Donna Darling Collection – Part 80

Russell, Don, & Matthew Photos

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a scan (SCAN0180) of five photos from the Donna Darling Collection.

First, there is a photo of my uncle Russell Kees. In this photo, he appears to be in some sort of uniform. Additionally, his writing on the back suggests this is the first photo after leaving for the service. As such, I date this photo about 1951, when Russell would have been about 24 years old.

Next is a photo of me, probably about one year old. I had seen and remembered this photo from when I was a child.


Finally, there are three photos of my son, Matt, which I sent to Donna in 1974. I didn’t remember Matt’s picture at the beach, wearing the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) t-shirt. It had to have been San Diego, my ship’s home port.

Don’s Genealogy News – 10 January 2021

Photo Friday

I analyzed five more packets of negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection. See Part 11 – Curtis, Davis (2), Derosier, & Dexter.

    • Mary Derosier (1914-1994)
    • Donald Davis (1907-1972)
    • Four children of Hartley A. & Mary T. Davis of Portland, Maine.
    • Child of Max & Evelyn (Stein) Davis – Photo circa 1936
    • Barbara, Ruth,  & Walter Curtis and Stanley Dexter – c. 1935

Brown Research

Began researching my Blackhurst ancestors. (Montran-Barber-Blackhurst. Learned that my 4th great aunt, Mary Blackhurst immigrated to Deseret (Utah) in 1852. She and her sister, Lydia, both married William Haladay. Can’t tell yet if they were “sister wives” yet or serial wives.  More research underway. I hope to write mini-bios for my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah Blackhurst, siblings.

Howell Research

Received some communications from a cousin of my wife. She transcribed the probate record for my wife’s fifth great grandfather, William Price. It will be interesting to see if the will provides any new information regarding that line — Howell-Hobbs-Long-Bryan-Price. I’ll be posting a “guest blog” about it in the coming days.

Scarborough Historical Society

I posted a great article about early high schools in Scarborough by Linda McLoon.  The first high school was actually two schools, one in Dunstan and one in Oak Hill in 1877. Read all about it in “A High School Comes to Scarborough.”

The Ancestor Hunt has added the Scarborough Historical Society photos to their listing of Maine Free Searchable Photo Collections.  Scarborough images available through Digital Maine were already identified.  There are dozens of links to other record locations in Maine. Check it out!


RootsTech – February 25 to 27 – FREE Registration.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) – Virtual conference – April and May 2021. E-Zine at

Montrans in the News – Midweek Junior Eagle

Charlotte Montran – Staten Island (?), NY

Montran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Montran Monday[i], I found the following article:

This week’s entry is from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY) 17 May 1933 via

Midweek Junior Eagle

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle – May 17, 1933.

If you are planning a trip in the near future, do not be like the man in the ten-credit puzzle that appeared in the Junior Eagle on May 7, and at the last minute find you have mislaid something. The man is searching for his “wallet.” When he finds it, the family will start. The five-credit puzzle in which you had to piece out the linoleum was easy, for you just had to cut through the squares that were misfits and then turn your square around.  In the picture to color, the maid’s feather duster was missing. Next Sunday you will find something new on the back page of the Junior Eagle with which to win credits. Work it out and mail you finished work to me for credits. In next Sunday’s Junior Eagle the pupils of Public School 55 will find their school Honor Roll. If your name appears in the list today, underline it, cut out the list and mail it to me for your credits.

                  Aunt Jean

… Charlotte Montran….

… Charlotte Montran…

I learned:

There was a young girl nameed Charlotte Montran who lived in New York, probably Staten Island[ii], in 1933, and she may have attended Public School 55.

—– Disclosure —–


[i] Montran Monday – My grandmother’s father was John Montran. She used the surname, as a young child and again when she began in show business. The name is uncommon and most of the Montrans I see in the newspapers are my grandmother during her early vaudeville career. However, with the constant flow of newly digitized material, I often learn of new articles which contain the Montran name. I pay attention to the finding and try to determine a possible relationship of any Montrans to Donna’s father, John Montran.

[ii] Public School 55 is the Henry M. Boehm School in the Eltingville neighborhood of Staten Island. Internet: Wikipedia – List of public elementary schools in New York City.

Orson Barber of Calhoun County and the Early Censuses

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

My 2nd great-grandfather, Franklin E. Barber, was born in Sheridan (Township) Calhoun County, Michigan His marriage record said he was 28 years old and when he married in Calhoun County in November 1869. Likewise, he lived in Calhoun County during the 1870 and 1880 Censuses.

  • 1841 – Born in Sheridan Township, Calhoun County.
  • 1869 – Married in Calhoun County.
  • 1870 – Census lived in Sheridan Township, Calhoun County.
  • 1880 – Census Lived in Albion, Calhoun County.

Because his known life events prior to 1897 all take place in Calhoun County, I am hypnotizing that he probably lived in Calhoun County during the 1860 and 1850 Censuses. Searches for him during these censuses have been unsuccessful, so I thought I’d take a closer look at Barber families in Calhoun County of the 1840s, 50s, and 60s. In the 1840 Census, there were two Barber households in Calhoun County, Orson and Thomas. First, I’ll look at Orson Barber and learn about him.

Orson Barber of Calhoun County, MI

1840 Census

Orson Barber’s household in Pinckney, Calhoun County consisted of:

  • 1 Male, under 5          [Asa J] v. (b. 1835-1840)
  • 1 Male, 20 thru 29      Orson b. (b. 1810-1820)
  • 1 Female, Under 5      [Clarissa A.] (b. 1835-1840)
  • 1 Female, 20 to 29      [Mary A.] (b. 1810-1820)

I was really confused by this entry. Pinckney is located in Putnam Township, Livingston County, Michigan, however, the 1840 Census apparently places Pinckney in Calhoun county, two counties away. Regardless of where Orson Barber and family were in 1840, they definitely moved to Calhoun county in 1843.

1843 – Land Purchase

On 1 February 1843, Orson Barber and Henry L. White of Calhoun County acquired 38.11 acres, the SE¼ of the NW¼ of Section 24 in township One (Clarence Township) South of Range 4 West.

Current map/view of Calhoun County showing where Orson Barber’s farm was in 1843.

1850 Census

The 1850 Census found Orson Barber and family living in Tekonsha Township:

  • Name              Age      Born                Occupation     Real Estate Value
  • Orson              37        New York        Farmer            (Blank)
  • Mary A.           35        Connecticut
  • Clarissa A.       14        New York
  • Asa J.               12        New York        Attended School ¼
  • Harriet L.         5          Michigan         Attended School

1860 Censuses

Orson Barber – The 1860 Census found Orson living in Clarence Township.

  • Name              Age      Born                Occupation     Real Estate Value
  • Orson              49        New York        Farmer            $900
  • Mary A.           46        Connecticut    Housekeeper
  • Asa J.               22        New York        Farmer Labour
  • Harriet L.         15        Michigan         Domestic
  • Martha            20        Michigan         Domestic
  • Frances A.       5          Michigan

It appears that Clarissa is no longer in the household (married, moved, or died).

It appears that Asa married Martha and had a daughter, Frances.

Orson’s farm value in 1860 was the second lowest of the five farms on the census page, which ranged from $800 to $4,000. Still, his farm had 120 acres, 80 of which was improved.

1870 Census

None of the Orson Barber family appear in the 1870 Census in Calhoun County, Michigan. Other researchers suggest he located to Ingham County, Michigan, and he died and was buried there in 1893.

Facts of Orson Barber’s Life

  • 1813 – Orson Barber was born between 1810 and 1813 in New York.
  • 1835 – He married Mary A. [LNU] about 1835.
  • 1836 – His daughter Clarissa was born in New York.
  • 1838 – His son Asa was born in New York.
  • 1840 – He was enumerated in Calhoun County.
  • 1843 – He purchased 38 acres in Clarence Township, Calhoun County, Michigan.
  • 1845 – His daughter Harriet L. was born in Michigan.
  • 1850 – He was farming in Tekonsha Township, Calhoun County, Michigan.
  • 1860 – He was farming in Clarence Township, Calhoun County, Michigan.
  • 1893 – He died in Ingham County, Michigan.

Orson Barber appears in the Agriculture Schedules for 1850 and 1860.

  • Items                             1850    1860
  • Acres Improved            35        80
  • Acres Unimproved      20        40
  • Cash Value of Farm    400      900
  • Value Imp. & Mach.    40        60
  • Horses                            –           2
  • Asses & Mules            –
  • Milch Cows                 2          3
  • Working Oxen            –
  • Other Cattle                –           6
  • Sheep                            –           40
  • Swine                            –           6
  • Value of Live tock       25        252
  • Wheat                             50        150
  • Rye                                 –
  • Indian Corn                 40        250
  • Oats                                              140
  • Rice                               –
  • Tobacco                      –
  • Cotton
  • Wool                                             130

Although it appears that Orson moved around, he seems to have improved with each move. Certainly, his original 38 acres in Clarence Township was unimproved in 1843. By 1850, he had 55 acres, 35 acres had been improved in Tekonsha Township. And by 1860 he had 80 improved acres out of 120 total back in Clarence Township.  Without a doubt, Orson had a prosperous life.

