My genealogy is presented here starting with a narrative describing basic information first about the Westerman men who came from England, and then their descendants up to my arrival. Following that section, a brief summary is included cataloging Shirley’s and my descendants.
The earliest records indicate that my great-great-great grandfather was James Westerman who was born in the late 1700’s in the Manchester region of England. He married at the turn of the century and had two sons, James in 1807 and Thomas in 1809. Records show that the older son James, my great-great grandfather, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on the Ship Emerald on April 30, 1827, having listed his age as 19, his trade as a coppersmith, and his home as Manchester, England.
James moved to Baltimore where he married Elizabeth Wilson (1810-1883). Later they moved briefly to Lowell, Massachusetts and then to western Pennsylvania in 1831 where they settled and started to raise a family that included 10 children, six of whom lived to maturity. After being joined by his bother Thomas in 1832, the two men and their families moved in 1840 from Allegheny City to Butler County where they bought land and stayed for more than a decade. James and his family moved in 1852 to Riga Township, Michigan, Section 33, where they lived until after the Civil War, at which time they sold that farm and moved to Adrian, Michigan. James traveled extensively in the US, going to California for a while on the newly constructed transcontinental railway. It was after this trip that he sold the Adrian property and moved to Blissfield, Michigan. He spent a winter in Florida during his later years before eventually becoming blind. From then on he lived with his children, eventually dying October 18, 1881 at his daughter’s home in Detroit.
George Walter Westerman (1831-1913), whose name was also recorded as George Washington Wilbur Westerman, was the oldest son of James and Elizabeth, and was my great-grandfather. He was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Pennsylvania where he became a schoolteacher at the age of 18 before marrying Catherine Scott (1831-1914) in 1851. George and his new wife moved to Riga, Michigan at the same time that his father moved there. George became Town Supervisor and Justice of the Peace, and he and Catherine eventually had six children, the oldest sons being the twins Walter and Wallace. George enlisted in 1861 in the Union Army, Company F of the Ohio Infantry. He served three years fighting in the “Great Rebellion,” participating in the battles of Wildcat Mountain, Fishing Creek, Pittsburg Landing, and Cornith. Ultimately he was injured by a falling horse and was discharged with the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant of the Regiment. After the war George was elected as Country Clerk in Michigan and moved to Adrian, the County Seat. Later he was re-elected as Justice of the Peace in 1888, and held that post for twelve years.
Walter Scott Westerman, also named Walter Scott Napoleon Bonaparte Westerman and Jerome Bonaparte Walter Scott Westerman, was born with his twin brother Wallace (James Stewart Wallace Westerman) on January 26, 1855 in Riga, Michigan. After graduating from Evans Business School in 1874, Walter married Emma Sizer (1853-1939), and they had a total of nine children. He was admitted to the bar at the age of 21 and would later be admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Michigan and in the United States Supreme Court. Walter worked as a civil servant and lawyer throughout his lifetime, serving as City Attorney for Adrian, and also serving in several fraternal organizations. He was active as a Mason, moving up to Commandery of Knights Templar, in the International Order of Odd Fellows in which he was Grand Master of Michigan and representative to the Sovereign Lodge, and in the Grand Army of the Republic where he became Commander. On two occasions Walter ran for Governor of Michigan on the Prohibition ticket. In 1901 he was granted a preacher’s license in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He closed his professional career as legal advisor for 17 years to the Consumers (Commonwealth) Power Company.
The 10 children of Walter and Emma included my father Harold Longfellow Westerman. Papa was born April 2, 1887 in Adrian, Michigan where he grew up as described in an early section of this book. He married Elizabeth Stanley Boyd (1888-1929) and their three children included my older sisters Dorothy and Marguerite. Papa came close to becoming a professional athlete, having been offered the opportunity to play for the Detroit Tigers, but his unwillingness to work on Sunday kept him from accepting the offer. After Mother’s passing in 1929, Papa married Eleanor and had a son Clifford (1935-2005). Although he spent his early years working for the YMCA and as a farmer, after the Great Depression Papa found work in a variety of sales positions. His health began to fail in the 1940’s, and he lived with Shirley and I briefly in Michigan. He retired not long after, eventually moving to Iron Mountain near his son Clifford where he lived until his death in 1979.
In 1941, Shirley and I had our first child, Sandra Jean Westerman. Sandy had a son, Scott David Westerman, in March 1962 who was made available for adoption at that time. Sandy entered a life partnership in June 1978 with Gerard Joseph Pobuda (1934-2007) that lasted until his death. Sandy currently lives on the coast in Oregon.
Pamela Kay Westerman (1944-), our second daughter, married Arnaud Jean-Francois Tavelli in Sierre, Switzerland in 1968, where they raised three children and still reside. Their oldest daughter, Caroline Tavelli Abar (1969-) and Jordan Michael Abar (1968-) live in love in Rochester, Vermont. Natalie (1971-), their second child, married Paolo Martinelli in 2004 in Lugano, Switzerland where they currently live, and their son Francesco Giancarlo was born in 2006. The third child of Pam and Arnaud, Christopher Scott (1973-), married Anouk Dayer in 1993.
David Scott Westerman (1946-), our first son, married Jenny Anne Swanson in 1968, and they had two children, Lisa Anne (1969-) and Matthew Evan (1972-). Lisa married Mark Black in 1984 and they had two children, Nicholas (1984-) and Gypsy Amanda (1987-). Following a divorce, Lisa married Mark Engle with whom she has had three children, Richard “Zeke” (2000-), Benjiman Scott (2004-) and Ella Grace Anne (2007-). Lisa and her children all live in the Atlanta, Georgia area, while Matthew is currently located in Santa Cruz, California. After a divorce, David and Elga Rita Gemst (1954-) were married in 1984 and they adopted two children, Nicole Marie Gemst Westerman (1980-) and Tyler Gemst Westerman (1987-). Nicole has two children, Kalen Scott Beasley (2002-) and Savanah Nicole Yafchek (2006-). David and Elga, Tyler, and Nicole and her children all live in central Vermont.
Gary Scott Westerman (1948-), our youngest child, married Karen Louise Hutchison in 1974. They have four children: Hannah Renee Westerman (1978-), Jesse George Scott Westerman (1981-), Kearah Paige Westerman (1984-), and Ian George Scott Westerman (1987-). Hannah married (and later divorced) Stefano Bitjoka, and they had two sons: Tyree Stefan (2000-) and Mekhi Scott (2003-). Jesse also has a child, a daughter named Isabella Rose (2006-).