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Friday, January 16, 2015

SNYDER, Charley

This photograph of CHARLEY SNYDER was located at an antique fair in Florida.

The stamp on the border indicates that the photograph was taken in Marion Indiana, at the Hartsook Photographic Studio.

The fashions worn by the young man point to a time period probably around the mid-1910s.

In the 1900 Census for Marion, Grant County, Indiana, I came across a photographer named John Hartsook, so I definitely had found the right town. 

I then found a family named Snyder which consisted of parents James (born 1860) and Katie (1864), as well as children Pearl (1888), Arlie H. (1890), Charles (1897) and Estey (1900).

From other sources, I find that the children's mother Katie was born Catherine York. Sister Pearl lived until 1971 and married a man named Ray Barney. They had a son named Marshall. I do not know what became of Estey (Ester).

Arl H. married Anna Herkimer and had a daughter named Anna Louis Snyder. Arl died in 1923, at age 33, but I have not found the reason for this. Charley married Helen Lynn Palmer and the couple made their home in Princeville, Peoria County, Illinois. Charley died 21 Sept 1963.

Monday, December 22, 2014

SUREL, Marie Theresa - High School Diploma

Not a person's photograph, but still too important a treasure to leave it sitting there!

This is the High School Diploma of one MARIE THERESA SUREL, who graduated from Cathedral Central High School in Detroit Michigan on June 12, 1936.

In the same bi-fold presentation cover, there is a small card detailing the classes that Ms. Surel successfully completed. These are Apologetics I & II, Stenography I & II, English VII & VIII, and Bookkeeping I & II.

I admit, I had to go to Google to learn what Apologetics could possibly be. But now I am all that much wiser. According to Wikipedia:  "Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information."

Perhaps we would refer to that as "Debate" or "Public Speaking" these days.

I trying to determine who Marie Theresa Surel could have been, I started first at and looked at the 1930 Census records for the area.  I found only one family with that surname. They lived on Riopelle Street in Detroit. Father John, mother Paulina, and children Walter, Sofia, Maria and Edwin. In 1930 the daughter Maria is 13 years old, making her the correct age to graduate from High School in 1936. The slight variation on the spelling of the name does not overly concern me as names on census records are often slightly "mis-recorded." The parents were born in Poland. The children were born in Michigan. The father's occupation is "Butcher."

The following newspaper article was published in late April of 1931. Marie/Maria would have been fourteen at that time:

Let that be a lesson to the would-be robbers - Never threaten the daughter of a butcher.

On the 1940 Detroit census, daughter "Mary" is 22 and living at home. Her occupation is "Inspector" in the Automobile Industry.


This photo, found in a basket of old photos at a West Palm Beach, Florida antique fair, is labelled as "Norma Stanley" and bears in imprint of a photographic studio in Webster City Iowa.

Just guessing, I'd say the date of the photo could be anywhere between 1905 and 1920. I am not certain how long the "bowl" haircut has been in use for children. But I have another photo (of another person) which seems to be done in the same sort of process which results in a very shiny background, as in this photo, and that previous photo was dated 1909. So that may be a similar time period. Then again, that process may have spanned many years.

There was a NORMA ARLENE STANLEY, born in 1912 in Hamilton County Iowa. Webster City is located in Hamilton County. She was the daughter of William Culbert Stanley and Blanche Dale. Sometime in the early half of the 1920's, her family moved to Albany in Athens County Ohio. She married at age 16 to Orville Cuckler, but sadly she died at age 17 a few days after giving birth to her first child (who also died shortly after birth.)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

CASE, Mrs. Justin

Mrs. Justin Case, Annie Jarvis
This photo was located at an antique fair in Stuart, Florida.

The photo was taken around 1890 at a photographic studio in New Britain, Connecticut. The subject appears to be in her early to mid-30's, so likely born around 1855-1860.

On the back, it is labeled "Mrs. Justin Case."

The photo has faded a bit, but I have boosted the contrast before posting it here.

The city directory for New Britain Connecticut for the year 1889 includes a listing for Justin L. Case. He was a lockmaker at the R&E Manufacturing Company. In the 1892 Directory he is listed as a locksmith.

Justin Case appears on the 1870 census as an 18-yr-old, thus born about 1852, living at home with his mother Lamina Lucretia Case,  along with a possible older brother or uncle named Cromwell O. Case, age 24. There is also Justin's aunt Mary Hays in the household. In that year, relationship to the head of the household was not recorded, but Mary continues to live with this family and is identified in later years as Justin's aunt.