Arthur Brown in the Censuses

Census Sunday
Brown Line
By Don Taylor


I have long believed that Arthur Durwood Brown, my great-grandfather was the son of William Henry Brown and not the son of Henry Mack Brown. I think that the 1870 and 1880 Census records contribute greatly to that belief.

1870 Census

Other records have long identified that Arthur Durwood Brown was born in December 1869 and the Census Record for Arthur confirms that. It shows the Henry Brown family as consisting of any apparent husband and wife with two children.[i] Henry is a farm laborer and Marian is keeping house. Children Nittie and Arthur are 3 years and 7/12 years old respectively. Because Arthur was born during the previous year, his month of birth, “Dec,” was also enumerated. Twenty-five-year-old Henry is a farm laborer and 23-year-old Marian is keeping house.  There is no entry for Henry owning property.

Immediately following Henry and family are William Sanford, his wife Mary and four apparent children. William’s farm is the most valuable farm on the page, valued at $10,000. So, it appears to me that Henry, who is married to William’s daughter, is most likely a farm hand on William’s farm.

1870 Census – Henry Brown & William Sanford – Detail

1880 Census.

The 1880 Census is the first census which shows the relationship between individuals. Henry Brown is the head of the family, Marian is his wife, and 10-year-old Arthur is enumerated with his younger siblings, Charles, Mary, Almond, Clifford, William, Clyde, and Addison. Nittie, who should be 13 during the 1880 Census, isn’t enumerated.

1880 Census – Henry Brown – Detail
1880 Census – Marion Brown & Children – Detail

William Sanford’s family is enumerated on the same page as Marian as in the 1870 Census.

1890 Census

Not available.  Please see: Census.Gov > History > Genealogy > Decennial Census Records > Availability of 1890 Census.

1900 Census

The 1900 Census finds Arthur D. Brown married with children living in Township 136, Ranges 25-29, Crow Wing County Minnesota. The census reports that he was born in December, 1870, and was 29-years-old—A minor error. He had been married for seven years and had three children. His 21-year-old wife, Mary, had had four children, one who had died.[ii] The three children enumerated were.

      • Clyde             Born Feb 1894
      • Victoria        Born June 1896
      • Clarence      Born Dec 1897

1910 Census

The 1910 Census finds the Arthur Brown household had moved west to North Dakota and lived near Merkle, Kidder County. With him are his wife, daughter Victoria and his three youngest (at the time) children, Cora, Clifford (my grandfather), and Edward. There is an eight year gap between Clifford and Edward, suggesting a lost child.[iii]

1920 Census

The 1920 Census finds the Arthur Brown household had moved back to Minnesota and were renting a home in Sylvan Township, Cass County. With him are his wife, Mary, and five children, Clifford (my grandfather), Edward, Arthur, Charles, and Delores.


Arthur Durwood Brown died on 27 August 1928 in Walker, Cass County, Minnesota. He is buried in Gull River Cemetery, Pillager, Cass County, Minnesota.


  • 1870 Census (NARA), 1870 – Henry Brown – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan. “United States Census, 1870”, database with images, FamilySearch ( NMT : 19 March 2020), Arthur Brown in entry for Henry Brown, 1870.
  • 1880 Census, 1880 – Henry Brown – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( CST : 26 August 2017), Arthur Brown in household of Henry Brown, Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district ED 237, sheet 276B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,609.
  • 1900 Census, 1900 Census – Arthur D Brown – Twnp 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota. Family Search.
  • 1910 Census, 1910 – Arthur D Brown – Merkel, Kidder, North Dakota. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 March 2019), Arthur D Brown, Merkel, Kidder, North Dakota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 225, sheet 4A, family 67, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1142; FHL microfilm 1,375,155.
  • 1920 Census, 1920 Census – Arthur Brown – Sylvan Township 133, Range 30, Cass County, Minnesota. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 September 2020), Arthur Brown, Sylvan, Cass, Minnesota, United States; citing ED 109, sheet 4B, line 67, family 71, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 824; FHL microfilm 1,820,824.
  • Find a Grave, Internet, Arthur Durwood Brown (1868-1928) – Memorial 87334615. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 24 September 2020), memorial page for Arthur Durwood Brown (1868–27 Aug 1928), Find a Grave Memorial no. 87334615, citing Gull River Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Don Taylor (contributor 47627546).


[i] The 1870 Census did not provide relationship information.

[ii] Subsequent Research had indicated that the child was Martin. Born in 1900 and died before June 1, 1900.

[iii] There was one—Dorothy was born sometime between 1905 and 1907 and died in 1908.