Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Life of the Traveling Nutritionist, the Rest of the Story!

In A Life Re-Routed Thanks to the 1918 Pandemic, I was telling the remarkable story of my grandmother Marion  Evans Dakin who after she lost her husband, mother and youngest son in the 1918 flu pandemic, had to re-invent her life.   She went on the become the first Extension Nutritionist for the State of Connecticut from 1921 to 1946.
Marion lived and worked on the Storrs campus of Connecticut Agricultural College (later U Conn).  As part of her job, she was traveling around the state, giving talks and workshops.  She was also writing the Bulletins that the Extension Service distributed on nutrition and food preparation.
Bulletin No. 38, July 1924
The Connecticut Agricultural College, Extension Service,
Storrs Connecticut

I did some searching online and found the following articles:
• 1920, September, short book review of “Meats, Poultry and Game; How to Buy, Cook and Carve,” by “Marion Evans Dakin, Pratt Institute,” in The Journal of Home Economics, vol.12, p 426.
• 1921, January, “What your Child Should Eat” The Connecticut Agricultural College Extension Service, Bulletin no. 47, January 1921
• 1924, July, “Pickles: Chow Chow, Chili Sauce, Sauerkraut, etc.” Bulletin No. 38
• 1925, July, “Home Canning of Fruits and Vegetables,” by Marion Evans Dakin & Elsie Trabue, Bulletin no. 90
• 12 April 1931, “Old Connecticut Treats” article on famous New England recipes in The Charleston Daily Mail, (Charleston, West VA)
• 1933, “4-H food club, “What we can do with milk” Bulletin
• 1936, October, “Vegetables in Various Ways,” Unit 9 of the 4-H food program, Bulletin no. 234
• 1938, September, “Winter Salads”
• 1941, July, “Milk in Many Modes,”  Bulletin no. 311
• 1942, “Cakes and Cookies that save sugar,”   Bulletin no. 332, September 1942
• 1942, October, “Meat Replace”  Extension Bulletin
• 1942, “Home Canning,” Extension Bulletin
• 1943, author, "Fats for Table Use and Cooking
• 1984 & 1985, Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, 1984 &1985: Cookery: Science, Lore,” edited by Tom Jaine, talks about the history of Election Day Cake and on page 59 includes her recipe for a yeast-based election day cake

My initial thought was: that was a lot of articles, something to be proud of.  Then I remembered a box I have from when I cleaned out her house as her executrix in 1974. Looks like there might be a few more articles here.

The collection of Extension Bulletins that Marion authored and saved from
her 25 years as the first Extension Nutritionist for the State of Connecticut.

Undated, Bulletins in a Green Cover with two rings holding together a set of 4-page documents, from Marion’s collection.  All titled The Spotlight” by Marion Evans Dakin, Storrs, Conn., Vol. (Probably starting about 1934-35)
Introduction(Vol.1, no.1):
“With this issue we are starting a new leaflet
on its way.  As so much experimental work is being done
in nutrition and foods we want to focus our Spotlight
on the information which will help us in the better
feeding of our families - especially the children.  So
the plan for this leaflet is to present nutrition facts,
timely food preparation articles, helps in food purchas-
ing, and short-cuts.  If you have found something
which helps you in your job of feeding the family, will
you not send it in so it can be shared with others?
• no.1, November,  “School Lunch,” “Suggested Thanksgiving Dinner Menus,” “Market Lore”
• no. 2, December, “Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen and Farm,” “Children’s Teeth,” some recipes, “Market Lore”
• no. 3, January,  “Fit the Apple to the Job,
• no. 4, February, instead of titled articles there is a two page discussion of winter planning for spring planting  and thinking herbs, time to stock up on canned good, learning to read the label (price per pound and government grade), shelving one’s supply of canned fruits and meats by the month you’ll use it, and ending with an article on vitamins.
• no. 5, March, there is a list of mixed greens to plant  in your garden, a “vegetable budget” by the day or week, a discussion of the cost of food up 6% since September (during 1934-35, the average food cost per person was $.33, going to .35 or $7.30 per person per year)  with one suggestion to keep this down of planting a garden.
• no. 6, April, “To Make a Bouquet of Herbs,” “Amounts for 50 People,” “Grainola,” “Escarole,” “A Box and Cox Garden,” “Marketing Information”
• no. 7, May, The issue is devoted to eggs
• no. 8, June, The issue is devoted to canning and includes a recipe for Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie since Rhubarb is the fruit of the month.
• no.9, July-August, Picnics (6 pages instead of 4)
• no. 10, September, “September and Schools Open,” “A Fall Jelly,” “How to Get The Blue Ribbon,” “A Christmas Suggestion,” “Youth Learns Cooperation Rather than Competition”
• no. 11, October, The issue is devoted to the school lunch with a note to can chicken meat (non-layers are culled then), the importance of calcium and vitamin A in a Child’s diet, and materials you can send away for from the extension office.
Volume II
• no.1, November, “School Lunch Box,” “Some Suggestions for Lunch Box Menus,” Thanksgiving menus suggestions from 1911, “Market Lore,” “Consumer Protected in Potato Buying”
Note: in Vol.3, no.1, “Two years ago we started Volume 2 of the
Spotlight but the one number issued turned out to be 
Hail and Farewell instead of the first of a series.”
Volume 3
• no. 1, November, The issue is devoted to good nutrition for safe driving and Thanksgiving.
• no. 2, December, “Five-Point Children,” answering a question about Vitamin A for Five-Point Children, and recipes for “Raisin Chocolate,” “Date Sweets,” Peanut Paste,” to replace some of the Christmas candy.
• no. 3, January, “Our Daily Bread,” answering a question about Calcium for Five-Point Children
• no. 4, February, “Month of Holidays,” answering a question about Iron for Five-Point Children
• no. 5, March, “First Aid to a Good Diet- A Good Food Garden,” answering a question about Vitamin C for Five-Point Children, and “St. Patrick’s Day Refreshments”
[number 6 missing]
• no. 7, May, “Five-Point Children,” “Friends School Menu” from a school in England from 1740 (read to parents so they couldn’t complain about food) [Marion got this from Clarice, who got it when she was in England 1928-1930 and visited the Friends School, Clarice mentioned it in a letter to Marion], “May Breakfast”



