Monthly Archives: January 2022

Tombstone Tuesday – January 25, 2022 – Mary Francis Hainer Blair

Mary Francis Hainer was the daughter of John Hainer and Hannah Larraway born on October 6, 1848 in Ontario. John and Hannah had seven children; Almeda Caroline (1845), Mary Francis (1846), Alice Elizabeth (1850), Dorothy Ann (1851), George A. (1853), Jasper (1855), John H (1859).

In the 1851 Ontario Census, John and Hannah are found in Louth, Lincoln County, Ontario. They have four daughters; Almeda (1845) Mary Francis (1846) Alice Elizabeth (1849) and Dorothy (1851). Mary is five years old. John lists his occupation as laborer. In the 1861 Ontario Census, Mary is found with her parents. She is fifteen. Also living with them are Almeda, Dorothy, George, Jasper, and John. They remain in Louth, Ontario. In the 1871 Ontario Census, John and Hannah are in Louth, Ontario with their remaining children ; Almeda, Dorothy, George, Jasper and John.

Mary has married John Blair probably 1865-1867. I do not find a marriage record as of yet. They live in London, Ontario and are recorded on the 1871 Ontario Census there. John Blair lists his occupation as Operator. They have a four year old daughter named Margaret (1867).

By the time of the 1881 Census, John and Mary Blair have returned to Louth, Ontario. John is a telegraph operator. They have three daughters: Margaret, Elsie (1873) and Mary Ethel (1879). Mary Francis was born and raised as a Methodist but I found it interesting that she lists herself as a Reformed Presbyterian in this Census.

In the 1891 Ontario Census, John and Mary live in the village of Grimsby. They have two daughters living with them Margaret and Elsie. John list is occupation as agent for GTR. Wonder if that means Grand Trunk Railway? Still a telegraph operator, hard to say.

1901 John and Mary are in Grimsby with four children; Maggie, Henry J, James A., Frank R.

In the 1911 Ontario Census, John and Mary Francis remain in Grimsby. They are 64 years old. John and Mary Blair had eight children, two died at birth, Margaret (1867), Elsie (1873), Mary Ethel (1879) Henry Jessop (1882), James Alexander (1886), Frank (1887).

In the 1921 Canadian Census, Mary is a widow. She is living with her married daughter, Margaret Piper. They are living in Hamilton, Ontario.

Ninety eight years ago today, Mary Francis Blair died on January 25, 1923 in Burlington, Ontario. Her cause of death is hemiplegia which appears to be a stroke. She was buried in Queen’s Lawn Cemetery located in Grimsby, Ontario next to her husband, John Blair .

Rest in peace, Mary Francis!

Love, Jan

Mary Francis Hainer Blair is my second cousin 3X remove.

Tombstone Tuesday – January 18, 2021 – Silas Huntington Payne

Silas Huntington Payne was born on April 9, 1819 in Palmyra, Wayne County, New York. He was the son of Silas Huntington and Esther (Horton) Payne. Silas and Ester had four children; Julie Ann (1816), Elenore (1817), Silas (1819), Harriet Nancy (1821). Silas’s father died in 1820 before Harriet was born. Ester married John White. Esther and John White had two sons; Levi (1830) and William C (1831).

Silas Huntington Payne married Orpha Louise Butler. I do not find a marriage record but their first daughter was born in 1849 so I am estimating that it was in 1848 or 1849 and I’ll concentrate my search on those years. In the 1850 Federal Census, Silas Payne and Orpha are living in Thetford Township, Genesee County, Michigan. They have one daughter named Louise(1849). According to Findagrave, a daughter named Mary, was born on July 26, 1851 but died two months later on October 2, 1851.

By the time of the 1860 Federal Census, Silas and Orpha have living four children; Lydia, Huntington (1853), Harriet(1856), Nathan (1858). Notice that Louise has now become Lydia from the 1850 Census to the 1860. On her tombstone it states that her name was Roisa Lydia. In 1860, Silas and Orpha had a daughter named Julia Ann Payne. She died in 1868 so she was never recorded in any of the census. In 1862, their daughter Ida Jane was born. She died at birth.

In the 1870 Federal Census, they have four children who are living at home. They are William H (Huntington), Harriet (1856), Nathan (1858) and Ester (1867). In 1874, Cleora May Payne was born but she died on January 17,1879 so she was never found in a census either. In the 1880 Federal Census, Silas and Orpha have three children who remain at home, twenty-one year old, Nathan, twelve year old, Esther and ten year old Dora who must have been born after the 1870 census was recorded.

