Backgrounds of My Families

This is some background information for the eight families (mine and my wife’s) of my grandparents’ generation.

Harris

Our Harris family is of English decent. Their ancestry can be traced back to the earliest days of our country. John Earl Harris was born in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY in 1798. He married Nancy Ormsbee in 1820. The Ormsbee family originally came to America in the 1630′s, settling in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Nancy’s father Joshua fought in the Revolutionary War and travelled to Greenfield with his family around 1796. John Earl, Nancy and their descendents moved on to Pierpont Ohio, Town of Morgan Indiana, and eventually Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. There, they engaged in the mill business. Related families include Seybold, Protz, Cleveland, Ormsbee, Benjamin, Newcomb and Bradford.

Harvey

George Harvey and his wife Elizabeth (Louden) were married in England in 1859. Soon after, they came to America and settled in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Their son and grandson farmed on Harvey Road in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. Related families include Musbach, Louden, Notten and Kruse.

Hau

Came to America from Prussia in the early 1860′s. According to family stories, Wilhelm Hau was a land owner in Prussia. He settled in Russel Twp., Sheboygan Co., Wisconsin. He married Kathrine Tuepper in January of 1869. Her family was also from Prussia and settled in Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, where they farmed. Wilhelm and Kathrine’s descendants remained in the county, with our family owning a restaurant in Fond du Lac. Related families include Fuhrmann, Tuepper and Michels.

Heim

Our Heim family came to America in the 1840′s. Damian Heim was born in Steinbach Germany in 1815. His wife, Regina, was from the same area. They settled in Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., Michigan. Related families include Gage, Hoppe, Parker, Knight and Lombard.

Hela/Heller

Laurentius Hela, his wife Elizabeth (Fleming), and their five children arrived in America from Prussia/Poland in May of 1866. They settled in Princeton, Green Lake Co., Wisconsin. Their grandson, Francis (Frank) married Catherine Jackowski in 1905. Her family was also from Prussia/Poland. Frank worked in the granite quarry in Montello, WI. Related families include Jackowski, Soda and Swiderski.

LeVan

The LeVan family was among the German-speaking French Huguenot refugees who fled from France to Holland, probably after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Family tradition says they were manufacturers of brocade and taffetas in their native country, and that they were of considerable wealth.

Jacob LeVan was born about 1702 in Amsterdam. Records indicate he came to America around 1717. Jacob married Mary about 1725 in Maxatawny Twp., Berks Co., Pennsylvania. The family lived for many generations in Berks Co. They moved to Logan Co., Ohio and eventually to Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., Michigan. Related families include Robison, Winner, Leymaster and Leidigh.

McConnell

Our McConnell family can only be traced back to the early 1800′s. Charles Russell McConnell was born in New York in 1828. He married Sophia Laib in Kent Co., Michigan in 1859. She was born in Ohio in 1837. They farmed in Carmel Twp., Eaton Co., MI. Related families include Bradley, Laib, Blackmer, Kimball and Lankton.

Voiland/Weller

Originated from the town of Essert in the Territory of Belfort, France. Charles Xavier (Jean Baptiste) Voiland, his wife Adelaide (Perrin) and their children arrived at Castle Garden in New York City in December of 1857. His son Joseph Voiland and wife Felicitée Marie (Sadie) Romond arrived in New York City in May of 1857. Sadie’s family was from the town of Urcerey, also in the Territory of Belfort. Joseph and Sadie traveled to Buffalo, NY, and then settled in Little Wolf Twp., Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

The family name was changed to “Weller” when their children started school in Wisconsin. Their German school teacher couldn’t pronounce the French name “Voiland” and so it was changed to reflect the German pronunciation “Weller”. Their descendants remained in Waupaca County, with our family living in Clintonville and owning a hardware store. Related families include Heinke, Romond and Eglin.

There was also a Voiland family that came from Cravanche, another small village in the Territory of Belfort, France, in the 1850’s. Thibeau (Tebo) Voiland, his wife Marie (Frossard), and their eight children arrived in America on October 15, 1852, and settled in Macomb Co., Michigan, just north of Detroit. The homestead was located a short distance west of Gratiot Avenue between what is now Fourteen Mile Road and Masonic Boulevard.

We are unable to connect the Michigan Voilands to our Wisconsin Voilands. Since both families came from the same region in France during the same time period, we are hoping to find a connection!

Tuesday Treasure | September 14, 2010

A couple of months ago, my wife’s Harvey family had a family get-together. Her grandfather, Wayne Harvey, died last December, and there were lots of old photos being passed around. As we were leaving, I gathered most of the photos to take home and scan. I also grabbed an old scrapbook.

I finally pulled the photos out yesterday and spent some time scanning. I then began to leaf through the pages of the scrapbook. It appears to have been put together by my wife’s great grandmother, Martha (Musbach) Harvey, Wayne’s mom. It contains page after page of family and friend-related newspaper clippings from the early 1900’s to the mid 1940’s. The Harveys and Musbachs lived in the areas between Jackson and Chelsea, MI.

What a treasure trove of information! Articles announcing weddings, deaths, anniversaries and family get-togethers. I spent the next several hours adding dates and places and other facts to people in my family tree, and also discovering some new names and stories that I knew nothing of.

I’ve really enjoyed leafing through the scrapbook and immersing myself in the happenings of the Harvey and Musbach families, and their friends, as they went about their daily lives during the first half of the 20th century.

Streets and Signs

It’s neat to come across streets that were named in honor of my families’ ancestors. It’s adds to their stories and certainly indicates that they were well thought of in their communities! He are some pictures of the street signs I’ve found.

The first one is located in Plymouth, MA. Bradford Street is named after one of my most famous ancestors, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony. He is my ninth great grandfather.

