Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 38 Number 3
Transcribed by LaVonne I. Bennett

     LaVonne has received permission from Grayden Slowins to edit and submit Sebewa Recollector items of genealogical interest, from the beginning year of 1965 through current editions.

THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Bulletin of the Sebewa Center Association (Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI); DECEMBER 2002, Volume 38, Numbers 3. Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. SLOWINS:

FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Home of Frank & Estella BALDWIN PRYER, 9633 East Grand River Avenue, Danby Township, Portland, Michigan.

SURNAMES: Baldwin, Pryer, Wiselogle, Ryder, Pike, Yager, Leak, Wilson, Brake, Wilson, Dalzell, Carr, Zibowski, Kartuski, Wortley, Edwins, Baine, Bywater, Middaugh, Knott, Tussing, Kauffman, VanHouten, Daniels, Rogers, Sandborn, Shaw, Tyler, Smith, Gale, Gillette, Cramer, Gardner, Gierman, Jarchow, Meyers, Klager, Shipman, Willett, Young, Buck, O’Mara, Endres, Steinberg, Schnabel, Wenger, Brake, Cosens, Miller, Nogle, Lehman, Lakin, Clark, Green


FREDERICK YAGER WISELOGLE, 90, widower of Louise RYDER WISELOGLE, husband of Charlotte PIKE WISELOGLE, father of Elizabeth HASKINS, William R. WISELOGLE, Ann Dee WISELOGLE and Margaret WISELOGLE, son of Florence YAGER & Andrew J. (Andy) WISELOGLE. Andy WISELOGLE was the son of Fred & Emma WISELOGLE, farmers near Springport. Florence was born and raised on a farm near Lake Odessa, taught BIPPLEY Rural School and then at Albion, where she met and married Andy. After a career as Ticket Master for Michigan Central Railroad in Albion, Lansing, Ann Arbor & Detroit, Andy retired in 1940 and he and Florence built a home on Jordan Lake in Lake Odessa. He was the first person I ever knew to put up a “squirrel crossing” sign on his street.

Florence was the daughter of Fred & Margaret YAGER, who had retired from their farm to a home on Sixth Avenue. Maggie’s father was Thomas LEAK, pioneer Sebewa farmer, whose farm included what became the Baptist Churchyard and West Sebewa Cemetery. He also had retired to a home in Lake Odessa, and in 1972, at age 60, Fred WISELOGLE followed this long tradition and built his retirement home on McArthur Street near the lake, where he was to live for the next 30 years.

Fred WISELOGLE wrote his autobiography in 1992 and we printed it in six issues of the RECOLLECTOR. Much of this story comes from his own words. Born in Albion, May 18, 1912; he began kindergarten in Lansing at Clinton School, across the street from home at Pennsylvania and Michigan. The next year the family moved to Ann Arbor, at 403 Church Street, directly across from the main University campus. He graduated from High School there in 1928, got a bachelor’s at the University in 1932, master’s in 1934, Doctorate of Science in 1936, majoring in organic chemistry. His first job was teaching organic chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for $1400 a year.

During World War II he trained Privates and General in the chemistry of explosives. Then he was assigned to organize and direct research on replacements for quinine as a cure for malaria. After the war Fred transferred to the SQUIBB Institute for Medical Research in New Brunswick, NJ, where he continued the antimalarial research to find a cure for tuberculosis.

His drug – Isonicotinic acid hydrazide – marketed under the names Isoniazid or Nydrazide thru a joint effort by SQUIBB and HOFFMAN-LaROCHE, proved safe and effective. Tuberculosis, the principal killer in the United States as late as the 1940s, has been all but eliminated, and millions of lives have been saved. He received the prestigious LASKER Award from President Harry TRUMAN – and found it ironic that as a life-long Republican, the only President whose hand he got to shake was a Democrat. He also served as President of the New York Academy of Sciences in 1961.

Retired in Lake Odessa, Fred served on the Lakewood School Board, the governing boards of the Michigan Association of School Boards, Lake Odessa Ambulance, Lake Odessa Arts Commission, Jordan Lake Watershed Association, Lakewood Waste Water Authority, Lake Odessa Historical Society, Lake Odessa Centennial Commission, Lake Odessa Community Library, Lake Odessa Lions Club, and Ionia County Republicans, and supported Boy Scouts and the Village Council.

