Ridin’ down the highway….

Today was a very fun day for my husband Martin’s 41st birthday.  We went with some friends through the country side.  This was the 1st Annual Orville “Rich” Bateson Memorial Ride.  Orville was a great friend that past away in May of this year.

The ride took us from Lennon, MI to Brant, MI & then back to Lennon.  As we drove through the Brant area I had a longing to do my “visiting” of all the places my grandma would talk about when I was young.  Lovers lane where Grandpa got us stuck one day because it was muddy & he was teasing Grandma.  We drove by the old “Homestead” on Marion Road.

It was a great warm day with friends & a song in my heart remembering all the old haunts of my family… I could hear them smiling down on us.

Richard L. Vincent


My first genealogy line was my maiden name of VINCENT.  I got to my great great grandfather Richard Vincent.  Found him in 1860 in Port Huron, St Clair County, MI with his wife Eliz and 4 children.  That record has his birth place as NY.  In 1870 I find them in Owosso, Shiawassee County, MI with 8 children & a son in law.  Birthplace stated as Michigan.  This is HIGHLY unlikely as Michigan was still only a Territory and didn’t start growing until 1820s when the Erie Canal, but I suppose it is possible.  In 1880 He is Richard L. Vincent in Brant, Saginaw County, MI (this is where my family is from), they have six children living with them.  This Census has his birthplace as New York.  I also found him in the 1880 Agriculture Federal Census, I don’t understand how to read it, but it places him in Brant along with the regular Census & his name is Richard L. Vinsent.  Next I find him in 1900 in Brant birth day as May 1815 (different than all the rest) & a birthplace of Michigan.

Death Certificate of Richard Vincent

Today I found a Death Certificate of Richard Vincient, died 26 Mar 1906 in Brant, Saginaw County, Michigan.  He was 94 years, 10 months & 22 day.  That would place his birth on 4 May 1810, lines up with most of the census with year, and then the 1900 census putting his birthday in May.  His birthplace is New York, his father is L Vincent born in New York, his mother is Don’t Known born in England.  Cause of death is “Palpatations of the Heart.”  He was buried on 28 Mar 1906 in Brant Cemetery. This adds so many more questions!

Where is he between 1810 the year of his birth to 1860 when I find him in Port Huron?  My great aunt Toots (Helen Vincent Fraiser daughter of William Vincent, Richard’s youngest son) told me that Richard was from England, that he came over on “the boat,” that his father’s name was Levi (he named his first son after his father). I have found some records of a “Richard Vincent” but no proof that it’s my Richard.  1st – Canadian Immigrant Records, in 1836. 2nd – Australia NSW Index Immigrants 15 Nov 1828 on the boat Henry Wellesley.  3rd – 1830 Census in Union Vale, Dutchess, New York, USA with 2 people under 20 and 2 between the ages of 20-49.  Much Love from Michigan,Sherry

Grandma Clouds

Driving to the grocery store today the clouds were so beautiful & fluffy.  They reminded me of a warm summer day when I was about 8-10 years old.  My grandma Vincent & I were on our way to Brant, MI.  We had a busy day planned.  We were on our way to first the cemetery in Brant because my grandma wanted to visit her dad’s grave.  We were going to stop at the “Blueberry Ladies” house, she was one of my grandma’s friends from school, but we bought blueberries from her, oh how they were soooooo sweet!! We sat & drank some lemonade.  While grandma & the “Blueberry Lady” would talk about old days I would dance around under the trees in her back yard.  It was so peaceful in the country side.  Then we went to see Great Uncle Bernard & Great Aunt Evelyn, grandma’s brother & sister n’ law.  I then got to run around the house that my grandma & my daddy was born in, & play on Uncle Bernard’s tractor & talk to him in the garden.

On the way to Brant grandma said “Sherry, see those white fluffy clouds?”

“Yes grams, those are beautiful.” I answered.

