¬

The Covell Gates Ekdahl Jurva Tree

Including Covel, Covill, Covil, Coville, Gates, Ekdahl and Jurva

Revised November 19, 2007

Fire in the sky over Keweenaw Bay

¬ WELCOME TO THE UPPER PENINSULA OF MICHIGAN!

 

Sorry, no horns

 

 

 

THE MYSTERY OF JAMES IS SOLVED!

David J. Silverman in his book Faith and Boundaries states that James and Keiape were bound by the Dukes County Court for stealing from Thomas Mayhew along with two other Indians. Mayhew then sold James to Jacob Mayle who then had seven years of free service as a servant from James. Apparently this had become a common practice among the colonists who used the court system as a method of indenturing Indians into their service at no cost to the colonist.

 

 

James Covell, Indian servant on Martha’s Vineyd sold 1693 to Jacob Mayle.

Date: August 29, 2005 at 17:09:10


Southold Town Records (Suffolk County, NY) by J. Wickham Case
Vol 2. p.74
15th day of September…Anno Domini:1693
‚ÄúMatthew Mayhew Of Marthas Vineyard Esq. having two Indian servents the one named Keiape the other James Covell bound for the full term of seven years‚ÄĚ sold these servants to Jacob mayle.
p. 75
Jan 6 1696/7
Jacob Mayle of the city of New York sold his claime and right over Keiape ‚Äúotherwise called Felix‚ÄĚ

 

Mr. Silverman also mentions that he found no evidence of formal marriages (by English standards) among the colonists and Native population which speaks volumes for the colonist’s perception of the Native people. This accounts for the fact my Covell oral history seems to be the only record of the marriage of James (born 1620) and an Indian lady on Martha’s Vineyard.


 

Back in the early 1980's we visited the Split Rock Light Station north of Duluth, MN. I made some purchases and the sales clerk looked at my check in a somewhat surprised manner and asked if I might have have related to the Keeper at Split Rock in 1944. I confessed I wasn't aware of any Covell's who had lived in that area at any point. The clerk went on to tell me that Franklin Covell had been in the Lighthouse Keeper Service for many years on the Great Lakes serving in various capacities at several different stations. I started looking for traces of him upon my return home but never had any luck in obtaining any more information about him. Later on I dropped a line to the Lighthouse Digest asking if they might have anything on Franklin. My query was sent along to the Minnesota Historical Society and Lee Radzak, Historic Site Manager at Split Rock, very kindly sent along the following information on Franklin.

What struck me as I reviewed the material was the fact Franklin had been born in Newaygo Co., MI 9-25-1874. I knew there were Covells in that area about that time so I went looking in my database. There he was, son of Willis Wallace Covell, right birth date but with a middle initial of "W".¬So, I had him all along but just hadn't made the connection. Below you'll find some notes on Franklin and a picture that Lee passed along. Many thanks to him for passing this along so we may all enjoy this tid-bit of Covell history.

Interestingly, Lighthouse Research does not list Franklin as being at 14 Mile Point at any point in time. The 14 Mile Point Station is very isolated and located between Ontonagon and Houghton, MI. It’s privately owned now.

This is an early picture of the Split Rock Light Station and homes of the Keeper and his assistants. To build the station you have to remember there were no roads into that area, everything needed to build the station came in by boat and was lifted by hoist to the top. If you'd like to learn more about how beautiful the Split Rock Light Station area is now please go to:

http://www.mnhs.org/splitrock.html


 

Community Church in Covell, IL.

 

Some years later I discovered the small town of Covell, IL. Since it had no post office I wrote to the Postmaster in Stanton, IL, a town close by. My letter was passed along to a fellow by the name of E. Kenneth Burkhart who was sort of the town historian. Returning from AZ that spring we detoured into Covell, IL where I had a delightful chat with Mr. Burkhart. He provided me with a lot of information about Merritt Covell that I had not been aware of up to that point.

