with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Meeting New Family in Michigan

I’ll be writing more about this soon, but I’m thrilled that my father and I were able to connect up with new family members in Michigan. Actually, they are “old” family members as they have always been there, but we’re just learning about them now.

They are the decendents of the Farlin family which married into my West family in the early 1800s and together the two families came to Michigan to homestead. Don and Marlene McAlvey welcomed us like we were family, which we are, along with Marlene’s brother, Dale Farlin. Don and Dale have been researching their separate family trees for decades, and they just met us, two bad apples far out on one of the branches.

John D. Farlin Tombstone, Raisin Township, Lenawee County, MichiganWe met in Lenawee County, Michigan, in Adrian, our plan to explore our mutual family tree already in place. I took them out to the old homestead we discovered, which my father and I had checked out and photographed the day before. We showed them the ancient and almost illegible tombstone we stumbled upon for John D. Farlin, and Don found Harriett Farlin’s tombstone, wife of Samuel Farlin, which we had missed. We photographed these and then headed through driving rain and 50 mph wind back to Adrian where we dug into the Probate Court at the local Courthouse to find the original will and testaments from Samuel Farlin and Eliza Jane Farlin, daughter of John D. Farlin. Magical stuff all in original handwriting. Wow!

We then headed back to Lansing where we spent the night and Don and Dale took me to the National Archives in Lansing, Michigan, and introduced me to some great techniques for genealogy research. We found more information that I’m still distilling and I got some leads to help me with my research when I get to Seattle in the next week. Wow! Oh, Wow!

I talked briefly about starting a web page to handle all this information with Dale and Don, and I will be starting it soon. There is so much to learn and I’m having great fun playing Sherlock Holmes with my family tree.

Dale, Don, and Marlene and their family were wonderful to us and we had a great time. I look forward to spending more time with them soon and doing more digging.

Thanks, Dale, Don, and Marlene for letting us barge into your lives and disrupting things. It was a joy and a dream come true! Thanks!

One Trackback

  • [...] I know I’ve been horribly absent here lately, but I’m still on the road. I left Alabama in March to return my father back to Seattle after a joyous interesting winter with us in the sunshine heat of the Gulf Coast. We traveled up through Ohio and across to Michigan and then to Washington State. [...]

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