He was a friend of this and previous editor of RECOLLECTOR and paid member to 2012, his 100th birthday. Ann SLOWINS and Fred WISELOGLE were once the only people who showed up for a new Great Books Discussion Group!

LOIS JANE WILSON BRAKE, 83, widow of Elwood BRAKE, Jr., mother of Michael, Brenda, Max, Bruce and James BRAKE, and Virginia DAVIS, daughter of D. Lee WILSON, granddaughter of Riley N. WILSON, who was a legendary pioneer farmer, merchant, constable and deputy sheriff in Sebewa Township and later Ionia. Riley WILSON owned the last house to the north on the west side of KEEFER Hwy. in East Sebewa, long owned by Burton & Helen GILBERT and now by the JACKSON family.

His biggest shoot-out in Sebewa was with a Mr. DANN, who threshed-out and sold some wheat which he had previously mortgaged. Later Riley WILSON moved to Ionia, served as Chief Deputy or Under-sheriff, and ran a store at 318 W. Main Street, which is the north-west corner of Main St. & CORNELL Alley, long occupied by the Sherwin-Williams paint store and now by Curves for Women. The late Wilson DALZELL of Ypsilanti-Reed, whose widow Greta died recently, was also a grandchild of Riley WILSON.

Jane WILSON was born in Ionia, September 1, 1918, graduated from Ionia High School, from college in 1939, and began teaching at Kent City in 1939-40 and 1940-41, and was invited back from retirement in Arizona for the 50th class reunion of the Class of ’42 in 1992. She passed away in Mesa, AZ, May 29, 2002.

Jane and Elwood were active in the Ionia First United Methodist Church and the Mesa Arizona First United Methodist Church. He was chairman of the building committee when the Ionia Sandstone addition to the Ionia church was built in the early 1950s. Elwood was an officer in Ionia County National Bank. After the November elections of 1952, they moved to Washington, DC, where he became Chief-of-Staff to Congressman Alvin M. BENTLEY, Jr. Elwood made several trips back to Michigan to campaign with Congressman BENTLEY and we saw them at the Ionia Free Fair. He visited us at the Portland farm in 1957 and we visited them in Arizona in 1971. BENTLEY left Congress in January 1961 and the BRAKES settled in the Mesa-Tempe area. Jane taught in Arizona and Elwood died there September 27, 1979.

GENE FRANCIS CARR, 73, husband of Bernadine THOMAS CARR, father of Thomas & James CARR and Patricia HOISINGTON, brother of Leo CARR, Katherine MARTINI and Delores STEDGE, and the late George & Edward (Jack) CARR and Clara TIMMERICK, son of Mary ZIBOWSKI & John (KARTUSKI) CARR. Born and raised in Sebewa Township, mostly on the Heman BROWN farm, Gene was the youngest of seven children and was a kind, gentle man. He spent his entire adult life selling John Deere farm machinery and parts, first for POFF-LAPO Sales, then G. & W. Sales in partnership with Wayne STEWARD, and finally part-time in retirement for LICH Sales. He served on the Board of Directors of Union Bank, St. Edwards Catholic Church, Lake Odessa Village Council, and as Captain & Secretary of the Lake Odessa Fire Department from 1962 to 2000. Buried at Lakeside.

MARDI E. WORTLEY EDWINS, 95, widow of Glen EDWINS, mother of Luella SMITH, sister of Madge LEAK and the late Genevieve MOORE, daughter of Urah BAINE & Walter WORTLEY, son of Joseph WORTLEY. Her mother was a BYWATER, and all these families were early farmers in Campbell, Odessa, Woodland and Sunfield Townships. Mardi graduated from Lake Odessa High School, attended Ferris Institute, worked in the HANSBARGER and TASKER Pharmacies. She is buried at Lakeside.

