Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Too Many Variations: Catherine Smith

How do you find a needle in a haystack?
My 1st and 2nd maternal great grandmothers had the same given names: Katharina Lina. This mother and daughter had their names spelled multiple ways during their life.  What is the correct spelling of Katharina or Catherine?  Your guess is as good as mine, there was no "correct" way, just whatever the writer thought it should be.

So just to make things even more complicated my 2nd great grandmother married a Schmid or Schmidt or Smith depending on the writer.

How  were their names spelled?:  

For my second great grandmother:
  •  in the 1860 census it was spelled "Schund" (Thomas [for Thaddeus] and Catherine),
  • in a newspaper tribute at her death she was Catherine Schmidt,
  • in an earlier article describing a four generation Thanksgiving she was referred to as Catherina Smith, 
  • on her gravestone it is spelled Schmid
For my great grandmother:
  • she was referred to as "Mrs. Katherina L. (Schmidt) Chandler in her obituary, 
  • in a news article about her husband's death so was called "Mrs. Catherina Chandler" 
  • on her baptismal certificate (written in German) from the she was Catherina
  • on my grandmother's death certificate she was Catherine Schmidt
  • on her gravestone it is spelled Schmid 

Fortunately, for me, my mother was raised by Catherina Lina Schmid Chandler and my biggest problem was to guess how the name was spelled in order to find the records.  I  have letters they wrote. I knew where they lived, where they were buried, and where my  great grandmother was born.  It is when I try to go back further that I run into trouble......more about that later.

 This mother and daughter not only shared names; they also died on the same date.
Mrs. Catherine Schmid died 8 April 1926 and her daughter Mrs. Catherine Chandler died 8 April 1944.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chandler Lacy not Irving Lacy

Why ChandLacy?  Why not IrvingLacy? 

My grandfather, Milford Reverdy Irving, emmigrated from Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada and worked in greenhouses in Billerica and Tewksbury.  He married my grandmother, Alice Gertrude Chandler, whose family lived and owned greenhouses in Tewksbury.  After my mother was born, my grandmother, Alice Gertrude Chandler Irving, spent much of her life in an institution suffering from postpartum depression.

Alice's parents , Catherina Lina Schmid Chandler and Jeremiah Kittredge Chandler, cared for my mother.  When my mother married, she became her Uncle William Chandler 's sister-in-law.  His wife Mary Lacy, my father's sister, died of a heart attack leaving 6 young children and a crippled husband.  My parents took some of the children in and raised them.  Some lived in Tewksbury with their father and Uncle Larkin and Aunt MamieChandler.

I was a late comer not arriving until 4 years later, 8 years after my parents were married.  So although not all six of the Chandlers lived with us, they were a big part of my childhood family. They all married and lived and raised their individual families in Tewksbury.  Three of the six were boys and between they they had 13 children, so the Chandler name was well represented in my hometown.

In addition, Jeremiah had 10 sibling who lived in Tewksbury and many are buried in Tewksbury.

On Memorial Day when my mother would decorate her mother's grave she would point out the fenced-in area at the front of the cemetery where older generation Chandler's were buried.  The fence has been removed but the graves remain....of my  great grandparents, grand aunts, grand uncles, 2nd and 3rd cousins, etc. Those were the easy to find  graves (but not easy to read), when I started searching a couple of years ago.

So Chandlers surrounded me, both the living and the dead, and were a much greater presence in my childhood than the Irvings.  So that's why I've called my blog Chandlacy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Coming to Call

In the 1930s my spiffed up dad,  J. Robert Lacy is coming to call on my mother.   Structure to the left of  the house is a water tower for her grandfather's greenhouses.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1923 Ski Wear Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday 

Mildred Irving, my mother, Christmas 1923.....ski wear???

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday

Ardcavan, County Wexford, Ireland

This stone marks the resting place of my great grandfather Patrick and great grandmother Mary (Ronan) Sinnott, and his grandfather ?  Sinnott.  The stone reads like the begats, unfortunately it's broken in significant places, cutting off names, dates, and ages. It was transcribed by Brian Cantwell in his Memorials of the Dead for County Wexford. His transcription has only the information on this broken stone.  I am unable to find my notes but if memory serves the Ardcavan Cemetery was transcribed in 1970, so the stone broke before that time. 

Sinnott Family Stone
  I discovered unfriendly stinging plants (are these pretty things stinging nettle?) as I tried to expose and photograph the ground level engraving .
Overgrown Ardcavan Cemetery
 My camera could not capture a readable image of  the entire stone.  So with red and stinging arm (which I tried to hide from my cousin whom we had just met and  had graciously driven us to this old and remote cemetery on Wexford Bay) I shot as many photos close up of the engraving as I could.  Eventually I ended up with a combined image, best described as a puzzle with missing pieces, and taken at varying distances and angles.
"[Pat]rick Sinnott died March 31, 1909 aged 87 yrs..."  and "Mary Sinnott, died April  25, 1909, aged 75 yrs." 

Finding the stone was a surprise even to my cousin who had come to the cemetery as a child, and visited her Sinnott grandparents grave just a step or two away.  I am still working on the relationships of sons, daughters-in-laws, and grandsons mentioned on the stone.  There is a son Robert who could have been Patrick's father, or his uncle; it was impossible to tell from the wording on the stone.  Thus one of my "brick walls" is a broken stone.....