McBash, the McCormack family reunion!

It is that time of year again for the annual McCormack family reunion or as it is called these days, McBash! I am talking to those McCormacks that haven’t decided what to do in June. The dates for this year’s McBash are June 17th to June 20th. It will be at the Campground by the Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California.

Here is a picture from the first McBash that I attended back in 2009.

McBash 2009

McBash 2009

Here is a picture from the following year;

McBash gang doing the Captain Morgan

The McBash gang doing the “Captain Morgan!”

The caption says it all doesn’t it? The wild and crazy McCormacks!

What we do at these McBashes is that we catch up on old friendships and make new ones. We share dinners together. We go on sidetrips. The Lake Tahoe area is beautiful.

Emerald Bay in Winter

The Emerald Bay area of Lake Tahoe in winter.

I remember my first trip to a McBash in June 2009. I met a cousin who became very special to me. He was the gentleman in the top picture with the blue shirt and brown shorts. He and his wife, the lady next to him, took me up to a couple of lookouts above Emerald Bay. First of all, the drive up there was something else. The boulders on the side of the road are incredibly HUGE! The road was also incredibly narrow too! After spending a couple of hours looking at Emerald Bay and a roadside waterfall, we spend some time at lakeside restaurant.

Given that some of Lake Tahoe is also in Nevada, there are several casinos to spend some of your “fun” money!

I hope that some of my McCormack cousins will decide to come this year and if not this year, make plans for next year. We hold McBash just about the same time every year in June or the third weekend.

If you need more details or anything else, please contact me and I will get you the information that you want!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you at McBash 2016!

May Dates for the McCormack Clan!

I apologize for being SO very late on this. Remembering these people and what they did and happened to them is very important. I got to meet one of these people, Violet Ingleright. I met her in the early 1990s in Niles, Michigan. She was very nice and an interesting lady.


9 May 1971 – Grace Ellen McCormack died. Grace was the daughter of William and Lavina McCormack of Otter Lake, Michigan.
9 May 1949 – Patrick J. McCormack was born. Patrick was the grandson of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack.
10 May 1901 – Violet Ingleright was born. Violet was the only daughter of Katherine McCormack and Leon R. Ingleright I. Violet was a graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Music.
11 May 1916 – Henry Davis McCormack was born. Henry, or “HD” as I call him, he was the eldest grandson of John Michael McCormack.
12 May 1916 – Cora Ann McCormack died. Cora was married to Frank J. McCormack. He was the
14 May 1890 – Henry McCormack married Minne Myrtle VanWormer. Henry was a prominent businessman in both Ypsilanti and Ithaca, Michigan. He was the son of Michael and Catherine (Payne) McCormack.
14 May 1994 – Daniel Asprin died. Daniel was married to Margaret Lorraine Coon. Margaret was the great-granddaughter of Michael and Catherine McCormack.
18 May 1920 – Jimmie D. Keen was born. Jimmie was married to James Archer McCormack, the son of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack.
22 May 2008 – Robert Lynn Asprin died. Robert was the grandson of Grace Ellen McCormack. He was also a famous science fiction writer. He was the author of the Myth Adventures and Phule’s Company series. He was very active in the beginning of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
23 May 1966 – Hiram J. Stevens died. Hiram was married to Mae Ethel McCormack, the oldest daughter of Edward J. McCormack and Elizabeth J. Rohr.
24 May 1947 – Michael Alan McCormack was born. Michael was the grandson of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack.
26 May 1951 – William David McCormack was born. William was the grandson of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack.
26 May 1897 – Lura Maude McCormack was born. She was the daughter of Edward McCormack and Elizabeth J. Rohr.
26 May 1918 – Robert Henry Addy married Addie C. Snyder. Robert was the youngest child of Delilah Elizabeth McCormack and Smith Addy.
26 May 1924 – Lura Maude McCormack married Dudley B. Palmer.
30 May 1986 – Alta McCormack Ford died. She was my grandmother and daughter of William E. and Lavina J. (Hemingway) McCormack.
30 May 1931 – Nella Mae McCormack was born. Nell was the daughter of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something new today!

The Passing of a McCormack legend!

McCormack Reunion (Master)

The McCormack Family Reunion

Hello, once again! Today, I, unfortunately have some bad news. Some of you will that have following the Otter Lake Express for a while, will remember my posts about Elizabeth J. (Rohr) McCormack, the wife of Edward J. McCormack. In those posts, I wrote about how Elizabeth, at the age of 69, “adopted” her two granddaughters because her daughter died and her son-in-law, for some reason, couldn’t raise them. She might not be a legend, but in my book she is.

A couple of years ago, I contacted one of the sisters and I believe that we had a good relationship going. That sister was Charlotte Fontaine Palmer. The other day I learned from Charlotte’s  nephew that she died almost a year ago. About two or three years ago is when I had my last contact with her. We were in the beginning stages of discussing about getting copies of some of her family pictures. Well I got busy with work. Real busy and I just never got back to her. I would constantly think “Well, this weekend or whatever, I will get around to writing Charlotte about her pictures.” Now, if I ever have the time, I can’t write that letter. In all my dealings with her, she was really nice to me. I would also like to think that she would have appreciated what I have written about her grandmother/mother. I think that almost everyone would have enjoyed her take on how her grandmother, at 69 years old, raised her and her sister and still ran a small country general store.

