Friday, December 27, 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Mom's Ginger Cookies - more soft ones!

Mom's Ginger Cookies - more of the soft ones, this time arranged on a plate handed down from mom's mother: Alice Caroline Spearman Erickson.


1 C. brown sugar                                1/2 tsp cloves
3/4 C. shortening                                1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg                                                  1 tsp ginger
2 1/4 C. flour                                       1 1/2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg                                    1/4 C. molasses


Cream together brown sugar, shortening and egg.  Add molasses and mix.  Finally, add all dry ingredients and mix together.  Then roll into balls approx. 1" diameter.   Dip each ball in sugar and arrange on cookie sheet about 1" apart.


350 degree F. oven for 9 - 10 minutes.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Family Recipe Friday: Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies

Recipe for Mom's Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies!

Watch out - she might get you with her wooden mixing spoon!

1 C. shortening                                 1 C. chopped almonds
3/4 C. white sugar                                    or walnuts
3/4 C. brown sugar                            3 C. pastry flour
2 sq. chocolate, melted                      1/2 tsp soda
2 eggs                                                1/4 tsp salt

Method: Cream shortening, add sugar, eggs and chocolate.  Sift in dry ingredients.  Shape into a roll and store in the fridge.  

Baking: As needed, slice thin.  Bake in 375 degree F. oven for 10 - 12 minutes.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Alene Karon Erickson

During my summer vacation in Saskatchewan I stopped off at the Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery which is located in the same region as the farm run by my maternal grandparents (Martin Rudolph Erickson and Alice Caroline Spearman) in Brockington, Saskatchewan.  Bethesda is one of the local cemeteries where my family is buried.

My sister, Alene Karon Erickson, is buried in the Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery next to our great-grandparents (Johan Elof Erickson and Britta Mathilda Goransdotter).  I think it is comforting to see the family members together.

BORN DEC 29, 1957
DIED JULY 6, 1960

Friday, July 5, 2013

Funeral Card Friday: Eli Spearman

R.R. #2, Navan, Ontario

The 16th day of March, 1970

84 years

the 7th day of February, 1886

from Hulse and Playfair Limited
315 McLeod Street
to St. Mary's Anglican Church
Navan, Ontario
Wednesday, March 18th, 1970
for service at 2:00 p.m.

Rev. C. D. Lethbridger

Dale's Cemetery
Cumberland, Ontario

Monday, July 1, 2013

Blogging on Vacation: Genealogy and Family Time

Well, I'm in Saskatchewan visiting my family, and have plans to visit some genealogy-associated sites over the next couple of weeks.

This will include cemeteries at Carrot River, Brockington and Davidson, SK, and Deloraine, MB.

I will be taking photos and hopefully mapping where the cemeteries are located for future reference! Unfortunately, it has been raining like crazy, so the roads may be washed out.

Here's the first location:  Carrot River Valley Lutheran Church!

I was a bit worried when I saw the pile of stones across the drive from the Church -- have they removed the headstones and we won't be able to get the photos?

The answer:  NO.  The cemetery had been over-run by snakes that had moved in under the many cover stones placed over each burial.  To remove the problem most of the cover stones have been removed.  This means I'll be able to find the family burials.  Here's one that is linked to a previous post:

My maternal great uncle Orval Gordon Spearman and his wife IsaBelle McConnachie.  It was great to see flowers at the Spearman grave!  The region around Carrot River has slowly lost the majority of the population as land has been bought up by super-farms, and most family-farms have gone the way of the dodo bird.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day can be bittersweet for those of us whose fathers have passed away, but it is still wonderful to look back through time and remember and celebrate dads.  I have scanned in some pictures that not everyone may have seen, and I wanted to share, so here's my pop: Gerald Gordon Baker, son of Joseph Hubert Baker and Helen Muriel Coad.  He was born on 13 Nov 1933 at Bircham, AB, and died on 30 Nov 1999 at Regina, SK.

I just wanted to share some items that you may or may not have already seen!

