George Washington Verplanck & Ermina Huntley

Tim’s 2nd-great-grandfather, George Washington Verplanck, son of Henry Abraham and Catherine Ann (McMullen) Verplanck, was born 25 March 1852 in (Eaton) Michigan, and died 28 February 1930 in Hanover (Jackson) Michigan. He married 20 July 1873 in Summit (Jackson) Michigan, Ermina “Mina” Huntley, who was born 4 November 1855 in Michigan, and died 30 December 1917 in Jackson (Jackson) Michigan, daughter of Loren Grant and Mary Jane (Fowler) Huntley.

George was a farmer, mason and bricklayer. Mina was a homemaker.

On 7 December 1903, after 30 years of marriage, Mina filed an application for divorce on the grounds of extreme cruelty. The case was not contested but was quickly withdrawn on 15 December 1903.

Mina died from acute gastritis and acute angina pectoris. George died from burns when his clothing accidently caught fire while he was lighting a fire in a coal range.

photo by Deb Hayes-Wolfe (

Ermina & George lie buried in Woodland Cemetery in Jackson, Michigan. They were the parents of seven children:

1. William “Willie” Verplanck, born 20 November 1874 in Michigan, died 1 July 1908 in Blackman (Jackson) Michigan, age 33, of tuberculosis.

2. Inez Verplanck, born 25 December 1876 in Tekonsha (Calhoun) Michigan, died 2 August 1944 in LaGrange (Cook) Illinois. She married 14 April 1920 in Chicago (Cook) Illinois, Henry P. Halsted, who was born 20 March 1868 in Chicago, and died there 28 October 1926, son of Henry Smith and Anna (—) Halsted. Inez & Henry had no children.

3. Martha Janet “Mattie” Verplanck, born 13 January 1880 in Hanover, died in 1951. She married 31 December 1902 in Jackson, Charles John Myers, who was born 15 August 1879 in Grass Lake (Jackson) Michigan. Martha & Charles had no children.

4. George Ola Verplanck, born 10 May 1882 in Hanover, died in 1954. He married 15 April 1903 in Jackson, Beulah Wilson, who was born in August 1881 in Michigan, and died in 1967, daughter of James and Cora (—) Wilson. George & Beulah were the parents of four children.

5. Catherine Alta Verplanck (Tim’s great-grandmother), born 2 May 1885 in Hanover, died there 27 July 1941. She married (as her first husband) 20 June 1906 in Hanover, Marion Case Raven, who was born 18 October 1883 in Cambridge (Lenawee) Michigan, and died 4 December 1926 in Jackson, son of William Franklin and Elona Naomi (Case) Raven. Catherine & Marion were the parents of three children. Catherine married (as her second husband and as his second wife) 14 October 1931 in Jackson, Earl Edward Jewell, who was born 28 January 1893 in Three Rivers (St. Joseph) Michigan, and died there 6 June 1974, son of Elmer W. and Emilie Auguste (Hochstaedt) Jewell. Catherine & Earl had no children.

6. Ola M. Verplanck, (daughter) born 23 May 1888 in Hanover, died 23 July 1909 in Jackson, age 21.

7. Eldridge Verplanck, born 7 October 1890 in Jackson, 16 November 1918 in Quantico (Prince William) Virginia, age 28. Eldridge was a private in the US Marine Corps and died of influenza in the barracks during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.

Last Revised: 14 March 2022

20 thoughts on “George Washington Verplanck & Ermina Huntley”

  1. So nice to investigate relatives from the past. I found your husband’s ancestrial tree quite interesting. I love to visit graveyards to look at tombstones from the 1800s. I visited a cementary in Helena/West Helena, Arkansas years ago. I saw many civil war graves of young men who died. History for sure.

    1. I love visiting cemeteries, too, finding them a peaceful place to contemplate human history and find some perspective about life. George & Mina were children during the Civil War and I wonder how it affected them. There is only so much we can glean from the paper trail our ancestors left behind.

  2. It seems so many people died such brutal deaths many years ago. Burns from a fire sounds awful–but so does an application for divorce by the cause of extreme cruelty. So sad, all around.

    1. Makes one wonder if “the good old days” were as idyllic as some people like to imagine. It’s ironic that we can often find an individual’s cause of death but nothing on what happened during their long life.

  3. I do wonder about the lives of our ancestors and their “real stories”. My cousin, who enjoyed doing the research, found that our direct ancestor lived across the street from a direct ancestor of her husband in New Haven, CT. She claims they were reincarnated lovers!

