Sunday, March 3, 2019

CENSUS SUNDAY ~ My 2nd great grandparents Joseph & Susan Gillespie–1900–Detroit, Michigan

That's Susan Burgess Gillespie, Joseph Gillespie and their daughter Susan Milne with her two children, Joseph & baby Irene

I am reviewing information I have for my 2nd great grandparents, Joseph Gillespie and his wife, Susan Burgess.
The couple came to the U.S. on 23 Dec 1862 with their two infants.  Their passage was paid for by Susan’s mother, Elizabeth Gaydon Burgess.  I was able to locate this information in a book I purchased called Passage to America 1851-1869: The Records of Richard Elliott, Passenger Agent, Detroit, Michigan by Mary Lou Straith Duncan


Page 68 showing Joseph & family

I have located Joseph & Susan in the 1870, 1880 and 1900 census records, living in Detroit, Michigan.  The 1900 census would be the last one that Joseph appears in, as he died in 1908 at age 71.  Susan lived another 25 years after his death, never remarrying.  She was 91 when she died.

In this 1900 census the couple is renting a home at 71 Jones St.  Joseph is working as a Machinist, an occupation he took up sometime after 1870.
Living in the home with them is their daughter, Susan and her two children, Joseph (my grandfather) and Irene.  Susan became widowed 6 months before the birth of her daughter, Irene.  Her husband Andrew Charles Milne died of consumption 8 Dec 1892.  Little Irene was born 6 months later on 13 Jun 1893.  How sad that Irene never knew her father and that Susan was left widowed.  I also think it’s miraculous that neither Susan nor their young son, Joseph, didn’t contract consumption (tuberculosis) from Andrew. 

Read more about Andrew Charles Milne & Susan Gillespie in these posts WEDDING WEDNESDAY - Andrew Charles Milne & Susan Anne Gillespie – 1880;   TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ The marriage record of my great grandmother, Susan Gillespie and her 2nd husband, Clyde J. Smith – 1904

Here is the cropped portion of my Gillespie family from that 1900 census record.  Note that the Milne surname has been misspelled as Millen.   We all know how many ways our ancestor’s names can be spelled.

The great thing about the 1900 census is the detail it provides (assuming it’s correct) regarding the birth month as well as the year.  We also get the number of years married, how many children born to the woman and how many are still living.  The year of immigration and how many years in the United States and whether alien or naturalized.

This census tells me that Joseph is a naturalized citizen.  One of the types of records I have yet to obtain for any of my ancestors is a naturalization record.  And, there should be quite a few, given that myself and my husband are only a couple of generations removed from our immigrant ancestors on some branches.  Pursuing this naturalization record has moved up on my “to do” list.  Wish me luck.

TIP: In reviewing records we located many years ago, we can almost always learn something new or spot something we missed before.

If you are related to this family (and there must be many of you out there) please contact me.  Surnames associated with this Gillespie family are: ADDICOTT, BAKER, BARROWCLIFF, BECK, BURGESS, CARPENTER, COSWAY, DAVY, GAYDON, MILNE, PATTERSON & ROE.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Interesting to view the 1900 Census of your family. Susan, having to 2/2 living children - 10yrs apart..
    What was her husband Joseph's work/occupation? - was he away/on the road, so sadly Susan had problems
    having children/miscarrages? - just a thought. Do not wish to offend.

    1. No offense taken. Very astute observation. Susan was Joseph's mother. I know it's sometimes confusing when ready posts, I get people mixed up too. Susan was married to Joseph & Irene's father, Andrew Charles Milne who actually was a salesman. However, the 10 year difference was probably not because Susan was having problems. She and Andrew had 2 other children born between Joseph's birth in 1883 and Irene's in 1893. Their baby boy A.C. was born in 1886 and was premature. Their little daughter, Etta was born in 1887 and died at 2 yrs. 3 mos. of age of Diptheria. Then Susan got pregnant again, with Irene in about Sep or Oct 1892 and husband Andrew dies in Dec 1892 and never sees his youngest child.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and I appreciate your comment.

  2. I really like adding the photos to the census record. It really brings the record to life! What I would give to have the photos to add to records.

    1. Me too Debby and I expect you'll see more of that on my blog in the that I've figured out how to do it :) :) Next time I come over to your house, let's look at the photos you do have.
      Thanks for reading my blog.


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.