Stacy & Marian 1918-1924

Ida May Goodenow Thompson

Ida May Goodenow Thompson 1856-1906

Shall we title this Stacy & Marian or Marian & Stacy? It could be either.  The couple I knew only through family lore, come alive in the following series of snapshots taken from 1918 until 1924.  Most of the shots are of their children: Ida May, Stacy W., and Gayle. However, there are others which reveal members of the family I had never heard of.  I know about these folks because of the fine captioning of the photos done by Marian.  I will share some of her captions and comments with you. They portray a person intent on raising her family and sharing family experiences with her greater family; namely my grandparents; Walter and Blanche Thompson.

But first, a little history. In 1906,  Stacy’s first wife, Ida May Goodenow Thompson, died while Stacy was away in South Dakota.  He ran the Redwater Land and Canal Company, and twice a year traveled to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, first as Treasurer and later as President of the company to manage the companies business.

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The Goodenow’s

Goodenow Thompson photo

Goodenow Thompson

Uncle Goodenow, as we called him, carried the Goodenow surname as his first name. I remember asking my parents why Uncle Goodenow had such a funny name.  They said it was a “family” name, which satisfied me until recently, when I began to explore the endless spiral of genealogy. For the purposes of this blog, I have limited my research to names directly associated with my family, and have stopped the research at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.  In other words, I am not attempting to present any information concerning family history before its arrival in America.  In the case of the Goodenow’s, this research spans a long, long timeline.

By the time the Goodenow name and lineage became associated with Uncle Goodenow, it had travelled through at least ten generations, beginning with Edmund Goodenow and family, who arrived from Bristol, England on the Confidence in 1638, making land at what is now called Sudbury, Massachusetts. Sometime when you care to, type the name Edmund Goodenow into your search engine and you will be surprised at the information that is available. Below is a photograph of Edmund and Anne Goodenow’s tombstone, located in Sudbury, Massachusetts, along with a transcription of the markings on the tombstone.
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Stacy Webb Thompson: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Stacy Web Thompson photo 1870

Stacy Webb Thompson

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

J.R.R.Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring

My great great grandfather, Stacy Webb Thompson left what appeared to be a stable household in Curwinsville, Pennsylvania to venture westward. By 1869 he had moved all five of his sons (Ambrose, Byron, Edwin, Stacy and John) to Michigan.  Later his only daughter Lilly and his wife Elizabeth would follow.  With the exception of Edwin, who moved southward to Ligioner, Indiana, and John who moved first to Colorado and later to New York, all of his family remained in Michigan for the rest of their lives.

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Grandma Elizabeth stays home – Grandpa Stacy moves westward

Missouri Comp Map

Missouri Compromise Map

Between the years 1819 and 1824 the world changed in many ways:

In America, slavery was very much a part of our society.  In 1820 the Congress of the United States passed legislation known as the “Missouri Compromise” where the state of Missouri was admitted as a slave state and the state of Maine was admitted as a free state.

That same year 18,951 black slaves left Luanda, Angola bound for the United States of America.

In 1821 Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

Luanda Angola Slavery

Luanda Angola Slavery

Napoleon Death


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Mabel Annetta Smith Thompson

Mabel earliest photo

Mabel in front with her cat

Happy Birthday Mom!

Although no longer with us, today, July 2, 2013, marks the 102nd. birthday of our mother, lover, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, sunday school teacher, high school bookkeeper, friend, caregiver, citizen and many other names known and unknown.  In each and all of these capacities Mabel excelled. In fact, if asked where she would rank in any of the aforementioned capacities, I am sure that she would be ranked as “the best”. Perhaps the only criticism that  could be made about my mother: She over-cooked the vegetables.

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Brothers: Goodenow and Ellsworth

In 1904, America had just re-elected Theodore Roosevelt as President and commenced building the Panama Canal.  In 1906 the World’s Fair opened in America’s Gateway-To-The-West City, St. Louis, and the great Earthquake wiped out San Francisco, California.  In between those two years, Einstein introduced his theory of Relativity.  It was a world full of change and development, and that was the world into which brothers Goodenow and Ellsworth were born.


