Summer is almost over…

And genealogy has stalled completely. I’m stuck. I’ve come to the preverbally dreaded BRICK WALL (Click to see my Brick Wall)! So I’ve done what any good genealogist has done… I’ve researched my friends genealogy, my husband’s genealogy, celebrities genealogy, strangers genealogy (yep I did that… I read an obit, and then researched their family).

Life in the Carsten home is never boring. We now have a child graduated from High School and a child now graduated from Kindergarten. Sky is working two jobs, and planning on going to SVSU in a year. Shelbi is enjoying summer and being a kid. Marty & I haven’t gone on many bike rides, but we plan to soon, but working takes a lot of his time.

Skyleigh & Shelbi – our graduates.

We had a great Carsten Family Campout in early July, got to visit with family from Texas and Florida that we haven’t seen in a long time. We also celebrated my sister n’ law who passed away April 2021.

The Carsten clan…. July 2021

Here’s to getting through the BRICK WALLS… and finding our ancestors….

Lurena M. Tyrrell “Rena” and William D. Cook “Woody”

Happy Autumn y’all! School has started, and I have a Senior and a Kindergartener. My senior is face to face in school, I can’t believe it’s her last year! My kindergartener we are homeschooling her. We are having a blast! But it does damper my researching genealogy!

I’m going through my photos that I got from my family reunion a few months back. Here is a great photo of my grandma Lash’s aunt, Lurena “Rena” Tyrrell and her husband William D. “Woody” Cook. I have no idea if this was her first husband or second. I’m trying to find information on William D. Cook “Woody.”

This is what I do know about “Rena” Tyrrell.

When Lurena M. “Rena” Tyrrell was born on September 30, 1888, in Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, her father, James, was 23, and her mother, Sarah, was 31. She had four brothers and five sisters.

She resided in Ontario in Middlesex East, Ontario, Canada in 1891 with both her parents, and Woodstock, Ontario, Canada in 1901 with her father and step-mother. According to the 1930 Census she arrived in the USA in 1905.

Her first marriage that I found on record was to Lyman A. Wilkinson, on June 12, 1929, in South Bend, St. Joseph, Indiana. She was 40 years old at the time of marriage. They live in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan from 1929-1931 (Source: US City Directories). They divorce on December 4, 1937 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan. The divorce was granted to Lorena on grounds of “non-support and extreme cruelty,” they had no children and she was 49 years old.

She then married Fredric Lee Snook in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on April 19, 1940, when she was 51 years old. They resided in Kalamazoo from 1940 until 1956 (Source: 1940 Census and US City Directories) and maybe until her death in 1960.

She died on May 20, 1960, in Galesburg, Michigan, at the age of 71, and was buried in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is laid to rest at Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park South, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Here are some photos of Lurena

Mysterious Photo

I found in the midst of the old box of photos I found at our family reunion a mysterious photo of a sharply dressed man with sharp eyes. The back of the photo had a very cheeky inscription on it. It looks to be taken about 1950-60s.


If anyone has any idea who this man is and how he is connected to the Lash family from Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, please let me know.

Summer means Family Reunions….

Summertime in Michigan in my childhood always meant uncomfortable family reunions, where I didn’t know anyone but my parents or grandparents. As an adult, I love them!!

My beautiful Aunt Mary…. you can see me digging through a box of old photos behind her! 🙂 (Pic credit: Connie Rolland)

I am usually the one sitting with my head stuck in a genealogy book or digging through old photos. Or writing down information about an old family member.

There is so much to gain by just sitting and listening to the stories the older generation has to say. Even if your not interested in genealogy, knowing the stories from your family is so important.

My Aunt Linda usually has the LASH reunion at her house, and this summer we were afraid it wouldn’t happen. I am so excited to share that it did happen!!


Lash Children

About 1948 (minus Franklin who passed away in 1944, and the youngest 4, Linda, Pauline, David and Robert)
(2007) standing: Robert, Pauline, David, Ada, Ray, Linda, Jack. Sitting: RuthAnn and Mary (missing Lurena who died in 2002 and Dan who died in 1964)
(2017) Left to right: Pauline, Linda, Ray, Ada (Ann) & Mary
(2020) Aunt Mary, Uncle Ray, Aunt Linda & Aunt Pauline


Lash Grandkids

1985? Older kids standing in the back: Shelly, Kerri, Sherry (me), Lisa, Johnny, LaDawn; little kids in the front: ?, Gary, Larry, Grandma with baby?, and Peter
2020 Standing: Ronda, Daniel, Sue, Dan, Tammy, Chrystal, Tim, Kerri, Wade, Johnny, Danny (yes we have a lot of Dan’s they are all named after uncle Danny who died in 1964) kneeling down is Sherry (me) and Lisa

And just look at the photos I got to bring home!!!!!

