Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Family Histories


Nolan Family

The Nolan Family Part 1 – Indigenous Roots

For this month’s edition of our family history series, members of the Nolan/Chickee family including AFM Board President Monty Logan generously shared information on their ancestors from the Nolan family who will be highlighted throughout December. We begin with Thomas Nolan Sr. who was born in Essex County circa 1801. According to Milo Johnson’s book, Mystery of New Canaan, Thomas is listed as English in the 1851 Census, but he was also Indigenous and lived on the Huron Reserve in Malden Township. Thomas married a woman named Harriet. The couple had three children: Ellenor/Ellen, Thomas and George. The 1851 Personal Census does not list Thomas’ wife, but mentions Thomas Jr. and George.

Thomas Sr. served with Captain John Caldwell’s Company in the Rebellion of 1837-1838. According to Irene Moore Davis’ article “Canadian Black Settlements in the Detroit River Region”, found in the book A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland, “In December 1837, during the 1837-38 Mackenzie Rebellion, the Reverend Josiah Henson’s company of black volunteers attached to the Essex Militia was part of the group that captured the rebel schooner Anne and made prisoners of its crew … Josiah Henson’s unit defended Fort Malden [in Amherstburg] from Christmas 1837 to May 1838, and another company of 123 black volunteers, Captain Caldwell’s Coloured Corps, was subsequently stationed there for two months. The black volunteers showed such bravery that Lieutenant Governor Sir Francis Bond Head commented on their service in his remarks to the legislature of Upper Canada in March 1838.”

Thomas and Harriet owned land in Colchester South Township that was deeded to them on May 8, 1854. It contained 62 and a half acres on Lot 5 South of Malden Road and each of Thomas’s children inherited his land. According to Thomas Sr.’s death record from July 1, 1871, he was a farmer and died at the age of 63 after being kicked by a horse. Nolan family documents share a further description stating that Thomas “was at work plowing, and bent down to remove an accumulation of mud from the horse’s shoe, when the horse, without warning, kicked him in the head, the iron shoe hitting his skull causing his death.”

There was no information available for Thomas’ son George, but an article called “Just Folks” from 1990, found in the Museum collection’s Nolan family history binder, mentions that a woman named Ellen (Nolan) Boyd was the daughter of Thomas Nolan Sr. and Harriet. Ellen was born in Malden (Amherstburg) on March 2, 1835. She married John Boyd on December 19, 1850 and had eleven children. Her 1890 obituary in the Amherstburg Echo lists her children: “William Ernest Trueman, of Pleasant Valley; Mrs. Maria Baylis, of Malden, Mrs. Rachel Brown, Mrs. Esther Freeman and Miss Ellen Boyd, of Detroit, Mich.: Margaret of Toledo, Anthora, of Jackson; Lewis, Andrew, Thomas and George Nolan of New Canaan, Colchester North, survive her and mourn the loss of a loving and affectionate … mother.”

A further note about some of Ellen’s children. Nolan family records list additional children including John, Edward, Anthony, Alfred, Emanuel, Tryman and Hester (possibly Esther). Hester Malvina married Robert Sylvester Freeman, while Maria Ann married Robert Baylis on August 14, 1875 in Colchester South. Maria and Robert had several children including Robert, Elisha, John, Herman, Ellen, Pearl, Cora, Hattie and Josephus. Maria’s brother Andrew married Lillian Wilson and had at least three children: Margaret Jennett, Tollivet John and Andrew.

There was a wealth of information for Thomas Sr.’s next child, Thomas Jr. He settled on a farm in New Canaan (Colchester North) and married twice. He married Sarah Jones in 1898, but before that married Mary Jane Brown-Reid (also spelt Reed) who, according to their marriage record from December 25, 1858, was the daughter of Samuel and Polly (Pelletier) Brown. Polly was the daughter of Louis Theophile Pelletier and Theresa Catherine Renaud. Thomas Jr. and Mary Jane had at least eight children: George, Alexander, Francis, Isaac, Tracy Adalina, Henry and Lance. There may have been another child named Dominique, which lists Thomas Nolon/Nolan and Mary Jane Reid as his parents in January 1872 in Colchester. No further information was available on Dominique. Additionally, a marriage record for a John F. Nolen, list his parents as Thomas H. Nolan and Mary J. Reed. The marriage record also lists John’s wife Maria Winslow Chippre or Clifford, the daughter of John W. Chippre/Clifford and Jane Fisher on October 13, 1890 in Detroit.

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 Nolan Family Part 2 – Mary and Harriet

Thomas Jr. and Mary Jane Nolan’s first child, George, lived on a farm in New Canaan and married a woman named Henrietta Campbell, the daughter of Alex Campbell.

Alexander Nolan married twice. According to his marriage certificate, Alexander’s first wife was Mary Ann Hall, the daughter of Richard Hall and Drury Blackwell. They were married on May 2, 1888. The 1891 Census lists Mary as “Mary F.” while other documents list her as Mary F. Allen, meaning that she could have been previously married to someone else with the last name Allen. Mary was born circa 1864 and passed away on April 11, 1894. Mary’s obituary mentions that she left behind two children, but the record does not name them. Nolan family records fill in the gap by listing their children as Harold Alexander and Betsy Jane. Harold was born on December 24, 1888 in Colchester, married Marie and had three children named Clifford (m. Johnnie K. Spruce and had two children named Lydia and Michael); Gordon (m. Dorothy Packer and children include Larry, Gordon Jr., Dennis and Gary) and Clarence. Harold’s sister Betsy Jane was born September 27, 1890 but sadly passed away at the age of 7 in 1896. Further research shows that Mary and Alexander may have had more than two children. Documents show their children also included James who was born on December 28, 1892 and Dorcus.

Alexander’s second wife was Harriet “Hattie” Mae Scott and the couple married on February 5, 1896 in New Canaan. Hattie was the daughter of Joseph Rogerist Scott whose father was previously enslaved in Kentucky but escaped to Canada in the early 1800s and eventually settled in New Canaan. Joseph Sr. married Caroline Sara Matthews and had a son, Joseph Rogerist Scott Jr. who was born in 1835. Joseph Jr. married Dianah Galloway who was the daughter of David Galloway and Harriet Black. In addition to Harriet Mae, Joseph and Dianah had nine other children: William, Frank (his obituary states that he worked as a finisher of fancy cement and marble work); Charles Franklin (married France Campbell); George Alton; Sara; Walter Clarence; Daniel Sylvester; Dorcas and Ethel A (married Fred Chavis).

Joseph Jr. and Dianah’s daughter Hattie, as mentioned married Alexander Nolan. At first, they lived in New Canaan but later moved to Windsor. Interestingly, the 1881 Census lists Alexander’s origins as “African,” but on the 1901 Census, Alexander’s Indigenous ancestry appears because he is listed as “Chippewa,” while Harriet, or Hattie is listed as “African.” Their children Harold, Ada and Bertha are all listed as Chippewa like their father. In total, Alexander and Harriet had ten children: Ada Zadolia, Bertha, Melvia/Meliva, Eva Mabel, Charles Franklin, Lloyd, Edna Zella, Sarah, George Washington and Kenneth.

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 where we will discuss Alexander and Harriet’s children.

The Nolan Family Part 3 – Ford and Chrysler Connection

Ada Zadolia was born on October 31, 1897 in Colchester and married James Arthur Campbell (son of Alexander Campbell and Margaret Mayville and was born circa 1887) on November 27, 1916 in Windsor. Their children include Roy Elsworth, (born on Walpole Island, married Irene Wilson and employed at Ford Motor Company); Marie (m. William Lloyd Morgan and had five children named Lloyd, William, Ralph, Gwendolyn and Ada); and James Arthur (m. Betty Gene and father of Donnell, Wanda, James Arthur, Yolanda, and Roy). Ada Zadolia married twice because she is listed as Mrs. Ada Morgan in her sister Bertha’s obituary. Nolan family records share further details and name Ada’s second husband as Fred Wilford Morgan who was born on February 18, 1889 and the son of Hartforf and Julie Ann (Baylis) Morgan. Ada and Fred had one child: Wilfred Thomas Morgan.

