Darius Townsend Civil War Pension Documents

11 Jul

Darius Townsend was the only full biological brother of Mary Alice Cutler Ellison. His father Nathaniel P Townsend applied for a Civil War pension on the behalf of his supposed deceased son Darius. According to his father, Darius was killed in action at the Battle of Antietam in September of 1862. According to the government, Darius was discharged and/or deserted in October 1862. But since he never returned home and was never heard from ever again, it is safe to assume that his father had the correct information.

You will note that Nathaniel lists Darius only other family member as being: Alice Allison (sic).

Click below to view:

Darius Townsend

The Will of William Elrod of Elizabeth, Allegheny Co, PA

11 Jul

Below is the will dated 29 JUL 1831 for William Elrod of Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It is located on familysearch.org.

William Elrod died 13 SEP 1831 in Elizabeth Township. 

The following heirs are mentioned in the will: son Joseph, daughter Mary Mitchel, son Thomas, son William, son Muse, son Johnson, son Robert and daughter Martha Elrod. His wife Mary is also mentioned. To Joseph he left 200 acres that lay partly in Butler County and partly in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He also left him his rifle gun and powder horn, his volume of Ferguson’s astronomy and all of the correspondence in his desk. To his wife he left his Bible with all of his family’s records inside and then this was to go to Joseph upon her death.

Why am I now researching the Elrod family? I have a pretty good feeling that Joseph was the father of my 3rd great grandmother Nancy Ralston. Somewhere in a family record Joseph is listed as having two children: Nancy born 1814 and John F. born 1818. My Nancy was born in 1814. Also, Joseph lived in Slipperyrock, Butler County, PA as of the 1840 Census. He lived there alone. He then moved in with Nancy Ralston and her family as of the 1850 Census.

Why would Nancy’s family think her name was Nancy Agnes McLane? That is what I have to work out. I also need more evidence that Joseph Elrod was Nancy’s father. Supposedly Joseph didn’t leave an estate when he passed, but he owned a lot of land. There are records somewhere and I don’t think it is coincidental that after he passed, Nancy and her family had the money to move to Iowa. What do you think?

WmElrodWill2 WmElrodWill3 WmElrodWill4 WmElrodWill5 WmElrodWill

Mary Alice Ellison’s Biological Parents – Mystery Solved!!

14 Jun

Mary Alice Ellison was born 28 MAR 1848 in Cato, Cayuga County to Nathaniel P. Townsend and Betsey Welch.

Her birth name was Elizabeth (Betsey) Townsend. She had one brother at the time of her birth, Darius Townsend. Darius served in the Civil War for the Wisconsin 5th Infantry. He was born circa 1841 in New York.

On 11 APR 1848, less than two weeks later, Elizabeth’s mother died.

The Cutler family and the Townsend family had many associations in Cayuga County and Onondaga County. They formed business relationships and they married each other.

Somehow, Samuel H Cutler and his wife Amanda Davis ended up with Elizabeth Townsend and they re-named her Mary Alice Cutler. Mary Alice is living with them in Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York in 1850. I have searched and searched the Surrogate Court records for this transaction and have not found it. Since, the father was alive at the time of the adoption, I don’t think they needed to go to court.

Nathaniel P. Townsend re-married very quickly to Mary Eliza Perkins (1849.) Mary Eliza was the widow of Cyrus James Gleason of Cicero, Onondaga County, New York. Cyrus and Mary had three children: Sarah Elizabeth (b.1839), Lodawiski Lovilla (1842-1922), and Edson H. (1844-1880). These children stayed with their mother and step-father and are listed on the censuses with them, sometimes as Townsend’s.

Nathaniel and Mary Eliza moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin by 1850. They had four children together. One of them was born in Cato, New York on 31 JUL 1849 and is listed as unnamed. I have a feeling this child died. The other three children were: Charles Nathaniel (b. 1851), Adonirum Elnathan (1854-1904) and Jennie Eliza (1860-1926.) The Townsend family lived in Wisconsin for many years.

You have to be very careful when looking on ancestry.com about this family as people are listing the children with the wrong parents.

Nathaniel died sometime after 1880 (approx. 1894) in Ashton, Osceola County, Iowa where his daughter Jennie was living (Jennie Glazier.) There is a lot yet for me to learn about this Nathaniel P. Townsend- including who his parents were.

When Mary Alice died, her son listed her parents as being:

N.P. Townsend and B. A. Court

Which is partially true.

