The next task I had on my Brown/Montran list was to confirm data on Henry Brown and try to find the marriage date for him and Marion Sanford. As I did some poking around I found that somehow the birth and death dates I had for Henry Brown were ascribed to him in error and belonged to another Henry Brown. I found several different sources with a Henry Brown with the same birth and death dates and a different spouse and parents than I had for my Henry Brown.
I believe it is important to revisit what you know every once and a while and confirm that what you know is really true. In my case, there were inconsistencies in what I had and what my sources were telling me. I did a lot of searching but couldn’t find anything that would give a birth, death, or marriage date for Henry.
I decided to take a closer look at the 1870 and 1880 census for Henry and who his neighbors were.
In 1870 they were Watson and Boellger on one side and Sanford and Trim on the other side.
In 1880 they were Sitchard and Bluminann on one side and Brillevale and Sanford on the other side. Could the Sanfords in both censuses be related to Marion? I then looked for any plat maps of the area to see what the land relationships might be like. I found one for Saline, Washtanaw County from 1874. Sure enough, there was a Boettger, two Sanford properties, and a Trim property along a road. I then began looking in earnest for information about a Wm Sanford of Saline, Washtenaw County Michigan.
One of my favorite search places is Google Books. I searched for William Sanford Washtenaw. An hit included a 1881 book, History of Washtenaw County, Michigan and a paragraph regarding William Sanford. In the text was a line about his children, including “Marion A., wife of Henry Brown.” Yea, a book that confirms that my Marion was related to William Sanford.
Lots of new information. Including Marion’s mother’s name, Mary E. Parsons (a new name for me). Elsewhere in the book it spoke of Mary’s parents, Chester Parsons and Deborah B. Maben (two more names), their parents John & Mary Wolcot Parsons along with Robert and Electa Maben (four more new names). In the many pages there were names, dates, stories, about the Parsons, Mabens, and Sanfords. I was able to add eight new direct ancestors and dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins. An amazing find. Probably most amazing was a drawing of Chester Parsons, (my 4th great-granfather) probably from when he was about 60 or so, his beard is white but his hair is still dark. (A description elsewhere in the book indicates that in 1881, his hair is white.)
Sadly, I still haven’t determined Henry Brown’s birth, death, or marriage dates, but that’s okay. The other finds make up for missing facts.
Don’t forget Google Books in your research. It can be an amazing resource.