The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan

Original Highland Township Landowner

Wakeman B. Larnerd (Larnett)

E 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 23

Establishing this man's identity is complicated by the numerous ways in which his surname has been spelled.   Consider, in this regard, both the title and last names of the authors of The Learned Family (Learned, Larned, Learnard, Larnard and Lerned), Being the Descendants of William Learned, published in 1898 by William Law Learned and Joseph G. E. Larned!   Wakeman's patent for land in Highland employs the spelling "Larnerd," but First Land Owners of Oakland County shows it was spelled either "Larnett" and/or "Larned" at the time of his purchase.

Notwithstanding such difficulties, it seems clear this is Wakeman B. Larnerd, born 1815 in West Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of John and Chloe (Sikes) Larned.  He is said to have married Emily Barrett and worked as a hotel keeper in Scio, Allegany County, New York, where he died January 10, 1869.  The couple had one known child, i.e., son James Albert Larnerd, who was born December 5, 1843, The Learned Family, supra, pp. 268, 379.

That this is the same man who purchased land in Highland Township is supported by the 1850 Census for Belfast, Allegany County, New York, which shows a W. B. Leonard, innkeeper, age 37, born in Massachusetts, with a son James A. Leonard, age 6, born in Michigan.  So too, the 1860 Census for Scio, Allegany County, New York, reveals a "W. B. Larned," age 46, born in Massachusetts, employed as a clerk in the household of Samuel L. Stiles, hotel keeper.  Also in the household is a James A. Larned, age 17, born in Michigan.

But while the birthplace of son James shows that Wakeman B. Larnerd once lived in Michigan, there is no evidence he ever resided on his purchase in Highland Township.  Milton Everett Charboneau, Land Owners & Settlers of Livingston County, Michigan, 1828-1870's, says that Wakeman B. Larnerd a/k/a "Larked" owned land in both Green Oak and Putnam Townships, Livingston County, suggesting he may have lived in one of those locales.  Both parcels were sold in 1849, at which time Larnerd gave his residence as Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York.  His wife's name is also given as "Mary M.," suggesting that Emily (Barrett) Wakeman may have died soon after the birth of her son James.  Note that Larnerd's patent for land in Highland shows his residence as Livingston County, New York.  Given his holdings in Livingston County, Michigan, however, one wonders if the patent is mistaken as to the state.

Finally, a Wakeman B. Larned was elected clerk of Meridian Townshp, Ingham County, Michigan, in 1843.  A Wakeman B. Larned likewise appears on a list of early landowners in Jackson County, Michigan.  Both references presumably relate to the Wakeman B. Larnerd discussed above, and the fact he was elected clerk of Meridian Township indicates he was living there at the time.


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