Sunday, March 15, 2015

#44- Sharing Information. Perhaps this will break down a Brick Wall?

 Adoption & Death and a Cross-Country Move, a Give-Away
This post will be different from the rest. It’s about sharing historical records or photographs that have fallen into your hands and what I’ve done with them.
Through the years I was lucky (?) enough to be handed photos and research, stories, newspaper clippings to help complete the family tree. 

It is by no means done, nor was all the research or conclusions I found accurate, usually part of a story. And, I’m always finding inaccuracies and or clarifying what  I know. I’m always adding to it.
In the process, I’ve found “collateral” records and photos: people who would be considered related but neither myself nor my husband is directly descended from.
What I have chosen to do with them is make my online tree PUBLIC tree, then to put the collateral information in the tree. 

 I have taken the time to add any photos that I have.
Why? Perhaps a descendant, despairing of a “brick wall”will stumble over the photos and information I have—and it will be helpful to them.

Below are two cases I have posted to my public tree of people who we are collaterally related to.

Case #1 is an adopted son; case #2 is an uncle, a brother, a husband and a father who left a family behind. The family eventually moved from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Case 1 - Adoption
Fletcher Blois Astels

Son of Mary Catherine Caroline McGee and Fletcher Tennyson Blois
Relationship to my husband:
His paternal grandfather (John McGee Johnson)’s half-brother

Bio -facts
•    Born 17 June 1888 New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Gaspe,  Que., Canada
•    Adoption 1889 abt Age: 1
•    Adopted by James Thomas Astles and Elizabeth (Crawford)
•    Renamed surname to Astels.
•    Marriage to Margaret Mullins in 1914 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
•    Died in 1950 in Carlton,  Ottowa, Ontario
•    Fletcher is buried at Beechwood Cemetery, Section 19, ......Plot 329
......Name on headstone
......Fletcher Astels
.....Birth 1888 - New Carlisle, Ontario, Canada
.....Death 1950 - Canada

Who is Fletcher Blois Astels?
His biological parents: 
Mary Catherine Caroline McGee was Fletcher's mother, and Fletcher Tennyson Blois was his father.
Fletcher was born on 17 June 1888 in Canada as Fletcher Blois McGee. Fletcher has several half-siblings.

How is he related to my husband?
Fletcher’s half-brother, John McGee Johnson, is my husband's paternal grandfather.
His mother, Mary Catherine Caroline McGee moved to Boston, Mass, USA after Fletcher was born, leaving him in care of her sister.
Fletcher’s Family
Fletcher was adopted by the James and Elizabeth (Crawford) Astels (who, it is believed, were distant relatives of the McGee family).
- Research from Ronald Johnson, researched in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
What did Fletcher’s biological mother do after he was Adopted?
Mary Caroline Catherine McGee moved to Boston to live with an uncle, John Duncan McGee, who had been living in Boston for many years, and was working as a riveter.

Mary Caroline Catherine McGee met John Johnson in Boston and they married (though I haven’t found records for that).
The son she had with John Johnson was my husband’s grandfather, John McGee Johnson.

As  a postscript, my husband’s relatives tell me his grandfather (John McGee Johnson) was staying with his half-brother Fletcher Astels at the time he met his wife-to-be, (my husband’s grandmother), Minnie May Marion Kendall.

Mary Catherine Caroline McGee’s Timeline
Born 5 Feb 1863 in Hopetown, Bonaventure, Gaspe, Quebec, Canada
Baptised - 1863 Hopetown, Qu├ębec
Lived - 1871 - Bonaventure, Quebec, Canada
Gave birth to
Fletcher Blois Astels, 17 Jun 1888 in New Carlisle, Bonaventure, Gaspe, Que., Canada  
Fletcher adopted by James Thomas Astles and Elizabeth (Crawford)
Moved to USA c 1888 – Arrived in Boston to live with father’s brother, John Duncan McGee (Everett, Mass)
Married (?)  immigrant John Johnson (Sweden or Norway) about 1892 (?) in Boston, Massachusetts
Gave birth to:
John McGee Johnson, 25 Aug 1894, Boston, Massachusetts (my husband's grandfather)
Said to have been widowed 1895
- Everett City, Massachusetts
- Medway, Massachusetts
- (1920) Winchester, New Hampshire
- 1926 Keene, NH
Died at 73 years old in 1936, in Keene, New Hampshire


~Kendall family records
~ Johnson Family Collection
~  Ancestry (international)
~ Find-a-Grave
~ Family sources:
 Phil Miner and Ronald Johnson

Case 2  Widowhood and Cross-country Move

Grove Graham Bancroft, husband, father, and brother
Son of Peter Sanford Bancroft and Isabella (“Bella”) Brinker
Relationship to me:
Grove Bancroft is the brother of my maternal great-grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother), Flora G. Bancroft [Tilton]

Grove’s sister, my great grandmother, Flora G. Bancroft (Tilton) held on to photos of him and his daughter (her niece) after Grove died fairly young. I found that there was a sad story behind his life.