Ada’s sister Bertha who was born on February 15, 1899 married Arthur Talbert (son of William H. Talbert and Francis E. Hyder) on June 13, 1916 in Harrow. According to Bertha’s obituary, she was “one of her [Amherstburg’s] most loved and esteemed citizens … She always met her Friends with that quiet smile that meant so much for behind that smile was that glowing vital spiritual influence called Christianity. It dominated her whole life and it was this vital glowing thing that gave her such a grip on the hearts and minds and souls of the people she met.” Her obituary also mentions that Bertha and Arthur had two daughters who are listed as Mrs. Douglas Hurst and Mrs. Albert Timbers. After further research their names are revealed through the 1921 Census which lists Berdina and Zella as the daughters of Arthur and Bertha.

Berdina married Douglas Hurst and, according to the Amherstburg Echo, her parents hosted a bridal shower for the couple who were surrounded by a “large number of friends gathered to extend their felicitations and tender gifts to the bride and groom and wish them many years of happy wedded life. Elder Morton, of Windsor, voiced the good wishes of the gathering in a short address. After some time spent in social intercourse a dainty lunch was served.”

Berdina’s sister Zella married Albert Howard Timbers on July 31, 1941. Albert was the son of Aylmer Timbers and Bernice Britton and was born in 1916 in Chatham. Albert and Zella had three children named Zella Ileen (m. Albert Carter and had four children: Cheryl, Albert, Kimberlee and Charles), Larry and Alvin (m. Sheila). Zella’s obituary also mentions that “Her devotion guided her to the positions of Chairperson of the Trustee Board, President of the Usher Board, Treasurer of the Sunday School, Member of the Britannia Club, the Mother’s Day committee and Co-convener of the Dresden Day Committee.” Zella’s husband Albert also served in the Canadian Army-65th Tanker Transporters during WWII. Following the War, Albert worked at Ford Motor Company in the Power House, later moving to the Engine Plant until his retirement.

Bertha’s sister Melvia/Meliva was born on April 13, 1901 and married William Black (son of Joseph Black and Ella Steward) on November 2, 1918 in Windsor. She married a second time to Samuel Harris and they had a son named Samuel.

Eva Mabel was born on November 23, 1903 in Colchester. At one point she worked as a waitress and married a plasterer, Willis Daniel Carter (son of James Carter and Matilda Chambers) on May 29, 1921 in Windsor. Willis was born circa 1896. Willis and Eva had 3 sons and 3 daughters: Willis Orian (m. Luella Jane Sims on November 9, 1946 and had eight children: Jo-Anne, Robert Orian, Lawrence, Beverley, Paul, Carol, Mary and David); Marvin; Allan; Wanda (m. Claude Coates); Rosalin (m. Donald Carden and had seven daughters: Wanda, Meta, Sandra, Tony, India, Lauri and Mable and four sons: Donald R., Dale, Donald W. and Kevin); and Donna (m. Grover Hill and their children include Teia and Tyelle).

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 Nolan Family Part 4 – Museum Connection

Eva Mabel’s brother, Charles Franklin, was born on August 7, 1904 in Colchester and married Ester Gold Howard on March 8, 1927 in Windsor. According to their marriage record, Esther was a widow and houseworker, while Charles was a fireman. Other records show that he and Esther moved to Windsor where, Charles worked as a foreman. According to Esther’s birth record, she was born on September 7, 1905 in Collingwood and was one of three children to George Howard and Florence Chambers. Esther’s siblings include George Howard who was born on February 20, 1887 and Orville Howard who was born on April 26, 1897 in Cleveland, Ohio. According to her 1994 obituary, Esther’s “love for poetry was her forte and you could hear ‘Mother Nolan’ reciting her Favorite poem at many functions in the surrounding areas.”

Esther and Charles Franklin Nolan had several children including Frank Wade, Winifred, Dileana, Joyce Rosaline, Lloyd George, Patricia Gloria, Warden Dwight, Hattie Mae and Catherine Elain Bernadette. Frank Wade Nolan Jr. was born on December 2, 1927 in Windsor and he married Dorothy Resler (daughter of Joseph and Lena Resler) on April 12, 1952 in Windsor. Dorothy worked as a hair stylist who later worked at Straith Hospital until retirement. Frank also worked for Ford Motor Company and as a truck driver for Allied Supermarkets.

