The Federal Census is taken every 10 years, but it also contains a number of inaccuracies and isn’t an infallible source. But it one of the “staples” of genealogy records and can come in very handy.
The biggest dilemma from the Census records is the 1890 US Census. Most of the 1890 census’ population schedules were badly damaged by a fire in the Commerce Department Building in January 1921. (For more information about the fire, the National Archives published an article, “First in the Path of the Firemen: The Fate of the 1890 Population Census,” in its Spring 1996 Prologue) The US Congress authorized destruction of that list of records on February 21, 1933, and the surviving original 1890 census records were destroyed by government order by 1934 or 1935. (Source: Wikipedia)
Some of the new questions that were on the 1890 US Census were about immigration/naturalization and US Civil War Service for Veterans and widows. There is 21 year gap between 1880 and 1900, that leaves a lot of empty years. A 16 year old in 1880 would be 36 years old in 1900. So I’ve collected alternatives or substitutions for the 1890 US Census.
State Census; (The following states held a census in 1885: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan (1884), Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Michigan also conducted an 1888 Civil War Veteran’s census. The following states held a census in 1895: Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan (1894), Minnesota, New Jersey, New York (1892), and Wisconsin.)
1890 VETERANS Schedule.
State Vital Records; Birth, Death, Marriage
Old Newspaper Records.
Town & County Directories.
Institutional Records; Hospitals, orphanages, prisons or asylums
Church Records; Baptisms, burials, parish directories, etc.
With a combination of these records you can piece together where your ancestors were in 1890.
Today I spent the day cleaning up my Aldrich/Aldridge line. This is my ultimate brick wall. Here’s what I know….
Aaron Aldrige family in 1850 Washtenaw County, Michigan…. (George Aldrich is my 2nd great grandfather, his daughter Almyra married William Vincent. William and Almyra Vincent are my grandfather’s parents. George served in the Civil War and I’ve got lots of information on him.)
Aaron Aldrich and Almira E. Lockwood had 6 confirmed children from 1842 to 1855. (Links are for their Find a Grave Memorial)
William H. Aldrich born 31 January1842 • Sharon, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA; died 31 May1848 • Sharon, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA. Died in infancy.
Susan C. Aldrich born between 1844-1846 (most census records say she was born in New York except the 1860 census says Michigan); married Addison J. Wood, on the 12 March 1862 in St. Charles, Saginaw, Michigan, USA; died 26 January1891 in Galena, Lawrence County, South Dakota, USA. Leaves no children.
George William Aldrich born 8 March1847 in Sharon, Washtenaw, MI, USA; married Arabella Hammill on 18 February 1866 in St Charles, Saginaw, Michigan, USA; died 11 February 1908 in Brant, Saginaw County, MI (George served in the 29th Infantry Company F during the American Civil War). They had 12 children, my great grandmother Almyra being the 6th child).
William T. Aldrich born September1849 in Sharon, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA; married Fanny L Mills on November 16, 1893 in Mecosta, Michigan; died on 5 March 1917, in Standish, Michigan. His death certificate says he was buried in Standish on 6 March 1917. Leaves no children.
Mary Elizabeth Aldrich born on 18 October 1853, in Sharon, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA; married  Joseph H Harper on July 4, 1870 in St Charles, Michigan, married  Amiel (Emanuel) Aulbach on November 20, 1889 in Lakeview, Montcalm County, Michigan, USA; died on 8 January 1913 in Millbrook, Mecosta County, Michigan, USA. She had 4 children with Harper and 2 with Aulbach.
Angeline Maria “Anna” Aldrich born on 3 August 1855 in Sharon, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA; married George P. Cornell on August 31, 1876 in Cadillac, Wexford, Michigan, USA; died 06 Oct 1921 in Everett, Snohomish, Washington, USA. They had 2 children.
There are 3 unproven children of Aaron and Almira; Anna born 1835 died 1841; Charles born 1852 died 1854 and Charles born 1856 died 1858. I haven’t found any documents to prove that they even exists. I’m thinking Anna is not Almira’s child because Almira would have been 12 years old. I can not find any proofs for any of these.
