Sunday, February 3, 2013


These Photographs of Alfred Bowers were made available by Kathleen Firestone, another descendant of Alfred Bowers. These images show him in uniform, when he served as a Private in the 143rd Regiment of the Volunteer Infantry of the Union Army during the Civil War. He enlisted in August of 1862, and was released in 1865. He would have been around 26 years of age, leaving his wife Mary to manage as she could. A son, Elmer died during his absence, and his wife and daughter Carrie died of Scarlet fever not many years after the war was over.

I have many wonderful images of Alfred as an elderly man, and was extremely grateful to have these depictions of him as a younger fellow, as well. Alfred was Kathleen's and my own  great-grandfather. Thank you, Kathy!

Kathleen is the author of two books of family history, They Came to South Fox Island,  and Swift as a Vanishing Dream. She  is presently working on yet another book, which will expand upon the lives of the Bowers and Starr ancestors, including Alfred and Laura Starr Bowers, and their children. Kathleen is a thorough and accurate researcher, and her books are a great addition to the history of Michigan, and very interesting to read.

Images shown here belong to Kathleen Firestone and are not to be used without her permission. Writing is the copyright © of Ruth Zachary.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Several years ago I began to search for the family history of several branches of ancestors. With hand written family trees from both my mother and father, a great many photographs, some of which were identified, and some not, I tried to get an idea of what the life of these people may have been like. Even if I had a place where they lived, who they married, what they did for a living, and the names of their children, it was a start. With only brief fragments, I tried to record a biographical sketch of their lives. These are the accounts entered on this blog, under the label Biographical Pages, so that my grandchildren and relatives might have this information as a part of their own background.

I feel extremely fortunate to have photographs of many of my great great grandparents, but not all. Seeing what they looked like for the first time has seemed like a great gift! That is why it is so important for all to share such histories if we have a way to do it. It can mean so much. This Blog gives other branches of my family, who share our common ancestry to have access to this information, as much theirs, as mine.

To contact me, please leave a message on this blog.

I hope that other people  with such pictures or information will likewise share what they have with all who might benefit. Happy New Year! From Ruth Zachary.

Information and photographs are  for everyone, but specific wording on the Cuckoo's Child is the © of Ruth Zachary.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


When trying to organize information about family history a few years ago, I started with both a family tree and some biographical information. To present a general picture of different family members, I  thought placing pictures, some "cliff notes" with the family information and descendency
would help others to get an idea about the lives of different ancestors, and who these people were.

Biographical Pages about people with photographs and information was the first project. There turned out to be about 100 pages, including people from different branches of my family. I didn't intend to publish the Pages, in the beginning, but just to offer it to my grandchildren. The information on each person included is very brief and incomplete. I have added to it or corrected it when I found bits and pieces. But to make what I have available here, should help anyone else involved in a similar project to add to what I have compiled. I hope what others have done will in turn be made available to other relatives.... and to me.

Upon reviewing the Pages I have previously included on this blog, it appeared this would make what I have gathered on the Bowers Family complete.

Writing and layout is the copyright © of Ruth Zachary. Permission to copy photographs from this site is given to relatives. If corrections to the information are needed, please let me know. Thank you.

Friday, December 21, 2012


There are different kinds of gifts one may be given than the usual  kinds we often think of on the holidays.

Above was the unusual occasion of a snowfall on bright red apples, which occurred on October 31 of 2011. I took several photographs of this apple tree in my own back yard, thinking it would make a lovely holiday greeting. So, here it is.

The violin above was made by Alfred Bowers around 1921. I inherited it from my mother. I cherished the violin but in the humid environment of lower Michigan, over the years, it became unglued. I didn't know what to do about it, but could not bear to part with the pieces in the case.

In 2003, I learned my grandson was very serious about playing the violin. And amazingly, his teacher was also a man skilled in restoring violins. My daughter contacted him, and I paid to have the violin reconstructed. Certain that my grandson will appreciate the historic value of the instrument, I gave it to him. Before letting it go, I took many photographs of the violin.

I thought that the photos were lost, with many files that disappeared when an old computer broke down. The gift to me was that suddenly out of the blue, my new computer became able to open the original format of these digital camera files, when it had not been able to open previously.  So now I have all of the violin pictures I took almost ten years ago!

Writing and images are the © copyright of Ruth Zachary.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Family Roots in Kingsley, MI

Lower left, Lillian Liskum, daughter of Alfred and Laura Bowers, who at different times, occupied the Cottage Street house at right from 1893 until 1984.

Much of a family's character and memories become attached to the buildings in which they lived their lives. The Bowers and Starrs were founders of the Free Methodist Church in Sullivan County, New York, and Laura and Alfted Bowers were involved in founding the denomination in Kingsley. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the Kingsley F.M. church. Daughter Pearl Weaver lived on Cottage Street about a half block west of the house shown above. Pearl attended the Baptist Church, and Esther Fewless attended the Methodist Church in Kingsley. Neighbors shown above lived close by and also were familiar people in their daily lives.

Writing is the © of Ruth Zachary.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weaver Family Photos

 Laura Bowers with Alfred Bowers, Parents of Pearl Bowers Weaver.
 Pearl with George Weaver, when they were young.

 Pearl as a young woman.

George Weaver with a successful catch. George was known for his interest in hunting and fishing.

I have been gathering photographs and recording them for this site to make them available to various family branches. I do not know for certain who were the photographers. I have many photos from different sources, and will gradually get them all posted.  