So, if anyone out there has an elder relative that has an unique story or not, contact them before it is too late. They have stories that are special and interesting and enriching. I have a couple of relatives that have died either before I got into my McCormack family history or I knew them or was able to contact them. You might learn something and I will bet that you will have a good time listening to them.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

Mother’s Day for the McCormack women!

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I would like to celebrate the McCormack women below and others who are not shown and talked about here. I must add that other than my grandmother, Alta McCormack Ford, I have not met any of these women. I was inspired to write this post because of a friend of mine, Michelle Ganus Taggart over at her blog, A Southern Sleuth, and her post, Mothers and Grandmothers. Thank you, Michelle!

The first McCormack woman that I would like to celebrate is the matriarch of the McCormack clan, Catherine (Paine/Payne) McCormack. Briefly, I know that she was born in Ireland. There is a “suggestion” out there that she was born in either County Cork, Ireland or Cork the city. She was married before marrying Michael McCormack but as far as I know, her first husband died leaving her young widow. In 1853, she married Michael and gave birth to her first child, my great-grandfather, William E. McCormack. What really stands out to me is that soon after he was born, he and his parents left Ireland to the United States via Liverpool, England. When they left Ireland, William was maybe 4 or 5 months old. At that time, the trans-Atlantic trip took about six weeks. Even now, traveling with an infant is not easy. Also, they made the trip around October/November of 1853. The weather couldn’t have been the greatest! The next thing that really impresses me about her is that she followed and gave Michael 10 more children of which 9 lived to adulthood. She moved from Kentucky – the “rumor” is that her brother lived in Harrodsburg, Kentucky – to Ypsilanti, Michigan to London, Ontario then back to Ypsilanti then up to northern Michigan and finally living in the same village as her first son, William.

Catherine McCormack

Catherine McCormack

The second woman that I would like to celebrate is my great-grandmother, Lavina Jane (Hemingway) McCormack. As I have mentioned before, she is my connection to the famed Hemingway name. What stands out to me about her is that the circumstances in which she came into the McCormack clan. She and William lived in the same village, Otter Lake, prior to the marriage. So, she must have known William’s first wife, Lura before she died unexpectedly and William and Lura’s daughter, Grace. It seemed that she handled things with grace. She and William had three beautiful children of which my grandmother, Alta McCormack was one of.

Lavina Jane (Hemingway) McCormack

Lavina Jane McCormack

The next woman that I would like to remember here is my grandmother, Alta Lyleth (McCormack) Ford. She was born in Otter Lake, Michigan in 1902 and was the middle child of William and Lavina. One of the things that I remember about her is when I was a little kid is that me and my family would visit her at her house. She had a corner house in Garden City, Michigan. I would run around the house and my parents or grandmother would “time” me. Little did I know at the time is that none of them timed me. I am crushed! (haha!) I would also stay a few days with her every summer as a young kid. I remember helping her do some work on her garden that she had in her backyard. There were a few stories about her childhood but sadly I really don’t remember any of them. I am working on a post about her trip to Europe in 1925 with her younger sister, Ruth. Sadly, she died while I was in the service (Army) in California in 1986 and a few years before I really got into my McCormack family history. She could have been a real treasure trove of knowledge.

Young Alta

A young Alta McCormack

The next woman that I would like to talk about is Ethel Davis McCormack. She was the wife of Henry Peacock McCormack, the only child of John Michael and Gertrude (Peacock) McCormack. The biggest thing that impresses me about Ethel, besides being a rather small woman in stature, is that she like her grandmother-in-law, Catherine, she had 10 children of which one is still alive! Anytime, a woman has 10 children, that is simply amazing! When her youngest child was born, her oldest was 21 years old!

Ethel Davis McCormack

Ethel Davis McCormack

The final woman that I would like to tell you about is Elizabeth Jane (Rohr/Dimmick) McCormack. I have written about her before – Celebrating Women’s History Month – Elizabeth J. (Rohr) Dimmick McCormack – but I will try to briefly tell you about her. Her story is very impressive. Very. She had married Edward J. McCormack, son of Michael and Catherine in 1886. In 1898, he died. At the time, they had four children. Here’s the kicker. She was pregnant with their last child. Northern lower Michigan in the winter is not a nice place. For a young woman with four children and another one on the way, it can be brutal. Well, she bought a general store in Mio, Michigan and raised her kids. She never remarried either. To top everything off, when she was 69, she “adopted” her two of her granddaughters. They were 7 years old and younger. Something else, huh? I thought so too.

Elizabeth J. Rohr McCormack

Elizabeth McCormack behind the counter of her general store

I don’t want to have “favorites” here, but Catherine McCormack and her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Rohr McCormack are two very impressive women. I am very proud that they were a part of the McCormack legacy.

