Searching for Almira Chamberlain’s Parents

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Finding the parents of early 19th century women is always a challenge. So, I knew that determining the parents or my 4th great-grandmother, Almira (Chamberlain) Sanford was going to be difficult. Almira married Ezra Sanford in 1819 when she was only 15 years-old. She had nine children and died quite young, at only 41 years of age.

All the information I have about her life is from secondary sources. First, The History of Washtenaw County, Michigan states:

William Sanford, Farmer, was born in Genesee Co., N. Y., March 30, 1823. His parents were Ezra and Almira Sanford, the former born in Bennington Co., VT, Aug 19, 1792, and the latter born in the same place, Aug. 21, 1804. They were married in 1819, and were blessed with 9 children, 5 of whom are living.[i]

The other source I have is the death record for William Sanford, which provides his parents names as Ezra Sanford and Almira Chamberlin (or Chamberlain).[ii]

If I believe that these two records are accurate, then I can hypothesize three scenarios.

  1. Her family was in Bennington County, Vermont in 1810 when she was five-years-old and there will be evidence of her in the 1910 Census records.
  2. Her family was in Bennington Co. in 1800, four years before she was born.
  3. In 1820 her family was either in Bergen, Genese, New York where she and Ezra were in 1820 or they are still in Bennington Co. Vermont.
  4. Finally, it is possible that her family came and left Bennington County after 1800 and before 1810 making it impossible to determine the family from these census records.

1810 Census

The 1810 Census is clear. There is only one Chamberlain household in Bennington County, Vermont.

The Benj. Chamberlain household consists of three males and three females. Excluding the oldest male (clearly Benjamin) and the oldest female (most likely his wife) who are both over 45 year of age that leaves:

  • Two males, from 10 to 16 years of age,
  • One female under 10 and
  • One female from 16 to 16.

In 1810, Almira would have been five years old and fits into the one female under ten.

1800 Census

With the 1810 census findings kept in mind, Benj. Chamberlain should be found in the 1800 census.  His age could be either 26 to 45 or over 45. His wife would be the same. But there should be at least two males under 10 and one female under 10 in the household.

The only Chamberlin in Bennington County in 1800 is a Calvin Chamberlin. He appears to be 26 to 45 but the children in the household are all older than 10. So, there is no way this can be the same household with a different first name being used.

Next, I looked for a Benjamin Chamberlain in the 1800 Census anywhere. The search yielded 14 results on Ancestry.

Location Children Under 10 Status 1810 Status
Brattleboro, Windham, VT 3 boys, 1 girl Possible Still in Brattleboro.
Chelmsford, Middlesex, MA None
Dalton, Berkshire, MA 2 boys & 1 girl Possible Likely
Glastonbury, Hartford, CT 2 boys, 3 girls
Greenfield, Hillsborough, NH None
Newbury, Orange, VT 1 boy, no girls.
Philadelphia, PA 2 boys & 2 girls Unlikely
Plymouth, Windsor, VT None
Schenectady, Albany, NY 3 boys & 1 girl Possible Still in Schenectady.
Standish, Cumberland, ME None
Thetford, Orange, VT None
Thetford, Orange, VT 1 boy & 1 girl
Turner, Cumberland, ME 2 boys & 1 girl
Windham, Greene, NY 1 boy, 1 girl

Of those 14 Benjamin Chamberlains, only four had a combination of at least two boys and one girl, however, one of those seems unlikely due to location.

Back to the 1810 Census

Then, I look at the 1810 Census again. Two of the Benjamin Chamberlains were still in their 1800 location during the 1810 Census. Only the Benjamin Chamberlain living in Dalton, Berkshire, MA was no longer found in Dalton. Dalton is only about 20 miles south of Bennington County, so that move seems possible, even likely. Certainly, much more likely than moving 250 miles northeast from Philadelphia to Bennington County.

Conclusion

Armed with these census facts, I feel comfortable enough to hypnotize that Benjamin Chamberlain, who lived in Dalton, Massachusetts during 1800, is likely the father of Almira Chamberlain and lived in Bennington County, Vermont in 1810. As such, I’ll create a tentative relationship and continue researching this as a possible family unit.

Endnotes

[i] History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, William Sanford – Pages 1408 and 1409. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (1881). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages, and townships … and biographies of representative citizens: history of Michigan. Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co. https://archive.org/details/cu31924028870520.

[ii] Michigan Death Certificates, William Sanford (Birth 30 Mar 1823 – Death 05 Jul 1915)- Charlotte, Eaton, Michigan.

Where my Ancestors were 100 years ago.

Mappy Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Randy Seaver in his blog, Genea-Musings suggested that we look at where our ancestors were 100 years ago. I thought I’d take a stab at it more from a location perspective. In October 1917, my ancestors were in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota. Just “I” and “M” states. My paternal side are the “I” states; the Roberts were in Illinois and the Scotts were in Indiana. My maternal side are the “M” states; the Browns were in Minnesota and the Montrans (Barbers) were in Michigan, except for my grandmother, Madonna (Donna) who lived in Massachusetts for a short time.

Map of my Ancestor locations in 1917.
My Ancestor Locations in 1917.

Paternal Side:

My paternal grandfather, Bert Allen Roberts, was 14 years old. His father had died in 1908 and he was living with his mother, step-father, brother and two sisters. It isn’t clear if they were living in Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana (1910) or in Hutsonville, Crawford County, Illinois (1920), but I think they were still in Indiana.

Bert’s 71-year-old grandmother, Patience Ann (Marshall) (Dean) Roberts was living in Sesser, Barren Township, Franklin County, Illinois.

Bert’s 34-year-old mother, Clora Dell (Scott) (Roberts) Adams was married to Hosea Adams. It is unclear if they were still in Turman, Sullivan, Indiana, or if they had relocated to Hutsonville, Crawford County, Illinois in 1917.

Clora’s father, Samuel Vaden Scott, had remarried Lavina Allmend after the death of Amanda Jane Haley. The 57-year old was living in Goode Township, Franklin County, Illinois.

My paternal grandmother, Essie Pansy Barnes, was 14 years old. She was living on the farm near Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana.

Essie’s father, Joel Clinton Barnes, was 60 years old and living on a farm near Graysville, Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.

Essie’s mother, Marada A. (Lister) Barnes, was 50 years old and living with Joen on the farm near Graysville, Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.

 

Maternal side

My maternal grandfather, Clifford D Brown, later known as Richard Earl Durand and even later as Richard Earl Brown, (Grandpa Dick) was also 14 years-old. He lived with his family in Backus, Cass County, Minnesota.

Clifford/Richard’s father, Arthur Durwood Brown, was 48-years-old and living in Backus, Cass County, Minnesota.

Clifford/Richard’s mother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown, was 39-years-old and living with her husband, Arthur, in Backus.

My maternal grandmother, Madonna Mae Montran, (later known as Donna) was married to Thomas Valentine Rooney (her second marriage). (It does not appear that she ever took his surname.) They were probably living in Wrentham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, although they may have located to New York City about that time.  Madonna’s father died before 1900 and I have been unsuccessful in determining his parents.

Madonna’s (Donna’s) mother, Ida Mae (Barber) (Montran) (Fisher) (Holdsworth) Knight was living with her 4th husband, Harvey Knight in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.

Ida’s mother, Sarah H (Blackhurst) Barber was also living in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan. Her husband, Frank Barber, died earlier in 1917.

Thoughts

Thirteen of my direct ancestors were alive in September 1917. That is all four of my grandparents, six of my great-grandparents, and three of my 14 known great-great-grandparents.

Based upon their locations in 1917, I can say my father’s line came from Illinois and Indiana and my mother’s line came from Michigan and Minnesota.  I have a birthplace chart that shows where my ancestors were born that tells a somewhat different story. Grandpa Dick was born in North Dakota but was in Minnesota in 1917. Similarly, my great-grandmother, Mary (Manning) Brown, was born in Kentucky but was in Minnesota in 1917.

My life locations provide some of greatest location distances of anyone I know. I was born in Portland, Oregon; I hail from Minnesota, having lived there during most of my youth and over 35 years total. Over the years, I have lived in Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, Montana, California, Virginia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Georgia, and Maine. Now, I live about 3,200 miles away from my birth location of Portland, Oregon, in Portland, Maine.


Handy Genealogy Handbooks – “All You Need to Find Genealogy Resources FAST!”

Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue?

There was an amazing article in the Boston Sunday Post, regarding “Grown Women Who Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue – Stars of Stage and Screen Enthuse Over Their New ‘Back-to-Nature’ Stunt That Gives Rest and Relaxation From Wearisome Work.”[i]
The article begins with:
All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl.
Jill in this instance is the professional girl of the stage.
She works hard—a great deal harder than her public may believe.
It is not the physical exertion that makes her yearn to play; it is the never-ending strain of the artificial – the make-believe.
So that when the stage girl does play she goes to the antithesis of the artificial—the natural. And that is the reason why her trunks are so apt to contain dolls, teddy bears, stuffed doggies, piggies and monkeys and what-not of children’s playthings.
—–
The average individual, on beholding a stage girl sitting on the floor, rocking a doll to sleep or tossing a teddy bear up and down, is apt to pronounce the whole proceeding as absurd….
The article continues on with a story about Effie Hartwell and her playing with dolls as a means of relaxation. The amazing part of the article tells us about Donna’s personal life.
Newspaper Photo of Donna Montran sitting astride a wooden horse.
Now when another photographer wended his way to make pictures of Donna Montran the Boston model and Singer and found the beauty sitting a-straddle on the floor of the studio he was not all surprised.
“Taking it easy?” the photographer asked.
“Right! The very first guess,” replied the model. “This business of posing is one that tests endurance to the limit as any artist will tell you. Physically and mentally you’re exhausted at the end of the working day.
“My own idea of resting up is going back to childhood times and playing as one did when a child. I know it sounds perfectly silly to say so but the remedy sure is a cure-all. And if one can have the children at hand to play with, why its value is increased a thousand times over.  Don’t argue about it; just go ahead and try the experiment once and let me know hit it works out.”
This story of models, actresses, and singers playing with toys as a means to cope with the hectic lives they lead is great material to fill in details about the lives of the famous. Should you play with dolls or toys for rest and relaxation?  Follow Donna’s advice and give it a try.

[i] “Grown Women Who Play With Dolls To Banish Fatigue”, Boston Sunday Post, January 27, 1918, Page 29; Online Archive, Newspaperarchive.com, accessed 2015.
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MM06 – Elmer Stevens Mapes (1898-1974)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 89



Elmer Stephens Mapes

1920 – Kanakadea

Elmer Stephens Mapes was born in New York on 24 Aug 1898. He was the third of four children born to James and Myrtle (Myrtie) E Mapes.

The 1900 Census finds little Elmer living with his parents and siblings and his paternal grandfather, Martin Mapes. Martin was 82 year, born in New York, a widower, and farmer who owned his farm without a mortgage. His father was also a farmer and his mother had four children, only three of whom were still living at the time.[i]
By 1905, Martin and family were living on North Church Street in Burns, Allegany County, New York. His father was a produce dealer.[ii]
The 1910 Census indicates the Mapes family still in Burns, but now on Mill Street. Elmer is attending school. The 1910 Census indicates that his mother had four children, all of whom were alive. [iii]This conflicts with the 1900 census, which indicated that one child of Myrtie, had died.
In 1915, the Mapes family is still in Burns, but now on Bennett Street. His father was postmaster and Elmer attended school. [iv]
  
Advertising Photo of the Alfred Cafe from the 1921 Kanakadea yearbook.
The Alfred Cafe – A sure Alfred College hangout.
Note: They have electric lights!
Advertisement in the 1921 Kanakadea – Via Ancestry.com
In 1918, Elmer headed off to attend Alfred College, sixteen miles away, in Alfred, New York. Elmer enlisted in the Army and served two months in the Alfred training company[v][vi]. He was a member of many groups.
The 1920 Census indicates that he was living on West Main in Burns. His older sister, Rena, was a high school teacher.[vii] Elmer was continuing in college, where he was the Assistant Business Manager for “Fiat Lux,” the school yearbook. His future wife, Marion Roos was the editor-in-chief of the “Fiat Lux” that same year. It is my suspicion that they met there. In any event, Elmer and Marion married in 1923.[viii]
By 1930, Elmer had moved to Bristol, Rhode Island, where he was the superintendent of schools.[ix] He must have been really good as a superintendent because, in 1933, the governor appointed Superintendent Mapes to a select committee.[x] Elmer was involved in civic organizations including the Rotary.[xi]

In 1935, Elmer, Marion, and their two daughters lived in Bristol, at 997 Hope.[xii]  

Photo of the devastation on Hope Street, Bristol, Rhode Island from the 1938 Hurricane.
Hurricane of 1938 aftermath in Bristol, RI

Photo: Hope Street, abt 10 blocks from Mapes home. 

