Original Highland Township Landowner
Thomas Van Tuyl
Thomas Van Tuyl was born April 17, 1816, at Seneca County, New York, the son of Abraham and Rachel (Jobes) Van Tuyl. The family moved to Yates County, New York, where they appears on the 1830 Census for Jerusalem, Yates County. Thomas Van Tuyl married Survina a/k/a Sarvina Stoddard, daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Kelly) Stoddard of Yates County, New York.
In the mid-1830's Thomas Van Tuyl and his brother, John Van Tuyl, came to Livingston County, Michigan, where they engaged in a succession of land transactions. Thus, in May, 1836, John purchased land in both Section 1, Oceola Township, and Section 35, Deerfield Township. In September, 1836, Thomas and his wife purchased land in Section 2, Osceola Township, followed the next month by a purchase in Section 1. Two years later, on August 28, 1838, Thomas Van Tuyl made his entry on Section 26, Highland Township, Oakland County, but does not appear to have ever actually settled on the property.
John Van Tuyl died sometime after his last known purchase in October 4, 1839, but before his estate was probated in Yates County, New York, in 1841. John's death appears to have prompted his brother to return to New York for Thomas Van Tuyl was living in Prattsburgh, Steuben County, by 1846 and died there on December 24, 1888, at age 74.