Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Second. Best. Christmas. Gift. EVER!

On December 25, 1980, I gave birth to a 10 pound, 9 ounce baby boy my husband and I named Christopher Orlando Knapp.  Best Christmas gift ever.  He is funny, smart, kind, loving, honorable, truthful, and one of those people who makes your day. 

Today I discovered an email that had been sent to me yesterday, on Christmas, from a descendent of John M Lemon, the brother of my great-grandfather, Isaac B Lemon.  I have obsessed about John M for a long, long time.  He was very important to my great-grandfather, and to my grandfather.  He has become very important to me as well.  I researched his life for hours, trying to find him in census records, combing page after page online trying to find him after 1920.  Every once in a while I'd make a surprise discovery, such as the fact that he had been married twice, the first time when he was young, and his wife died not long after having their first child, a son.  I felt badly for him.  It's never easy for a parent to be left alone with a small baby to care for, but back in the 1800's, it had to be brutal. 

He married again and had another son.  That son grew and married and then his wife died relatively young and left him with two children, one an infant only a few days old.  That must have resonated deeply with John M.  By that time John M's wife, Lavina, had also died, so it was two men alone with two small children, one a days-old infant.  Can't have been easy. 

So I received an email from the daughter-in-law of that motherless infant.  That was so exciting, I lost my breath.  Literally.  I've been sick with a terrible cold that Knapper kindly passed to me.  He was able to seek medical attention for his illness, which was diagnoised as "walking pneumonia" and "bronchitis" and the flu.  He got a boat-load of medication and started feeling better in a relatively short time.  I have no job and no insurance and have had to tough it out.  Christmas Eve night we celebrated our family Christmas and I ended up having to go to bed early, leaving everyone to enjoy their presents without me.  So when I tell you I was so excited I became breathless, I'm serious.

I'm still excited.  I have made contact finally with my great-grand uncle's family.  It blows my mind.
It's too much to hope that they have pictures of John and his son John Clayton.  It would sure be nice.
But I'm happy just to have made contact.

Like I said: Seond. Best. Christmas. Gift. EVER.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"who carries green lemons in macomb county, michigan?"

The title above was a search term that found my blog instead of green lemons.  Ironically, I research both Greens AND Lemmons.  And Lemons.  There are no such things as coincidences. 

Talking again about that Sutphin family I blogged about the other day.  That family intermarried quite heavily with the Lemmon family I started researching because of their being near my Lemons.
I suppose it's no great leap understanding that because of the lack of easy travel, groups of people moved together en mass, with some in the family arriving in a new place first and then writing (actual snail mail!) family members back "home" in the East and convincing them to move out "West" to Michigan. 

The more I research the more I appreciate what a huge part family ties played in the daily lives of our ancestors.  It's endlessly fascinating to me to be this long-distance witness to the marriages and births of all these people who lived so long ago.  As far as I know, I have no blood ties to these Lemmons and Sutphins, yet their lives can occupy me for entire days as I trace their lines. 

I started last week indexing death certificates for Family Search.  It's relatively easy to do and interesting work.  I keep hoping I'll stumble accidentally over members of my own family, or families I'm researching just for the fun of it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It's amazing how often coincidences appear in genealogy research.  I've been researching a family named Sutphin for a few days now.  One of the Lemmons (the ones in the same area as mine but unrelated to me) married into the family, or so I thought.  It's actually much more involved than that.  The families have intermarried quite a bit, and came to Macomb County, Michigan from the same town in Wayne County, New York.  It's pretty fascinating.

While researching these families I discovered that many of them had twins.  In fact, one poor family had THREE SETS OF TWINS and two single births.  That is amazing.   It's hard to imagine the poor mother taking care of all those multiples.  Remember, this was before formula, before day care, before many of the things we have these days that make our lives so easier and more manageable.  I can't imagine going through that. 

I got a package of pictures from my sister-in-law which included a letter from my Grandma Barnard to my mom.  The letter, written in 1995, tells some things about my grandmother's family.  Apparently my grandmother's mother was a twin.  Her twin died at birth. 

Isn't it odd that this all comes to my attention at once? 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tricks of My Trade

I had a Lemmon family that was driving me crazy.  So far as I know they're not related to me, but parts of them were in Macomb County, Michigan the same time as my Lemons, and there was even an Isaac Lemmon with a son named John B.  I've written about this family before, so I won't bore anyone myself with the details other than to say that it was driving me crazy not being able to find them in the 1870 Census in Wayne County, New York.  I knew they were there.  They were in the same place in the 1860 and 1880 censuses, so they had to be there.

I remember trying to find my John Lemon's house in one of the census records because I couldn't find him.  I did all kinds of crazy things because the house was in Pontiac, Michigan and Pontiac was a crazy-big city even back in the olden days, with pages and pages of census records and the city divided up into about 10 different parts.  So I tried to figure out which ward or district the house would be in and that didn't work so well.  What Did work was finding one of his neighbors in a census I could find John Lemon in and then searching for that person in the census I couldn't find John in.  It took looking at 5 different families before I found one who hadn't moved.  When I found the family, I looked for John's house address and found someone else living in his house as "owner".

So I tried that with this Lemmon family and sure enough, I found them right where they were supposed to be, but with wildly misspelled names, which I corrected in case someone else might want to find them some day.

All day yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that parts of this Lemmon family died in New York state, a very hard state to research online.  Michigan, my beloved Mitten, has many many wonderful resources online for genealogists such as the Library of Michigan's huge success at putting online all death certificates of Michigan residents from 1898 to 1920, and the Dibean marriage records.  This couple, Jack and Mariann Dibean,  have made it their task to put all marriage records of all Michigan counties relevant to genealogists online.  It is a huge undertaking and so greatly appreciated.  Chances are that if I have a couple who married in Michigan, if I don't find their record on Family Search, I'll find it in the Dibean index. 

New York doesn't have these things that I've been able to find, but I did stumble upon a site for everything Wayne County, New York, and it had cemetery readings which listed almost all the people from the Lemmon family I've been trying to find.  Yay! 

Yesterday was a very good day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Ruby Victory

My father's mother's people are made up of Herrs and Merediths and Rubys.  Clara Herr, the daughter of Rebecca Meredith and Charles Herr, Rebecca Meredith being the daughter of Cyrus Meredith and Rose Emeline Ruby.  It's the Ruby's I've been working on today.

One of Rose's brothers was Aldophus.  His first wife was named Victoria, and I've known that for a while, but could never find her last name.  Family Search gave me the names of his other two wives, but I could find nothing on the elusive Victoria except that she and Aldophus had 4 children, one a set of twins, and all but one of their children died, including both twins.  William Edward Ruby was the only surviving child of theirs, and he lived to be in his 80's.  But what was his mother's maiden name?  I'd only ever found her listed with Adolphus in one census record, the 1880 one.  I'm not sure why I did it, but I clicked on "See others on the page" on the index record and there living next to them was a family named Bedford;  William and his wife Victoria.  Huh? 

