A Tale of Many Sisters: Finding Emma Carter’s Mother June 11th, 2012
Most of the times, my genealogy days turn into a long day of entering information into my family tree program of choice. I love the record keeping part of genealogy. The one part I didn’t realize I enjoyed so much is the mystery-solving aspect. Every so often, I can’t be satisfied with just entering names and dates and making lists of places to search newspapers for. Every once and awhile, there are members of my family that just jump out and say investigate me more!
Emma Carter was one of these people. Emma first showed up in the 1870 Census, living with Rachel Miller-Carter and her family. Emma was listed as being 8 years old. That presented a problem to me. Rachel’s husband, Levi Carter passed away in March of 1860. So was Emma an illegitimate child of Rachel’s? Rachel was listed as being 52 years old in 1870, so I was a little doubtful of that. I next started wondering about Rachel’s daughters. She had four daughters and three that were living with her in 1870: Betsy, Sina, Eliza. I eliminated Hannah, the married daughter because I had her tracked through my life. She is my 3rd Great Grandmother. If she was Hannah’s daughter, I would have either known about it already, or I wasn’t going to find out by my usual means. So I decided to eliminate her for now, but not permanently.
I jumped ahead to the 1880 Census, the first one to show relationships, to see what that would bring me in the way of information.
Luckily for me Emma was still living with her in the same household in the 1880 US Census. So now I know that Rachel is in fact Emma’s grandmother. From this information, I still don’t know who Emma’s mother is. The next step was to follow the daughters and Emma to see where they end up. Luckily for me some Brown County records are online at FamilySearch. I was a little worried about the 20 year gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses. So I decided to try and see if there was a marriage record for any of Rachel’s daughters first. There was not. Then on a whim, I searched for a marriage record for Emma Carter.
I was in luck to have found a marriage record for 1881! Now I had a place to search for Emma in 1900, but I couldn’t be sure this was my Emma without further evidence.
There are a few problems with this record, like Sina being listed as male (she wasn’t), and that she was widowed. I still haven’t found a marriage record for Sina, so I can’t confirm or deny that fact. What’s interesting is she is listed as a servant in the household instead of as a relation. So by this record, I’m still not sure who Emma Carter’s mother is, but I am positive the above marriage record fits with my Emma Carter. So I will follow Emma’s family into the next census to see what that brings.
The 1910 Census answers all the questions that I first had and gives me two more. The question I had answered is the identity of Emma Carter’s mother. That I know is Sina Carter. However I now have two questions: Where is Emma Carter if Sina has 2 living children in 1910? Who is the second child, Lewis maybe?
Anatomy of a WWI Uniform November 12th, 2010
So yesterday, my father impressed me with his instant knowledge of the uniform Ralph Leonard was wearing. So impressed, that I asked him to help a girl out and tell us all how he knew exactly what was going on.
1. His first clue was the anchor on the color. That tells him Navy.
2. The second thing he saw was the Marine emblem on that (I was right about that!). He says that most likely Ralph was attached to a Marine unit while he was serving.
3. The third thing he saw was the gold braiding around Ralph’s wrists and hat. This designates officers.
4. Lastly he knew it was WWI era by his gut instinct or the style of the uniform. Is that a scientific or technical answer? Of course not, but he was right and in the end that counts.
It Suckered Us All In October 26th, 2010
As I was writing up yesterday’s Mystery Monday post, I was reminded of the single, most consuming mystery I’ve ever had. It started when I first started going through the boxes of treasures/photographs/papers. When I first started scanning the photographs into my computer, I just labeled them UnknownMooreThorward-01 and so on. Funny enough, years after solving this mystery and they’re still named that.
This is the photo that launched the hours, months, years of frustration. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a tiny bit. It did take me years to solve this though. I would pick it up every few months and try again. I don’t know why I was so struck by this picture. I was just so curious about this building.
At one of our reunions, I brought the picture up on my laptop and asked around. Many members of my family chimed in. No one really knew where it was though. We dissected it many times. We were analyzing the routes that the cars were taking. My father thought he saw a crane in the back and chimed in that it was probably a temporary structure. I scoffed at that! Who would tear that kind of building down! That was nonsense!
A few months later I stumbled upon this photograph among the others. This one doesn’t show the structure very well, but it gives a bit more detail among the pillars. This one was taken on a different day I think. Here you can see something draped between the pillars and you can see what looks like balloons!
This set our family on all new tangents. My Aunt even showed the picture to some of her customers and got their input. We researched everything from European architecture to the Sesqui-centennial celebration of 1926 in Philadelphia. I went so far as to order a program on eBay from the event and even emailed the Boston Historic Society! No stone was unturned. Then one day I found a genealogy community online. I decided why not see what happens and I posted the first picture. In a twist of fate that is very common to me, someone posted back within a few hours!
This may sound silly and redundant, but have you checked out Victory Arches?
