Children

Left: Helen Moore, my great-grandmother’s sister, died at age 4

Another Randy Seaver/Genea-musings exercise! “Thinking about your direct ancestors back through 2nd great-grandparents – in other words, ancestors #2 to #31 on your pedigree chart – how many children did they have? How many lived long enough to marry? How many died before age 10?” So here’s mine:

  • #2-3: R. Wells and M. Wilson – 3 sons, 1 daughter (3 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #4-5: Edward Lee Wells (1905-1955) and Velma Irene Belknap (1913-1999) – 4 sons, 4 daughters (7 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #6-7: Charles Thompson Wilson (1907-1989) and Helen Dorothy Oakes (1912-1988) – 1 son, 2 daughters (3 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #8-9: Robert Luke Wells (1881-1919) and Nannie Jane Clark (1880-1969) – 4 sons, 1 daughter (5 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #10-11: Earl E. Belknap (1895-1960) and Florence E. Bost (1896-1961) – 9 daughters, 1 son (9 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #12-13: John A. Wilson (1874-1930) and Mary A. Thompson (1872-1940) – 7 sons, 3 daughters (7 married), 1 died before age 10
  • #14-15: William Oakes (1888-1928) and Mae D. Moore (1892-1971) – 1 daughter (1 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #16-17: James H. Wells (1840-1904) and Mary Ann Clark (1839-1894) – 5 daughters, 4 sons (8 married?), 0 died before age 10
  • #18-19: Willis Clark (1834-?) and Sarah E. Wells (1838-1923) – 4 sons, 3 daughters
  • #20-21: Arthur F. Belknap (1869-1955) and Martha Gisel (1869-1925) – 1 daughter, 4 sons (5 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #22-23: William S. Bost (1859-1932) and Mary E. McCracken (1862-1911) – 4 daughters, 3 sons (5 married), 2 died before age 10
  • #24-25: John Alford Wilson/Rustad (1833-1889) and Mary Ann Gibson (1837-1923) – 5 daughters, 3 sons (4 married?), 3 died before age 10
  • #26-27: Archibald Thompson (1838-1931) and Elizabeth Dunning (1837-1912) – 9 sons, 2 daughters (6 married?), 3 died before age 10
  • #28-29: Henry Ochs/Oakes (1846-1922) and Minnie Schroder (1857-1936) – 2 sons, 2 daughters (4 married), 0 died before age 10
  • #30-31: Fred L. Moore (1863-1924) and Mina Adell Bolt (1865-1942) – 3 daughters, 2 sons (3 married), 2 died before age 10

My Family in 1940

The following exercise was borrowed from a post from last year on Randy Seaver’s blog. Working on this exercise, I actually learned a few things about the 1940 census! I learned the circled x’s next to names mean that person is the one that answered the census-taker’s questions. Also, I noticed a column I had never paid attention to before – Number of hours worked during week of March 24-30, 1940.

The exercise:

1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 April 1940 – 80 years ago when the U.S. census was taken.
2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

*  On April 2, 1940,my father, Robert Wells (born 1939) resided at 17117 O’Connor Street in Allen Park, Michigan with his father, Edward Wells (born 1905), his mother Velma (nee Belknap, born 1913), and his three older sisters, Patricia (born 1934), Ruthann (born 1936), and Donna (born 1938). Edward was a stock chaser at an axle company. His salary was $1600 annually. He had worked 50 weeks in 1939 and 40 hours during the week of March 24-30, 1940. Velma answered the census questions. They owned the home, and it was valued at $1200. Here is a photo of that house today: 

17117 O’Connor

*  On April 8, 1940, my grandparents, Charles Wilson (born 1907) and Helen (nee Oakes, born 1912) resided at 2431 Bennett Street in Dearborn, Michigan, with their daughter Sally Ann (born 1934) and son Charles (born 1935). My mother, Mary, had not been born yet. In the census, Charles was listed as a truck driver at a creamery company, and his income was $2000 annually. He had worked 50 weeks in 1939 and 48 hours during the week of March 24-30, 1940. Helen was the one who answered the census questions. They owned their home, and it was valued at $4600. Here is the house in the 1950s:

2431 Bennett

*  On April 13, 1940, my great-grandmother, Mae Oakes Smiechowski Johnson (nee Moore, born 1892) and her 3rd husband Alfred Johnson (born 1892) resided at 14810 Parkgrove, Detroit, Michigan, with Mae’s nephew, Harry Moore (born 1914). Mae was my grandmother Helen’s mother. Alfred and Mae owned the house (valued at $6000) and rented the upper flat out for $35 a month. Alfred was listed as an inspector of automobile parts, and his income was $2100 annually. He had worked 48 weeks in 1939 and 40 hours during the week of March 24-30, 1940. Alfred was the one who answered the census questions. Here is the house in 2007. It has since been torn down.

