Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday's Faces from the Past - Harry & Ethel Harter

Wedding photographs of couples in my family tree are always treasured additions. This couple is not in my family tree. They likely were from Hamilton, Clay, or York county in Nebraska and probably were friends of my family.

The white material of her dress actually has a print to it. The pleated top has blouse sleeves and beaded pearls on the collar. Her full-length veil is sheer. She has no earrings or necklace and he has no lapel pin. It's a curious thing to me but she is carrying her flowers up-side-down, and it looks like his boutonniere is up-side-down as well.

The photo measures 6" x 8" with a 1 to 1-1/4" beige colored mat around it. There is nothing written on the front or back. A photographer's imprint of "Thorne" is in the bottom right corner, but no town is given. There was a William Thorne, listed as a photographer, in York, Nebraska in 1910. 

This couple belongs in someone's family tree. If you think you might know who they are, please leave a comment.

UPDATE 7/4/17:  As it turns out, this couple IS in my family tree. Thanks to cousin Deb for reading my post and letting me know. 

Harry Winfield Harter and Clara Ethel Smith were married on February 27, 1907. Ethel was the daughter of William and Rebecca Smith. The were blessed with one son, Gerald K in 1909.  Then on November 27, 1918 after a brief illness, Harry passed away.  Ethel took charge of the Post Office in Stockham, Nebraska in May of 1920, but died in July that same year. They are buried in the Stockham Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Catherine Elizabeth Mattingly 1907-1936

Lottie, Catherine & Ham Mattingly
110 years ago on June 21, 1907 William Alfred Bryant Mattingly and his wife Lottie of Marion County, Kentucky had a daughter they named Catherine Elizabeth. She was my husband's Aunt, but she died before he was born. She had two older brothers, William Robert and Benedict Boone; two older sisters, Mary Etta and Eliza Celeste; and a baby brother Joseph Hamilton, who was two years younger. She also had two older half siblings, John Raymond and Josephine Mattingly. A half-sister, Gertrude, died before Catherine was born and her father died before she turned three. They all lived in Marion County, Kentucky.

"Young Woman Succumbs

Miss Catherine E. Mattingly, 29 years old, passed away at 4:00 o'clock Tuesday morning at the home of D. A. and W. B. Bickett on the National Cemetery Road near Calvary where she had made her home with her mother, Mrs. Lottie Mattingly, for sixteen years.  Her death was due to bonchial (sic) pneumonia which developed following a ten months illness of a complication of diseases.  
Miss Mattingly was graduated from the Calvary High School in 1928, after which she took a nurses' training course at a hospital in St. Louis, Mo.  Later she went to Indianapolis, Ind., where she served at St. Francis' Hospital until forced by ill health to give up her work and return home.  She was a daughter of the late William A. Mattingly, and Mrs. Lottie Boone Mattingly, and was born in this county June 21, 1907.  She was a faithful member of Holy Mary's Catholic Church at Calvary and was a young woman possessing many traits which endeared her to a wide circle of friends.  
Besides her mother, she is survived by one sister, Mrs. Virgil Dennison of Indianapolis, Ind.; three brothers, Boone Mattingly of Louisville and Robert and Hamilton Mattingly of Lebanon, and one half-brother, Raymond Mattingly of Louisville.  
Funeral services were held at 9:00 o'clock yesterday morning at Holy Mary's Church at Calvary by the Rev. Robert Canty, and burial was in Holy Mary's Cemetery. 
The pallbearers were:  Garland Luckett, Paul Bland, Joseph Ford, George Spalding, Vincent Spalding and Kelly Thomas."

It is now known that what Catherine went to St Louis, Missouri for was to have a child. She lived at the "St. Ann's Widow's Home, Lying-In Hospital and Foundling Asylum". Catherine's son was born in November, 1928. He found his birth family in the 1990's, too late to meet his birth mother. 

On October 13, 1936 Catherine passed away at only 29. Her official cause of death was "carcinoma of breast, with general metastosis".   She had fought breast cancer for 2 years.

Along with the death certificate, obituary and papers from St. Ann's Home, that my sister-in-law had in a file was this poem.  The author is unknown, she may have written this herself. 

A Broken Hearted Girl

I am dreaming, dreaming dear,
Wondering here tonight
Thinking only dear, of you
In the moon-light

Some day you'll be sorry
And think of what I've said
Yes, you will think of me
When I'm dead 

How my heart is sad and broken?
How I long and sigh and pine?
How the memories come stealing?
How I think of the flight of time?

It will be too late I fear
When you will think and do what's right
Now you'll remember this I've said
Here in the moonlight

December 15, 1928

She was reunited with her son when he passed away in 2014. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trying to Match Faces to Names

Along with the photo in my last post, there were five other Tintype photographs, also unidentified, among the possessions of Art & Sadie McGrath. Believing these people may be family, I've got some ideas on who they MIGHT be. I looked at the families of the brothers and sisters of Art & Sadie and both of their parents. We have some identified photos of members of Sadie's side of the family, so I have compared them and I don't see much resemblance. These photos look like they were all taken before 1900. According to Wikipedia, Tintypes started losing commercial ground in the mid 1860's, yet survived for well over another 40 years mostly as a carnival novelty. So it's possible that these are from the 1880's or 1890's. 

