The Beginning & Early Pioneers

The name Livonia is not a new one. Pioneers coming from the northeast, most likely could have brought the name from cities/townships in Pennsylvania and New York. That name, further can be traced to European countries Estonia and Latvia. (MacGregor)

Some early settlers:

Joshua Simmons III was born in 1801 in Massachusetts, moved to New York. In 1824, bought 160 acres of land which would become Livonia Township in Michigan 1850s: wealthiest farmer in Livonia, raising wheat, oats, corn, and sheep. Cleared 120 acres of land in Livonia before his death in 1882 at 81. They had a child in 1827, making their son, Richmond Simmons, the first white male born in Livonia. Although there were other families that settled in Livonia around the time did, he is regarded as Livonia’s first pioneer. (MacGregor)

Briggs Family were one of the largest landowners in Livonia in the 19th century. Dexter Briggs, purchased 80 acres in Livonia. He was the first of his family to arrive in 1926. He wasn’t just a farmer, but also served as the first constable, highway commissioner, and township assessor. The Briggs family would be influential for the early development of Livonia. (MacGregor)

Marcus Swift brought his wife and children to Livonia in 1825. He became a township supervisor. He is also known most for being a staunch abolitionist, and founding pastor of Newburg Methodist Church in 1834. (MacGregor)