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Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Christmas Poem by Thomas Aldrich Barrett

A Christmas gift left by Thomas Aldrich Barrett, my great-grandfather.  Thomas left several poems and writings that Les and I are trying to preserve and share with the family.

The Velvet Curtain

by Thomas A. Barrett (Dec. 1913)

© 2014 by William C. Barrett and Lester Arquette

Thomas Aldrich Barrett

The Velvet curtains parted
In the night ere Galilee
And a tiny wisp of stardust
Drifted downward toward the sea.

To the little town of Nazareth
From the brilliant throne of God,
Like a ray of shining silver
Sent to light the sacred sod.

Two loving hearts beheld the wonder
Saw the miracle of joy,
Blessed Mary patient Joseph
Waited for their baby boy.

Then something soft and small and downy
A bit of fluff so pink and warm,
Sent from out the light of heaven
Caught upon a loving arm.

And the tender Virgin Mother,
Clasped the treasure to her breast.
Greater than the Saints of glory,
Queen of angels, thou art blest.

Now, there's a Christmas star still shining,
Shining true and clear and bright.
That man may see the way to heaven,
Whence Jesus came that blessed night.



© 2014 William C. Barrett

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Analyzing Photos and Images for Clues

Which Brothers Do You See? 

An Analysis of Photo Identities Using Additional Resources

The thrill of finding an ancestor's photo, painting, or image is something all genealogists appreciate. The ability to finally put a face to the names and dates and more importantly to the life story is one where you truly see your ancestor in a different way.

Yet, we all have the the inevitable issue that not all our ancestor's were thoughtful enough to place names and dates on the backs of photos. Recently, cousin Lara Beth shared 4 photos discovered in great-great grandmother Mary (nee Aldrich) Barrett's home after she passed away.

Mary was born Sophia Aldrich approximately May 1859 in Dayton, Cattaraugus, New York1 to Luther Tisdale Aldrich and Christiann Howell. She had four brothers, Loren, Lumen (or Lurman), Byron and Martin and the photos were only numbered 1-4 and originally attributed to her brothers, using an estimate of the apparent ages of each man in the photo.

The Four Photos thought to be the Aldrich Brothers.

                       


               

Sophia (Mary) Aldrich changed her name to Mary when she married Thomas Francis Barrett about 1879 in Bradford, McKean, Pennsylvania2. After spending time in the Bradford, McKean, PA followed by time in Bolivar, Allegany, NY the family then settled in the Scranton area.   The rest of Thomas Francis' family had settled in the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston area of Pennsylvania after immigrating from Ireland.

Thomas Francis Barrett was born to John J. Barrett and Anne Cormac Mannion in County Mayo, Ireland about June 18523,4,5. John J. and Anne had 5 sons, Michael, John Erigena, Thomas Francis, Charles J., and Edward M. (the M is thought to stand for Mannion).  All but Michael immigrated to the United States while it is believed Michael immigrated to England6,7.

Recently, during some re-organization of family research and information, something we are all familiar with doing, I came across some newspaper images of Thomas Francis' brothers, John E. and Edward M. Barrett. John E. Barrett was the editor of The Scranton Truth and a prominent citizen in Scranton, while Edward M. Barrett became an Alderman for the city of Pittston. The newspaper images created one of those moments where you begin to think the mind is playing tricks and you say, "I know I have seen that face before."

I took the newspaper images and began to review the four photos originally attributed to the Aldrich brothers.  The two newspaper images for Edward M. Barrett were compared to the middle image (one of the four photos) leading to a first guess that the original photos might not be the Aldrich brothers, but actually, four of the five Barrett brothers.