Just for fun I plugged "Victoria Bedford" into Family search and found she had married an Aldolphus Rube in 1879.  Yup.  I'd found her maiden name AND her birth family.  I was also able to find that she died in 1889 in Detroit, but her name is listed only as "Ruly" in the Family Search record, with her parents being William and Victoria Bedford.  I can't find a grave for her, and it's too early a death for her to have a death certificate online from the Library of Michigan, but I'm confident I've found her.

It's been a productive genealogical day.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Confusing Genders

Since I'm stuck on my mother's people, I started researching Lemons again.  Lemons are much easier than Oglesbys or Deweeses or Stevenses.  Lemons are distinctive and their names, while misspelled with regularity, it's still easy to see that they're them.  I started a new tree on called Guy Lemon.  I found this Lemon family in Sanilac county and since my great-grandfather, Isaac B Lemon, moved his family up there and that's where my grandfather Russell Tiffen was born, I was interested in seeing where that other Lemon family line went.   It went in surprising directions.

I started with Guy H Lemon, but the story really started with his father, Edward N Lemon.  Edward was born in 1839 in Michigan.  I'm unsure exactly where in Michigan he came from, but it's enough of a start for what I wanted to accomplish.  The good news for me is that Edward also died in Michigan between 1899 and 1920.  This means I have access online to his death certificate.  Oh, I love the Library of  Michigan!  All those death certificates online are a huge help.  While I know they're not primary evidence of birth, they at least give me clues about which direction to go to find more people.  And one of the biggest helps on them is the information of where a person is buried.  Ancestry is a pay site. is free, and many people post information on the memorials they create for deceased family that is not found on Ancestry.  But I digress.

Edward and his wife, Jennie Husted, had at least 3 children; Charles Vernon born in 1867, Guy Hugh born in 1871, and Jennie born 1880.  I started with Guy because I found his marriage record on and then found the rest of his family later on Ancestry.   Guy was rather difficult to track, but Charles had a wealth of information available online, starting with his 1900 census record that lists his wife as Frank M Lemon.  I was sure that was a transcription error, but when I looked at the original image, there she was.  Next I went to Family Search to find any marriage record.  Yes, there was one.  Frank M Reynolds and Charles V Lemon married 12 Jun 1888 in Shiawassee County.  There was an image for that information as well and she is listed as Frank.  Her parents were listed as William Reynolds and Mary Burr.  That was partly incorrect, but I didn't know that then.  It led to a day of searching online census records and other people's family trees before discovering that William Reynolds was really Myron H Reynolds of Shiawassee, Michigan.
And Myron married 3 times, causing even more confusion while trying to trace his family.  But, sure enough, there in 1870 in Shiawasse was Myron, Mary, and their first child, Francis W Reynolds.  They were living with Myron's father, Seneca Reynolds.  (That was pretty cool as Lucius Annaeus Seneca is my all time favorite philosopher.)  There were quite a few trees with this Reynolds family on Ancestry, and all of them had Frank listed as male. 

After 1900, Charles Lemon is found with Lennie/Linnie as his wife.  I went back to Family Search and found another marriage record for Charles in 1905.  Then I found "Frankie Lemon" in the death certificates on the Library of Michigan's site.  I was very lucky there because she died so early, though I always feel badly for thinking that way.  My luck is someone's hugh misfortune.   Then I found Frankie's headstone on Find A Grave;  Sister--Frankie Lemon.  Mystery solved.

As an added bonus in all this not-really-my-family research, I found that Frankie and  Charles Lemon had a daughter, Mearle.  Mearle married a...Ruby.  It's funny how I keep finding Lemons marrying Rubys.  But that's a story for another day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Those Annoying Barnards et al

My mother's side of the family is really frustrating me.  My father's side and Bruce's side (even his mother's birth family side!) were so much easier to research online and document.  Thanks to the Library of Michigan's online death certificates from 1898 to 1920, I've been able to make great strides towards tracing whole families.  But my mother's people?  IMPOSSIBLE

Is it the fact that they lived in the south?  Is it because the Civil War affected so many areas?  What is the ding-dang deal??  Barnard, Oglesby, Lavinder, Penrod, Bowling, Stevens, the list of surnames that have me stumped just goes on and on and on.  I find them in some census records, but not in others.  In some cases they just simply disappear after a decade.  All of them---gone.  Like they were abducted by aliens or something. 

Today I got so frustrated that I was sitting in the basement screaming at dead ancestors.  Not one of my better moments.  And I'm good at genealogy, I really am!  Or at least I'm good at finding my father's people, and Bruce's people.  Maybe that's the problem?  Maybe I only think I'm good because they were all so easy to find?  That's a bummer. 

Anyway, I'll keep working on them.  I have no choice.  I'm addicted to tracking down dead people.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Lyons and Knapps and Bears

I've been working on Phyllis's family for a while now.  There are Lyons and Lyon.  There are Knapps.  There are ties and cross-ties and shirt-tail relations everywhere, all close by.  Phyllis lived her whole married life not 3 miles from the cemetery where her biological mother's people are buried.  That to me is beyond sad.  It's a tragedy. 

Phyllis's mother's name was Louise Knapp.  Louise's parents lived in Howard City, a few streets away from Jack's Knapp family.  There is no doubt in my mind that the families knew each other.  Phyllis's grandparents, George and Anna May White Knapp, were of a younger generation than Orlando Knapp, Jack's great-grandfather.  George and Anna named all their daughters with names starting with "L".  There was Lila and Lillian and Louella (which was also the name of Bruce's step-grandmother; Louella Jones Knapp) and Louise. 

Anna May was born in Deerfield Township, Mecosta County, Michigan in 1882.  Her father died somewhere around 1885 or so.  Her mother remarried and then died in 1887.  I can't find Anna until 1903 when she marries George Knapp.  I can find her two sisters, though.  Her older sister died in 1899 of Typhoid Fever.  Her younger sister lived with their mother's single brother and their step-grandmother, John and Mary Lyons. 

I went to the Altona Cemetery and found the Lyons, though I did not find a tombstone for Daniel Lyons, brother of Mary J Lyons White, mother of Anna.  It is a large plot and I'm sure he's buried there, but without a headstone, I can't say for sure.  It has crossed my mind to call the Youngman funeral home in Lakeview, just up the road, and see if they have any old records.  They did all the burying for the Lyons family. 

