A proud graduate of The University of Michigan (Go, Blue!), I have lived many years in Florida.  I recently retired from teaching and look forward to spending summers at our lake cottage near Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In my spare time, I volunteer with Guardian Ad Litem, representing the interests of children who are in the court system.


20 Responses to About

  1. David Hinchen says:

    Hello Jim: Just came across your interesting and informative blog. I’m a direct descendent of William B. Winegar who married Mary E. Rugg in Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York in 1864. He was a dairy farmer who lived his entire life in nearby Middleburg, Schoharie County. His father may have been named Elikin. There are records of many Winegars in Rensselaerville, including a Rev. Reuben Winegar (Baptist Minister) b 1806. I believe he was an descendent of Johannes Winegar, son of Uldrick & Anna Margretha (Arnoldt) Winegar. I cannot seem to tie William into any the Winegar family lines. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,


  2. Robin Hewitt says:

    Hi Jim,
    I just came across your blog while searching for early Stevensons in New England.

    Specifically: my ancestor Allen Stevenson, b. 1794 (or1796) married Marion Warner (b. 1805, Rutland VT.) daughter of Omri Warner in or about 1825. I have the Warner side well documented, but cannot find parents or any other info on Allen Stevenson. Perhaps he is of your line?
    If you have a list of children and or siblings of Nathaniel, I would greatly appreciate it.
    The Warners (and Allen and Marion Stevenson) migrated to NY in or about 1821; their eldest son Horatio migrated to Mackinac Michigan and is my direct line.

    • winegar says:

      Hi Robin,
      I’m sorry I’m not any help. I don’t have records of Allen, Nathaniel or Marion Stevenson. My only Stephenson relative that I am aware of came to America in about 1844. I am not aware of a connection to your line.


  3. Elizabeth Agnew says:

    Hi Jim, I am researching Stephensons from Lincolnshire, specially Uriah Stephenson born approx 1843, son of William and Rhoda (I THINK !!). Uriah went to India and had four sons, Arthur Nathaniel, Robert Edwin, George Frederick William andWalter William, one daughter Margaret Maud Stephenson. Then about 1900 the family went to USA/Canada where I have lost track of them. If any chance of a link, please be in touch.

  4. Jim,

    I just happened to find your blog. It will help me to add to my family history.

    If you would like to have additional information about the Bliss family, click on the following links:



    From the book, Forest Hill History, a PDF copy is online at the DeWittlibrary at the above link:

    FROM THE BOOK: The Peck’s daughter, Amanda,
    married David P. [Pitney] Bliss and lived on the homestead. In 1895, the house and
    four acres of ground was purchased from Amanda for $900.00 by Saint Peter Lutheran
    Church. This is the parsonage property and was first occupied by Pastor G. H. Berger.
    David P. [Pitney] Bliss, husband of Amanda Peck, came to Michigan in the fall of 1848
    with his parents, David and Samantha Bliss and eight brothers and sisters. The family
    settled on a soldier’s claim in Section 9 in Riley Township, which remained the family
    homestead until 1923. Their home had originally been in Vermont and the family had
    moved to New York State in the early 1840’s.

  5. allan rauner says:

    Dear Jim,
    Do you have anything on the parents of William Young who married Helena Rowe (Rau). I think he is Capt Wm. Young of the 6th Regiment, Dutchess Co., NY. He was the first settler to Troutbeck. He was a tanner and owned a tavern.
    His name appears in the Diary of John Barr, ca 1780.
    I am not related to him, but just trying to determine if he is the Wm Young that worked on the ‘Chain Across the Hudson’ during the Rev. War.
    I am related to the Wm Young living in Southwest, Dutchess Co., in 1790
    Allan Rauner
    Northville, MI

  6. Rebecca Savage says:

    Jim, interesting website… I must correct one thing: Frank W. Savage did not have the honor of “Dr.” At least as far as our family records show. I am his great-great granddaughter. I’m not sure his date of death is correct either, I believe that was his son, E. Morris Savage but I can check our records.
    I, too, am a GAL in Lake County. Perhaps I will see you at the brown bag on March 7th.

  7. Betty Blevins says:

    Currently doing research on my gradfather’s side of the family (my mother’s dad). Growing up I heard stories that we had a witch in the family and so I was surprised to find in doing research there was a family member, my 7th great grandmother, Mary Bliss Parsons, was accused not once but twice of being a witch. I found the information on Mary very helpful and helped to filled in some blanks. I am now filling in the rest of the blanks starting with her son, Samuel which is the line I descended from.