“I want you to remember those type of clouds.” She went on.

“Why grandma, they’re not that important are they?” I didn’t understand what she was saying.

“When I’m gone to heaven, I want you to look up to the sky & see those clouds.  I want you to know that I will be sitting on those clouds watching over you.  I always will be there for you.  I will never stop watching over you.” She said with a tear in her eye.

I never understood why it was sooooooo important to her that I knew this about these clouds.  To this day I call them Grandma clouds.  Grandma died in 2000, and I miss her like crazy!! But I know that grandma is up in Heaven, watching over me & is proud of the momma I’ve become.  My daddy died in 2008, and my kids now call those clouds Grandpa clouds.

Lesson #2 – Learn from your ancestors

Today is one of the hottest days since school was let out at the end of May.  UGH!  It’s 90° outside, but it feels so much hotter because the air is so thick,  the humidity is at 39 %!  So last night, after all our running around, at 10:30 pm I started making stuff to eat today.  My grandmother used to “pre-make” items the day before when she knew we were gonna have a hot day.

So I took her old recipes and last night made some of the things we would eat on a very hot day.  I made some rolls for strawberry shortcake, I boiled some eggs for egg-salad sandwiches and my favorite is Macaroni Salad! Yummm-O! We also made some Kool-Aid & Ice Tea gotta keep hydrated!!

This got me thinking about all the things that are handed down from our parents & grandparents. The way we eat food, the expressions we say, the things we like to read, hobbys & habits that they did and so many more.  My grandfather used to take lettuce pour sugar into it & roll it like a burrito and eat it, sounds nasty right, WRONG it’s soooo yummy!!  My husband tells me he loves banana & peanut butter sandwiches because he knew someone who liked them.  My son picked up an expression that my father used call everyone, “Hot Rod.”

What will we pass down?  What are the things that have been passed down & we don’t even know it?

Dad… a son’s first Hero & a daughter’s first Love!

Sitting here with my kids getting their father’s day gift finished up & wrapped, I contemplate all the years I had with my daddy.  He died in 2008, this will be my 4th father’s day without him.  I miss him very much, and hope that I can make him proud of the wife, mother & woman I’ve become.

My daddy was a simple man, didn’t like a lot of “frill” as he put it.  He had the same white coffee mug since I was a little girl, he collected baseball cards, he loved watching sports.. I remember going to a Detroit Tigers game at Tiger Field in Detroit (before they tore it down & built CoMerica park), I don’t remember much about the game or the Field but I remember eating a hot dog looking up at my daddy! I think I was about 8 years old & I didn’t care much about baseball, I was just happy to be with him!  My dad, like his dad, loved to go fishing.  He sold fishing equipment for a living for a while, I got to go with him sometimes to do his “shows.”  They were like a tupperware or pampered chef party, he would display them & then tell the benefits of each item.  When I got to go, I got to be his Vanna White.

My dad was also a truck driver for a long time, so there were long period of times that I didn’t see him at all, but when I did see him I remember snuggling on his lap & listening to his stories from the road.  I have a few things of my daddys that remind me when memories start to fade of his love for me.

My dad wasn’t always the best dad in the world.  He was a recovering alcholic, that became really abusive when drinking or when he really wanted a drink.  He had his own demons that haunted him, like mine haunt me.  He had a really hard time expressing his feeling toward me or my siblings. He complained about my grades, about my friends, about the boys I dated and about my mother.

In the end lung cancer took my dad, the last few months of his life, my dad’s personality changed.  Everytime I saw him he would tell me he loved me, he hugged on my kids & told them that he loved them and he was sweeter towards me.  Like I said things weren’t always great & wonderful, but now that daddy is in Heaven… I choose to remember only good things about him.

Here’s a poem I wrote just after his death in 2008.

A Poem for my Daddy

More than a father,
more than a friend,
our love has no limit,
our friendship no end.