My wife’s maiden name is Harvey. Harvey Road, in Jackson Co., MI, is named after her great grandfather Herbert Harvey, who farmed there.

Another ancestral line of my wife’s is Notten. Her third great grandfather, Ehlert Notten, came to America from England and farmed in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI.

My 4th great grandfather, Isaac Ormsbee, settled in north of Greenfield, near Porter Corners, Saratoga Co., NY in 1796. The old family cemetery is along Ormsbee Rd.

Musbach Rd. in Washtenaw County, MI, is name after my wife’s Musbach family, who farmed nearby.

Hienrich Heinke, my 2nd great grandfather settled and farmed in Royalton Twp., Waupaca Co., WI.

My wife’s 2nd great grandfather, Damien Heim, came from Germany and settled in Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., MI

This last one wasn’t exactly named after one of my family members (at least we haven’t proven it yet). Thibeau Voiland came to America from Cravanche, Belfort, France and settle in Erin Twp. (Roseville), Macomb Co., MI.

I also descend from Voilands who came from an area very close to Cravanche, but we haven’t been able to connect the two families! Maybe the addition of the sign here with help to prove or disprove the connection.

Surname Sunday | HARVEY

Our Harvey family emigrated from England about 1860. George Harvey and his wife, Elizabeth Lowden, settled in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., MI, on property located at the corner of present day Wooster and Seymore Roads. Their son, Herbert, who is my wife’s great grandfather, bought the Musbach farm on Harvey Rd., Jackson Co. The farm remained in the family until their son Wayne sold it in 1970.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | July 19 – July 25, 2009

Joseph Perrin – Born July 19, 1765 in Essert, Belfort, France. He married Marie Anne Courre. Joseph is my 4th great grandfather.

Martha Anne Musbach – Born July 21, 1879 in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. She married Herbert Harvey in 1904. They farmed on Harvey Rd. in Jackson Co. Martha died on November 21, 1951 in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw Co., MI and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw Co. She is my wife’s great grandmother.

May Belle Cook – born July 23, 1907 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA. She died in Omaha, Douglas Co., NE on November 5, 1923 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Omaha. May is my 1st cousin, once removed.

James Cole – Born July 25, 1600 in St. Giles, Cripplegate, Highland, London, England. He married Mary Tibbes in 1625. He was the first settler of and lived upon what is still known as “Cole’s Hill” in Plymouth, MA. He opened the first inn or public house in Plymouth. James died in Plymouth on January 31, 1697/98. He is my 9th great grandfather.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | July 12 – July 18, 2009

George Harvey – Born July 15, 1834 in Kesteven or Holland, Lincolnshire, England. He and his wife, Elizabeth Lowden, farmed in Leoni Township, Jackson Co., MI. He died on February 20, 1901 and is buried in Harrington Cemetery, Henrietta Township, Jackson Co. George is my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.

Helen Alice Heim – Born July 15, 1917 in Sylvan Township, Washtenaw Co., MI. Helen and her husband, Wayne Harvey, owned a farm on Harvey Rd. in Jackson Co., MI. She died on April 20, 2000 in Chelsea, Washtenaw Co. and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Chelsea. Helen is my wife’s grandmother.

Nelson Alonzo Harris – Born July 16, 1822 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY. Nelson, his wife, Louisa Cleveland, and their family came to Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI from Indiana in the early 1850s. He engaged in mill business in Cato and Forest Junction. He moved to Florida in 1884 and died in Waldo, Alachua Co. He is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Waldo. Nelson in my 2nd great grandfather.

Dorothy Louise Harris – Born July 17, 1900 in Appleton, Outagamie Co., WI. She was a primary school teacher in Clintonville, Waupaca Co., and Appleton before her marriage to Russell Bernard Weller in July 15, 1929. They lived in Clintonville and owned Weller Hardware. Dorothy died on August 13, 1972 in Clintonville, and is buried in St. Rose Cemetery, Clintonville. Dorothy and Russell are my grandparents.

Joseph Cleveland – Born July 18, 1689 in Chelmsford, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts Bay Colony. He and his family lived in Canterbury, Windham Co., CT where he died on March 11, 1766. Joseph is my 6th great grandfather.

Jonathan Kimball and Lydia Day – Married July 15, 1698 probably in Massachusetts. They are my wife’s 8th great grandparents.

Charles Russell McConnell – Died July 12, 1898 in Michigan. He is buried in Spaulding Cemetery, Bellevue Twp., Eaton Co., MI. He married Sophia Laib in 1859. Charles is my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.

William Bradford, II – Died July 15, 1591 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England. He married Alice Hanson in 1584. William is the father of William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony. He is my 10th great grandfather.

Katherine Protz – Died July 15, 1910 in Brillion Township, Calumet Co., WI. She was born in Germany and came to America with her husband, Leonhard Seybold, on June 2, 1857. They farmed in Brillion Twp. Katherine is buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Calumet Co. She is my 2nd great grandmother.

Tuesday Treasure | April 14, 2009

This hand corn planter belonged to my wife’s great grandfather, Herbert Harvey. Herbert’s farm was located on Harvey Rd. in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. He bought the farm from Elhert Musbach, his brother-in-law, in the early 1900s. Herbert’s initials are carved in the back of the planter.

Hand Corn Planter - Herbert Harvey c.1900

Hand Corn Planter - Herbert Harvey c.1900

Herbert Harvey's Initials

Herbert Harvey's Initials

This planter was patented in the 1890’s and manufactured by the Sheffield Manufacturing Company of Burr Oak, MI. Earlier in his career, George Sheffield built gasoline and battery powered passenger cars for street, interurban and steam railways with his company, the Sheffield Velocipede Car Company.