Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scraps from a Teenage Girl's Life

In addition to photographs and the odd baby's cup, I've also rescued a number of autograph albums and a few scrapbooks.  This little scrapbook was found in a local antique store about a year ago and I purchased it because it was obviously compiled by someone who lived in the area and it was full of newspaper clippings.  I figured the odds were pretty good that some of those clippings might mention things that would be of interest to my own family's history.

It was in poor condition, with crumbling pages.  On a few pages, whatever had been affixed there had been torn out.  Still, there were a lot of interesting items and the price was low, so I adopted another stray.

Texas Centennial 1836-1936
Scrap Book
The scrapbook itself dated the collection to the mid 1930s.  Its cover carried the picture of a Spanish mission and noted that it was a commemorative item issued for the Texas Centennial in 1936.  Inside the front cover, the owner is identified as Crystal Dawn Breeding and the notation of 1935-1936 is given.  From there, it is undoubtedly the scrapbook of a typical teenage girl.  I have one much like it in my closet that I kept throughout my high school years.  It leaves no doubt that Crystal was a student of Smithville High School.

There are invitations to and place card markers from various banquets.  One is a figure of a band member, marching along and with a tiny message held in the crook of the elbow:

Come dine with the Tigers
and drink to their cheer
For they are the boys
Who've had no fear
December 13, 1935
Crystal Dawn Breeding

One insert gives the information that the Smithville Tigers are the defending Regional (football) champions of 1934, having lost only one game that season to Lockhart.  The game program from the November 22,1935, game is a glimpse of the times, full of ads from local merchants and players names from locally prominent families.

Football Program, Cover

Football Program, Inside

Accompanying this program is a news article "Smithville Beats Bastrop 45-0" with a photograph of the Smithville Drill Team, of which Crystal Dawn Breeding was a member.  Numerous programs and news items are glued in commemorating the various games played by the Smithville Tigers during the 1935 season.

The program for the 1936 graduation on May 22, 1936, includes the class roster and program.

Graduation Program Cover
Graduation Program, Inside

Crystal had other interests in addition to supporting her home football team.  There are clippings of all kinds, including some about the current heart-throbs ("Watch Out Buddy (Rogers)!  It's Leap Year), political figures (a San Antonio man receives letter from the late King George V; President Roosevelt visits the Alamo), prominent citizens (Rudyard Kipling celebrates 70th birthday; the first car built by Henry Ford, completed in 1893, forty-three years ago), and current events (Dionne Quintuplets Snug as North Winter Closes In; tributes to Will Rogers who died in 1935).

Will Rogers Articles

Roosevelt's visit to the Alamo
There are also indications that Crystal had the normal teen-ager concerns about her looks: 

The Perfect Figure
And the normal teenager interest in British royalty with clippings about the death of King George the V and the new King Edward VIII and who fell in line for the throne behind him:

British Royalty Succession
Tucked in at the back of the scrapbook is a single photograph in a folding cover.  There is no identification, but I find myself speculating that this lovely young lady might be Crystal herself.  I am betting that there is someone out there who remembers Crystal and could let me know for sure.

Unknown Girl

I was able to pick up a bit of information for Crystal Dawn Breeding, thanks to fact that she ended her life using her birth name.  Ancestry gave me a rudimentary family tree for her, as well as providing a link to her gravestone on FindAGrave and pointing to a brief obituary from a local funeral home.

Crystal Dawn Breeding was born October 4, 1921, to parents Thomas James and Clara Inez (Watterson) Breeding.  All three are buried in the Watterson Community Cemetery near Red Rock.

A scan of newspaper archives brought up several news items mentioning Crystal and her parents, many of these items concerning local events where my Mobley and Lentz kinfolk were also in attendance.    And even though Crystal was using her birth name at the time of her death, there is a lengthy account of her marriage in Laredo on April 2, 1945, to 1st Lt. Robert E. Boone of Fort Worth, who had recently returned from two years service in the European Theater operations of World War II.  Both Crystal and her new husband had attended the University of Texas, which one can surmise is where they met.  The article includes extensive information about the wedding decorations and clothing of the members of the wedding party.

