Ethel Wight Collection – Part 45

Gardner (2), Garnett, Gass, & Giardino

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 photos with family members who may have never seen the image.

Marietta Rachela Giardino, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Marrietta Gardner, 80 Moreland St., Roxbury, Mass #851.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Marietta Rachela Giardino, circa 1936
  • I was unsuccessful in finding a Marrietta Gardner, of the appropriate age, in any records from 1930 to 1940.
  • I did find a Marietta R Giardino, a hairdresser who lived at 80 Moreland, Roxberry, in the 1936 Boston City Directory. The directory indicates that Nicola G. Deluca, Frank L Giardino, and Lilian Saia lived at the address.
  • Marietta R Giardino was born on 25 April 1913 in Boston. She lived in Portland, Maine in 1932, and married Melville Benjamin Young ib 12 May 1936,
  • Ancestry Trees include a 1939 photo of Marietta and her daughter. That photo appears to be of the same woman here. I am convinced this is a photo of Marietta Richela Giardino before she married Melville Young in 1936.
  • I believe the surname written on the envelope was incorrect.

Family Search identifies Marietta Rachela Giardino, daughter of Frank Louis and Concettina (Maggio) Giardino as ID GSRF-LCS. There are eight family trees at Ancestry.Com that refer to Marietta.

I have uploaded two photos of Marietta to her Family Search Memories.

This photo identity was confirmed by a niece of Marietta.

Sallie Gardner, R.N., circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Sally Gardner, ME. Gen. Hospital #922.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Sallie Gardner, R.N., circa 1937

    The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Sallie Gardner, a student nurse at 22 Arsenal (Maine General Hospital).

  • The 1938 Portland City Directory lists Sallie O Gardner, a student nurse who married Samuel J. Oppedisano.
  • The Maine, U.S., Marriage Index, 1892-1996, shows Sallie and Samuel married on 25 December 1937.
  • The 1940 US Census shows Samuel and the 23-year-old Sally Oppedisano living at 95b Moody Street.

Family Search identifies Sallie Gardner, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Osgood) Gardner, as ID L14G-GT6. I am pretty sure this is Sallie about 1937 before she married Samuel. There are nine trees at Ancestry.Com that refer to Sally Gardner, born 23 February 1917 in Calais, Washington County, Maine.

I have uploaded two photos of Sallie to her Family Search Memories. I also uploaded one additional photo of her to my Flickr photostream.

Ralph Gardner, circa 1934

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Ralph Gardiner, Woodfords, Portland, #45.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Msd
  • Woodfords is a neighborhood in Portland, Maine.
  • The 1930 US Census lists 47-year-old Ralph Gardiner living at 66 Glenwood Ave with his wife Florence and son, Donald. That address is in the area that would be called Oakdale/Woodfords.
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Ralph S Gardner as an accountant at 45 Forest Ave. and living at 104 Coyle. Again, 104 Coyle is in the Woodfords neighborhood.
  • Ralph Sidney Gardner died 30 June 1937 at the age of 55.
  • Based on the photo ID number (#45), I believe this to be Ralph Gardner about 1934.

Alternative individuals?

The 1930 US Census lists a Ralph Gardiner, age 28, living with his brother-in-law Ralph Bragdon in Westbrook. This Ralph Gardiner would be too young to be the subject of this photograph.

Family Search identifies Ralph S Gardner, husband of Florence Scott, as ID LBPR-BX4. There are 24 trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Ralph Sidney Gardner (1882-1937)

I have uploaded two photos of Ralph to his Family Search Memories.

Carol Garnett, circa 1936 (age 3 or 4)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Carroll Garnett, 301 Cumberland Ave, Portland #326.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Carol Garnett, circa 1936 (age 3 or 4)
  • The only Carroll Garnett listed in the 1935 Portland worked at a barbershop at 1206 Forest Ave and lived at 111 Woodlawn Ave. His wife is Clarissa.
  • The 1936 Portland city directory is missing the page, which would include Carroll Garnett. However, in the address to name section of the directory, at 301 Cumberland Ave. lives Mrs. Lena Frost
  • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Carroll L (and Clarissa M.) Garnett living at 17 Warren ave.
  • Likewise, the 1938 Portland City Directory lists Carroll and Clarissa still at 17 Warren Ave.
  • The 1940 Census finds Carroll and Clarissa Garnett living with their two children, 14-year-old Harry and seven-year-old Carol.
  • This photo was taken about 1936 when Carol was about three years old. The child in the photograph appears to be about three or four years old. Consequently, I believe this to be a photo of Carol

Family Search identifies Carol Garnett, born 3 August 1932 to Carroll and Clarissa (Whitney) Garnett, as ID LRQ9-7D1. I am pretty sure this is Carol about 1936. There are seven trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Carol M. Garnett (Rutter).

