Blackhurst Family Reunion – 1923

Amanuensis Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I don’t recall ever finding a newspaper article about a family reunion for my direct ancestors. I found an article on Ancestry.Com that mentioned my third great-grandparents, Stephen and Fanny (Taylor) Blackhurst. The article was from 1923. Stephen died in 1869 and Fanny died 1889, so a first family reunion taking place over 50 years after Stephen died and over 35 year after Fanny died was a surprise. It showed the pride the family felt to be a part of each other.  The article was in the August 12, 1923 edition of the Evening Chronicle (Marshall, Michigan).[i]

Transcription

Social News
Reunions
Blackhurst

Evening Chronical (Marshall, MI) 12 Aug 1923

The first annual reunion of the Blackhurst family occurred Sunday at Victory park, Jackson, and was attended by thirty-five members of the family. Descendants of Stephen and Fannie Blackhurst, who came to this country from England, settling first in Auburn, N.Y., and in 1869 coming to Albion which was their home during the remainder of their lives.

Officers were elected during the afternoon following the picnic dinner as follows:

  • President, Mrs Flora Sears of Marshall
  • Vice-President Owen Brownell of Eaton Rapids
  • Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. E. W. Banks of Albion

The after dinner hours were pleasantly occupied with recitations and speeches by the guests and by the reading of letters and telegrams received from those not able to be present. Relatives and friends were in attendance from Big Rapids, Eaton Rapids, Spring Arbor, Battle Creek, Marshall, Detroit and Albion.

[Note: formatting above is mine.]

Discussion

My research did indicate that the Blackhurst did first settle in Auburn, N.Y. However, they were in Sheridan Township before the 1860 Census.[ii] They were in Auburn during the 1855 New York Census,[iii] so they appear to have moved to Albion between 1855 and 1860 and not in 1869.

People

President Mrs. Flora Sears of Marshall:  I don’t have a clue who that could be.  Apparently from a family line I haven’t traced yet. It is interesting to note that next to the Blackhurst farm near Hall’s Lake was another farm owned by J.W. Sears. Nearby farms also included Sanders, Brownell, and Clough names known to have married into the Blackhurst family.

Vice-President Owen Brownell of Eaton Rapids. Must be Charles Owen Brownell (1870-1962), who was a grandson of Stephen and Fanny.  I learned that he lived in Eaton Rapids in 1923.

Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. E. W. Banks of Albion, is Phebe Ann (Eslow) a granddaughter of Stephen and Fanny. I learned she lived in Albion in 1923.

In 1923, my 2nd great-grandmother Sarah (Blackhurst) Barber was 76 years old.  In 1920 she was living with my grandmother in New York City. In 1928 she was living with my great-grandmother Ida (Barber) Knight in Detroit. So, Sarah and Ida, could have been there as the “relatives from Detroit.” Donna’s whereabouts are unknown during August 1923 so she could have been there as well. Donna, Ida, and Sarah all lived in Albion at various times so they would have known the people and could well have had a desire to be a part of the first family reunion.

Conclusion

My direct ancestors (Madonna, Ida, and Sarah) left Albion and Calhoun County before 1900, and they never spoke of Blackhursts or Albion. It wasn’t until my research that we learned that Madonna was born in Albion, she always said she was born in Detroit. When queried, my mother and uncle said that Ida was born in Detroit. And neither of them recall ever hearing the surname of Blackhurst in their family history.  That make me wonder what made them apparently abandon the Blackhurst family and totally lose contact.  Maybe I’ll be able to find the Blackhurst Family Reunion of 1923 and learn more.

Albion (MI) Historical Society

There is hope on that front. This article shows many Blackhurst family members remained in Calhoun County and the Albion/Sheridan township area. Their having a family reunion in 1923 is evidence they wanted to keep their family in touch. Albion is about 1-1/2 hours west of Detroit and the Albion Historical Society is open weekends from mother’s day until September. I think it would be a great excursion to visit the Historical Society during my next trip to Detroit and see what they might have.

Sheridan Township (MI) Map showing Blackhurst and related family locations

I wish I lived near Albion. Next door to the Blackhurst farm was a farm owned by J. S. Sears. (Possibly somehow related to Blackhurst Reunion president, Mrs. Flora Sears?) One farm beyond that was a farm owned by T. Sanders. Just south of that a farm by W. Brownell.  It is like half the names of the Blackhurst spouses came from these neighbors.  I would be a fun exercise to look at all of the relationships.

