My Worst Christmas: 1961

My History
By Don Taylor

I’ve seen several blog posts from folks about their best Christmas family experiences. So, I thought that I’d go against the grain and write about my worst Christmas. It was 1961.

It had the potential of being the best Christmas ever. My mother married Budgar on December 8, 1961, and the two returned from a short honeymoon on December 10th. For Christmas, we were going to have a family get together. Budgar’s daughters, my new stepsisters, were coming and my grandmother was cooking a turkey with the fixings. Eleven-year-old me, had a hard time waiting until my stepsisters got to our house, but we waited so we could open presents together.

We opened our gifts and everyone was pleased. I’m not sure I remember exactly what my big present was. It might have been a “Paladin gun with holster,” maybe it was a toy “Rifleman cap gun,” I’m not sure which year I received which. I’m sure though I received new army men to play with; I received army men every year for several years. My stepsisters, ages 11 and 10, were especially excited about their new Barbie dolls and a Barbie game – The Barbie Game: Queen of the Prom – “A fun game with real-life appeal for all girls.”

After a short while, my stepsisters wanted me to play their new game with them. I said, “No.” I was 11 and enjoyed playing with my toys by myself, as I had done in previous years. Besides, I wasn’t about to play a “girlie game.” They insisted and then whined to their father, Budgar, that I needed to play with them because the game “wasn’t any good for just two.” They needed at least three players. So, Budgar took me away from my new toys and made me play the Barbie Game with his daughters. I was mortified.

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and my grandmother’s cake put me in a better mood later that afternoon. She was an excellent cook and an amazing baker.

 

 

S. F. Auto Death – 23 Dec 1919

Montrans in the News – S. F. Auto Death – December 23, 1919

Montran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

 

This week’s entry for Montran Monday is from the Stockton Daily Evening Record (Stockton, CA) dated 23 December 1919.

 

              S. F. AUTO DEATH
                          —–
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 23.—One man was killed and four others suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident today near the Hunter’s Point dry dock. E. W. Montran, 45, was killed. Antone G. Garra and J. Mintus are seriously injured. W. W. Parker suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries.

The automobile skidded on a wet place in the street and overturned according to reports received by police. 

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.comNone of my records saw an E.W. Montran previously. So, I was able to add him to my records. E. W. Montran, born about 1874, died 23 Dec 1919 in San Francisco, California. A quick look at City Directories for San Francisco and Stockton for 1919 did not find any Montrans.

In the “California, Death Index, 1905-1939,” via Ancestry.Com, I learned that an Ernest W. Mottram died in San Francisco on 23 December 1919.

Further searches for E. W. Montran found one during the 1910 Census in Missouri and nothing after that. Additionally, the search for Ernest W. Mottram didn’t find anything of interest. So, I’m not sure if this is a Montran or a Mottram. Certainly, further, more in-depth, research should be considered for the future.


Source:

Stockton Daily Evening Record (Stockton, California) · Tue, Dec 23, 1919 · Page 2. “S. F. Auto Death” via Newspapers.Com.

Future Actions:

Determine if the person who died on 23 December 1919 in San Francisco, CA, was E. W. Montran or Ernest W. Mottram.

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.

Ancestor Sketch – Ezra Clugston Sanford

Brown/Sanford Line
By Don Taylor

Contemporary writers said Ezra was a “remarkably muscular man, possessed of great nerve and quickness of perception.”[i] They also said he was “a mechanic, a respectable member of society, a kind husband and parent, a good neighbor and an honest man.”[ii] Wow.  What great things were said about my 5th Great-Grandfather, Ezra Clugston Sanford.  He is definitely an ancestor that I would have loved to have met in person. He sounds amazing.

Ancestor #200 – Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)

List of Grandparents

  • 6 – Grandfather: Richard Earl Brown
  • 12 – 1st Great-grandfather: Arthur Durwood Brown(1869-1928)
  • 25 – 2nd Great-grandmother: Marion Sanford(1846- c. 1895)
  • 50 – 3rd Great-grandfather: William M Sanford(1824-1915)
  • 100 – 4th Great-grandfather: Ezra Gay Sanford(1792-1855)
  • 200 – 5th Great-grandfather: Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)
  • 400 – 6th Great-grandfather: Amos Gilbert Sanford (1733-1777)
  • 800 – 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Baldwin Sanford (1703-1758)*
  • 1600 – 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Sanford (1680-1729)*
  • 3200 – 9th Great-grandfather: Samuel Sanford (1643-1691)*
  • 6400 – 10th Great-grandfather: Thomas Sanford (Immigrant Ancestor) (1607-1681)* 

* Italicized individuals were newly added as a result of my research into Ezra Clugston Sanford. Their information and relationships have not been confirmed.

