Monday, February 9, 2009

My Research on Archie Currie

I received an email this week from Dianne in Michigan who is also interested in my Currie line. She found my blog through Google Alert and wrote for more information on my Currie's. Therefore, I've decided to post a response here so that others are able to find answers as well. I believe that I will start backwards at the end of his life and move forward with the information I've found.

Omard Cemetery (Brown City, Sanilac County, Michigan; Peck Road, east of Sheperd Rd.), Archie Currie marker, personally read, 11 Aug 2007.

According to Archie's death record, he was born 2 Nov 1891 in Michigan and died 15 Mar 1963 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. He was a farmer and resided at 2301 Aitken Road in Brown City, Flynn Township, Sanilac County, Michigan. He was a widower, whose deceased spouse was Jennie Currie. The informant was my maternal grandmother, Archie's daughter, Mrs. John [Violet] Pemberton, of 1828 Stone Street in Port Huron. She did not know the names of his parents at the time, so they are listed as unknown. He was buried 19 Mar 1963 in Omard Cemetery in Flynn Township.

St. Clair County, Michigan, death certificate no. 164 (1963), Archie Currie; County Clerk, Port Huron, Pemberton/Currie/Drouillard Family Papers; supplied by Violet (Currie) Pemberton Drouillard, Vinton, Louisiana. Violet was the daughter of Archie.

I also have two obituaries for Archie. I'm not exactly sure which newspapers they are from because they were clippings that I inherited from my grandmother when she died. I think that one of them is probably from the Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan) and the other is from either the Marlette (Michigan) Leader or the Brown City (Michigan) Banner. They both state that Archie was born in 1891 in Maple Valley Township and died 15 Mar 1963 in Port Huron General Hospital. One gives Archie's exact birth date of 2 Nov 1891. Both state he and Jennie Plaine were married in 1920 in Flynn Township and that Jennie died in 1938. (According to Jennie's death record, she actually died in 1937). Both list survivors as one daughter, Mrs. John (Violet) Pemberton of Port Huron, eight grandchildren, and a niece. [Note: The niece is not named, but when my grandmother was living, she told me that her dad had a niece who always came to hunt with her husband on Archie's property in Sanilac County. The niece lived outside of Detroit and was married to a Polish man who was a photographer. My grandmother thought his niece's mother's name was Rose, who was Archie's sister. My grandmother could not remember the niece's name nor her husband's name, nor Rose's married name]. Both obits give Archie's burial date and place as 19 Mar 1963 in Omard Cemetery and the funeral home as Marsh Funeral Home in Marlette. One of the palbearers is given as Russell Hillman, who I believe is a first cousin of Jennie (Plaine) Currie, Archie's deceased wife. According to census and marriage records, Russell was the son of Jennie's maternal uncle, George Hillman, and his wife Christine Sinclair. This is the only palbearer that I have been able to identify as a relative.

"Mr. Archie Currie Passed Away March 15," and "Archie Currie," clippings from unidentified newspapers, c. March 1963, Pemberton/Currie/Drouillard Family Papers; inherited by Jennifer Trahan from her maternal grandmother, Violet (Currie) Pemberton Drouillard. Violet was the daughter of Archie.

I also have the funeral book of Archie Currie. No parents names are given, and the death date, burial date and place, funeral home, and birth date and place from the sources above are also in the funeral book. Unfortunately, I did not know this book existed until after my grandmother died, so I could not ask her about the names. The guest list is as follows:

Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Eagle and Janice
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Fraleigh
Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Powell
Mr. and Mrs. William P. Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Irwin J. Mahaffy
Mr. and Mrs. Orville Stoliker
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Brown
Mr. and Mrs. Roy Clark
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Hillman [first cousin of wife, Jennie Plaine]
Mr. and Mrs. John Davis
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Vandewarker
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Mahaffy
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Cousins
Mr. and Mrs. Harlyn Henderson
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Reamer ("Store" is written above their names)
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Chisholm
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Wilcox
Brent and Debery Wilcox
Mr. and Mrs. Renton Proctor
Carl and Lunetta Miller
Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Chisholm
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Wallis
Mr. and Mrs. Don Campbell
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pemberton [bro-in-law of daughter, Violet]
Mr. and Mrs. Leon Frank
Mr. and Mrs. Earl Redman
Lloyd Ramsey
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Potter
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Mahaffy
Rev. C.C. Fulton
Mr. and Mrs. Russell Bell
Bill Mahaffy
Marena Mahaffy
John R. Davis
Clarence and Irene Wheeler
Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Harris
Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Steinman
Kenneth Siple
Mrs. Irene Siple
Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Steinman
Mr. and Mrs. Don Fraleigh
Russell Mahaffy
Carl Proctor
Barbara J. Proctor
H. Siple
Mr. and Mrs. Art Chisholm
Robert Beedon [stepfather-in-law of daughter, Violet]
James Storey
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Bell
Mrs. Charles Wallis
Mr. and Mrs. Milton Proctor
Olive and Jim Edington [neighbors of daughter, Violet]
Mrs. Sarah Steinman
Elbridge Steinman
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Shepard
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Shepard

I have not identifed any of these as Currie relatives yet and have a lot of research to do on them in order to eliminate them as relatives.

