Ancestor Biography – Hannah Carpenter (1847-?)

Howell-Darling-2017 Research
Darling/Carpenter Line
52 Ancestors

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Sometimes searching for an ancestor is a grueling process.  My researching my wife’s 4th great-grandmother, Hannah (Carpenter) Darling looks to be one such project. My goal is to determine her death date and her parents.

My initial searches for Hannah on Ancestry.Com, Family Search, and Google found nothing that clearly related to Hannah. When challenged by a complicated research project I like to regroup and make sure that I know what I think I know.  Sadly, what I think I know came from only two sources. And neither of them were primary sources. They are:

  1. Frank J. Doherty, in The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, indicated that Abner Darling’s wife was named Hannah (possibly Hannah Reed) and she was born on 16 Feb 1747.[i]
  2. The Revolutionary War Pension file of Daniel Fenton indicates that his wife’s parents were Abner Darling and Hannah Carpenter, and they were married on 23 December 1768.[ii]

Any additional facts regarding Hannah’s life are facts regarding Abner and by association apply to Hannah.

Photo of tree across footpath.

Blockage on the footpath – Photo Credit Nigel Chadwick [CC BY-SA 2.0]

One way to try to break through the research blockage is to look at the trees of other people researching the same person and see if they have any sources/citations that they have associated with Hannah with which I agree.

I noticed that one researcher indicated that Hannah and Abner were married in Pittstown, NY and Ancestry reported it was an “Unsourced Citation.” I know that sometimes the old Ancestry sync process didn’t handle citations well, so I messaged the individual through Ancestry to see if he or she had a source for that location for the marriage.

1800 Census – Bethlehem, Albany, New York – Hannah Darling

  •             1 Male 10 to 15           Hannah had one son in this age range.
  •             1 Female under 10       Hannah had no known daughters in this age range.
  •             3 females 10 to 15       Hannah had three daughters in this age range.
  •             1 female 26 to 44         Hannah would have been 53, not under 45.

For this 1800 Census to be correct, Abner had to have died before 1800 and Hannah left the Beekman Patent area. Both are possible, however, I don’t believe this is the correct Hannah (Carpenter) Darling. Further research is needed to clarify this possible fact.

1850 Census – Schenectady, NY, – Hanna Carpenter – Wrong.

I don’t believe Hannah would have changed her name back to Carpenter.

1888 Directory – Oswego, New York – Wrong

Our Hannah would have been 141 years old.

American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI)

Hannah Darling b. 1750, New York, Volume 40, Page 52.
Hannah Darling b. 1750, New York, Volume 25, Page 194.

The index doesn’t provide enough information to determine if it I referring to my Hannah, so I’ll need to view these at a family history library (FHS).  I’m not currently scheduled to go the Maine State Archives, which is an FHS affiliate, until June.  But I think I’ll plan to go to my closest FHS next week or so.

So, my search of Ancestry, Family Search, the Internet (via Genealogy in Time), and Archive.Org books on Carpenter Family searching for Darling yielded nothing new.  Because of the lack of detail I have found concerning Hannah (Carpenter) Darling, I believe I will need to do a FAN study of her.

  • First: I will look at all 14 of her children, see what happened to them.
  • Second: Look at all Carpenters in the places where Hannah lived for potential relatives.

Ancestor #97

List of Grandparents

Hannah Carpenter (1747-?)

Birth

1847 Bowen Map of North America

Hannah was born on 16 Feb 1747.[iii]

Marriage

Marriage Hannah married Abner Darling on 23 December 1768.[iv]

Adulthood

In 1779 the family lived in the King’s District, Albany County, New York.[v]

In 1790 the family lived in Hoosick, Albany County, New York.[vi]

Children:

Abner and Hannah appear to have had 14 children. They are:

Children: Sex Birth Death
Mary Darling F 16 Jan 1770
Lucy Darling F Feb 1771
Unknown Darling M 1772
Sylvia Darling F 03 Feb 1773 08 May 1838
Thomas Darling M 08 Feb 1775 Bef. Oct 1776
Thomas Darling M 02 Oct 1776
Esther Darling F 22 Oct 1778
Abner Darling M 20 Dec 1780 11 Jan 1839
Reid Darling M 19 Jan 1783
Lucinda Darling F 29 Jan 1785
Luana Darling F 29 Jan 1785
Alanson Darling M 14 Jan 1787
Deidama Darling F 14 Jan 1787
Hannah Darling F 03 Feb 1789

Hannah’s death and burial are unknown.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • View at a Family History Library:
    • American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI)
      • Hannah Darling b. 1750, New York, Volume 40, Page 52.
      • Hannah Darling b. 1750, New York, Volume 25, Page 194.
    • Research each of the children (Except Abner who I examined previously).
    • Research Mary Darling and her husband’s Revolutionary War Pension files.
    • Research Carpenters in the area where Abner and Hannah lived.

Endnotes

[i] Doherty, Frank J., Darling Family, The – Settlers of the Beekman Patent, The, Files, 6. – Abner Darling (1747-c.1805). See File: Darling.doc.

[ii] NARA, Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, Fold3, Daniel Felton – W 19259 – Page 4. https://www.fold3.com/image/17868586.

[iii] See endnote i above.

[iv] See endnote ii above.

[v] See endnote i above.

[vi] Ibid.

 

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Carlisle Opera House, 23 April 1920

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play the Carlisle Opera House on 23 April 1920 

Finishing their one-night show On April 22nd at the Frederick City Opera House, the cast and crew of “Chin Chin” packed up and rolled the 65 miles north to Carlisle, PA for the show the next night at the Carlisle Opera House.

Photo of Cast of Chin Chin on stage - Carlisle Opera House

Cast of “Chin Chin” – Carlisle Opera House – 23 April 1920

Pre-show advertising on April 17th indicates, “there is no leading lady in this organization, although a number of beautiful women, principals and otherwise, song birds and actresses are in the cast. It appears that she who is to enjoy the place of honor as first favorite is left to the choice of the public.”[i]

However, two days later there was an advertising article which called out Donna specifically – “Miss Donna Montran as the goddess of the lamp sings some pleasing songs and has a very attractive personality.”[ii]

The show appears to have gone on without a hitch, and the show packed up and headed east to Reading for a show the next night.

Carlisle Opera House

photo of Carlisle Opera House - Decorated for Jim Thorpe's homecoming in 1912

Carlisle Opera House – Decorated for Jim Thorpe’s homecoming in 1912 (Courtesy: Ohio History Connection)

Carlisle is the county seat of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Currently a small town of about 20,000, in 1920 the borough’s population was about 11,000. The theatre is said to have seated over 1000 people; however, the stage size was relatively small.  The proscenium opening was only 26 feet wide and 20 feet high.[iii]

It is unclear to me when the Carlisle Opera House was built; however, it was certainly in operation before 1888, when the Dickenson College Glee Club sang there.[iv]

In 1898, the Carlisle Opera House building in Carlisle housed a barber shop, billiard room. and bowling alley on the ground level, with the opera house on the second floor, and Masonic meeting rooms on the third floor.”[v]

It appears to have been closed sometime between 1955 and 1959 as it was opened on May 9, 1959, for a presentation of “Hansel and Gretel” put on by the students of Dickinson College.[vi]

The building was destroyed by fire in August 1972 in a fire that killed two people.[vii]

Followup

Get a higher quality image of the “Chin Chin” cast on stage at the Carlisle Opera House.

Endnotes

[i] Carlisle Evening Herald (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) – Sat, Apr 17, 1920 – page 5 – “The Musical Melange of Chin Chin.”
[ii] Carlisle Evening Herald (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) · Mon, Apr 19, 1920, · Page 7 – “CHIN CHIN”. Newspapers.com https://www.newspapers.com/image/269958879.
[iii] The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide – 1910, Page 679, Carlisle.
[iv] “The Dickinsonian – Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, March 1888, Page 10, THE COLLEGE GLEE CLUB CONCERT – http://deila.dickinson.edu/cdm/ref/collection/dickinsonia/id/28932.
[v] Condee, William Faricy – Coal and Culture: Opera Houses in Appalachia – Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio 45701 (c) 2005 – Pages 54 & 55.
[vi] “The Dickinsonian” – Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, Friday, May 1, 1959, Page 3, ‘BUCKET’ OPENS FOR DICKINSON PRESENTATION. http://deila.dickinson.edu/cdm/ref/collection/dickinsonia/id/18415.
[vii] Cinema Treasurers – The Strand Theatre – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/23000
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William Freeman – Patriot

Sometimes I’m reminded that when I’m away from home, I need to be extra careful to document my work so as to be able to cite my sources properly.  Sadly I can’t do that with today’s treasure.

Back in March of 2013, I went to the Family History Center in Powder Springs, GA.  While there I found some fascinating things and I failed to document where I got them. One of the most interesting items was a letter to Mrs. E. B. Freeman, in response to a letter from her. I don’t know if the reply came from NARA, the War Department, or where but was signed by A. D. Hiller, Assistant to Administrator.  Anyway, it provides details about William Freeman, a Revolutionary War patriot, his service and his family. As such it is a treasure to have found.  I only wish I had properly documented my source for the document.


WASHINGTON               October 5, 1931

Mrs. E. B. Freeman
826 Bellevue Avenue
Dublin, Georgia

Dear Madam:

Reference is made to your letter of September 19th, relative to William Freeman, a soldier of the Revolution.

The data furnished herein are obtained from papers on file in the Revolutionary War pension claim, W. 10042, based on the military service of William Freeman.

He was born October 26, 1759, in Bertie County, North Carolina.

While a resident of Bertie or Martin Co., he enlisted and served as private with the North Carolina troops as follows: in 1776, three months in Captain Andrew Oliver’s Company in Colonel Hogun’s Regiment; from July 20, 1778, nine months in Captain Child’s Company in Colonel Hart’s Regiment; in 1781, three months in Captain Taylor’s Company in Colonel Eaton’s Regiment and was in the battles of Guilford and Camden.

He was allowed pension on his application executed July 23, 1832, at which time he was a resident of Burke County, North Carolina.

He died January 27 or 28, 1838, in Greene County, Missouri, where he had moved in 1835.

While a resident of Martin County, North Carolina, William Freeman married in that county about 1786 Mary Bryan, the daughter of Robert Bryan.

Said Mary died November 5, 1845.

————— Page 2 ———————

In 1850 reference was made to the following children of William and Mary Freeman:

Reddick Freeman, aged about fifty-six years and a resident of Caldwell County, North Carolina.

John Freeman, aged fifty-four years.

Larry, aged about fifty-two years and resident of Owen County, Indiana

Lemuel H. Freeman, Aged forty-nine years.

Elizabeth and James (Twins) aged about forty-seven years; she was wife of Isaac Smith and a resident of Caldwell County, North Carolina, and he, James Freeman, was resident of Owen County, Indiana.

Nancy, aged about forty-five years and the wife of Greene Austin.

Frances, aged about forty-one years and the wife of Jacob Painter.

Rachel, the daughter of William and Mary Freeman, married John Austin and they had a daughter, Asenath.

        Very truly yours,

A. D. Hiller

                             Assistant to Administrator


William Freeman was the son-in-law of my wife’s fifth-great-grandfather Robert Bryan. (Husband of my wife’s fourth-great-grand-aunt.)

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Virginia Memory Chancery Records Index

John P. Williams vs Admr of John P. Price – Case: 1836-011

Peter Howell Deposition

Amanuensis Monday

Finding records for ancestors in antebellum Virginia are always a treasure.  One of my favorite record sets is the Chancery Records Index available through Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia.  Although it says it is an index, it is much more.  Not only does it provide a search capability of an index, once you find a record you may also download the original document images. They even provide a batch download of all the images in a set as a ZIP file instead of needing to download all the files one at a time – A very handy feature when a record has 90 images.

I was recently looking for records regarding my wife’s 4th great-grandfather John Price and looked at the Virginia Chancery Records Index for possible information. Sure enough, a search for anyone with the surname Price being the plaintiff in a case between 1779 (when John was 21 years old) and 1840 (a few years after his death). There were 11 records returned and four of them related to a John Price as the plaintiff.

A similar search for Price being the defendant returned 12 records with three of the results relating to the administrator of John Price’s estate being the defendant. With these records, I thought I’d look at the details of the John Price cases to see what might be there.

Woo-hoo! One of the cases includes testimony from Peter Howell, whom I have been searching for information regarding for quite some time.  Would his affidavit show anything new? Here is my transcript of the document.


Image of the Peter Howell Deposition in the John P. Williams vs John P. Price 1839 Virginia Chancery case.

Peter Howell Deposition

Virginia Memory – Chancery Records – John Williams vs. John P Price – Page 0030 – Transcript

The Deposition of Peter Howel of lawful age. Taken agreeable to notice
on Thursday the 31st day of March 1836. At the house of William Newton in
The County of Buckingham, Virginia. to be read as evidence in a certain
Suit defending in the Circuit Superior Court of law and Chancery in
Cumberland County Va on the Chancery side of said Court. In which
John P Williams is Plaintiff and William D. Price as administrator
of John P. Price. deceased, is defendant. This deponent being
duly sworn deposits and saith that I recollect that
Mr. John P Price and Mr. John P William came to my
house sometime between the first and 15th of June
1830 on about that time at which time Mr. Williams
applied to me for [???d] dollars which I owe him
for the reason of an irmaue[?] in the spring of 1829
to his Hames and upon appreciation I present to Mr.
Williams a thirty dollar note it being the smallest
I had at that time Mr. William informed me that
he had no small money and could not change
the note I forwarded in in convergence of which
Mr. Williams turned to Mr. Price and told him
he would leave a receipt with him and get him to collect
the money and after the 16th of June 1830 Mr.
Price told me he was able to change the note I
offered to Mr. Williams I paid him the Money
on the same day and took a receipt
which I have now in my possession and further this
deponent saith not.

Peter Howell

Sworn to transcribed before me this 31st day of April 1836

Benj. D. c Induson[?]


Facts:

  • John P Price and John P Williams came to Peter Howel’s home in June 1830.
  • Peter Howell testified (was living) on 31 March 1836.
  • William Newton lived in Buckingham County in March 1836.
  • William D. Price was the administrator of the estate of John P. Price.

Peter’s deposition doesn’t provide any important new information regarding him or his life. However, there are 90 pages within this Chancery case, and the Peter Howell deposition only provides two of those pages.  There is a lot more to look at and see what I can learn.  There is a deposition from a “William Holman.” I’ll bet this is the William Holman that married Peter Howell’s half-sister?  If so, maybe that will provide fresh new areas of inquiry. There are also several other documents in Virginia Memories Chancery Records that should be reviewed closely. Ninety pages of transcribing hard-to-read 19th-century handwriting is always a chore (for me), but it has the potential of opening new areas of research.

Future Research:

There are some 23 Chancery cases from Cumberland County, Virginia, that might apply to my wife’s Price ancestors; I need to review them and glean any new facts I can find.

Recommendation:

Use Virginia Memory  Chancery Records Index to look for Virginia ancestors who lived in Virginia between 1750 and 1912.  Be sure to check by specific county and/or city to your research processes to avoid searching for information from counties not covered by the index.

 

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Possible Relatives – Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Blake Lively

We’re Related – Third Look

Famous Friday
by Don Taylor

My third look at possible relatives using “We’re Related” showed many potential new cousins.  I decided I would look at the three of the closest “famous relatives” that “We’re Related” is proposing are cousins — Johnny Cash, Jimmy Hendrix, and Blake Lively. All three are at 9 degrees of separation (8th cousins or 7th cousin once removed).

Johnny Cash

Photo of Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash – 7th Cousin 1x Removed?

The late Johnny Cash is certainly one of the most famous country music singer-songwriters ever. He was born in Kingsland, Arkansas in 1932. Supposedly Johnny is a 7th cousin, once removed.  The relationship follows the Roberts line:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts
  • Bert Allen Roberts
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts
  • Asa Ellis Roberts
  • Elizabeth Blackwell Same ancestor I might share with Carrie Fisher
    • Sarah Harris – I have seen her name before but I haven’t confirmed it.
    • Robert Harris – Unknown to me.
    • Robert Harris – Unknown to me.
    • Temperance Overton – Supposed Common Ancestor.

I have seen other researchers indicate that Elizabeth Blackwell’s mother was Sarah Harris, I have not had a chance to confirm that information yet. This line definitely needs additional research by me. My relationship with Johnny Cash is possible.

Jimi Hendrix

Photo of Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix – 8th Cousin?

The late Jimi Hendrix was a very influential guitarist during the late 1960s until his death in 1970. He was born in Seattle, Washington in 1942. He would be an 8th cousin. His relationship follows the Roberts line exactly the same as Johnny Cash does to Temperance Overton.

My relationship with Jimi Hendrix is possible

Blake Lively

Photo of Blake Lively in a 2012 Gucci ad.

Blake Lively – 7th Cousin 1x Removed ?

I’m showing my age again, but I said “who?” when I heard the name, Blake Lively.  Blake is an actress famous for her role in the CW show, Gossip Girl (which I’ve not watched). I’ve seen a couple of the movies she has been in such as Green Lantern and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She was born in Tarzana, California in1987. She and I are supposedly 7th cousins, 1x removed. The relationship follows the Roberts line:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts
  • Bert Allen Roberts
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts
  • Asa Ellis Roberts
  • Elizabeth BlackwellSame ancestor I might share with Carrie Fisher
    • Sarah Harris – I have seen her name before but I haven’t confirmed it.
    • Lucretia Brown – Unknown to me.
    • Benjamin Brown – Supposed Common Ancestor.

My relationship with Blake Lively is possible.

I was amazed to learn that the stumbling block for all three of these possible famous cousins was the same person – Elizabeth Blackwell’s mother.

Carlton Ross

Photo of the Scarborough Museum

Scarborough Museum

Carl, as I know him by, is a friend at the Scarborough Museum where I volunteer. He is a native to Maine and supposedly an 8th cousin.

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts
  • Essie Pansy Barnes
  • Joel Clinton Barns
  • Mercy Eliza Taft – Same ancestor I might share with Walt Disney
    • Joel Cruff Taft 
    • Sarah Whitney
    • John Whitney
    • Phoebe Day
    • Joseph Day

My relationship with Carl is possible. This is really kind of cool because, if correct, it would mean I have an old, long-time, connection to Maine that I didn’t know about.

Updated chart of Relationships to Famous People

Famous Person Relationship* To CA Comments
Luke Bryan Possible 2 Research Ancestors of Elizabeth Blackwell
Blaine Bettinger Possible 2 Research Ancestors of John Parsons
Blake Lively Possible 3 Research Ancestors of Elizabeth Blackwell
John Kerry Possible 4 Research Ancestors of Wicks Weeks Rowley
Johnny Cash

Carrie Fisher

Jimi Hendrix

Possible 4 Research Ancestors of Elizabeth Blackwell
Carl Ross Possible 5 Research Ancestors of Mercy Eliza Taft
Walt Disney Possible 7 Research Ancestors of Mercy Eliza Taft
Stephen King Unlikely Not through Max Fisher
Randy Seaver Unlikely Not through Henry Mack Brown
Britney Spears Unlikely Not through Sarah J. Gavin

Conclusion

“We’re Related” is fun to look at possibilities. It makes me think about key relationships in my tree and has the potential of providing clues into further research.  It appears that Ancestry may have improved its algorithms as, again, none of the matches this time were unlikely or impossible. That is twice in a row.

I need to bring my Blackwell research to the forefront and see if I can close the gap between my research and the “We’re Related” suggestions.

*Relationship Table

Unlikely = There is something in the family tree going up to the common ancestor that I disagree with.  There might be another path to a common ancestor; however, according to my research, the path “We’re Related” is suggesting is not possible.

Possible = “We’re Related” has added additional ancestors to my tree to reach a potential common ancestor.  I need to do more research to agree with the Common Ancestor.

Probable = “We’re Related” indicates a common ancestor that I agree is an ancestor of mine. I need to research the descendants of that ancestor to assure the connection.

Certain = Well as certain as you can get in Genealogy. “We’re Related” indicates a pathway up to a common ancestor and down to the famous person that I am in agreement with.

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A Genealogist’s Nightmare or a Census Taker’s Confusion?

Four Mary Stoeger’s in the 1900 Census.

It was hard for me to tell if I was looking at an ‘80s sitcom or if the 1900 Census was true. I kept thinking, “Hi, I’m John Stoeger, and this is my wife Mary, and this is my daughter Mary, and this is my other daughter, Mary. Oh, by the way, this is my other daughter, Mary.  Yes, the 1900 Census shows that John’s wife and three of his daughters are all named “Mary.” Either the census taker got it all mixed up or there are several stories to uncover suggested by this census record. I needed to figure out which.

John Stoeger is my wife’s half-aunt’s grandfather.  Not a direct ancestor to my wife, but still a person of interest.  I wanted to see if I John really had three daughters named Mary.

Other records indicate that John’s children immigrated about 1885, so they aren’t going to be in the 1880 Census (and they weren’t).  The Minnesota 1895 census does show John, but that census shows no information about his children.  I couldn’t find in him the 1910 Census so, I thought that I might be at a wall of some sort.  Then I found him, Johann Stoeger in a 1908 wills and probate records on Ancestry. Sure enough, this Johan had a daughter Hattie Drexel (Hedwig Drexl) and the ages of the other children all fit my 1900 John Stoeger family.

The first “Mary” was Barbara.

The second “Mary” was Marie.

The third “Mary” is still unknown but appears to have died between 1900 and 1908.  That is because in 1900 Mary, the mother, had eleven children, six of whom were living. The 1908 probate records show five of the six children living.

I was a little but surprised to see that John (Johann) and three of his children had all moved to Stillwater. So, I wondered if I had the wrong John Stoeger; however, I became certain that It was the right John Stoeger when I saw that the estate included property on Water Street in Saint Paul, where he lived during the 1900 Census and one of his daughters was Hattie Drexl. Everything fit into place.

Finally, that third Mary child, I suspect was actually John Stoeger, Jr.  I haven’t proven it to my satisfaction, yet, but I’m pretty sure I am right. I need to do a little more research on John Jr. to prove it. I think the Census taker was a bit confused.


Sources:

  • 1900 Census (A), John Hoeger [Stoeger] – Saint Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota, Ward 6, ED 0105, Page 15B.
  • Minnesota, Wills and Probate Records, 1801-1925, Ancestry.com, Johann (John) Stoeger – Page 1517

 

 

 

 

 

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Donna Darling and Earle

Donna Darling Collection – Part 3

We know that Donna had a show advertised as “Donna Darling and Earle in a Song and Dance Romance” in 1924. The Standiford Studio in Louisville, Kentucky took this photo entitled, “Donna Darling and Earle.”

Photo of Donna Darling & Murray Earle c. 1924

Donna Darling & Murray Earle c. 1924

Donna and Earl played in Oakland California in June 1924, and at the Melba Theatre in Dallas, TX in July 1924.  Seemingly like an easterly movement, I extrapolate they could have been in Louisville in August 1924.  Of course,  I could be entirely wrong.  As a matter of fact, I would expect a photo like this to be taken towards the beginning of a tour rather than the end. In either event, the photograph is likely taken in 1924.

Follow-up

Continue research and find dates when Donna and Earle played in Louisville, KY.

 

 

 

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Ancestor Biography – Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)

Roberts/Barnes Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is usually the birth record, and how comfortable I am with that record, that defines how comfortable I am with my feeling that I know an ancestor.  Nelson Barnes’ birth records, parents, and childhood records do not give me a warm fuzzy feeling.  I have no sense of the cat purring behind my ear.  But, here is what I think I know.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Ancestor #20

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Essie Pansy Barnes
  • 1st Great: Joel Clinton Barnes
  • 2nd Great: Nelson Barnes
  • 3rd Great: (Possibly Joel Barnes)

Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)

Birth

Thomas Wolfe, in A History of Sullivan County, Indiana,[i] indicates that Nelson Barnes was born in New York on 24 March 1816. It is very clear; however, Nelson Barnes’ Find a Grave Memorial [ii] indicates he was born on 6 December 1816. The photo on the memorial is too pixelated to be able to determine what it might say. So, I have submitted a Find-a-Grave photo request to try to get a higher quality image to look at.

Source ages and places of birth for Nelson Barnes

Document Age Supports Birth in
1850 Census 35 – Pennsylvania December 1816
1860 Census 44 – New York March 1816
1870 Census 54 – New York March 1816
1880 Census 64 – New York March 1816
1884 Find-a-Grave If age 68 in January 1884, then December 1816
1884 Find-a-Grave New York 6 December 1816
1909 (Wolf book) New York 24 March 1816
Photo of marker for Mercy Eliza Taft Barnes and Nelson Barns.

Marker for Mercy Eliza Taft Barnes and Nelson Barns. Photo by Wabash Valley Genealogy Society Cemetery Committee via Find a Grave

Normally, I like to use the document closest to the event. However, in this case, three of the four census records and the Wolf book indicate a different birth date makes me uncomfortable accepting the December 1816 birthdate. I’ve decided to ignore the Pennsylvania birthplace states in the 1850 Census as just wrong. His marker might indicate his age at death as 68 years and 29 days. If so, that would put his birth in December 1816 also.  So, I’ve requested an updated find-a-grave image of his marker. Hopefully, the bottom line will be more readable. An improved image might clear his birth month up for me.

Childhood

I have not found any documents, so far, that clearly identify Nelson Barnes’ parents. That said, there are 11 family trees on Ancestry that share Nelson Barnes as an ancestor.  All 11 of those trees indicate that Nelson Barnes’ parents were Joel and Lucy Wilson (Taft) Barnes. None of these researchers appear to have identified any siblings for Nelson nor have are any siblings identified on the Family Search family tree (ID: M1PY-5V8). Finally, the idea that Nelson married a Taft and that his father also married a Taft makes me uncomfortable.  Are the identities confused by the researchers or did it really happen this way? Having Nelson’s father named Joel would explain one of his sons being named Joel. In the future, I will research Joel Barnes (the elder) and see if I can connect him to Nelson, but in the meantime, the relationship of Nelson to Joel and Lucy is very tentative.

Marriage

Nelson Barnes and Mercy Eliza Taft were united in marriage in New York on October 21, 1839.[iii]

Adult

Their first child, a daughter, has one of the most unusual names I’ve encountered – Tryphenia.  Tryphenia (or Tryphena) was born in in 1841 in New York.  Records seem to conflict about if she was born in Broome County (Binghamton area) or King’s County (Manhattan).

Likewise, their second child, also a daughter – was born in 1844, also in New York.

The family then located to Sullivan County, Indiana where Nelson and Mercy had seven more children, all in Sullivan County.  They were:

  • Theodore              1847
  • Susan                    1849
  • Abraham              1852
  • Cyrus                     1855
  • Joel                        1857
  • Lucy                       1860
  • Martha                  1863

Nelson was a farmer and attended Methodist Episcopal church. The 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census records all clearly show him living in Sullivan County.  Although some researchers indicate that Nelson served in the Civil War, I do not agree and believe the 45-year-old father of 8 remained out of the war. See “Nelson Barnes – Civil War Veteran?” for details.

