Friday, May 9, 2008

How to get from Free Soil, Mason to Ypsilanti, Washtenaw

Using the Michigan Central Railroad was not much of an option because it appears as though the majority of the operating time they spent wandering to and from Detriot to Chicago. This link offers a look at current railway stops and routes, but be careful if you have dial-up, it's a PDF!

If you wanted to get there after 1879 you had this option but the dead people we are currently researching were in the area long before that. Isaac Elliot (who is running for the position of Frank Russell these days) was allegedly born in Michigan around 1851. In the 1860 census he is but a wee thing living in Little Sauble, Mason County (later on Eden, Free Soil and Indian Town). So he may have been born there. He lives in a home of some type with William Freeman, possibly age 24 and No Qua possibly age 26. There are no relationships listed on the 1860 census so there is no way to tell who those adults are to him. Page 7 of 8 of that census is rampant with surnames and unrelated Indians.

The Neighbor Study

Page 7 houses only Indians born in Michigan. There were three race options for a enumerator in 1860; White, Black and Mulatto. So all Indians are listed as Mulatto, except those who are listed as White, Black or in our case, Indians. :P

The enumerator for Little Sauble, Charles Roswell actually listed his Indians as "Ind." quite a new thing in those days. He may have even gotten a "talk-to" at work.

At the top of the page John Wakefield lives (age 20 born in Michigan) with belongings worth $50 and in his home a female, Ke Ge Qua age 15. I was curious about the relationship between these two people so I checked in with them in 1870. John Wakefield (of Indian Town, the new name of the same place) is now 50 and Ina Mee, a female in the house is 40.

In a similar situation in 1860 Freeman Sutton, age 24 living with Oe Na Swa Ba a male who is 40 and Charita a female who is 22. Also in there house are two children, William Griffin age 2 and Mary Judson who is 5. In 1870 they still live next to the Wakefields and they have aged at about the same rate. He is now 40 and his new wife, Mary Sutton is a 25 year old Indian woman and they have three children, John, Jane and William, ages 4, 1 and 6. Poor Charita must have succumbed to the consumption!

Whatever Freeman was doing in his personal life is, I suppose, his own business but he did purchase land in 1872 under the authority of the Indian Allotment and again in 1879 with the help of the Homestead Act in 1879 in Mason county in Township 18 N, otherwise known (at the time) as Indian Town. By 1880 the Sutton's of Mason are pretty much a new family.

Freeman is married to Jane (there is nothing to rule out the possibility that Jane, Charita and Mary are all the same woman) and there are two children, Johnson (6) and Andrew (15). They live quite near (next door in fact) John Wakefield, who is an old man, 70 in fact! What is interesting now is that Mr. Sutton Freeman has only aged 4 years since the last census and John Wakefield, in the last 20 years has aged 46 years.

Most of these people are unexplainable. I do know enumerators were not supposed to count Indian's who were not taxed. Can you imagine someone moving into your home and then charging you rent? Anyway, I don't know how this data was gathered. If the original data was transferred and transcribed that could explain all the errors in age and perhaps age. Did the enumerators make up names and identities for people they could not reach? Or people they did not want to reach? Did the Indian's think the Christian name's were a big joke?

"Hey, hey, Shah Uou! What's my name? Guess!"

" it Tom Bob?"


"Ha ha ha, Oh that is sooo funny!" Ash E Wa laughs so hard he starts to cry.

I'm not sure what happened to all of these other people. They may have died or disappeared. If they could have left, perhaps William Griffin and Mary Judson went too. Did Issac go with them? Did he go to Macomb and marry 38 year old Ester Graham, widow of the county-wide-famous Benjamin Graham?

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