Gaylord Fact Finders Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 1524

Gaylord, Michigan 49734

Volume 14, Number 4                                                                                                                            April, 2001


Officers for 1999-2000: Committees:
President Donna Marrs Obituaries/Vital Records Donna Marrs
Vice President  Patricia Moehring Membership Patricia Moehring
Recording Secretary Mary "Dell" Krueger Social Patricia Moehring
Corresp. Secretary Donna Marrs Newsletter Donna Marrs
Treasurer Jackie Skinner Patricia Moehring
Past-President  Uilani Clifton Inter-Society Liaison  Donna Marrs
MGC Delegates Donna Marrs
These officers and Past-President comprise our executive board. Marleah Muzyl
Publications  Sue Giessel
Historian Pat Moehring

Publisher of "The Keystone" is the Gaylord Fact Finders Genealogical Society, a non-profit organization. Publication is in January, April, July, and October.
Membership dues are $10.00 per individual (or $ 12.00 per family), and are due by the May meeting each year. If the dues have not received, that member will not receive the July issue of "The Keystone." Regular meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month (August - November, and March - June) at the Otsego County Historical Museum, 320 W. Main, Gaylord. Correspondence should be sent to the address shown at the top.

This issue includes a short family history, Scottish wedding traditions, and more "Connecticut Towns and their establishment," as well as Roman numerals with Anglo equivalents.


By American Genealogical Research Institute Staff

How much do you know about your ancestors?  Where can you go and how much would it cost you to learn about your family's history?  Who were your ancestors, and where did they live and what did they do?

There aren't many alternatives to finding the answers to these questions:
You can poke around in family dairies or question your relatives (who probably know as little as you) and find yourself with rather sketchy information,
You can hire a professional genealogical service for a cost to you of $7 to $10, or more, an hour (costing you possibly thousands of dollars in the end). Or, you can read this book and learn how to trace your ancestry as well as learn a fascination new hobby.

HOW TO TRACE YOUR FAMILY TREE will tell you what kinds of information family members can give you and how to question them, what is available from local, state and federal government sources, and what printed sources are most likely to aid you in your search.  There are sections on heraldry and the various genealogical societies, should your interests carry you further.  Everything you need to organize your findings and put together your family tree is here in this one comprehensive guide.

(taken from the book jacket)


Letter Value Letter Value
I 1 LX 60
II 2 LXX 70
IV 4 XC 90
V 5 C 100
VI 6 D 500
VII 7 M 1000
VIII 8 V 5000
LX 9 X 10000
X 10 L 50000
XX 20 C 100000
XXX 30 D 500000
XL 40 M 1000000
L 50
MMI 2001

A short family history
By Marcella "Sally" O'Connor

"In 1882, my grandfather John Switalski, who was 27 years old , Marcella, who was 26 years old, came to the United States. They traveled with their two sons, four-year old Martin, and two-year old Frank. They emigrated from Poznan, Poland, looking for freedom from war and a place to raise their family. Their daughter, Mary, was born in Buffalo, New York, that November. They probably traveled by boat from Buffalo to Detroit, then by train to Gaylord the following year. Trains at that time averaged twenty ' miles per hour, making it a long and arduous journey."

"Gaylord had a population of about seven hundred people at that time. Main Street was a logging road with forest around it. There was a large wooden watering trough with hitching posts for horses. For stores, there was a dry goods store, a photo shop, a grist mill, a fresh and salt meat store, which also handled other products, blacksmith shops and a livery stable. There were churches - St. Mary's was a mission, with traveling priests visiting at irregular intervals."

'The Switalski family settled on what is now Pyke School Road. Their first home was a cavern (a room hallowed out of a hillside), they then built a cabin on land they purchased across the road. Other family members and relatives soon followed in their footsteps, settling in this area. It was here they farmed the land and worked in lumber camps. They eventually owned two hundred and eighty acres, and raised their nine children, six boys (Albert, Michael, Walter, Andrew, as well as Martin and Frank), and three girls (Rose, Anna and Mary). The younger children attended Red School. A son, Jacob died at seven years of age in 1899, and a daughter died at birth in 1995. John became a citizen in 1899, when he took his naturalization oath here in Gaylord. They were poor people, living simple lives, focusing on their church and family."

