Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Family Histories


Goodrich Family

The Goodrich Family History Part 1 – In the Lime Business

For this month’s family history, we are featuring the Goodrich family. We came across the Goodrich family while researching the Holton family and wanted to learn more. We will begin with Philip Goodrich. He married Ellen Porter/Potter.

There were several references found for Philip and Ellen in the Essex Record. On May 26, 1881 the paper printed “Mr. Goodrich has exhibited some newly-burnt lime, which, when slacked, bears the appearance of white lead.” This description makes more sense when accompanied by another article from the Amherstburg Echo from August 28, 1908 which says “PHILIP GOODRICH who many years ago was in the lime business in Anderdon and was among the best known residents of that township, is very sick at the home of his son-in-law, James Holton.” It was just a few days later that the Essex Free Press reported “Philip Goodrich died of dropsy last Friday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Jas. Holton. He had been in failing health for three of four years. The deceased was born in Kentucky in March 1831, and was accordingly 77 years and 5 months of age at the time of his demise.”

Philip and his family appear in the 1881 Census and it records Philip’s origin as ‘African’ while his wife Ellen is listed as English. Their children are also listed in this Census including Candice, Henry, Ellen, Martha, Anna, Albert, Norris, and Emmie. Not mentioned on the 1881 Census is Margaret, but she is mentioned in the 1871 Census. Ellen’s obituary provides more details and says “At six o’clock a.m., Tuesday, June 8, Mrs. Ellen Goodrich died in Cleveland, O., at the home of her youngest daughter, Mrs. Wm. Bryant. The deceased was born in Liverpool, England 72 years ago, and came to America when seven years old. In 1856, in Detroit, she married the late Philip Goodrich whose death was chronicled in these columns but ten months ago. Mr. and Mrs. Goodrich lived on the first concession of Anderdon, near the stone quarry for many years where he engaged in the lime business and also in light farming. Some 18 months ago the family removed to Colchester North and subsequently to Malden. The deceased had been ailing for a long time. She was the mother of nine children of whom but five survive. They are Henry now in Mexico; Annie, Mrs. Jas. Holton, of Amherstburg; and Albert, Norris and Amy (Mrs. Wm. Bryant), all of Cleveland. These with five grandchildren and many friends mourn their loss and revere her memory. The subject of this obituary had been a member of the first Baptist church of Amherstburg since 1886. The remains were interred in Cleveland.”

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week for part 2.

The Goodrich Family History Part 2 – Exhibition at the Anderdon School

As mentioned, Philip and Ellen’s children include Candice, Henry, Ellen, Martha, Margaret, Anna, Albert, Norris, and Amy/Emmie. They will be discussed next. There was no available information for Candice or Henry, but there are several documents for Ellen. According to her death record, Ellen H. Goodrich passed away due to consumption on March 12, 1888, in Anderdon at the age of 24. This record also reveals that Ellen was not married and worked as a school teacher. The informant listed on this record is Ellen’s brother Henry. Further details are shared in her obituary from the Amherstburg Echo which says “Miss Ella K. [Ellen] Goodrich, who has been ill with consumption for a year past, died on Monday last. Miss Goodrich taught school No. 3 Sandwich, until last June, and since that time she has been confined to the house, and since last August was unable to leave her bed. She was a most patient sufferer. The funeral took place from the Baptist church, on Tuesday, and was largely attended.”

Ellen’s sister Martha, the next child of Philip and Ellen, was born circa 1865 in Anderdon. In June 1876, she is mentioned in the Amherstburg Echo as part of an exhibition given by the children of the Anderdon School who were taught by Miss Landonia Williams. The presentation was given in the Temperance Hall in Amherstburg on June 22nd and although no details about the performances are shared, the article does say that it was quite successful with the net proceeds being $36. The article does mention the children who performed including “Martha Goodrich, L. Harris, S. Brown, J. Hawkins, C. Goodrich, L. Christian, S. Christian, A. Christian, L. Lott, and S.F. Stokes, and Masters F. Brooks, V. Hawkins, J. Brooks, Goodrich, H. Jones, J. Alexander, J. Lott and Henry Stokes.” Just over a decade later, Martha passed away on June 23, 1888 in St. Clair, Michigan. At this time, she was single, working as a Domestic and her middle name is listed as Sveinda. The informant was Martha’s brother Albert. A brief obituary for Martha appears in the Amherstburg Echo which says “The remains of the late Miss Martha L. Goodrich were brought to her father’s in Anderdon, from St. Clair, Mich., on Sunday last, and the interment took place in the cemetery, after service in the Amherstburg Baptist Church, Rev. A.J. Holt officiating.

As mentioned, the next child of Philip and Ellen named Margaret appears in the 1871 Census, but this is the only reference to her. The census lists her as 2 years old, meaning she was born in 1869. Because she is not mentioned on any other Census records, it is likely that she sadly passed away at a young age, but this is not confirmed.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week for part 3.

The Goodrich Family History Part 3 – The Ohio Connection

Of all the Goodrich children, the most information exists for Annie, the next child of Philip and Ellen. In Amherstburg on January 10, 1889, Annie married James Holton, the son of John Holton and Susan Scott. In addition to James, John and Susan had at least four other children: John Mercedo Scott Holton (b. December 4, 1855), William Fenton Holton (b. November 20, 1856), Laura Dorcas Holton (b. July 26, 1857) and Luke B. Holton (born November 26, 1860 and died July 17, 1861). James was their youngest child and he was born on July 16, 1862.

