In Rememberance of . . . .

Today, I would like to remember the passing of the grandfather that I never knew, Aubrey Benton Ford. He died on 7 Apr 1963 in Detroit, Michigan.

Grandpa Ford and Mike

Grandpa Ford and Mike

Unfortunately, I don’t think I ever met him. He had divorced my grandmother back in 1954. Actually, I think she divorced him. Also, he and my dad were not on “good” terms. As I think I have said before, I wonder if he came to regret any of his actions prior to his death.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

Happy Birthday, John Michael McCormack and . . .

Hi once again! Today, I would like to wish a couple of family members a Happy Birthday!

Today, 7 Apr, is the birthday of which I believe are the first McCormack twins, John Michael and his brother, for which a lack of a better name, “Patrick J.” If they both had lived today, they would 155 years old! Just imagine the history that they would have seen! John Michael and his brother, Patrick their parents were Michael and Catherine McCormack.

Both boys were born in or near London, Ontario, Canada when the family lived in Canada. On a side note, I am not sure why they moved to Canada although I think that the (American) Civil War had something to do with it.

1861 (Upper) Canada Census

1861 (Upper) Canada Census

Unfortunately, “Patrick J.” did not live as the census indicates. Here is one of my many pictures of John Michael;

John Michael McCormack as a young man.

John Michael McCormack as a young man.

This is my favorite of him. I don’t exactly when this picture was taken but I am guessing sometime in the mid 1880s. There has been a “suggestion” out there in the family that John Michael was involved with the building of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. From there to the wild western city of Reno, Nevada in the mid 1880s. There he met and married a young lady named Gertrude Angeline Peacock.

A young Gertrude Peacock McCormack

A young Gertrude Peacock McCormack

This is how John Michael made his early fortune.

Reno Evening Gazette Newspaper Ad for John Michael McCormack's monument company

Reno Evening Gazette Newspaper Ad for John Michael McCormack’s monument company.

From a monument company to a gas station;

A McCormack gas station

A McCormack gas station

Then from a monument company and a gas station to a hotel;

The Hotel McCormack

The Hotel McCormack

I also would like to show you John Michael’s only surviving son, Henry Peacock McCormack;

Henry Peacock McCormack as a young adult.

Henry Peacock McCormack as a young adult.

I think that I have briefly covered portions of John Michael McCormack’s life and discussed certain members of his extended family.

Here are some links that discussed his life either in part or total;

Census Sunday – John Michael McCormack and family in the 1900 Census

Friday’s Faces from the Past – A Young John Michael & Gertrude McCormack

Tombstone Tuesday – John Michael & Gertrude McCormack

Michael and his sons

Sharing Saturday – A Family Portrait

Happy Birthday, John Michael McCormack! Happy Birthday to his brother, “Patrick J.”!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

In Rememberance of . . . .

This isn’t going to make in time, but I wanted to remember my cousin (she was actually my first cousin once removed), Margaret Lorriane (Coon) Asprin. I am sorry to say that I never met Lorriane or any of her family even though her family lived in the same southeast Michigan area that I grew up in. Our common ancestor was my great-grandfather William E. McCormack. Lorriane is descended from William’s first wife, Lura Grace Roys. William was Lorriane’s grandfather.

Margaret Lorriane Coon Asprin's passport picture

Margaret Lorriane Coon Asprin’s passport picture

This was Lorriane’s obituary that was written at a memorial webpage;

She was born November 12, 1917. She died April 5, 2011 at her residence at the Hillside Retirement center. Lorraine was the youngest of three sisters, and grew up in St. Johns, MI. She married Daniel Dacanay Asprin in May 1941 and the two settled in Ann Arbor, MI. They had two children. An avid reader and educated woman, Lorraine returned to school when her children started their schooling, earning a bachelor’s degree and eventually a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1958. She was a dedicated teacher, and led a sixth grade classroom in the Ann Arbor school system until she retired. After retiring, Lorraine enjoyed reading, knitting, and visits with her grandchildren. She was an active and enthusiastic member of St. Clare’s Episcopal Church. Lorraine is survived by her daughter, her grandchildren, and her five great-grandsons.

I would like to thank you for stopping by and I hope you learned something about the McCormack family!

The William E. McCormack general store postcard

Last Monday, 23 Mar 2015, I wrote about how I won an Ebay auction [1],  for a postcard [2] showing the general store of my great-grandfather, William E. McCormack located in Otter Lake, Michigan. Btw, the store is still standing although it looks radically different looking now.

Postcard showing the William E. McCormack Store in Otter Lake, Michigan

Postcard showing the William E. McCormack Store in Otter Lake, Michigan

The front of the postcard is relatively good shape with the exception of the handwriting in the lower right quadrant and the “code” in the lower left qaudrant.

