Tuesday, September 16, 2014

52 Ancestors #38: Mayflower Ancestors on Mayflower Day

This is Mayflower Day and my post is in honor of four of hubby's ancestors, who were passengers on that ship:

Isaac Allerton, Mary Norris, Mary Allerton, and Degory Priest. 

Mary Allerton married Thomas Cushman, who arrived on the Fortune. Mary Allerton Cushman's son Eleazer Cushman married Elizabeth Royal Coombs, great-granddaughter of Degory Priest, linking these two families from the Mayflower.

Several generations later, Lydia Cushman married Elihu Wood Sr., father of Isaiah Wood Sr.. Isaiah was hubby's 2d g-granddaddy on the Wood side.

The Wood fam genealogist was in England two months ago. He visited the Mayflower Pub, formerly owned by Captain Jones, and wrote me:
"They talk of the Mayflower departure as if it is current events. There is a very different perspective on history over there. 1620 was recent history."
Thankful for the Mayflower on this September 16th.

Friday, September 12, 2014

52 Ancestors #37: Annie Horwitch, Manchester to Montreal After Marriage


My grand-uncle Abraham Birk/Burke (1878-1962) was born in Telsiai, Lithuania; married in Manchester, England; and died in Montreal, Canada.

Abraham's bride, who became my grand-aunt, was Annie Horwitch (or Horowitz). She's listed in their marriage record as "Annie Hurwitch" of Cheetham, Manchester, England, daughter of a teacher, Moses Hurwitch.

When Annie was 19, her Russian-born father Moses completed the naturalization process and was given UK citizenship. (Happily, the UK documents also give Moses's parents' names!)

Annie's courtship came about because Abraham and his younger brother Isaac (hi grandpa!) Birk had left Lithuania and were living with their uncle and aunt in Manchester for a time. The brothers worked, saved money, learned a little English, and planned for a future in North America.

The uncle in Manchester was Isaac Chazan (one of the witnesses to Annie's marriage). The aunt, who was very probably the blood relative, was Ann Hinda (Hannah) Chazan. Her maiden name was either Meton or Mahler. (The UK records say "Meton" but a handwritten family tree says "Mahler." If it turns out to be Mahler, that means my grandparents Isaac and Henrietta were cousins in some way...maybe it was even an arranged marriage?!)

Anyway, Annie and Abraham married in Cheetham in June, 1903. A little more than a year later, they welcomed their first child--and Abraham soon sailed for Montreal to establish his carpentry business. In 1905, just weeks before Annie's second wedding anniversary, she and her infant daughter were reunited with Abraham in Montreal. They had four children in all and were together for nearly 45 years. Abraham outlived Annie and was a guest, along with his children, at my parents' wedding, standing in for his late brother Isaac who had died a few years earlier.



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

52 Ancestors #36: Margaret McClure "Stricken with Grippe . . . Until Life Became Extinct"

Hubby's great-grandma, Margaret Jane Larimer McClure (1859-1913), the daughter of Brice S. Larimer and Lucy E. Bentley, outlived her husband by more than 30 years.

Born in Elkhart, Indiana, Margaret married William Madison McClure in October, 1876. After great-grandpa Willy died in 1887, Maggie moved to Wabash, Indiana, with three of her four children (Lola, Lucy, and Hugh Benjamin).

The photo above shows Maggie with her daughter Lucy (Lucille) and Lucy's husband, John Everett De Velde.

As a member of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, I can conveniently search databases like Newspaper Archive from home. So I plugged Maggie's name into the search box for Wabash, IN, and found her obit in the Wabash Daily Plain Dealer of May 15, 1913--the day she died.

According to the obit, Maggie was "stricken with grippe" a few days before her death, "which later developed into a complication of diseases and caused her to grow gradually weaker until life became extinct." Rest in peace.

Monday, September 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #35: Did Abbie Eliza Bentley Cross the (State) Line to a Gretna Green?

Hubby's 2d great-grand aunt Abbie Eliza Bentley (1832-1893) was born in upstate New York [town unknown] and married Leonard Lucien Curtis (1823-1905) in Cass County, Michigan, in 1848.

Why was Abbie Bentley married in Cass County, when she lived in Elkhart? Cass County (bounded by the red dashed lines) was just over the state line from Abbie's home in Elkhart, as the map shows.

Abbie's pioneer parents, William Tyler Bentley and Olivia Morgan Bentley, left New York for Elkhart, Indiana in 1835, when Abbie was just 3. In 1838, Olivia died, and in 1848, widower William took off for California to join the land rush.

