Montrans in the News – Maronites’ Society

Montran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

This week for Montran Monday[i], I found two articles from The Chat (Brooklyn, New York). They both appeared to relate to Montrans that lived in Brooklyn. Neither Mr. Montran nor his wife, May, are a likely fit into my Montran Line.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) dated 5 December 1908, Page 27. This article is a brief mention that Mr. and Mrs. Montran and daughter attended a 25th wedding anniversary celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Seibert.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) dated 30 May 1925, Page 31. This article is a society page paragraph in which Mrs. May Montran attended a meeting of the Maronites’ Society[ii] along with more than 500 Syrians. 

Sources:

  • The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) Sat, Dec 5, 1908, · Page 27 – Downloaded on July 26, 2019, via Newspapers.com.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) · Sat, May 30, 1925, · Page 31 – Downloaded on July 26, 2019, via Newspapers.com



ENDNOTES

[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] Maronites are a Christian group whose members adhere to the Syriac Maronite Church.  A mass emigration from Lebanon and Syria to the Americas occurred in the early 20th century due to famine, blockades, and World War I that resulted in between one-third to one-half of the population. Source: Internet: Wikipedia: Maronites – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maronites

 

Cross-Country Travels

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
My Life
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.The Weekly Genealogist, produced by NEHGS, regularly has a survey question designed to make you think about your ancestors’ lives. They recently had a question asking if you or your ancestors traveled “across the country” not by airplane. In this case, “across the country” was a trip of more than 1500 miles.

Randy Seaver, in his blog, Genea-Musing, suggested taking that idea, cross country trips, and write about it.[i] I thought about the question and realized that with Detroit to Portland, Oregon, is over 2300 miles, my grandmother, mother, and I have all have had such travels, several times.

My Cross-Country Trips

I’ve made trips across the country several times.

1964 Ford Falcon Estate pic2
1964 Ford Falcon like I traveled in in 1969.
When I was in the service, (Christmas 1969) three of us drove a Ford Falcon station wagon from San Francisco to Minneapolis. One person drove, one sat in the passenger seat, and one person slept in the back. Each person would rotate positions every three hours. We only stopped for gas and made the 2000 mile trip in less than 34 hours.

My second cross country trip was when I left Oregon to go to training in Vallejo, California, in 1972. After training, we knew I was heading to a ship at sea, so my wife and son moved from Oregon to Minneapolis. I drove Mary (my first wife), and our son Matt, the 1600 miles back to Minnesota, where they lived during my time at school. I flew from Minneapolis to San Francisco to training and again to the Philippines for my first cruise aboard the USS Kitty Hawk.

The next cross-country trip was when I moved Mary-Alice from her home in Maine to Minneapolis. Just a little over 1500 miles, it only barely qualified for this list. That trip was in her Dodge Caravan, loaded to the top with stuff. We arrived in Minneapolis just after the “Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991.” Before I had told Mary-Alice that Minnesota was colder than Maine, but we didn’t get as much snow. When we got to Minnesota, Interstate 94 was two ruts heading up out of the Saint Croix river valley because of the 28 inches of snow the Twin Cities had received. She gave me that look, that said, “We never had this much snow in Maine in October.”

The Mojave Desert in Bloom – Photo by Geoff Stocker.

In 1998, Mary-Alice and I moved to Long Beach, California (about 1900 miles). I drove the car and Mary-Alice drove her van. We kept in contact with little radios. When we got to the Mohave Desert, she kept asking where the desert was. We drove through it during a “once-in-a-century” flower bloom. It was gorgeous, entire hillsides yellow with flowers.

In 2000, Mary-Alice and I moved from Long Beach to Boston, Massachusetts. Our van was over-loaded with stuff and relatively old, so I was afraid to try the shorter 3000-mile northern route because of the mountains on the way. So, we took the 3200 mile-route through Phoenix, El Paso, and Dallas. That was a brutal trip. We stopped at a weird motel in Tennessee and had a difficult time finding our room. Little did we know that the 200 rooms were downstairs from the 100 rooms.

I made the trip between Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, as an infant, twice with my mother. I don’t remember either trip and rely only upon my mother’s telling of the stories.

My Mother’s Cross-Country Trips.

Back in 1950, my mother got a job with an outfit that sold magazines door to door. They had a crew of kids, my mother was 18, and moved city to city. I know they started in Detroit and ended in Portland, Oregon, in just a few months, stopping at cities and towns all along the way. I still wasn’t born yet but was born a few weeks after her arrival in Portland.

