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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lawrence W. and John E. WRIGHT

John Edward and Lawrence Whitney WRIGHT
UPDATE - this photo has been claimed by a descendent and is going home.  This photo was located at the Stone Soup Antique Mall in Ballston Spa, NY. The photo was taken at Morse Studio in Amsterdam NY in 1908. The back bears a hand-written note "Christmas 1908, Lawrence Whitney Wright, 3 yrs 4 mos., John Edward Wright, 1 yr 2 mos."

1910 Census records for Amsterdam NY show a family headed by John Bertram Wright (33, born 1867 in Massachusetts), his wife Mary Belle Whitney (28, born 1881 in New Hampshire) and sons Lawrence W. (4, Massachusetts) and John Edward (2, New York). The couple were married circa 1905. The father's occupation is given as "Civil Engineer at Public Works."

The 1930 Census puts them in Keene, New Hampshire. Mother Mary B. Wright is given as the head of the household, but her marital status is "married", not "widowed", and father John is not listed. Lawrence, now 24 has no occupation, while John Edward (22) is an inspector in a machine shop. Other siblings include 14-yr-old William H. (born 1915 in Amsterdam, NY) and 11-yr-old Ralph W. (born in Massachusetts.)

Further research at shows that Lawrence Whitney Wright was born July 31, 1905. He lived until March 20, 1992. He died in Killingly Connecticut, and had been an engineer for the State of Connecticut. He married Evelena Curtiss.

John Edward Wright, if 1 yr and 2 mos at the time of the photo, must have been born in October 1907. There is a headstone in Coos County, Oregon, memorializing John Edward Wright, born October 5, 1907, and who died March 21, 1983. But I do not know for sure if this is the same fellow.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ellison Story HILDRETH

UPDATE - These photos have been claimed by a descendant and have been sent home!

At a Ballston Spa, NY antique shop, I came across a number of photographs of people from the same family, and ended up buying them all just to insure they remain together.

The first photo is Ellison Story Hildreth, born 17 July 1884 at Holyoke Massachusetts. His parents were Judge John Hildreth and Kate Barker Story. Judge John Hildreth was born in Bradford England in 1851, died in April 1942. Ellison's mother Kate was born 9-Nov-1852 in Gloucester, Massachusetts and was a music teacher.
This photo, found in the same box at the antique store, was labelled only "KBH" but I am confident that this is Ellison's mother, Kate Barker (Story) Hildreth. The children greatly resemble her.

Ellison Hildreth (on right) and younger sister Kate (on left)
These two photos above taken in 1887 at Holyoke Massachusetts identify the subjects as Ellison 2 1/2 years, and Kate W. at 1 year old. I know the elder child looks like a girl wearing a dress, but this was typical attire for toddlers in that era as it made diaper-changing easier. Boys who were potty-trained were allowed to graduate to pants.

1886 Kate Wood Hildreth, at 12 weeks
Ellison's little sister, Kate Wood Hildreth, was born in 1886. Sadly, little Kate died just after her 10th birthday of complications of diabetes.

Other siblings to Ellison and Kate included Richard (died at age 15), Charles (died of cholera when just 1 month old), and Fannie (who lived to adulthood and worked as a school teacher.)

Ellison attended Amherst College and graduated among the class of '06. He appears on the roster of members of both Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Theta Pi.

He took up the profession of Minister and participated in ministry missions to South China (Hong Kong) and Siberia. Much is written about, and by, Ellison Story Hildreth in regards to his missionary work in Asia. In November 1913, he and his wife Lottie Rowe Lane registered at the American Consulate in Hong Kong. 

Their passport applications are also available at and this photo, presumably of Ellison and Lottie, is the one attached to Ellison's passport application. (I do not have this photo in my possession, but I include it here for interest.)

In 1942, at the age of 57, Ellison registered for the WWII Draft. His address at that time was Brooklyn Connecticut.

