My great-grandpa, Lemuel, and his dad, Richard, spent most of their lives in Henry County, but Richard's father, Harrison was another kind of cat. He moved around quite a bit, as you will see.
Harrison Ordway was born in Strafford, Orange County, Vermont in 1810 to Aaron and Susannah Johnson Ordway. It is thought that he married his wife, Philina (also referred to as Phila, Vilena, Philinda...) in Vermont around 1835. (I have not discovered her maiden name, so if you know, I hope you'll share!The census does say she was born in Vermont)
In the very sketchy 1840 census, which just lists heads of households and has slash marks for members of the household and their ages, I found Harrison Ordway living in Elk Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania, which is near the New York/ Pennsylvania border. In the household were one male and one female, each age 20 - 30 (Harrison and Philina) and two males under the age of 4 (their sons, Thomas, born 1836, and Richard, born 1839). Another son, Middleton, would be born in August 1840.
By 1850, the Harrison Ordway family (Ordeway on the census) was on the move west to Brighton Township, Lorain County, Ohio. It would appear that they moved sometime between 1842, when their fourth child, Benjamin F. was born in Pennsylvania, and 1847, when their fifth child, Malissa Lydia, was born in Ohio. So, in 1850, the Ordway family consisted of:
Harrison, 37, a farmer, b. VT
Philina, 34, b. VT
Thomas, 14, b. PA
Richard, 12, b. PA (my gg-grandfather)
Middleton, 10, b. PA
Benjamin, 7, b. PA
Malissa, 3, b. OH
Julia, 1, b. OH
Living with the family was a nine year old girl named Polly Peak. No relationships are given, so I am not sure why she was with them. Another son, Alonzo A., born June 3, 1847, died in May 1848 at the age of 11 months. He was a twin to Malissa.
Ever traveling, the family was found in Grass Lake Village, Jackson County, Michigan in the 1860 census. Harrison, now listed as 49, has real estate valued at $1400 and personal goods worth $100. The children at home were Smith, age 20 (Middleton Smith Ordway), a farm laborer and Benjamin, 18, also a farm laborer. The census claims VT as their birthplace, but PA is probably correct. Also there were Malissa, 13; Julia H. 11; and Harriet, 7.
Where were the other children? Well, Richard and Thomas were down in Henry County, Ohio, both married and in their own homes in Monroe Township. They both married in 1858.
By 1870, Harrison must have decided that Henry County looked inviting because he was now listed as living in Napoleon Township at the age of 56 with his wife, Philena, 54. With them lived their youngest daughter, Harriet, now 16. Daughter Malissa had married in Henry County in 1866 and Harriet would marry there in 1876.
At some point, the wandering Harrison pulled up stakes again and was counted in the 1880 census of Ogden Township, Lenawee County, Michigan on June 18th of that year. He was 68 years old, owned no real estate, and his personal worth was $355. Philena (Vilena in this census) was 63. All of their children were in Ohio, except for Middleton and Benjamin F. who were in Michigan. Julia and her husband eventually moved there, too.
Philena Ordway's death certificate notes that she died on November 28, 1884 in Edmore, Montcalm County, Michigan of consumption (tuberculosis). So, apparently, there was another move made before her death.
The last census where Harrison appears is the 1900 census for Livingston Township, Otsego County, Michigan. Harrison, at age 89 and widowed, was living with son Benjamin F. Ordway. Benjamin was 57 and his wife, Phoebe E. was 57. They had had five children, but four were living at this time and only one was still at home. Son Harry S, born October 1887, was 12 years old.
My great-great-great grandfather, Harrison Ordway died in Michigan at the age of 89 years, 11 months and 28 days. He was married 22 years and was the father of eight children, four living at the time of his death. Cause of death: gangrene of the left foot and limb. He died November 21, 1900 at 6 1/2 o'clock. He was buried in Livingston Cemetery (now called Fairview Cemetery) near Gaylord, Michigan, Section J, Lot 148, Grave 4 near his son Benjamin and family.
|Thanks to Joan Lamoureux for this photo. The inscription was chalked in for better reading.|
"Harrison Ordway, November 22, 1810 - November 22, 1900"