Tuesday, 15 December 2015

On This Day In Family History (December 15):

1884: 3x-Great-Granduncle August Andreasson passed away, aged 30.

2007: Grandmother Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson passed away, following a lengthy battle with sarcoma, at her home, 215 Copeland Street, Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 67.

The Enterprise
December 18, 2007 
Helen P. Anderson 
Helen P. (Meagher) Anderson, age 67 years, of Brockton died Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, at her home, where she had resided for the past 48 years, after and lengthy battle with cancer. She was the wife of David W. Anderson of 48 years. Born Sunday, Nov. 17, 1940, in Brockton, she was a daughter of the late Fredrick and Edna (Benoit) Meagher. Helen was a lifelong resident of Brockton and was educated Brockton schools. She retired due to illness after 20 years of service from the Community Bank in Brockton. She enjoyed bowling, traveling around New England, especially Northern Maine, going to Foxwoods, trips to Cape Cod Cannel, and most of all, spending time with her grandchildren and family. In addition to her husband David, she is survived by two daughters, Joyce M. Anderson and her companion Scott Vieira of Taunton and Cheryl Lynne McRae and her husband David of Taunton; four grandchildren, David McRae Jr., Ashley McRae, Alyssa McRae and Amanda Vieira; five sisters, Edna Walsh of South Easton, Theresa Duquette of Brockton, Barbara Tamulevich of Brockton, Mary Kespert of Biddeford, Maine, and Dorothy Burgess of South Yarmouth; three brothers, Robert Meagher of Taunton, Wilfred Meagher of Bay Town, Texas, and Walter Meagher of Kansas City, Mo.; and many nieces and nephews. She was also the mother of the late Raymond A. Anderson and the sister of the late Fredrick J. Meagher Jr. and James J. Meagher. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. in the Dahlborg-MacNevin Funeral Home, 647 Main St., Brockton. Interment will follow in Pine Hill Cemetery in West Bridgewater. Visitation will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, from 4-8 p.m. For additional information or directions, please visit www.d-mfh.com. Arrangements are by the Dahlborg-MacNevin Funeral Home, Chapel for All Faiths, 647 Main St., Brockton. 508-586-4391. 

2009: Half-Uncle Frederick Chester McRae passed away in Lorain County, Ohio, aged 63.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Saturday, 31 October 2015

On This Day In Family History (October 31):

1907: 2nd-great-grandparents August Robert Anderson & Hedvig Olivia Edén were married in Boston, Massachusetts.

Marriage Record for August Robert Anderson & Hedvig Olivia Edén.

1995: Great-grandaunt Edith Charlotte (Garfield) Clifford passed away in Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 86.

617469ce-50b3-4551-8e30-7fa7636fc688 - Edith Charlotte Clifford - McRae Family Tree
Edith C. (Garfield) Clifford

2000: 1st cousin 2x removed Rhoda Madeline (McRae) Haddad passed away at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 80.

5e214fa1-89f3-4f9e-b1b2-c80b87e53546 - Rhoda Madeline Haddad - McRae Family Tree
Rhoda M. (McRae) Haddad

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wednesday's Child: Anton Ryberg

Anton Ryberg was born on February 11, 1838 in Göteborgs Domkyrkoförsamling, Göteborg och Bohus län, Sweden to Lars Ryberg and Ingrid Lena Olsdotter. He was their first child. Anton was baptized two days later; Andreas Carlsson, Edward Olsson, Elin Westergren, and Anna Catharina Christiensson were made godparents. 

During his short life, Anton lived with his parents in Göteborgs Domkyrkoförsamling. 

Lars and Ingrid Lena were devastated when Anton passed away a little more than a month after his birth, on March 17, 1838. Cause of death was given as slag.

His grief-stricken parents tearfully buried him on March 25.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Wednesday's Child: Aron Andersson

Aron Andersson was born on May 27, 1846 in Angered Storegården, Angered församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden. He was the fourth child and second son of Anders Jonsson & Catharina Olsdotter. Though he was their fourth child, he was their third living one. Anders and Catharina's first child, a daughter named Anna Maria, passed away as an infant in 1840. 

Aron was baptized on June 1. 

During his short life, Aron lived on his family's farm in Angered Storegården and grew up surrounded by family. In addition to his parents, also living on the farm were older siblings Johan and Albertina, paternal grandparents Jon Olofsson and Annicka Ambjörnsdotter, and paternal uncle Andreas Jonsson. Paternal aunt Johanna Jonsdotter, maternal aunt Ingrid Lena Olsdotter and their families lived on neighboring farms nearby.

Anders, Catharina and the rest of the family were devastated when Aron passed away on February 28, 1847 after contracting measles. He was only nine months old when he died. 

His parents tearfully laid him to rest on March 7.

Years later, Aron's sisters Albertina and Augusta would both go on to give birth to sons (Albertina on July 1, 1877 and Augusta on February 5, 1883) whom they would name Aron.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Wednesday's Child: Johan Andersson

Johan Andersson was born on December 4, 1841 in Angered Storegården, Angered församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden to Anders Jonsson and Catharina Olsdotter. He was their first son as well as second but only surviving child. Anders and Catharina had lost their first child the previous December.

Within days of his birth, Johan was baptized for at the time, it was the law of Sweden that newborns must be baptized within eight days of their birth.

