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From: Barbara Petura <>
Subject: [CHURCH] John Church Tax Assesor Milwaukee around 1895
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 22:00:28 -0700 (PDT)

On 16 Sep 2003, Stepanie Legard wrote that she has an 1895 letter written to her gg-grandfather William Legard of Yorkshire, England, from a John Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. John mentions his wife Maggie and daughter Harriet. She believes there were also sons Edgar and Arthur. John referred to William as brother Will. She asked for details.

The John Church in question surely was the youngest son of Benjamin Church, a pioneer carpenter and master builder who arrived in Milwaukee in 1835 from his birthplace in Ulster County, New York. Benjamin and his wife Permilia had six children.

John, son of Benjamin Church, married Margaret Legard or Legarde on 10 SEP 1879 in Milwaukee as noted here [surname misspelled]:

If you search Wisconsin Vital Records here, you will see that her name was also recorded as Margaret Ledge Gunyon [should be Margaret Legarde Gunyon]:

Margaret had been adopted by a Milwaukee man named Robert Gunyon, according to descendents of John and Margaret Church.

In the 1880 Census, John, 27, and Maggie, 23, were living with Benjamin Church who by then was retired. Maggie is shown as born in England. See the listing here:

In the 1905 Wisconsin Census, John Church, 55, assessor, wife Margaret, 50, and sons Arthur, 21, Walter, 18, and Edgar, 11, shared a household.

Forest Home Cemetery has a record for a Church burial plot with the following individuals: "In Lot 44, Section 33: Arthur Legard Church, Harriet M. Church, John Church, John Walter Church & Margaret Church" -- so there is the reference to daughter Harriet.

Thus, I am quite sure that this is the family you are seeking. It appears that William Legard of Yorkshire was the brother of Margaret Legard [adopted surname Gunyon] of Milwaukee, and the mention of "brother Will" meant brother-in-law. John and Maggie's descendents would likely be interested to learn of this letter and connection in Yorkshire.

Benjamin Church earned a place in history by building a Greek Revival home for his family -- a home that was rescued, moved and today is a museum to 1850s life in early Milwaukee. Here are photos of the house and details about the house and builder Benjamin Church, based on my recent visit there:

There is more about Benjamin Church and his ancestors and descendents here:

I hope this is helpful.
Barbara Bradley Petura
GGG-Granddaughter of Benjamin Church

Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

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