From Marilyn Current


I live in Michigan, and have been researching my husband's family since 1987 but am against a brick wall, which is very discouraging.  Here's the story:

The descendants of James Current and Saliarh Green, of Canada, (my husband's g-g-grandparents):
Joseph Nelson Currrent  (our g-g-grandfather) was born 26 Jan. 1844, in Canada.  Some sources give Lockport, some Cullins, and some Welland.   

He had four brothers, George O., born Oct. 30, 1844, Anson (nfd), Hugh Sherin (nfd), and Thomas David, born 1850.  We don't know the birth order, except that David was the youngest.   According to what Nels told his children, their
parents died and left them orphaned at a young age.  They were raised by two maiden aunts, within earshot of Niagara Falls.  These aunts may have been older than his parents, and part German.  One of my father-in-law's cousins
thinks they were the father's sisters, and slow and methodical in nature, passing that trait on to Nels.  

There was a settlement next to Crowland, originally called New Germany, and later called Snyder.  Maybe the German
relatives lived there?  Would there be any records in New
Germany/Snyder/Crowland that might give a clue to what became of James and Saliarh, or a record of the children's births?

There was a large family of Currents in the Niagara area in the late 1700's through the 1800's- mainly the township of Crowland.  They were descended from William Current and Esther Lemon, Loyalists.   I have been unable to connect us to this family.  Some of the family thinks our name was originally
Curran, and some even changed their name to that.  But, the name Curran is Irish, whereas Current is English, passing through northern  Ireland before coming to N.J. in the early 1700's.  Nels always listed his ancestrage as English.   Curran would most likely be Irish Catholic, whereas the Currents were always Protestant, as was our Nels.  Plus, the names of Nels' siblings and children reflect the given names of the Current family in Crowland. 

I have located one grandson of William and Esther Lemon, youngest son of their eldest child, Joseph Current and Mary McDuffy.  His name was James Bales Current, born 1 or 11 June 1821, possibly died 21 June 1902 or 1909.  All of
his siblings are accounted for, with wives and children.  But I cannot locate the wife or children for James Bales.  When his nephew Mark W. Current went to Iowa, James B. Currant accompanied him, and even took some land in
Maquoketa (04 Dec. 1855 Book page 550, 04 Dec. 1855 Book page 549, 02 Mar. 1857), but he didn't stay.  It is thought he returned to Canada, but this isn't known for certain.

 I have an idea this is our ancestor, but cannot prove it.  For one thing, the Current family tradition gives his death as
1902 or 1909, Thorold Twp., but with no documentation to prove it. This would be well into the adult lives of Nels and his siblings- hardly accounting for their tradition of being left orphaned at a young age!  

The only documentation I have found, which has proven very confusing, are the cemetery records of Doan's Ridge Cemetery for the unmarked graves, no. 100 being an Elijah Bales Current, who died 21 June 1909, age 75 y., 3m., 21d, at Thorold, married.  Eliza .E. Current making return, buried in old yard, N. side of his mother.  Counting back, that would make him born 28 Feb., 1834, long after the death of Joseph Current (in 1827).  

James' next older brother was Elijah/Elisha Barton Current, married to Eliza Clothier.  But he moved to Iowa as a young man, and remained there, dying 18 June 1884, and is buried in the Smithtown Cemetery, near Lost Nation, IA.  His common-law wife, Eliza, is buried there with him.  (and her middle initial is A., not E.)  

I would like to know who this Elisha Bales Current is that was buried beside his mother in Doan's Ridge Cemetery, who his mother was, who his wife was, and who Eliza was that returned his body for burial!  He isn't the son of Elijah Barton Current, of Iowa as his children are all accounted for.  I would like to find out if James Bales Current actually died in Thorold Twp on June 21, 1902 or 1909, as the Current tradition says, and who his wife and children were, and where he lived during the years following his buying land in Iowa.

I can find no record of a Saliarh Green, the mother of Nels Current, in the Green families of that area.  She was supposed to have been born in either N.Y. or Canada, the different sons recording different info on her.  There
was a Green family in the Niagara area, interacting with the Current family. 

