Charlemagne – 34th Great-Grandfather?

Portrait of Charlemagne (Public Domain)

Sometimes genealogy can be overwhelming.  Of course, I’m all excited about RootsTech being online and all the fantastic activities there.  Meanwhile, I received information from a Swiss genealogist that indicated my wife descends from Charlemagne. Could it be true?  I know that lots of people are genuinely descended from Charlemagne. I’ve also heard there are a lot of supposed pedigrees that don’t hold up under analysis.

What I do know is that the genealogist’s work provides a pathway for lots and lots of “hints” and research opportunities. I know her 2nd great grandparents were Bernhard and Bertha (Koch) Trümpi. I wrote about them previously.  I’m pretty sure that my wife’s 4th great-grandparents were Barnhard and Anna Marie (Durst) Trümpi. Could her 34th great-grandfather be Charlemagne? Wow, that is such a leap — 30 generations.

So, I’ve tentatively accepted the Swiss genealogist’s work as 156 new hints and possibilities. But, importantly, I will act as a roadmap to follow. Will I run off the road; will I hit a brick wall? Maybe. But, it is nice to have a destination, but to paraphrase the old saying:


I expect this to be a 30-generation, 156 hint journey. I might end up with Charlemagne, but I might just as easily fall off the edge of the earth and learn where the dragons really live.

Anyway, back to RootsTech. 🙂

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 18

Conley, Connaway, Conroy, Consoli, & Constantine

Photo Friday
Ethel Wight Collection
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the images with family members who may have never seen the photo.

Thomas, Annie, and Philip Conley, c. 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. M. S. Conley, 58 Gray St, Portland, #456.”

The Conley Children, circa 1937

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Michael S (Anna E) Conley residing at 58 Gray.
The 1940 US Census lists Michael (born c. 1905) and his wife Annie E (McArdle) (born c. 1906) still living at 58 Gray Street. With them are five children. One child is too young to have been included in this photo. The other four children are:

  • Thomas Joseph, Age 13 (Born 3 September 1926) (Died 14 June 1996)
  • Annie Elizabeth, Age 12 (Born 4 December 1927) (Died 10 June 1992)
  • Philip James, Age 10 (Born 11 September 1929 – Died 21 January 2008)
  • Katherine, Age 7

A photo numbered 456 is probably from about 1937, which would suggest the youngest child to be about 4, making Philip 7, Annie 9, and Thomas 10. That appears correct.

Family Search had profiles for Michael S. Conley L8TY-1LF and Annie E. McArdle L1DM-3M5; however, they were not linked as a married couple.  I linked them.

I then created profiles for Thomas, Annie, and Philip per above and associated the photo with their profiles.

Jay Hill Connaway (1893-1970) circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Jay Connaway, 602A Congress, Portland, #622.”

Jay Hill Connaway, circa 1936

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Jay H. Connaway as an artist living with his wife Louisa at 15 Willard, South Portland. It also lists Art Associates being at 602a Congress, Room 204.

Jay Hall Connaway is a famous painter who had a studio in Portland sponsored by Bartlett Arkell and Robert Macbeth in 1931. Later in the 1930s, he located to Monhegan Island, where he started the Connaway Art School.[iii] Mr. Connaway was born 27 November 1893 in Liberty, Indiana, and died 18 February 1970. This photo was taken about 1936 when he was about 43 years old.

Family Search identifies Jay H Connaway as ID G9YB-XV9. I am quite sure this is of Jay about 1936. I have uploaded two photos of him to his Family Search profile. I uploaded two additional photos of Jay to my Flickr Photostream.

Mary A. Conroy (1909-___)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Mary Conroy, 108 Newberry St., Portland, #136.”

Mary Conroy circa 1936

The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Mary A. Conroy, a clerk working at 594 Congress and residing at 108 Newbury.

The 1940 US Census reports Mary Conroy, the 30-year-old daughter of Christopher and Annie Conroy, living at 92 Federal Street.

Family Search identifies Mary A. Conroy, the daughter of Christopher and Ann (LNU) Conroy, as ID GWQD-S2T. I am quite sure this is her about 1936. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile.

Rita Consoli, circa 1936

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio, Portland, Maine.

Rita Consoli

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Rita Consoli, 536 Cumberland Ave., Portland, #403.” The photo appears to be of a woman in her 20s.

I was unable to find Rita Consoli in Portland during the mid-1930s.  A review of the address, 536 Cumberland, found various people[iv] living there during the 1930s, but none had a surname similar to Consoli or Rita’s first name. There was a considerable turnover of the units there, suggesting Rita may well have been there for only a short time.


