On December 5, 2008 I found an old obituary in an old Bible that my grandmother said was her grandma Hattie’s Bible. I wrote down what it said, but I no longer can find it. “Bert Garner, who has been sick for some time with consumption, passed to the spirit life last week Friday night at the home of his only sister, Mrs. James Neff, living south and east of Chesaning. Mr. Garner was 29 years old, and has been a resident here for several years. He made no profession of religion but led a good life” That was all I knew for a long time. I first found his death record when it came on to Ancestry.com; it gave his death date as 27 February 1894, two months before his 30th birthday. That record led me to him being “MARRIED” – I had never found any evidence that he was married. I went to the River Rapids District Library in Chesaning and looked in their vertical family files (this is where I got my start and I like to go back and see if anything new has been added.) and found a Family Group sheet for Albert B. Garner and Miss Phoebe Crofts quoting the source as a newspaper marriage announcement, but no article attached. Then I found Phoebe married to her second husband 19 May 1891 in Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, USA. This led me to hunt for the marriage record and Bert’s obituary. I noticed on the library’s website they had newspapers, so I thought I’d check it out and they have a great search bar for Chesaning newspapers. And I found not only the marriage and obituary but also two others mentioning him being sick. I still have that marriage being “not proven” but I’m like 90% sure that it’s the same. Still looking for marriage records and any other records for Albert “Bert” Garner.
Timeline for Albert P. Garner
- 14 May 1864; birth -probably in Sterling, Cayuga County, NY, USA 
- 1865 Census with his parents Charles M. & Mary Garner and sisters Eleanor & Harriet (Eleanor is from his mother’s first marriage to Lester Gibbs); in Sterling, Cayuga County, NY, USA.
- 1870 Census with his Mother, Mary and step father Mortimer Hilliker and sisters Harriet & Lillian (Lillian was an infant and was his half sister from Mortimer); in Dryden, Lapeer County, MI, USA.
- 1 April 1872; mother Mary dies – left with Mortimer Hilliker for him to care for both Harriet and Albert.
- 31 July 1873; Guardianship granted to uncle Alfred Garner in Victory, Cayuga County, NY, USA. 
- 1880 Census with his uncle Alfred Garner and his family in Wolcott, Wayne County, NY, USA.
- 14 May 1885; Guardianship released Wayne County Clerk’s office; Wayne County, NY, USA. 
- 26 Jan 1887; Marriage Announcement – Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, USA; “Married at Chesaning by Justice T. J. Miller, Mr. Albert B. Garner, to Miss Pheobe Crofts; both of Chesaning.”
- Between 1887 – 1890; Divorce? – Phoebe remarries on 19 May 1891 to Oscar Hunt; she has first child on 3 Sep 1891.
- 9 July 1892; Newspaper Article – Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, USA; “Mr. Bert Garner is quite ill and seems to be having his share of trouble.” 
- 9 December 1893; Newspaper Article – Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, USA; “Bert Garner is having some trouble with his lungs.” 
- 24 Feb 1894; Obituary – Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, USA; “Bert Garner, who has been sick for some time with consumption, passed to the spirit life last week Friday night at the home of his only sister, Mrs. James Neff, living south and east of Chesaning. Mr. Garner was 29 years old, and has been a resident here for several years. He made no profession of religion but led a good life” 
- 27 Feb 1894; Death Record – Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI USA; “Albert P. Garner; Male, White, Married, Age 27, born 1867 in NY, died 27 Feb 1894 in Chesaning, Saginaw County, MI, cause of death Consumption.” 
SOURCES:  Claim for Minor’s survivors pension from Charles Garner’s pension paperwork; got off Ancestry.com  Personal Tree on Ancestry.com  The Chesaning Argus. Marriages; 26 Jan 1887, p 1.  The Chesaning Argus. Ditch Road Items; 9 July 1892.  The Chesaning Argus. Ditch Road; 9 Dec 1893.  The Chesaning Argus. Happenings; 24 Feb 1894, page 5.  Michigan Death Records, 1867-1950. Ancestry.com. File # 144.