Johan grew up on his family's farm in Angered Storegården surrounded by family. In addition to his parents, he had three younger siblings, Albertina (born 1843), Aron (born 1846), and Augusta (born 1848). He was doted on by his paternal grandparents, Jon Olofsson and Annicka Ambjörnsdotter, who lived with them on the farm, as did Anders' brother, Andreas Jonsson, Paternal aunt Johanna Jonsdotter and maternal aunt Ingrid Lena Olsdotter as well as their families lived on neighboring farms nearby.

During his short life, Johan suffered a series of losses, his maternal grandfather Olof Olsson passed away the year after his birth, on October 23, 1842, followed by his maternal aunt Ingeborg Olsdotter on March 18, 1843. In 1847, Johan suffered two losses when younger brother Aron passed away on February 28 followed by his uncle Olaus on December 22. Paternal grandmother Annicka Ambjörnsdotter passed away April 20, 1848 followed by uncle Anders Jansson (Johanna Jonsdotter's husband) the following year, on May 5, 1849.

In 1849, Johan, along with his parents, two sisters, and grandfather, left the family farm and moved to a new one in Angered Stommen. Shortly after moving there, the most devastating death for Johan came when on November 22, 1849, his father died at the age of thirty-three. Anders' death was the result of him freezing to death. His death came as an unexpected and tragic shock to young Johan and the rest of his family. Johan was only seven-years-old when his father passed; his death occurring less than two weeks before Johan's eighth birthday. His birthday was a solemn occasion for the family that year. Rather than celebrating another year of life, Johan, his mother, siblings and the rest of the family mourned the one they had lost. He was tearfully buried a few days later, on December 9.

Johan would go on to lose two more loved ones to death in the following years. His maternal grandmother Britta Larsdotter passed away on Oct. 13, 1852 and his paternal grandfather Jon Olofsson passed away on May 2, 1853.

On January 18, 1854, Johan Andersson succumbed to death himself. Cause of death for Johan was rödsot, which in English translates to dysentery, a disease common in Sweden during the 19th century. With dysentery, a person's intestines become inflamed and they have bloody diarrhea.

Catharina was devastated by Johan's death, having lost not only another child but also her first and only living son. With the support of her family, Catharina, along with her daughters, tearfully watched as her beloved son was buried on January 22, 1854.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Wednesday's Child: Anna Maria Andersdotter

Anna Maria Andersdotter was born on March 18, 1840 in Angered Storegården, Angered församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden. She was the first child of 4x-great-grandparents Anders Jonsson & Catharina Olsdotter. Soon after her birth, Anna Maria was baptized as it was the law in Sweden at the time that every child must be baptized within eight days of their birth. 

During her short life, Anna Maria was surrounded by family. She lived on her family's farm with her parents, doting paternal grandparents, Jon Olofsson & Annicka Ambjörnsdotter, and paternal uncle Andreas Jonsson. Her paternal aunt, Johanna Jonsdotter, and her family lived nearby on a neighboring farm. 

Anna Maria passed away on December 29, 1840. While many were celebrating the arrival of 1841 days later, Anders and Catharina mourned the loss of their beloved daughter as did the rest of the family.

Years later, Anders and Catharina had a daughter named Augusta in 1849, who would go on to have ten children of her own. She gave birth to her first daughter on November 12, 1871, whom she and her husband Martin named Anna Maria.

Angered parish 1838-1840 household record, the first of only two known records documenting Anna Maria's existence.

Angered parish 1840-1845 household record, the second of only two known records documenting Anna Maria's existence.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wednesday's Child: Johanna Charlotta Andreasdotter

        Johanna Charlotta Andreasdotter was born on July 8, 1853 in Angered Stom, Angered församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden. She was the second child and daughter of Andreas Börjesson and Maria Andersdotter. Johanna Charlotta was baptized on July 17. Her godparents were her uncles, Nils Börjesson and Gustaf Andersson, as well as Anna Larsdotter, and Maria Larsdotter.

        Johanna Charlotta was raised on her family's farm in Angered Stom surrounded by family. She grew up with older sister Mathilda Augusta and younger brother Adolph Bernhard (born July 2, 1856). In addition, her aunt Maja Helena Börjesdotter, her husband Andreas, and their children lived on a neighboring farm.
        When Johanna Charlotta was two years old, Nils passed away on February 27, 1856, aged 40. Several months later, her family celebrated the birth of Johanna Charlotta's brother Adolph Bernhard.

        Johanna Charlotta's life was cut short when she contracted scarlett fever. Despite her family's prayers, Johanna Charlotta passed away at the family farm on January 24, 1866, aged 12.

        She was buried on February 1, 1866.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Wednesday's Child: Augusta Matilda Martinsdotter

Augusta Matilda Martinsdotter was born on March 21, 1888 in Angered Stom, Angered församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden to 3x-Great-Grandparents Martin Andreasson and Augusta Andersdotter. She was their eighth child and fifth daughter. Augusta Matilda was baptized on March 24 in Angered Stom, with her father's sister-in-law, Anna Sofia Zachrisdotter, and her first cousin, Anna Maria Andersson, standing up as godparents.

During her short life, Augusta Matilda lived on the family farm in Angered Stom with her parents and older siblings Carl Johan, Anna Maria, Emma Gustava, August Robert, Aron, and Ottolina. 

Augusta Matilda tragically died on May 2, 1888 and was buried eight days later. Augusta gave birth to her ninth and final child on December 13, 1891. The child was a girl and named Augusta Matilda after her deceased sister. 

