Today’s Tidbit | March 27, 1797 – Charles Francois Xavier Voiland

On this date, in 1797, my third great grandfather, Charles Francois Xavier Voiland, was born in Essert, Belfort, France. He was a farmer. In October of 1857, at the age of 60, he emigrated to America with his wife, Adelaide, and daughters, Madelaine, Catherine Philomen, Julie and Adele.

More about the Voiland/Weller family can be found here.

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.

My Voiland Family in the 1836 France Census

I was recently introduced to the website of the Departmental Archives of the Territory of Belfort by a French cousin. My Voiland family emigrated from the commune of Essert in the Territory of Belfort, France. The site contains scanned census images beginning in 1836. I was thrilled to find my 3rd great grandparents and their children listed!

Seeing my family listed in the census continues to amaze me. It really brings them to life – just imagining someone going to their house and writing down the information that I’m looking at. This census was taken 175 years ago! 21 years later, Jean Baptiste (Charles Francois Xavier) Voiland, his wife Adelaide (Perrin) and their children would cross the ocean and settle in America.

Please click on for a larger image

Today’s Tidbit | Frank Heller – March 19, 1878

My maternal great grandfather, Frank Heller, was born on this day in 1878. He was the youngest son of Mathias and Frances (Swiderski) Heller, and was born in Princeton, Green Lake Co., WI. He worked on farms at Fox Lake and in the lumber camps at Ashland.

After several years, he came to Montello, WI and joined the Montello Granite Co. In the 1920 census, his job description is that of a “polisher”.

Frank married my great grandmother, Catherine Jackowski, in 1905. He worked for Montello Granite for about 45 years until becoming ill in July of 1944.