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.
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:
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.
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.
Sergeant Donohue of Company G of the 16th Michigan Infantry during Benjamin W Ellison’s time of service as private:
Sergeant John Dono(g)hue was admitted to Harper Hospital in Detroit on July 18, 1865, two days after Benjamin W Ellison was admitted there.
I am still transcribing the Harper Hospital records and these are being published in the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research magazine (see last two issues with more to come).
Benjamin W. Ellison and George W. Van Buren on the 1890 Veteran’s Census in Charlevoix County, Michigan. Also, Benjamin’s brother-in-law Enoch Robinson on the following page.
The comments below the census correspond to the number of the individual above. Note that in 1890 Benjamin was “now nearly helpless”.
You can view this census for free at familysearch.org.
Here is a copy of the original record of Benjamin W. Ellison’s admission to Harper Hospital USA General Hospital in Detroit, Michigan on July 16th, 1865. He was suffering from malaria.
The record reads:
Benjamin W Ellison Prvt 16 Mich Infantry Company G Admitted from Transfer
This means Private Ellison was in another civil war general hospital and transferred to Detroit.
This record is held at the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library. My transcription of some of these records is set to be published in the spring edition of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Quarterly.
I sought out this record because Private Ellison’s pension increase requests were denied by the federal government. Their response to him was that there was no proof he’d gotten ill during his service as a soldier or been treated for his illness during the war. Their denial forced his wife to have no alternative but hospitalize him at Traverse City State Hospital, when she wanted to hire a private caretaker so he could live at home with her in Boyne Falls. It broke her heart to send her beloved husband away.
Whatever happened to Walker Ellison’s family?
Walker Ellison was the son of Benjamin Ellison and Mary Maria Ambler of Baildon, West Riding Yorkshire. He was born on 31 AUG 1818 in Birstall, Yorkshire, England and was christened on 1 NOV 1818 at St. Peter’s Parish Church in Birstall.
On 11 NOV 1838 he married Margaret Cooper at the All Saint’s Church in Otley, Yorkshire. Walker and Margaret had two children: Mary Maria (1839-1909) and Benjamin Walker (1841-1913). Walker and Margaret are my 4th great-grandparents. Walker died on 31 MAR 1841 in Linton-on-Ouse, Easingwold, Yorkshire, England and is supposedly buried there. I have as of yet found his will. Walker was recorded as having been a wool sorter.
Benjamin Ellison was married on 13 AUG 1810 at St John the Evangelist Church in Baildon, Yorkshire to Mary Maria Ambler, the daughter of John Ambler (1757-1831) and Hannah Walker. Walker then was named after his paternal grandmother’s family name. Unfortunately, Mary Maria died shortly after having her last child on 25 MAR 1829 and she is buried, along with Benjamin, at St. Wilfrid’s Church in Burnsall and you can read their monument inscription here: http://www.burnsall.bradford.anglican.org/monuments.htm. Mary Maria was born 18 FEB 1786 in Baildon and was baptized on 19 FEB 1786 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Baildon. Mary Maria is descended from the wealthy Ambler family of Baildon. Benjamin was listed as being a bookkeeper and also often a gentleman on vital records.
The children of Mary Maria and Benjamin Ellison:
- Hannah Maria Margaret (1811 – ?)
- William (1813 – ?)
- Frances Rebecca (1814 – 1889)
- John (1815 – 1816)
- Benjamin Ambler (1816 – ?)
- Walker (1818 – 1841)
- Christiana Sarah Alice (1821 – 1892)
- Peter Charles James (1823 – 1880)
- Jeremiah Thomas (1825 – 1844)
- Mary Martha (1828 – 1889)
1) Hannah Maria Margaret Ellison was born 30 JUN 1811 in Birstall, Yorkshire. She was married on 1 FEB 1830 to James Robinson. I have been unable to locate the Robinson’s in Yorkshire and suspect they immigrated but have been unable to trace them. Annie Hudson, Benjamin Walker Ellison’s half-sister, married Enoch Kimball Robinson (of Massachusetts) and I wonder if there isn’t a connection here. As Annie would not be a blood relation to the Robinson’s but may have met them through Benjamin Walker, a blood relation.
2) William Ellison was baptized on 19 SEP 1813 in Baildon at St. John the Evangelist Church. He was married on 16 MAY 1849 to Elizabeth Grimshaw (1817 – ?) at All Saints Church, Otley, Yorkshire. He is listed on the 1851 England Census in Bradford, Yorkshire on the 1861 Census in Eccleshill, Yorkshire and the 1871 and 1881 Censuses in Manningham, Yorkshire. William and Elizabeth had at least two children: Grimshaw and Mary E.