Her mother was Betsey A. Welch, the daughter of Maria Polly Court and John Welch. When Polly Welch died in 1863, she left her grandchildren Darius and Elizabeth (Betsey) Townsend some money. Maria Polly Court was the daughter of John Court and Lydia Wright of Cato, Cayuga County, New York. This mistake of using the Court name, as the mother’s maiden name, is actually the only reason I was able to figure this mystery out. A very good mistake indeed.

Below are a selection of the papers from Polly Welch’s estate file in Cayuga County, New York:

Welch2 Welch6 Welch12 Welch13 Welch14

 

 

 

 

William & Bridget Butler Family Photos

2 Jun

My great-grandparents William and Bridget Butler had 8 children. William was born in 1866 in Linn County, Iowa to Tobias Butler and Bridget Burke. Tobias came from County Tipperary, Ireland. His mother died when he was five years old and is buried at St John’s Cemetery in Franklin Township, Linn County, Iowa. The Butler’s moved to Detroit in 1929.

Bill Butler

Bill Butler

Bill Butler, William Edward, was born 30 OCT 1898 in Iowa. He married Helen Adams (of Pinconning, MI) on 14 JUL 1952. He owned cabins and a gas station in Sand Point, Michigan near Caseville and then went into real estate with the “Red Hat Realty.” He and Helen did not have children. Bill died 31 OCT 1959 in Pigeon, Michigan at Scheurer Hospital. He drove a double decker city bus in Detroit from 1929 through the 1930’s.

Will and Bridget Butler

Will and Bridget Butler

Bridget Butler nee Carroll arrived in America when she was just 20 years old. She was a Roman Catholic from County Armagh in Northern Ireland.

Maxine and Pearl Butler and Marjorie Ralston

Maxine and Pearl Butler and Marjorie Ralston

Maxine Leona Butler was the daughter of Leo Anthony Butler and Pearl V. Webber.  Here Pearl and Maxine are sitting with my grandmother Marjorie Butler Ralston, the sixth child of Will and Bridget Butler.

Richard T Butler and Family

Richard T Butler and Family

Richard Tobias Butler was the oldest child of the family, born 21 JAN 1893 in Belle Plain, Iowa. In the picture he is with his wife Arlene Therrien and daughter Doris Ann. They lived in Detroit. Richard retired in the mid 1950’s to the Golden West Hotel in San Diego, CA due to the effects of a mustard gas attack in World War One. He died 26 MAR 1961 in San Diego. His wife’s brother Robert Therrien married his sister, Gertrude Louise Butler.

Mary Alice Ellison Probate File

2 Jun

Mary Alice Ellison, wife of Benjamin Walker Ellison, died 27 FEB 1913. Four days after her husband died. Below are select documents from her probate file from the Charlevoix County Probate Court.

You will note that Mary Alice made special mention of my great-grandfather Harold Ellison in her will. She had other grandchildren at this time. The letter is included in the file to prove the authenticity of Alice’s handwritten will. Also, Samuel Delmont, whom Alice refers to as Dell in her letter, asked the estate for $520.oo for services rendered. He had been living with Alice and Benjamin Walker and taking care of them. The court gave him $187 and some change.

MAEProbateFile1 MAEProbateFile2 MAEProbateFile3 MAEProbateFile4 MAEProbateFile5 MAEProbateFile6 MAEProbateFile7 MAEProbateFile8 MAEProbateFile9 MAEProbateFile10

Benjamin Walker Ellison Probate File

2 Jun

Below are select pages from Benjamin Walker Ellison’s probate files from Charlevoix County.

Included are some pages of the declaration of his insanity. He was declared insane on November 27, 1912 and delivered to the Traverse City State Hospital (formerly Northern Michigan Asylum) two days later.

On 23 FEB 1913, Benjamin Walker died at the Hospital.

BWEProbateFile1 BWEProbateFile2 BWEProbateFile3 BWEProbateFile4 BWEProbateFile5 BWEProbateFile6 BWEProbateFile7

Alice Baines at Winckley Square Convent School

7 Mar

My lovely Baines cousin, Elsie, has met up with another Baines family member over in England and just told me that my great-grandmother Alice Baines went to Winckley Square Convent School in Preston before she went to America in 1911.

You can see what remains of the school here:

http://www.winckleysquare.org.uk/

On a very interesting note, you will see that if you tour Winckley Square on the above website, you will read mention of a Paul Catterall and his brother Peter Catterall. I am wondering what connection these gentleman have to my ancestor Margaret J Catterall, who married Henry “Harry” Baines. Their son James Baines was Alice’s father.

The men were members of the Winckley Club.