Stories

In February 1879, Nelson and Mercy’s son Cyrus died at the age of 24.

Death & Burial

Nelson died on 21 January 1884 and is buried in Drake Cemetery, Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana.[iv]

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research potential ancestors, Joel and Lucy Wilson (Taft) Barnes, and see if there is a descendant path to Nelson Barnes.

Endnotes and Sources

[i] Citation:  Wolfe, Thomas J. 1909. A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: The Lewis Pub. Co. Page 235.

[ii] Find A Grave Memorial# 37229135 – Nelson Barnes (1816 – 1884). Accessed 27 Mar 2017. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37229135

[iii] Wolfe, Thomas J., History of Sullivan County, Indiana, A, Files (Personal),  See Item i above.

[iv] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Nelson Barnes (1816 – 1884). See Above. See item ii above.

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Nelson Barnes – Veteran?

Roberts/Barnes Line
By Don Taylor

As I researched Nelson Barnes I realized that many people are ascribing many Civil War records to Nelson indicating his service. Ancestry hints were indicating many different potential records that were all being ascribed to Nelson by various other researchers. I needed a way to help differentiate my Nelson from other Nelsons.

Map of Indiana showing location of Sullivan County

Sullivan County, Indiana

My Nelson Barnes was born in New York in 1816. According to Thomas Wolfe, Nelson and his wife located to Sullivan County, Indiana in the 1840s.[i] He was in Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana for the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses. Turman township is on the Indiana-Illinois boarder so it is possible that he enlisted in Illinois.  Kentucky is about 100 miles away and there are many other places he could have enlisted if the 47 year-old, father of 8 desired to do so.

Looking at the 1860 Census, I eliminated any Nelson Barnes that was born before 1800 as being too old to serve in the Civil War.  I also eliminated anyone born after 1850 as being too young to serve. That left 19 individuals including my Nelson Barnes reported in the 1860 Census.

1860 Census – Birth and residence for individuals named “Nelson Barnes.”

# Birth Birth Place Residence in 1860
NB01 1809 Connecticut Roxbury, CT
NB02 1812 Rhode Island Johnston, RI
NB03 1814 New York Jasper, NY
NB04 1815 Kentucky Madison Co., KY
NB05 1815 New York Vienna, IL
NB06 1816 New York Turman, IN
NB07 1818 New York Franklin, NY
NB08 1818 England Hamilton, NJ
NB09 1826 New York Afton, NY
NB10 1831 New York Medina, MI
NB11 1832 New Hampshire Boscawen, NH
NB12 1832 New York Quincy, MI
NB13 1835 Connecticut Litchfield, CT
NB14 1835 Vermont Chicago, IL
NB15 1839 New York Sennett, NY
NB16 1839 Rhode Island Smithfield, RI
NB17 1839 Indiana Washington, IN
NB18 1840 New York Brutus, NY
NB19 1840 Illinois Richland, IL

With a list of potential Nelson Barnes’ who could have potentially served in the Civil War, I need to look at each Nelson Barnes record and see if they fit my Nelson, another Nelson, or are not determinable from the record.

Map of Indiana showing location of Randolph County.

Randolph County, Indiana

There was a Nelson Barnes who served with the 8th Regiment, Indiana Infantry (3 months, 1861). This unit organized on 21 April 1861. The unit mustered in on 25 April, 1861 and mustered out on August 2, 1861. This fits the service of the Nelson Barnes who was from Randolph County who enlisted on 24 April 1861.

There was a Nelson Barnes who served with the 5th Regiment, Indiana Cavalry (90th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers). This regiment mustered in during August, September, and October of 1862. This fits the Nelson Barnes from Lynn, Indiana who enlisted on 13 Aug 1862. Lynn is a town in Randolph county close to the Ohio border.

All of the other civil war records that I am finding for “Nelson Barnes” appear to relate to one of the many other Nelson Barnes’s identified in the table above or the Nelson Barnes from Lynn, Randolph County, Indiana.

Additionally, the 1870 Census shows a Nelson Barnes living in Washington, Randolph County, Indiana. Meanwhile, our Nelson Barnes was living in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.

Finally, Lynn is a town in Washington Township in Randolph County.  I have no doubt that all of the Nelson Barnes records in Indiana relate to that Nelson (NB17 above).

I don’t believe that Nelson Barnes who lived near Graysville in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana served in the Civil War.