This first photo was marked 31 May 1971, so I'm going with that for the date of this photo.  The number of stripes on the arm indicate he is now a Corporal in the RCMP, and our family was living in Broadview, Saskatchewan by this time.  Something you may not know is that he was always putting his hand in front of his face during informal family snapshots, so I think he might have been uncomfortable with getting his picture taken - and he definitely looks a bit uncomfortable in this more formal photo setting.

Next we have a photo taken while dad was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride.  The troup toured the UK in 1957, and here's the group lined up in front of the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital in London.  I'm going to say Dad was #5 from the left on this picture, but if you have a different guess, let me know.

Another item from that tour is the poster from the troup's 1957 visit to Dundee, Scotland during the Royal Highland Show held April 18 - 21.  As per the info on the sign, the Musical Ride was performing Wednesday through Friday, the 18th - 20th of April.

After Dad's stint with the Musical Ride was over, he was posted to Melfort, Sk, where he met and married my mom, Aina.  Here they are with the traditional cutting of the cake.

I'll have to do an update some other time: to include all the grubby children!


- All photos in the possession of the blogger's mom!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: 40th Anniversary for Orvall Gordan Spearman and IsaBelle McConnachie

Here's my maternal grandmother's brother, Orval Spearman (24 Jan 1912 - 10 Mar 1981), and his wife, IsaBelle McConnachie (14 Mar 1911 - 12 Jul 2010), celebrating their 40th Anniversary on or around October 26, 1971.

To be honest, I'm pretty sure my family didn't attend this shindig - that anniverary was the same day my youngest sister, Lauren, was born, and we were all at home waiting for that news!  

However, I do remember going to family festivities much like this.  The adults who attended these family functions were most likely my relations, but when everyone was called "Aunty" or "Uncle" - I was a bit confused by the actual details of the relationship.  

There were always kids running around, having fun and getting into trouble.  There were enough kids that we always had a few kids within our age group with whom we could play.  

Most important - genealogically - I remember playing with all these kids whom I lumped into the category "cousins" - whether they were 1st or 2nd or whatever cousins.  I knew and understood how I was related to my 1st cousins - but I really did not understand how I was related to these 2nd or 3rd cousins.   Sometimes I didn't even know we were related, and sometimes I wondered - but I never asked!

It was only as I started taking an interest in genealogy, and looking at the family tree that my sister, Nadine, had created, that I understood just exactly how I was related to these folks.    Or that we were related, at all!


This is a scan from a negative in the possession of my Mom from Regina, SK. 

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker.  All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Grandma Alice's Ginger Snap Cookies (the soft ones)

My family didn't live really close to any of our grandparents, aunts or uncles, so visiting these relatives was often how we spent vacations and holidays.  These visits were often to the farm of my maternal grandparents, Martin Rudolph Erickson and Alice Caroline Erickson (nee Spearman), in central Saskatchewan.  This is the farm where my mother grew up.

Here's a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day, 6 Sept 1936.

To keep all of us kids busy, and out from under foot, we were often given little tasks to do around the farm.  One of those tasks was picking raspberries from the long line of bushes my grandmother kept just to the east of the farm house.  We kids would pick ice cream pails full of berries that Grandma could use for jam.  Luckily, visiting on the farm wasn't all work - we would always get a bowl of raspberries with cream and sugar as payment!  We were often paid with cookies, as well.  Grandma Alice's baking was awesome, so I don't think we ever minded working for cookies.

Here's the Ginger Snap Cookie recipe from Grandma Alice.  These are the soft Ginger Snaps - not the hard and crunchy ones.  I remember eating these in Grandma's kitchen, they are so tasty!  And because they are soft, they are easy on the teeth and jaws of children, and older folks, too.

Grandma Alice's Soft Ginger Snap Cookies

1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sour milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg unbeaten
1/2 cup (scant) molasses
3 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
Sugar for rolling in

Method:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   Mix and knead together all ingredients.  Roll into 1 inch balls, then roll in sugar, and lay out on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Okay, after typing this recipe out I'm really craving these.  Someone needs to bake these for me next time I'm home!