You can read about the Winckley Club (and the Square) at Google Books.

Thank you, Elsie!!

Murder at Millen Ralston’s Farm 1886

16 Feb

Kate Caven Murdered 

CAVEN, MCCULLOUGH, RALSTON

Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 3/6/2013 at 19:15:17

Jackson Sentinel, May 13, 1886

Kate Caven Murdered

On Monday, May 3, Miss Kate Caven left her home at the house of her brother, Perry Caven and was found on the Wednesday following in the Ralston cave, shot through the heart. The Ralston cave is a half a mile or so from her home and is situate on the farm of Milan Ralston, the Canton and Maquoketa mail carrier. The cave is like hundreds of others which Jackson county abounds, but this one is unusually large, being large enough for a team to turn around in. The body of the girl was in good state of preservation, the air in the cave being nearly ice cold, however, some wild animals had slightly eaten one hand and one foot.

Miss Kate Caven was 25 years of age and has been affected from infancy with St. Vitas dance, and of late years her mind seems to be affected. On the day of the tragedy Kate packed up her valise as if to go away, whereupon Mrs. Perry Caven went to the field to call her husband and try to have him persuade her not to go, but when they returned to the house Kate was gone and was never afterwards seen alive, but her departure caused no surprise, for it was her custom to often go over to the house of W. B. McCullough, her brother-in-law who lived near and also she had a way of leaving without notice and staying three or four days with friends of the family living near Garry Owen. However, on Wednesday, two days after the disappearance, the Caven family found out casually that Kate was not with the people above mentioned, and search was begun in earnest and in the afternoon the same day Mrs. W. B. McCullough found the body. In the search Mrs. McCullough had a faint clue, from the fact that Kate had frequently mentioned of late that she had found “such nice caves,” and further, that on Easter (May 25th), Kate had brought her father to visit in her company, the cave in which the tragedy occurred. Mrs. McCullough then went directly to the cave mentioned and found Kate shot dead with two revolvers lying at her side. One revolver had two empty chambers, the other was fully loaded. Her kinspeople were taken wholly by surprise by the event, for after missing her it was discovered that Perry Caven’s revolver had been taken from the house. The other revolver had formerly belonged to W. B. McCullough, but had disappeared three years before.

The event is casting a gloom over the whole community, but the calamity falls with especial weight upon her aged and respected father. Miss Kate Caven awaits the “last day” in the cemetery in Hickory Grove, Brandon township, where her remains were laid to rest Thursday, May 6th, by a large concourse of sorrowing friends.

Samuel H Cutler Cleveland, Ohio Land Deeds

13 Feb

My mysterious ancestor, Samuel H. Cutler, born somewhere in New York around 1819 and showing up suddenly on the 1850 US Census in Elbridge, Onondaga Co, NY with a wife, Amanda (nee Davis) and a two-year-old daughter, Mary Alice. Mary is purported to be adopted.

In June of 1853, Samuel enters into a land contract for a lot in Cleveland, Ohio and in the end of November, sells his interest in that lot.

On 26 APR 1861, he buys a lot in Cleveland from William Fiske and wife for 250.00$. Below is the original deed from FHL microfilm:

SmHCutlerDeed1861

 

On 31 DEC 1862, Benjamin Walker Ellison (21 years old) and Mary Alice Cutler (Mary is only 14 years old) get married by a reverend for the Western Seaman’s Society.

The next day, New Year’s Day, Samuel goes into the courthouse and records that he sold his lot for $250.00 to his wife Amanda Cutler.

SmHCutler1863Deed

 

Mary and Benjamin move to Oakfield Township, Kent County, Michigan sometime in 1863. Samuel H Cutler registers for the Union draft out of Oakfield Township in July of 1863.

Then he disappears.

William Baines & Elizabeth Hurst

11 Feb

William Baines, born 14 May 1862, was the son of Henry Baines and Margaret Catterall of Preston, Lancashire, England. He married Elizabeth Hurst.

1881 England Census:

1881EngWmBaines

 

 

1891 England Census:

1891EngWmBaines

 

1911 England Census:

1911EngCensusWmBaines

 

On 1 May 1913 William left England for New York:

WmBainesPassList

 

On 5 Sep 1913 his wife and children: Hannah, Margaret, Elizabeth, Francis, John and Jane left England for Quebec, Canada. They arrived in Quebec on 11 Sep 1913:

EBainesPassList

ElizBainesPassList

 

On 13 Mar 1916, William was killed in an accident in Detroit, Michigan:

WmBainesdeathcert.

 

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