A Filomena Rita Consoli was born 22 May 1905 in Lagonegro, Italy, and immigrated to the United States on 2 August 1926. She is a possible candidate to be the subject of this photo.

A Rita Consoli was born about 1921, who graduated from Wakefield High School (Wakefield, MA) in 1937. The woman in this photo looks considerably older than high school age. She is an unlikely candidate to be the subject of this photo.

The 1930 Census found the 14-year-old Rita Consoli living with her parents, Fred and Josephine Consoli in the Bronx, New York. It also found a 10-year-old Rita Consoli residing with her parents, Samuel and Adeline Consoli, in the Bronx, New York.

I don’t believe either of these is the correct Rita Consoli, so I have added her photo to Dead Fred.  I also uploaded two photos of Rita to my Flicker Photostream.

Unknown Boy – [Child of Anastasia Constantine (?)] c. 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Anastasia Constantine, 453 Cumberland Ave., Portland, #192.”

Constantine (?) Child circa 1937

The 1938 Portland City Directory lists James and his wife Bessie J., living at 453 Cumberland.

The 1940 US Census lists James Constantine and his wife Bessie A. living at 453 Cumberland Ave. It lists no children.

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists James and his wife, Bessie A., living at 256 Danforth.

Likewise, the 1930 US Census lists James Constantine and his wife, Bessie, living in Portland (256 Danforth St.) with no children.

I am not convinced that Bessie’s middle name was Anastasia. Additionally, I can find no evidence that James and Bessie had any children. That leads me to speculate that James may have had a sister-in-law named Anastasia who was visiting James and provided his address. In any event, determining this child’s identity eludes me.

I have added this child’s photo to Dead Fred and posted a second copy to my Flickr stream. I posted another photo of this child to my Flickr Photostream.


I had:

    • Three successful identifications where I could post five profiles on Family Search
    • One probable identification posted to Dead Fred.
    • One non-ident also posted to Dead Fred.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.


[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

[iii] Wikipedia – Jay Hall Connaway –

[iv] Joseph and Amelia Ryan, Beneva Mishoe, Stela Martin, Carl Strout, Charles MacGrath, James Stamos, Mrs. Nellie Harding, Mary Hannigan, and several Grants.

The Genealogy Collection at the Internet Archive

Tuesday’s Tips

Internet Archive LogoI know I’ve mentioned the Internet Archive many times. I think they are amazing, and I thank them so much for their efforts and work. Besides the 125+ Scarborough Historical Society books that I’ve uploaded, the Internet Archive and their Wayback Machine provide a historical archive of the Internet, they have many additional resources.

One feature I knew about, but I had never used, is their Genealogy Collection. It provides a shortcut to many collections such as those from the Allen County Public Library and “Reclaim the Records.”  A search of the Genealogy Collection for “Scarborough, Maine” yielded three items. I knew about the two Scarborough Town Reports posted by the Allen County Public Library. However, the third was The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1775-1800 : wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine. In it, there was a chapter, “Edgecomb, of Scarborough and Biddeford.” The chapter begins with Nicholas Edgecomb arriving at Richmond’s Island about 1638. If you have Edgecomb ancestors, you definitely will want to read the 16 pages of information.

Besides my SHS uploads, I donate financially occasionally to help fund this extraordinary resource.  I hope you will consider donating here.

By the way, my thanks to Roberta Estes for her blog, DNAeXplained. Her post reminded me about the Genealogy Collection. I highly recommend following her blog-It’s a good one.

William Taylor & the 1880 Census

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor


In my Bradley-Hingston Project, I’ve been researching William S. Taylor (1856-1928). For my genealogical “first pass” research for an ancestor, I attempt to find vital records, birth, death, and marriages. I also try to find the individual in all of the available Census records during their life.  In William Taylor’s case, I have not successfully found him in either the 1880 or the 1910 Censuses.

William was born on 29 December 1856 in Taylorsville[i], Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to Jacob H. and Rebecca L. (Pittman) Taylor. He appears in the 1860 and 1870 Censuses living with his parents as expected. During the 1870 Census, the 13-year-old William was attending school, as were all his school-age siblings, which means he could likely read and write.

In 1887, William married Maria Louisa Polk at St. Joseph Church in Jackson County, Missouri. That he was in Missouri is significant because it shows that William traveled across the country sometime between 1870 and 1887. He located back in the Philadelphia area with Maria by 1900, showing considerable mobility.

