Helen and Charles Wilson kissing on their wedding day.  One of my favorite pictures of my grandparents!

Helen and Charles Wilson kissing on their wedding day, June 4, 1932.  One of my favorite pictures of my grandparents!

#13 – John Gisel

John Gisel was born September 27, 1843 in Wilchingen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland to Leonard Gisel and Elizabetha Bachtold.  He had an older brother, John, who died in Switzerland in 1842.  His family came to the United States in about 1852.  It is believed that his mother died while on the journey over and she was buried at sea.  In the 1860 U.S. census for Franklin, Fulton County, Ohio, his father Leonard is listed with four children: George (aged 20), Anna (19), John (16), and Mary (15).  John married Margaret Rhost in about 1868.

In the 1880 U.S. census, John and Margaret were living in Franklin and had 7 children: Ella/Mary Ellen (aged 13), Martha (my great-great grandmother) (aged 10), John (8), Lydia (7), Libbie/Elizabeth (5), Samuel (3), and William (9 months).  They had a daughter, Anna, who was born in 1875 and apparently died before the 1880 census.  In 1881, they another son, Albert.

In the 1900 census, John and Margaret were still living in Franklin and had been married for 31 years.  Out of 9 children born to Margaret, 8 were still living.  By the 1910 census, John and Margaret were living on Cedar Street in Wauseon, Ohio.

On June 2, 1913, their grandson Earl Belknap (Martha’s son) married Florence Bost at their home.  From an announcement from the local paper:

The marriage of Mr. Earl E. Belknap and Miss Florence E. Bost, occurred at the home of Mr. John Gisel on Cedar Avenue Monday evening, at 4:00 o’clock, Rev. J. H. Williams, officiating.

In 1920, they were in the same place, John was 76 and Margaret was 71 and employed as a laundress.

John Gisel died November 1, 1923 of pneumonia and an inguinal hernia.  He was buried in Wauseon Union Cemetery.  Their daughter Elizabeth Bingman died April 9, 1924 of mitral regurgitation, and their daughter Martha Belknap died in an auto accident in Michigan in September 1925.  In the 1930 census, Margaret was an 83-year-old widow living alone on Cedar Street in Clinton Township, Fulton, Ohio.  She died April 20, 1939 at the age of 90 and is buried in Wauseon Union as well.

I’m told I look and act a lot like my aunt Sally.  We all called her Auntie.  I miss her so much sometimes it hurts.

Summer 1937, about 3 1/2 years old

Summer 1937,     3 1/2 years old

Auntie was born January 30, 1934 in Detroit, Michigan.  In the 1940 census, she was aged 6 living at 2431 Bennett in Dearborn, Michigan.  Her parents were Charles and Helen (Oakes) Wilson.  Her brother, Charles, was 4.  My mother Mary was born in 1942. She went to high school at Dearborn High School, when it was located at Mason and Garrison Streets.  She graduated in 1952.



She secretly married Melvin Jones on July 4, 1960.  Then, on July 16, she served as my mother’s maid of honor, still keeping the secret!


July 16, 1960 (Sally at right of the bride)

It must have been hard, this interracial marriage in 1960.  She loved him so much and after Uncle Melvin’s death in 1995 she kind of drifted away until she had to be placed in a nursing home because of dementia.

Melvin, Sally and Charles Jones, Christmas 1962

Melvin, Sally and Charles Jones, Christmas 1962

This is how I will remember her, long hair (which Melvin loved and she never cut until he died), rosy cheeks, loving arms.  Oh dear, I’m about to cry writing this.  Deep breath.

Auntie, about 1985

Auntie, about 1985

Auntie died July 9, 2009 at the age of 75.

Acacia Park Cemetery, Beverly Hills, Mich.

Acacia Park Cemetery, Beverly Hills, Mich.

Yikes, I’m really behind on my 52 ancestors.  Now to play catch-up.


Robert Gibson, my 3rd Great-Grandfather, was born about 1805 in Ireland.  His family was from the Ards Peninsula (shown on map above) in County Down, Northern Ireland.  They likely moved to Ireland from Scotland.  According to Catharine Anne Wilson, Scotch-Irish families “emigrated from 1820 to 1860 from the United Parish of St. Andrews in Northern Ireland to Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada.” (Wilson, C. A. (1997). The Scotch-Irish and Immigrant Culture on Amherst Island, Ontario. In H. T. Blethen & C. Wood (Eds.), Ulster and North America: Transatlantic Perspectives on the Scotch-Irish (134-145). Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press.)  St. Andrews was six miles north of Portaferry, from which many ships departed.

Robert married Mary McCormick in Ireland in the 1830s.  They had at least five children between 1837 and 1850, including my great-great grandmother Mary Ann.  According to her 1911 Canada Census entry, Mary Ann arrived on Amherst Island in 1857, which is when, I assume, the rest of the family came.  This also fits the emigration time frame put forth by Wilson.  She was married with a daughter by 1859 on the island.  In the 1861 and 1871 censuses, Robert and Mary were living on Amherst Island.  He was listed as Presbyterian and she was listed as Roman Catholic.  In April 1881, they were living with their son Hugh (1848-1881) and his wife Elizabeth and their two children, William and Mary Ellen.  Hugh died in June 1881 and a son, also named Hugh, was born in February 1882.

