When I was a little girl, I heard stories about an ancestor named Norman Davison. He was a traveling judge who built and operated the grist mill in town, was the postmaster, etc, etc. I felt a little like royalty. I was not interested in doing the research on my family tree as a child when my mother worked on it (which I regret deeply when I think of all the family I could have interviewed). I didn’t know about census records, probate records and things like that, or have time to learn. Now my own children are old enough to let me concentrate my efforts on the research. This experience has been so rewarding.
I knew that Norman Davison was my 5x grandfather’s brother. There is so much printed information about him it was easy to learn about him and his family. He was deeply involved in the politics of the new State of Michigan and his local community, Davisonville, which is now called Atlas.
My 5x grandfather, on the other hand, was a much quieter fellow. It took much digging to find the smallest scraps of information about him. His name is Marlin. Many people have it spelled “Martin” but two main pieces of evidence tells me it’s “Marlin”: his gravestone is marked “Marlin” and he has a grandson named Marlin. So I’m going with Marlin.
When I traced back up the tree beginning with me, I got stuck in the generation below Marlin (his children). I knew my 3x grandfather was a Hull whose mother is listed as a Jersey, but I couldn’t figure out which daughter could be married to a Jersey. Marlin’s children’s names were: Julian, Sallie, Adaline, Betsey, Paul, John, Asa, Thomas, William, Morgan, Samuel, Mason and Lovina. I knew that the men would keep the name Davison, so I researched Sallie, Adaline and Betsey for any hint of marriage to a Jersey. Nothing. I even tried Asa to no avail. I was beginning to think our relation to the Davison name was just a family legend.
Then it occurred to me that “boy names” of the 21st century might have been “girl names” in the 19th century. I researched Mason, then Morgan, finding only proof they were indeed men. THEN last but not least I looked up Julian. Why did I not start with the oldest child?? Julian is actually Julia Ann! What broke this mystery open for me was finding her grave next to her parents – once I finally found those – it called her Julia Ann.
I still don’t have much information about her but I did see she married James Harlow Jersey and gave birth to Sarah Jersey who married Noah Hull, my already familiar 3x grandfather.
This makes Marlin Davison my 5x grandfather.