I immediately questioned why Crystal was using her birth name in later life, so I checked the divorce index for Texas but found nothing.  Searching for additional information for Robert Boone was inconclusive, as there were a lot of Robert Boones with military backgrounds.  I'll just have to keep wondering about that one.

But I did find some tantalizing information about Crystal that makes me hope that someone local can fill in some of the blanks.  In the wedding article it mentions that after she graduated from the University of Texas she went on to attend Columbia University in New York City, entering the Graduate School of Social Work in 1943.  At the time of her marriage she was employed in the Division of Child Welfare of the State Department of Public Welfare and had had assignments in both Laredo and Beaumont.  

Crystal died on July 3, 2011.  Her short obituary hints that Crystal Dawn Breeding led an interesting life, mentioning that she taught at several prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and in Australia.  At her death, she was dividing her time between her apartment overlooking Central Park in New York and the family home in Bastrop.  The short death notice in the Austin newspaper referred to her as a "retired professor".

But long before that, Crystal Dawn Breeding was a young girl attending Smithville High School, rooting for the Tigers Football Team, taking part in 4H and following the drama unfolding with the British monarchy.  I wonder if she guessed she had such an interesting life ahead of her.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Wee Cuppa of Unknown Origins

Sometimes you end up rescuing a family heirloom with absolutely no idea why you are doing it and then have no luck whatsoever at finding any back story about the item.  You end up giving a home to a piece that deserves closure but will most probably not get it.

About a month ago I went to an estate sale out in the country.  I was tempted on many fronts and had just about decided to bring home a Regulator wall clock, when I turned a corner and found myself looking at a silverware chest that contained a full basic set of an 1847 Wm. Rogers silver-plate pattern called "First Love".  It also had a dozen or so odds and ends of other patterns lumped in with it, but a quick check proved that there was a complete 8-place setting service, plus a child's fork and spoon, and some serving spoons.  

I don't need any more flatware.  I have too much as it is.  I have my fancy Old Country Roses flatware with the gold accents that I acquired a few years back to go with my Old Country Roses china.  I have Mother's Wm. Rogers Dubonnet stainless set with all the extra serving pieces.  I have my eBay completed (more than completed) set of Grypsholm that my Grandmother Wilcoxen started for me when I was in my teens.  I am working on completing (more than completing, of course) my cousin Amanda's set of Springtime, also started by our Grandmother but which had not progressed past the serving pieces and a few teaspoons.  Thanks to eBay, it too is now more than fully complete, with the exception of my needing to add a few salad forks to the mix.

So I absolutely do not need any more flatware.

I turned my back on the useful clock and brought home the chestful of First Love flatware.  I figured I could always turn it around on eBay or in the store booth if I decided I had made a mistake.

It turns out that First Love is a very collectible pattern.  There are sets on eBay similar to the one I brought home with asking prices more than double what I paid for mine.  The more I studied it, the better I liked it.  It has a nice, elegant pattern that is not too fussy or frilly or flowery, just the way I like things.  So, I started monitoring eBay with the idea of adding the serving pieces to my set.  Eventually.  Because this is silver-plate, the prices are relatively steep and I'm thinking I may just add a piece here and there when I'm cruising the vendors at the Round Top Antiques Fairs.  Gives me something specific to look for while I'm wandering around.  No rush.  If I need silverware, I have drawers full of it to use in the meantime.

The eBay feeds alerted me to the fact that not only did the company produce flatware in the First Love pattern, there are also big silver-plate platters and butter dishes and other assorted service pieces.  Well, those are way out of my price range, so probably not going to be adding any of those to my collection.

