Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Archie's Siblings: Ervin Currie

Earlier, I posted here about my great-grandfather, Archie Currie, in response to an email I received from Dianne in Michigan who thought we may be related. So far, Dianne has not found a connection, but she is going to pass on the info I've given her so far to some other Currie researchers in Michigan. In the meantime, I've decided to continue posts on Archie's siblings in the hope that one day, I will find someone with a connection.

I will start with Archie's older brother, Ervin. The first thing I did when I saw Ervin on the 1900 U.S. Census with Archie and their parents, Alex and Mary, was ask my grandmother if she ever knew him. My grandmother said she did not know him, so I was left to non-family sources in order to find him.

The earliest record I have of Ervin is his birth record from the "Michigan Births 1867-1902" database at FamilySearch Labs. Ervin Currie was born 18 Oct 1885 in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan, to Elexander Currie and Mary E. Currie, who were both born in Canada. Alexander was a farmer in Maple Valley.


Michigan Department of Vital Records, Birth Registrations, 1885, Sanilac County, p. 161, no. 255, Ervin Currie; digital image, "Michigan Births 1867-1902," FamilySearch Labs (http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch : accessed 11 Feb 2009).

Ervin was living with Alex and Mary and younger brother, Archie, in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan, in 1900, as mentioned earlier. His age was given as 16 years old and his birth date as Oct 1883, two years earlier than what his birth record stated. His birth place is correctly given as Michigan. Like his birth record, his parents' birthplaces are given as Canada.

In 1910, Ervin was living in the household of Donald Campbell in Flynn Township. According to older brother Archie's WWI draft registration, he also worked for Donald Campbell in 1917. Donald is also living two doors down from Archie and Jennie in 1930. Ervin's relationship to Donald is listed as hired man. Ervin is 23 (b. abt 1886-87), single, and a farm laborer. Ervin's birthplace is given as Michigan, and his parents' birthplaces are given as Scotland, though all other census records and his birth record gives his parents' birthplace as Canada.

1910 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, township of Flynn, enumeration district (ED) 139, sheet 2B, dwelling 31, family 32, Donald Campbell household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search : accessed 9 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 674.

By June 1917, Ervin had moved to Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, about 90 miles northwest of Flynn Township. On his WWI draft registration card, his age is listed as 29 and his birthdate and place as 20 Oct 1887 in Maple Valley. This is a two year difference from is birth record. He lived at 634 No. Second in Saginaw and worked for the ironworks foundry there. The name of his supervisor is hard to make out. The card states that his mother was dependent on him, which is what Archie's card stated as well.

"World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database and images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search : accessed 10 Feb 2009), Ervin Currie, Draft Board 1, Saginaw, Saginaw County, Michigan; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll 1682808.

Six months later, Ervin married Elma Walhier in Saginaw. They married on Christmas Day in 1917. Ervin's age is given as 30 (b. abt 1887), again a two year difference from his birth record. The marriage record lists him as a laborer residing in Saginaw. His birthplace is given as Michigan, and his parents as Alexander Currie and Mary Raymond. Elma was listed as age 21 (b. abt 1896), born and residing in Saginaw, and the daughter of John and Sarah Walhier.

Michigan Department of Vital Records, Marriage Registrations, 1917, 5: 71, no. 24600, Currie-Walhier; digital image, "Michigan Marriages 1868-1925," FamilySearch Labs(http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch : accessed 10 Feb 2009).

For the 1920 and 1930 U.S. census, Ervin and Elma seem to drop off the planet, like many of our ancestors did. Therefore, I decided to do some more research on Elma in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. census records. In 1900, at 219 Sixth Street in Saginaw, we find George (age 29) and Ida Walhier (age 25), with children Clarence, Alma, and Elta. Alma is age 4, born on 11 Jun 1895 in Michigan. Both George and Ida were born in Germany and immigrated in 1880. George's occupation is given as barkeeper. Clarence is age 5 and Elta is age 2. The parents' names do not match those given on the marriage record for Ervin and Elma, but everything else seems to match. In fact, it seems like whoever gave the info for the marriage record was not very knowledgeable about Elma's parents, as he/she gave no maiden name for Elma's mother. There appear to be no other Elma or Alma Walhier's born around 1896 living in Saginaw in 1900.

