Success Stories


I hope you add mine to your list.  I am very excited about all that you have on the Ionia County web page. I live in Kansas City, Mo and without all you have on here, my researching would not be as great as it is now. I started less than 3 years ago and I had a 3 or 7 page outline. I can't remember how many. Anyways I am at page 49 now on my ARNTZ   family. I think very highly of Ionia County. Not too many counties in Michigan or anywhere offer all that you do. I will help you in anyway I can with whatever projects you want to encounter.
Thank you very much,
Hope Farris

Back in November, Debbie posted a query on the Ionia County Page regarding her family name, Alderman. While transcribing the Alleman/Schnable Cemetery this past week I came across some names that were familiar. After a quick look-up, I e-mailed Debbie with my findings and this is the note that I received from her:

Dear Beth,
Thank you so much for the information on the Alderman clan. Yes, these are my relations and no, I did not have this information. I am on my way to Michigan (from California) in 4 days and my first stop is this cemetery. I have been waiting a year now since I found out where the cemetery is located to visit it. Since I am originally from Michigan, I have travelled many times on I-96 past this exit and everytime looked at a farm house just off the exit. I have never gotten off the freeway. I have just learned that it is this farmhouse that is my family's heritage. How weird. This time
though, I will get off and get into the middle of this field and view these gravesites. Your information will help me in my search. Thank you again. It is people like you that make my day. Debbie Mikula

The Ionia Co Page looks great. This page originally lead to a great deal of help with my research. The posting that I placed several months ago was noticed by Cheryl Von Wormer and she contacted me. She is a great person and has been extremely helpful. I wasn't surprised that she is helping with your project as she is really dedicated to helping others.With her help, we have located many references to my gr-gr grandfather Dexter and his family. I feel that this line of my tree has been greatly enriched and alot of spaces have been filled. The Ionia Co Page has really changed in the past months. It has gotten better and better. Actually it seems to be the best Co page that I have come accross. The new info that has been placed should be very helpful. As I read through the page, It makes me want to make a trip to the Hall-Fowler Memorial Library. It seems have alot of resources. It is certainly a honorable goal to place all the biographies, histories, and other records on the net. It seems like a great deal of work but will be very helpful. I really want to thank you and your helpers for the excellent website and I plan to check it out frequently and continue to watch the best get better. I hope the other counties on USGENWEB will use you page as an example. Keep up the good work. Donn P Cutler

Jan 29, 1997 - Dear Beth, My name is Sally J. (born "Bolster") Holcombe. I want to thank you for allyour efforts on the Ionia County GenWeb pages---and to tell you that they have made a great difference in my Ionia County genealogical research. In contrast to your situation, I have roots in your area, but I live elsewhere. I have been trying to establish the locations in Michigan where my people lived---and to connect with people that I'm related to---for several years. Previously, I'd only been able to get to a certain point, then there was no information available. The search has been even more difficult because the memories that my father has of his extended family are unusually sparce. . . . .What really opened doors for me was a transcription of Greene Cemetery headstones (done by Hazel Dean, 1964) that you have in the on-line archives. There are several Bolsters buried there and each individual fits perfectly into one part of my puzzle. Since there are two people missing that I would have assumed to be part of this group, I'm wondering if some headstones might have disappeared or been mutilated before 1964 when the transcription was done. I'm also curious--is the cemetery currently maintained and capable of being visited? I'm going to be in Michigan in July (for the first time in 35 years), and would like to visit the site. Also, is there a sextant for the cemetery, and where are the complete burial records for Greene Cemetery kept? Anyway, keep up your marvelous work, and thank you, again!
Sincerely, - Sally J. (Bolster) Holcombe- California - e-mail:

Success story: found the dates of death of my gr grandparents John W and Jincey L HINES in the cemetery references (Clarksville) found on your webpage. Gave me the warm tingles all over. ;-) 27 Jan 1997 Donald G. HINES

