Edward Best was born on February 9, 1846 in Bayham, Middlesex County (later known as Elgin County), Ontario Canada. He was the son of Casper and Mary (Crane) Best who had eight children in the 1851 Canadian Census; Mary Ann (1833), Jane (1835), Dorothy (1837), Henry(1840), Emmeline (1843), Caroline (1846), Edward (1846) and Azubah (1850). Edward and his sister, Azubah are listed in 1861 Federal Census but I do not see his parents or any other family members. In the 1910 Federal Census, Edward reports that he arrived in Michigan in 1864 which would have been that same year that his mother died in Ontario. He would have been eighteen years old. By the time of the 1870 Federal Census, Edward is found in Burnside, Michigan with his sister, Dorothy and her husband, John Riley.
On April 11, 1871, Edward married Agnes Hillis in Imlay City, Michigan. On October 18, 1872, Agnes died in Lapeer, Michigan. She died in childbirth according to the Lapeer County Death Record for the year 1872. In the 1880 Federal Census, Edward is listed in Burnside Michigan in 1880.
On October 7, 1890, Edward Best and Margaret Krack Schock married in Goodland Township, Michigan.
In the Canadian Census of 1901, Edward, who is listed as an American, is found with his new wife, Margaret, and daughters Margaret (1877) and Martha (1892) in Bayham, Elgin County, Ontario with his brother Henry Best. Henry is a widower. Henry is a farmer and his brother Edward is helping him run the farm.
In the 1910 Federal Census, Edward, Margaret and their daughter Martha are living with Edward and Agnes’ daughter Lena and her husband William Dittman and their son Jay in Dryden Michigan.
One hundred and seven years ago today, Edward died in Gibson Bay, Michigan of a heart attack according to his death certificate at the scene of a fire. (What was he doing in Gibson Bay? What burned? ) He is buried in Imlay City, Michigan. I believe that it is likely that he is buried the the Goodland Cemetery with Margaret and his daughter.s There may not be a Tombstone for him. Next time I am in the area and the weather is good, I’ll look for him.
Rest in peace, Edward.
Edward is my first cousin 5 times removed on my father’s maternal side of the family.