The rear side of the postcard showing the William E. McCormack store in Otter Lake, Michigan

The rear side of the postcard showing the William E. McCormack store in Otter Lake, Michigan

As shown in the first picture, this postcard has definitely been used. There are several things that we can tell from looking at the back. First, the postcard was published by the Backenstose Bookstore of Pontiac, Michigan. They published a series of postcards featuring Otter Lake that I have collected many of. Second, this postcard, as all the rest of my Otter Lake collection, was printed or made in Germany. Third, the postage was an amazing 1 cent stamp! Considering fact #4, as it appears to me, the postmark date of 23 Sep 1908 maybe charging one cent wasn’t all that amazing. From my brief research into when the stamp and postcard was printed, it appears that this particular stamp and postcard was in use from 1907 to 1914.[2] After 1914, due to World War I, postcards for use in the USA were not printed in Germany anymore but in England or the United States. Earlier, I mentioned a “code” on the front in the lower left corner. To me, it appears that the code is AGG131. As of the time of the writing of this post, I don’t know what that “code” means. Perhaps someday I will decipher and transcribe the message on the back of the postcard.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

Footnotes;

1. “Winning an Ebay auction!”, 
2. Postcard of the William E. McCormack general store in Otter Lake, Michigan, , 2015, privately held by Jeff Ford , [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2015
3. “Tips for determining when a U.S. postcard was published”, Center of Southwest Studies, Ft. Lewis College, Durango, CO. revised 7 Aug 2006, visited 29 Mar 2015.

A picture of my grandfather!

Late Sunday afternoon, my cousin Mike sent me a couple of pictures. Several months ago, I asked him if he had any pictures of our grandfather. He said he didn’t but his mom might and that he would let me know if he find anything. The first one was a picture of my grandfather, Aubrey Benton Ford. The second picture was of me when I was about two and half months old. It is the first picture that I am writing about.

After decades of not knowing what my grandfather looked like, I do now! There are three reasons that I never met or saw pictures of him. The first, he died about 16 months after I was born. The second reason is that he and my grandmother, Alta McCormack Ford, were divorced in 1954. Finally, the last reason was that my father and grandfather were very estranged from each other.

This picture features my grandfather, Aubrey Benton Ford and his grandson, Michael Ford.

Grandpa Ford and Mike

Grandpa Ford and Mike

As the writing on the picture says, this picture was taken in July 1960. I asked my cousin about the date at the top of the picture. He told me that the picture was taken in July 1960 but developed in Jan 1961.

As I sit here looking at this picture writing this post, I can’t help wondering what my grandfather was thinking while holding one of his grandsons. Did he regret any of his past? I may never know.

I would like to thank my cousin Mike very much for this picture. Without help like my cousin Mike provided, I can not do much. So I very much appreciate his help and anyone that helps me. Thanks again!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

Footnote;

1. picture of Aubrey Ford and Mike Ford, , 2015, privately held by Jeff Ford , [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2015

Winning an Ebay auction!

Last Tuesday, I won an Ebay auction bidding for the following picture/postcard;

William McCormack's store in Otter Lake, Michigan

William McCormack’s store in Otter Lake, Michigan

Now, this picture is NOT actually what I won, which was a postcard of my great-grandfather’s store in Otter Lake, Michigan. I should get the actual postcard later this week. When I do get the postcard, I will update you about what I learn from the postcard.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Serendipity Strike!

ser•en•dip•i•ty |ˌserənˈdipitē|

noun 

the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way a fortunate stroke of serendipity a series of small

I was just minding my own business on this Saturday when I received a small package from my mother. I opened it up and saw a photo envelope, the kind that you would get from your local drugstore when you picked up your pictures. My mother or someone had written on it, 1989 Ireland with my maternal grandparents name on it. Inside the package, there were quite a few postcards that my grandparents must have picked up during their trip to Ireland. There were also some pictures that they took. Then I saw it. A postcard of my great-grandfather’s (William E. McCormack) house. My jaw hit the floor. My first question was, “Where on earth did my mom find this?” My second question was “How or why did someone make a postcard with my great-grandfather’s house on it?”

McCormack House Postcard - circa 1910

McCormack House Postcard – circa 1910 [1]

As  you see, the postcard obviously has some “damage.” There is the scratches on the tree. I don’t know if the writing at the bottom of the picture is original or added at some point afterwards. It has been “used” or mailed before. The stamp on the back is a one cent stamp and the postmark is 3 Oct 1910.

This is a very incredible find and I don’t know how my mother came across this! So I can’t thank her enough for finding and sending it to me!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

Footnote;

1. picture of the William E. McCormack house in Otter Lake, Michigan, , 2015, privately held by Jeff Ford , [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2015