Nov 14

Piles of Piles of Genealogy Research

OK, I admit it, I made a genealogy post on my other blog.  If you have piles of items you have not had time to file, waste a little more time checking it out.

Nov 13

Belle’s Box – 58

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.

“Just a


Moline, Mich
Feb 29, 1912
Addressed to:
Mr. Charly Tinker
Manton Mich

Feb ?

We got here all
right at 7 o clock
foneral(?) at 10
clock it is all
fall roads i
am going to
arons to day

Belle apparently traveled to Moline for a funeral in February of 1912, and wrote to let Charlie know all was well.  I cannot determine who died at that time; it could have been any relative, friend or neighbor of her sister, Elizabeth Bisard.

Nov 12

Belle’s Box – 57

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.

Flower on the front of the card, no message, nothing is written on the label of the card.


postmarked Newaygo, Mich Oct 11, 1909 9 p.m.
Addressed to:
Mrs Belle Fellows
Manton PO
Wexford Co
Route Mich


At the top left:
Write soon
Your sister
E Bisard

Ashland Oct 11th/09
Dear Sister We are well
We had a short visit from
George he said you was
Coming Xmas are you I
Was at Casnovia last
Monday first time since
Xmas Frank is picking
apples has not got half done
yet all the Junes has been
here this fall George and
wife and daughter from
Texas and Aaron and Elt?

George is probably Elizabeth and Belle’s brother, George Lamunion, who often lived with family members and traveled seeking work. Frank (Bisard), who is picking apples, is Elizabeth’s husband.

Nov 11

Belle’s Box – 56

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.

“Wishing You Well
Splendid health I wish for you
Congenial friends kind and true
The kind of work that makes you glad
And each new day the best you’ve had”


Card postmarked Mesick Mich, April 13, 1927 5 p.m.
Mrs Chas Tinker
First Ave South.


Dear Mother
Recived your letter
Today Hie has
Been plowing
We sure have
Had a nice spring

Eunice and Hiram Smith were Belle’s daughter and son-in-law. Charlie Tinker did travel around working on roads, and also in the woods, perhaps he had traveled to Escanaba to work. April seems a little early to be plowing in northwestern lower Michigan; it must have been an early spring.

Nov 08

Jane “Jennie” Johnston

Jane Johnston  is a “mystery” woman, information about her is hard to come by.  She was the original owner of a locket in my possession, and my great-grandmother.  Jane’s daughter, Winnie Alice Kaiser, was my Dad’s mother.

Jane Johnston was born about 1867, using calculations from early census records and her marriage record.  It is likely she was born in Grey Township, Huron County, Ontario on lot 34 concession 12 where her parents John Johnston and his wife Catherine Raper lived.

Jane had 3 older siblings, Catherine “Kate”, Margaret “Maggie”, and James.  Her younger sister Barbara Winnie was born in 1876.  The Johnstons were of Scotch heritage, both John and his wife Catherine reported their birthplace as Scotland on the 1871 census.

Life in Grey Township* from 1860-1880 was similar to early pioneering life in the US. The original homes were  log cabins.  Huron County was and is a rural farming community.  Tax records between 1866 and 1879 show that the Johnston family owned between 7 and 10 cattle, 0 and 8 sheep, and a hog or two.  They consistently had 2 horses, and there was sometimes a dog.  Of the 100 acre lot that Johnston owned, 30 acres were cleared.

The Canadian Census of 1871 showed that the family lived on lot 34, concession 12, that John Johnston owned the lot of 100 acres.  There was 1 house; 1 barn; 1 car, wagon or sled; 1 plow or cultivator.  Of the 30 cleared acres, 16 were pasture, 1/2 acre was garden, 6 acres were wheat which produced 30 bushels, 14 acres were hay with 13 tons harvested.  The other crops harvested were: 55 bushels of barley, 100 bushels of oats, 110 bushels of peas for 1/3 acre, 60 bushels of potatoes, 400 bushels of turnips, 100 bushels of carrots and other roots, 2 bushels of grass and clover seed, 2 pounds of hops, 5 bushels of apples and 30 pounds of maple sugar.  In 1871 the family had 6 members, Barbara was not yet born.

The William Kaiser family were neighbors, residing on various rental and purchased properties in Grey Township.

