Spouse

Dating Photographs through their Photographers

Recently, my mother-in-law gave me a 19th-century album full of family portraits. She knew the portraits were of relatives from her father’s side of the family, but none of them were identified. Luckily, I recognized one of the photos from Ancestry.com. It was of my husband’s 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeth (Kline) Becker/Baker and her sisters Catherine (Kline) Hartman and Dorothea (Kline) Eberhart.

Original portrait from the album
Image from Ancestry.com user with their caption

Most of the portraits were from photographers in Owosso and Bay City, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio, and Danville, Illinois. In examining the Kline family, who came to the U.S. in around 1854, Elisabeth and Dorothea’s families lived in Danville, Illinois in 1860, and while Dorothea stayed in Illinois, Elisabeth’s families re-located back to northwest Ohio, where Catherine’s family had stayed. Meanwhile, other Kline siblings Frederick, Wilhelmina, Conrad, and John Nicholas moved to Bennington, Shiawassee County, Michigan.

While I had a general idea of the possible identities of the portraits, I thought finding out when the photographers were in business would help me date the images and (maybe) further narrow down the identities.

Michigan Photographers

The Clements Library at University of Michigan hosts the online edition of the Directory of Early Michigan Photographers by David V. Tinder. This resource was incredible helpful – arranged by city (including different address changes) and also by photographer. Here are the photographers contained in my mother-in-law’s collection:

PhotographerCityYears
Beebe & HorsemanOwossoca1893
Moore Bros.Owosso1884-1891
W. E. MarshallBig Rapids1886-1913
G. F. SterlingWest Bay City1886-1895
Harman & VernerBay City (914 N. Water St.)1884-1889
Miller / Miller’sBay City (710 Washington Ave.)1884-1887
DragoBay City1886-1897
C. B. ColburnBay City1869-1891

Illinois Photographers

I wasn’t able to find a source for Illinois photographers as good as Michigan’s, but I did find a website that mentioned “Early Danville Photographers.”

PhotographerCityYears
Phillips & BergstresserDanville1886-1888
W. BoyceDanville1884-1888

Ohio Photographers

In Google Books, I was able to search the 1998 version of Ohio Photographers, 1839-1900 by Diane VanSkiver Gagel.

PhotographerCityYears
BallToledo (205 Summit St.)1890
ChesebroToledo (61 Summit St.)1883-1888
ChesebroToledo (417 Summit St.)1890-1893
Arthur & PhilbricToledo (159 Summit St.)1888
Geo. FieldsToledo (57 Summit St.)1878-1886
Geo. FieldsToledo (113 Summit St.)1889
A. C. SwainToledo (205 Summit St.)c1891-1900

Indiana

I do have one photograph by Hutchinson of 110 Jackson St., Elkhart, Indiana but I haven’t been able to find any information on this one.

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#45 Viola Dilsaver Moneypenny

The theme for Week 45 is “Rich Man.” Amy’s suggestion of “Any Moneypennys or Banks in the family tree?” made me look for that surname in my tree. Surprisingly, I found some Moneypennys. My 2nd cousin 2x removed Viola Dilsaver married Charles Moneypenny in 1931 in Ohio. Viola was the daughter of Laura Belle Culver (1880-1940) and James Dilsaver. Laura was the daughter of Sarah Ellen Bost (1860-1939), my 3rd great-aunt, and Alfred Culver. Sarah Ellen was the sister of my great-great grandfather William S. Bost (1859-1932).

viola_dilsaver
Viola, 1930

Anyway, back to the Moneypennys. They lived in Summit County, Ohio, and divorced in August 1944. Viola and Charles had 2 sons, David and Jack. Viola married Henry Wilson on October 25, 1947. On their marriage license, they were both listed as rubberworkers. Viola died in 1992 at the age of 78. Her son David had died in 1964 in a plane crash at the age of 31. Charles Moneypenny died in 1998.

viola_obit
August 1, 1992 Akron Beacon Journal

Week 45 (Nov. 4-10): Rich Man

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#32 Fye Sisters

Three of my Bost relatives married two Fye sisters. Clara Etta Fye and Minnie Belle Fye were the daughters of William Fye and Jane Nusbaum. Clara was born January 5, 1870, most likely in Liberty, Seneca County, Ohio. Minnie was born September 8, 1880. The Fye family eventually settled in Henry County Ohio, where the Bost families lived.