Grimshaw Ellison was born about 1853 in Bradford and married Mary Alice Walker (1859 – 1945) on 18 NOV 1891 in Baildon at St. John the Evangelist Church. On 27 NOV 1903, at the age of 50, Grimshaw arrived in New York, New York alone, having resided in Baildon as of the 1901 England Census. On 28 SEP 1904, Grimshaw died aboard the Ship Baltic while escorting his wife to America. Mary Alice arrived in New York two days later. She died about 1945 in Baildon. Grimshaw and Mary Alice had at least three children: William (1894 – ?), Mary Doris (1897 – ?) and the Reverend Geoffrey Walker (1898 – 1978).
3) Frances Rebecca Ellison was born 12 MAR 1814 in Birstall, Yorkshire and baptized on 25 MAY 1814 in Birstall at St. Peter’s Church. On the 1861 and 1871 England Census, she is listed in Ripon, Yorkshire and she died 19 DEC 1889 in West Riding Yorkshire. She never married.
4) John Ellison was born JUN 1815 in Baildon and died 10 JAN 1816, buried at St. John the Evangelist, Baildon, Yorkshire.
5) Benjamin Ambler Ellison was born 22 SEP 1816 in Baildon, Yorkshire. He was baptized on 6 APR 1817 in Baildon at St. John the Evangelist Church. On 22 NOV 1841, Benjamin arrived in New York, New York. On 23 MAY 1844, he married Mary Patten at St James Cathedral Anglican Church in Toronto, Canada. He is listed on 1852 and 1861 Canada Census as living in York, Canada West. Benjamin and Mary had at least nine children: Maria (1844 – ?), Susanna (1845 – ?), Alice (1846 – ?), Benjamin Ambler (1848 – 1926), John (1850 – ?), William (1854 – ?), Elizabeth (1866 – ?), Margaret (1868 – ?), and Catherine (1869 – ?). It is Benjamin that was the first emigrant out of Baildon in Walker’s family and it is my guess that he convinced Walker’s widowed wife, Margaret and her new husband William Hudson and his younger sister, Christiana Sarah Alice and her husband Martin Taylor, to leave England. The Taylor’s lived by the Benjamin Ellison family after their arrival in New York in 1848.
Maria was born in 1844 in Canada. She was married to Thomas Lamb (1835 – ?) on 21 NOV 1865 in Haldimand, Ontario, Canada. The Lamb’s are listed on the 1880 US Census as living in Buffalo, Erie, New York. They had at least three children: William (1868 – ?), Emma (1870 – ?) and Thomas (1874 – ?).
Benjamin Ambler was born in 1848 in Ontario, Canada and was married to Sophia R. Birnie on 19 FEB 1880 in Ontario, Ontario, Canada. He died 8 DEC 1926 in Whitley, Ontario, Canada. They had at least one child: Margaret (1881 – 1945).
John was born 1850 in Canada and was listed on the 1880 US Census as living also in Buffalo, Erie, New York.
7) Christiana Sarah Alice was born about 1821 in Baildon, Yorkshire, England. On 31 MAY 1842, she married Martin Taylor (1819 – 1899) in Otley at the All Saint’s Church. She died on 13 SEP 1892 in Thorah, Ontario, Canada. On 15 SEP 1848, (Christiana Sarah) Alice, Martin and three of their children arrived in New York on the Ship Senator with Margaret and William Hudson and their children – Mary Maria Ellison, Benjamin Walker Ellison, Annie Hudson and Emma Hudson. Martin was a joiner; his father was John Taylor a dyer of Baildon. Alice and Martin Taylor had at least five children, the first three born in England: William (1844 – ?), Jeremiah (1846 – ?), Anne/Hannah (1848 – ?), Alice (1850 – ?), and Ada (1858 – ?). Beginning in 1852, the Taylor family is listed on Canada Censuses as living in York and then in 1871 in Ontario. They lived near Alice’s brother, Benjamin Ambler Ellison.
8) Peter Charles James was born 24 JUL 1823 in Yorkshire, England. He was married to Ann Steel (1825 – ?) on 13 AUG 1844 in Otley at the All Saint’s Church. On the 1851 England Census they are listed in Horton, Yorkshire and on the 1861 Census, in Baildon. On 12 SEP 1867, Peter arrived with his son Charles Steel in New York, New York, and he died 27 JUN 1880 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Peter and Ann had at least five children: Margaret (1846 – ?), Sophia (1849 – 1862), Alice (1850 – ?), Charles Steel (1853 – ?) and Emily (1855 – ?).