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Wednesday's Child: Louis Frederick Guyette

        Louis Frederick Guyette was born on July 25, 1917, a little more than three months after the United States entered World War I, in Brockton Hospital, Brockton, Massachusetts. He was the son of Felix Louis Guyette, a shoe operative, and Sarah Webster. He was their second child but their only surviving one (Felix and Sarah's first child, a son named Peter, had passed away in infancy from meningitis the previous year).
        During his short life, Louis resided with his parents at 51 Taber Ave, Brockton. Louis' uncle (Felix's older brother) Nelson also lived with them for a time.
        In the spring of 1918, the Public Health Service received a report from Kansas stating that there had been an unusually high number of severe influenza cases. At the time, influenza was not a reportable disease but the surprisingly high number of cases led Kansas to do so anyway. In May of that year, cases were being reported among young military men in Europe. Most recovered but some wound up developing a severe case of pneumonia and dying. Before long, influenza had spread to the civilian population. From there, cases began being reported in Asia, Africa, South America and further through North America. Influenza made it's way to Massachusetts in late August when a group of men in Boston were reported to have it. Before long, influenza had spread across the state, including Brockton. The death toll in both Brockton and the state rose rapidly. Among the victims was Louis' aunt (Felix's sister-in-law), Rose Hattie (Doucette) Guyette, whom passed away on October 4, 1918 after contracting pneumonia. She was 28 years old.
        During the pandemic, it was recommended if not demanded that citizens across the country wear gauze masks in order to protect themselves against infuenza. However, public officials did not realize at the time that influenza was a virus and that the masks offered no actual protection against it.  Quarantines were imposed in order to help prevent the spread of influenza. Buildings, such as churches, closed. Many services, such as the telephone and telegraph systems, mail delivery, and garbage pick-up, became unavailable across the country due to the large number of people out sick.
        The number of reported influenza cases began going down in November of 1918 as did the death toll, allowing for people to come out and celebrate the end of World War I, which officially ended November 11. Despite this, influenza still remained prevalent in Massachusetts throughout the spring of 1919 before finally beginning to subside in the following summer.
        Louis was preceded in death by his uncle (Felix's brother), Brockton police officer John Baptiste "George" Guyette, on November 29, 1919, when George was fatally shot through the heart by Pasquale Catrambone at 160 Summer Street, Brockton while responding to call of domestic violence.
        Louis passed away the following year on March 15. He had been attended to by Dr. H. J. Lupien since February 29. The cause of death was stated to be acute nephritis; perinephritic abscess contributed.
        Louis was interred two days later in Calvary Cemetery, Brockton.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wednesday's Child: Peter Guyette

        1st cousin 3x removed Peter Guyette was born April 13, 1916 at Brockton Hospital, Brockton, Massachusetts to Felix Guyette, a shoe operative, and Sarah Webster. Peter was Felix and Sarah's first child together. He was named after his paternal grandfather.

        During his short life, Peter lived with his parents in Brockton. At the time of his birth, Felix and Sarah lived at 31 Cary Street. Afterwards, they relocated 19 Kingman Street.

        Peter passed away at 9 P. M. on October 1, 1916. Prior to his death, Dr. George A. Boucher had been attending to him since September 19. Cause of death was stated to be menigitis; enteritis contributed.

        Peter was interred the following day in Calvary Cemetery, Brockton, Massachusetts.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Thursday, 3 September 2015

On This Day In Family History (September 3):

1823: 4x-Great-Grandmother Lisa Nilsdotter was baptized in Hult, Ör församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Wednesday's Child: Betty Josefina Martinsdotter

Betty Josefina Martinsdotter was born on September 8, 1878 in Angered Stom, Angered församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden to Martin Andreasson & Augusta Andersdotter. She was their fifth child and fourth daughter. Betty Josefina was baptized on September 15, with her aunt (father's sister-in-law) Carolina Andersdotter and Anna Maria Eriksdotter  standing up as godparents. 

During her short life, Betty Josefina lived in Angered Stom with her parents and older siblings Carl Johan,  Anna Maria, Emma Gustava and Amanda Charlotta. 

Betty Josefina passed away on March 1, 1879 from skarlakansfeber (English translation: scarlet fever) in Angered Stom. Interment took place on March 6.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

On This Day In Family History (September 2):

1823: 4x-Great-Grandmother Lisa Nilsdotter was born in Hult, Ör församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden.

Birth Record for Lisa Nilsdotter

1977: George Bartlett Ware, ex-husband of 1st cousin 2x removed Rhoda Madeline McRae, passed away in Weymouth, Massachusetts, aged 68.

1971: 1st cousin 3x removed Alice G. (Neville) Potts passed away in Fall River, Massachusetts, aged 79. 

Fall River Herald News 
September 3, 1971  
Page 2 
 Mrs. Alice G. Potts

   Mrs. Alice G. (Neville) Potts, 79, of 105A Mitchell Drive, formerly of 712 Eastern Ave., died Thursday morning following a short illness. 

   Born here, daughter of the late Richard and the late Ida (Wild) Neville, she retired as an inspector at the Firestone plant. She was a member of the Bogle Street Christian Congregational Church, the Golden Age Club and the Laurel Senior Citizens. 

   She is survived by a son, Charles L. Potts Jr. of Waterbury, Vt.; a daughter, Mrs. Kenneth A. (Gladys) Bell of this city; a brother, Herbert Neville of New Bedford; seven grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. 

   Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon in the Waring-Ashton Funeral Home, 178 Winter St. Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery.

 Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

On This Day In Family History (September 1):

1827: Inga Maria Johansdotter, daughter of 5x-Great-Grandparents Johannes Kjellman & Anna Lisa Andersdotter, passed away in Holmen Stommen, Brålanda församling, Älvsborg län, Sweden, aged 2.

