I have done quite a bit of research in Manistee County Courthouse records in the past few years, searching the descendants of John Dickson (Dixon). He came from England, was married four times, the last time to his young step daughter, and he fathered 13 children.
His first wife had four children, and supposedly died on the ship coming from England. The family spent some time in Canada, and perhaps Illinois, but was settled in Manistee County by 1850, the father and four children. Soon after he married a widow, Mary Taylor (born 1835), sometimes called the Indian wife. They had four children: Eliza Ann, born 13 Jun 1854 (married George Wislin); Charlotte, born 9 Dec 1855 (married Martin Nelson); Francis born 10 Mar 1857; and John Charles born Jan 1859. The two boys went west as young men and their descendants live there.
I have found no record of Mary's death. However, in 1863 he married another widow, Eliza Wislin (born 1830 in NY). Eliza had two children, Alice Wislin, born 1855 and George Wislin. George later married his step-sister, Eliza Ann Dickson, 3 Jun 1872. John and Eliza Wislin Dickson had two children, Lewis John born 12 Jul 1864 and Ida Mae (also called Mary) born 3 Jul 1869. Eliza died 16 Aug 1871.
Then in 1873, John Dickson married his stepdaughter Alice Wislin. He was 53, she was 18. They had four children: Elizabeth (Bessie), Theopholis, Edwin Charles, and Laura. Alice divorced John in 1885 or 1886
Now this is probably more than you ever wanted to know!! And it's one of the most confusing families I've seen. I'm descended from John Dixon /Dickson's first child, born in 1837. His children's birthdates ranged from 1837 to 1880.
Most of the information is from the courthouse, and some from family bible records, census records, pictures, and cemetery records. Some dates, from census records, can be a little bit off.
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