He died at the age of 78 in Brooklyn Connecticut. He and his wife Lottie had three children, Katherine Lane Hildreth (born in 1915 in China), John Lane Hildreth (born 1918 in Boston) and Alice Lane Hildreth (born 1920 in Boston).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This photo was located at the Stone Soup Antique Mall in Ballston Spa, New York, along with several other photos from the same time period and region. However, I only bought the ones that were sufficiently labeled with clues to the subject's identity.  This one has a hand-written note on the back which says "Harry Thompson, my friend".

The photo was taken at the photographic studio of "Hammond Bros." in Lewiston, Maine and appears to be circa 1910 - 1912. The young man is in his late teens or early twenties. So best guess on his birth-year would be around 1890.

There are two possible Harry Thompsons whom this can be.


Checking 1900 Maine census records, I have found a Harry G. Thompson born February 1891 living in Auburn Maine, a community just west of the larger town of Lewiston. In the household are parents Aaron and Emily, and a sister Maggie. The father worked as a laborer in the ice business. He was born in Canada in January of 1845. There is a column which indicates Harry was age 9 at the time of his last birthday, which would be accurate based upon the Feb 1891 birthday and the June 2, 1900 date of the Census.

Dingley-Foss Shoe Company in Auburn, Maine
By the time of the 1910 Census, mother Emily is widowed. Harry and a sister Mercy (might be the same as Maggie, mentioned above) live at home with her and both of the siblings worked at the Dingley-Foss Shoe Company.

Harry's mother Emily died in 1916 and was buried at the Mount Auburn Cemetery. The following year, he registered for the WWI draft and may have lied to the registrar about his age. The Draft Registration form states his official name as "George Harry Thompson" and his birthdate as Feb 13, 1890, Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada. He gives his occupation as Shoemaker for Dingley-Foss Shoe Company.

The 1920 Auburn Maine Census find him living at the home of his sister Laura and her husband Timothy Cohoon. The 1940 Auburn Maine Census shows him living with a housekeeper Rose Ellis, and his occupation is still shoemaker.

There is a headstone in the Mount Auburn Cemetery which reads simply : GEORGE H. THOMPSON 1891-1942. This offers very few clues but the official name matches the one on the Draft registration, and the year of birth matches the one on the 1900 Census.

It would appear that Harry never married and left no descendants.


Harry O. Thompson, born about 1894 in Maine, lived in the town of Sabattus Village, Maine, which is the next community just to the Northeast of Lewiston. It is entirely possible a resident of Sabattus Village might have gone into Lewiston to have a portrait made.

On the 1920 Sabattus Census, 26 year old Harry O. Thompson is described as a textile maker in a woolen mill. He lives with his father Sanford Thompson (age 66), mother Margaret E. Thompson (56) and brothers Sanford  E. Thompson (23) and Leonard W. Thompson (21). The siblings also work at the woolen mill.

By 1930, he had married a woman named Rae, relocated to Douglas, Worcester County Massachusetts, and had a daughter named Eleanor M.  Harry was employed there as an assistant supervisor at a woolen mill.


TESSIE STEVENS has gone home!

This photo was found at the Stone Soup Antique Mall in Ballston Spa, New York.  It took a good deal of handwriting analysis and Census browsing to finally decipher the name written on the photo, but there were enough clues to eventually figure it out.

"In Memory of our Junior English class '20."  The signature that I could only make out at first as "Trasir Y. Strirus" became "Tessie N. Stevens" after closely examining the E in "memory" and the N in "Junior" and "English."

The front cover of the photo bore an emblem (Hanson, Portland Maine) which I first concluded was a High School seal, but I think now was the photographer's mark. There was a "Hanson High School" in nearby Buxton Maine, but the 1920 Census for Buxton did not include any Stevens family with a teenage daughter. Also, it made no sense that the seal would say "Portland" if the school was actually in Buxton, so I abandoned that notion and started scanning the 1920 Census for Portland Maine.

It was there that I found Tessie N. Stevens, aged 16, living with her widowed mother, Josephine, and siblings.

Further research revealed that Tessie was born 30 Jan 1903 in Portland, Cumberland Co., Maine, to parents Harry C. Stevens (died 1905) and Mary Josephine Nickerson. Her mother worked as a nurse at the local hospital. Tessie's siblings included Herman, Nancy, Arthur and Angela.