Perhaps Abbie crossed into Cass County because it was a Gretna Green--a place where marriages could take place without lengthy waiting periods, or because her father was already in California and couldn't give his consent to a marriage in Indiana?

The 1850 Census shows Abbie living in Elkhart, with her blacksmith husband Leonard Curtis and their oldest daughter, Henrietta, very near Abbie's older sister Elizabeth and her carpenter husband, Emanuel Light.

By 1851, Abbie and Elizabeth and other siblings (and their spouses) were loading wagons for the long trek west to join their father in California. Sisters Lucy and Lucinda stayed behind in Elkhart.

Abbie died in 1893 in Santa Cruz, CA, having been married to Leonard Curtis for 45 years.

Friday, September 5, 2014

52 Ancestors #34: Rachel Shuham Jacobs--Granny of 13, Great-Granny of 8+

Rachel and a Mahler granddaughter (before 1910)
My 2d great-grandma, Rachel Shuham Jacobs (?-1916), was the Russian- (or Latvian-) born matriarch of my father's family. She lived to see 13 grandchildren and at least 8 great-grandkids--with even more great-grandkids born after she died.

Rachel and her husband Julius/Jonah Jacobs had two children (that I know of): My great-grandma, Tillie Jacobs (1857?-1952), and my grand-uncle, Joe Jacobs (1864-1919). Joe left home in 1882, arriving in New York to scout out possibilities for the family.

Rachel was widowed sometime before 1886, when she came to New York with her daughter Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Tillie's growing family. 

If only the 1890 Census hadn't burned up, I'd know a bit more about Rachel and her children and grandchildren. The first and only Census record I have for Rachel is in 1900, when she's living in the 88 Christie Street apartment of her daughter Tillie and son-in-law Meyer Mahler. Down the hall, in the same building, lived Rachel's son Joe Jacobs and his family.

I'll keep looking for Rachel in the 1905 NY Census, but so far, no luck. Another avenue to explore is the New York City directory for Manhattan. Maybe her name will be listed for some year between 1887 and 1916?

According to Rachel's granddaughter Ida, who kept a detailed book of names and dates, Rachel died in December of 1916. Alas, I've never been able to find Rachel's burial place or even a death cert. I came close once or twice, and I'll keep looking. Meanwhile, here's to you, Matriarch Rachel!

Monday, September 1, 2014

52 Ancestors #33: Mary Shehen of London, a Family Link to Ireland

Ancestry Images (www.ancestryimages.com)
Mary Shehen (b. in London abt 1839, died there before 1888) was hubby's great-grandma and one of his links to Ireland.

Her parents, Mary and John Shehen (or Shehan or Sheehan) were both born in Ireland around 1801. It's a mystery how and when they arrived in London, but there they were in the 1841 UK Census, in Gray's Buildings in Marylebone. At that time, the family consisted of Thomas (7), our Mary (3), and Michael (8 mos). Mary Shehen's birth was registered in the second quarter of 1840, yet the 1841 Census shows her as 3 years old. Hmmm...

On December 18, 1859, a Sunday just a week before Christmas, Mary married John Slatter in Spitalfields Christ Church, located in the Whitechapel area of London. She and her new husband moved into Whitechapel, while her parents remained in Marylebone, five miles away.

Mary and John Slatter had six children. The family was quite poor, and the five youngest children left for North America after they grew up. I'm still trying to determine what happened to the oldest child, Thomas John Slatter. He's 1 year old in the 1861 census but missing from the family household in the 1871 census and ever after.


HOWEVER, there's an intriguing possibility in the 1871 census, where a "Thomas Slatter, grandson" is living in the living in the household of John and Sarah Shuttleworth, along with a granddaughter with a different surname. The Shuttleworth household is barely 3 miles from the Slatter household. Could this be our Thomas John Slatter? He's the correct age in 1871. The Shuttleworth name is new to me, not anywhere in the family tree--yet.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday's Faces from the Past: Minnie, Teddy, and Mary Celebrate in the 1950s

I found this photo quite unexpectedly while scanning photos from my grandparents'  album, assembled by my mother about 40-odd years ago.

Sometime in the 1950s, my grandparents Minnie Farkas Schwartz and Teddy Schwartz were at an unknown family celebration, and Teddy's sister Mary Schwartz was also invited.

Possibly this is from Minnie and Teddy's 45th wedding anniversary in 1956, given that Minnie has a corsage and is quite dressed up. Or it might be Minnie and Teddy's retirement in Spring, 1955, after they sold "Teddy's Dairy Store" to Teddy's assistant, John.

Did Mary's husband Ed take the photo? Who else was at the event? I'm delighted to have this memento of a very happy occasion in my immigrant grandparents' lives.