The writing on this site is the © of Ruth Zachary. Photos and writings are the property of family members, and attribution of the images will be made when known.

Monday, November 19, 2012


 Guy Liskum age 24 and Lillian Bowers Liskum, age 21
 Lillian Bowers Graduation Picture 1904.
 The Liskums lived on this farm property in the 1920s.
Lillian Liskum with her chickens at the Middleville Farm on Yankee Springs Rd. in 1929

These photos appear larger than the space on the page. To view the entire image, click on the lower
right corner of the picture. I do not know if these can be printed in full format size. Let me know if
you have trouble.
The Liskums lived south of Grand Rapids Michigan in the 1920s. Both of them worked in Grand Rapids to help them to make payments on their property. Guy worked at Luce Furniture Factory,
and Lillian worked as a janitoress near there for a time. They lost their farm around 1930 after the
stock market crash of '29.  They rented a house at Pleasant Lake north of Kingsley in the 1930s.

Some of these photographs came from Lillian's collection and some from Ava Babcock's scrapbooks
like the one above. The two of them often collaborated on collecting family tree information. None of these mentioned the name of the photographer.

These photographs are the copy right ©of  the relatives and descendants of the Bowers family lineage.     

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


 Emma Fewless

 Esther Fewless and Grand Daughter

 George Fewless, Roy, Glen and Esther Fewless
 The Fewless Family Home

There are many family photographs in my collection. I would like these to be available to family members who share our common ancestry. Some photos are not named as they may still be living persons. None are dated. I do not know the photographers who recorded them. They must be placed on this site as jpg files, from my computer. I have had good luck printing them out with a good printer and good paper, and hope relatives will also. Please try to navigate this site, as there are many useful bits of information under the Labels of old posts, and also in the Pages.

Written information is the copyright © of Ruth Zachary. Photographers of images are unknown but belong to members of the Fewless Family and their relatives.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Theories of Relativity

Cover of Ruth Zachary's New Book © 2012

Hello, Friends!

            It has been months since I have posted information on this blog, and I apologize, but failing computer equipment has been one reason. Another reason was that I was finishing a family history, which has been published and is now available.
            This new book, Theories of Relativity, with about 300 pages with twenty black and white photographs plus 50 pages of Appendices is described as follows:

Theories of Relativity        
            Based upon real life, Ava, a young woman born in 1903, was raised by grand parents in a home that was quite religious and strict. Growing up, she learned she had unusual perceptions of reality, where her senses were often comingled, so she felt sounds on her skin, music was associated with colors or scents, and so on. Ava was synesthetic in a time when the condition was unknown. This informed her early experience of the world. Ava struggled to become an accomplished student, musician, teacher, and eventually married Forrest, just after the 1929 crash. Her previous isolation and Forrest’s earlier childhood abuse and their different religious outlooks seemed to bring a surprising balance to their lives during the hardships of the Great Depression. Eventually the couple started a family in spite of unresolved issues. Their story is told with thoughtful candor and compassion.
            Other characters in this drama include Ava’s father who related to her through correspondence, a dominating grandmother, Forrest’s determined and gentle mother, Alice, and many aunts and cousins who endeavored to work to maintain family relationships in the face of a dynamically changing social climate.
            These people are unique and yet have much in common with the nationwide experience of that period. In these unfolding events, many changes in history, from the Civil War, WW1, Women’s Suffrage, the Great Depression, and its aftermath, to just before World War II are reflected. It describes the changing social climate from an agricultural era to a more industrial economic world, that affected so many lives.
            People interested in history, in genealogy, poetry, and in biography should find this account interesting. Relatives may find clues to their own family histories as well.

Ruth Zachary was a news reporter in a suburb of Grand Rapids MI for seven years. She has attended numerous creative writing classes, workshops and seminars. She is also the author of The Woman Who Named Herself, her first book Autographed books may also be obtained from the author at Each book is $23.50 including shipping.

Writing and images on this site are the copyright ©of Ruth Zachary.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Another Great Great Grandmother

Ira Babcock, Rebecca Dillon Babcock, and Beulah Blake Dillon. Unknown Photographer.

This beautiful photograph a friend sent me of a picture found on the internet was such a gift! Thank you to my friend, Kristina Bain, and also the person who posted  it. I have other photos of Ira and Rebecca, but had never seen one of Beulah. Ira and Rebecca were my great grand parents, and Beulah would have been my great great grandmother.

I must apologize for abandoning this blog for so long. I have worked at a job at my church that was taking most of my time, and have reduced my part in that activity. I have also been working on a book that is a sort of history/biography of various family branches, closely related to the content of this blog. This book will be published soon, and I will announce its launching on this site when it is available. I still intend to go on writing blog posts to share the wealth of background materials I have. This photograph has meant so much to me, and if so, how also might my photos and materials mean a great deal to others! It deserves to be shared, and should belong to many, and not only a few!

Readers will notice that I also removed the post about John Stiles Newton. I suspected that information might be incorrect. Since then, I have concluded, at least for now, that John Stiles and  Richard A. Newton, the man my grandmother identified as her grandfather were probably the same person.  The reasons for this are explained in the Family Tree Section of this blog.

I have replaced the previous Lineage information with all I have uncovered during the time I did not enter posts on this blog. The format is very different from the previous Family Tree information.  I wish to reassert  the importance of collecting several information sources when researching a lineage, to verify that the information is correct.