I've found Archie and Jennie on the 1930 U.S. Census in Flynn Township. Archie Curry is age 39 and was born in Michigan. This makes his birthdate about 1890-1891. His age at first marriage is given as 34 years old, placing his first marriage about 1924-1925. This conficts with the marriage date of 1920 given in his obituary. His parents' birthplaces are both given as English-speaking Canada, and his occupation is listed as farmer. Jennie is listed as age 26 (b. abt. 1903-1904) and her birthplace as English-speaking Canada, with her first marriage taking place at age 21. Both of her parents are listed as being born in English-speaking Canada. They have no children. Violet was not born until Oct 1930, and the census was taken in Apr 1930. I notice a lot of neighbors with the names of some of the guests at Archie's funeral.

1930 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, township of Flynn, enumeration district (ED) 15, sheet 3B, dwelling 67, family 67, Archie Curry household; digital images, ( : accessed 30 Jan 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 1028.

Between 1925 and 1930, Archie and Jennie had 3 children: Howard Archibald Currie in 1925, Helen Floretta Currie in 1927, and Violet Mae Currie in 1930. Read more about them in my tribute to my grandmother, Violet.

I found Archie and Jennie's marriage record on They were married 27 Aug 1924 in Euphemia Township, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada. This seems to agree with the suggested marriage year in the 1930 census. When my grandmother gave the marriage date and place of 1920 in Flynn Township in Archie's obituary, she was probably just trying her best to remember what her dad had told her. Witnesses were Howard Plaine (Jennie's brother) of Newbury and Maggie Bell Livingstone of Glencoe. Archie's parents are listed as Alex Currie and Mary Raymond. Jennie's parents are listed as Robt. Plaine and Florrie Hillman. Both give their religion as Presbyterian, and the wedding was performed by a Presbyterian minister. Archie is age 27 (b. abt. 1896-1897) and Jennie is age 22 (b. abt 1901-1902). Archie's suggested birth date conflicts by about 6-7 years with the birth date given on his death record and the birth date suggested by his 1930 census record. Archie gives his father's birthplace as Middlesex County, presumably Ontario. Jennie gives her father's birthplace as Ekfrid, which is also in Middlesex County. Archie's own birthplace is listed as St. Clair County, Michigan, while Jennie's is listed as Euphemia Township, Ontario. Archie's birthplace on the marriage record conflicts with that in his obituary of Maple Valley Township. Maple Valley Township is in Sanilac County.

Ontario Registrar General, marriage certificate 012383 (1924), Currie-Plaine; digital image, "Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1857-1924," ( : accessed 9 Feb 2009); citing microfilm publication MS 932, roll 681, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

I definitely did one of my most memorable genealogy happy dances when I found this record b/c it finally gave me the maiden name of Archie's mother. I also happened to find in my grandmother's things an unofficial marriage certificate given to Archie and Jennie with a fold-out to list wedding guests. Here are the guests below:

The guest list includes a Mr. and Mrs. Jas. A. Currie with Dresden written next to their names. Dresden is a town in Camden Township in Kent County, Ontario, but it was also a town in Dawn Township in Lambton County, Ontario, according to the Ontario Locator. This will obviously take some more research to find this James A. Currie's identity, but at least it is a clue. This is the only Currie on the guest list.

In 1920, Archie was living with his widowed mother, Mary, in Flynn Township. Archie is age 30 (b. abt. 1889) and was born in Michigan. His marital status is single. His parents' birthplace are given as English-speaking Canada again. His occupation is given as farm laborer. Mary is age 76 (b. abt 1843) and was born in English-speaking Canada. Her year of immigration is given as 1880 and her status is given as Alien. Her parents' birthplaces are given as English-speaking Canada. My grandmother always said that her dad took care of his mother until she died.

1920 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, township of Flynn, enumeration district (ED) 148, sheet 8B, dwelling 188, family 192, Archie Currie household; digital images, ( : accessed 9 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 796.

I've found Archie in the WWI Draft Registrations in 1917. He was living in Brown City in Sanilac County and working for Donald Campbell in Flynn Township as a farmer. His birth date is listed as December 1890 and his birthplace as Lynn, Michigan. There actually is a Lynn Township in neighboring St. Clair County, but it's likely he meant to write "Flynn." He is listed as single with a mother to support, which makes sense, as he was living with her in 1920. His age is given as 27 years old.

"World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database and images, ( : accessed 10 Feb 2009), Archie Currie, Draft Board, Flynn, Sanilac County, Michigan; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA microfilm publication M1509, roll 1682814.

In 1910, Archie was living in the househeold of John W. Scott in Flynn Township. His relationship to Scott is listed as hired man on the census record. John Scott was a farmer, so it is likely Archie worked the farm with him. He is listed as Archibald Curry, age 20 (b. abt 1889-1890), single, born in Michigan. His parents' birthplaces are again given as English-speaking Canada. His occupation is farm laborer. John W. Scott is age 37 with parents also born in English-speaking Canada. His birthplace is given as Michigan. His wife's name is Clara M. Scott.