Winifred was born on September 26, 1930 in Windsor and married Warren Leach on October 18, 1974 in Vancouver, British Columbia. According to her obituary, Winifred “had a love and passion for entertaining. She began entertaining at the tender age of nine when she began taking her first tap dancing lessons. She won her first singing contest at the age of 14 at the Vanity Theater. As an adult her singing career allowed her the benefits of travelling from Windsor, Ontario; Oakland, California; British Columbia; and as far as Whitehorse, Yukon.”

Dileana was born on September 11, 1932 in Windsor and married Al Larkin (son of Alban and Adelina Larkin) and had three children: Nathaniel (Dale), Terence and Brad. Next is Dileana’s sister Joyce Rosaline who was born on February 9, 1935 in Windsor and she married John Thomas Gordon (son of Robert and Margreta Gordon) and had a son named Ian. Lloyd George Nolan was born on May 21, 1937 in Windsor and married Aurora Zambrano. Lloyd and Aurora had a son named Wade and a daughter named Melissa. Lloyd’s sister was Patricia Gloria Nolan and her date of birth is May 22, 1938. She was born in Windsor and married Clayton Quates and their children include Debbie, Kevin and Jackie Quates.

Warden Dwight was born on July 8, 1940 in Windsor and he married Gertrude Elayne Mulder, the daughter of James Arthur and Milda Mulder. Their children include Tracey, Charles James (married Constance Baylis) and Jamie. Hattie Nolan was born in 1945 in Windsor, but sadly passed away in 1946 in Windsor. Finally, Catherine Elaine Bernadette Nolan was born on April 11, 1946 in Windsor and her children include Leslie (married William Turner) and Kim (married Michael Turner).

Before marrying Charles Franklin Nolan, Esther married Charles Clifford Chickee on September 15, 1922 in Essex County. Charles Clifford Chickee was the son of Thomas Wesley Chickee and Minnie Haines. Thomas Wesley Chickee was born in 1874 in Owen Sound, Ontario, and passed away on July 30, 1924 in Essex. His wife Minnie Haines was born on August 31, 1875. In addition to Charles Clifford, Thomas and Minnie had at least two other children: Hughes Chickee, who married Margaret, and Gertrude Chickee who married Charles Mosely. Charles Clifford Chickee and Esther Gold Howard’s children include Vivian and Florence. Vivian Chickee married Edsel Smith on April 28, 1942 in Windsor and they had twelve children: Leon (wife Dianne); Sylvester; Virgil (wife Sharon); Gerald (wife Doris); Dennis (Lynda); Lorna (husband Philip Huff); Douglas (wife Brenda); Paul (wife Lynn); Timothy (Jacqueline); Lydia (husband Gary Sims); Pamela (Anthony Handsor); and Aaron. Vivian’s husband Edsel Smith was a pastor at the Church of God In Christ in Harrow; St. Mark’s A.ME. Church in Colchester; and St. Mark’s Evangelical Church. It was there that Vivian founded the Sunshine Band which was a platform for children to develop their musical talents. She was also a kindergarten Sunday School Teacher and later earned her certificates in Upholstery Refinishing; Arts and Crafts; Interior Decorating and Macramé.

Florence Chickee was born on June 30, 1923 and later married Randolph Charles Logan, a WWII Veteran and the son of Cleroy Logan and Ellen M. Littlejohn. This is where AFM Board President, Monty Logan, comes into the Nolan family history. Florence and Randolph Logan had four children: Wayne Clifford, Beverly (married Bobby Chase, the son of Charles Chase and Bessie Elizabeth Travis), Felton (married Sandy) and Jocelynn (married Sidney Chase, son of Charles Chase and Bessie Elizabeth Travis). Wayne Clifford Logan is the father of Monty Logan (married to Gina Terry and Monty has two sons, Kyle and Brett from his first marriage). Wayne Clifford Logan was born in 1942 and was first married to Juanita Mulder (daughter of Wilbur Howard Mulder and Juanita Helen Taylor). In addition to Monty, Wayne and Juanita also have a son named Guy (married Pam Bowden). Wayne Clifford Logan also married Linda Taylor (daughter of Orville Isaac Taylor and Margaret Johnson) on August 13, 1983 in Windsor.