In 1953, my mother was pregnant with my sister, Glennis. Mom like the hospital I was born in and decided she wanted her second child to be born in the same hospital. She hitch-hiked from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon (1700 miles) with 3-year-old me. Wow—What a trip that must have been for her.

My mom and Budgar traveled between Minneapolis and Phoenix (over 1600 miles) many times.

On one occasion she traveled between Phoenix and Minneapolis by herself and then continued with me to Clarksburg, West Virginia (about 2600 miles in total).

My Grandmother, Donna

My Grandmother was a fantastic traveler. She was born in Albion, Michigan and lived there until about 1914 when she went to California to be one of Max Sennett’s Bathing Beauties and to be in the movie, “Birth of a Nation.”

She traveled from California to Massachusetts in 1915 and lived in the Boston area for a few years.

In 1919, Donna traveled from New York to Decatur, Illinois to join the cast of “Chin Chin.” She then toured with the show to Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts before the show ended.

Known locations Donna was at during the “Chin Chin” Tour.

In 1922 & 1923, “Donna Darling and Company” went on the road. They started in New York and went to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

In 1924, Donna went on another tour heading west from New York to include Montana, Oregon, and California with stops all over in between.

In 1926, Donna had another tour heading west from New York and including Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan.

In 1927, Donna had another tour heading south from New York and across to New Orleans and back.

During her travels, virtually all of the trips were via train. A typical day, she’d board the first train out of a city, take the train with her crew, cast, and sets to another town, typically 2 to 4 hours away. The crew would unload and install the sets at the theater. She would then do a show or two that day. After the show, they’d head to a hotel for the night then head out again with the first train to another town. Sometimes, on longer travels, I’m sure they’d sleep on the train while heading to the next city. She had a train stuck in the snow in Nebraska for several days, a trestle washed out in Arizona (where they needed to carry their scenery past the wash-out on their backs), and had an earthquake break the tracks in California.

As I get more and more of her vaudeville career documented, I’ll create maps showing her travels and some of her many travel challenges.

Others

Oxen Team pulling covered wagon – Photo by Don Harrison (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I don’t know anything about my biological father’s life travels, nor do I know about his parents’ travels. I know that grandpa Dick was in the service and probably traveled cross country with that. He served in Panama, so I’m sure he at least traveled from Minnesota to the Gulf (or a coast) as a minimum. My great-grandmother Mary (Manning) Brown never traveled 1500 miles (to my knowledge), but she did travel the 1000 miles, from Kentucky to Minnesota, by oxen-driven wagon. That trip was with her grandparents, Enoch & Minerva (Toliver) Mannin.  I think a 1000 miles trip by oxen-driven wagon is much tougher than twice that distance by train or automobile, so it should count.

ENDNOTES

[i] Internet: Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver – 27 July 2019 – “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Ancestors Trans-Continental Travel (not by Airplane)

 

Sketch – Lydia (Cockeram) Blackhurst (c. 1777-1827)

Ancestor Sketch
Montran-Barber-Blackhurst-Cockeram
By Don Taylor

It is always “fun” when the surname changes. Lydia’s surname has been represented several ways including Cockeram, Cochran, and Cockram. Cockeram seems to be the most commonly used form.

Research Family 2019 – Ancestor #125

List of Grandparents

Lydia Cockeram (c. 1777-1827)

It is not clear when Lydia Cockeram was born.  Possibly as early as 1775 and as late as 1778 nor who here parents are because two Lydia Cockerams were born in Mackworth, Derbyshire, England within a year of each other. One to Adam and Elizabeth Cockeram and the other to John and Helen Cockeram. For more information about the parents of Lydia, please see “Lydia Cockeram’s Parents.”

If Adam and Elizabeth are her parents, then she grew up the 7th of 8 children. At least two of her siblings died before she was born (Catherine-1, and Thomas). Her other siblings included Mary, Elizabeth, Catherine-2, Alice, and Adam.

If John and Helen were her parents, then she had at least one sister, also named Lydia, who was baptized on 7 July 1772 and was buried on 4 March 1773.  I have much more research to do on this possible parentage. Hopefully, I will find something which clarifies who Lydia’s parents are.

Marriage & Adulthood

St. Peter’s Church – Derby, Derbyshire – Photo by Jerry Evans.

