Saturday, July 26, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #29 Joseph McFarlane of Wisconsin in the Lost and Found

Found: One Joseph McFarlane

Location: Monroe County, Wisconsin

Goal: Reunite Joseph with his family


Identifying Statistics:

  •     Born in Scotland between 1814 and 1820
  •     Married between 1850 and 1860, probably in Wisconsin, to Margareth Mitchell
  •     Died in 1884 or 1885

Joseph had three documented children, only one of whom had known issue:
  •     Joseph McFarlane, born about 1858, died December 17, 1882, in or near Monroe County.
  •     Walter McFarlane, born July 20, 1864, in Monroe County. Died August 21, 1922, in Chicago.
  •     William McFarlane, born about 1867, died young.

Joseph arrived in New York City on the ship John Kerr on July 28, 1849. Listed with him were Ann, age 31, and Elizabeth, age 17, while he was listed as age 30. Also on board was Robert, age 48. None of these persons have been found living with Joseph in Wisconsin. However, the next page is missing from the 1850 census and that might show differently if it becomes available.

In the census of 1850, Joseph McFarlane, age 30, was a farmer in Fort Winnebago Township, Columbia County, Wisconsin. On October 29, 1850, in the Circuit Court of Columbia County, he filed his Declaration of Intent to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. He stated that his age was about 32, that he sailed from Glasgow, Scotland in May, 1849, and that he arrived in New York in July, 1849.

By 1860, Joseph had married Margaret Mitchell and was living in Jefferson Township, Monroe County, Wisconsin, with a stated age of 45. Joseph bought and sold land in Jefferson and Sheldon Townships. In 1875, he described his house as part of proving his homestead claim:
... a log house, one story high, 15 x 20 feet with shingle roof, two floors, one outside door, 3 windows and is a comfortable house to live in.
Joseph sold all his land to his wife on December 26, 1884. That may have been his strategy to avoid probate or the deed could have been forged after his death by his wife for the same reason. Margareth mortgaged a portion of the farm on January 10, 1885. When Margareth died in October, 1885, she was a widow, which places Joseph McFarlane's death in 1884-1885, most likely around the dates of these land transactions.

If you've lost this Joseph McFarlane, please leave a comment so we can connect.

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