Review of the 1880 Census

A Search of Family Search for William Taylor, born in Pennsylvania in 1857, yielded 14 results.

  • William H. Taylor lived in Westport, Clinton, PA, with his mother, Sarah A. Taylor. Wrong mother.
  • William C. Taylor lived in Spring City, Chester, PA, with his Father, Samuel A. Taylor. Wrong father
  • William Taylor lived in Indiana, PA, with his mother, Margret Taylor. Wrong mother.
  • William M. Taylor was living in Saltsburg, Indiana County, PA. Race Mulatto. Wrong Race.
  • William Taylor was living in Dauphin County, PA, with his brother-in-law Armstead Lee. Armstead’s wife was named Mary. William did not have a sister named Mary, so this can’t be the correct William.
  • William Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, with his wife Elizabeth and son William (under 1). William’s parents were born in Ireland. Wrong birthplace for Parents.
  • William Taylor was living in Wayne County, PA, with his mother, Zilpha. Wrong mother.
  • William Taylor was living in Lewisburg, Union County, PA. Race Black.
  • William Taylor was living in Philadelphia, PA, with his parents William and Elizabeth. Wrong parents.
  • William Taylor was living in Philadelphia, PA, with his mother, Elmire Taylor. Wrong mother.
  • William A. Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, with his parents Samuel W. and Mary A. Taylor. Wrong parents.
  • William Taylor was living in Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri. His race is black. Also, his parents were both born in Virginia. The wrong person.
  • There was a (first name blank) Taylor living in Beaufort, South Carolina. A closer look at the census reveals that this person was black.
  • Finally, a William Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, as a boarder at 34 Lancaster, Philadelphia. Single, His occupation was “P.R.R Co’s Men.” Over 20 men were boarding there, all of whom were P.R.R. Co’s Men.[ii] (I presume “P.R.R” to be the Pennsylvania Railroad.[iii])
William Taylor in the 1880 Census – Philadelphia, PA – ED 485, Page 4 – via Family Search

This appears to be the only William Taylor that could be the William Taylor I am looking for. This determination conflicts with several other researchers; however, I am quite certain this is the correct William Taylor. Additionally, it provides a simple explanation about how William could have gone west to meet Maria, who was from Arkansas, marry her in Missouri, and remove to Philadelphia by 1900. He worked for the Railroad.

This look at the 1880 Census shed light that there were four other 23-year-old William Taylor’s living in the Philadelphia area.

    1. William A. Taylor, son of Samuel W. and Mary A. Taylor.
    2. William Taylor, son of William and Elizabeth Taylor.
    3. William Taylor, son of Elmire Taylor.
    4. William Taylor, son of Irish immigrants and married to Elizabeth with a son William.

It will be crucial to distinguish my William Taylor from these other William Taylors as I continue my William Taylor research.


In 1880, William Taylor lived in Philadelphia, PA, and boarded at 34 Lancaster. He lived and worked with many other employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad. 


[i] Taylorsville is now Washington Crossing, an unincorporated village in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. (About 30 miles north of Philadelphia and 8 miles upstream of Trenton.

[ii] Family Search “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( 13 November 2020), Wm. Taylor in the household of J. L. Worrell, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, British Colonial America; citing enumeration district ED 485, sheet 33B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,182.

[iii] The Pennsylvania Railroad operated was established in 1846 and operated until 1968.

Deciphering Foreign Language Records & the Appleton Public Library

Appleton Public Library LogoI just watched an excellent presentation hosted by the Appleton Public Library, “Tips and Tricks for Deciphering Foreign Language Records” by Katherine Schober. It probably had the best tips and tricks for translating from other languages I’ve ever seen.

Katherine provided important websites to use to help you with the translation and also gave simple, straight-forward methods to use. I will definitely give her suggestions a chance when I next translate & transcribe a document. There were even some excellent techniques I’ll use the next time I transcribe English documents, such as WordMine.Info. Her presentation should be available on-line for another three weeks or so. Check it out.

I learned of the Appleton Public Library when I was researching my wife’s Darling line. I also my that my grandmother played at Fischer’s Appleton in 1924. Preregistration for their Zoom presentations is required. Sadly, their March talk conflicts with the GPC-MGS Chapter meeting, but you should receive a link to watch it after its live presentation if you register. Their next talk is “Virtual Find Your Ancestors: World War II Genealogy.” I can definitely improve my skills in WW II Genealogy.

– Don Taylor