I just reviewed the messages in this string and have a few ideas about them. I know it's been a while since it began but I hope you're still active in genealogy.
I am now thinking the John Flake who is in the 1880 US census in Fork, Mecosta Co. and 1860 US census in Brockway, St. Clair Co., Michigan may be the son of my John Flake who married Margaret Davis.
I just found John Flake's census information yesterday at the library. In 1880 it lists John, Morris and Margaret as his children. Among the names Catharine (my John Flake's daughter) and Peter G. Schram gave their children were John, Morris, Hugh, and Margaret. Does it sound familiar? Of course, Margaret was their mother's name. These names match the list in the census and your information in the string. I think I also found the 1890 census (but didn't copy) and there was a new child, Hugh. Your grandfather, I presume. My cousin, Carol, tells me John was living around Port Huron where Catharine and Peter lived for a while in the 1850's. I don't know where her information comes from and I will ask next time I talk to her.
Another common point between the two is the census list John's his father's birth places as Ireland and mother's as New York. The same is true of Catharine's parents. Now there were a lot of Irish people around London because of the group of people that founded London were from there. However, I don't recall a Flake on the Founders list. I did research on the list because one of Peter Schram's sisters married a Levi Lewis and that name was on the list.
Another reason I think we could have the same ancestor is that I found in 1860 that your John and family were censused (is that a verb??) in Brockway which in now called Yale in St. Clair county. This is where Catharine and Peter Schram lived. I've even visited their home and walk through it. What an experience. Do you know what happened to Christina she is not on the 1880 census? (My spellchecker tells me there is no word “censused”. What would you call that?)
You said that John's dad was called John but his real name was James. The reason I call him John is because of genealogy that was made by my Great-Grandmother Schram and her daughter in the early 1950's. It was carried to several Schram family reunions and corrections were added. This is after my Great-Grandfather Schram died in 1924 so he had no input to it. You could very well be correct on that point.
My John and Catharine had a sister, Eliza, who married an Ashton as I mentioned before. Apparently, after John (James) died his wife, Margaret Davis, married again to a Thomas McQuinnie, and they had two children. But other than the information on the 1950's chart I have no other information on her. There are names and a few date which I will share you if you want them.
Of course, all of this could be purely coincidence. However, I hope to hear from you.
P.S. I have been in contact with two fourth cousins who are descended from the Flake-Davis line in the London area. One of them, Sharon, has had little luck finding information about him either. But I haven't been in contact with the other one in a while. Hugh (there that name is again) is not well and Sharon called over the weekend and told me his son was murdered on the streets of London, ON (last Friday I think). This is such a terrible thing to happen and just before Christmas.
I also did research on the Snowflake Flake's. One of their descendents is now in the U.S. Legislature so I have been curious to see if we are related. The founders of the city surnames were a Snow and a John Flake. They combined their names when they named the city. But I don't think they are related. Since Arizona didn't join the Union until around the 1910's there were no US census to consult. I guess you have to go back to the territorial records and Ancestry.com didn’t have them