1910 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, township of Flynn, enumeration district (ED) 139, sheet 7A, dwelling 135, family 141, John W. Scott household; digital images, ( : accessed 9 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 674.

Finally, I've found Archie in the 1900 U.S. Census in the home of his parents, Alex and Mary, in Flynn Township. Alex Currie is age 62, born Nov. 1837 in English-speaking Canada. His parents' birthplaces are given as Scotland. Mary is age 47, born Sept 1852 in English-speaking Canada. Her parents' birthplaces are given as Vermont and England. The census says that Alex and Mary have been married 7 years, though Archie and his brother, Ervin, are older than this. Does this mean Mary may not be their mother? Perhaps Alex was married to two Mary's because Archie states his mother's name was Mary Raymond on his marriage record. Or perhaps Archie was just listing his stepmother on his marriage record. Or maybe Alex and Mary were not married when they had their children. Or, maybe the census record was just plain wrong about the marriage date. Something to ponder. Their immigration year is given as 1882 and citizenship status as alien for both Alex and Mary. Ervin is age 16, born Oct 1883 in Michigan. Both of his parents' birthplaces are given as English-speaking Canada. Archie is age 10, born Nov 1889 in Michigan. His parents' birthplaces are the same as Ervin's parents.

1900 U.S. census, Sanilac County, Michigan, population schedule, township of Flynn, enumeration district (ED) 123, sheet 4A, dwelling 63, family 65, Alex Currie household; digital images, ( : accessed 9 Feb 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 743.

I obtained Archie's birth certificate from my grandmother's things after she died. It gives Archie's name as Archie Currey. He was born 2 Nov 1889 in Maple Valley, just as his obituary had said. His parents are listed as Alexander and Mary Currey, both born in Ontario and residing in Maple Valley. Alexander is listed as a laborer. No maiden name is given for Mary.

Sanilac County, Michigan, birth certificate no. 687 (1889), Archie Currey; County Clerk, Sandusky; privately held by Jennifer Trahan, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Jennifer inherited the birth certificate from her maternal grandmother, Violet Mae Currie, daughter of Archie.

This is all the information I have amassed on Archie over the years. In summary:

2 Nov 1889 - Archie Currie is born in Maple Valley, Sanilac, Michigan to Alexander "Alex" and Mary Currie

Jun 1900 - Alex, Mary, and Archie are living in Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan. A brother, Ervin, born Oct 1883 in Michigan, is also enumerated.

Apr 1910 - Archie is working as a farm laborer for John W. Scott in Flynn Township, while Ervin is working as a farm laborer for Donald Campbell in Flynn. Alex and Mary have not yet been found.

1917 - Archie is living in Brown City, Flynn Township, Sanilac, Michigan, working as a farm laborer for Donald Campbell in Flynn Township. He is caring for his mother.

Jan 1920 - Archie is living in Flynn Township with mother, Mary, who is widowed. He is working as a farm laborer.

27 Aug 1924 - Archie marries Jennie Grace Christina Plaine in Euphemia Township, Lambton, Ontario, Canada. Jennie is the daughter of Robert Plaine and Florence Minnie Hillman. Archie's parents are listed as Alex Currie, born in Middlesex County, Ontario, and Mary Raymond.

7 Jul 1925 - Howard Archibald Currie is born to Archie and Jennie in Flynn Township.

29 Mar 1927 - Helen Floretta Currie is born to Archie and Jennie in Sanilac County.

Apr 1930 - Archie and Jennie are living in Flynn Township. Howard and Helen are not enumerated, so they may have died before the enumeration. Archie is a farmer.

24 Oct 1930 - Violet Mae Currie is born to Archie and Jennie in Flynn Township.

24 Dec 1937 - Archie's wife, Jennie, dies from a brain aneurysm. Archie never remarries.

15 Mar 1963 - Archie dies from heart disease in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan.

19 Mar 1963 - Archie is buried in Omard Cemetery in Brown City.


1. Archie's social security number is listed on his death record. Order his social security application. This may provide more clues about his parents' origins.

2. For some reason, although Archie was born in the United States, his name is in the index of the Sanilac County Naturalization Files at the Archives of Michigan. I have not seen any other Archie or Archibald Currie's in Sanilac County in the census records, so it seems that this is my great-grandfather. It may be because his wife, Jennie, had to apply for naturalization, since she was born in Canada. Order a copy of the FHL microfilm of naturalization records for Sanilac County.

3. Search the land records in Sanilac County for Archie. The Family History Library has the land records on microfilm from 1835-1942 and the index from 1835-1902. Search from 1942 onward at the Sanilac County Register of Deeds.

4. Search probate records for Sanilac County for Archie. Unfortunately, these do not appear to be availabe at the Archives of Michigan or through the Family History Library. Order them from the Sanilac County Probate Court.

Stay tuned for more postings on Archie's siblings.

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