Maybe I will do that...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Josie E Wilder Seeley Casey


I have finally been able to find the date of my great-grandmother's sister's death.  Josie Wilder was the older sister of Eva Bell Wilder Lemon.  Eva died in her 30's of burns suffered when the gasoline stove she was cooking breakfast on exploded in 1901.  She had two siblings; Charles Edgar Wilder and Josie E Wilder.  Both her siblings were born in New York before the family migrated to Michigan where Eva was born in 1867, 10 years after her sister Josie.
I've been trying to find Josie for many years now.  She just disappeared after the 1880 census.  The only clue I had was in the obituary for her mother, Calista Maria Lewis Wilder, which stated that Josie was in Pittsburg in 1919, the year her mother died.  I couldn't find her in the Pittsburg, PA census for any year.  It turns out that her husband, Lyman Seeley, died in 1890 and she remarried a man named John B. Casey.  I found her while I was researching Josie's father's sister, Mary Wilder Smith.  Mary Wilder, Bernard Wilder's older sister, married William V. Smith and had a daughter, Ada Jane Smith.  Ada Jane Smith married Samuel T. Lyke.   I discovered that Samuel T. Lyke married Josie's daughter, Mabel H Seeley.  I hadn't known that Josie had two daughters, I was only aware of one, Gertrude Seeley.  But when I plugged Mabel's name into the Family Search web site, there she was, the daughter of "Jessie" and Lyman Seeley, born in Macomb County, Michigan.  That means that Samuel was first married to Mable's 2nd cousin.  It gets confusing.  The relation is on Samuel's first wife's side:  his wife's mother was the sister of Mabel's grandfather, Josie's father, Bernard Wilder.
How odd to find Josie by accident!  She was living with her daughter, Mabel H Lyke, in the 1930 census.  The little hints on the side of the census record listed Josie Wilder and I eventually put everything together.  What a happy day!  I remember the feeling when I kept stumbling across Josie, thinking, "This can't be right."  But it was. 
Now I have documented every member of the Bernard Wilder/Calista Maria Lewis union, the parents of my paternal great-grandmother, Eva Bell Wilder Lemon. 
I bet Uncle Dick is shaking his head and saying, "For a Smart Cookie, it sure took you long enough!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Findings


Been a while since I updated this blog.  That's okay, because it's not like anyone other than me actually reads the dang thing.  :) 
Anyway.  I was talking about Knapper's mother's birth family.  I was wrong about Robert Wayne Purcell being her father.  I found her real father with all four of Phyllis' siblings living in Kent county, married to a woman named Georgia.  His name was Donald J Purcell.  I believe the "J" stands for "Joseph", but I have no way to know for sure.  I do know that Phyllis' only biological brother was named for both his grandfathers, his name being Edward George Purcell.  The Edward was for his grandfather, Edward Purcell, Donald's father, and the George was for his mother's father, George Knapp.
It's nice to have that mystery solved.  It was driving me crazy for a while.
I was also able to confirm that Mary Jane Lyons, Phyllis' great grandmother on her mother's side, was the daughter of a man named Michael Lyons, who was born in Ireland.  Her father's side was also from Ireland. 
Mary Jane Lyons married Edward White, who was born in England and emigrated to Ontario, Canada.  There are related White and Lyons families in the Mecosta county, Michigan, township living close to them. 
It's funny, but the people I want most to find end up being the hardest to find.  I don't know when Mary Jane Lyons White died or where she's buried.  I don't know exactly when Edward White died or where he's buried.  I have been able to find the siblings of these two people and know when and where they died, and even know where they're buried.  It gets frustrating.
I'm working now on cleaning up my tree, which is linked to the software on my computer that holds all the information on all these families.  I'd like to upload all the information into my genealogy site. 
I think that's going to take a while.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Irony, Thy Name Is Genealogy

Or Something

So I'm working on Knapper's mother's biological family.  She was adopted as an infant by the Wheelers of Coral, Montcalm County, Michigan.  Her birth mother was Louise Knapp.  There's a strange coincidence right there.  So his mother was born Phyllis Knapp.  Her birth mother, Louise, had 4 more children with Phyllis's father between 1930 and her death in 1935 at the age of 24 of pneumonia.  The death record I found listed her name as Louise Purcell, but she's buried in a Newaygo County cemetery as Louise Knapp.

I have found in the census records a man of the right age to be the father of her children: Robert Wayne Purcell.  He died in 1937.  I can find no census records of Phyllis' brother and sisters.  I don't know who raised them all after the deaths of their parents.  That's a mystery to which I may never discover the answer.  Sort of like Abner Lemon. 

But I was doing research on Phyllis' mother's side of the family, the Knapps.  Anna May White married George Knapp.  George Knapp's mother was Mary Pamelia Lindsley.  It's her side I'm researching tonight.  Mary Pamelia had a sister named Elsie.  Elsie married a man named Robert Tawney from Newaygo.  His mother was Martha Jane Wright, the sister of Guy Wright, who was the father of Zelma Wright, who was the mother of Jack Hazen Knapp, the husband of Phyllis Knapp Wheeler Knapp.  How odd.  Knapper's family used to go to Wright reunions.  I wonder if Phyllis ever met the Tawneys?

Life is a series of strange coincidences.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Things I Desperately Want


1. Access to the CD/DVD of the Richmond Review newspaper in Macomb County, Michigan for 1927 and 1928.  Those have the obituaries of Frank William Lemon, son of the brother of my great-grandfather, and the brother himself, John M Lemon.  I will find a way to read those.

2. Access to the obituary of John Clayton Lemon Jr., the grandson of John M Lemon. 
LEMON, John C; 79; Pontiac MI; Oakland Press; 1997-6-17; themike.  Who is "themike"?  How do I contact him?  Is he related to John Clayton Lemon Jr?

3. Access to the article "The Isaac Lemon Bible" in Oakland County Genealogy group's newsletter, "Acorns to Oaks."  My great-grandfather lived in Oakland County.  His name was Isaac Lemon.

4.To read the will of Abner Lemon.  There was a probate notice in the Mount Clemons Monitor dated 28 Sep 1900. 

5. To find death records for Isaac M and Ann Elizabeth Tiffin Lemon, who supposedly died in Goderich, Huron County, Ontario, Canada in 1873 and 1871, respectively.  I cannot find them in any Goderich Cemetery, or any York, Ontario, Canada cemetery, where they were married.

Doesn't seem like much to want, but it is. 

Jennie B Lemon


Had a major breakthrough this morning.  First, let me just say that I LOVE  They rock.  They are not without mistakes or problems, but they still rock.  This morning I plugged in "Lemon" and "Michigan" and found the marriage record of Jennie B Lemon.  There was not a lot of information other than she was born in Canada in 1865 (which was wrong), and that Isaac Lemon (my great-grandfather) and Francis Kinney were witnesses to her wedding to Almon B. Carter in Romeo, Macomb County, Michigan in 1886.  That was exciting enough, but then I couldn't find her in the census after 1900.  I found Almon, but he was with another wife.  In Chesaning, Michigan.  What??  Then I found records that showed Jennie died in Chesaning in 1902.  That was REALLY exciting because I could find her death certificate online.  Which I did.

