William E. McCormack’s pocket watch

As the story goes, my great-grandmother, Lavina J. (Hemingway) McCormack gave this watch to her new husband, my great-grandfather, William E. McCormack as a wedding present.

Lavina Jane McCormack, the bride
William E. McCormack, the groom

The Present

Front face
Back face

This watch is NOT for sale!

At the present time, the watch is not in working condition. I really would like to get the watch repaired and back into working condition. When I first received the watch, the inside back cover would not open. I took it to a local jeweler and they opened it for me. That enabled me to see the movement serial number and from there I found out some technical information about the watch. According to an online database for (Elgin) pocket watches, this watch is estimated to have been built in 1894.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you learned something today.


Proof in Canada

One of the things that I have always been looking for in researching the family is more proof of their stay in Ontario, Canada beyond the 1861 (Upper) Canada census. [1] I say that because in that census Michael is really the only McCormack that is identified by their full first name. Also, the rest of the boys in the family wasn’t born yet. A few months ago, I got a hint from Ancestry about my great-uncle Frank. He was one of the remaining boys that were born in Canada or at the time, Upper Canada. The others being his brothers, Arthur and Henry.

The full page [2]

In the above picture, the entry that we are very interested in the is on the second page or the right side and it is the third entry from the bottom. Below is an enhanced selection.

The transcribed text says;

86 (entry number?)


Aug 2nd

The body of the entry;

Was baptized (sine ______) Francis born April 20th 1865 _________ of the lawful marriage of Michael McCormick and Catherine Payne (Delila).  Sponsor Delila McCormack. F.L. Byrne

One note: The second word of the two words in parentheses is thought to be some unique spelling of ceremony.  My “translators” couldn’t come up with an exact spelling of the “mysterious” second word!


Without Ceremony?

Without ceremony?


There are several things/facts that we can take away from this entry. First, Frank’s “real” birth name was Francis. That makes sense since Frank is the common diminutive of Francis. Two, his (apparently actual) birthdate of April 20, 1865. That is a few months earlier than I had previously thought. Prior to finding this record, I had thought that he was born in June of 1865. I believe that I had gotten that information from one of the censuses. Third, we have another confirmation of the marriage of Michael and Catherine. Finally, the name of the sponsor. Delila McCormack.

At the time of Frank’s baptism (and currently), I know of two people with the first name of Delila.  The first person would be Delila McCormack, the first daughter, and second child of Michael and Catherine. At the time of her brother’s baptism, Delila was only 11 years old! I have never heard of an 11-year old (girl) being a sponsor. Upon doing some elementary searching, I have seen several examples of a sponsor that young. But there is a slight problem with Delila being the sponsor. The problem is that family lore says that the boys were to be baptized/raised Roman Catholic and the girls were to be baptized/raised Protestant. This is a Roman Catholic baptism of a boy but his (only) sponsor was his sister who was supposed to have been raised as a Protestant. So, are we still talking about the same person as the sponsor?

The other person with the first name of Delila was Catherine’s sister-in-law, Delila Payne. She was married to Catherine’s brother. But in 1865, as far as I know, Delila Payne was residing in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!


  1. Ontario Census, 1861, Ontario, Canada, Ward St. Lawrence, ED 1, Pg. 4 and 62 (stamped), family 33, Michael McCormack, digital image, Ancestry.com, http://search.ancestry.com/, accessed 9 Sep 2012, citing Year: 1861; Census Place: London, Middlesex, Canada West; Roll: C-1050-1051; Page: 4.
  2. Ontario, Canada, Diocese of London (Ontario); London, Ontario, Roman Catholic Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 2017, Francis J. McCormack, Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah, United States of America.

Happy Birthday, Alta McCormack!

I would like to apologize to all my followers and McCormack family members for being so absent for so long! Life just got in the way! I will be more active in the future! I also would like to apologize for not having something new for everyone to read. That new content will be forthcoming!


