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After several years of mucking around, the site is finally up. You can thank a few hurricanes hitting Florida.
As I mentioned on the home page, this family history trek began several years ago when my cousin Heather Moreno sent me a copy of the family history book her father had compiled in the early 90's. I was given a hardcopy version of the book as well as a floppy disc containing Uncle Bruce's genealogy data files and contact information. Let me say this, Uncle Bruce performed a Herculean task compiling information on over 3000 relatives. Astounding when you consider that most of the networking was by phone.
My fist task was to scan the family history book. Using a simple scanner and OCR software I recaptured the text. Extensive editing is still needed. I have reformatted the text using HTML but the organization is rather complicated. Each chapter contains extensive hierarchical lists -some more than a dozen levels deep. We will need to devise some way of breaking the chapters into smaller, editable sections. With each new generation the task is becoming more complicated.
I have posted the eleven chapters of Uncle Bruce's book here along with the appendix and a poem. I will begin adding the pictures soon and formatting the HTML a little more. I have generated one PDF version of the book, but will hold off on distributing it until we can incorporate the pictures and have had time to clean up the text.
The original genealogy data was in an old genealogy application format called "Person Ancestral File" format. Following directions I found on the web I was able to convert the PAF files to the current genealogy data format GEDCOM. From there I was able to import the GEDCOM file into a web application that allows privileged users to edit and add to the GEDCOM data. To view the results go to Lowing.org/geneology. This information is in dire need up editing and updating since it is now almost a decade out of date.
So, here we are. I have a little more information to post as well as an earlier version of the family history that I will post. I will continue to tweak this site to make it more usable. Currently it supports stories, comments, events and has a calendar. Content can be flagged public or private. Private information (like the last nine chapters of the family history) is only viewable to people with an account.
I would like to get more information from our relatives. I need help editing the information on this site. Please contact me or post a comment if you see something that needs changing. If you would like an administrative account to be able to directly edit and add contact, please contact me and I'll set it up.
This is really exciting though. With just a little casual browsing on the web I have already seen evidence of Lowings in England and Australia. Once we start putting the puzzle pieces together I know we will discover even more interesting information about our ancestors and relatives.
Trevor Lowing uld only be done by annexing the two towns and extending the highway district across the river. In 1841 and 1842, petitions and remonstrances were sent to the Legislature to have the river made the dividing line. Talmadge remonstrated, because that would give them three more inhabitants; while they had more than there were offices for, and each man must have an office, and it would cut off all the non-resident lands upon which they could raise money to build roads on the north side of the river.
The legislature granted the prayer of the petitioner, and made the river the dividing line between the townships, but, by a mistake in the newspaper report of the act, Talmadge was alleged to be attached to Georgetown, the town below (now Polkton) retaining the name of Talmadge; the town meeting to be held at Eastmanville. Talmadge outnumbered Georgetown in voters four to one, and they rejoiced in the prospect of handling the money of Georgetown for one year at least. Georgetown voters made efforts to induce Talmadge to remain on their own side, elect their officers, and apply to the legislature the next winter to legalize their acts, promising not to assess them or exercise any jurisdiction on that side of the river. This offer was refused by Talmadge, and a week before the township meeting Talmadge held a caucus, nominated a full set of officers on their side of the river, and rejoiced in the prospect of having everything lovely. In the meantime Georgetown sent to the Secretary of State for a copy of the act, when lo, it appeared that the river was made the dividing line. The next question up was how to retaliate on Talmadge; we were not long in drawing a plan; it was to let Talmadge remain in ignorance of the real facts and let them come up to the east part of Georgetown, the place of holding our election, and detain them there so long as to render it impossible for them to return to Eastmanville in time for them to vote there. In the meantime George M. Barker, who had been set off from Georgetown to Talmadge by the act, to go down to Eastmanville and inform them there and hurry up their township meeting and close the polls before Talmadge voters could arrive. This was successfully accomplished. Talmadge appeared in full force at the place now called Jenisonville and offered their votes; they were challenged of course; this led to long and laborious arguments, which continued until about one o'clock p. ji., at which time it was believed that there was sufficient time before the close of the polls at Eastmanville to induce Talmadge to attempt to get there, but not time enough to reach it in fact; they were then shown the certified copy of the secretary, and they at once saw the plot laid for them, and with one accord left for Eastmanville, some in canoes with the wind strong against them, two men on one horse in some instances, the greater portions on foot with hats and coats off, determined to make the distance of fifteen miles before the polls should close at Eastmanville. This was the most exciting campaign and the closest run for office that Ottawa county ever witnessed. Some few arrived at Eastmanville in time to vote, while others failed to reach there in time; those voting did so without organization, and the campaign was lost to Talmadge. Eastmanville folks took good care to get set off from Talmadge before the next town meeting.
