Showing posts with label James Edgar Wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Edgar Wood. Show all posts

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sepia Saturday: The Mysterious "Grandma" in Cleveland

On Sepia Saturday, I'm posting this colorful 1905 holiday postcard, another in the series sent to my husband's uncle (Wallis Walter Wood, 1905-1957) in Cleveland, Ohio, during the early 1900s. This card isn't just beautiful, it's informative and mysterious.

Informative because it provides yet another address for my hubby's grandparents, James Edgar Wood (1871-1939) and Mary Slatter Wood (1869-1925). I believe 7203 Duluth Street in Cleveland was the site of a home built by James, one of many he constructed "on spec" and then sold, moving on to build another house nearby.

Mysterious because the front has the greeting From "Grandma" and yet Wallis had no living grandparents at that point. So who was Grandma?

One clue: This pretty postcard was dropped into a mailbox early on the morning of Christmas Eve, as the postmark shows. None of Wallis's aunts (by blood or marriage) lived in the area, so they couldn't have sent this.

Another clue: Wallis's name is spelled correctly. That means his Aunt Rachel "Nellie" Wood Kirby (1864-1954) didn't send it. She never spelled his name correctly, in a decade or more of mailing him cards for every holiday, and this isn't her handwriting.

So my guess is this Sepia Saturday postcard was from an old family friend living nearby, or a close friend from church, or a more distant (older) relative who doted on toddler Wallis.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Timelines, Family Trees, and James & Mary's Wedding Day

My local genealogy club was lucky enough to recently host a talk by genealogy/history expert Laura Prescott. She spoke about "Timelines: Placing Your Heritage in Historical Perspective."

Among the many things I took away from that presentation was the idea of creating timelines to show my ancestors in the context of their family's events and local/national/international events. Laura mentioned free sites like (A wonderful find!)

She also mentioned that we have the ability to publish timelines, among other things, using Ancestry and the family tree data we've already posted. I'd never looked at that "Publish" button along the top row of the Ancestry home page. Pushing "publish" started me on the easy process of printing an 18 x 24 inch poster for my hubby's siblings, showing the four main families that correspond to each of their grandparents. (If you don't want to buy the tree poster, you can still print it free on your home printer--I did that too.)

Along the way, I enlisted hubby's help proofreading the family tree before we published the poster. He noticed I was missing an exact month and date for his grandpa's marriage.

In another browser window, I opened Family Search and quickly found an updated database of Ohio marriages. Info that wasn't indexed or digitized a year ago has been put online! (My lesson: Keep searching for those elusive ancestors or events--eventually new clues will present themselves.)

With just a couple of clicks, we now have the marriage document of James E. Wood of Toledo and his bride, Mary Slatter, who were married on 21 September 1898. All because we wanted to put together a family tree poster (see below).

The poster points up a glaring hole in the tree: We still don't know the parents of Mary Amanda Demarest. Cousin Larry has been on her trail for decades.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Who WAS Louisa A. M. Slatter, d. 1895?

She's still a mystery, this Louisa A. M. Slatter who married John Slatter Sr. (hubby's g-grandfather) sometime between 1891 and 1895. 

I've yet to find out when/where John Slatter Sr's first wife died--she was Mary Shehen Slatter, b. 1840 in Marylebone, Middlesex, England. John was born in 1838 in Oxfordshire, England. John & Mary's children moved to Canada and the US, and by the late 1880s, John had moved to Cleveland, where his daughter, Mary, later married James Edgar Wood. I speculate that John (a wallpaper cleaner and hanger) met James Edgar Wood (a builder) in Cleveland and that's how Mary met her husband (and became hubby's grandparents).

But now back to Louisa, who's an unknown. Her obit appeared in the Cleveland papers on February 26, 1895. It reads:
Slatter. Louisa A. M. Slatter, wife of J. Slatter, at 2 a.m., February 24, age 46. Funeral from residence, No. 433 1/2 St. Clair St, at 2 p.m., City time, Tuesday, February 26. Chosen friends invited. Cincinnati papers please copy.
So what do I know about Louisa? According to the cemetery record, Louisa was white, a native of England, and died of Brights disease. When John Slatter Sr. died, he was buried next to her.

I've tried calling, writing, and e-mailing the Cuyahoga County clerk's office asking about whether a death cert exists for Louisa Slatter. In the past, I've had good luck with them, but this time, after 6 months of intermittent requests, no response (perhaps because no record exists in their files). Nor have I ever located a marriage record for Louisa and John. I'm going to try to find some connection with Cincinnati, given the obit's mention of it.

Any other ideas about how to learn more about Louisa? Please let me know! And many thanks.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday Mystery: James & Alice Wood's divorce

Yesterday I learned that James Edgar Wood, hubby's paternal gfather, was married to Alice Hopperton Unger in 1926. Alice had previously been married and divorced (by 1919) but kept her Unger name until she married James.

Edgar (my father-in-law) told my hubby during an interview in 1983 that he thought his father James had "got a housekeeper and he married her." Edgar kept his distance after that. But clearly James's life took some other turn, because he was married to Caroline Cragg by the time of the 1930 Census.

What happened in between? Apparently, Alice and James were divorced sometime between 1926 and 1930. My best guess is they were divorced around 1929, because James seems to have gone to Jackson, Michigan in 1929, but more sleuthing is required. By the time Alice died (at only 46), she had assumed the "Unger" name once again (see below).