 

This is reputed to be the Covell Coat of Arms. On the back of the photo is the name and address of a photography shop in Kalamazoo, MI along with a date of 1943.  My dad said that as far back as he could remember family members had claimed this to be the family crest. While the family had always assumed they were of English descent they had no knowledge of its history beyond that of members who had served in the Revolutionary War. The daunting task in working back to Ezra Covell who came to America in 1635 and James Covell who arrived around March, 1651, in large part, was the work of Ruth Audus Chisholm whose great grandfather was Giles Hollister Covell.

The Surname/Given Name database for these families is located at:

 http://wc.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=agcovell

It was last updated on November 17, 2007

This picture was taken in 1923 some three years after the death of my grandfather, David Wilmot Covell. In the top row (l to r) are Maud, David, Marvin and Lawrence. In the center is my father, Alvin. In the front are Lyman, my grandmother Lucinda, Jack and Luella. All of the boys had served their country in WWI, four were in combat, two were wounded and one was the most highly decorated soldier of Muskegon Country from that "war to end all wars".


 

Our home on Keweenaw Bay in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a place those of us who live there believe to be "Some Place Special". About this time of year this is what our ‚Äúroad‚ÄĚ looks like.

 

A stormy day building on Keweenaw Bay.

I took this shot on Presque Isle north of Marquette, MI several years ago. Some of you may remember Mount St. Helen spewing tons of¬materials into the atmosphere when it erupted years ago. The golden color of the sun setting here is a result of that event.

 

 Many years ago someone in the family began collecting information about our Covell line. The same was true of the Gates family but I'll get to that later. The main interest appears to have revolved around family members that had served in the Revolutionary War. A cousin of mine who was stationed in the Pentagon back in the 50's was able to have a family tree built from that information and contacts he made at the Library of Congress. Fortunately, I've been able to trace the family from there back to James Covell who received a grant of land on Martha's Vineyard in March, 1651. I'm certain he was born in London, England, that he had a brother, Ezra, and that their father's name was Robert. Ezra built a home next to James in 1677 and their ages at the time of their deaths coincide with the dates of their baptism at St. Dunstan's In the East, London.

.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

St. Dunstan's In The East was virtually destroyed during the Battle of Britain in WWII. All that survived was the bell tower. Many church records were destroyed in the fire that followed the bombing, among them were those that dealt with Robert Covell and his family. After the war the remaining land was cleared and became a park where people from the surrounding business district pause to rest and have their lunch. A friend who did just that in his working days sent me this photo.

James Covell, born in London, England in 1620 and baptized at St. Dunstan‚Äôs in the East, arrived in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard in March, 1651. His brother, Ezra, had arrived in Boston as the indentured servant of John and Anne Allen aboard the ship Abigail in 1635. Ezra appeared in the ‚ÄúAble to Bear Arms‚ÄĚ in Woburn, MA in 1643 and nothing more of him is known until 1677 when he builds a home next to James. James married, had 4 children and lived out the remainder of his life on the Island as did Ezra. By the early 1700's many of the Covell's that had been born and raised on the Vineyard had moved to the mainland. One group had learned of lands available in CT in the area now known as Killingly, near the RI border. Related by blood or marriage they purchased 1600 acres of land there and were known as the "Chestnut Hill Company". As years passed and deaths occurred the Covell Cemetery grew and many of the original settlers were buried there.†† ¬¬¬

¬

Oliver Covell¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

Several years ago some teenagers decided they wanted to dig up a skeleton and did so in this cemetery. Oliver was their target and the deed probably would not have been discovered were it not for the fact they took one of his thigh bones to school where they displayed it for their friends. This brought them to the attention of the court and as part of their sentence they were required to do a research paper on Oliver. The story was put on the wire service where I found it printed in a Tucson, AZ newspaper. As the boy’s were under the supervision of a professor from a nearby university for this project I wrote her asking she send me a copy of the boys research paper when it was completed. Little did I know that distant relatives I knew nothing about also were requesting the same information but that is a story for another time.

