14 July 2009

Bigamy In Lapeer County?

While researching this story (Ida Shotwell married into the Davis family), the following blurb caught my attention:

Wm m. 3rd _____ and had Austin W. Shotwell; the 3rd wife, now of Almont, was found to have another living husband from whom she had not been legally divorced. The accordingly parted and the last marriage was set aside.

So apparently there was bigamy in Lapeer Co., Michigan, in the 1870's - the story found in the Shotwell family history, Annals of our colonial ancestors and their descendants by Ambrose Milton Shotwell).

Records show that William Shotwell m. Margaret and that their child was Austin Shotwell, born on 19 February 1873. The marriage record of Austin Shotwell's marriage to Minnie Field stated that his mother was Margaret Allen.

Groom's name: Austin W Shotwell
Groom's age: 21 years
Groom's birth year: 1873
Groom's birthplace: Michigan
Bride's name: Minnie M Field
Bride's age: 17 years
Bride's birth year: 1877
Bride's birthplace: Michigan
Marriage date: 20 Mar 1894
Marriage place: Almont, Lapeer, Michigan
Father of groom's name: Wm Shotwell
Mother of groom's name: Magaret Allen
Father of bride's name: Lorenzo Field
Mother of bride's name: Kate Harrington
Collection: Michigan Marriages 1868-1925

This query appeared to reference this William Shotwell, and if so, indicated that Margaret Allen had a sister, Sarah, who married James B. Woodward.

Marriage record online for William & Margaret Shotwell (later dissolved marriage):
Groom's name: William Shotwell
Groom's age: 54 years
Groom's birth year: 1816
Groom's birthplace: New Jersey
Bride's name: Margaret Conley
Bride's age: 29 years
Bride's birth year: 1841
Bride's birthplace: Pennsylvania
Marriage date: 15 Feb 1870
Marriage place: Arcadia, Lapeer, Michigan
Collection: Michigan Marriages 1868-1925

Margaret, who went by Margaret Shotwell, was enumerated with a son Artemus (called Arthur on the 1870 census) Conley, so on her 1870 marriage record (the marriage later dissolved) she must have used her married name, "Conley," rather than her maiden name, "Allen."

1870 MI Lapeer, Arcadia
Shotwell, William, 54, b. NJ
", Margaret, 28, b. PA
", George, 17, MI
", Lucy, 8, b. MI
", Charles, 5, b. MI
Conly, Arthur [sic], 8, b. MI

1880 MI Census, Lapeer Co., Arcadia
Margaret SHOTWELL Self M Female W 37 PA Keeping House VT PA
Alimus SHOTWELL Son Male W 17 MI Laborer NY PA
Austin SHOTWELL Son S Male W 7 MI NJ PA
Jane WOODARD Other Female W 47 PA Doing House Work VT PA*
John BRUCE Other Male W 30 MI Laborer --- ---
*Is this SARAH Jane Woodward, William Shotwell's sister-in-law referenced in the query above?

Artemus, son of Margaret Allen Conley Shotwell & Artemus Conley, Sr.

Name: Artemus J Conley
Residence: Almont village, Lapeer, Michigan
Birthdate: Sep 1862
Birthplace: Michigan
Relationship to head-of-household: Self
Spouse's name: Mary Conley [nee King]
Spouse birthplace: Canada Eng
Father's birthplace: New York
Mother's birthplace: Pennsylvania
Race or color (expanded): White
Estimated marriage year: 1883
Enumeration district: 0028
Sheet number and letter: 7B
Household id: 187
Reference number: 78
GSU film number: 1240724
Image number: 00464
Collection: 1900 United States Census

More information from the "Shotwell" book:

Wm Shotwell m. 1st Theresa Linabury, who d. 1858
3 ch:
...John of WI
....George of ..., Ore m. 1st Mary Robinson - ch Maud Martha raised by great aunt Orilla Shotwell Warden in Oakland Co
George m. 2nd Julia Serprise
6 Ch:
Guy R.
Claude J.

...Mary, d. Oakland Co., MI

Wm Shotwell m. 2nd Libbie Fitchgark or Fitzgerald; after she died their 3 children raised by aunt Orilla in Oakland Co.
Lucy Louise m. David Vanderhoof and live in Cannon Co., TN
Charles Winfield, Oakland Co.
Fred, called Fred Warren, dw near Oxbow, MI and had ch: Archie & Clarence

William Shotwell was in Lapeer County as early as 1850 and was enumerated on the 1850 census as follows:

Name: William Shatwell
Residence: Lapeer, Michigan
Age: 35 years
Estimated birth year: 1815
Birthplace: New Jersey
Film number: 443570
Image number: 00163
Reference number: 31
Dwelling: 1186
Household id: 1194
Collection: 1850 United States Census

In 1860, William Shotwell was enumerated as follows:

1860 MI Census, Lapeer
Shotwell, William, 44, b. NJ
", Angeline R., 16, b. NY
", John (age 10 or 14), b. MI
", George, 8, b. MI
", Mary, 4, b. MI

Allen is a surname I research in Lapeer County; I don't know enough about the parents of Margaret (Allen) Conley Shotwell and Sarah (Allen) Woodward, both born in Pennsylvania, except one parent was born in Vermont and the other born in Pennsylvania, to determine if they are related to any of the Allens for whom I've been searching.

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