Almon Carter gave the information for her death certificate.  He stated her father was "Isic", which the people at the Library of Michigan deciphered as "Ira" and her mother was "Marie Tiffin".  Yes, I was very excited.  I still am.  Jennie died of tuberulosis of the lungs and bowels and "paralysis of the heart."  She had had no children.  That was the saddest part for me.  How wonderful it would have been if I'd been able to find more "cousins." 

My great-grandfather and his wife, Isaac B and Eva B Wilder Lemon, named their youngest daughter Jennie V Lemon.  She also died young, before even having married, though she was of age to.  I believe they named her for Isaac's sister, Jennie B.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Lemmon Tree...Again


I started this tree because down in Macomb County, a Lemmon female married a Ruby male.  Interesting, I thought.  I wonder if they're related to me and mine?  The Lemmons are, specifically, Orra Lemmon, daughter of Isaac Lemmon and Melvina Green.  Isaac and Melvina were from New York and moved to Michigan sometime before 1850, where they appear for the first time in Macomb County Census records.  They appear to originate in Lyons, Wayne County, New York, or at least, that's where I found Isaac Lemmon Sr. 

The most interesting thing about this Isaac Lemmon family is they have a son named John B Lemmon, born in 1848 and census records have him being born in Michigan.  Abner Lemon (remember Abner, the brother to my 2nd great-grandfather?), who died in 1900, had the information on his death certificate related to place of birth and parents, given by John B Lemon.  John B knew Abner's father was Baltis (and spelled it exactly that way, which is the way Baltis's mother intended it, as he is named after her brother, Baltis Titman.), though he didn't know Abner's mother's name was Mary Mendenhall, which is ironic.  Abner was a family name for Mary Mendenhall.  The children born to Baltis and Mary all had family names from both sides: Lemons and Mendenhalls.

So my spidey-senses tingle and I'm sure these Lemmons are related to my Lemons from Pennsylvania and Canada. 

The Rubys interesect this family, as I said, through Orra Lemmon, daughter of Isaac and Melvina, sister of John B.  She married Charles H Ruby, son of Thomas Ruby, who was the son of Elisha Ruby and Lucy Clark.  Elisha and Lucy came to Macomb County by way of New York also.  What's interesting here is that the brother of my great-grandfather's wife, Eva Belle Wilder Lemon (wife of Isaac, father of Russell Tiffen, father of my father, Russell Raymond Lemon) married a woman named Mary Jane Clark in Macomb County.  Her parents were Andrew and Eunice Cory Clark, and they are the right ages to be related to Lucy Clark.  Were Andrew Clark and Lucy Clark Ruby related? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jacob Joseph, Andrew and Thomas Lemon

Jacob Joseph Lemon, son of Joseph Lemon, brother of my ancestor, John Lemon, moved up into Canada.  He had a large family.  At least two of his grandsons moved down into Michigan: Andrew, who settled in Kalamazoo, and Thomas, who settled in Wexford County, not far from where I am now.

There is a Lemon DNA project, and one of Alexander's descendants is part of it.  These are my Lemons.  I can now connect my Isaac Lemon to Alexander Lemon.  Creating new trees for the process of elimination was an excellent idea.  I have not eliminated Lemons and Rubys, I've added to them.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New Trees, Old Trees, Lemon Trees...


I've been trying to eliminate Lemons in Michigan.  That sounds bad, doesn't it?  Eliminate them as possible matches to my Lemons, I mean.  But what I'm finding is that it's not easily done.  Starting in the early 1700s, there was a Lemon explosion, kinda.  Joseph Lemon and his wife, Prudence, had 4 children; two girls and two boys.  All were fertile.  My own ancestor from that line, John Lemon, had 14 children with his wife, Elizabeth Titman.  Most of those children had large families also.  Some in Pennsylvania, some in Canada.  LARGE families. 

I started a tree with an Isaac Lemmon as the home person because he was in Macomb County the same time as Abner Lemon, if not earlier.  I thought I had eliminated him, but then discovered that he could possibly be a Lemon "cousin" from Pennsylvania, and maybe the reason the Lemons in Ontario, Canada came down into Michigan in that area.  I have no proof, but my spidey senses are a-tingle.  Then I discovered that that Lemmon family (note difference in spelling from my own Lemons) had married into a Ruby family.  That got me working backwards to see if they could possibly have any connection to MY Rubys.  They could.  That was exciting. 

I believe the person who gave the parents of Silas Nelson Ruby on his death certificate perhaps inadvertly gave the name of Silas' BROTHER, not his father.  It fits time-wise.  I'm not sure how to document the connection for sure.  I do have the coincidence of naming patterns, but that's not really proof.  To think that those Rubys, who married into the Lemmons, could possibly be MY Rubys married into MY Lemons boggles my mind. 

I've started a half dozen new trees for the purpose of elimination or confirmation.  Knapps, Rubys, Lemmons,'s fascinating work.

For instance:  Isaac Lemmon had a son, John B. Lemmon who had a son named Frank.  So John M. Lemon (my 2nd great-grand uncle) had a Frank William Lemon (who died relatively young.), John B. Lemmon (who may be related, they were in the same area at the same time.) had a Frank Lemmon (Franklin Pierce Lemmon.), and my own great-grandfather, Isaac B Lemon had a son Frank John Lemon.  Frank was a popular name.  And there's the mystery of the John B. Lemon who was the reporter for Abner Lemon's death certificate.  Could it be John B. Lemmon? 

The quest continues.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Fruitful Day

I spent most of the day in an orgy of genealogy data-gleaning.  I was still trying to find the reason for the naming of Edward Phelps Knapp and fell into the motherlode of records; An application for a pension for the widow of Edward Phelps of Stoddar, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, who was Eunice Hardy Chase's 2nd husband.  Eunice Hardy was the mother of Margaret Chase Knapp, the mother of Orlando James Knapp. 

Margaret was the oldest of Eunice and Nathan Hardy's children, and was named for Eunice's mother, Margaret.  Unfortunately, I've not been able to find her maiden name, which is astonishing as the places these people lived, to wit Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has hundreds of years of records available, and most of them online. 

Edward Phelps was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  He collected a pension from the government for serving in that war.  To collect his pension, he had to prove who he was and that he had actually been in the war.  The records he used to prove his claim are all on file in the National Archives.  Then, after he died, his widow, Eunice Hardy Chase Phelps, had to prove that she was his widow.  It was fascinating reading.  The NA had photos of Edward's sworn testimony and those of his wife and other witnesses.  One of those testimonies was made by Ellen Knapp Lowell, Eunice's granddaughter.  She swore her statement in 1853, a year before she died, and the year she gave birth to her 2nd child. 

