Earlier this month, I started to write about my mysterious ancestor, Irene Havens, but to be honest, I realize I left the post unfinished. I'm terribly sorry about that. Anyhow, I'll just start over again.
What I know about Irene primarily consists primarily of estimated birth year, a possible birth location, and her marriage to my ancestor, Peter Stout. As I mentioned before, I suspect she was born sometime between 1840 and 1843 in New York. (That information is based upon census records and her tombstone epitaph at the moment.) On one of my first research trips to Saint Joseph County, Michigan, I found the marriage record for Peter Stout and Irene Havens, and learned that they were married on the 1st of January in 1862. The marriage record suggested she was about 18 years old at the time, and unfortunately, the record in the county did not record the names of either bride or groom's parents. Prior to Irene's marriage, the only census I could find Irene in (at first) was the 1860 U. S. Census. In that census, she is living in the Household of Calvin Johnson in Florence Township, the same township where the Stout family resided, and her occupation is given as a servant. Calvin's birthplace was listed as New York, and I thought at that time that there might be family connection since Irene's birthplace is given as New York. Of course, when I tried to find a location in New York for Calvin Johnson and Irene Havens, I could not find a place where both could have lived nearby each other's family. I then quickly made the assumption that the chances were that Calvin and Irene were not related. So, for a little while after that, I was stuck and I put her line aside for a while.
Later on in that year, I visited St. Joseph County, Michigan again, to do more research. (I was planning to do research on all of my branches, not just on Irene.) In my previous visit, I had been unable to find a death record for Irene. Even though I did not have a death date for Irene, I knew she had died by 1877 since her husband remarried that year. (Of course, I should also state that I noticed that Peter had another wife by looking at the 1880 census, but at that time, it was only a guess.) I would not have a possible death date until towards the end of my visit when I visited Calhoun Cemetery in Florence township. I'll write more about my visit to Calhoun Cemetery in another post, but for the moment, it'll suffice to say that after finding Irene's grave, I had a possible death date and possible age at death in years, months and days. So far, this is the closest I have to a possible birth date and year for Irene.
Of course, finding Irene's grave did not help me figure out where in New York she was from or who her parents were. And I would not have an idea until about a year later. At that time, I was starting to think about what I could do to figure out where Irene came from when I realized that I had not followed her younger daughter forward into the censuses from 1900 to 1930. I knew that Mary Stout had married Clement Albright in the 1880s, but I realized that I did not know what happened to her after her marriage. So, I began to look for her daughter in the censuses. At the same time, I took a look back at the 1910 census for Peter Stout's household, and I noticed that Peter had a granddaughter named Jessie Albright living with him at the time of the census.
After finding one of Mary's children, I decided to look for her and her family in the censuses. I was able to quickly find Mary and Clement in the 1900 census in Kalamazoo County. I then looked for Mary again, and I found her with her children in the 1910 census living in Gladwin County with a Philip Lang (or sometimes spelled Lange). Mary and her children are listed as nieces and nephews to Philip, and since Mary is listed as a widow, Clement probably died sometime between 1900 and 1910. (Of course, I could be wrong, but I'll have to do a little bit more research to find out when he died.) I then looked for Mary again, and I found her living in Gladwin County again in the 1920 census. In this census, Philip was listed in the building below Mary's. After finding them in the 1920 census, I could not find Philip or Mary in the 1930 census. I am uncertain as to when or where they died, and I hope to be able to do some research sometime into when they died.
After noticing that Mary Albright was listed as Philip Lang's niece, I went backwards in the censuses to see who he married, as Philip's wife might be a sibling to Irene. In the 1900, 1880 and 1870 censuses, I discovered that he was married to a Rhoda. I then looked up Philip Lange's marriage record in Saint Joseph County, and discovered that he had married a Rhoda Havens. After discovering that Rhoda was related to Irene (either as a sister, step-sister or half-sister), I decided to look for her in the censuses prior to 1870. I also looked again at the 1900 and 1910 censuses and realized that Rhoda had died sometime between the 1900 and 1910 censuses. I looked at Saint Joseph County's online death index, and learned that there was a death record for a Rhoda H. Lang listed.
On another note, I'll have to continue this article on Irene in another post since this post is getting extremely long. So, in another post, I'll write about searching for Rhoda, and what I discovered. In addition, I will continue writing about my research into my Havens ancestors.
Indiana Genealogical Society blog
10 years ago