Surnames:Smith, Shearing, Shiria, Riley/O'Reilly, Cootz, Crites, Virgin, Owens, Ramsey
Benzie County, Michigan, marriage records report lumberman Wm. Smith, (24, b. Canada) of Benzie County marrying Catharine Shearing (20, b. California) of [neighboring] Manistee County, Michigan, on 10 Feb 1891.The marriage took place in Manistee County, not Benzie County.The witnesses were John Smith and Mrs. Isabell [Isabella] Shiria of Nessen City [Colfax Township, Manistee County].
William Smith’s parents were listed as David Smith and Alice Riley.I believe Alice actually was an O'Reilly.
Based on the Smith household listed below from Colfax Township, Benzie County, in 1880, I strongly suspect groom William Smith and witnesses John Smith and Isabella (Smith) Shiria were siblings:
SMITH Iaon Head Married Male White 40 SCOT SCOT SCOT Farmer
SMITH Alace Wife Married Female White 32 CAN IRE IRE Keeps House
SMITH William Son Single Male White 13 CAN SCOT IRE Helps on Farm
SMITH Isabella Daughter Single Female White 11 MI SCOT IRE
SMITH John Son Single Male White 9 MI SCOT IRE
SMITH Mary An Daughter Single Female White 7 MI SCOT IRE
SMITH Aleck Son Single Male White 6 MI SCOT IRE
SMITH James Son Single Male White 4 MI SCOT IRE
SMITH Barnard Son Single Male White 2 MI SCOT IRE
I’m confident “Ioan Smith” was David Smith.Sawmill worker David Smith (30, b. Scotland) appears on the 1870 census as head of a household in Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan, that included: Alice (22, b. Canada); William (b. Canada), listed as age 32, but most likely 3; Isabelle (2, b. MI); and John (9/12, b. MI).
Backing up a bit, bride Catharine Shearing’s parents were listed as James Shearing and Catherine (maiden name not given).
I believe the future Catharine (Shearing) Smith was the 11-year-old daughter listed in this household on the 1880 census in Lorance Township, Bollinger County, Missouri:
SHEARING James Head Married Male White 55 TN TN VA Farmer
SHEARING Catharine Wife M Female White 54 PA PA PA Keeping House
SHEARING James Son Single Male White 13 CA TN PA
SHEARING Catharine Daughter Single Female White 11 CA TN PA
SHEARING Moses Son Single Male White 9 CA TN PA
SHEARING Elizabeth Daughter Single Female White 6 CA TN PA
SHEARING Drucella Mother Widow Female White 80 VA VA VA
COOTZ Maria Other Single Female Black 40 MO MO MO Servant
Manistee County probate records report that James Shearing died at Marilla on 20 February 1891.Marilla is both a civil township in Manistee County and an unincorporated community near the center of the township.James Shearing left no will.The probate records reflect his widow as Catherine Shearing and his children as of 18 March 1891 as: James Shearing, 22; Catherine Shearing, 20; George Shearing, 18; and Elizabeth Shearing, 15.
James Shearing, head of the Bollinger County household in 1880, was the son of Moses and Drucilla Shearing.Moses Shearing, whose place of birth was variously listed as Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia (the last I think correct), died in southeast Missouri in 1844.As is the case with James Shearing’s wife Catharine, I don’t know the maiden name of Moses’ widow Drucilla, the 80-year-old “Drucella” listed in James Shearing’s 1880 Bollinger County household.
Another of Moses and Drucilla Shearing’s children was their daughter Elizabeth (b. 1832, KY; d. 1915, MO).Elizabeth Shearing married twice.Her first husband was Andrew Jackson Crites, with whom she had four children before he died in 1862.Elizabeth’s second husband was Enoch Virgin, a widower.One of Enoch and Elizabeth Virgin’s children was Missouri Belle Virgin.Belle Virgin married John Madison Owens.Their daughter, Stella Jane (Owens) Ramsey, was my paternal grandmother.
I don’t know what took James Shearing from southeast Missouri to northwest Michigan.Lumbering, for railroad cross ties and bridge timbers particularly, was big business in and around Bollinger County, Missouri, in the late 1800s.Both John Madison Owens and his father, Francis Marion “Frank” Owens, were lumbermen.I don’t know if James Shearing was involved in lumbering also.