Although I cannot see you,
I known I’m not alone….
‘Cause my daddy’s always with me,
Even though we are apart,
I know because you told me,
you’ll forever be in my heart.

Sometimes when I close my eyes,
I see you sitting there in your chair
and I climb on your lap and lay my head on your shoulder…
and I am a child again.

Why Genealogy


My wonderful children Zac & Sky ❤

Genealogy is our families history our families stories, where we all came from.  I, ironically, came from a long line of story tellers.  My mother & grandmother would sit for hours telling & retelling family stories.  My father, grandfather & grandmother on my dad’s side would also tell me family stories from their side.  Our stories make us who we are.

I do genealogy so I can prove our family stories and pass them down to my children.  So in turn they can pass them to their children… so one day when my grandchildren have their own grandchildren they will know the foundation that was built in the farmers field, on the factory line, in the milking barn, along the railroad line and through the experience of everyday life, that holds them together.

Mmmm K!

The new word around here is “Mmmm K” sometimes said “Nn K” – WOW! Really??  This got me thinking about the slang that my parents & grandparents would say.

  • Grammy would say… “Go put that dirty glass in the zink.” (that’s a sink)
  • Daddy would say… “How are you doing Hot Rod Annie?”
  • Granps would say… “Can you get me the next fish out of the Ice Box.” (that’s a cooler)
  • Momma would say… “My father used to work at a boneyard?” (that’s a junkyard)

Wikipedia defines SLANG as the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker’s language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often used as a euphemism and may use informal lexicon to identify with one’s peers.

Here are some more slang from my childhood…

  • Wiggin’ out
  • Knuckle Sandwich
  • Slammer
  • Wicked (coming back since the Disney movie “The Incredibles”)
  • Plaster
  • Sofa bed (the couch, the sofa)
  • Wet Willie (who’s younger/older sibling didn’t do that to you!?)
  • Ace
  • Wedgie (again trick of the younger/older sibling!)
  • Thongs (In the 60’s, thongs were something you wore on your feet. We call them flip flops!)
  • Stud (as in a hot guy! LOL!), also stud muffin
  • Foxy or A Fox (as in a hot girl)
  • Steady, going steady with a guy/girl
  • Awesome!
  • Totally!
  • Stoked
  • Far out
  • Spazed out!
  • Slug bug… or bunch buggie…. my kids still play this game!!
  • Shot gun (orginally said on the old west, because the man riding shotgun actually had a shot gun! It means to ride in a place of honor in the front seat of a car)
  • Righteous (very cool!)
  • Peepers (my granps would say this about my eyes… “Girl you have the prettiest peepers!”)
  • Kissee (my gram would say this & I never knew what it meant, but I’ve found it’s a cross between a kiss-up & a sissy)
  • Hanky Panky… LOL!! It still means the same!!

Some cool links to look up slang are 60’s Slang, SlangSite.com, & The Online Slang Dictionary!

…Some in Michigan are Living…

This is a post from my previous blog, it’s my favorite piece of writing about some of my favorite ancestors Hope you enjoy it!

…Some in Michigan are Living…

Calling me back “home,” beckoning me is a little piece of land. Ironically it is called Barkhamsted Lighthouse. I ponder the inhabitants of the Lighthouse “Tribe” even thought what it’s name would mean to those coming after them. To me it is a beacon deep in my heart. A passion that was my mother’s and my grandmother’s to stand where the Websters & Chagum’s once stood. To see the old cemetery & foundations of the homes, that are barely noticed today. To somehow feel their presence from the past. To visit the town’s Historical Society and Records vault, to find my ancestors name in some forgotten record.

It all starts with JAMES CHAGUM and MOLLY BARBER.

James Chagum, it is believed that he is the son of Great James Chagum and Jane/Priscilla Sands, was born in Jun 1710 in Block Island, Washington County, RI. James, by all accounts, spoke English very well, that he “fit in with the community well.”  He went to worked as a gardener for Molly’s father. Other notable events are; Land Grant: 1760. “James Chaugham being awarded a land grant in 1760 by the British Gov. of GT.”, Military Service: Possible that he served in the French Indian Wars. Molly Barber was born about 1714, uncertian where, some reports of Ireland others Wethersfield, CT. Her father’s name could be Peter or Joseph Barber, but it is unknown.  According to one book her mother’s name is Mary. In the 1800, Litchfield County, CT. “Mary Chaugum, P. 32, with 1 Female-over 45, 3 free persons in family”

The story goes that Molly had many male callers, she fell in love with a gentleman caller, and her father denied them to get married and locked her up on their grounds, the gentleman then moved out west. James seeing Molly so sad gave her a rose from the garden and a friendship blossomed. They eventually fell in love and decided to run away so they could be together. Molly’s angered father chased them from Wethersfield, CT into an Indian village near Barkhamsted, were he passed right by Molly and didn’t even recognize her. Molly and James fearing that they’d be descovered then settled in the mountain range around Barkhamsted where they flourished. They had 8 children in all; Two boys Samuel who married Miss. Green of Sharon, CT and Solomon who married Miss Hayes & now I have found that he may have also married a Ms. Sophia Bills-Webster who died while giving birth on 3 Mar 1848 in Kent, Litchfield County, CT. Six girls, two who never married Elizabeth who died in 1854 and Sally 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.

William P. Wilson Sr & Polly (Mary) Chagum lived at the Lighthouse site, & had 4 known children; Susan (b. 1795) married Daniel F. Clarke, Esther (b. 1796) married David Haskell, Polly (b. 1771) married Joseph Elwell Sr. [I have found 6 children for them, one who is Sybil Elwell who married Montgumery Webster, who was the father of Solomon Webster], and finally their only son William Preston Wilson Jr, (b 1799) married Harriet Wilson – daughter of Eli Wilson & Huldah Wadsworth Cook. [I have found 5 children for them one of whom is Mary Wilson who married Solomon Webster the son of Montgumery Webster].

Sybil Elwell & Montgumery Webster’s children were said to be 11 but I have only found 8; Solomon (b. 1828) married Mary Wilson, Henrietta (b. Jun 1830), Minerva (b. 1834), William (b. 1840), Prudence (b. 9 Jan 1845), Henry (b. 1 May 1848 d. 20 May 1848), Stephen (b. 15 Jun 1849) & Samuel (b. Nov 1850). Sybil died 21 July 1851 in Bela Squire Crossing in Farmington, Hartford County, CT age 47 years old and Montgumery died 16 Aug 1883 in Winchester, Litchfield County, CT age 81 years old.

Solomon Webster & Mary Wilson had 11 known children; Franklin (b. 1850) married Mary Corlis in 1882, Laura (b. 30 Jul 1851) married Isaac Elwell [grandson of Joseph Elwell Sr. & Polly Wilson], Frederic Roy (b. 1852) married Mary Blett, Riley (b. Mar 1858 d. 24 Jun 1917) never married, Susan (b. 14 Aug 1861) married Andrew Cochran in 1878, Watson Squires in 1888 and Walter Humphrey in 1810, Janet (b. 1864) married Edwin Snow, Isadora “Dora” M. (b.1860’s) married Francis W. Hack, Emma (b. 22 Feb 1868) married Egbert King in 1891, Mary (b. 1869 d. 1869) died of Cyanosis, Daniel (b. 1870), Justina Janet (b. 1870 d. 1870) died of Cyanosis. I also have two other children in the census with them a Prudence (b. 9 Jan 1859) and a Ferdine (b. 1859) – believe these are the same person & I also believe that Prudence is Solomon’s sister.

Michigan Webster Family, photo was taken at Bert’s wife Lizzie’s funeral July of 1921.Left to Right: Stanley, Bert, Frank, Fred Jr, Nora, Minnie, Elmer, Judd. Fred & Mary Webster standing in front in the middle.

Frederic Roy Webster [moved to Michigan with his aunt & uncle, Isaac Elwell (b. 1812) & Thankful M. Wilson (b. 1812) after 1870] he & his wife Mary Blett had 6 children who where all born in Michigan; Frank E. (b. 1878), Lena Belle (b. 1881), Fred Agusta (b. 1883), Bert Alvin (b. 1887), Nora Delle (b. 1889) & Stanley (b. 1892). It should be noted here that in 1880 Frank should have been about 2 years old & he was not in the census with his parents, however a child was with them named Charles that was born in 1879, I believe this is Frank. Also Mary was married before to Henry W. Price & they had 4 children – Nellie, Minnie, Elmer & Byron Judson (aka Judd) & in many census were named Webster.

Bert is my great grandfather, his daughter Edith Webster married Roy Lash, her daughter was Ruth Ann Lash who is my mother.

I hold in my hand two wonderful books. The first one is A Village of Outcasts: Historical Archaeology and Documentary Research at the Lighthouse Site by Kenneth L. Feder. GoodReads calls it “A fascinating story of Native Americans, freed African-American slaves, and assorted European outcasts who came together and established a settlement that thrived from 1740 to 1860, this case study integrates the history and archaeology of a multicultural, multiethnic New England village.” I have had the book since I purchased it from Walt Langraf in May of 1998. At that time I was still in college & had limited time to read it, I have recently started reading it again. The book talks about Archaeology terminology & a basic knowledge of Archaeology. It also talks about my second wonderful book “The Legend of the Barkhamsted Light House” by Lewis S. Mills, MA. , which is written in the style of The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

In Feder’s book is more factual, while Mills’ book is more “romantic” – both are prized possessions of my collection of family heirlooms. Not only do I treasure the information in those books & the papers I received back in 1998, I treasure the friend I had in Walt Langraf, I know that this world is a little bit darker now that he is no longer with us.

One day in the near future I hope to step onto this Valley where my ancestors lived & loved. One day I hope that my children can see the importance of history. The song by Cher, “Gypsy’s Tramps & Theives” keeps running through my head; James Chagum was considered a run-away servant, he & his brave wife Molly Barber was considered outlaws…

In Lewis S. Mills book, “The Legend of the Barkhamsted Light House” page 93 he writes…

“Molly Barber and James Chaugham
Dead and Buried-gone forever:
Scattered now are their descendants.
Some are in the Town of Woodbury
Busy digging graves and hunting;
Some in Riverton and Colebrook
Some in Harwinton and Winsted,
Some in Michigan are living.

… Generations speeding onward
In an ever widening circle,
Carry far the blood of Chaugham
And his spouse, brave Molly Barber…”

My family are part of that “…SOME IN MICHIGAN ARE LIVING….”

Canadian Genealogy

One of the hardest things for me was genealogy out of the USA!  Here are my ancestors that are from Canada that I am looking for…

James Tyrrell was born 17 Mar 1865 in Bayham, Ontario, Canada the son of Ambrose Tyrrell & Mary Lane. He married Sarah Jane Coulbeck on 19 Oct 1885 in Tilsonburg, Oxford, Ontario, Canada. Sarah was born Abt October 1861 in Eastville, Lincolnshire, England to Charles Coulbeck of Ashby cum Fenby, Lincolnshire, England and Hannah Blythe of Hawerby, Lincolnshire, England.

In 1861 she is in the England Census in Eastville, Lincolnshire, England. She died sometime between 1891-1895 in Ontario, Canada. Sarah & James had 3 daughters, Mildred “Millie” born 1885, Elizabeth “Lizzie” born 1886 and Lorena “Rena” born 1888.  According to the 1891 Census they also had a son John born 1880, but I haven’t found any information on him.
* Looking for more information on James & Sarah (Coulbeck) Tyrrell