Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pemberton Obituary Project: Agnes Emma (Pemberton) Phelps

Continuing the Pemberton obituary project, here is the obituary of Agnes Emma (Pemberton) Phelps, the fourth child of Jeremiah Pemberton and Susanna Jermyn:

From The Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald, 30 Dec 1931, p. 12

Funeral services for Mrs. Phelps will be held at 2 p.m. Friday in the Church of Christ. Rev. Ralph R. Woodard, pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in Oaklawn cemetery.

Mrs. Phelps is survived by four daughters, Mrs. William Taft, Mrs. Albert Avers, Mrs. Henry Aspenleiter, all of Pointe Tremble; and Mrs. Burton Basney, Detroit, and one son, Joseph Phelps, Pointe Tremble. There are 31 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was born in Ontario, March 16, 1845. She married Mr. Phelps shortly after the close of the Civil War. She had been a member of the Church of Christ since her marriage.

This is the first of many references to the Church of Christ in this family's obituaries. This is probably the Church of Christ in Algonac, where Agnes lived from 1880 (probably earlier) to 1930. This obit was listed under the River District News, which includes Algonac and other towns south of Port Huron along the St. Clair River.

Her daughters listed are Sarah J. (Phelps) Taft, Elizabeth M. (Phelps) Avers, Nellie A. (Phelps) Aspenleiter, and Anna Essie (Phelps) Basney. Agnes also had a second son, Norman Angus Phelps, who was the twin brother of Nellie. He died in Detroit in 1928, just three years prior to Agnes' death. I have found his obituary, but I still need to find his death record. I am curious as to why he died so young.

Pointe Tremble is an unincorporated area just west of Algonac and east of Pearl Beach. Googling Pointe Tremble brings up a link for Pointe Tremble Elementary School on Phelps Road! The Phelps family must have been pretty prevalent in Pointe Tremble.

What's also interesting is that a Google search for the Algonac Church of Christ brings up the church's website, which shows several Avers family members who are still active members. I know these are probably not direct descendants of Elizabeth (Phelps) Avers, though, because she only had two children, neither of whom had any children of their own, according to their obits.

It seems as if Nellie (Phelps) Aspenleiter may have moved back to the Algonac area after living in Detroit for the 1910-1930 census. I don't see her listed on the St. Clair County death index, so I wonder if she moved back to Detroit before her death. Or it's also possible that the newspaper got her place of residence wrong.

I can only seem to account for 15 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren who were alive in 1931. Hmm...looks like I may be missing 8 great-grandchildren.

This is the only source I have found that states Agnes' date of birth directly. Of course, it is still a secondary source, since it was not created at the time of her birth.

I will have to remember to share this obit with a newfound cousin on Ancestry.com. She is married to Agnes' great-great-grandson.

Stay tuned for the obit of Agnes' husband, Joseph Putnam Phelps.

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