But, one day, along came a baby's silver cup with a First Love handle across the screen.  The dealer was selling it for dirt cheap because it was engraved.  I watched it for a few days and nobody seemed interested in bidding on a cup that carried an unknown name and date on its side. I finally said "oh, well" and put in a bid.  For a mere $.99 and shipping, the cup took up residence.

1847 Wm. Rogers First Love Flatware

First Love baby cup

Naturally, seeing as how I rescue other folks' ancestor photos all the time, I felt sure I could probably manage to find out something about the person whose name was engraved on the cup.  (That would make the purchase a little more justified in my mind.)

But, even with the full name of "Nancy Kay Knight" and a date of 4-10-51 to work with, I'm finding no data convincing enough to tie the cup to any particular person.  Of course this little girl would now be a grown lady of age 63, probably long married.  And finding people who are most probably still living is a lot more difficult than finding folks who died a century ago.

So, I'm posting this item in the hopes that someone out there knows who this particular Nancy Kay Knight is and, if interested in claiming her baby cup, will get in touch.

The little cup is such a pretty little thing that it reminded me that I have my own silver-plate baby cup that, I believe, was given to me by my Great aunt Fay Branton, who probably purchased it at Scarbroughs in downtown Austin where she worked for many years.  It has been tucked away for decades, but not forgotten.  Mine isn't engraved and the only identification on the bottom is "Community", which is a less desirable brand, but I am glad that I have it.

Mine, on the left, is in severe need of polishing.  And I haven't identified the pattern.  Yet.  Just what I needed, another project.  Thanks, Nancy Kay.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Little House on the Prairie

As frequently happens, if I buy more than one old photo at a time from the same vendor, I am very likely to discover a relationship between the photos.  This isn't hard to understand since so many of these kinds of things are acquired from estate sales, with whole piles of photos originating from the same box in the same house.

Today's photo has a connection with the previous post Cedar Circle Place.  Cedar Circle Place referred to a house in Illinois, while this photo documents a family who lived in Madison, Riley County, Kansas.  The two families were related by marriage.

As was the case with the Cedar Circle Place photo, someone had taken the trouble to identify every person in this photo:

Home of M. Z. Baird (Uncle Zach)
M. Z. Baird, Maude, Rosa Baird (Aunt Rosie)
Wallace (by the team)
Roy and Bennie in front

The photo is badly faded and was difficult to enhance, but I finally was able to pull out the various figures referred to.  Based on the children's appearances and the census records, my best guess is that this photo dates to the early 1890s.

I wasn't as lucky this time with my research.  The Baird family seems to follow the same path as my own ancestors - live quietly and leave few traces behind.

But, I was able to flesh out the picture a wee bit with a handful of family trees posted to Ancestry and census records.

M. Z. Baird was Marion Zachary Taylor Baird, son of William Van Dorn Baird and wife Maria (Ouderkirk).  He was born in New York, but by the 1870 census the family had relocated to Kankakee County, Illinois.  Zach's brother Alexander would marry Francena Loretta Barnard in 1872, she being one of the daughters of the Barnards of Cedar Circle Place.

In 1876, Zach married Rosa A. Baxter, daughter of Benjamin and Mary Ann (Burnett) Baxter.  The couple had four children: Maude Maria born 1877, William Wallace born 1878, Benjamin Baxter born 1884 and Robert Roy born 1887.  This photograph captures the entire family.

The M. Z. Baird family moved from Illinois to Kansas between Wallace's birth in 1878 and Benjamin's birth in 1884.  They settled in Riley County, Kansas.  At the time of the 1900 census the couple had been married 24 years.

A year after the census, Rosa died in 1901.  Zach lived on to age 92 and died in 1940.  They are buried in Milford Cemetery in Geary County, Kansas.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Cedar Circle Place

This photo led me on a merry chase through four generations and several states before I had all the parties pictured here and their relationships fully identified.  The information written on the back of the photo is a genealogist's dream.  Chasing it down took a couple of hours, but at the end I knew who each of these people were to each other.  I love this kind of puzzle, which gives lots of clues, a red herring or two, and threads that lead to a complete picture at the end.  The photo was acquired in a Smithville, Texas, antique store.

