Archive for the ‘Hartwell Family’ Category

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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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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First Generation

Nelson HARTWELL, b. abt 1815, Canada,  m.  Electa S. WALTER, b. abt 1820, Vermont


Second Generation

Children of Nelson HARTWELL and Electa WALTER

Charles Warren HARTWELL, b. 1 February, 1835,  Vermont, d. 5 November, 1919, Michigan, m. Calista A. LANGS, b. 2 April 1842, m. 20 December, 1857, Branch County, MI, d. 20 October, 1905, Michigan

Harlow Hartwell, b. abt 1838

Isabella Hartwell, b. abt 1840

Lorinda HARTWELL,   b. abt. 1846, Vermont,   d. 8 Apr 1909, Vermont

Luria HARTWELL b. abt 1848, Vermont

Melissa H. HARTWELL,   b.abt  1856, Vermont


Children of Charles HARTWELL and Calista LANGS:

Esabella/Isabella HARTWELL, b. 1858, Michigan

George N. HARTWELL, b. May, 1861, Vermont, m. Mary Jane EDGEWORTH, 16 October, 1882 d., 2 July, 1920, Manistique, MI

Charles Hartwell married 2nd: Susan Winkworth. Children of Charles Hartwell and Susan Winkworth:

Children of Charles Hartwell and Susan Winkworth:

Albertus N. Hartwell, b. 24 December, 1877

Charlotte E. Hartwell, b.  6 October, 1885

George W. Hartwell, b.  22 February, 1888

William H Hartwell, b. 23 April, 1891


Third Generation

III.  Children of George N. Hartwell and Mary Jane Edgeworth

stillborn HARTWELL,* b. 18 July, 1884, Echo Twp, Antrim County, MI

stillborn2 HARTWELL,*b. 18 July, 1885, Echo Twp, Antrim County, MI

*probably the same child… date may be a recording error.

Johannah C. (Jo) HARTWELL,  b. 11 Aug 1887, Echo Twp, Antrim County Michigan, m. William Clay Sherman., 24 December, 1906,  d. 3 Dec 1967, Tacoma, Washington

George N. HARTWELL married 2nd:   Alice (Allie) VANICA, 18 April, 1893

Children of George N. HARTWELL and Allie VANICA

Charles R. F. (Frank H.) HARTWELL,   b. 25 Mar 1900, Michigan, D. 5  September, 1900, Michigan



Family History Center Film # 93079

Marriage Record, George N. Hartwell  and Allie Vanica

U.S. Census for Essex County, Vermont: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880

Marriage Record, Calista Langs and Charles Hartwell, Branch County, Michigan, 20 December, 1857

Dunsmore Cemetery Record for Frank H. Hartwell, September 5, 1900, Antrim County, MI, FHL film #115

Marriage record, George N. Hartwell and Mary Jane Edgeworth, Married November, 27, 1882, Antrim County Michigan.  FHL film #0980364 page 35, #46.


Please feel free to contact us for additional source data or if you have questions.

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, February 4, 2011, All Rights Reserved

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Charles Hartwell was my husband’s GGGrandfather.  Tracing his life has been fascinating to say the least. Not only because there are lots of records relating to him but because those records provide significant insights into Charles Hartwell’s person including some unflattering information.  You’ll see this as his story unfolds.  We used Civil War Service and Pension applications, Homestead papers, and Vital records as well as maps and historical information about the times to put this all together and begin to “know” Charles Hartwell. Even the handwriting analysis provides clues to his personality. Here then, as we know it is his story:

Charles Warren Hartwell was the first child of Nelson Hartwell and Electa Walter.  He was born February 1, 1835 in Linden (Lyndon) Caledonia County, Vermont, mailing address East Haven, Essex County Vermont. The 1840 U.S. census shows the Nelson Hartwell family members as: one free white male under the age of 5, one free white male between the ages of 5 thru 9, one free white male 20 thru 29, one free white female under the age of 5 one free white female 20 thru 29. Total persons = 5. The census also shows that one person (presumably Nelson) is engaged in agriculture.  So to line these totals up to people, the one male under 5 would be Harlow, Charles’ younger brother, 5 thru 9 would be Charles, female under the age of 5, his sister Isabella, and of course the two adults would be Nelson and Electa.  In 1850 Charles was still part of the family and was age 15.