Also included in the documentation packet was a photo of a page from Edward Phelp's bible, where he wrote the particulars of his marriages, and the deaths of his only child, a son, and his brothers.  This helped me go back many generations on him.  I was "in the zone" for most of the entire day.

After gathering all that information, I hit a dry patch.  I can't find Margaret Chases' maiden name.  I can't find the date Nathan died.  The rest of the immediate family of birth of Orlando James Knapp continues to tease me with tiny bits of information here and there.  I can't find a lot of dates of death for these people.  Once they all moved to New York, information gets sketchy.  People I expect to find in cemeteries simply are not listed, though that doesn't mean they're not there. 

Anyway, an altogether glorious day of genealogical exploring.  I had a good day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Playing Hunches


Having a subscription to is a wonderful thing.  I was looking for Artemas Lowell in the 1850 Federal Census in Marlow, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, but I didn't find him.  He married Ellen Knapp, sister of Orlando James Knapp, Knapper's 2nd great-grandfather.  Ellen Knapp is not to be confused with Charlotte Ellen Knapp, another of O.J.'s sisters.  The hard copy genealogy I have states that Ellen married Aretmas Lowell on the 6th of March, 1851.  I believe she met him in New Hampshire because she can be found in Stoddard, New Hampshire in the 1850 Census staying with a couple with the last name of Phelps, which I believe were cousins of her mother, Margaret Chase Knapp, who was born in Stoddard.  There is some type of family connection there because Margaret and Isaac Palmer (Knapper's 3rd great-grandfather) named one of their sons Edward Phelps Knapp. 

The genealogy also says that Ellen had two sons: Olcott Willis Lowell (who it says is from her first marriage), and George Lowell.  Since I have found Ellen's birth year to be 1827 (from her memorial on Find-A-Grave and the 1850 census), and Olcott's birth year was 1851, I tend to disbelieve that Ellen was married before she married Artemas Lowell.  The 1850 Census doesn't show her anywhere except with a couple named Edward and Eunice Phelps in Stoddard. 

Ellen died in 1854, a year after delivering her son, George Lowell.  She's buried in Joslin Cemetery in Stoddard.  While looking for Artemas in 1850 in Marlow, I stumbled upon a Nathaniel and Lucy A Adams.  This was intriguing because in the 1860 Census Artemas is shown married to a Lucy A Lowell, with children Frank and Lyman Lowell.  Frank is 8 and Lyman is 7.  I later found a Lyman Adams with the family in a later census.  So when I saw Lucy A and Nathaniel Adams in Marlow, New Hampshire in 1850, my spidey-senses started tingling. 

I plugged Lucy in as the 2nd wife of Artemas Lowell and found confirmation that she died as Lucy A Lowell in Marlow, New Hampshire in 1895.  Is it proof positive that Lucy Ann Harrington Adams Lowell was Artemas' 2nd wife?  No.  But it's a strong circumstantial connection, and I believe it's correct.  Artemas himself is shown to have died in 1898.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Knapp, Lobdell, Lobdell Knapp

So it looks like my Knapps married into the Lobdells at least twice, if not more often.  They sure do get around.  I'm running into age difficulties--who was born when, was it possible due to the mother's age...that sort of thing.  It can get frustrating.  I like documentation.  No, I LOVE documentation.  If I were rich, I'd send away for every birth, marriage and death certificate on every one of the over 4000 people in my trees.  But I'm not rich.  I'm me.  So I use Census records , and people NEVER lied to the Census worker.  And the Census workers had excellent, readable penmanship and never got anyone's name wrong.  Uh huh.

I continue working on the Knapps, working around the Lobdells, going from Essex County, New York to other states and places, and back again.  The Knapps used Black River Cemetery for their final resting places.  I've found many there, as well as quite a few of their allied families.  I wish they had more photos of the graves.  There's hardly any, but the transcriptions are helpful.

Something funny I've been meaning to mention here; lets you look and compare other people's trees to your own.  There is one Lobdell tree that has a great deal of information related to the Lobdells I'm researching.  The photo they have representing that family?  Two rabbits.  I didn't understand at first, but I sure do now.  Those Lobdells are like the Knapps!  They're seemingly in everyone's gene pool and all over the world!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Knapps and the Lobdells

Anna Eliza Knapp, daughter of Lucius Knapp, mentioned in his will as being the wife of Sylvanius Lobdell, is buried in the Black River Cemetery in Essex County, New York, with her brother DEACON ISAAC KNAPP and her husband. 

I discovered this today while looking through the list of every person recorded online as being buried in the Black River Cemetery.  This is a big thing.  To me it is one more link that proves the relationship of DIK (DEACON ISAAC KNAPP) and Lucius Knapp as father and son.  (Or son and father.)

Last night I posted about going through way too many names in a Ferris family genealogy.  I used the handy "find on this page" feature in IE to search for Knapp and Michigan, both words I found numerous times.  Knapps.  With the Ferris families.  In Michigan.  One of the places mentioned in Michigan was Hillsdale County.  Ferrises lived there.  And, I discovered today, Lobdells, of the Knapp-Lobdell family, lived, or at least visited there during the 1850 Census.  I also found a family of Ferrises in the same town, not far away. Hannah b. 1808 in N.J., John b. 1833 in NY, Anson H. b. 1833 NY, Lewis S. b. 1837 in MI, Melissa b. 1838 in MI, and George b. 1842 in MI.  So the husband of Hannah must have died in Michigan between 1842 and 1850. 

I made these discoveries while searching for Elvira Lobdell, daughter of Seymour Boughten Lobdell, son of Anna Eliza Knapp and Sylvanus Lobdell.  Elvira never married, though she told Census takers she was widowed.  I found one tree on Ancestry that said she'd married William Wallace Lobdell and gave birth to a daughter, Ruth, but I haven't found that to be true.  It's not impossible, but it's improbable. 

The 1850 Census in Hillsdale County, township of Somerset is rife with mistakes on Ancestry.  Names are transcribed incorrectly, families are listed out of order from each other.  Did the transcriber just get tired and say 'ta hellwithit?  Hard to tell.  But looking at each page was illuminating.  Many familes I'm researching are all clustered together.  I think some might have been there to celebrate the wedding of a female Lobdell relation.  There are a lot of Palmers and Chases around that area, too.  Are they related?  I don't have the energy right now to investigate.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Those Darn Knapps

I'm tired of them.  They're all over the place and mixed up in everyone else's genes, marrying right and left, confusing me with all their various offspring.  I liked genealogy much better when I only had DEACON ISAAC KNAPP (as I always call him in my head) and his family to worry about.  Even though the mystery of who his parents were drove (and still drives) me crazy, I could follow that line down with my eyes closed: ISAAC to Isaac Palmer to Orlando James to James Harrison to Hazen Harold to Jack Hazen to Bruce Eugene.  Anyone should be happy with 7 generations of wildly-mating Knapps...