HARLAN A. (BUD) MIDDAUGH, 74, husband of Ann MIDDAUGH, father of Sally, Gary, and Kate MIDDAUGH, brother of LaVern MIDDAUGH, son of Harlan L. & Estia A. KNOTT MIDDAUGH, daughter of Rebecca TUSSING & Alonzo KNOTT. Alonzo & Rebecca KNOTT. Alonzo & Rebecca KNOTT lived on the Robert MUSGROVE farm, corner MUSGROVE & JORDAN Lake Highways. The W. KNOTT family owned 80 acres on TUPPER Lake Road in Sebewa Township in 1891 and after, but we cannot find out if this was the father or grandfather of Alonzo KNOTT. Bud MIDDAUGH was born in Eagle, but grew up in Lake Odessa, played basketball and graduated here. He and his father and brother ran a Service Station from the time the boys were in High School until Bud was past age 50. He had been a Medic in Germany during the Korean War years, and after selling the station he worked as an orderly at Ionia County Memorial Hospital. Buried at Lakeside.

GERTRUDE E. VanHOUTEN, 97, widow of Merle VanHOUTEN, mother of Trevor, Arlo, Jack, and Gary VanHOUTEN, sister of the late Hulda SMITH and Beatrice SHELLENBARGER, daughter of Samuel KAUFFMAN & Lottie DANIELS, daughter of Sarah D. & Orren W. DANIELS, Sr., son of Eunice & Andrus W. DANIELS, Sr., who settled in Sebewa Township on State Road in 1866. Samuel KAUFFMAN was the son of Catherine & Jonathan KAUFFMAN, who settled in Sebewa Township on HENDERSON Road before 1891. Gertrude worked at Pennock Hospital in Hastings for over 30 years. She was buried at Lake Odessa Lakeside Cemetery.

DONALD W. ROGERS, 84, husband of Kathyleen SANDBORN ROGERS, father of Joan TRUMBLE, Mary LEONARD, Larry and Douglas ROGERS, brother of the late Charles ROGERS, son of Millie SHAW & Warren ROGERS. Don was a lifelong dairy farmer on Portland Road in Orange Township, breeder of draft horses and riding horses, and along with Kate was long active in 4-H and the Ionia Free Fair. He had served on the Portland School Board, was a Hall of Fame farmer, and a member of Portland United Methodist Church for 77 years. He is buried in Portland Cemetery.

DEAN S. TYLER, 78, father of Michael D. and David L. TYLER, brother of Mignonne HODNETT, son of Veryl TYLER & Florence SMITH, daughter of Della GALE & Leonard Laban SMITH, son of Hannah GILLETTE & Laban A. SMITH, Sr., who settled in Portland Township on the farm which is now Portland Country Club, on Divine Highway, in 1866, and accumulated over 700 acres to divide among his six living children. Veryl TYLER was the son of Otis D. TYLER, son of Isaac E. TYLER, who settled in Orange Township on Peck Lake Road before 1875. Dean served in the Navy during World War II, farmed on the family homestead until the death of his parents, then moved to Gobles. Buried in Portland.

THOMAS LEROY CRAMER, 79, widower of Betty Anne CRAMER, father of Mark, Matt and Clay CRAMER and Anne STRATTEN, son of Arthur & Carrie GARDNER CRAMER, and was raised by his Uncle Glen CRAMER. Orphaned at an early age, Tom made a career in the United States Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Then he came home, sold off his late Uncle Glen’s beautiful set of antique Allis-Chalmers farm equipment and re-equipped with John Deere. After expanding to work rented land in addition to his own, he retired again. Buried in Sunfield Cemetery.

CHRISTINE GIERMAN JARCHOW, 89, widow of Lloyd JARCHOW, sister of Pauline, Maurice and the late Charles and Robert Wilfred GIERMAN, daughter of Nellie Effie MEYERS & Robert Ernest GIERMAN, son of Christina KLAGER & Charles GIERMAN, son of Frederick (Fritz) GIERMAN. Nellie was the daughter of Lydia SHIPMAN & Albert MEYERS. Christine was born where Robert Wilfred later lived and attended Sebewa Center School. Most of her adult life was spent in Kalamazoo and she is buried there.

IONIA SENTINEL: Marriage in January 1899; Miss Allie J. WILLETT and Frank J. YOUNG.

BUCK FAMILY UPDATE: The real estate development on the Mary WHITE BUCK farm is called River Ridge Estates, not Cottonwood Creek Estates, which is across the river off DIVINE Highway & MAYNARD Road.