I pulled out a box of old photos and found in my great grandmother's handwriting "My brother, Grove Graham Bancroft" in an elderly script. Grove had died young, leaving a family behind, always tragic.

I checked the records: it dawned on me that this was indeed a cruel blow to his siblings, Flora and Earl and his father Peter S. Bancroft for they had lost also their mother/wife, Bella Brinker when she was still a young mother. 

Their wife & mother Bella Brinker [Bancroft] died when Grove  was 5 years old and, Grove died when his daughter (and only child) was 7 years old.  His death was an echo of their mother's death.

A Picture Says It All and Talks Me Into Looking Deeper

It wasn’t just the story that caught my attention, I was also captivated by the photos.  Although they may standard fare of that period, I think catch a genuineness of expression in his daughter’s face that is rare in photos of this era. 
Grove G Bancroft & daughter Irene

Grove Bancroft and daughter Irene

I hunted down his widow and child’s journey, after his death and here is what I discovered: 
Etta Bowman [Bancroft], Widow of Grove Graham Bancroft
Grove’s widow Etta B. Bowman was born in 1870 in Pennsylvania and was living in 1880 (about 10 years old) in Saltsburgh, Indiana, Pennsylvania.   
The census says her father was a Pennsylvanian and her mother was from Ohio.  After her marriage, she and Grove lived in Butler, PA with Irene, their only daughter.

Grove died in 1899. She shows up in the 1900 census in Butler, PA.  Etta was a “member in full connection” of the First United Methodist Church in Butler in 1904 (she was 34).

Etta Bowman Bancroft Moves West

1910: By 1910, (she would be 41), Etta and Irene had moved to South Hood River, Hood River, Oregon. 

There they lived with her father Joseph Bowman, Etta’s married sister, husband and her sister’s son: 
Minnie [Bowman Howarth, George Howarth and  son Vogelay(?) Vogeley(?) Howarth. 

Vogeley Howarth was a year older than his cousin Irene Bancroft. The census says they were farming.

1920: But 10 years later, in 1920, (Etta was 50), she was in Portland, Oregon. Etta and her sister Minnie were managing a hotel (Minnie was assisting her, Etta is called the manager). By then both Etta and sister Minnie are widows.

1921: Etta never made the next census: Grove’s widow, Irene’s mother, Etta Bowman [Bancroft] died in 1921 in December in her 51st year in Portland, Oregon.
What Happened To Grove & Etta’s Daughter Irene Bancroft?
Their daughter Irene Bancroft married Leonard Knowles Armstrong when she was 18 in 1910 in Hood River, Oregon.

By 1920 Irene and her husband were living in Barrett, Hood River, Oregon.
However, the 1925 records place the Irene and Leonard in Portland, Oregon (whether she was there in 1921 at her mother’s death, I don’t know). 

Moving On
1930: Within 5 years Irene Bancroft [Armstrong] and her husband Leonard were living in San Francisco, California.

Another Move: 
Irene Bancroft Armstrong's  death records say she was living in San Jose, CA in 1972, the year she died.

What Else?
I have nothing else about Grove’s daughter & my great grandmother’s niece: 
The trail trickles to an end with the married adult Irene and her husband Leonard Armstrong in California.

Perhaps there was more to tell—and some descendant will stumble across the photos either here or on my  online tree and rejoice in finding them.

Facts About the Bancrofts from Peter & Bella to Irene

Children of Peter Sanford Bancroft and Isabella Brinker:
1 Flora Gertrude Bancroft (1867- 1949) my great grandmother
2 Earl D Bancroft (1868-1927)
3 Grove Graham Bancroft (1869-1899)

Grove & His Family:
Grove Graham Bancroft,  Irene Bancroft’s father:
Birth 1869 in  Crawford County, Pennsylvania
 - 1870 Woodcock, Crawford, Pennsylvania
-  1880 Age: 11
    Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania, United States
Marriage  to Etta B Bowman (1870-1921)
    27 Oct 1891 at age: 22
    Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania
    1899 -1900 (Age: 30)
Died in 1899 Age: 30 in Allegheny City,* [now part of Pittsburgh] Pennsylvania
Buried in Butler, Butler County, Pennsylvania, USA

Irene Bancroft
Daughter of Grove Graham Bancroft and Etta B Bowman
Born 1892 Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania
Married Leonard Knowles Armstrong in 1910 in Hood River, Oregon.
1920 - Barrett, Hood River, Oregon.
1925 - Portland, Oregon
1930 - San Francisco, California, that would be 1930.
1972 - San Jose, California
Died: 1972 in San Jose, California

Irene Bancroft & Leonard K. Armstrong’s Children:

~ Butler Library, genealogical room
~ Margaret B Walmer Collection of Bancroft papers and information left by Flora Bancroft
~ Ancestry

Grove Graham Bancroft

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