Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Albert Cyrus Mead

Male Abt 1825 -


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  • Name Albert Cyrus Mead  [1, 2, 3
    Born Abt 1825  Cayuga County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Alternate birth Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Alternate birth Abt 1826  Cayuga County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Person ID I27686  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of AP
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2021 

    Family 1 Sarah Branch,   b. 9 Apr 1823, Worthington, Hampshire, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Dec 1914, Lansing, Ingham, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Married 7 Jan 1847  [3
    Children 
     1. Nathan Cyrus Mead,   b. 9 Nov 1847, Medina County, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Oct 1923, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
    +2. Edwin Albert Mead,   b. 18 Mar 1851, Williamston, Ingham, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jun 1932, Albion, Calhoun, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2021 
    Family ID F16523  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Hannah Beal,   b. Abt 1842, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 26 Feb 1885  Lansing, Ingham, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Last Modified 21 May 2021 
    Family ID F20648  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Sorting out the life of Albert Cyrus Mead has been a journey.

      The preponderance of online records say that he was born in Cayuga County, New York, including most census records that give him a place of birth, and the 1932 death certificate of his son Edwin Albert Mead. The death certificate of his daughter Emma, who died 31 Jan 1901 in Williamston, Michigan, says that he was born in Massachusetts, actual birthplace of her mother. The death certificate of his son John Newton Mead, who died 5 Feb 1922 in Detroit, says he was born in Medina County, Ohio; see further on for more about that location. The death certificate of his son Myron O. Mead, who died 4 Apr 1920 in Mason, Ingham County, Michigan, says that he was born in Pennsylvania. The 1850 US census says he was born in Ohio.

      Several ancestry.com trees, without offering proof, say that his father was a John Mead who was born in New Jersey in 1803 and died in Medina County, Ohio in 1882. A Find a Grave page exists for a John Mead, birthdate and birthplavce unknown, who died 27 Dec 1882 and is buried at Chatham Township Cemetery, Chatham Township, Medina County, Ohio, age 79 according to his gravestone inscription. The name "Nancy B.", presumably his wife, is visible on the stone. Census records from 1850 to 1880 confirm the presence in Lafayette, Medina County, Ohio of a John Mead born in New Jersey between 1802 and 1804, and his wife Nancy. The 1840 census, which was of course taken before the census began recording the names of all family members, also lists a John Mead in Lafayette, Medina County, Ohio. If Alfred Cyrus Mead was this man's son and was born in 1825, he would presumably be one of the two "free while persons under 20" enumerated on the 1840 census form.

      Another hint to Albert Cyrus Mead's ancestry may be in his middle name. Many of the descendants of the 17th-century immigrant William Mead, born 1592 in Watford, Hertfordshire, died 1657 in Stamford, Connecticut, and his wife Philip, were in upstate New York, including Cayuga County, by the 1700s. At least two of William Meade's direct descendants were named Darius Mead. Darius was a course a great emperor of Persia, as was Cyrus. Another descendant of William Mead was Cyrenius Mead, born in upstate New York in 1785, died in 1862.

      A larger mystery is the fact that Albert Cyrus Mead appears to have married Sarah Branch twice. A History of the Leading Branch Families in America (citation details below) says of Sarah Branch, daughter of Elisha Branch and Sarah Thompson of Worthington, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, born 9 Apr 1823, that she "married Jan. 7, 1847, Albert Mead." This is plausible, since the 17 Oct 1923 death certificate of their eldest child, Nathan Cyrus Mead, gives his birth as having taken place on 9 Nov 1847 in Medina County, Ohio. Furthmore, the will of Sarah Branch's father Elisha Branch, dated 1 Sep 1856, mentions his daughter Sarah Mead, so they must have been married before he wrote his will.

      Backing up to establish the proven relationships: The 1932 death certificate of AP's great-great grandfather Edwin Albert Mead, son of Albert Cyrus Mead, says that his mother, Sarah Branch, was born in Worthington, Massachusetts. The published vital records of Worthington do indeed show a Sarah Branch born there 9 Apr 1823, daughter of Elisha Branch. That this Sarah Branch is the same individual as the mother of Edwin Albert Mead is made crystal-clear by the obituary of Sarah Branch Mead in the Lansing State Journal, 15 Dec 1914, p. 12, which says that she died that day, age 91, that she was "born in Hampshire county, Mass., April 9, 1823", and that among the children surviving her was "Edwin Mead of Detroit."

      A Find a Grave page for Elisha Branch of Worthington, Massachusetts, the individual recorded in Worthington records as the father of the Sarah Branch born there 9 Apr 1823, says that he was born there on 9 Apr 1787, and that he, his wife Sally Thompson, and all his children, including Sarah b. 9 Apr 1823, removed to Ohio in the 1830s, where they both died, he in 1856 and she in 1867, in...Medina, Medina County, Ohio. (Citation details for this page can be found on our entry for Elisha Branch.) And the aforementioned will of "Elisha Branch of York Township Medina County Ohio", dated 1 Sep 1856, proved 24 Nov 1856, can be found in Ohio, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1988 on ancestry.com.

      Elisha Branch's Find a Grave page includes links to Find a Grave pages for several of Elisha and Sally's children, and several of Elisha's brothers. Of the children, Nathan C. Branch is said to have died in Meridian, Ingham County, Michigan in 1897. Cordelia Sophia (Branch) Judson died in 1905 in Benzonia, Benzie County, Michigan. Betsy (Branch) Hudson died in 1902 in Dearborn, Wayne County, Michigan. Edwin T. Branch died 1901 in Homer, Calhoun County, Michigan. And Elisha Branch's brother Dr. Nathan Branch died in 1860 in Allegan County, Michigan. Of these many relatives, the one closest in age to Sarah Branch is her older brother Nathan, born in 1821, and as noted above, he, like her, wound up in Ingham County; in fact, he is buried in Williamston.

      Most of these relationships, and all of these dates, are confirmed in a biography of one G. Spitzer, "agriculturalist and stock-raiser", in the 1881 History of Medina County and Ohio (citation details below). Mr. Spitzer married Mary J. Branch, younger sister of Sarah Branch. Elisha Branch and his wife Sallie Thompson came to York Township, Medina County, Ohio, in 1832, with all of their children. Sarah Branch is called "Sarah, Mrs. Albert Mead, in Michigan."

      Census records over the next few decades, and the birthdates of their children, mostly line up with the idea that Albert Cyrus Mead and Sarah Branch married in the late 1840s, probably in Ohio, and went from there to Michigan, as implied by the biography of G. Spitzer quoted above. The 1850 census of Phelpstown, Michigan, part of which later became Williamston, Michigan, shows an Albert Mead, 25 years old, born in Ohio, married to a Sarah, age 27, also born in Ohio. The 1860 census of Williamston shows A. C. Mead, farmer, age 35, born in New York, with wife S, 37, born in Massachusetts, and children including E. A. (i.e., Edwin Albert Mead), age 9, born in Michigan. The 1870 census of Williamston shows Albert Mead, farmer, 45, born in New York, with his wife Sarah, 47, born in Massachusetts, and several children including Edwin, 19, born in Michigan. The 1880 census, again at Williamston, shows Albert C. Mead, farmer, 54, born in New York of a father born in New Jersey and a mother born in Connecticut. Albert's wife is Sarah, age 56, born in Massachusetts of parents also born there. The only real inconsistency here is the assertion in the 1850 census that they were both born in Ohio, and this is well within the usual range of misunderstandings found in census records. In 1850, if our model is correct, Albert and Sarah Mead had only recently arrived in Michigan from Ohio.

      From all of this, and from the birthdates of their several children, it seems overwhelmingly plausible that Albert Cyrus Mead and Sarah Branch married in Medina County in 1847 and that not too long afterward they moved to Michigan. Which leads to a real puzzle. There is a handwritten register showing the marriage, in Lansing, on 31 May 1880 (!) of Albert C. Mead of Williamston, 54, born in New York, to Sarah B. Mead (the record includes the note "maiden name not given"), 56, born in Massachusetts. The date is clearly not mistranscribed; the record appears on a register with fourteen other 1880 marriages. It is possible, of course, that these are two entirely separate individuals whose names (including middle initials), ages, and origins line up perfectly. But we do have to wonder: Is it possible that Albert and Sarah were never officially married until 1880? Or that some irregularity (say, the loss of records of an earlier marriage) compelled them to be married again?

      Whatever the case, the 1880 census and this puzzling 1880 marriage record are the last we see of Albert and Sarah Mead together. Another handwritten marriage register found on ancestry.com shows that on 26 Feb 1885, in Lansing, Albert C. Mead, age 59, born in Cayuga Co., N.Y., married Hannah Beal, also called in the record Hannah Buxton, 43, born in England. (The word prior to "England" is hard to make out. It may say "Eastern"; it may say "Easton", which could refer to a neighborhood of Bristol or a village in Norfolk.) Records of the 1890 US census were of course mostly destroyed in a fire in 1921, but the 1900 census, again at Williamston, shows Albert C. Mead, farmer, age 74, born Dec 1825 in New York, father born in New Jersey and mother born in Connecticut, with wife Hannah, born Mar 1841 in England, of parents born in England. Hannah emigrated to the US in 1848. Meanwhile, the 1900 census of Lansing shows, in the household of Charles and Lois (Mead) Quay (Lois was the youngest child of Albert Cyrus and Sarah Mead, born about 1865), "Mead, Sarah B.", mother-in-law, born Apr 1823 in Massachusetts, father and mother both born in Massachusetts. The letter in the box for "Whether single, married, widowed, or divorced" is W, for "widowed". The number in the box for "Number of years married" is 53. 1900 minus 53 is of course 1847. In the 1910 census, she is in the same household, still called mother-in-law, age 87, born in Massachusetts of parents born there as well, and still a widow; the only difference is that the "years married" box is empty.

      This would not be the first time that we have seen an older woman who was divorced or abandoned by her husband state to census-takers that she was "widowed" despite the fact that her former husband was still alive. It is interesting, though, that in 1900 she answered "53" to "number of years married", but gave no answer to the same question ten years later. Did Albert Cyrus Mead die in the intervening years? A grave for an "Albert C. Mead, 1825-1905" does exist at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. And the Los Angeles city directory for 1905 does list a "Mead, Hannah (wid Albert C)" living at 518 Maple Avenue. Arguing against this identification is the fact that the Los Angeles death record of Albert C. Mead who died in 28 Apr 1905, age 85, says he was born in Ohio. At any rate, nobody whose data discernably lines up with that of Albert Cyrus Mead or Hannah Mead can be found in the 1910 census. So it seems very likely that he died between 1900 and 1910. Whether he is the Albert C. Mead buried in Los Angeles cannot be confirmed from the information to hand.

      Will of Elisha Branch (paywalled):
      https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/8801/images/005866038_00233?pId=13756633

      Find a Grave entry for Albert C. Mead buried in Los Angeles in 1905:
      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/68825584/mea

      1905 Los Angeles city directory listing for Hannah Mead, widow of Albert C. (paywalled):
      https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2469/images/3342912?pId=228631855

      1905 Los Angeles death record of Albert C. Mead (free familysearch.org account required):
      https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89SF-FCBV?i=1056&cc=2001287&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AQG3T-RB1G

      Find a Grave entry for John Mead buried at Chatham, Medina County, Ohio in 1882:
      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/62135038/john-mead

  • Sources 
    1. [S3940] History of Medina County and Ohio, eds. William Henry Perrin, J. J. Battle, and Weston Arthur Godspeed. Chicago: Baskin & Battey, 1881.

    2. [S3945] Find a Grave page for Sarah B. Mead.

    3. [S3929] A History of the Leading Branch Families in America, 1638-1904 by A. E. (Branch) Paulson. Ashtabula, Ohio, 1904.

    4. [S2231] 1870 United States Federal census, on ancestry.com., year and state only.

    5. [S3938] Michigan, U.S., Death Records, 1867-1952, on ancestry.com., place only.

    6. [S3938] Michigan, U.S., Death Records, 1867-1952, on ancestry.com.

    7. [S1080] Michigan, U.S., Marriage Records, 1867-1952, on ancestry.com.

    8. [S2244] 1880 United States Federal census, on ancestry.com., year and state only.