The handwritten notes went thus:
Cedar Circle Place (home of Mr. Oliver W. and Mrs. Mary J. Barnard)
Standing:  Mrs. F. Loretta (Barnard) Baird and Mabel (Viall) Dole (Mrs. Clarence Dole)
Seated:  Polly (Barnard) Maulsby, Mrs. Mary J. Barnard holding Clarence Dole's baby, Mrs. Izetta (Barnard) Dole-Townsend
Children:  Marian Townsend and Lela Townsend
Taken the summer Grandpa died.

Lots of places to start, but it seemed logical to start with the owners of the house.  I hit the census records looking for Oliver W. and Mary J. Barnard around the turn of the century.  A likely match popped up at the top of the results list:  Oliver and Mary J. Barnard, living in 1900 in Manteno, Kankakee County, Illinois.

It did not take me long, digging into the various public family trees on Ancestry, to confirm that this was indeed the correct family.  As I continued to check census records and family trees and do a lot of Google searches, I was able to  place each one of the women and even the unnamed baby.

Oliver W. Barmard was an early settler of the Manteno area, receiving a land patent  in 1866 for 160 acres in Kankakee County, Illinois.  Oliver was born in 1828 in Wayne County, Indiana, to parents William and Sally (Williams) Barnard.  By 1850 he had migrated from the mid-eastern border of Indiana to LaPorte County, Indiana,  just south of Lake Michigan.  He receives his land patent in 1866 and by the 1870 census he has settled in Kankakee County, Illinois.  In May of 1877 he makes an appearance in Chicago for his marriage to Mary Jane Williams.  They would have four children, two girls and two boys, all born and raised in the Manteno area.  He died on August 14, 1907.

I theorized at this point that this photo was taken in 1907 and that Oliver was the "Grandpa" who died that summer.  As I progressed with identification of each of the persons in the photo, the theory held and I believe that this was indeed a photo taken about the time that Oliver died.

Mrs. Mary J. Barnard herself is in this photo, the woman seated in the middle holding "Clarence Dole's baby".

Two of the ladies in this photo are daughters of Oliver and Mary Barnard.  The woman standing on the left in a dark dress is identified as Mrs. F. Loretta (Barnard) Baird.  Daughter Francena Loretta was born in 1851 and would have been 56 in 1907.  She married in 1872 to Alexander Baird and the couple had five daughters and two sons.

The woman seated at far right is identified as Mrs. Izetta (Barnard) Dole-Townsend, the other daughter of Oliver and Mary.  She took a little work to run down, because it turns out that she went by her middle name Izetta rather than her given name of Amelia.  I spent a little time trying to tie her to the other woman with the Dole surname, thinking they might be sisters-in-law and erroneously looking for a brother of the named Clarence Dole as Izetta's possible husband.  It wasn't a bad idea, but it sent me down a rabbit trail I should have avoided.

Because it turns out that Amelia Izetta Barnard married twice and produced children with both husbands, quite a number of years apart.  Izetta was born in 1862, and would have been 45 at the time of this photo.  She married first in 1883 to Ira Burton Dole, a salesman, with whom she had three children:  Lillian, Clarence Arthur and Ira.

Son Clarence married in 1906 to Olive Mabel Viall, so the woman standing on the right and identified as Mabel (Viall) Dole is Izetta's daughter-in-law.  That makes the baby held by Mary Jane Barnard her great-grandchild and Izetta's grandchild.  A quick check of the 1910 census identified that baby as Edwin B. Dole, who was born in 1907.

Izetta's husband Ira died at the early age of 28 in 1888.  In 1900 Izetta and her children are living with her parents.  In 1902, Izetta remarried to William Townsend, a store merchant in Manteno.  The couple had two daughters, Lela, born 1904, and Marian Ella, born 1906.  These are the two little girls in the foreground of the group.  They are also the aunts of the baby.