1900 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw (Ward 4), enumeration district (ED) 49, sheet 14B, dwelling 308, family 312, George Walhier household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search : accessed 12 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 739.

In 1910, we find George A. (age 39) and Ida (age 36) Walhier living at 112 North 10th Street in Saginaw. They still have three children, Clarence (age 15), Elma (age 13 - b. abt. 1896-97 in Michigan), and Elsie (age 11). George is a waiter in a restaurant.

1910 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw (Ward 5), enumeration district (ED) 53, sheet 4A, dwelling 55, family 56, George A. Walhier household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search : accessed 12 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 672.

In 1920, George A. (age 49) and Ida J. (age 45) Walhier were living at 424 10th Street in Saginaw. Children Clarence J. (age 25) and Elta L. (age 21) were living with them. Alma was not there, probably because she was living with Ervin, though I can't seem to find them. George was a fireman at the heating plant and Clarence was a machinist in a factory.

1920 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw (Ward 5), enumeration district (ED) 181, sheet 5B, dwelling 119, family 126, George A. Walhier household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search : accessed 12 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 793.

In 1930, George (age 58) and Ida (age 56) Walhier were still living at 424 10th Street in Saginaw with son, Clarence J. (age 35). This time, there was a granddaughter, Alice Curry, living with them! This must be Ervin and Alma's daughter. She was age 11, suggesting a birth date of 1918-19. She was born in Michigan, as were both of her parents. Again, where in the world were Ervin and Alma?

1930 U.S. census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw (Ward 6), enumeration district (ED) 32, sheet 19A, dwelling 448, family 481, George Walhier household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/search : accessed 12 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 1022.

At this point, I thought that maybe Ervin and Alma had died prior to 1930, since Alice was living with Alma's parents. However, the Saginaw Public Libraries has a wonderful obituary and cemetery database at their website. In the obituary index, I found an entry for John E. Curry, married to Alma Walhier, born 20 Oct 1886 in Sanilac County, and died 19 Feb 1950 in Saginaw County. I also found Alma Margaret (Walhier) Curry, married to John E., born 11 Jun 1896 in Saginaw, and died 3 Jun 1966 in Saginaw. They were both buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, though the cemetery database said there was no marker for either of them. The library offers a free obituary lookup service, so now I am waiting for their obituaries. Perhaps their obituaries will provide clues to other children and where they lived in 1920 and 1930.

In summary:

18 Oct 1885 - Ervin is born in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan, to Alexander and Mary E. Currie, both of Canada.

Jun 1900 - Ervin, age 14, is living with his parents and younger brother, Archie, in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan.

Apr 1910 - Ervin, age 24, is living with Donald Campbell in Flynn Township. He is working as a farm laborer for Donald.

Jun 1917 - Ervin, age 31, is living at 634 N. Second in Saginaw, Saginaw, Michigan, where he registered for the WWI Draft. He is working as an ironworker at a foundry in Saginaw.

25 Dec 1917 - Ervin, age 32, marries Alma Walhier in Saginaw.

1918-1919 - Daughter, Alice Currie, is born.

Apr 1930 - Ervin's daughter, Alice, is living with Alma's parents, George and Ida Walhier, in Saginaw.

19 Feb 1950 - Ervin dies of chronic myocarditis in Saginaw County.

21 Feb 1950 - Ervin is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Saginaw, with no marker.

TO-DO LIST FOR ERVIN:

1. Analyze obituaries of Ervin and Alma, as well as her parents, for clues about other children and relatives, as well as other places lived.

2. Order death records for Ervin and Alma from the Saginaw County Clerk.

3. Continue to search for Ervin and Alma in the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census.

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