    1. You never know! I am amazed by the synchronicity that often occurs when making genealogical discoveries. My sister and her husband discovered that our mother and his uncle were in the same high school class and that he signed our mother’s yearbook. Who knew that her daughter and his nephew, who grew up in different towns, would meet in college and get married?

  4. What an interesting family tree. So very sad that a lot of people died very young; medical science has come along way.
    Weird about wanting a divorce, then retracting it, then dying from acute gastritis. Could that be ulcers? From stress perhaps?

    I do know that genealogy research is a rabbit hole one can fall into for many hours on end.

    1. I’ve started paying more attention to causes of death lately, when I can find one. Because I knew so little about the 1918 Influenza Pandemic it was interesting to see that their son Eldridge died of it at age 28 while in a military barrack. History touches every family in some way. I also wonder if George convinced Mina he would be a better husband if she withdrew her case? So many questions!

  5. What is “2nd-great-grandfather”? Is it Tim’s great-grandfather’s brother? Or did Tim’s great-grandmother marry a second time? I love it when you are able to educate me!

    1. A 2nd-great-grandfather is a shorthand way of saying great-great-grandfather. Some people also use the term 2x-great-grandfather. (The x stands for times, as in 2 times great.) It comes in handy when you go back even more generations. It’s easier to say my 3rd-great-grandfather came from Norway than it would be to say my great-great-great-grandfather came from Norway.

  6. Tim’s Michigan connection! It is sad to see how our ancestors had such horrible deaths – tuberculosis sometimes the culprit, other times childbirth or disease – maybe not living to a ripe old age as they had multiple children, or worked so hard in the fields, or just a tough life making a living to support their large families. How lucky we have it now (even though admittedly it does not often seem that way).

    1. Yes, Tim’s maternal grandmother was born in Michigan where her ancestors from Connecticut and New York had settled in the late 1800s. Her first husband was from Michigan but after they divorced she moved to Connecticut and her next three husbands were all from here. The longer I live the more I feel that life has always been precarious, it’s just that the threats we diminish seem to be replaced with new ones, like cancer and gun violence.

      1. I feel every time I walk out of the door, I have to worry, whether it is in the car or on foot. The pandemic and its worries has unleashed so much rage in comments on social media to arguments in stores, but here, the biggest worry is the way people drive. They speed way over the speed limit now and in our City, I’ve seen a video someone captured from a dash cam of road rage for no apparent reason – one car grazing, then hitting another car. People speed, drive drunk or on drugs, or go the wrong way. I’ve lost track of how many freeway shootings we have had the last two years – some resulting in death.

        1. I know what you mean. A few weeks ago an elderly woman was coming out of a convenience store in the middle of the day. A young man threw her to the ground and stole her purse and ran off with it. Seems like criminals are getting more brazen and willing to attack people in broad daylight and on camera… It is getting scary to even walk out the door.

          1. I feel the same way and there is no safety in numbers with Tim at your side. Criminals don’t care. We have elderly people getting knocked down and purse or wallet stolen and I wonder why their relatives won’t go out for them to shop, or they don’t use the at-home deli. I would never go to the grocery store before dawn or after dusk. It’s just not worth it. But, then again I wouldn’t go anywhere period in those time frames either.

          2. It’s no fun being elderly in a culture that worships youth and has little regard for its older generation. Makes me feel so vulnerable. Sigh…

  7. Yes, I can certainly see how the shorthand notation came about! I’m giggling because I have never had to say anything past my great grandmother. Now I am a tiny bit more knowledgeable on genealogy terms.

    Yes, the curiosity of our ancestors’ lives does make minds wonder sometimes. Who’s journal, George or Mina, would you like to find first? I suspect both stories would tell a different tale.

    This genealogy post is resonating with me. There’s so many stories in your family tree. I understand your passionate obsession. I’m heavily engaged in the audiobook book that I mentioned previously, “the SECRET KEEPER”. Yesterday, I listened to 4 CDs straight. I couldn’t stop. I’m on CD 13. Did you google the story line? Your genealogy curiosity might enjoy listening to it. I’m not sure…

    1. I would love to know both sides to every ancestral story! The facts and figures from vital records only hint at what happened. But it’s fun placing ancestors in the flow of history and seeing, if possible, how the current events back then affected their personal lives.

      It seems like I would enjoy “The Secret Keeper.” I have uncovered a few secrets in my research and learned that one must be careful about revealing them to other relatives…

A box for your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.