When it was found that Oliver had been a veteran of the War of 1812 his remains were again interred with full military honors in the cemetery.

While my line of Covells traveled from Martha's Vineyard to CT, MA, VT, NY to PA and on to MI others traveled from NY, through OH and on to IA. One of my email friends sent these pictures of the cemetery where Jonathan and Clarinda Covell are buried in Wilton, IA. The pictures of Jonathan and Clarinda were provided by a lady who is also distantly related.

 

While my wife, Ellen, was in Finland in 2003 I took the opportunity to travel to Corry and  Bentley Creek, PA as well as Wellsburg, NY which is just up the road from Bentley Creek. I located the graves of several Covells that had settled in the Corry area at the Pine Grove Cemetery. It was a rainy, gloomy day but the lady in the cemetery office was most helpful in locating the various graves.

Pine Grove Cemetery is located along the north side of Route 6 in Corry, PA.

 Above is a rather unique burial plot. The stone carries inscriptions on one side for Clarence L. Covell and on the other for William W. Covell. Then, arranged in a circle around this central stone are markers for Ellen E. Covell, Frances Covell Young, Alvah W. Covell and Amanda Covell.

 

This is William and his family.

After leaving Corry I traveled on to Bentley Creek, PA. I had the good luck to find Joyce and Buzz Fraley at home along with Beulah Thompson, her mother. Beulah is the daughter of Edith Covell Miller and very spry for her age. I had spent part of that day trying to find the Old Covell Cemetery, but to no avail. Joyce took pity on me and drove to the location. The cemetery sets on the side of a hill facing east and I imagine it was a beautiful place in its day. Running along the north side of the cemetery is a small waterway called Covell Creek. Below are a few pictures of the cemetery. You'll note it's badly overgrown but Joyce tells me that in the spring the entire area is covered with a low growing blue flower.

  ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

¬ The Old Covell Cemetery

The marker for Emily Jane and Maurine Covell

In 1870 a diphtheria epidemic invaded the Bentley Creek locale. Emily went to care for children of another family where the epidemic had struck. Emily contracted the disease and died at age 21.

  ¬¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

Gravestones of Lovina and Albert Covell

 

Grave of Miles Covell

Platt's full name was Clinton Platt Covell but the story goes that he detested the name Clinton. He was a Civil War vet.

                                   Gravestone of William and Perlina Covell. Their epitaphs on the stone follow. 

                                               William                                                                                                      Perlina

                             A faithful friend, a father dear,                                                              Other's hands are folded,

                             A loving husband lies buried here,                                                         Farewell our mother dear,

                             In love he lived, in peace he died,                                                          May thy spirit guide thy children

                             His life was asked, but God denied. ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬While we tarry here.

                                                                                                                                              And when our hands are folded,

                                                                                                                                              And to Heaven's gate we come,

                                                                                                                                              Then greet us with a welcome,

                                                                                                                                                A welcome, welcome

 

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬Also buried here are Blanche, Elson, Louise, Emily and Maurine Covell.

                                                                                            

  ¬ Blanche¬¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ Elson¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬¬ ¬

 ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

                                                                                                                                                           

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬Louise¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ Hannah¬¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

          

Later that day I stopped at the Bently Creek Cemetery. Buried there is is Edward Howe. Edward was raised by Miles and Hannah Covell but was never adopted by them that I know of. However, he went by the name of Covell as you'll see below.

 

Bentley Creek Cemetery

 ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬Edward Howe Covell

                                                                             As you travel from Bentley Creek to Wellsburg you follow along Bentley Creek for quite a distance. The area had experienced several heavy rains just before my arrival so the Creek was running swiftly as you'll see below.

 

 

In actuality there are two cemeteries that surround the Baptist Church in Wellsburg.

The Old Baptist Cemetery dates from ca. 1793 and surrounds the church on three sides. Found there are menbers of the Coleman, Comfort and Cummings families, all of whom figure in my ancestry. Located in the Ashland are several members of the Covell Family, among them being my great-great grandfather, Capt. James Covell, his wives and their children. Also to be found there is my great grandfather, Calvin T. Covell and members of his family.