The 1900 Census indicates that Justin was born in Connecticut in October 1851. His wife Annie was born in England in June 1855. Son Marcus W. was born in July 1883 and daughter Elsie Elizabeth was born in September 1884. Also there is Justin's aunt Mary Hays and a nurse May Daly.

UPDATE - a distant relative of Annie tells me that Elsie later married a carpenter named Grover Goodridge and died in 1961, apparently without issue. Justin's son Marcus William Case married a widow and may not have left any children of his own.

The 1910 Census shows Justin, now 58 years old, and still employed as a lockmaker at the same company. 

In Febuary 1917, Justin L. Case filled out a required Military Census form and supplied the following information. He had served 3 years as an infantry private in the C.N.G. (does that stand for Connecticut National Guard?) He also divulged that he had suffered a serious physical injury, specifically "rupture."

Justin Lucius Case died later that same year, on December 12, 1917. His wife Annie Jarvis, lived to the age of 77, passing in 1934. They are buried in the Fairview Cemetery in New Britain Connecticut.

UPDATE - I have just discovered that Justin Case is a first cousin of Edward Brocket who is mentioned in the "Charles & Evelyn ROWE" story below. Justin's father, Justus Marcus Case, had a sister Sarah Cordelia Case who married James Everlin Brockett in Simsbury Connecticut. Sarah and James had a son Edward Brockett, whose daughter married Charles Rowe and had son Evelyn. I should not be surprised to find that these people were related since their photos came out of the same box at the antique fair.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

ROWE, Charles and Evelyn

Chas. B. Rowe
These two photos were located at the Stuart Florida Fairgrounds at a booth in the Antique Fair.

The first is labeled "Chas B. Rowe" and was taken circa 1897 at the Stoddard Photographic Studio in New Haven, Connecticut.

I estimate the young man was around 25 years of age at the time, thus an approximate birth year of 1872 is assumed.

The second photo, found in the same box of photos, is of a man holding a toddler outside in front of a house. The location is not known. The back of the photo bears the inscription: "For Mother, May 15th, 1909, Chas & Evelyn Rowe".

The child looks to be probably not over 3 years of age, therefore an approximate year of birth for the child would be around 1906 or 1907.

Chas & Evelyn Rowe, May 1909 was able to help quite a bit, once I got past my prejudices. 

Having assumed the child named Evelyn was a girl, I ended up running into dead-ends in the research. Once I realized that Evelyn can also be a boy's name, I came upon a family which fit the bill perfectly.

In the 1910 Census for Simbury Connecticut, there is a farming family headed up by 55 year old Edward Brockett and his wife Caroline E. Also living at the residence are son-in-law Charles B. Rowe (age 39), daughter May (32) and grandson Evelyn (2).

Charles B. Rowe was therefore born about 1871 and son Evelyn was born in 1907 or 1908.

By the time of the 1930 Census, Charles Rowe's wife is listed as Ethel H. and Evelyn is going by the name "E. Brocket Rowe." (Can't say that I blame him.) By the 1940 Census, he has adjusted it further to "Evans Rowe."

Armed with that information, was able to locate the family's headstone and fill in the remaining data.

UPDATE - the people in these photographs are relatives also of "Mrs. Justin CASE" whom you can read about in the next story. These photos were acquired from the same box at the antique fair.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


This photo was located in upstate New York. It was originally taken at the Holmes Photographic Studio on Broadway, in Albany NY.

There is a paper cover, which when opened reads:
Aunt Ida, from her niece Edith M. Long Mead, August 17, 1909.
Find-a-Grave's website has the same photo, and apparently someone there has already done all the research for me. The following comes from that site:

Birth: Dec. 19, 1890
Unionville (Albany County)
Albany County
New York, USA
Death: Feb. 18, 1962
Albany County
New York, USA

Daughter of: Peter Henry Long. Sr. (1860-1946) and Sarah E. Van Deusen Long (1864-1942.)

Wife of: John J. Mead (1870-1944).

Mother of: Albert Henry Mead

"Aunt Ida" would appear to be Idella Long, a sister to Edith's father.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

LEWIS, Arthur and Augusta

Arthur and Augusta (Fairchild) LEWIS
Also found in an antique shop in upstate New York was this portrait of siblings Arthur and Augusta LEWIS.  The photos was taken at a studio in Cortland, New York circa 1900. was very helpful in locating information on the sister.  According to that site, Augusta was born Jul. 21, 1898 and died on Dec. 21, 1974.  She married Ralph Fairchild. Here is her obituary, copied from her memorial at that site:

   Mrs. Augusta L. Fairchild, 76, died early Saturday morning in County General Hospital, Dade City, Fla. She had been a life resident of the Cortland area.
    Born in Cortland on July 21, 1898, she was the daughter of Marion and Mertie Weed Lewis.
    Mrs. Fairchild was a member of the First Baptist Church of Cortland, Iolanthe Rebekah Lodge of Homer, ladies auxiliary of Cortland City American Legion Post 489, auxiliary of the World War I Barracks of Cortland, and auxiliary of the Letter Carriers' Association.
    Surviving are a son, Lewis D. Fairchild of Homer; a brother, C. Arthur Lewis of South Orange, N.J.; a step-grandson, Bruce J. Knowlton of Waldorf, Md.; three nephews and several cousins.

The brother's full name was Chester Arthur Lewis. He married Winifred Bumpus in 1921 and lived in New Jersey to the age of 83. The Census of 1920 shows he was an electrician at a wire mill. The 1940 Census says he an Electrical Foreman. At that time he has three sons; Arthur, Roderick and Warren. Winifred survived him by about 5 years. Both are buried in Otsego County, New York.

Monday, October 6, 2014

LEWIS, Clyde, Bob and Mother

Today's project is a couple of photos found together at an antique shop in Madison New York. They are of a family which lived in Madison, New York at the turn of the century.

Mrs. Charles Lewis, Madison NY
The first photo is labeled "Mrs. Charles Lewis, Madison NY" and was taken at a studio in Waterville, NY. The photo probably was taken circa 1885.

The second photo is of brothers "Clyde and Bob Lewis, Madison, NY" and was probably taken around the same time period.

Checking the Federal Census for the year 1900, we find a Lewis family living in Madison NY which consists of parents Charles S. Lewis (age 49), Mertie G. Lewis (39), sons A. Clyde (21), Robert E (19), and daughters J June (13) and Daisy B. (10).

Clyde and Bob Lewis, Madison, NY
We can assume that Clyde is the elder of these two brothers in the photo, since his name was listed first. And if the Clyde on the Census was 21 in 1900, then he was born around 1879. If the guess that the photo was taken about 1885 is anywhere near correct, and if this is the same family shown in the Census, then the ages of the boys in the photo are approximately 6 and 4, which appears to be possible.

The 1880 Census shows the same family in Madison NY, although at that time, it consists of only Charles, Mertie and Clyde. We can safely assume that Robert was born around 1881.

There are graves in the Madison Village Cemetery, in Madison NY, for some members of this family. lists the following, although does not offer photos.

  • Charles S. Lewis (1851-1914)
  • Mertie Baker Lewis (1860-1901), wife of Charles S. Lewis.
  • Arthur Clyde Lewis (1879-1942), husband of Grace Henderson.
In the nearby town of Hamilton in Madison County, NY, there a headstone for Robert E. Lewis (1880-1974). It appears that he had a wife named Grace Catlin.

Sister Daisy married a man named Maggs. Jennie June married a man named Loghry.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lulu Belle COLLINS (Rowland)

UPDATE - Lulu Belle Collins has been claimed and is going home!

This photo of Lulu Belle Collins was located over the weekend at the Oxford Kentucky Antique Fair. The photo appears to have been taken in the  late 1880's. The woman appears to be age 20 or thereabouts.

The front of the photo is marked "Buck Studio, East Second Street, Holden Missouri."

The back of the photo contains a hand-written label which says "Lulu Belle Collins, Strasburg."

By accessing the records at, I have determined that Lulu Belle was born in Strasburg, Missouri, on September 20, 1869 and lived to be almost 90 years old.

She was a daughter of Dr. Robert Willis Collins and Gabriella Rowland. Furthermore, Lulu Belle married a Rowland.

She is buried in Wichita Kansas under the name Lulu Belle Rowland.

Friday, August 29, 2014

BISSELL, Clarissa Finch

Clarissa Finch Bissell
This photograph was acquired at the Washington County Antique Fair in Greenwich New York. The photo was originally taken in Morris New York, circa 1875.

Clarissa, sometimes seen as Clarice or Clariss, was born in 1854 in New York State to parents Amos FINCH (1827-1910) and Samantha DARE (1832-1880.) 

As a child she lived at the farm of her grandparents Jonas Finch (1782-1864) and Henrietta (unknown surname, 1785-1872). The farm was worked jointly by Jonas and Amos.

Clarissa had a younger brother named Fowler Finch (1855-1936.)

At some point, Clarissa married Emmett T. BISSELL (1841-1918). 

Clarissa lived to age 77 and passed away in 1931. She and most of her family are buried at the Highland Cemetery in Sidney, New York, the town in which her family lived. Sidney is not far from Morris, where the photographer's studio was located.