Might they be cousins?

Many years ago I was hanging around in the Navy barracks at Treasure Island and was chatting with another sailor. I mentioned I was from Minnesota and he said he had many relatives in northern Minnesota. I said, “Where ‘bouts.” And he said, “The Motley-Pillager area.” I said, “Really, that’s where my family is from.” Sure enough, after a bit more discussion, we learned that his mother was my grandfather’s youngest sister. We were first cousins, once removed.

A couple years ago my half-sister, who lives in Oregon, started dating a guy who was also from Oregon. In their discussions, they learned that he had family from Pillager, Minnesota, also. They laughed about it and started calling each other “cousin.” Not that they thought they were actually related, but they figured if both their families were in Pillager during the same years, it is likely that they must have known each other. The town only has 469 people, according to the 2010 census. Back in 1910, it only had 252 people,[i] so it is easy to suspect that someone in one family married someone in the other. So she asked me the obvious question – are she (a Brown) and her new beau (a Haywood) related?

The family of interest is George Edgar Heywood (or Haywood) and his wife Christina Catherine Hull. It appears that George and Christina came to Minnesota from Wisconsin about 1875 and had all 10 of their children in Minnesota. Several were born in Kandiyohi County, but most were born in Cass County in Township 133 (May Township (S)). Christina died in 1901 and it appears that the family moved out to Idaho shortly thereafter. In the 1900 census, George’s sister, Delia, shows in the as a schoolteacher. In the 1905 Minnesota census, she still shows up in Pillager, but by 1910 she and, apparently, the rest of the family had moved on. Most of the Heywood family moved to Idaho, but some moved to other places.

Family locations by year.

Year
Heywood/Hull
Brown-Manning
1875
Kandiyohi Co., MN
1885
Kandiyohi Co., MN
North Dakota
1892
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
Cass Co. MN
1894
Sylvan Township, Cass Co. MN
Note: Pillager is in Sylvan Township,
1896
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
   next to May Township.
1897
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
1900
May Township, Cass Co. MN
Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing Co., MN
Note: about 25 miles
1901
Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing Co., MN
1902
North Dakota
1905
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
Note: Delia only (Other gone).
1910
Montana (Marian)
1910
Texas (Delia)
1917
Backus, Cass Co., MN
1920
Idaho
Sylvan Township, Cass Co., MN

The Browns moved from Cass county to North Dakota about 1896 and then back to Cass County about 1897. They then moved to Crow Wing County by 1901 and back to North Dakota by 1902. They moved back to Cass County, again, about 1916.

Anyway, it appears that the Philips and Brown families were both in the Pillager area from about 1892 until about 1897.

It will take a while to go through all of the descendants of George and Christina and their siblings that lived in the area to see if there were any marriages between the families; however, it doesn’t look that way. I’m fairly certain my sister and her beau are much farther apart then that sailor I encountered so many years ago are.

ENDNOTES

[i] United States. Bureau of the Census – Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910: Population by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions 1910, 1900, 1890. Page 252 – https://books.google.com/books?id=T9HrAAAAMAAJ
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