Almira married William Craig on 29 Mar 1860 in St Charles, Saginaw County, Michigan, USA. They had three children together, one whom they adopted. Jimmie (1863-1865), Mary (1864-?) [according to the the 1880 census she was an adopted orphan] and Fred J. (1865-1928)
The brick wall is that I can’t find Aaron Aldrich/Aldridge after 1855 when his last child was born. There is a hint throughout all the children that they were Morman (LDS), which could mean multiple wives or maybe he passed away. I found A. Aldridge and Amasa Aldridge in Washtenaw County, Michigan in 1840; could they be brothers? There is no proof to any of these theories as of yet.
If you look back up to the 1850 Census you will find Mary Lockwood 50 years old living with the Aldrich family. That is Almira E. Lockwood’s mother. I also found her with the Solomon & Charlotte Sears family in Sharon, Washtenaw County, MI (Still researching this family, hoping that Charlotte may be another daughter of Mary if not then why is she with them?).
She is in the 1860 Census in St Charles, Saginaw County, MI, USA at the age of 63 years old.
She is in a newspaper article Saginaw Weekly Enterprise 2 Nov. 1865 Pg. 3 Col. 4. St. Charles, Saginaw County, Michigan. There was a fire in the shop and dwelling from a stove-pipe and consumed the entire building.
Toward the bottom it says “Mrs. Craig’s mother, Mrs Lockwood, was badly burned while attempting to save some bedding in the second story, and it is thought sh will not recover.”
I did that… Saturday morning I woke up and grabbed myself I big cup of coffee and I opened my laptop and I started researching. I wanted to know when my great grandaunt’s 1st husband died, because I had nothing on him except a few photographs and his name was W.D. “Woody” Cook
Let me introduce you to Woody Cook, or at least what I knew of him. My grandma before she passed away showed me this photograph of her uncle. She said she was a little girl when he passed away so she only has a few memories of him. She said he was funny, always made her aunt Rena laugh and everyone else around him. And he would talk about being in the circus as a young man, but she couldn’t remember what he did something to do with taking care of the horses. And she remembered the scare on his face, but could not remember what happened to him.
That was the extent of what I knew about Woody Cook. And it was so hard to find him! I found a William D. Cook years ago, and I accepted him as Woody. 3 wives and 4 children in the same area that my great aunt lived in for a time. But Saturday I got to looking at the information on him and with his birthdate of 1813 he would’ve been 75 years old when my great aunt was born… nope that wasn’t him. So I deleted everything I had about him and started over. Looking for W. D. Cook. and Rena Cook, I knew that Aunt Rena came over from Canada in 1905 and that she was born in 1888 with the full name Lurena M. Tyrrell.
I narrowed my search to 1920 Census in Michigan. I found a Rena Cook born about 1889 in Canada married to a Woodason Cook born about 1875 in Pennsylvania. They were living in Detroit, Michigan on Brush Street, he was working as a Street Car Conductor and she was a Waitress in a Restaurant. It seemed likely but I wasn’t going to assume anything again… so I saved it to my Shoebox on Ancestry and kept on searching. Next I found Rena Cook in the 1905 US City Directories living in Kalamazoo, Michigan and working as a Stripper. Still no real proof that this was my Rena…. Nothing else, no other documents popped up.
I dug out my photos I had of Lurena “Rena” and tried to look for clues. The following photo I got from my grandma. This photo is in a little folder with handwriting that says “To Dear Papa From your loving son and daughter Woody and Rena Cook” I looked a little closer to the photo, took it out of the sleeve, nothing else written on the photo. As I put it back into the sleeve, I noticed the studio mark on the sleeve. Imrie Studio on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit. So maybe the 1920 Census was them….
Focusing on Woodason Cook, I found a marriage record of Woodason Duane Cook to a Mary Lorena Richard in London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, married on 24th of June 1918. At first I was going to ignore this, but FamilySearch.org had an image so I decided to look at the image. The image is kind of hard to read, but it was transcribed and it showed Mary Lorena Richard’s parents as James Tyrrell and Sarah Colbeck – my 2nd great grandparents!!! YAY!! (Also this rules out the 1905 US City Directory of Rena Cook in Kalamazoo working as a stripper, because she wasn’t a Cook until 1918)
According to this document, Lurena (known as MARY LORENA) was a widow and Woodason Duane Cook was a bachelor living in Detroit. They listed their religious denomination as Baptist for him and White Brothern of ? for her. Their witnesses were Ada A Williamson of Chelsey and Mable L. Bingham of London. J. Williamson of Chesley and a Methodist minister was the clergy that married them. It also states both their parents names, W. Alexander Cook and Millie Turnour for Woodason and James Tyrrell and Sarah Colbeck for Mary Lorena. His occupation was “Soldier”.