The Baptist Church

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

Calvin T. Covell, his wife Elizabeth and four of their children are buried in the Ashland Cemetery. 

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ 

 Buried in the same plot are his father, Capt. James Covell and his wives, Rebecca and Hannah. James was a drummer boy in the Rev. War and later served in the War of 1812 as a Captain. The story goes that he would set by the kitchen stove and drum on it with pieces of kindling.

       ¬

 

Some who remember the Hackley Union Bank in Muskegon, MI may recognize these prints. They were the creation of an artist by the name of Victor Casenelli who made his home in North Muskegon.  The originals hung on the walls of the bank and  represented scenes along Muskegon Lake's shoreline. I was always entranced by them as well as the one he gave to North Muskegon High School, a view in the Great Smokey Mountains.

From the Vineyard to the Mainland and Beyond

Family members migrated from Martha's Vineyard to Killingly, CT and on to VT, ME, NY and eventually to Bradford Co., PA. It was there that my great-great-grandfather, James Covell, settled in the Bentley Creek area having moved from Washington Co., NY. James served as a Captain in the War of 1812. One of his sons, Calvin, had twelve children and most of them moved on to Whitehall, MI where they engaged in the lumbering business. One of those who journeyed to Whitehall was David Wilmot Covell, my paternal grandfather. 

Here he is with his faithful dogs.

I have the cane he is holding in this picture. It has a pewter head, well worn, and the wood is held together in several places with old screws and nails. The varnish is cracked and chipped its entire length.

             ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬During WWI all 6 sons served their country, four fought with the AEF and two of them were wounded.

Somewhere in France                                                                                                                                          November 7, 1918

Dear Father:

It has been a long time since I wrote you a letter so will try and write you a few lines this morning. Everything is going well over here, that is the Huns are on the run and I think this war is just a matter of  a few weeks the way things look now. Germany is all by her lonesome and she is in a puzzle what to do. She is not doing much fighting--she is just backing up because she has to.

One morning as we went over the top it was rather foggy, we could not see very well and were right onto them before we knew it and it was rather warm around there for awhile. Talk about machine gun bullets. They were just cutting the grass all around me and how they missed me is more than I know. I was just lucky for they were falling on both sides of me, but at last we got the best of them and they started on the run and we made it rather warm for them for awhile. That  was the morning that Lawrence got wounded. I did not see him, but saw the boys that carried him back and they say he was laughing and smoking his pipe as though nothing had happened. I have not heard from him yet, but expect a letter from him any day now.

Has Lyman been home yet? We heard from Jack once. He had not been to the front yet, but was anxious to get at the Huns. Oh yes, we had a letter from Jim Gregerson. He is over here. He is railroading. Little Maggie had sent him our pictures and he sent them on to us. We also received the picture of you and mother, but I can see you are both getting older. Even myself--I notice that I am not as young as I used to be. I have a few grey hairs in my head, but they are not coming from being scared for I have not been that way. I have had some awful funny feelings at times, don't know if you would call it scared or not, but I have not turned my back to the enemy yet nor run--that much I can say.

We have had some awful weather here. It rains most of the time and then they call it "Sunny France". Don't know where they get that stuff. During the summer months we had quite a bit of sunshine, but most of it was rainy weather. While I was in the hospital in the southern part of France, we had plenty of sunshine.

Well, it is almost Xmas time and I am wondering what it will be like over here. They gave us coupons so that we could send them home and have a Xmas package sent to us, but I am not sending mine for so many things get lost in the mail and there is nothing that I need. We are well taken care of. There is just one thing that I would like and that is some of mother's pancakes.

Well, I think I have written quite a letter so will close for this time. With love and best wishes, I remain always,

                                                Your son

                                                  Wilmot

I don't know when this picture of "Wilmot" was taken but the fact he has a cigarette in his hand leads me to believe it was begore he was gassed (see letter above).