I uploaded one photo of Carol to her Family Search Memories.

Betty L. Gass, circa 1937 (age 7).

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. G. E. Gass, 25 Bolton St., Portland #842.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Betty L. Gass, circa 1937 (age 7)
  • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Garland E (and Bertha L) Gass living at 25 Bolton.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Garland and Bertha Gass living at 71a Whitney Ave. Living with them is their 10-year-old daughter Betty.
  • Based upon the Photo Number (#842), I estimate this photo was taken about 1937.
  • Betty L. Gass was born on 19 February 1930; I believe this is a photo of her when she was about seven years old.

Sadly, one of the two negatives I have of Betty is out of focus, and the second negative is a profile.

Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Betty L Gass; however, her father is Garland E. Gass, ID: L21Q-6MH. However, Betty L. Gass is found in six public trees at Ancestry.Com

Because Betty does not have a Family Search profile, I have added her photo to Dead Fred. I also uploaded the out-of-focus photo of her to my Flickr photostream.

Conclusion

  • I identified four individuals with Family Search profiles, so I posted their photos to their Family Search
  • I identified one individual who did not have a profile on Family Search, so I uploaded her photo 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 particular photograph before.


Endnotes

[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.

Parsons – Surname Saturday

Brown-Sanford-Parsons Line
By Don Taylor

Origin of the Parsons Surname

Ancestry indicates Parsons is an occupational name for the servant of a parish priest or parson, or possibly, the parson’s son. I ignored other meanings for Parsons, from Irish and Scottish origins, because my Parsons immigrant ancestor came from Dorset in the 1600s. According to Forebears, the surname is most common in Wiltshire, while it is also numerous in counties around Wiltshire, including Dorset.

Geographical

In World: Today, Parsons has the greatest incident in the United States, with over 86,000 people having the surname.

In Dorset, England, where my earliest ancestors lived, there are 881 people with the surname.

In the US, there is a greater incidence of Parsons living in California and Texas. In the 1880 Census, the most incidences of Parsons were in New York and Massachusetts. My Parson ancestors left New York in the 1820s and were in Michigan during the 1880 Census.

Direct Parsons Ancestors

51 – Mary Electa Parsons(1828-1888) – 3rd Great Grandmother
102 – Chester Parsons(1799-1887) – 4th Great-Grandfather
204 – John Parsons(1764-1813) – 5th Great-Grandfather
408 – John Parsons Sr. (1737/38-1821) – 6th Great-Grandfather
816 – Timothy Parsons (1695-1772) – 7th Great-Grandfather*
1632 – Samuel Parsons (1653-1734) – 8th Great-Grandfather*
3264 – Joseph Parsons (1620-1683) – 9th Great-Grandfather*
6528 – William Parsons (___-___) – 10th Great-Grandfather*

* Note: I have not fully reviewed or recearched ancestors #816 or higher.

Historical

In 1840, Chester Parsons was living in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. His household included himself, his wife Deborah, and six children. There were eight Parsons families in Washtenaw County during the census. Chester and his brother lived in Saline.

In 1880, Chester’s father, John Parsons Jr,  was the head of the household in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. His household included a wife and one child.  Chester’s Grandfather, John Parsons Sr., was also the head of a household. John’s household consisted of himself, five females and three males. They were two of the nine Parsons households in the county.

My earliest known Parsons immigrant ancestor is Joseph Parsons. He came to the colonies between 1629 and 1646. It isn’t clear whether he first came to Massachusetts (where he died) or Connecticut (where he married Mary Bliss in 1646).

Photographic History

Chester Parsons

A drawing of Chester Parsons was printed in the History of Washtenaw County, Michigan. His is one of the earliest ancestor images I have.

There is a copyrighted drawing of his home in: York, Saline, Ypsilanti, Lyndon, Sharon (Mich.) Township residences, ca. 1874; 1874. Page 105. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed: April 02, 2018.

There are photos of the Parsons family marker and Chester’s individual marker via Find-a-Grave.

Likewise, there is a photo of the marker of John Parsons, Jr., on Find-a-Grave.

Direct Parsons Descendants

My earliest known ancestor, William Parsons, married Margaret Hoskins sometime before 1620, probably in Beaminster, Dorset, England.  My records have identified 868 direct-line descendants of William and Margaret.

My most recent, known Parsons cousins are children of Alfred David Parsons (1830-1908) and Percia Tallmage (___-___). They had five children between 1861 and 1873, all were born in Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan. They are 1st cousins, 4x removed.

Sources:

  • Ancestry Surname Page: http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts
  • Forebears Surnames Page: https://forebears.io/surnames
  • Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown 2021 tree (Private) accessed 23 July 2021.

Donna in the News – “Route of Flight Changed”

Montran Monday
Montrans in the News
By Don Taylor

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find new information regarding my grandmother’s exciting show business career during the 1910s and 1920s. 

This week’s article is from the Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, Mass.) dated 22 July 1915.

Boston Evening Transcript (Boston, Mass.) dated 22 July 1915. (Via Newspapers.com)

ROUTE OF FLIGHT CHANGED

City Officials Refuse to Allow Miss Montran to Drop Pennants on Boston Common

Because of inability to secure a permit to drop the “Birth of a Nation” pennants on the Boston Common, the route of the biplane carrying Miss Donna Montran had to be suddenly changed. Miss Montran, one of the “belles of 1861” in the moving picture at the Tremont Theatre, expected to make two round trips with Captain J. Chauncey Redding, in his aeroplane, from Saugus to Boston, dropping from the machine, while over the Common, one hundred pennants advertising the “Birth of a Nation, twenty-five of which had free ticket attached.

City officials would not allow this to be done, so that instead of coming to Boston Miss Montran flew over Lynn and Revere, where the pennants were dropped. She was attired similar to the lobby girls at the Tremont Theatre, with the exception of the hoop skirt. It is doubtful if the flight over Boston could have been made even if a permit had been granted, for the weather conditions today would not allow for the altitude necessary to insure safety.

This article provided additional detail regarding Donna’s biplane flight in 1915 over Lynn and Revere and how come she didn’t fly over Boston Common and drop the pennants there.

For more about Donna’s 1915 Biplane Flight see July 22-23, 1915 – Saugus, Mass. – Donna’s Biplane Flight (Boston Daily Globe).

Ancestor Sketch – Mary “Polly” Wolcott Parsons

Brown-Sandford-Parsons-Wolcott
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Mary Wolcott was born in 1767. She married John Parsons in 1788. After she was widowed in 1813,  Mary lived another 43 years living in several households. She died in 1857 at the age of 89.

Roberts/Brown – Ancestor #205

List of Grandparents

Mary “Polly” Wolcott Parsons (1767-1857)

Birth

Different researchers seem to disagree about where Mary Wolcott was born, but all seem to agree she was born 20 May 1767 to Samuel and Prudence (Robbins) Wolcott. I’ll know more when I research Mary’s parents. Chandler Wolcott, in Wolcott Genealogy, indicates that Samuel Wolcott located to Sandisfield, MA, in 1764, three years before Mary was born, so it is my current opinion that Mary was born in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Childhood

Mary was the third of seven children. Her siblings included

    1. Prudence Born 1763      Married John Baxter
    2. Samuel Born 1765      (the 4th generation named Samuel Wolcott)
    3. Mary Born 1767      Married John Parsons, Jr.
    4. Thomas Born 1769
    5. Abiathar Born 1772
    6. William Born 1774
    7. Abigail Born 1781      Married John Chapel.

Her father was a patriot, serving in the revolutionary war when Mary was only 9-years-old. It hat to have been an exciting time for a kid to grow up.