Lydia married Stephen Blackhurst on 14 Jun 1802 at St. Peter’s Church in Derby, Derbyshire, England.

Lydia and Stephen would have at least nine children. The first two were born in Derby, and the other seven were born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

The Children Stephen and Lydia Blackhurst

Name

Born Death
Stephen[1] 1803 1869
Eliza 1805 Possibly[2] 1806
Mary c. 1806 Possibly 1877
Matthew 1808 1846
Francis 1812 Possibly 1820
William c. 1813 Possibly 1880
Lydia c. 1815 Possibly 1894
John c. 1818 Probably after 1844
Adamson c. 1819 Possibly 1901

It appears that Stephen and Lydia moved from Derby, Derbyshire, to Sheffield, Yorkshire in 1805 or 1806.

Death & Burial

Lydia (Cockeram) Blackhurst died on 6 May 1827, probably at the age of 50.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  1. Further research on the parents of Lydia is necessary to confirm which set of parents, Adam & Elizabeth or John & Helen are Lydia’s parents.
  2. I need to determine any additional children for John & Helen besides the two Lydia’s.
  3. I need to confirm births, marriages, and deaths for all of Stephen and Lydia’s children.


Sources

  • Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Mackworth, Derbyshire, England, ), Com, Lydia Cockeram – 22 Apr 1777 – Mackworth, All Saints, Derbyshire, England.
  • England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, Eliza Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NGNQ-4MJ : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in the entry for Eliza Blackhurst, 09 Mar 1805); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 422,207, 422,208, 498,068, 498,069.
  • England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, Stephen Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NV78-7MZ : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in the entry for Stephen Blackhurst, 13 Jul); citing yr 1662-1810, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 422,208.
  • England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918, Family Search, Marriage – Stephen Blackhurst & Lydia Cockran – 14 Jun 1802.
  • England, Pallot’s Marriage Index, 1780-1837, Com, Lydia Cockram & Stephen Blackhurst – 1802. Accessed 28 Jun 2019.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

ENDNOTES

[1] Stephen Blackhurst (1803-1869) is my 3rd Great-grandfather.

[2] Items identified as “Possibly” or “Probably” have not been verified or confirmed by me.

Lydia Cockeram’s Parents?

Who are the parents of Lydia Cockeram, the wife of Stephen Blackhurst?

It is important to remember that other people’s trees are really only hints and you should not rely upon them as truth.  Such is my experience researching my 4th great-grandmother, Lydia Cockeram. I had known that she married Stephen Blackhurst in Derby, Derbyshire, England in 1802 and that she had (at least) nine children.

My basic research practice is to find my ancestor on Family Search. In this case, she is Lydia Cockeram, spouse of Stephen Blackhurst and parents of Adam and Elizabeth Cockeram. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/27SC-YWL. Awesome, I now have potential names for her parents.  Next, I review all of the sources for the individual’s facts.  In this case, there were 33 sources. I determine what facts can be attributed to each of the sources. In this case, many of the sources were duplicated or even triplicated, but 10 were solid sources. Many of the records dealt with the children of Lydia. If a son or daughter of Stephen and Lydia was baptized/christened, it is likely they lived in that location at that time. In the case of Stephen and Lydia, their first two children were born in Derby, Derbyshire, while the other seven children were born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, thus making it evident they moved from Derby to Sheffield in 1805 or 1806.

Lydia, Daughter of Adam and Elizabeth Cockeram baptized 22 Apr 1777

In my research, I saw where Adam and Elizabeth Cockeram had a daughter Lydia who was christened on 22 April 1777. I aso saw that John and Helen Cockeram had a daughter that was christened on 21 March 1778. Look as I may, I could not find any source that would corroborate who the parents of the Lydia that married Stephen Blackhurst were. Are my Lydia’s parents Adam & Elizabeth or are they John and Helen?

Lydia, daughter of John and Helen Cockeram baptized 22 Apr 1778

Next, I went to Ancestry.Com. What did other people’s trees there say. Three of the trees indicated Lydia’s birthday was 12 March 1777 (her Baptism Date). Eight of the trees indicated Lydia’s birthday was 12 March 1775.  I looked very closely at those trees and found none of them had a source indicating that date.  Again, eight of the trees indicated that Lydia was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire (By the way, it was a different 8 trees) and none of the trees had a source for the birthplace, although several had her baptism/christening in Derby, Derbyshire in 1777 as I did.  Finally, all but two had Adam as Lydia’s father and, again, none of them appeared to have a source other than the sources I had for her baptism. I didn’t find any sources that people cited on Ancestry that I hadn’t already found on Family Search.