That leaves one lady left to identify.  The woman seated on the far left, identified as Polly (Barnard) Maulsby, proved to be the sister of Oliver Barnard.  She herself would pass away in the next year.

A couple of mildly interesting tidbits surfaced during my research of this family.  Son/husband/grandchild Clarence Arthur Dole turned out to be quite the little gadabout.  Clarence was born in Chicago, married Mabel in Kankakee in 1906, was living in Nebraska in 1910, in Colorado in 1920 (where we learned that little Edwin acquired a younger sister Marjorie), married a second time in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, was in Wyoming in 1930 and died in 1958 in California.  No grass growing under that boy's feet.

The other interesting tidbit concerns Grandpa Oliver Barnard.  He is mentioned in many a Google search result as being a source of an early spelling of Manteno as Manteneau.  References are made to some books he wrote, including local histories of the Manteno area.  A final search of online books yielded a volume of poetry, Poems of Hope, which was published in 1906.  The little book includes a photo of Oliver and among the many poems are "To Izetta on Her Sixteenth Birthday", "Our Two Boys", two poems addressed to his father and "Lines Addressed to Miss Lillian Dole".   I think he must have been a loving son, father and grandfather to write these tributes.

What fun to puzzle out all these familial connections.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Career Girl

I continue to be a bit surprised at the interesting twists and turns I'm taking in researching the people behind the rescued photos in my collection.  Initially I was satisfied to just half-way pinpoint what part of the country connected to the people caught in the photographer's lens.  As I progress with this project, I'm now inclined to keep digging a bit further.  Every person I've researched so far has turned out to have some interesting aspect to the life long past that makes me think it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to meet him or her.

Today's subject is one of those.  The photo is a small one, picturing a pleasant looking young woman dressed in an outfit with a nautical theme.  The sideways glance and the subtle quirk of the mouth almost suggests that she is amused by some private joke.

The format of the photo is the basic post-card format, dating to about 1907.  On the reverse is written in pencil "Opal Louise Hayes, age 18?".  There is no information to suggest a location.  I seldom use middle names when I'm searching for people, since so frequently they are missing on the records or shown merely as an initial.  But this time, for some reason, I decided to begin my searches looking for the full name.  There was a little germ of an idea that wondered why someone make a point to write out the entire name, like maybe it was the usual way to refer to this young lady.  "Opal Louise, dinner's ready!"  

The hunch proved to be a good one because Opal Louise Hayes leaped right off the top of the search results and it was only minutes before I knew I had the right girl.  Opal Louise Hayes had applied for a passport when she was 33 years old and the passport provided not only a wealth of information but also a photo of an older version of the Opal Louise Hayes in my photograph.

Opal Louise Hayes was born May 4, 1889, in Macon, Missouri.  The passport application does not worry itself with information about her mother, but it establishes that her father was Daniel Joseph Hayes, born in Illinois but at the time of the application was living in New York City.    In the 1900 census the family is living in Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri.  Father Dan is shown as a "commercial" banker or traveler - the census taker's handwriting is atrocious.  Mother Elma is a music teacher.  Opal was apparently the only surviving child to be born to the couple.  By 1910 only Elma and Opal are in the household and Elma is shown as widowed.  However, if Dan was still living in New York City at the time Opal submitted her passport application in 1922, then I'm guessing there was a divorce or the couple were no longer living together for other reasons.

Opal attended Howard Payne College - not the one in Texas but one of the same name in Missouri.  She went on to teach music at Central College, which had merged with Howard Payne.  In the 1930 and 1940 census, she is living in residence at Central College and is shown as associate professor of music.  Apparently she never married.

The dean of music at Central College was another single career woman by the name of Nannie Louise Wright.  It appears that the two women were life-long friends and associates. They provided identification for each other on their respective passport applications and were preparing to travel to Europe on the ship Laconia, sailing from Boston on June 28, 1922.  They both listed their intentions to visit the British Isles, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.  Two musical ladies embarking on a grand tour of Europe.  I'm betting they had a marvelous time that summer.

