June, 1880: James Pearson and Cecilie Roach in Saginaw

James Pearson is a teamster. His wife Cecilie, nicknamed Celia, keeps house.  She is just pregnant with Leopold Leander Pearson, our ancestor, who will be born February 4, 1881 and go on to have eight children of his own, the second a girl, Marian Margaret Pearson.

Cecilie's oldest son James is 12, which would mean he was conceived when she was about 13 if her listed age of 25 is correct. This is almost certainly a mistake, though, as other records indicate Cecilie is actually 35. Also, James will outlive Cecilie by four years.

James is from England; other than his father's name, William Pearson (b. 1814) and the fact that James became an American citizen in 1866, we know nothing more of his origins. Cecilie's father James Roach was born in Canada, her mother Anna Ryan in either Ireland or Canada (records disagree). After some uncertainty whether Cecilie's surname was spelled Roche, Roache or Roach, we've determined that the last is correct. All are of Irish origin, even the French-sounding Roche.




James Pearson family, 1880. Source: 1880 US Census
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James and Cecilie were married in London, Ontario, Canada in 1867. Their children's birthplaces point to immigration sometime between 1873 and 1877.   Emigration to the U.S. then was as easy as paying for a ferry ticket, as no immigration control existed until 1862, and that was aimed purely at Chinese.

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