Letter from Dorothy Tasker to her daughter Ethel Ellison 1974

27 Oct

DorothyTaskerLetter1 DorothyTaskerLetter2 DorothyTaskerLetter3


Christopher Townsend of South East, Dutchess County, NY Last Will 1809

7 Aug

Christopher Townsend’s will can be found on Familysearch.org dated 22 MAR 1809.

You will note that he took special care of his daughter Sarah. He left his son Samuel 60$, his son Darius 40$, and his son Christopher 1$.

Christopher Townsend Will 1809

Christopher Townsend Will 1809


Darius Townsend’s Land Purchase in Cayuga County, NY

6 Aug

I finally found the deed for Darius Townsend’s land purchase in section 4 of Cayuga County (formerly the township of Brutus). This purchase I was unable to find on any grantee index so I had to go through each book of deeds. Each book of deeds on Familysearch.org does have its own Index, usually in the front of the volume. Master indexes were created from the book indexes, so always look for an index in land record volumes before searching through pages of deeds. Unfortunately, the scan of this volume was not adequate to see the entire page number Darius’s deed was located on, so I did end up searching through the 300’s.

Darius bought 60 13/100 acres on 4 FEB 1832 for $502.00 from the Dexter family (Katherine, Franklin, and Samuel W.) who had an attorney out of Pittsfield, Berkshire, MA acting upon their behalf.

This is the land Darius sold months later, by splitting it and selling it to his sons William and Christopher. In July 1834 William bought Christopher’s portion of this land. Better maybe to not be such close neighbors. Christopher remained in Cayuga County until he moved with his family by 1860 to Jackson County Michigan, passing away in Hanover in 1862.

Darius did not own land in Cauyga County until this purchase, so he was farming someone else’s land.

Darius Townsend Land Purchase

Darius Townsend Land Purchase


Darius & Abigail Townsend of Conquest, NY

21 Jul

I am convinced now, but without concrete proof, that Darius & Abigail Townsend were the parents of Nathaniel P. Townsend.

Nathaniel was the biological father of my third great-grandmother Mary Alice Cutler Ellison.

Abigail Townsend’s parents were Nathaniel Paddock and Mary Crane. I believe my Nathaniel’s name was Nathaniel Paddock Townsend.

Nathaniel’s first-born son was Darius Townsend.

Below is a copy through familysearch.org of the deed in which Darius sells some of his land to his son William on Christmas Day in 1832. The land was in Conquest, but formerly called Brutus. He sold him the land for 200$. I think he bought 21 acres but it is difficult to read. I am not sure if William paid full real estate value of the time. The area was booming because of the Erie Canal (completed in 1825) and Darius had moved to Cayuga County to work on the canal.

What I cannot find are any records for when Darius purchased all of this land.

Darius & Abigail sell some land to their son William.

Darius & Abigail sell some land to their son William.


Christopher Townsend Family of Hanover, Jackson Co, MI

29 Jun

I am trying to prove my theory that Christopher Townsend of Hanover, Jackson County, Michigan was the third child, second son of Darius Townsend and Abigail Paddock of Conquest, Cayuga County, New York.

Christopher was born circa 1809 in New York. In October 1833, Darius sold part of his land in Conquest, Cayuga County to Christopher. He also sold most of the rest of his land to his known first born son William Townsend. In 1834, Darius died.

In 1836 Christopher married Maranda Cane (spelled many different ways).

In 1840, he is in Conquest, Cayuga County.

In 1850, he is in Camillus, Onondaga County, New York with his wife and children: Allen, Phebe A., Susan, Adeline and Mary.

In 1860, he is in Hanover, Jackson County, Michigan with his wife and children: Susan, Adeline, Mary, Henry, and Elizabeth. Henry is 8 and was born in Michigan, placing Christopher in Michigan circa 1852.

Christopher died in 1862 and is buried in Hanover Cemetery, Hanover, Jackson County, Michigan.

Maranda then married Michael Donovan but is also buried in Hanover Cemetery.