1912: Mary Gertrude (Bruce) Garfield, wife of 2x-Great-Granduncle George Hamilton Garfield, passed away from valvular heart disease at 1664 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, aged 45.

1931: Felix Louis Guyette, son of 3x-Great-Grandparents Peter & Phoebe (Davieau) Guyette, choked to death on his false teeth in Brockton, Massachusetts.

* * *
Brockton Daily Enterprise  
Wednesday, September 2, 1931
Page Two 


Stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage on Main street near Ward street, Tuesday evening, Felix Guyette, 48 Warren avenue, died soon after in the police ambulance in which he was being taken to the Brockton Hospital. Passerby noticed the stricken man and carried him to a near-by store from which messages were sent the the police station. 
Dr. Jonah Fieldman of the Brockton Hospital staff, who was passing, gave assistance to the stricken man, and in examining him found that his artificial teeth had lodged in his throat, causing strangulation. Dr. Fieldman removed the teeth and the prone method of artificial respiration was applied but to no avail. 
Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Pierce H. Leavitt viewed the body and pronounced death due to cerebral hemorrhage and strangulation.
Mr. Guyette was born in North Brookfield and had been a resident of this city many years. Besides his wife, Elizabeth, he leaves three brothers, Noe, Nelson, and Fred, all of this city; two sisters, Mrs. Felix Dacy of North Brookfield and Mrs. George Benoit of this city. Patrolman George Guyette, who was murdered about 12 years ago when he attempted to arrest Pasquale Catrambone of Summer street, was a brother.
He was a member of Brockton Aerie of Eagles and the Boot and Shoe Workers' Union, and formerly lived at 855 Centre street.
The funeral will take place Friday morning from 238 Court street, with requiem mass at the Church of the Sacred Heart and interment in Calvary cemetery.
* * *

The Brockton Times
Wednesday, September 2, 1931
Stricken Ill at Ward and Main Streets Tuesday Afternoon - Swallows Both Sets of Teeth and Dies as They Are Removed. 
Strangled to death less than five minutes after he had been stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage and his artificial teeth had become lodged in his throat, shutting off his wind, Felix L. Guyette, 52, of 48 Warren avenue and formerly of 855 Centre street, died as he was being rushed to the Brockton hospital in the police ambulance late Tuesday afternoon.
Although both sets of Guyette's false teeth had been dislodged and removed from his throat and the prone method of artificial respiration resorted to by a police officer and Brockton hospital interne in a vain effort to save the victim, he breathed his last just as the ambulance started on its trip to the hospital.
Mr. Guyette, who was a show worker and a brother of Patrolman George Guyette, who was murdered in 1919 when he entered a Summer street home and attempted to place Pasquale Catrambone under arrest, was stricken ill at Main and Ward streets about 5:30 Tuesday afternoon. 
Passersby went to his assistance and removed him to a nearby store and an emergency call was sent to police headquarters for an ambulance.
Officers Joseph Getchell and Timothy O'Brien responded and just as they were placing Guyette on a stretcher, Dr. Jonah Fieldman, a Brockton hospital interne, who happened to be passing, appeared.
Learning that the patient was choking to death, having swallowed both sets of his false teeth, he volunteered his serves, which were accepted. 
While Officer O'Brien held the victim's mouth open, Dr. Fieldman thrust his fingers down the man's throat and succeeded in removing the teeth.
A few seconds later Guyette breathed his last, and although Patrolman O'Brien and Dr. Fieldman worked in relays using the prone method of artificial respiration in an attempt to restore breathing as the ambulance sped to the hospital, Guyette was pronounced dead upon arrival at the institution. 
Felix Guyette was 52. He was born in Westboro and made Brockton his home for 33 years. He had resided the past few weeks at 48 Warren avenue, having formerly lived for some years at 855 Centre street. He was a member of the Eagles and the Book and Shoe Workers union. He was employed by Stone-Tarlow Co., Inc.
Mr. Guyette leaves his wife, Elizabeth; three brothers, Noe, Nelson and Fred, of this city; two sisters, Mrs. Felix Daci of North Brookfield and Mrs. George Benoit of this city.
The funeral services will be Friday at 8.30 from the H. J. Grenier funeral home, with requiem mass at Sacred Heart church at 9. Interment will be in Calvary cemetery.
* * *

1995: 4th cousin 1x removed Timothy Stout married Angela Marek in Bristol, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Monday, 31 August 2015

Rachel McKee's Fiery Death

Recently, I've been reviewing people and documents within my tree. Among those that I reviewed was Rachel Esther (McGinn) McKee, my great-great-grandmother Sarah Jane (McGinn) Meagher's sister. She had passed away on August 13, 1907 in Boston, aged 27.

I took another look at her death certificate and noticed something that I had not noticed prior. The cause of death for Rachel on her death certificate reads, "Multiple Burns of 1st & 2nd degrees (Accidental)." Also, she had passed away at the Boston City Hospital Relief Station. 

Wanting to know more, I inquired yesterday as to whether any articles about the circumstances surrounding Rachel's death existed. Sure enough, there were! Shirley from the Random Acts of Genealogical Kindess Facebook group sent me an article from the Boston Journal while Kate from the Massachusetts Genealogy Network Facebook group sent me an article from the Boston Herald.

Both articles featured a picture of Rachel, whom I did not have a picture of prior. What was nice about the article printed in the Boston Herald was that it gave a bit of detail about Rachel's early life. What's interesting about these two articles is that while they both detail the events surrounding Rachel's death, the account given in one article somewhat contradicts the account given in the other. 

* * *

Boston Herald
Wednesday, August 14, 1907


Snap Match Sets Fire to Skirt of Mrs. Rachel McKee of East Boston.

   The fatal snap match claimed its first victim in a long time last evening, when Mrs. Rachel McKee, who as a girl was the belle of East Boston, died at the Relief Hospital as the result of stepping upon one at her home, 51 Maverick square. 
   Mrs. McKee stepped from her kitchen to the dining room at about 2:30 o'clock and struck the match with her heel. The flimsy material of which her skirt was made was transformed into a mass of flames. A light kimona which she wore also took fire. 
   Her screams brought Mrs. Phillip McLaughlin, who lives on the floor beneath, up the stairs. Mrs. McLaughlin seized a quilt from the bed in an adjoining room and rushing into the dining room threw it about the flame-enshrouded woman.
   She fought desperately to quench the fire, and in her efforts her own clothing was ignited. She was terribly burned about the face and arms and her face and hair were scorched. 
   Edward Martineau, a plumber with a shop on the ground floor of the building, came to her assistance. Later she was taken to the Relief Hospital. 
   At that institution Mrs. McKee suffered until just before 7 o'clock, when her pain ceased long enough for her to talk with her husband, Frank McKee. A few minutes afterward she died.

* * *

Boston Journal
Wednesday, August 14, 1907

Woman Steps On Match And Is Burned To Death

   Mrs. Rachel A. McKee, the wife of Frank W. McKee of 51 Maverick square, East Boston, was burned so badly at her home yesterday afternoon that she died early last evening at the Relief Hospital. 
   The McKees live on the top floor of the three-storied brick dwelling house at the above address. No one was in the house at the time of the accident except Mrs. McKee and Mrs. Philip McLaughlin, who lives on the second floor. Mrs. McLaughlin told a Journal reporter that she heard screams from Mrs. McKee's apartment, and running upstairs saw Mrs. McKee enveloped in flames. Mrs. McLaughlin got a mat and did her best to extinguish the flames, but the kimona that Mrs. McKee wore had been burned from her body. Mrs. McKee ran down the stairs into the street, and some men who were passing secured a blanket from the undertaking establishment of Michael J. Kelly and wrapped it about the woman, whose clothes had been burned from her body. Oils were also procured from the undertaker's, and the woman, who was conscious, was made as comfortable as possible. A plumber next door, Edward Martineau, called the police on his phone, and the ambulance took the unfortunate woman to the Relief Hospital. 
   The police report has it that the woman was lying on a couch when she was burned, and that the couch was the only article of furniture burned in the room, but the woman told her husband a few minutes before she died that she stepped on a match and the match ignited her komona.

* * *
Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

On This Day In Family History (August 31):

1933: 2x-Great-Grandfather Frederick Joseph Sullivan Meagher passed away in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 57.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Friday, 10 July 2015

Friday's Faces From The Past: Hattie & Olive

2x-Great-Grandmother Olive Feener and her sister Hattie were born in New Canada, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Henry Feener and Mary Ellen Smith. Hattie was the oldest, born on June 14, 1872. Olive was their next child, born on Nov. 11, 1877. Hattie went on to marry Avard Lowe while Olive married first William C. Wentzell and later Harvey Dennis Monroe. Hattie eventually passed away on Oct. 6, 1920. Olive passed away on May 2, 1963. 

In the photograph, Hattie has a ring on her left hand and I believe this to be her wedding ring. Therefore, I suspect that this photograph was taken some time between Aug. 7, 1886 (the date of Hattie's marriage) and Hattie's death.

Hattie (Feener) Lowe (Seated). Olive (Feener) Monroe (Standing).

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Thursday, 9 July 2015

On This Day In Family History (July 10):

1875: 3x-Great-Grandmother Isabella (Gordon) Clowes passed away in Warwick, Rhode Island, aged 53.

Providence Evening Press (Providence, RI)
Tuesday, July 13, 1875
CLOWES.–In Clyde Works, 10th Instant, Isabella, wife of John M. Clowes, aged 53 years, 6 months, and 2 days.  

Photo taken by Find A Grave member Beth Hurd (#48126691).

1949: Albert A. Cockayne, son of Great-Grandfather Stanley Cockayne and his first wife Elizabeth Jane Vanstone Latham, passed away in Thomasville, Georgia, aged 32.

Fall River Herald News
July 12, 1949
Page 2
Albert A. Cockayne
Albert A. Cockayne, 33, son of Stanley and the late Elizabeth (Latham) Cockayne, of Thomasville, Ga, died unexpectedly Sunday. 
For 15 years he was a resident of Ocean Grove, and was born in West Warwick, R. I. His father lives at 144 Dudley Street, Providence.  

(Editor's note: Albert was also the great-grandson of Isabella.) 

2004: George Lucio Malandra, husband of 2nd cousin, 2x removed Barbara (Neville) Vezina, passed away in Fall River, Massachusetts, aged 82.