Birth

Ezra Clugston Sanford was born 22 April 1763 in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut. He was the fourth of ten children born to Amos Gilbert and Mary Cluckstone (Clugston) Sanford. Newtown was a thriving town of nearly 2000 people when Ezra was born.

In 1763 the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War and France ceded New France (Canada) to Great Britain. Just days after Ezra’s birth, Chief Pontiac of the Odawa people, along with 17 other nations, began attacking the British Fort Detroit in what become known as “Pontiac’s War.”

Childhood

Ezra was baptized in the First Congregational Church in Newtown, CT on 8 May 1763.

Siblings of Ezra Clugston Sanford

Name Birth Married Death
David Clugston Sanford 1757 Hannah Rowlin 1836
Elizabeth Sanford 1759 Isaiah Honeywell 1809
Caleb Clugston Sanford 1761 Lucinda Pike 1783
Samuel Clugston Sanford 1765 Miss Rand 1832
John Sanford 1767 Miss Russ ?
Annise Sanford 1770 ? ?
Mary Dianta Sanford 1772 ? 1851
Amos Sanford 1774 Betsey Pardee 1831
Gurdon Sanford 1776 ? ?

Photo By Magicpiano – CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

In 1780, Ezra’s uncle, Thomas Sanford, built a house at 71 Riverside Road in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown which stands today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[iii]

When Ezra turned 21 in 1784, another Treaty of Paris was ratified—this time to end the Revolutionary War.

Marriage

Ezra married Mercy Gay on 11 October 1786 in Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut. The couple had four or five children.

Children of Ezra and Mercy (Gay) Sanford

Name Birth Death
Electa Sanford 1790 – Litchfield Co., CT ?
Ezra Gay Sanford 1792 – Litchfield Co., CT 1855
Sally Sanford 1796 – Pownal, VT 1881
Lucy Sanford 1799 – Pownal, VT 1870

The 1790 Census indicates that Ezra is living with three females in Litchfield. One is his wife, and one is his daughter Electa. That leaves one unknown female. That female could be anyone, including another child. Ezra and Mercy were married in 1786 and had Electa in 1790. However, a four-year gap between marriage and their first child is longer than I would expect. As such, I believe that this unknown female in the household is a daughter born about 1788 and who died before 1800. (See: Ezra Sanford in the Early Censuses for details.)

Adult

Ezra, Mercy, and children moved to Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont in February, 1792.[iv]

1800 Census – In the 1800 Census. Ezra is the head of a household consisting of 3 males and 4 females. There is one unknown adult male in the household and one female that was there in 1790 that is not listed, but the other members of the household are enumerated as expected.

Ezra Sanford 1 – – 2 – | 2 1 – 1

Ezra Sanford in the 1800 Census
  • 1809 – The Vermont Gazette (Bennington, Vermont) on 17 July 1809, Page 3, indicated that Ezra was living in Pownal but had mail waiting for him at the post office.
  • 1810 Census – The Ezra Sanford household is still in Pownal, with Ezra and Mercy with four children, Ezra (Jr.). Electa, Lucy, and Sally/Sarah.
  • 1812 – The Vermont Gazette (Bennington, Vermont) on 11 May 1812, Page 4, indicated that Ezra was living in Pownal and was a commissioner in the probate of Leah Barber’s estate. \

Death & Burial

  • Ezra Clugston Sanford died on 22 June 1812 at the age of 50 years and 2 months in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont. He was buried in the Towslee Cemetery in Pownal.

Will & Probate

I wrote about Ezra’s estate previously.  Please see:

Events by Location

Newtown Township, Fairfield County, Connecticut – Birth, Baptism.

Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut – Marriage, 1790 Census.

Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont – 1800, 1810, Death, Burial.

Further Actions / Follow-up Research

  • Research the Sanford family of Newtown, CT, and learn about their support of the Revolution.
  • Research the Sanford family of Newtown, CT, and learn about their education.
  • Research death dates and marriages of Ezra’s siblings.
  • Determine death information regarding Electa Sanford (1790-?)
  • Determine property that may have been owned by Ezra Sanford in both Connecticut and Vermont. Check for tax records also.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Continue reading “Ancestor Sketch – Ezra Clugston Sanford”

ThruLines – William Henry Brown – Part 4

ThruLines Thursday
Brown
DNA
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

In Part 4 of my ThruLinestm analysis of my 2nd great-grandfather, William Henry Brown, I’m looking closely at the matches descended from Edward Waberton Brown. Ed was born in Dakota Territory in 1884 shortly after his parents moved from Saline, Michigan to the Dakota Territory. North Dakota became a state five years later, in 1889. Edward married Dertha Merkel on 3 November 1901. The two had 13 (or 14) children. Five of those children have descendants that have tested with Ancestry. I was surprised to learn that all five were females. Three of the individuals are 2nd cousins once removed (105, 97, & 70 cM shared), one is a 3rd cousin (37 cM shared), and one is a 3rd cousin once removed (18 cM shared). All five share an amount of DNA with me that I would expect based upon the relationship.[i]

Cousin via Lenora B. Brown

“CJ” has minimal tree on Ancestry. It does provide his/her parents names and his or her maternal grandmother’s name which links him to Edward Warberton Brown. There were no new facts regarding “CJ’s” ancestors nor sources for the facts held. As such, I was only able to add him to my list of cousins (with a note of the amount of DNA we share).

