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Harriet Smith Stratton, Van Valkenburg(h)
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Birth: Jul. 19, 1830
Frontenac County
Ontario, Canada
Death: Nov. 21, 1916
Baraga County
Michigan, USA

Harriet is the daughter of Samuel Smith (b. Pennsylvania or New York, USA c. 1799) and --- Williams (b. Ontario, Canada, c. 1799). SOURCE: Various, inc. Harriet's 1916 Michigan Death Certificate (see photo at right).

According to the The National Association of the Van Valkenburg(h) Family, Descendants of Andries Van Valkenburg, Tenth Generation, Descendant #2803, James Valkenburg (her 2nd husband), Harriet Smith, Stratton was born in Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada. While unable to locate a birth record yet, she does appear with first husband John Stratton in 1851 Canada Census in Storrington, Frontenac County, Ontario.

Around 1848-1851, likely in Frontenac Co., Ontario, Harriet married JOHN STRATTON (b. 1821 in Ireland; d. ?, prob. about 1856, Ontario, Canada), and they had three children:

1-JOHN W. STRATTON (b. 1852, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada; d. 1885 Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI USA). Married JANE (GRAHAM) KITSON on 20 Apr 1880, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI USA. Two young sons presumably by a first marriage (John W.'s first spouse unknown), that appear with them in 1880 US Census (James, John) but no other record of these boys. Twins were born to John W. & Jane on 21 May 1881: NELLLIE HARRIETT (LILLIAN) STRATTON, WILLIAM ALBERT STRATTON; a son JOHN ERNST STRATTON was b. 14 Sep 1883 and d. 01 Jul 1884 in the 4th Ward of Ann Arbor. John W. died a year later and we are still unable to determine what happened to Jane after that. *

2-ELIZABETH STRATTON (b. 1854 Frontenac, Ontario, Canada 1854; d. ?). No other info.

3-WILLIAM JOEL STRATTON (Sr.) (b. 1855 Frontenac, Ontario, Canada; d. 08 Sep 1928, Baraga, Baraga, MI USA). Married Magdaline (Lena) M. Goetz, of Goetzville/Gatesville, Chippewa MI on 03 Sep 1887 in Marquette, Marquette, MI. They had five children: WILLIAM J. STRATTON (Jr), b. 1888; ALGER ROY STRATTON, b. 1889; LEONE(A) M. STRATTON, b. 1891; LOUIS STRATTON, b. 1892; and MAYSIE M. STRATTON, b. 1893.

Harriet married 2nd to JAMES VAN VALKENBURG(H) on 30 Dec 1858, Frontenac Co., Ontario, Canada. They had three children, including one set of twins:

1-ROBERT CARROL VAN VALKENBURG (b. 1862/63 Turnberry, Huron, Ontario; d. after 1910, prob. Chippewa, MI USA). Married SARAH ELIZABETH COOPER, 1891 in Detour, Chippewa, MI; two children.

2-IDA EMILY VAN VALKENBURG (b. 06 Nov 1867, Wingham, Huron, Ontario; d. 30 May 1950, San Bernadino, CA USA). Married WILLIAM MITCHELL, 06 Sep 1888 in Sault Ste Marie, Chippewa, MI. two children. According to the Van Valkenburg Society, sometime after their young son Frank died (1891), William left Ida and their daughter, and Ida removed to Vancouver, BC, and settled eventually in California, presumably to be near her twin brother Ira in Los Angeles.

3-IRA ALBERT VAN VALKENBURG (b. 06 Nov 1867, Wingham, Huron, Ontario; d. 06 Nov 1942, Los Angeles, CA USA) No spouse. Military veteran (1899-1902) who lived later years in the National Military Home, Pacific Branch in Los Angeles; he lists twin sister IDA as nearest relative in the LA area on military documentation.

It appears Harriet emigrated to the United States around the time of her eldest son John W. Stratton's 1885 death. On one US Census she reported an 1884 immigration year; 1886 in another. We do know she settled in the U.P. of Michigan, in Raber, Chippewa Co. Another son, Robert Carrol Van Valkenburg, also emigrated to Raber, in 1887. It remains unclear why she chose the U.P. of Michigan to remove with the twins, but it likely involved relatives.