     Wilmot mentioned his brother, Lyman, in the above letter. Here is a picture of Lyman and an excerpt from a letter wrote.

Well to begin with it is 2:15 A.M. and I am on duty, but not very busy, but in a fairly safe place, a dugout. They are not always the safest place I have found, but that does not worry me anymore. In other words I have gotten over it for this is no place to worry.  One needs all his wits about him to best Fritz so this leaves no room for anything like worry.

We have seen quite a lot of this country but I can't say that I am crazy about it except for the sightseeing. But the soldiers. You have got to hand it to them and I will take my hat off to them any time. They are getting pretty tired of the war but now since the American soldier has come, it has put new life into them and they are fighting like devils.

From the Muskegon Chronicle of August 31, 1918:

Sergeant Lyman Covell was in the first line trenches and had been ordered, with a few other men, to reconnoiter. They were surprised by a number of Germans, who opened fire on them. His companions were going down on all sides of him. A witness saw him shoot seven Germans and then, while still under fire, turn around to help the wounded. The Huns were beaten off  by reinforcements.

Lyman was awarded The Cross of The Order of Leopold, conferred by King Albert of Belgium for heroic services on the battlefield; France awarded him the Croix de Guerre while General Pershing issued a citation commending him for his bravery.

 

 

 

 

                                                  ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬   

This is the old Wilson School in Fruitland Twp. where my dad went to school. He's in the top row, 5th from the left. It was taken in 1913 so dad was about 15 or 16 at the time. His brother Marvin is probably in the picture but I can't spot him. Knowing Uncle Marv as I did he could well have been playing hooky that day.

I remember years ago my dad telling me of a poem about a wreck on a narrow gauge rail line that led to the Covell lumber camp north of Whitehall. One day in the early 1960's while living in Newberry, MI I happened to mention the poem to an old gentleman by the name of Jess Barrett. Jess had logged all over the Lower Peninsula of Michigan before moving on to the Upper Peninsula to log. He told me he had been logging in that area and knew some of the men who were killed that day. Later I obtained a copy of the poem and one day when my dad was visiting me I took him and the poem over to Jess's mill so they could have a chat. The chat lasted all afternoon. Oh, if only I had had a tape recorder with me that day!

 

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It might seem odd to some to see only one team of horses hauling this load of logs but can be easily explained. During the winter months the trails were watered at night during freezing weather. The result was a very slick "roadway" that made the log hauling far easier. It is reputed that this is the largest load of logs, 18 ft. long, ever hauled in the world, and hauled by one team. Height of the load 33 ft., 3 inches. Weight of logs, 144 tons. Nine flatcars were required to convey the logs to Chicago.

After James, Jr and Sally Covell (nee Dewey) divorced in the mid 1850’s Sally and most all of her children migrated west to CA, OR and NV.

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Above is Sally Cook (nee Covell),¬who moved to California with her husband, William Cook. The spinning wheel traveled with her on the long trek to her new home. As time went by family members relocated to Santa Cruz, Bieber and Lassen Counties and what is now the Davis, CA areas.  Others ended up in Oregon and Nevada.

 

 

 

Calvin and Elizabeth Covell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This old cemetery outside  Bieber, CA is the final resting place of some of the family that moved to CA.

 

 

 

 

At least one son or daughter (sometimes both) of every Covell generation has served their country in time of peace as well as war. Here's my dad and I back in 1951 as I was leaving for overseas. 

When I returned from overseas in 1953 I met an RN from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. On February 17, 2006 Ellen and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary.

 

The Gates Side Of Things.

