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Julia/Juliet/Juliette D. (Strong) Wilder is known to be the daughter of James A. and Eleanor (Denton) Strong: Michigan census records show James (1850, 1860) and Eleanor Strong (1850) living with Julia/Juliette Welder/Walter and her husband, whose name appears with hers in census records as A. A. Welder (1850), E Weilter (1860), Arebus Wilder (1870), and Arelas Wilder (1880). I also have a 1925 entry from "The Boston Transcript" reading: "James Strong died in Detroit, Mich., at the age of ninety-nine, at the home of his daughter, Juliette Wilder, about 1865."

The following grave marker in Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit gives the names and dates of birth and death of Aretas A. Wilder (3 April 1809 - 1 September 1888) and Juliet D. Wilder (23 May 1812 - 17 January 1889).

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Detroit records confirm the death date of 1 September 1888 for Eratus A. Wilder, who is listed as widowed. Detroit records show Juliet D. Wilder with a death date of 12 January 1888 and also widowed. Note that his death date is consistent with the grave marker, while hers is not. A contemporary newspaper account gives her death date as 17 January 1889, describing her as the "widow of the late Aretus A. Wilder".

How can these discrepancies be resolved? Were there two different Julia/Juliet/Juliette Wilders who died in 1888-1889 in Detroit (only one of whom is found in search), or is the date in the official record incorrect?

  • 3
    Are there any cemetery records with a burial date for Juliet? That might help resolve her death date, at least. – AndyW May 25 '16 at 5:59
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    @AndyW That would make a great answer. Here are a couple links that may be useful in that respect – I don't have time to write it up as an answer but if you would like to, Andy, feel free to use them. Elmwood Cemetery Genealogy Inquiries (free?) and FS film Elmwood Cemetery Record of interments – Harry Vervet May 26 '16 at 0:00
  • @AndyW Good idea! I've submitted requests to Elmwood Cemetery through the online form that were ignored. I'll keep trying and order the FS film if necessary. – Ellen Spertus May 26 '16 at 15:34
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The tombstone and newspaper appear correct. Newspapers don't publish obits a year late.

Detroit Free Press Detroit, Michigan Sunday, January 20, 1889 - Page 5 enter image description here

I presume the FS entry to be an error. It is a return of deaths ending in Dec 1888, but was not created until April 20th 1889. So the newspaper (and probably the tombstone) are the earlier records.

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Also, the entries are not in alpha or chronological order, and the husband #629 is listed with (and before) the wife #630. I wonder if this set of 1888 records were simply copied from cemetery records in 1889?

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3FZ-TXP

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