According to her father's Civil War pension file, Elva M. Pemberton was born 30 Sep 1873, probably in Almont, Lapeer, Michigan, to John Pemberton and Mary Ann Coombs. She married John Lawrence Harriman, son of James C. Harriman and Catherine Crandall, on 11 Sep 1895 in New Baltimore, Macomb, Michigan.
Lawrence and Elva Harriman are found living next to John and Mary Pemberton, Elva's parents, on the 1900 U.S. Census in New Haven, Lenox Township, Macomb, Michigan. Lawrence was working as a house painter. They had one son, Lynn Harriman, age 3, born Oct 1896 in Michigan. According to Lynn's birth record, he was born 12 Oct 1896 in Lenox, Macomb, Michigan.
In 1910, I found Elva living with her younger sister, Myrtle, and Myrtle's husband, Hayes Wheeler Finkle (who was also Elva and Myrtle's first cousin -- Hayes' mother was Eliza Jane Pemberton, sister of the girls' father, John Pemberton). They were all living at 2322 Forestdale Avenue in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. Also in the household were two of Hayes' brothers, Jerry and Roy Finkle, and Elva's sons, Lynn and Hayes Harriman. Hayes Harriman was presumably named after his uncle, Hayes Finkle. Elva's marital status was given as divorced. Lynn, enumerated as "Lind," was age 13 and Hayes was age 8. According to Hazen Jesse Harriman's (aka Hayes) birth record, he was born 4 Oct 1901 in New Haven, Macomb, Michigan.
In 1920, Elva was living at 136 Main Street in Toledo, Lucas, Ohio with both of her sons, "Linn" and "Haden." Lynn was age 23, and Hayes was age 18. Both were laborers for a bridge company. This time Elva's marital status was given as widowed. I know she was divorced from John Lawrence Harriman because I've found his second marriage to a woman named Charlotte Grinnell in April 1910 in Detroit. I wonder if Elva married someone else after Lawrence and became a widow. She was still enumerated as a Harriman on the 1920 census record, though, so it's possible the census taker made a mistake on the marital status.
In 1930, Elva was still living in Toledo, this time as a boarder in the home of widower George P. Lerch at 337 Canal Street. With further research, I discovered that George was the widower of Elva's first cousin, Cordelia May Fink (daughter of Jacob Fink and Elmira Pemberton, John Pemberton's sister). I could not seem to find a death record for Elva Harriman in either Ohio or Michigan, but I found a death record for an Elva M. Lerch from 1941 at the OHS's online death index. I ordered it for $7.00, and sure enough, Elva had married George P. Lerch, likely some time between her 1930 and her death in 1941. Here is the death record below:
This week, Mark from Ohio mailed me a copy of her obit that he obtained from the OHS library/archives in Columbus.
Mrs. Elva M. Harriman Lerch, 58, of 933 South Avenue, died today in her home following an illness of several weeks.Mark also kindly found her death record for me and sent some info about her son Lynn's WWI service. I would like to thank Mark very much for his kindness.
A resident of Toledo many years, she belonged to South Side Cassel Rebekah Lodge No. 675. Surviving are her husband, George P. Lerch; sons, Lynn Harriman and Hazen Harriman, Detroit; sister, Mrs. Myrtle Hendrickson, Cleveland; brothers, Lovell Pemberton, Lexington, Mich., and Burton Pemberton, Los Angeles, Calif.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday in the Bolander Funeral Home. Burial will be in Toledo Memorial Park Cemetery.