O’MARA FAMILY UPDATE: Susan Mary O’Mara CSONGA was daughter of Norma SHOEMAKER & Thomas S. O’MARA, son of Emma ENDRES & Frank O’MARA, son of John O’MARA & Paulina STEINBERG, daughter of August STEINBERG & Rosanna SCHNABEL, daughter of Regina & Anton SCNABEL, Sr.


We often hear it said “Get the older generation to tell the family stories and locate the homesites and gravesites while they are still with us”. Well, in the winter of 2000, my youngest sister, Donna, who is fourteen years younger, asked Ann & me to ride with her in the Spring and show her the cemeteries. We said “Uh, huh, she wants to do it while we are still here”.

So-o-o, this is the tour we took with her, along with some stories and a little history on some of the cemeteries. We climbed into her van on a sunny morning and started to:

Mt. Olivet Cemetery, since it has the most relatives by far: two SLOWINSKI grandparents, four SLOWINSKI & LEHMAN great-grandparents, three SCHNNABEL-SLOWINSKI & GREGIE great-great-grandparents, and oodles of aunts, uncles and cousins.

The Germans came to Ionia about twenty years after the English settlement called DEXTER Colony and then Ionia County Seat. Part of Dad’s family, who started arriving in 1857, were Catholic and part were Lutheran. Often brothers & sisters went opposite ways. Mt. Olivet was of course the Catholic group. The Lutherans used the various township cemeteries, as we shall see later. When they started Saints Peter & Paul Church, Catholics also acquired land for their own cemetery. I found it interesting that in the beginning both properties were deeded in the name of the priest, Father C. G. BOLTE.

HIGHLAND PARK CEMETERY was started by an investment association or stock company, and is now owned by Ionia Township. I should explain here that a law was passed in Michigan about 1926 requiring any private burial ground that was not being cared for, no matter how large or small, to be taken over by the surrounding township or city and maintained properly. It was actually in the early 1970s when Highland Park got so bad that people requested Ionia Township take it over. Frank & Priscilla KIPP SNOBBLE and Emmett WOODEN (early Prairie Creek miller and husband of Julia STEINBERG) are buried there.

OAK HILL CEMETERY straddles the Ionia City & Easton Township line and each is supposed to maintain their part, as I understand it. It contains the graves of the earliest pioneers. Robert Wilfred GIERMAN and I restored the white marble slab stones in that little chained-off plot, as have others over the years, but it never seems to stay that way. The VanderHEYDENS are in the Easton portion – three generations of them. My family worked for them in the brickyard, helped build both their homes, and provided household services & repairs. But we have no blood relatives in that cemetery.

EASTON TOWNSHIP CEMETERY, located northwest of Ionia on JOHNSON Road at McKENDRY Road, was started by the Methodist Church once located within it and later rebuilt a mile and a half south, but belongs to the township. Emma SLOWINSKI & WARNER SMITH, who lived on the north side of YEOMANS St., corner of Short & WALL Streets, and some of their family, are buried there. Also Richard SLOWINSKI, last family owner of ARNOLD Machine Shop, has a baby boy there.

TUTTLE CEMETERY is next, southeast of Ionia on KELSEY Hwy., at TUTTLE Road. Many of Emma SLOWINSKI & WARNER SMITH’S family are buried there also. This cemetery was started by the Methodist Church once on that corner, where the first minister was Rev. Nelson TUTTLE. This cemetery is owned by Ionia Township, and the church long ago merged with Orange Methodist to form LeValley United Methodist.

BALCOM CEMETERY, in South Ionia, or actually in North Berlin Township, and also on TUTTLE Road, owned by Berlin Township. This cemetery has an active cemetery society which assists in the care. Balcom has our great-great-great aunt Minnie SCHNABEL & Thomas CANNAM. Also great-great-great-uncle Michael SNOBBLE & Mary CANTANT and their children, another Lutheran family, including Hanna & Fred ARNOLD, who were moved from the ARNOLD Cemetery half way down the hill, and Horace & Nellie PIERCE SNOBBLE from Bellview Drive. Also Aunt Marguerite SLOWINSKI, Marion MITCHELL & George MITCHELL. Also Uncle Elwood BRAKE & Aunt Nadia COOL BRAKE and their daughter Barbara HARBECK & Cliff HARBECK.

