New Henry McCormack photos

One nice thing about having an account is that with their hints you sometimes can get some very good information. The other day I logged onto my Ancestry account and found that I had several new hints and the following pictures were among them. I wrote to the person to thank them for uploading and sharing them.

The first two pictures I have never seen before. The last one another cousin had previously shared with me.

Henry and Margaret (Iseman) McCormack

Henry and Margaret (Iseman-Naugle) McCormack

That is a very good picture of Henry and Margaret, his second wife. Since Henry died in 1951, I think that this picture was taken sometime in the 1940s.

McCormack House - Ithaca (Front)(B&W)

The Henry McCormack house of Ithaca, MI.

At this time, I don’t know who the two people are on the front porch. It would be helpful to know when this picture was taken.

This is the photo that I already had. 

McCormack House - Ithaca (Side)(B&W)

A side view of the Henry McCormack house in Ithaca, MI.

The people on the lawn are Edith Marie McCormack Bird and her daughter. Given that information, that would make this picture taken in the early 1930s. 

I am very thankful that the person from Ancestry decided to upload and share his photos. If they hadn’t, I would have never seen the first two pictures. 

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


Another McCormack postcard!

Early last week, I went onto eBay and I looked around. You can find a lot of family related stuff there. I have found quite a few items related to Otter Lake and my great-grandfather, William E. McCormack. Most of the time I search using “Otter Lake”, “Reno”, “Michael McCormack”  or various other McCormack related search terms. So, last week I used (I think) Henry McCormack. When I typed in Henry McCormack, I was wondering what would popup in the search results. Imagine my surprise when the picture below showed up! It is just not a picture, but a POSTCARD!

The Ithaca McCormack General Store

Center Street showing the Henry McCormack Store in 1910 Ithaca, Michigan

And not just any old postcard! A postcard showing the Henry McCormack Department store on Center Street in 1910 Ithaca, Michigan! I never really imagine that someone would make a postcard of this scene. It wasn’t up for bidding. It was being sold outright. So, I made the plunge and spent the ten dollars and bought it.

I really like it because the “signs” hanging in between the windows of the second and third floors. Those signs tells us what Henry was selling at the time. It’s very interesting. I thought it would be interesting to show what the area is like more recently.

Center Street, Ithaca Michigan

Center Street, Ithaca, Michigan in 2016.

As you can see, the first two buildings are still there pretty much in the same shape as they were in 1910. It’s the rest of the street that has changed especially the building in the middle. It has lost its crown. On the facing side of the McCormack building is the stairs. I am sure that it has been rebuilt once or twice since the first picture.

Even though I have only received the postcard on Saturday May 27th, it is already one of my prized Clan McCormack ephemera collection!

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

Mother’s Day for the McCormack women!

This is a slight rewrite of a post I wrote last year. I think it is pretty good and I will like to recognize all the McCormack mothers even with a reused post.

Happy Mother’s Day, Ladies!


Today is 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 without any children. 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 total 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 (Hemingway) 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

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 Jane (Rohr) 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 and to I owe much. 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.

My Grandmother’s Trip to Europe! Page 1

I was talking to my dad one day if he had a signature or some example of writing from my grandmother. I was trying to compliment my post, “The McCormacks in their own hand!”.

In 1925, my grandmother, Alta McCormack and her younger sister, Ruth went on their “Grand Tour” of Europe. This the first page in her trip diary that she maintained during their “Grand Tour” of Europe.

Page 1

Page 1


Date: June 26, 1925
Place: Montreal
Niagara Falls, Canada

We got an early
Start this morning —
at 6:30. It rained almost
all the way to Port
Huron but we made
good time. Went out
to Gratiot Inn and
saw Dad, Uncle Henry
and Aunt Margaret
who were there at
a convention. Came
across the river about
10 and had lots of fun
with the Canadian
Customs officer. Herb.
assures him that we
are all friends except
his aunt and brother. The
C. O. asked Herb what he. . . .

To be continued!

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

Family Treasures: Another McCormack Before & After

One of the things that I really like about researching my family history is when family members share old photos that I can in turn share with others both within and outside the family. But what I really like when a family member shares an old photo with me is that most of the time, the photo needs some digital restoration and that is something that I really like.

Today, I would like to share this “before and after” picture of Edith Marie McCormack as a young lady of 11 and half. Edith Marie was the middle child of Henry and Minnie (Van Wormer) McCormack, of Ithaca, Michigan.

When it was created, this picture must have been really beautiful! What I saw when I looked at it, I saw a picture that was in pretty decent shape physically. That is, there was no damage to the picture, no cuts, no missing sections or anything like that. If you look carefully at Edith Marie’s right, there looks like someone left some fingerprints. Also, if you look very closely there is a small ring of some kind in lower right corner on Edith Marie’s dress. Those were some of the reasons why I decided to digitally modify the picture. I also didn’t like how the picture seemed very dark or flat. That was one reason why I replaced the background and placed a marquee to cover up those sins.

