The U.S. Army Military History Institute came through. For the price of $18.50 ($15 for the 8 x 10, pluse $3.50 shipping and handling), I am now the proud owner of a photograph of the Poats family of Kent County, Michigan. The letter they sent with the photocopy said it would take up to four weeks to get the photo; in the event, it took about ten days. Near as I can figure, the photograph is, left-to-right, my 3G Grandfather Ira J. Poats, born in 1840, my 2G Grandmother Minnie Isadora Poats, born in 1867, my 3G Aunt Estella Poats, born in 1865, and my 3G Grandmother, Nancy Jane (Mizner) Poats, born in 1839. Given the apparent ages of the girls, I would guess the photo was taken in about 1875. [See the photo in a larger version.]
The back of the print supplied by the MHI says that credit goes to "The Hugh D. Miller Collection at the USAMHI", so there's the credit. Hugh is of course the author of the Miller genealogy that got me interested in all of this in the first place.
Posted at 9:14:27 AM Link to this entry
When I was five years old, I went to a school in the suburbs of Detroit called Roeper Country Day School. My first day of kindergarten, they introduced the teachers, and I was astonished to hear that one of them (not my teacher) was named Kathi Brandi. But the last name was pronounced with a long "i", that is, "brand-eye", not "brand-ee", the way my family pronounced it. I think I remember seeing a look of surprise on that young teacher's face; I know I was surprised, as I had never met anyone with the same last name outside my own family. I remember having my name called for roll and having to correct the teacher on the pronunciation.
32 years later, I'm happy to say that the mystery is solved. Kathi Brandi is the wife of my third cousin, once removed, David Brandi, who contacted me after his brother Jim saw Mike Wendland's article in the Detroit News/Free Press last weekend. David, Jim, and their brother Dan (who I have now also heard from), as well as their sister Cathy, are descended from Salvatore/Sam Brandi, who came to America in 1910. And Dan's wife Sherry is apparently a genealogist. :-) More cousins!
Posted at 9:36:16 PM Link to this entry
Hey! I was in the newspaper yesterday! Detroit Free Press technology columnist Mike Wendland wrote an article about weblogs and included a few paragraphs about this one. He had e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago wanting to know about the blog. I answered some questions, and he said he would call this week, but he didn't, so I figured he had found a more compelling story. I guess I just gave him all he needed in the e-mail so he didn't need to call.
If you read the article and want to get in touch with me, you can e-mail at pretty much any login at the domain name brandi.org and it'll get to me. My brother forwarded an e-mail that he got from Jim Brandi in Plymouth, Michigan; Jim couldn't find my address on the site. I don't like to put the actual address on the site because of the bots that leech e-mail addresses for spammers; I'm fairly spam-free at this address. (There is actually an address at the very bottom of the front page of the site, but it's easy to miss I guess.) But if you use my first name and the domain name brandi.org for the e-mail address, that'll definitely get through. Oh, and Jim, if you see this, I tried replying to you when my brother forwarded me your e-mail, but I got a bounce message saying that there was no such user at the address in the mail.
Posted at 3:51:48 PM Link to this entry
The Military History Institute at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has a database of photographs of Civil War vets. I can't link directly to the page with the entry for Ira Poats, but it says that photograph RG98S-CWP147.47 contains a "Full sitting view of Pvt. Ira J. Poats, Co. C, 3rd Regt., Mich. Vol. Inf. Post war view pictured with family." You can get a photocopy of the photograph for free, asking by e-mail, and if the photo is what you want, you can get a photographic print of it for some unspecified fee. The MIGenWeb links list says it costs $10. So I've asked for a photocopy.
Posted at 10:37:08 AM Link to this entry
I found another cousin! I was searching on Rootsweb for some of the surnames in the Miller genealogy that Aunt Betty gave my dad a few years ago and came across a match for "Poats" that seemed to match all the locations I have. I wrote to the person who submitted the surnames. Turns out she's the niece of the man who compiled the Miller genealogy. She's my second cousin once removed.
Posted at 7:33:35 PM Link to this entry