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Monday, June 24, 2013

Great Lakes: Captain Michael James Madden

Son of Jeremiah Madden and Mary Dunn
(1853 Canada - 1925 Detroit)

Michael was born in Ontario and was living with his parents Jeremiah and Mary in Ellice, Perth, Ontario in 1861. (1)  

About 1870 he came to Port Huron, St. Clair, MI.  He married Catherine (Kate) Beal before 1892 and they lived for many years at 1003 Kearney St.

Michael moved to Detroit where he died on 2 Jan 1925.  He is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Port Huron.

Again, there is a connection between Michael and the family of Thomas F. Madden.  Michael was the captain of the Lizzie Madden for at least the two years 1899 and 1900.  Is that the only connection?  Although Madden is not an uncommon name, the connections between the shipping Maddens are interesting.

Known facts:
  • Michael obtained his first license to pilot a boat in 1871.  This would most likely be a 3rd class license.  He was only 17 at the time. (Marine Record 8 Sep 1898 - List of those who have held licenses for over 20 years.)
  • In 1880 Michael a 26 year old sailor is living with his mother, Mary, in Port Huron. (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Washington D.C. National Archives and Records Administration, 1880 M   -605 p397D, ED 388)
  • 1884 M. Madden Captain (str) in Bay City - If this is the correct Michael, it puts him in Bay City right at the same time that Thomas F. moved there.  R.L. Polk & Co.'s Marine Directory - 1884  Vessel Captains
  • 1893 M. Madden was captain of the Newaygo. (This might or might not be Michael)
  • MJ Madden was Captain of the Lizzie Madden in 1899 and 1900. (23 Mar 1893 Marine Record p3; RedBook 1899)
  • In 1900 Michael and Kate were living in Port Huron (1003 Kearney) with three children and servant Annie Wright. Michael is listed as Captain of the steamer Baden? He is listed as emigrating in 1870 and was unemployed for four months of the year (the typical wintering season on the Lakes). (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623-741, p4A,  ED 100)
  • From 1901 to 1909 Michael J was the captain of various vessels owned by JC Gilchrist.
    • 1901 Columbia (Redbook 1901)
    • 1902-1904 Wallula   (Marine Review 13 Mar 1902 p4; Redbook 1902-1904) 
    • 1905-06 Mecosta (name as MJJ) (Redbook 1905-6)
    • 1907-08 Thomas Maytham (Redbook 1907; Lynn's 1908)
    • 1908 Merida (ISMA-1908)
    • 1909 City of Genoa (hailing port of Vermillion) (Record of American and Foreign Shipping American Lloyds.)
    • 1910-1916 Listed in ISMA but no ship listed.
  • In 1910 Michael was listed as Captain of the Great Laker? in the census. (United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910. T624-673, p8, ED112)

Michael and Kate had four children:
  1. John Albert Beal Madden b. Dec 1892 MI d. 1954 buried Mt. Hope Cemetery, Port Huron MI
  2. Eugenia Mary Madden Sep 1895 MI  
  3. Catherine Madden Oct 1898 MI - 1986
  4. Margaret Josephine 1901-1964
Read more at 
Maritime History of the Great Lakes

  1. Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll:  C-1064-1065. pg 24 Perth, Dist. 3 Ellice

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