Graveyard Expedition Part II

First published on January 10, 2016.

As promised in Part I, Part II is going to be about Elnathan Husted, son of Peter Husted. Elnathan is buried in the same cemetery as Peter, so for more information on the cemetery and Peter, check out Part I.

Elnathan was born on January 16th, 1775 in Greenwich, CT. He lived in Greenwich for all of his life, marrying Nancy Close in 1797. They had their only child, William A Husted on December 31st, 1801. In the History of Fairfield County, Connecticut, I found a nice little paragraph about Elnathan:

Elnathan Husted was a successful farmer and drover, married Nancy Close, and had one son William A. He was a member of the Second Congregational Church at Greenwich, Conn., and was a man respected. He died in 1825, aged fifty years. His wife died at seventy-three years of age.

Elnathan raised his son on the farm and William eventually took over the family business and became very successful as well. Elnathan passed away on February 1st, 1825 and was buried at Putnam Cemetery by his father Peter.

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Graveyard Expedition Part I

First published on January 3, 2016.

While I was visiting home for Thanksgiving, I took my family on an expedition to see the graves of our ancestors that we have never seen before. We visited four graveyards in the town of Greenwich, Connecticut and saw the gravestones of seven of my ancestors. I think most of my family was creeped out after awhile, but I really wasn’t. The day of the expedition was warm but overcast and raining on and off, so an overall creepy day, I don’t blame them. The only time I was startled was when the bells tolled church next to the graveyard we were visiting. I also tried to get some rubbings from the gravestones, but with the equipment that I had and the conditions of the gravestones, I wasn’t able to get a good rubbing. This will be a multi-part installment, examining the ancestors whose gravestones I found as well as a brief history of the graveyards (if possible).

The first graveyard that we visited was the Putnam Cemetery. This was the biggest graveyard, and it had many famous graves, at least famous for Connecticut. George W. Bush’s grandparents are buried there, as well as various U.S. Senators. Victor Borge, a pianist and comedian who once said, “The difference between and violin and viola is that a viola burns longer.” There wasn’t a website for the graveyard so we didn’t know when it opened, but we went anyway. Because this cemetery was so huge, at first it was daunting to find the two graves we were looking for. After about ten minutes, my brother found the two, they were a row apart. The first was the grave of Peter Husted, my sixth great grandfather.

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Like I said the gravestones weren’t in a great condition. The moss and erosion of the stone made reading in the stone difficult and taking the rubbings impossible. It was easier to look at the stones from farther away than up close. I think that the gravestone says:

In memory of Peter Husted

Who died

March 24, 1821

in his 79 yr.

Peter Husted was born May 9th in 1742 to Moses Husted and Susannah Mead in Greenwich, Connecticut (his info comes from Ye Historie of Ye Town of Greenwich). He married Eunice Lyon on February 11th, 1768. They had nine children:

  • Amos, b. December 2, 1769
  • Cynthia, b. September 22, 1770
  • Peter, b. October 11, 1772
  • Elnathan, b. January 16, 1775
  • Moses, b. December 19, 1776
  • Aaron, b. January 23, 1779
  • Caleb, b. March 2, 1782
  • Eunice, b. January 21, 1784
  • Ebson, b. February 25, 1787

Eight of his children survived into adulthood. Two of his children are my direct ancestors Elnathan Husted and Cynthia Husted whose children, they would have been cousins, married each other.

The only other information that I have about Peter is that he was a soldier in the Revolutionary War under Captain Abraham Mead. The lieutenant of that company was Odle Close, another one of my sixth great grandfathers ( His daughter Nancy would marry Peter’s son Elnathan). Peter is listed as “returned having deserted at New York in August, 1776″. But, “It will, however, be noted that some of these men reentered the service and should have been returned only as ‘missing’, instead of ‘deserted’.”

I definitely have to do more research regarding the American Revolution in Connecticut and maybe I can learn more about Peter. I would hope that he did reenter the service, but as of right now, I can’t be sure.

Next in this series is Peter’s son Elnathan Husted.

Photographic Evidence: Bloomer Girl

First published on November 7, 2015.

If blatant sexism gets you all riled up then maybe this isn’t the post for you. To be fair, this is sexism from the late 19th and early 20th century, but it still made me want to break something, like maybe a window with a baseball. Speaking of baseball, that’s what this post is about, more specifically, women’s baseball from the late 19th and early 20th century (nice segue, right?). I found this picture among my collection:

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To me this is clearly a women in a baseball uniform. She’s got an “A” on her right arm, which may indicate that she was the assistant captain. There is nothing written on the back of this picture so I don’t know who this is. She is also wearing a uniform so it’s hard to date the photograph. However, I found this other picture in my collection:

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Again, to me I think that this woman is the same woman in the baseball uniform. At first I didn’t realize this, but she might also be wearing a baseball uniform. There is something written on the back of this “May love from Aunt Mary”. “May” refers to my great-grandmother Mae but she did not have an Aunt Mary so this must be a family friend (something to uncover in another post). I thought it was amazing that I had these two pictures of a woman in a baseball uniform and I wanted to learn more.

It’s very likely that this woman was a Bloomer Girl. Bloomer Girls wore bloomers which were loose fitting pants invented by Amelia Bloomer. They played baseball, “barnstorming” throughout the country, challenging local teams. The Bloomer Girl teams were mostly women, but usually had to have one male member. The first teams formed in the 1890s and lasted until 1934. Women on these teams got an opportunity to travel the country and get paid for playing baseball.

I had trouble finding out information about Bloomer Girls. Most of the articles had the exact same information and were an introduction to the All American Girls Baseball League (like in A League of Their Own). One website had links to old articles about the Bloomer Girls. With these articles and suggestions for research, I was able to find more articles and learn a little more about the Bloomer Girls.

