Friday, February 10, 2012

Funeral Card Friday - "Mrs. Lena Pearson"

On Wednesday, January 13, 1932, Ottelina (Anderson) Pearson, daughter of Martin and Augusta Anderson, passed away in Brockton. She was the wife of Nils Pearson. Her funeral was held on Saturday from her home 738 Montello Street, Brockton. Interment was in South Easton Cemetery, South Easton, Mass.

Monday, January 18, 1932 , The Brockton Times - Page Five
*Note: The funeral notice incorrectly refers to Ottelina as "Lena".

*Note: The funeral notice continues in the next column but I didn't realize that until later on hence why the notice cuts off at "the".

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Brockton Public Library

Without the Brockton Public Library, I would not have been able to get as far as I have with my research. From day one to the present, the library and its many resources have been incredibly helpful. I've been able to search through old newspapers and have made various discoveries such as the wedding date of my great-grandparents, the discovery that my grandfather had two other children, and that my great-great grandfather, James R. McRae, died at the breakfast table.

The Brockton Poll Taxes kept in the historical room have helped me in figuring out the general timeframe of when my great-grandmother, Maude McRae, was committed. They've also revealed some more locations various ancestors of mine lived and the occupations they held.

The death records the library maintains have helped me in figuring out the death dates of several ancestors and have provided very useful information such as parents' names, occupations, etc.

They also hold record books of the Poor Department and I was able to find information on my great-grandfather, James R. McRae, and his son, Ben, in them.

I just want to say "Thank you, Brockton Public Library". I wouldn't have made it this far without you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fred & Maude Married May 29, 1950

One thing that's been on my mind lately is when my great-grandparents, Fred McRae and Maude Monroe, got married. 

Since Fred was a native and lifelong resident of Brockton, Massachusetts and Maude had grown up in that city for most of her life, I always assumed that's the city they married in. But I never called or went to the Brockton City Clerk's office to confirm it because they had created a search fee a few years ago where they charge you in order for them to search their records. And whether or not a record was found, they kept the search fee. I didn't want to go there, pay them money to search for a record, only to find out it's not there and lose my money for nothing. Plus, even if they did find the record, it costs $20 for a certified copy. (Years ago, it used to only cost $5). 

But today, I decided to take a chance and call them, hoping I would get someone who was pleasant and helpful or at least sympathetic. I called, asked how much a copy of a record costs (sadly, it's still $20), and then asked if she could confirm if the marriage record was there. I could tell she was hesitant at first but she eventually did. I gave her the names and date, she put me on hold, and then came back after a couple minutes and told me that the record was indeed there! 

She told me that Fred and Maude were married on May 29, 1920 in Brockton, Massachusetts. After getting over my excitement at having the date, I looked at it for a moment and remembered that Maude was born in July of 1902. I realized that Maude was seventeen when she married (and Fred would have twenty-eight as he was born on May 10, 1892). This was interesting as one of my assumptions about the marriage has always been that Maude was eighteen when it took place.

The year of marriage being 1920 is very helpful to me because now, instead of having to spend $20 on a copy of the marriage record at the Brockton City Clerk's office, I should be able to get a copy for 50¢ at the Massachusetts State Archives. 

So now that I have a marriage year, I must, besides get a copy of the actual marriage record, return to Brockton Public Library at some point soon to see if anything was published in the local newspaper regarding the marriage.

Tuesday's Tip - No Death Notice or Obituary Printed

If you're looking through old newspapers trying to find an obituary or death notice of an ancestor but can't seem to find one, that might be because no obituary or death notice was printed by request of the deceased.

This is the case with two of my great-grandmother's sisters, Edith Clifford and Jennie Glover. Both of them didn't want a fuss to be made when they died.

When Edith died in 1995, she made a request to her daughter that no obituary or death notice be printed nor anyone be told. She would simply be cremated and that would be the end of it. My grandfather (Edith's nephew) did not find out about her death until several months afterwards.