This answered one question of the 1920 Census, but left me with more questions.
Was Mary her real first name? I had always saw her name as Lurena M. Tyrrell
When did Lurena start going by Lurena? (Canadian Census of 1891 & 1901 have her listed as Lurena)
Who was this other husband who was by the last name Richard? and when did he die?
When did she come to America? 1930 US Census has her coming in 1905
I found a Detroit, Michigan, US, Border Crossing, Crew and Passenger List for 8th of Oct 1918 arriving in Detroit, Michigan for Lurena Cook. No other information found on the card.
Back to the photo of Woody and Rena from above, I can determine that the photography studio Imrie Studios did business out of their Gratiot Avenue location from 1916-1918, so this photo was most likely taken in 1918 the year they got married, probably after October when Rena came over.
I found the following articles on Ancestry.com about Wooda Cook Jr.
This was quite exciting to me and confirmed my grandmother’s story of him belonging to the Circus. But it looks like both his parents were well known Circus performers. But the name got me, Wooda, it just didn’t match anything I had. Then I dug out another photo I had of Rena & Woody….
This was the first photo I received of Rena & Woody… I flipped it over and what do I see… written in ink are the words….
Aunt Rena & Uncle Wooda
It made the connection I was looking for, these documents proved to me that this was the Woody I was looking for. This sent me down the rabbit hole of genealogy that kept going all night long. I found him with his mother and 3 silbings in 1880 in Fayette City, Pennsylvania he was 6 years old. I haven’t been able to find him in 1900 or 1910 yet. I found his death certificate and his FindAGrave memorial. I found his baptism record from the New York, U.S., Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records that give his birth date as 11th of May 1874 in Fayette City, Pennsylvania and his baptism date as 3rd of Feb 1879 at Saint Peters Chapel in New York City. His parents are Alexander Woodason Cook and Carlotta Cook. Under the date of his baptism was the word Quinquagesima (I linked the Wikipedia page) but in short it’s the Sunday before Lent.
I found so much more on Lurena M. Tyrrell and Woodason D. Cook… but that will have to be for another day.
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I blogged. Things have been so busy. I am still homeschooling my youngest child, and it has been so much fun and so much work!
Last August we were camping at my in-laws cabin in the upper part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. We named our camper “PERRY” after the man who built it in 1969-70. We had a great time, talked about painting the outside of the camper in 2022, and finishing up the remodel inside (we have the bathroom, finish the bedroom and do the floor and ceiling). That all changed, while hauling it home…..
We were a block away from our house, on our street…. and we felt the whole truck tip to the drivers side. My husband and I looked at each other and then he looked out his side mirror and he saw a tire bouncing down the road. He immediately stopped, and it was one of the tires off of our camper. Now we knew we needed to replace the tires, (one of the reasons we were bringing it home), but the axle broke which caused the tire to bounce down the road. We had our fridge come out of the whole it was in, but that was all the damage inside.
My husband had a friend fix the axle, but we’ve been very nervous about taking it long haul anywhere. So we saved and looked…. we were thinking of downsizing since it’s just the 3 of us now.
…We did a thing…..
On June 1, 2022, the start of Camping month, we purchased a 2003 Forest River Sierra Travel Trailer…. It has only had one owner. It is in pristine condition. It has a slide out, that has had a leak and some water damage, so we got it for a GREAT deal! Hubby has been busy working on it and I’ve been cleaning and organizing inside. We don’t have as much cupboard space in this one as we did the 5th wheel, so I’m downsizing what we are packing in this one. We are all excited and sad at the same time. We are sad to see Perry go, we had so many GREAT memories it, but we are excited to make new memories in this new camper. We have not named her yet, but that will come. We are giving Perry to my friend whose grandpa built it, and she is very happy. We are going to deliver it this weekend.
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.
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.
Here’s to getting through the BRICK WALLS… and finding our ancestors….
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.
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.
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
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…
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!!
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.
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.