The Standard‑Times
July 12, 2004
FALL RIVER -- George Lucio Malandra, 82, of Moorland Street, Fall River, died Saturday, July 10, 2004, at Southpoint Nursing Center. He was the husband of Barbara Malandra. They were married for 39 years.
Born in Fall River Sept. 23, 1921, he was the son of the late Ralph and Susan (Spagnoli) Malandra.
He was a veteran of World War II with the U.S. Army. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star.
Mr. Malandra worked as a loom fixer for Berkshire Hathaway for many years, retiring in 1987.
He was a member of the Church of the Ascension in Fall River.
Survivors include his widow; a daughter, Pauline St. Yves of Westport; a son, Richard Malandra of East Bridgewater; four sisters, Nelda Rossi of Fall River, Helen Matthews of Toronto, Canada, Viola Mattiera of Cranston, R.I. and Lydia Pittman of Mississippi; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
He was the father of the late George R. Malandra and brother of the late Jesse Malandra.
His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Hebert-Hathaway Funeral Home, 945 South Main St., Fall River. Burial with military honors to follow in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River.
Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

On This Day In Family History (July 9):

1936: 2x-great-grandfather August Robert Anderson passed away from cancer of the intestine at his home, 684 Plain Street, Brockton, Massachusetts, aged 56.

A part of a group photo taken at Brockton Co-operative Boot & Shoe
featuring August R. Anderson (third from right). The photo was published
in The Swedes of Greater Brockton

Brockton Daily Enterprise 
Thursday, July 9, 1936
August R. Anderson Dies In 57th Year 
August R. Anderson, for more than 25 years a resident of this city, died at his home, 684 Plain street, early this morning, after several years of declining health. He was in his 57th year and formerly lived in North Easton. For many years he had been employed at the Brockton Co-operative Boot & Shoe Co. and was well liked by all his associates. His fine character and friendly nature won him the esteem of a wide circle of friends.  
Mr. Anderson is survived by his wife, Mrs. Hedvig Anderson, and six children, all of this city. There are four daughters, Mrs. Frank Johnson, the Misses Elin, Esther and Ethel Anderson, and two sons, Henry and Harold Anderson; also one grandchild. He also leaves one brother, Charles Anderson of North Easton, and three sisters, Mrs. Anna Larson and Mrs. August Rosen, both of North Easton, and Mrs. Emma Anderson of Ana Helm, Cal. He was affliated with Unity Lodgee, S. F. of A. and Enighet Lodge, V. O. 
Funeral services will be held from the family home, 684 Plain street, Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and interment will be in Pine Hill cemetery, West Bridgewater. Rev. Peter Froeber, D. D., pator of the First Lutheran church, of which Mr. Anderson was a member, will officiate. 

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Friday's Visits to South Easton Cemetery & Pine Hill Cemetery

On Friday, July 3, 2015, my boyfriend Paul and I went to South Easton Cemetery, South Easton, Massachusetts and Pine Hill Cemetery, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts. My primary goals that day were to visit the grave of my 3x-great-grandparents Martin & Augusta Anderson in South Easton Cemetery and the graves of my 2x-great-grandparents August & Hedvig (Eden) Anderson, great-grandparents Henry & Lucile (Garfield) Anderson, and grandmother Helen P. (Meagher) Anderson.

A few weeks prior, I had been at Olde Mystick Village in Connecticut. There, I went to Bestemors Imports and bought three Swedish flags to put on the graves of Martin & Augusta, August & Hedvig, and Henry. Martin, Augusta, August, and Hedvig were all emigrants from Sweden. Henry was born in Easton, Massachusetts but was among the first generation of the family to be born in America. He grew up in a Swedish household and spoke Swedish fluently. With these flags, I wanted to honor both my ancestors and our Swedish heritage.

In addition to the Swedish flags, I had also purchased two decorative birds at Garden Specialties to put on the grave of my grandmother. During her lifetime, my grandmother loved birds. Also, the bird decorations that were at her grave already had become aged, damaged and needed to be replaced.

Below are photos from that day showing the graves after the addition of the birds and flags. I was very pleased with how they looked once I was done.

(Special thanks again to my boyfriend Paul for bringing me to the cemeteries and for being a part of this with me. It meant a lot.)

(To read about the alternative I used as a flag holders, click here.)

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

When I Couldn't Find A Non-Military Flag Holder, I Got Creative

For the past month, I had been wanting to visit the graves of several ancestors. I had bought several Swedish flags that I wanted to place at the graves of my Swedish ancestors to honor both them and their Swedish heritage. In the time leading up to the visit, I had been trying to find non-military flag holders to put the flags in. After much searching, I was unable to find anything and thus decided to become creative.

I decided to look around and see what I could find that could be used as a flag holder. I wanted something that I could use without it looking tacky at the grave or being too expensive.

Soon after beginning my search, I found what I was looking for at Home Depot in the form of a 3/8 in. O.D. x 20 in. Chrome Plated Copper Tube Toilet Supply Line. It was only $3.98. Having brought the flags with me, I put one inside of it and it was an almost perfect fit. The design of the tube went well with the flag and I felt that they would look good beside the headstones I had in mind for them. I went ahead and got three.

3/8 in. O.D. x 20 in. Chrome Plated Copper Tube Toilet Supply Line

As previously mentioned, the hole was almost a perfect fit but still a bit too big. The flag went into the hole a bit more than I preferred. To solve this problem, I bought three washers, the smallest ones they had available. The hole of the washer was smaller than the hole of the tube. I put the washer on top of the tube, above the hole. I then inserted the flag through the washer and into the tube. The washer's smaller hole made it so the flag did not go in as deep as it previously did, thus solving my problem.

A few days later, on July 3, I went to the cemeteries with the tubes and washers in hand. Like before, I placed the flags through the washer holes and down the tubes. Once pushed into the ground, I stepped back to view them and was very pleased with how they looked.

One thing that should be noted about these tubes is that they are bendable, given the purpose that they were originally created for, and that one might bend it slightly without trying or realizing it (I did so while washing one). However, the tubes can easily be re-adjusted if and when this happens and are still durable, reliable and dependable when put into the ground.

