Sunday, May 6, 2012

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.  

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