The theme of this blog is "Green Bay." When Americans think about the geographic area of Green Bay, Wisconsin, they most often think of the football champions the Green Bay Packers and their fans who often wear strange looking cheese shaped hats and are sometimes referred to as "cheese heads." But the Green Bay area has much greater significance to the Frampton Irish than just football. The bay of Green Bay is located in Northeast Wisconsin where it also borders on the state of Michigan before it joins Lake Michigan on the north. On the east side of the bay is the Door County peninsula in Wisconsin and on the northwest side is Menominee County, Michigan. Both these counties were significant emigration destinations for the Frampton Irish. In past blogs, I have written about the Frampton Irish that emigrated to California and Maine. These areas were what I have come to refer to as "Frampton Irish colonies." Such colonies were places where many Frampton Irish family and friends who lived near each other in Frampton seemed to relocate as a unit to the new location and ended up living near each other in the new location. Further, they continue to inter-marry in the new location. So this blog is about the Green Bay-Lake Michigan colony.
I first learned of the Frampton Irish in the Green Bay-Lake Michigan area through fellow Frampton Irish researcher Ginny Haen. She had shared a great deal of her research on these families with me. I also have read through her book Irish-Scotch Families from Frampton & Standon, Dorchester County, Quebec to Jacksonport, Door County, Wisconsin, USA (mid to late 1800s). I also had the privilege of meeting Ginny twice at the Salt Lake City Family History Library while we were both doing research. I had Ginny review this blog and she provided a great deal of additional information and suggestions for enhancing it. So this blog is sort of written by both of us.
While Ginny had found many Frampton families in the Door County, Wisconsin area, I decided that in preparation for this blog, I would search through the 1900 U.S. census to see just how many Frampton Irish families and individuals I could identify in the Green Bay-Lake Michigan colony. The 1900 U.S. census provides the month and year of birth of each person listed and also identifies the year in which they immigrated to the U.S. This search enabled me to make a list of the families and address the years of out-migration from Frampton. I conducted my search by focusing on Door County, Wisconsin and Menominee County, Michigan. I searched for all persons born in Canada and then because of my knowledge of Frampton Irish surnames, I was able to discern which may have been Frampton Irish families. I also supplemented this research with some searches in Wisconsin and Michigan vital records recently placed on-line on the FamilySearch.org website. My research coupled with Ginny’s information reveals the story of emigration to the Green Bay-Lake Michigan area in Door County, Wisconsin and Menominee County, Michigan.
Out-migration of Frampton Irish families to the Green Bay area would occur as early as 1867 and continue through 1900. By the 1900 U.S. census, about 35 Frampton Irish families and individuals would be located in the Green Bay-Lake Michigan area. Like the emigration to Maine, the initial attraction to the Green Bay area was jobs in the timber and lumber industry. From my research on another un-related book, I have determined that the period of 1850 to the 1880s were "boom times" for logging in Northern Wisconsin and Northern Michigan. Every Frampton Irish colony can point to one or two pioneering emigrants. In other words, the first families to move from Frampton to the new location. After that, much of the out-migration could be classified as "chain migration" as many of the family and friends of the pioneering emigrants would follow to the new location for the jobs and land acquisition opportunities it may hold for them
Ginny reports in her book that her 3rd great uncle, John Tolerton Bagnall went to Jacksonport, Wisconsin in 1867. He became a timber cruiser, purchased land and hired men to help remove the timber. He later would have timber operations in Upper Michigan. He and his wife Eliza Rutherford would follow the timber and Eliza often cooked for the men in the lumber camps.