SUNSET MEMORIAL GARDENS, around the corner on State Road, in Ionia Township, was organized as a stock company or association, but as I understand it, is now owned or managed by one man, Henry Curtis.

LETTS CEMETERY, on Peck Lake Road, just west of State Rd. (M-66) in Berlin Township, has no relatives, but is worth mentioning because it has one of Ionia County’s three veterans of the Revolutionary War, Louden ANDREWS. Woodard Lake Cemetery has Wm. PANGBORN and Sebewa has Jonathan INGALLS.

ALDERMAN CEMETERY, in southeast Berlin Township on State Road, is located in the middle of a SCHNABEL farm; all the burials are English people from before the Germans bought there. Last used in 1906, it is faithfully maintained by Berlin Township.

SARANAC CEMETERY, in Boston Township on David Highway at the east edge of Saranac, is township maintained. The descendents of Agnes SNOBBLE & George VANDECAR are buried there, including most recently, Ariel MORRIS.

LAKE ODESSA LAKESIDE CEMETERY, is large for a township cemetery. Great-great-uncle August SLOWINSKI & Amelia SHADDY are there in unmarked graves. Great-great-uncle Louis SLOWINSKI is there in a grave marked only by a lilac bush. Many of his descendants in the ELDRIDGE & FARRELL families are there also.

HOLY CORNERS CEMETERY; slipping over into the southeast corner of Kent County, we visit this cemetery started by the Meonnonite Church that was originally there and now a township cemetery. Our grandparents, Barbara WENGER & John F. BRAKE are buried there, as is her grandmother, Elizabeth GOOD WENGER, Barbara’s grandfather, Christian Z. WENGER is buried at Yellow Creek Mennonite Cemetery, Elkhart, Indiana, but we won’t visit there today! Great-grandpa Abraham BRAKE & Caroline COSENS BRAKE are also at Holy Corners.

CALEDONIA LAKESIDE CEMETERY is a township cemetery within the village and has graves of our great-grandparents Christian G. & Lovina NOGLE WENGER, as well as several of his brothers & sisters and their families.

BOWNE MENNONITE CEMETERY, on 76th Street, heading back toward Ionia County, just west of Montcalm Avenue & Freeport Road. Great Aunt Inez WENGER KLAHN & Uncle Fred KLAHN are buried there, along with their teenage son, Oliver.

CLARKSVILLE CEMETERY , owned by Campbell Township, is where we find graves of Uncle John & Aunt Dorothy KYSER BRAKE and their son Bob, as well as Great Aunt Mary WENGER BIDELMAN and some of her family.

STEELE CEMETERY on Kelsey Hwy. at Peck Lake Road in Orange Township……

UNION CEMETERY on KEEFER Hwy at Peck Lake Road in Portland Township……

MATHEWS CEMETERY on Sunfield Rd. at Grand River Trail in Orange Township………these three small older cemeteries have no relatives, few recognized names, and no modern day burials, but people often ask us about them because of their proximity to Sebewa.

PORTLAND CEMETERY, long maintained by Portland Township until Portland Village became a city. It was started on a portion of the farm of the first landowners Elisha, Almeron & James NEWMAN. My parents and Ann’s parents are there, as well as many of her LAKIN, PRYER, BALDWIN, CLARK & GREEN relatives and a few SLOWINSKIS & LEHMANS.

DANBY CEMETERY, where Ann also has PRYER & PEAKE relatives, has at least in the past had an active cemetery society.

EAST SEBEWA CEMETERY on BIPPLEY Rd. has many of Ann’s John FRIEND family relatives and a few of my SCHNABELS.

WEST SEBEWA CEMETERY on MUSGROVE ROAD is nearest to our farm and it’s where we will be buried. We took care of those two cemeteries for 28 years and kept their records for 32 years as Sebewa Township Clerk & Sexton. We wrote about their history & origins in February 1997, just before our retirement.