John Henry Lash and Cordelia Lane Family

John Henry Lash

  • Born: 20 August 1869; Richfield, Genesee County, MI
  • Married: 6 June 1892*; Richfield, Genesee County, MI (20 Sep 1892*)
  • Divorce Filed: 15 November 1912; Saginaw, Saginaw County, MI
  • Divorce Final: 20 January 1913; Saginaw, Saginaw County, MI
  • Died: 27 June 1942; Flint, Genesee County, MI
  • Cause of Death: Cerebral Hemorrhage
  • Buried: City Cemetery, Flint, Genesee County, MI (*No headstone)
  • Adopted by Lyman C. Lash and Mary Rienhart
  • Bio parents Phoebe Lash Dowd and maybe William Dowd.

Census & Directory Records for John Henry Lash

  • 1870: Richfield, Genesee County, MI (with Lyman & Mary Lash as Frederick Lash, age 9 months)
  • 1880: Richfield, Genesee County, MI (with Lyman & Mary Lash as John Lash, age 10)
  • 1900: Juniata Twp., Tuscola County, MI (Head of House, Age 31)
  • 1910: Juniata Twp., Tuscola County, MI (Head of House, Age 41)
  • 1912: Flint, Genesee County, MI (John & Delia Lash, Harrison St. Age 43)
  • 1918: Flint, Gensee County, MI (John Lash, Michigan Ave., Age 49)
  • 1920: Flint, Genesee County, MI (Head of House, Age 51)
  • 1921: Flint, Genesee County, MI (John Lash, Utah Ave. Age 52)
  • 1925: Flint, Genesee County, MI (John Lash, Rosedale Ave. Age 56)
  • 1930: Mt Morris, Genesee County, MI (Head of House, Age 61)
  • 1940: Flint, Genesee County, MI (Head of House; Pasadena Ave., Age 82)

Cordelia (Delia) Lane

  • Born: August 1873; Hadley, Lapeer County, MI
  • Married: 6 June 1892; Richfield, Genesee County, MI (or 20 Sep 1892)
  • Divorce Filed: 15 November 1912; Saginaw, Saginaw County, MI
  • Divorce Final: 20 January 1913; Saginaw, Saginaw County, MI
  • Died: 12 April 1914; Saginaw, Saginaw County, MI
Divorce record of John & Delia Lash

John & Delia had 5 sons. Lyman Jay, Lyle Dee, Fred, Edward Charles, and Ray. Lyman went by Jay and married Sarah White. Lyle went by the name Dee, passed away during WW1. Fred died young. Edward married Doris Derk. And Ray, my grandfather married Edith Webster.

When I started researching my family tree, my maternal grandfather had a brother that was in the 1900 & 1910 Census that disappeared after 1910 along with his mother Cordeila (Delia) Lash. I can’t find for certain what happened to Delia (I have a clue, but nothing for certain yet) but as for Fred I have found these documents…

Saginaw News; PG: 4

Richard Vincent & Elizabeth James

Richard Vincent, son of L Vincent (believed to be Levi), was born on 4 May 1810 in New York State USA, died on 26 Mar 1906 in Brant, Saginaw County,
Michigan, USA at age 95, and was buried on 28 Mar 1906 in Brant
Cemetery, Old Part, Brant, Saginaw County, MI.

Noted events in his life were:

  • Residence: Possibly?, 1836, Canada.
  • Arrival: 1836.
  • Residence: 30 Jun 1860, Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan, United States.
  • Residence: 1865, Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan, USA.
  • Residence: Residence Post Office: Owosso, 1870, Owosso Ward 4,
  • Shiawassee, Michigan, United States.
  • Residence: 5 Jun 1880, Brant, Saginaw, Michigan, United States.
  • Residence: 1900, Brant, Saginaw, Michigan.

Richard married Elizabeth James, daughter of John James and Jane Bolton, circa 1851.

Elizabeth James, daughter of John James and Jane Bolton, was born on 8 Jan 1832 in England, died on 8 Jul 1920 in Marion Springs, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA at age 88, and was buried on 10 Jul 1920 in Brant Cemetery, Old Part, Brant, Saginaw County, MI.