Joseph Smyth/Smith, son of Thomas Smyth/Smith and Mary Ann Wilson, was another pioneering emigrant. His siblings John, Joshua, Abraham, and Alice would also emigrate Door County, Wisconsin and Menominee County, Michigan. The History of Door County offers a narrative of Joseph Smyth/Smith who first went to Cheboygan, Michigan in 1866. The Narrative provides:
Among the Canadians was Joseph Smyth who later became known as "the cedar king" of Door County. For many years he did business of $180,000 per year. In 1879 he shipped seventy cargoes of cedar stuff and cordwood. In the 80s he and Warren Bailey had a very large camp on Drummond Island in Lake Huron. Ten thousand dollars worth of supplies were shipped up to the camp, including 200 barrels of flour grown in Jacksonport and ground in Sturgeon Bay.
These two pioneering emigrants probably were able to offer jobs to their relatives and friends in Frampton. They were probably able to paint a picture of prosperity in the United States that could not be sustained in Frampton and many families would follow. The following is a list of the Frampton Irish families found in the Green Bay Area (mostly in the 1900 U.S. census).
Joseph Smyth/Smith and his wife Margaret Forsythe Wilson were found in Jacksonport, Wisconsin where he was a farmer. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1866.
John Wilson (brother of the above Margaret Forsythe Wilson) and his wife Jane Lightfoot were found in the 1880 U.S. census in Jacksonport where he was a lumber dealer. They went to Wisconsin in 1866. In the 1900 U.S. census he and his family were found in Esmen Township of Livingston County, Illinois where he was a farmer.
John Tolerton Bagnall’s widow Eliza Rutherford Bagnall was found in Jacksonport where she was a farmer. He went to Wisconsin in 1867. According to his obituary, he died in 1897 in Rock, Delta County, Michigan after a fall at the home of his son G. Harry and was brought back to Jacksonport for burial. Many of his descendants still have summer/retirement homes in Door County.
Andrew Bartholomew was found in Spalding of Menominee County, Michigan in the household of John Bagley. He went to Michigan in 1870. He was the son of Frampton residents Andrew Bartholomew and Agnes Morrow.
John Kell and Anna Maria Smyth were found in Spalding, Michigan where he was a farmer. He and his wife went to Michigan in 1871. Anna Maria Smyth was a relative of the above Joseph Smyth.
Henry Forsythe Wilson and Sarah Maria Smyth were found in Jacksonport where he was a farmer. He was the brother of the above Margaret Forsythe Wilson. They went to Wisconsin in 1873. Quite a few descendants of this family still live in Door County, many in the Jacksonport area.
William Kell and Margaret Jane Bagley were found in Spalding, Michigan where he was a farmer. They went to Michigan in 1873.
William Bagley and Maggie Bagley were found in Stephenson, Michigan. They appear to have been married in Michigan around 1873. An 1887 birth record found for their daughter Irene Bagley indicated that the mother’s name was Maggie Bagley. It is not certain if this was her married name or maiden name. However, the 1900 census indicates that she was born in Michigan in 1863 which pre-dates the arrival of the Frampton Irish in Michigan.
John Bagley’s widow Alice Anderson Smyth was found in Menominee, Michigan where she had a boarding house. John Bagley and his family went to Jacksonport, Wisconsin in about 1874. He died in Jacksonport in 1887. Alice Anderson Smyth was the sister of the above Joseph Smyth/Smith. In 1910 Alice was in Detroit living with her two daughters: Mary W, a dressmaker and Ruth A., a milliner. In 1920 she was living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her son G.R. Bagley, his wife and young daughter, as well as her son F. Samuel and daughter, Ruth.
