Wednesday, November 6, 2013

John Mann of Milford, MI - A Junior Jumble

Note: This blog post has been updated from the original post. Generally I prefer to leave original posts intact, unless my information turns out to be wrong or potentially misleading. Based on what I know today, I found this post contained too much confusing speculation, so I have reduced that speculation to a theory that can be more easily considered by other researchers.  MAS, July, 2017

I am researching John Mann of Milford, Oakland, MI believing that he could be connected to my Mann family tree. Here are the clues I have:
  • Johannes "John" Mann was the son of Ernst Menge and Maria Magdalena Sommer, born in Philadelphia in 1775.
  • In 1816, there was a New Jersey deed from John Mann to David Mann, conveying John's interest in his share of property from his deceased father, Ernest Mann. John Mann was noted as being of Kingston, Luzerne, PA with a wife, Agnes.
  • In 1823, there was a PA deed from John Mann and wife Agnes of Dallas, Luzerne, PA to Abraham Honeywell, the latter is thought to have been a brother of Joseph Honeywell who married Sarah Oliver Mann and relocated to Milford, Oakland, MI.
However, in the course of my research to determine if this John Mann also came to MI, I hit a snag. The first reference I found to John Mann in an Oakland County history book says that he settled on section 5 in Milford and he was the father of Sarah O. Mann Honeywell. All other documentation I have found, which is to say land patents and deeds, refer to John Mann JUNIOR - lots and lots of reference to John Mann Jr., enough to confuse me to no end. So this post attempts to summarize my analysis and ideas about the preponderance of John Mann Jr.'s in Oakland County from 1830-1860.

1.  Starting with the land patent in 1835, we find John Mann Jr. of Washtenaw County, MI who acquired 40 acres in Section 5 in Milford twp. If this John Mann was related to my Menge family, I still have no reasonable explanation for why this John was referred to as "JR" or what he was doing in Washtenaw county other than that was the center of German culture at the time. Even if we suppose this was the John Mann Jr. (1819-1863) who married Adeline Hayes, that John would have been only 16 in 1835, which doesn't seem a likely age to acquire a land patent.

2.  As for the two other land patents acquired in 1837 by a John Mann Jr., I've thought they were acquired by John Mann, 1814-1885, son of Earnest Mann and Catherine Cruts. See the following patents, all granted in Oakland County, Michigan, to people presumed to be my New Jersey relations:

Anna Mann     14 Aug 1837  5-N  11-E  32  
Earnest Mann  10 Aug 1837  5-N  11-E  34  
Earnest Mann  14 Aug 1837  4-N  11-E  4  
John Mann Jr  14 Aug 1837  5-N  11-E  32  
John Mann Jr   2 Nov 1837  5-N  11-E  29  
Rebecca Mann  18 Aug 1837  4-N  11-E  3
George Mann   12 Aug 1837  5-N  10-E  19

All the patents listed here were acquired by, presumably, siblings, children of EM and CC, all acquired within the same timeframe, all state they are "of Macomb County, MI" which is where their parents settled, and all patents were located near one another in the Oxford/Addison area of Oakland County.

The first rather obvious question is with all these Junior's, who was the Senior?  And following that, were John Mann Jr. #1 and #2 the same guy, or different men?

The New Jersey Mann family, to my knowing, had only one adult member named John, the son or Ernest and Catharine.  One possible explanation is that the NJ Mann family traveled out together with John Mann from PA (b. 1775, the brother of said Ernest), and since the latter was the elder of a group with two men of the same name, they had to differentiate. Certainly the Jr. designation did not always indicate father-son relationship at that time, only that there were both an elder and a younger person of the same name in the area at the same time. But presuming the older John Mann settled in Milford, we can't explain why the 1835 patent named him as a Junior.

So this particular case remains bothersome.  Milford and Oxford in Oakland County, Michigan are roughly 35 miles apart. The guy who settled in Milford did so, apparently, by himself, away from all the other NJ Mann relations.  Hmmmm. It seems completely possible that the John Mann in Milford is not related to my Menge family at all, even with all the clues leading from Ernest Mann's son John to Luzerne County, PA to Milford. Research goes on!

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