Anyone but me.  The puzzle has my head ringing, my spidey-senses tingling.  I have long thought the reason Orlando James Knapp came up to Montcalm County was because he had relatives here.  I had a gut feeling that he was related to the Ferris' somehow.  Well, I've just spent the last hour reading a deadly boring "and their children were" document of the Ferris' and they did marry into Knapp families quite often.  No names that I'm familiar with, but still.  They're probably shirt-tail cousins, whatever that means. 

So I'm done with them for the night.  May they all rest in peace wherever their mortal remains are lying.

At least until tomorrow when I start digging at them again.


Lucius Knapp

I've often wondered why Orlando Knapp went to Indiana.  The family of his wife, Armina Edmunds, were living in St. Lawrence County, where his own Knapp clan had settled, so why Indiana? 

There are people who say that the progenitor of Isaac Knapp (or DEACON ISAAC KNAPP, as I call him.) was a Lucius Knapp.  Not much is really known of him, except that he was in New York, (and, as an extra-special mysterious coincidence, lived in the same county as my Wilder family), left a will naming most of the people in the copy of the genealogy I first cut my teeth on in the 80's, and had a namesake whose wife went and became something of a big wig in Yipsilanti, Michigan after he died.

Doing Census work just now, I found a Lucius Knapp in Kendaville, Indiana.  There is something so odd about all the coincidences in my family.  My brother, James Lemon, has lived in Kendaville for at least two decades now.  But it would explain Orlando being there, wouldn't it?  One of the first genealogy self-help books I read made a statement that left a powerful impression on me:  "Our families did not move in a vaccum."  They moved where other family members were.  This would explain it.

And then I wonder why Orlando came here to Michigan.  I get the sense from all the research on his family that his parents were well off, or at least comfortable.  And Orlando was able to start a store here in Howard City, and left a great deal of land and property after his death. 

Sometimes I can't wait to get to Heaven and ask all these people to answer my questions.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Lemmon Tree

Started another Lemon Tree.  The spelling is different; Lemmon.  I did this because there was another family of Lemons in Macomb County, Michigan in the same time period as mine.  They are not the same.  I cannot rule out the possibility of a relationship between them though.  It's very odd that another family of Lemons, albeit their name is spelled differently, should appear close to mine and not be related.  As you know, some of my Lemons moved from their home in the Northcumberland County area of Pennsylvania (where they moved after leaving New Jersey) to Ontario, Canada, so it is possible these "new" Lemmons are related somehow, but the Isaac Lemmon I'm tracing now was born in New York.  I've found a copy of his death certificate online (I LOVE YOU, Michigan), and he's an Isaac Lemmon Jr. 

There is also an Isaac Lemon family in Kent County, Michigan.  I haven't started to trace them, but I just might because, well, because I can.

This Isaac Lemmon in Macomb County was born in 1808, so his Isaac Sr could have been born as early as 1750.  His 2nd wife, his first having died before he left New York, has the interesting name of "Melvina".  Melvina Green.  It does look as though there is some genealogy action ongoing in that line, but not a huge amount. 

I did discover a Ruby married into this Lemmon family.  Charles Ruby married Isaac Lemmon Jr's daughter Orra Lemmon.  The information I found states this Charles Ruby was also from Macomb County.  Charles and Orra settled in the Evart, Michigan area where they are buried.  Isn't life funny?
Strange that two separate Lemon families married into Rubys. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Further Ramblings Down A Twisted Path

Been working on the Knapp lines.  I have them ALL messed up.  Stick with what you know.  It's what you're supposed to do when you write fiction, and it should be the rule for genealogy as well.  I can absolutely go back to Isaac Knapp b. 1767.  Born where?  Unsure.  Married twice: 1st: Abigail Champlin.  She died in 1814.  Isaac married again, Rhoda Herriman Palmer.  She was the widow of a man with the surname of Palmer.  Ironically, Abilgail Champlin's mother was also a Palmer, to whit, Abigail Palmer, wife of Joseph Champlin, Jr.  The whole thing makes me long for a time machine so I can go back and find out who was married to whom, who was born where, and who were siblings.  But I can't.  I can only fumble around on the dark highways of the internet and try to find connections.  

But I tell ya, it's kind of fun, this untangling of tangled, messy lives.  I found a raging case of incest which was confirmed by a descendant, ("We don't talk about it, but it's true.  We all know it.  But who wants to spread that stuff around?" said the granddaughter of the offspring of the union between a brother and his sister.) and an illegitimate child born to the daughter of a "respectable" family in 1860. There was a war starting, ya know.  Only one of these secrets happened in the Knapp family, and that was in an allied family anyway.  I feel like a detective on a very hot case.  Maybe.  If what I feel IS what a real detective on a very hot case feels like.  It's like a tingle of the nerves, and I lose track of time.

But enough about me, on to the Knapps.

So Isaac (in my head I call him DEACON ISAAC KNAPP, for that's how he was listed when I first discovered him back in the '80's.) was born in 1767, as evidenced by the date of death and the age he was when he died that is written on his tombstone, married, had his wife die, then found him another.  Which, by the by, has happened a few times in this family.  I've found him in census records living close by the mysterious Lucious Knapp, who in some trees is said to be his brother.  Is he?  I'd like to ask them.  One of Isaac's sons is named Isaac Palmer Knapp, and that can be documented (by death certificates) as the ancestor to my own Knapper, Bruce Eugene Knapp.  I'd like to have him do DNA testing and put this matter to rest once and for all, but DNA is a tricky thing.  The more I learn of the nefarious uses its information can be used for, the less I'm inclined to pursue that course.  Though I truly believe that Knapper and I will be long-dead before it can come back to haunt us.

I have accumulated an impressive amount of documentation on this family, which is a big "Yay, me!" because I'm doing it all online.  Census records, death certificates, cemetery documents, it's all out there, kids, just waiting to be discovered.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Software and a Thank You


My copy of Family Tree Maker 2012 came in the mail today.  Very exciting, and very happy am I.  I can sync my trees on my computer and online, which saves me no small amount of time.  Can you imagine having to enter almost four thousand individuals into a data base by hand?  Yeah, not fun.  So FTM 12 has done that for me. 

Someone messaged me on and thanked me for putting Hulda Elizabeth Lemon's death certificate online.  Wow!  That was really nice!  I'd love to go to the cemetery and get a picture of her tombstone and add it too.  Maybe I can.  I'll ask Bruce if I can use the Blazer while he's at work. 