Harriet took in her two grandchildren, Nellie Harriett (Lillian) Stratton and twin brother William Albert Stratton after the death of their father John W. Stratton (and mother, as family tradition holds, although we've been unable to locate any death or burial records for Jane). Harriet helped raise the twins in Chippewa County, likely with the help of other relatives. Because the 1890 US Census is unavailable due to the 1921 Washington, D.C. fire, it is not clear exactly where they lived, but Harriet does appear in 1900, and 1910 in Raber, and that is also where Lillian later settled with her husband William H., so it was likely there or in a nearby location.


1849-1851 CANADA MARRIAGE: Unknown date; to John Stratton (b. Ireland 1821; d. abt. 1857/58, prob. Frontenac, Ontario, Canada). Still researching.

1851 CANADA CENSUS: Storrington (formerly part of Pittsburgh), Frontenac, Ontario. Shows John Stratton (age 31, b. 1821 Ireland) and Harriett (age 21, b. 1831 Canada West). No children; John's occ: Farmer; both Presbyterian; Log Home (others nearby show "log shanty"); single home

1858 CANADA MARRIAGE: Frontenac Co., Ontario, Canada to James Van Valkenburg(h) on 30 December.

1862 CANADA CENSUS: Storrington, Frontenac Co., Ontario. Shows James Van Valkanburgh (b. 1826, age 35) with Harriet (b. 1831, 30); John Stratton (b. 1852, 9); Elizabeth Stratton (b. 1854, 7); William Stratton, b. 1855, 6). All b. Upper Canada (Ontario); E(piscopal) Methodist.

1881 CANADA CENSUS: Wingham, Huron North, Ontario, Canada. H. Van Volkinburgh, age 51 (b. 1831); Methodist; German (I don't think correct; her children would be though); twins Ira Albert & Ida Emily (both 13, b. 1868) All b. Ontario. No occupation; married (widowed? hard to read).

1884-1886 IMMIGRATION: To United States, Michigan; still researching for documents.

1900 US Census: Harriet Vanvolkenburgh, age 69, b. Jul 1830 Canada Eng (Ontario); Father b. PA; Mother b. Canada Eng.; widow. Mother of 8 children, 4 living. Grandson William Stratton on previous Census page; living near Samuel & Mary Stevenson.

1910 US Census: SOURCE: 1910 US Census. Harriet Vanvolkenburgh, age 79, b. 1831. Boarding in home of August Fehner 56, wife Lena Fehner + 4 children; & 3 other boarders. Immigration 1886; widow.

1916 MI Death: Harriet Van Volkenberg, d. 21 Nov 1916, Baraga Village, Baraga Co., MI USA; Female, White, Widowed; b. 19 Jul 1830, age 86 years, 4 mos., 2 dys.; Housewife, b. Canada, Widow; Cause of death: Natural Causes, old age. Father: Samuel Smith, b. State of New York USA; Mother: --- Williams, b. Canada; Informant: Wm. J Stratton (son), resident of Baraga, Mich.; Place of Burial: 22 Nov 1916, Baraga, Mich.; Undertaker, M.J. Nesbitt (sp?), address Baraga, Mich.

* NELLIE HARRIETT (LILLIAN) STRATTON & twin brother WILLIAM ALBERT STRATTON information included here until we can obtain burial information on their parents to set-up Memorials with certainty.

Bio written 05.28.2012 {updated 09.25.2013; 04.03.2014} courtesy Debra Hart Blackgrave Tyre, 3rd-great-granddaughter. Revisions, comments welcome.

Family links: 
  John W Stratton (1850 - 1885)*
  William Joel Stratton (1855 - 1928)*
  Ira Albert Van Valkenburgh (1867 - 1942)*
*Calculated relationship
Baraga Cemetery
Baraga County
Michigan, USA
Created by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave ...
Record added: May 28, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90888147
Harriet <i>Smith</i> Stratton, Van Valkenburg(h)
Added by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
Harriet <i>Smith</i> Stratton, Van Valkenburg(h)
Added by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
Harriet <i>Smith</i> Stratton, Van Valkenburg(h)
Added by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
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- Sandra Van Valkenburg
 Added: Dec. 17, 2012

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