The judiciary branch of the settlement of Ottawa county was not neglected. Four justices of the peace were elected in each township, who each, for himself felt that the entire responsibility rested upon him to see to it that the path of each citizen was made straight, and that he walked therein, and there was more litigation per capita then than there ever has been since, each justice and constable feeling that he was not elected for ornamental purposes only. Many ludicrous scenes in court might be- mentioned, but time and space will not permit. Conspicuous among the elements of litigation was the so-called Church & Dalton mill, at Sand Creek. This proved to be a source of revenue to two old attorneys at Grand Rapids, Moore and Abel, and a vexation to the settlers around; they being few in number, were quite too frequently called from home, as jurors, to decide upon the contentions of the two owners of the mill. This mill was built at Sand Creek about the year 1838 or 1839, by B. Church, a Seventh Day Baptist, who resolved that his property should not labor on Saturday, and James Ualton, a Catholic, who resolved that his property should labor on Saturday, but not on Sunday. This was the first bone of contention between them, but led tomany others. The difficulty was partially compromised after awhile, by an arbitration, in which Amos Robinson was the principal arbitrator. He determined that each man should use the mill the alternate week; but that did not stop the litigation, which continued without abatement until both parties were very much impoverished, and was only terminated by a separation of the parties. Mr. Dalton abandoned his property and went to Chicago, where he has since remained. Both parties having cut their pine, the mill went into disuse, and 'was swept away a few years ago by the flood. Abel and Moore each lost the pearl of great price, and both abandoned the practice of the law soon after.
At the time that Georgetown was organized, in 1840, it embraced four townships, those that are now known as Jamestown, Zeeland. and Hiendon. Jamestown was organized about 1849. Jamestown took its name from three James's—James Skeels, the second supervisor, James Brown, and James M. Conkwright. The land, although mostly located by specu lators, in 1835 was mostly put on the market, and was rapidly settled by emigrants largely from Ohio. The first settler in Blendon was Booth Kinney. who settled on Dec. 12, about the year 1845, now dead. Afterwards a family by the name of Woodruff,—Milton, and Henry,—who settled on the same section. This town settled very slow. Stoors & Wyman built a mill in southeast pnrt of the town somewhere about 1850. The town was organized in 1856. First town meeting held at the house of Booth Kinney. Albert Vredenburg was the first supervisor. Zeeland was set off from Georgetown and attached to Holland, and was after organized, and one D. Young was the first supervisor: this was about 1850. The heads of families of the settlers as early as 1840 are now nearly all dead. Henry Griffin, J. V. Harris, Samuel Hart> Thomas Woodbury, Daniel Rieley, and Mrs. H. Steel are the only survivorswho first settled Talmadge.
Hiram Jenison, Luman and Lucins Jenison, S. Yeomaus, L. Burdsly, Edward F. Bosworth, and Freeman Burton are the only survivors of the residents of Georgetown, in 1840, at the time of its organization. The settler* of that day endured many trials and privations, such as are incidental to a: new country. The western portion of the county, and particularly on the south side nf the river, was regarded valueless for agricultural purposes, and had been a great drawback to the settlers in the eastern part of the county, owing to the malaria rising from low lands, causing much sickness, from which very few, if any, of the older settlers were able to escape. It was not unfrequently the case that whole families were found sick with the ague and burning fever at the same time, and no one able to offer a draught of cold water,—and frequently these families resided many miles from other settlers. The mdsquitoes and fleas were intolerable.
The contrast in the appearance and comforts of this county in 1840 and the present day is very great.