The George and Amanda (Capen) Gulick Family
Standing, l-r: John, Elmer, Perry, Bert, Joseph (Joe Sr), Annette, Grace
Seated: Amanda (Capen) and George Gulick
So last week we discussed the Gulick’s migration from Germany, to the Netherlands, to New York City and finally to Williamston, MI.
Let’s get to know George and Amanda Gulick a bit, since they’re the ones who really got the family started in the Williamston area. On New Years Day, 1853, George and Amanda were married in her parents John and Fanny (Holcomb) Capen’s home in Oakland County, in southeastern Michigan (like the Gulicks, the Capens, also spelled Chapin, had previously lived in New York before moving to Michigan in the mid-1800s).
In March of that year, George and Amanda moved northward to land located in Ingham County, between Williamston and Lansing. According to George’s obituary (if you can read it in last week’s post), he and Amanda cleared the land, logged the timber, built a log cabin home and farmed 80 acres of land.
Over the years, their acreage grew and their family grew. By time their children were adults, George and Amanda owned enough land to give farms to all seven of them (four more children died in infancy and childhood). According to a newspaper article written by Lula Howarth, their son Joe lived on the original farmstead and his family stayed on the farm long enough for it to become a centennial farm.
So, looking at the family photo above, aren’t those some dapper dudes? Okay, maybe John, the cheery guy on the left is dapper. He went on to become a doctor in Illinois. The rest of the siblings stayed on their given farms or settled in the general community.
It’s interesting to see a layout of this area. Click here and check out the map Jerry made for us. You’ll see a whole neighborhood of Gulicks and Gulick-in-laws all living within a few square miles. This is family togetherness at its best.
Or perhaps its worse.
According to family lore, some were a bit of a raucous crowd. At night, the men gathered together to raid chickens from neighboring farms, and during the day, one wife hung a quilt on the clothesline to signal a male acquaintance that her husband was gone. I wonder, is this what they refer to as “dirty laundry”?
Our guy is the more serious Perry, third gentleman from the left (surely, he didn’t participate in any of the above behavior). On November 26, 1878, Perry married Fidelia Walton, whose family, interestingly, had also come to Michigan from New York.
Perry and Fidelia (Walton) Gulick, 1878
Perry and Fidelia took up farming on the land his parents gave him on Gulick Road. They had two sons; Glen Maynard, born in 1882, and Bryon Earl (who went by Earl), born in 1886.
Earl and Glen Gulick, circa 1890
So now we’re getting to a time period relative to people we know—or should I say people that people we know knew. Does that make sense?
In 1905, when Earl was 19, he married Maggie Francis Laing, age 17. In the early years of their marriage, Earl and Maggie (who sometimes is recorded as Margie) lived next door to his parents on Gulick Road. In 1906, their first child Ralph was born. In 1911, their daughter Gladys was born.
That’s right. Our Gladys. And her mother Maggie is the same Grandma Maggie to the Amos Boys who raised Jerry during his childhood.
In some ways, these Gulicks are just names and faces. We see them listed in historical data and on Ancestry.com, but we don’t really know who they are. Thankfully, Jerry can help us with that. While they were still alive, Jerry spent time talking with these older generations and he has recollections of them from his childhood. Through Jerry, we can know a bit about Glen and Earl.
Glen Gulick, circa 1900s
Jerry remembers his great-Uncle Glen to be a soft-spoken, charming, gregarious guy who loved to hunt, fish, gamble and drink. He never was married, although rumor has it he once courted Nellie Able, a relative of R.E. Olds.
“I don’t think he or Earl were ever real interested in farming and they never accumulated much property or savings,” writes Jerry. “Glen went blind in his old age and became cranky, especially when Gladys had to take him to the rest home, known to him as the “County Home” or “Poor House,” near Okemos.”
Jerry remembers his grandfather Earl as a jokester who enjoyed a good laugh. He tells the story of Earl rebottling used whiskey bottles with burnt sugar water and selling them to unsuspecting people in Jackson. When the census enumerator came to his house in 1936 and asked the necessary vital questions, Earl answered that he was married to Gloria Swanson. By then, he and Maggie were divorced and his second wife’s name was Clara Swanson. So, humorous guy that he was, Earl Gulick is forever down in history as living with Gloria Swanson, the very famous actress. So much for the credibility of the U.S. Census!
“Earl was a conductor for the Lansing Urban Line and later a house painter around Lansing,” writes Jerry. “They used to mix their own paint in washtubs with white lead and linseed oil, and then take a leak in it to keep it from separating while drying.”
Jerry says Earl must have had a soft and caring side. He and Glen cared for their father Perry when he had severe dementia before dying in 1922. Earl then quit his job to care for his mother Fidelia before she died the next year. Over time he was there for other relatives as well.
Three generations: Earl Gulick, Jerry Lynn Amos, Jerry Amos, 1961
So here you have it—nearly three hundred years of Gulick genealogy all wrapped up into two weeks of blogging. Life truly is a journey! And 100 years ago, this land between Williamston and Lansing is where the Michigan Gulicks happened.
I’m thinking we need to take a family trip and visit the area. Anyone game?
SAVE THE DATE!
Tentatively June 16, 2012
Elaine, Jan and Shelley are planning a family reunion!
More information soon to come!