P.S. - for those of you who don't usually cook, "scant" means not quite full, or not quite a whole amount.  So "1/2 cup molasses (scant)" means you use just a bit less than 1/2 cup.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day - In Memorium: 2nd Lieutenant William H. Baker, d. May 23, 1865

In memory of 2nd Lieutenant William H. Baker.

My 2X great grand uncle, William H. Baker, joined the Kansas 12th Infantry, Company D, along with his older brother, John T. Baker, and his younger brother, Joseph N. Baker.  I'm not shocked that they all signed up to fight as their father, Joshua Baker, was very anti-slavery!

All three brothers were privates, but there must have been something special in William.  Unlike his two brothers, who mustered out at the end of the war still with the rank of private, William must have been a real leader.

According to the Report of the Adjutant General(1) William moved up through the ranks:
  • Promoted to Sergeant: 25 Sept 1862
  • Promoted to 1st Sergeant: 1 Jan 1864
  • Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant: 5 Jan 1865 

Unfortunately, William died on May 23, 1865, and was buried at Little Rock National Cemetery.  I can't imagine how lonely and afraid William would have been, to be so sick and so far away from his family, and finally to pass away.  

William's body was brought back to be with his family, and was buried at the Baker Cemetery, near Lane, Franklin County, Kansas.

There is a little star planted next to William's headstone which says: GAR - which stands for Grand Army of the Republic.  This means that William fought for the Union Army against the Confederate Army from the South.  William gave his life in support of this cause - and we have to really respect someone who was willing to make that ultimate sacrifice.

William didn't marry or have any children, which means there are no direct descendants to lay flowers at his grave.  So if we don't remember him, who will?  


(1) Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, 1861-1865.  Vol. 1.
- Photos - thank you to Harold&WandaBlackwell from FindAGrave - used with permission.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Society Saturday - Application to Join the Daughters of the American Revolution - Part 1

Ever since I first became interested in genealogy (just a few years ago) one of my objectives has been to join the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  According to family legend my 5X great grandfather, Samuel Baker, fought in that war.  Samuel was the son of Samuel Baker and Elizabeth Glover, and was born in Bedford County, VA, in 1745 and died about 1826 in Botetourt Co, VA.  Since the advent of the internet I have also seen many family trees showing this sort of information, of course there were no sources attached.  I really wanted to have a point to all the genealogy research my sister, Nadine, and I have been doing, and a membership in the DAR would be an end-product that just might convey a sense of accomplishment.  Oh, and the certificate on the wall would be nice, too!

Now that I think about it, my interest in the DAR may actually have started much further back in time.  When I was in school I used a hand-written pedigree chart borrowed from my Dad's sister that traced our family from my paternal grandfather, Joseph Hubert Baker, back to this Samuel Baker, and even further.  I was intrigued about these ancestors, because, although I had heard that my paternal granddad's family had come up from the States, I had not realized that the family had been in the New World for such a long time, and that seemed pretty cool to me.

The Pedigree Chart I used was just that, a chart, there were no sources cited, and no hints about where to go next in the research.  Lets face it, I was a kid with a lot more interesting things to do, and my interest cooled off -- for about 20 or 30 years.

I want to interject with some important lessons here:
  1. I didn't keep a copy of the pedigree chart that was returned to my Aunt, and I should have.
  2. I didn't keep a copy of the work I handed in, and I should have.
Why would I consider these important lessons?
  1. Because my Aunt's house burned down -- taking the family history information with it!  That information would have been a great starting point.  As it was - I had to rely on my memory of what I thought the pedigree chart showed.
  2. One should really keep copies of assignments that are turned in, just in case the teacher loses it (which has happened to me).
Well, we all know that what family legends say, and what evidence can support, are two different things!  So my first step was to see if Samuel had an accepted service record by searching the Ancestor Database at the DAR website.  Luckily for me, Samuel Baker from Botetourt County, Virginia, was listed as having an accepted service during the war.   In fact, according to the book Documentary History of Dunmore's War (1), Samuel not only served (p. 411), he was erroneously reported as killed (p. 296) during the Battle of Point Pleasant  - causing his name to be included on a memorial marker for that battle: 
Samuel had actually been firing on the enemy from a hiding spot behind a log, but an enemy's bullet hit the tip of his mocassin [sic], so he removed from the area (p. 296).  It is a really good thing that Samuel high-tailed it out of there, because his son (my 4X great grandfather) Abraham was born about that time - but we can't be sure if it was before or after.  Abraham may not have been more than a twinkle in Samuel's eye at the time of that battle!