I would like to honor my grandmother on her birthday! I wish I could add more than I did here. Happy birthday once again Grandma!


Happy birthday, Grandma! Alta Lyleth (McCormack) Ford was my grandmother. My grandmother was born on February 3, 1902, in Otter Lake, Michigan almost 2 years before her younger sister, Ruth (I wrote about Ruth’s birthday in the post, Happy Birthday, Aunt Ruth! Alta’s siblings were Merle and Ruth. Alta was the middle child. Here is the best picture I have of my grandmother;

Young Alta McCormack

Young Alta McCormack

I don’t know much about her childhood. However, I do know that she attended high school in Flint, Michigan. Flint isn’t too far from Otter Lake. I just wonder where she stayed while attending high school. When she was in her early 20s, with her sister Ruth and perhaps a church group(?) went to Europe for several weeks. I started to post about the trip. During the trip, my grandmother kept a diary of what happened. It was very interesting to read my grandmother’s thoughts on the trip. I think she attended what would become Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan where she became a teacher. That is a profession that she shared with my dad. On July 30, 1932, she married Aubrey Ford. She and Aubrey had three children; Nancy Jane, William McCormack, and Richard Curtis. Sadly, my uncle “Dick” died in 2012. From what I have gathered from informal talks with my dad, my grandmother’s marriage to my grandfather was not very good. So in September 1954, she divorced him. It was funny because when I was growing up, we never talked about my grandfather. He was never discussed at my grandmother’s. I do have one story about my grandmother I would like to share. It must have been when I was 5 or 6 years old. We would visit my grandmother’s house in Garden City, Michigan. She had a squarish house. When I got there, I would ask either my parents or my grandmother to time me while I ran around her house. I would take off like a bat out of hell. Which for a little kid of 5 or 6 was pretty fast! When I got back to the “starting line” I would always ask the timer how did I do? They would always tell me “you ran faster than last time” or something like that. Little did I realize at the time that they were lying to me!  They never timed me! I am so hurt! Sadly, my grandmother died in May 1986 while I was stationed in California. I think because I was getting out in a couple of weeks, I couldn’t make the funeral. She is buried in the Otter Lake Cemetery in Otter Lake, Michigan next to her parents, William E., and Lavina Jane (Hemingway) McCormack. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something about my family!

A McCormack DNA update – A strikeout!

I wanted to give everyone a DNA update. If I failed to announce it to everyone, the McCormack yDNA “project” results came in. Right now, “we” are in the R-DC9 haplogroup. We are awaiting more people to compare our results to. Our kit number is 436834.

What I really wanted to announce today for the McCormack yDNA “project” is that we struck out on our first attempt to find another branch of the Michael McCormack family. I need to give some background for this. About 4 or 5 years ago, I posted in an online Irish forum about my attempts to look for relatives of Michael. To my great amazement, someone from Ireland replied! Even better, he said his family was also from Kilkenny and lived there during the same time period that Michael did. We kept up the correspondence since then. Earlier this year, I finally got a yDNA test (Y37) and convinced my Irish friend to take it for me. In mid-October, FTDNA received the test. They said that it would be 4-7 weeks before our results would be posted. Well, last Thursday I got an email from FTDNA saying that our results were in and would be posted that day.

To start out, I had my Irish friend tested at the Y-37 level with the idea if that our results matched that we could always increase the testing level from 37 markers to 67 markers and beyond if necessary. I excitedly logoned to look at the results. As I looked at my friend’s results, my expression went from great anticipation to bitter disappointment. Well, by the 3rd marker our genetic distance, G.D., was 3. As I looked further at my friend’s results, the genetic distance only increased to a final result of 24. That is, “my” results only matched my Irish friend’s results at 13 out of 37 markers. I had put a lot of hope into the fact, or wish, that our results would match. My friend and I had talked many times about how we really thought that our families were related. So, when it turned out that we weren’t, I was “disappointed.”

