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And we thank the Lord that with the 1850 Census, the United States started listing each individual by name.
In 1850, again in Green Oak, we have a blended family, thus:
  • Caleb Sawyer aged 42, a Farmer, born in Massachusetts(!);
  • Eliza, 35, from New York;
  • Henry, 18, from New York;
  • Andrew, 14;
  • Sarah Gunn 13;
  • Honebal Sawyer, 7;
  • John 12;
  • Geo 10;
  • Julia 4;
  • Leonard 3;
  • Ephraim 2; all from Michigan
So here’s the timeline, as we deduce it mainly from the 1850 Census snapshot:
  • About 1829: Caleb Sawyer, born about 1808 in New England, perhaps an early son to Colonel Earl and Polly Sawyer of Ischua and Freedom, marries Clarissa Caroline Wheeler, born about 1810 in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • About 1831: Caleb and Caroline have Malvina C in Freedom.
  • About 1832: Caleb and Caroline have Henry Oliver in Freedom.
  • By 1836: (in time for Andrew to be born there) they move to Green Oak, Michigan.
  • About 1836: Caleb and Caroline have Andrew.
  • About 1839: Caleb and Caroline have George John.
  • About 1841: Caroline dies.
  • About 1842: Caleb marries the widow Eliza Gunn, born 28 July 1816. Eliza brings her daughter Sarah (born about 1837) to the family.
  • About 1843: Caleb and Eliza have Hannibal.
  • About 1845: Caleb and Eliza have Julia.
  • About 1848: Caleb and Eliza have Leonard.
  • About 1849: Caleb and Eliza have Ephraim.
We are not particularly surprised to find some name confusion for two of Malvina’s brothers: each gets one name in their grandmother’s list and gives the Census taker a different one. We give Henry Oliver and George John both names, until we have a better indication of the name each actually answered to. It may even be a bit poignant that Grandma Hannah reported that “Henry Oliver” was named after her deceased husband. Even if that’s not what his parents told the Census taker.

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