Image of Alderman
Edward M. Barrett from
The Scranton Republican
June 30, 1919, Page 5
Comparison of One Photo to Two Newspaper Images of Edward M. Barrett

     
Image of Edward M. Barrett
 from Piston Gazette, March 17, 1913 compared to original photo















A separate newspaper image of John E. Barrett was then examined relative to another of the four original photos:

Comparison of John E. Barrett Newspaper Image to One of Original Four Photos
                       
                             Image of John E. Barrett from
                    The Scranton Republican
                 April 28, 1934, Page 16

One of the original
four photos



I shared my thoughts with both cousin Lara Beth and cousin Marilyn.  As cousin Marilyn indicated, they are "wearing the same style of clothing".  I then received what I thought was a much more critical analysis from my son in regards to the John E. Barrett comparison, "They’re both chubby, they have a mustache and the hair goes the same way." No need for fancy software or facial recognition from his point of view.  However as Marilyn and my son pointed out, using style of clothes, hair and unique features is the start of identifying particulars of photos.  In this instance, the comparison is quite accurate which lead us to believe we are looking at John E. Barrett and the other is of Edward M. Barrett.  The potential conclusion is that the images are likely the Barrett brothers from County Mayo, Ireland.

We were now left with two unidentified images from the original four. Unfortunately, no image of Thomas Francis Barrett in a newspaper or other journal has been found. A sketch of Dr. Charles J. Barrett was located in a newspaper and the three images are compared below:

Comparison of Dr. Charles J. Barrett to Two Unidentified Original Photos
Image from The Scranton Truth
January 18, 1905, Page 8
I
     


It is thought that Thomas Francis was older than Charles J. Barrett from multiple census records, but only Charles was found to have a baptismal record from Ireland in 18588.

Therefore it is inconclusive at the moment to which photo might represent Charles and which is Thomas. A clue might be the groomed mustache of the man in the photo on the right similar to the mustache in the sketch of Charles J. Barrett, but it is difficult to conclude much more.

One additional clue that gives further evidence to the identification that these are the Barrett brothers comes from information on the back of each image, in which it identifies Henry Frey as the photographer with an address in Scranton, PA.  Henry Frey was located in City Directories9 to have a photographic studio in Scranton where John E. Barrett and Thomas F. Barrett resided, the other brothers were in nearby Pittston.   The Aldrich brothers lived in the Cattaraugus County area of New York state and no evidence has been found indicating they visited or lived in Scranton. 
  
There is an image number on the back of at least one photo, thus if any original material survives from the Henry Frey studio, perhaps associated identification information could be found.

The continued improvement in software perhaps to utilize facial recognition from the newspapers to the photos would provide greater impartiality to the photo identification process. In addition as newspapers continued to be digitized, perhaps additional images of Thomas F. and Charles J. will become available to aid in identifying the remaining images.

Thus, the current evidence allows my first glance at two photos, one of which is likely my great-great grandfather, Thomas Francis Barrett, an immigrant from County Mayo, Ireland and the feeling of that connection is something all genealogists remember.

Note: Kind thanks to Lara Beth Woelkers for sharing the photographs and humoring a cousin's constant questions about the photos.


1Ancestry.com, New York, State Census, 1875 (Provo, Utah, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013)
2Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2006), Year: 1910; Census Place: Scranton Ward 20, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1360; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1375373
3Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2006), Year: 1910; Census Place: Scranton Ward 20, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1360; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1375373
4Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2004), Year: 1900; Census Place: Scranton Ward 20, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_31077_4115108; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1241422
5Ancestry.com, 1880 United Statess Federal Censys (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2010), Year: 1880; Census Place: Bradford, McKean, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1154; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1255154; Page 177C; Enumeration District: 082; Image: 0063.
6The Pittston Gazette (Pittston, Pennsylvania) Friday, April 28, 1899, Page 3.
7The Scranton Republican at Newspapers.com, The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) Thursday, April 27, 1899, Page 10.
8Ancestry.com, Ireland, Select Catholic Birth and Baptism Registers, 1763-1912 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014).
9Scranton, Pennsylvania, City Directory, 1901, Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

© 2014 William C. Barrett

Monday, December 8, 2014

Discovery of Hiram Hurst's Parents and Possible Extended FamilyAnAnalysis of Current Evidence

Discovery of Hiram Hurst's Parents and Possible Extended Family
An Analysis of Current Evidence





Hiram Hurst was an enigma to the family for many years. Very little was discussed about him, stories from his granddaughter, Marie Delores Barrett (nee Hurst) indicated he may have died from a fall from a horse, but no evidence suggests this occurred. The Hurst family did not have much information to shed any light on Hiram and thus the standard genealogical information for Hiram Hurst was gathered over the year including census and city directory information. A search for a death certificate to possibly shed light on parents was conducted based on Philadelphia city directory information which had a Hiram Hurst listed up to 1922 and nothing thereafter. Therefore a search from 1922-1932 was conducted with no results. Hiram and his parents presented a beginning genealogist with the proverbial “brick wall”.

