Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living at Onoway, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. During July 2007 - January 2010, and September 2011 - March 2014, I provided part-time support for This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
Since April 2010, I have served in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Friday, March 28, 2008

I was combing through the cemetery transcriptions for Chippewa County, Michigan once more, looking for my grandmother's sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Frank Steele. They were not listed, but I noticed that one large cemetery transcription had not yet been completed. There was an email address for the main transcriber, so I sent her a message. Last night there was an answer: ______________________________________________________________________________ From: donna white To: bill buchanan Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 6:38 PM Subject: Frank Steele Bill, I checked death records at the Chippewa County Courthouse today on the Steele family. This is what I have found so far. Frank died June 2, 1918 of a boiler explosion at Whitefish Point. He was 47 years 3 months of age, widowed, born in Wisconsin, and was a fireman. Mary E. died June 22, 1913 of a chronic valvular disease of the heart at the hospital. She was 39 years 5 months 13 days of age, born in Ontario, as were her parents, George Watson and Agnes J. Welch. She was buried June 24th at Riverside (I assume the one in Sault Ste. Marie). The informant was Frank Steele of Shelldrake Mill. When I get a chance, I will check the Riverside Cemetery records at the City Clerk's office. I only have a small part of that cemetery transcribed so far. Also, I will try to check for obituaries, but it may take me awhile to get it done. By the way in the 1920 census index, there was a William Steele, age 26, but I couldn't find him on the page. That was for Whitefish Point, also. Donna ______________________________________________________________________________ Wow! Donna, thank you! The Steeles were Dad's aunt and uncle. Back in 1962, I interviewed Dad and his brother and sister who were still alive. They knew almost nothing about this family, not even the names of their older children. I think they had met the two little girls when they were adopted by the Watsons, another aunt and uncle. Both Steele girls died, Nellie of polio and I don't know what caused Jeannie's death. I have been looking for info on this family ever since. I found Mary E Watson as a member of the George Watson family when the 1881 census of Canada became available on FamilySearch. This was the first time I knew that her name was Mary and not "Minnie" as the family called her. Then three years ago I found her marriage to Frank Steele in which placed this event in Michigan, where the Watson children grew up. In I found her birth in Ontario. And most recently I found the family in the 1910 census with older children that the family had never mentioned. And Frank was working at a sawmill, which supported the story that he died in a mill explosion. Now you have brought the pieces together for me in a wonderful way. Minnie died first, not Frank. But Frank was killed by an explosion. You have helped me beyond my wildest hopes. You have given me actual dates and places. I can hardly wait to tell my cousins! Thank you SO much. If you can find anything more it will be a bonus. If you can't, I will be grateful for the efforts you have made and the fruits they have borne. Bill Buchanan ______________________________________________________________________________


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