Journey Through My Tree: Nicholas Robb

Today is Veteran’s Day here in the U.S., so I thought that I would choose a veteran for my next Journey Through My Family Tree series.

Nicholas Andrew Robb

Birth: 23 November 1907 in Michigan

Death: 29 August 1946 in Detroit, Michigan

Relation to Me: Great-Aunt’s Husband

Parents: Nicholas Robb (1882 – 1970) &
Mary Turner (1882 – ?)

1. Helen Robb Bertrand (1910 – ?)
2. Bernard Robb (1913 – 1987)
3. Allen Robb (1915 – ?)
4. Iola Isabel “Robbie” Robb Rotto (1916 – 1996)
5. John J Robb (1918 – ?)

~1910 (age 3): Living with his Father and Mother in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.

~1920 (age 13): Living with his Father, Mother and 5 siblings in Detroit.

~1930 (age 23): Living with his Father, Mother and 5 siblings in Detroit.

~1936(age 28): Marriage to Dorothy Irene Mielke on 24th October in Detroit.

~1940 (age 32): Living with his wife Dorothy in Detroit.

~1943 (age 35): Enlisted in the United States Navy Reserves on 21st July.

~1945 (age 38) Discharged from service on 28th Nov.

~1946 (age 38): Died on 29th August. Buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Detroit.

Application for Headstone or Marker

My grandmother told me that Nicholas died after coming home from World War II due to injuries he received. Her recollection is that Nicholas fell off a ladder while on a ship and badly cut his shin. Less then a year after he came home, he died of a blood clot.

My Aunt Dorothy was only 17 when she married Nick, who was 28. Aunt Dorothy converted to Catholicism before she and Nick married and during that time lived with our Great-Great Uncle and Aunt, Walter Eugene and Margret Mielke.

To see more of the journey through my family tree go here.

Bless you ancestors!



McKnight/Guilds Mystery Part II

In a previous post, I discovered some clues in my McKnight/Guilds mystery.

After Beatrice divorced her husband, she married Henry McKnight.

Marriage certificate for Henry McKnight and Beatrice Mae Jones Guilds
Marriage certificate for Henry McKnight and Beatrice Mae Jones Guilds

Well by the time the 1940 census came out my Grandma Beatrice is married to Henry J. McKnight. All of the children from Beatrice’s first marriage, along with the child that Beatrice and Henry had together are living with the couple.

1940 Census Record for McKnight Family (3)
1940 Census Record for McKnight Family (2)

My Grandpa Bernie and my Uncle Richard both went by McKnight for the rest of their lives, I don’t know if at some point after marrying Beatrice, Henry adopted the children. My dad’s middle name came from my Grandpa Bernie’s younger half-brother Alton.

What I do know is that Beatrice and Henry owned a laundry mat in Pontiac and that they lived quite close to where my Dad grew up. He told me when he got in trouble, he would ride his bike over a couple of streets to his grandmas.

Bless your ancestors!


(1) Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.Original data: Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics.

(2) Year: 1940; Census Place: Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan; Roll: T627_1801; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 63-105. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643

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 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!


(1) Year: 1930; Census Place: West Bloomfield, Oakland, Michigan; Roll: 1019; Page: 29B; Enumeration District:0138; Image: 1119.0; FHL microfilm: 2340754. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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) Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Michigan. Divorce records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan. rolls.

Wordless Wednesday – Augusta F Mielke Death Certificate

Augusta F Mielke Death Certificate

My great-great grandmother Augusta F Strauss Mielke’s death certificate.

Courtesy of the Michigan State Library.

Happy Searching!


John L Mielke Death Certificate

This is my great-great grandfather’s death certificate.

Happy Searching!


Courtesy of the Library of Michigan.

Travel Tuesday – Holland, Michigan’s Tulip Time Festival

My grandparent’s, Oscar and Lucille Lindsay, along with their mother’s Edith Lindsay and Elsie Mielke, visited Holland, Michigan’s Tulip Time Festival in 1949.

Here is a brief history of the Tulip Time Festival from Holland, Michigan’s tourism website.

History of Tulip Time Festival

Who would have predicted that the “Best Small Town Festival” in America, with over 500,000 people in attendance, grew out of a Woman’s Literary Club meeting in 1927? There, Miss Lida Rogers, a biology teacher at Holland High School, suggested that Holland adopt the tulip as its official flower and celebrate it with a festival.

The idea caught on, and the next year the City Council purchased 100,000 tulip bulbs from the Netherlands to plant in city parks and other areas. Bulbs were also available for Holland residents to purchase at one cent each. In the spring of 1929 thousands of tulips bloomed, and so did the long history of this annual festival. By the mid 1930’s, Tulip Time was nationally known. Big name stars like Dorothy Lamour, Pat O’Brien, and George Raft entertained at the festival.

Except for a brief hiatus during World War II, Tulip Time has continued to thrive. 1947 was a banner year, with the celebration of Holland’s Centennial and the strengthening of our Dutch ties. The Netherlands was grateful for the aid our citizens had provided following the war. In fact, the people of Amsterdam presented the City with the street organ that now entertains Windmill Island visitors. 1947 was also the first year of a long tradition: a visit from the governor of Michigan leading the street scrubbing ceremonies.

Another big year for Tulip Time was 1976. Holland received tremendous publicity through its float entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade. And that year, the Tulip Time festival climaxed with the appearance of the President, West Michigan’s own Gerald R. Ford, in the Parade of Bands.  Each year, Tulip Time brings back time-honored traditions and enhances the festival with new ones.

Here’s some pictures that my grandparent’s took that day! Click on any of the photo’s for a slideshow of the pictures!

Happy Searching!


©Finding Mielke 2012

Tombstone Tuesday – Marian Jane Mielke Verhonick

Marian Jane Mielke Verhonick was born 21 December 1922 to George A. J. Mielke and Elsie Jane Yetman and died on 26 Dec 2006 in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. She is buried at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit. Marian was married to William “Bill” Verhonick.

I have very found memories of my Auntie Marian. A few of them are: her dog Snoopy; visiting Wyandote with her; and the cookies she made every Christmas.

My Grandfather, Oscar Lindsay, Aunt Marion, and Uncle Bill

Happy Searching!