Children from this marriage were:

  1. Adeline Vincent was born on 11 May 1852 in Michigan, died on 20 Apr 1929 in Chapin, Saginaw, Michigan, USA at age 76, and was buried in Elsie, Clinton County, Michigan, USA.
  2. Louisa Vincent was born in 1854 in Michigan, died on 9 Sep 1890 in Owosso, Shiawassee County, MI at age 36, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Owosso, Shiawassee County, MI.
  3. Levi Vincent was born on 10 Jun 1854 in Port Huron, St. Clair County, MI, died on 15 Jan 1929 in Marion Springs, Saginaw, Michigan, USA at age 74, and was buried on 18 Jan 1929 in Marion Twp Cemetery, Marion, Saginaw, MI, USA.
  4. Henry (Hank) Vincent was born in Oct 1859 in Michigan and died on 16 Oct 1944 in Saginaw, Saginaw, MI, USA at age 85.
  5. John R Vincent was born on 8 Mar 1860 in Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan, USA, died on 6 Mar 1945 in Owosso, Shiawassee, Michigan, USA at age 84, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Owosso, Shiawassee County, MI.
  6. Mary Jane Vincent was born on 15 Jul 1865 in Michigan, died on 6 Oct 1932 in Wenatchee, Washington, USA at age 67, and was buried in East Wenatchee, Douglas County, Washington, USA. Another name for Mary was Mary Jane Vincent.
  7. James Vincent was born in Sep 1866 in Michigan and died circa 1900-1947 in Michigan, USA about age 34.
  8. William Grant Vincent was born on 8 Dec 1867 in Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA, died on 27 Dec 1953 in Chesaning, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA at age 86, and was buried in Brant, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA.
And the organizing continues….

And the organizing continues….

There are many ways to organize your genealogy. Most people these days do most of their genealogy on computers and/or tablets, thanks to And I am all for that, I love Ancestry and if, God forbid, something should happen to my hard copies I am so thankful that I have most of my research on ancestry or on my laptops.

But I am an “old school” fan! I LOVE having the actual documents or photos in my hands! And after trying to share my genealogy with someone I have found that I wasn’t always good at organizing and sourcing my research. So I am bound and determined to work on that this month.

Here are some of my tips on organizing your hard copies of your research. You can research “old school” going to the library with a pen and notepad (and lots of coins for the copy machine), or you can research online and print out the documents or photos from the comfort of your own home…. either way you need to have a few things. I have multiple 3-ring binders, in various sizes but my most common is a 2 1/2-inch binder. I add writable Insertable Big Tab Dividers to the binder, I have one tab for each family unit. Then I us sticky notes and highlighters to help keep myself on track and for easy viewing. The photos below are examples of what I would buy, you should buy what you like and what works for you.

Here are some tips from The Family Curator that she wrote for her local genealogy society newsletter. My thoughts are in italics after each tip.

Ten Tips for Organizing Genealogy Research

  1. Sheet Control – Use standard 8 ½ x 11-inch paper for all notes and printouts. (You will curse yourself if you have loads of half sheets falling out your binder. Unless you use post-it notes.)
  2. Stay Single – One surname, one locality per sheet for easy filing. (It’s very hard to do this at times when your ancestors lived close together.)
  3. No Repeats – Avoid errors; write legibly the first time.
  4. Dating Yourself – Always write the current date on your research notes. (This will come in handing later when you source!)
  5. Be Color Clever – Distinguish family lines with different colored folders, binders, tabs. (I have used color for location not surnames, but I love this idea!)
  6. File First – File one research trip or effort before starting the next one.
  7. Ask Directions – Write your own filing instructions; a big help when you take a long break.
  8. Supply Closet – Keep a stash of folders, plastic sleeves, tabs, printer ink.
  9. One File at a Time – Work through paper piles steadily; the mess didn’t happen in one day.
  10. KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly! Use an easy to set up, easy to maintain system.

Some more organizing tips from the internet:

Until Next Time….


Making a Come-Back…

Making a Come-Back…

Hello Genealogy Friends….

I know it’s been a while since I last updated. Life has been crazy here in little old Michigan. Last year we moved to a little town near us. Let me tell you what if I never move again I will be happy!! No one ever tells ya how much WORK it is to move!!

Martin, Sherry, Skyleigh & Shelbi (22 June 2019)

My genealogy research got a renewed life thanks to Covid!! At the moment most of my genealogy is a third in the attic, a third in the living room and a third on my laptop. Like I said moving is HARD! And I found my genealogy files to be a hot mess!! So yeah that’s fun!!

What on is my Webster/Chagum line. Since I started researching this line in 1998, I’ve gotten to my 6th great grandfather James Chagum. James a Native American from Rhode Island. It is unclear who his father and mother are, at first it was thought that Great James Chagum and Jane Sands but it’s looking like Great James is his grandfather.

Drawing from the book: Legends of the Barkhamsted Lighthouse and Satan’s Kingdom in Hartford, CT by Lewis Mills, (Page 104)

Young James married Molly (Mary) Barber of Wethersfield, Connecticut. They had 8 children in all; Two boys Samuel who married Miss. Green of Sharon, CT and Solomon who married Miss Hayes & Ms. Sophia Bills. Six girls, two who never married Elizabeth who died in 1854 and Sally/Susie who died young. Meribah (aka: Mary) who married Samuel Lawerence. Hannah Sands who married Ruben Barber in 1784. Mercy married Isaac Jacklyn. Polly (aka: Mary) married William Preston Wilson Sr, who was a preacher (some say Baptist) and a school teacher, he also served in the Revolution War, he was lame possibly from battle of Monmouth.