Uncovered and undated Bulletins from the Cooperative Extension Work in Agricultural and Home Economics State of Connecticut from her collection [most are 8 pages long]:
• “Winter Salads” [ink note:  Sept 1938]
• “Yeast Breads”
• “Sweet Rolls and Coffee Cake”
• “Meals for 100% Health”  [pencil note:  “Revised April 1941”]
• “ABC of Food Preparation”
• “ABC of Cooking”
• “Preparing Some Common Vegetables”
• “Pickles and Relishes”
• “Christmas Cookies”  [pencil note:  “there is a revision”]
• “Guides in Food Buying: Meats”  [there are corrections in Marion’s hand writing on the sample]
• “The ABCs of Canning”
• “Yeast Breads”  [pencil note:  “1932-3, Revised 1938”]
• “Sweet Rolls and Coffee Cake”  [pencil note: “1933”]
• “Yeast Rolls”  [pencil note: “1933”]
• “Stretching the Food Dollar”  [pencil note: 1933]
• “Soufflés”
• “Rhubarb”
• “Thanksgiving” [note: includes menu from 1887]
• “Doughnuts”
• “ABC of Food Preparation: Batters and Doughs”  [pencil note:  “1933-4”]
• “ABC of Food Preparation: Batters and Doughs II”
• “Coffee” [pencil note:  “1933-4”]
• “ABC of Food Preparation: Pastry and Salad Dressing”
• “ABC of Food Preparation: Pastry”
• “Afternoon Tea”
• “Holiday Dinner”  [pencil note:  Fairfield Co Annual Meeting 1932”]
• “Suggestions for Sunday Night Suppers”
• “Junior Short Course 1937, Lunch Box Suggestions”  [pencil note:  “July 1937”]
• “ABC of Food Preparation: Pastry”
• “Uses for Sour Cream”  [pen note:  “Aug ’33”]
• “Summer Beverages”  [pencil note:  “Out of print — has been revised 1933”]
• “Camp Cookery”  [pencil note:  “Revised 1939 — N. London Co Camp 1933”]
• “Foods for the Lunch Box”  [pencil note:  “1933”]
• “Recipes for Community Meals (Amounts for 25 Servings)”
• “Standards for Some Foods Found in the Breakfast Menu”
• “ABC of Cooking: Basic Methods of Cookery”
• “Guides in Food Buying”
• “Trays for the Sick: Unit 20 of the 4-H Food Program”  [pen note:  Feb 1940]


