Nellie Harriett “Lillian” Stratton Hart, Anderson

  • Birth 21 May 1881 Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA
  • Death Jun 1958 Sault Sainte Marie, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA
  • Burial Pickford, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA
  • Memorial ID 83770269

Bio created: 01.21.2012 {revised 02.15.2013; 04.02.2014} by Debra Hart Blackgrave Tyre, great-granddaughter

There has been a bit of mystery about Lillie and her upbringing, for various reasons. First, her parents died when she was very young and the pair have proven difficult to trace; second, after the parents died, Lillie and brother William were raised by relatives whose names remained obscure for many years; and lastly, the 1890 US Census records -- which would have revealed the children's whereabouts at about age 9 -- were burned in the Washington DC fire. What we do know follows.

According to Lillie's birth certificate and birth register in Michigan, she was born Nellie Harriett Stratton. At some point she must have been nicknamed Lillian/Lillie or took it on herself, as in nearly all other documents we have she is known as Lillian/Lillie; occasionally the "H." for Harriet appears.

Lillie was a twin to William Albert Stratton, and one of two daughters of John W. Stratton (b. 29 Apr 1850 Ontario, Canada; d. 15 Jul 1885, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI USA) and Jane (Graham, Kitson) Stratton (b. 1847 Ontario, Canada; d. unknown, prob. Michigan). John and Jane Stratton appear in the 1880 US Census the year before the twins were born, living in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw Co. with two other children: James, b.? (ink blot), Michigan, and John, b. Feb. 1880, Michigan. We have found John's MI Death record (15 Jul 1885, 4th Ward, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, MI), but not Jane's. She may have married George Harvey in 1888 {still researching}.

There is no further information about James and John. Since they were both born before John & Jane's April 1880 marriage in Ann Arbor, John (Sr.) must've been widowed, with the first wife possibly dying in childbirth of the youngest boy, John, 4 mos. old as of the 1880 US Census. His birth, if the US Census record is accurate, was just two months before John & Jane married. Unfortunately, the same US Census record has an ink blot over the older child James' age. Close scrutiny suggests that perhaps he's a twin of his brother John.

The 20 Apr 1880 Michigan Marriage Record indicates Lillian's mother Jane was married once before, as well, to an (unknown) Kitson; she was likely widowed by about 1879. Thus, it is plausible John's first wife's family took the older two boys back to Canada or adopted them. We've been unable to find out any more about them, with certainty. UPDATE: It's possible that Jane had a stepfather named Kitson, not a prior husband {still researching}.

Family genealogy notes indicate that after the death of their parents, Lillian and her twin brother William were taken to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to the Raber/DeTour area, because that is where Lillie eventually met her husband William Henry. We now know from family clues and genealogy research that it was Lillian's grandmother, Harriett (Smith, Stratton) Van Valkenburg(h), who raised the twins. I've created memorials for Lillian's father John W. Stratton and for Harriett to link everyone together.

From other death records and newspaper obituaries, Lillian had three other full siblings:

Wilford R. Stratton (1879 – 1883) b. prior to 1880 Census
John Ernst Stratton (1883 – 1884)
Maud Stratton (1885 - d. unknown); born one month after father John's death :(

Lillian's only known surviving sibling, her twin brother William Albert, married Martha Whitehead and had six children. He was a railroad engineer and after an accident in which someone was killed, he never quite recovered, disappearing into Minnesota after 1916 and never returning to his family.

At some point after moving to Chippewa County, Lillian met and married William H. Hart, a Canadian-born resident of DeTour, Chippewa, Michigan on 28 May 1899 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. They lived in DeTour (1900 US Census), nearby Raber (1910 US Census, likely near Lillian's grandmother Harriet), and by the 1920 US Census had settled in nearby Pickford, all Chippewa County, MI.

William and Lillian had 11 children:
1-Roy Carl Hart (1900-1980), m. Amber R. Skinner (1902-1993)
2-Marion Hart (1902-1992), m. Howard L. Croker
3-Anne (Annie) Harriett Hart (1903-1984), m. John David (Jack) Foster
4-John Hart (1904-?) recently found MI birth record
5-Ruth Wilda Hart (1905-1995), m. Charles A. (Orb) Smith
6-Lillian (Lilly) S. Hart (1907-1960), m. Harry Amyotte
7-Wilbert B. Hart (1909-1971), m. Bertha Harvey
8-Olive Elizabeth Hart (1912-2001), m. 1) Walter Hummel 2) Edwin Jostock
9-Loretta (Retta) Hart (1915-1993), m. 1) Fred Crawford 2) Walter Arnold
10-Etta M. Hart (1917-2001), m. Edward G. Blair
11-William Myron Hart (1920-1994), m. Helen Crochet

In the early 1920s, William and son Roy C. Hart built the St. Matthias Episcopal Church across the road from the Fairview Cemetery, where they are both buried. The log-cabin-style church is operational and still stands today.

After William's death in 1940, Lillian married Oct. 1949 to George Anderson; they lived in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. She died at the home of her daughter Anne (Mrs. John Foster) of Eckerman, Mich in 1958, about a year after George's death.

Bio created: 01.21.2012 {revised 02.15.2013; 04.02.2014} by Debra Hart Blackgrave Tyre, great-granddaughter

Family Members


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  • Created by: Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre
  • Added: 20 Jan 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 83770269
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nellie Harriett “Lillian” Stratton Hart, Anderson (21 May 1881–Jun 1958), Find A Grave Memorial no. 83770269, citing Fairview Cemetery, Pickford, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Debra (Hart) Blackgrave Tyre (contributor 47702154) .