Jump ahead to December 30, 1857.  That’s the date Charles married Calista A. Langs in Branch County Michigan. The Langs family lived in Gilead, Branch County.  Why Charles happened to be there is anybody’s guess… although his childhood playmate, Clifton Walter had gone out to that area of Michigan as well.  Perhaps he was simply a young man seeking an adventure.  The 1860 US Census shows Calista, Charles and Isabella (or Esabella) Hartwell had returned to Vermont and were living in Caledonia,  Charles’ home town. Baby Isabella was two years old.

By 1870 the Hartwell’s had moved back out to Michigan with their two children, and in 1870 were enumerated in Noble, Branch County, Michigan not far from the Langs family home. The data:  Charles, age 35, Calista age 30 and George, age 8. Also listed are Eva K Cass, age 6 and Thomas Winters, a Stone Mason age 22 years. Isabella is not listed.

On October 16, 1871 Charles filed a Homestead Application for 160 acres of land in section 26 of Township 31, Range 7W, Antrim County Michigan.

Charles and Calista’s story continues in Part II, focusing on acquisition of the Homestead and Charles departure from the family.


FHL microfilm, source batch #M518282, film #930796, Branch County Marriages, 1833-1867

Department of the Interior request for pension, document #25, Hartwell file

Book: Grace Hooper’s Pioneer Notes, By Trek and Sail to Grand Traverse Bay.  Text written in 1993 by Beulah Hooper King. Published by Fen’s Rim Publications, Inc. Elk Rapids, Michigan

U.S. Census, East Haven, Essex County Vermont, 1840-1870;  Newark, Caledonia County Vermont, 1860

U.S. Census, State of Michigan, Noble County 1870; Antrim County 1880

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, February 9, 2011.  All Rights Reserved

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The Civil War involved so many of our ancestors and most have left some “tracks” of their participation in the war;  Many of these tracks are now available to us from the National Archives and Records Administration as well as other sources.  In the case of Charles Warren Hartwell, we sent off to NARA and received two different files, one of compiled service records (13 pages) and the other of Pension Files (242 pages).  And after reading these files several times over we’re still not exactly clear on the activities of Charles Hartwell during the war years so we decided to post some of the more pertinent documents and let them speak for themselves.  All of these documents pertain to Charles W. Hartwell, Private, Company D, 4th MichiganCavalry.

Compiled Military Service Records for Charles:

Prisoner of War/Misc. Information  Card

Discharge from Company D., 4th Regiment of  Michigan Cavalry showing enrollment on 30 October, 1863, discharge on 21 July, 1865.  Personal description states that he was born in Linden (Lyndon) Vermont, was 28 years old, 5 ft., 11 inches high with light complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.  Occupation was given as “Mechanic.”

Individual Muster-out Roll dated in Detroit, MI, July 2, 1865, clothing and money advanced and owing, $71 plus a bounty of $25 was owing.  This document shows Charles was taken prisoner on April 10, 1865, paroled April 27, 1865.

Detachment Muster-out Roll dated Edgefield Tenn. August 15, 1865 with an account owing of $76.76 for clothing or money advanced and $25 Bounty paid.  This order was revoked.

Descriptive List of Deserters Arrested dated June 16, 1864 in Ohio.  Record 8/30 “says himself he was assigned same camp and Regiment.”

Muster and Descriptive Roll dated June 17, 1864 listing Charles W. Hartwell as a deserter.

Company Muster Roll for September and October 1864 shows Charles absent and on detached service at Provost Marshal, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Company Muster Roll for January and February 1865 shows Charles as present. March and April show him as absent.

Company Muster-out Roll dated Nashville, TN, July 1, 1865 “Recruit taken prisoner at Columbus, GA  April 16, 1865, Paroled at Columbus, GA April 25, 1865, a subsequent document lists Charles in  April, 1865 as absent, sick at Columbus GA. April 17, 1865.