The DAR member whose ancestry was traced back to Samuel did so through my 3X great grandfather, Joshua Baker, and through his daughter Salome C. Martin - sister to my 2X great grandfather, George W. Baker.  How hard could this be - I would be searching through records in Indiana from around 1850, and in Kansas shortly after that.  I just needed to link back to Joshua Baker through my dad's direct male line.

Last lesson to be learned today, a definition.
          Extant: "in existence; still existing; not destroyed or lost." (3)

If you have done any research in the Indiana or Kansas regions you'll already know that vital records started well after the time period I would be searching.  Part 2's lesson will be about using alternate sources!

(1) Kellog, L. P., & Thwaites, R. G. (1905).  Documentary history of Dunmore's war, 1774: Compiled from the Draper manuscripts in the Library of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and published at the charge of the Wisconsin Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society.  (p. 296, 411). Available on Google Books:

(2) "Battle of Point Pleasant," Historical Markers Database [digital online database]  Accessed 25 May 2013.

(3) Definition of the word "Extant" -  Accessed 25 May 2013.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past - Photo of Unknown from Sweden

My family is hoping to identify this young Swedish soldier!  Let me know if you recognize this individual, or know who he might be!  This photo(1) is from circa 1901 - 1912, likely taken in the Västernorrland region of Sweden.  The photographer appears to be Hanna Lundborg of Umeå, Sweden.

Photograph is of a dark haired man in uniform - possibly from the Swedish army as young men were required to give 2 years of service beginning in 1901 until July 1, 2010(2).  This was found in the red velvet photo album owned by my my Mom.  The album travelled with my great grandparents, Britta Mathilda Goransdotter (1887-1958) and husband Johan Elof Eriksson (Erickson) (1882-1959), when they immigrated from Fränsta, Västernorrland, Sweden to their homestead near Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1912.  Many of the photos in this album have no names, and we were not able to match them to photos of known individuals. 

Most of the photos in the album were likely of friends or relatives, as this collection of photos was created as a memento for the young family to take with them when the moved half-way around the world.  There was little expectation that Britta or Johan would ever return to Sweden to see their family or friends.  

This photograph, and the other unknowns from the red velvet album, are of people who lived and died about 100 years ago.  I would love to honour them, but that will be hard to do without knowing who they were!

(1) Photo from album in possession of my mom, in Saskatchewan, Canada.
(2) "Sweden Ends Compulsory Military Service," : by Agence France-Presse.  Accessed May 16, 2013.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Surname Saturday - Solsten

The Solsten surname traveled from Norway, through the US, coming to rest in Saskatchewan, Canada.

- Ole Solsten (b. 29 Sep 1848, Norway; d. 14 Feb 1911, Bagley, SK).

Ole Solsten, my mother's maternal great-grandfather, came to Canada between 1900 and 1908. This can be estimated by first looking aborder crossing documents for his brother, Benjamin.  Which stated Benjamin and his wife, Carrie, were joining his brother, Ole who was residing in Melfort, Sask.An interesting item of note on this form is the final destination for Benjamin and Carrie is listed as Foston (sic).  Fosston is a small town just south of Rose Valley, where my family resided for a few years back in the 1960's.  

Next we find Ole's family on the 1900 US Census.  According to the Census record, Ole had immigrated from Norway to the US in 1871. According to the same record and two of his children, Emma and John were born in Minnesota, USA.

- Emma Solsten, Ole's second youngest daughter (b. 6 Apr 1890, Dalton, Minn.; d. 25 Oct 1953, Carrot River, SK).

When my great-grandmother, Emma, got married in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 7 Oct 1908 it was hard to find the record on the Manitoba Vital Statistics database because the clerk spelled it Solstice.  Luckily, her husband, Edgar Spearman's name was spelled correctly!  