It is my understanding that the first Green in the area, Charles Green, came from N.J., where he married to a Rebekah Scritchfield, of German descent (could be where the German blood came in).   They settled in Lundy's Lane, near Crowland.  Of their children, all are accounted for except Henry, whose wife and children are not known.  Maybe Saliarh was Henry's daughter, or a cousin of this family?

I haven't been able to locate James in the 1851 census.  Maybe they weren't living in Crowland, but in another county at that time?  In the 1861 census Joseph was listed in Humberstone twp living in the home of the widow Sarah
Pound and her children, a Quaker, age 16, a laborer.  His brother Thomas D. was living in Crowland Twp, with the Alexander McKinney family, age 11, no church, a laborer.  

I can't find George, Anson, or Hugh in the 1861 census.  I would like to locate James in the 1851 census, and George, Anson, and Hugh Sherin in the 1861 census.  Could be in a wide circle away from Crowland.  They may even be going by the last name of Curran, since George took on that last name when he moved to Michigan.

In 1862 Nels moved to Michigan, Saginaw Co, and married Jane Pine in 1867.  

In 1875 George O. moved to St. Claire Co., MI, and married Margaret Burgess in 1877.  He later moved to Cadillac, Wexford Co, and went by the name of Curran.

If there is anything that you are in a position to easily look up for me, or have an idea of who or where I could get help from, I would greatly appreciate it!

Here is a summary of the facts I have uncovered for our branch of Currents:

James Current our g-g-grandfather

James CURRENT (b. abt. 1815-1820, Can.; descended from Wm Current & Esther Lemon, Crowland?)  m.abt. 1835-40 Saliarh GREEN (b. abt. 1820, NY or Can.) (Would like to locate her family.) The only record I have of the boys' mother's name is from  son George's death record - she was listed as unknown on son Nels'  marriage and death records. (Could this name possibly be "Sally R. Green", passed down by word of mouth, and misinterpreted by the children who didn't know her by anything but "Mom"?)    Children: Anson (nfd) (may be his middle name, as two of the other   boys went by middle names)
Joseph Nelson, (Nels) (b. 26 Jan 1844, Welland, Ont.)
George O. (b. 30 Oct 1844, Can.)
Hugh Sherin (nfd)
Thomas David (David) (b. 1849-1850, Can. - the youngest according to
Nels' grandchildren)
Concerning the naming of Hugh Sherin, I found this on the web:
>>Henry Seger emigrated to Canada in 1811, and was engaged in
the war of 1812. He bought a homestead in the township of Crowland,
where he resided up to the time of his death in 1844. He married Sarah,
a daughter of HUGH SHARON of Welland. They had a family of seven
children :... Francis Sharon, born Jan. 31st, 1828 ; Henry Hugh, born
June 11th, 1830 ;.... and David Davis, born June 25th, 1835. Francis
S. married Phebe Jane,... of Crowland.<< (Another grandson of
William Current and Esther Lemon of Crowland was named David Davis
Current, presumably after this David Davis)

Acdording to Nels' grandchildren, their family had German as a secondary blood line. I have found that descendants of Charles Green, the progenitor of the of Lundy's Lane Green family had German blood through Charles wife, Rebekah Scritchfield; plus the Miseners and Buchners that married into the second and third generation William Current family of Crowland were German.

James and Saliarh left boys orphaned at very young age. This would have to be after David's birth, so around 1850-51. Nels told his grandchildren that he was raised by two maiden lady "aunts", within earshot of Niagara Falls, where he could feel the mist from the falls. I received the following information from a lady in Canada, that fits so closely the story our Nels gave, but a generation earlier. If they were of the same family stock, then the ladies may have taken on more Current orphans, as well.:
>>Elijah B. Current was brought up by Charlotte and Phoebe McEown in
Wainsfleet, Welland, Co. ON (Apparantly it is all revealed in a book called "The McEown Story" that I haven't been able to lay my hands on) Elijah's fathers  was in the same division as Charlotte and Phoebe's batchelor, career soldier  brother, John J. McEown,. They were in the Third Flank of the Lincoln Militia   later to become the Lincoln and Welland Regiment. John Patrick McEown,  John J. and the sister's father was a loyalist and their mother, Elizabeth Gray was also from Loyalist stock. Elijah was 13 when he came under the care of  the two sisters and when John J. died, he left half his farm on the Welland River  to his sisters (unmarried) who, in turn left it to Elijah. Just to give you some  dates: John J. McEown 1796-1865, Charlotte was born in Wainfleet in 1808,   Phoebe in 1811. I don't have their death dates. John Patrick, the father died in  1939.<<
Nels spoke with a strange accent, according to his grandchildren. Maybe
because he was raised by women speaking in a Scottish brogue?!