Alice died on April 5, 1930 in Cleveland. The informant was Mrs. Brinker, Alice's sister (see obit abstract, below, from the Cleveland Necrology file).

d#: 0369015
Name: Unger, Alice
Date: Apr 6 - 1930
Source: Source unknown;  Cleveland Necrology File, Reel #081.
Notes: Unger: Alice, beloved daughter of Mrs. Rachel Hopperton and sister of Edward F., George C., Frank J., Mrs. H. O. Brinker, Mrs. O. C. Hughes, and the late Arthur S. Hopperton, Saturday morning. Funeral Monday, April 7, 1930, at 2:30 p. m., from the home of her brother, George C. Hopperton, 2106 Overbrook Road, Lakewood.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Surprise: Grandpa Wood's 2d marriage

This morning I followed one of Ancestry's "hints" and discovered a relationship that nobody in the family even suspected: James Edgar Wood's second marriage to Alice Hopperton Unger, on 1 September 1926, in Cleveland, OH. James was hubby's paternal grandpa.

This is definitely the correct James E. Wood--all the details fit. His first wife, Mary Slatter Wood, had died on 24 April 1925. So who was Alice and how did they meet?

BTW, sometime later, James married a 3d time, to Caroline (Carey) Cragg, the mother-in-law of James's nephew, a match the family helped to arrange. The couple lived in Jackson, MI at the time of the 1930 Census.

Obviously I now have to find out what happened to Alice between 1926 and 1930. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Workday Wednesday: James Edgar Wood, Cleveland Builder

Hubby's grandfather, James Edgar Wood, was a builder in Cleveland. He married Mary Slatter, one of my brick walls (I can't find her city/town of birth in England or what became of her siblings in Canada, but that's an old story by now).

James Edgar Wood's simple but effective plan was to build a home, move his growing family into it, and finish the details while framing another home, which he then moved into...wash, rinse, repeat.

Recently, my sis-in-law sent me a series of addresses in and around Cleveland, Ohio where James and Mary lived from 1907 to 1918, taken from correspondence. He was clearly expanding his business during this period!

1907-8:  7203 Duluth St (Ave?), Cleveland
1909:  1401 E. 112 Street, Cleveland
1909-10:  1405 E. 112 Street, Cleveland (they lived here during the 1910 Census)
1910:  12600 Penobsot Ave (?), Cleveland
1911-12:  12513 Lancelot Ave., Cleveland
1913:  637 Hayden Ave., East Cleveland
1914:  456 E. 124 Street, Cleveland
1914-6:  12310 Locke Ave, Cleveland
1918:  2556 Idlewood Rd, Cleveland Heights

Because of this list, I was able to match a previously unidentified photo of one of James Wood's homes to a specific address and year. Here's the photo, followed by the Google maps photo of today.

This is clearly 12513 Lancelot Avenue in Cleveland, where the family lived from 1911-2. Hot dog! A small victory. Undoubtedly the two boys in the older photo are my hubby's Dad, Edgar James Wood, who at about 8 was the oldest of four sons at the time of this photo, and Wally, second-oldest at about 6 years old. (The other two Wood children were younger: John was about 3 at the time of this photo, and Ted was an infant.)

Grandfather James would be delighted to know that his well-built home is still standing and quite recognizable.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Surname Saturday: Still Seeking the Slatters

Mary Slatter (born in England) married James Edgar Wood on September 21, 1898 in Lucas County, Ohio. Mary and Edgar are my husband's paternal grandparents. Mary's parents are, supposedly, John and Mary Slatter.

Grandma Mary Slatter's obit, dated April 26, 1925, mentions that she was the "sister of Mrs. James F. Baker, John, Albert and Harry Slatter of Canada."

I'm trying to trace Mary and her siblings. One of the artifacts that my late father-in-law had in his possession was this card showing the location of the grave of John Slatter.

No city is mentioned, but the "union stamp" at lower left mentions Cleveland, Ohio. Now all I have to do is look for the death cert of a John Slatter Sr. who died in Cleveland on Aug 12 and was buried on Aug 15, 1901 or look up all the cemeteries in the area that have sec. 75, tier 6, grave 2. According to the Cleveland Public Library, John died at the home of his daughter at 242 Lake Street, aged 65.

Next week I'm going to the local Family History Center for a little help and to use their World Ancestry to look for Mary and John. Meanwhile, I'm still seeking the Slatters who came from England and settled in Canada. Do you know any Slatter descendants looking to connect?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Toledo Nuptials for Wood and Slatter

Hubby's grandfather, James Edgar Wood, married hubby's grandmother, Mary Slatter, on September 21, 1898 in Toledo, Ohio (see cert at left).

James Edgar Wood, born in Toledo, was a builder whose carpentry talents I showed off in photos on a Talented Tuesday.

Mary Slatter's family history is a mystery. According to the 1900 Census, she came to the US in 1895. How, where, and when did she meet her future husband?

According to her death cert, Mary was born in London to John Slatter and Mary Sheehan. Her 1925 obit says she had three brothers (Harry, John, and Albert Slatter) and a sister (Mrs. James F. Baker). Her family appears to have come through Canada. Obviously my next step is to check out potential relatives in Canada!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Talented Tuesday: James Edgar Wood, Cleveland Builder

James Edgar Wood, hubby's paternal grandfather, was a builder in Cleveland, Ohio. He would often build a home, move his family in as he finished the inside, and start on another home.

Once the next home was built, he'd sell the one he was living in and move to the newer home. My late father-in-law remembers living in a succession of homes as a child.

James built homes on Wood Road in Cleveland, named after him.

In photo at top left, you can just make out the sign that says "James E. Wood, Carpenter and Builder." That's him at the front gate, next to his wife, Mary Slatter Wood. I'm tracing the Slatters right now, as noted in yesterday's Military Monday posting.

Photo at bottom left probably shows two of James Edgar Wood's four sons standing in front of a house their father built, but since it's undated, we're not sure which two.