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 5.

The Nolan Family Part 5 – “one of Windsor’s foremost softball pitchers in the 1930s and ‘40s”

Now that we have discussed Charles Franklin Nolan, we will discuss the rest of his siblings including his brother, Lloyd. He was born on November 4, 1905 in Colchester and he married Annie Belle Carter on March 19, 1960 in Windsor. Annie Belle and Lloyd had two sons named Burnelle and Paul. Lloyd’s sister Edna Zella was born on March 25, 1908 and married a truck driver named James George Harris (son of George Harris and Mary Bradford and born in Harrow in 1902) on September 27, 1924 in Windsor. Edna also married Gilbert Brooks.

Edna’s sister Sarah was born on December 25, 1910 but sadly died roughly a year later, while her brother George Washington was born on November 2, 1911 in Colchester North and married Leona Alice Pickens-Brooks (daughter of William and Mary A. Gregory-Pickens) on November 2, 1946 in Detroit. Leona and George had five sons, Larry, Lacey, Floyd, Melvin, and Lloyd and three daughters, Mary Lee, Leona and Lois (m. Johnnie Muse and had four children: Anthony, Tameka, Melisa and Montique). George Washington’s brother Kenneth married a woman named Ethel and had two children named Violet and George.

For the last several pages we have discussed Alexander Nolan’s descendants. Now we will return to discussing the rest of Alexander Nolan’s siblings: Isaac, Tracy, Henry and Lance. According to Isaac Nolan’s death record, he worked as a plasterer. He first married Eva Belle Allen in 1894 in New Canaan. Eva was the daughter of Benjamin Allen and Nancy Chavis and was born in 1878 in New Canaan. Isaac and Eva had two children: Thomas Elwood Nolan (born July 30, 1896) and Henry Frederic Nolan (November 6, 1898). Sadly, Eva passed away in 1900.

Isaac’s second marriage was to Matilda Jean Chambers, who was born on October 18, 1872 in Jackson’s Corner (Windsor) and was the daughter of John Thomas Chambers and Christina Ann Morrisson. They married on December 28, 1902. After the couple married, they moved to Windsor and had four children: Alfred, Margaret, Wilbur Issac “Buzz,” and another baby that sadly passed away. Wilbur Issac “Buzz” married Lillian Helena Proctor and had two children named Garrie and Wilbur James. According to his obituary, Wilbur was “one of Windsor’s foremost softball pitchers in the 1930s and ‘40s … and was one of the first to employ the ‘buzz-ball’ style of pitching, from which evolved his nickname. Buzz pitched for the strong Auto Specialties’ teams in the old Industrial League and was with the Windsor League all Black Dayus Roofing team that represented the city in Ontario Amateur Softball Association senior A play in 1942 and ’43. As well as being respected for his pitching, Buzz was also one of the finest hitters in the leagues in which he played.”

Wilbur’s father Isaac was also a well-known and respected resident and became very active in the community. He was elected alderman on Windsor’s City Council. According to his obituary, Isaac “was born at New Canaan, but had been in Windsor for a quarter century, and had become a leader there among his people, who elected him to sit in the council. Mr. Nolan was an active member of the B.M.E. Church and the North American Lodge, No. 11, F. & A.M.”

Isaac’s wife Matilda was also previously married. Her first marriage was to the Reverend James Robert Carter, the son of Lewis and Sarah E. Carter. Matilda and the Rev. Carter had at least five children: Christine, John, Willis, Ada and Minie Deliah. The Rev. Carter passed in 1900. Matilda passed away just before her 103rd birthday and according to Matilda’s obituary, she was born near Jackson’s Corners (Howard Avenue) and lived in Windsor all of her life. Her obituary also says that, in 1967, she was chosen as one of the City of Windsor’s Centennial Queens for the national centennial celebration.

No information was available for Tracy Adalina, but records show that the next child of Thomas and Mary Jane Nolan, Henry, never married and he died young at the age of 20 in 1889. Henry’s brother Lance also passed away at a young age, 17, in 1888.

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.