Mary (Yates) Britton
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Mary Ellen (Yates) Britton (1858 - 1902)

Mary Ellen Britton formerly Yates
Born in Crawford, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 9 Dec 1879 in Spring Lake, Pierce, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Spring Lake, Pierce, Wisconsin, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 May 2020 | Last significant change: 12 Jun 2020
00:44: Debbie (Elftman) Barrett edited the Primary Photo for Mary Ellen (Yates) Britton (1858-1902). [Thank Debbie for this]
This page has been accessed 34 times.


Mary Ellen was born 14 Nov 1858, probably in Crawford County, Illinois. She was the daughter of Runy Yates and Arminda Scritchfield. She passed away 26 Oct 1902 in Pierce County, Wisconsin.

The father of Mary Ellen, Runy Yates, died quite young from pneumonia in 1860. She was less than 2 years old when he passed. She and her mother, Arminda, resided with her uncle Isaac Scritchfield after her father's death. They were living there in Southwest Township, Crawford County, Illinois when the 1860 census was taken.[1]

In 1864, Mary Ellen's mother, Arminda, remarried Shadrick Wilson and they are in that household in the 1865 Illinois state census. [2]

In 1870, Mary Ellen was still living in Crawford County, Illinois with her mother, stepfather and a half brother when the 1870 federal census was taken. [3]

Between 1870 and 1875, Mary Ellen and her family, now including another half-brother, moved from Illinois to Pierce County, Wisconsin. There she met and married my great-grandfather, Sylvanus Freeman Britton on 9 Dec 1876 in Spring Lake, Pierce County, Wisconsin. [4] Their wedding photos from that day are in the possession of the family of my uncle Charles.

Mary Ellen and Sylvenus had six children between 1878 and 1895, when their last child, my grandmother, Charlotte Alice "Lottie" Britton, was born.

In one of the very rare instances where this family registered a birth or death with authorities at the county level, Mary Ellen and Sylvenus registered the birth of their daughter, Armida Ann. [5]

The fledgling family was living in Pierce County, Wisconsin when the 1880 federal census was enumerated. [6]

Mary Ellen and Sylvenus' family grew steadily from 1878 through 1895. Their children were:

  • Arminda T. Britton 1878-1903, married Charles Nathan Utter
  • Armida Ann Britton 1879-1960 married William Henry Karnes (aunt Mide and uncle Henry)
  • William Rheunnie Britton 1882-1964 married Bessie Maud Greer (uncle Bill and aunt Bessie)
  • Allen Everett Britton 1887-1974 married Jennifer Jesse Heacox (uncle Allie and aunt Jennie)
  • Elsie May Britton 1892-1985 married Harley Vanhart Smith (aunt Elsie and uncle Harley)
  • Charlotte Alice Britton married Charles William Elftman, my grandparents.

I knew all of them, with the exception of Arminda T., who died long before I was born, and my grandfather Charles, who passed in 1949 and aunt Mide's husband, Warren (but my other told me wonderful stories about him). I have very fond memories of the aunts and uncles who stuck around long enough to meet me.

The family, with the exception of Arminda T. and Armida Ann, who were already married and on their own, can be found in the 1900 federal census for Spring Lake Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin [7]

On the 26th of October, 1902, Mary Ellen (Yates) Britton passed. She is buried in the Spring Lake Public Cemetery (where most of the Britton family is buried) in Spring Lake Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin next to her husband. Several of her children are also buried there. [8] My grandmother, Lottie, who was just short of her 104th birthday when she died, would go every year to the cemetery to leave flowers on the graves. I remember going with her as a child. My 2x great-grandfather's Nathaniel Britton, monument was so tall when I was young. After my grandmother passed, my aunt Fern continued visiting the cemetery every Memorial Day. After she passed, I believe one of her children (who are now the closest living relatives to the cemetery), are keeping up the tradition. As almost all of the family live elsewhere now, I don't know who will take up that mantle once my generation is gone.


  1. Year: 1860; Census Place: Township 6 Range 12, Crawford, Illinois; Page: 575; Family History Library Film: 803171; City: Township 6 Range 12; 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d; [1]
  2. Illinois State Archives; Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Census, 1865; Archive Collection Number: 103.010; Roll Number: 2173; Line: 1; Source: Illinois, State Census Collection, 1825-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Illinois State Census, 1825. Microfilm. Record Series 103.003, 1 roll. Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois. Illinois State Census, 1865. Microfilm. Record Series 103.010, 18 rolls. Illinois State Archives, Springfield, Illinois. Non-population Census Schedules for Illinois, 1850–1880. NARA microfilm publication T1133, rolls 12 and 13 (partial). ARC ID: 2791274. National Archives in Washington, D.C.[2]
  3. Year: 1870; Census Place: Southwest, Crawford, Illinois; Roll: M593_214; Page: 180B; Family History Library Film: 545713; 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.[3]
  4. Wisconsin, Marriage Index, 1820-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2000.; Original data: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. Wisconsin Vital Record Index, pre-1907. Madison, WI, USA: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services Vital Records Division (index only, no images) [4]
  5. Wisconsin, Births and Christenings Index, 1801-1928 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Wisconsin Births and Christenings." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records. [5]
  6. Year: 1880; Census Place: Spring Lake, Pierce, Wisconsin; Roll: 1441; Page: 95B; Enumeration District: 110; and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site.[6]
  7. Year: 1900; Census Place: Spring Lake, Pierce, Wisconsin; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0117; FHL microfilm: 1241811; 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004. [7]
  8. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current; [8]

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