This group of a family including parents, 6 children and a young woman may be the easiest one to determine who they could be. I assume the man has his hand on the shoulder of his wife, and the young woman in the hat seems to be a few years older than the children and may not be a sibling. She could be a relative or she could be someone they took in to help with the children.  The two girls, one on each side of the adult women, look about the same age or within a few years. So I looked for a family with at least six children where two girls are the oldest.  

One family I found was Levi and Minnie Patterson's. Minnie's full name was Arminda Ruth, she was the second oldest sister of Art McGrath. Ruth Webb, who was possibly the woman in my last post was her Grandmother. Levi and Minnie's family started with a girl, then another girl, then boy, boy, girl, boy - the last boy was born in 1890. This photo could have been taken about 1891 or 1892 judging by the smallest child in the middle. Levi & Minnie's family moved from Illinois to Nebraska about 1885. So if this is them, the picture was taken in Nebraska. 

One other possible family that might match this photo is the David Foster Negley family.  The children in that family start out with three girls, then three boys. It's hard to say if the boy in the forefront looks older than the younger girl on the right. Those Negley children were born between 1869 and 1882 with three years between the two oldest girls. These girls look closer in age than that to me. Most of the other Negley family photos we have are the Carte de Visite type.

I think the age order of these 3 children goes girl, boy, girl.  One related family that starts out that way is the William and Rebecca Smith family. Rebecca is Art McGrath's oldest sister. Their third child was born in 1887, the younger girl looks about two or three years old. The next girl they had died in 1890. Again, this picture may have been taken about 1891 or 1892.

For comparison, I know the young woman on the right is Elizabeth, the oldest daughter of William and Rebecca Smith. Can this be the same girl?

Maybe I'm stuck thinking along the same family line, but IF the family group is Arminda McGrath's, and the children belong to Rebecca McGrath, could I expect to find a photo of William and Rebecca (McGrath) Smith?

The couple in this photo and the next one look to me like they could be the same, below just a few years later. It really could be anyone. 

Below it looks like a boy on the man's lap, and I can barely see a ruffle and two little feet on the woman's lap (it's much easier to see when zoomed in closer).  It's impossible to tell with the damage to the photo. There's no face, but I really think there's a little girl there, older than the boy. Could the children in the photo below be the oldest two in the photo of the three children above? 

Another comparison look - the woman on the right is Rebecca (McGrath) Smith.

Arthur McGrath had no other siblings. The woman below could be anyone. She is wearing what looks like a ring on a chain hanging from her neck.  She does have a band on her wedding ring finger.  Sitting on a chair leaning on a table, she looks to me like she is in her early to mid 20's. 

We will never really know who they are unless someone else has the same or similar photos. I can't say for sure, but I think that these photos are all of the McGrath side of the family. I believe they belonged to Rachel McGrath at one time, the mother of Rebecca, Arminda and Arthur.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not Susannah, But Maybe Ruth?

Possibly Ruth Smith-Simmons-Webb
In the past I have written two posts about this photo and that my Grandma thought it was a picture of her Great Grandmother Susannah Case Lee. I have edited those posts - Sarah Mariah Matilda Lee and A Little About Charles Lee and Susannah to note that I don't agree with that anymore, I will explain why.

I have had a professional archivist look at the actual photograph and know now that it IS a "Tin Type". The Tin type process was first started in France in 1853, and was patented in the US in 1856. It's not likely that this is a picture of a woman who died in 1851. Grandma's idea was a good one, but she just didn't know.  

Now I'm looking at other possibilities of who this woman could be. Grandma found the picture in her parents, Art & Sadie McGrath's, house so we feel sure this woman would be someone in the family. Grandma thought she was Sadie's maternal Grandmother, Susannah. I have a photo of Sadie's paternal Grandmother and know that it's not her.  But what if she's one of Art's Grandmothers? 

I'm estimating the date of this photo to be around 1860, give or take a few years. The dress style is similar to what I find from the Civil War time period. I think the woman in the photo looks like she may be in her 30's or 40's.  

Ruth Smith was born about 1820 to Jonathan & Rachel Smith in either Maine or Pennsylvania.  She first married Lebius Simmons about 1840. Their oldest daughter, Rachel, is Art McGrath's mother. Four other children were born to Lebius and Ruth - Mary Rosilla, Louisa, William and Ruth Maria. They all lived in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Lebius died sometime between 1852 and 1854. 

In Ritchie County, Virginia on July 1, 1854 Ruth married Cyrus Webb. Cyrus and Ruth had four more children - Milbourn, Jesse, Sarah and Franklin. I have just learned that Ruth died just 10 days after Franklin's birth at about age 43 in 1863.  So could this photo be of Ruth, taken sometime between 1856 and 1863?

When Ruth Webb died, she had six children under 18. Her husband Cyrus died within a few months.  Her two oldest daughters, Rachel and Mary Rosilla were both married, but Mary Rosilla died within a couple of years.  Rachel is likely the one who first had the photo.

Art was the youngest and last child at home, living with his parents in Cozad, Nebraska when Rachel died in 1896. By 1900, Art had moved to Clay County near his oldest sister. He may have taken this photo (and more that I'm working on) with him when he left home.

Just so I cover all the bases, Art's paternal Grandmother, R. (McCarty) McGrath, would have been at least 49 years old in 1860. (I say "R" because that's all I know, but I'm betting it stands for Rebecca.)  She lived in Ireland and as far as I know, she never came to the US. Does this woman look Irish?

All thoughts are welcome and I apologize for creating any confusion. I was clear in my earlier posts that I wasn't sure who the woman in the photo was and I still can't be sure.