Archive for May, 2011

The back of this picture says “George Hartwell, Saw Filer” and it’s the only picture we have of my husband’s great grandfather.  The picture tells us a few things about him:

His occupation was “Saw Filer” and if you look carefully you can see the saw he’s working on has rather large teeth and is the type of saw commonly used in logging operations.  Although you can’t see the saw’s handles it was probably a two-man crosscut saw. The 1910 U.S. Census for Garfield Township, Mackinac County Michigan confirms George Hartwell’s occupation as “Filer” and states he was 49 years old.

George is wearing warm looking clothing, a ragged sweater, wooly socks and ankle high boots.  The boots don’t appear to be heavy duty, more like shoes with high tops. He’s working inside a building, not out among the logging crew.

More of the story of George Hartwell:

George N. Hartwell was born in Island Pond Vermont in May of 1861, the child of Charles Hartwell and Calista Langs.  The family settled in Branch County, Michigan prior to 1870 and later moved to Echo Township, Antrim County, MI.

George married Mary Jane Edgeworth November 27, 1882 in Echo Township, Antrim County Michigan.  George and Mary Jane were the parents of  a stillborn baby born July 18, 1884 and  Johannah, born August 11, 1887.  Mary Jane doesn’t appear in the records after that so it’s possible she died, but we just don’t know.

On April 18, 1893 George married Allie Vanica (or Veronica) daughter of John Vanica and Amanda Schook in Langlade County, Wisconsin.  George and Allie became parents to Frank H. Hartwell who died September 5, 1900 of “Cero-Spinal Meningitis”  Frankie is buried in Dunsmore Cemetery, Antrim County Michigan.  The 1900 census states that Allie was the Mother of six children, three living.

On the 1910 U.S. Federal Census for Mackinac County, MI  George Hartwell is listed as a widower, 49 years old.

In February, 1920, George was admitted as a patient to the Schoolcraft County Hospital. He had been working at the Jackson Lumber camp prior to admission, but the admission documents don’t indicate the reason he was brought in.

George Hartwell died on June 29, 1920 and is probably buried in an unmarked grave in Lakeview Cemetery, Manistique, Michigan.  A section of the cemetery was set aside for burials of County inmates who died during their hospitalization.



1870 US. Census, Population Schedule, Branch County, Michigan, Digital Image, Ancestry.com, 2010

1880 U.S. Census, Population Schedule, Antrim County, Michigan, Digital Image, Ancestry.com, 2010

1900 U.S. Census, Population Schedule, Charlevoix County, Michigan, Digital Image, Ancestry.com, 2010

1910 U.S. Census, Population Schedule, Mackinac County, Michigan, Digital Image, Ancestry.com, 2010

1920 U.S. Census, Population Schedule, Schoolcraft County, Michigan, Digital Image, Heritage Quest, 2010

Antrim County, Michigan Marriage Index, FHC microfilm #0980364

Antrim County, Michigan Death Index, FHC microfilm #0980362

Langlade County, Wisconsin Marriage Index, entry #22, document 02511 120

Schoolcraft County, Michigan Death Certificate record #2691, George Hartwell


Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington, 5/30/2011.  All rights reserved

Picture is the sole property of Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington


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William Edgeworth  died on Novermber 25, 1913 in the County Home in Bellaire, Michigan. His daughter, Mary Jane, was married George Hartwell and was the Mother of Johannah Hartwell, Mr. Ed’s Grandmother.

According to William’s death certificate, issued December 5, 1913 he was 91 years of age, and had lived in the county home for one year, 11 months and 11 days.  Cause of death was Chronic Organic Dementia with a duration of 2 or 3 years.  The death certificate did not list a Father or Mother’s name and said William was born in Canada.

There was a nice obituary in the Charlevoix County Herald, November 29, 1913:

“William Edgeworth, aged 91 years, died at the Antrim County Home at Bellaire this week.  Funeral services were held at Finkton, Wednesday afternoon conducted by Rev. T. Porter Bennett and interment was made in the Moorehouse (sic) cemetery.  Mr. Edgeworth was a resident of Echo township for the past fory years.  His wife died some four years ago and he has been at the Home for about two years  He left no known relatives except a granddaughter* residing in the Beaver Islands.”