The Johnston family was protestant and at one time attended  Knox Presbyterian Church, Cranbrook.  The Church and its graveyard remain and it is an active congregation today.  Knox Presbyterian is located in Cranbrook, which was surveyed from farm lots 11 to 15, concession 11, Grey Township.

In 1880, the lives of the Johnstons changed course.  Catherine Raper Johnston died 9 June 1880, Ontario death registration number 006430-80, cause of death “change of life”.  We are left to imagine what that may mean.

Maggie died 14 December 1880, Ontario death registration number 006411-80, cause of death was (illegible) & inflammation.

Barbara Winnie died 29 December 1880, Ontario death registration number 006413-80, cause of death, diphtheria. Since diphtheria causes inflammation and swelling of the throat, perhaps Maggie had it also.

Finally, on 19 January 1881, John Johnston died of diphtheria, Ontario death registration number 006979-81.

This left Katie age 23, James age 16, and Jane age 13, alone.

On 20 April 1881 in Grey Township, Catherine “Kate”  Johnston married  William Harbottle, age 23, farmer of Granville, Grey Township, son of John Harbottle and Sarah Chisholm.  The witnesses were Mary Ann Kaiser and Earnest Harbottle, Ontario marriage registration number 004614-81.  Mary Ann Kaiser was the sister of Jane’s future husband, William Kaiser.  Interestingly, the marriage record reports Kate’s birth place as “County Perth Ontario”.

The 1881 Census of Grey Township, district 174, south Grey, page 67 line 18, enumerated the family of James Johnston, age 16, born Ontario, religion Canadian Presbyterian, Scotch origin, farmer.  The family included Jane, age 13, going to school, William Harbottle age 25, born Ontario, religion Canadian Presbyterian, English origin, blacksmith, and Catherine Harbottle, age 23, born Ontario, religion Canadian Presbyterian, Scotch origin.

Then, tragically, 31 October, 1881 Catherine Harbottle died of diphtheria, Ontario death registration number 007011-81.

Sometime between the 1881 census and 10 October 1884, when Jane married William Kaiser, James and Jane immigrated to Cadillac, Michigan where Jane’s marriage took place.

According to the obituary of James Johnston, published 18 December 1944 in the Cadillac Evening News, the year of his immigration was 1883 and he was 18 years old at the time.  It is almost certain that Jane accompanied her brother.

The marriage record of Jennie Johnston was recorded in Liber 2, page 53, record number 682, of Wexford County, Michigan marriages, Jennie Johnston age 17 and William Kaiser age 22, occupation miller, both born Canada, married by Pastor James Lamb in Cadillac on 10 October 1884, witnesses Mary Garvin and James Johnston.  Mary Garvin was the married name of William Kaiser’s sister, Mary Ann.  According to the 1884 Polk’s Directory of the towns and Villages in the west side of the State of Michigan, North of Grand Rapids, James Lamb was a Baptist minister.

That marriage record is one of only three records have found in Michigan for Jennie/Jane Johnston that reveal her name.

The other is the death record for Winnie Alice Kaiser who was my grandmother and  Jane’s daughter, which states that Winnie Alice was born July 19, 1885, in Michigan, the daughter of Wm Kaiser and Jane Johnston.

And,  on her marriage record  Winnie Alice Kaiser  was age 22,  born  in Cadillac, Michigan daughter of Wm. Kaiser and Jane Johnston.

According to the Maple Hill Cemetery (Cadillac) burial logs, on 21 November, 1887, a burial occurred for “Kysor, Wm inf of”, male, age 3 months.  The “male” is indicated by ditto marks from the row above.  Then, on 29 January 1888, Kysor (crossed out and “Kaiser” written), Mrs. Wm was buried.  No cause of death was listed in the logs for either, and no age for Mrs. Wm Kaiser.

There is no death record in Wexford County for either the infant or Jennie.  There is no birth record for my grandmother, Winnie Alice Kaiser, or for the infant in Wexford County records.

A newer stone, possibly purchased upon the death of William Kaiser, on the Kaiser lot in Maple Hill cemetery reads: Kaiser, William 1862-1940, Cecelia 1887, Jennie 1867-1888.  There is a matching stone which marks the grave of Daniel E. Kaiser, William’s uncle.

