As mentioned previously, the next few blogs will be about Francis Evison and his descendants.
Francis was born in Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England.
I couldn’t find any documentation to determine exactly when Francis was born, but it was likely in about November of 1836.
Francis’s older siblings, John and Harriet, both died of unknown causes early in 1841.
In June of 1841, 4-year-old Francis was living with his parents and younger brother, William, in Hogsthorpe. Francis’s father earned his living as a tile maker. By 1851, the family had moved to the nearby town of Farlesthorpe (Lincolnshire). 14-year-old Francis was working as a “brickmaker’s boy”.
They sailed on a ship called The West Point from Liverpool (England) and landed in New York, New York (USA), on 19 Dec 1853.
Sometime between his immigration in 1853 and the 1860 US Census, Francis married Lydia Cooper, daughter of William and Ann Cooper. Lydia was born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire and was baptized there on 14 Mar 1842.
The family sailed on a ship named The City of Washington and arrived in New York on 24 Oct 1853.
This is where things get interesting and complicated, because Lydia is listed in two different Census documents in 1860!!
In one census form, completed on 18 Jun 1860, Lydia is listed with the surname of “Cooper” and living with her family in Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio. In another census completed on 27 Jul 1860, she is living with her husband, Francis Evison, and newborn son, Francis, in nearby Whiteford, Monroe County, Michigan!
So on June 18th, 18-year-old Lydia is living with her parents in Ohio. On June 24th in Ohio, she gives birth to a son. A month later, on July 27th, Lydia is living with her son and husband in Michigan. Because I couldn’t find a marriage certificate for Lydia and Francis, I don’t know if they married before, or after, their son was born.
The 1860 Census also provides a clue as to how Lydia Cooper may have met Francis Evison. In 1860, the Coopers were living next door to Alden Ashley. Alden is the brother of Nancy Ashley who is Ellen Wickham’s mother. Ellen Wickham married William Evison, Francis Evison’s brother!
Francis and Lydia had a second child, Lydia, who was born on 11 Nov 1862 in Monroe County, Michigan. More about the children of Francis and Lydia is a subsequent blog.
The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861. By 1863, it became necessary for the federal government to draft men to swell the ranks of the Union Army. Men between the ages of 20 and 45 were eligible for duty.
Only men who were mentally or physically impaired, the only son of a widow, the son of infirm parents, or a widower with dependent children were exempt.
Francis Evison was 26 years old on 1 Jun 1863 and was not exempt from the draft — so he was registered in the First Congressional District of Wayne, Munroe, Lenawee and Hillsdale counties in the state of Michigan. His occupation was listed as farmer. I don’t know whether Francis actually served in the Union Army — but if he did, he left behind a wife with two very young children to care for. The Civil War ended on 9 Apr 1865.
Lydia died sometime before 28 May 1870. On that date, Francis married Ann Williams.
Part Two of this blog continues with the life of Francis Evison after he married Ann Williams.