Annie and James’ marriage announcement can be found in the Amherstburg Echo and says “HOLTON – GOODRICH – At the residence of Mrs. Susan Holton, Amherstburg, on Thursday, January 16th …, by the Rev. J.A. Holt, Mr. James Holton, of Amherstburg, to Anna, daughter of Mr. Philip Goodrich, of, Anderdon.”

The couple had several children including Forrest Arthur Holton, Alva May, Gwendeline, Sherman, and Herman. This information is found in the 1911 Census for Amherstburg, but members of the Holton family made their way to the United States too. The 1940 Census for Cleveland, Ohio lists James and Anna Holton with their son Herman, who was 32 at the time and a labourer for road construction. At the time, James worked as a cook on a Lake Boat.

There are further details for Sherman, Alva (or Elva) May, and Forest. According to Sherman Hazeras Holten’s (Holton) death record, he was born in April 1908 and sadly passed a few years later on November 26, 1911 in Amherstburg at the age of 3. Sherman’s sister Alva passed away on March 17, 1912 in Amherstburg at the age of 17. According to her obituary – “Mr. and Mrs. James Holton were called upon to give up their eldest daughter, Alva May, on Sunday, she passing to the Better Land after a few months’ illness with consumption. She had not been well the past year, but took to bed four months to the day before she died. The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon to the First Baptist church for services and the remains were interred in Rose Hill cemetery. The young lady was born in Amherstburg and was in her eighteenth year. Besides the sorrowing parents she leaves two brothers – Forest and Herman, and one sister, Gwendolyn to whom the sympathy of the community will be extended.”

According to Forest Arthur Holton’s WWI draft Registration card, he was born on October 13, 1889 in Amherstburg and worked as a Truck Driver for Max Freedman Co. His marriage record states that Forest married Flora B. Harris, the daughter of Joseph and Mary Harris, on May 3, 1920 in Detroit. This record states that Flora was born in Ohio circa 1890 and was 30 years old at the time of their marriage, which is the same age that Forest is recorded as. Flora and Forest appear on the 1930 Census for Green County, Ohio, which states that Forest’s occupation was “Stationary Engineer” for State Power House. The 1940 Census lists Forest Holton, but he is married to someone else. Her name was Esther. Forest’s death record from December 26, 1956 places Forest and Esther as living in Chicago. At the time, Forest was working as a mechanic.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week for part 4.

The Goodrich Family History Part 4 – The Florist

Up next is Annie’s brother Albert, the next child of Philip and Ellen. In the 1910 Census, he is listed as living in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Emma. Also listed is a lodger named Mary Riley, but no children are listed. The 1910 Census also reveals that Albert was working as a Machinist. The next Census from 1920 once again lists Albert and Emma living in Cleveland, but Albert is now working as a Plumber. Ten years after that, in the 1930 Census, Albert is still living in Cleveland and his occupation at this point was a Steam fitter. The Census also lists him as single. This should say widowed, not single, because according to Emma’s death record, she passed away on November 2, 1927 in Cleveland. This record also states that she was the daughter of Simion Davis and Annabell Chesister, and was born on February 10, 1870 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. There is also mention of Albert in the 1940 Cleveland, Ohio Census which lists him as a Widow, living with his sister Amy and her husband William Bryant. Albert is also listed as working as a Plumber.

Albert’s brother Norris is the next child of Philip and Ellen. He married Gertrude Kelly on February 6, 1935 in Wayne, Indiana. Their marriage record shares a few more details about the couple including that Norris was born on July 12, 1877 and he was working as a Florist. It also states that Norris’ father Philip was born in Covington, Kentucky, while Ellen was born in St. Catharines. A second marriage record for Norris and Gertrude was available which provides more details and states that Gertrude was born on April 25, 1879 in Jackson, Ohio and that she was previously married. The name of Gertrude’s first husband is not listed, but the record does mention that he passed away on September 19, 1931. Their marriage record also reveals that Gertrude was the daughter of Crederick (possibly Frederick) Ford and Sarah Eason, meaning that Kelly is Gertrude’s married name, not her maiden name. Norris’s WWI Draft Registration Card also shares further details including his middle name, Myles, and that he worked as a Gardener. Under employer it says, “Business for self.” His nearest relative is listed as Albert. Norris Goodrich passed away on June 12, 1960 in Ohio and at that point he was a widower.

The last child of Philip and Ellen that will be discussed is Amy/Emmie/Emma. She was born on February 19, 1880 in Anderdon. She married William I. Bryant, the son of William Bryant and Rebecca Wilson, on June 25, 1903 in Cuyahoga, Ohio. At the time, Amy was working as a Seamstress and William was a Clerk. According to the 1910 Census, Amy and William were living in Cleveland where Amy worked as a “dressmaker at home” and William was a Clerk for a railroad office. Also living with Amy and William was Amy’s brother Norris who was working as a Machinist for an Engineering Company. The 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 Censuses again share that William was a Clerk for the Railroad, but Norris is not mentioned as living with them. As mentioned, in 1940 Amy’s other brother Albert is listed as living with them on the Census.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week where we will celebrate another amazing family.