There are 2 older stones on the lot.  One is  that of George Catlin a nephew of William Kaiser’s uncle Daniel E. Kaiser.

The other marks the grave of Daniel Kaiser, 1878-1883.  That Daniel was the son of William Kaiser’s uncle,  Daniel E. Kaiser, and his wife Amanda VanMeer.

Cecelia is a family name.  William Kaiser’s mother’s surname was Long, and several children in the Long family were named Cecelia. Also, William Kaiser had a sister Cecelia who died quite young in Canada.

My great-grandmother, Jane “Jennie”  Johnston met an untimely death at a young age, and I have so far found no record of that death.  Jane and William  suffered the loss of a child just before her death.  Whether the infant was a girl named Cecelia, or an boy as the cemetery records say cannot be proven.  The reason for the death of Jane and her baby also remain a secret.

Tragically, of the family John and Catherine Johnston, of Grey Township, Huron County Ontario, Canada, and Cadillac, Wexford County, Michigan the only member who survived past youth was James, 1865-1944.

Here is the photo which shows the origin of the curls I’ve fought off all my life, check out my great grandmother, the little girl in the front.  In fact, John, and all his girls have the curls.

Back:  Catherine “Kate”, Margaret “Maggie”.  Seated, John Johnston, Catherine Raper Johnston holding Barbara “Winnie”.  Front: James and Jane  “Jennie”.

Photo in the possession of Ted Servis, Cadillac, Michigan.  On the back, “The family of John and Catherine Johnston”.

*More details on life in rural Grey Township can be found in Grey Township And Its People by Marilyn Engel, ISBN 0-9691293-0-0.

Nov 03

A Milestone!

The Oakland County (Michigan) Genealogical Society, of which I am treasurer, just finished a new publication. This compilation of gravestone readings from a large Pontiac, Michigan cemetery contains 17,000+ burials. You could hear Jo’s sigh of relief 20 miles away when the work was sent to the printer.

Seriously, this is a huge accomplishment. The publication of “Perry Mount Park Cemetery “, Pontiac, Michigan is the result of seven years hard work by Jo Pate and the Publications Committee. This publication also marks the first ever availability of publication on CD-ROM by the Society.

The Society meets tomorrow, November 4, 2008 at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. The meeting will be held in the Sanctuary, since voting will be conducted in our usual meeting room. Be sure to vote at your regular poling place before attending the meeting. The new publication will be available at the meeting, so save the postage and attend to get your copy.

The Oakland County Genealogical Society was founded in 1977 and is a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Donations, gifts and legacies are deductible. The Society shall promote and encourage an interest in genealogy and related fields among its members and the general public. The objectives of the Society shall be to locate, publish, and safeguard public and private genealogical
records and to encourage and instruct in the science of genealogical research and compilation through workshops, sharing, and other educational means.

OCGS meetings are usually held the first Tuesday of the month, October through June, 7 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 5500 N Adams Rd. Troy, Michigan, and are open to the public. See program schedule for occasional variations. Society publications and genealogical charts are available at each meeting.

The Society maintains a non-circulating library collection in the Oakland County Research Library, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac, Michigan. Library hours:
M-F 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 248 858 0738

Acorns to Oaks is published in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. It is distributed by 3rd class bulk mail which is non-forwardable. Please notify the Society of address changes and dates for seasonal addresses. Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for error of fact or opinion made by the contributors. Publishing only reliable genealogical information is our intent. The staff reserves the right to make the final decision as to what is published. Any comments or suggestions should be made to the editor.

The Society maintains a post-only e-mail list, sending meeting reminders and occasional information of interest to the genealogical community. You may sign up or view the archives here.

Nov 02

Belle’s Box – 55

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.

Here’s wishing you
Trainloads of fun.
Bring me a helmet
You sonofagun.