I would like to mention two additional women. My mother and sister. My mother is something special. My sister is something else too. She and her husband had four kids of their own. About 5 or 6 years ago, they adopted three sisters.

Happy Mother’s Day to the women that I talked about here and to the rest of the McCormack mothers that I couldn’t mention due primarily to time and space!

I would like to thank you and everyone else for stopping by! I hope you learned something new and special.

More McCormacks in the Newspapers!

Hello, once again! Today, I have a couple gems that I found at one of the various online newspaper websites. As I said in my post, John Michael McCormack – Politician?, you can find so many things about your family in the newspapers.

This time, I found two clippings. The first clipping is an ad for the local gun club that my cousin, Henry D. McCormack, belong to.


El Dorado Rod & Gun Club Classified [1]

This second clipping is the results of the club’s pistol shoot show from July 1977. It features my cousins, Henry McCormack and Phil (I obscured his last name because he is still living). I shared this article with him earlier and he said that this goes way back and got him thinking on what he was doing that summer. At first, I thought the Phil mentioned below was his dad since he was also named Phil. He told me that he got into some “trouble” with the club elders for placing third in the pistol shoot.


El Dorado Rod & Gun Club pistol shoot results [2]

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something interesting today. I did!


  1. Henry Davis McCormack, “(03) Meetings,” The Mountain (Placerville, California) Democrat-Times, 12 Aug 1983 (Friday), p. B-6, col. 4; digital images, ( : accessed 25 Apr 2016).

  2. Henry Davis McCormack, “Winners named in Rod and Gun shoot,” The Mountain (Placerville, California) Democrat-Times, 14 Jul 1977, p. A-6, col. 6; digital images, ( : accessed 25 Apr 2016).

John Michael McCormack – Politician?

Digging around the various newspaper sites is something that I really like to do. You find things about your ancestors that is priceless! You find out about vacations and trips that they take. You find out about graduation mostly from college. You also find out about marriages and deaths in the your family.

Today, I would like to show you one particular fact that I have found out about my great-grand uncle, John Michael McCormack. He is well known as a hotel owner, stone mason. In fact, he started out in life as a stone mason reportedly working on the Brooklyn Bridge. I can’t remember when I saw this, but it got me wondering if he had another career that I hadn’t found out yet.

1912 Washoe Co. Election Results1912 Washoe County elections results [1]

You see John Michael’s name with the symbol of the Progressive party (P) next to his name under MEMBER STATE ASSEMBLY. I really didn’t pursue that lead any. I thought maybe that it was someone else with the same initials. Then I found these from another article.

Hard up for candidates

Hard Up for Candidates [2]

Voters of the Third Ward

John Michael McCormack’s “statement” to voters of the 3rd Ward of Reno. [2]

Then I saw this;

For The Assembly II

Candidates for the Assembly [3]

Finally, I found this gem;

John Michael McCormack - Politician

John Michael McCormack’s candidate bio [4]

That was his bio as written by – I guess – the local Progressive party. But as you read earlier, John Michael wasn’t a candidate by choice. He was picked when he was out of town on business. I guess that this time in his life was pretty interesting. I wonder if he had some “choice” words for the local Progressive Party.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something new today!


  1. John Michael McCormack, “Election Results—Returns From Washoe County,” 8 Nov 1912 (Friday), The (Daily) (Reno, Nevada) Nevada State Journal, p. 4, col. 3; digital images, ( : accessed 15 Feb 2012), Historical Newspaper Collection.
  2. John Michael McCormack, “Voters of the Third Ward,” 5 May 1903 (Tuesday), The Daily (Reno) Nevada State Journal, p.1, col. 6; digital images, ( : accessed 15 Feb 2012), Historical Newspaper Collection.
  3. John Michael McCormack, “For The Assembly, ” 8 Nov 1912 (Friday), The Nevada (Reno, Nevada) State Journal, p. 12, col. 3; digital images, ( : accessed 17 Apr 2016), Historical Newspaper Collection.
  4. John Michael McCormack, “For The Assembly, ” 8 Nov 1912 (Friday), The Nevada (Reno, Nevada) State Journal, p. 12, col. 3; digital images, ( : accessed 17 Apr 2016), Historical Newspaper Collection.

McCormack news!

Just a real quick update here!

I have several things to tell you about.

First, my cousin James’s NatGeo 2.0 DNA test results came in. His Y-DNA Haplogroup is R-L226. Now we need some McCormacks in Ireland to be tested!

Second, I am working on a post involving signatures of various McCormacks. I asked my father if he had any writing of my grandmother, his mother. He said that he has a diary that she wrote from her trip to Europe in 1925. When I get all the pages copied, I will be posting some or all of the pages under a different subject.

Lastly, I have found out the date for this year’s McCormack family reunion or as it is called today, McBash. It is June 17th to June 20th. It will be held at the Campground by the Lake, South Lake Tahoe, California. I can’t wait to go! If any McCormacks would like to go, please contact me and I will get you details!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something new!