I happened to stumble upon this delightful little book while attending a book fair some time ago. To be honest I had forgotten I had purchased it, so rediscovering it the other day was an unexpected treat.

The book, Michigan Trail Makers was written by Henry Ormal Severance in 1930. It is an interesting story based on true facts, of pioneers leaving New York, Pennsylvania, and the New England area to settle in Michigan.  These immigrants utilized the Erie Canal to make their way west between the years of 1830-1840. As a historian, Severance creates a true account of the settler’s lives, not only in their journey but with their labors, pleasures, and daily trials.

The purpose of the story according to Severance is to put into a permanent form a picture of the early settlement of southern Michigan, particularly Oakland County. Based upon actual conversations with “old-timers,” books such as the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, and personal journals he weaves a story using his ancestors; Charles Severance and his wife, Martha Lamb. This pioneering couple leaves their home in Geneva, Ontario County, New York for the promise of cheaper and better land in the west.

The book contains many names of settlers in the areas of White Lake, Milford, Hartland, Waterford, Pontiac, Commerce, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Novi, Farmington, Southfield and Wixom which in some cases have a story to go with the name. The names below are mentioned in the book and I would be glad to lookup any information pertaining to these people.

In no particular order:

Nehemiah Lamb                                                                              Thomas Chalkley

Caleb Lamb                                                                                            Eldad Smith

Roswell Lamb                                                                                        Seymour Devereaux

Horace Johns                                                                                        Ezekiel Dye     

Daniel Severance                                                                                 Harvey Dodge

Lewis Lamb                                                                                           Zeke Dye          

Sam Beery                                                                                           

William and Gus Strohmeiers

Joshua Bangs                                                                                       Palmer Severance

Jonathan B Graham                                                                            Isaac W Lamb

Thomas Palmer, father of Senator Thomas W Palmer

Wells and Thankful Hartsough

Susan Lamb-Ezra Johns

John Coe

Theron Murray

Solomon Stilson

Addis Emmet Greene

John Welfare

Tom Severance

Lewis Severance

Dr. J.M. Hoyt

Adelia Severance

Charles L Severance

Consider Bachelor

Susan and William Orr and son, Francis

Hannah and Thomas Hosner

Martin Van Buren Hosner

Julia and Ed Allan

Catherine (Bachelor) and Edwin Forbush and children Lyvonia, Louisa, Henry, Cordon, Edwin

Abbey Bachelder and spouse

Mack Bachelor

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