Did some tedious searching through Census records today and struck gold.  Found Lavina Hicks Lemon's family in Riley Center, St. Clair County.  Also found a whole slew of McNutts, which was her mother's maiden name, all in the same area.  Wish I could figure out who was related how.  Doesn't appear to be anyone researching the Hicks/McNutt families.  Too bad.  Have been trying to find more info on Jean M. Lemon, the child Lavina's daughter-in-law was carrying when she certified the information on Lavina's death certificate.  That would be Ella Bowman Lemon.  She died 6 months later, Ella did, leaving John Clayton Lemon, Jr, and his sister, Jean M. without a mother.  Very sad stories surrounding childbirth back then.  Mothers dying in labor, babies dying.  We almost take for granted that mothers and babies will be okay during the birthing process now.  Tragedies still happen, but not *nearly* as often as they did when mothers were mostly having their babies at home.

I have backed quietly away from Abner Lemon.  I'll ponder him another time.  

The Real Secret Of Abner Lemon


Will stay a secret.  I can't figure out the mess of his life.  A wife living with his daughter Jemima, him living with another wife in Coral and having, not one but two daughters with her, according to Census records and other peoples' family trees.  Abner, Abner, Abner.  What did you do??  And the one daughter I can track and trace, well, she married at least three times, maybe even four. 

There's a copy of his will down in Macomb County.  I'd love to see that.  I'd also like to know why his daughter's son, Benjamin Proctor Ball, is named Proctor, because he and members of his immediate family are buried in the Proctor Cemetery in Romeo, Macomb County, Michigan.  Who are the Proctors and how deeply will I become emeshed in their (probably messy) lives? 

If only the 1890 Census hadn't burned.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Secret of Abner Lemon


I work on different families at different times.  Last week it was all about the Merediths.  The week before that every little thing had to do with the Knapps.  This past weekend I've been studying the Lemons again, my favorite subject.  Today I found some things that almost literally left me gasping.

So Abner Lemon, my records say, was born in Canada.  Probably not.  His older siblings were born in Pennsylvania, and the sister born 2 years after him was born there, too.  But my records say he was born in Canada, so that's what we're going with.  And for some reason, he comes down to Michigan and settles in Macomb County.  There is another Isaac Lemon there, much older than Abner, living in Macomb County in 1850.  He states he was born in New York.  His age is 42.  He was born about 1808.  He has a wife, Melvina, a 12 year-old daughter named Eliza, and a 2 year old son named John. This would be John B. Lemon. 

Many Lemons stayed behind in Pennsylvania when the other Lemons went to Canada.  And there were other Lemon families unrelated to ours in the United States.  I think this Isaac Lemon was related to Abner and was the reason Abner brought his family down to Michigan.

So Abner is found living in Lennox Township, Macomb County as early as 1863.  I found his Civil War Draft Registration listing.  He's living with his wife, Lucy Ann Harmon Lemon, whom he married in Canada, and his children; Jemima, his oldest, born in Canada in 1852, William B. (it's always a "B" or an "M" with these families, if they're not named outright for Mary Mendenhall's parents and grandparents.), who was born in Michigan in 1855.  And everything goes along as it goes along.  The children of his own brother Isaac come down from Canada and work and marry and start families of their own.

Then Abner disappears.  I find him in 1880 with his family in Macomb County, but when next I find him, he's in Coral, just down the road from where I sit typing this now.  And he has a new wife.  And another daughter who was born in 1886.  But Lucy Harmon Lemon, his wife, is not dead.  She's not found in the 1900 Census that I can find, but she's with Jemima and her family in Armada, Macomb County in 1910, listed as Jemima's widowed mother.  And Abner died in Montcalm County in August of 1900.  The Census that year was taken before August because Abner is in it with Nellie and Victor Bentch, who are listed as his grandchildren, which they are.  They are the children of his daughter Charlotte Louisa Lemon, or "Lottie". 


New Clue about John B. Lemon?


When Abner Lemon died in 1900 in Coral, Michigan, the information for his death certificate was given by a John B. Lemon.  I couldn't figure out who that was.  I don't find any John B. with Abner's family in Macomb County, Michigan.  But I did find an Isaac Lemon there.  And Isaac Lemon and his wife Melvina had a son named John B. Lemon.  I know that John Lemon, Baltis' father, who remained in Pennsylvania, had a son named Isaac.  It was a popular name in the Lemon family, though I can't find an "original."  I have a hard time believing that the older Isaac Lemon in Macomb County is not in some way related to my Lemons.  And I believe, though I have no evidence to prove it, that the John B. Lemon who certified that Abner was the son of Baltis and Mary Lemon, is the same John B. from Macomb County.  

I'm going to keep looking.  These mysteries are fun as well as frustrating.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Mystery of John Lemon Continues


John Lemon was the oldest brother of my great-grandpa, Isaac B. Lemon.  I believe I found him in Pontiac, living with his wife and child at 74 Parkhurst.  In the 1900 Census he states his father was born in Pennsylvania and his mother in England.  This fits Isaac and Ann Elizabeth Tiffin Lemon.  John and his wife, Lavina Hicks Lemon were married in Macomb County, Michigan, which also fits, as that is where the Lemon siblings landed when they came to Michigan from Canada after the death of their parents.  Their father's brother, Abner Lemon, had a farm in Macomb County. 

I had written here before about being unable to find John Clayton Lemon.  The whole family disappears after the 1920 Census.  One of the reasons was the death of Lavina.  I found her death certificate online and she died in 1919 at the age of 63.  It states she was married, her spouse was John Lemon, her address was 74 Parkhurst, Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan.  It also told me where she was born, Riley Center in Macomb County, the names of her parents, where they were born, and her actual date of birth.  The information was given by "Mrs. Clayton Lemon."  Ella! 

Then I discovered Ella's death certificate online.  She died 6 months after Lavina.  Her cause of death is listed as "Influenza and childbirth."  She must have been pregnant when Lavina died.  I did not find a death certificate for the child she was carrying.  I did find two Lemon children: John C, and Jean M. living with a John Bowman, who is widowed and living with his unmarried daughter, Hessie, spelled "Hescia" in the 1930 Census.  Of John Clayton, the children's father and Ella's widower, I can find no trace in Michigan. 

I found a Clayton Lemon, born abt. 1884 in Michigan, living in Glendale, California with a Martha Lemon, listed as his wife, and two others, Frank Tomkins, age 22, born in Canada, and Mable Tomkins, age 15, also born in Canada.  Their mother is listed as Martha Lemon, and they are identified as Clayton Lemon's stepchildren.  I believe this is John Clayton Lemon.  His father, John M. Lemon, is nowhere to be found in any Census record after 1920, and I can't find a death certificate in Michigan online.  I believe he died between 1921 and 1930.  1920 is the last year for which Michigan death certificates can be found online.  In 1900 he and Lavina lived alone.  They rented their home in Pontiac.  By 1910 they owned their home.  John M. is still listed as owning his home at 74 Parkhurst in the 1920 census. 

So, a mystery.  

Hulda Elizabeth Lemon


I have tried 4 times to write her story, but it keeps getting erased.  Someone comes in and needs the computer while I'm working on it, someone accidently closes out the page, I wait until very late and then don't finish, thinking I'll be able to do it in the morning.  Yeah.  Doesn't happen....except for today.