14810 Parkgrove (from Google Street View)

*  On April 19, 1940, my great-great grandmother, Mina Moore Thompson (nee Bolt, born 1865) and her 2nd husband Bert Thompson (born 1879) resided at 23439 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, Michigan. Mina, Mae’s mother, was the one that answered the census questions. Bert was a carpenter in building construction and worked 26 weeks in 1939. During the week of March 24-30, 1940, he worked 24 hours. His annual income was $800. They rented the house for $10/month. The house would have been located on the south side of Michigan Ave. near the corner of Outer Drive. It was torn down before 1956, when an office building was built there.

*  On April 16, 1940, my great-grandmother, Nannie Wells (nee Clark, born 1880) resided at 1087 Victoria Avenue in Lincoln Park, Michigan with her son Jesse. She rented the house for $30/month. Also living with her were two lodgers from Indiana named Fred and Boaz Duncan. Nannie was the mother of my grandfather Edward Wells. The house no longer stands but was located near Fort Street and Outer Drive.

*  On April 3, 1940, my great-grandparents, Earl Belknap (born 1895) and Florence (nee Bost, born 1896) resided at 1611 Electric Avenue in Lincoln Park, Michigan with their children Helen (born 1921), Arthur (born 1923), Betty (born 1927), Joyce (born 1931), Nancy (born 1934), Nadine (born 1936) and Shirley (born 1939). Earl and Florence were the parents of my grandmother Velma. I don’t have a picture, but it was located near Fort Street and Southfield Road. They rented for $20/month. Earl was a carpenter, earning $750 in income annually. He had worked 36 weeks in 1939.

*  On April 19, 1940, my great-great grandfather, Arthur Belknap (born 1869) was the father of Earl Belknap and resided at 35120 University in Nankin Township, Michigan (now in Westland, Michigan). He was living with his daughter Belva (born 1899) and her husband Alva Merillat and their children Bernetta (born 1928) and Ralph (born 1939). They rented the house for $20 a month. Here is a photo of the house from 2007:

35120 University

#43 Automobiles

For transportation week, I’m posting some pictures of ancestors and their automobiles.

leonard_mayme
My husband’s paternal great-grandparents Leonard and Mayme (Kivi) Eklund on their wedding day in June 1931

charliecar
My grandfather Charles T. Wilson, 1930s?

belknap_wells_family
Belknap/Wells Family, c1945

Week 43 (Oct. 21-27): Transportation

#42 Charles T. Wilson

This week’s theme is adventure, so I thought I’d discuss my grandfather leaving Ontario and coming to Michigan in 1928. Charles Thompson Wilson arrived in Detroit, Michigan on April 11, 1928. On the border crossing document, the name of the ship is “C.N. 115” which stands for Canadian National #115. So instead of arriving on a ship, he arrived on a train from Windsor, Ontario through a railway tunnel under the Detroit River. The Michigan Central Railway Tunnel was completed in 1910. Before that rail cars were transported across the river by ferry. The Ambassador Bridge for car traffic was completed in 1929.

ctwilson_4-11-28
http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=detroitpl&h=667777&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt

Just one week later, on April 18, 1928, he swore his declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen. He was living in Grosse Pointe at 152 Kerby. I’m not sure who he was living with; he had put John Purdy at 333 Mona Ave. in Detroit as his contact on his border passage document.

ctwilson_4-18-28

Week 42 (Oct. 14-20): Adventure

#40 Farmers in my Tree

For Week 40 of #52Ancestors, the theme is “Harvest.” I decided to look and see how many of my great-great grandfathers (you have 8) were listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census/1881 Canadian Census with an occupation of “Farmer.”  Here we go:

  1. James Wells – Farmer, aged 40, Horsepasture District, Henry Co., Virginia
  2. Willis Clark – Dead
  3. Arthur Belknap – aged 11 – his dad was a laborer in Dover, Fulton Co., Ohio
  4. William Bost – Farm Laborer, aged 20, Marion Twp., Henry Co., Ohio
  5. John Wilson – Farmer, aged 48, Howe Island, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada
  6. Archibald Thompson – Sailor, aged 43, Amherst Island, Lennox & Addington, Ontario, Canada
  7. Henry Ochs – Farmer, aged 34, Taylor, Wayne Co., Michigan
  8. Fred Moore – Farm Laborer, aged 17, living with his grandmother in Stafford, Genesee Co., New York

So 1 of my g-g grandfathers was dead by 1880, 1 was only 11, 1 was a sailor, and the rest were farmers or farm laborers. Interesting stuff!

athompson
Archie Thompson, year unknown

#39 Amherst Island, 1878

amherst_island_1878_map
Map of Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada, from “Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties.” Illustrated historical atlas of the counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Ontario. Toronto : J.H. Meacham & Co., 1878.
(http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/Images/Maps/TownshipMaps/fro-m-amherst-island.jpg)

jno_Wilson
John Wilson, First Concession, Lot 34

This map of Amherst Island, Ontario is from 1878 and shows my great-great grandfather’s land that he owned just to the west of Stella, the island’s biggest town. In the larger map at the top, it would be just below and to the left of the “Q” in Bay of Quinte. John Wilson (former Johan Rustad from Sweden) arrived on the island in 1857.