As is the case with many of us I made the mistake of putting a lot of my initial efforts in tracing the Covell line. Partly, this was because my dad had some information that I could make use of. As for my mother's side, well, she just never did say anything about her ancestors. Her mother died when she was 22 and, as I look back, it must have been a very painful loss to mom--she would rarely talk about her mother and grand-dad was sort of as stern type, not given to much in the way of chit chat. What is surprising is that mom's family was in Michigan some 30 years or so before my dad's family having traveled from Onondaga Co., NY to St. Joseph Co., MI in the 1830's. Maybe this was one of those "family secret" things where females bowed to the male ego? At any rate follow along below for some really interesting history --Dan sure is a stern looking individual don't you think? Somewhere in my notes is a quote from minutes of Nottaway Township in St. Joseph Co. that Dan's father, Hiram, was taking his turn as a sentry in the fort to guard against Indians in 1837.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the three sons of Dan and Delilah; Otis, Leon and Frank, my grandfather.

 

 

 

 

 

This photo of my maternal grandparents, Frank and Amaretta (Prouty) Gates was taken some time prior to 1925, the year of "Retta's" death. It was taken at the family homestead in Laketon Township, Muskegon Co., MI. Frank's father, Dan, homesteaded this property in the 1860's. More about that later.

 

 

 

 

 

This is my mother, Gertrude Alfreda Gates. The photo was taken when she was 19 years of age and shortly before her marriage to my father, Alvin Lee covell.

 

 

 

 

Noah Gates was born in Norwalk, CT November 5, 1766 and died in Cayuga, NY March 26, 1813. He married Abigail Betts and they had nine children, all of whom were born in NY. Noah was a Captain in the War of 1812 and died at some point during that conflict.Three of the children eventually moved on to Michigan; Ashbel, William and Hiram, my great-great-grandfather. Ashbel and William later moved on west.

Hiram was born December 11, 1801 in Mt. Morris, Onondaga County, NY and died in Burr Oak, St. Joseph County, MI on August 5, 1857. He married Margaret Engle on October 10, 1824 in Mt. Morris. She died July 8, 1865 in Burr Oak. Both are buried in Pioneer Cemetery,, Nottawa township, St. Joseph Co., MI. The 1840 federal census for Nottawa Township, St. Joseph County, MI lists Hiram, Margaret and their children Daniel, Harriet, Mary, Hannah and Rachel.

Daniel, more commonly known as Dan, married Delilah McMillan on February 14, 1861 in Burr Oak. In the fall of 1863 they began their journey to Muskegon County, MI where they had decided to make a home for themselves. They had no horses or any other way of getting there so hired a man with a team to bring them there. Every thing they owned was loaded onto the wagon and their six day journey began. They made it to Kalamazoo the first night and Grand Rapids the next since the roads were fairly good. However, from Grand Rapids to Muskegon there were only woods and a wagon track so around the stumps and through the mud they went. In one place they had to ford a creek where the water was deep and one horse fell. They had to go for help and returned with a man and team of ox. Even with this man and ox power it still took a half day to get the horses and wagon out of the mud hole. Muskegon was reached on October 6, 1863 and there on the shores of Muskegon Lake they boarded the Algoma for the trip to the north shore where North Muskegon was coming into being. The wind was blowing hard and when they reached the middle of the lake waves began to wash over the rails. Dan and his wife had never been on a boat so this was a most terrifying experience for them. Safely reaching the north shore they took the old state road towards Whitehall stopping just beyond Dalton to stay with a brother-in-law. Here they built a small log cabin. After paying off their travel expenses they had $1.85 left and with this amount bought boards for the cabin roof, a door and half a window. Dan worked in the woods and they lived quite comfortably that winter. Potatoes were 35 cents per bushel that winter.

The following spring was very wet, their well overflowed so water for household purposes was difficult to find. Dan happened to be working near the head of Bear Lake that spring and came across a spring whose water he thought to be the purest he had ever known. They decided to build their home there and after selecting their homestead site they homesteaded 160 acres. That spring Dan went to Whitehall (about 15 miles) to cast his first vote. He returned with a hen under each arm and thus began their start in poultry keeping.

