Olive, a survivor of the milk wagon!

Olive Margarete L. Bowers was Senior at Plymouth High School in 1931 in Wayne County, Michigan. She was either Olive or Margarete depending on which census record you look at. In 1920, 8 year old Margreathe L. Bowers lived with … Continue reading

Mary Virginia McKinnon, so much still unknown

Mary Virginia McKinnon, 1931, Plymouth High School

Mary Virginia McKinnon, 1931, Plymouth High School

This is one of those photos that I just had to force myself to stop researching! Still so much to find out, but I do have enough to pass on to a hopefully searching descendant.

Mary Virginia McKinnon was born in Oregon about 1914. The rest of her family was born in Michigan, where they lived most of their lives. Her family included dad, Donald Neil McKinnon (1899-1966); mom, Dorothy B. McCorkle (1899-?); sister, Dorothy Paterson McKinnon (1920-?); grandmother, Mary E. Barnes McCorkle (1864-?); and a great-aunt who lived with or near them, Cordelia McCorkle (1853-1945).

It appears that only Mary’s birth and her parents marriage (Canada) took place outside of Michigan. Why the family was in Oregon is unknown, other than it was likely work. Mr. McKinnon worked as a salesman for steel products. His daughters lived at home at least through 1940 when Mary was 27. Neither of the girls were listed as having a job. If they married after that is unknown. Donald McKinnon’s death and aunt Cordelia’s were confirmed through the Social Security Death Index and Find A Grave.  I can’t find when/where wife Dorothy passed away. But there are University of Michigan year books from 1910 that show she was a student there. She and Donald married in 1912.

Good luck Mary Virginia!

Arthur Gordon – but which one??

Arthur E. Gordon, 1931 Plymouth High School

Arthur E. Gordon, 1931 Plymouth High School

This handsome gent is likely Arthur Gordon, son of William and Anna Gordon. It’s not a terribly uncommon name, but identification is compounded by the fact that no Arthur Gordon lived in Plymouth directly. This one, or the one I suspect him to be, lived in Highland Park, Wayne county, Michigan. That’s about 30 miles from Plymouth. Too far for a high schooler to travel? Probably in 1930. By 1940, that family lived in Detroit, very close to Highland Park. There’s also the very little issue of the middle initial. In all the documentation of Arthur (son of William and Anna) he had the middle initial of F., not E. When it’s all you have to go on a middle initial gains some weight in the game!

Now to really confuse things: An Arthur “F” Gordon born January 23, 1914 died on new year’s day 1995. He lived in Wayne, Michigan. Then again, an Arthur “E” Gordon born on February 22, 1914 died on February 11, 1999 in Detroit. Hmmmm. Maybe a family member will know which Arthur Gordon is really in this picture.

Mildred Ash and a gravestone mystery

Mildred Ash, 1931, Plymouth, Michigan

Mildred Ash, 1931, Plymouth, Michigan

UPDATE: Family has updated us that Mildred passed away on November 2, 2013. She was 99 years old!

This is Mildred M. Ash, she’s about 17 in this photo of the Plymouth, Michigan High School class of 1931. Born on February 23, 1914, her parents were William Ash and Hulda Esch. William and Hulda had 4 children, Lucile (1912), Mildred (1914), Ethel (1920), and Edward (1923). It would appear that Lucile and Mildred never married or had children – or if they did the documentary evidence eludes me. Ethel and Edward did, however, have families. I’m hoping that there will be some nieces and nephews out there excited to receive this photo.

A little more background, William and Hulda lived in Wayne county, Michigan all their married lives. William was a farmer who lived until 1964 and Hulda didn’t die until 1983 – she was almost 100. The whole family (with the exception of Lucile whose burial location I haven’t identified) appear to be buried in Riverside Cemetery in Wayne County. The odd thing about Mildred’s grave is that it only has her birthday on it, February 23, 1914. There’s room for a death date but it’s blank. Could she still be alive? Her mother did live to be almost 100! Maybe she was the last of the siblings to pass away with no one to fulfill her burial wish of being buried with the family. I do wonder about these graves that seem to leave us hanging.

Margery F. VanAmburg: From Michigan to California

Margery VanAmburg, 1931, Plymouth High School

Margery VanAmburg, 1931, Plymouth High School

Such a sweet photo of 18 year old Margery VanAmberg. This was her senior year high school photo at Plymouth High in Plymouth, Wayne county, Michigan. During the 1930 census, the year before this photo, Margery lived in Plymouth with her family: Arthur Garfield VanAmberg (dad), Nellie Friend (mom), Marian (sister, age 12) and Keith (brother, age 10). Her father was a carpenter building houses, as his father had been before him.

The family had moved to Plymouth from Bay county, Michigan where they had lived in 1920, next door to Nellie’s parents (Margery’s maternal grandparents). There, Arthur had been a farmer. Margery’s paternal grandfather (Fred VanAmberg) lived with them.

After high school, Margery did what many women of the depression/pre-war era did. She went to work. According to the 1940 census, she was a bench worker at an auto plant. Her siblings (all of them still living at home) also worked. Marion was a stenographer and Keith a machinist in the auto industry.

Eventually Margery would marry Charles Morrison and at some point move to California. It appeared to be a family move. Mother, Nellie died in California in 1983, just 3 years shy of her 100th birthday! Margery had been preceded in death by her husband, and died in California in 2005. I’m confident there will be some descendants to give this photo a good home.

Harvey J. Segnitz in 1931 (any Michigan researchers wanna take this one on?)

Harvey J. Segnitz, in 1931, The Plymouth High School class

Harvey J. Segnitz, in 1931, The Plymouth High School class

Handsome Harvey J. Segnitz, with possibly the rarest last name in the US! When you search for Harvey Segnitz pretty much only he and his dad (also named Harvey) come up. Good and bad news. Good, I’m VERY sure it’s him. Bad, there’s more questions than answers.

Harvey John Segnitz was born on October 4, 1912 in Indiana to Harvey Charles Segnitz and Clara Mohr. He had several older siblings Magurite and/or Beatrice (who apparently died young), Leroy (1911-2000) and Ramona (1910-1992). He also had a much younger brother, Aurthur, who was born in 1930! No trace of him since the 1940 census.

The family lived in Plymouth, Wayne county, Michigan during the 1930 census and Harvey was attending Plymouth High School (hence the photo). His father was a commercial “sailsman” according to the census taker who needed a remedial spelling lesson. Five years later, Harvey married Lucille Moss. They would have at least 2 children, maybe more, William and Richard. Harvey owned “Segnitz & Rodman” filling station in Oakland county, Michigan and worked there as an attendant according to local city directories.

Then in 1958, at the age of 46, he died. I’ve found no record other than the Social Security death index; no obituary, even Find a Grave doesn’t know where he’s buried just that he’s dead. He wife apparently died (either without remarrying or without changing her name) in 1982. No one is searching for the family through Ancestry or other online trees. I hope Harvey J. can find a descendant.

Adele Gertrude Carson, 1931 Michigan – love the curls!

Adele Gertrude Carson, 1931

Adele Gertrude Carson, 1931

This lovely young lady with the gorgeous curls (a la Shirley Temple) is Adele Gertrude Carson. She was born on Independence Day in 1911. She’s probably almost 20 in this photo, although looks younger to me. Adele was the youngest daughter to Charles R. Carson and Mary E. J. Sunderland. The family lived most of their lives in Plymouth, Wayne County, Michigan; which is where Adele was attending High School at this time.

Her family was easy to find and there’s abundant information out there. It’s rare that with so much information I find NO family tree with these people. It appears that most of the Carson children, including Adele, did not marry or have children. Older sister Marion V. Carson (1899-1963) never married, older brother Victor H. Carson (1909-1911) died a baby, older brother Joseph A. (1904-1977) did marry an Ardiss Arnold in 1925 and had one son, Charles Robert Carson (1927) – apparently named after his grandfather.

What’s interesting me about the family was that mom worked frequently. When Charles and Mary married (in Ohio) she was a teacher. In 1930 she worked as an auto assembly worker and in 1940 she was listed as a branch worker in the motor car company. Also, I absolutely LOVE the amount of information that Lucas County, OH put on their marriage records. Check out how much awesome data is on 1/2 a sheet of paper. It’s truly amazing – I wish all my ancestors had marriage records like this.

1898 Marriage record from Lucas County, Ohio

1898 Marriage record from Lucas County, Ohio

Yet still, no one is looking for these people. Little Charles Robert Carson where are you? Did you marry and have a family??

The whole family – or most of it anyway – is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Plymouth, Michigan. Photos are on Find A Grave.

Good luck Carson’s!

Elnora J. Sackett from Plymouth

Elnora J. Sackett, 1931 Plymouth, Michigan High School

Ms. Elnora Sackett has such an interesting face. She was a classmate of Viola’s (from the previous post) but a few years older than her peer. Born in 1910, Elnora J. Sackett was almost 20 when this high school picture was taken. She was born on October 13, 1910 – luckily for her that was a Thursday, not a Friday. Her parents were Jay and Mary Sackett. Jay lived from 1889 to 1945. Mary lived from 1883 to 1873, almost outliving Elnora, who died in Livonia, Michigan in 1978. I wonder how Elnora died, at a relatively young age of 68, when her mother lived to 90? All three are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Plymouth, Michigan.

Elnora appears to have never married. She and sister Margaret still lived at home in 1940 (in Plymouth) and worked as press operators for a air rifle manufacturing company – Rosie the Riveters! The family lived in Plymouth all her youth from 1920-1940 and probably longer. Father Jay didn’t live with the family in 1940 but doesn’t die until 1945. He’s likely too old to have been at war though. I wonder if she and Viola were friends?