#25 Earliest Photos

I saw this idea from Amy’s review of Week 25: “Debi shared the earliest photos of various ancestors. (I like how she broke them down by maternal and paternal sides).” So I’m going to give it a try!

Maternal

wdbolt
My 3rd Great-Grandfather, William Dillon Bolt (1835-1901)

mjeveritt
My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Mary J. (Everitt) Bolt (1837-1918)

 

mabolt
My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Mina Adell (Bolt) Moore Thompson, (1866-1942)

athompson
My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Archibald Thompson (1838-1931)

jawilson
My great-grandfather, John A. Wilson (1874-1930)

mathompson
My great-grandmother, Mary (Thompson) Wilson (1872-1940)

mdmoore
My great-grandmother, Mae Dillon (Moore) Oakes Smiechowski Johnson (1892-1971)

ctwilson
My grandfather, Charles Wilson (1907-1989)

babyhelen
My grandmother, Helen Oakes (1912-1988) on her mother Mae’s lap

mawilson
My mother

Paternal

margaret_gisel
My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Margaret (Rhost) Gisel (1848-1939)

abelknap
My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Arthur Belknap (1869-1955)

mgiselbelknap
My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Martha (Gisel) Belknap (1869-1925)

wsbost
My 2nd Great-Grandfather, William S. Bost (1859-1932)

njclark
My Great-Grandmother, Nannie Jane (Clark) Wells (1880-1969)

eebelknap.jpg
My Great-Grandfather, Earl E. Belknap (1895-1960)

febost.jpg
My Great-Grandmother, Florence E. Bost (1896-1961)

elwells
My grandfather, Edward L. Wells (1905-1955)

vibelknap
My grandmother, Velma Belknap (1913-1999)

rewells
My father

Week 25 (June 17-23): Earliest

#24 Rural Diary Archive

I stumbled upon this website, Rural Diary Archive, because I was researching my Wilson/Thompson/Gibson line on Amherst Island, Ontario. The founder of the project, Dr. Catharine Anne Wilson (maybe a relative, maybe not!), wrote a book called A New Lease on Life: Landlords, Tenants and Immigrants in Ireland and Canada, which explores landlord-tenant relationships on Amherst Island especially tenant families that migrated from the Ards Peninsula in County Down to Amherst Island between 1820 and 1860.

rural.jpg
https://ruraldiaries.lib.uoguelph.ca/

Anyway, the Rural Diary Archive “showcases over 150 Ontario diarists from 1800 to 1960.” The diaries come from museums and archives across Ontario. You can search transcribed diaries, as well as browse by county, occupation, ethnicity/nationality, and religion. I did find one diary from Amherst Island, written in 1872-1879 by George Wright. That is part of the time period the Wilson’s and Thompson’s lived on the island, but I haven’t a chance to read it yet. Hopefully, it will give me some insight on daily life.

The Archive also has a Twitter account (@RuralDiaries) that tweets diary entries in an “On this Day” format.

Week 24 (June 10-16): Dear Diary

#23 Middle Names

I love learning family members’ middle names. Sometimes they are unusual or passed down in the family. But sometimes they are the mother’s or grandmother’s maiden names. So if a relative has a middle name that sounds an awful lot like a surname, you may have hit on a female relative’s maiden name.

My grandfather and two of his siblings have the maiden names of their mother and both grandmothers as middle names:

  • Charles Thompson Wilson, born May 1907 – Thompson was his mother Mary’s maiden name
  • William Gibson Wilson, born September 1908 – Gibson was his paternal grandmother Mary Ann’s maiden name
  • Theresa Dunning Wilson, born December 1909 – Dunning was her maternal grandmother Elizabeth’s maiden name

cropped-wilson_kids1.jpg
Charles (far left), William (far right), and Theresa (little girl in middle)

Week 23 (June 3-9): Namesake

#20 Farmers

For this prompt, I though I would include some pictures of a couple of farmers from both sides of my family, caught in the act of farming.

John Andrew Wilson
My mother’s first cousin, John Wilson, in the mid-1940s

winniemilk
John’s mother, Winnie, doing something with milk at the family farm in Pittsburg Township, Ontario in the late 1960s

earl_1928
Earl Belknap, my great-grandfather, about 1928

Week 20 (May 13-19): Nature