Treasure Chest Thursday – The Forever Earring
Oct 6th, 2011 by Jessica

In an effort to document my family treasures which cannot be scanned in, I am publishing this series of pictures as part of the Treasure Chest Thursday theme at Geneabloggers.  Someday in the future, I hope to shed some light on these treasures for my family who might inherit them.  What were they for?  Who did they come from? Why were they considered treasures?  Let’s find out.

The Forever Earring

The Forever Earring

This week, we will take a look at the Forever earring.  This earring, owned by me, was part of a pair of earrings.  The left half says “BEST FRIENDS” and is owned by my fifth grade best friend, Jennifer (Strachan) Peck.  We bought these earrings in Junior High School, no doubt at the Saginaw Fashion Square Mall, sometime in the late 1980’s.

This trend of splitting up a pair and giving it to your BFF was very trendy when we were in Junior High.  I wonder if Jennie still has the other half?

Treasure Chest Thursday – Kalamazoo High School Class Portrait, Class of 1941
Sep 29th, 2011 by Jessica

This is a class portrait from Kalamazoo High School, Kalamazoo, Michigan (1941)

Kalamazoo High School, Class Portrait, Class of 1941

Kalamazoo High School, Class Portrait, Class of 1941

High Resolution Scan: Kalamazoo High School Class of 1941

Velma Bostic, Class of 1941

Velma Bostic, Class of 1941

This is my husband’s grandmother, Velma Isadora (Bostic) Green.  She’s in the middle wearing the glasses.
In the large group portrait, she appears in the upper left corner.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Class Portrait, Van Buren County, Michigan (1926)
Sep 22nd, 2011 by Jessica

Kendall / Pine Grove Township School Class Portrait circa 1926

Kendall / Pine Grove Township School Class Portrait circa 1926

This adorable class portrait has been passed down in the Green family for 80 years.  My husband’s grandfather Max Earl Green is seen here posing with his classmates in circa 1926.  He lived in Pine Grove Township within Van Buren County.  He may have attended school in Kendall or Gobles, Michigan.

Max is the cutie in the middle row, third from the left.  He has on overalls and his fire red hair shines through even in the black-and-whitest of pictures.

If anyone out there can identify anyone else in this photograph, or perhaps clue us in as to what school this was, please leave a comment below.  Thanks!

Treasure Chest Thursday – What’s in a Birthday?
Sep 15th, 2011 by Jessica

Request for Birth Date from Helen Stroik

Request for Birth Date from Helen Stroik

This letter is another family treasure.  On February 8, 1968 my great-grandmother Helena Frances (Goretski) Stroik received this response from the Social Security Administration Office.  Apparently she had written to them asking for the birth date they had on file.  Their response was very clear: “Our records show your date of birth as December 5, 1891.”

Helen didn’t like that response.  On all the family documents we have prior to 1968 and afterwards, she continually stated her birthday was December 5, 1900.

Nine years difference.  Was it such a big deal?  To Helen, it was.

First all, Helen’s father Adam Goretski died in 1893.  If she was his child, there is no way she was born in 1900.

Marriage License Announcement

Marriage License Announcement

Another clue is that she was married to her husband Andrew Anton Stroik in September 1906.  I’ve heard of underage marriage, but at five years old?  Sorry Helen, I don’t think so.  It’s even a bit shocking that you were only 14 years 9 months old on your wedding day.

Next there is the whole problem about her having a child when she was eight years old.  Her first son Frank Stroik was born on October 2, 1908.  If Helen was born in December 1891 as the Social Security Administration believed, she would have been sixteen years old when she gave birth to her first child. This makes much more sense than if she were eight.

Grave of Helen F. Stroik

Grave of Helen F. Stroik

I’ll never understand why she continued to insist that she was born in 1900.

Helen Stroik died in Saginaw, Michigan on May 1, 1982 at the age of 90.  Thirty years later, her grave sits in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Merrill, Michigan as a monument to her unknown age.  While the birth year of 1891 stands correctly, her death year still has not been engraved.  Maybe this is one final, great testament to her unwillingness to share her true age with the public.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Wedding Portrait for Andrew and Helen Stroik
Sep 8th, 2011 by Jessica

Wedding Portrait for Andrew and Helen Stroik

Wedding Portrait for Andrew and Helen Stroik

I beg of you, do not store your family treasures in the basement.  Especially if your basement has a history of flooding.  Most especially, not in a cardboard box.

This is was a beautiful wedding portrait of my great-grandparents Helen Frances Goretski and Andrew Anton Stroik.  The couple was married in Stevens Point, Tipton County, Wisconsin around September 1906.

Unfortunately, I grew up in central Michigan.  My parents kept everything in cardboard boxes in the basement.  Thirty years and many, many floods later I can fully appreciate the significance of their poor storage decision.

This is the only photograph we have identified for certain as Andrew Anton Stroik.  It was peeled off the bottom of a cardboard box after being soaked multiple times in sewage water.