Goodenow and Ellsworth with Grandpa Michael Kowalski

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Snapshots of Roseville, Michigan 1942

Roseville 1942-14 document1942 was a difficult year throughout the world.  The US was on the defensive in the Pacific, giving up the Philippines and retreating from Burma.  Russia was about to defend Stalingrad against the Germans.  On the home front, the US  was about to begin mandatory rationing of gas, cigarettes, meat and many other domestic items.

The Ellsworth Thompson family also was feeling the stress of the war, but our war concerned serious family matters.  By 1942, mother and dad had increased their family to include Herb., born in 1936, John, born in 1938 and me, David, born in 1940.  Our second brother, John, had serious mental issues  making it impossible for him to develop normally.  My mother said that he seemed to be normal when he was born, but  never really developed at a normal rate.  She and my dad spent much of their early lives together taking John from one doctor to another, from one hospital to another, always looking for some sign of progress and hope.  My earliest memories included hearing John crying in the back bedroom.  My mother said that my first sentence was: “Why is Johnny always crying?”

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Ellsworth’s Cousins: Ray & Grace Randall

Randall family_0002

Ray and his sister Clara

As a kid, the concept of a “second-cousin” was difficult to comprehend.  Ray & Grace Randall were of the same generation as our parent’s. They came to the same family gatherings as Uncle Goodenow and Aunt Hazel, but they had a different last name and called our grandparents “Uncle Walter and Aunt Blanche.”

Later I learned that “Uncle Ray” was the son of Grandpa Walter’s older sister Claudia who had died a long time ago. I was their “second cousin.”

Family whispers said that they were “Christian Scientists” and didn’t believe in doctor’s. Some of my first inquiries into religious beliefs centered around Christian Scientists and Mary Baker Eddy.

Uncle Ray was a plumber by vocation.  He and Aunt Grace had no children.  They lived on the West side of Detroit in a suburb called Dearborn. Aunt Grace was a big woman with a big laugh.  Uncle Ray was smaller with a laugh made without opening his mouth.  Both were kind souls to their “second cousins.”

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Four Generations: Stacy, Walter, Ellsworth And Herbert

Four generations 1_0001

Ellsworth, Stacy C., Herbert and Walter Thompson

Today we look at four generations of Thompson’s:

Stacy Clay Thompson, my great grandfather,  born in 1856 and died in 1944

Walter Stacy Thompson, my grandfather, born in 1877 and died in 1960

Ellsworth Walter Thompson, my father, born in 1906 and died in 1989

Herbert Walter Thompson, my brother, born in 1936 and still very much alive

These two photos are the only ones I have of the four generations of Thompson’s in a single photograph. I believe these photographs were taken in 1939 in the back yard of my Grandfather’s house in Detroit, Michigan.

A lot has transpired since Stacy accompanied his father Stacy Webb Thompson and three of his brothers on foot from central Pennsylvania to southwestern Michigan.[Continue Reading…]

The Isaman’s – Grandma’s cousins from East Jordan, Michigan

It seems strange to think about Grandma having cousins, yet clearly she did. Some had the last name “Isaman.” Allow me to attempt to explain.

Grandma’s mother, Emma Kowalske , grew up in East Jordan, Michigan during the middle years of the 19th century.

Her father, Michael Kowalske had immigrated from Germany to America, along with his wife, Minnie and their five children.  They settled briefly with his parents, who had immigrated to America in 1847,  near the town of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, then travelled by sail boat to the eastern shores of Lake Michigan where they disembarked with farm animals and began their new life in the wilds of Northern Michigan. There is a lot more to write about Michael and the Kowalske’s, but that is for another entry. Today we are visiting the Isaman’s.

The following is from the Charlevoux County Genealogical Society.

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