Roll Rooms, Division A.G.O., dated January 19, 1882 is requesting information on Charles and states that Charles W. Hartwell was “Drafted in 2nd Dist and forwarded from Grand Rapids Mich, December 8, 1869, his whereabouts from that date to September or October ’64 and any record of desertion….. This man was sent from Michigan Draft December 8, 1863 to the 4th Mich Cavalry, Dept ….No officer’s report on file.  He deserted at Nashville, TN, (no date given) arrested May 28, 1864 2nd Dist Michigan and sent to Detroit Mil Post 1.1 18… $30 allowed.  Again arrested June 13, 1864, 10 Dist Ohio as a deserter December, 1863 Kalamazoo, Mich and sent to Columbus, Ohio, June 7, 1864 to Regiment via Cincinnati O. same day, $30 reward allowed.  Delivered at Mil. Post Cincinnati O to Capt McCleery expenses of transfer $5.64.”

Discharge papers dated July 21, 1865 at Detroit, MI. for Charles describe him as 28 years of age, 5 ft 11 inches high, light complexion, blue eyes, brown hair and a mechanic* by occupation.

*Described as a laborer.


These documents were all hand written and so, in some cases a bit difficult to read, but hopefully I’ve gotten the pertinent information correctly transcribed.  In any case these records seem to paint a picture of Charles Hartwell’s military record as unsatisfactory.

The next post will contain several excerpts from Pension Record Affidavits filed after the War.


SOURCES: NATF 86 Compiled Military Service Record for Charles W. Hartwell

Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, February 20, 2011.  All Rights Reserved

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The Hartwells filed Homestead application on October 16, 1871 and started working the land to “prove it up” as the saying went. Charles paid the sum of eighteen dollars to start the homestead process.

One of the first things the settler must do build is a house… the Hartwell’s house was described as “of logs, story & half, board floor & shingle roof.  One door & one window.” Improvements to the property were described: “20 Rasberry (sic) bushes and 5000 Strawberry plants.”

This description was given on September 18, 1875 by Calista Hartwell, widow of Charles W. Hartwell.  But wait!  A widow?  No…according to Grace Hooper’s “Pioneer Notes”, Charles left the family shortly after their arrival at South Arm in 1870.  And it’s documented that Charles married Susan Winkworth August 2, 1874. Here’s the text from “Pioneer Notes” as written:

“In 1870 a boat drew in to the dock at the end of South Arm bringing Charles and Calista Hartwell and two children to land.  They had taken up a soldier’s homestead nine miles south and west in Antrim County.  In a short time, Mr. Hartwell left home and soon married another woman.  Shocked and grieved, Mrs. Hartwell was confronted with the necessity of providing a living for her children, but she was a plucky woman and had a fair education so rose to meet the occasion.  She worked at dressmaking and millinery and was appointed postmistress at South Arm and carried on for three years.  Learning that she could prove up the homestead, she undertook the project and received the deed in her own name.  It was required that she occupy the land a certain number of days each month, so she walked seven miles to the Kinney’s and they went with her ahead to break a trail through the deep snow.  The women followed, each carrying necessary things…….she had made her way alone for eight years.”

Homestead application dated October 16, 1871, signed by Charles Hartwell.


Final papers granting the homestead to Calista Hartwell, dated January 20, 1876.


Plat of Echo Twp, Hartwell homestead highlighted and named “W.H. McAllister.”  Calista married Wilson McAllister subsequent to receiving the homestead.


SOURCES: “Pioneer Notes” by Grace Hooper, Fen’s Rim Publications, Elk Rapids, Michigan, 1993

NARA Form 86 Military Service Record for Charles Warren Hartwell

NARA Form 85A Full Pension File #324743 for Charles Warren Hartwell

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Which was he….scoundrel or victim?   That’s the question that surfaces as one reads Charles Hartwell’s pension file.

First let me say that the file contained 242 documents and probably more than 3/4 of were applications for pension increases, letters begging the government to increase his pension, and affidavits or letters of support or disagreement.  The remaining documents were administrative orders, summaries of his case, acceptance and rejection letters, and other miscellany.