*This would be Johannah Hartwell


Obituary, William Edgeworth, Charlevoix County Herald, 11/29, 1913                                     Death Certificate, #15, William Edgeworth, December 5, 1913


Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, WA, 5/22/2011 All Rights Reserved

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Finding a death certificate for Mary Edgeworth has been exciting and at the same time it’s added a note of uncertainty to the search.  Just the other day we received a death certificate from Antrim County Michigan which I believe is the correct one. But there are a few discrepancies as well as data that fits like a glove so I’m just going to list what I know and come to a conclusion, acknowledging that I may be wrong.

Death certificate lists the name “Jane” which matches her daughter’s middle name (Mary Jane)

Census records for 1880 and 1900 list her name as “Mary”

Birth date calculation based on Death Certificate was 23 March, 1822

1880 Census shows Mary Edgeworth, wife of William as being born about 1825

1900 Census shows Mary Edgeworth, wife of William asa being born 18 /April 1825

Echo Twp is very rural and low population density… no other Edgeworths are enumerated in the area

Death certificate says she was born in Canada… census says Ireland

So my take is that this death certificate is indeed for Mr. Ed’s GGGrandmother.  Here’s a scan of the certificate:

It was nice to get the information on Jane’s Father, whose name was “Niblock” and learn that his residence was Michigan.  Now I’m on to the next clue!



Susan Edminster

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Isn’t this an interesting photograph!

My husband inherited a box full of pictures that included some from the Hartwell family, as well as this one. This couple is so intriguing and we have no idea who they are…. well I admit to having a suspicion that they are William and Mary Edgeworth,  parents of Mary Jane Edgeworth who married George Hartwell. If my hunch is correct they would be Mr. Ed’s Great-Great-Grandparents.

Over the years I’ve stared at the photo many times and tried to imagine how this couple lived and why this particular picture was important enough to save more than 100 years. Since Mr. Ed and I have lately been studying his Hartwell line the picture came onto the radar screen again, and even with a scarcity of information at our fingertips we were able to piece together quite a bit of their story and make a tentative ID of this couple.

Back to the picture: The back is stamped “Charley Mathers,  Central Lake Mich.” and the oval has been cut out and glued to the grey cardboard backing.  We attempted to locate descendants of the photographer but found the family had all moved away from Central Lake years ago.  But there are a few things that might be clues in addition to the photographer’s name and location as stamped on the back.

I needed help, so arranged for a phone consultation with The Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor,  http://www.maureentaylor.com/ to see if there were more clues to be had.  Yes! Maureen was a wonderful help both noticing features to the photo I’d missed, and putting the whole thing into context.  If you’re having trouble with photo identification be sure to contact Maureen… you’ll be glad you did!  Here’s what came out of our conversation:

First of all Maureen and I agreed that even if we knew nothing of the subjects, this is a very special picture of an intriguing couple!

I’d mentioned  suspecting these people were the Edgeworths  so her first question to me was whether they were Americans by birth or immigrants.  When I told her they emmigrated from Canada but were born in Ireland, there was a “BINGO” moment.  The reason?  The lady’s bonnet is a very conservative British  Isles style, a style not appearing in photos of American born women. England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, yes, but not America.

This already points to Edgeworths as the subjects since the other Great-Great-Grandparents were native born.

Other observations from Maureen:

The clothing style indicates that the picture was taken close to 1900.  The large ribbon bow on the man’s lapel is indicative of some type of event being celebrated, possibly a 50th wedding anniversary.  Aha!  The 1900 U.S. Census record for Echo Township, Antrim County Michigan states that William and Mary were at that time married 50 years.

I had at one time wondered if this picture had to do with mourning as the bonnet looks a little like some “mourning caps” in pictures on the Internet.  However, the bow pretty much negates that idea, especially with the corroborating evidence of the 50th anniversary.

A particularly interesting observation by Maureen was that this couple appear to dislike each other intensely.  See how they’re looking away from one another and how stern is their countenance?  They are not a happy couple!

I’ll be following up with more data about the Edgeworth family, but couldn’t wait to post this great photo and the likely identification of the subjects.


April 30, 2011

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington,  All Rights Reserved.

Picture is the sole property of Susan J. Edminster

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