In the 1861 Ontario census (dated Jan. 16, 1861) I find these:
Joseph Current, Humberstone twp, living with widow Sarah Pound and
family, age 16, laborer, Quaker (as were the Pound family)
Thomas D. Current, Crowland Twp, living with Alexander McKinney family,  age 11, laborer, no religion  Cannot locate Anson, George, or Hugh Sherin in this census, so would appreciate finding this information.

In 1863 Nels moved to Michigan, Saginaw Co. He married Jane Pine in 1865. They raised 10 children: Phoebe Jane, Durward Nelson, Walter Sherin, George William, Edwin Anson, Ida May, Edna Ethel, Tessie Marie, Charles James, Mary Fancy. If you know anything about the grandchildren of William Current and Esther Lemon of Crowland, you will recognize the names of several of these children.

In the 1871 census of Wainfleet, Ont, I found an Elva Current, age 36, wife Eliza, baby son John Wells, living on the same land, different house, as Phoebe and Charlotte McEwin. Could this Elva be our Anson? (Elva Anson Current?) Might the lady who sent me the information have been confused between the names "Elijah" and "Elva". If I could find more information on Elva, such as marriage or death record, I might be able to solve that.

I found a Thomas Curran, age 20, in the1870 Berrien Co, MI 1870 census, from Canada, sawyer. Because I know from my father-in-law's cousins that Tom became a top-notch, in demand, traveling saw repairman for the lumber companies in Michigan, this fits the picture, and I believe this to be him. They say he never married. But he had to have died somewhere! "(It is appointed onto man once to die..." :-)) I would like more information on the parents, so am searching for Thomas death, probably in Michigan, though there is some indication he went back and forth between MI and Canada.

In 1875, George moved to Michigan from Canada. George's second child, a son named Tom, was born, according to Tom's marriage record, in St.Clair Co, MI. We know George married in 1877, so probably he married there in St. Claire Co., and had daughter Jenny, a couple years older than Tom, there. ( Am searching this information out with St. Claire Co.)

George's family changed their last name to "Curran" sometime between 1900 and 1910. Later, in the1940's, one of Nels' sons, Edwin Anson, also changed his last name to Curran. Some of the family theorized that is what the name was supposed to be. Any theory can take hold when their is no connection established between the present family and the original family, when the parents die young and leave their boys orphaned without a written family history. But, when comparing the names that James gave to his 5 sons, and then comparing the names Nels gave to his children, it reflects the same names given to the other grandchildren of Willliam Current and Esther Lemon, not of a later-arriving Curran family from Ireland. (George and Nels and Thomas David always put English as their nationality, rather than Irish. Also, the ones who had a religious preference always indicated a protestant religion. The later-arriving Irish immigrants were Roman Catholic.)

Circumstantial evidence alone would seem to indicate that Anson, Nels, George, Hugh and David actually do belong to the greater Current family. But without positive proof, we won't know for sure. I would appreciate any help you can give.

I hear from a genealogist researcher that there is a will for William Current II, third son of William Current and Esther Lemon, in the Welland Co. archives. He died in 1860. His father's and eldest brother's wills named all of their children. So, maybe his did, too. Maybe James was his son? Do you know the address for these archives? (I'd rather just write for a copy of the will myself, and pay the charges to the archives, rather than pay a researcher.) Then, eventually, I'd like to search all of the 1851, 1861, and 1871 census indexes for the entire area from the Niagara River to Michigan, to find all traces of these 5 boys/men in their westward migration. (Many Currents from Joseph Current's line, eldest son of William and Esther, went on to Iowa, so I'm searching there, too.) since at this point leaving my home in Michigan to go to the area is not an option, it's very difficult, and I depend on the wonderful help of people like you. All I have to offer in return is immense gratitude!