"Hulda" Elizabeth Lemon was the sister of Abner and Isaac, the aunt of Isaac B, my great-grandfather.  Fortunately, she married a man named Benjamin Hoshal, whose family is very well documented.  But I found Elizabeth before I got much into Lemon genealogy.  I found her in a cemetery outside of White Cloud, Michigan. 

Almost 20 years ago, I had my own business doing pre-insurance exams on people for insurance companies.  I went to potential customers houses and drew their blood, took urine samples, asked them personal questions.  It was a good job, and I drove a LOT.  I sometimes would drive 200 miles in a day.  I tried to schedule clients in clusters; "I'm doing another person in your area on Tuesday, would that work for you?" sort of thing.  Many times I'd have "down time" after the end of one appointment and the start of another, so I'd find the local cemetery and walk through it, looking at gravestones.  Yeah.  I'm that person.  I love cemeteries.  Don't know why, just do.

Walking through the one outside of White Cloud, I found a stone that read "Elizabeth Lemon."  Lemon is a rather unique name.  I never went to school anywhere with anyone else named Lemon except for my siblings.  And I live very far away from where my Lemon ancestors settled when they moved down here to Michigan from Canada.  Finding Abner and Elizabeth Lemon's grave sites was an epiphany for me.  Lemons!  But who were they?  Were we related?  The question haunted me.

Imagine my surprise and delight when my Uncle Dick and I discovered Baltis and Mary Mendenhall Lemon and learned of their relationship to us.  Abner was my relative!  And there was an Elizabeth Lemon who had died in White Cloud!  It had to be her, but how did she get there?  Because of the documention on the Hoshal family, I knew the Elizabeth Lemon in the White Cloud cemetery was mine, though I had no proof. 

It was while doing research on Elizabeth and Benjamin's children that I learned their son,  Walter James Hoshal, born in 1852, died in Newaygo County, Michigan in 1885.  Elizabeth died in 1898, which is the first year Michigan began requiring deaths be documented for the state.  Yah!  Then I found her death certificate online.  Oh, happy day!

Because Isaac, Abner, and Elizabeth's mother was Mary Mendenhall, I can now say with certainty that the Elizabeth Lemon I found in a White Cloud cemetery is my 2nd great-grand aunt.  Her husband had died in Canada,  and she was in Newaygo County with her son's family.  Walter James is found in the 1880 census in Newaygo County with his family, including his brother, Theodore.  I found family trees with Theodore's information, including his wife, who was born in Morley, not 5 miles away from where I am right now. 

It's a small, small world.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Smithville and the story of Jessie Meredith and Rebecca Smith

Jessie Meredith, the son of Charles Meredith and Miriam Griffin, was born in South Grimbsy, Lincoln, Ontario, Canada.  His father had been born in Pennsylvania and his mother in New York before the Revolutionary War.  During the war, some people in America (before it BECAME America) sided with the British and some with the American rebels.  When America was won from the British, the people who sided with the British decided they didn't want to be Americans anymore, so they headed to Canada where loyal "Tories", as they were called, were given grants of land by the British goverment.  Or something.  I'm not going to research all that because I'm not writing a book, just a blog entry. 

The Merediths were given land in Lincoln county, Ontario, Canada.  Rebecca Smith, the daughter of Abraham and Mary Knapp Smith (yeah, yeah.  Knapper and I are related by more than marriage.) left Pennsylvania and helped settle Smithville, Lincoln, Ontario after the Revolutionarry war.  That's how Jessie Meredith and Rebecca Smith met, by living in the same area. 

Or something.

Sometime before 1865, Jessie and his family came down from Canada and bought land in Michigan.  The Meredith's were a HUGE family.  Jessie himself had at least 9 siblings, and many of them moved to Michigan also.  One of Jessie's brother's also had a son he named Cyrus, and that family settled around Traverse City, which was confusing for a while.  Our Meredith's settled in the Austin Township, Sanilac County portion of Michigan.  A little town called Frieburger, Michigan was where Jessie and Rebecca built their cabin when they first got here.  Strangly enough, I worked at Keebler Company as an occupational health nurse in Grand Rapids with a man named Frieburger.  I mentioned my genealogy research to him and commented on his name being the same as the small town the Meredith's lived and he said it was his FAMILY'S town. 

Now *that's* a small world.

Mary Leah Wilder

Yesterday, May 1st, I was on a roll.  I found death certificates online for many of my family who died in Michigan.  The site is called,  Very cool.  There is a collection called Death Records 1897-1920.  I found many death certificates for Lemons and Merediths there.  I was finally able to discover what Mary Leah Wilder, niece of my great-grandmother, Eva Bell Wilder Lemon, died of.  Lobar Pneumonia brought on by scarlet fever. 


Seeking Michigan

Found a wonderful site for people researching in Michigan:  I found many death certificates for Lemons, Merediths, Herrs.  May 1st was like a genealogy gift day for me.  I was able to get much accomplished, and found answers to mysteries, such as what became of Glen Bostwick Meredith, the only surviving child of my Grandma Lemon's uncle, Orville Meredith.  Orville married Clara Ball (which is interesting in itself, as Abner Lemon's daughter, Jemmima, married a man named Ball, Abner being the brother and sponser of Isaac B, John, and Mary Ann Lemon when they came down from Canada.) sometime after the census in 1900, as Clara was still Clara Ball, living with in a household filled with various Ball and Bostwick family members.  Bostwick was her mother's maiden name. 

So Orville and Clara got married and proceeded to start a family in Sanilac County, Michigan.  They had Glen Bostwick, then a baby girl they named Nellie, who died when she was 2 months old.  I found the death certificate online at the Seek Michigan site.  It cleared up a mystery for me.  The record states she was born in 1903, which was the same year of birth I had for Glen, so something was off because Nellie's was a single birth.  And I couldn't find Glen Bostwick after the 1910 census, where I found him living with Walter Bostwick, his grandma Ball's brother, Clara Cole, his grandma's sister, and Agusta Dunham, another sister of Frances Bostwick, his grandma Ball.  He's listed as a "ward", his father no where around, his mother dead a week after giving birth to a male child who lived only 6 hours in 1904.  But I couldn't find him after that.

Realizing I had the year of birth wrong, I changed it and found a virtual glut of new information about Glen.  I found him every census after that living in Ohio.  I found he had married a woman named Myrtle Evora Dalton, and they'd had 2 sons by 1930, one of whom was named Glen Bostwick, after himself.  Orville, Glen's father, had moved to California, being found there in the 1910 census.  Was the plan to make a new life for himself, then send for his only surviving child?  If so, the plan never came to fruition.  Orville died in Los Angeles in 1950.  Glen Bostwick, his son, died in Ohio in 1965.