Clara Etta married Francis Leroy Bost (my 3rd great-uncle; brother of my great-great grandfather William Shepard Bost) on August 14, 1887 in Hamler, Ohio. He was also known as Leroy or Roy. In 1900, they were living in Hamler with four children: John Kenneth (born Feb. 11, 1889), Arthur Francis (born Oct. 30, 1890), Gladys Marie (born Apr. 27, 1896), and Fred, born (Feb. 21, 1899). In 1910, the family was living in Royalton, Fulton County, Ohio. Clara’s father and brother were living with them. In 1920, Roy, Clara, Fred, and Thelma, a daughter born in 1913, were living in Napoleon, Henry, Ohio. In 1930, Roy, Clara, and Thelma were still living in Napoleon. Gladys’ son Russell, aged 14, was also living with them. Gladys had married Henry J. Long in August 1914 and had Russell in 1916. I’m not sure what happened to Henry, but Gladys married Fred Fahrer in April 1917. In the 1920 census, Fred, Gladys, and Russell were living with Fred’s mother. Gladys died on March 18, 1924 in Napoleon. Her cause of death was burns over 3/4 of her body. I have been unable to find any newspaper articles about what happened to her. Fred died the next year of typhoid fever.

In 1940, Clara was living with her daughter Thelma and her husband in Napoleon. Clara is listed as married, but Roy is not living with her and I have been unable to find where he is in the 1940 census. Roy died April 4, 1949 in Henry County and Clara died March 23, 1950. They are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery.

clara_fye_bost
Stone of Clara Fye Bost and her daughter and son-in-law, Forest Hill Cemetery, Napoleon, Ohio (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/90168808/clara-etta-bost#view-photo=61081358)

Minnie Belle married Julian Sylvester Bost (my 1st cousin 4x removed) on September 6, 1899 in Henry County. Julian had been previously marred to Celia McKellips on Dec. 14, 1896. They had a son Charles on Feb. 14, 1897. Celia died the next day from childbirth complications. She was only 16 years old. In the 1900 census on June 7th, Julian, Minnie, and Charles were living in Hamler, and Julian was a teamster. Julian and Minnie had a son, John Perry, on October 4, 1900. I think that Julian and Minnie divorced sometime in 1906, since Minnie married another 1st cousin 4x removed of mine, Asa Wilford Bost, on January 19, 1907.

record-image_undefined
Marriage Registration for Asa (or Aca) Bost and Minnie Fye Bost

Julian also remarried on July 15, 1907 to a woman named Cordelia. In 1910, Asa, Minnie, and John Perry were living in Napoleon, Ohio where Asa was a laborer on odd jobs. In the 1916 Farmers’ Directory, the family was living at 615 E. Washington St. in Napoleon and Asa was listed as a blacksmith. In 1920, Asa and Minnie were living on N. Perry St. in Napoleon and Asa was a blacksmith. In 1922, Minnie’s son John P. Bost married Gladys King and they had a son named John Wilfred Bost in August 1923. In the 1930 census on April 7th, John P., Gladys, and John W. were living in Toledo. In the 1930 census on April 8th, John W. was listed as living with his grandparents Asa and Minnie in Napoleon. In the 1940 census, Asa, Minnie, and John W. were still living in Napoleon where John W. was attending high school. Asa died May 21, 1941 in Toledo. John W. Bost, Minnie’s grandson, enlisted in WWII while still in high school on January 20, 1942. He became a corporal in Co. B. 1st Div. 7th Marines and was killed on New Britain in the South Pacific on January 7, 1944. He is buried with his parents in Forest Hill Cemetery. Minnie died September 7, 1945.

Week 32 (Aug. 5-11): Sister

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#29 Polly Ann Farr

The thing about family history that is challenging is the overwhelming focus on the male side of things – surnames, lines of descent, etc. This means (at least for me) that I know very little about even some pretty recent female ancestors.

thomas_polly

One example is Polly Ann Farr, my third great-grandmother. She was the 3rd wife of Thomas Belknap (born in 1803), and the mother of Arthur Belknap. She was born in about 1832. The earliest record I have found for her is an application for a marriage license, dated September 18, 1848 to Thomas Belknap in Lorain County, Ohio. I’m not sure if this means they were married on that date or not. The application states that “she is of eighteen years.” I don’t think that’s true though.

