Sunday, October 09, 2011

1850 – Fords and Flansburghs: One Big Family

The Ford family came from New York, but when they moved to Michigan in 1841, they came in great numbers.  By 1950, there were 20 native New Yorkers carrying the Ford name in Sheridan Township, Calhoun County, Michigan. This does not include the Ford girls who married into other families.  Although I have not personally proven every relationship, it is likely that they came under the leadership of at least two brothers: James and Abraham Ford.

I do not know if Abraham married or had children, but James certainly did.  James died in 1848, but it is his wife Ruth and their children and grandchildren who make up the Fords of Sheridan, Calhoun, Michigan in 1850.

James and Ruth’s son Nathaniel (44), a farmer with real estate worth $1,000, seems to have been the head of the largest Ford household in 1850.  Eleven of the previously mentioned 20 were under his roof, and there were a total of 17 people in the household.  There was his wife Mercy (41) and their children Morris M. (20) Malvina (15), Oscar D. (16), John (8), and Jos H. [James Hammond] (2).  Morris and Oscar were farmers, and Malvina, Oscar, and John had attended school within the year.  Young James was the only one born in Michigan.

Also in the home were Nathaniel and Mercy’s married daughter Melissa O. Flansburgh (18) and her husband Clarkson (21) who worked as a blacksmith [The future parents of Evangeline].

I do not know who Saml (28) and Geo Armold (21) were exactly, but they lived with the Fords as well. Both were born in New York; Saml was a laborer with real estate worth $400.  Geo was a house carpenter.

Lewis Ford (27) – a farmer – was probably Nathaniel’s brother [although I have yet to solidly prove the relationship] and was also in the home with his Canadian wife Francis (27) and their children Charles W. (4), Elma A. [Alma Ann] (2), and baby William H who was just a month old.  Interestingly, the three children are listed as being born in New York, even though their births would have been after the main family migration.  This is either a mistake, or, since these birth places are listed the same way in the future 1860 census, it is possible that the Lewis Ford family followed the rest of the family to Michigan several years after the main exodus.  Their recent arrival – possibly just a month or a few weeks before the census – could explain why the family is staying temporarily in Nathaniel’s home.

The final member of the household was 71 year old Abraham Ford.  As I have said, I have yet to prove the relationship, but he was probably Nathaniel’s uncle.

Click HERE to go forward and read about the Moore Family in 1851.

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