As I mentioned, there would be some blatant sexism in this post and all of it comes from these articles. One of the earliest articles, from The San Francisco Call on October 25, 1897, describes a game between the Bosom Bloomer Girls and The San Francisco Athletics and keep in mind the Bloomer Girls won this match.

The majority of the members [of the Boston Bloomer Girls] were unable to get their eyes on the ball when it was in the air, and when it was rolling along the ground, they forgot that they did not have their aprons on and tried to stop it in ordinary women fashion, with the result that the sphere would doge through their bloomers in a most distressing matter.

This article did like one of the female players, Maud Nelson, or Maudie as the article calls her.

Maudie is the pitcher and she knows her business…tore her bloomers in sliding feet first like a real baseball player.

Another article in The San Francisco Call on July 15, 1901 comments about the Bloomer Girls, saying, “They could not play – not to any great extent”

In Richmond, Virginia they weren’t any easier on the Bloomer Girls, the headline of an article for the Richmond Dispatch on April 21, 1902 was “Ball Park Diamond Chortled with Feminine Curves”. This article goes on to describe how each girl looked, from their faces to their physiques. Here’s a quote from that article that starts out kind of nice, but ends up very sour:

The girls played well all round. When they threw the ball it went in the direction aimed – something so unusual that it pleased the spectators to death

That one really stings.

Utah was not a kinder place for the Bloomer Girls, take this excerpt from an article in The Ogden Standard from June 14, 1909.

In short the bloomer girls knew as much about baseball – professional baseball – as the average man knows about crocheting a peek-a-boo shirt waist – which is less that nothing

I can go on and on about the mean things written about the Bloomer Girls, and there’s much more. In short, the bloomer girls played baseball and got paid for it, and I’m assuming that they knew more than nothing about baseball. I don’t even know anything about peek-a-boo skirt waists and I’m a lady. I don’t know much about baseball either, but I did play a mean tee ball back in the day and I was the only girl on my team. I think that the Bloomer Girls helped to pave the way for females in sports and it’s important to learn about them. Please enjoy my tee ball picture from my parent’s collection of pictures (I’m not wearing bloomers).

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Photographic Evidence: A Common Mistake

First published on October 25, 2015.

In one of the photo albums that I have, there are many pictures of this baby:

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Her name was Adeline Alma Boudreau and she was born July 27, 1924. She was my first cousin twice removed, in other words, my grandfather’s cousin. Unfortunately, I believe that she died at an early age. There’s a picture of a grave dated 1926 that reads Adeline’s flowers and my grandfather doesn’t remember her. In the album I have, there are many pictures of Adeline, she was an adorable baby, Here is another picture of her with a woman:

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Looking at this picture, a first assumption would be that this is Adeline’s mother (Adeline’s mother was also named Adeline, which is confusing). The woman kind of looks like Adeline and I found the picture in the album. However, this woman is not Adeline’s mother but rather a girl who lived nearby. Luckily there was writing on the back of the picture to explain the relationship. Pictures like this can lead to mistaken identities. Women who were photographed with children could be mothers but also sisters, aunts, teachers, neighbors, friends etc. This is an important thing to remember when looking at old pictures.

Photographic Evidence: Pictures of Animals Part I

First published on October 7, 2015.

In my collection of photographs, I found a few pictures of animals. I think some of them were pets and some were farm animals. Some show a person with the animal and in others the animal is the only subject. Pictures of animals are much harder to identify than people, their names aren’t in many records and you can’t date the photograph based on what they are wearing. I might never know the names of these animals but they are still (mostly) cute.

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I guess that is a cat, but it sure is creepy!

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This cutie.

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Ducks

Photographic Evidence: Photographer’s Mark

First published October 5, 2015.

I apologize for my long silence, my computer had a “gremlin” that had to be conquered and I am just picked it up today. I’ll be back to posting regularly. Next weekend, I’m taking a trip home and showing my photographs and research to some family members. Hopefully this will shed more light on to the identities in the photographs that I have.

In my photo collection there is this picture:

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There are actually many different copies of this picture but on each of them, there are no names on the back and no adults. It’s difficult to link this child’s photograph with any other pictures. However, using the photographer’s mark, I was able to figure out more information about this photograph and get one step closer to figuring out who this is.

This photo was taken my H.J. Seeley who was located on 922 Main Street in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  I couldn’t find a building that has the same address today. Right off the bat, this gave me a place where this picture was taken, thus a place that this child lived.

I looked at old city directories for Bridgeport, Connecticut and H.J. Seeley’s photography studio wasn’t always at 922 Main Street. From at least the 1870s to 1899 the studio was at a different address and from 1900 on the studio moved to the 922 address. This gives a rough time frame for the year this photo was taken.

The next thing to examine in this photo is the child. I’m not a good judge of children’s ages but I’m assuming this child is a toddler so, around three to four years old. In old photographs, the part in a child’s hair is a good indication of their sex, hair parted to the side is typical for a male and hair parted in the middle is typical for a female. This child’s hair is parted to the side, so he is probably a boy.

Thus far I know this child is a boy who lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut and was born around 1900-1910. I’m not sure if this child is related to me but I have multiple copies of this photo in my collection so I’m thinking that this child was very close to my great-grandmother (the pictures are hers). Looking at my family tree, this child could be my great-grandmother’s brother Robert, who was born in 1910. They could also be pictures of her husband Willard Everett who was born in 1903.

I found another picture taken at H.J. Seeley, and based on my other photos I believe her to be Lucy Lamb Husted, my great-great-grandmother who’s child is Robert.

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Based on this information, I think that this picture is probably of Robert Husted, my great-great-great-uncle. I have four copies of this picture of Robert plus this other one.

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