For the most part, all of the Frampton Irish emigrants to the "Green Bay-Lake Michigan colony" were Protestants. The exception to this was Catholic Nicolas Fitzsimmons who reported in the 1900 census that he emigrated to the U.S. in 1874. He married in Wisconsin and he and his family were found in Jacksonport. His parents John Fitzsimmons and Catherine Doran went to Wisconsin in 1898 and were found living in Nicolas Fitzsimmon’s household in 1900. Nicolas Fitzsimmons wife Annie is found as head of household in Jacksonport in the 1910 census. However, Nicolas was not listed in the household. Her mother-in-law Catherine Doran Fitzsimmons was living in her household. Catherine’s husband John Fitzsimmons died on November 12, 1905 and was buried at St. Michael’s Catholic cemetery in Jacksonport. Nicolas Fitzsimmons reportedly died in 1919 in San Francisco, California
Isaac Bagley, son of John and Alice (Smith) Bagley, went to the U.S. in 1875, probably with his parents and family. He married Mary/Minnie Bagnall, daughter of Sam and Alice (Wilson) Bagnall, in Jacksonport in 1893. He and his family were found in Stephenson of Menominee County, Michigan where he was a blacksmith. They later resided in Gaastra, Iron County, Michigan. Isaac and Minnie have a granddaughter still living in Escanaba, Delta, Michigan.
George Kell and Sarah Jane Smyth were found in Spalding, Michigan where he was a farmer. They went to Wisconsin in about 1877 and first settled in Little River, Wisconsin where their first three children were born. Sarah Jane Smyth was related to the above Joseph Smyth/Smith.
Joseph Kell and Elizabeth O’Hara were married in Quebec in about 1867. She may have been Catholic. Their first four children were born in Frampton. Three of them were baptized at the St. Edouard de Frampton Catholic church and one was baptized at Springbrook Anglican church. They went to Wisconsin in 1877 and first settled in Little River, Wisconsin. In the 1900 U.S. census, they were found in Spalding, Michigan where Joseph Kell was a farmer.
Margaret Hossack Wilson was the widow of East Frampton storekeeper Joseph Wilson. Joseph Wilson died in Frampton in 1855. Margaret continued to operate the East Frampton store until 1873 when she went to Wisconsin. She was found in the household of her son-in-law Joseph Smyth (the same as above) in Jacksonport.
Hugh Bagley and Rebecca Moyles were married in Michigan in about 1880. Rebecca Moyles was the daughter of Daniel Moyles and Isabella Hall of Standon Township, Quebec. They were found in Spalding, Michigan where Hugh was a farmer.
John Foster and Hannah Maria Harper were found in Spalding, Michigan where he was a laborer. They went to Michigan in 1880.
Edward Sargeant and Catherine Lightfoot and their family went to Wisconsin in 1881. Edward Sargeant died in 1893. Catherine Lightfoot Sargeant was found in the household of her son John A. Sargeant in Jacksonport, Wisconsin. A nephew of John Sargeant was also living there. His name was Henry McNeely who was the son of James McNeely and Henrietta Sargeant (John’s sister). John Sargeant raised Henry McNeely to adulthood. Henry McNeely died at about age 24 in Montague, Michigan. James McNeely was the son of James McNeely and Isabella Bradley of Frampton.
Joshua Smyth/Smith and Sophia Osburn Smyth were second cousins and were related to the above Joseph (Joshua and Joseph were brothers) Smyth/Smith. They went to Wisconsin in 1883. They were found in Jacksonport, Wisconsin where Joshua was a farmer. They later relocated to Upper Michigan where both died in Wilson, Michigan.
John Bagley married Isabella Moyles in Michigan in about 1882. Isabella Moyles was the daughter of Daniel Moyles and Isabella Hall of Standon Township, Quebec. They were found in Spalding, Michigan where John was a farmer.
George Bagnall and Louisa Sargeant had gone to Wisconsin in 1883, probably with his parents.. They were married in Jacksonport, Wisconsin in 1888. They were found in Jacksonport, Wisconsin in the 1900 census. They had an adopted son named Edward McNeely. His birth date was recorded in the census as November 1887 with birthplace in Michigan. He reportedly had been in trouble with the law as he was confined in the Industrial School at Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1902. A birth record was found for a James E. McNeely dated November 3, 1887 in Wilson, Michigan. This was the son of James McNeely and Henrietta Sargeant, as identified above.