The stamp is removed, and the postmark with it.
Addressed to:
Mrs. Belle Tinker
Manton Mich

Moline Feb 5 1919

Dear Nephew and
Niece hope you are all
well why don’t you
answer my letter I sent
you some time ago we
are all well and I am
77? years old today Sat
some? nice ? ?
is staying to Floras yet
Flora is failing all the
time love to all
Aunt Ann? Jones

Well, I looked his over, and mulled a little, and then looked at another item from the same person.  I’ve reached the conclusion that “Aunt Ann Jones”, was Mrs. Robert V. Jones, born Ireland about 1842 in Ireland.  A quick side trip that occupied most of yesterday identified her in these census:

1870 US Federal census, Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan page 10, line 1, (The family number 67 begins with Robert on page 9, line 40) Jones, Ann, 29, female, white, keeping house, born Ireland of parents of foreign birth.  In the household are daughter Ida Belle, age illegible, but probably older than two; and Edwin R, age two.  The most interesting feature of this entry is the presence of the next family

(68) Jones, Benjamin F, Eliza, Francis E and Merritt W. This is significant because Belle had siblings Merritt Winfield, known as “Scott”; and Benjamin, known as Bige.

1880 US Federal census, Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan, District 2, sheet 54C line 16, Ann, white, female, 38, wife, keeping house, born Ireland, both parents born Ireland.  Her husband was Robert V Jones, her two sons Edwin-12, and Hezakiah-8.

1900 US Federal census, Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan, Supervisors district 4, enumeration district 4, page 222 A, line 37, family 9, Jones, Ann, wife, white female, born Feb 1842, 58, married for 40 years, mother of 3, 3 living, born Ireland, father born Scotland, mother born Ireland, immigrated 1853, 47 years ago, can read write and speak English.  The family includes her husband Robert, and 3 boarders.

1910 US Federal census, Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan supervisor district 4, enumeration district 8, page 263, sheet 16A, line 19, family 346, house 350, Jones, Ann, wife female, white, 68, married for the first time for 50 years, mother of 3, 3 living, born Ireland, English-speaking, both parents born Ireland, English-speaking, immigrated 1845, keeping a boarding house.

1920 US Federal census, Dorr, Allegan County, Michigan, supervisor district 4, enumeration district 11, sheet 16b, line 62, in the home of Jeffers, Ida, family 357, dwelling 363, Jones, Ann, mother, female white 78, widow, immigrated 1847, naturalized, can read and write, born Ireland, Irish speaking, both parents born Ireland, Irish-speaking, speaks English, no occupation.

The next family is that of (Heza)Kiah Jones, wife Hattie, son Harry and a boarder.

In 1930, the aging Hezakiah and wife Harriet are shown with their daughter Clara.  Ann is missing, and Ida Jeffers is a “housekeeper” in the home of Milo Phillips in Sheridan, Calhoun, Michigan.

More to come on this family.  Aunt Ann Jones was probably a sister in law of Miranda Jones.  Miranda Jones was the wife of Ruscum Lamunion/Lamunion; they were Belle’s parents.

Nov 01

Belle’s Box – 54

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.


Mrs Chas Tinker

Postmarked Manton, October, 1920.


Dear Friend: Would
it be possible for
you to entertain
the aid next Wednesday
If so let Mrs Baldwin
know Saturday So
She can give it out
at church Sunday
Mrs Oren Culver

The 1920 census of Colfax Township, Wexford County Michigan lists 151 households. The name Culver is certainly familiar to anyone who has read these censuses or walked the cemeteries. The two culver families on that census do not include an Oren, Orin or similar spelling. The families do not contain older widowed woman described as mothers of the heads of the families, who might be “Mrs Oren”. Neighboring Cedar Creek Township contains another Culver family, but no Oren there either.

So, another mystery woman, Mrs Oren Culver.

Oct 30

Belle’s Box – 53

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.

“Christmas Greetings”


Postmark is 28 Nov 1913, Mich. The city is illegible, and the stamp is ripped off. Addressed to:

Mrs. Belle Fellows


Dear Mother
and all at home
if it don’t
storm will
be home
?? are well

Eunice Fellows married Hiram Smith in 1909, and they lived for some time near Fife Lake, Grand Traverse County. Perhaps they were visiting for a Sunday afternoon.

Oct 29

Belle’s Box – 52

Read about this series of posts, regarding items in a box originally owned by Belle (Lamunion) Fellows Tinker here. The cast of characters is located here. And, there is an accounting of people about whom I have little information here.


“Peace On Earth
May the Joys of the Season
Abide with You”

Belle and Charlie from
The Morrisey-Burnhams

I’m not sure on the signatures. Does anyone recognize these families?

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