Marriage

Mary married John Parsons, Jr., in 1788 in Sandisfield, and the couple had their first child, Samuel, the following year. Their first five children were born in Sandisfield.

    1. Samuel Born 1789
    2. Polly Born 1792      Later married Jeremiah Miller.
    3. Orrin Born 1794
    4. John Born 1796
    5. Chester Born 1799      My 4th Great-grandfather.

The Columbia Turnpike opened up in 1799 from Berkshire County to Catskill, in Greene County, New York.[1]  In the spring of 1802, the Parsons located to Windham, Greene County, New York, probably using the Columbia Turnpike. Consequently, their next two children were born in New York.

    1. Permelia (?) Born 1805      Married (FNU) Clark.
    2. Prudence Born 1811      Possibly married Benjamin Miller.

Adulthood

I have not successfully found John and Mary Parsons in the 1810 Census (See: John Parsons, Jr., & the 1810 Census.)

Mary’s husband John died on 7 April 1813 in Windham, Greene County, New York.

I have not been successful in finding Mary in the 1820 Census. (See: Mary Parsons & the 1820 Census.) However, I am pretty sure that Mary was living with Albert Parsons during the 1830 Census. I am still hoping to determine precisely who Albert is.

In 1840, Mary was the head of the household comprising of her and a male 50 to 60 years old. I believe this male to be her son, Samuel.

In 1850, Mary was living in the household of Samuel Parsons (her eldest son).

In 1855, Mary is still living with Samuel in Greene County, New York.

Death

Mary (Wilcott) Parsons died on 26 Marth 1857 at the age of 89 years, ten months, and six days old. She is buried with John at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, Greene, New York.

Events by Location

  • Massachusetts, Berkshire County, Sandisfield – Birth, 1790, 1800
  • New York, Greene County, Windham – 1802, 1830, 1840, 1855, Death

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Determine who Albert Parsons is
  • Find John & Mary Parsons in the 1810 Census.
  • Find Mary Parsons in the 1820 Census.

Sources

  • 1790 Census, 1790 Census – Page 34 – John Parsons, Jr. & John Parsons (Sr.) – Sandisfield Town, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. “Heads of Families – 1790 Census – Massachusetts – Page 34, Column 1, Persons 3 & 4. – Accessed 2 August 2020. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1907/dec/heads-of-families.html.
  • 1800 Census (FS), Family Search, 1800 – John Parsons Jr. – Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts (3rd from bottom). “United States Census, 1800,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRZ-J6J : accessed 31 March 2018), John Parsons Jr, Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts, United States; citing p. 175, NARA microfilm publication M32, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 13; FHL microfilm 205,611. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRZ-J6J.
  • 1830 Census (FS), Family Search, 1830 – Albert Persons – Windham, Greene, New York. “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 20 February 2021), Albert Persons, Windham, Greene, New York, United States; citing 99, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 110; FHL microfilm 17,170. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHP7-SGK.
  • 1840 Census (NARA), 1840 Census – Mary Parsons, Southern, Greene, New York. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRP-CWF : 8 December 2020), Mary Parsons, Greene, New York, United States; citing p. 149, NARA microfilm publication , (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRP-CWF.
  • 1850 Census (NARA), 1850 – Samuel Persons – Windham, Greene, New York. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCYF-ZJR : 23 December 2020), Samuel Persons, Windham, Greene, New York, United States; citing family , NARA microfilm publication (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCYF-ZJR.
  • 1855 New York Census, Family Search, Samuel Parsons – New York, Greene, Windham. “New York State Census, 1855,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6S5-GCD : 3 March 2021), Samuel Persons, Windham, Greene, New York, United States; citing p. , line #7, family #130, county clerk offices, New York; FHL microfilm 480,076. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6S5-GCD.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Ancestor Search”, DAR, Parsons, John – Ancestor # A088240. Accessed 31 July 2020. . https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_adb/default.cfm?p_id=A088240.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr – Nat’l #: 445593 – Ancestor #: A016639.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr – Nat’l #: 445593 – Ancestor #: A088240. Accessed 31 July 2020.
  • Find a Grave, Internet, Mary “Polly” Wolcott Parsons – Memorial 118318771. Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/118318771/mary-parsons : accessed 28 April 2021), memorial page for Mary “Polly” Wolcott Parsons (20 May 1767–26 March 1857), Find a Grave Memorial ID 118318771, citing Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, Greene County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mookie (contributor 47515129). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/118318771/mary-parsons.
  • History of Washtenaw County, Michigan (Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881), Google, Pg 1371. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (2012). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history ; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan : embracing accounts of the pre-historic races, aborigines, French, English and American conquests, and a general review of its civil, political and military history. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company.
  • History of Washtenaw County, Michigan (Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881), Google, Pg 1405. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (2012). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history ; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan : embracing accounts of the pre-historic races, aborigines, French, English and American conquests, and a general review of its civil, political and military history. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company.
  • Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001, Family Search, PAGE 335 – 4TH SECTION (After Manley, Crane, & Spelman) – PARSONS (John Parsons, Jr. and Mary, his wife.
  • New York, US., State Census, 1855, Ancestry, Greene County, Windham, Image 8 of 34, Lines 7 – Samuel Parsons.
  • Chandler Wolcott, Wolcott Genealogy – The Family of Henry Wolcott (, 1912), Internet Archive, Page 119 – LXXIII – Samuel Wolcott.

