Challenge: who are these residents of “the valley of the northwestern lakes”

While on GenealogyBank, I found my brickwall ancestor Oren Briggs inside a document entitled ‘Petition of citizens of the United States residing in the valley of the northwestern lakes, praying the adoption of measures to procure the free navigation of the St. Lawrence. April 11, 1850. Referred to the Committee on Commerce. June 4, 1850. Ordered to be printed.’ Publication: Serial Set Vol. No. 563, Session Vol. No.1; Report: S.Misc.Doc. 111;

Is the “valley of the northwestern lakes” the area around Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes? Can anyone confirm? Several of these men lived in Belvidere, Boone County, Illinois in 1850.

Oren Briggs first appears in Boone County, Illinois records in 1839 but I have no idea where he lived between his birth circa 1797 and when he arrived in Boone County. I am convinced that I will need to research everybody he had associations with, including neighbors found in the census, people he bought and sold land with (of which there were many) and little genealogical gems such as this one.

If any of you genealogy whizzes can spare a few minutes, would you mind trying to identify the one or more of the men in this list below? I would love to discover:

  1. Where they were living (township or county) when they signed this petition in 1850
  2. Where each of these men were born
  3. Parents names
  4. Migration pattern to Illinois

Put your findings in the comments, and I’ll update this master list to avoid duplication with comments in brackets [ ]. I have started by including some information on a handful of the men.

Signers of the petition:

  • Milo Smith [Born 25 Jan 1819 in Shoreham, Addison County, Vermont to James Smith and Sally Coffran. Residing Belvidere in 1850. Resided in Chicago in 1840]
  • Nelson Derthick
  • Gamailel Loomis
  • L. Walker [Probably Lucius Walker, born abt 1823 in Peacham, Caledonia, Vermont to Joel Walker of Massachusetts and Alice Houghton. Residing Belvidere in 1850. Married Emeline, daughter of Cephas Gardner]
  • L. Whitney
  • Joseph C. Smith
  • Richard S. Maloney
  • Joseph Keith
  • W. A. Thayer
  • William Smith
  • H. W. Pier
  • E. E. Moss
  • H. H. Tinker
  • R. L.  Merrick
  • M. G. Sconan
  • Mason Smith
  • Allen C. Fuller
  • Martin Brown
  • H. R.  Mead
  • Asahel Straum
  • Geore Powell [could be George?]
  • Sidney Avery
  • E. F. Rairdin
  • Seth Tickner
  • Charles E. Drake
  • S. S.  Whitman [This is Prof. Seth S. Whitman born 5 Feb 1802 in Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont to Jacob Whitman and Sarah Spencer. Lived in Madison County, New York pre 1839. Traveled from Portland, Maine to Kentucky in 1835. Residing Belvidere in 1850.]
  • Adam Wheeler
  • William G. Norton
  • Henry A. Neely
  • D. Leonard
  • J. Wood
  • William H. Gilman
  • C. C. Leach
  • Edwin Y. Royce
  • Samuel Jenks
  • H. C. Walker [Probably Houghton Walker, born in Vermont to Joel Walker of Massachusetts and Alice Houghton. Residing Belvidere in 1850.]
  • B. Smith
  • W. T. Burgess
  • Orin Briggs [my ancestor!]
  • Joel Walker [Born 10 Mar 1780 in Massachusetts, father of above Lucius and Houghton]
  • Willard Barnes
  • H. C. Miller
  • H. B. Cole
  • Z. H.  Maquen
  • William Stewart
  • Seth Smalley
  • Samuel Cates
  • C. F. Brett
  • A. D. Colron
  • David Page
  • Ezra Hubbell
  • Lyman Wheeler
  • M. Y. Gilbert
  • L. N. Tongue
  • S. Fuller
  • S. Shermon
  • E. Spencer
  • Samuel Sparks
  • Phillip Morris
  • Isaac G. Freeman
  • James Peebles
  • Hezekiah Ripley
  • N. C. Amsden
  • John K. Towner
  • Lewis Kinson
  • H. D. May
  • Cephas Gardner [Middle name probably Charles. Born 9 Nov 1800 in Grafton County, New Hampshire to John Gardner and Dolly Willard. Residing Belvidere in 1850.]
  • J. Brown
  • Arthur Young
  • George Burnett

I really appreciate the help!



Filed under Genealogy, My Family History, Transcript

2 responses to “Challenge: who are these residents of “the valley of the northwestern lakes”

  1. Lilian Najarian

    Hezekiah Hugh Ripley was born 05/17/1785 in Windham, CT. He died 5/5/1851 in Belvidere, Ill. He was maried to Laura DeForest abt. 1807 in Bridgeport, CT. They had 6 chn. I am descended from their daughter, Mary Ripley, b. 2/16/1812 in Bridgeport. Hezekiah was an early settler of Livingston County, NY and publisher of the first newspaper of that county-the Livingston Gazette. Before that, they lived in or around Moscow, NY (1817-1821), then they lived near Dansville (Livingston County) in 1830-39. In 1840 they were living in Steuben County, NY and they were living in Belvidere by 1950 (dates are from the census). They appear to have moved there to live with their daughter and her children because her husband, Austin Gardner had died.

    I also have information on Ceph Gardner, if you would like it. He was a relative of Austin Gardner.

  2. Sandi Felch

    Re: “Challenge: who are these residents of “the valley of the northwestern lakes”

    H.C. Miller is likely my maternal 2nd great-grandfather, Dr. Hiram Calhoun Miller, b. 05 Jan 1817 in “New York”, d. 05 Apr 1855, prob. in Belvidere, Boone, IL. He was the son of Rev. Orrin Miller, b. 1793 in Canada, d. 29 May 1859 in Boone County, IL. Rev. Miller and his wife, Ann donated land for a cemetery in Boone County, and both are buried there, as is their son, Charles W. Miller. Hiram is not buried in the family plot, however, and I have been unsuccessful in locating his grave. He was married to the former Mary Davis Prince, b. 1825-27 in Cumberland County, Maine, d. 16 Apr 1895 in Washoe, Canyon, ID. They had one daughter Emma Isabelle Miller, b. 24 Jul 1849 in Belvidere. Mary Davis Miller, nee Prince, married (2) Pulaski S. Richards on 01 Jan 1861, and they later migrated to Idaho. H.C. Miller served for a time, abt. 1850, in the Illinois legislature, and authored the first game (hunting) laws for the state.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s