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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 (unknown surname, 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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

UNKNOWN, unknown

Acquiring old photos at antique stores is a little like Triage.

I remember learning the meaning of the word "Triage" when I was in High School. I was a big fan of the television series "M*A*S*H" which featured a mobile surgical hospital during the Korean War. When new patients arrived from the battle front, the doctors and nurses immediately engaged in "Triage."

The word comes from French, and means "separating into three parts." In the hospital setting, this means determining, as quickly as possible, to which category the patient belongs.

1. those who do not need immediate help.
2. those who can be helped.
3. those who cannot be helped.

Those who can be helped are taken for immediate attention. Those who cannot be helped must be left behind, or left for the lowest priority of attention.

Photographs in antique shops have to be treated like patients in a Triage setting. Those which have the best chance to be "helped" are the ones which bear the most identifying information; names, dates, location. Many bear a studio stamp on the matte which provides a location. Some photos may offer extra clues besides the names and dates, such as "this is Aunt Mildred's eldest son." These are the photos I add to my collection, and work to reunite with their existing family.

Of course, the majority of photos in antique shops have no identifying information at all. Some lovely face that was adored by someone. A portrait that was the object of someone's fond recollection. But now there is no way to know who the person was. Without the identification included, that person is now anonymous, and cannot be helped. Regrettably, those photos have to be left behind.

This small oval portrait was found between the pages of a book, and was shared with me by a follower of this blog. Had I seen this image in a shop, I would have put it back into the box and moved on. According to the person who found it, there are no identifying marks. The photo was trimmed into a roughly oval shape, perhaps to fit into a locket.

He seems to be a dapper fellow, and was clearly loved by someone. Perhaps someone will see it here and recognize the man. It would be a miracle, but I think that is his only hope.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CRAIN, Leonard and Margaret

Leonard Austin CRAIN, age 1 year

These two photos of Leonard Crain and his sister Margaret were located at a large outdoor antiques fair in Washington County New York.

Leonard was born in Afton ,New York in 1907. Margaret was born, presumably in or near the same location, in 1910.

Their parents were Joseph Henry CRAIN (1870-1952) and Nellie Martin SKILLMAN (1873-1964.)

Early in their marriage, Joseph and Nellie lived in Sharon Springs, Schoharie County, NY. He worked as a High School principal, and she as a teacher.

Margaret Lee CRAIN, age 8 months

The 1910 Census at Afton, NY, shows that Joseph is the editor of a newspaper.

The 1930 Census for Aurora, Erie county, NY finds the family living on Oakwood Avenue.  Henry works as a field examiner for the US Veterans Adminstration.  Leonard, age 23, gives his occupation as Baptist Clergyman.

In 1932, Leonard was a passenger aboard the Japanese ship Chichibu Maru, sailing from Yokohama to Honolulu Hawaii. He states his birthdate is November 12, 1906 and that his current address is Colgate Divinity School in Rochester NY.

The 1940 Census shows that Leonard has moved out, but Margaret still resides at her parents house and has no occupation.

In August of 1945, Leonard arrived in New York from another voyage, aboard the Gripsholm which departed from Bombay India.

Monday, August 25, 2014

PINCKNEY, Jessie and Gertrude

Jessie Pinckney, age 6
Jessie and Gertrude have gone home!
These two photos of sisters Jessie and Gertrude PINCKNEY were located at an antique shop in Ballston Spa, New York.  The photos were taken in 1880 in the town of Rutland, Vermont.

The back of the first photo contains a hand-written note which says "Jessie Pinckney, age 6 years, in Dec 1880."

The back of the second photo says "Gertrude Pinckney, age 4 in Oct 1880."

I have discovered that these were two of the four children of Charles H. Pinckney and Grace A. Goodnough, who lived in Pittsford, Vermont around that time.  The other siblings were John and Grace Jr. Charles was a store clerk. They lived at the Pittsford farm of Grace's parents.

Gertrude Pinckney, age 4
Sadly, it was discovered that Gertrude died at age 18 of appendicitis.

Jessie married Walter Scott Hale, a clerk, but that marriage ended within a few years.

Jessie is found on the 1905 Manhattan Census, as the head of the household, which also includes her widowed mother, and a younger sister Grace Jr.

Jessie married again in 1906 to Herman Frank Hannun, a German-born dental surgeon from New York City.

An interesting side-note about Jessie's first husband Walter Scott Hale - I find lots of references in Census and City Directories for Walter Scott Hale.

He applied for a passport at age 16, and appears to be working for a shipping company in New York at that time. Census records report that he was born in Massachusetts; as was his father, and his mother was born in Rhode Island. He married Jessie Pinckney at age 21, but by age 25 he was a private in the military and serving in The Philippines during the Spanish-American War. When he returned home, he married Harriet C. (last name unknown) around 1904. She was born in California. Meanwhile, Jessie has gone to Manhattan, meets and marries Herman Hannun, so we can only assume Jessie and Walter have divorced. Walter returns to Rockford Mass and works as a real estate agent, insurance agent, and also is a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. By 1910, he has been married 6 years and has 3 children, and the family is living in Brookline Massachsetts. In 1918 he registered for the WWI draft. The 1920 census says he is an insurance salesman.

In 1922 Harriet files for Walter's military pension and gives her own status as "widow." The same form indicates that a previous filing had been made in 1920 when Walter became an "invalid."  A Boston area newspaper in June 1922 carried a headline stating that the House of Representatives opposed the Governor's veto of widow Harriet Hale's request to be paid the balance of her late husband's salary which he would have been entitled to, had he lived. The Journal of the Massachusetts House of Representatives glowingly eulogizes Walter in one entry in late May 1922, and carries a motion to adjourn early so fellow House members may attend the funeral.
Grace A. Goodnough
from tree

UPDATE - I am happy to report that I have found a relative to send these lovely girls' photos to. The recipient has a tree on which includes a photo of the girls' mother Grace A. Goodnough. I see now where the girls get their good looks. It is heart-warming to think that these photos will now be displayed lovingly on some shelf next to their mother. That is where they belong - not in a dusty old box in an antique shop.