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.

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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

Happy Belated Birthday, Kathryn Elizabeth (Coon) Miller!

Happy Belated Birthday, Kathryn Elizabeth (Coon) Miller! I’m sorry that I am late with this! Yesterday would have been Kathryn’s 99th birthday. Kathryn was the daughter of Grace Ellen (McCormack)and Alfred Rinehart Coon. She was born on 11 Mar 1916 in Dewitt, Michigan. Her second husband was Gerald K. Miller. They had one daughter. Here is my one picture of Kathryn;

Betty and her daughter, Patty.

Betty and her daughter, Patty.

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Update – An overseas birth certificate?

On the 9th of February, I wrote the blog post, “An overseas birth certificate?” Back then I told you I would update you if and when I got any news. I got some news. On 27th of February, I got an e-mail from the German authorities that I wrote. In it, after consulting with a friend that knows German and German researching, they told me that they don’t have the record(s) I want. However, they did tell me that the record(s) that I wanted are located with agency/archive. I think I will have to ask my friend if they would be willing to help me out because I don’t have the time to learn the intricacies of this website.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

It was today, 2 years ago, that the Otter Lake Express burst onto the genealogy blogging universe! Happy Anniversary!

First of all, I want to thank everyone and anyone that has helped me in many ways to blog and research the family of Michael McCormack. There is NO way that one person could do as much as I have without the much appreciated assistance of the living members of the extended McCormack clan. I don’t want to mention any names because I will certainly forget someone and I don’t want to forget anyone.

Someone once asked me why I blog and research the McCormack family? One reason that I do this is because of people like my great-grand uncle Frank J. McCormack. Why in particular him? Well, he and his wife both died at an “young” age. He was 52 and she was 48. The big reason is that they died childless and thus had no one to tell their story once they passed away. I want them to remembered. There are other stories that I could tell. One story is about Elizabeth J. McCormack, the widow of Edward James McCormack. He died during the winter of 1898. Elizabeth was pregnant with their sixth child and had 4 other children waiting on her. She went onto raise five children by herself in the woods of northern lower Michigan. Then when she was in her late 60s, one of her daughters died and she had to “adopt” and raise her two granddaughters. Then there is Maria “Minnie” McCormack Barnes. In the fall of 1900, her first child fell ill and died a horrible death. The person signing the death certificate? Her brother-in-law, Leon R. Ingleright.

Those are just some of the reasons why I blog and research the family of Michael McCormack. Thanks again to all those that have helped in some manner. Your efforts on my behalf and the behalf of our common ancestors are much appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by!