Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Part III: My Research on Arthur Guy CHAMBERLIN

Previous post in this series:
Part II: My Research on Arthur Guy CHAMBERLIN
Following post in this series:
Part IV: My Research on Arthur Guy CHAMBERLIN

Before I move on to the particulars of my Day 2 research at the St. Clair County Courthouse, I will summarize all known information about Arthur and his family up to this point:
  • Arthur was born 08 Feb 1923
  • He married Christine Elizabeth CHATTERSON, probably in the 1940s in St. Clair County, Michigan
  • Arthur and Christine had four children:
    • Alma Pauline (Chamberlin) YOUNG, who was born 17 Feb 1942 in Marine City, St. Clair, Michigan and died 25 Sep 1996 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan; married Edmund J. YOUNG 30 Apr 1960 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
    • Tommy CHAMBERLIN, who died as a teenager in an accident, c. 1960s
    • Betty CHAMBERLIN, who married Ford FRENCH and moved to California sometime between 1979 and 1989
    • James CHAMBERLAIN, my uncle, who spelled his name differently
  • Arthur left Christine when my uncle was a young child in the late 1940s or early 1950s
  • Christine remarried to George E. MASON, who raised her children as his own. In fact, my uncle considered George to be his father.
  • There are conflicting marriage dates for George and Christine
    • 21 Apr 1952 in South Bend, Indiana (Christine's obit)
    • 21 Apr 1954 in Grand Bend, Indiana (George's obit)
  • George and Christine moved to Port Huron around 1954
  • George owned and operated a restaurant in Port Huron
  • Arthur died 03 Nov 1984 in East Point, Macomb, Michigan
  • Arthur was buried at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy, Oakland, Michigan
  • Christine was born 23 Nov 1922 and died 12 Oct 1979  in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
  • George E. MASON was born 19 Apr 1920 and died 2 May 1989 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan
On Day 2, my plan was to research marriage and death records for several of my ancestors and their collateral relatives, including Arthur. The courthouse in St. Clair County has death records from 1867 onward and marriage records from the 1830s onward in large (mostly) handwritten books. Both sets of records go through 1985 or so. I believe that after 1985, they became computerized and stopped being recorded in the books.

I started with the index to the marriage records and found a 1941 entry for Arthur Chamberlin. This is my transcription:

Groom: Arthur Chamberlin
Age: 18
Race: W
Residence: Marine City
Birthplace: Michigan
Occupation: Butcher
Father: Martin Chamberlin
Mother: Gertrude Devers
Times previously married: no

Bride: Christine Chatterson
Age: 18
Race: W
Residence: Marine City
Birthplace: Michigan
Occupation: Housework
Father: Leo Chatterson
Mother: Alma Plonkey
Times previously married: no

Date of license: 4 Apr 1941
Date of marriage: 19 Apr 1941
Place of marriage: Marine City
Officiant: W. J. Pottach, Priest
Witnesses: Maurice and Dora Lebeck of Centerline
This was very exciting, as I now had a date of marriage for Arthur and Christine AND the name of Arthur's parents! They were married 19 Apr 1941 in Marine City, St. Clair, Michigan. They were both 18 years old and residing in Marine City. Arthur was a butcher. His parents were listed as Martin CHAMBERLIN and Gertrude DEVERS. His birthplace was given as Michigan, and the age matched with the birth date from his funeral card.

Before moving onto the death records, I decided to see if I could find a marriage record for his parents. Sure enough, I located it rather quickly with the index. Here is a transcription:

Groom: Martin W. Chamberlain
Age: 25
Race: W
Residence: Marine City
Birthplace: Marine City
Occupation: Cooper
Father: E.F. Chamberlain
Mother: Alice M. Swartout
Times previously married: no


Bride: Gertrude Devers
Age: 21
Race: W
Residence: Marine City
Birthplace: Marine City
Occupation: [blank]
Father: T. Devers
Mother: Jennie Peltier
Times previously married: no


Date of license: 7 Sep 1908
Date of marriage: 7 Sep 1908
Place of marriage: Port Huron
Officiant: E.P. Bennett, Minister
Witnesses: Roy Duchene & Henrietta Cloggen, both of Marine City
So, I was able to take the family back another generation! Martin W. CHAMBERLAIN and Gertrude DEVERS were married 7 Sep 1908 in Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan. They both resided in Marine City, which is also given as their birthplace. Martin was a 25-year-old cooper, meaning he was born about 1882-1883. Gertrude was age 21, meaning she was born about 1886-1887. Martin was the son of E.F. CHAMBERLAIN and Alice M. SWARTOUT. Gertrude was the daughter of T. DEVERS and Jennie PELTIER. I found the variations of spelling CHAMBERLAIN/CHAMBERLIN to be interesting. Now it was being spelled the way my uncle spells it today.

I also found a marriage index entry for a Christine CHAMBERLIN in 1963 and decided to check it out, since it was the same first name as Arthur's ex-wife. Well, it turned out to be Betty CHAMBERLIN and Ford FRENCH. Apparently, Betty was her nickname. Here is my transcription:
Groom: Ford E. French
Age: 18
Race: W
Address: 3814 Maple St, Port Huron, Mich.
Birthplace: Sanilac Co, Michigan
Occupation: U.S. Army
Father: Clifford French
Mother: Hazel Hill
Times previously married: no

Bride: Christine Chamberlin
Age: 19
Race: W
Address: 2811 Wright St, Port Huron, Mich.
Birthplace: Macomb Co, Michigan
Occupation: Waitress
Father: Arthur Chamberlin
Mother: Christine Chatterson
Times previously married: no

Date of license: 29 Mar 1963
Date of marriage: 30 Mar 1963
Place of marriage: Port Huron, Michigan
Person performing ceremony: James R. Balfour, Minister
Witnesses: Orion D. & Marion I. Streeter, both of Port Huron, Mich.
Ford Eugene FRENCH and Christine "Betty" CHAMBERLIN were married 30 Mar 1963 in Port Huron. Christine's age was given as 19, which gave her an approximate birth date of 1943-1944. Her parents were listed as Arthur CHAMBERLIN and Christine CHATTERSON.

I will continue my death record research on Day 2 in a later post...stay tuned.

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