Thursday, January 12, 2017

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ The marriage record of my great grandmother, Susan Gillespie and her 2nd husband, Clyde J. Smith - 1904

MILNE_Susan nee GILLESPIE marriage to Clyde J SMITH_Apr 1904

My great grandmother, Susan Anne Gillespie married her second husband Clyde J. “C.J.” Smith on 11 Apr 1904 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  She had lost her first husband, my great grandfather, Andrew Charles Milne to tuberculosis in Dec 1892.  It must have been a very sad time, as Susan was pregnant with their fourth child, a daughter, who was born in Jun 1893, seven months after the death of Andrew Milne.
Other records that I have for Susan indicate that her middle name was Anne.  This record and her death certificate give her middle name as Mary.

One of the interesting things about the marriage of Susan and Clyde, is the age difference.  Susan was 43 years old at the time of the marriage and Clyde was just 25 years old.  This is the first time, in our family, I’ve found a wife that much older than a husband.
I always wonder how people met.  That is one of the questions I would ask all of my ancestors….if only I could.

Here is the handwritten marriage record for this couple.  One thing I noted on this record is that their ages appear to differ from what I have in other records for them.  I have Clyde being born in 1878, which would make his age 26 at the time of the marriage.  This record gives his age as 32.  I have Susan being born in 1860, making her age at the time of the marriage 44.  This record indicates she was 38.  They each changed their age by 6 years.

GILLESPIE_Susan to 2n husband Clyde SMITH_1904_Detroit_enh

I have found no record of any children born to this couple.  Susan’s two living children would have been 21 and 11 at the time of the marriage.  My grandfather, Joseph A. Milne, age 21 in 1904, is listed in the Detroit City Directory listing as living at the same address as Clyde J. Smith.

Clyde worked as an Electrician and a Mechanical Engineer, according to the 1920 census and various city directory listings.  I have yet to be able to find Clyde & Susan in the 1910 census.  I looked again today with no luck.

Unfortunately, Susan became a widow for the second time when Clyde died of a brain tumor on 14 Nov 1927, in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.  He was only 49 years old at the time of his death.
Susan did not remarry, but lived another 20 years, passing away at age 87 on 12 Nov 1947 in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan. 
Both Clyde and Susan are buried at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit.  In the same plot are her first husband, Andrew Charles Milne, their stillborn son, A.C. Milne and Joseph Milne’s oldest daughter, Dorothy, who died at age 13.  Sadly, there are no headstones for any of them.
One of my goals is to somehow find a way (aka the money) to erect a headstone in memory of these five family members who deserve to be remembered.  Here are the FindAGrave memorials for Clyde #39725148 and Susan #39725085.


WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Andrew Charles Milne & Susan Anne Gillespie - married in 1880

AMANUENSIS MONDAY - Birth & Death Dates from my Grandmother's Journal - July - including Susan Smith nee Gillespie

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall


  1. My great grandmother was 15 years older than her last husband although it said 5 years older on the marriage license. Did he know? How did she explain the adult children living in the same town?

    1. T - Don't we all wish we could ask those questions? I try to explain this to my grandchildren and nieces and nephews, but like us, they don't think it will ever be important.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Diane, So interesting about the changes in ages on the documents. I need to do several headstones also for members of my family without them.

    1. Debby - Those little details make the story even more interesting. Oh, the questions we should have asked. :)


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.