Silly me, I didn’t even know what a victory arch was! So I quickly put my Google-fu to the test! Here’s a simple Google Image search of Victory Arches. Holy canoli, I was back on track!
I was eventually led to an expired eBay auction for this item. In fact, if you search for it today, there are even more images now! It turns out my structure was an Arch of Victory that was erected to welcome the troops home from WWI.
Arch of Victory at Madison Square, New York City, with men of the Twenty-seventh (New York) Division marching in a victory parade that was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of cheering spectators. The city turned out in masse to do them honor, and they received a tremendous ovation along the line of march. The avenue was packed from buildings to curbs.
This is why I love the internet. It took two years, and many hours of research for this huge family mystery to be solved by one poster on an internet message board. We spent many a hour at reunions discussing what this structure could be. My Dad always maintained that it was probably temporary. Well, you can bet he had bragging rights for a long time on this one!
It’s funny how different the street looks today, yet it still looks the same. I don’t know if you can tell from the size of the images but the buildings from the original photograph seem to all still be standing and look almost exactly the same!
I love to torture myself now. Sure one mystery was solved but that leads to more questions! Was my family in the hundreds of thousands of people welcoming the troops home? Were any of my relatives one of the troops being welcomed home? Gosh I love a good story!
Goodbye Brickwall, hopefully August 9th, 2010
It came yesterday! Well technically it came on Saturday. We usually get Saturday’s mail when we’re out getting Sunday’s paper. It’s just the way we work it. I can’t believe this baby was in the mailbox all night and I didn’t know it! I ordered this record online on August 1st. I was prepared to wait 4 to 6 weeks like normal. I can’t believe it’s already here.
I have to move past that though and actually look at the record. It was two pages. In fact I was very familiar with the format of it because I’ve been transcribing some marriage records like this for FamilySearch indexing in my spare time. The first page was a bit harder to read but it does give me a few things. It gives me the marriage date of 23 Apr 1896. So now I know that Robert married just 6 months before his mother passed away. It also gives the witness to wedding, one Sarah T Adams. Since the person marrying Robert and Mary was named J S Adams, I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say Sarah was his wife.
Now onto the page pictured on the left. The address of 1845 Broadway is actually new. I hadn’t seen that one. Looking it up on Google though, it’s not out of the circle that the Moores lived in during their time in Brooklyn and it’s almost right next to the cemetery where they would bury Robert’s mother in 6 months. Robert’s occupation as an Insurance Agent is nothing new to me. He definitely did that for awhile. Father was William H Moore. Still all good information. Oh wait, there it is. Mother’s Maiden Name. I won’t keep this from you. When it comes to finding out this woman’s maiden name I have the worst luck in the world. When I got the record out of the envelope, I was so scared to even look for this section. Imagine my surprise when it wasn’t blank! It’s always blank! Not this time though. Looks like her maiden name was Starret. I could be wrong but it’s definitely a starting point!
Now lets move onto Mary E Johnson. The only things I’d known about her was what was listed on censuses and William’s (her son) birth certificate. The residence of 196 Macon Street, Brooklyn definitely gives me a starting point for her. Imagine looking for Mary E Johnson in Brooklyn, with parents born in Ireland. Now we move down the record to her parents. Oh! Oh! I’m just going to cry now, both her parents are listed. Arthur Johnson as her father and Annie Moffot (?) as her mother! Of course, if anyone has better ideas for the mother’s name, just let me know. I’m open to discussion.
I did a quick search of Arthur Johnson with a wife Annie. Believe it or not, the best matches came to a family living in Babylon, New York in 1870 and 1880. I want to look in the New York State Censuses before I rush to judgement though. I especially want to look in the 1892 one. That would be 4 years before this marriage, so I would imagine that would be my best chance of a good match!
Mystery Monday: Unknown Boys June 21st, 2010
Usually a Monday post would be something randomly thought up by myself, or it would have something to do with Madness Monday at GeneaBloggers. There is certainly enough madness to go around today. I’m deep into my 2010 Cleanup (Personal and Genealogy). On the genealogy front, I need to shape up my website a bit more in the design area. I would like a seamless transition between the main site and the blog. All my issues will be addressed in my next re-design. I just have to be patient enough to let them be for awhile!
Getting back on subject, since I don’t want to bore you guys with constant website nitpicking. I decided that since I have 1,000,000,000.9 unsolved photo mysteries, why not showcase one every Monday. Maybe someday, a person will come along that can help me solve it. It’s also a great way for me to let my extended family see a lot of these photos!
Mystery Monday #001
Clicking on the photo will open the full size version.
The background behind this photo is… nothing. There was nothing written on the back, there isn’t a group of photos anything like it. This photo is just thrown into the box of treasure. It’s not from my Mom’s side, so that puts it in the New Jersey, New York side of the family. Of course, that side came from Ireland, England, and Germany. So your guess is as good as mine about the origin of this photo.