Ole Solsten passed away on 14 Feb 1911 in Bagley, Saskatchewan, Canada, according to the Saskatchewan Death Index on the Information Services Corporation, Vital Statistics website.  Unfortunately, this occurred before he could be recorded on the Canadian Census of 1911.

The Solsten surname continued:
- Carl Solsten passed away in Port Alberni, BC in 1953 according to the BC Death index on
- John Solsten passed away in Bagley, SK.

Benjamin and Carrie Solsten, Border Crossing Record., online database: Border Crossings from Canada to the US, 1895-1954, digital image 7, North Dakota, Manifests, 1908, December, 7.  Accessed: May 11, 2013.

Solsten family record.  1900 US Federal Census for White Earth Indian Reservation, Becker, Minnesota.  District 0340, sheet 24A (stamped 163 and marked 82), Dwelling 233, Family 257; T635, Roll 798,  Digital image #1, online database.  Accessed: May 10, 2013.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sibling Saturday - Warren Stanley Thompson

My paternal great grandmother, Ellen Louisa (Thompson) Coad's (1878-1961) older brother was Warren Stanley Thompson (1874-1919).  I don't know that much about Warren, but I do know that he was involved in World War I, and served as a Captain with the RAVC - Royal Army Veterinary Corp.

Warren was born in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada on 14 Jun 1874.  By 1891 the family had moved out to Manitoba to farm.  Originally, Warren's father, Lewis Edwin Thompson, took work on the Brandon Police Force, using his spare time for "land-seeking."  Ellen Thompson, my 2X great grandmother, was very industrious as she hired a local native woman to help in her kitchen, cooked meals for the single men in the town.  Finally the family located viable property in the Deloraine district.  

This was where my great grandma Ellen married Sherman Coad, aka George Sherman Coad, in 1898.  And my grandmother, Helen Muriel Coad, was born near Deloraine, Manitoba, on 22 May 1902 according to her birth registration.  The Coad family then moved out to Saskatchewan as George, Ellen and household are listed on the 1906 Canada Census (lines 33-38) in the region of Humboldt, Saskatchewan.  Their family is listed in the dwelling next door to Ellen's parents, Lewis Edwin and Ellen Thompson and family (lines 27-32).  All of them were listed in Humboldt's sub region 4, on page 23 (image 25 on

The 1911 Census of Canada found Warren living with his parents, Ellen and Lewis, and still in the Humboldt region, sub-district 112, page 3 (image 3 on  By this time, Warren's occupation is listed as Veterinary, and now his service with the Royal Army Veterinary Corp in WWI starts to make sense.  

When World War I came along many a young man felt the call to fight for King and country.  I don't know what Warren thought about the war, or about fighting, but according to a family history written by his sister, Emma Jane (Thompson) Kirkwood (see line 15 on the 1906 census), Warren enlisted as a Veterinarian, and took a ship's cargo of horses over to France.  Warren was later sent to Egypt, where the heat had a deleterious affect on his health.  He applied for transfer over to England in the hopes that the spring weather would help him recover, except the transfer took so long that he wasn't sent until November.  This drastic climate change made Warren even more ill.  Finally he was sent to hospital, and Emma writes that her brother "languished," and never recovered.  

Unfortunately, Warren finally died of Infective Endocarditis, as a result of his active service, according to his record on the Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstances of Casualty) database on  His death on 2 Sep 1919 was at the Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot, Hampshire, as per his probate record from the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administration) 1858-1966 database on  I was originally confused by the database index listing his unit as the RARC, which, according to English World War I records, did not exist.  Luckily, when I transcribed the original document, I was able to see that the unit Warren served with was actually the RAVC, which made much more sense.

Warren's body was finally returned to Canada, and he is buried at the Del-Win Cemetery in Deloraine, Manitoba, where he grew up.  This record comes from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.  According to Emma, Walter never married, and his money and effects were willed to his mother according to the probate record.

I haven't dug up that much information about Warren, yet, but he would definitely be someone I would want to get the chance to meet.  As this meeting is not possible, I would happily settle for a trip to Deloraine to visit his grave site and pay my respects.  I believe Warren deserves that much.