Below are several shots I took showing the final results. I didn't take any close-up shots of the flags/tubes themselves (it didn't occur to me to do until after I had already left). As I said, I quite liked how they looked and, if needed, will be using these again in the future.

(To read more about the above mentioned visit to the cemeteries and to see more pictures, click here.)

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Wednesday's Child: Gracie McRae

Gracie Mcrae was born on April 12, 1880 in Brockton, Massachusetts to my great-great-grandfather, James R. McRae, and his first wife, Katherine Morrison. She passed away from lung fever on December 11, 1880 in Brockton. She was buried in Snell Cemetery, Brockton. During her short life, she resided with her family on Montello Street in Brockton.

Record of Birth for Gracie McRae

Record of Death for Gracie McRae

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Sunday, 28 June 2015

On This Day In Family History (June 28):

1988: Uncle Raymond Alan Anderson passed away in Bridgewater, Massachusetts from injuries he sustained from an automobile accident, aged 28.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Trying To Knock Off A Few Bricks In A Wall (Update #2): Kate Buckley

Two weeks ago, through newspaper articles regarding the death of my 2x-great-grandfather James R. McRae's son, William (who died in October of 1905), I found out that William's sister and James' daughter, Kate, was still alive when his death occurred. She was alive, married to a man named Buckley, and living at 1470 Broad St, Hartford, Connecticut.

Prior to finding those articles, I had assumed she died some time between June 1, 1880 (date of 1880 US Federal Census) and March 5, 1910 (date of father's death) because she was not mentioned in her father's obituary when he passed. In addition to the new information about Kate, these articles shortened the gap for the time of when she must have died.

Shortly after finding this, I blogged and shared it to several genealogical groups on Facebook, one being the Massachusetts Genealogy Network. There, someone told me that they had been to the Hartford Library in Connecticut and found a marriage index for Connecticut. In it, they found a Catherine McRae who married a Aloysius J. Buckley on March 3, 1903 in Hartford.

Through that, another person was able to find a death certificate for a Catherine Buckley in Pennsylvania as well as a memorial on Find A Grave. Both of these had Kate's death taking place in 1921 (February 25 in Scranton, according to the death certificate).

Death Certificate for Catherine Buckley

If this were indeed true, that would mean Kate was still alive when her father passed away eleven years ago. And if so, that must mean a rift developed between Kate and James because, as mentioned previously, Kate was not mentioned in his obituary.

Looking over the death certificate, there were several noticeable errors. Although death certificates tend not to be the most accurate, these inaccuracies were rather big. First off, Kate's place of birth was listed as Pennsylvania. If this were my Kate, she should have been born in Boston, Massachusetts. The name of the father on the death certificate was James McRea while the name of the mother was unknown. Both of her parents were said to have been born in Ireland. My Kate was the daughter of James R. McRae and Katherine "Kate" Morrison, both of whom were born in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I found an obituary and funeral notice for Katherine but it did provide any significant information besides her being survived by her husband, A. J. Buckley, and daughter Mary.

 The Scranton Republican, 26 Feb 1921, Sat, Page 2
 The Montrose Democrat, 3 Mar 1921, Thu, Page 4

Yesterday, I called the Hartford City and Town Clerk's office and asked them if they could tell me the names given for Catherine's parents on that marriage record. They checked and told me that the names given were James McRae and Mary Keating.

I was disappointed to hear this but have decided not to give up hope quite yet.

The Brockton Daily Enterprise and the Brockton Times, the newspapers for Brockton, Massachusetts, where James R. McRae lived for over three decades, were known for publishing articles and small, insignificant details about the lives of Brockton residents that would never be published in newspapers today.

I intend to check both papers and see if anything was published regarding Kate's marriage in 1903 and death in 1921. If anything was, it will be almost guaranteed proof that both the marriage and death were for my Kate.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Monday, 8 June 2015

Trying To Knock Off A Few Bricks In A Wall (Update #1): Isabella Clowes

Earlier today, I posted about one of my brick walls -- my being unable to find a death record for my 3x-great-grandmother Isabella (Gordon) Clowes.

I shared it to several genealogical groups on Facebook, including New England Family Genealogy and History. Shortly after posting it there, a man named Steve posted a newspaper clipping in the comments. It was a death notice for Isabella that was printed Tuesday July 13, 1875 in the Providence Evening Press.

The death notice was brief but very helpful. It read:
"CLOWES.–In Clyde Works, 10th Instant, Isabella, wife of John M. Clowes, aged 53 years, 6 months and 2 days."
Tuesday, July 13, 1875, Providence Evening Press (Providence, RI)

Steve told me that Clyde Works was in West Warwick. I googled it myself just to be sure and it does appear to have been located in West Warwick.

Now having the location of her death, the question still remains why no death record exists (and if it does, why I can't find it). My plan is to search Ancestry results again and will most likely be contacting (and probably visiting) the Rhode Island State Archive at some point soon to review their records again.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Mystery Monday (Monday's Brick Wall #3): Trying To Find Isabella Clowes' Death Record

One thing in the course of my research that has been a brick wall for me is my 3x-great-grandmother, Isabella (Gordon) Clowes.

Isabella was born in Scotland. She was the wife of John M. Clowes and together, they had several children, including Robert James, William Alfred, Isabella, Sarah Ann, and Annie Scott Gordon. Their places of residence include Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. They arrived in America, in the port of Boston, on July 30, 1868 aboard the G. T. Kemp.

