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Saturday, February 8, 2014



This photo, found at the Florida Fairgrounds Antique Show, was in a box which contained many members of the same family from upstate New York. The photo above was taken at the Waldbillig Studio in Albany, NY. The 1880 Census indicates that Charles was a basketmaker and lived at 133 Third Avenue. He and Mary were both born in New York, of German parents. Mary's maiden name was Weiss.

Their first child LILLIAN SMITHLEN, was born May 2 of 1880.

A photo of Lillian as an adult (see image at right) was also in the same box.

Lillian would eventually marry an Englishman named Ralph Dyke, and they resided on Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs, New York. Ralph died before 1952, as Lillian is listed as his widow in the 1952 City Directory. I remember seeing a few photos labeled with the Dyke surname in the same box, but due to budget constraints I only acquired the group named Smithlen, not knowing at the time that they were all related. Now I wish I had bought those as well.

I read on an online genealogy discussion  board that Charles and Mary also had two sons, George and Charles Jr.

I did not find a photo of the sons, but did find a photo of a wife of one of the sons.

The image at left is labeled "GEORGIE (2 years 11 months) and his mother LOTTIE SMITHLEN, probably around 1910".

Some internet research revealed that George Lancaster Smithlen was born December 18, 1907 to parents Charles Nichols Smithlen (born May 9, 1889) and Charlotte A. (last name possibly Pilger, born 1889 in Germany.)

I believe Georgie's dad was the same Charles Jr. mentioned on the discussion board as one of the sons of Charles Sr. and Mary.

Charles Jr. is found in the Rennselaer NY City Directory of 1929, where his occupation is given as "Machinist." In the 1940 Census he indicates that he is employed by New York State as an elevator operator.

At some point, Georgie relocates to California where he lives until his passing in 1984 in Los Angeles.

The couple (Charles Jr and Charlotte) have a second son, CHARLES A. SMITHLEN, born August 6, 1915. There were two photos of this younger brother, which are shown below:

     <--- at 4 months

at 10 1/2 months --->

On the 1940 New York Census, Charles 3rd (then 25 years old) was still single and living at home with his parents in the East Greenbush area of Rennselaer, NY. He was employed by RCA Radio, working as a salesman.

On Dec 12, 1941, he registered for the military draft.

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