Thursday, June 30, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - The Marie Brennar Letters

As a genealogist, I cannot jump to conclusions.  I need follow the process of gathering bits and pieces of facts and, if I’m lucky, family memorabilia, that I can use that will help put flesh to the bones of my ancestors. 

So here are the facts: 
The registered birth record listed a child born on Gray’s Inn Lane in Pancras, in the county of Middlesex, England on the 29th of August 1879.  The child, was listed as Alexander Ernest Hope, his mother, Marie Brennar, but the name and occupation of the father was blank.

And, here is the family memorabilia: 
There are eleven letters that have been handed down from one generation to the next that tell a small piece of a story.  These letters contain Marie’s correspondence with William and Hannah Ward of Nottingham to adopt her child. 

I will be posting and transcribing these letters over the course of the next few days.  Light gray text indicates that I'm not sure what the word is and I'm open for suggestions.

Maria Brennar letter dated 4 Dec 1879

59 Market Place
My Dear
   Mrs Ward
I trust you got the letter I sent you last Week   Kindly send me an answer soon as I will not be at this address after Tuesday first 9th   Dont think me trouble
            Sincerely Yours
            M Brennar
©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Dick Ward,Coca-Cola Driver

Richard "Dick" Ward (4th from right)
Driver for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Venice, California
©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Andersen and Collins

In 2000, my father and I took a trip back to Salem, Massachusetts.  It would be his last trip back to his home town.  While we were there, we visited the family graves at Greenlawn Cemetery.  Here is one of the photos from our visit.

Frank and Mary J. Andersen had six children, five who survived to adulthood.  Lillian May Andersen, their oldest daughter (my great aunt) married Frederick Collins of Massachusetts.

Frederick Collins,    -1968
Lillian May Andersen Collins, 1897-1986

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 26, 2011

CHURCH RECORD SUNDAY - Frank Victor Andersen

My paternal grandfather, Frank Victor Andersen ("-son" on record), was born in Montreal, Quebec on 5 July 1895 and baptized 12 April 1896.  The Presbyterian American Church record was found listed on Library Edition.

Rootsweb described the congregation of the American Presbyterian Church as mainly middle-class.  Also that the Church's members influenced the community, most notably, through participation in the temperance movement and the American Presbyterian Free School in the working-class suburb of Griffintown.

The pastor on my grandfather's birth record was Rev. T.S. McWilliams who pastored the Montreal Church from May 1892 through October 1902.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Surname Saturday – Andersen with an “e”

The Internet Surname Database indicates that this name was derived from the pre Christian Greek form of the personal name of “Andreas” meaning “manly”.  It was also held by Christ’s first disciple,  Andrew. 

Our Andersen surname comes by way of Scandinavia.  Family lore and Canadian census records show that my great grandfather was from Norway.  Unfortunately, Wikipedia states that the form Andersen is the fifth most common surname in Norway and Denmark.  This makes it a little more challenging for someone trying to research her family lines back to the Old Country.

Some other spelling variations include:  Anderson, Andersonne, Andersoun, Andersson, Andison, Andresen, Andresson, and Andrewson.  But my father always insisted our name was Andersen with an “e”.  He was proud of his heritage and felt that this was how we showed our Nordic roots.

Here is what I know of our Andersen family line:
Frank Albert Andersen
"Albert" Victor Andersen or (Frank Albert Andersen) was born 17 Apr 1876 in Norway.  (My dad always spoke of his grandfather as “Albert” and was surprised when I found out that his first name was listed as “Frank” in the cemetery.)

At 18 and of medium statue, Albert’s Scandinavian blue eyes melted the heart of 17‑year old Mary Jane Johnson (possibly May Johanssen) from Canada and they were married in 1894.  Mary's father, Charles Johnson was listed in the 1881 Canadian census that he was from Norway and her mother was Canadian-English.

On the 5th of July 1895 in the city of Montreal, the first of their six children, Frank Victor, (my grandfather) was born.
Then, on 23 September 1897, their daughter Lillian May was born.

Between the years of 1898 and 1899, the family emigrated from Canada to the United States, probably down through Vermont since the family was found on the 1900 U.S. Census records in Barre, Vermont.

In March of 1900, they have their second daughter, Flora. (Flora must have died early because she does not appear in later records.)  This same year, the census shows Frank, May, and the family renting a house on Maser Street in Barre, Washington County, Vermont. Frank is working as a machinist.  (Many others on the census page are working as granite cutters and so it’s quite possible that Frank was working in one of local granite quarries as well.)

