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.

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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!

The McCormacks in their own hand!

Sometime back, I saw another blogger write about their ancestor’s signatures. It seemed like a very good idea. Here are a few signatures of some of the McCormacks.

The very first signature that I would like show is of Michael McCormack. It is from his land grant/homestead application when he and his son, Edward J. McCormack were in the process of homesteading/buying some land in the northern portion of the lower peninsula of Michigan. This signature is dated 18 Nov 1884.


Michael McCormack [1]

The second signature is also from Michael. This is from his naturalization oath paperwork. It was dated 18 Nov 1884. 


Michael McCormack [2]

My next signature is from Michael’s youngest daughter, Katherine. It is from a five page letter that she wrote on 28 May 1918 to her niece, Edith Marie McCormack. Edith was the daughter of Katherine’s older brother, Henry. She wrote the letter to Edith about a month after the death of Edith Marie’s mother, Minnie McCormack from cancer.


Aunt Kate aka Katherine Fildelia (McCormack) Ingleright [3]

Robert was the son of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. This signature comes from Robert’s DD214 or his “Report Of Separation From The Armed Forces Of The United States.” He had serviced in WWII in addition to Korea. When he was discharged, he was a Captain and flown P-51s in both WWII and Korea.


Robert Michael McCormack [4]

My final signature is Nella Mae McCormack. Nell was the daughter of Henry Peacock and Ethel (Davis) McCormack. Her signature was from the marriage certificate of her marriage to her husband.


Nella Mae McCormack [5]

One thing that I noticed about Nell’s and Michael’s signature, in example #2, is how similar that she and Michael made their  big “C” in McCormack.

I thought this was an interesting and different way to talk about the McCormack clan. 

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


1. Application no. 1959, 29 February 1884, in Michael McCormack (Montmorency County) homestead file bearing final certificate no. 979, 30 January 1885, Detroit, Michigan, Land Office; Land Entry Papers, 1800-1908; Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

2. Michael McCormack Oath of Naturalization, 18 Nov 1884, currently held by Jeff Ford, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2013.

3. Katherine “Kate” (McCormack) Ingleright (Rose City, Michigan) to Edith Marie McCormack, 28 May 1918; privately by Lance Andrewsen, [RESEARCHER’S CONTACT INFORMATION,] 2011. The letter’s recipient is the grandmother of the current holder.  

4. Robert Michael McCormack DD214 “Report Of Separation From The Armed Forces Of The United States”, 31 Jan 1953; currently held by Jeff Ford, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lebanon, Tennessee, 2009.

5. Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013, database and digital image, ( accessed 26 Sep 2016), entry for Chester John Lowney and Nella Mae McCormack, 23 Aug 1952, certificate No. 10371B.



Today, I would like to welcome as a guest blogger, my second cousin once removed, Patricia. Her father was HP McCormack and her grandfather was John Michael McCormack.

John Michael and HP

John Michael McCormack and son HP

Being the youngest of ten children I was not always aware of the goings-on of the older siblings, but one of my fondest memories was in 1945, four of my brothers returned home from WWII. My mother fixed a feast and what jubilant celebration it was. Thankfully my father, HP McCormack took moving pictures of the event which I still have and cherish, showing loving hugs to my mother and father, grandmother, aunt, the teasing between brothers, what fun it was.

Secondly, the summers spent at our cabin at King’s Beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, California. It was a real log cabin built in 1932 from the pine trees cut down by my father, HP McCormack and older brothers. The older ones got to sleep in tents but younger ones in the cabin. In the mornings we would wake to the scrumptious smells of Mom’s pancakes cooking. Hurriedly we’d put on our bathing suits, gobbling down the pancakes, grabbing our towels and dashing down to the beach with our dog, Snooper, right behind us. Ack, the clear blue sparkling water was icy cold! Snooper was usually the first in and out, saunter over to us and shake that cold water all over our hot sun drenched bodies. We acquired terrible sunburns that would crack open, Mom would gently pat vinegar on the open cracked skin, ah, and the pain of it all, but soon we were as tan as could be. In the evenings we would sit around the beautiful rock fireplace, read, play games, pop popcorn and jump every time a pine cone would pop in the flames. Or, we would go to the movies, walking along the boardwalk whiffs of vanilla floating through the night air from the ice cream store.

The third fondest memory was our Christmas celebrations. Mom’s delicious turkey feasts, my father’s decorations, and family togethers. The younger ones would pile into a brother’s car, drive around town delighting in the beautiful decorations anxiously anticipating the excitement of Santa’s arrival. Upon arriving home, we would warn my brother not to honk the horn. His elbow always slipped causing a resounding loud honk. This was to warn the other brothers in the house to start ringing “Santa’s bell”. Brothers would ring the bell, throw it to the next one in another room, and we little ones would run through the house following the jingle of the bell in hopes to see Santa but never did.

I would like to thank my cousin Pat for sharing the memories that she did. If you have someone like Pat in your family, ask them about any memories that they would like to share.

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

“Family Reunions”

A few  weekends ago for me, was a time for family reunions. On Saturday, it was my mother’s side of the family, “Where are the Waldos?” Then on Monday, it was a meeting that I have been looking forward to since this cousin left a comment on one of my posts. I got to meet the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Elizabeth J. McCormack, the widow of Edward J. McCormack (son of Michael and Catherine McCormack).

Linda and her mom

Elizabeth (Betty) Palmer Knauf and Linda Jagiello

You got to know Elizabeth or “Betty” and her sister in a couple of my posts, “The Passing of a McCormack legend!” and “Celebrating Women’s History Month – Elizabeth J. (Rohr) Dimmick McCormack.”

I would like to thank Linda for making contact with me by leaving a comment on a post several months ago. One thing that her mother, “Betty” told me that was growing up in Mio, it was her family, two aunts and two uncles and nobody else. She didn’t know that there was any other McCormacks around. Anywhere! Well, I took care of that “problem!” I told them all that I could about the McCormack family. Like how Michael and Catherine left Ireland and their travels in the United States ending up in Otter Lake. I also told them about the West Coast McCormacks. Like how John Michael McCormack was a stonemason, supposedly worked on the Brooklyn Bridge and did the same in Reno, Nevada and also how he ran a motel/hotel also in Reno. I also mentioned that Miss Betty’s grandmother (Elizabeth J. McCormack) wasn’t the only McCormack that operated a general store in Michigan. The three McCormacks that ran general stores in Michigan were Henry McCormack in Ithaca, my great-grandfather William in Otter Lake and then her grandmother, Elizabeth in Mio.

It was really great to enlighten someone about the rich family history that they previously didn’t know much about her family. I would like to “welcome” Miss Betty and her daughter to the McCormack family, but they were already a part of the family they just didn’t know much about the rest of us!

A special thank you to Miss Betty for welcoming me into her house and allowing me to do one of my favorite things that is to talk about the McCormack family. Also another special thank you to her daughter, Linda for making that first step of contacting me and then maintaining contact since then. I have enjoyed talking to her and working with her to help her mother learn about the McCormack family.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!

Michael and his sons

This is a montage that I made up a few years ago. The pictures on the top row are from left to right: Michael McCormack, William McCormack, John Michael McCormack, Arthur McCormack and Henry McCormack.

The McCormack Men Poster

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you like what you see!