Robert died on May 5, 1882 of dyspepsia.  He might be buried in St. Bartholomew’s Cemetery on Amherst Island.  His wife Mary died on January 13, 1886 of dropsy of the heart.

Mary Barbara (Shartzer) Bost, Shiloh Christian Union Cemetery

Mary Barbara (Shartzer) Bost, Shiloh Christian Union Cemetery

This week I want to look at my great-great-great Grandmother Mary Barbara Shatzer/Shartzer. Most of what I know about her comes from census information.  According to her death certificate (on which her husband Adam was the informant), she was born on April 6, 1841 in Ohio. Her father was listed as Philip Shartzer, born in Pennsylvania.

According to the 1850 U.S. census, Mary was 10 years old and living with her family in Blanchard, Hancock County, Ohio. Her father was John, aged 49, a farmer, and born in Pennsylvania. Her mother was Sarah Greenawalt, aged 47 and also born in Pennsylvania. Rosannah, aged 17, Henry, aged 14, Stephen, aged 12, Leannah, aged 8, and Sarah, aged 5 round out the family in 1850.

Mary married Adam Bost on December 5, 1858.  Their son William Shepard Bost (my great-great grandfather) was born September 30, 1859.  In the 1860 census in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio, Mary, Adam and their son William were listed in the same dwelling as Mary’s brother Henry, who was the head of the household at age 24.  Also living there were Stephen, aged 22 and their mother Sarah, aged 56 and their sister Leannah, aged 18.

Adam and Mary’s next child was a daughter named Sarah Ellen who was born July 15, 1860 in Hamler, Henry County, Ohio.  Mary’s husband Adam served in the Civil War in the 38th Ohio Volunteer Infantry from October 9, 1862 to July 27, 1863.  In July 1864, a son named Samuel was born.  On July 18, 1866, a third son named Francis Leroy was born.  Their last child, named Alfred Lester, was born on May 7, 1869.

In the August 1870 U.S. census, the family was living 2 houses away from Mary’s brother Stephen in Harrison Township, Henry County, Ohio.  Adam was aged 31 and a farmer with $500 in real estate and $150 in personal property.  Mary was 27 and the children were 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1.  In the June 1880 U.S. census, Adam was 41 and a farmer, while Mary was 38.  Their sons Samuel (15) and Leroy (13) worked in a stove factory, while Lester (11) worked on the farm.

In June 1900, Adam, Mary and Lester were living in Hamler Village, Marion Township, Ohio.  Adam’s date of birth was listed as November 1838 and Mary’s was listed as April 1840.  Their number of years married was listed as 40.  Lester was 31 years old.  In April 1910, they were living in Swan Creek, Fulton County, Ohio.  Adam was 71, Mary was 70, and Alfred was 40.  Alfred married in May 1910 and died in 1918.  In the 1920 census, Adam and Mary were living on Linfoot Street in Wauseon, Ohio.  He was 81 and she was 78.

Mary died February 11, 1921 in Fulton County, Ohio of arteriosclerosis. She was buried in Shiloh Cemetery.  Adam died on August 5, 1924 and was buried next to her.

MinnieTo find out about my great-great grandmother’s beginnings, I had to look at her end.  According to her death certificate, Minnie Oakes was born September 8, 1857 in Germany. Her parents were listed as John Schroeder and Sophie Marlin.  I’ve only been able to look at an index of the record, so I’m not sure if her mother’s maiden name was indexed right.  I haven’t looked at any German records yet.  In the 1880 U.S. Census, her birthplace as well as that of her parents was listed as Mecklenberg.  The 1900 census lists her year of arrival as 1872.

According to the marriage registration, Wilhelmina (Minnie) Schroeder and Heinrich Ochs (Henry Oakes) married April 8, 1877 in Dearborn, Michigan.  Henry had served in the 24th Michigan, Company F from 1864-1865.  In the June 1880 U.S. Census, the couple, listed as Ochs, was living in Taylor, Wayne County, Michigan.  Henry was 33 and was a farmer, while Minnie was 23.  In this census, Henry’s birthplace was listed as Hesse-Darmstadt, while Minnie’s was Mecklenberg.  They had two children, Frank, aged 3 and Tillie (Matilda), aged 4 months.  Frank Henry Oakes had been born February 16, 1878 and Matilda was born January 9, 1880.

Another son (my great-grandfather), William E. Oakes, was born July 8, 1888.  Another daughter, Emma Oakes, was born in Wayne, Wayne County, Michigan on July 19, 1890.

In the Friday, October 13, 1899 Wyandotte (Mich.) Herald, two real estate transfers stand out.  “Henry Loss to Minnie Oakes, lots 28 and 29 of blk. 2, village of Wayne, $600. Henry Oakes to Henry Loss, same land, $600.”  In the 1900 census, Henry Loss was listed as the Post Master.