Notes on back of photo:
On the front of photo card are the markings: “Stankowski Studios, Stevens Point, Wis.”
On the back of the photo is a handwritten note: “Andrew Stroik, R2, Hatley”

Treasure Chest Thursday – Walter Dreffs Gets Caught in the Act
Sep 1st, 2011 by Jessica

This article from The Saginaw News shows just what my grandfather Walter Anthony Dreffs was up to at the ripe old age of 19.  The article was published on January 13, 1920, less than three months after Congress had passed the Volstead Act prohibiting the production, sale and transport of intoxicating liquors.

Underage gambling and drinking during Prohibition.  Now that’s a family treasure!  I’m guessing if my Grandpa Dreffs were alive today for me to confront him about it, he would just grin at me and look away.

Arrested for Gambling: Walter Anthony Dreffs

Arrested for Gambling: Walter Anthony Dreffs


Gambling and Intox Charges Preferred Against Majority.


Still Owner Bound to Circuit Court in Bonds of $3,000.

Fifteen prisoners made up the reception committee that welcomed Justice Arthur Clements home from Canada Monday afternoon, the police court justice, who is also president of the Saginaw baseball club, returning from the annual league meeting at London, Ont., to find the police had pulled two raids Saturday night and Sunday morning, netting 11 of the 15.  It was the biggest assemblage in the police court since the days before prohibition.

Mike Geklinski, owner of the still found in the home of Stanley Reneskewiski, 319 Lowell street, waived examination on the charge of manufacturing liquor, and was bound over to the circuit court for trial.  He was unable to furnish $3,000 bonds, with two sureties, and remained in jail.  Reneskewiski, John Jenis, Walter Maksinowicz and Walter Dreffs were all released by the court of charges of gambling, while Mike Dumon and Walker Zachsuski, taken in the same raid, pleaded guilty to charges of gambling and paid $10 fines.

Informer Gets Fine, Too.

Edward Casper, Ignatz Merko and Mike Campas, taken in the raid Saturday night on the International hotel, pleaded guilty to gaming charges and paid $10 fines.  Ed. McCusky, who informed the police and was jailed on an intox charge, also paid a $10 fine.

Lloyd Campau, intox, third offense, was bound over to circuit court and remanded to jail, being unable to furnish $1,000 bail, with two sureties.

Chester Korgein, who “rough housed” a south side dance, was sent to jail for ten days.

William Delacey pleaded guilty to the larcony of a quantity of wearing apparel from George E. Blake and was given 30 days in the county jail.

An unassuming intox who paid a $5 fine, was the fifteenth prisoner handled.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Certificate of Marriage for Andrew and Malvina Dominik
Aug 25th, 2011 by Jessica

In today’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I offer an original piece of family history of major significance.  This is the beautiful Certificate of Marriage for my husband’s great-grandparents, Andrew Dominik and Malvina Golkowski.

This document is very special.  Not only is it the original certificate for this important day, it is handwritten and signed by the Reverend Raymond Benedict Golkowski, Malvina’s older brother.  It is also the only official reference to Andrew’s original birth name in poland, JÄ™drzej.

Certificate of Marriage for Andrew and Malvina Dominik

Certificate of Marriage for Andrew and Malvina Dominik

County of Morrison, SS
I hereby certify that on the 17th day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred fourteen at Ramey in said County, I, the undersigned, a Roman Catholic Priest did join in the holy bonds of Matrimony, according to the laws of this State, Malvina Golkowski of the County of Morrison, State of Minnesota and Andrew Jędrzej Dominik of the County of Morrison, State of Minnesota in the presence of Lon Goldaczi, Katy Schmolke, Witnesses.  Rev. R. Golkowski

Notice the blue ink handwritten addition of what appears to be Andrew’s Polish name, JÄ™drzej.  He often signed his name “Andrew J. Dominik” but this is the only indication in historical records of what the “J” may have stood for.  In my research, it seems that JÄ™drzej was the name Andrew in Polish.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery Map
Aug 18th, 2011 by Jessica

Many of our Dominik and Fisher family members are buried in Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery including Andrew J. Dominik and his wife Malvina (Golkowski) Dominik,their son Raymond Dominik and his wife Sophie (Fisher) Dominik, her parents Leopold Fisher and Berniece (Jedzejczyk) Fisher.

Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery Map

Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery Map

Are you looking for a grave location in Greenwood Memory Lawn?  Do you have a plot number for your ancestor’s burial site but don’t know where to look?  For your convenience, I have posted a high resolution plot map for you to download.  The map is from 2002 and includes grounds for the entire cemetery and mortuary.  The various gardens are listed:

  • Section #1: Memory Garden
  • Section #2: Prayer Garden
  • Section #3: Devotion Garden
  • Section #4: Meditation Garden
  • Section #5: Memory Mausoleum
  • Section #6: Love Garden
  • Section #7: Hope Garden
  • Section #8: Faith Garden
  • Section #9: Rest Garden
  • Section #10: Psalms Garden

Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery & Mortuary is located at 719 North 27th Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona 85009. This cemetery is also known as Forest Lawn Cemetery.

You can view over 15,000 interments for this cemetery on the Find A Grave website.

You may also wish to visit the website for Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery.

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