So those and Portland Cemetery are good examples to explain cemetery layouts. Most are in rows of lots with four graves per lot. Sixteen and one-half or seventeen feet of lot width allows four adult graves side-by-side in vaults. Sometimes more are buried if some of them are infants, small children, or old graves that had no vaults. The depth of the lot may be eight feet, with a two-to-five foot alley for monuments. But sometimes the lots are ten feet deep, including monuments, with little or no alley. Most are arranged in north & south rows, so that everyone is buried facing east to the rising sun. However, some in Portland, Highland Park, and elsewhere, are in squares, rectangles, circles, or curves, and do not all face east.

The old method of doing the layout was with chalk-lines and stakes, starting from one square corner. Today accuracy requires someone with surveyor’s skills and equipment. Lastly, Sebewa Township has the INGALLS GRAVESITE, named for Jonathan INGALLS, soldier of the Revolution and first person to die in the Township, back in 1843. It is located 0.4 mile south of MUSGROVE on KEEFER Highway.

GRAYDEN & ANN SLOWINS’ entry in the FAMILY HISTORY OF IONIA COUNTY, soon to be published by the Ionia County Genealogical Society:

Grayden’s first American ancestor was Christian WENGER, a Swiss Mennonite who came to Pennsylvania in 1727. His son Hans bought the family farm in Earl Township, Lancaster County, from William PENN’S sons, and the deed on real sheepskin is still in the family. Hannes BRECH, another Swiss, came about 1751 to Montgomery County PA. His son John’s widow, Christina (SHERK) BRECH, moved the family with four horses and wagon 500 miles to a farm in Waterloo County, Ontario, in 1806. Their son, John BREAK, was a Mennonite teamster in the War of 1812, and married Catherine BETZNER, daughter of Samuel BETZNER. Hans WENGER’S son Joseph’s widow, Elizabeth (ZIMMERMAN) WENGER, also moved their family to Waterloo with teams in 1825.

John’s son Abraham BRAKE married Caroline COSENS, daughter of Charles & Ann MILLER COSENS, and moved to a Caledonia Township, Kent County, MI, farm in 1865. Their ten children were: Menno, Lucinda, David, Wesley, Mary, Elizabeth, John, Ida, Jane & Emma, who became farmers, shepherds, millers, blacksmiths. Joseph WENGER’S grandson Christian came by way of Elkhart, IN, to a Caledonia farm in 1864, where he married Lovina NOGLE, daughter of Benjamin & Elizabeth SHELLENBARGER NOGLE. Their eleven children were: Barbara, Inez, Amos, Verne, Joseph, Mary, John, Christian, Franklin, Flossie & Elizabeth, all doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and farmer-shepherds. John BRAKE & Barbara WENGER married in 1892, moved to a farm in Campbell Township, Ionia County. Their children were: Hazel & Wayne – infants, Elwood – teacher & Ionia County School Superintendent, Mable Van ALLSBURG – dental assistant, Crystal SLOWINS – teacher & family historian, John – farmer, barber, electrician, foster son Duane Gray – postal worker.

Many Germans, including the SLOWINSKI, SCHNABEL & LEHMAN families came from Posen, East Prussia, to Berlin & Odessa Townships, Ionia County, in 1872 after fighting Bismark’s wars to unite Germany. They were farmers, shepherds, stonemasons, woodworkers. Frank & Regina (KUBISH) LEHMAN’S eight children were: Roman, John, Pauline, Lewis, Mary, Wilhelmina, Peter & Anna. Most were farmers.Christopher & Mary (GREGIE) SLOWINSKI’s nine children: Roman, Theofil (Pete), Anna, Daniel, Michael, Martha, Minnie, Mary & Emma, were mostly farmers.

Daniel & Wilhelmina (LEHMAN) SLOWINSKI farmed in Berlin and their twelve children were: Infant, Frances, Florence, Donald, Marguerite, Herbert, Louise, Eugene, Frank, John, Clarence & Wilson. Donald & Crystal (BRAKE) SLOWINS’ children were: Grayden, Sandra & Donna.

Grayden was born January 20, 1932, on a farm in Boston Township, Ionia County, grew up on a farm in Portland Township, graduated from Portland High School & Ferris Institute, served as a Medic in Korean War. Ann LAKIN SLOWINS was born October 22, 1932, in Lansing, lived in Ionia, grew up in Danby Township, graduated from Portland High School & Ferris. They were farmers & shepherds in Sebewa Township. He was School Board Treasurer, Justice of the Peace, Township Clerk for 32 years, Cemetery Sexton for 28 years, President of Michigan Townships Association, Editor of Sebewa RECOLLECTOR, and a historian.