In the June 1900 U.S. Census, the family is living in Nankin Township, Wayne Village, Wayne County, Michigan.  Henry was listed as 52 and a day laborer and Minnie was listed as 43.  Frank was 22, Tillie was 20, Willie was 11, and Emma was 9.  Minnie filed for divorce on October 16, 1900 for drunkenness and cruelty, but it is listed as pending and I can’t find a record granting the divorce.

In the 1910 census, Henry was listed as an inmate and Commissary Department assistant at the Michigan Soldier’s Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  His marital status was married.  I have been unable to find Minnie in the 1910 census.  Between 1916 and 1918, he lived at the Soldier’s Home in Dayton, Ohio, then after 1918 at the Soldier’s Home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In the 1920 census, Minnie was living with her daughter Tillie and her husband Lee Brice in Detroit.  His mother was also living with them.  Minnie’s marital status was separated.  At the same time,  Henry was an inmate and dish washer at the Disabled Soldier’s Home in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He was 74 and listed as married.

On February 19, 1922, Henry died at the home in Wisconsin of peritonitis and intestinal obstruction.  His effects ($6.10 in personal belongings and 17 cents in cash) were shipped to his widow, Minnie, living at 1616 Hurlbut Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.  Henry was buried in Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee.

In the 1930 census, three widows were living on Hurlbut Avenue in Detroit.  Tillie was 50.  Her husband Lee had died the previous year.  Her mother and mother-in-law were still living with her.

Minnie died March 9, 1936 in Detroit.  She is buried in Northview Cemetery in Dearborn near her son William who had died August 31, 1928.

He led the quiet, orderly life of a farmer, and was a strong advocate of temperance, belonging to the Sons of Temperance.  In politics he was a Democrat.

– from his son William H. Everett’s entry in Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Oakland County, Michigan, 1903.

George Baxter Everitt was born in New Jersey on May 29, 1803 to Isaac Everitt and Mary Davis.  Isaac and Mary are buried in the Montague Dutch Reformed Churchyard in Sussex County, New Jersey.  George married Jane Hornbeck on December 5, 1824 in Sussex County.  They had two children, Hannah (born October 19, 1828) and Francis (born about 1824), both born in Pike County, Pennsylvania.  Sometime after 1828, George left his family in Pennsylvania. George married again in Portage County, Ohio in December 1835 to Rosanna Elrick/Eldred/Eldredge.  Their first six children were born in Ohio and their last four were born in Michigan.  George and Rosanna settled in Livonia, Michigan in 1847.  George was the only one of his siblings who ended up in Michigan.  His uncles Marshall Everitt (died in Michigan on Nov. 30, 1833, buried in Livonia) and George Everitt (elected highway commissioner in Michigan in 1835, died Oct. 30, 1854, buried in Livonia) seem to be the only ones’ of his father’s generation to go to Michigan, which may be why George ended up there. George and Rosanna had ten children: William Harrison (born 1835), Mary Jane (born 1837), Seneca (born 1838), Isaac (born 1840), Rachel (born 1843), John Allen (born 1845), Catherine (born 1847 – died young?), Matthew Lindley (born 1849), Martha (born 1854 – died young?), and Edward (born 1857).

Orson (1838-1920) and Rachel (Everitt) Westfall (1843-1924), with daughter Ada (1876-1910)

Orson (1838-1920) and Rachel (Everitt) Westfall (1843-1924), with daughter Ada (1876-1910)

In the 1850 U.S. Census, George and Rosanna (born in Pennsylvania) were living in Livonia Township.  Harrison was 15, Mary was 13, Seneca was 11, Isaac was 9, Rachel was 7, John was 5, Catherine was three, and Matthew was less than a year.  In the 1850 Agriculture Schedule, George had 25 improved acres and 33 unimproved acres valued at $1000 with $156 in farm implements and machinery.  He had 2 horses, 2 milk cows, 4 other cattle, 35 sheep and 5 pigs – all valued at $195.  During the year, the farm produced 25 bushels of wheat, 250 bushels of Indian corn and 300 bushels of oats. In 1860, they were still living in Livonia; George was 58 and Rosanna was 43.  Rachel (17), John (14), Martha (6), and Edward (3) were living with them.  George’s real estate was valued at $5000 and his personal estate was $805.  Their daughter Mary Jane had married William Dillon Bolt during the previous year – they were living in Plymouth, Michigan (they are my great-great-great grandparents).

William (1835-1901) and Mary (Everitt) Bolt (1837-1918)

William (1835-1901) and Mary (Everitt) Bolt (1837-1918)

In Livonia, in 1870, George was listed as 67 and Rosanna was listed as 62.  Their sons Seneca (30) and Edwin/Edward (12) were living with them.  Emma Barlow, a 21-year-old schoolteacher, was also living with them. George died on May 22, 1874 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Plymouth, Michigan.  Rosanna (also listed as Rosannah, Rose Ann, Roseann) died February 14, 1899 in Detroit.  She is also buried in Riverside Cemetery. everitt_george_b


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.