Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Greer's in Genesee County!

Well, I really can't say enough about the benefits that come from at least trying to be organized.  Every year about this time, I try to go through all the files that have been accumulating and make sure that I have looked them over carefully and know where to find them for the future.  This year, I came across the scan of an 1859 land abstract that cousin D. had sent me in March of 2010 (gosh, about when we were first discovering Greer's!)  Here is the surprise:
  • The abstract pertains to S-T-R 33-6-6, which is squarely in Mundy Twp in Genesee County. 
  • The names on the abstract include James M. Greer and his wife Mary, Robert Greer and William J. Greer.
  • This particular land is precisely the land that William A. Gillespie (WAG) [1869-1944] would later purchase from somebody named Cox.  It would be his first farm on Ray Road, just east of Linden.
Holy moly.  We've learned so much in the last three years, but there's no end to the Greer mysteries, so on it goes :-)  Here is the scoop about this document as I understand it today.

The Greer's mentioned are NOT "our" Greer's, and by that I mean the line of James Greer married to Jane Gillespie.  I believe this "James M. Greer and his wife Mary" must be the son of Joseph Greer who I believe was a brother to our James Greer, although I can't prove it (yet).  Nevertheless, Joseph is represented as such in my tree.  From everything I can tell, the Greer families emigrated to NY together (and in fact all 3 of the Greer's mentioned in this document were born in NY), and then they all made the move to MI together, so the ties were close whatever they were.  In any case, James M. Greer married Mary Hinman in Oakland County in 1853 - of that we have a record.  This James M. Greer also had brothers of the names William John (the oldest) and Robert, so I am guessing this is who we're talking about on this document.

What is a bit mind-boggling is that this land abstract should be found among things belonging to Genesee Gillespie's.  Did WAG save it when he bought his farm because he knew the connections?  Until now, the Greer story has been contained in Oakland County.  I have often wondered how Alexander Gillespie got to Genesee.  Could it be that, like in Oakland County, the Greer's were there first?  It's so interesting!  Well, I've never looked for Greer land documents in Genesee, but I'm sure going to now.

So thanks to cousins who faithfully send me things even when I don't have the time to really look or the knowledge to really understand what I'm looking at.  Eventually I do circle around and usually at a time when I'm focused and working with a more integrated picture in my mind.  There's such great value in always looking over what we THINK we know!

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