I have found the following death records for his children:

Phebe Ann Townsend married Walter S. Fowler


Susan Townsend married Mr. Hall


Allen C. Townsend was born 1836 in Conquest, Cayuga County, NY and he died 15 AUG 1876 in Bethel, Branch County, Michigan.

Mary L. Townsend was born in 1849 in New York, probably Onondaga County and died 31 JAN 1924 in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan. She married a Mr. Packard.

Can you help me determine for sure the parents of Christopher Townsend?

Carded Medical Records for Darius Townsend

12 Jun

Darius Townsend, Private, Company B. Fifth Wisconsin Infantry, volunteer. Son of Nathaniel P. Townsend of Wisconsin. His mother was Betsey A Welch of Cato, Cayuga County, New York.

In the hopes that I might discover what happened to Darius Townsend, I hired a private researcher to go into the Carded Medical Records in Record Group 94 at the National Archives. According to Darius’s Military Service file was in the Newport News, VA General Hospital on June 4, 1862 (on the muster roll as a nurse).

The results of the search are below. You will see his movements were:

May 22, 1862 he was admitted to USA (College) Hospital in Williamsburg, VA

On May 30, 1862 he was sent to USA Hospital (Wheaton) Yorktown, VA (temporary)

Darius is recorded as admitted to Newport News, USA General Hospital, near Fort Monroe VA on June 1, 1862

Then we have a card for him that says he was admitted on October 30, 1862 at the Hampton USA General Hospital in Fort Monroe, VA and returned to duty on December 30, 1862.

You can click below to see the records.


Ellison & Tasker Family Photos

30 Apr
Alice Baines Ellison with her son James A Ellison circa 1937

Alice Baines Ellison with her son James A Ellison
circa 1937

James A. Ellison in 1957

James A. Ellison in 1957

August 2, 1941 James A Ellison and Ethel Tasker Wedding at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, MI

August 2, 1941
James A Ellison and Ethel Tasker Wedding at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, MI

John T Tasker Gunner 1915-1919 Canadian Field Artillery

John T Tasker
Canadian Field Artillery

John T. Tasker and his wife Edith Dorothy circa 1950s

John T. Tasker and his wife Edith Dorothy
circa 1950s

Robert and Arbutus Ellison Wedding James A. Ellison is on the right

Robert and Arbutus Ellison Wedding
James A. Ellison is on the right

Woodward Ave Detroit Pa's Door written by Alice Baines Ellison

Woodward Ave Detroit
Pa’s Door
written by Alice Baines Ellison

NP Townsend died Jan 31, 1890 Sioux City, Iowa

22 Apr

Nathaniel P. Townsend died on January 31, 1890 in Sioux City, Iowa, of heart failure. The record of his death is scribbled on the side of the Sioux City register of deaths and is largely illegible. He was 75 years old. It does not record any further information on him.

James A. Ellison Childhood Photos

16 Apr

James A. Ellison of Royal Oak, Michigan. Son of Harold and Alice (Baines) Ellison.

The pages are from James’s Baby Book. The torn photo says 12 months old on the back.

JamesAEllisonBabyPics1 JamesAEllisonBabyPics2 JimEllison12monthsold

The following two photos are of James and his sister Alice with their parents Harold and Alice.

Harold,AlicewAlice&JimEllison Harold,AlicewAlice&JimEllison1920

Ethel & Jim Ellison Family Documents

9 Apr

Ethel’s report card from the Detroit Public School, the 1936-1937 school year:

EthelTasker1937reportcard EthelTasker1937reportcardBack EthelTasker1937reportcardEnvelope EthelTasker1937reportcardInterior

Here is the 8th grade class of 1937 of Greenfield Park School in Detroit:


James A. Ellison Royal Oak High School Commencement Brochure for the class of 1938 and his graduation photo:

JimEllisonHSGraduation1938 JimEllisonHSGraduation1938Back JimEllisonHSGraduation1938Interior JimEllisonHSGraduationPhoto1938

James A. Ellison and Ethel Tasker’s Wedding Invitation 1941: