Born in 1864 in London, Ontario, Canada, Andrew was the baby of the family, with three older sisters and two older brothers.
His father, James Porterfield, (b 1826 in Scotland?) seems to have died when Andrew was very young. I cannot find a death record, but his death is mentioned in the History of Shiawasee County book (where Andrew and family ended up settling) – in the book, it states that James was born in Canada, worked as a shoemaker but purchased a 50-acre farm in Blanshard later in life, where he lived at the time of his death. Andrew’s older sister, Mary, died in 1864 and some trees on Ancestry have James’ death as 1864 – maybe there was a sickness that took them both? Or an accident?
James Porterfield is found on a WikiTree – https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Porterfield-263 – which says his parents names (James Porterfield and Elizabeth Wallace), that they were from Ireland and moved to Scotland, had babies there (including James), then moved to Canada. There is a record of them mentioned in a letter in 1825, requesting information and /or assistance to immigrate to Canada.
Andrew’s mother, Nancy Peasley, was born in 1836 in Canada and is found in the 1851 census living with her parents, and living very close to James Porterfield. Nancy’s parents were William Peasley (b 1790 in Vermont) and Delilah Peat (b 1801 in New York). Through this Peasley line, we go back to Susannah (North) Martin, my 9th great-grandmother that was hung, being accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.
Nancy’s sister – Sarah (Peasley) Gilmore, ended up marrying James’ brother, Charles. They all ended up in Hazelton Township, Michigan together. In fact, A favorite 19th-century destination of Canadians leaving Upper Canada (Ontario) was Michigan.
Charles and Sarah were living in Sanilac, Michigan in the 1870 census, but Nancy was still in Canada – listed as a widow in the 1871 census with her children in London, Ontario, Canada. Her older daughter, Elizabeth (Andrew’s older sister) was also in Michigan, nearby Uncle Charles.
Nancy’s older brothers, Hiram and James, were already in Sanilac, Michigan in the 1860 census. Younger brother Samuel joined them a bit later.
According to the 1900 census, Andrew arrived in America in 1874 (the 1920 census states 1875).
In the 1880 census, Andrew is living with his mother and siblings in Hazelton, Shiawasee, Michigan (in enumeration district 352), where his Uncle Charles also lives. Nancy’s mother, Delilah lives with Charles and Sarah.
Hazelton is a small, historical settlement originally known as “Ratville” located near the center of the township at the junction of New Lothrop Road and Henderson Road. By 1863, Hazelton had 400 residents supported by an agricultural economy, with a post office, general store and three churches.
Andrew married Emma Cantley in 1885 in Hazelton. Emma was born in Ontario, Canada, but was brought to Michigan when she was about 1. Her father was born in Michigan, and her mother born in Canada but lived in Michigan, and then they met, married, had some babies in Michigan, headed to Canada and had babies, then back to Michigan.
By the 1900 census, they are living in Albee Township, Saginaw, Michigan. He is a farmer, owns his own farm (mortgaged), and everyone can read and write. They have 7 children, 6 of whom are living.
Sadly, his wife died in November, 1900 of typhoid fever. Andrew was left with six kids, from an infant through age 14.
In 1905, he is listed in a city directory as a farmer in Vernon, on Duane Street.
Andrew remarried in 1906, to Lucenea Perry; he was listed as a resident of Vernon, and she was a dressmaker from Brady. The witnesses were CL Coy and Charlotta Coy (no idea who they are – maybe friends of the bride). In 1907, he is listed as a farmer in Vernon with his wife Louise.
He is nowhere to be found in the 1910 census! His oldest daughter is married and living in Beloit, Wisconsin; three of his other daughters – Clara, Myrtle, and Audrey – are living in Beloit with Emma’s sister and her husband – Belle (Cantley) Green and Morris Green. His son, Albert Andrew (my great -grandfather) is nowhere to be found, and he would be about 18 at the time. His youngest son is living in Chesaning, Michigan, listed as a lodger but living with Emma’s brother Lester and his wife.
Mystery – I think I have found his second wife in the 1910 census – it lists “Lurena Porterfield” living in Vernon, Michigan, as the head of the house and nobody living with her. Everything matches, and she has been married for three years. Where is her hubby?
There are records of Lucina crossing the border into Canada several times, to visit family – one time, in 1911, Andrew is with her, visiting his father-in-law.
There are several announcements in the local paper around 1913-1915, announcing
Andrew visiting his brother James, or James visiting elsewhere. One announcement tells us that Andrew and his wife spent Christmas in 1914 with James along with Mr. and Mrs Helman and Mr. and Mrs. Sheral Calliahan – (James’ daughters and husbands).
There is an announcement in the FEb 20 1913 Alma Record stating that James Porterfield visited his brother A. Porterfield near Vernon, because his mother was sick. Their mother, Nancy Peasley, passed that same year.
I think he’s in Owosso, Michigan in 1915 – there is an Andrew A Porterfield in the directory, wife Louie, and he is listed as a travel agent (?) – at 210 S Shiawassee
Next we see of Andrew, he is in Alma, Michigan and living with his wife in the 1920 census. He is now 55 years old and working as a night watchman for Republic Truck. His neighbors on both sides of him work there, too. His children are scattered all over the country, none near him now. It seems he wasn’t really in their life after their mother died….
The Republic Motor Truck Company was a manufacturer of commercial trucks circa 1913 – 1929, in Alma, Michigan. By 1918, it was recognized as the largest exclusive truck manufacturer in the world, and the maker of one out of every nine trucks on the roads in the United States. It was one of the major suppliers of “Liberty trucks” used by American troops during World War I.
In 1930, he is still married, still in Alma, still a night watchman for a “Truck plant”, but he is now renting a home rather than owning it. I believe it says he lives at 916 Pine Avenue? The home that is there now was built in 1920, so I think this would have been where he lived:
He died on April 9, 1935 in Chesaning, Michigan, from pernicious anemia. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, in New Lothrop, Michigan. His first wife Emma is there, along with their son and several other relatives.
Finally, a couple pics of his children. Here is Audrey, who was about 5 when her mother died:
And, my guy – Albert Andrew Porterfield: