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25 November 2014

Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006

Benjamin V. Cohen was born on 23 September 1894 in Muncie, Indiana. He was the last of five children born to Moses and Sarah Cohen, both of whom were Polish immigrants.
He attended the University of Chicago, where he earned an undergraduate degree as well as his law degree. Upon graduation he moved to Washington D.C., where he began a career which would see him gain credit as one of the authors of some of the laws that became the basis of President Roosevelt's New Deal. He died in Washington D.C. in 1983.
Even though he was born in Muncie, Indiana, educated in Chicago, Illinois and worked and died in Washington D. C., the above information came from an obituary that was published in the Grand Rapids Press on 16 August 1983. That obituary (shown below) is part of one of the new collections available at www.familysearch.org.


That collection, Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006, currently has over 68,000 images which are name search able. The transcription (shown below), provides the vital information from the obituary, including the names of other who are listed.


For those with family in Michigan or who may have been mentioned in Michigan papers, this is a great collection which can be searched free of charge from the luxury of your home.

03 November 2014

Veterans Day - Remembering Those Who Served


On the 11th day of November every year much of the world pauses to remember those who served their countries in the military. In the United States we call it Veterans Day. In other parts of the world it is known by names such as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. Some countries take this opportunity to remember those who died in World War 1, while in the United States it has been extended to all who have served in the military.

It seems only right to honor those who have given so much for so many. These men and woman have bravely left so much behind, including family and home, to fight to in far away lands to preserve freedom for all.
Whatever their service was, we honor them in different ways. For those who died serving the commonwealth,  the beautiful monument at left in London honors them.
While Arlington Cemetery, which is just across the Potomac River from Washington D.C. (picture at top of page) honors row after row of American veterans.
One of the greatest joys a family historian can have is to help remember those who served and to document their lives. We are blessed to have so many great resources to help us do this.
The headstone below is from Arlington Cemetery. It honors 1st Lt. Dennet S. Gurman who was killed in action along with nine others at Celebes Island on the 4th of July 1945.


By searching through the various databases we find that in addition to this marker, he is also remembered with a marker in the family burial plot at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, New York (Find a Grave). That marker gives his full name as Dennet Sidney Gurman. In addition, he is remembered by a memorial at the Manila American Cemetery, Fort William Mc Kinley, Manila, The Philippines. 
Other great resources include an index to the over 5,500 Jewish burials at Arlington National Cemetery, which is maintained by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Washington.




That index, which is search able for free, gives great information for researchers. In addition to a photo, the information from the headstone has been transcribed (at right). We now know 1st Lt. Gurman's, who is shown as being from New York, was born on 31 Aug 1924.

With the information from the various sites above it becomes much easier to find the family of  1st Lt. Gurman. Thanks to Ancestry.com we are able to find him in both the 1930 and 1940 United States censuses. Those records (below) show him with his parents and siblings. I am sure that at the time of the 1940 census they had no idea that only 5 years later he would give his life for his country at the age of 21.



As we all take a moment next week to remember those who served, let us all also take a moment and try to find those they left behind, and to all veterans... Thank You.