Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pemberton Obituary Project: Samuel Pemberton

Samuel Pemberton was the third son and fifth child of Jeremiah Pemberton and Susannah Jermyn. Interestingly, I have found some patents that seem to belong to him at Google's patent search. They had to do with life jackets or something to that effect. Samuel was the hardest for me to find info on because his name was so common, and he disappeared for the 1880 census. For the longest time, I thought he had died young like his older brother, Stephen. Then I just happened to notice a marriage entry for him and Ellen McCoy in the IGI. The marriage took place in St. Clair County, Michigan, on the same day as his younger brother William's marriage to Hannah Winters. That's when I had a hunch that it was my Samuel.

From The Evening News (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan), "Samuel Pemberton," 15 Aug 1917, p. 3

Samuel Pemberton, 59 years old, passed away at Monoskong Bay yesterday morning. His body was brought today to the home of his son, Albert E. Pemberton, 815 Young street, from where burial will be made tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. A.H. Owens of the First Baptist church, officiating. One daughter, Mrs. Jack Floats, of Monoskong, and four sons, Albert, William, John and Harold, of the Soo survive.
First, I would like to thank a kind volunteer from RAOGK for finding this obit for me. As Samuel seems to have navigated away from St. Clair County, where my family still lives, it was harder for me to get to his obituary on my last two visits to Michigan.

The first thing I noticed is that his daughter's married name is spelled wrong. It is Sloats (not Floats). His daughter was Essie Maud Pemberton, born Sep 1876. She married Albert John "Jack" Sloats in 1903 in Alger County, Michigan.

Samuel's first three children were born in St. Clair County, Michigan, between 1875 and 1879. His fourth and fifth children, Albert and Harold, were born in Alpena County in 1888 and 1895. Considering Samuel turned up missing for the 1880 census (perhaps this is when he was en route for Alpena), I'm surprised I had managed to locate all of his children prior to finding this obituary, or at least all five of them who were still living at the time of his death. I presume that there were probably some who died in childhood, considering his third child was born in 1879 and his fourth child 9 years later in 1888. Then his fifth child was not born until another 7 years.

Apparently, Monoskong Bay is actually spelled Munuscong Bay and seems to be a popular walleye fishing and duck hunting area today in the Upper Peninsula (UP). It is just south of Sault Ste. Marie. I really wonder what made Samuel move from southeastern Michigan to the UP. Samuel's death certificate and the 1910 census said he was a cook in the camps. I'm wondering if these were lumber camps. I'll have to do a little more research to learn the industries of the time in the UP. My best guess as to why he moved is that it had something to do with available work. His older brother, John, my great-great-great-grandfather, took on their father's trade of blacksmith. Perhaps there wasn't room in the community for another blacksmith. John did move south to Macomb County to practice as a blacksmith, so maybe Samuel had to move as well. Samuel's 1871 marriage record lists his occupation as blacksmith, though I don't know how long he practiced the trade. His son's 1879 birth record lists his occupation as farmer. The 1900 census does not list an occupation for Samuel. It does not appear that he was a blacksmith from 1910 to 1917, as he was listed as a cook. And then there were those patents I found on Google, which make me think he worked in the marine industry for awhile. Maybe he was a cook in fishing camps.

Interestingly, the obit doesn't state where Samuel is buried. His death certificate says only "Sault Ste. Marie" as his place of burial. Perhaps there is a city cemetery where he was buried. I'll have to check.

Samuel's wife, Ellen, had died in 1909 from breast cancer. This is the only instance of breast cancer that I have ever found in the family.

The obit does not list any siblings, although he had four siblings still living: Eliza, Agnes, Sarah, and Charles. They were all living in St. Clair County, so it makes me wonder if he did not stay in touch with them after he moved away, since they were not listed.

Stay tuned for the obit of Samuel's younger brother, William, who died two years before Samuel in 1915.

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