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!

Conferences

RootsTech – February 25 to 27 – FREE Registration.  https://www.rootstech.org/.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) – Virtual conference – April and May 2021. E-Zine at https://nergc.org/e-zines/

Don’s Genealogy News – 3 January 2021

Scarborough Historical Society

  • Added book: Grandfather Tales of Scarborough by Augustus Freedom Moulton. Uploaded to  Digital MaineInternet Archive because it came out of copyright on January 1st. (See Blogs Below.)

Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society

Had a great meeting yesterday, via Zoom, of the Greater Portland Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society. I was elected Chapter President. Next month (February 6th) we will be doing a three-person panel and will discuss various genealogical techniques and resources. More to come in future weeks.

Don Taylor Genealogy Blog

Other Blogs

The Legal Genealogist has a great article about Welcome to 1925!In it she describes some copyright history and why 1925 books are now out of copyright.

Roberta Estes, in her blog “DNAeXplained” has a great article about Y-DNA — “Y-DNA Resources and Repository.” Not only does she provide general information, but she also provides links to step-by-step actions to using your Y-DNA and a plethora of links to DNA educational articles. If you want to know more about Y-DNA, this is the article to read.

Conferences

I had always wanted to travel to Salt Lake City to attend RootsTech. This year the largest Genealogy is both FREE and it is Online. No excuse for missing this one. I’ve registered and expect to be busy February 25 to 27 with RootsTech.  Be sure to register NOW and get it on your calendar. https://www.rootstech.org/?lang=eng.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) will be virtual this year and will be in April and May 2021. For the latest info, see their E-Zine at https://nergc.org/e-zines/

Family History Fanatics will be having “A Winter of DNA eConference” on 30 January 2021. “Early Bird” price  $19.99 until January 22nd then $24.99. There are four presentations, “DNA & Law Enforcement,” “GEDmatch Basics,” “Tracing Ancestral Lines in the 1700s Using DNA,” and “A Guide to Chromosome Browsers & DNA Segment Data.” This will be followed by a “Genealogy Unscripted” panel discussion. You will be able to replay any of the sessions until Feb 26th. To Register see: https://www.familyhistoryfanatics.com/winterdna

Services

Do you use Google Calendar to manage your activities as I do?  Actually, my calendar is my home page when I open Google. Anyway, if you are interested in Webinars and would like to know what is going on, I highly recommend Genea Webinars. At the bottom of their calendar, there is a “Plus Google Calendar” add-in. Adding it adds Genea Webinars to your Google Calendar. There are typically 2 to 5 webinars available daily (Mon-Fri). Once it is added to your Calendar, you can turn it on or off as you wish. So, I’m looking for something to fulfill my weekly one-hour genealogy education goal, I can easily pick something from the list of presentations to watch.

Photo Friday – Four Identified – Four Others With Names

Photo Friday

Very good week for my Photo Identification Project. Four individuals were identified and four others I have names for but I can’t confirm them.

Family Search

For four of the photos I was able to determine who they were, and I uploaded the images to the memory section of the individual profiles on Family Search.

Left to right:  John S. Loud, Frank Hodgens, Sadie Marion Griffiths, Preston Peckham
  • John S. Loud  (1856-1917) – L1BX-2QF – Rochester, NH;  19 Dec 1903.
  • Frank Hodgens (1863-1917) – 9XS7-GXW – 1889.
  • Sadie Marion Griffiths (1901-1971), Family Search ID: LZXB-M22; Newmarket, NH; 1912.
  • Preston A. Peckham (1882-1910) –  LR83-H1J – Lynn, Mass.

Uncertain Photo Identification

I was not able to determine four of the individuals for certain. They are:

Leroy Franklin Radley, Caroline Parker, Ralph Adolph Johnson, Suzie E. Love

“Leroy Franklin Radley” Rockland, ME – Christmas 1914 – Pillsbury Studio, Rockland. This is clearly Leroy Franklin Radley, born 16 Oct 1913 in Rockland, Knox County, Maine, the son of Franklin L. and Agnes Radley. I, however, have been unable to find Leroy Radley in Family Search or in an Ancestry Tree. If you are a family member of Leroy and can place him into a family tree, please contact me.