"Marcella lived to be 72 and John 79. They both died on the land they homesteaded. The house they built still stands today although it has been sold, and since then remodeled. All their children lived and died in Otsego County. Many of their grand-children, as well as great, and great-great grand-children still do live here."

(Sources: Factual family history and historical articles previously printed in the Gaylord Paper.) 

(Editor's Note - these short stories are being contributed by members of our genealogical
society for publication here. IF ANYONE HAS NOT YET CONTRIBUTED THEIR



"In the thirteenth century, the medieval Church announced intended marriages through a process called the banns of marriage. The banns were proclaimed in the parish church for three successive weeks during Sunday worship, and the practice continued in Scotland for over six hundred years. In later centuries, an alternative was to give notice and obtain a license to marry from a registrar. This method eventually became accepted by the Church of Scotland. In present day, the practice of banns of marriage have declined, but giving notices have become compulsory for all regular marriages.

"After giving notice, a fourteen-day waiting period must elapse before the marriage booking and other arrangements may be made for a civil marriage, or collecting the marriage schedule (a document which licenses the chosen officiant to conduct the marriage) for the minister or priest for a religious marriage. Therefore, eloping to Gretna Green (a location that became known for marrying without the knowledge of families and friends) actually needs preparation beforehand (notice needs to be given to the local registrar at Gretna Green, etc. 

"In some regions of Scotland, usually about a week before the nuptials, a bride's mother may choose to hold a show of presents which is somewhat similar to bridal showers in other cultures, but in this case showing wedding presents. Invitations are to an open house rather than for a set time, and the guests are the women among those who gave presents to the wedding couple. The presents are all unwrapped, assembled if necessary and set out with the card of the gift-giver set up next to the appropriate gift. The interaction that follows gives the guests and bridal party a chance to get acquainted before the wedding. During this time, the guests are shown the presents primarily by the bride (the bride's maid of honor helps when the bride is busy), have conversations, and enjoy light repasts of tea, sandwiches, cakes, and other foods and beverages before taking their leave.

"After the show of presents, some Scottish brides are made up and dressed in long trains that could be made from old curtains colorfully festooned in whatever party-like materials at hand. Or else, they are dressed in already prepared and garnished costumes. The bride may be given a baby doll, a plastic potty with salt in the bottom, and other small items to carry in her arms. Thus adorned and made up, the bride is traditionally taken out round town by her friends and any remaining guests from the show of presents. The women make plenty of noise by singing and banging pot lids and pans to herald the bride's status. To gather luck, the bride exchanges kisses for money to be dropped into the potty as the group goes from place to place around town. The purpose of the salt- filled potty, the doll, the money, etc., is believed to be for luck, prosperity and fertility, but the true meaning of the symbolisms are uncertain.

"In his turn, the groom gets .taken out for a stag night which is the equivalent to the bride's taking out. Although stemming more from a British tradition than a Scottish one, the groom is sometimes dressed up and taken around town for his stag night by his male companions. At times the groom is put into a padded outfit to look like a pregnant woman. More often, he and his friends would find a bar or party place to celebrate by drinking to excess. They may indulge in a great deal of (for the most part) harmless practical joking, of which the groom is the main target. When the wild night winds down, the groom may be left in the street in front of his home partially or totally stripped of his clothes, and in some occasions tied up.

"As the groom in more recent days endures the jokes at his expense, so too did the Highland groom of the past endure the jokes of his friends. In the Scottish Highlands, an old custom known as creeling the bridegroom was often practiced. A creel (large basket) filled with stones was tied to the groom's back. The bridegroom had to carry this weight throughout the entire town. His friends only allowed him to escape the creeling if his bride would come out and kiss him, otherwise, he had to complete the round of the town without removing the creel fall or stones.

"In the past, the guests at a Scottish Penny Wedding took part in feasting, drinking and dancing at their own expense. The wedding celebrations started on the eve of the wedding with plenty of singing, drinking and toasting to health. On the eve, a ceremonial "feet washing" was held. The bride placed her feet in a tub of hot water, and everyone crowded around to help wash her feet. Similar to the bouquet tossing, the first person to find a ring (a married woman's ring was placed into the tub before the ceremony) while washing the bride's feet was believed to be the one who would get married next. New rounds of singing and drinking to health followed.

