24 March 2011

Buying the Farm

Around the year 1835, Booth Perry, a farmer originally from Connecticut, arrived in the sparsely populated Michigan Territory seeking to start a new life. He and his wife likely came from New England to western New York via the Erie Canal, which had opened up only ten years prior. From the canal's terminus in Buffalo, they then would have crossed Lake Erie to reach Michigan. Booth Perry had in his possession a document granting him ownership of a 40 acre parcel of land west of Detroit. This was a land grant provided by the United States Government.

The plot of land is described in this grant as "the North East quarter of the North West quarter of Section Twenty Seven, in Township Two". Township Two was Nankin Township, which was divided, like most of the lands in the Midwest, into 640 acre sections. Each section was subdivided into 16 forty acre parcels. Booth Perry now owned one of these parcels of fertile farmland.

Ten years later, in 1845, Booth Perry, for whatever reason, sold this land. I found the record of this transaction in the microfilmed Deed records of Wayne County, Michigan. (Wayne County Deed Book 26:137; FHL 947,901) On 26 November 1845, Booth Perry sold the same 40 acre parcel of land to Mitchell Raymo of Nankin for the price of $500. This was Mitchell's first transaction in the property records of Wayne County.

At that time Mitchell Raymo was 32 years old and married to his second wife, Margaret (Denniston) Mains. He had two daughters by his late first wife Laura, and two young sons with Margaret; four year old Theodore Raymo and his little infant brother Leonard Raymo.

In this 1876 map of Nankin, Michigan you can see "the North East quarter of the North West quarter of Section Twenty Seven" was by that time owned by T(heodore) Raymo and was the site of the Raymo farmhouse.

15 March 2011

The Dietzens

A photograph of Margaret Louise Dietzen (center, back row) and her family, 1933. Two years after this photograph was taken, Margaret married Chester T. Raymo.

Margaret's parents were Mary Katherine Dowling (1889-1961) and Leonard Phillip Dietzen (1886-1935). Mary was of Irish ancestry, and Leonard was the son of German immigrant parents.

Mary and Leonard Dietzen had nine children, including eight daughters, of which Margaret was the eldest, and lived across the street from the Raymo family on East Ninth Street in Chattanooga.