The physical description of Opal Louise on her passport is interesting.  The usual notations of eye color (grey), hair color (medium brown), and complexion (brunette) were there, but what I found odd was the notation under distinguishing marks of "eyebrows".  The two photos above prove out that she had dramatically arched eyebrows.  One wonders if they were naturally or cosmetically sculpted.

The musical partnership of Nannie Louise Wright and Opal Louise Hayes as dean and associate professor is attested to on many occasions in the newspapers of the time. One of the earliest mentions I found was in the June 29, 1915, issue of the Moberly (Missouri) Weekly Monitor:  "At the 20th annual convention of Music Teachers in St. Joseph, The News Press contains the following mention of Miss Opal Louise Hayes, a Moberly girl now located at Fayette: 'A notable feature of the program was the group of four preludes and eight etudes by N. Louise Wright of Fayette, played by Miss Opal Louise Hayes, of Fayette, a pupil of the composer.  Miss Hayes is a remarkably accomplished pianist as regards both technique and interpretation and the compositions of her teacher also deserve the high praise which was accorded them by the teachers who heard the recital.'"

 The two women gave numerous concerts together.  The following appeared in the March 9, 1937, issue of the Sedalia (Missouri) Democrat.  Again, we see those arched eyebrows and quirky mouth.  Opal Louise looks a bit like the cat who ate the canary here. 

On October 15, 1940, the Moberly newspaper mentions that the two were entertaining the Moberly chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  The program consisted of 3 parts:  (1) compositions of Dr. Wright's, including a group of children's pieces; (2) compositions of Miss Hayes; and (3) preludes and waltzes which they dedicated to E. F. Swinney of Kansas City, who had donated a Conservatory of Music at Central College.  A few days later the two were playing duo piano numbers for the Moberly Music Club.

Both women wrote many original compositions and a quick Google search turned up sources for Opal Louise Hayes' musical pieces that are still available for purchase through Amazon and eBay.  There is a YouTube video of someone playing a piece written by Nannie Louise Wright.  Both women definitely left their musical mark on the world.

Nannie Louise Wright died in 1958 and is buried in Fayette, Missouri, where she lived most of her life.

Opal Louise Hayes was one of six alumni who were given distinguished alumni plaques by Central College on April 20, 1961.  An article published in her hometown Moberly's newspaper  to celebrate this honor included the following:

"A noted composer and dedicated music educator, Miss Hayes was born in Macon.  She studied at Washington University and Tulane University before entering Central college, where she earned the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.  In 1922 she traveled and studied abroad and in 1934 she took the Master of Arts Degree from Columbia University.

"Miss Hayes began her career as music educator at Howard-Payne College and in 1925 when that school was merged with Central she continued on the faculty as associate professor of piano and theory.  She retired in 1960 after 48 years of teaching.

"Miss Hayes has performed in numerous recitals in various cities, frequently presenting programs of her own compositions.  The most notable of these included recitals in Steinway Hall, New York; Sarasota, Fla., and at Intermont College, Bristol, W. Va.

"A tireless worker, she devoted much of her spare time to composition.  She has published more than 75 compositions for children in grades one to three, as well as a number of other works."

Oddly enough, I could find no obituary for Opal Louise Hayes, nor could I find any listing for her burial on FindAGrave.  From the Social Security Death Index I was able to determine that she died in February 1975.

I had no idea when I selected this particular photograph for research that I would end up with a role model.  I love finding success stories for other single career women.  I hope that little enigmatic smile that Opal Louise shows in her photos meant she was having a great time.


Monday, June 30, 2014

Uncle Floyd Everhart

I guess it is not too surprising that I am finding linked photos in my collection, considering that most of the photos that hit antique stores are purchased in lots at estate and garage sales.  Here is another example of discovering that my chosen photo for the day is connected to photos from three previous blog entries.

The photographer's stamp for this photo is Bryant, 103 Monroe St., Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I found two listings for W. D. Bryant at this address in the City Directories for Grand Rapids, in 1895 and 1897.

I had no problem finding Floyd Everhart in the census records and there were a few family trees that gave the vital statistics.  I found no scandal or dramatic stories and no military information or newspaper articles, so it appears that Floyd Everhart was just an average person who lived an average life.

Floyd Johnson Everhart was born April 11, 1855, in Wayland, Michigan, a twin to brother Ephraim about whom I could find nothing more than mention in a lineage book.  I suspect he may not have lived to maturity, for in 1870 I find the family living in Ottawa County, Michigan, with the following household members:  father Samuel, a wagon maker, age 40 and born in New York; mother Eliza (Child), age 32 and also born in New York; Floyd, age 15; Carrie, age 12; and George, age 6.

Floyd married twice, the first time on November 29, 1877, to Mary Josephine Gilbert.  (It is Mary Josephine who provides the connections to the other blog entries, see below.)  Some of the family trees submitted to Ancestry show a son George, but I found nothing to support this fact.  In 1880 Floyd's brother George is shown in the household with Floyd and Josephine and could have been confused for a child of the couple.  George is also enumerated in his father's household, but it is easy to see that the two Georges are the same person, being the same age and the same occupation of "varnisher".  Still, I was unable to locate Floyd in the 1900 census and by the time he reappears in 1910, any children could have been grown and out on their own, so it could very well be that he had a son he named for his younger brother.

The death records for Michigan reveal that Mary Josephine died on March 23, 1895, in Grand Rapids.  Four years later Floyd remarries on May 5, 1899, to Louisa Farr (who was entering her third marriage). Floyd and "Luella" are living in Grand Rapids in 1910, where Floyd is working as a grocer.  In 1920, Floyd and "Lula" have moved to Walker in the same county and Floyd has taken up farming.  Floyd died on August 2, 1928, in Wyoming, Kent County, Michigan.  I was not able to locate the cemetery where he was buried.

Now for the threads of connection within this blog.  Mary Josephine Gilbert was the daughter of Thomas and Deantha (Ackerman) Gilbert.   One of her brothers was Warren Joseph Gilbert, who was the first husband of Maude Bristol Gilbert Alexander Bush, whose story was told in Endurance.  It turns out that Julia Hunter, one of the photos discussed in Hunter Photos is also a Gilbert sibling.  There may be connections to the Haas Photos as well since as I mentioned elsewhere the handwriting on all of these photos is strikingly familiar.

Extraneous note and confession...I thought when I began to research Floyd's records that he  was going to prove to be connected with the preacher who ministered to the folks around McDade for years and years.  I dug out the pastor's obituary, confident that I was onto a solid connection, only to be reminded that the beloved minister was Eberhart and not Everhart.  Oh, well.


Friday, June 27, 2014

The Well Traveled Clergyman

I approached this photo with trepidation because I only had a surname and a Canadian location.  I had not done any research in Canadian records and wasn't sure when I began just what is online to work with.  I was relieved to discover there were plenty of records available to help me locate the correct gentleman.

I began by looking for information about the photographer, Wm. Craig, operating out of St. Catherines, Ontario.  I was able to pinpoint Mr. Craig's activity in St. Catharines to 1871.  Estimating that the gentleman pictured was about 40 years old, I began to search for a Rev. Brookman born about 1830.

The 1871 Canadian census listed a William Brookman, clergyman for the Church of England, residing in Ontario, age 42.  I felt like this was probably my man and further research made me even more confident.  In the Rev. Brookman's household was his wife Elizabeth, age 45, and five children.  Rev. Brookman and his wife were both born in England, as was their oldest daughter Ada, age 17.  The next two children, Catherine, age 15, and William, age 13, were born in India.  The youngest two, Helen, age 11, and Edith, age 9, were both in Canada.