It was many years before several clues were discovered on Ancestry.com that provided evidence linking our Hiram Hurst to a Hiram Hurst in Philadelphia with parents of Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner, from a baptismal record1. The record indicated Hiram Hurst was baptized on 21 Dec 1856 in St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. His parents were listed as Joseph Hurst and Rebecca (Verner) Hurst. According to multiple census records, Hiram Hurst was born on 13 Jul 1853 in Pennsylvania, USA2,3,4,5,6. This evidence created the first link that Hiram's parents appear to be Joseph Hurst and a Rebecca Verner.

Baptismal Record identifying Hiram Hurst's Parents
As previously mentioned, Hiram was located in multiple U.S. Census Records including, 18807, 19008, 19109 and 192010. A search in the 1876-1878 Philadelphia City Directories resulted in no record of Hiram Hurst. The 1879 City Directory however lists a Hiram Hurst as a laborer living at Creshein n. Mt. Pleasant GTN, this is presumably the Germantown area of Philadelphia. The 1880 U.S. Census indicated that a child, Theodore Hurst, was born about 1876 in Pennsylvania and therefore it is likely, that Hiram was in Pennsylvania and possibly Philadelphia as early as 1876.

According to the 1880 U.S. Census, Hiram was a laborer living in Philadelphia, PA. The Hurst family lived at 129 Allen Lane. They were listed in the 1900 Census as having 7 children with 5 living, the 1880 census shows one of the children who apparently passed away between the 1880 and 1900 census, his name was Theodore.

The 1900 City Directory for Hiram lists him as a laborer living at 114 Allen Ln. GTN (Germantown section of Philadelphia). According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Hiram was a steel moulder living in Philadelphia, PA. The Hurst family lived on Springer St. Hiram and Sarah were listed as being married for 24 years.

The 1910 City Directory indicates that Hiram was a foreman living at 66 Springer St. GTN. In 1919 Hiram is a steelworker still living on Springer St. The 1920 Census indicates that Hiram was still living with Sarah and the youngest son, Andrew on Springer St. in Philadelphia. He was employed as a machinist at Midvale Steel. Hiram's son, Andrew, was employed as an inspector at the Steel Sash (?).

Based on evidence that Hiram is listed in the the 1923 and 1924 Philadelphia City directories, living on 66 E. Springer, no death certificate was found searching even from 1925-1935. A search on newer databases led to the discovery of Hiram Hurst's death certificate11 indicating that he died 16 Feb 1920 almost immediately after the U.S. Census was taken. He was buried on 19 Feb 1920 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (Ivy Hill Cemetery). The death certificate identifies his father as a John Hurst and mother as Mrs. Verner (possibly McVerner). The informant was his wife, Sarah. Leading to circumstantial connection to Rebecca Verner, but Sarah misidentified Hiram's father as John rather than Joseph as confirmed above in the baptismal record.

Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner

A search was conducted for Rebecca Hurst and Joseph Hurst. Evidence shows a Rebecca Hurst died 30 Dec 185612,13 together with a still born son12. The death notice in the paper indicated Rebecca was the wife of Joseph Hurst14

Death Record for Rebecca Hurst, Philadelphia Public Ledger, 1857

This suggests Hiram's mother, Rebecca (nee Verner) Hurst passed away when he was about three years old, in 1856. A search of the 1850 U.S. Census Record led to the discovery of a Rebecca Verner, daughter of William and Eliza Verner and sister to a John Verner possibly identifying Hiram's grandparents. Rebecca S Verner (child of William Verner and Annie E Verner) was born on 10 Mar 1832 in Pennsylvania, USA15,16,17. Rebecca S died on 30 Dec 1856 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA15,16,18 No marriage information has been found to date on Rebecca Verner and Joseph Hurst.