On 21 September 1938, a hurricane & tidal wave hit Bristol, RI. Elmer S. Mapes stated that the schools would resume Monday (Sept 26th) contingent on the water service being restored by that time. According to a newspaper article, “Mr. Mapes took a leading part in the rehabilitation work.”[xiii]
Between 1940 and 1942, the Mapes family moved to 16 Union, still in Bristol.[xiv]
Elmer S. Mapes
PhotoL 1946 Reflector (Weymouth HS)
via Ancestry.com
About 1946, Mr. Mapes took a position as the superintendent of schools in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The school dedicated their yearbook to him that year.
Elmer S. Mapes showed his continuing leadership when he was elected as 2nd Vice President for the Massachusetts School Superintendents Association in 1958.[xv] In 1963, he was a panelist at a P-TA conference[xvi] and in 1965, tentatively supported school busing to correct racial imbalances in education.[xvii]
Elmer Mapes died on 17 Nov 1974 in Weymouth, Mass. [xviii]

[i] 1900 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1900; Census Place: Burns, Allegany, New York; Roll: T623_1008; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 11; FHL microfilm: 1241008.
[ii] New York, State Census, 1905, “New York, State Census, 1905,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MVBC-W4F : accessed 28 Aug 2012), Elmer Mapes, Burns, Canaseraga Village, E.D. 01, Allegany, New York.
[iii] 1910 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1910; Census Place: Burns, Allegany, New York; Roll: T624_923; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0018; Image: 916; FHL microfilm: 1374936.
[iv] New York, State Census, 1915, Ancestry.com.
[v] New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919, Ancestry.com, Elmer S Mapes.
[vi] U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, Ancestry.com, Elmer Mapes.
[vii] 1920 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1920; Census Place: Burns, Allegany, New York; Roll: T625_1084; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 19; Image: 864.
[viii] U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012, Ancestry.com, Alfred University – 1920 – Kanakadea, Page 74.
[ix] 1930 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, 1930; Census Place: Bristol, Bristol, Rhode Island; Roll: 2168; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 4; Image: 144.0; FHL microfilm: 2341902.
[x] 1933-11-17 – Newport Mercury – Page 6 – ]Governor Names Unemployed Teachers’ Fund Group (Elmer Mapes)., Newport Mercury, Newport, Rhode Island (newspapers.com).
[xi] 1935-09-27 – Page 5 – Rotarians Swarm to District Convention (E.S. Mapes)., Newport Mercury, Newport, Rhode Island (newspapers.com).
[xii] Rhode Island, State Census, 1935, Family Search, Elmer S Mapes, Bristol, Rhode Island, United States; State Archives, Providence; FHL microfilm 1,753,866. (Accessed 1 September 2015),. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPRS-K6W.
[xiii] Richard V. Simpson, “The Great Hurricane and Tidal Wave of 1938:   Scenes of the Disaster in Rhode Island’s East Bay”.  Roger Williams University. (Year 2012); online archives, Roger Williams University (http://docs.rwu.edu/), Chapter 1, The Tidal Surge and its Aftermath as Reported by The Scribe | Paragraph:  Schools May Open. http://docs.rwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=hurricane_1938.
[xiv] U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta), Ancestry.com.
[xv] 1958-04-23 – Page 12 – Malden Man to Head School Superintendents. ., The North Adams Transcript, North Adams, Massachusetts (Newspapers.com).
[xvi] 1963-01-30 – Fitchburg Sentinel · Page 15 – State P-TA Conference Attended (Elmer S Mapes)., Fitchburg Sentinel, Fitchburg, Massachusetts (newspapers.com).
[xvii] 1965-04-16 – Bennington Banner – Page 2 – Racial Imbalance Report Draws Fire, High Praise (Elmer SMapes)., Bennington Banner, Bennington, Vermont (newspapers.com).
[xviii] Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003, Ancestry.com
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newspapers.com newspapers.com