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Mary Ann Welch

Female 1840 - 1921  (80 years)


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  • Name Mary Ann Welch  [1
    Born 28 Dec 1840  Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Female 
    Died 19 Jul 1921  Lake Odessa, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6
    Buried Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Notes 
    • The death certificates of Mary's two oldest sons have seemingly conflicting information as to the name of their mother. LaVonne Bennett, an Ionia County researcher, emailed me that while at the Eaton County Courthouse, she "learned from death records of Wm Bert and Elmer that papa's name was Frank/Franklin Smith, and that mama's was either Mary (Ann?) ELVERT b in Ionia or (Mary?) Ann WELCH b Canada!"  However, although William Bert Smith's death certificate shows his mother as Mary Elvert, his marriage license lists his mother as Mary Welch.  Additionally, Marcus's marriage certificate list his mother as Mary Ann Welch.  Samuel Lee Chapman's death certificate, a son by Mary Ann's second marriage, also lists his mother as Mary Ann WELCH. Only Marcus Chapman's death certificate shows his mother's maiden name as unknown. It was filed by the "Bureau Social Aid Records, Ionia," however, and not a relative.

      In looking at a transcription of the Ionia, MI 1850 Federal Census, I discovered that  a Mary Ann WELCH and William WELCH  were living with the ELEVERT family. It appears likely that 30 year old Ann Elvert is their mother, the former Anna BROWN. Anna Brown appears to have first married William WELCH, and later remarried William ELVERT. It is also possible that Mary Ann and William may have been orphaned or otherwise abandoned, and were living with the Elvert family at the time of that census.

      1850 Federal Census, Michigan, Ionia County, Berlin Township

      33  65   68  Elvert William 49   M Farmer 300 Ireland
      34  65   68  Elvert Ann 30   F Ireland                
      35  65   68  Helch (sic) William 11 M Upper Canada
      36  65   68  Helch (sic) Mary A. 10 M (sic) Mich
      37  65   68  Elvert James 8 M Mich
      38  65   68  Elvert Cornelius 5 M Mich
      39  65   68  Elvert Julia 3 F Mich
      40  65   68  Elvert Emily 1 F Mich

      This Census was transcribed by Beth Wills and proofread by Pat Billings, Hope Farris, Kathy Laux for the USGenWeb Census Project, http://www.usgenweb.org/census

      1860 Federal Census
      Michigan, Ionia County, Berlin Township (21 Sept 1860)
      #2718-2616
      Wm. ELVERT 63 M Farmer 1000 500 Ireland
      Ann ELVERT 48 F Ireland
      Cornelius 15 M Michigan
      Julia 13 F Michigan
      Harry 11 M Michigan
      John 9 M Michigan
      Elizabeth 6 F Michigan
      Ellen 4 F Michigan
      James 18 M Michigan
      Mary WELCH 21 F Teacher

      Furthermore, it appears that Ann and William Elvert divorced in 1869. Maybe this accounts for the 16 year old Elizabeth Elvert living, Mary's half sister, living with Mary in 1870.

      1869        Elvert               Ann vs. William                 673

      Ionia County Divorce Index http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~camprowl/divorce%20index.txt

      1870 Ionia County, Odessa Township
      129-128
      Smith, Mary 30 F W Farming and Keeping House  2500 475 Mich Father and Mother of Foreign Birth
      Smith, Elmer F 4 M W Michigan
      Smith, William B 1 M W
      Elvert**, Elizabeth 16 F W Michigan Attended School  Father and Mother of Foreign Birth

      Mary did not have an easy life. At 38, she had been twice widowed, and had charge of four young sons: Elmer Smith, Bert Smith, Samuel Lee Chapman, and Marcus Chapman. Marcus was a newborn. Additionally, she had five older stepchildren, who may not have been particularly happy to have both lost their father and gained a stepmother in a relatively brief period of time.

      1880 Ionia County, Odessa Township  (1 June 1880) #21-23 Chapman, Mary A  W F 40 Widow Keeping House Mich Ireland Ireland
         "             Elmer    WM 14 Son      School              Mich Mich     US?
         "             Burtis    WM 11 Son      School              Mich Mich      "
         "             Lee        WM   7 Son                               Mich Mich      "
         "             Marquis WM   5 Son                               Mich Mich     "


      1900 Ionia County, Odessa Township
      ED #21
      39-40
      Chapman, Mary A Head Dec 1840 58 Mich Ireland Ireland Farmer
      Smith, Elmer Son Mar 1866 Mich NY NY Laborer
      Chapman, Marcus Son Sep 1878 Mich NY Mich Laborer 39-41
      Chapman, Lee Head July 1875 Mich NY Mich Teaching School
      Chapman, Marion Wife Mar 1876 Mich Mich Mich
      Chapman, Lee Son May 1900 Mich Mich Mich

      In James Leak's 3-23-1875 petition to be named  the administrator of Samuel's will, he states:  ".....for the following among other reasons the widow is not able to work or take charge of her interest in said estate and the heirs are of them three minors and under Guardianship and those who are of age are not in circumstances to carry on to advantage of the whole of said real estate and further the estate has a large part of said land under a crop of wheat down by said deceased in his lifetime which will require the same care and attention necessary to protect crops on the whole of said lands."

      LaVonne Bennett also located the following obituaries and will for Mary Ann:

      (There was) only this very brief mention in the Grand Ledge (newspaper):  "THE GRAND LEDGE INDEPENDENT, MI, Friday, July 22, 1921, front page:  MRS. MARY CHAPMAN, mother of W. B, Smith of this city, who has been ill with paralysis since the latter part of May, passed away at her home near Lake Odessa, July 16, at the age of 84 years.  She also leaves two other sons, Elmer Smith and Marcus Chapman, at home."

      In THE WAVE-TIMES, Lake Odessa, MI, pg 5, July 22, 1921: "Woodland (News items) - FRANK SMITH and his sister Miss GERTIE SMITH were in Odessa Tuesday afternoon attending the funeral of their aunt Mrs. Mary Chapman who died Saturday from a paralytic stroke."

      Probated Will #8880, Ionia County, MI, filed 8-15-1921.  Mary Ann Chapman's real estate was valued at $6500; personal estate at $100.  Administrator Marcus B. Chapman of Lake Odessa was also one of the heirs, along with:  Elmer Smith, son, age 5(6?), of Lake Odessa; W. B. Smith, 53, Grand Ledge; Clair Chapman, nephew, 19, Grand Ledge; Herbert Chapman, nephew, 21, of Montana [in another section of the papers, they were referred to as grandchildren]; and Marcus, 46, Lake Odessa.

      From her will (barely readable) made 11-14-1906:  ".....to Francis Elmer Smith, son, she wanted him to have property of the east 1/2 of the south east 1/4 of Section 22, Tpw 5N, Range 7W.  If he predeceased her and had no heirs, the land was to go to Marcus B., Herbert and Clare, and ______ (all the preceding were Chapmans.  To William B. Smith, son, she willed the west 1/2 of the above property.

      Marcus was to receive his choice of her household furniture, as was Francis Elmer.  She bequeathed $100 to (Daniel or Samuel) Lee Chapman, son of Herbert.

      Addendum:  W. B. Smith of Grand Ledge was appointed Guardian of Clare Chapman, minor.  Herbert Chapman (legalee?) NR (no record?)

      Detail of Death Certificate: Mary A. Chapman, Female, White, Widdow, Date of Birth Dec 28, Age 84 Yrs, 6 Mos, 16 Days, Birthplace Canada, Name of Father Wm. Welch born England, Name of Mother Anna Brown born England Informant Marcus Chapman Lake Odessa (son) Date of Death 16 July 1921 Filed 19 July 1921
    Person ID I135  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Father William Welch,   b. Bef 1816, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 1850  (Age ~ 34 years) 
    Mother Ann Brown,   b. Abt 1816, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Oct 1888, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 72 years) 
    Married Bef 1837 
    Family ID F133  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Benjamin Franklin Smith,   b. Abt 1833, Monroe County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1869, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 36 years) 
    Married Bef 1866 
    Children 
     1. Elmer Francis Smith,   b. Mar 1866, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Apr 1946, Chester Township, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 80 years)
     2. William Bertis Smith,   b. 20 Jun 1868, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 May 1940, Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2006 
    Family ID F129  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Samuel B. Chapman,   b. 25 Feb 1821, Webster, Monroe County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Jan 1875, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 7 Oct 1871  Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    • Samuel B. Chapman and Mary Ann Smith [nee Welch, the widow of Franklin Smith] were married 10-7-1871 (IOCOC72#1071). (Courtesy LaVonne Bennett)
    Children 
     1. Samuel Lee Chapman,   b. Jul 1873, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1903, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 29 years)
     2. Marcus B. Chapman,   b. 6 Sep 1875, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 May 1959, Lake Odessa, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)
    Last Modified 28 Apr 2012 
    Family ID F132  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 7 Oct 1871 - Ionia County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 19 Jul 1921 - Lake Odessa, Ionia County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Documents
    Welch, Mary Ann (widow of Franklin Smith and Samuel Chapman) Death Certificate, 1921
    Welch, Mary Ann (widow of Franklin Smith and Samuel Chapman) Death Certificate, 1921
    Ionia County, State of Michigan Death Certificate

  • Sources 
    1. [S331] Benkelman, Avis Smith-Interview by Granddaughter Melinda McLemore Strong ca 1976.

    2. [S170] Lakeside (Lakewood) Cemetery transcription, Lake Odessa, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan; http://ionia.migenweb.net/cem.htm#Odessa, The transcription shows her as being 84 years old at her DO D, which would make the approximate year of birth 1837 (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S170] Lakeside (Lakewood) Cemetery transcription, Lake Odessa, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan; http://ionia.migenweb.net/cem.htm#Odessa.

    4. [S149] Bennett, Lavonne (lib@iserv.net)-Ionia County, Mich. Genealogist and Researcher, Supplied by LaVonne Bennett (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S29] State of Michigan, Department of State, Division of Vital Records, Death Certificate.

    6. [S1243] Website "Michigan GenWeb" Ionia County Lakeside Cemetery, (http://ionia.migenweb.net/cemetery/lakeside-a-e.htm).

    7. [S577] Dibean, Jack & Marianne "Michigan Marriage Index" http://www.mifamilyhistory.org/dibeanindex/, Marian's last name is misspelled as Shimtz. (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S149] Bennett, Lavonne (lib@iserv.net)-Ionia County, Mich. Genealogist and Researcher.