I am posting information gleaned from land records in the areas where our family’s ancestors resided. You can read more about this project in the overview. You may also check my deed record listing, which I will update with each post.
The names of members of George W. Burdick’s family appear quite often in the Wexford County, Michigan deeds. The next listing for George is recorded in Liber 3 on page 326.
|Date:||26 May 1876|
|Location:||Wexford County, MI|
|Grantor:||George Burdick & wife|
|Grantee:||George W. Burdick|
|Witnesses:||Ezra Harper Justice of the Peace, Mrs. J.P. Fenton|
|Type of deed:||Quit Claim Deed|
|Rec’d and recording:||16 May 1877 7 p.m.|
|Clerk/registrar:||C.E. Manktelow, Clerk|
|Location of land:||Wexford County, MI|
|Description:||Commencing at the northwest corner of Sec 10 T23N R9W and running east 185 ft., then south 85 ft., then west 185 ft. then north 85 ft to the start.|
What is going on here? This deed is for the same property as the deed recorded in liber 3, page 326. George Burdick received by quit claim deed, on 26 May 1876, some rights to the property, and is apparently selling those rights to Jacob Sturr.
Instead of rechecking the old county history again, this time I used the subdivision maps. Using the advances search, I searched for T23N R9W. Seaman & Maqueston’s addition was one of 17 results. I was able to save a copy by printing it to PDF, I will show how to do that in a future post. However, even with out saving a copy, it was easy to read the information on the plat document:
The plat was recorded in the Wexford County office on 18 October, 1874. The plat of Seamons & Mcqueston’s addition to the city of Manton was, “Received & Filed in the Auditor General’s office August 11, 1875.” Now, what am I learning by this exercise? George Burdick never lived on this land, he obtained some rights to it, and signed them on to someone else. How does that fit into my puzzle?
My George Burdick timeline:
|27 April 1827||Birth: Berlin, Rensselaer Co., NY|
|1850||Census: Andover, Allegany Co., NY|
|1855||Marriage: Mary Jane Abbott|
|1850||Census: Andover, Allegany Co., NY|
|29 March 1856||Daughter: Susie Melissa born, Andover, Allegany Co., NY|
|1860||Census: Andover Allegany County, New York|
|24 Oct 1860||Son: Fink Clement born Andover, Allegany Co., NY|
|24 Oct 1860 – 23 Jn 1868||Migration: New York to Pennsylvania|
|23 June 1868||Daughter: Mable Genevieve born, Eleven Mile, Potter Co., PA|
|23 June -May 1870||Migration: Pennsylvania to Michigan|
|27 Aug 1870||Census: Colfax, Wexford County, Michigan|
|11 Jan 1871||Daughter: Gertie W. born Colfax, Wexford Co., MI|
|12 Mar 1874||News item: The Grand Traverse Herald; Boardman, Grand Traverse County, Michigan Listed as arrivals at the Boardman River House for the week ending March 9th: (lengthy list) Geo. W Burdick, Manton.|
|20 May 1874||Purchased Interest: E 1/2 of the NE 1/4 Sec. 4 T23N R10W Wexford Co., MI|
|26 May 1876||Sold Interest: E 1/2 of the NE 1 /4 Sec. 4 T23N R10W Wexford Co., MI|
|1880||Census: Colfax Township, Wexford County, Michigan|
|8 Jan 1885||News item: the Grand Traverse Herald “Geo. W. Burdick will log quite extensively in Colfax this winter.”|
|1910||Census: Colfax Township, Wexford County, Michigan|
|24 Oct 1914||Death: Irons, Lake County, Michigan|
|26 Oct 1914||Burial: Colfax Township, Wexford County, Michigan|
George, like many of the pioneers, is listed as a farmer on the census. However, the main business in Wexford County, Michigan during the time these deeds were recorded was logging. Farming was done in the good weather, and loggers worked in the woods during the winter. The land had to be cleared before anything could be build. Judge William Peterson, in his excellent history of Cadillac, Wexford County, said:
Travel away from the road was laborious and, at places, impossible. The height and density of the forest blocked out the sunlight so as to create a perpetual twilight,……..brush and trees were so thick that it was impossible to see more than eight or ten feet…..1
Although this quote describes the general conditions near Sherman, Wexford County’s first settlement, in 1854, it gives a pretty good idea what things may have been like in a newly settled area, even years later.
Wexford County was divided into four townships in 1870, and Colfax was comprised of 18 surveyed townships of 6 square miles each: Townships 21, 22 and 23 north of ranges 5,6,7,8,9 and 10 west. The entire 1870 census of Colfax Township, Wexford County, which included the current city of Manton and this “addition” lists 172 people, not families, but individuals.
There was no transportation to take crops to centers of population to sell them, these pioneers were not “farming” for a living, just enough to have food to eat. George Burdick was probably buying rights to timber, logging the land over, and selling the rights after he had removed what he wanted. He had probably cleared enough land on his homestead to grow food to eat, and was therefore listed as a farmer, was was most of the population.
1. Peterson, The Honorable William R., The View From Courthouse Hill: Privately printed: 1972, p 9.