Sunday, December 20, 2009

Madison County, ILGenWeb


Locklein/Loehlein, George

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Professor John Benjamin Russell of Wheaton College, Illinois

Russell, J. B. (John Benjamin)

Wheaton College Alumnus, John Benjamin Russell, was born in Henry County, Illinois, prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, on February 25, 1860, the child of Samuel and Matilda Russell. Russell's siblings were Frank Horace and Eva May. Russell would later marry Isabel Gunn of Wheaton, Illinois (December 23, 1885). Together they raised their children Edna L., born September 1886, and Everett Russell, born August 1889.

Russell attended and graduated from Wheaton College with high honors in 1885. He also attended and graduated from the University of Chicago (1894-1896).

J. B. Russell, upon his graduation from Wheaton College, became the principal of Glen Ellyn High School, a post he held for one year. Afterwards, Russell became principal of Kewanee High School, a post he held for five years. Concurrent to his last year at Kewanee, Russell was County Superintendent of Public Instruction for Henry County, the county of his birth. Russell held this position until 1893 at which time he became Professor of Natural Science at Wheaton College. Russell continued in that capacity until 1895. In 1896 Russell became the Superintendent of Public Schools of Wheaton. He died on January 26, 1930.

1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, Chapman Bros.

JOHN VALENTINE. In the agricultural circles of Watertown Township, Tuscola County, their are none who stand higher than those families who migrated too this country from the agricultural districts of England, and who had their training on those marvelous farms, which are so thoroughly cultivated and so richly productive.
The Valentine family is representative of this class and John Valentine is one who stands high among his neighbors both as a man and as a farmer. He was born in England in 1834, and their grew too manhood and married Susannah Gill who is also of English birth. To this marriage were born three sons and four daughters and every member of this family except one daughter is in America. Mr. Valentine has been a farmer all through his life.
Our subject came too America in 1881 and at once settled in Watertown Township, where he now resides and where he owns forty acres of good land, which he has in a thorough state of cultivation. The religious belief of Mr. and Mrs. Valentine brings them into hearty sympathy and service with the Methodist Church too which they belong. The father of John is Henry Valentine, andhe is now living in England, having passed the boundary of four-score years. His wife was Ann Whalley, and they were the parents of three children, two of whom are now living.
The paternal grandparents of our subject were John and rachel (Birchall) Valentine, who reared a family of eight sons and five daughters and carried on agricultural pursuits. The father of Mrs. John Valentine was Joseph Gill and his wife's maiden name was Ann Berry. Both were English by birth and became the parents of four sons and four daughters. Mr. Gill pursued farming throughout his whole live and he was a son of Thomas and Ellen (Tunstall) Gill, who had a family of four sons and two daughters. Joseph Gill died at the age of eighty-three and his wife passed away after reaching four-score years

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Portrait and biographical album of Oakland County, Michigan – 1891

Robert Callow, a popular salesman of Pontiac, was born in the city of Pontiac, April 30, 1848. His parents were Charles and Elizabeth (Moth) Callow, the father being a retired blacksmith and farmer. He was born in the parish of Cape Pine (Andreas), Isle of Man, June 4, 1808, and is the seventh of ten children of John and Catherine (Cormode) Callow. The grandfather of our subject was a merchant.
Charles Callow received a limited education and learned the blacksmith's trade in his native place. He removed to Newburg, N.Y., and then to Buffalo, where he worked at his trade. From the latter place he went to Elyria, Ohio where he carried on blacksmithing on his own account for four years. In the spring of 1830 (1834), he came to Pontiac, Michigan, and after awhile started a blacksmith shop which he carried on a term of years. He bought eighty acres of land, from which he chopped off the timber at the same time that he carried on his blacksmithing and farming. He erected a good house and barn and furnished his farm abundantly with outbuildings. He resides just within the east limit of the city.
The parents of our subject were united in marriage April 27, 1838. The mother was a native of England where she was born August 6, 1813, her death occuring April 3, 1891. Eight children blessed their union: Catherine, who died in Pontiac; Charles M., died in 1876; Walter T., who died in infancy; William, deceased; Eliza J., who died at the age of seventeen years; Robert K.; Annie, deceased; and James, who married Nellie Adams of Pontiac. Charles Callow served one term as Alderman of the third ward. He is a staunch Democrat in his political views and he cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Jackson, and his last for Grover Cleveland.
The subject of this sketch was reared and educated in Pontiac, receiving his education in the city schools. At the age of sixteen he entered the store of John Pound and Alexander Collins. He remained with them as clerk for one year and then clerked in the grocery store of Thomas Turk. After several years in this store he went to Grand Rapids for a portion of a year, being in the employ there of J.E. Moroney. Returning to Pontiac he clerked for M. Moutier for a year. In September, 1883, he entered the employ of Bird & Hamlin, dealers in clothing and gents' furnishing goods, with whom he still continues. His marriage took place in March, 1872 (1874). He was then united with Libby (Elizabeth) M., daughter of Francis and Margaret (Usher) Locklin (Lochlien), of Pontiac. Mr. and Mrs. Callow have six children - Annie, Guy, Irene, Robert, Daisy and Lela. Mr Callow is rather conservative in politics but generally votes the Democratic ticket. He is a member of Oakland County Lodge No. 183, I.O.O.F. and the National Union. He has also served two terms as Alderman from the Fourth ward.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Testimonial for Your Ancestral Family