When Jennie, who was living out in Califonia at the time, died in 1997, her body was simply brought over to Massachusetts by train, cremated, and her ashes were buried along side the rest of her family. No obituary or death notice was printed. My grandfather discovered she died when he was roaming through the cemetery and noticed her name had a death year next to it.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mystery Monday - Where Is Stanley Cockayne?

My father and aunt have always told me that my great-grandfather, Stanley Cockayne, is buried in the same cemetery as Lizzie Borden, which would be Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River, Massachusetts. When I called there asking for information regarding Stanley, they told me that they had no record of Stanley Cockayne being buried there. However, they did have records for two other Cockaynes (Agnes Ethel, his wife and their infant son) being buried there. They told me that Agnes is buried alone and that the infant son is an a family grave with relatives from Agnes' side.

For kicks, I tried calling a few other Oak Grove Cemeteries in the Massachusetts-Rhode Island area just to see if he might happen to be at one of the other ones instead. He wasn't.

I also tried calling Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River again just in case they might have missed something the first time. They didn't.

So as of now, until I acquire Stanley's death certificate (which is a whole other project in of itself), Stanley's whereabouts are a mystery. It is entirely possible that he is indeed buried in Fall River and they simply have no record. Or there's the other possibility that he is buried with his first or third wife, in which case I'll have to keep researching because I haven't a clue where they are.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Thelma M. Badger

On August 26, 1992, Thelma M. (McRae) Badger passed away at University Hospital in Boston. She 76. Funeral services were held three days later at the Sullivan Funeral Home in Hanson, Massachusetts. Interment was at Central Cemetery, East Bridgewater.

Thelma was born in Brockton, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of the late Ben F. and Margaret (Lincoln) McRae. She was the widow of Arthur C. Badger.

Thursday, August 27, 1992 , The Enterprise - Page 29

Thursday, August 27, 1992 , The Enterprise - Page 29

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Society Saturday - GRAVESTONE ART AND PRESERVATION by the Gravestone Girls

"GRAVESTONE ART AND PRESERVATION" will be presented at the Taunton Old Colony Historical Society on Saturday, March 10, at 1:00 p.m. Below is an excerpt from the Old Colony Historical Society's newsletter describing the event.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Funeral Card Friday - Mrs. Augusta Anderson

On March 25, 1903, my great-great-great grandmother, Augusta Anderson, passed away in Easton, Massachusetts. She was 54. Funeral services were held three days later at the Swedish Lutheran church in North Easton, Mass. Interment was in South Easton Cemetery, South Easton, Mass.

Born in Sweden, Augusta came to America in 1898 with her husband and most of their family. Upon arrival, they made their home in North Easton, Massachusetts, where she remained until her death.

Saturday, March 28, 1903 , The Brockton Times - Page 3

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thrifty Thursday - When Researching in Brockton, Take A Bus

Okay, even if you're not in Brockton for research purposes, I still recommend taking a bus anyway simply because it's cheaper. For me though, I'm usually in Brockton on some sort of research-related reason, (i.e. visiting Brockton Public Library, looking for a grave at a cemetery, etc). I don't drive but even if I did, with gas prices the way they are and everything, I'd still take a bus. 

BAT (Brockton Area Transit Authority) is the official bus system of Brockton, Mass.  The station is located in the center of Brockton (a.k.a Downtown Brockton). BAT serves all of Brockton as well as several neighboring cities and towns. It runs every day of the week with the exception of Sunday. To ride a bus only costs $1.25 (and a transfer ticket is included). Most of the buses make their final runs at 9:00 p.m.

To see more information regarding the BAT bus schedules and fees, click here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - George N. Benoit & Blanche M. Guyette

This is a photo of my great-great grandparents, George Napoleon Benoit and Blanche Marion Guyette. The photo is believed to have been taken on their wedding day, which was June 20, 1898 in North Brookfield, Massachusetts.