"The following day, the entire wedding procession would start out for the church. Sometimes, flower petals (today it can be confetti, tiny shapes of pretty, colored paper which contrast with the white wedding gown and veil, that is thrown when the bride departs from home or the church.) were thrown at the departing bride. The first person to be met by the bride on her way to the wedding was given a coin, and a drink of whisky. That person, called the first foot, had to join the procession and walk for about a mile before continuing on his or her own business.

"Just outside the church doors, the couple would be joined in marriage by a priest. The vows and joining ceremony were spoken in the vernacular Scots. After the joining, the priest led the bride and groom, and all the witnesses from the procession into the church for participation in a lengthy nuptial mass conducted in Latin. The long mass ended with the blessing of the food and drink which had been brought along by guests and participants, and then shared amongst themselves.

"After the church ceremony, the wedding procession went back to a relative's house to celebrate. At the celebration, pipers played merry tunes and an outdoor dance and feasting would begin which could last the entire night. (Today, traditional waltzes and sometimes country dances like the Gay Gordon are played with more contemporary dance tunes, and if a Highland style of dancing is preferred, the couple may hire a ceilidh band.) The newly-wedded couple led off the dancing with a traditional reel, and then the bride danced a second time with the person of the highest rank amongst the celebrants. Afterwards, the other guests and celebrants joined in.

"Toward the end of the joyous celebrations, the entire assemblage saw the young couple to their new home. As the bride and groom departed, the groom and groomsmen may sometimes toss handfuls of low value coins to the ground. However, before the bride could enter her new home, an oatcake or bannocks (a biscuit made of barley and oat flour) would be broken above her head and pieces of the cake were passed around to everyone. When that was done, the bride was carried over the threshold. The completion of the marriage ceremony culminated with the priest blessing the newly-weds, their new home, and their marriage bed as well.


(From Connecticut Nutmegger, Vol 18 #l, June, 1985)
Continued from Vol. 14 #3

Madison 1826 Guilford New Haven
Manchester 1823 East Hartford Tolland
Mansfield 1702 Windham Tolland
Mariborough 1803 Colchester, Hebron, Glastonbury Hartford
Meriden 1806 Wallingford New Haven
Middlebury 1807 Waterbury, Woodbury, Southbury New Haven
Middlefield 1866 Middletown Middlesex
Middletown 1651 Middlesex
Milford 1639 New Haven
Monroe 1823 Huntington Fairfield
Montville 1786 New London New London
Morris 1859 Litchfield Litchfield
Naugatuck 1844 Waterbury, Bethany, Oxford New Haven
New Britain 1850 Berlin Hartford
New Canaan 1801 Norwalk. Stamford Fairfield
New Fairfield 1718 Fairfield
New Hartford 1738 Litchfield
New Haven 1638 New Haven
Newington 1871 Wethersfield Hartford
New London 1648 New London
New Milford 1712 Litchfield
Newtown 1711 Fairfield
Norfolk 1758 Litchfield
North Branford 1831 Branford New Haven
North Canaan 1858 Canaan Litchfield
North Haven 1786 New Haven New Haven
N. Stonington 1807 Stonington New London
Norwalk 1651 Fairfield
Norwich 1662 New London
Old Lyme 1855 Lyme New London
(Old Lyme was known as South Lyme until 1857)
Old Saybrook 1854 Old Saybrook (i.e., Essex) Middlesex
Orange 1822 Milford, New Haven New Haven
Oxford 1798 Derby, Southbury New Haven
Plainfield 1699 Windham
Plainville 1869 Farmington Hartford
Plymouth 1795 Watertown Litchfield
Pomfret 1713 Windham
Portland 1841 Chatham Middlesex
Preston 1687 New London
Prospect 1827 Cheshire, Waterbury New Haven
Putnam 1855 Thompson, Pomfret, Killingly Windham
Redding 1767 Fairfield Fairfield
Ridgefield 1709 Fairfield
Rocky Hill 1843 Wethersfield Hartford
Roxbury 1796 Woodbury Litchfield
Salem 1819 Colchester, Lyme, Montville New London
Salisbury 1741 Litchfield
Saybrook (see Deep River)
Scotland 1857 Windham Windham
Seymour 1850 Derby New Haven
Sharon 1739 Litchfield
Shelton 1789 Stratford Fairfield
(name of town was Huntington until 1919)
Sherman 1802 New Fairfield Fairfield
Simsbury 1670 Hartford
Somers 1734 Enfield (part of Massachusetts until 1749) Tolland
Southbury 1787 Woodbury New Haven
Southington 1779 Farmington Hartford
South Windsor 1845 East Windsor Hartford
Sprague 1861 Lisbon, Frankln New London
Stafford 1719 Tolland
Stamford 1641 Fairfield
Sterling 1794 Voluntown Windham
Stonington 1662 New London
Stratford 1639 Fairfield
Suffield 1674 Hartford
(part of Massachusetts until 1749)
Thomaston 1875 Plymouth Litchfield
Thompson 1785 Killingly Windham
Tolland 1715 Tolland
Torrington 1740 Litchfield
Trumbull 1797 Stratford Fairfield
(To be concluded in July, 2001 issue)