I moved back to the 1861 census and found the family living in Dorchester in Southwestern Ontario.  I also found three members of the family listed again in Malahide Township.  I'm not sure of the rules for Canadian censuses, so I have no explanation for this odd occurrence.  The full family listing in the first instance adds the information that daughter Catherine was born in "Madrid" (which should have been Madras, India), son William, born in some completely illegible scrawl, and daughter Helen born in West Canada.  The second census entry gives only the father and daughters Ada and Catherine, with the notation that they normally reside in Dorchester.  I can only guess that the three were visiting or traveling and got caught by a census taker a second time.

At this point I went back to Ancestry and started looking for submitted family trees and found several.  The more I looked at these family trees, the more I was convinced that I had the right man.

William Brookman was born on May 20, 1829, in Hampshire, England, to parents William Sr. and Eliza Martha (Tate) Brookman.  William Jr. would marry three times.  His first marriage on October 20, 1853, occurred at St. Mary's in Lambeth, Surrey, England, to Elizabeth Jane Harvey.  It is the marriage to Elizabeth that produces all but one of his children.  Elizabeth was born November 21, 1824, in Dorset, England, gave birth to all the children listed above in the 1871 census, and died on June 25, 1872.  She is buried in the Trinity Anglican Cemetery in Morpeth, Ontario.

A few years later William married Julia Henrietta Ball on April 21, 1875, at St. Mark's in Niagara, Ontario.  Julia was 31 to William's 46 and was soon expecting Herbert.  Unfortunately both the baby and Julia died just days after his birth.  The baby, born on March 22, 1876, lived two days.  His mother died five days later on March 29th, a month before she would have celebrated her first wedding anniversary.

William married a third time on February 25, 1879, to Anna Cornwall at St. Andrew's in Grimsby, Ontario.  No one provided a death date for Anna but supposedly she is buried in St. Andrews Anglican Cemetery in Lincoln, Ontario.

Rev. Brookman's four daughters by Elizabeth all married, the two oldest at the Christ Church at St. Catherine's during his tenure there as rector.  Son William died in 1877 at the age of 18 or 19.  I was not able to find any information regarding his early death.

A short bio I found for Rev. Brookman states that he immigrated to Toronto in the late 1840s after a number of years in the East Indies.  He was an ordained minister in the Church of England, but left the Church to establish his own Church of the Baptized Believers.  Apparently he requested that his church be dissolved upon his death and his request was honored.

It appears that Rev. Brookman was a minister who was willing to lead his congregation in the building of new church buildings.  When he was rector of the St. John's Anglican Church (1858-1863), the construction of their building began in 1861 under his direction.  While Rev. Brookman was rector of the Christ Church at St. Catherines, a post he assumed in 1876 and left in 1880, the congregation began a new building which became the St. Thomas Church.

One of the earliest mentions I find for Rev. Brookman is in a history of a Canadian oil town named Petrolia.  During its early days, The Church of England first held services in Fletcher & Boswell's barroom.  The bar would be curtained off and the congregation would be seated facing away from it.  Rev. Brookman "the sailor preacher" would lead the services.

A Brooklyn, New York, newspaper mentions Rev. Brookman in a small article in September 1890, noting that he would be delivering a sermon on "The Resurrection Needful for Future Life" to a meeting of the Association For the Promotion of Christian Knowledge.  This would have been after he formed his own church, for the article also mentions that "Rev. William Brookman, pastor of an independent church at Toronto, Ontario, and for many years a Church of England clergyman" had stepped in as a substitute speaker, making an extemporaneous address to the group.

Rev. Brookman wrote at least two publications, one book sized and one booklet sized.  "The Destiny of Mankind" was published in 1899 and "The Future of the Non-Elect Dead, the Vast Majority of Mankind in All Ages" was published in 1906.

Rev. William Brookman died on April 5, 1907, in Toronto and is buried there in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.  His tombstone includes a large carving of an anchor to symbolize his long tenure as Chaplain to the Navy Veterans.