Joseph “Jesse” Derusha 1870-1925

Joseph Jesse Derusha was the paternal great grandfather of my friend Rachel.

Joseph Jesse Derusha

When Joseph Jesse Derusha was born on December 7, 1870, in Saint Ignace, Mackinac, MI, his father, Joseph, was 30 and his mother, Josephine LaJoie, was 22.

Here are photos of Joseph’s parents (Rachel’s 2nd great grandparents:)

Joseph Derusha 1840-1918

Josephine Josette LaJoie Derusha


Joseph  married Bridget McLeod on July 17, 1890, in Hendricks, Michigan. On his marriage records he uses his middle name “Jesse.” Race was indicated on the marriage record with Jesse being “white” and Bridget listed as “Indian.”

The photo here is very small, so I have included the transcribed information too:marriage of Jesse to Bridget July 15 1890

Name: Jessa Derusha
Gender: Male
Race: W & Indian (Native American)
Age: 19
Birth Year: abt 1871
Birth Place: Rever Island, Michigan
Marriage Date: 17 Jul 1890
Marriage Place: Hendricks, Mackinac, Michigan, USA
Residence Place: St Ignace
Father: Joseph Derusha
Mother: Josephine Lajoie
Spouse: Bridget McLeod
Record Number: 182


The first census record that I found with Joseph listed is 1880, when Joseph was 9 years old.  In this census, his father is listed as a fisherman and his mother is “keeping house.” The family lived in Mackinac, Hendricks, MI.

By the time of the 1910 U.S. census, “Jesse” is now 20 years old and working as a lumberman. I loved how he gave his work location…”in the woods.” He is using his middle name of Jesse in this census. In the 1910 census, a person was asked to state their race. Bridget now states she is “white.”  They live in Mackinac, Hendricks, MI.

In the 1920 census, Joseph lists his name as Joseph (no longer uses Jesse). He is still in Mackinac, Hendricks, MI.

Joseph died in 1925, he was 54 years old.

death of Joseph Derusha.JPG

tombstone of Joseph J. Derusha

obit for Joseph Jesse Derusha




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