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Monday, February 4, 2019
City directories were published frequently, making them an important source of info during years that fall between the Census. There's some element of luck--are directories available for the town or city where an ancestor lived? Are the directories available for the years being researched? But when the answer to both questions is yes, directories are fabulous for showing who was there, at that time and place. Equally important, a directory can indicate who is NOT there.
I just used directories to help solve a long-standing family history mystery. It all started with the complicated marital affairs of my husband's grandfather, James Edgar Wood. As I wrote yesterday, he married Mary Slatter in 1898, and when she died in 1925, he married Alice Hopperton Unger. In the spring of 1928, James divorced Alice. Later that year, James married Carolina "Carrie" Foltz Cragg (an in-law of his nephew).
Looking for Carrie Wood's Listing
What became of Carrie? She wasn't with James when he died. In fact, his death cert says he was widowed, and lists his deceased wife as Mary (the first wife). The informant was James's oldest son, who presumably was aware of at least one of the two marriages after Mary Slatter Wood's death. Like I said, it was complicated. Anyway...
My next stop was the Census, where Carrie was shown with James in 1930 in Jackson, Michigan, the same city where they were married in 1928.
Next, I looked at the city directories for Jackson, Michigan. Carrie was listed with James up to the year 1933. See the entry, at top, for that year.
But Carrie was missing from James's listing in 1935 in Jackson. Where did she go?
The wonderful cousin who's our long-time Wood genealogist suggested I look in Toledo (where James was born and where one of Carrie's grown children lived) or Cleveland (that's where James died). I found no Carrie Wood in the Toledo city directory, not even in the household of her daughter and son-in-law, who were listed in the directories. Then I tried something different.
Breakthrough Via Carrie's Grown Children
I looked at Carrie's other two children in the 1930s. One was married in 1935 in Jackson, MI. His actual marriage license was available and when I looked closely, I noticed one of the witnesses was . . . Carrie, his mom! There was her address--in Toledo, living with a daughter. Carrie was missing from the Toledo city directory, but she was noted on her son's marriage license in Jackson, where she must have gone for the wedding.
Now I returned to Family Search and looked for the death of Carolina Wood in Toledo, Ohio, between 1935 and 1939. I chose 1939 as the end date because that was when James died.
Immediately, up popped the death certificate for Caroline Wood. She had been diagnosed with cancer in 1933 and died in October, 1935, in Toledo.
This is definitely the correct Carrie because her daughter is the informant and lists Carrie's father's name, country of birth, and so on. The details are a good match, except for the name being "Caroline" instead of "Carolina." Carrie's address at the time of her death was the same as that of her daughter, the informant. So when Carrie became ill, it seems she went to live with her daughter, who took care of her until her death.
And to think it was Carrie's absence from the Jackson city directories after 1933 that provided a crucial clue in the trail of research that led to finding her final resting place in Woodlawn Cemetery, Toledo.
Saturday, December 29, 2018
The recipient was Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957), Adelaide's nephew and Edith's first cousin on the Slatter side of the family. Wallis was my husband's uncle and we are so lucky to have been able to scan many of the colorful postcards he received from family during the early 1900s.
Happy new year 2019 to all!
Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Here I'm posting the front and back of a new year's card sent before 1915 to my husband's uncle, Wallis W. Wood (1905-1957), living in East Cleveland, Ohio. The sender was his first cousin in Toledo, Edith Eleanor Baker (1901-1989), daughter of Wallis's aunt, Ada Mary Ann Slatter Baker (1868-1947).
Happy genea-new year!
Thursday, November 16, 2017
The cousin sending the card was, I believe, Dorothy Louise Baker (1897-1981), daughter of Adelaide "Ada" Mary Ann Slatter Baker (1868-1947) and James Sills Baker (1866-1937). "Ada" was the sister of little Wallis's mother, Mary Slatter Wood (1869-1925). So this is one first cousin writing to another first cousin.
The card says: "Do not eat too much dinner tomorrow, Dorothy & Brother Garrett are going to have dinner with us tomorrow. From cousin Dorothy."
Was 13-year-old Dorothy Baker talking about cousins on her mother's side or her father's side? Either way, she knew this card would be read not by the recipient, who was barely in kindergarten, but by an adult. I'm sure the adult(s) knew exactly who Dorothy meant. Dorothy was a common name in the family, but not Garrett. I'm still investigating various possibilities.
I especially noticed the address, 12513 Lancelot Avenue in Cleveland. I took a virtual field trip to this address a few years ago and the house there still stands, looking much as it did when first built by James Edgar Wood (1871-1939), the father of the little boy who received this card 107 years ago.
Postcards like this show how valuable ephemera can be in understanding family dynamics from generations past. In the Wood and Slatter families, holiday greetings were sent for every possible occasion, from Easter and Christmas to New Year's and Halloween. Birthday cards were exchanged, too. The adults clearly wanted to be sure that youngsters in the next generation knew each other and stayed in touch!
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Toledo, Ohio. When she grew up, married, and moved away to Chicago, she remained an important part of the glue keeping the next generation in touch.
For every holiday, she would send her many nieces and nephews postcards with a loving message. She signed her cards from "Aunt Nellie," as she was affectionately known in the family.
Here's a Halloween greeting she sent to her middle nephew in Cleveland, asking whether he was still taking violin lessons (the answer was yes, at least at that point).
I shouldn't have been surprised to discover, after trying a few different searches, that she was buried in the Wood family plot of Forest Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio, where so many of her siblings were laid to rest.
The Find a Grave listing shows her as "Nellie Wood" but the photo shows her name as "Nellie Wood Kirby" and includes the inscription "Sister." RIP, Nellie, a beloved sister, aunt, and great-aunt in the Wood family, and be assured I'll ask for the memorial to be edited on your behalf. PS: Find a Grave is updated!
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Francis (known as Frank) showed his occupation as carpenter when he married Lottie Best in Toledo on June 25, 1913 (marriage cert is above). Frank and Lottie had three children (Francis Earl Wood Jr., Roy A. Wood, and Charlotte Alice Wood) from 1915 to 1919.
Sadly, Frank contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and died at age 37 the end of July, 1927, barely 14 years after his marriage. I've requested his obit from the Toledo public library, which generously offers to e-mail scans for free.
His death cert shows his occupation as interior decorator for Geo Roux, his employer. He and Lottie and their children were still living at home at 816 Clay Ave. in Toledo.
Cousin Frank is buried in Forest Cemetery in Toledo (Findagrave #132727886).
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
|Mary Amanda Demarest Wood, 1831-1897|
Remarkable Mary gave birth to 17 children, including a set of fraternal twins who sadly died of diphtheria at age 5. Before the Civil War, Mary, Thomas, and their growing family left Louisiana for a part of Virginia that became part of West Virginia after the war.
By 1870, the Woods had settled in Toledo, where the second half of their family was born. A full list of Mary's children (including hubby's grandpa, James Edgar Wood) is here. She later became a nurse, as well.
|Thomas Haskell Wood, 1809-1890|
Thank you to the Toledo Public Library, which will kindly e-mail obituaries for free on request from this search site.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Some were from aunts and uncles, some from cousins, some from friends.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
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!