Please help with my Roadblock Eli Kirby AKA Curby

+1 vote

Please help me find anything about Eli Kirby prior to his marriage to Mary Katherine Hardy-5249  Correction, her name is Mary Katherine Harder.

I was able to find a marriage certificate for Mary and Eli which showed they were married 13 Jan 1844 in St. Clair, Michigan.  (She was 15 he was 28).  It does not mention either parent.

Through Various census reports I've seen the last name written as Corby, Cerby, Curby, and Kirby. (Some descendants have kept Curby others Kirby)

Also through Census reports we've seen his birth as Quebec, Canada, some say "French" Canada, some say MontrealCanada.  None of the census reports mention where his parents were born.

I can not find death records for either Eli or Mary but we guess that they probably died in Sanilac County, Michigan as most of the children resided there.  However, one son did move out west to Texas and one cousin believe maybe he died there.  

I wish I had more information on these two but I'm stuck so any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you


WikiTree profile: Eli Kirby
in Genealogy Help by Debbie Bell G2G1 (1.0k points)
edited by Debbie Bell
Waiting for an answer,Facility handling Immigration.There were no

Naturalizations given till abt 1905.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Have you thought about Charbonneau as a potential surname? There are a lot of Eli Charbonneaus floating around who traveled from Canada to Michigan. It wouldn't take that much time for the name to morph from Charbonneau to Corby, to Cerby and then to Kirby.

For example, my ancestor Thomas Bullough became Tom Bulla, etc. Not as big of a leap but sometimes names look very different being passed along phonetically.

I don't want to put you on a wild goose chase but just making a suggestion.
by Dina Grozev G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
I've seen Charbonneau become Shabinaw/Shabnaw/Shabino in Michigan. The English speaking American officials seemed to have a really hard time with some of the names of the French settlers who came there before them.
Yeah, it's tough, there's something going on with so many versions of the surname being recorded but I can't quite put my finger on it. I've done some research on Canadians who wound up in bordering US states, but not enough.
Highly unlikely, most name changes crossing borders stem from pronunciation and duplication problems, but they retain some resemblance.  Charbonneau is nowhere near Kirby phonetically.

Sorry it's taken so long for me to see this, we have looked for French versions of the name, such as Courbet, but we still haven't had any luck.  When I see "we" I mean other members of the Curby clan that I have met in this journey along the way.  We have all been searching for years and years, still nothing.

Thank you for your suggestion, I will look at that as well.

Thanks to all of you who have commented.

Edit, I have also been looking for Charbonneau.  Someone in the French/Canadian FB page mentioned that and the following:

  • Eli could be Elie or even Helie
  • Kirby/Curby is likely Corbeil, Corbeille, or Corbière

Thank you all again for your suggestions and help smiley

0 votes
Not finding any baptisms in Drouin collection for a boy with the last name Curby or Corby or Kirby between 1800 and 1830 up here. The only name that even comes close to these is Derby/Darby, but again, no baptism for him found.

Census data is pretty wildly divergent from one decade to another on him.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (529k points)
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to see this, thank you so much for your help.  I am also looking at alternate names, like Courbet and I'm going to look at the name that another person mentioned above to see if I can maybe find something.  I find plenty of Curby/Kirby's living in Canada in and around Montreal, just hard to verify if it's my Eli's family.  That might not even be his real first name so I'm stuck.  LOL  So is the rest of the family, including some Curby's who are looking.

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