January 28, 1997 Found out on your web page that the Hall-Fowler Library in Ionia had a genealogy manuscript of the TOWNSEND family. I had the opportunity to investigate that last weekend and found VOLUMES of data sheets and family group sheets on my lines back to 16th century. Will have to return to the library to record more information. I simply ran out of time! Thanks and the page is looking great. Don Bryant, Don Bryant <> Grand Rapids

btw, my TOWNSEND and HOLBROOK lines were in the Hubbardston area 1850's to 1890's. They are included in my home page

January 28, 1997 - Thanks to the efforts of Cheryl Van Wormer, I now have biographies of Erastus and Phebe Yeoman's! She has, also, copied more information for me at the library, including pictures of Erastus and Phebe. I called and talked to Dexter Arnold of Saranac, Ionia County, Michigan last night and we are distantly related thru Phebe's brother. I got his number from Cheryl. Cheryl delayed mailing the information to me, so that she could type up some more biographies, while she had the copies as they are from reference books that can't be removed from the library. Cheryl deserves a pat on the back for a job well done!
Bruce R. Bender <>

April 3, 1997- SUCCESS ! You can locate my Query on Dora Beach and plop a Success sign on it! In fact, thru the queries, I not only found the names of Dora Mabie Beach's children, but was able to trace them out and did talk to a living descendant on the phone yesterday. --Cindy Bryant <>

From: Eva Bachman <> To: - Thursday, July 24, 1997

WOW! I am very impressed! I have for years bemoaned the fact that I live in NEBRASKA and my roots are in MICHIGAN! Aaargh! Not anymore. Tonight while checking out some things on the web, I ran across the bookmark I had made for Ionia County. I have been really trying to find my HULL, INGALLS, BERRY and others assorted names from the area. I FOUND DATES on one of the Hulls due to all your impressive hard work with cemeteries! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! To you and all your compatriots in my wonderful home state (which I will be visiting in 7 weeks - hats off and again, thank you.)

Thought you'd like to hear what your audience is saying about you! Everyone needs a warm fuzzy, don't you think? Pam--------- Begin forwarded message ----------
From: To: - 30 Jul 1997
Pam, Thank you for your email. Please post the information that I gave you on the Bennett family that I am researching in Ionia County on your web page querries and newsletter. Any help would be appreciated. Your society has done a great job with the web page for Ionia County. The cemetery records were very helpful. A job well done by everyone involved. Thank you, Jeff Bennett
--------- End forwarded message ----------

From: - Beth, thank you very, very, very much! Feel free to list my queries (I had one before in re Bezaleel LOCKE, Russell's brother) as success stories. In the case of Bezaleel, I was able to connect with his current descendants because of your page! Thanks again, Jerry Harrison Albuquerque, NM

Just wanted to say THANK YOU! for your Ionia Co. MI. Web Page. I found a long lost cousin in the queries, Eva Bachman. Eva's, Mary Jane Buckley Caswell, was sister to my Lewis Buckley. Without your Web Page we probably would have never met. Again, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
Betty Potter (

Hi, Beth!

I visited your Ionia County GenWeb pages tonight...and it was a marvelous experience. Youíve built (and are maintaining) one of the most content-filled and useful sites Iíve seen. I can imagine how much time and dedication it takes to develop a site like yours, and I really thank you for the effort.
Best, Rusty Williams -

Dear Beth, I wanted to write a quick note to you to let you know that I answered a query from November and found out I have third cousins out west. I was looking through the query listings and found one from "Susan" about the Hallahan and Williams families. My great grandmother was one of the people they were talking about. I think we will be able to share a lot of information because they have one branch of the family and I have another. Thanks for doing so much work to put out the Ionia County page!! Jim Moses

Thank You, I found my great great great Grandfather and two of his brothers marriage records.    Success story!!!!!!!  Marjorie A. Miller


Last update December 28, 2007