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.