She married Reginald Harold McKee (about 7 years her senior) and had a daughter Jean. By 1935 the family had relocated to Binghamton, Broome County, New York.

Tessie died in 2002 at the age of 99, outliving her husband by nearly 40 years. She is buried beside him in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City, Broome County, New York.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Agnes GAGE

Agnes GAGE, wife of Frank S. Gage
This photo was located at the Stone Soup Antique Mall in Ballston Spa, New York. The front indicates the photo was taken at the studio of C.A. Adams in West Gardner. No state is indicated, but I have determined the state is Massachusetts.

The back bears a hand-written note "Agnes Gage, wife of Frank S. Gage". The photo was likely taken in mid or late 1880s.

I have found a Frank Stillman GAGE (age 34) and wife Agnes Wentworth GAGE (32) in the 1880 Census for Templeton, Worcester county, Massachusetts. Frank was employed in the furniture manufacturing business; specifically chairs.

1900 Census for Templeton, Worchester Co., Massachusetts shows the couple again. Their specific birth-years are given; Frank S. Gage (Oct 1844) and Agnes W. Gage (Feb 1848). Frank works in a chair shop.

They live with Fanny D. Simmons, who is described as "mother in law."

The death of Agnes is recorded in the Templeton Massachusetts Vital Records Index. She died 3 Sep 1905, at the age of 58, of consumption. She was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery. The same document also indicates that her maiden name was Simmons (or Symons), and she was born at Duxbury. Her father was Henry Simmons and her mother was Fannie Delano (Simmons.) Both of her parents were born in Duxbury.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

George Harold KNIGHT

George Harold Knight, 3 mo. old
George Harold Knight has gone home!

This photo of George Harold KNIGHT was located at an outdoor antiques show in Lower Manhattan, New York.  The photo was taken at the J.T. Locke studio in Claremont, New Hampshire circa Summer of 1891.

I have been able to determine that the young man in the photo, George Harold Knight, was born March 16, 1891 in that town. He was the son of Frank H. Knight (born 1868) and Minnie M. Barrow (born 1865.)  George's father was a native New Hampshiran (New Hampshirite?) who worked at a company that manufactured shoes, and his mother Minnie was French-Canadian.

Later Census records show that George followed in his father's footsteps, so to speak, and as a young man became a clerk at a shoe manufacturing company, perhaps the same one his father worked for.

George married Lillian Pierce (b. 1892) and Census records indicate that George was widowed sometime between 1930 and 1940.  Their daughter Barbara Knight (1917-1992) became the wife of Roger Buffington (1916-1990).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014



UPDATE - Jesse Jones has been claimed and is going home.

This photo was found in an outdoor antique mall in lower Manhattan, New York.

It is labeled "JESSE JONES, FATHER OF HOWARD JONES", and was taken in Norristown, Pennsylvania, circa 1888.

Back of the photo is shown at right.

I love that the photographer also doubles as an "Artificial Fly Tyer."

There is a fellow of this name, born July 1854, found on the Norristown, PA, census of 1900. He was living at 1101 Green Street with his wife Laura V., born Aug 1854, and son Howard Jones, born March 1897. Jesse's occupation is Grocer.

In 1920, the family still lives at the same house on Green Street. Jesse is still a merchant in the retail grocery industry.  His son Howard, then age 22, is given as a chemist.

In the 1930 census, Jesse has retired and has no occupation. Howard, still living with his parents, is a chemist at a steel plant. The family is now living in a $10,000 home at 1507 Markley Street.

The Pennsylvania Death Index records that he passed away at the age of 81y5m of Chronic Myocarditis on December 26, 1933. He was a retired grocer, survived by his wife Laura V. Jones of 1507 Markley Street. His parents were Job C. Jones and Sara Worrell, both of whom were born in Pennsylvania. He is buried at Riverside cemetery in Norristown.

Pennsylvania Death Index also shows Laura Davis Jones, widow of Jesse Jones, died of apoplexy on April 21, 1935. Her birth date was August 5, 1854. Her parents were William Davis and Harriet Watson of Pennsylvania. The information was supplied by Howard Jones of 1507 Markley Street.