First of all I would like to thank you Ron for all the work you did. And yes, the U.S. census records are a mess, there is no consistency with age or place of birth.
While some of the U.S. census records suggest the family lived in Michigan at some time as you pointed out, I have not been able to find any other documentation to support it. Matthew Kirkland and Jane Fletcher were married in Ontario, Canada on March 1, 1883, I have the marriage record to prove it. I have located birth records for both Malinda & Melicia (Melissa?) in Ontario, Canada. Malinda on January 5, 1884 and Melicia on April 8, 1886. Their son William was born in Washington State on Nov. 12, 1888. Their next youngest is Myrtle who was born in California in 1896.
I will check with the Random kindness folks to see if I can get someone to check the public records.