and decipher clues that may help us eventually identify the faces with the names and times that belong to them.

A relative of mine has the originals of several photos which even years later manage to frustrate me. I can loosely speculate the origins of the photos but a definite identification may be lost.

group a close up

I estimate this photo to be before 1920. The gentlemen in the back with the dark coat has ears and a hairline which remind me of my great grandfather, Moman Harold Fulkerson. What do you think?

mysterygroup

This photo looks to be around a decade after the earlier photo. The dark haired lady in the back row looks like she could be the same younger woman in the front of the previous photo.

These photos may never be identified. They are from an album that belonged to my great grandparents, Moman Harold Fulkerson and Lillie Mae Weatherspoon. Many of the photographs predate their marriage and some of them are of the family of his first wife. I would estimate most of the photos to be from around 1920 to 1940. These three photographs have stumped me. I suspect they are either members of the Fulkerson family from the Owensboro, Kentucky area or the Sublett family from the same region.

Close ups of two photos. The one on the left is a known photograph of Moman Harold Fulkerson at age 39. The one on the right has similar head shape and ears. What do you think?

Close up photos of the dark haired lady. They both have similar builds and would likely be of the same age. What do you think? For today this is a mystery that remains unsolved.

Daniel E Adams – Gunsmith, Soldier, Photographer, Attorney, Skunk Farmer

A gunsmith, soldier, photographer, attorney, and a skunk farmer – it sounds like the start of a joke where the next line should be they walked into the bar. Interestingly enough those are all job titles held at various times by Daniel E. Adams.

On the scale of interesting characters of genealogical research my third great grandfather, Daniel E. Adams, is a jackpot. For the last several weeks I have been slowly pecking away at research on him for this blog…but it seemed the more I dug the more I wanted to dig. His life took many turns that make him an intriguing research subject with countless sources.

Daniel E. Adams was born in Canada on 23 February 1832. His parents, Erwin Adams and Charlotte Murray, were of American birth. Shortly after Daniel’s birth, the family moved back south to the United States. Over the next two decades, the family would reside in Illinois and Michigan where most of the family would settle for generations.

Daniel married his first wife, Rachel Hamilton, in Oakland County, Michigan on 23 Sept 1852. There are four known children born to the marriage Flora, Edward Dexter, Arthur Hamilton, and Elmer Eugene. Rachel passed away 5 July 1862 leaving Daniel a widower with four children under the age of 10.

rachel hamilton adams headstone fag spirit in the sky

After the death of Rachel, Daniel hired 17-year-old Sarah Ferguson to help care for his children. The two married on 20 September 1863 in Genesee County, Michigan.

On 7 September 1864, Daniel enlisted as a gunsmith in Company G 4th Michigan Infantry reorganized. According to information he provided at the time he was a veteran of the Mexican American War. During his term of enlistment, he would see combat action in skirmishes across northern Alabama.

On 14 May 1865 the train carrying Daniel’s unit derailed while traveling through Tennessee. The train car he was riding in became detached and jumped from the track. Daniel received injuries in the accident. The Army discharged him a month later in Nashville, Tennessee on 7 June 1865.

Daniel returned home to his family after his discharge from the Army. The 1870 census shows him at home with his young wife, Sarah, and their rapidly growing family. His profession at the time is listed as a photographer and records show he operated the first photograph gallery in Lapeer, Michigan. He would study law while operating the Mammoth Skylight Gallery. By 1872, he was a practicing attorney.

Daniel and Sarah continued to reside in southern Michigan and their family continued to grow. The two would have eight children together. Eventually Daniel branched out from practicing law and started farming skunks.

Daniel passed away on 5 April 1906 in Genesee County, Michigan. He is buried in the Smith Hill Cemetery in Otisville, Genesee County, Michigan.

daniel adams fought in mexican war jeff davis marshall news 12 june 1903 pg 4

 

Sources:

Daniel E Adams Find a Grave

Directory of Early Michigan Photographers by Dave Tinder University of Michigan

Rachel Hamilton Adams Find a Grave

 

 

Family Recipe Friday – Pizza

It is Friday so it is time for the next family recipe. This week I decided to put a twist on the regular family recipe and show how recently my family managed to adapt a family favorite into a low carb version that is still delicious and satisfying. If you notice one constant with all my recipes over the last couple of weeks it is none of them have any sort of nutritional information. No calorie counts and not a single suggestion of how adding it to your menu might affect your long-term waistline…and that is how the people in my household got put on a diet.

Like most families, mine loves pizza. I would be hard pressed to name a single year of my life where pizza did not appear on the menu on a regular basis in all my nearly 4 decades. Pizzas delivered, carryout, home baked pizza, and even campfire pizza cooked under a blanket of stars in the Rocky Mountains. Stuffed crust, dessert style, or ordered with toppings by the pound in a popular little restaurant in Idaho Springs, Colorado. It seems there are no end of warm fuzzy memories in my life that involve pizza.

