Aug 012017
 
Joseph Voisin (1858-1916)

Joseph Voisin (1858-1916)

My paternal great-grandfather, Joseph Voisin was probably born January 10, 1858. For twenty-five years I’ve tried unsuccessfully to discover where he was born and who his parents were. I turn now to genetic genealogy, to both autosomal DNA and Y-DNA testing. Hopefully it will provide the additional clues needed to solve this mystery once and for all.

I have written about my “brick wall” (Brick by Brick Part 1, Brick by Brick Part 2).  Here is a quick summary.

The names of Joseph Voisin’s parents are unknown, but his father’s name could also be Joseph Voisin.1 He perhaps lived for a time near St. Clements, which is near Kitchener, Ontario. There are several Voisin families in this area today. They are descendants of the patriarch Joseph Voisin (1805-1892). However there is no evidence yet that links our Joseph to these families.

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Footnotes
  1. A. Wayne Edwards, II, Death Certificate of Joseph Voisin.
May 022017
 

Bird’s eye view of St. Charles

Sacred Heart Catholic parish has been a fixture of the Mount Pleasant, Michigan community for generations. You may not know that it began as St. Charles parish. In the late 1860s and early 1870s, a priest would come from a neighboring town like Saginaw, and several families celebrated mass held at various homes. About 1872 they decided to build a church. After obtaining the land and raising the money, construction started on January 25, 1875. The church was a wooden structure that measured 38 by 60 feet and was 24 feet high.1

My great-grandparents, Joseph and Mary Ann (Yuncker) Voisin were married in this church on February 16, 1885. This was a few years after the church was completed about 1877. They were married by the first resident priest of the parish, Reverend James J. McCarthy. (Although Joe and Mary lived near Beal City, a church there would not be built until 1892.)

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Footnotes
  1. Isaac A. Fancher, “Past and Present of Isabella County Michigan” (Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen and Company, 1911), pages 237-239.
Aug 082016
 

Waco 10This is my grandfather Ernie Voisin standing with his daughter, my aunt Nora May as a little girl. This was taken at Houghton Lake, Michigan on July 4, 1927.1  They went for a ride in this airplane, which appears to be a 1927 Waco 10.

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Footnotes
  1. “Photographs,” Ernest Joseph Voisin and Nora May (Voisin) Downing standing next to a biplane, 1927, Houghton Lake, Michigan, Estate of John Ernest Voisin, Huntsville, Madison, Alabama.
Aug 082016
 

Model-T CoupeMy granduncle George Voisin was my grandfather’s younger brother. He apparently owned a Ford Model-T Coupe, which is pictured in a few old family photographs from the mid- to late-1920s.1  It appears to be a 1924 or 1925 Coupe. Here it is along with a montage of an unrelated, restored 1925 Coupe.2

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Footnotes
  1. “Photographs,” Ford Model T automobile owned by George John Voisin, Beal City, Isabella, Michigan, Received from Harold Joseph Voisin, January 26, 2004, John M. Voisin, Huntsville, Madison, Alabama.
  2. Hemmings, “1925 Ford Model T Coupe,” Ad #1801270. (http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/ford/model-t/1801270.html : downloaded 6 August 2016).
Feb 162016
 

Mom RemembersAs a descendant I am of course detached from the ancestors I never met.  I’ve undoubtedly inherited their physical characteristics and probably even their mannerisms.  My history is somehow connected to them.  I am their future.  We also share a common future, one none of us has lived, or will live, to see.

Thus I think it’s fun to see what once was, and what it has become.  I inherited this sense from my mother, Ruth (Stewart) Voisin, who always took time to connect the present to the past.  Here she is as a twenty-year old standing with a friend in Pensacola, Florida and later, at the exact same spot, in her late fifties.  It is not the plaque she is revisiting, it is a particular moment from her past, a memory of who she was, and who she had become.  It is a connection in time at an ordinary place she went out of her way to revisit.

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May 062015
 

000665-01It’s been one hundred thirty-one years now. Proof enough that death does do us part, but that love lives on and never fails.

This story begins in 1881 when Mr. Jacob Yuncker purchased farm land near Beal City, Michigan. It happened to be across the road from a then 23-year old pioneer farmer named Joseph Voisin. Mr. Yuncker had a daughter, Mary Ann. She lived with her extended family on her grandparent’s farm down in Westphalia, Michigan near St. Johns.

Mary probably visited her father in Beal City and at some point she met Joe Voisin. They probably met a few times more. Joe played music at Indian dances and at square-dances. Mary attended some of these social gatherings, but since Joe was playing, they couldn’t spend much time together. This probably went on for some months.

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Apr 242013
 

WPA Propery InventoryIn the late 1930’s the Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted property inventories of rural Michigan. This project was in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Treasury. I was able to locate the homestead of my great-grandparents, Joseph and Mary Voisin, near Beal City, Michigan. It is interesting to learn about their home and farm.

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Mar 262013
 

google-earth-00In a past posting I described how I located the homestead of my great-grandparents Albert and Mary Pohl near Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.  I’ve since found that Google Earth is another tool to further visualize the location.  It is helpful in modernizing old maps to better understand where my ancestors lived.

What I did is add an overlay of an old map to the modern world shown in Google Earth.  This allows you to see precisely where a road, building or property once stood in relation to what’s there now.

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Apr 032011
 
Brickwall

Brick by Brick

This is another post in a series about finding the ancestors of my paternal great-grandfather Joseph Voisin1 (1858-1916). This is a brick wall I haven’t been able to get beyond for several years. Here I chip away a few more bricks from the wall in hopes of discovering a clue.

Perhaps you can help. If you found this post while searching the Internet, chances are there’s something here that piqued your interest. That means you might know something I don’t know. If so, please post a comment. No matter how small, most any information can provide a clue.

In this installment I’ll remove four bricks from the wall.  See also Bricks 1 through 10.

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Footnotes
  1. For source citations and images of the evidence discussed here, please see the Family Group Sheet for Joseph Voisin.
Apr 012011
 
Brickwall

Brick by Brick

I’ve reached an impasse trying to find the ancestors of my paternal great-grandfather Joseph Voisin1 (1858-1916). It’s a brick wall I haven’t been able to get beyond for several years. If I remove one brick from the wall at a time, I may discover a clue.

Perhaps you can help. If you found this post while searching the Internet, chances are there’s something here that piqued your interest.  That means you might know something I don’t know.  If so, please post a comment.  No matter how small, most any information can provide a clue.

In this installment I’ll remove ten bricks from the wall.  See also Bricks 11 through 14.

Continue reading »

Footnotes
  1. For source citations and images of the evidence discussed here, please see the Family Group Sheet for Joseph Voisin.
Apr 192007
 

I’m searching for ancestors of my great-grandfather Joseph Voisin (1858-1916). I have hit a brick wall in tracing Joseph’s ancestors to Ontario, Canada.

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