August 2014

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Shakin' the Family Tree on Facebook

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
dee_burris: (Default)
Friday, February 28th, 2014 10:14 am
As I said in this entry, I have been most keen to try and puzzle through the marriages and wanderings of my second great grandaunt, Adaline Chapin.

I'm suspect Addie - as she was called through most of her life - was one of the two Chapin daughters of Nathaniel F Chapin and Elizabeth Pancoast-Harris that my family disapproved of on the basis of snippets of conversation I heard as a child. I recall overhearing one conversation in particular - between my grandmother and one of her brothers, who was compiling the family genealogy. They were talking about whether to leave out two of the Chapin sisters altogether because of their behavior, or to keep them in and just call them prostitutes.

I'm betting that's because Addie and her younger sister, Essie, were married multiple times. I suspect both daughters' multiple marriages and divorces bothered their parents and siblings. And two of Essie's descendants have stated multiple times in comments to this blog that there was a fracture in the family that continued throughout Essie's life.

But now, I have to wonder if Essie took it harder than Addie did.
Addie's marriages were not really hard to document.

She married first in 1886 to George D Rouse while they were living in Ft Scott, Bourbon Co., KS, where Nathaniel Chapin had relocated his family between 1883 and 1885. Addie and George were divorced - my guess is that was in Greene Co., MO, where she married Lorenzo D Melton on 21 Sep 1904.

She was divorced from Lorenzo Melton on 11 Sep 1914 in Arapahoe Co., CO, and on 5 Oct 1915, married Charles M Mendenhall in Littleton, Arapahoe Co., CO. (I have requested the divorce records from the Colorado State Archives and am waiting for them to be mailed.)
The eldest of the Chapin siblings, Cyrus, made his home with Addie for at least 25 years.

He lived with her through all of her marriages in Springfield, MO, and Littleton and Denver, CO. In the 1880 census, Cyrus was noted to have sciatic rheumatism. I was unfamiliar with that ailment. I found it described on page 3 of the 27 Apr 1915 issue of L'Impartial, a Swiss French-language daily newspaper published since 1880.

There are very few ailments more painful than sciatic rheumatism. At first one is scarcely able to straighten up, and finally, if neglected, it gets so bad it is impossible to walk. Sciatic rheumatism is a combined form of neuralgia and rheumatism, and has been considered very hard to treat successfully...

Although it appears that Cyrus tried intermittently to work in the trade of his male relatives - as a carpenter or woodworker - mostly I found him unemployed, with the exception of any money he may have made as a notary public in Denver from 1907 to 1915.

So Addie housed and supported her brother for a great many years.
I guess that's why I found Cyrus' obituary a bit odd. His obit was how I found Addie's date of death, which I used to get her death certificate from Denver.

Cyrus F Chapin

Died at 3 o'clock this morning at the home of his sister, Mrs. Essie Lebolt Finn of 1421 Second street, following an illness of six weeks. He suffered from a complication of diseases. He was born in Bradford county, Dec. 2, 1853, and resided with a sister in Denver, Colo., until March 15 last year, when the sister died, Mr. Chapin then removing to this city. He is survived by three brothers, George Chapin of Atlanta, Ga., Fred Chapin of Little Rock, Ark., and Willard Chapin of California, and the sister of this city. Surviving also is a niece, Mrs. J.A. Boorman of Altoona, and a nephew, E C Shephard of Pontiac, Mich. He was a member of the International Bible Students' association. The funeral will be held from the Lafferty & Tobias funeral parlors on Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment will be made in Rose Hill Cemetery. Source: Altoona Mirror, Wednesday Evening, 3 Mar 1926, at page 1.

[R]esided with a sister in Denver, Colo., until March 15 last year, when the sister died...

That sister had a name. Why didn't Essie use it? I know it's common to have to pay by the word for an obit, but Essie didn't have any problem getting that Lebolt surname in there instead of her maiden name...
Addie's death certificate says she died at her home at 2025 Clay Street (now part of an interstate system in Denver) from the flu, secondary to bronchial pneumonia.

She was buried at Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co., CO, just outside Denver. Although she was married three times, she had no children.

And now I'd love to know the rest of her story...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, August 10th, 2013 09:54 am
Have done quite a bit of work on the family tree. Not my direct ancestors, but some of the families that married into mine, as well as my grand aunts, uncles, and their children.

And just got an email from one [apparently] budding family historian, asking why one of my many times removed cousins committed suicide at the asylum where she had been committed three years prior to her death. My correspondent read one of my blog entries. One of her aunts died at the same asylum.

Only my cousin didn't commit suicide. She died of hardening of the arteries, and I posted the death certificate on the blog entry.

I have plenty of other relatives who DID commit suicide, so for me, it's both a cause of death and a cause to try and look deeper into their lives. I blog about that, too.

However, we family historians have to READ EVERYTHING FULLY. We are the story-tellers. Failing to fully read all the historic stuff we find means we are telling a story AND putting our spin on it, as if it was truth.

That's just wrong, and leads to other, more accurate family historians spending years trying to correct a construct of someone else's imagination...
dee_burris: (Default)
Saturday, January 28th, 2012 09:05 am
I think of them as my orphan relatives.

The ones who left no descendants - no one to tell their stories. The aunts and uncles who may or may not be remembered fondly - or at all.

As generations pass, those who knew the stories of the orphan relatives pass on also.

The stories are lost.

I'm going to try and piece together the story of my grand aunt, Ruth Lucille Balding. I'm getting some help from first cousins in California and New York, an aunt in Texas, my sister, and all the old familiar resources available to family historians.

I recognize that perspective is subjective. Ruth's siblings no doubt had their own perspectives on their family of origin, and passed those down to their descendants.

I hope I do Ruth justice in the telling of her story.
Ruth Lucille Balding was born in Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR on 9 May 1903 to her 15 year old mother Hattie Belle Chapin, and her 29 year old father, Victor Claude Balding.

Ruth lived in Little Rock all her life.

I believe she was named for another Ruth, her mother's sister, who died when Hattie Chapin was about 5 years old. Three years after Ruth Chapin's death in 1892, Fred Chapin brought his wife Eada, and 8 year old daughter, Hattie, from Fort Scott to Little Rock.

I think her sister must have been on Hattie's mind when her first daughter was born.

Hattie and Victor had six other children after Ruth - Eugene Victor in 1905; Doris Geneva in 1907; Vera Virginia in 1910; Marion Chapin "Murnie" in 1912; Marvin Parrish in 1915; and Russell Ellington in 1917.

As was often the case in large families, Ruth became a surrogate mother to her younger siblings. She may have felt she lost her childhood, as evidenced by a conversation one of my cousins remembers being related to her by one of our relatives. Teen-aged Ruth stumbled upon her parents getting frisky, and told them to cut it out, because she wasn't going to raise any more of their children.

By 1920, Ruth was employed at the Brandon Stove Company (later The Brandon Company) as a stenographer. She was 17 years old, and with her father, provided the financial support for the family of nine in their home at 217 Dennison Street.

Until she married the owner of the Brandon Stove Company, Walter Nathan Brandon, Sr., in 1932, Ruth lived at home with her parents, contributing her income to the common good, including that of some of her teenaged and adult siblings.

But she did find some time for fun with her family...as we'll see in Part 2.

Part 3
Part 4