Posts Tagged DesJardins Genealogy

#52 Ancestors No. 26 – James White – Michigan Thumb Fire September 5, 1881

This is post 26 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website. 52ancestors-2015 Image

Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers tweeted of photo of a cartograph1 depicting the Michigan thumb area that mentions a fire that happen on this day in 1881, as a blogging prompt. Recognizing the all too familiar appendage of my birth state, I remembered that one of my ancestors lost their life during the fire.

Burnt District resulting from the Michigan Thumb Fire, September 5, 1881.

Burnt District resulting from the Michigan Thumb Fire, September 5, 1881.

The illustrated cartograph showed the burnt district in the Michigan thumb area that resulted from the great fire on September 5, 1881. The Great Fire, as it is known, burned for three days. It destroyed a million acres of land, including forests, farms, mills, and businesses. The fire consumed the lives of over 280 people2.

James White was just five months old when he died on 16 September 1881. His death was caused by the effects of the fire 11 days earlier.  It is not known if he suffered from smoke inhalation or from burns. The death was recorded in 1882 and is transcribed in the GENDIS2 database.

I have a mimeograph copy of a family history from an unknown source and date that includes two written pages of notes. The notes talk of Aunt Vi (Violet White), who would be James’ older sister. The letter mentions that Aunt Vi was five years old at the time of the Great Fire. The writer of the letter states, “Aunt Vi remembers them huddling under a quilt all but their father and one of the boys. They had to keep pulling out sparks that land on the quilt. Then all was over the quilt was full of little holes.”  There is no mention of James’ death.

James’ parents are James Montgomery White and Persis DesJardins are my great great-grandparents. Th family were farmers in Minden, Sanilac County, Michigan. By the time of the fire, James and Persis had eight children. Two more children would come later. One was my great-grandmother, Minnie White.

2Wikipedia Great Thumb Fire,

Additional resources:,1

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Genealogy Do-Over Week One

The Genealogy Do-Over project this past week included decluttering my old 1970’s Samsonite briefcase of my old family group sheets and notes jotted down over the years.  Since the one of the goals of the project is not to “Squirrel” I tried to keep it just to the Borucki and Budny binder.  I did hit a few of the other binders just to get rid of useless paper.

1970's Template for Family Group Sheets

1970’s Template for Family Group Sheets

The hard cover briefcase has been bulging for some time now, even after a previous purge.  In my review, I found the original newspaper clipping mentioned in #52Ancestors – No. 40 – Harry Trevelyan Saves Winston Churchill in 1899 post.  I spend three hours at the Dearborn Public Library looking a copy of the article on microfilm in July 2014.  What a time waster that was.  I also found Harry’s collection of 1937 Coronation Stamps that my father didn’t sell during his trade show days.

George VI Coronation Stamp of Tower Bridge 1937

George VI Coronation Stamp of Tower Bridge 1937

Because I tend to concentrate on making a perfect template then abandoning it the template due to boredom and dis-interest.  I decided to train myself on using Family Tree Maker 2014 effectively.  I don’t want several different Excel spreadsheets that I have to create and maintain. Most genealogists are raving about Evernote. I have OneNote on my computer that I can use instead.

YouTube is the best tool for most training needs.  I used it to find training programs when I was a trainer in a previous job.  So while getting my 45 minute cardio exercise at the gym this week, I viewed videos to pass the time away. There are a number of individuals that have uploaded Family Tree Maker (FTM) how-to videos.  Ancestry owns FTM and has their own how-to training videos.

Here is a brief list of channels I have been watching.  There are plenty more channels that you can find to assist you in your training needs or learning style.

Cousin Russ
Dear Myrtle
Ancestry’s Crista Cowen

My next goal is to clean up computer files by labeling and organizing documents and photos.  I need to get ready to build my research plan for week two.


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#52Ancestors – No. 21 – Charlotte A Kelley

This post is number 21 in the series of the #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

I have two White family lines in my tree.  One on my father’s side and one on my mother’s.  White is a common name and most likely they are not related.  It’s a little complicated as both of the first immigrants to the New World share the same name, John White. Both are from Great Britain.  I have John White with his wife Ann Garner on my mothers side, who are Scots-Irish settling in South Carolina in 1753.  On my Dad’s side is John Chauncy White who comes to Ontario, Canada from England between 1815 to 1830’s.

My intentions were to write about James Montgomery White, my second great-grandfather. He is the son of John Chauncy White.  He is the husband of Percis DesJardins.  The DesJardins are well known in Huron County, Michigan.  I was looking for more info to write about James so he doesn’t get lost in the DesJardins family tree.

One Woman, Two Brothers

But I found more interesting information about his brothers William and Edward White.  The two brothers married the same woman, Charlotte Kelley.  Charlotte Kelley marries Edward White on July 26, 1862.  They have one daughter named Eva born in April 1864.  My initial search indicates that Edward White enlists in the Civil War serving for Company A, 11th Infantry Regiment on 25 December 1863 at age 17.  He injured and dies of his wounds on July 4, 1864, near Marietta, GA. I wonder if Edward had a chance to see his daughter Eva before he died.

Charlotte then marries William White on December 1, 1867.  William is the oldest brother to James and Edward White. Eight children are born to Charlotte and William White.  William may have also served in the Civil War.  I need to verify information of a record.

Charlotte is the daughter of Michael A Kelley and Sarah Ann Kenyon.  Born June 1845 in New York state.  She grew up in Ticonderoga, NY.  Her family moved to Delaware Township in Sanilac County, Michigan before the 1860 Census was taken.

Charlotte’s last child Walter is born in 1887.  He is 11 year’s old when his mother dies at the age of 54 in 1898.  William moves the family down to Detroit.  As of the 1910 Census he is listed as a boarder in Bad Axe, Michigan. William passes away in 1913.

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#52 Ancestors – No. 14 – Doris M Anderson

This post is number 14 in the series of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of us blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy’s website.

Newly Discovered Sister of my Grandmother

I received my grandmother’s photo album a couple of years from my Dad.  I do not recall viewing the photo album at my grandmother’s house while she was alive, such a shame.  My grandmother Edith Budny passed away at 56 years of age.  I was a young teenager then and fascinated about her family.

In the album was a picture of three young girls, circa 1924.  On the back, someone had written, Edith, Doris, and me.  Well, I knew Edith was my grandmother.  I didn’t have a clue about the other two.  My grandmother told me about her siblings and passed down a genealogy data sheet of the DesJardins family tree.  Edith’s grandmother was Persis Desjardins.  So I had a list of all her siblings and knew about the two younger sisters given up for adoption back in 1930’s.  A sibling named Doris was never mentioned.

Edith, Doris, and Me

Edith, Doris, and Me

I should have known better and made a connection.  Edith named one of her daughters, Doris.  My other Aunt and Dad didn’t have a clue about Doris in the old photo.

Earlier this week searching, I came upon a death record for a Doris M. Anderson.  The parents match, as does the birth place. There is no online image and no cause of death listed. My grandmother’s younger sister, Doris was born on 06 February 1922 and died at the age of 5 on 30 May 1927.

The other young girl on the photo could be their older sister Lucylle (Lucy) Persis Anderson.  Lucy is 18 months older than Edith.  I don’t believe it is Helen Garnetta Anderson as she is three years older than Edith. Now I just need to document the photo for future generations.  Yeah right, I have a huge tote of unlabeled photos.
Sources: “Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Apr 2014), Doris M Anderson, 30 May 1927; citing Bay City, Bay, Michigan, United States; 02007; FHL microfilm 001973179.

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