  8. Becky Hayes says:

    Interesting blog. I grew up in Wacousta in a house owned by Mary Winegar. My name is Becky Hayes. I grew up a WEnzlick. We lived at 7700 Clark Rd. My parents rented our house from Mary for over 20 years! I remember a bedroom upstairs that was always locked. It was full of Mary’s furniture. I loved going in there when Mom and Dad were not home and looking at all of her fancy things!
    I also remember visiting her at her cottage when I was very little.
    Becky Hayes – bwenzlick@comcast.net

    • winegar says:

      HI Becky,

      I’m happy to hear from you. Mary Winegar was my mother. She and my Aunt Eleanor owned the farm on Clark Road. When that farm sold, some of the items from the home were distributed to Mary and Don or their children. I have several of the items in my home including a secretary and a rocking chair. They held an auction to sell items that we couldn’t use. The cottage remained in the family and at the death of my mother, my wife and I bought out my sisters and brother and we now own it. We have updated electric and plumbing and added insulation but the cottage looks a lot like it did when you visited.


  9. Lillias says:

    Hi Jim

    I was wondering if you were familiar with the origin of the surname Plowman and was it common?


    • winegar says:

      Hi Lillias,

      I am not really much help on this. The name seems to be quite common in England with multiple spellings. Ploughman is common as is Pleuman. There are a lot of references on the internet if you want to search.


  10. Dallas D. Shattuck says:

    Jim: Your blog brings many memories. I am the (only) son of Dale and Esther Shattuck, originally of Wacousta. My mother, Esther was a great friend of Donald’s and she and Dad attended both the Wacousta Methodist Church and later the Clare Methodist Church. The name Winegar is well known to us. Re George Bateman, George was a good family friend and insurance agent, as was the Roland Noble family. Bonna May Shattuck Roberts is my oldest sister. My wife, Carol, and I currently are retired and living at Lake Columbia, about 15 miles southwest of Jackson, MI, near Brooklyn and the NASCAR race track. Thanks for your blog.
    Dallas D. Shattuck (dalshattuck@comcast.net)

    • winegar says:


      Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you found my blog. You are uniquely qualified to appreciate some of the content, being from both Waucousta and Clare. I would guess that you can learn things about my parents that you didn’t already know. I really didn’t know many people in Wacousta but I have met George Bateman and the Noble family. My sister, Donna Holmes, lived in Waucousta for some time. You may have met her.

      I don’t know if you knew but my parents owned a cottage on Bass Lake near Greenville, Michigan. They used to bring church groups there. When my mother died, my wife and I bought out my brother and sisters and now own it. We are there right now. We are enjoying the great weather and beautiful sunsets. Donna was here last week. The four Winegar children got together for lunch last week. This was the first such get together for many years.

      If you didn’t find it on the blog, there is a link on the home page that connects to flickr. I have a number of my dad’s family pictures of early Wacousta there.

      It’s great to hear from you and thanks again for your comment.


  11. Hello Jim

    I stumbled upon your blog and found it very interesting. With Our last names being of similar spelling and myself  being from NYC and of relative close proximity of Amenia & German town I drove up and spent the day taking photos and visiting some of the sites mentioned in your blog. It was a great trip and would recommended it to anyone interested.

    Thank you for your research and getting me out of the city on a beautiful Spring day.


  12. Hi Jim and other fellow Winegars. Wondering if this blog is still updated and/or monitored.

    I am a direct ancestor Andrew Jackson Wiyninger> James Buchanan Wiyninger > Jacob Wininger > John Alexander Wininger

    Thank you
    Mike Martinez

    • winegar says:

      I do monitor the site but it has been a long time since I have posted anything due to many other obligations. Hopefully you can connect with other readers. I have never found a connection between the Winninger’s and my branch. I do have copies of old newsletters that tracked that spelling and might be able to screen them for your ancestors if you are interested. Jim

  13. Hi Jim! and thank you for your quick reply. Do you know how I can obtain the newsletters? Copies/Book for sale? Books from Arthur Goold? I have searched for the newsletters to see if I can visit a library but to no avail. I planned on visiting the Byron Center in Early January (I am going to the Winter Classic at the U of M Big House!).

    I solidified my family linkage finally along the Wininger name and now I plan on visiting some of the locations our family lived at.

    Thank you for your wonderfull contributions

    Mike Martinez

  14. toddmiller says:

    Hello, I came across you blog when I searched for Plowmans of Iron Mountain. I am reading though many letters that my grandfather wrote while staying in a camp in the Northern Michigan woods. When he went to Iron Mountain for supplies he would often stay with George Plowman. He writes affectionately of them (most of time, the more I read of him he could be cantankerous at times, if not most of the time) They opened their house to him whenever he was in town. He gave Mrs. Plowman a wolfskin rug he made. Also Mrs. Plowman’s mother, a Mrs. Culter was also staying with them on this particular visit in 1901. I haven’t read far enough in the letters yet, but I think this woman might well be related to my grandmother whose maiden name was Lillian Cutler. In case you any information about Cutlers I would love to see it. If you would like copies of the letters that mention the Plowmans I can give them to you, though one is less than flattering of George.

  15. David (chapman-saybrook.com) says:

    Greetings ….. Your Mary Bliss was sister in law to Robert Chapman The Settler of Saybrook CT. Years ago I had heard that one of our allied families escaped the clutches of a witch trial in Mass.

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