I told my friend about it and he was just as disappointed as I was. He felt the same way that I did that our families were related. But as I explained to him, that sometimes you get results like this. Genealogy, especially genetic genealogy is not a guaranteed proposition. It was a roll of the dice and it didn’t payout this time. Both he and I are still working together to find Irish or non-Irish relatives for our respective families.

I am not sure what my next step will be in regards to DNA testing. There are two options that I can do right now. The first option would be to increased our testing level from Y67 to Y111. That would cost about $99. I am not exactly sure on what that would do to increase the number of matches for our results. The second option would be what is called the “Big Y” test. At the current time, it is an expensive test at about $475. The “Big Y” test would give us some finality to our haplogroup designation. As with increasing our testing level from Y67 to Y111, I am not sure what the “Big Y” test would do to increase the number of matches for our results.

I want to thank my Irish friend for agreeing to test for me. I hope that it works out for him. I also want to thank my McCormack cousin for agreeing to take a DNA test for me. I wouldn’t have been able to do this much without his cooperation.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you learned something!

Important October Dates for the Clan of Michael McCormack

Each month, I like to take some time to remember some important events and an interesting tidbit or two in the lives of members of the Clan (Michael) McCormack for the month of October. I apologize for being so tardy in publishing this month’s family announcements!

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2 Oct 1933 Mildred Francis Boston was born. She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. Mildred would be the future wife of Maurice “Doc” McCormack (the last of six sons of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. She would be the proud mother of a son and two daughters.

3 Oct 1880 Amos L. Woodbury was born in Lockport, Ohio (Rockport is located near Cleveland, Ohio). Amos would marry Grace Ellen McCormack (Coon). Amos was a florist and gardener in the St. Johns, Michigan area.

Amos L. Woodbury

Amos L. Woodbury

4 Oct 1996 Edith Marie (McCormack) Bird died. Edith was the second daughter and middle child or Henry and Minnie Myrtle (Van Wormer) McCormack. After WWII, her husband John C. Bird was in Japan for the reconstruction efforts. She was the proud mother of two sons and two daughters. While in Japan, Edith and John adopted two Japanese/American children.

Edith Marie McCormack

Edith Marie (McCormack) Bird

6 Oct 1858 Lura Grace Roys was born. She was born in Belleville, Michigan. She grew in Ypsilanti where she met and would later marry William E. McCormack. Lura was the proud mother of one daughter, Grace Ellen McCormack.

6 Oct 2002 Violet Cassie Ingleright died. She died in Niles, Michigan. Violet led an interesting life. She attended the University of Michigan as a music student. She was also a member of two “girl” groups, “Violet Joy and the Bluebelles” and “The Brickheads” all redhead girl band. As far as I have been able to determine, she was married three times. I have some indication that she may have been married a fourth time. I had the real pleasure to meet her one time. She told me a story about her maternal grandparents, Michael and Catherine that they only spoke (Irish) Gaelic behind closed doors and never in front of their children.


Violet Cassie Ingleright

10 Oct 1849 Catherine Payne married James Steele. This is interesting because it was Catherine’s first marriage and it occurred in Dublin! We think that she was from County Cork. I’ve asked before if she was from County Cork, what was she doing in Dublin?

Catherine McCormack

Catherine (Payne) McCormack

10 Oct 1983 Frances Myrtle (Foster) Addy died. She was the wife of Robert Orrin Addy (grandson of Delilah Elizabeth McCormack). She was the proud mother of two children, one boy, and one girl.

11 Oct 1945 Robert Michael McCormack married Jewel Beatrice Hassell. They were married in Port Arthur, Texas. Robert was a “hotshot” WWII P-51 Mustang pilot. According to one of their sons, the picture was taken sometime in 1970.


Bob & Jewel @ 1970

Robert Michael & Jewel Beatrice (Hassell) McCormack


12 Oct 1992 Gertrude “Betty” Jeanette (McCormack) Waltz died. She died in Reno, Nevada. Betty was the second child of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. When she was a young lady, Betty was a lifeguard. After her time as a lifeguard came to an end, she married Charles W. Waltz in Jan 1940. She then became the proud mother of three sons and one daughter.

