Category Archives: Fox Farm Cemetery

Michigan Wanderings: Fox Farm Cemetery

I left the town of Lapeer at about 3 pm and it took a while to get to the Fox Farm Cemetery. I went east on Genesse for about 12 miles and then turned north from Imlay on Hwy 53 for another 12 miles.  So that is a little over 22 miles to Brooks Road in Burnside one way.  The point is that George and Esther Brown lived on the northeast corner of Lapeer County in Burnside Twp. and it is not that close to Lapeer.  I am wondering if I shouldn’t study neighboring counties for information on them – Sanilac and St. Clair.

Brooks Road came up on my GPS and I turned onto a semi gravel paved road.  I could see the cemetery to the south in the distance but had no idea of how I was going to get to it.  I found a green road (grassy road) cut into the field along a fence.  It had been raining so I was a little concerned about getting stuck but I did good.  This is on private property so please be respectful.  Someone is taking care of it and that is good news.

Fox Farm Cemetery Road

Fox Farm Cemetery Road

It was cold and I had to put my new jacket on over the one I had to get warm and I didn’t know where my gloves were.  I proceeded to take photos but my hands were suffering.

Overview of Fox Farm Cemetery

Overview of Fox Farm Cemetery

Much to my dismay someone had spray painted at least three of the tombstones on the east row.


I have informed Mr. Hart about this situation, I hope he can make sure it is stopped.

A defaced Tombstone

A defaced Tombstone

I found George and Esther Brown’s tombstone on the west side of the cemetery. Someone had repaired it for I have seen very bad photos of it in the past where it was in the ground and almost covered?

George & Esther Brown's Tombstone

George & Esther Brown’s Tombstone

Me with George & Esther's Tombstone

Me with George & Esther’s Tombstone

Yes, I am cold as you can see.  George and Esther are my 2nd great grandparents on my mother’s mother’s side.  There are more Browns in this cemetery but it was too cold and they were difficult to read.  More about this cemetery in a future post.


Michigan Wanderings: Lapeer County, Ontario

After crossing the border I got on I-69 west to Lapeer.  There was lots of construction going on around Port Huron and it was a little confusing.  It was overcast and a few sprinkles but not bad.  Looking ahead to the horizon there were these rather nasty clouds and I worried that I was heading for another storm but it was going to be okay.

I-69 was a good road and I made good time.  I was reading the road signs as usual and it said 60 mph.  I paused, and then realized no more kilometers.  I was back in the USA!  I put my Canadian money away for safe keeping and pulled out the dollars.

My goal was the Lapeer County Heritage Museum and the Lapeer County Genealogical Research Centre but first I needed to print out some of my booklets which take up too much room in the luggage and are too heavy for the airplane.

I have been peppering all of Ontario and Quebec with my condensed version of my blogs the Boardmans and Browns and The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  I also add some descendency charts and other materials in the back of the booklet.  I give copies to various archives and explain what it is about.  I also add a pamphlet of my other blogs to explain what I am doing.

When you travel and try to find services it can be a challenge but I spied an Office Depot on the corner after I had taken a drive up Main Street.  So I turned in.  I tried the self-serve copiers but ran into trouble so the sales lady assisted and she couldn’t figure out what was going on with the copier. I ended up having them print out my 3 copies.  Meanwhile, I talk to the salesman about my misbehaving mouse and he said it could be a number of things like it needs knew drivers…hmmmm?.

After my copies were done I punched them and put them into the booklet covers.  I decided to just buy a new wireless mouse.  I had a bad feeling about my current mouse.   As it turned out the old one died that day and so I immediately installed the new one and what a difference. HA!

Lapeer Historical & Lapeeer Genealogical Society

Lapeer Historical & Lapeer Genealogical Society

These two organizations are in the one building on the north corner of W. Nepessing St. and Mason.  There is a small parking lot on the east side.

Mr. Hart greeted me and knew who I was.  He showed me the room that was set aside for the genealogical society and as usual it is always small.  He told me that he was the President and this was his creation being the founding father of the society.  He also mentioned that they had more records that they could not fit into the little room.  He was very proud of this society.  He has a right to it was excellent.

One of the former Presidents and volunteers was there to assist me and she was very good. I wanted to know where the Fox Farm Cemetery was so I would not be wandering all of Lapeer County in search of it.  So they both helped me to figure out its location.

Someone has spent a great deal of time indexing the newspapers of the area and it is amazing.  The volunteer and I spent the time trying to find George and Esther Brown. There were a lot of references to Esther and the guardianship which I have featured here on this blog in past posts.  George was more elusive and again we found a two line obituary notice for him stating that Mr. Brown died.  It didn’t even mention his first name. Sigh!

We studied atlas’ and more.  It was a good day of research.  I thanked them both, gave a little contribution to cover my copies and more and said goodbye.  They had my booklet so I was happy.

Time for lunch. I thought it would be fun to eat at a cafe on the main area of their downtown and found another Sam’s –Sam’s Coney Island?

Nepssing Street in Lapeer

W. Nepessing Street in Lapeer

It was still early enough for me to head for the Fox Farm Cemetery.  My lodging at the Best Western on Western Ave off of the Main street south of Genesse’s Street could wait.

George and Esther Brown – A Long Life!

While at the Family History Library in 2009 I tried to find evidence in Lapeer Co., Michigan of Esther and George.  I found their death records.

Source:  Michigan Deaths 1867-1897, George Brown death 01 Dec. 1891, Burnside, Lapeer Co., Michigan, FHL#2863829.

Name:  George Brown, DOD 1 Dec 1891, Death place Burnside, Lapeer, Michigan, age 90 years, estimated birth 1801, birthplace was Ireland, married.  Father Wm. Brown and mother Elsie Brown, occupation ret’d farmer.  #5740.

Record of Deaths 1867-1913 V. A-B FHL#974256 – #6597 Aug. 13, 1895 Esther Brown, F.W. Widow, 86 years 5 mos., Burnside, old age, born Ireland, no occupation, both parents unknown, date of the record June 11, 1896.

My cousin Robert Hayes informs me that George and Esther are buried in the Fox Cemetery near Burnside in Lapeer County, Michigan.  They certainly lived a long life!

This article is about the old county courthouse in the city of Lapeer which is the oldest in Michigan: Apparently they had a site crash that messed things.

This is the Burnside Twp. website:  If you click on the Master Plan you will find some photos and some very nice maps of the township.  Michigan has a Townships Association website that talks about townships in todays world.  The website link they give for Burnside doesn’t work anymore.

I have information that tells me they lived in approximately the northeast corner of Section 17.  Here is the link to the Lapeer Co. Genweb:

It is amazing, if I had known about the Brown family back in August of 2007 when I attended the  Federation of Genealogical Society Conference in Fort Wayne you can bet I would have gone onto Burnside in Michigan.  Genealogical research is always a challenge to find time, the money and focus your efforts.  Before the conference, I drove up into Michigan.  I traveled to Morenci (Lenawee Co.) on the border of Michigan and Ohio, to view the Goss Cemetery there and then on through Adrian to the Rice Cemetery near Milan just below Ann Arbor to pay respects to a cousin who had done a great deal of work on the Goss family many years ago.  I traveled through three states in one day and was very pleased with myself having viewed the graves of ancestors.  Something tells me there is another trip in the making covering Michigan and Lambton Co., Ontario and I may yet get to do research in the Detroit Public Library, Burton Historical Collection. where I found an article on my Goss family.