James Emery
War of 1812

In September of 2010 I received an email from Ron Bellenger, of Holland Michigan. In honor of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, local graves of men who served in the war were being recognized. Ron contacted us regarding James Emery, his wife Mary had a gravestone in the Stuller Cemetery, but there was no marker for James. Ron indicated that the VA would provide a marker for James, but that it had to be requested by a family member. We were delighted to hear from Ron and gave permission for the marker to be ordered. Ron and I have been in contact and the marker will be placed on June 11, 2011, Tony and I have made plans to visit the area, meet with Ron and attended the ceremony. Thank you Ron for your dedication to finding us and honoring James Emery for his service. The Stuller cemetery is a small country cemetery and Ron has tended many of the graves there, including his great grandparents and other family members.

Update 6-11-2011

We would also like to thank The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Henry E. Plant Camp No. 3, U.S. Daughters of 1812 Stephen Preston Chapter and the Pillars of Honor for their work in setting up this ceremony. Ron and the others in these groups did a lovely job with the ceremony. Tony and I are so grateful that there are people this who work so hard to perserve our heritage for future generations.

Below are some pictures from the Ceremony.

Stuller Cemetery Son of Union Veterans Flag Ceremony
U.S. Daughters of 1812 Stepen Preston Chapter Unveiling of stone
Gun Salute
Tony and Lisa Baker
James Emery Stone Ron Bellinger

Ron has an interesting tie to the Emery family, he was born on the farm where James Emery lived along with his daughter Lydia Maria Emery Randall and her husband Richard Randall. He researched the land records and found that in an 1870 plat book, James owened 5 acres and Richard Randall owned 1 arce, the other 34 acres were owned by Libbeus Topliff who was married to James daughter Sarah Jane Emery. This makes the total of their holdings 40 acres, there was an 80 acre farm to the south that was owned by Cryrus Emery, Ron was not able to find a family connection between the men but it is an interesting that 2 men with the same last name lived next door to each other. I will have to investigate this further.

James Emery was born 17 April 1792 in Maryland, I have not located his parents but believe he is part of the Emery family of Queen Anne County, Maryland. When the War of 1812 broke out, James, age 20 enlisted on 18 Jun 1812, he initally served under Lt. Clinton Wright, after serving his term, he re-enlisted on 17 May 1813 serving in Capt Samuel D. Harris' Company 2 U.S. Dragoon. It was during this service that he fought in the battle of Lundy Lane, also known as the battle of Niagara Falls. Lundy Lane was fought on 25 Jul 1814 in what is present day Niagara Fall, Ontario, Canada. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on Canadian soil. British records indicate that they captured four officers and 75 Americans of other ranks, and imprisoned them at Quebec in the autumn of 1814. Among those men was James Emery, who in his pension request refused to go into the overcrowded lice infested prison, (how he was able to do this is a mystery) instead he went to work on the farm of Phineas Hutchins for the duration of the war. I did find a prision record dated 30 Nov 1813, listing men of the United States held by the British, there was a James Emery listed, could this be our James? probably, but it is not definate. In his pension James stated he did not hear about the end of the war for several months, as the information was kept from him.

I've done a bit of research on Phineas Hutchins and discovered he was the brother of John Hutchins, a native of Jericho, Vermont who settled in 1798 in Lachute, Quebec, a town east of Montreal. John's land was located on the north side of the river on the west side of where is now Copelands Bridge. Phineas, occupied a lot on the south side of the river towards Upper Lachute. In 1798, there were only five families spread for about three miles along the river, by 1800 this had increased to some 15 families, mainly from Vermont and by 1803 there were 30 families in the area. In the years before the War of 1812 the population had risen to 81 families with 211 children of school age. By 1812, the area mustered three companies of militia to fight in the war under three captains- Bixby, McNeal and Phineas Hutchins who captained a Volunteer Rifle Company, while the other two belonged to the regular army. Perhaps this is how Jame Emery came to be brought to Phineas Hutchins farm to work.

Following the end of the war, James must have stayed in the area around Lachute for several years, as in 1816, he marries Mary Davis, who was born 16 Mar 1796 in Vermont to Nathaniel Davis and Sarah Jacobs. Mary's family moved to Lachute sometime between 1799 and 1800 and several of her younger siblings were born in the Lachute area. A copy of James and Mary's marriage license shows that they were married 22 July 1816 in Point Fortune, Hawkesbury, Prescott, District of Ottawa, Upper Canada. Following their marriage they settled in Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario, Canada and had the following children:

1. Lydia Maria Emery, married Richard Randal, 8 known children
2. Mary Emery, no marriage found
3. Evelina Emery married Edward Boardwell, 8 known children
4. Anna Emery died young
5. Roxanna Emery married William Colton Starkey, 7 known children (our direct ancestor)
6. Nathaniel Emery married Elizabeth McQueen, 9 known children
7. Christopher Emery died young
8. James Emery, died 1857 age 23, no marriage found
9. Sarah Jane Emery, married Libbeus Topliff, 5 known children.

In US census all the children are listed as being born in Canada, with the last child Sarah having been born in 1835, I found an 1840 census record for a James Emery in 1840 in Newfane, Niagara, New York. This information fits with records found for several of his children: his daughter Lydia Maria Emery who married Richard Randall has several children born in New York, starting in 1841. His daughter Evelina Emery who married Edward Boardwell also has several children born between 1842 and 1849 in New York. His daughter Roxanna Emery who married William Colton Starkey, has the following children born in Lockport, Niagara, New York, Mary Lucy Starkey born 23 Aug 1843 and William Henry Starkey born 7 Jan 1846.

Prior to November of 1848 James and his wife move to Trenton, Washinton County, Wisconsin, where he is listed as having voted in the 1st general election of the town of Trenton. He was given a bounty land grant in Trenton, Washington County, Wisconsin on 16 Sep 1852. According to his obituary notice James and Mary moved from Wisconsin to Michigan in 1868. A land record shows he purchased 5 acres of land in Ganges, Allegan County, Michigan 16 Nov 1868 from his son-in-law Libbeus Topliff, husband of his daughter Sarah Jane Emery. This information is confirmed in the plat book mentioned above from 1870.

James Emery's wife Mary Davis Emery died in 1879 in Allegan County, Michigan at age 83, she is buried in the Stuller Cemetery, Casco Township, Allegan County , Michigan. Below courtsey of Ron is a picture of her headstone.

Mary Davis Emery Headstone

James died 22 Sept 1881 at the age of 89 years, the family was not sure where he was buried by it was thought it was either on the family farm or next to his wife Mary. On the Allegan County US Genweb site I found a transcription of the Stuller Cemetery. The Stuller Cemetery is located on a hill in Section 2 Casco Twp., on a narrow road south of 11th Avenue. The inscriptions were copied on September 19, 1960 by Mrs. Ruth Robbins Monteith of Martin, Michigan, she stated many stones were broken or off the bases. Copying was begun at the East row from South to North. Her report was published in an Allegan County Cemetery Book, published by the DAR, Volume 5, Pages 143-146, Grand Rapids Public Library.

In row eight she reported the following:
Emery, Mary d. wife of James? y m 26d stone broken and reset lot 109,
Emery, no first name, 2 GAR.

It is possible that at one time there may have been a stone for James Emery next to Mary's stone. Thanks to Ron Bellenger James Emery will have a new stone that honor's his service to his country.

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