Betty J McCormack Waltz

Gertrude “Betty” J. McCormack Waltz

13 Oct 1854 Delilah Elizabeth McCormack was born. She was born in Kentucky. Delilah was the oldest daughter of Michael and Catherine (Payne) McCormack. The family story about Delilah is that she was born when her mother, Catherine stopped to visit her brother in Harrodsburg. Preliminary research suggests that she might have been named after her mother’s sister-in-law. She was the proud mother of six children, unfortunately of which only two survived childhood.

13 Oct 1985 Donald James McCormack died in Mio, Michigan. Donald was the middle child and son of Edward and Elizabeth (Rohr) McCormack. For most of his life, Don was a local farmer and logger. Unfortunately, he never married or had any children.

14 Oct 1896 Frank J. McCormack married Cora Anna Baldwin. They got married in Janesville, Wisconsin. Cora was from Janesville. I don’t have any evidence to support this theory, but I think that Frank and Cora met and married because of Frank’s sister, Delilah lived in Janesville during the mid-1880’s. Of the happy couple, I only have a picture of the lovely bride.


Cora Baldwin (Master - Preview)

Cora Ann (Baldwin) McCormack


20 Oct 1864 Hilmar N. Nilsen was born. He was born somewhere in Norway. He emigrated to the United States as a young man sometime in 1886 and was naturalized in May 1897.

26 Oct 1925 William “Bill” D. McCormack was born in Reno, Nevada. His parents were Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. He would later marry Suzanne Mae Smith in Jan 1947. He would be the proud father of two sons and a daughter.


William D. McCormack

27 Oct 1921 Smith Addy died. Smith was the husband of Delilah Elizabeth McCormack. He died in Schenectady, New York. He had worked for the American Locomotive Company. He had been born near Leeds, England.

27 Oct 1953 Leon Ray Ingleright died. Leon was the first of four Inglerights to bear that name. He died in his hometown of Niles, Michigan. He was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He attended medical school in Chicago, IL and became a physician in 1901. An interesting note is that he was the attending physician for his sister-in-law, Minnie when her son, Charles Barnes died. So far, I only have one vague picture of Leon.


Leon Ray Ingleright, MD.

Dr. Leon R. Ingleright


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I would like to remind everyone that there is a lot more to the people listed here than what I have written. If you have anything you would like to add about any of these people, please feel free to contact me. You can also talk on your own about any of these people that you know.

I also would like to thank my many McCormack relatives that contributed the photos that you are able to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

– – – – – –

P.S. If you see anything that needs correcting, please let me know! Thanks again!

An interesting find?

One of the many resources that I have come to rely on is FamilySearch.org. Last night, I was checking the hints on the FamilySearch app and came across a hint involving Michael, Catherine, and William. It came from the Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1838-1960 database.

William's Christening?

I see several things wrong with this record.

1.) Michael and William’s last name is spelled as McCommock instead of either McCormick or McCormack.

2.) Catherine’s name is spelled as Cate. I have seen Kate before but not Cate. Those are relatively minor with the last name spelling of Michael and William being a tad greater than the spelling of his mother’s first name.

3.) The big thing for me is the alleged birthplace of William. On this record, it states that William was born on 9 Jul 1853 (which matches everything else I have) in Mercer (County), Kentucky. I have at least two records stating that William (my great-grandfather) was born and baptized in Kilkenny, Ireland. I have a marriage record showing that Michael and Catherine were married 26 Sep 1853 in Kilkenny. I also have an immigration or ship’s manifest that mentions Michael and Catherine and also says that there is an infant (William) with them. It is dated 5 Oct 1853 leaving from Liverpool, England and arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana on 21 Nov 1853.

While I was on the FamilySearch website, I was asked if this record was a match. I said no for many of the reasons that I stated above. I also said that if this record was for William’s Christening, it would change things for me. I don’t know if I would say that this record would be a match or not.

