Monday, February 28, 2011

Matrilineal Monday – Birdie Eldora Leona Belknap

Birdie Van Horn in Seattle, Washington

Birdie Belknap was my great aunt born August 3, 1880 in Eldora, Hardin, Iowa, USA (guess where one of her middle names came from).

She was the daughter of Thomas Belknap and Mary Fiddler. Although she may not have any direct descendant searching for her, (as I have not found any children for her, as to date) she was a part of the family who should not be forgotten. It has been an interesting journey searching for records to piece together a bit of her life.  What I have so far is that she was married first to Alex Pandelas in Butte, Silver Bow, Montana in 1917. It looks like she was divorced about 1920.  She remarried at the end of 1920 to William Henry Van Horn in Telkwa, British Columbia, Canada where her father T. J. Belknap had a ranch.  Great Aunt Birdie died in Everett Snohomish, Washington, USA on July 4, 1967 at the age of 86.

I’ve been lucky that my Mom has kept some of the postcards and letters that her Aunt Birdie sent to her. Here is a picture of Aunt Birdie taken by one of her friends from St. Paul, Minnesota on July 21, 1962 in Seattle, Washington for the World’s Fair.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sentimental Sunday – Janet Danskine Paterson Abbott

Janet Danskine Paterson & William Abbott

Janet Danskine Paterson is my great aunt who died at the young age of 25.  Janet (Jenny) is the second oldest daughter of Francis Paterson and Elizabeth Danskine, born 4 April 1886 in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland.  Jenny immigrates to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1907 with her parents, five sisters and one brother.  At the end of 1909 Jenny marries William Abbott.  Jenny dies 12 February 1912 in Provost, Alberta, Canada.  This tragic death must have made an impact on the family.  My father (who was born 16 years after his aunt Jenny dies) knows the story and tells me the story when we look at the Paterson Family photo. (see 23 December 2010 post)

We regret to record the death of
Mrs. Wm. Abbott of Cadogan,
which occurred at the Provost Hos-
pital on Monday last, under partic-
ularly sad circumstances.
“Mrs. Wm. Abbott”, obituary, The Provost Star, 16, February, 1912

What are the tragic and sad circumstances? Jenny dies from appendicitis.  The Provost Star reports on 23 February 1912 that this was a peculiarly sad death which could have been prevented if medical aid was summoned. They state that Jenny was under the spell of “Christian Scientists”.  The Provost Star writes that the case was reported to the authorities and that no punishment could be handed out.

Although Jenny died as a young woman who never got the chance to be a mother, she is remembered from the photos and stories her family passes on.   I’ve have been told that she was great vocalist and had a kind nature, and willing to lend a helping hand.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday’s Obituary – Martin S Belknap

This is an obituary for my 3rd great grandfather Martin S Belknap, he is the spouse of Betsey Ann Belknap (nee Bristol).  

          M. S Belknap Dead                           
A Former Resident of the Town of
   Algoma Dies in Minnesota.

  Word was received in this city Sat-
urday announcing the death at  Big-
low, Minn., M.S. Belknap for-
merly of the town of Algoma.  The
deceased was about eighty-six years
old and was a highly respected resi-
dent of the town of Algoma for many
years.   The family moved to Minne-
sota about eighteen years ago.  Mr
Belknap was the father of Mrs. J.
W. McWilliams of this city.  The re-
mains will be brought here for burial.

“M.S. Belknap,” obituary, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 13 Feb 1893, p 4

                  Short Notes                                 
   The remains of Martin S. Belknap
arrived in the city last evening and
were taken to the home of Mrs. J.
McWilliams on Oregon Street where
the funeral was held this mooring at
ten o’clock.  The remains were
interred at Elmwood cemetery.

“Martin S. Belknap,” short notes, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 15 Feb 1893, p 4

 Find A Grave Memorial# 113903560

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amanuensis Monday – John William Smith’s will


Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

This was another treasure passed on to me by my aunt and uncle.  They found it in a box of my grandmother’s (Dorothy Paterson nee Warry). I don’t think they realized who he was.  Who was John William Smith?  He was my 2nd great grandfather, father of Edith Elinore Warry (nee Smith).
This is the front of the paper folded in fours.  One of the edges looks like it may have been torn.  (Ripped from a book?)

Dated 22 October 1887.  Will of Jn W Smith


        This is the last Will of me John William Smith
of heather Mount – Heatherlands Upper Parkstone
in the County of Dorset, Carpenter I invoke
all former wills a councils made by me
I appoint my sons Horace Gordon Smith and
Sydney Hastings Smith.  my executors and
Trustees. i give the whole of my property of every
kind to my trustees.  absolutely upon trust to
permit my wife the use of all my household
furniture plate and effects  during her lifetime
and as to the rest of my property to pay the
rents profits and income thereof to my wife
during her lifetime in the usual quarter day
and after the death of my wife to sell and realizes
the whole of my property and effects and pay and
divide the proceeds to and amongst my
children living at the death of my wife.
in Witness whereof i have hereunto set my
   hand the first Day of November one thousand
                                                                 nine hundred and thirteen
                                                                                                  John William Smith

There are some great clues:
-there is an address-Heather Mount, Heatherlands, Upper Parkstone, Dorset County
-occupation stated as carpenter
-two of his sons stated as Horace Gordon Smith and Sydney Hastings Smith
-written on 01 November 1913, obviously alive at this time
-his wife is still alive at this time

What I don’t understand is why is the outside of the paper dated 22 October 1887 and the writing inside dated 01 November 1913?  Is this really the last will?
I still don’t have a definite death date for John William Smith or his wife Sarah Everton Smith (nee Wakeman).  But these clues should make it easy to track down the correct Smith.  (I hope)

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Obituary – Betsey Ann Belknap

This is an obituary for my 3rd great grandmother Betsey Ann Belknap (nee Bristol).  Betsey was the daughter of Justus Bristol and Catherine Lockwood born 16 November, 1814.  She married Martin Seymour Belknap in 1831 in New York.  One of her 11 children was my 2nd great grandfather Thomas Jefferson Belknap.

                DIED IN OLD AGE                            
Mrs. Betsey Ann Belknapp Passes  Away at 
106  Oregon Street This   Morning.
 Mrs. Betsey Ann Belknapp died this
Morning of general debility at her home
106 Oregon street.  She was the mother of Mrs. Job Mcwiilliams, with whom she resided.  The interment will take place at two o’clock Monday afternoon
at Ellenwood cemetery.
“Mrs. Betsey Ann Belknapp,” obituary, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern,  15 April 1899 , p 1

She is buried at the Ellenwood Cemetery in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, USA.  

Interesting obituary right below this one:

     MAX THOM’S FUNERAL                      

  The funeral of Max Thom, the young             
man who was drowned Friday near the
railway bridge while running on the
logs, will be held at one o’clock Sunday
afternoon from St. Mary’s Catholic

Another interesting announcement just above the Obituaries:

 Edward Thomas was granted a di-
vorce from Minnie.   Thomas on the
ground that his wife treated him in a
cruel manner and refused to wash and
mend his clothing and get his meals.
the parties to the suit reside in Osh-

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday – Elizabeth Paterson & Agnes Findlay Paterson

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

This grave maker is for my great grandmother Elizabeth Paterson (nee Danskine) and her daughter Agnes Findlay Paterson.  Elizabeth succumbed to the Spanish Flu in 1919 and Agnes to typhoid fever in 1907.

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