Charles applied for his invalid pension stating that he suffered from sciatic rheumatism and a shell wound under his left eye, both of these conditions resulting from his military service.  He was granted a pension for service of one year, seven months and 29 days. The first payment on July 22, 1865 was $2, his monthly allotment.

Here are some excerpts from the file:

Basis of Claim: “Alleges in declaration file December 5, 1879, that he received a shell wound of left eye at Selma, Ala, April 2, 1865. That he contracted rheumatism at Montgomery, Ala., April 13, 1865.” This from a document approving a special investigation and reopening the claim.

“Approved for rejection on the ground that there is no record of the alleged shell wound of head or rheumatism and claimant having declared his inability to prove their incurrence in the service.  Dated Nov 28, 1882.”

October 16, 1884 Charles wrote the following letter,  original spelling and punctuation retained:

“To the Department of the interior

Sir I herby state under oath to the best of my knolage of the request you ask of me.  First for three years before I inlisted  I lived in East Haven an Island Pond Vt. my native home and worked at carpenter work that has ben my ocupation through life  since I came out of the army I have lived in township of Hersey Oceola Co Mich and was treated by Dr. Wood I lived at Croton Newaygo Co Mich and was treated by Dr. Trask & Dr. Cory at Martin Hurts House then I moved to Hersey and six years last april I come to Victory where I now live I have ben treated hear by Dr. McConal of Ludington I have never recieved eny reilief from a Doctor for an I consulted verious Doctors an they all tell me that the sciatica canot be cured so I used Patent medisons.

The firs atack of my discease I think about the midle of April 1865 it lasted while the frost was don in the spring and it comenced in the fall when the first frost comes some seasons it is harder then others some of the time for 2 or 3 weeks I cant lay down nor sit Down an some of  the time they give up all hopes of my living threw spill through this I can prove by my neighbors I have never had eney acute Discus I have performed manual laibor for that is all that surports my family but nevr have I don a days work without more or less pain I canot chop my fire wood at eney time I can work through the months of June July August an September very well I have a small farm of 4 acres and poor house to live in an seven in my family to surport an I help to surport – the consitution of the united states. Now will the united states help to surport me an mine as it has promised to do if not Burn this.  (signed) C.W. Hartwell Victory, Mich.”

In 1887, 1888 and 1889 Charles filed for an increase of an invalid pension but had difficulty locating officers who could corroborate his statements.  According to one statement by of the circuit court “he has made diligent efferts sic) to ascertain the whereabouts of …officers or two comrades who were present when he contracted his disability, but without avail.  He requests that the hospital records be accepted to show that said disabilities were contracted in service and in the line of duty.” The file does contain some records of Charles time in the hospital, but doctors who he claimed treated him over the years didn’t remember him except for one who states he was never paid for his services.

There are numerous other letters in file, one from James Peale who was investigating the claim.  He talked with Cyrus Luce, governor, who stated he’d known Charles Hartwell and described him as “a sort of Jack of all Trades…. who when he wanted to could do a good days work, but had formed a bad moral character in the neighborhood and after the war had led a vagrant sort of life.”

Dr. McConnell examined Charles and stated “I find a flesh wound trivial…there are no physical signs of rheumatism and claimant appears to be healthy and robust…..”

John Arnold’s deposition included the information “he came back (from the war) in uniform and lay around for quite a while, he, I think claimed to be on furlough, and my impression is that David M…. who was Provost Marshal at Coldwater came out and arrested him and took him off….”

Note:  Part II of The Life and Times of Charles Warren Hartwell includes military muster roll information about his service as well as his record of  desertion.

Despite the above troubles Charles had with military service he was granted an honorable discharge. His last pension payment increase was granted June 10 of 1918 increasing it to $38 per month. Charles died November 5, 1919.

I started this post asking whether Charles Hartwell was a victim or a scoundrel.  If he had sciatica there’s no doubt he’d have times of major pain and be unable to work.  However the overwhelming amount of data in his pension file points one in the direction of scoundrel. Maybe he was both, hurting and disabled, but working the system to get the most out of his questionable injuries.


SOURCE: Form 85A Full Pension File #324743 for Charles Warren Hartwell


Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls Washington, February 25, 2011, All Rights Reserved

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