Charles Steel Ellison was born about 1853 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. On the 1880 US Census he is listed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
9) Jeremiah Thomas Ellison was born 18 OCT 1825 in Yorkshire, England and died at 19 years of age on 24 NOV 1844 in Baildon, with burial at St. John the Evangelist.
10) Mary Martha Ellison was born 18 AUG 1828 in Burnsall, Yorkshire, England. She was married to Edward Poole Fearnley (1819 – ?) on 29 DEC 1849 in Baildon at St. John the Evangelist Church. On the 1851 England Census, they are listed in Shipley, Yorkshire and on the 1861 and 1871, they are in Bradford, Yorkshire. Mary Martha died in JUL 1889 in West Riding Yorkshire. Mary and Edward had at least four children: Samuel (1850 – ?), Alice (1853 – ?), Kate (1856 – ?), and Ellen (1858 – ?).
All of the information recorded above is sourced on my ancestry.com public ELLISON FAMILY TREE by Journeybooks. You will see the documents I found listed there. You can see this information without paying for a membership.
Please contact me through this blog if you are a cousin or have additional information. I look forward to hearing from you!
Jennifer Ralston Porter
I have secured the Northern Michigan Insane Asylum/ Traverse City State Hospital records for the following two individuals:
Benjamin Walker Ellison
Caroline Seegmiller Ellison
These records are under court order to be kept private for the family’s use only. If you are a direct descendant and would like a copy of these records, please leave me a comment or get in touch with me. I will contact you.
Caroline’s records consist of one single sheet of paper, but it does have her diagnosis and family history of illness. She lived there for 28 years and I received one sheet of paper.
Benjamin’s records consist of three half-sheets of paper. There is no diagnosis. He died from erysipelas (this is on his death certificate) in 1913 which he most likely contracted while in the hospital.
Please contact your state legislators and encourage them to open to the public Michigan’s insane asylum records 70 plus years and older. These records are in storage at the Library of Michigan Archives and only the staff of the Department of Community Health can even look at the records. I do not believe I received all of the records on the individuals listed above, only what the DCH managed to find in the box arranged alphabetically. Legislation is currently being discussed so your support in this matter is very important right now. There has been talk of destroying the records since so few people can access them.
1883 Boyne Valley Township, Charlevoix County, MI Tax Assessement
As transcribed from FHL Film # 2364735 from RG 80-62 Charlevoix County Treasurer Vol 82: Boyne Valley Dates: 1883
© 2011 by Jennifer Ralston Porter
Note: Section Number is listed only one time, even when taxed for same section more than once. Names are transcribed as written on documents scanned to film. Please ask permission to re-print this material.
Page 1 John McKirnan 2 Jerry Taylor 2 August Tromley 2 Andrew A Nowlland 4 George Ford 4 Lonie Barry 4 Patrick B?itt 4 Mrs. L. Hammer 4 Enoch K. Robinson 6 Herman Seiler 6 Anthony Jeppeson 6, 15 Page 2 Geo C Leddiff 6 Emma L LeCleor 6 Hiram Wright 6, 15 Michael Nebel 7 Hulda Lischnevsky 7 Hiram A Rothenberger 7 Peter Fred Catten 7 Otto J Kruse 7 Jacob Dietz 7 Frederick Reinhardt 7 Patrick Doyle 8 Eugene Kyes 8 Hiram Wolford 8, 16 Page 3 Simon S Baringer 8 Hearry F Manning 9 Chas & Wm Steele 9 George Schanglin 9, 17 George Van Buren 9 John Kirschenmann 9 Mr Farmer 10 Wm Rusnell 11 F F Strong 11 Page 4 Benj W Ellison 12 Mary A Ellison 12 Marshall Magee 12 Sanf H Ward 12, 32, 15 Lyman S Howe 13 Frederick Kritsch 13 John Cramer 14 Jacob Dietz Jr 14 George Kyes 14 John Carmody 14, 15 Wm Howe 14 Page 5 Wilson Phelps 15 John Paskiewicz 15 Lyman R Hastings 15 Mrs Olive J Gager 15, 14 Frank Gruboski 15 Lucretia H Powers 15, 16 Page 6 Lucretia H Powers 15 Harry H Powers 15 Jos H Powers 15 Edna L Powers 15 Page 7 A D Carpenter or Owner