Berrien County
Family Biographies


Adams, William R.

William R. Adams married Mary A. Hill on 15 Jun 1864 in Howard Township of Cass County, Michigan.  The family is mentioned in the book "A Stronger Kinship" by Anna-Lisa Cox concerning their time in Covert. William served with the Union Army during the Civil War in Company C of the 102 U.S. C. I.  After the war, William, Adelia and their growing family lived for a time in West Lebanon, Indiana then moved back to western Michigan. William Adams is a mystery prior to his 1863 draft registration, but his wife's family lived in Cass County, Michigan for quite some time. They moved to Cass County from Ohio around 1844.  Mary Adelia Hill Adams was the daughter of Henry Nelson Hill and his wife Elizabeth. I have traced their family back to Orange County VA in the 1750's. William Adams died on 29 Jun 1908 and Adelia died on 06 Nov 1932 and they are buried in the Morton Hill Cemetery in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  William and Adelia were my great-great grandparents. Anyone who is researching the Adams or Hill families can contact me at the following email.   Rebecca Adams Palmer

Anstiss, George Washington

George Washington Anstiss was born at Harrisburg Pennsylvania the 2nd of  February 1851 and passed away at LaPorte,LaPorte Indiana the 2nd of December 1914 of apoplexy and is interred at Silverbrook cemetery at Niles,Berrien,Michigan along side his parents .He was one of of seven children born  to Christopher and Charlotte (Matthews) Anstiss,Christopher was of  English extraction and the first generation in the United States,Georges  siblings names were David E  Anstiss,James G Anstiss,Joseph Parkinson Anstiss ,Samuel Henry Anstiss,Mary Jane Anstiss and Hannah Maria Anstiss.All grew to adulthood and raised families in the Michiana area save for David Anstiss whom according to family tradition was lost during the civil war.The family had made their way from Pennsylvania to Berrien county Michigan by 1860 and perhaps as early as 1852.

George W. Anstiss  married miss Lillie Lea Riggin the 18th of October 1877 at Buchanan,Berrien,Michigan.Lillie was born the 6th of October 1860 near Berrien Center,Berrien Michigan and passed away at Niles,Berrien,Michigan the 6th of July 1928 as a result of throat cancer and is interred at the South Union Cemetery near Berrien Center Michigan along side her parents,she was one of at least eight children born to David and Mahala (Easton)Riggin formerly of Monroe county Virginia and Kentucky respectively her siblings were Thomas Easton Riggin,Rebecca Jane Riggin,Lewis Cass Riggin,Sedora Alma Riggin,Mary Ellen Riggin,John H. Riggin and George W. Riggin.

Mahala Easton arrived in Berrien county Michigan with her parents Thomas Jefferson Easton and Catherine (King) Easton  between the 30th of  December1837 when their son George was born in Indiana and May 1st 1839 when Thomas purchased 40 acres of land here in Berrien county ,the family having traveled from Kentucky through Illinois then into Indiana and finally to this locality according to a sketch of Andrew Jackson Easton Mahalas brother.

David Riggin arrived in  Berrien county Michigan with his parents Thomas Riggin and Mary (Polly)Dunn probably as early as 1831 when a child was born to Davids  twin sister Mrs. Hugh Marrs in Michigan  and most certainly by the 1st of April 1837 when his father purchased land in Berrien county Michigan.

George and Lillie Anstiss followed in the footsteps of their parents becoming the parents of a large family and were parents of seven children.They were Leo Riggin Anstiss,Merle Christopher Anstiss,Claude Cyrus Anstiss,George David Anstiss,Fred Oliver Anstiss,Hazel Bernice Anstiss the wife of Franklin Dealton Bunnel and Grace Anstiss the wife of Boyd Callison Personett.All of George and Lillies children went on to have relatively large families of their own save for Merle whos only child was a grand child of his second wife that the couple adopted and Fred Anstiss whom only had two children.The family had a yearly family reunion and kept meticulous account of births,deaths and marriages within the family until the reunions were disbanded in July of 2005.

Written and Submitted By Brett Thomas Hardesty   26 September 2008
3rd Great grand son of George Washington Anstiss

Christopher Anstiss August 22, 1840 Naturalization Papers filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County, PA.

 petition   plea   plea page 2

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