Tag Archive | Pontiac

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.

Tombstone Tuesday – Bernard McKnight


Bernard McKnight
12 Aug 1924 – 13 Sep 1977

My grandfather Bernard McKnight was born on 12 Aug 1924 and died on 13 Sep 1977. Other than a few random facts I know little about my Grandpa Bernie. He served in World War II enlisting 28 Apr 1943 and on 24 Jan 1946 he was released from military duty. In 1947, he was living on Cherry Lane in Pontiac, Michigan with Henry and Beatrice McKnight. In 1949 he and Bernice Mansfield McKnight had the first of their 3 sons, Ronald. In April of 1950 came Raymond Alton (my daddy) and in 1953, Rickey James came along. Sometime after my Uncle Rick was born, Bernice left Bernard and their boys and moved out-of-state.

Bernard McKnight

When we visited Michigan in 2010, we visited Bernie’s grave at Perry Mt. Park Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan. This is the information we received from the cemetery office.

Bernard McKnight’s cemetery record

And a map of the cemetery:

Perry Mt. Park Cemetery Pontiac, Michigan. Bernard is buried in the veteran’s section.

I’m hoping when the 1940 census comes out I can find out more information about Bernie and the rest of the McKnight family. If you would like to know more about transcribing the 1940 census please go to this link 1940 Census Volunteer.

Happy searching!

SueAnn

Ancestry.com. U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.