The death notice led to the discovery of burial information of Rebecca at Odd Fellows Cemetery14 which has since closed with re-internment at Lawnview Cemetery. Records from Lawnview show the family in Lot# Susquehanna, Section 36, Grave #19 being moved in 1951. The records form Lawnview indicated the following names buried in the deed belonging to Joseph Hurst:



The presence of a Verner, John Jordan Verner, passed away at 4 weeks together with the prior census showing Rebecca had a brother named John, suggests that Rebecca Verner Hurst from above is the same married to Joseph Hurst which links to the Joseph Hurst who passed away in 1863.

Joseph Hurst according to the Census was born about 1814 in Ireland19. It is likely that he married Rebecca S Verner (possbile child of William Verner and Annie E Verner) in United States. He died on 31 Jan 1863 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA19, 20. Death notice information indicated Joseph's funeral was performed at “his sister's” on 4 Lister's place21


Joseph was originally buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery on Diamond Street, however when that cemetery was purchased by the city for a housing project, Joseph's remains were moved to Lawnview cemetery, as previously mentioned.

If this Joseph Hurst is Hiram's father and, since Joseph passed away in 1863, Hiram wouold have been about 10 years old and was then orphaned.  This could explain the confusion of a John/Joseph on his death certificate if he did not later discuss his parents with his wife (informant on the death certificate).

Moystin Connection

An additional name, Moystin, was discovered among those buried in the same plot. It might be possible that Moystin is the married name of Joseph's sister referred to in the death notice. A search of the City Directories identified a Rebecca Moystin (widow George) living in Philadelphia and one directory has them living at 4 Lister's Place in 187222. This might represent Joseph's sister.

An 1850 US Census record shows a Joseph Hurst with Rebecca Mustan who has 2 sons, Wm H and Joseph.  The 1870 US Census shows a Rebecca Moystin with a William H and his wife, while an 1860 US Census finds a Rebecca Marston with William H and Joseph. The multiple spellings may be misspellings as the children and area are consistent until the Rebecca and William Moystin move to Delaware and Joseph Hurst is listed on burial deed23.

Conclusion
Hiram Hurst was born in 1853, first appears in the 1880 U.S. Census and dies in 1920. It appears his parents were Joseph Hurst and Rebecca Verner as determined through the baptismal record.

Rebecca Verner, found in the 1850 census, is the daughter of William and Ann/Eliza Verner and sister to John Verner.  

Joseph Hurst's sister is likely Rebecca Moystin.

Hiram and Joseph Hurst have not been located in the 1860 Census. A Hiram Hurst appears as a farmhand in the 1870 U.S. Census in Gloucester, New Jersey and his age is listed as 17 with his birthplace listed as Pennsylvania, this maybe Hiram, but why or how did he end up in New Jersey is another question.

A search for probate or Orphans Court records in Philadelphia for Joseph Hurst might help explain what happened to Hiram upon the death of his father.



1Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Historical Society of Pennsylvania;  Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel:  1079.
2Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, Historical Society of Pennsylvania;  Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel:  1079. http://search.ancestry.com/Browse/View.aspx?dbid=2451&path=Philadelphia.Philadelphia.Episcopal.St+Stephen%C2%B4s+Episcopal+Church.43.
3Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Record for Hiram Hurst.
4Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1395; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0421; Image: ; FHL microfilm: 1375408. Record for Hiram Hurst.
5Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_31077_4115208; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0500; FHL microfilm: 1241464. Record for Hiram Hurst.
6Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1181; Family History Film: 1255181; Page: 520C; Enumeration District: 457; Image: 0673. Record for Hiram Hurst.
7Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1181; Family History Film: 1255181; Page: 520C; Enumeration District: 457; Image: 0673. Record for Hiram Hurst.
8Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_31077_4115208; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0500; FHL microfilm: 1241464. Record for Hiram Hurst
9Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1395; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0421; Image: ; FHL microfilm: 1375408. Record for Hiram Hurst.
10Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1624; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 610; Image: 126. Record for Hiram Hurst.
11Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014).Certificate of Death, Pennsylvania State Archives, File No. 28782
12Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915
13Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1079.
14Public Ledger Philadelphia January 2, 1857
15Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011
16Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 1079.
17Ancestry.com, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009), Year: 1850; Census Place: Philadelphia North Mulberry Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_815; Page: 380B; Image: 337.
18Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
19Ancestry.com, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011).
20Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
21hiladelphia Public Ledger and Daily Transcript, Philadelphia, Monday, Feb. 2 1863
22Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

23Ancestry.com, Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.