Milton Everett Charboneau


Milton Everett Charboneau was born in River Rouge, Michigan in 1926, the first child of George & Evelyn (Jones) Charboneau. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic school for nine years, graduating in 1944. After a short stint in the U. S. Army Air Force, he moved with his parents and family to Putnam Township, near the village of Pinckney. There he began the business of farming.

He and his parents, along with the family, joined St. Mary's Catholic Church when they moved to Pinckney and he is still active in his parish community.

He was interested in civil affairs from the very beginning, casting his first vote at the age of 21. He has taken part in both Putnam Township and Pinckney Village affairs for some 60 years.

Charboneau joined the Pinckney Jaycees as a charter member and, later, the local Kiwanis Club, doing work in both groups.

Charboneau was away from Pinckney for five years working a strawberry farm near Interlochen in Benzie County, Michigan. He returned to Pinckney in 1962, where he resumed his truck gardening and orchard work.

He gave up farming to help his father in the grocery business, which they operated for 11 years. Charboneau also spent 13 years as a rural mail carrier.

Charboneau never married and lived with his parents until their deaths. He is now the owner of the family home.

Although Charboneau had taken an interest in local affairs and local politics as soon as he moved to Putnam Township, he did not do any history work until 1974 when he was asked by his brother to find out information on the Sauk Indians who once lived in the state of Michigan. While doing this research he found that there had been little done about the history of the village of Pinckney and the townships that surround it.

As a result, in 1974, he took a year off of work and began to research all public records and local newspapers and spent a year gathering information to write a bicentennial history of Pinckney. This booklet was his first major publication.

He then became interested in cemeteries while volunteering to put flags on the graves of veterans in Placeway, a local cemetery. He found this cemetery overgrown in tall grass, so he went to work mowing the grass and hauling away the hay. Then he searched for the cemetery records and made a transcription of the same. His work and interest in cemeteries would last for many years until now and he has published several transcriptions from these compiled records and one big book on the Fowlerville cemeteries.

Charboneau said he haunted the local courthouses collecting will and probate records. He also lived in surrounding libraries including the Bentley in Ann Arbor and the Howell Carnegie District Library in Howell. He also spent many hours in major historical places collecting birth, marriage, and death records, as well as wills and probate records and tracking down the two local papers.

He soon found himself writing a weekly column on the Pinckney area for five years, which were published in the Pinckney Post newspaper. He would later publish them in book form.

During this time he discovered that in order to complete a history of the town or townships he would have to gather the history of the families who would produce or be part of this history. He soon had compiled several volumes of family records including some 1,500 families, just for the two bottom layers of townships of Livingston County. He felt that he could use some help so he joined the Livingston County Historical Society and soon co-founded the Livingston County Genealogical Society in 1982. He also became a charter member of the local Pinckney Historical Society. He had already become a member of the Hamburg Historical family in 1981.

After a decade or so of gathering records and publishing books on Pinckney history and cemetery records, he decided he would make a complete research of the land records for all of Livingston County. His purpose for this work was to find people who had lived here or had bought land here in the early days. Back then the only records were marriages, wills, probate and census records. He wanted to find people who had lived here, but had not stayed long enough to get into any record.

It took two years to research the land records and another year to assemble the information and publish the book title. He says he was helped out in the publishing by several members of the Livingston Genealogy Society and the cooperation of the Register of Deeds Nancy Haviland and her office staff and the constant use of the Howell Carnegie District Library. It was published in soft cover totaling 835 pages.

Charboneau now does volunteer work in the Howell Area Archives located in the Howell Carnegie District Library. The archives are open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 1-5 p.m. Charboneau is in his 18th year as curator. He is now active in preserving the local Pinckney Dispatch paper in book form, which will be placed in the Pinckney Community Library.

As a side note, without Milt's phenomenal help over the years I could not have learned all I have about this county and been able to help people who have contacted me through my various websites. Any messages you wish me to get to Milt just send to my e-mail listed below and I will pass them on. Please put Milt in the subject line. Thanks!


Livingston County MI Early Land Records

Livingston MI Selections of the Memorial Library

Michigan Selections of the MARDOS Memorial Library

2015 ~ Pam MARDOS Rietsch  


Livingston County MI Historical & Genealogical Site