In my wanderings, I have found other people for whom The Blackhurst legacy was a big deal. They spoke about the family going back and forth between Chicago and Albion and sharing stories about when Stephen and Fannie left England and came to America and lived in the “wilderness of Michigan.” Maybe they will share those stories with this black sheep Blackhurst descendant.

Followup

  • Reach out to other Blackhurst researchers.
  • Visit the Albion Historical Society.
    • Research – Any records showing John F. Montran or any Montran surnames.
    • Research – Any records regarding the Blackhurst family of Albion particularly prior to 1900.
  • Determine who Flora Sears of Marshall is and how she related.
  • Do a neighbor study of the Blackhurst family and the relationships of Stephen and Fanny’s children’s spouses.

ENDNOTES/SOURCES

[i] Evening Chronicle (Marshall, MI) (Marshall, Michigan, ), Ancestry.Com, 1923-08-12 – Social News / Reunions / Blackhurst.
[ii] 1860 Census, Family Search, Stephen Blacklin – Sheridon, Calhoun, Michigan – Line 7. Accessed 25 August 2013.  https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWDJ-W8X.
[iii] 1855 New York Census, Family Search, Stephen Blackhurst – Auburn, Cayuga, New York. Accessed 25 August 2013. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K675-B3M.

Enlistment Papers – Enoch Mannin – 29 Aug 1863

Amanuensis Monday
Brown Research 2017

Transcription by Don Taylor – 28 Jan 2017

[Page 1 of 3]

Mannin, Enoch
Reg’t:  Ky

[Page 2 of 3 – Center (rotated 90 degrees right)]

Enoch Mannin
Volunteered at Olive Hill, KY
August 29 1863 by N. B. Lateral
45 Regiment of Ky vol,

[Page 2 of 3 – Left side]

DECLARATION OF RECRUIT.
Enoch Mannin desiring to volunteer
as a Soldier in the Army of the United States, for the term of one year, Do declare,
That I am forty-four years and ___ months of age;
that I have never been discharged from the United States service on account of disability or by sentence of a
courts-martial, or by order before the expiration of a term of enlistment; and I know of no impediment to my
serving honestly and faithfully as a soldier for one year
given at Olive Hill KY
The 29 day of August
1863

Witness: James Gavin

– Enoch Mannin
Volunteered at Olive Hill, KY

August 29 1863 by N. B. Lateral
45 Regiment of Ky vol,

[Page 3 of 3]

VOLUNTEER ENLISTMENT
STATE OF [EAGLE SEAL] COUNTY OF
Kentucky                                 Carter

I Enoch Mannin born in Bath County
in the State of Kentucky aged Forty Four  years,
and by occupation, a farmer Do hereby acknowledge to have voluteer-
ed the twenty-ninth day of Aug. 1863, to serve as a
soldier in the army of the united States of America, for the period of
one year, unless sooner discharged by proper authority: Do also agree
to accept such bounty, pay, rations, and clothing, as are, or may be, established by law for
volunteers. And I Enoch Mannin do solemnly swear, that
I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that
I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomsoever;
and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the
orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War.

Sworn and subscribed to at Olive Hill by
Enoch Mannin
this 29 day of Aug. 1863
Before N B Literal

I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, That I have carefully examined the above named Volunteer, agreeably to
the General Regulations of the Army, and that in my opinion his is free from all bodily defects and mental
infirmity, which would, in any way, disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier.

Joseph Ghobue
Examining Surgeon

I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, That I have minutely inspected the Volunteer Enoch Mannin
previously to his enlistment, and that is was entirely sober when enlisted; that, to the best of my judgement
and belief, he is of lawful age; and that in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-
bodied soldier, I have strictly observed the Regulations which govern the recruiting service. This soldier has
Black eyes, Black hair, dark complexion is 5 feet 6 inches high.

N. B. Literal
45 Regiment Kentucky Volunteers,
Recruiting Officer

Pension record – Patience A Roberts – Arrears of Widows Pension

Amanuensis Monday

Extract by Don Taylor – 9 Jan 2017

It is always really nice when you find a document that confirms key vital facts.  The “Arrears of Widow’s Pension” used to determine the payment provides birthdates and a confirmation date indicating the date one day before the individual’s 16th birthday.  Great confirmation of the information to assure I’m not reading a birthdate incorrectly.