The next record is the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Russia Township in Lorain County. Polly Ann was listed as age 18 and birthplace of Ohio. Thomas’ 11-year-old son Francis is also living with them. In 1860, the family was living in Clinton, Fulton County, Ohio. Polly was listed as 29 and born in Ohio. They had 4 children in addition to Francis by 1860. In 1870, they were living in York Township, Fulton, Ohio and Polly was listed as 38. Now they had 6 children in addition to Francis. In 1880, the last census she is found in, the family was living in Dover Township, Fulton, Ohio. She was listed as 49, born in Ohio. Polly’s father was listed as born in Vermont, while her mother was born in Kentucky. Only three of their children were living with them in 1880.

thomasbelknap
Thomas and Polly Ann’s tombstone in Tedrow Cemetery

After all this, she ended up dying at the age of 52 years 3 months in 1887 (according to her pretty unreadable tombstone – I know: the dates don’t add up!), before her husband Thomas, who died in 1889 at the age of 85!

Through DNA, I think Polly Ann’s father may have been Kimball Farr, but I have to do a lot more research to prove it!

Week 29 (July 15-21): Challenging

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#22 Tedrow Cemetery

For this week’s “At the Cemetery” prompt, I’m going to take a look at Tedrow Cemetery in Dover Township, Fulton County, Ohio. A lot of Belknap’s are buried there, including Thomas Belknap, our ancestor that originally left New England and came to Ohio to continue our branch of the Belknap tree.

Tedrow Cemetery is located on the north side of County Road J, just east of the village of Tedrow. The cemetery has also been known as Spring Hill Cemetery and Eldredge Cemetery.

cem46802978_118297623877
Photo from Janet L. Parker, Find-a-Grave

Family members buried here include:

  • Thomas Belknap (1803-1889)
  • Polly Ann Farr Belknap (1837-1887), Thomas’ 3rd wife
  • Zera Belknap (1853-1920), Thomas and Polly’s oldest son
  • Mary Jane Kessler Belknap (1854-1928), Zera’s wife
  • Frederick Belknap (1889-1920) – Zera and Mary’s son
  • Myron Belknap (1855-1929), Thomas and Polly’s 2nd son
  • Alice Lucelia Belknap Shaffer (1857-1944), Thomas and Polly’s oldest daughter
  • David Shaffer (1848-1911), Alice’s husband
  • Gertrude Shaffer (1876-1889), Alice and David’s daughter
  • Lucretia Belknap (1860-1900), Thomas and Polly’s 2nd daughter
  • Henry McDole (1854-1915), Lucretia’s husband
  • Lucina Ellen Belknap (1866-1907), Thomas and Polly’s 3rd daughter
  • John Q. Clark (1861-1946), Lucina’s husband
  • Bessie A. Clark Bachman (1887-1920), Lucina and John’s daughter

Only 3 of Thomas’ children are not buried in Tedrow: Francis M., Thomas J., and Arthur.

A very helpful transcription for Tedrow Cemetery can be found here: http://www.crewfamily.com/tombstones/volume_1_page_112.htm.

Week 22 (May 27-June 2): At the Cemetery

52 Ancestors · Prompts

#20 Farmers

For this prompt, I though I would include some pictures of a couple of farmers from both sides of my family, caught in the act of farming.

John Andrew Wilson
My mother’s first cousin, John Wilson, in the mid-1940s

winniemilk
John’s mother, Winnie, doing something with milk at the family farm in Pittsburg Township, Ontario in the late 1960s

earl_1928
Earl Belknap, my great-grandfather, about 1928

Week 20 (May 13-19): Nature

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#19 Clara Arnetta Bost

In my research, I’m always saddened when I come upon a mother who died young. One example is my great-grand aunt Clara Bost. She was the youngest sister of my great-grandmother Florence. Clara was only 5 years old when her own mother, Mary McCracken Bost, died in 1911.

Clara was born in New Bavaria, Henry, Ohio on September 7, 1905. She married Bert Turner on January 21, 1922 in Wauseon, Fulton, Ohio. They had 2 children born in Ohio (Lucille, born 1923 and Robert, born 1925). Their son Raymond was born in Lincoln Park, Michigan in 1928 and their daughter Betty was born there as well on December 2, 1932. In 1929, Bert and Clara were living at 1323 Victoria Avenue in Lincoln Park, and Bert was employed as a Checker at Timken Detroit Axle Co. (the same place my grandfather Edward Wells worked). The 1930 census has them living at the same place.