The one big thing that I can take away from this record if all the people involved are “my” people, is that it would tend to confirm that Michael, Catherine, and William stopped in (Mercer County,) Kentucky. What is important about this is that family lore says that those three stopped in (Harrodsburg or) Kentucky to visit Catherine’s brother. This record would tend to confirm that story. What I have to do now is find a record that I can look at that show the same information I found on this record.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you learn something.

September Dates for the Clan Michael McCormack

I would like to take some time to remember some important events and an interesting tidbit or two in the lives of members of the Clan (Michael) McCormack for the month of September.

1 Sep 1824 Michael McCormack was born. As far as I know, Michael was from County Kilkenny. Or at least I think he was. My evidence is skimpy at best. What I do know is that he married Catherine (Payne) Steele in (the city of) Kilkenny at St. Mary’s Church and that his first son and child, William E. was born in Kilkenny. Also, from his marriage certificate that I show below, his father was identified as Patrick McCormack, a farmer.

Michael McCormack

Michael McCormack

2 Sep 1995 – Lois Elizabeth VanMeter died. She died in Sparks, Nevada. She was the second wife of James Archer McCormack, Sr. They married in 1979. Unfortunately, I have no picture of Lois.

2 Sep 1895 – Lura Grace Roys died. Lura was the first wife of William E. McCormack, my (paternal) great-grandfather. She died in Otter Lake, Michigan quite possibly at her home on Detroit Street. While she was alive, she and William had one child, a daughter Grace Ellen McCormack. She was born in Belleville, Michigan and got married to William in Ypsilanti, Michigan on 29 Nov 1883. I also don’t have a picture of Lura.

4 Sep 1923 – Jewel Beatrice Hassell was born. Jewel was the wife of the late Robert M. McCormack. Robert was the son of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. Jewel was born and grew up in Port Arthur, Texas.

Jewel Hassell McCormack in her wedding dress

18 Sep 2007 – Robert Michael McCormack died. He died in Laurel, Mississippi where he was a long time resident. Robert was the son of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. Robert was the proud father of three sons. He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War. In WWII, he flew P-51 Mustangs.

Robert Michael McCormack

Robert Michael McCormack

23 Sep 1928 – Ethel Rebecca McCormack was born. Ethel was the daughter of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. She was born in Reno, Nevada as were several of her brothers and sisters. In 1950, she married Raymond Louis Tougeron, Sr. They later became the proud parents of three sons and a daughter. She is another one of the “West Coast” McCormacks that have a very happy smile!

Ethel Rebecca

Ethel Rebecca McCormack Tougeron

25 Sep 2012 – Richard Curtis Ford died. Richard, or as I called him, Uncle Dick, was my uncle. He and my dad were twins. His parents were Aubrey and Alta (McCormack) Ford. He went to school at Michigan Technological University located in Houghton, Michigan for a year or two. After Houghton where he began his lifelong career in forestry, he and his young family moved out to the state of Washington in the great Pacific Northwest. In 1986, I got out of the Army and drove up to his house outside of Port Angeles, Washington where I spent the summer lounging on his deck.

Richard C. Ford

Richard “Dick” Curtis Ford

26 Sep 1853 – Michael McCormack married Catherine (Payne), Steele. This union of these two people began the McCormack clan as I know it. For Michael, it was his first marriage. For Catherine, it was her second.

Michael & Catherine

Michael & Catherine McCormack

Marriage Certificate 1 - Michael & Catherine

Marriage certificate for Michael and Catherine

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I would like to remind everyone that there is a lot more to the people listed here than what I have written. If you have anything you would like to add about any of these people, please feel free to contact me. You can also talk on your own about any of these people that you know. I also would like to thank my many McCormack relatives that contributed the photos that you are able to enjoy.

I also would like to thank my many McCormack relatives that contributed the photos that you are able to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

– – – – – –

P.S. If you see anything that needs correcting, please let me know! Thanks again!