Coad, Hellen Murial, birth registration.  Vital Statistics Manitoba.  Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Kirkwood, E.J.  "The Family of L.E. Thompson and Ellen Stone."  Typewritten reminiscences by their daughter, Emma Jane (Thompson) Kirkwood.  Copy of which is in the possession of the blogger, original in possession of the blogger's aunt.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Polly Luceba Beal, nee Rice

This is the obituary for my 3X great grandmother, Polly Luceba Beal, nee Rice (21 Sep 1813 - 12 Feb 1881)  from the Ann Arbour (Michigan) Courier.

It is hard to make out, but Polly is listed as 68 years of age, but the left half of that number eight is very faint.

What information can we find, and what added homework comes from this obituary:
- Polly's son-in-law: George Baker of Pottawatomie township, KS; look for any George Baker families on the 1880 census for Pottawatomie twp, KS.
- Wife of J.C Beal of Ohio township, KS; look for the J.C. and Polly Beal family on the 1880 census for Ohio twp, KS.
- Leaves a son and daughter; check if JC and Polly were on any earlier censuses for Ohio twp to find any children listed, compare to see if daughter's name in KS marriage records attached to a George Baker, and if same daughter listed on any of the Fed and KS censuses during this time period, and check if son listed on own land, nearby, in later censuses.
- J.C. Beal is an uncle of Prof. J.B. Steere of Ann Arbor, MI.  Track down J.B.Steere in the Ann Arbor censuses.  Look for any other mention of J.C. Beal or J.B. Steere in the Ann Arbor Courier, check for other family associations noted.

- "Died", Ann Arbor Courier, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  March 18, 1881, Vol. XX, No. 11, page 3, column 5.

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 26, 2013

AGS Conference Lesson: Plot those land records for value-added genealogical evidence!

I attended the Alberta Genealogical Society’s 2013 conference last weekend, and am I ever happy I did.  Lyn Meehan’s session entitled Country Cousins: Ancestors on the Land really helped drive home the need to not just print off those pretty Land Patent certificates from the Bureau of Land Management, or Homestead files, or deeds, etc., but to map out the land associated with your ancestor and the folks you want to be able to link to him or her.  This would be in addition to tracking the purchase and sale of each unit of land on a spreadsheet (I can’t remember where I read this, and a non-exhaustive search online did not pull it up, but this is a really good idea, too).  

My sister, Nadine, and I have been working on associating our ancestor, Joseph C Beal (1810-1889)  to Joseph Beal (1782-1877), the man we believe was his father.  Our first evidence of the relationship between Joseph C and Joseph Beal comes from the Joseph Beal and His Wife Elizabeth, a genealogy which Joseph Beal collected and wrote before he died, and which was edited and updated by his grandson, Professor William James Beal, in 1910.  William James Beal, the editor, was the son of William, Joseph Beal's eldest son (page 38).  This document is freely available on

According to Professor Beal, Joseph Beal (1782-1877) and his wife Elizabeth Claghorn (1784-1831) had 9 children, all born in Perinton, NY: William (1806-1872), Martha (1808-1894), Joseph C. (1810-1889), Lucretia (1812-1867), Elizabeth (1815-1899), Leah (1817-1894), Porter (1819-1902), Caroline (1821-1895), and Mary Jane (1824-1876) (Beal, WJ; page 34).  The Professor also indicates that in 1830 Joseph moved with his wife and seven little children to live with his son William in Adrian, Lenawee County, MI (page 7).  I can’t be certain, but the seven youngest in the Beal family were the children: Joseph C. through Mary Jane.    

Let's face it, I have been a naughty family historian, grabbing every document that was, or could be, associated with this 3X Great Grandfather: Joseph C Beal.  Not even taking a break to analyze these documents and the evidence they contain.  The patent above is one of those documents.

After returning from the AGS conference I was really excited to try these techniques out on some of these records I've been collecting.

First, I ran a quick search of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) records at for any land obtained in Michigan by a Joseph Beal.  The results are below:

The blue highlighted parcels were obtained by Joseph Beal (father), and green highlighted parcels were purchased by Joseph C Beal (son).

I know that document #71159 is for Joseph Beal’s land warrant obtained as a result of his service during the war of 1812, as per the copy of his bounty application which is available on Fold3 ($).  The Joseph Beal genealogy indicates that Joseph Beal and his son Porter settled in the SW1/4 of the W1/4 [sic] of Section 10(page 13).  I will need to follow up on that parcel, as they did not obtain the original patent for that piece of land, so it is not listed on the BLM site.

What strikes me as very interesting is the fact that Joseph C Beal and Joseph Beal purchased land in 3 different sections of Township 6S, Range 1E on the same day, October 15, 1835.  I don’t think that can be a coincidence.  And once you compare the land locations on the map, one realizes how closely related they were.

Also of note on this list is patent #1025 because that exact parcel of land was later sold by Joseph C Beal and his wife Gulielma M. Beal to Joseph C's younger brother, Porter Beal, on March 13, 1853.  This was recorded in the Lenawee Co. Deed Book, #36, on page 490.  I made a copy of this from the Family History Library's microfilm #2,208,275 (Deed Records, 1827-1920, 1940-1941; Lenawee County Michigan, Recorder of Deeds).

Next, to be able to compare the location of these parcels I searched for maps of the Townships/Counties listed so that I could map the property obtained by Joseph C Beal.  I found a map for Rollin Township in Lenawee County online in U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 at ($).  

Then, I selected one of the patents listed for Joseph C Beal, #1024 for the East 1/2 of the Northeast ¼ of section 9 in Township 6 South, Range 1 East of the Michigan-Toledo Strip meridian, as seen above.  One more lesson from Lyn – the signature for President Andrew Jackson is not actually his, but was signed on his behalf.  Apparently, the president didn’t just sit around waiting to sign these land patents! 

A final tip from Lyn’s session: click on the “Related Documents” tab, next to the “Patent Image” tab.  Selecting this tab brings up a list of the other land units held within the same section as the unit held by your ancestor.   

Therefore, my next step was to select the “Related Documents” tab for Joseph C Beal’s patent #1024, and as we can see - below - this had some lovely information.  Although not highlighted for our purposes today, even Erastus Aldrich has an association, as his moving in to Section 9 is mentioned in the Joseph Beal Genealogy (page 13), and Hiram Aldrich's marriage in William Beal's home is mentioned on page 14.

Even more interesting – Joseph’s wife, Gulielma, also purchased a parcel of closely related property on exactly the same day as Joseph C and his father, Joseph – October 15, 1835!  The pink highlighted section was Gulielma's purchase, and the red highlighted sections were purchases made by Joseph C Beal's older brother, William.  William bought his parcels a few days earlier than his father, brother and sister-in-law: October 6th and 9th.  Still quite close in time!

Next, I searched the sections around Section 9, Twp 6S, Rge 1E, and came across a few more related folks.  Here is Section 15:

The yellow highlighted individual is Joseph Pennington, and according to the Joseph Beal genealogy he was the father of Gulielma M. Beal  (page 39) and hence Joseph C. Beal’s father-in-law.   Yet more astonishing associations.

I then plotted these ‘related’ land patents on the map.  Here is a spreadsheet version of the map to illustrate how closely related these parcels of land really were:

I am definitely going to have to do this for all my ancestors, all their land, and all their associates!  Such a valuable lesson - thanks to Alberta Genealogical Society and thank you to Lyn Meehan!

Copyright 2013 Denise G Baker, All Rights Reserved
- AGS Conference 2013, Edmonton, AB.
- Beal, William J.  Genealogy of Joseph Beal and Elizabeth (Cleghorn) Beal of Perinton, Monroe County, New York and Rollin, Lenawee County, Michigan with an account of pioneer life.  1910.  Accessed 26 Apr 2013.
- Federal Land Patent for Joseph C Beal. Patent #1024.  Bureau of Land Management.  2013.  Accessed 26 Apr 2013.
- Meehan, Lyn.  Country Cousins: Ancestors on the Land.  AGS Conference 2013.  
- Pension file for Joseph Beal.  War of 1812 Pension Files, online database,  Accessed 26 Apr 2013.