It is so important to remember to cite your work and organize it in a way you understand. I am currently taking up most of my livingroom floor with two books of genealogy trying to figure out where I got the information, and how it fits in my line. Since the convience of tecnology I haven’t really had my hands on hard copies of my files in years, so this is becoming a huge chore for me today! Luckily my 6 year old is playing great in her room.

Until next time!


How & Where to Begin your Genealogy Research

This page has been put together to give you some ideas on how to conduct research into your roots. The suggestions contained here are simple ideas that have worked for me–some of them may not be helpful for you, as all of us develop our preferences for the way we work. Use those you find helpful.

Get Organized

Determine how you’re going to record the result of you research. In most cases, this is a matter of deciding which software to use, and again, this is a matter of preference. I used Family Tree Maker for while and I also have been using Lagacy I like both of them. I find it useful to use a word processor–but of course I am a perfectionist, such as WordPerfect or Word, to make additional notes, such as a listing of records to search for next time I visit the Library or any of my “Foot” research (which I will talk about later). Many times you will find yourself gathering information that doesn’t relate to a particular person, but rather fills in background information for a geographic area or a group of people-this sort of information is easiest tracked in a word processor. If it is easier for you to use a pad of paper then use that. I sometimes use legal-paper when I do “Foot” research. I then use this format: First, the keyword; such as a surname, place, etc. Second, the Source; e-mail address, reference citation, etc. Third, the Note; the data itself. I can’t say it enough…MAKE SURE YOU SOURCE EVERYTHING!

Start With What You Know

Enter, either into your genealogy program or by hand, all of the information that you have from personal knowledge of your family history. Wherever possible, make not of where events took place, as geographical data plays a very large part in tracking down ancestral information. Document your sources thoroughly, even if your data comes from your personal knowledge! When you’ve exhausted your own knowledge, move onto you family members. A Tape recorder is often a useful tool, particularly when “interviewing” the older family members–*small note, some older family members do not like to be taped. Try not to make your question too vague, a more specific question (i.e.: “Do you remember Uncle George and his wife Aunt Bertha?”, etc.) usually returns a better answer with more information. Keep in mind that some of what you hear from your family members may be more along the line of ‘Family Legend’ rather than actual fact, but even such legends may provide clues to further avenues of research. Do not discard, out of hand, ANY information you gather.

Family Heirlooms

Family Bibles are usually the most informative of heirlooms, there are others which may provide a wealth of information as well. Old history books, particularly local histories, may include notes in the margins indicating a relationship to a family member. photo albums are often invaluable, especially if names are included. One of my own treasures is a stack of papers found in my great-great grandmother’s bible. One of the papers was an obituary of her brothers, giving me an additional family member to add to my research.

Library Resources

Probably the best available for resources exists in your local Library. They have extensive collections of microfilm and microfiche copies of historical and genealogical data from all over your area and around the United States. Local libraries have census records, local newspapers, pre-compiled genealogies and other compiled genealogy related material. Most local libraries have a “GENEALOGY” section, where they might have a surname index, or genealogies already compiled with researchers name and address or phone number. You will come to a point in your research that you don’t know what to do next, you might want to check out your State’s State Library. Each State has a Library that covers the whole state. Research that can be found there are: Pre-compiled genealogies, census records, newspapers, ships index, birth, marriage, and death indexes and much more genealogy related material. The only differences between the local and State library is that the State covers the whole state.

“Foot” Research

OK, you’ve put together everything you know so far. Now What? Now it is time for my favorite part of the research “FOOT” Research. The “foot” research includes: Funeral Homes, County Courthouses, Churches, and Cemeteries (and sometimes the occasional Family Reunion).

Funeral Homes provide material such as Death Certificates and much more. I have recently gotten my grandmother’s sister’s death certificate from the local funeral home, it gave me her birth, death, what she died of, who her parents were, when her funeral was, where she was buried and that her middle name was “Arla” NOT “Arlene.”
County Courthouses sometimes limit the use of there material so call ahead. I couldn’t find my great grandfather’s death in the index, I had an obituary, but couldn’t find it anywhere in the death index. I went to the courthouse and look through the year, and guess what?…There it was!!

Churches, most churches keep thorough records.

My favorite “foot” research is the Cemetery. Some cemeteries have put together indexes in the form of books, (most libraries have them), some people have put together an on-line index of the cemetery; however, if you can’t find it talk to the Saxon of the cemetery you are looking for.

Happy Hunting!