Unknown 32 Oscar H Marsh 15 J W Barnes 15 Chas W Dutcher 15 L G A Hurd 15 Henry H Eaton 15 John Redpath 15, 10 Sarah Redpath 15, 27, 34 Elizabeth Galster 15 Fred J Galster 15, 17 Page 8 Charles H Horn 21, 16 Christian Knudsen 15 Anna C Holfback 15 Peter Peterson 15 Mears & Austin 15 Wm A Nelson 15, 8 Page 9 Harrison Branch 15, 14 Clarence E Branch 15 Geo H Branch 15 Sidney M Jones 15 Julius A Lane 15 Israel Dawdy 15 Edward McLaughlin 15 James D Mitchell 15 Billia Smith 15 Willis Hurd 15 Page 10 William Nelson 16, 22, 15, 12 John J Galster 17 Wm Galster 17 Wm Kinkel 17 John Hunts & Sons 18 Page 11 Thompson Green & Co 18 Frank P Myers 18, 15 John A Snetman 18 Page 12 John Hansler 20 John Collins 20 Cromwell Magee 20 Henry Collins 20 George Bennett 21 Daniel Paine 22 John Scalley 22 George R LeClear 22 John Hopkins 22 Thomas J Baughman 22 Page 13 Robert Findley 26 Emerald Magee 28 Semantha P Jones 30 Jacob Stoesser 30 Geo W Jones 30 Blood & Meaher 35, 36 Royal Magee Year 1882 Section 8 Year 1883 Section 8 Wm Ellis Year 1882 Section 15 Year 1883 Section 15 Ends Resident Lands Non-Resident Lands Page 1 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 1 Dodge & Phelps 2 Cutman & Rothschilds 2 SF & WC Page 2 D G Peck 2 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 3 Dodge & Phelps 3 Cutman & Rothschilds 3 Geo F Beardsley 3 SF & WC Page 3 Page 2 Wm Hazzard 4 Pierce Kinsella 4 Cutman & Rothschilds 4 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 5 Wm T Addis 5 Geo F Beardsley 5, 6 C V Monroe 6 Eliza A Robinson 6 Catharine S Coan 6 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 7 Geo F Beardsley 8 George Weller 8 John Weller 8 Page 3 Eliza Baxter 8 Geo F Beardsley 9 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 9 John W Baldie 9 Owner Unknown 9 Wm T Addis 10 Cutman & Rothschilds 10 Dodge & Phelps 10 J L Wood 10 Hiram O Rose 10 Page 4 Oscar W Kibbie 11 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 11 Thomas Grafton 11 J M White 12 James S Cypher 13 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 13 Dodge & Phelps 13 H B Childs 13 Frank Huntington 14 Dodge & Phelps 14 John Kressell 14 Jacob Smits 15 Page 5 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 15 Edward H Green 15 Lemuel D Bartholomew 16 Amos Fox 16 Max Spangenburg 17 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 17 Michael Heagney 15 Hastey 15 Pierce Kinsella 15 Page 6 Owner Unknown 19 Feedler & Wuerth 19 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 19 John Rock 19 Sarah A Linsley 20 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 21 H P Christy & Gottanger 21 Dodge & Phelps 21 Geo F Beardsley 21 Page 7 Michael Heagney 22 Ernest W Anson 22 Byron Mason 22 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 23 Cutman & Rothschilds 24 Thomas H Sanborn 24 Wm Sturgeon 24 W J Kilpatrick 24 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 25 W J Kilpatrick 26 Dodge & Phelps 26 Bank of Sheboygan Wis 26 Page 8 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 27 H P Christy & Gottanger 27 Henry Morgan 27 Geo F Beardsley 27 Charles F Freman 27 H P Christy & Gottanger 28 Geo F Beardsley 28 Dodge & Phelps 28 Charles L Ortman 28 Cutman & Rothschilds 28 SF & WC Page 28 Page 9 SF & WC Page 29 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 29 Dodge & Phelps 29 Cutman & Rothschilds 29 H P Christy & Gottanger 29 Owner Unknown 29 H P Christy & Gottanger 30 Owner Unknown 30 H P Christy & Gottanger 31 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 31 Page 10 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 31 Henry Korthase 31 SF & WC Page 32 Dodge & Phelps 32 Wm J Chase 32 Abraham Sanborn 32 Robert Abbot 32 Owner Unknown 32 William Cook 32 Owner Unknown 32 Grand Rapids & Indiana RailRoad 33 Owner Unknown 33 Page 11 Geo F Beardsley 34 Dodge & Phelps 34 W J Kilpatrick 34 H P Christy & Gottanger 34 Walter & Smith 34 Wm Sturgeon 34 Dodge & Phelps 35 Geo F Beardsley 35 Bank of Sheboygan Wis 35 C F Searles 36 H J Kilpatrick 36 End of Tax List Signed by Enoch K Robinson, Supervisor