THE SIXTH GENERATION
JAMES M. ORCUTT was born July 9, 1813, (1) probably in Salem, Washington County, New York, where the family lived. It is assumed that, as a boy, he moved with his family to Monroe County, New York, and he moved with them again to Leonidas, St. Joseph County, Michigan, about 1838.
On May 1, 1839, William Orcutt, James’ elder brother, received two land patents in St. Joseph County. Patent 13157 provided him 80 acres (the northeast half of the northeast quarter of Section 35), and patent 13158 provided him with 40 adjoining acres (the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 26.)(2) Although no document has been located to date showing a gift or sale, the 40 acre parcel was transferred to James at some point, because James sold this land to David Gilbert for $190 on April 22, 1843.
On January 12, 1844, James purchased 120 acres from James R. Dunkin and Mary Jane Dunkin for $334.78. This land consisted of the east half of the north (left blank/probably “east”) quarter of Section 26 and the adjoining northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 25.(3)
James married ELIZABETH “BETSEY” TREADWELL on September 12, 1844. (4) She had been born in Oxford, Ontario, Canada, on July 12, 1825, according to family records.
Shortly thereafter, on October 28, 1844, James M. Orcutt and wife sold the 40-acre parcel (the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 25) to William R. Bennett for $200.(3) To date, no record has been found showing the time of sale of the 80-acre parcel.
James and Betsey in Michigan
James and Betsey lived in Leonidas Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan.(8)
A daughter, CLARISSY ORCUTT, was born to them on June 21, 1845. In a heartbreaking beginning to their family, Clarissy died September 10, 1847.(6)
Their next child was ORSON B. ORCUTT, born in Mendon, St. Joseph County, Michigan, on August 30, 1848. (6)(7) His story continues here in The Seventh Generation.
The federal census, conducted July 20, 1850, shows 37-year-old James as a farmer in Leonidas Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan. In his household are his 25-year-old wife Elizabeth and 1-year-old son Orson. Also there are his widowed mother Patience and his youngest brother, 33-year-old Bassett. Their real estate is valued at $600.(8)
HENRY C. ORCUTT (6) was born April 10, 1851, according to family records. His place of birth is stated as Michigan on the 1861 Canadian census, U.S. census records for 1880, 1920, and 1930, and on his marriage records. However, it is listed as New York on the 1870 and 1900 U.S. federal censuses.
It is assumed that he was born in Michigan and that the family moved to New York shortly after this. Perhaps they were seeking a new home in the places of James’ youth or visiting relatives who had remained behind.
EMMA D. ORCUTT (6) is consistent in reporting her place of birth as New York. Family records show her date of birth as November 1853.
Family Life in Canada
Then, the family moved to Canada. James became involved in the lumbering business, purchasing a tract of 500 acres of pine and cutting most of the timber on it.(6) The remainder of James and Betsey’s children were born in Canada, with birth dates recorded in family records:
EVA ORUTT (6) was born October 21, 1856.
WILLIAM MAJOR ORCUTT, (6) sometimes referred to as “Major,” was born December 2, 1859.
MARY E. ORCUTT (6) was born March 1866.
JAMES J. ORCUTT (6) was born June 21, 1867.(9)
They stayed in Canada 15 years, from about 1854-1869.(6) During that time, the Civil War began and ended in the United States.
Back to Michigan
James and Betsey and family returned to Michigan in 1869.(6) The 1870 census shows them in Matteson, Branch County, Michigan, just about ten miles east of their former home. James worked as a carpenter. In their household were 18-year-old Henry, 14-year-old Eva, 10-year-old William, 4-year-old Mary, and 2-year-old James.(11) By 1880, they were again in Leonidas Township, St. Joseph County, Michigan. James continued to work as a carpenter, and only Mary, now 14, and James, 13, remained at home.(12)
They moved to Antrim County, Michigan, in 1881, possibly to be near sons Orson and William and daughter Eva. Beloved mother, Betsey, passed away in 1882. In 1891, James moved to Fremont, Isabella County, Michigan, possibly to be with son James, who lived there, and near daughter Eva, who lived nearby in Deerfield Township. Sadly, James died of dropsy shortly after his move, on October 8, 1891. He was 72 years old.(6)(13) No burial place has been located for James or Betsey.
(1) Ancestry.com. Genealogies of the following families, Baker family, Steel family, Sturges family, Shepard family, Hall family, Lytle family. (database on-line). Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: Baker, Francis A.. Genealogies of the following families, Baker family, Steel family, Sturges family, Shepard family, Hall family, Lytle family. Minneapolis, Minn.: unknown, 1909.
(2) U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Land Management. General Land Office Records. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/search/ Accessed June 22, 2016.
(3) St. Joseph County Property Records. St. Joseph County Courthouse, 125 W. Main Street, Centreville, MI 49032. Accessed June 20, 2016.
(4) St. Joseph County Marriage Records. St. Joseph County Courthouse, 125 W. Main Street, Centreville, MI 49032. Accessed June 20, 2016.
(5) Ancestry.com. Michigan, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1827-1870 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Michigan Census, 1827-1870. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
(6) Biographical history of northern Michigan, containing biographies of prominent citizens …[Indianapolis]: B.F. Bowen & company, 1905. (database online). Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, 2005. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/BAD6022.0001.001.
(7) Ancestry.com. Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Hostetler, Harvey,. Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman. Scottdale, Pa.: Mennonite Pub. House, 1938.
(8) United States Census, 1850, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF8G-762 : accessed 30 May 2016), James M Orcutt, Leonidas, St. Joseph, Michigan, United States; citing family 122, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
(9) Ancestry.com. Web: Isabella County, Michigan, Obituary Index, 1875-2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: Obituary Finder. Mount Pleasant, Isabella, Michigan, United States: Chippewa River District Library System. http://18.104.22.168/evanced/obitsystem/obitview.asp: accessed 21 February 2012.
(10) Ontario Census, 1861, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQQR-PV4 : accessed 30 May 2016), James M Orcutt, Tosorontio, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada; citing p. 16, line 34; Library and Archives Canada film number C-1073-1074, Public Archives, Toronto; FHL microfilm 349,322.
(11) United States Census, 1870, database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHHS-CC8 : 17 October 2014), James N Orcutt, Michigan, United States: citing p. 5, family 39, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C. : National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,164.