"After years of unsuccessfully trying to do a Genealogy search myself, I read about Your Ancestral Family, in the person of Dave Irwin. I retained his services and have been immensely pleased with the result. Quickly, and efficiently, he has traced me back to the Ireland counties and townlands I have always wondered about, as well as going back to the 1400's in England. His access to sources and the know-how to use them has been very impressive. I unqualifiedly recommend his services.

David J. Cooper, Sr.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan"

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mt. Olivet Cemetary - Detroit, Michigan

Just returned from Mt. Olivet Cemetary in Detroit doing a little research for a client and was impressed at how well maintained this cemetary was in a city that the press all over the world loves to slam.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Group for Professional Genealogists on LinkedIn

There is now a new group for Professional Genealogists on To join and for the link go to:

Monday, August 31, 2009

September 10th Library of Michigan Rally !!!

We need everybody on September 10th. to assemble on the steps and lawn of the State Capitol to protest the governors attempt to close the Library of Michigan. The Library of Michigan is the 10th largest repository of genealogical records in the USA (if not the world) and the governor of Michigan (who "does not" have roots in Michigan)is attempting to shut it down.

Let's make our voices heard - make signs and wear red it's our last chance to prevent this catastrophe from taking place.

For a video of the last rally go to:

See everyone there !!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Press Release - New Genealogy Site Launched


P.O. Box 7746, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Contact: David E. Irwin, President
Phone: (248) 481-8214


August 14, 2009 – Bloomfield Hills, MI – ( went live on August 1st. and provides professional genealogy research services and unique genealogy products. It is based in Oakland County, Michigan and specializes in providing on-site record search services in the Great Lakes Area (ie: Michigan, SW Ontario, NW Ohio, NE Indiana) as well as record look-up services for the United States, Canada and the British Isles.
President, David E. Irwin is a professional genealogist who has researched his own family tree for 32 years and has assisted many others with documenting and building their own family trees. David says “there is a need for an easy to use genealogy website on the internet that not only provides professional research assistance but also unique genealogy products such as customized family tree wall charts and assistance for those seeking photographs of their ancestors hometowns, churches, headstones and schools.

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(continued) also brings value to the online genealogy community with a free surname history search option located on the homepage just below the left page menu. There are over 1,000,000 surname histories available - courtesy of affiliate partner House of Names - complete with family crests and other heraldry products.
In addition, is developing an online blog which will also be on the website entitled Genealogy Mysteries Solved which will have a series of on-going articles dealing with all of the roadblocks family historians face while tracing their family tree and useful sites that can provide missing information needed for documenting the lives of their ancestors.
There will also be a genealogy store featuring books, software, DVD’s, etc. with links directly to
Irwin is adding new information daily and promises more useful links on area history, published genealogies as well as immigrant group information is on the way. He already boasts steady site traffic and requests for research services and genealogy products. provides professional research services and genealogy products for family historians. For more information, visit

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



I had tried for years to locate the ship passenger record of my great grandfather Irwin who had left Ireland for America in 1882. This quest remained only a dream, one of those genealogy mysteries that seemingly could never be solved. I had researched every genealogy site that offered ship passenger records to no avail and my frustration was beginning to grow with each dollar I spent on the numerous paid site services.

Many of you are probably well aware of all the press coverage of Ellis Island and the numerous immigrants who first came to America through this port of disembarkation. Ellis Island first opened in 1892 which was ten years after my great grandfather first stepped foot in America. What was his story and the port on which he landed and disembarked? The press in America seem to have forgotten about Castle Garden which first started out as a fort, then a concert hall and finally the reception center for immigrants from 1856 until Ellis Island opened in 1892. It was the main port of disembarkation for the bulk of America's Irish immigrants including my great grandfather.

Lucky for me and millions of others whose ancestors arrived prior to 1892 there is now a free site dedicated to those immigrants who first arrived in America via Castle Garden. Genealogists and others can now locate their ancestor's records at

Not only was I able to locate my great grandfather's date of arrival which was 6 April 1882 but I was also able to locate the name of the ship which was the Parthia. In short order I was holding a piece of history in my hands as another one of my genealogy mysteries was solved.

For more useful information in solving your genealogy mysteries go to

Article Source: Irwin