The association between the Starr and Wernette families began in Canada and remained close for several generations. They were among the earliest land grant recipients in St. Clements, Waterloo, Ontario. Both families were German-speaking Catholics and fellow communicants of St. Clements Church. John Wernette (father of Anna Maria Catherine Wernette) was a witness to the marriage of Gregory Starr (father of Ferdinand Starr) at St. Clements Church on 6 January 1855.
John Wernette (1838-1923) emigrated from Canada to Kent County, Michigan. He arrived around 1866 and by the time of the 1880 Census he had settled in Gaines Township, Kent County. His future son-in-law Ferdinand Starr (1856-1943) emigrates to Kent County, Michigan around 1878 but he goes back and forth to Canada for a period after he was married in North Dorr, Kent County, Michigan, on 12 October 1880. My great-grandfather Alfred Edward Starr (1882-1968) was the first child of this marriage and the last one in my Starr line born in Canada.
There were also family businesses. John Wernette had been an innkeeper in St. Clements. His son John Alexander Wernette (1862-1942) and Ferdinand Starr are listed in the 1889 Grand Rapids, Michigan street directory as proprietors of "Kalamazoo House" at 73 S. Division Street.
A number of the Starr and Wernette family members including Ferdinand Starr, his wife Anna Maria Catherine Starr (nee Wernette) moved to Los Angeles, California, starting in 1912 with their son Earl Joseph Starr. Many of them are buried together in Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.