Monday, May 25, 2020

#69 Flora Gertrude Bancroft's Timeline and Will

Flora G Bancroft Timeline and Will
I just found a will that my great grandmother wrote the year she died.

The will is short and reflects how much (or how little she possessed). Floras' life was circumscribed by difficulties and some personal tragedies. She lived through World War 1, the Great Depression and World War 2. Her own father had served in the Civil War. Her mother died when she was young. I am not sure where she was schooled still I'm sure her father was sure she had it. Like many people of the era she lived nearly her entire life with extended family. This post is a time line of her life events-connecting them to those people I believe she was closest to. After all, what affects our loved ones, affects us,

I believe it relevant information when writing a personal history.

Birth and Youth

Birth - 22 June 1867 in Meadville, PA to Isabell (Bella) Sarah Brinker (d of Sarah Anna Graham and Col. Jacob Brinker of Butler PA) and Peter Sanford Bancroft (1830- 1916) disabled Civil War vet, professor, and editor, born in Colebrook, CT.

Age 7- 1874-Death of her mother Isabell Brinker (born in 1846, three children)

Age 13- 1880- Residence - Butler, Butler, PA Her widower father moved the family

to the small city of Butler. Living in town meant she and her brothers were now close to her mother's family and their children (her cousins on the Brinker side).

I imagine she would have spent much time with the girls in the Brinker family.

Her 20s

With her Butler cousins




On Oct 16 in 1895 Flora married William Henry Tilton (son of Louisa August Copes and Henry A Tilton.)

Flora filed for her marriage license giv­ing her first name as "Flo."

He was 22 years old and she was 28 years old when they wed.

William Tilton was born in Brooklyn, NY. His family moved to Butler for a job. His parents moved from Butler to Detroit, then to California.

Tiltons: Earlier that month, William's sister, Isabella C Tilton, wed Charles Roe in Butler on Oct 2. Flora and Isbella were friends: Flora's son, my grandfather, was named after Bella's husband Charles. And, Aunt Bella gave her nephew Charles Tilton her engagement ring upon her passing.

Her husband’s brother Clarence A Tilton had married and was divorced, living in Michigan. He subsequently married a divorcee writer Bertha Francis Parker (no children).

Bancroft Siblings: Flora's brothers Earl and Grove were wed already married and living in Butler.

Her 30s

In 1899 her brother Grove Graham Bancroft died at age 30, leaving wife Etta (Bowman) and young daughter Irene Bancroft.

She was 32 when she had her first child Henry Addison Tilton, Butler, PA in 1900. The same year her brother's infant son, Sanford Bancroft died ( son of Earl Bancroft & Clara Ryan) died.

Then, a death: Flora and William's infant son Henry died in 1901. She was 33.

In 1902 her 2nd son (and only child who grew to adulthood, my grandfather) Charles Bancroft Tilton was born at 130 E Cunningham St, Butler, PA. She was 35 that year. 


In 1906 (she was 39) her brother's son 2-year-old Alfred Bancroft (son of Earl Bancroft & Clara Ryan's son) died.

About 1907


Her 40s

In 1910 she was 43 and lived with her husband, son and father in Butler, PA.

1916 was a bad year: Her father Peter S Bancroft died on 17 May 1916 at her home on 318 West Cunningham St, Butler, PA.

Father, PS Bancroft; and son Charles Tilton (at 2)

Less than a month later and a week before 48th birthday, her husband William H Tilton died on June 15, 1916. His obituary ran on Jun 16, 1916. The death certificate states the cause of death as throat cancer (with other cancers).

My grandfather was 14 years old the year she was made a widow. 

Her 50s-60s

She remarried a "Pat" (Alexander) Moore who promised to care for her financially. That didn't work out; as soon as her son Charles was out of college in 1926, he found the couple a small hut on the farm he was managing, they were in desperate straits.

Pat Moore died in 1935, by which time the couple was living with Charles, his wife and their children in Philadelphia. Flora continued to live with the family till the end of her life.

Pat Moore and Flora abt 1931
Flora, and granddaughters Ann and Margaret 1940s

Her 70s-80s

The Great Depression had forced my grandfather to take up jobs which were wholly unsuitable for him. He never made much money-enough to keep body and soul together. His wife did what she could to contribute. At the start of World War 2 began, her son found out he could become a commissioned officer, so he signed up. In the war he was with Air Force intelligence. When the war was over, he returned unscathed.

During the war, the family had moved out of Philadelphia to Elizabeth's family's hometown in northern Adams County, PA The eldest grandchildren went off to college and the 'baby' was still at home. When Charles returned from the war, he and Elizabeth set up a nursery business that was limping along.

In February of 1949, Flora was not yet 82. She made out her will in her own hand. I don't know why but since she died later that year, perhaps the doctor gave her some bad news? She turned 82 that June. The month following on July 6, 1949, she died in Gettysburg, PA. My grandfather was 47 years old. (The following year my mother got married to my father). She is buried at the Menallen Friends Meeting.

Her Will (son & wife & grandchildren, l don't know who Helen is)


Flora Bancroft Tilton Moore's Will

Transcription:  February 1949

My will or wish is that the little I have of worldly goods viz- the silver in chest & china Since they came from Charles grand­parents on his father's side. I wish Charles & his wife Elizabeth to have them so long as they both or one of them live. Charles may leave them as he wishes--only that Elizabeth has use of them for life. Then Billy--should have it(?) Flora Bancroft Tilton Moore

I wish Ann to have 3 gold bowl table­spoons & the silver ladle Margaret to have 3 gold bowl tablespoons & the salad spoon Helen to have the little silver nut spoon. Flora Bancroft Tilton Moore

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