Ann was a church organist, pianist, recorder player, painter, weaver, pharmacist. Both loved to read & travel America in their pickup camper or motorhome and around the world. Their children were: Joseph, Karen, Daniel & Kirsten. All graduated from Ferris State University……

Ann’s first American ancestor with the LAKIN name was John LAKIN, born in Grainthorpe, England, 1819, came to Putnam Township, Livingston County, 1844, married Hulda ELLIS MERRILL in 1848 and settled on a farm next door. She was daughter of (first wife) & Daniel MERRILL, farmer and first Clerk of Newton Township, Calhoun County. Ann’s father, Elon LAKIN, is descended on both sides from Prudence BIRD MERRILL, born 1548 in Suffolk, England, and thus his parents were ninth cousins once removed. Two grandsons of Prudence, John MERRILL, born 1599 in Suffolk, and Nathaniel MERRILL, born 1601 in Suffolk, settled in Massachusetts 1633.

John was the 8X-great-grandfather of Elon’s mother, Norah CLARK, and Nathaniel was 7X-great-grandfather of Elon’s father, Claude LAKIN. Daniel MERRILL’S mother was Hulda ELLIS, daughter of John & Elizabeth SAWYER ELLIS and 3X-great-grandmother of John ELLIS< who died in Sandwich, MA 1697.

John CLARK, born in Ireland, came to New York and was Norah CLARK LAKIN’S grandfather. His son John (her father) was a blacksmith in Portland and married Harriett GREEN, daughter of Samuel GREEN & Melinda HASKINS, daughter of Jessie & Lucy PATTERSON HASKINS, who settled in Portland Township in 1836.

Samuel GREEN, son of John & Sarah TAYLOR GREENE, was 3X-great-grandson of John GREENE who was married in Rhode Island in 1641. Jessie HASKINS, son of Abraham & Lois WATTS HASKINS, was 4X-great-grandson of Nathaniel DICKENSON, who died in Hadley, MA, in 1676.

John & Hulda MERRILL LAKIN’S son William married Elizabeth HITCHCOCK, daughter of Delinda Jane MILLS & Rufus HITCHCOCK, farmer in Locke Township, Ingham County & Conway Township, Livingston County, son of Russell & Evalina HITCHCOCK, and a Civil War casualty at Andersonville in 1863. Delinda MILLS was daughter of Elizabeth DICKENSON, who died at Howell in 1899, and Stephen MILLS.

Ann’s mother was Marian PRYER LAKIN, daughter of Frank & Estella BALDWIN PRYER. Frank was son of Cornelia PHILLIPS & Thomas PRYER, who settled in Danby Township in 1851, was born 1829 in New York City at what is now west end of Brooklyn Bridge, son of Merselus PRYER and 3X-great-grandson of Thomas PREYER who owned land in New Jersey in 1674.

Frank PRYER’S mother, Cornelia, was daughter of Silvester & Margaret ALLEN PHILLIPS. Estella BALDWIN was daughter of Rush BALDWIN, Civil War Veteran born 1841 in Ohio, who settled in Sebewa Township in 1866. He was son of Nathaniel BALDWIN & Matilda SHAW, granddaughter of Richard SHAW, a Revolutionary War Veteran who died in 1785. Estella’s mother was Phoebe Maria FRIEND, daughter of Polly Ann MEACHAM & John FRIEND, who settled on a farm in Sebewa Township in 1854. Polly Ann was daughter of Samuel MEACHEM & Polly HASKILL, and 4X-great-granddaughter of Jeremiah MECHAM, who died in Salem, MA, in 1695. John FRIEND was son of John & Betty COMB FRIEND, who emigrated to America from Devonshire, England in 1833.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The preceding story is our entry in the FAMILY HISTORY OF IONIA COUNTY, soon to be published by the Ionia County Genealogical Society. Have you written yours and ordered a book? The address is: Pam Swiler, President, 13051 Ainsworth Road, Lake Odessa, MI 48849-9406. Call 616-374-3141 for price and particulars. Deadline is November 30.


Last update November 10, 2013