Cousin via Edna Winnifred Brown

“JC” has a very minimal tree on Ancestry. It does provide his/her parents names and his maternal grandfather’s name. There were no sources for any of his/her facts. As such, I was only able to add him to my list of cousins.

Cousin via Virginia M. Brown

“BP” has a nice tree that clearly connected to Virginia Marion Brown to Edward Waberton Brown, and to Henry William Brown. Thanks to the tree of “BP” I was able to identify three new cousins, including “BP.”

Cousin via Ada Brown

“GH” is a 3rd cousin, with whom I share 37 cM across 4 segments, is a double cousin.  We share William Henry and Marion (Sanford) Brown; we also share Enoch and Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin (my 2nd great-grandparents). These lines are not related to each other, but many of their descendants are related to both. “GH” was the only cousin I was able to add to my tree.

Cousin via Emma Cecelia Brown

“AD” is a 3rd cousin, once removed, with whom I share 18 cM on one segment of DNA. I had much of this person’s tree already as I had researched some of this line previously. It is another case where two brothers (Harry and Floyd) married two sisters (Emma and Ruth Brown) and I had reviewed Floyd and Ruth previously. I was able to follow this line down to “AD” and add 12 new cousins to my tree, including “AD.”

Conclusion

If you are a descendant of Edward Warberton Brown (ca. 1884-1965) please consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is an excellent genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too. I’d love to learn how we are related.

All of my ThruLines posts are listed under the ThruLines Thursday category. Continue reading “ThruLines – William Henry Brown – Part 4”

ThruLines – William Henry Brown – Part 3

ThruLines Thursday
Brown
DNA

In this look at my ThruLinestm results, I’m looking closer at matches, who I have in common with my great-great-grandparents’, William Henry & Marion (Sanford) Brown’s son, Clyde Hewett Brown. Clyde was born in April 1877 in Michigan, he married Phoebe Jane Manning in 1898 and they had two children. He died sometime before 1903. Clyde was the brother of my great-grandfather, Arthur, and Phoebe was the sister of my great-grandmother, Mary. So, this is a case where two brothers married two sisters.

Clyde and Phoebe had two children. Estella May Brown and Henry L. Brown. Estella married Zachariah Ariah Barnett and they had six children. Three of those children have descendants that have tested with Ancestry and have connected themselves to an Ancestry Tree—Mildred, Hazel, and Phoebe.

Analysis

The trees of each of these individuals are consistent with I have from my own sources. As such, all three appear to be third cousins, one twice removed and two once removed.

Mildred Merie Barnett (1917-2003) – Identical to my records.
TW[i] is a 3rd cousin, once removed, who shares 37 cM on two segments. My records already had her, her parents, and her grandparents, from another source. Looking at TW’s tree I found nothing new, however, the shared DNA confirms the relationship.

Hazel Idella Barnett (1922-2001) – Identical to my records.
JH is a 3rd cousin, twice removed, who shares 29 cM on three segments. Additionally, I have JH’s grandfather’s information. I don’t know who JH’s father is, but I can add him as a Living Unknown to my tree and then JH as a DNA Match.

Phebe E Barnet (____-____) – Similar to my Phoebe Elizabeth Barnett (1933-2007)
LI is a 3rd cousin, once removed, with whom I share 56 cM on 4 segments. LI has the same name for her grandmother, but has no new information regarding Phoebe nor her descendants. There is no way to determine who which of the five children I know about for Phoebe, so I don’t know how this match connects exactly. I’ve messaged LI to ask about which of the children of Phoebe is LI’s mother.

Conclusion

Thanks to ThruLines, I’ve been able to add 2 new third cousins, which broadens my tree.

Afterword

If you are a descendant of Clifford Gerome Brown, please consider testing with Ancestry DNA; it is an excellent genealogical resource and can help you broaden your tree too. If you have tested with Ancestry, but haven’t linked yourself to an Ancestry tree, please do so. I’d love to learn how we are related.

All of my ThruLines posts are listed under the ThruLines Thursday category. Continue reading “ThruLines – William Henry Brown – Part 3”