He was born 08 Jul 1825 in Wetwang With Fimber, Yorkshire, and died 16 Feb 1895 in Spring Arbour, Michigan, America when his age was given as 80 yrs. (He was actually 70 but the extra years he had given himself during the Civil war draft appear to have stuck! ) He died just 8 days after his second wife, Salina.
He married twice;
(1) Elizabeth Stephenson Abt. Sep 1850.
(2) Selina Vanwormer 12 Jun 1863 in Jackson County, Michigan, America. She was born 1814 in New York, and died 08 Feb 1895 in Spring Arbour, Michigan, America.
On the 1851 Census for Fimber, Yorkshire he is employed as a farm labourer on the 120 acre farm of James Mortimer
By 1863 he was in America
Letter received home from America in about 1863. Written in a beautiful copperplate hand, the spelling is very phonetic and the punctuation non-existant. (His sister Ruth, apparently never learned to write at all.)
Concord Jackson Countey Michigan Aaron Lockwood
Dear Father and Mather Sisters and Brothers I take my pen in and to right to you hoping to find you all Whell as it leves me and my Whife at present Dear farther it is with great pleshure that I wright to you to let you Now that I have got married this last spring it is a great dele better for a man to married than to live without in this countrey Whe have got a farm of eyghtey acars of Land I bought fortey acars myselfe and my whife she had fortey acars to Whe can live real comfortable togethar I did not have sutch a verey hevey Crop of wheat this fall I had tow hundred and fiftey syx bushels of twentey five acars I did not have time to whorke my land last year I had to put it in with a yoack of Cattle I have got the same Cattle yet and a pair of horsis to thys year and that dos not mack it a great dele better becoas I doant have hanny bodey to help me you must sum of you cum and help me help is pritey scarse in this countrey Now this whar time thay have in great bisnes to dow as they dow thay have got all volentears they can and so thay have gon tow drafting whe have all escaped once but I dont now how it whill be with hus the next time Marey whas in great bisness to right to now of our ages so she could
Marey just rowt to get our ages so she culd expose me to a draft they came round twise to get aur ages she towld that I whas thirtey six years ould the second time thay came I tould them I was fourtey seven and that was ould anoufe to clear me of a draft I thinke it was mene in Marey to wright to get our ages so that thay could macke a lyer of me I wish you whould not send a whord aboat my age aney more Joseph gows round telling how hould he is and I ham the next oulder them hym thay ave acted sick a foule about it Whe heye got about twentey acars of wheat put in this fall and it louckes prittey whell I whas gowing to put in thirtey acers in but I did not have time to dow it I whill tell you I have to whork pritey hard this sumer I have got my corn to husk yet I did not plant mutch thys year I had about four acars this year and I had about five acars of oats I had fiftey bushels I should lick to se you hall hear if you whill cum you must send me whord how frederick is if you can you must right to Aaron Lockwood Concord Jackson Cuntey Michigan North America
So no more at present from Aaron Lockwood Whilliam whas hear this last nict and he sent hys best love to you hall So no more at present Aaron Selina and William Lockwood Concord Jackson Countey Mich
His new wife also wrote to the family;
Concord, Jackson County, Mich. November 16th 1863
Dear Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters,
by maraying your son, and Brother, gives us a claim upon each other as relatives; Aaron wishes me to write some in his letter. I feel some delicacy in commencing a correspondence with those I have never had the privilege of seeing, yet when I reflect it is the only way at present of conversing with each other by the silent language of our pens I'm taking the present opportunity for making your acquaintance; it would be highly gratifying to me if I could step in your dwelling and converse with you all face to face. I often think you must have many anxious fears about your sons being drafted for soldiers, they have escaped so far yet how long they may the Good Lord only knows as there is another in January calling for about two hundred thousand more soldiers. Aaron tells his age old enough to clear him of the draft if others had not meddled probably would. It seams hard as Aaron says he helped them a great deal. Our once happy Country is in a deplorable condition to put down this wicked rebelion is costing much treasure and many lives. My prayer is that peace may be spedily restored with all its attendant blessings, our constitution maintained and wright prevail.
William and Josephs family are all well. They were all here a few days ago. William talks of boarding with us this winter and going to school. Poor fellow has worked hard this summer, I hope he will enjoy himself this summer. I intend to take special care of one your sons and will be a kind sister to the others if our lives are spared. I hope you will think enough of us and these imperfect times to answer them soon. Aaron says you always write to Joseph but never to him, please dont let him say so any more by your not answering this. We should have written before now but we thought Mary had written you all the particulars. Please excus poor writing as I have written in a hurry. Please receive my warmest love and best wishes for you all. Adieu.
Mr Wm and Mrs Lockwood. Mrs Selina Lockwood
She wrote again three years later;
Concord. March 26 1866
Dear Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters,
With pleasure I brake the long silence between us by once more addressing these fewe lines to you hopeing they will find you all enjoying better health than I enjoy at present though I would be thankful to God that I yet live and my health so far recovered as to be able to write to you once more, a privilege a few days ago I never expected to enjoy for I have been very sick and nigh unto death one night I grew worse so much so I never expected to see the dawn of another day in this world; yet I felt that all was well with me, I felt a calm and happy composure in God that this world can neither give nor thank God take away. This dear Friends is the kind of religion we shall all kneed in a dying hour if we would see heaven and bright glory with God and his Angels. I am now fulfilling my promise if I was ever able to write it should be my first business to write to you; you should hear from us once more. I hope you will forgive our negligence in not writing oftener, it affords us great pleasure to hear from you all.
In future I hope our correspondence will be more frequent though I have but little of importance to communicate; We feel very thankful the cruel Rebelion is put down, our union established and slavery demolished, yet I feel our Government is not in as safe keeping as it would have been if Lincoln had lived.
Well William how are you enjoying old England with your friends. By this time I suppose we shall see you with your English wife comeing some of these days. Please tell us when we can look for you so I can have a kettle of potatoes boiled and some beef Roasted for we hear the cattle are all dying of their. Its a general time of health here although there has been some sudden deaths about Concord. Old Esy Mcgees wife was found dead in her bed so was old Mr Moral and old Mrs Hungerford and old Mrs Worth. How it stands us all in hand to be prepared for death for many times it comes as a thief in the night as in the above cases. Aaron feels quite encouraged now his place is paid for. Brother Andrew and I settled our affairs by his paying me one hundred and 25 dollars that helped Aaron some, but poor fellow felt bad when he thought I was going to die. My health has been poor most of the winter yet I was never as fleshy in my life yet my flesh the Doct says was not good. I was confined to my bed about 3 weeks. I am dropsical and think I will end my days sooner or later. I have left all the particulars for Aaron to write. Mr Heldred returned last summer says if Wm does not come back soon he shall go and fetch him. I will close, hopeing to hear from you all soon. My best love to you all,
Mrs Selina Lockwood.
Selina had been married previously as she is listed in the township assessment records as "Mrs. Salina Parmeter." Sometime between 1860 and 1862, she and her husband-to-be acquired adjoinging 40 acre tracts. In 1862, hers was assessed at $350 while his was worth $300, and he had an additional $40 worth of personal property.
Joseph, who was not a landholder, was listed as having $75 in personal property, probably indicating that he was engaged in some sort of trade.
By 1874, Aaron added 40 more acres to his holdings, giving him 120 total. Twenty years later, a two acre portion of it is listed as the residence of "W.L." (probably William Lockwood).
At the Census in 1880 Aaron and Selina were described as farmers at Spring Arbor, he was giving his age as 62 although he was actually 55, Selina was now 66.
By 1901, all have disappeared from the Jackson County directory. The records of a local genealogist here include a listing for a Mary Anna Lockwood, daughter of William and Sarah, who was born in England on June 22, 1869, but contain no other references to the family.
These letters passed to Aarons great neice Carrie Falkingham (Granddaughter of Ruth Lockwood) who remembered a family story about the couple;
“Aaron Lockwood went to America & married Selina & she wrote to grandmother & said if she named her next child after her she would remember her & that was Aunt 'Lena, (Selina) & when she died she received a legacy - I never knew how much & she bought them all a broach and I have the broach that she bought mother. And I have grandmother's broach.”
The children of Aaron Lockwood and Elizabeth Stephenson were:
- i. Elizabeth Lockwood, Christened 11 Sep 1851, North Dalton, Yorkshire, England
- ii. Frederick Lockwood, born 17 Sep 1853 in Wetwang With Fimber, East Yorkshire; died 05 Apr 1941 in Clinton , Huron County , Ontario, Canada.
- iii. Louisa Lockwood, born Dec 1855; died Dec 1855.