I don’t want you to think that I have forgotten to thank my benefactor for this picture. Giving credit where credit is due is very important to me. That said, I would like to thank Edith Marie’s grandson, Lance A., very much for sharing this wonderful picture with me and the rest of the world.

– – – – – –

Thank you very much for stopping by and I hope that you learned something and that you liked what you saw.


1.) picture of a young Edith Marie McCormack, 2009, privately held by Lance A., [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009


A McCormack Queen?

I have written about the use of newspapers in detailing events of your family history. This is one such occasion. So I hope that you can understand and sense my excitement when I found a newspaper article that matched a picture of someone and an event in my family’s history. It is something special.

I can’t remember exactly when my cousin (she’s in the middle in the picture) gave me the picture. But she did tell me that the occasion was an event at the local International Order of Job’s Daughters chapter. 


A Queen in waiting and her parents [1]

I wondered if this article went with the picture above. I sent the article to my cousin asking her if the article went with the picture that she had shared with me several years ago. She wrote back to me saying that yes in deed the picture went with the article. I was also excited to see that a couple other of my cousins were also involved that night at the Masonic event. They were the crown bearer and the cherub. One of her older sisters was also involved as a flag bearer.


Patricia McCormack – Honored Queen [2]

She also added that she was sorry that the article didn’t mention that her father (the man on the left in the picture) created a gavel for her for that occasion. The gavel was made out of rosewood and jade. As luck would have it, she told me during a conversation that she still has the gavel but it is packed away right now. She told me several things about her father that made him more real and added substance to what I have learned about him. The article also added that Patricia honored her mother with a special bouquet of roses.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you learned something very special today!


1. picture of Patricia McCormack as Honored Queen, , 2009, privately held by Jeff Ford, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2009

2. Patricia Ann McCormack, “Patricia McCormack New Honored Queen,” San Rafael Independent Journal, 24 Jun 1954, Pg. X, col. 6-7, digital image,,, accessed 28 Jan 2017.

A McCormack Christmas Ancestor Tree


This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time.  I have always wanted to make some Christmas ornaments that could be hung on a Christmas tree. I got my ideas from various genealogy blogs that I have seen over the years and also from many boards on Pinterest. About a week and half ago, a FB friend of mine posted her version of a Christmas Ancestor tree. She had a tree like mine but instead of bulb ornaments like I used, she used large Christmas gift tags. On those gift tags, she placed pictures of some of her ancestors that have died recently and those that have been died for a long time.

Anyway, for some reason, I got inspired to make my own version of a Christmas Ancestor tree. I did my research and found a place to buy my tree and ornaments. I tried to use one piece bulb ornaments but trying to uncurl a picture that could fit inside an ornament proved to be something that I found to be unworkable. Which is why I went with two piece bulb ornaments. I had much better control over the pictures that way.

This first set pictures I did have two pictures of each person, but after looking at my first sheet, I decided to go in a different direction. I decided to have a husband and wife in my (first) set of ornaments. As you will see below, I used red and green “pipe cleaners” around the edges of the pictures when they went inside the ornaments. 



Top row: William E. McCormack, Lavina J. (Hemingway) McCormack
Second row: Michael McCormack
Third row: Catherine (Paine) McCormack, John Michael McCormack
Fourth row: Gertrude (Peacock) McCormack

I would have finished this next sheet with couples, but I ran out of good quality pictures to use. Then I decided to use some of the children of those couples. I did try to have a sisters ornament and a matching brothers ornament, but I couldn’t get enough pictures of brothers to work. That is, I couldn’t get enough pictures to fit on the inside of the ornaments. Finally, I decided to close out with some pictures of children. 


Top row: Henry T. McCormack, Minnie Myrtle (Van Wormer) McCormack, Henry Peacock McCormack
Second row: Ethel (Davis) McCormack, Gertrude “Betty” Jeanette (McCormack) Waltz, Ethel Rebecca (McCormack) Tougeron
Third row: Alta Lyleth (McCormack) Ford, Edith Marie (McCormack) Bird and Lucille May (McCormack) Crozier
Fourth row: Group 1: Henry P. McCormack, Gertrude “Betty” Jeanette (McCormack) Waltz and Gerald Milton McCormack
Group 2: Merle Hemingway McCormack, Ruth Eleanor (McCormack) Farrell and Alta Lyleth (McCormack) Ford

Here are some pictures of the finished product. I think that it turned out pretty good. If I had more time, I would have put some tinsel on the tree. 

In the future, I hope to make a few more ornaments so that I can rotate the ornaments so that I don’t have the same ones on the tree every year. For example, I could make some ornaments that have a father and son pictures and also a mother and daughter ornament(s). 

Finally, I would like to take some time and thank those people that have contributed in some way that have made it possible for me to be able to complete a project like this. This endeavor to tell the story of Michael and Catherine McCormack’s family isn’t a singular effort by me. It is a group effort.

I also would like to wish every member of very extended family of Michael and Catherine McCormack a very merry Christmas and a very Happy New year!

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