Gaylord Fact Finders Genealogy Workshop:
"And where to find help"

The May workshop was cancelled due to lack of interest and has been tentatively rescheduled for September 22.

Saturday, September 22, 2001
9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.
Peace Lutheran Church
3703 Old 27 South
Gaylord, MI

9:00 A.M. Welcome with coffee and donuts
1) Census
Update on what is happening
2) Family Lore
Was Uncle Joe really a bootlegger
3) French Canadian Research
Includes a neat new methodology form
4) Library Sites on the Web and other new information
Noon Lunch
5) Polish Research
Helpful hints on reading, writing, and translating
6) Forensic Genealogy

Speakers are members of the Gaylord Fact Finders Genealogical Society and wish to pass on new and interesting information for your research.

Advance reservations:

Send a check for $15.00 per person to P.O. Box 1524, Gaylord, Michigan  49734
Your cancelled check is your confirmation.
Included is coffee and donuts upon arrival, lunch, and workshop materials.
$20.00 per person after September 5th, please confirm this by contacting
Workshop chairperson, Mrs. Sue Giessel, 989-732-0926 / or 
Mrs. Pat Moehring 989-732-2953 /
This will enable us to plan for food and workshop materials in advance.

(A recent quote)

"You can dig into my family history, and may find that someone was hung by the neck, but you will NEVER find one that was hung by the tail!"


If "GH" = P, as in hiccough,
If "OUGH" = O, as in dough,
If "PHTH" = T, as in phthisis,
If "EIGH" = A, as in neighbor,
If "TTE" = T, as in gazette,
If "EAU" = O, as in plateau,

Then Potato should be ghoughphtheightteau.

(From the Michigan DAR Newsletter, Vol. 28, #3, Sept., 2000)

(abstracted from flyers, newsletters and quarterlies)


21     Western Wayne Co. Gen. Soc. - German Research, with Richard M. Doherty, researcher; 7:30 p.m. at the Livonia Civic Park Senior Center Building, Farmington Rd. 
25 Gen. Soc. of Washtenaw Co., MI. - Treasures Found in Museum Archives, with Randy Gladstone, Curator of the Museum in Mason, MI. Class: The Hunt for Stockbridge Newspapers, The Town Crier, with Cynthis Grostick; 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5305 Building, 5301 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, MI [use parking lot P]

