All we knew about my husband's great grandfather Girton was his last name. The main reason we knew this was that it was his father's middle name. We knew that great grandmother Girton was a Cooke or Cook before she married.
On the Chattanooga Hamilton County Bicentennial Library website I checked the Obituary database. I found a Mabel Cooke Girton. Then I found a Mabel Girton on the 1910 Census with husband J.L. Girton, children Elizabeth, Helen, Hazel, and Louise. I found them again in the 1920 Census with his name listed as John L. Girton same wife and children. This had to be them since all the children's names matched. He was born in Wisconsin.
I then went to the 1880 Census in Wisconsin and found John Girton living with grandmother (Mary Lee). He was the right age 5 but I also found Joseph and Mary Girton in Wisconsin with children Jane, William, John. It looks like John lived with his grandmother part time and was counted twice.
At http://www.rootsweb.com/~wisauk/Reedsburg82.htm I found the following information.
J. L. GIRTON, for many years an implement dealer of North Freedom was born in Lincolnshire, England and came with his parents to America in 1850, locating in New York. From there the family went to Michigan, thence to Walworth County, Wisconsin, and in 1856 came to Sauk County. L. G. GIRTON married Miss Mary E. POWELL, a native of Lockport, New York.
I also found the following.http://www.rootsweb.com/~wisauk/qrybio003.htm#1135
J. L. Girton, dealer in agricultural implements, organs and sewing machines, North Freedom; he was born in Lincolnshire, England, July 13, 1848; came to America with his parents in 1850, and located in New York, then moved to Michigan, where his father died; then the mother and family moved to Walworth Co., Wis., in 1852 and September, 1856, moved to Sauk Co.; in the spring of 1877, Mr. Girton was elected Justice of the Peace; re-elected to a second term 1879. He was married Oct. 11, 1869, to Miss Mary E. Powell; she was born in Lockport, N. Y., Sept. 29, 1848; they have four children-Mary J., William R., John L. and an infant not named. Mrs. Girton is a member of the Latter Day Saints; in politics, Mr. Girton is a Republican.Contributed by Linda Wright
I found another lady on the internet who was researching the Girton family who shared lots of information on the family. Mary married a man named John Lee in Wisconsin. She also said that Joseph and Mary Powell divorced. Mary Powell Girton died in 1886 in Wisconsin.
I have more to share later.