One hundred and twenty three years ago on January 18,1899, Silas Huntington died in Mt Morris, Michigan at the age of seventy-nine. According to his death certificate, he died of Bronchitis stemming from a cold which lasted for about three weeks. It appears that “Old Age” was added to to the explanation of cause of death. He was buried in Thetford Cemetery with six of his children who had died before him.

Rest in Peace,


Silas Huntington Payne is my 4th Great Uncle.

Tombstone Tuesday – January 11, 2022 – Catherine Crites Hostetler

Catherine Crites was born on June 6, 1827, the daughter of John and Mary (Walters) Crites in rural Tuscarawas County, Ohio. John and Mary lived near Dover, Ohio. They had eleven children; Rebecca (1822), Jesse (1824), Jacob (1824), Catherine (1827), Elizabeth (1828), Cyrus (1833), John (1834), Lydia (1836),William (1839), Eli (1841), Sarah (1843). John was a farmer and son of a Revolutionary War Vet, Jacob Crites.

Catherine married Daniel Hostetler in Tuscarawas County, Ohio on October 8, 1848. Catherine and Daniel left Ohio and settled in Markle, Indiana after purchasing a November 7th 1848 Land patent for 80 acreas located at Congressional Township 28 North, Range 11, section 20W/2 SE/4, Union Township, Wells County, Indiana. He clearing the land and creating a homestead. In the 1850 Federal Census, a twenty-five year old Daniel and a twenty-two year old Catherine Hostetler are living in Union Township, Wells County Indiana.

Daniel and Catherine’s 80 acres was adjacent to Jesse Crites and his family on one side and with Daniel Fisher and his family on the other side. Daniel Fisher was a Crites’ cousin of Jesse and Catherine. Daniel Fisher’s mother was Elizabeth Crites Fisher. In Wells County Historical Book the author recounted that these three families were early settlers in the County. They left Ohio together after purchasing their Land Grants. They helped each establishing their homesteads. It is said that they purchased one farm wagon, a plow and an Ox which they shared. Each of them had a horse and a wagon for the purpose of transportation. Various farming implements were purchased collectively and shared by the families. They assisted each other in clearing their land and creating suitable land for farming.

In the 1870 Federal Census, Daniel and Catherine, are still on their 80 acres in Union township, Wells County, Indiana. They are still living next door to Jesse and Elizabeth. They have seven children living with them who were; John W, Mary C, Sarah E., Margaret J, Emily (1859), Daniel (1864)and Amos (1868). Daniel lists his occupation as Farmer. John, their oldest son, is currently working with his father.

By the time of the 1880 Federal Census, They now had four children who remain with them. They are; Daniel, Amos, Emily, Amanda (1872).

The following picture was shared on and of the Daniel Hostetler family. It was believed to have been take about 1881. Thanks to Darrell for sharing this family photo with us.

L to R: William Hostetler, Margaret Kain, Daniel Hostetler, Catherine Hostetler, Emma Hey, and Amanda Smith. Standing back row, L to R: Amos G. Hostetler, Mary Wise, Daniel Hostetler, and Sarah Freel. Based on Amanda’s birthday of Oct 1871 and guessing that she is about age 10 in this photo, My guess is that this was taken about 1881. As of 2010 the original of this photograph is in the possession of Darrell and Diane Valentine, Decatur, Indiana. Darrell is the grandson of Amos G. Hostetler.

In the 1910 Census, Catherine is a widow who appears to be living on her own.

One hundred and eleven years ago on January 11, 1911, Catherine Hostetler died in Markle, Indiana. She was buried in Markle Cemetery.

Markle Cemetery

Rest in peace, Catherine!

Love, Jan

Catherine Crites Hostetler is my 4th Great Aunt. I currently have 6 DNA connections on from Catherine’s ancestors.

Tombstone Tuesday – January 4, 2022 – Leah Mae Anderson Smith

Leah Mae Anderson was born on February 3, 1928 in Marine City, Michigan. She was the daughter of Andrew and Addie (Densmore) Anderson. She was the sixth child born to Andrew and Addie. They had eight children; Olga Marie (1911), Ray Densmore (1916), Robert Wesley (1920), Andrew Frederick (1922), Charles Henry (1925), Leah Mae (1928), Herbert Wm (1930), John Hayner (1932).

