Today’s Tidbit | Nelson Alonzo Harris – July 16, 1822

My 2nd great grandfather and I share the same birthday, albeit some 139 years apart!

Nelson Harris was born in Saratoga Co., NY on July 16, 1822. He and his family moved to Pierpont, OH when he was 11, and then to Indiana in 1837. Few details about those early years are known. They made their way to Manitowoc Co., WI, probably in 1850. Nelson worked as a carpenter in the shipyards there.

Envisioning the lumber and saw-mill business as a profitable venture, he moved his family to Cato, WI (which was once known as Harrisville – named after Nelson), in 1853. He built a saw mill there in 1856, which he continued operating until all the oak was used up. It was the town’s first industry. Once established in the lumber and saw-mill business, Nelson began laying away choice pieces of lumber and timbers for building a home in Cato. He meant it to be the finest in all of Manitowoc County. Much more about the Harris home in Cato can be found by clicking the link below.

In 1873, he built a boarding-house and mill in Forest Junction. This was the first business in that town.

Because of the weather, Nelson and his wife, Louisa, moved to Waldo, FL in 1881. He owned a mill in Waldo and spent the rest of his life there.

Related links:

The Harris Family

Harris Home in Cato, WI

Nelson Alonzo Harris gravestone in Waldo, FL

Today’s Tidbit – Are They the Same Person?

I’m wondering if the gentlemen on the left in each photo are the same person.

The first photo is of my 2nd great grandparents, Nelson and Louisa Harris. It is the only picture of have of him, and it’s not a very good one. The second photo shows my great grandfather, Orville Harris, seated on the right. I’m wondering if the other gentleman is Nelson, who is Orville’s father. They definitely have similar cheek bones.

What do you think?

Surname Saturday | ORMSBY/ORMSBEE

My Ormsby ancestry in America dates to the late 1630′s when Richard Ormsby came from England and settled in Maine. The family name was often times spelled Ormsbee. Richard made his way to Massachusetts.

His descendant, Isaac, was born in Rhode Island. He served in the Revolutionary War and was with General George Washington at the defeat of General Cornwallis at Yorktown. In 1796, he walked to Greenfield, NY to purchase land. After the purchase, he walked back to Barrington, RI, then returned, on foot, to Greenfield with his wife, Patience (Chase), and their four children. He and Patience are buried in the Ormsbee family burying ground on the site of the Ormsbee farm near Porters Corners near Greenfield.

One of their children was Russell Ormsbee. He was instrumental in documenting his family’s history. Early in life, he developed the habit of making family records and preserving them. He inspired his descendants to do the same. He was also quite a traveler for those days. His diary mentions trips to Vermont, Rhode Island, New York City, Boston and Michigan.

Another of Isaac and Patience’s children was Nancy. She married my third great grandfather John Earl Harris. They settled in Greenfield after their 1820 marriage, before leaving for Indiana in 1837. Later, they moved to Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. Both Nancy and John Earl are buried in Cato Heights Cemetery in Cato.

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.