“Caroline Parker” – Photo by London Photo.  My guess about the photo is that it appears, to me, to be from the 1930s. I can’t determine if the person is in her 20s or her 50s. As such, I suspect the person was probably born between 1890 and 1930.
There was a Gladys Caroline Parker, born c. 1890, who lived in Portland.
There was a Caroline Parker, born c. 1894, who lived in Gardiner, Maine.
There was a Caroline Parker, born in 1909 who lived in Biddeford, Maine.
There was a Caroline Parker, born in 1910 who lived in Bangor, Maine.
There was a Caroline Parker, born c. 1922, who lived in Wilton, Maine.
I am unable to determine which of the many Caroline Parkers this photo is an image of.

“Ralph Adolph Johnson” – Photo by Marion, Lowell, Mass. There was a Ralph Adolph John, who married Almira Louise Johnson on 7 Sep 1916 in South Portland, Cumberland, Maine. At the time of the Marriage, Ralph lived in Lowell, Mass; he was 23 years old and born in Scarboro, Maine. I am confident this is Ralph Adolph Johnson (1893-1972).  There is no entry for this person in Family Search. I’ll see he is added to the Scarborough Historical Society photo collection.

“Susie E. Love” – Photo by Flagg & Plummer, Lewiston, ME.  I am unable to determine her identification. A Susan Evelyn (Farrington) Rowe, married Woodbury Grover Love in 1919. This photo appears to be a bit earlier than 1919, but it is possibly her.

If you are related to any of these families and can help precisely identify them, I’d love to hear from you

Two more on Family Search

I feel confident I’ve found two more on Family Search. (Their photos are above.)

“Sadie Marian Griffith – 12 years.” Photo by W. J. Thibault, Newmarket, NH. This photo appears to be from the 1920s. It identifies the subject as 12 years old.
There was a Sadie Marion Griffiths born 6 April 1901 in Durham, Strafford, New Hampshire. Durham is about four miles from Newmarket.  There do not appear to be any other Sadie’s in the area. As such, I’m confident this is Sadie Marion Griffiths (1901-1971), Family Search ID: LZXB-M22; child of Edward Bartholomew and Mary Effie (Furber) Griffiths.

“Preston Peckham” – Photo by Geo W. Ames, Lynn, Mass.
A review of the various Preston Peckhams on Family Search yielded a Preston A. Peckham, born in September 1882 to John P and Nellie M Peckham and living in Lynn, Mass. On Family Search the person is LR83-H1J.

I’d love to learn if you are related to any of these individuals.

City Directories – 2019 Update

US Census Records are essential records used in genealogical research. They are a treasure trove of information; however, they come out only once every ten years leaving huge gaps.  With the 1890 census having lost so many records in a fire, often there is a twenty-year gap in our family research.  Don’t overlook city directories as a potential source to fill in those gaps.

Many cities and counties have had directories published over the years.
They were created for salespeople and merchants to be able to contact businesses and individuals.  Every publisher had their format for information they presented, but if you find one that includes your ancestor, it can be the source for new information.

Typically, city directories give the name and address of the head of the household.  Often they give the wife’s name, usually in parenthesis, and sometimes the names of adult children living at the same address. They also typically provide the occupation of the individual.  Sometimes there is a reverse directory included which goes by street address and contains the names of the individuals living there. Always look for your ancestor in the name section, the business section, and, if included, the reverse directory to see who else might live at the address.

Sometimes a directory can provide an answer to a question or clarify what was happening.  As an example, for many years I thought a great-grandmother of mine moved from one address to another on the same street.  I thought it was odd, but not unheard of before. A city directory revealed that they renumbered the street one year. The neighbors stayed the same, but the numbers changed for all of them.

Directories often show maps, street name changes, addresses of businesses, churches, schools, cemeteries, post offices, hospitals, newspapers and the like.  Some will give a history of the city as well as the names of elected officials.

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Another significant bit of information often given is if a person is a widow.  That can be key to narrowing down the year of someone’s death and provides a “died before” date.  In some occasions, the city directory may even list marriages, and deaths, including date, during the previous year.

Online Resources

Google Books is always worth a quick look to see if they have a directory you need. Go to books.google.com and then enter in the search box: City Directory [city of interest].  You may be surprised at what is available online. I noted the 1850-51 City Directory for Portland, ME, was available as a free eBook.