ENDNOTES & SOURCES

[i] Wolfe, Thomas J., History of Sullivan County, Indiana, A, Files (Personal), Page 235. A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: The Lewis Pub. Co.

 

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The Donna Darling Collection – Part 2

 

Donna Montran

Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

The first newspaper clipping in the collection is one that screams in big print, “DONNA MONTRAN.”

Newspaper ad promoting Donna Montran

Scanned image from the Donna Darling Collection. Originally: From August 20, 1920, edition of “Variety,” New York City, page 40 (back cover) via the Donna Darling Collection.

It then speaks of her as “BROADWAY’S NEWEST FIND – Under Personal Direction of Tom Rooney.” The advertising also acknowledges her vocal instructor, Louis Howard Croxson, and her dancing master Alexis Kosloff.  The clipping also shows that she is playing at B. S. Moss’ Broadway Theatre.  Knowing that made it easier to find the paper and issue that the item ran in. (Emphasis mine.)

The clipping is a paid advertisement she took out promoting herself. I was able to find it in “Variety” newspaper, dated August 20, 1920, it was a half-page ad on the back cover of the trade newspaper. The ad also includes a collection of quotes about Donna that we will see many more times.

The Quotes:

VARIETY, July 30

“Donna Montran ha an undeniable million dollar smile, oodles of personality and an elastic voice that hits the high registers smoothly and effectively—wood make ideal $4 musical comedy stuff.”

Abel

“MORNING TELEGRAPH”

“Donna Montran is here. Take leading part well in beach promenade.”

“EVE. WORLD”

“Donna Montran was the bathing girl prima donna and had as pleasing a voice as any girl should need.”

“N. Y. CLIPPER”

“The music was tuneful and the song, “India, My Own,’ with words and music written by Donna Montran, was sung by the author with good effect. Miss Montran is pretty, possessed of a fine figure and has a smile and personality that count.”

“EVE. MAIL” (July 26)

“There is the pretty, dainty Donna Montran, whose swimming hasn’t destroyed her voice.”

“EVE. SUN”

“Donna Montran. A blo/??
young lady who contributes /??
explanatory singing, manage /???
part well and exhibited some /????
pretty costumes.”[i]

The People

Thomas Rooney

Donna married Thomas Rooney on November 24, 1915, in Waltham, MA. So, it is clear that she and Tom were together for quite a few years. I am a little surprised that the very independent Donna would go for the phrase, “Under Personal Direction of Tom Rooney.”  (I definitely need to do more research about him.)

Lewis Howard Croxson

Louis Howard Croxson was a vocal teacher who had a studio in the Metropolitan Opera House building. Apparently, he was well known in New York stage circles. Among those he had instructed were Miss Tossa Kosta of “The Chocolate Soldier,” Miss Dorothy South of the “Wild Cat,” Miss Patricia Ryan, Carl Hayden, the Australian concert singer, Misses Irene Castle, Josie Colline and Bertha Shalek, his sister in law.[ii]  Through this ad we learn he also instructed vaudeville star, Donna Montran.[iii]

Alexis Kosloff

Photo of Alexis Kosloff 1917.

Alexis Kosloff c. 1917

Alexis Kosloff taught Russian Ballot and was very well known in New York. He danced in the imperial Russian Ballet before coming to America and was a writer, choreographer, and dance instructor. His book, Russian ballet technique, as taught by Alexis Kosloff: Method of practising foundation steps, potpourri of exercises, suite of dances, with descriptions and music, is a classic. He taught Donna how to dance. No wonder reviews of her shows often praised her dance ability. She was trained by the best and she gave him credit in this advertisement.

Conclusion

Clearly, it was important for Donna to promote herself. During a time when women were typically demure, she stood up and promoted herself. Showing herself as being personally managed by Tom Rooney, taught voice by Louis Howard Croxson, and taught Dance by Alexis Kosloff was her way of saying she was the “real deal.” Advertising in “Variety” was a way to gain prestige exposure with theater agents and others who could book her act.


Follow-up / Future Research

Thomas Valentine Rooney, Donna’s 2nd husband.

Endnotes & Sources

[i] The Donna Montran Collection news-clipping is torn and the last words on each line of this quote are missing.  Unfortunately, the Archives.Org image of that paper also is cut off on the right causing the words on the right to be missing.
[ii] The New York herald. (New York, N.Y.), 14 Dec. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045774/1921-12-14/ed-1/seq-11/>
[iii] Variety (New York, N. Y.), 20 Aug. 1920, Page 40 (Back page), Internet Archive: <https://archive.org/details/variety59-1920-08>
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