Archives

McKnight / Guilds Mystery Part I


I love a good mystery, especially when it comes to genealogy. I have been reading a lot of Genealogy Related Mystery books lately and it got me thinking about some of the mysteries in my family tree. One of the biggest is a story my daddy has told me all my life, that I could never prove. Well last night, I couldn’t sleep, so I dived into the mystery and got some answers! My Daddy always said that our last name should have been Giles (his spelling), but that an adoption had occurred that made us McKnight’s. Last night as I was researching, I found a marriage record for Beatrice Mae Jones, my great-grandmother, to a Jay Guilds (pretty similar sounding to Giles) on 10 Nov 1922. Unfortunately for me, I do not have full access to ancestry.com right now to get the actual marriage certificate. However, what information I could gleam off the index listing leads me to believe this is the right one. Now fast forward to the 1930 census. Grandma Beatrice is living with her father, Charles Arthur Jones, Stepmother Goldie Guilds (notice the last name?) and her three children, Bernard (my grandfather), Wilma Mae, and Richard (Dick).

Guilds-Jones 1930 Census Record

1930 Census Record for Beatrice Guilds (1)

Hmmm…her husband is nowhere to be found on this census, which isn’t entirely unusual in the 1930’s during the great depression. I haven’t found a census entry for Jay yet, but I am still looking. However, when I searched Beatrice’s name I did find this:

Divorce Decree for Jones-Guilds

Divorce Decree for Jones-Guilds (2)

Wow, my jaw hit the floor when I saw this! I couldn’t believe it especially the cause of divorce “Extreme and repeated cruelty; non-support.

One other interesting thing about this mystery, did you notice the name of Beatrice’s step-mother? That’s right Goldie Guilds. Goldie is the younger sister of Jay C. Guilds. I having a feeling that made for some interesting family gatherings.

While the mystery isn’t completely solved and I may never know what exactly happened between Beatrice and my biological great-grandfather, Jay, every brick wall knocked down gets me closer to finding my family.

And the mystery continues here.

Bless your ancestors!

SueAnn

(1) Year: 1930; Census Place: West Bloomfield, Oakland, Michigan; Roll: 1019; Page: 29B; Enumeration District:0138; Image: 1119.0; FHL microfilm: 2340754. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

(2) Ancestry.com. Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Michigan. Divorce records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan. rolls.

Travel Tuesday – Queen’ s Hotel Port Elgin Ontario


The Queen’s Hotel was owned in the 1940’s by Mr. and Mrs. McPhearson, who were great friends to my great-grandmother Edith Basham Lindsay. Every summer, they would drive from Detroit to Port Elgin to spend a month there.

Post card from the Queen’s Hotel Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada

Oscar, Mr. McPhearson, Edith, and Mrs. McPhearson outside the Queen’s Hotel Port Elgin, Ontario

Oscar and Edith outside the Queen’s Hotel, Port Elgin, Ontario

Happy Searching!

SueAnn

Treasure Chest Thursday – “London Under Fire” 1940s Postcard


Taken from London Fire Journal: The bombings of 1940 culminated in the most celebrated and notorious of all raids, that of Sunday 29 December. The warning was sounded after 6pm, and then the incendiaries came down like “heavy rain”. The attack was concentrated on the City. The area from Aldersgate to Cannon Street, all of Cheapside and Moorgate, was in flames. One observer on the roof of the Bank of England recalled that “the whole of London seemed alight! We were hemmed in by a wall of flame in every direction.” Nineteen churches, 16 of them built by Christopher Wren after the first Great Fire, were destroyed; of the 34 guild halls, only three escaped; the whole of Paternoster Row went up in flames, destroying five million books; the Guildhall was badly damaged; St Paul’s was ringed with fire, but escaped. “No one who saw will ever forget”, wrote William Kent, “their emotions on the night when London was burning and the dome seemed to ride the sea of fire.”

I found this postcard will looking around an antique store in Cullman, Alabama. The owner of the store said that she had bought it at an estate auction. I have another postcard plus a picture of soldiers taken during WWII, that I will post next week!

Happy Searching!

SueAnn

Travel Tuesday – Historic Cullman Railroad Depot


More pictures from my adopted home town. While no one in my family would have come through Cullman County on the railroad, I can imagine that some one of them would have visited a rail road depot some where.

The Cullman Railroad Depot as it stands now was completed in 1913 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company (L & N). This depot replaced the original depot in Cullman, when the tracks were laid below ground level. Passenger service stopped running to Cullman in 1968, and the depot was used by section crews, until 1990, when the depot was purchased by the City of Cullman and today it houses the United Way of Cullman County. In the lobby are vintage railroad related items on display and outside is a restored L & N caboose. The depot was added to National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Happy Searching!

SueAnn

© Finding Mielke 2012

Hubert Richter Memorial Chapel


Even though the little chapel is not a historic, it’s one of things I find most unique about my hometown. It was constructed in the early 1990’s by donations made to the Richter Chapel Fund. The little chapel was built-in memory of James Hubert Richter.

The chapel is at 419 1st Avenue Southeast, Cullman, Alabama and is open to the public every day. This a very popular place in Cullman to get married. I would have to say that wedding pictures here would be amazing! Such a beautiful setting!

Happy Searching!

SueAnn

Historic Weiss Cottage – Cullman, Alabama’s Oldest Home


The history of Weiss Cottage dates back to February 24, 1875, when Dr. Aldo Weiss purchased the house and property from the L & N Railroad Company. As small as this house is Dr. Weiss, his wife, Magdelena, and 3 children, Emma, Charles, and Clara all lived there, and Dr. Weiss also used the home for his office and even kept his goats in the cellar. Dr. Weiss sold the home to Judge S.L. Fuller in December, 1889, and the home went through several owners until 1917 when Charles Ruehl purchased the property. In 1976, owner Inez Ruehl donated the cottage to the City of Cullman on the condition it be moved from 206 Sixth Avenue, S. E. to 401 1st Avenue SW.

Once the cottage was moved to it’s current location, the City of Cullman’s Federated Women’s Club began a restoration project to return the home to it’s historical style. On January 25, 1977 the cottage was added by the Alabama Historical Commission to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage by the Alabama Historical Commission.

I love my adopted home town, so much history packed into a small southern town.

Happy Searching!

SueAnn

St John’s Episcopal Church – Decatur, Alabama


As I was driving around Decatur today, trying to find the Morgan County Courthouse (yes, I got a speeding ticket that I had to go pay), I drove by this beautiful church and I couldn’t resist stopping to take some pictures.

St John’s Episcopal Church was established in 1890, in the heart of downtown Decatur, Alabama. In 1893, the congregation dedicated the original structure that was built in the Gothic-style. The wooden church has since been in encased in stone. In 1983, the church was added to the  National Register of Historic Places as part of the New Decatur/Albany Residential Historic District.