Probably better than Google Books is Google’s US Online Historical Directories site. A click on “Maine” shows that eight of the 16 counties have directories online and that seven Portland City Directories are available online.  Five of those directories are accessible through Don’s List, which is one of my favorite online sources for information. Check them out at: (www.donlist.net).

Another excellent source for directories is the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and has Many Maine directories. A quick search of Directory Maine yielded 257 results including directories for Lewiston, Casco Bay, Bangor, and Portland.

One of the best sources for Directories is Family Search. After logging in, select Search – Catalog. Then under titles, enter Directory and State.  For “Directory Maine” there are 64 results returned. Be sure to look at the available directories closely. There is a directory for “Greater Portland” and directories for “Portland” which are separated by quite a bit.  Many of the directories are still only available on microfilm at various libraries but pay attention to them as they are likely to become available online soon.

Of course, Ancestry has many directories available with a subscription.  A search for “Directory” in the title with a keyword of “Maine” yielded 27 results. Several of them were city directories.

Off-Line Resources

Many libraries and historical societies have city directories in their possession. It is always worth an email or telephone call to find out if a library has a city directory. Often, they will do a look-up for you without charge or for a small fee.  Occasionally the directories have been microfilmed so be sure to speak with a reference librarian who knows the various collections available on microfilm. Sometime those resources may be ordered via interlibrary loan.

Scarborough Historical Society & Museum Collection[1]

Thomas Henley Collection, Shelf K-12

The Scarborough Museum has a small collection of city directories of Portland, including the following:

  • 1942 – Thomas Henley – K11
  • 1952 – Thomas Henley – K11
  • 1956 – (Upstairs Archive)
  • 1963 – Thomas Henley – K04
  • 1965 – Thomas Henley – K12
  • 1970 – Thomas Henley – K12
  • 1975 – Thomas Henley – K12
  • 1977 – Thomas Henley – K12

These directories are available for members to use at the museum for research.  If you cannot make it to the museum, the Genealogy Volunteers will be happy to look up a couple of names for you. Just let them know the surname and the year.

Of course, if you have a Greater Portland city directory, or another directory that includes Scarborough, please consider donating it to the museum.  We would be extremely pleased to add it to our collection.

Other Public Collections

 The Scarborough Public Library also has many city directories including Greater Portland & Surrounding Communities from 1960 thru to the current 2019 directory.

The South Portland Historical Society also has many city directories, plus it is a great museum to visit. Check it out.

Finally, both the Maine Historical Society in Portland and the Maine State Library in Augusta have substantial collections of interest to genealogists that include many city directories. Either are great resources.


Endnotes

  1.  I am a volunteer at the Scarborough Historical Society and Museum. I am using it in this article as an example of what might be available at any local historical society.

1841 Tax Valuation Records

Museum Monday

Image of the Cover of the Scarborough, Maine, Tax Valuation book for 1841.
1841 Tax Valuation Book

It was a great week for me at the Scarborough Historical Society Museum. On Tuesday, three of us traveled up to the Maine State Library in Augusta and began working on scanning several Tax Valuation Books from the Town of Scarborough. They have a Zeutschel OS 12002 – it is a multi-camera book scanner that creates high-resolution images of bound and oversized materials. It is capable of correcting for page curvature as well as recognizing and indexing printed text. The scanned images were then combined into a PDF file. A “Scarborough Books” collection was created and the PDF file uploaded with some metadata information. Thank you so much for the assistance of Adam Fisher of the Maine State Library for his help and assistance in this Project.

The Valuation books provide information about property owners and voters who were Scarborough residents and some info about non-residents who owned property in Scarborough. If you have ancestors who lived in Scarborough in 1841, this book may provide information of interest. It gives things like how many acres of land they owned and how it was being used as well as how many horses, cows, and pigs they owned.

We also have Valuations Books for 1875, 1890, 1892, and 1900 digitized. I’ll be working on getting those images available online over the next few weeks.

  • The Scarborough Historical Society post about the 1841 image is here.
  • The actual download from Digital Maine is here.

The 1841 Scarborough Tax Valuation Book is a great resource to add texture to your family history and genealogical research.