Monday, April 13, 2015

John Edward Blake, Mary Ann Lavin, and their children

I put together this report for my grandmother, and I thought it turned out rather well, so I'm posting it here. John Blake and Mary (Lavin) Blake were my great-great-grandparents. Their daughter Elizabeth (Blake) Gotsche was my great-grandmother.

John Edward Blake
born October 29, 1847 on the Loop Head peninsula, County Clare, Ireland
died November 18, 1909 in Ashland, Wisconsin

Mary Ann (Lavin) Blake
born August 18, 1849 in Canada
died August 18, 1894 in Ashland, Wisconsin

John Edward Blake was born to Michael Blake and Johanna (Jordan) Blake, the fourth of their seven children. The family moved from County Clare, Ireland to Clinton, Ontario, Canada sometime between 1856 and 1859. While living in Canada, John married Mary Ann Lavin. Around 1863, about half of the family, including parents Michael and Johanna, moved to the town of Ossian, Iowa.

Around the same time, John and Mary moved to Muskegon, Michigan. John worked in a lumber mill, and continued to do so for the rest of his life. John and Mary had nine children in Muskegon between 1868 and 1885. In 1890, John and Mary moved to Ashland, Wisconsin with six of their children.

Mary died in 1894, and John died in 1909 at the home of his daughter Mayme. Both attended St. Agnes Catholic Church in Ashland, and are buried in the church cemetery.

John and Mary's children:
  1. Hannah Blake
  2. John Robert Blake
  3. Catherine Blake
  4. Thomas Edward “Tom” Blake
  5. Michael Edward Blake
  6. Ellen “Nellie” (Blake) McMahon
  7. Mary Ann “Mayme” (Blake) Dundas
  8. Martha Bernice “Mattie” (Blake) Kandutsch
  9. Elizabeth B. (Blake) Gotsche

1. Hannah Blake
born October 15, 1868 in Laketon, Michigan
died August 15, 1869 in Laketon, Michigan

Hannah died of dysentery when she was less than a year old. Sadly, nothing more is known about her.

2. John Robert Blake
born January 5, 1870 in Laketon, Michigan
died May 26, 1942 in Muskegon, Michigan

When the rest of the family moved to Ashland, John, then twenty years old, remained in Muskegon. He worked as a shingle maker, in retail, and as a factory laborer. John married Margaret M. Cayo on June 23, 1909 at St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in Muskegon. Margaret was born in January 1884 in Muskegon, and died September 13, 1964, also in Muskegon. They had six children. Both John and Margaret are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Muskegon.

3. Catherine Blake
born September 2, 1872 in Muskegon, Michigan
died September 11, 1873 in Laketon, Michigan

Catherine died of a fever just after her first birthday. Again, nothing else is known about her.

4. Thomas Edward “Tom” Blake
born January 14, 1875 in Muskegon, Michigan
died January 19, 1946 in Hibbing, Minnesota

Tom was born in Muskegon and moved with most of the family to Ashland in 1890. On Dec. 23, 1899, he married Blanche Ira Woolever in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Blanche was born Nov. 14, 1879 in Mechanicsville, Ohio. Tom and Blanche lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1900, and they had one son. Blanche died of tuberculosis on Feb. 5, 1903 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Tom Blake married Hedwig “Hattie” Schaetzle on Aug. 8, 1905 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hattie was born May 25, 1883 in Bavaria, Germany, and died July 5, 1967, in Lackawanna, New York. They lived in Muskegon for a few years before moving to Hibbing, Minnesota, where Tom worked as a steward at a club house for a local mining company. Tom and Hattie had seven children. Both are buried at St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland.

5. Michael Edward Blake
born March 23, 1876 in Lakeside, Michigan
died November 17, 1929 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Michael was born outside of Muskegon, and lived there until at least 1884. He was married to an unknown woman in 1898, but was no longer married by 1910. Michael largely disappears from records until 1910, when he was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and working as a barber. He worked for a time as a barber for the Schlitz Hotel and continued to live in Milwaukee until his death in 1929. Michael is buried in St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland.

6. Ellen “Nellie” (Blake) McMahon
born November 30, 1878 in Muskegon, Michigan
died 1957 in Ashland, Wisconsin

Nellie was born in Muskegon and moved with her parents to Ashland when she was eleven. On November 28, 1907, she married Hugh D. McMahon. Hugh was born in August 1877, in Wisconsin and died October 16, 1909 in Spooner, Wisconsin. Hugh was a conductor for the Omaha railroad and died in a railway accident in which his leg was run over by a train car. His obituary ran under the headline “A Tragedy of the Rail.” After Hugh's death, Nellie worked as a saleslady at a department store in Ashland. Nellie and Hugh had two children. Nellie is buried next to her husband and infant son at St. Agnes Cemetery.

7. Mary Ann “Mayme” (Blake) Dundas
born July 13, 1881 in Muskegon, Michigan
died August 23, 1969 in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Mayme moved with the family to Ashland and worked as a housekeeper before she married John Fletcher Dixon “Fletcher” Dundas in 1903. Fletcher was born on March 5, 1878 in Victoria, Ontario, Canada and died October 30, 1959 in Ashland. Fletcher and Mayme had two children. Fletcher worked as an engineer for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. Mayme was Catholic like her parents and siblings while Fletcher was raised as an Anglican. Therefore, Mayme is buried in the Catholic St. Agnes Cemetery in Ashland, while Fletcher is buried across the street in the secular Mount Hope Cemetery.

8. Martha Bernice “Mattie” (Blake) Kandutsch
born February 8, 1882 in Muskegon, Michigan
died 1952 in Phillips, Wisconsin

Mattie moved with her family from Muskegon to Ashland and became a registered nurse. She married Frank Joseph Kandutsch in Ashland on May 30, 1905. Frank was born December 21, 1879 in Austria and died November 28, 1954 in Phillips, Wisconsin. Mattie and her family moved around more than any of her siblings, while remaining in the northwoods of Wisconsin. In 1905, they were living in Woodboro, Wisconsin, moving back to Ashland later that year. They also lived in Kennan, Wisconsin; Park Falls, Wisconsin; and Phillips.

While Mattie remained a nurse, Frank worked at various jobs, including as a railway agent, bank cashier, and city clerk, before becoming an insurance agent, eventually owning his own company. Mattie and Frank had six children. Mattie and Frank are buried at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Phillips.

9. Elizabeth B. (Blake) Gotsche
born September 9, 1885 in Muskegon, Michigan
died February 13, 1953 in Racine, Wisconsin

Elizabeth was born in Muskegon in 1885, though later in life she changed her birth year to 1888, making herself three years younger. She moved with her family to Ashland when she was five. Elizabeth moved to Milwaukee to study nursing at Trinity Hospital School for Nurses (now part of Marquette University). She graduated on Oct. 26, 1908, and took a job working at the university hospital. While there, she met Elmer Ferdinand Gotsche, who was attending the university's dental school. They married on May 11, 1921 in Ashland, after originally scheduling their wedding for May 10, in Madison, Wisconsin. Elmer was born November 10, 1891 in Racine, Wisconsin and died September 25, 1941, also in Racine.

Elizabeth moved to Elmer's hometown of Racine, where they lived for the rest of their lives, spending most of that time on Blaine Boulevard (later renamed Blaine Avenue). Elmer worked in town as a dentist. Elizabeth and Elmer had one daughter. Elmer is buried next to his parents and siblings at Mound Cemetery in Racine, while Elizabeth is buried with her infant granddaughter and son-in-law's parents at Holy Cross Cemetery in Caledonia, Wisconsin.

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