By Steamship to Michigan?
By the 1861 Canadian census the family was again in Canada, living and farming near Seymour, Ontario, in Canadian shield country 20 miles north of eastern Lake Ontario. They remained there for more than a decade, but toward the end of the 1870’s the decision was made in the family to move to the United States and settle in Midland County, Michigan. It’s not known the method of travel taken to get there in 1877 or 78, but there was a steamship service between Goderich, Ontario and Saginaw, from whence it was mere hours by train to the Sanford area via the Pere Marquette. There is no way of knowing if they all came at the same time, but William and Harriet, who were now approaching old age, led a large extended family there - at least 17 and probably more McMullens were living there by 1879.
Eldest son Alexander, born in 1842, brought his wife Anne (nee Leveque, b. 1841) and children John, [Note: Marcel Alexander's father, the eldest son of an eldest son] aged 14; Jane, 13; Mary, 9; William, 5; George Francis, 2 and Alexander Joseph, 1. Anne had been born in 1841, probably in Kingston, Ontario, and her family farmed in Seymour as well. Her generation had been the first of the French Canadian Leveque family in more than 150 years to live outside of Quebec province.
James (b. 1845) was accompanied by wife Anna (nee West, b. 1850) daughter Emma, age 5 and son William Francis, age 3. Anna’s family had lived in the Seymour area for more than 20 years and she married James about 1870
The third son, George W., age 25, came with his 20 year old wife Josephine (nee Christie, b. 1858). The Christie family had also been also Seymour-area residents. The youngest of Alexander’s sons, John V. McMullen, was still a bachelor at age 21.
By 1880 the family had settled in, and most were living in three adjacent plots in the Averill area. William, now 72, and Harriet, 60, were farming and sharing the same house and land with George and Josephine. Nearby were James and Anna and their two children. James was working for the Pere Marquette railroad.
Alexander was listed in the 1880 census as a “laborer” and he and his family were living in another nearby home with children John, Mary, William, George and Alexander. Tragedy struck the household as young Jane McMullen died on 17 January, 1879 of consumption (tuberculosis) and in May infant Charles F. McMullen died after less than two months of life.
Missing from the group is John V. McMullen. A blacksmith by trade, he has moved to Imlay City, Michigan, in Lapeer County, about 90 miles by rail southeast of Averill. There he met and married local girl Cora Strong, age 19, and they were living with William and Emma Haskin, a couple of the same age as they.
Father and son die the same day
On March 10, 1896, William McMullen, 85 years, 4 months of age, died of consumption (tuberculosis) in Lincoln Township. On the same day his son George W. McMullen, still living and farming with his father, died of heart failure at the age of 42 years 9 months. The death of William seemed to trigger the beginning of end of the McMullens in western Midland County. An 1897 plat map of the Averill area shows Josephine as the owner of 40 acres a mile north of the railroad, and George’s estate owns another 40 just to the south. By 1900 the 80-acre McMullen farm had been sold and Harriet had moved to Imlay City to live with son John’s family. She passed away there November 15, 1907.
According to the sexton's records of Jerome Township Cemetery, Midland County, both William and Harriet are interred there, but there appear to be no stones for them and I have been unable to find the exact location despite a thorough search. There are many McMullens and other family members in that cemetery including three of Harriet's sons, their wives and at least 30 others (maybe as many as 45). We live about 20 miles from Averill and the Jerome Twp. Cemetery.