All those delicious pizzas….and many other treats…have led to a few extra pounds. So here is family recipe Friday…with a twist. Crust less low carb pizza and its traditional counterpart pepperoni pizza.

FRF PIZZA ING

Most typical American families love pizza. We learned to make a quick and easy version at home years ago. It is not pizza hut but it’s an affordable substitute. The only problem with most traditional pizzas is the carb content is through the room and carbs add up quick on the waist line. The crust we typically grab is 32g of carbs in crust alone and that is only ¼ of a 12” pizza. If you cut the pizza into 8 small pieces you can have 2. Yikes!

Currently my family is on a low carb diet so we located a recipe we hoped would be a suitable replacement for that crazy high carb crust. We were skeptical but this won us over before the first bite. It smelled amazing while cooking.

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2499418

Like many of the recipes I find myself using the details were a little vague on this one. Here is how I made mine. Also we only got 6 pieces out of ours.

frf pizza cooked low carb

Finished “crust less” Pizza

For the Low Carb Pizza “Crust”

8 oz cream cheese

¼-cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Grease a 9 X 13 glass casserole dish. Add all crust ingredients to a mixing bowl and blend well. I used an electric hand mixer to get it mixed up well. Pour into greased dish and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. The crust should start to pull away from the edges of the dish when done.

Let crust cool for about 10 minutes. After it has cooled top with favorite toppings and return to oven for 10 minutes until cheese melts.

frf pizza topped raw

For the traditional pizza prepare following the directions on the package. Top and bake. I doubt we will have the traditional version around my house much anymore in the future.

Family Recipe Friday Peanut Butter Cookies

It is Friday so as promised I am doing another family recipe for family recipe Friday. So far, in my series I have done a simple sauce recipe that my paternal grandmother, Loree, used on meat. I have also done a family favorite casserole that my maternal grandmother, Sally, made often while I was growing up. Today my own grandchildren will be here to visit for the night so I dug deep into the old wooden recipe box that belonged to my great grandmother, Lillie Mae, and found a favorite recipe of my own…Peanut Butter Cookies.

frf pb cookies recipe

I do not have many memories of my Great Grandmother in the kitchen growing up. She was an insulin dependent diabetic and living alone from the time I was only a toddler so most of her meals were delivered by meals on wheels. Baking for the residents at a local nursing home was one exception to that. Every holiday season she and some of her church friends would bake dozens of cookies, and loaf after loaf of various breads all wrapped in neat little packages and left on her back porch until it was time to go visit the lonely people at the “home.”

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This is a basic cookie recipe and I find it to be one of the most forgiving. I typically always have the ingredients needed on hand and we whip up several dozen of these a year. The fact that they have peanut butter makes me feel better about giving them to the kids. Peanut butter cookies are almost a health food right?

frf pb cookie ingredients

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The recipe calls for

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup Crisco (I’m using margarine because I have extra on hand)

2 eggs

1 cup peanut butter

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

frf pb cookie mixed

The directions indicate to “Put in small balls and pat down with fork”

They also indicate that “grease cookie tin the first time only and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool before taking them off the cookie sheet. Makes about 5 dozen.”

frf pb cookie done

MMM Yummy!

Tater Tot Casserole – Family Recipe Friday

Last week I pulled a recipe out of my Great Grandmother’s recipe box for my first family recipe Friday blog post. It was my paternal Grandmother’s recipe, Loree’s barbecue sauce. This week I have my own out of town family coming into town so I am turning to a family favorite tried and true for generations.

Cookbook Cover

I got this cookbook from my maternal Grandmother for Christmas the second year I was married. She had a matching copy in her own collection. The Leroy United Methodist Church published it in 1996. Honestly, I cannot imagine a world in which my maternal Grandmother ever needed a recipe. Even now, she is 91, bedridden, and has not cooked in several years but if I have serious cooking question she would be my go to person. The kitchen was her domain and most people were thrilled to get a chair at her dinner table.

On page 22 of the cookbook, there is a recipe for Tater Tot Casserole submitted by Alberta Houseman.  Tater Tot Casserole has about a million variations and this one looks very similar to how I make my version of it. I may have used this recipe when I first made the dish a couple decades ago.

pg 22 Tater Tot Casserole

Over the years, I have made the dish so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. I have taught my own grown children how to make the dish and my daughter has perfected it. We have adapted it and made a few changes to make it how it suits us so here is my tweaked version of Tater Tot Casserole.

TATER TOT CASSEROLE

1 pound ground beef

2 pounds of Tater Tots

½ large onion

2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 Cans Milk

2 Cups Shredded Cheese

1 Can Green Beans

 

tater tot cass ingredients

I start mine by putting my tater tots in the prepared baking dish to brown in the heated oven while I brown my ground beef. I also like to add garlic to my ground beef while I am browning it.

After the ground beef is brown drain off the excess fat. Layer the meat on the tater tots, then the green beans, follow with the soup then place back in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

going in oven

After dish is finished baking add a layer to cheese and put back in for 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve hot.

 

 

North Brinton Cemetery

My love for genealogy was born in an old family cemetery so it seems only fitting that many of my blogs are about old cemeteries. Cemeteries are the one public place where I skip around like a kid in a candy store excited to see what is around the next bend. Even as a young kid, I was always quick to tag along while someone went to visit a loved one’s grave. I have climbed mountains, crossed the country, and trudged through snake-filled pastures to visit certain cemeteries. To me cemeteries are like a giant open-air genealogical archive.

During a trip to Michigan a couple years ago, I decided to visit the cemetery where my maternal Grandmother’s relatives are laid to rest. She grew up in a small village called Lake and she wanted to see the headstone of a brother that had died in recent years since she lost her mobility. I took my camera and headed off to get the next best thing to a visit…a photo of Uncle Russ’s headstone.

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I had never been to the North Brinton Cemetery in Coldwater Township of Isabella County, Michigan. Aside from a couple of my Grandmother’s brothers most of the relatives in the cemetery were either distant or passed away before I was born. Truth be told, until just a few years ago I had not spent much time researching her line and as I wandered stone to stone most of the names were unfamiliar. When she explained it was a family cemetery I assumed more in the aspect of it is where family was buried not that it was a literal family cemetery.

Fast forward a couple years. I have dedicated more time to researching the ancestors of my maternal Grandmother and some of the many collateral lines through the generations. I have a much better picture of how all those many surnames are all connected in one way or another and while the name is not “Spence Cemetery” it has at times been called that through the years in various obituaries published through the area. The actual history of the land and cemetery itself has kept popping up in my research so I decided it was time to give the history of the North Briton Cemetery a blog post of its own.

WHY BRINTON?

Brinton is the name of an unincorporated community in Coldwater Township of Isabella County, Michigan. The community was founded in 1862. Originally, it was known as Letson for a local storekeeper who was the first postmaster for the community. In 1886, the town was renamed for Oscar T. Brinton. Records show that James Spence arrived in Coldwater Township after 1890. A land transfer published in the 1893 Isabella County Enterprise show purchases for two sections of land. One of the plots of land James Spence purchased was from Oscar T. Brinton.

Land Transfer

Brinton to Spence 22 Dec 1893 land transfers Isabella County Enterprise pg 4

Further research shows that James Spence later donated the five acres on which the North Brinton Cemetery sits in 1905. The earliest dated grave in the cemetery is from 1905.

Land Transfer

Cemetery land transfer 17 Feb 1905 Isabella County Enterprise pg 2

Today the cemetery is still in use. James Spence was buried in the cemetery on the land he donated in 1940. There are several generations of Spence descendants in the cemetery. There are over 800 graves with countless stones dating over a century in age.

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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coldwater_Township,_Isabella_County,_Michigan

http://www.usgwarchives.net/mi/tsphoto/isabella/northbrinton-h.htm

https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/1206/north-brinton-cemetery

Loree’s Barbecue Sauce – Family Recipe Friday

Today is Friday and for the month of March that means it is Family Recipe Friday. Recently a forgotten recipe box that belonged to my Great Grandmother decided to make reappearance. It gave me the idea to make some of the recipes. I came across a blog prompt suggestion by the Armchair Genealogist Lynn Palermo and the idea took root.

I decided to start the series with Loree’s Barbecue Sauce because I had all the things needed to prepare it around the house. Loree was my paternal Grandmother. It was a very simple recipe.

Loree's Barbeque Sauce

The handwritten recipes are priceless.

Ingredients:

1-Cup catsup (ketchup)

1-Teaspoon mustard

1-Teaspoon vinegar

“a little” sugar

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Very basic ingredient list

The recipe directions instruct me to “heat and pour over meat or chicken.” I added the ingredients to a small saucepan and heated on low heat stirring frequently until it was hot. I used about half a teaspoon of sugar.

lorees barbecue sauce

My take away from the sauce was that it was missing something. I served it over grilled chicken breast like a dipping sauce. It was not bad but it was too much like fancy ketchup. I would definitely make it again in a pinch if I were low on other ingredients and ran out of barbecue sauce.

I could see it being popular during the baby boomer years of a house full of young kids and fewer spice options in the local grocery store. Above any missing flavor layers, it was enjoyable to revive something that my Grandmother prepared ages ago and serve it around my own dinner table.