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John Haysmer

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John Haysmer, 1828-1900

              All Saints Church from 1907 postcard

John Haysmer was born on 18 March 1828 in the parish of Staplehurst, Kent Co., England. He was the sixth of nine children born to Edward and Mary Ann (Fairman) Haysmer. John was baptized on 4 May 1828 at Staplehurst All Saints Parish Church (above). John was 13 years old and living with his family during the 1841 census of Staplehurst. John's father was a poor laborer and John was working by the time he was 12 years old. The Maidstone Journal dated Sept. 1, 1840, reported "John Hasemore, a lad in the employ of Mr. Bromley in endeavouring to get on the truck loaded with timber, missed his footing, when the wheel passed over him and broke his arm, he was immediately attended by Mr. Joy, and is doing well." John was reportedly the first of the Haysmers to move to America, probably in the early 1850's. His former daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ella (Mitchell) Haysmer Cope, remembered hearing that "John stowed away on a sailing ship until it was out to sea, then worked his way across. After working and getting enough money he went back to get his brother. They worked until they had enough to send for the rest of the family." By 1857 John's parents and most of his brothers and sisters had moved to the United States. They apparently moved directly to Ionia County, Michigan. On May 1st, 1860, John signed a Petition for Naturalization in Ionia (below).

John Haysmer naturalization
                  papers from 1860

The June 1860 census of Ronald Twp., Ionia Co., Michigan, lists John and his younger brother, Stephen, as farm laborers for the John Dickinson family. Also in that household and working as a domestic servant was John's fiance, Eliza Johnson. On the same census page was John's parents as well as the Ionia County Poor Farm (at that time the poor farm was located on southern edge of Ronald Twp.). John and Elizabeth were married on 11 July 1860 in Bushnell Twp., Montcalm County (Bushnell is on the north side of Ronald Twp.). Below is a copy of the marriage record (note that John Dickinson was one of the witnesses).

1860 marriage record of John and
                  Eliza Haysmer

Elizabeth Johnson was born on 7 April 1842 in Brandon, Vermont, and had moved to Michigan at an early age. By 1870 John and family were farming in Bushnell Twp. where they lived for the next 30 years. Their farm was located on the north side of Boyer Road just west of Staines Road. Below is a photo of their farm (on the back of this photo their granddaughter, Estella Haysmer Lund, wrote the following: "This is my grandfather's place - the 'homestead'. Archie Haysmer owns it now. I was born here in this house in 1889 - Feb 22"). The 1870 agricultural census indicated that the farm was 40 acres (25 improved and 15 wooded) and that they had 6 cattle, 6 pigs, and 46 sheep.

John Haysmer farm in Bushnell
                  Twp., Montcalm County, Michigan

John and Elizabeth had eleven children between 1861 and 1885 and most of them lived to adulthood. However, no photo of John has been located (does anyone have one??). John died on 20 January 1900 in Bushnell Twp. and was buried in Sunny Hill Cemetery in Bushnell Twp. According to his death certificate he died of tetanus. Note the Funeral Card, Marriage Certificate, and Petition for Naturalization are all from Shirley Peterson, daughter-in-law of Beatrice Balderson Peterson (granddaughter of John and Eliza).

John Haysmer funeral card 


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