Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pemberton Obituary Project: John C. Pemberton

I'll begin my series of Pemberton obituaries with the obit of my 3rd-great-grandfather and oldest child of Jeremiah and Susanna (Jermyn) Pemberton.

From The Richmond (Michigan) Review, 6 Dec 1912:

The body of John Pemberton was laid to rest in Centennial cemetery last Saturday, services being held in the Baptist church, Rev. E.K. Smith officiating.

John Pemberton was born in Blennem, Canada, in 1839, and moved to the United States at the age of fifteen. He enlisted in the 1st Michigan Cavalry, Co. C, at the age of twenty-four years and served until the close of the war. After receiving his honorable discharge he moved to Michigan, where he has since made his home.

The deceased was married to Mary A. Combs in 1865, at New Baltimore. Mr. Pemberton leaves a widow, two daughters, two sons, three brothers and three sisters
This obituary was the first record I discovered that gave his religious preference, or at least the religious preference of a close family member: Baptist. Though it seems his parents were Anglican, as they married in the Anglican cathedral in Toronto. I've done a little research on Baptist churches in Richmond, Michigan, and found two that are there today. The one with a website is called Community Baptist Church. It did not include a history on its website, and it had a modern church feel. The other church without a website was First Baptist Church. This is probably more likely where John's funeral was held, though there could have been another Baptist church that is no longer in existence. This is something to research.

This was also the first source I had for his place of birth, though I later found it listed as Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, in his army enlistment records. There is no "Blennem" according to the Ontario Locator, but there is a city called Blenheim in Harwich Township in Kent County, and a township called Blenheim in Oxford County. I should probably re-think whether or not his obit referred to Kent or Oxford County, since I have no other evidence of his family being in either Kent or Oxford. For some reason, I was sure it was Kent, but I think that's only because Kent is closer to Michigan, where the family ended up. Oxford is closer to Wentworth and York Counties, where he may have been born and where is parents married.

John actually enlisted in 1861 when he was 22 years old, not 24 years old.

When the obit says that he moved to Michigan after his discharge, I think it may have meant that he moved to Macomb County. He had been in Michigan prior to the Civil War, according to the 1860 census record.

The two sons left behind were referring to his oldest child, Burton J. Pemberton, and my great-great-grandfather, Lovell Hugh Pemberton. The two daughters were Elva M. (Pemberton) Harriman and Myrtle Lavina (Pemberton) Finkle. He had a third daughter, Grace Mary (Pemberton) Leonardson, but she had died in 1909.

His three brothers were Samuel, William Thomas, and Charles Pemberton. His fourth brother, Stephen Pemberton, had died in 1862 or 1863 during the Civil War.

His three sisters were Sarah Maria (Pemberton) Morrison Jones, Eliza Jane (Pemberton) Finkle, and Agnes Emma (Pemberton) Phelps. This makes me think that his sister, Ella (Pemberton) Fink, had died before 1912, especially since I can't seem to find her in the 1910 census. I have it on my to-do list to order the Lucas County, Ohio, deaths from 1896-1908 on microfilm at the FHL.

Something else of interest that I noticed this time. Underneath the headline "John Pemberton" it reads "From The People's Advocate." I can't seem to find a newspaper in either Macomb or St. Clair County called this. The only one in Michigan that I can find is in Manistee, which is very far away from Macomb County in northwest Michigan. I don't know that John ever lived in Manistee. I even searched in Canada, but only came up with one in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is very far away!! Hmm....something to investigate.

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