What If…?

January 17, 2016 in Bruce's Family, Lyons, White

Creating the separate tree for Knapper has been illuminating, to say the least.  I just realized that the woman who married Mary Jane Lyons’s father, Michael, was probably Andrew White’s sister, Mary Jane’s husband’s aunt.  It also drove home the point that I should always, always look at the image of a record if at all possible.

Michael Lyons was born about 1822 in County Cork, Ireland and emigrated to Canada sometime before the birth of his first recorded child, John, in about 1849-1850.  All of the recorded children I have for him are from the 1871 census where he was living in Windham, Norfork North, Ontario, Canada.  I’ve searched but have been unable to find him in any earlier census in Canada, searching also for his children born before 1850 and 1860 as well.  In the 1871 census he is listed as married, but there is no wife with him, only his children, John, Daniel,  George, Mary Jane, Anne, Solomon, and Eli.  By 1878 he’s in Mecosta County, Michigan where he married Mary “Paringer”, also known as Mary White. I discovered her maiden name, if that’s what it is, by actually looking at the image of the marriage record for Michael and Mary.  There is a headstone in the Altona Cemetery in Mecosta County that has Michael, a “Mary E Lyons” born 1836, died 1875, and “Mary Lyons” born 1826, died 1902.  This has been a process, this figuring out who is whom and the where, what, and when of it all.  Genealogy is not yet a science, DNA testing notwithstanding, and source records are often very hard to come by, especially if all you use is the internet.

Many of Michael Lyons’ children have the name “Mary Coon” listed as their mother on their death certificates.  I had erroneously believed the reporters of the information were confused, thinking that Mary Coon was the 2nd wife of Michael Lyons.  But his second wife was Mary White, born in England in 1826.  Andrew White, the uncle of Edward White, Mary Jane Lyons’s husband, was born in England, as was his brother, James White, who married Elizabeth Turner.  Knapper has a very strong DNA connection to one of James and Elizabeth’s descendants, so I’m sure that he was related to Andrew White, a known brother of James.

I’m glad I had Knapper’s DNA tested.  It opens the door to many more breakthroughs in his mother’s biological family.  Now if I could just find those records of births, deaths and places of residences that I know are out there somewhere without having to leave the comfort of my desk and chair.