ARREARS OF WIDOW’S PENSION

ACT OF JUNE 7, 1888

Pensioner: Patience A Roberts -Soldier: Asa Roberts

P.O. Benton –  Rank Pvt Co. “I.”

County Franklin, State Ills  –  Regiment 31st Ills, Vol. Inf.

Allow arrears of pensions at the rate of $12- per munch from Oct 9, 1889, and ending Oct 30, 1887….

and two dollars a month additional for each child, as follows:

  • Charles W Born Jul 5, 1873, Sixteen July 4, 1889
  • Rosa D. Born May 26, 1875, Sixteen, May 25, 1891
  • Florence E Born Jan 21, 1880, Sixteen, Jan 20, 1896
  • Hugh E Born July 2, 1884, Sixteen, Jul 1, 1900

Was pensioned May 29, 1899, at $12 per month from Oct 31, 1887, and $2 for each child stated above.

Submitted for Allowance Nov. 12, 1888

W L. White

Approved Nov 15, 1888, Approved Nov. 17, 1888

Broadus Curtis

Legal reviewerRe-Reviewer


Facts identified.

  • Asa was a private in Company I, 31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry
  • Patrice A. Roberts was living in Benton, Franklin County, Illinois in November 1888.
  • Charles W. [Roberts] was born on July 5, 1873, and was living in November 1888.
  • Rosa D. [Roberts] was born on May 26, 1875, and was living in November 1888.
  • Florence E. [Roberts] was born on Jan 21, 1880, and was living in November 1888.
  • Hugh E [Roberts] was born on July 2, 1884, and was living in November 1888.

Pension record - Patience A Roberts - Arrears of Widows Pension
Pension record – Patience A Roberts – Arrears of Widows Pension

 

Pension – Asa Roberts – Death of Patience A. Roberts

Amanuensis Monday

Pension – Asa Roberts – Death of Patience A. Roberts

Transcription by Don Taylor
2 January 2017


_____OCT 15 1919_____

To the Chief, Finance Division:

You are hereby notified that check #5120565 for $75 00/100

dated Oct 4 1919 in favor of:  PATIENCE A ROBERTS
post-office Whittington  ILL
Certificate #244427  C  W  WID
Class CIVIL WAR R  R  1

Section ____2____ has been returned to this office by the Postmaster
with the information that the pensioner died July 26 or 27-1919
and said check has this day been canceled.

Very respectfully,

(D-3)                                                    GUY O. TAYLOR,
–                                                             DISBURSING CLERK.

Pension - Asa Roberts - Death of Patience A Roberts
Pension – Asa Roberts – Death of Patience A Roberts

Patience A. Roberts – Birth Record

Amanuensis Monday

From the Pension Files of Asa Roberts

Transcription by Don Taylor 12/26/2016


STSTE [sic] OF ILLINOIS}

COUNTY OF FRANKLIN}

I PATIENCE A. ROBERTS (, OF SESSER, FRANKLIN COUNTY STATE OF ILLINOIS BEING DULY SWORN DOTH DEPOSE AND SAY, THAT THE FAMILY RECORD PRESENTED IS A RECORD OF MY OWN BIRTH AS KEPT BY MY FAMILY IN THE FAMILY BIBLE. AND FURTHER THIS DEPONENT SAYETH NOT.

Her

    Patience  A + Roberts

          Mark

WITNESS TO MARK

F. P. Scott

Subscribed and sworn to before me the 12th day of July 1917.

James M. McColson 

Notary Republic

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This is to certify that the above mentioned Patience A. Roberts appeared before me this day in person and testified to the above affidavit and presented the family record, and I do hereby certify that such record appeared clear and without blemishes, erasures or alterations whatever and the date of birth given as follows: Patience Marchel (Patience A. Roberts) was born in Jefferson County, Illinois December 30th. 1845.

James M. McCollson

Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 13th day of July 1917.

J. L. Cross J P

Affidavit showing birth of Patience A Marchel (Marshall)

 

I find it interesting that this document uses a spelling of Marshall that I haven’t used in my searches before (Marchel).