Francis and Amelia Higginson Thurtell

Francis Thurtell and his wife, Amelia Higginson Thurtell, had moved with their children to Leelanau County, Michigan, by 1866. They later moved to Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan, where they lived the rest of their lives.

The picture of Francis Thurtell is from the collection of Jean Jahraus, and the picture of
Amelia Higginson Thurtell is from RobRoy McGregor's collection.

The book Old Settlers of the Grand Traverse Region, by S. E. Wait, which was orginally published in Traverse City, Michigan, in 1918, lists Mr. and Mrs. Francis Thurtell as members of the Old Settlers Association and shows they moved to the Grand Traverse Region in 1866.

The homestead records on file at the National Archives in Washington, DC, include the homestead claims file for Francis Thurtell finalized February 10, 1873, certificate number 900, application number 1554. This file is also indexed with a copy of the land patent in the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, internet site at An affidavit in the file shows that Francis Thurtell was the head of a family with a wife and seven children and a U.S. citizen as of May 7, 1872. He was residing at the south east 1/4, Section 28, Township 28N, Range 13, where he had begun living on December 20, 1865. He had built a log house with a story and a half, a board floor, shingle roof, three doors, and five windows. He had cultivated about 35 acres of this land, with one acre more chopped, built a log barn, and also had sixty fruit trees. Thomas and William Armstrong signed an affidavit with this information for his homestead file on May 7, 1872. Francis Thurtell then obtained 160 acres in the south east 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28N, Range 13W, in Leelanau County, Michigan, under the Homestead Act. An affidavit is also in this file signed by Francis Thurtell at the Land Office in Traverse City, Michigan, dated December 19, 1865, showing that he had filed his application 1554 for homestead property and that he had declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States on that form.

The records for his original land purchase of 25.35 acres, Lot Number 4, in Section 28, Township 28N, Range 13W, in Leelanau County, Michigan (document number 3616), show that he paid $1.25 per acre, or a total of $31.69, with the payment made in Traverse City, Michigan, on August 24, 1867. The land patent was finalized for this purchase on July 1, 1869, according to the Bureau of Land Management Records, which are available on the internet at

Additions and corrections are always appreciated!

Susan T. Miller
1411 West Childs Street
Wheaton, Illinois 60187-4601
Phone 630-682-0108

Links to other sites on the Web

Family Group Page for Francis and Amelia Higginson Thurtell
View Maps Showing the Thurtell Homestead and Thurtell Lake
More Information about Francis Thurtell
More Information about Amelia Higginson Thurtell
Susan T. Miller's Genealogy Home Page
Index to Susan T. Miller's Genealogy Pages with Photographs
Grand Traverse County, Michigan, Web Pages
Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern Division, with a Searchable Index

Send E-mail to Susan T. Miller at

This page was last updated October 22, 2000.
© 1999