Anderson family 1938 – Front row: Addie, John, Andrew, Leah, Olga, Herbert. Back row: Andrew , Robert , Ray , Charles

Andrew was a sailor on freighters in the Great Lakes for many years but eventually he decided to work for the new electrified railroad which took people from Port Huron to Detroit. He worked in the Electric Substation which powered the rail cars. The Substation would eventually become Detroit Edison.

Leah attended school in Marine City and Church at the Marine City Methodist Church. It is at church where she would meet her sole mate, Harold Smith as a teenager. Everett Smith, Harold’s Dad , was a Methodist Minister who became the pastor of the Marine City Church in 1947. They attended High School together. Leah graduating one year before Harold. Leah attended one year of college at Baker learning Secretarial skills.

Leah married Harold Alton Smith on May 27, 1950 in Marine City, Michigan. They settled in Lapeer, Michigan where Harold was working for J C Penny’s and later Egleston’s. While living in Lapeer, they had three of their six children; Pamela (1951), Sue (1953) and Janet(1955). Shortly after Janet was born, They moved to Romeo, Michigan where Harold was now managing Egleston’s second Department store. While living in Romeo, Harold and Leah had three more children; Sharon (1960), Mark (1962), Matt (1964).

Leah was a wonderful “stay at home” Mom. (How do I know? She was my Mother. I am Janet.) She taught all of her daughter’s to sew with the encouragement of Harold who provided the fabric! She taught us to cook and bake. In the summer, she would buy a bushels of peaches, plums and pears and we would preserve them. She taught me to make Jam. All of these skills I still use today.

Harold Smith Family Christmas of 1964

In 1968, the Smith family moved to Imlay City, where Harold had planned to purchase a Department Store. He had been working in a large family run department store called “Mitzelfelds” in Rochester, Michigan and decided to venture out on his own. This purchase fell thru but in 1971 he bought the first of two Ben Franklin Stores. By this time, all the kids were in school and and Leah began to help Harold out in the store, as did all of his kids!

Harold purchased his second Ben Franklin in Harbor Beach in 1975. He ran both store with the help of his daughter and son-in-law who lived in Harbor beach. Eventually selling the closing the Imlay City store and moving to Harbor Beach permanently. Leah was always ready for Harold’s next adventure, what ever that might be! Harold built an apartment for them in the back of the store and they loved their new adventure.

Ed and Louise Heitke and Leah and Harold Smith – 1989

Harold decided that it was time to sell the Dime store building to the local Druggist who was bursting at the seams in his building around the corner early in 1996. He decided to buy a Century old building across the street and move all his favorite things about the dime store there and leaving behind for the drug store the other “dime store” type items. He and Leah would semi-retire and Pam would run the store and he would dabble in the things he liked, like the framing shop. That was to be their new adventure. As he negotiated these sales, he suddenly died in August 1996. Pam and Leah continued with his plan. They purchased the Corner Store in Harbor Beach and moved the some of the dime store lines, framing, sewing, embroidery, crafting and souvenir lines to the Corner Store and selling the Dime Store to the local druggist . Leah worked with her daughter most days for most of her remaining years.

She blossomed into quite an independent woman after Harold died. I think working in the Corner Store made her feel close to her beloved Harold. She became active in a local Bible Study and remained active with her church. She had a group of friends that she played cards and games with. She did some traveling in the winter and visited friends in warmer climates sometime for several weeks at a time. She joined her children every summer on our week long camping trips to Sand Lake. She bought and maintained her own home. Holidays and Birthday were spent with family.

Leah was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2007. She battled it for two years. I miss her everyday! The most important thing to her was her husband and her family!

She was a grace filled person. She never raised her voice except to sing. I never heard she and my father ever argue or even disagree on anything. She was quiet, gentle and grateful for all the blessings that she had in her life. She was a beautiful faith filled woman. She loved to laugh. Most nights she would stay up late and watch Johnny Carson. You could hear her laughing in the family room at all his funny antics. She love his show.

My Mother, Leah, lost her battle with cancer and died on January 4, 2009, in Harbor Beach, Michigan. She was buried in Rock Falls Cemetery in Harbor Beach next to her sole mate and husband, Harold Smith.

Rest in peace, Mom! I miss you every day!

Love, Jan