At that time there were five families, beside Dan and Delilah, between Muskegon and Whitehall. They were Dow, Califf, Tyler, Knickerbocker and Gordon. These men were the ones who helped organize the townships of Laketon, Dalton and Fruitland. My father, Alvin Lee Covell, would be born in Fruitland Township in 1897. As the area population expanded Dan built another cabin, this time 28' by 30'. Here three sons were born; Frank Jay(my grandfather), Otis Ray and Leon John. In 1884 Dan built another home for his family, this time a roomy two story  home. As I write this in 2001 that home still stands and occupied on what is now Horton Rd.

The Muskegon County-Obituary Index (date and publisher unknown) states the following:

"D.J. Gates is one of the native-born sons of Michigan who have taken a warm interest in the progress of the state and contributed to its material advancement. An enterprising and energetic farmer, he has been highly successful in the cultivation of his place, which is located in Section 11, Laketon Twp, Muskegon Co., and which, through his labor, is one of the best farms in the township. He is a man who uses skill and judgement in the rotation of crops and fertilization of the soil, and consequently is able to secure the very best results from every acre on his property."

 

 

 

 

From Suomi Came The Jurva's And Ekdahl's

The Ekdahl & Jurva Connection

 

 

 

 

. An Ekdahl Family Reunion was held June 8, 2002 in Hetekylla, Finland. Some 200 members of the family were in attendance and extended a warm welcome to my wife and her brother John, who traveled from Michigan for the event. Their parents both came from Finland to Michigan‚Äôs Upper Peninsula in the early 1900's. Family ties remain very strong even though some 90 years have passed since their arrival here.

"Lest We Forget"

Even though it's been 27 years since I visited Finland I still can not remove from my memory the lost of life and sacrifice suffered by Finland and its people during the Winter War. A wreath was laid at the foot of this monument during the June, 2003 Ekdahl reunion in remembrance of all the fallen soldiers, one of whom was Frans Ekdahl, an uncle of my wife, Ellen. The two soldiers standing guard are members of the Ekdahl family. Both Ellen and her brother, John Ekdahl, attended the reunion.

 

 

 

 

Shortly after the turn of the last century Antti and Kaisa (Ekdahl) Jurva came to Michigan's Copper Country from the Pudasjarvi area of  Finland. They were followed by Anna Jurva, sister of Antti. A year later Heikki (Henry) Ekdahl, sister of Kaisa, arrived. Within a year Henry and Anna married and they settled in the Copper Country also. Antti and Henry both worked in the copper mines but soon both sought  work on the surface of this hard land. They became farmers first but in the winter months Henry worked as a carpenter and for a period of time Antti worked in Detroit. Henry and Anna homesteaded 160 acres in Keweenaw Bay around 1917. They lived on that land until they both died.

Anna left Hanko, Finland Sept. 16, 1911 aboard the Urania.¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

Heikka left Hanko June 29, 1912 aboard the Polaris

 

 

Anna's brother, Annti returned to Finland in 1910 where he married Heikki's sister, Kaisa. They returned to America on the Arcturus sailing from Hanko Sept. 10, 1910. 

The above pictures are from the collection of Aleksi Lindstrom of Helsinki, Finland. He has a very interesting web site that you may view at:  

       Go to Shiplovers  

 Ellen's parents were married on Oct. 23, 1912 in Calumet, MI by Rev. Paul Heideman. To Henry and Anna were born 12 children. First came 9 sons, 7 of whom served in WWII, 4 saw service during the Korean Conflict and 1 in Viet Nam. In fact, the last mentioned served in all three conflicts. Three girls (And the last shall be best) were then born, the eldest being my wife. Last winter we learned that a relative of Ellen's, Mikko Kalkaja lived in Oulu which is but a short drive from Pudasjarvi and Utajarvi where a reunion was held in June, 2002 of the Ekdahl family. Oddly enough, also living in Oulu is Helja Okarinen, a lady who spent part of a summer with us back in the mid 70's. She is an M.D., married, with two sons, age 12 and 15. Her husband, Aarne is also a doctor and teaches in the medical school at Oulu University.