James Bales Current

Elijah B. Current was brought up by Charlotte and Phoebe McEown in Wainsfleet, Welland, Co. ON
(Apparantly it is all revealed in a book called "The McEown Story" that I haven't been able to lay my hands on)  Elijah's fathers was in the same division as Charlotte and Phoebe's batchelor, career soldier brother, John J. McEown,.  They were in the Third Flank of the Lincoln Militia later to become the Lincoln and Welland Regiment. John Patrick McEown,  John J. and the sister's father was a loyalist and their mother, Elizabeth Gray was also from Loyalist stock.  Elijah was 13 when he came under the care of the two sisters and when John J. died, he left half his farm on the Welland River to his sisters (unmarried) who, in turn left it to Elijah.

Just to give you some dates: John J. McEown 1796-1865, Charlotte was born in Wainfleet in 1808, Phoebe in 1811. I don't have their death dates.  John Patrick, the father died in 1939.

[As Elijah/Elisha B. Current was James Bales next older brother, it is quite likely that James was raised by the same people who raised Elisha/Elijah.)]

"Affidavits of Bastardy"
"Margaret YOKOM" of the Township of Crowland in the said district of
Niagara, spinster, saith that she is now in a state of pregnancy and with
child and that James Bales CURRENT of the Township of Crowland........
Margaret X YOKOM....29th day of January, 1842......"
This child would appear to be the following "Jerusha Current", from the City Marriage Registrar, 1858-69 for Lincoln 7 Welland Counties, Ontario, Canada: "Yokom, Francis B, 21, of Crowland, b. Crowland, s/o William W. & Mary, married 4 Apr 1861 Jerusha Current, 19, of Crowland, b. Crowland, d/o James & Margaret." (source for affidavit of bastardy would be the Archives of Ontario, Toronto)

Dec. 12, 1849 James Bales Current leases land for residency with the Canada Company in Middleton Twp, Norfolk Co, Ont. (Lot S1/2 4, concession 2NWR 4 , deed no.# CC B3 034 407)

1852 census for Middleton Twp [Norfolk Co.]  [by R. Robert Mutrie]. James B. Current living with James and Rebecca Erwin and family. It appears James B. Current was working for James Erwin as a Sawyer along with A. Dell and Wilber Clark.

This is what the census showed:
Occuptian Sawyer
Birth Niagara( I think hard to read this entry)
Religion Methodist
Residence Middleton
Age 28
M or S Single
Not a member of family
Lived in James Erwin's frame house.

Is widowed one of the choices? If not, what would a widowed man put down?
I am sure that widowed was not wrote down. Married or single was the catagory.

It is strange that James was living with someone else, when on Dec. 12, 1849 he leased land in Middleton twp from the Canada Company, Lot S(or 5?) 1/2 4 Concession 2 NWR, deed no. B3 034 407.
Maybe he was a part owner of sawmill and was supplying trees from his leased lot.

That would be Concession 2 North Talbot Road (NTR).  All of those deeds are available in two places. One is the Norfolk Registry Office on Hwy 3 west of Simcoe. The second is through the Mormon library system.

In 1857 he wasn't at that lot and concession from the name of people listed in " A Sketch of the County of Norfolk".

James Bales Current purchased land in Jackson Co, IA-2 on 4 Dec.1855, recorded in Book pages 549 & 550, and 1 on 2 Mar 1857, recorded in Book page 550.
According to the obituary of Mark Wellington Current, who was born 8 Aug. 1837, at the age of 19, when he fell heir to property which was located on West Platt Street, Maquoketa, IA, and uncle accompanied him to this place.  They came by boat and walked from Bellevue across the country the balance of the way (Mark would have turned 19 on 8 Aug. 1858.).   He remained in Iowa a year, then returned to Canada (1859?).  The following year (1860?) his parents (mother and stepfather), Malcom and Charity Fletcher Curry, came with him and then remained there ever after, settling near Buckhorn area, and are buried in the Waterford Cemetery.  The uncle could have been James B. Current.

