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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in franks (7)

Wednesday
Jun082011

* Wedding Wednesday : Married In Spite of her Father

News From the Suburbs: Married in Spite of Her Father

 

What great vintage gossip! This rule breaking bride is my gg grandmother. I guess even in 1887 gossip found it's way into the public eye. This article was sent to me by a fellow researcher, thank you Charles!!

 

 

"Social circles on Jersey City Heights, and especially the members of the South Bergen Reformed Church, are interested in a wedding which took place Saturday evening at Asbury Park. The bride, Miss Virgnia Wentworth Franks, was a school teacher living with her father at No. 173 Bergen Ave. She was active in church work. About three years ago she became acquainted with Thomas Middleton, and an engagement soon followed. The young woman's father positively refused to sanction the projected marriage because Mr. Middleton had been divorced. All the other members of the family sympathized with the couple. On Saturday Mr. Middleton, Miss Franks, her brother, Mortimer Franks, and some friends were at Asbury Park and it was decided that three years were long enough to defer to the prejudices of the father. The Rev. Mr Battin was hunted up and the couple were married, Mortimer Franks giving the bride away. They will at once go to housekeeping in a pretty little cottage in Ocean Ave, which has been handsomely furnished by Mr. Middleton."

I wonder what Virginia thought of this being published!! Did she ever think that I, her gg granddaughter, would be reading it!?

The groom, Thomas Middleton, is a very mysterious character in my family tree. I have connected with my grandmother's cousin who has also extensively researched the family tree and he is facing the same brick wall. I know he was born in England, purchased a house in East Orange, NJ 1896 (I have the paperwork), and died in 1910. And now that he was married/divorced to someone before Virginia Franks. The 1900 census lists his arrival year as 1884, so was his first wife in England? Did they have kids? ahhh more questions...

Connecting with family members is HUGE! DO IT! If you don't know of anyone, find them! Charles and I share gggg grandparents and I found him very randomly. He had posted a query on a message board and when I googled my gggg grandparents names I found him. He had letters and had done a lot of research. We have been able to exchange a bunch of really great information and details. Not to mention, I have 3 daguerreotype's from the Franks family and he had 3 or 4 from the same generation! How about that.

I'll take what I can get, I've learned to focus on the details. Sometimes it can be the smallest detail that leads you down a path to copious amounts of information. If nothing else, this article gives me a fuller understanding of their life experiences. I'm sure glad I wasn't there when he father found out! 

Tuesday
May242011

* when examining family pictures, take time to smell the roses...

Spend a few extra minutes examining your family pictures. Look closer at the background details (location, buildings, furniture, etc). You might discover new details leading you to solve a mystery or better understand the significance of a picture. In the case of this flowery picture, it was a mystery! A label on the back gave me some clues, but for the longest time I couldn't make a connection with anyone in my tree. The back of the picture tells me this is Alice and Frank Robinson, they lived in Livingston NJ, and they were cousins of my great grandfather Wentworth Middleton. After months away from looking at this picture I randomly realized I had all of the information right in front of me!

Click to read more ...

Monday
May022011

Planning a Maine Genealogy Trip - researching my Wentworth and Tarbox Ancestors 

I'm in pursuit of my Maine roots!

In preparation for a June trip to the Portland, Maine area; I have been digging into my Wentworth and Tarbox ancestors. I'm looking for burial locations, residences, churches, and any other historical or genealogical points of interest to visit and check records. First step: who am I looking for?

My Wentworth ancestry....

The Wentworth surname has been a very prominent name in my family tree. My Wentworth line begins with Elder William Wentworth, born in England abt 1607 and came to the United States in abt 1636. He originally settled in Dover, NH. In the early 1700's the family moved to South Berwick in York County, Maine. The family migrated to Buxton and then Biddeford and Saco in York County, Maine.

I've found that many of my Wentworth ancestors are surprisingly well documented in published genealogy books, historical publications, and church records due to their connection to Elder William Wentworth. But it's been very tricky! Elder William Wentworth has MANY descendants and many common names have been passed down, making it tricky to decipher which Wentworth is being referenced. For more information re: descendants of Elder William Wentworth, check out "A Genealogical and Biographical Account of the Descendants of Elder William Wentworth".

After generations of Wentworth male ancestors in my line, the surname is dropped from my tree when my 4x great grandmother Tamar Dearborn Wentworth married Nathan Tarbox. The surname name was dropped, but it wasn't forgotten! In the 13 generations of my direct descendance from Elder William Wentworth, the name Wentworth can be found in all but 2 of the 13 generations! My grandmother and I being the only 2 without this name.

Elder William Wentworth...Timothy Wentworth...Samuel Wentworth...Samuel Wentworth...Ebenezer Wentworth...Ebenezer Wentworth...Tamar Dearborn Wentworth...Georgianna Wentworth Tarbox...Virginia Wentworth Franks...Wentworth Middleton...Marjorie Middleton...David Wentworth Wright...ME!

I find that amazing! It's like the Wentworth name has been woven into my family tree, connecting it's legacy with the future surnames found in my tree. One item of curiosity is the origin of Tamar Dearborn Wentworth's namesake...no Tamar's or Dearborn's in sight.

My Tarbox Ancestry...

I really don't know too much about this line! My 4x great grandfather was Nathan or Nathaniel Tarbox and he lived in Biddeford, Maine. He was born abt. 1811 and Died May 1891 Biddeford, Maine.

He had 2 children: Granville Tarbox and a daughter through which I descend, Georgianna Wentworth Tarbox. She was born June 1840 in Biddeford, Maine and died Oct 1895 in Jersey City, New Jersey. She married Benjamin Mortimer Franks April 1959 at the John Street Methodist Church in NYC when she was just 18 and later settled in Northern New Jersey. As far as I can tell, Georgianna's parents and brother stayed in Maine. This explains a lack of information but I always wondered why Georgianna moved away at such a young age. What brought her to NYC? What was her connection to Benjamin Franks? I have no indication Benjamin lived outside of the NY/NJ area before 1859. I recently discovered that Georgianna's mother, Tamar Wentworth Tarbox, had siblings leave Maine for NYC about the same time. Some of them were Clerks and it just so happens that Benjamin Franks was a clerk and bookkeeper- perhaps it was an Aunt, Uncle, or cousin from the Wentworth family who made the love connection. Or maybe it was a connection through interest in the Oneida Community?

Do you have ancestors from Maine? What resources have you found helpful? What have you learned from visiting your ancestors stomping grounds?

Next post will cover specific places I'm planning to visit...cemeteries, churches, landmarks...and one cannot forget to research the best LOBSTER joints when going to Maine! Yummmm...

Monday
Mar142011

* trying to identify mystery family pictures

After going through all of my old family pictures, I organized them by family and was left with a pile of unknown mystery pictures. These pictures have no labels or snippets of information. It was easy to put them into the back of my photo album and focus my time on scanning and attaching the known faces to a name. After working with the labeled pictures I had more information and clues to help me when examining the mystery pictures. These pictures have been passed down by many generations and my thoughtful ancestors added whatever information they had about the picture's location or their own personal relationship to the individual. ANY clues are a luck find, but it can be very frustrating when can't identify unknown faces! I'd love the opportunity to share a picture of someones ancestor with them!

5 mystery pictures...

Mystery Photo #1. "Santa Rosa"

On the back of this picture it simply says "Santa Rosa", what does that mean????? I know this is a Shaw Family portrait with my great great grandmother Ann, great grandmother Edith, and my grandmother Marjorie. A few of the others I am able to identify from other labeled Shaw pictures, but most are just guesses or completely unknown. The only clues in this picture are the ages of Ann and Marjorie, Ann died in 1939 and Marjorie was born in 1917. That tells me the picture was taken on or before 1939 and from the looks of Marjorie she is about 15-20? So I am guessing this picture was taken sometime between 1932-1939.

Mystery Photo #2. Woman and baby Tintype

This mystery may never be solved, I think it's likely that this could be one of the few, if not the only, picture of this woman. I believe this picture is a tintype and from what I've read the usage of Tintype photography spans the years of 1856-1900ish. I have a few daguerreotypes from the Franks family, maybe this is a Franks woman? Any suggestions on how to find out who this is?

 

 

 

Mystery Picture #3- Shaw Women

Again I know this is the Shaw Family and the 3 women in the front row: (from right) Marjorie, Edith, and Ann. No description or markings on the back! To me they look a LITTLE bit older than mystery picture #1, so maybe it was taken 1933-1939?

Mystery Picture #4. Co L 3rd Infantry , 1st Sgt. Lester D. May...?

This picture is from one of the first pages of an old black construction paper photo album. After looking through the album MANY times I have linked similar jewelry and settings with other labeled Shaw pictures, so I am lead to believe there are Shaw women in this album, but for most part I have NO IDEA who the individuals are. This album will soon have it's own post!

I was able to  remove the picture from the paper (VERY VERY GENTLY, I don't recommend!) and realized there was writing on the back!

 

 

1st Sgt. Lester D. May...

Co L 3rd Inf. C.A.

Greenwich, Conn

Any ideas what year this picture might be from??

 

 

Mystery Picture #5. Postcard to my Great Grandmother Mary Nolen from Lula?

7 July 1908, Rochester, NY- "This is one Ray took of me at Palmers Glen. I will send you more as soon as.."

..."he gets them done. Hope you are feeling well these hot days. Ans soon. Yours, Lula."

I don't know who Lula is! I don't have any leads to Rochester or anyone named Lula...The date of the postcard and the usage of my great grandmothers maiden name give me some sort of time line as to when Mary married my great grandfather. I don't know when they married but Mary Nolen would have been about 20 when she got this postcard in 1908 and she had their first child abt 1914, so they were most likely married between July 1908-1914. But I'm still on the lookout for Lula and Ray....

The message here: don't let mystery pictures slip through the cracks! There are many different types of clues you can get from pictures that will help you identify pictures and create a time line of your ancestors life. I've never tried any face recognition software...should that be a next step??

Clues to look for in pictures: clothing, jewelry, furniture, backgrounds, location, labels, markings from the photo processor, photographer name/location, shape, size, paper type, and photography type...to list a few!

How have you identified pictures? Do you have unknown family pictures in your albums? Are they hanging on your wall? I'd love to hear your stories!