The nine Ekdahl boys at the homestead in Keweenaw Bay, MI.

This picture was taken at a reunion Elsie and Eddie hosted in the mid 90's.

From the left:Elsie, Ellen, Eino (deceased), Eddie (deceased), John and Fred

 

 

 

 

 

This picture was taken on the ice of Keweenaw Bay sometime in 1930's. Then, as now, the favorite method of taking lake trout in the winter is by "bobbing". Lying between the 6 trout are 3 "Bobbing" sticks. The 300 feet of line was made of braided strands and then tarred. As a result the lines didn't freeze and neither did they stretch. Attached to the end of the line was a  lead sinker and below that a mother of pearl spoon with a red dot in its center.  The large hook attached to the spoon was baited with a strip of sucker bait, flesh side out. I can attest to the fact you develop a very sore wrist from the constant jerking of the wrist so that the spoon would move up and down with a fluttering action. You have to be very careful that you don't let too much line out. If you do the sinker hits bottom, stirs it up and scares the fish away. At least that's what the pros tell me. 

This is Anna Jurva Ekdahl, mother of the 9 Ekdahl boys and 3 girls. Anna left Finland in 1911 when she was 18 years old. Unable to speak anything but Finnish she made her way to Michigan's Copper Country where she met her brother Antti Jurva and his wife, Kaisa Ekdahl Jurva. I wonder if she had any idea she would be marrying Kaisa's brother, Heikki (aka Henry) within a year or so.

Anna always told her children that by putting her right hand to her cheek she was saying good-bye to her homeland.

This is Mayme Ellen Jurva Bekkela,¬ daughter of Antti and Kaisa Jurva.  Sadly. Mayme pasted away in January, 2006. Both Ellen and I miss her greatly.

                                                  

During the June, 2003 reunion of the family a service was held on the church grounds where Ellen's grand-parents are buried. Standing next to Col. Timo Ekdahl (Ret.) are his mother and John, Ellen's sister. Col. Ekdahl has recently been recalled to active duty and is now with United Nations forces in Sri Lanka. Some years ago he was in a command position in Lebanon during peace keeping operations there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My wife Ellen and I spend our summers at our home on Keweenaw Bay north of Baraga, MI. This is the view from our porch.  Ellen has planted flowers around the house but there are also a lot of wild flowers there, mostly in shaded areas.

 

 

However, when fall arrives Lake Superior grudgingly begins to give up the warmth she has stored over the summer months. When this warmth collides with the colder air sweeping across the lake it begins to "smoke". Winter is not far away and we take this as a sign to close the cabin and begin our trek to Arizona.

 

Fall on one of the U.P.'s side roads.

 

 

One of my hobbies is that of scuba diving. This picture was taken in Bonaire while diving with my nephew and his wife on a shipwreck in 95 feet of water. At that depth you are under approximately 4 atmospheres of pressure which helps to explain the compression of features.

 

 

 

 

Afew years ago I had the chance to do some diving while on the island of Maui. An area there is called "Turtle Town" and it really lives up to its name. These turtles are a most sociable lot and very curious. This one approached to within a foot of me as I hung just below the surface. She was so close I could not have taken a picture had I  wanted to. Her shell is roughly 4 feet in diameter.

After what seemed like an eternity she eased away and headed for the bottom.

 

 

 

 

Sadly, we had to put our beloved Doxie, Anna to sleep in 2003 after 18 years of great companionship. In her place arrived Amanda Dixie's Angel, aka Mandy, born Aug. 12, 2003,¬weight 2.5 lbs.

Mandy has grown a bit. Kissa (Finnish for cat) loves to taunt Mandy into a chase. The result of one last December caused Mandy to rupture a disk in her back. That caused paralysis in her hind quarters and a trip to surgery. She’s recovered remarkably well.

I hope you've enjoyed looking at our Tree and all its branches.

 

Hang loose!

Molokiini Crater, Maui