Samuel Bagnall and Alice Anderson Wilson went to Wisconsin in 1883 with their family. Samuel died in Jacksonport, Wisconsin in 1891. His widow Alice Wilson Bagnall was found in Jacksonport living in the household of her son John Thorp Bagnall. In 1920, Alice was still in Door County, then later went to Gaastra in Iron County, Michigan to be with daughter Minnie and Isaac Bagley. Alice died in December of 1930.
James Reynolds and Ann Jane Hill were married in Quebec in about 1874. James Reynolds was the son of John Reynolds and Anne Reynolds of Frampton. James and Ann Jane Reynolds went to Wisconsin in 1883. They were found in Jacksonport, Wisconsin where James was a farmer. They had two adopted children in their household, Stewart Kingston and Jennie A. Kingston. Percival Stewart Kingston was the son of Andrew Kingston and Isabella Scott of Frampton. Jennie A. Kingston was probably Ann Jane Kingston who was the daughter of Hugh Henry Kingston and Mary Reynolds of Standon Township, Quebec. This Mary Reynolds was James Reynolds sister and she died in Frampton in 1890. Another child named Sarah Alesa Kingston was also associated with the Reynolds household. She was the daughter of Andrew Kingston and Isabella Scott. Sarah married the longtime and popular pastor Rev. Joseph Jameson of the Holy Name Episcopal Church in Jacksonport and has descendants there yet.
John Smyth/Smith and Rebecca Smyth/Smith were second cousins and relatives of the above Joseph Smyth/Smith. John was a brother of Joseph, Joshua, Alice Bagley, and Abraham. They came to Jacksonport, Wisconsin in 1883. They were found in Jacksonport where John was a farmer. Rebecca’s parents George S. Smyth and Eliza Stewart were living in their household. They had arrived in Wisconsin in 1888. Some descendants of John and Rebecca still live in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
Thomas McNeely and Elizabeth Bradley were found in the 1894 Michigan state census in Spalding, Michigan. They had gone to Michigan in 1883. Elizabeth Bradley McNeely died in Spalding in 1896 and Thomas McNeely died in Spalding in 1900, both before the 1900 U.S. census was taken. Elizabeth Bradley had been previously married to Thomas Bagley. Thomas McNeely and Elizabeth Bradley’s son Thomas McNeely, Jr. was married to Mary Ann Kingston in 1896 in Wilson, Michigan. Mary Ann was the daughter of Andrew Kingston and Isabella Scott.
William J. Smyth and Eliza Marie Bagley had gone to Michigan in 1883. They were married in Escanaba, Michigan in 1885. They were found in Spalding, Michigan where he was a farmer.
George Bagnall and Sarah Bagley and their family went to Jacksonport, Wisconsin in May 1884. They were found in Jacksonport where George was a farmer.
Richard Tolerton Bagnall and Mary Dickson went to Wisconsin in 1884, probably with his parents George and Sarah above. They were found in Jacksonport, Wisconsin where Richard was a farmer. Brother Thomas and sister Anne also came in 1884 with the family.
Thomas Corrigan and Isabella Scott went to Michigan in 1884. They were found in Spalding, Michigan where he was a farmer. Thomas’ father James Corrigan had gone there with them and was living in their household.
Hugh Henry Sargeant and Adelaide Anderson and their family went to Jacksonport, Wisconsin in July 1884. Hugh’s son George Bagnall Sargeant went with them. Adelaide Anderson Sargeant died in Jacksonport in 1886. Hugh Sargeant died in Marinette, Wisconsin in 1896. Descendants of George Bagnall Sargeant still reside in Door County today.
John Scott and Mary Ann Kell were married in Spalding, Michigan in 1898. Nothing more has been found on this couple.
John Thorp Bagnall and Alicia (Lillian) Harper came to Wisconsin in 1900. They were found in the 1905 Wisconsin state census in Sevastopol of Door County, Wisconsin. Alicia’s parents William Harper and Marie Jane Sargeant were living in their household. Marie Jane Sargeant’s obituary said that William Harper died in Sawyerville, Quebec in 1910 and she also was buried in Sawyerville.
Mary Bagnall, sister of George, Sam and John Tolerton Bagnall came to Jacksonport, Wisconsin with her husband, the Rev. Charles Thorp (Episcopal) in about 1878. The Charles Thorp family is found in the 1880 census in Jacksonport. Rev. Thorp had parishes in southern Wisconsin.
Abraham Smyth/Smith, brother of Joseph, Joshua, John and Alice Bagley was in Wisconsin by 1876. Brother Edward Smyth/Smith was ready to bring his family to Jacksonport when he died suddenly in 1893.
About 90 miles northwest of Menominee County, Michigan is Houghton County, Michigan. One significant Frampton Irish family ended up settling there. This was the family of Robert Bagley and Mary Ann Ford Bagley. Robert Bagley was the son of John Bagley and Ann Holmes. Mary Ann Ford was the daughter of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Hornibrook. Mary Ann Ford was the first cousin once removed of Henry Ford, of Ford Motor Company fame. Their oldest son John Bagley was in Michigan as early as 1876 when he married Margaret Anne Haslet, another Frampton Irish person. John Bagley was a mine contractor in Calumet of Houghton County, Michigan in 1880. By 1900, John Bagley was a railway supply businessman. Shortly after that he would become the superintendent of the Tacoma Eastern Railroad in Tacoma, Washington. Later he would be president of the Cascade & Mineral Lake Lumber Company, president of the Bagley Grader Company, and director of the National Bank of Tacoma. John Bagley’s sister Sophia Bagley married Daniel Moyles, a Frampton Irish person, in 1877. Daniel Moyles and his family were found in the 1900 U.S. census in Laurium of Houghton County, Michigan where he was a carpenter. Brother Robert Bagley was married to Hattie Deacon in Menominee, Michigan in 1891. By 1900 he and his family had moved to Tacoma, Washington where he was a machinist. Brother Henry Ford Bagley married first cousin Rosa Ann Bagley, who was the daughter of Isaac Bagley and Elizabeth Rothwell, in Marshall, Michigan in 1888. They were found in Owosso of Shiawassee County, Michigan where Henry was an engineer. Robert Bagley and Mary Ann Ford joined their children in Michigan in 1893. Robert Bagley died in 1893 in Owosso, Michigan. His widow Mary Ann Ford Bagley was found in Owosso in 1900 where she was recorded as a "capitalist."
Many of the Frampton Irish men of Door County were farmers. On several plat maps (supplied by Ginny Haen) from 1886 to 1899 are show a number of the names of Frampton Irish men whose farms were in close proximity to one another in the center of Jacksonport township just outside the town of Jacksonport. Even the one Catholic family, Nicolas Fitzsimmons, lived near the others. It is as if neighbors in Frampton were now neighbors in Jacksonport.
In the winter season, these men went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to work in the logging industry. It was about 14 miles across Green Bay from Door County to Menominee County, but about 100 miles by land. There was a regular road across the ice in winter lined with evergreen trees and a stage line made regular crossings.
The Holy Nativity Episcopal Church was the first congregation of most of the Frampton Protestants. For many year, Rev. Joseph Jameson was the Rector of this church. His wife was Frampton Irish descendant Sarah Alesa Kingston. Many Frampton Irish are buried in the cemetery of that church. The Methodist Church came a few years later and some of those who had been Episcopal came over to that church such as the Bagnalls and the Wilsons. Those people were buried in Lakeview Cemetery. The land for the Methodist Church was donated by Frampton Irish Joseph Smyth. The Catholics (Fitzsimmons) were buried in the St. Michael’s Cemetery right next to their church.
The Frampton Irish of the Green Bay-Lake Michigan colony contributed greatly to the history of that region and to American history in general.