I am beginning a series of posts on the Plowman family in Wacousta, Michigan and Clinton County. I have uploaded a genealogical file William Tuthill Plowman Descendants to ancestry.com to share the information that I have. If you are not a subscriber to ancestry .com, you can get a 14 day free trial; or, if you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I can provide a guest membership for this file. I have decent records up until about 1975 when the last reunion that I am aware of was held. Since then, I only have information on my immediate family. I would be very pleased to establish contact with other Plowmans or descendants and bring these records up to date.
William Tuthill Plowman was born in Oakland County, Michigan in 1813. He and his first wife, Mary Ann Potts, settled in Westphalia, Clinton County, Michigan around 1840. Mary Ann died in childbirth with her third child. William then married Emily Crane and had eight more children. The Plowmans were to play a major role in the development of Clinton County. Most of the 11 children settled in Clinton County and raised their families. Their many children were very close and there was much interaction among the cousins.
In the family photo above, Lide (the author of the stories about her family, is on the far left of the back row. Don’t be fooled by the somber faces in the photographs. This was a family who enjoyed life and one another, as will be evident as you read about their adventures.
In 1874, the first Plowman Christmas Tree was held. This became an annual event and was a family reunion. Significant formal planning went into the event. Officers were elected, and the menu and entertainment were planned. The Christmas Tree continued until at least 1936. Several other reunions were held later.
In 1921, Mary Eliza “Lide” Plowman Benedict, wrote a letter of her memories to be read at the Christmas Tree. In subsequent years, she wrote at least four more letters for later trees. These letters provide a wonderful look at the family and their history. They are quite long so I am planning to divide them into several posts each.
Because of the size of the families, it is difficult to keep track of all the people. Below is a chart that will help as you read Aunt Lide’s fascinating narratives. The chart will be repeated in future posts, so there is no need to memorize the names!