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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.

1952

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!

bobmarywed

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.

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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.

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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

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Helen, Mae and Earl Moore

Mae Moore, at right, c1897

My great-grandmother was married three times, which surprised my mother who always thought she was the sweetest lady and how could she have married three men?  Third times a charm, I think, because she was married to her third husband, Alfred Johnson, for 46 years until her death.

Mae Dillon Moore was born in Plymouth, Michigan on May 18, 1892 to Fred and Mina (Bolt) Moore.  She had two brothers, Glenn and Earl and a sister Helen.  On December 23, 1908 at the age of 16, she married William E. Oakes.  In the 1910 U.S. Census, she and her mother, Mina, are living as lodgers in the home of Alta Fisher on W. Elizabeth St. in Detroit.  I haven’t found her husband William yet in the 1910 census, but obviously they were living apart.  However, my grandmother, Helen Dorothy Oakes, was born on June 19, 1912, so we know it wasn’t a permanent separation!  Mae filed for divorce from William on August 31, 1914 for cruelty and non-support.  The divorce was final on July 13, 1915.  William died in 1928.

Mae and Helen, c1913

Mae and Helen, c1913

Mae married Joseph R. Smiechowski on June 19, 1916, her daughter Helen’s fourth birthday.  Mae’s brother Earl was one of the witnesses.  In the 1920 U.S. census, Joseph, Mae, and Helen are living at 1521 Sheridan Avenue in Detroit.  My grandmother was listed as Helen Smiechowski.  Joseph was a painter whose father was from Poland.  Mae filed for divorce from Joseph on December 17, 1924 for extreme cruelty and non-support.  The divorce was final on May 11, 1925.  Joseph died in 1936.

Alfred and Mae

Alfred and Mae

Coincidentally (or not), Mae’s third husband Alfred was married to Cecelia Martin and their divorce was finalized on December 8, 1924, just days before Mae filed for divorce from her second husband.  Hmm.  Mae and Alfred were married July 3, 1925 (less than two months after her divorce).  They lived at 14810 Parkgrove in Detroit for over forty years.  They had no children.  Mae died on June 6, 1971 of colon cancer and Alfred died January 27, 1975 of spinal cancer.  They are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Mae and Alfred, c1950s

Mae and Alfred, c1950s

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Melvin Jones was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 5, 1926 to Charles and Marjorie (Saunders) Jones.  His parents had been married in Mississippi and moved around between Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit.  Melvin was the third of eight children.

In a letter from Marjorie’s mother, Emma Saunders, dated December 15, 1929 from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Emma says, “Your uncle Clarence and my cousin Joe Reed has killed a many cat.  Your papa says all boys will kill cats.”  Emma then tells a story about what her sister Grace once did to a cat.  She concludes that section with, “So I guess that is where Melvin got killing cats.”  Yikes!  What kind of boy kills cats at the age of 3?

emma_1929letter_page3

Anyway, in 1930, the family, including Charles, Marjorie, little Marjorie, Melvin, Earl and Gwendolyn lived on Milford Avenue in Detroit and Charles was a real estate agent.  In the 1940 census, the family lived in Chicago on South Park Avenue.  Four more children had been born to Charles and Marjorie (Donald, Adelbert, Jacquelyn, and Vaughan).

Melvin Jones, Graduation from High School, 1944

Melvin Jones, Graduation from High School, 1944

Melvin married and had a daughter.  He and his wife divorced.  Melvin and my Aunt Sally Wilson married on July 4, 1960.  Sally kept the marriage hidden from her family until after my parents’ own wedding on July 16, 1960, in which Sally was the maid of honor (see page header; Sally is to the right of the bride, my mother Mary).

Melvin, Sally and Charles Jones, Christmas 1962

Melvin, Sally and Charles Jones, Christmas 1962

Uncle Melvin worked at the Chrysler Tank Plant in Detroit and was very active in the UAW Region 1B.  He and Aunt Sally took many trips to the conventions around the country.

Uncle Melvin, seated, second from right

Uncle Melvin, seated, second from right

After retirement, Uncle Melvin and Aunt Sally moved from Detroit to Williamston, Michigan.  He died July 15, 1995.  Aunt Sally died July 9, 2009.

jones

 

 

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William and Mary (Everitt) Bolt,  c1890-1900 About as far back as I have been able to go on my matrilineal line: Mary > Mina > Mae > Helen > Mary > Me

William and Mary (Everitt) Bolt,
c1890-1900

Mary Everitt Bolt is my Great-Great-Great Grandmother.  She is about as far back as I have been able to go on my matrilineal line, which so far consists of Mary > Mina > Mae > Helen > Mary > Me.   I love this picture and that it was made in Detroit.

 

 

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1905-1955 - this is the only picture I've ever seen my grandfather smile!

1905-1955 – this is the only picture I’ve ever seen my grandfather smile!

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