Oct 12, 2012

Hey! The President of the United States is my Cousin!

How do you like that! Both President Obama and candidate Mitt Romney are direct descendants of Edward the First, King of England.

And so am I! I love finding new cousins!

Jul 31, 2012

Othello Talbot

I don't know much about my Great Grandmother, other than the vital statistics. Her name was Myrtle Talbot, and she died in 1939, so none of her living grandchildren were old enough to know much about her, either.

Her family has been a little challenging to find givin the various spellings of the  names, Talbot. It has been recorded as "Talbert," "Tolbott," "Falbert," and even "Lalvat." Othello may have been called "Phil." His sister, Adelia, called Lelia, May, or Mae, and his brother, Leon or Leland.  

I do know that the research I have on her family makes me feel sad.

Her Father, Othello Talbot, was born at Assyria, Barry Co., MI on August 2, 1848 to John B Talbot (maybe called "Buren.") and Arvilla Andrews. He had a sister (Adelia Mae) who was a year older, and a brother (Leon) who was 3 years younger. In 1863, John enlisted as a Private in Co. H, 6th Michigan Cavalry. He died on February 29, 1864 from pleuro-pneumonia at the Third Division Hospital, Alexandra, Virginia.

Othello was just 5 years old.

3 months later, she married a widower with 4 or 5 young children named Erastus Warren. I feel like it was probably a marriage of necessity, she needed support and he needed help with his children. Although she was later to recieve John's pension.

For some reason, they are living separately in Bellevue, Eaton Mi. in 1870. Erastus Warren's household includes 2 young girls (aged 3 and 5) who are possibly Arvilla's children as well.

When Othello was 14 years old, his mother died (April 18, 1873.) What do 3 young children with no parents do in 1873? Were they welcome in their step-fathers home? Did they go to live with one of their many aunts and uncles in Barry Co.?

By 1880, Othello was married to my 2nd Great-Grandmother, Ella Odell. Ella was 17 years old and they lived with Ella's widowed mother on her farm. Myrtle was born on March 31, 1881 and she was their only child.

I'm assuming that they were still farming in 1889. Probably still with Ella's mother, Sarah Pierce Strong Odell (hm, why do I think that? I don't know. Other than Sarah still had the farm, and probably needed the help.)

I'm not sure if Othello was a firefighter, part of a "gang of men" who went to help, or an employee of Higgins'Mill, but He was at the big fire on October 15, 1889...

Charlotte Tribune, October 23, 1889.
Listed under local news.
On Wednesday morning of last week our neighboring village of Bellevue suffered an irreparable loss in the death of one of her estimable citizens and in the burning of Higgins' saw and planing mill, cider and jelly works and fruit evaporator.  The fire was discovered about 8 o'clock a.m. and the fire company was soon at work but the flames proved uncontrollable, and soon this institution, which was furnishing work to about 30 men, was reduced to ashes. 
One of the firemen, Mr. Othello Talbert, while helping to remove the cider press, was caught by falling timbers and received injuries to his skull that proved fatal a few hours after the accident. Mr.Talbert was an industrious young man of good habits. He leaves a wife and child. Several others were slightly injured. 
Probably no institution in Bellevue was doing more to give employment to the people than Higgin's mill. The loss will be felt by all. Mr. Higgins' loss was upwards of $4,000 and his insurance but $500. Being a public spirited, pushing, energetic man, it is more than likely that he will rebuild. Mr. Jas. Holden, who had an interest in the evaporator business, lost about $400.

Kalamazoo Gazette, Thursday, October 17, 1889
BELLEVUE, Oct. 16 - This afternoon Higgins' planing and saw mill, cider and jelly works and evaporator burned. The fire probably caught from the burning sulphur in the bleacher. About 30 hands are thrown out of employment. The loss is about $5000; insurance $500.
During the progress of the fire a gang of men attempted to move the cider press, which fell on Phil Talbot, a young married man, crushing his skull. He is yet alive but cannot survive. Another man was overcome by the heat but recovered consciousness a little later.

Bay City Times, Wednesday, October 16, 1889
Fatal Fire
Bellevue the Loser of an Industry Today.
BELLEVUE, Mich., Oct. 16 -- This forenoon Higgins' planing and saw mill, cider and jelly works and evaporator were burned. The fire probably caught from the burning sulphur in the bleacher. About 30 hands are thrown out of employment. The loss is $5000, with $500 Insurance. During the progress of the fire a gang of men attempted to move a cider press, which fell on Phil Lalvat, a young married man, crushing his skull. He is yet alive but can't survive. Another man was overcome by the heat but recovered consciousness a little later.

The accident left my Great-Grandmother fatherless at 6 years old.

Jun 4, 2012

Little Miss Preuss Update

Yesterday, I ran across a news story about a niece of my great grandmother. This morning, I have a little more information.

It looks like Rosa didn't escape her life in Lansing until she married Louis Flechner (b.1891 in Russia) on August 17, 1916 in Lansing.

Their first child, a daughter named Lillian, was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 1918. By 1930, the couple still lived in Milwaukee with 9 children.

Rosa made the news again on April 4, 1930 when her husband pointed a shotgun at her and threatened to kill her. She fled to a friend's home and reported the incident to police. Louis disappeared, but returned home several days later where he was arrested. No word (yet) on what happens next.

Rosa's family tended to make the news in the most unfortunate ways. In 1900, a child was injured by a horse:

No word on which child this was. Rosa was 2 years old, so it actually could have been her. She had a 3 year old sister (Gertie, who died from appendicitis in 1906) and a baby brother (Charlie, who died several months earlier than this incident, from Cholera.)

Rosa's father, Frank, was a meat dealer in Lansing. In 1913, there was a crack down on violators of Michigan's new pure food laws and Frank was among those arrested. As an example, he was the only one sentenced to jail time:

Rosa's son, Emil, made the national news in 1957 when he filed for a divorce due to "mismanagement of his affairs." Apparently, his wife claimed to have been saving money by buying a chair for 37 cents, then spending 200 dollars to repair the chair. That must have been some "news of the weird" type story. 

I don't know if Rosa ever managed to get out of going to school, but she at least saw a small part of the world outside of Lansing and certainly lead an eventful life!

Jun 3, 2012

Whatever Happened to Little Miss Preuss?

While reading old newspaper articles, I ran across a story about the niece of my Great Grandmother, Minnie Preuss Schaar.  Rosa L Preuss was the daughter of Frank and Hannah Preuss. Frank Preuss immigrated from Germany in 1894, 3 years before his parents and siblings, and settled in Lansing Michigan.

Lansing, Mish., May 31 -- Lansing has a 13-year-old girl, Rosa Preuss, who seems to have a mania for staying around summer resorts late at night alone. Twice in two days has Rosa been taken from summer resorts and to her home in North Lansing by the police and the officers are beginning to wonder what is to be done.
   At midnight Sunday a telephone call from the watchman at Waverly Park, three and one-half miles west of the city, notified the police that a small, bareheaded (?) girl was wandering about the park alone. The patrol automobile was sent and carried Rosa to the home of her father, Frank Pruess, a meat dealer. On the way the girl told the officers that she wanted to stay in the park, so she would have an early start for the Memorial day celebration. She said she was not afraid of the dark. The parents said she had left home early in the evening.
  Monday midnight the watchman at Pine lake resort, nine miles east of lansing, sent in a call. The patrol made this trip and again Rosa was wandering around the deserted park. The parents do not seem to be greatly concerned over the girl's escapades.
(Kalamazoo Gazette, June 1, 1910, p.2)
The incidents did cause concern to the patrolmen, because she ended up in court:
Say's She's Tired of School and Wants to See World.
Lansing, Mich., May 31 --
Rosie Preuss, the 13-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Preuss, will be taken before the judge of probate this week on a charge of incorrigibility.  Three times in less than a week the girl has run away from home, but each time has been caught in a nearby town and returned. She gives no excuse for her actions except that she is tired of going to school and wants to see the world. Monday she was found at a farm home near Pine Lake, ten miles from home, having walked the entire distance, she said.
(Saginaw News, 5-31-1910, p. 3)

I found Rosa in the 1900 and 1910 Census', but she would have been 23 years old in 1920 and is not listed with her parents. A quick search didn't turn up a marriage or death record, either. So I wonder... did she finally get away to see the world?

Apr 13, 2012

"Find a Grave"

Search Pamela Schaar Burleson's cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


Here's a nice addition to the "Find a Grave" site! I have added this search box to the bottom of each page. As of today, I have been a contributor to the site for 1 year, 5 months and 24 days.  Although it is a grave registration site, as opposed to an official genealogy site, it is a great resource and rated #3 last year for best genealogy sites.

Not all of my contributions are for my own family. Since I love cemeteries, I often visit my local cemeteries to fulfill photo requests for others. I have requested photos of family members who are buried farther than I can get too, and many of those requests have been fulfilled.

Just for fun, I set up "virtual" cemeteries where I can gather burials in one place. For instance, I set up a site where I am collecting all descendants of James Dickinson Bradley.  I can then easily see which photo's I need to get.

You might think that I have "too much time on my hands!" But I do it for fun!

Mar 21, 2012


CHARLOTTE, Oct. 21 - The dead body of Simeon J. Cole of near Ainger or Olivet station was found Thursday afternoon in his buggy in the yard at the home of Myron Lampton, where the horse had stopped when it found it had no driver. Deputy Sheriff Carlton Gibson and Dr. McLennon of Bellevue decided it was a case of apoplexy. Mr. Cole was 70 years old and had been in poor health for sometime.
Kalamazoo Gazette, October 21, 1921 (pg 3)

"The Free Dictionary," 

1. Sudden impairment of neurological function, especially that resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage; a stroke.
2. A sudden effusion of blood into an organ or tissue.
3. A fit of extreme anger; rage: "The proud . . . members suffered collective apoplexy, and this year they are out for blood" (David Finch). 

Simeon J. Cole was the second husband of my 2nd great grandmother, Ella Odell Talbot Cole. Ella's first husband (my 2nd great grandfather) died in a fire in 1889, when their daughter (my Great Grandmother, Myrtle Talbot Bradley) was just 8 years old.  Ella then married Simeon J. Cole and they lived at "the Cole farm" where Myrtle was raised. Ella died in 1919 and is buried with her first husband at Bellevue (Riverside) Cemetery. Simeon is also buried there, alongside his first wife, Jenny Cooper Cole. He is also listed on the Cole Family marker at Spauding Cemetery, but he isn't buried there.

Mar 17, 2012

Kiss Me! I'm Irish!

Patrick Crain
son of John and Atty (McDonough) Cryan
b. January 26, 1831, d. May 6, 1891

My 2nd Great Grandfather, Patrick Crain, was the fourth of ten children born to John and Atty (McDonough) Cryan at Riverstown, Co. Sligo, Ireland. He and his siblings were baptized at Taunagh Parish Church which was founded by St. Patrick himself!

LDS Microfilm

In a 1962 letter to my Grandmother, Edna Grasse (a niece of Patrick Crain,) writes:

March 11, 1962
Dear Cousin Gertrude,   What a pleasant surprise to get a letter from an unknown relative.   I got down the family bible and have compiled some statistics about the Crains.   I suppose you know about your father's brothers and sisters, eleven of them -   and whom they married.   I know them all and where they lived. 

 My Grandfather, John Crain lived in Drumrain, Sligo Co., Ireland and worked in a bank.   When he died his widow emigrated to the U.S. in May 1848 and settled in Boston, Mass.   She emigrated to Wisconsin in May 1855.   Two sons remained in Mass. James and Michael.   My grandmother Atty, died in Eldorado, Wis. Jan. 20, 1880.
 My dad, Mark was the youngest.   He was 3 when he came to the U.S.   They came in a sailing vessel and it took eight weeks!!! 

Edna also says that the name was spelled "Cryan" in Ireland.

Patrick's uncle, Mark Cryan had migrated to the United States and an earlier time. He sent for Patrick's 2 older sister. When John died, Atty brought  her remaining 8 children. They sailed to Boston and she ran a boarding house in Leominster, MA for a time.

 Patrick, at least 2 of his siblings, and their uncle Mark went west to Eldorado, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin about 1855 and took up farming.  Atty soon followed with 3 of the remaining 5 children, with James and Michael (who spelled their last name "Crane" staying back in Massachusetts.

Patrick applied for citizenship in 1856.

 Located and copied by Greg Hamm

He married Bridget Murray, daughter of John and Catherine (Geraghty) Murray from Co. Longford, Ireland, in 1858 and they had 12 children.

Patrick's name appears on the deed to the land for St. Mary's Mission, Eldorado's Catholic Church. The deed was signed on March 1st 1867 and the land was purchased for about $100.00. According to a Crain cousin who served on the cemetery board, people buried at the adjoining cemetery are all related to the Crain family.

Picture taken by Audrey Riley (2000)
St. Mary's Mission, Eldorado, WI
Known as "The Little Crain Church" by Crain Descendents

  Patrick's son, Tim, was the father of my Grandmother, Gertrude Crain Bradley.

An Irish Wish for a Friend
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!

Mar 15, 2012

Emma Varnera Bradley Andrews (1845 - 1908) - Find A Grave Memorial

I'm just trying out "Find a Grave's" new Blogger Share button! Seems to work nicely! So Thanks to Jim for locating and photographing Emma's memorial.

Emma Varnera Bradley Andrews (1845 - 1908) - Find A Grave Memorial

Mar 4, 2012

Emma V Bradley

Emma Varnera Bradley, born at Kalamo, Eaton County, Michigan on October 13, 1845, was the youngest daughter of James D. and Tirzah (Lankton) Bradley.

Emma's young life seems more eventful that most, given the sensational murder trial of her sister when Emma was just 11 years old. Her father died when she was 12.  In 1860, she lived at the farm with her brother, Truman, his wife Abigail, her mother and her aunt Hannah Lankton.

1860 U.S. Federal Census, Kalamo, Eaton, Michigan

In 1862, Emma's sister-in-law, just a few months older than Emma, died during childbirth. 

Emma married Robert Andrews of Oswego, New York on April 5, 1864 at her home in Kalamo. Emma and Robert moved to Robert's childhood home on a farm in Southwest Oswego, New York where their first daughter, Lucy Estella, was born on April 26, 1866. They had a second daughter, Clara Augustus, on  November 15, 1868 and a son, William Bradley Andrews on November 16, 1870.

The family was well known in the community and were active members of the Hope Grange and the Southwest Oswego Baptist Church. 

Thanks to "Old Fulton Postcards," I've been able to piece together a "snap shot" of Emma's life in Oswego.

On January 1st, 1890, the family had a New Year's Eve party!
Jan 1.-Last evening a large number of young people met at the residence of Mr. Robert Andrews. The time was spent in playing games and singing. Lunch was served at 11 o'clock, followed by popcorn and peanuts. At two o'clock the party broke up realizing that they had not been home since last year.

In September 1894, Her brother Ira D. Bradley came to New York for a visit:
Southwest Oswego
Sept. 3
Mrs. Robert Andrews is entertaining her eldest brother from Michigan.-
Emma and Lucy took a trip to Michigan in 1895. Apparently, Clara and William didn't go along.

Robert Andrews wife and daughter Lucy started for Michigan today.
They hosted a social in 1898:

OCT 10- On Friday evening of this week the Y.P.S.C.E. will hold a pumpkin pie social at the home of Mr. Robert Andrews.
In 1899, Clara married S. Franklin Lewis at the home of her parents. Sounds like a beautiful gown she wore. The Wedding March was played by Clara's cousin, Miss Elizabeth Andrews. I thought Clara's father was an only child, but if Elizabeth is Clara's first cousin, he must have had a brother.  Emma's brother Truman died in Feb. 1899. I wonder if she went to Michigan at that time, but I didn't find a notice.

A very pretty home wedding occurred at Southwest Oswego Wednesday evening, June 14, when Clara Augusta, second daughter of Mr. Robert Andrews, was married to Mr. Franklin Lewis of Fruit Valley. The bride was attended by her friend, Miss Cora Vodra, while William, brother of the bride, acted as best man.  At eight o'clock Miss Elizabeth Andrews, cousin of the bride, played Mendelsaohn's wedding march and the bridal party descended to the parlors where the Rev. A.H. Sutphin performed the ceremony.
The bride wore a gown of white cashmere and white satin and wore white bride's roses, the bridesmaid white organdie and pink roses. The parlors were beautifully trimmed with ferns, roses and daisies. After the ceremony and elaborate wedding supper was served.
Guests were present from Oswego, Scriba, Volney and Sterling. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis will reside near Fruit Valley and their many friends wish them a long and happy future.
 Later that year, they held another social for the church youth. Lucy was a school teacher, and a Sunday School teacher, so maybe these were her parties.

The young people of the Baptist church will hold a social at the home of Robert Andrews on Friday evening December 1st.
 Emma and Lucy visited the Pan American in October 1901

OCT.21- Mrs. Robert Andrews and daughter, Lucy, visited the Pan-American last Saturday.

Birdseye view of the Pan-American exposition, Buffalo, May 1 to November 1, 1901

  • Digital ID: (digital file from original print) ppmsca 07832 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.07832
  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-07832 (digital file from original print) LC-USZ62-23777 (b&w film copy neg.)
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

The Pan American was a world's fair held in Buffalo NY in 1901. 

More visitors from Michigan in November 1901.
Oswego Daily Times, Wednesday Evening, November 13, 1901
Nov. 13 - Mrs. Lura Thornton and Mr. Ira Bradley of Ainger, Mich., are visiting their sister, Mrs. Robert Andrews.
 Several mentions in August 1905, including another visit from Emma's sister, Lury. I wonder about Lucy's relatives in New York City.

Southwest Oswego Aug. 14-
Miss Lucy Andrews is visiting relatives in New York City.
Mrs. Jennie Baldwin of Fulton is the guest of Mrs. Clara Lewis.
Mrs. Lucy Thornton of Ainger, Mich. is visiting her sister Mrs. Robert Andrews.

Quite a bit going on around Lucy's marriage to Mr. H.E. Kingsley on Aug 8, 1906.
Miss Jennie Daly gave a shower this afternoon at her home at Southwest Oswego in honor of Miss Lucy Andrews, who will be married this week Wednesday.
Popular Teacher of Oswego Town Wedded to Syracuse Man
A quiet but pretty house wedding occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews of this place Wednesday, August 8, when their daughter, Lucy Estella, was united in marriage ot Mr. Herbert Eugene Kingsly of Syracuse, the Rev. G.A. Fairbank officiating.
The house was prettily decorated with evergreen and flowers, Miss Marcia Pease playing the wedding march. The bride was tastefully gowned in a traveling dress of brown silk and carried white sweet peas. The wedding presents were numerous and elegant and included two hansome pieces of silver from the Southwest Oswego Baptist Church of which the bride was a member, also a peice of hand-painted china fromher Sunday School class. She is a well-known teacher of Oswego Town, popular in social work and much esteemed by all.
After a short sojourn among the Islands Mr. and Mrs. Kingsley will be at home to their friends at 129 Purple Street, Syracuse.
OSWEGO DAILY TIMES, August 14, 1906
Aug 14--Mr. and Mrs. A Campbell and Mrs. Lura Thornton of Ainger, Mich. are visiting their sister, Mrs. Robert Andrews
August 18.-- Mr and Mrs G.A. Campbell and Mrs. Lury A Thornton of Charlotte Michigan, who have been visiting at the home of Robert Andrews and who called there to attend the wedding of his daughter, returned to their home yesterday.
 In 1908, Emma lost her husband on March 26th, then her brother, Ira, on July 21. Emma was Ill at the beginning of December, and died at home on Wednesday, December 16, 1908.

Mrs. Emma Andrews, widow of the late Robert Andrews, died at the family home in this town Wednesday Dec. 16, after an illness of 15 days. She leaves one son, William, of this town, and two daughters, Mrs. H.E. Kingsley, of Syracuse, and Mrs. S.F. Lewis of Fruit Valley, also two sisters, Mrs. Lura Thornton and Mrs. Sarah Campbell, of Bellevue, Mich.
Mrs. Andrews was a member of the Baptist Church and also of Hope Grange. The funeral was held Friday, Internment at Rural Cemetery.- Mrs. Sarah Campbell, of Bellevue, Mich. and Mrs. Jennie Baldwin, of Fulton, N.Y., are in town, called here by the death of Mrs. Andrews.

Mar 1, 2012

Death of Robert Andrews

Here is the obituary for Robert Andrews, the husband of James D. Bradley's youngest daughter, Emma Varnera Bradley. It was the first of many articles I found about the family at Old Fulton NY Post Cards. It was an exciting find for me, as I knew nothing beyond names and dates for Emma. She was the only one of the Bradley's 10 children born at Kalamo, Eaton Co., Michigan, the rest born in New York.
Mr. Robert Andrews
    Died at his home one mile West of Southwest Oswego one of Oswego Town's well know and highly respected citizens, Robert Andrews, aged 68 years 11 months and 21 days. Mr. Andrews had lived during his whole life in the same school district having been born on a farm adjacent to the present homestead to which he moved with his parents when about four years of age. On April fifth 1864 he was united in marriage to Miss Emma V. Bradley of Kalamo, Eaton Co., Michigan; and she with their three children, Mrs. H.E. Kingsley, Mrs. S.F. Lewis, and William B. Andrews still survive him. He was a kind and sympathatic husband and fater and a great lover of home and family.
    Although he had been in poor health for years, and death was not unexpected, the end was sudden and a great shock to his friends, yet he pass- ed away so peacefully that they scarcely knew when the spirit took its flight.
    He was much interested in the political affairs of the country and town as a Republican, but did not de- sire official positions, yet he had vot- ed at every election after he became of age.
   He had been a faithful attendant of the S.W. Oswego Baptist Church since its organization, and later be- came one of its esteemed members, since which time he has been deeply interested in its welfare, and has con- scientiously supported its workings in all ways acting as trustee for a num- ber of years.
   The large number who attended his funeral at the home church on March 29, notwithstanding the bad condition of the roads, told of the high respect and esteem in which he was held.
   "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace."

South West Oswego, April 1 -
We wish to express our sincere thanks to our neighbors and friends for their kindness and sympathy during the short sickness and burial of our dear husband and father. Also to the Baptist Curch and Hope Grange and others for the beautiful flowers given at this time of our great bereavement.
Mrs. Emma V. Andrews,
William B. Andrews,
Mr and Mrs H.E. Kingsley,
Mr and Mrs S.F. Lewis
(Oswego Daily Times, Thursday Evening April 2, 1908)

I would like to know what brought Robert to Eaton County. He was listed in both the 1850 and 1860 census' living with his parents, Samuel and Mary Andrews at Oswego, New York. His father having been born in Ireland. He was the only child (11 years old) in 1850. In 1860, there was also a 12 year old girl named Jane Hines.

There were a number of Andrews' families living in Eaton County in 1860, but none that I can so far connect to Robert. Perhaps he knew one of Emma's brothers through Grange business?

Feb 27, 2012

Double Wedding at Charlotte

Popular Young People Living South of 
City are Wedded -- Best Man
Becomes Groom
 Charlotte, Mich., May 1.-- Rev. S.C.Hall had the honor of officiating at a double wedding Sunday, the ceremony taking place at his residence in this city. George M. Bradley and Miss Bessie M. Mellor, two popular young people from south of the city were first united in marriage. Wayne C. Bradley, a cousin of the groom, and Miss Leurena Weeks, a chum of the bride, standing up with them.
Immediately after this ceremony the latter two were united in marriage, the newly married Mr. and Mrs. George Bradley acting as best man and bridesmaid. The two couples will reside in Walton township.
(Kalamazoo Gazette-05-02-1911, p.2)

Another fun story about some fellow descendants of James D. Bradley. To me, these newspaper articles give life to the names, dates and charts. Both George and Wayne are Grandsons of Ira D. Bradley, son of James D. Bradley. 

Feb 26, 2012

Old Newspapers

I accidently bought a subscription to GenealogyBank.com last week. A blogger I follow mentioned that she got a 1 month trial, so I clicked and signed up... not realizing that the trial was 10 bucks! My fault, I just whipped through the registration assuming it was free.

Had I known, I would have bookmarked to investigate later, when I could maybe justify the spending. But I'm really glad I didn't know! 15 minutes would have been worth more than 10 dollars to me! I love reading old newspapers. They reported everything from visitors and family picnics to legal problems and obituaries. Fultonhistory.com makes a lot of New York papers searchable and available for free.

Here's an interesting story I found about my 6th cousin, 6x removed, the grandson of my 3rd Great Grandfather, James Dickinson Bradley.

Ira D Bradley was about 20 years old when he came to Eaton County Michigan with his parents and siblings in about 1841. Five years later, he married Aseneth Jane Day (the daughter of Asa Day,) and they had 5 sons. His fourth son, Andrew Jackson Bradley, married Hattie Roscoe on March 16, 1880 at Walton, Eaton County, Michigan.

That's all I knew about Andrew, except that he died Oct. 24, 1898 in Battle Creek and was buried at Olivet Cemetery where his parents are buried. Andrew and Hattie never had children.

And then I found this:

Dying Battle Creek Man Left Her $1,000 to
"Increase Happiness"
BATTLE CREEK, Oct. 25 - A queer case of the affection of a man for a divorced wife was revealed here by the death of Andrew Bradley, aged 38, last night at the Nichols hospital. Bradley had been divorced and his wife had married another man. He had no children and lived at a boarding-house. He was taken sick there with typhoid fever and was conveyed by Battle Creek camp of Modern Woodmen to the hospital.
His policy in the Woodmen was made to his divorced wife. He said that he still loved her, and although the wife of another man he desired to increase her happiness and comfort by leaving her $1,000. This is the only case on record of the kind.
(Kalamazoo Gazette, Oct 26, 1898, p.1)

What a sad story. I know it's him because his death certificate says he divorced, and died of Typhoid Fever in Battle Creek on Oct 24, 1898.

I don't know when they divorced, but Hattie married Joel L Marble just 3 months before Andrew died.

By 1900, she was divorced again and living with her father, John Roscoe.

She married for a third time, later in 1900, to Henry M Baker and he died in 1902.

The "Modern Woodmen" was (and is) a fraternal organization that protected families following the death of a breadwinner.