Sadly, Clara died on December 13, 1932 at Wyandotte General Hospital of puerperal septicemia from the birth of her daughter Betty eleven days earlier. She was only 27 years old. She is buried in Wauseon Union Cemetery.

Her husband Bert remarried to Nellie LeBlanc a few years later and had at least one son with her.

9954732_131602332783
From Rick Karr, Find-A-Grave

Week 19 (May 6-12): Nurture

 

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#14 Margaret Rhost’s Mom

Most of my brick walls are mothers that have died early. One example is my great-great-great grandmother Margaret Rhost’s mother. I don’t even know her name. I do know Margaret’s father, Conrad Rhost, was born in 1825 in Switzerland. He and his unknown wife had a son named John in about 1847 in Switzerland and Margaret was born in June 1848. The family came to the United States between 1850 and 1853 (year of immigration varies on the 1910 and 1920 censuses).

Conrad married Mary Gertrude Ginder in Fulton County, Ohio on October 9, 1855. They had 8 children between 1856 and 1873 in Ohio. In the 1860 census and beyond, it looks like John and Margaret are Gertrude’s children.

I’m not sure if Margaret’s mother died in Switzerland before 1850, on the journey over, or soon after arrival. She is a true brick wall!

Week 14 (April 1-7) – Brick Wall

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#10 Myron Belknap

myron

Myron Belknap was the brother of my great-great grandfather Arthur Belknap. Myron was born on February 2, 1855 in Ohio to Thomas Belknap and Polly Ann Farr. He had a half-brother Francis (born 1848), brothers Zera (born 1853), Thomas (born 1861), and Arthur (born 1869), and sisters Alice (born 1857), Lucretia (born 1860), and Lucina (born 1866).

On June 24, 1860, he was enumerated with his family in Clinton, Fulton County, Ohio. He was 5 years old.  On June 4, 1870, the family was living in York, Fulton, Ohio. Myron was 14 years old, did not go to school, and could not write. In this census, my great-great grandfather Arthur was 1 year old. On June 18, 1880, Myron was still living at home in Dover Township, Fulton, Ohio with his parents and siblings Lucina and Arthur. He could not read or write and was a laborer.

By 1900, both Thomas and Polly had died. I think Myron took over the farm in Dover Township. His sister Alice and her husband David Shaffer lived nearby with their son Ernest. On April 15, 1910, Myron was still living alone on the farm in Dover Township and was 55 years old. In January 1920, at 65, Myron was still farming in Dover. His farm was described as a truck farm, which is “a farm that produces vegetables for the market.”

Myron Belknap died August 17, 1929 in Dover Township of a cerebral hemorrage. The informant on the death certificate was his nephew Ernest Shaffer. He was buried in Tedrow Cemetery in Tedrow, Fulton County, Ohio with many of his relatives, including his parents, his brother Zera, and his sister Lucina.

Week 10 (March 4-10): Bachelor Uncle

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#3 Azariah Bost (c1830-1862)

I don’t have a ton of unusual names in my family tree – the ones that are unusual are usually biblical. My great-great-great grandfather Adam Bost had four brothers: Azariah, Abraham, Michael, and Samuel.

Azariah Bost was born in about 1830, the first son of Samuel Bost and Sarah Kinder. Azariah and Hannah Long were married in April 1857 in Henry County, Ohio. Their son Joseph was born in July 1858. In 1860, the little family was living in Harrison, Henry County, Ohio. Azariah was 30, Hannah was 19, and Joseph was 2. Azariah enlisted in Company A, Ohio 68th Infantry Regiment in October 1861. on 17 Oct 1861. Azariah died of disease on March 22, 1862 and is buried in the Shiloh National Cemetery.

azariah
Azariah Bost, Shiloh National Cemetery

According to the website Ohio Civil War Central:

“On March 15, 1862, the 68th Ohio marched to Metal Landing, Tennessee and then traveled by steamer to Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. At this new location, the regiment’s members experienced severe illness, depleting the organization’s ranks from approximately one thousand men to 250 soldiers available for duty. The 68th did not engage Confederate forces at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6 and April 7, 1862, being ordered to stay in the rear guarding supply and ordinance trains.”

Week 3 (January 15-21): Unusual Name