March 23, 2009

Monday Madness, Just Another Roadblock- Thomas Darwin Lillie

This is an old post that I am bringing to the front for MONDAY MADNESS. Thomas Darwin Lillie has truly driven ME to madness! I have searched high and low, all over the place and just can not figure out what happened to him, here is his story as I know it;

Thomas Lillie is the father of my great-grandmother, Melissa Jane Lillie Raeburn.

Thomas disappeared sometime after the 1870 Michigan census recording. Here’s a little history:

Thomas b abt 1826 in New York, possibly in Cortland County his father is found on census[s] there during this time frame. The first census I found Thomas on was the 1850 census next door to his parents Joseph & Esther Lillie in Harrison Twp, Potter County Pennsylvania. Thomas was listed with his wife Anna [Youker] and son John G. Lillie.

Thomas has 5 known siblings William, Elizabeth, James, Charles and Emily.
Elizabeth married Rhodes Wilkinson and stayed in the area.
William married Thankful [nee Rice I believe] and later moved to Wetzel County West Virginia and is found [only] on the 1880 census.
Charles and Emily “disappear” after the 1850 census as do parents Joseph & Esther, and are not found in area cemeteries.

Thomas and his brother James take their families to Lynden twp, Washtenaw County, Michigan and are listed on the 1860 census there as one household. Thomas now has 6 children John, Esther, Frank, Melissa, Nelson and Simeon. By 1870 both families are listed in the Springport Twp, Jackson County Michigan census as neighbors. Both men are farmers. After this census Thomas disappears. Death records have been searched at the Library of Michigan for Thomas.

James Lille [Thomas's brother] along with Thomas’s son John are found in the 1872 Gazetteer & Directory of Nottawasaga Twp, Simcoe County ONTARIO as joint owners of Cons 9 Lot 13, land adjoining the Raeburn’s. No death record or other record for Thomas was found in Ontario. He is still MIA....

Thomas’s wife Anna is found with her children on the 1880 census in Blair Twp, Grand Traverse County, Michigan near her brother[s] families. Anna is listed as MARRIED, and son John is the head of the household-apparently back from Ontario. Thomas is not found in the Grand Traverse County death records, cemetery lists or census.

James is found on the 1880 census in Fontanelle, Adair, Iowa with his family. No sign of Thomas. Perhaps there may be another mad story on Thomas..providing I ever find him.

There is no family folklore on him...we didn't even have his name correct-it was written as John [which is really his son's name]



  1. Enjoyed reading about Thomas and family. Have you found anything more on him? When you do, it'll be one of those "Dancing in the Street" moments!

  2. Thomas is a BIG BIG mystery! Still no idea as to where he disappeared to. I am beginning to imagine things...hmmm- oh where oh where could Thomas be indeed! It WILL be a happy dance day when he is found!