By June 1, 1875, Isabella was living with her husband, John, and children, Isabella, Sarah, and Annie, in Warwick, Rhode Island (Source: 1875 Rhode Island State Census).

On Find A Grave, there is a memorial for an Isabella Clowes, who died on July 10, 1875. I have reviewed this memorial multiple times and am thoroughly convinced that this Isabella is my 3x-great-grandmother. Reasons for this: 1) Part of the inscription on the headstone reads, "Wife of John M. Clowes". 2) Isabella is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Coventry, Rhode Island, the same cemetery where her daughters Sarah, Annie, Robert, and William are buried. 3) Isabella's age on the headstone is given as being "53 yrs. 6 mos. & 22 days," making her date of birth December 18, 1921. Her year of birth is given as 1822 in the 1870 United States Federal Census, 1825 in the 1875 Rhode Island State Census, and she was said to be 42 years old when she came to America in 1868. The date of birth calculated by the given on her grave is close to the birth year approximations provided by the documents listed above. 4) There was no other Isabella Clowes living in Rhode Island besides Isabella's own daughter in 1870 and 1875.

Despite having Isabella's date of death, I still have been unable to find any trace of a death record for her. I have searched both Ancestry and Familysearch multiple times. I have visited Rhode Island State Archives and have found nothing. I find it tough to believe that in 1875, Rhode Island simply didn't file one for her. I'm left to assume that it was either lost in a fire or that she died elsewhere (Connecticut maybe?).

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

Sunday, 7 June 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge 2015 (#3): Maud M. (Monroe) McRae

Maud M. (Monroe) McRae 
(July 13, 1902 - November 9, 1988) 

Great-grandmother Maud M. Monroe was born on July 13, 1902 in Riversdale, Nova Scotia to Harvey Dennis Monroe and Olive Feener. She was named after her aunt (her mother's sister), Maud May (Feener) (Silver) Abbe. Maud was the last of three children.

Around 1905, Maud, along with her parents and her older siblings, Lemuel and Elsie, left Nova Scotia for the United States of America. They settled in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Harvey worked as coal miner. Around 1909, they left Wilkes-Barre and moved to Brockton, Massachusetts. They traveled from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts by train and met Theodore Roosevelt during the trip. Upon arriving in Brockton, the family first made their home on Wheeler Ave, before relocating to Palmer Ave shortly afterwards.

On May 1st, 1920, it was announced that Maud was to marry Frederick Joseph McRae. At the time, Maud was working as a shoe operator. The marriage took place on May 29, 1920 at 71 East Main Street in Brockton. The couple moved to 77 Wheeler Ave in Brockton. On June 21st, 1921, Maud gave birth to her and Frederick's only child, a son named Clayton Joseph McRae (later called Clayton Frederick McRae). The birth was complicated. Maud was in labor but the doctor had not yet arrived. In order to stall the birth, the nurse present crossed Maude's legs in order to delay the birth. This resulted in lifelong complications for Maud. Her mind slowed down mentally, almost to that of a child.

Maud continued to live with Fred after Clayton's birth until 1923. Maud and Fred eventually separated, with Maud moving back in with her parents. Fred and Maud divorced in 1929. Clayton continued to visit Maud now and again until the mid 1940's, when he stopped visiting her altogether. During this time, Clayton married Barbara Rust in February of 1939 and had a son, Clayton William Frederick McRae, born November 17, 1939. Eventually, he left Barbara and married Lois Faxon Chester in November of 1945. He had a second son, Frederick Chester McRae, on October 2, 1946. Unfortunately, Maud never met either of her grandchildren nor did she meet the six children Clayton had with his third wife, Ruth Agnes Cockayne.

Maud's father Harvey passed away suddenly on January 8, 1948 eating a chocolate while listening to Amos n' Andy.

Every now and again, Maud played the piano and sang. She was a talented piano player with a lovely singing voice. Rarely did Maud leave the house, never going beyond the yard of the house. Her mother, Elsie, and her niece Olive would go to the movies on Saturday while Maud stayed home.

On May 2, 1963, Maud's mother passed away at the age of eighty-five. Following her death, Maud moved to the Village Rest Home at 197 West Chestnut St, Brockton. Maud eventually moved into the Woodridge House Nursing Home, where she remained until her death on November 9, 1988. Her funeral took place at eleven o'clock on the morning of Tuesday, November 22, 1988 at South Easton Cemetery, South Easton, with Rev. Stephen Wayles officiating. Maud was buried alongside her parents.

A Saturday Afternoon Visit To Pine Hill Cemetery

After leaving the Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc. meeting yesterday afternoon, my mother and I went to Pine Hill Cemetery, West Bridgewater to visit my grandmother's grave. I did a little cleaning up of her grave and made a note to find some new cemetery decorations because the ones currently at her grave are a bit damaged. Because my mother was with me, I was able to get some pictures of myself at my grandmother's grave as well as a few other ones.  The sun was a bit bright so some of the pictures didn't come out as good as I had hoped. But they're still for the most part decent.

The grave of my grandmother Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson and her son, Raymond (before weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond.

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my grandmother, Helen Patricia (Meagher) Anderson, and her son, Raymond (after weeding).

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Frederick James and Edna Agnes (Benoit) Meagher.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Henry G. R. & Lucile Rebecca (Garfield) Anderson.

The grave of my great-grandparents, Henry G. R. & Lucile Rebecca (Garfield) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.

The grave of my 2x-great-grandparents, August Robert & Hedvig Olivia (Eděn) Anderson.  

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae