Family Stories

Lucius C. Canfield and Jessie Lorena Wily 1877 Marriage Certificate – Oakland County, Michigan

I am delighted to share with you the lovely marriage certificate of Lucius C. Canfield and Jessie Lorena Wiley.  The couple was married April 10, 1877, by George T. Ellis, Baptist minister, at the parsonage at Green Oak, Michigan.  The 1870’s were a time that large, decorative marriage certificates were issued to the bride and groom – Ritchey’s great-great-grandparents were given one.  On back of the marriage certificate are listed three names – Bertha Canfield was born June 10, 1880.  Bernice E. Canfield was born June 8, 1883.  Jennie L. Canfield was born August 25, 1890.  What a wonderful idea to write the names and birth dates of the children on back of the marriage certificate! This marriage certificate was in a box with old photographs I won at an auction.

Shall we start our journey?  I started my search with Lucius, putting in the marriage date and what I thought could be birth and death dates, added wife Jessie and the three girls.  Surprisingly there was nothing given that could help.  So, I changed Jessie to the main search and added Lucius and girls.  Here we go!  Usually there is always more information found on the husband – but not this time.  A valuable piece of information to remember!

Lucius C. Canfield was born January 13, 1849, to Elisha G. Canfield and Polly Tillotsa Bancroft, in Oakland County, Michigan.  Elisha G. Canfield was born May 3, 1825, in New York, and died at the early age of 27 on June 3, 1852, in Oakland County.  Polly Tillotsa Bancroft, born February 5, 1824, also in New York, and died January 31, 1894, in Oakland County.  After the death of Elisha, Polly married Truman Town Bridgeman.

Jessie Lorena Wiley was born May 29, 1857, in Fulton County, Ohio, to Dr. Cutting Bagley Wiley and Harriett Stebbins.  Cutting Bagley Wiley – don’t you just love that name! – was born in 1828 in New York, and died September 2, 1888, in Livingston County, Michigan.  Harriett Stebbins was born August 30, 1836, in Michigan, and died April 1, 1865, in Lenawee County, Michigan. 

Detroit Free Press, Oakland County, Michigan

Monday, September 3, 1888

Death of Dr. Wiley, of Brighton

Brighton, September 2 – [Special.] – Dr. Cutting B. Wiley was found dead at 5 o’clock this morning, in his road cart, near the Baptist Church, by J. N. Billen.  He left home the night previous to visit a patient four miles away and started on his return home early.  The body was warm when found.  The head lay on the wheel and an ugly gash was cut where the tire rubbed.  He was a well-known physician and temperance lecturer, and had practiced in Brighton sixteen years.  His age was upwards of 60 years.  An autopsy showed the cause of death to have been heart trouble.

I also found an interesting tidbit on Cutting Wiley.  According to the Detroit Free Press of Thursday, April 14, 1859, ‘Among the patents issued from the U.S. Patent Office for the week ending the 5th inst. was one to Cutting B. Wiley, of Adrian, Michigan, assignor to himself and Alexander Stebbins, of Lenawee County, Michigan, for improved hub borer.’  A hub bore defines the void at the center of the wheel.  In one instance it says the hub bore is machined out exactly to the size of the exact vehicle – not sure if this was true in 1850, which I’m sure ‘wheel’ meant a wagon wheel, but interesting nonetheless.  Cuttings’s wife was Harriett Stebbins, Alexander was her father.

Lucius C. Canfield is first found in the 1850 census of Oakland County.  He is one year old with parents Elisha G. and Polly Canfield.  Two years later his father died.  In 1860 Lucius is living with his mother and stepfather, Truman Bridgeman.  He is 10, the youngest in the family.  Alford, Richard and Rebecca Bridgeman, in the census at 16, 13 and 11, respectively, were the children of Truman’s first wife.  

Lucius Canfield was first married to Louisa M. Goldy, born April 7, 1854, and died December 27, 1874, with whom he had one son, William Goldy Canfield, born December 17, 1874 and died in December 1963.  Notice William was only 10 days old when his mother passed away.  Before the couple’s marriage, in the 1870 census for Oakland County, Lucius Canfield is living with the Goldy family, in Lyon Township, as a farm laborer.  He was 21.  William Goldy, head of household, was 61, born in New York, as was his wife, Adelia, 47.  Children in the family were John, 18; Louisa, 16; and Frank, 11.  Lucius and Louisa must have fallen in love and married within a few years, since son William was born four years later.

When Lucius Canfield married Jessie Wiley, they moved nine miles away from Lyon Township, to Milford Township to begin their married life, and in 1880 just the two of them were listed in the census records – Lucius, 31, and Jessie, 21.  William Goldy Canfield lived with his grandparents.  He is listed in the 1880 census with them, aged 5.  At this time William Goldy is 77, Lucy Adelia is 57.  Sons John, 28, and Frank, 23, live with their parents.  William Goldy lived another five years passing away in 1885.

In the 1900 census for Oakland County, Lucius is 51, Jessie is 43.  Daughters, Bernice – 17, and Jennie – 10, are listed with their parents.  Bertha is not listed with her parents.  March 24, 1909, she married Don D. Keeler, but that doesn’t explain why she is not in the census with her parents in 1900 – perhaps she was away at school?  Also living with Lucius and Jennie was Adelia Goldy, aged 76.  This is Lucius’ first mother-in-law, even though she is listed as a lodger.  What a wonderful bond must have been forged between these two people, even though it was broken by the death of wife and daughter after just a few years.

Lucius C. Canfield died February 1, 1913, of pulmonary and intestinal tuberculosis.  His death certificate lists his parents, Elisha Canfield and Polly Bancroft, both born in New York.  Wife Jessie was his informant.  Lucius was buried in New Hudson Cemetery.

Jessie Lorena Wiley Canfield died April 2, 1934, of pneumonia.  Her death certificate lists her parents, Cutting Wiley, born in New York, and Harriett Stebbins, born in Michigan.  Her stepson, William Canfield, was informant.   

Livingston County Daily Press, Livingston County, Michigan

Wednesday, May 2, 1934

Mrs. Jessie L. Canfield passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Bernice Grimes, Monday evening, after 2 days illness with pneumonia.  She was born at Fayette, Ohio, May 29th, 1867.  She leaves to mourn their loss four children:  William of New Hudson, Mrs. Bertha Keeler of Jackson, Mrs. Bernice Grimes and Mrs. Jennie Dickerson of Milford; 12 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren and a host of friends.  Mrs. Canfield has been a resident of Milford for 57 years.  Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the New Hudson Methodist Church, Rev. D. C. Stubbs officiating, burial in New Hudson Cemetery.

We found quite a lot beginning with just a marriage certificate!

2 replies »

  1. As interesting as this is for those in Michigan, I am only interested in Kentucky genealogy. You’re so good at Kentucky history and genealogy, please don’t lose your focus.

    Sent from my iPhone


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