In 1902, the couple had another daughter and named her Ruth MayThen, sometime within the next five years, the family moves to Massachusetts, and in 1908, Helen May is born.

By 1910 Frank is 33 years old and May is 31.  Frank, May, and their four children are living on Poplar Street in Danvers, Massachusetts at the time of the 1910 U.S Census.  He is employed as a machinist at a machine shop.  A year later, their second son William C. is born.

In 1918, the World War I Draft Registration card dated September 12, 1918 shows that Frank Albert Anderson and the family living at 18 Bridge in Beverly, Essex, MA. He is employed as a machinist at the United Shoe Machine Corporation in Beverly.

1920 U.S. Census records show Frank and May renting a home on Bridge Street in the city of Beverly, Massachusetts.  Frank’s first papers have been filed for naturalization and he is working as a (lattie?) machinist in a machine shop.
My cousin, Don Richardson, went to the Salem City Clerk’s office and found out that Frank A. Anderson, who was employed as a die maker/machinist, died at Shirley Hospital in Detroit, Michigan on April 15, 1927 at age 53.  His residence at the time of his death was 766 Piquett, Detroit, Michigan.  I have yet to find out why he would be living separate from his family at that time.

His wife, Mary J. Anderson, purchased a Lot in Greenlawn Cemetery in Salem and she buried her husband on the 20th of April, 1927 on Lotus Path.  She would join him in the family lot on 11 November 1949.

Sadly, to my father’s dismay, all the Andersons in this gravesite are spelled with an “o”.

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Alice and Hunker Cosby's Voice Record

This was a fun mememto picked up by my grandparents, Grayson and Alice Cosby, on a trip to New York in 1935.

There was a popular recording booth at the time on the Empire State Building's 86th floor observatory.  When money was inserted, visitors could record their own voices onto a souvenir record.  These made great keepsakes for visitors to recall their special trip to the Big Apple.

The record sleeve is all that remains of that enjoyable day, but the writing on its cover still makes me smile.  "Hunker" was my grandfather's nickname; I'm not sure who comprised "the Gang."

Also in 1935, WNEW in New York became the first music radio station.  Is there a coincidence?

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Hollywood Cemetery, and Blogging

Last weekend I attended the 42nd Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.  This was my third time going to this event and I was not disappointed.  My weekend was filled with great instruction from top notch speakers, cruising (and purchasing) throughout the exhibit hall, and exchanging stories with other family historians.  I had a great time.
There were two highlights of the event for me.  The first was that I got to tour the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where my husband’s great-grandmother, Annah E. Lander, was interned in 1935.  And the second was to attend at the Genealogy Bloggers Summit I where I found instruction and encouragement to start this blog.

1935 Newpaper Obituary from Family Scrapbook
The Hollywood Forever Tour was fantastic.  I had forgotten my research data at home so I had to go to the office to look up where Annah was located.  The girl in the office leafed through an old log book and she found the information I needed.  Annah was in the Cathedral Mausoleum, Crypt 75, at the far end of the cemetery.

Hollywood Cemetery Cathedral Mausoleum
Photo taken June 10, 2011

Annah Elizabeth Watson Lander

Born March 2, 1849 in Newbury, Sank County, Wisconsin
Died1935 in Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California

I know this blog is a little rough and bumpy but I'm encouraged by the community and support that is available and look forward to hearing from you. 

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Tree Ward Explained

The surname Ward is derived from the Old English word, ward, meaning guard, guardship, or watchman.*  Somehow that has become my role:  the ward or caretaker of our family tree.

I was never very interested in history as a subject in school.  My grades were proof to that.  But, over the course of time, as I tended to my own family's needs, my interest in our ancestral roots grew.  Once I was able to place family members (such as my great-grandfather Frank Andersen, a Norwegian immigrant, or my Nana Richardson with Pilgrim roots) in historical context, things changed.  It's kind of like watching a Broadway play and personally knowing the star of the show.  There's perspective and clarity to history because it's our history.

Now, because of this interest, I have become the recipient of a plethora of family papers, photo albums, and other heirlooms.  By using this archive of stuff, it is my hope to bring these stars into focus in such a way that my children will remember those who came before them and to protect and guard the memory of their ancestors.

* The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

©2011 – Frank’s Daughter All Rights Reserved