Could someone please review this knot of records? Trying to transfer the correct info from

+3 votes

I have a series of family members whose records are quite confusing. I thought I had it all figured out when I unmerged the three Charles's on a while back, but I was focused on three men with the same name and recently ran across some assumptions I had made that may not be correct. (my current project is finding and making wikitree and familyearch profiles for my 4th great grandparents and all their known descendants) I was hoping someone could help me make sure I have the information correct for my wikitree profiles I am working on for the family. If you aren't good at puzzles, or multipul people with the same name confuse you, you may want to just skip this one.

To the best of my ability, this is about what I've figured out with the duplicate names in the family.

Levi Gates had a son Charles Henry Gates (1851) with Margret Loomis. This Charles left Levi's home between the 1865 and 1870 census's due to work as a telegraph operator passing through at least Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri and ending up in Utah. Then Levi had another son Charles Hector Gates(1868) with his second wife Emma, who can still be found in New York in 1910.

Charles Henry Gates(1851) had a son Charles Gates Jr.(1870) with Jinnie Wing.

Charles Gates Jr(1870) has a wife with the maiden name of Griffin who appears to sometimes uses her middle name as her first name (Louisa, Alice). Charles Gates Jr spent most of his life in Jackson MI.  Charles appears to be divorced in 1900 where he lives with his parents and son in the census. Charles and Louisa marry in 1901, and are divorced before the 1930 census.

For all of them- Charles is regularly abbreviated as Chas or Char. 

I'm fairly certain I have my Charles's figured out, but while I was un-merging the three and seperating their wives and identities on, I may have mad a mistake due to assumptions.

I would particularly like help with the mother(s) of Charles Jr's children. Charles Jr was born in 1876. His potential wives seem to be Louise Alice Gates and Minnie Buell. Known marital stats are divorced from Unknown by 1900. Married Louisa in 1901, and divorced her by 1930.
There seem to be twin baby Gates born in Michigan, who don't survive, in 1885. (some records indicate male, some indicate female, so for now I'm assuming twins) Their father is supposed to be a Charles Gates, but I'm more and more unsure if the correct Charles Gates is Charles Gates Jr in 1885. Jr would be fairly young. The mother is supposed to be a Louisa, which doesn't match Sr's known wife (Jinnie WIng) who appears in records before and after 1885, but does match a wife of Jr (Louise Alice). I wasn't aware of other Charles Gates in MI at the time, but I could be very wrong. It could also be births outside of a marriage.

Grant Henry Gates is born in 1894, and lives with his father and paternal grandparents in the 1900 census. His father is listed as divorced. Louise Alice Griffith is 19 and living with her parents in the 1900 census, although she marries Charles Gates Jr in Apr 1901. Two Ohio wedding records list Louise as Grant's mother, as does one of the two Michigan records. The other Michigan marriage record shows Minnie Buell as his mother. I had added Grant as a child of Louise Alice because the twins and Alice had been added to her with birth years on either side, and I assumed the one record with Minnie Buell may have been his father remarrying. Now I wonder if she was his birth mother. In 1910 Grant does not live with Charles Jr, Louise and Alice on the census, he lives with his grandparents.

Alice Griffith Gates seems very likely to be Louise Alice Griffith's daughter due to her name and birth two years after Charles and Louise's marriage.

Do the twins belong to another family? Who is Grant's mother? Do we agree on Alice's mom being Louise?

Who was Charles Gates's wife before the 1900 census where he is divorced? Was that Minnie Buell? Or did he marry her after he divorced Louise (listed in the 1930 census)

Fun fact- from Charles Sr down, the Gates men all worked for the railroad in some fashion. Charles Henry Gates Sr was a telegraph operator for the railroad, Jr was a RR fireman and a conductor. Grant did taxes/financial work for the RR. At some point Grant lived in a hotel next to the railroad in one of a few rooms provided for railroad workers.

Ive given the links to Charles Henry Gates Jr

Im sorry about the lack of info on wikitree- Im working on fixing it! I'd like to have the correct info to move over from family search.

WikiTree profile: Charles Gates
in Genealogy Help by Allison Schaub G2G6 Mach 1 (15.1k points)

3 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
Alison, neat story and research. I commend you for your efforts!  I think, however, you would have gotten more responses if your post had been more succinct, maybe broken up into two or three posts. Just an idea.

Keep up the good work. Happy hunting.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
selected by Susan Laursen
0 votes

Charles Henry Gates Jr  FS ID LYJ7-FG4

Born 1876 Indiana, United States – died

Spouse Marian Buel FS ID L6VJ-7MJ

Born 1875 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada – died? 

Child Grant Henry Gates FS ID L6JN-2M9 Born 1895 Michigan  died?

It would appear that 

Grant Henry Gates FS ID L6JN-2M9 was married four times Born 1894 Jackson, Michigan, United States – died 1957 Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States – buried 1957 Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States

Spouse (1) Edna Sophia Smith FS ID LYJM-CNK – born 1895 Michigan – died? – married 27 October 1916 Hillsdale, Michigan, United States

One child from this union Richard C. Gates FS ID GMLC-VK7

Spouse (2) Ethel Mary Booth FS ID L6M5-7XL

Born 22 May 1900 Braman, Kay, Oklahoma, United States – died 13 August 1974 Lansing, Ingham, Michigan, United States – married 22 June 1922 Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States – No children shown for this union

Spouse (3) Marion Pauline Howard FS ID L6JN-KKT

Born 31 August 1909 Wexford, Michigan, United States – died 22 August 1999 Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States – Buried 25 August 1999 Rest Lawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States – married 12 August 1929 Norwalk, Huron, Ohio, United States

Two children from this union Phillis B Gates FS ID LYJM-965 1930 – 2015 Nancy Lee Gates FS ID LYN1-17Y 1934 -?

Spouse (4) Lena FS ID LYJM-WGR No useful information on this link

I hope you can find some useful information

I suggest you go to to check ALL the information that is available 

NOTE: I am passing this on for your information – I can only be guided by what is on that site, correct or not. Sources may/may not be available

Cheers Ross Geissmann





by Ross Geissmann G2G6 Mach 2 (24.9k points)
edited by Ross Geissmann
0 votes
I realize this question was posted some years ago, but I see here a relevant pattern to explain data for Grant Henry Gates.  In some marriage records, I have seen the current wife of the father listed as the mother of one of the marrying parties, in spite of a marriage date to the father having been after the said person was born.  Therefore, step-mothers are sometimes listed as the birth mother on marriage records, in error.  This could occur because whoever gave the information to the clerk or the marrying official knew the step-mother's name, but not that of the birth mother.  OR the marrying party may consider his/her step-mother to be the only mother s/he knows. This is even more likely to happen if the birth mother died or left the marriage when that child was very young.

This makes determining parentage more difficult, and often it takes a birth record to sort it out.  Sometimes, the correct mother's name will wind up on the death record, even when the marriage record had the step-mother's name.  I have seen these situations more than once.

Unfortunately, the recent redesign of looks like it will make resolving contradictory data much more difficult than it was when I did it.  The left-hand search criteria used to make it easier to switch from one parent to the other to see what records showed up.  Comments I have seen on the FamilySearch site in recent months indicate that many regular users are very unhappy with the redesign.
by Joanna Gariepy G2G6 (9.9k points)

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