Working in the Mills

An aspect of researching my family history that really interests me is the occupations of my ancestors. A common occupation that crops up again and again is working in various types of mills.

My Harris family has a long history in the mills. Ezekial Harris owned a saw mill in Bedford, NY in the the mid 1700′s. Nelson Harris built a saw mill in Cato, WI and then in Forest Junction, WI in the 1850′s. It was Forest Junction’s first business and was later operated by his brother, Isaac. Nelson’s son, Orville, worked in the Cato mill and later was an engineer in at a flour mill in Appleton, WI.

Walter Kachelski came to America in 1870, and during his early years, was employed as a weaver in a woolen mill in Beaver Dam, WI

Reuben Perry Benjamin operated a saw mill in Pierpont, Ohio in the mid 1800′s

In 1897, Daniel Webster Allen build the first grist mill in Custer, MI.

In the mid-1800′s, Lysander Ormsby operated a stave mill in Deerfield, MI. Stave mills produced the narrow strips of wood that composed the sides of barrels.

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 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 | April 5 – April 11, 2009

Asahel Cleveland – Born on April 6, 1793 in Worthington, Hampshire Co., MA. Asahel died on December 5, 1845 in Hancock Co., IL. He is my 3rd great grandfather and Pricilla (Benjamin) Cleveland’s husband (see below).

Pricilla (Benjamin) Cleveland – Born on April 7, 1796 in Worthington, Hampshire Co., MI. Pricilla is Asahel Cleveland’s wife (see above). She died on December 27, 1830 in Pierpont, Ashtabula Co., OH and in buried in the Old Burying Ground (Hall Rd. Cemetery) in Pierpont. Pricilla is my 3rd great grandmother.

Nancy (Ormsbee) Harris – Born on April 6, 1796 in Barrington, Bristol Co., RI. She died on May 28, 1881 in Greenleaf, Brown Co., WI and is buried in the Cato Heights Cemetery, Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. Nancy is my 3rd great grandmother.

Richard Kemball – Born on April 10, 1595 in Rattlesden, Suffolk, England. He died on June 22, 1675 in Ipswich, Essex County in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Richard is my wife’s 10th great grandfather.

Katherine (Seybold) Harris – Died on April 9, 1938 in Clintonville, Waupaca Co., WI and is buried in Appleton Highland Memorial Park, Appleton, Outagamie Co., WI. She was born on September 1, 1858 in Waukesha, Waukesha Co., WI. Katherine is my great grandmother.

The above information is based on information from several sources and isn’t fully verified at this time.