Harriet DeCamp Lay
Begole Family Historian, Flint Foundational Families
June 1, 2022
Harriet DeCamp Lay is a long-time member of the Genesee County Historical Society, and the Treasurer for many of those years. Her knowledge of, and interest in the history of the area is among the best. But some of that knowledge is innate because it comes from her very own family history. In fact in many ways, Harriet’s family history IS Flint history!
Her family tree involves some of the most important and foundational people in the entire history of the community in general and the automotive, political, retail, banking, and manufacturing areas, in particular. The names on her family tree include: Begole, DeCamp, Dort, Cumings, and the A.M. Davison family just to name a few.
When Fish posted a picture of the inaugural grand opening of Kearsley Park featuring some unknown folks leading the celebration, Harriet said ‘That’s my grandmother!” She has written terrific articles about her family history, most notably about the home of former Michigan Governor, Josiah Begole which not only is the oldest standing home in Flint, it was also part of the Underground Railroad.
Harriet and Fish dive deep in to the waters of the Aquarium to explore her family roots, and the people and places that crafted so much of what we know as Flint and Genesee County today.