MARCH 2001

06 Oakland Co. Gen. Soc. - Researching Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan.  Detroit and Wayne County present unique challenges to the genealogical researcher.  Ruth McMahon, certified professional genealogist, will give us many helpful suggestions on finding and obtaining the records we need.  Apply lessons learned to research in other urban areas.
06 Flint Gen. Soc. - Michigan's Involvement in the Civil War, with Kerry Chartkoff, director of SAVE THE FLAGS, with comment on flags of Michigan units; 7:00 p.m. at the RLDS Church, 2120 Wilmar, Burton, MI.
08 Oxford Co. Branch, OGS - Across the Waters, on immigration with Francis Hoffman, at "The Old Registry Research Centre", corner of Hunter & Graham Streets, Oxford County Square, Woodstock, Ontario, at 7:00 p.m.
10 Flint Public Library - Afro-American Genealogy, with Tony Burroughs, internationally known genealogist, author, teacher & lecturer; free seminar 10:00 - 4:00 p.m. with 4 one hour classes at the Flint Public Library, 1026 E. Kearsley, Flint, MI., room B1.  Mr. Burroughs will also sign copies of his new book Black Roots:  A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree.  More info: Sarah R. Brooks, librarian, Flint Public Library, 810-232-7111, ext. 2131; Fax 810-249-2635
13 Lapeer Co. Gen. Soc & Lapeer Co. Hist. Soc. - Petroglyphs of Sanilac County, by Harold Nietzke of Davison.
14 Redford Twp. Hist. & Gen. Soc. - Fashions of Yester-Year, presented by the Sand Hill Questers at the Redford Community Center, 12121 Hemingway, redford, at 1:00 p.m.
21 Western Wayne Co. Gen. Soc. - Planning Family Reunions, with Jan Lazja, at 7:30 p.m. Livonia Civic Park Senior Center Building, Farmington Rd., Livonia.
24 Ann Arbor Dist. Library - Tracing Your Revolutionary Roots, by Marcia McCrary, Connie Olson & Carolyn Griffin; 1-3 p.m. at the Library.
25 Gen. Soc. of Washtenaw Co., MI. - Effective Use of the Internet, with Bobbie Snow; Class:  Planning Family Reunions, with Michael Clinansmith; 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5303 Building, 5301 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, MI. [use parking lot P]

APRIL 2001

01 12th Genealogy & History Book Fair in Hall B., Lansing Center, 333 E. Michigan Av., Lansing, MI., 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; cost $2.00
03 Oakland Co. Gen. Soc. - Treasures and Notable Resources at the Library of Michigan and the State Archives.  The Library of Michigan, located near the State Capitol Building in Lansing, is one of the top 5 in the U.S. for genealogical research.  Come and learn why from Randy Riley, Supervisor of Public Services.
12 Oxford Co. Branch, OGS - Ontario Marriages, with Joan Griffin, at "The Old Registry Office Research Centre", corner of Hunter & Graham Streets, Oxford County Square, Woodstock, Ontario, at 7:00 p.m.
18 Western Wayne Co. Gen. Soc. - Finding Women in Your Family History with Kathy Petlewski, Librarian & Genealogist from Plymouth, MI. Library; 7:30 p.m. at the Livonia Civic Park Senior Center Building, Farmington Rd., Livonia.
22 Gen. Soc. of Washtenaw Co., MI. - Pre-Revolutionary Research in New York & New Amsterdam, with Sharon Brevoort; Class:  Gone but Not Forgotten: a look at different kinds of death records, with Marcia McCrary; 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5303 Building, 5301 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, MI. [use parking lot P]
28 2001 Abrams Gen. Series - Ships' Passenger Lists, discussion of traditional & electronic resources for passenger & immigration research.  9:15 a.m. in the Forum, Library of Michigan, Lansing; cost is $10.00 per session.

MAY 2001

05 Eaton Co. Gen. Soc. - Workshop, featuring John Coletta; For info contact the Society: PO Box 337, Charlotte, MI.  48813-0337; 517-543-8792;; or see website:
08 Oakland Co. Gen. Soc. - Writing Your Family History, Information, examples and tips from an expert.  Also insights, how-tos and how NOT-tos, by OCGS members who have put together a family history.  This meeting will "launch you onto the writing pad" for future generations.
10 Oxford Co. Branch, OGS - Preserving Documents, with Helen Whalling, at "The Old Registry Office Research Centre", corner of Hunter & Graham Streets, Oxford County Square, Woodstock, Ontario, at 7:00 p.m.
16 Western Wayne Co. Gen. Soc. - Days of Detroit, with James McConnell, historian; 7:30 p.m. at the Livonia Civic Park Senior Center Building, Farmington Rd., Livonia.
16-19 National Gen. Soc. Conference in the United States - "Exploring New Frontiers"; local host: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR.  Contact NGS, 4527 Seventeenth St. North, Arlington, VA. 22207-2363; call 703-525-0050; e-mail:
20 Gen. Soc. of Washtenaw Co., MI. - Researching Church Records, with Father Jasper Pennington, Rector of historic St. Like's Episcopal Church, Ypsilanti; Class: There are no dumb questions in genealogy #4; 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, 5303 Building, 5301 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, MI. [use parking lot P]