There is a J.B. Current on the 1870 in Sharon township, Clinton county, Iowa.  Sharon township is on the Clinton/Jackson county line.

1870    CURRENT    J. B.    Clinton County    IA    394    Sharon Township    Federal Population Schedule    IA 1870 Federal Census Index
This is roll 385, microfilm pg 394A . census was taken on 8 July, and the post office for this area is Grand Mound, but here is what the record indicates. Current, J.B. 45, farmer, parents of foreign birth, yes, for all. Canada, and he is a male citizen. Current, Sarah, 42, keeps house, Canada. Current, Joseph, 13, farm laborer, Iowa, Current, Addie (pretty sure) 4, at home, Iowa **maybe Adelia, but I think Addie. I made copies if you want me to mail them to you. I also checked the 1880 film section for Sharon township only and did not find him. Did find (1880 Sharon township) an Elisha Current, 60, and family. A Willington Current, 38, and family, and a Lafayette Current 27, and family. Didn't make copies but wrote down all the info. All have Canadian nativity. You indicated he purchased land in the late 1850's. If so, he could have had it done in Maquoketa, which is the county seat for Jackson county, and closer to him in Sharon township than Clinton, the county seat for Clinton county. But if he bought land, why was he not there in 1880? He may be on the 1880 soundex but only if he had kids after Addie, since only households with children under 10 were indexed that census year. (Had something to do with the upcoming social security act whe the WPA did the soundexing in the 30's.)

This is all 1880 Sharon township. roll 334, E.D. 281. 

Elisha is 60, farmer, Can. Nj. Nj. 
wife Eli__ ? 49, Eng. Eng. Eng. 
son Freeman 22, Ia. 
daugh Ella 19, Ia. 
son Sherman 11, Ia. and 
dau. Ida May 7, Ia. 

Willington Current is 38, Can, Can, Pa., 
wife Amy 36, Ia. Can. Can. 
sons Fortes,10. Ia. and George 8, Ia. 

Lafayette Current is 27, Can. Can. Eng. 
Sylvia 22, Ia. Pa. Pa. 
Mary 2 and Ella 5/12, both Ia.

James Current in 1880 in Colorado Springs, Co.. here is what is indicated. Gebert, A. head, 56, lumber dealer, Pa. Pa. Pa. wife Lebentina ? 54, keeps house, Pa. Pa. Pa. sons John, 31, single, miner, Pa. Pa. Pa. James, 26, single, bank book keeper, Oh. Pa. Pa. Current, Sarah C. (word daughter crossed out) 34, marr. not widowed, keeps house, Pa. Pa. Pa. daughter Flora, 13  Ia. Can. Pa., daughter Nettie, 8, Ks. Can. Pa. son James 6, Ks. Can. Pa.  [Don't know yet if this is James B. Current; but is Flora the same as Addie in the 1870 IA censu? Son  Joseph would be adult at this time.  But this Sarah would have only been 24 in the last census, not 42. And this one was born in PA, not Canada.]

Re the 1880 census, If I were to theorize, it would be that A. Gebert & family left Pa. were in Iowa long enough for the daughter Sarah (even tho it's crossed off) to marry a Current, born in Canada. The first child was born to Sarah in Iowa. Family (families) moved west to Kansas, where two more children were born. And then A.Gebert ended up in Colorado Spgs. For whatever reason, (she is not indicated as widowed on the census) she was living with her father. Where is Sarah's husband? Perhaps out prospecting? Whatever, he's not living in the household. Just a thought, but if that J.B in 1870 Iowa has a wife and daughter named Sarah & Flora.

Zion United Cemetery, Garrison Rd., Fort Erie, Ont: plot #204: In memory of Sarah Ann Current, Died Nov. 8, 1896, Aged 69 years, 7 mo & 27 d's.  [born 12 March 1827?], Joseph Current, died Jan. 18, 1895, in his 39 year. [b. 1856?].

Marilyn Current of Whitehall, MI

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