The bottom line is that I’m confident that Lydia Cockeram, who married Stephen Blackhurst,  was born in Mackworth, Derbyshire, England. She was born before 21 March 1778 and possibly born before 21 April 1777. Her parents are either Adam and Elizabeth (Hewitt) Cockeram or John and Helen Cockeram. From currently known and understood sources, Lydia, the wife of Stephen Blackhurst, parentage and birth date are still in question.

Feeling a brick wall rising, I’ve opened a discussion/collaborate on Family Search on this topic.  See: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/collaborate/27SC-YWL. Hopefully, someone will have a source record that identifies Lydia’s parents and will let me know about it either here or there. Also, I’ll continue my research. Maybe I’ll find something that will definitively answer the question of Lydia’s parents.

Researching Ferdinand Lenz

Durand Project
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.In researching my (half) Aunt Barbara’s maternal line, I came to her great-grandfather Ferdinand J. Lenz.  I found that trying to sort her Ferdinand Lenz from the others was very difficult. There were three Ferdinand Lenz’s in the 1890s in Chicago. I believe one of them even married a Lena in 1869, so separating the Ferdinands is difficult. I decided to try to differentiate Barbara’s great-grandfather through his immigration and naturalization information.

What I think I know about Ferdinand Lenz:

The 1880 Census indicates Ferdinand and Lena lived in Effingham, Lucas County, Illinois.

The 1900 Census is very helpful. It indicates that Ferdinand was born in March of 1850 and that he and Lena have been married for 30 years. It also indicates he came to the United States in 1862, 38 years before and he had naturalized.

The 1910 Census indicates he came to the US in 1867 and was naturalized. Finally, Ferdinand’s death record indicates he was born on 12 Mar 1850 in Stargard, Germany.

Ferdinand Lenz

  • Born: 12 March 1850 in Germany
  • Immigrated: Between 1862 and 1867.
  • Naturalized: Before 1900.

I have not been successful finding Ferdinand in the 1870 Census.

Family Search

I searched Migration and Naturalization records for Ferdinand Lenz born about 1850 and who immigrated between 1862 and 1867.

Several candidates were eliminated for various reasons. There ended up with two potential candidates.

A Ferdinand Lenz naturalized on 17 Oct 1868, at the Supreme Court of New York County. This Ferdinand lived at 199 East 4th Street and was formerly Prussian.[i] After the Austro-Prussian War, much of what would later be called Germany was part of Prussia. So, this Ferdinand Lenz is a possible candidate. I should confirm that the Ferdinand Lenz who naturalized 17 Oct 1868, at the Supreme Court of New York County is or is not mine.

Next, there was a Ferdinand Lente who was born in Germany and naturalized on 10 May 1892 in the Circuit Court, Cook Co., Ill. Certificate No R-35 P-279 should show for certain. Unfortunately, this record is not available online, yet, and is available only at the Family History Library.  It is film:

Naturalizations, v. 34-35 1892
Film Number: 1024202
DGS Number: 7781542
Page Number: 279 (and associated)

Germans to America indicated three potential candidates, but all were eliminated from my consideration for various reasons.

Ancestry

A search of the records at Ancestry.Com only found the same records I found at Family Search. So, basically, I am at an impasse (brick wall). I have not been successful finding Ferdinand Lenz’s immigration or naturalization records for certain.

I have two tasks.

  1. Determine the best way to find a copy of a Naturalization Record from 1868 at the Supreme Court of New York County. Once determined, attempt to receive a copy of the record.
  2. Add to my “Tasks for the Family History Library” a task to review FHC Film 1024202, Page 279 for the record.

In the meantime, Ferdinand’s death record indicated his father was William Lenz. Next time I work on the Durand Project, I’ll attempt to do a surname study of Lenz in the Chicago area before 1900. Hopefully, I will be able to determine the siblings of Ferdinand and learn more about his parents.



ENDNOTES

[i] New York Naturalization Index (Soundex), 1792-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVTW-322L : 15 March 2018), Ferdinand Lenz, 1868; citing , New York, New York, United States, Index to Naturalization Petitions filed in Federal, state and local court in New York, 1792-1906, NARA microfilm publication M1674 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 150; FHL microfilm 1,420,416.