Endnotes

[1] Family Search Wiki – Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts Genealogy.

John Parsons, Jr. & The Family Search Wiki

John Parsons, Jr. & The Hartford – Albany Turnpike

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Sometimes, the obvious eludes me. After my first pass on an individual searching Family Search, Ancestry, and drafting up a basic sketch for an individual, I like to go to my “stage 2” activities. That is to go through my hundreds of bookmarks looking for other potential sources. Virtually every ancestor I have came from somewhere different.  For example, my eight great-grandparents were born in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Likewise, they died in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and “unknown.” Many of my ancestors began on the East Coast and migrated west every other generation or so, to Western New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, the Dakotas, Minnesota, and so on to me who was born in Oregon. That results in many places for me to learn how to research. It gets exhausting and overwhelming.

The Family Search Wiki

I’ve long advocated using the FamilySearch (FS) Wiki to help find specific things. I even manage the page for Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine Genealogy. But, I never thought about using the FamilySearch Wiki as the basis for my “stage 2” research. Then, I watched a Roots Tech 2020 talk on “Unlocking the Power of the FamilySearch Wiki” and reconsidered my lists of links. I thought I’d give it a try. To start, I’d use the FS Wiki and look at the entries for the towns my ancestor of interest lived in. My current work relates to John Parsons, Jr. He was born in 1764 in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He lived and married there. Then in 1802 moved west to Windham, Greene County, New York where he died and was buried.

This file is attributed to DiltsGD and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

The FS Wiki page for Sandisfield had this really cool little map showing the “Routes and Turnpikes” that people used to migrate to and from Sandisfield. One of those routes was the Massachusetts 10th Turnpike dated 1800. References indicated to see the map between pages 56 and 57 and to see pages 76 to 78 of The Turnpikes of New England and the Evolution of the Same Through England, Virginia, and Maryland by  Frederic J. Wood(Boston: Marshall Jones, 1919), and provided a link to the Internet Archive version online.

Besides a nice map of the area showing the pikes, the accompanying article on pages 76 to 78 provided a lot of information. The 10th Mass Turnpike Corporation was created by an act passed in 1800. It began at the Connecticut line and ran thirty-six miles. It was known locally as the “Hartford and Albany turnpike.” The date the 10th Mass. Turnpike went into service isn’t given, however, I suspect that opening up the road helped John Parsons and his family locate west to Windham, Green County, New York in 1802.

Update to John Parsons, Jr.’s Ancestry sketch:

In 1800, the Tenth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation was created to form a link in the turnpike system connecting Hartford with Albany. Known locally as the “Hartford and Albany turnpike” the road commenced at the Connecticut line and followed the Farmington River up the valley through Sandisfield, Tolland, Otis, and Becket, thence through Lee, Lenox, Richmond, and Hancock, to the New York Line. The new pike probably played a role in John Parsons, Jr. and his family’s relocation to Windham, Greene County, New York in 1802.

There wasn’t anything else in the FS Wiki Page of interest on the Sandisfield page. I wonder if there is something of interest on the Windham page….