Nutrition Book No.2, Mrs. Dakin
Undated Bulletins from the Cooperative Extension Work in Agricultural and Home Economics State of Connecticut from her collection.  Probably most from 1937-1939.
• “Outdoor Cookery”
• “The Menu of the Month - November: A week’s Meals for  Four for $11.20”  [pen: “Nov. 1939”]
• “Supper Dishes”
• “Home Canned Foods in the Family Meal”
• March 1943, “Fats for Table Use and Cooking”
• “Lamb and Mutton”
• [chart] “One Week’s Food Record”  [pencil: “Sept 1937”]
• “How to Cook Meat”
• “Pork and Port Products”
• “Veal”
• “Evening Refreshments” [pencil: “Fairfield, Oct ’37]
• “The Menu of the Month - October: A Week’s Meals at Moderate Cost”  [pen: Oct. 1939]
• “Food for the Sick and Convalescent”  [pencil: “Sept. 1939”]
• “Refreshing and Nutritious Beverages for the Sick and Convalescent” [pencil: Sept. 1939]
• “Estimating Costs and Value of Home Canned Products” [pencil: “Sept. 1939”]
• “Some Skills in Cooking”  [pencil:  “Jr. Short Course July 1939”]
• “A Polish Dinner”  [pencil: “1933 Farm & Home Week”]
• August 18, 1937, “Notice to Growers and Shippers of Citrus Fruits” from the Department of Agriculture [included for dating and context, not written by Marion]
• “Yeast Breads and Rolls: Suggested Outline for Meetings” Unit 13 of the 4-H Food Program [pen:  “Mar ’39”]
• “The School Lunch” Unit 12 of the 4-H Food Program [pen: “Feb 1939”]
• “Daily Meal Planning” [pen: “Jan. 1939”]
• “Social Customs in Dining” [pencil:  “Nov. 1938”]
• “Table Setting”  [pencil: “Sept 1938”]
• “Yeast Breads”
• “Impromptu Refreshments”  [pencil: “June Approximate Amounts of Foods to Serve Fifty”  [pencil:  “April 1938”]
• “Summer Beverages”  [pencil: “Revised Spring 1938”]
• “What Price Deserts.”  [pencil: Jan. 1938”]
• “New and Old Ways to Serve Potatoes”  [pen: “Jan. 1938”]
• “Foods for the Lunch Box (Revised December 1937)”
• “Cost-Weight Table: Table for Determining Cost Per Pound of a Product” [not by Marion, but included in her book, prepared by NY State College of Home Economics at Cornell U]


Nutrition Book No 4, “What’s Cooking”
• “A Polish Dinner” Co-author with Mrs. Joseph Kasper
• “What's Cooking in Your Neighbor's Pot?  Polish Recipes,” September 1945
• “Feast Dishes for Easter and Other Russian Recipes” offered in “What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot” Program over Station WTIC, April 6, 1946
• “Some Southern Favorites” offered in “What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot” Program over Station WTIC, June 29, 1946
• “Habitat Dishes from French Canada” offered in “What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot” Program over Station WTIC, June 1, 1946
• “It’s an Old Swedish Custom — The Smörgåsbord” offered in “What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot” Program over Station WTIC, May 4, 1946
• “Gulyas and Other Hungarian Dishes Given to Marion Evans Dakin by Mrs. Stevan Dohanos,” March 1946
• “What’s Cooking in Your Neighbor’s Pot: Some Recipes from Italy,” February 1946
• “Cooking Fish the Finnish Way,” January 1946
• “Czechoslovakian Christmas Foods,” December 1945
• “Cakes with Little or No Sugar,”  October 1945
• “Meat Replacements,” March 1945
• “Home Preserved Foods in “Basic 7” Meals,”  January 1945
• “Home-Made Mixes,”  January 1945
• “Packed Lunches,”  September 1944
• “Herbs for Accent and Flavor,” September 1944
• “Preserving Eggs in Water Glass,”  “Preserving Eggs in Mineral Oil,”  April 1944
• “Ways to Use Cereals as Desserts,”  [undated]
• “Ways to Use Home Preserved Food: Group III — Other Vegetables and Fruits,” March 1944
• “Ways to Use Home Preserved Food: 2. Tomatoes, Greens, Fruits,”  February 1944
• “Ways to Use Home Preserved Food: 1. Snap Beans and Carrots,”  January 1944
• “What Every Cook Should Know, Unit 7 of the 4-H Food Program,” 10-25-43



Dated Bulletins from the University of Connecticut Extension Service, Storrs Conn. from her collection [professionally published quality]:
• June 1933, “Jellies, Jams and Marmalades,” Bulletin 187
• March 1935, coauthor with W. B. Young, “Home Preservation of Meat,”  Bulletin 217 (Reprint of No 177)
• October 1936, “Vegetables in Various Ways, Unit 9 of the 4-H Program,”  Bulletin 234 (Revision of No. 176)
• February 1938, “Home Canning,”  Bulletin 254 (Revision of Bulletin No.219)
• March 1941, “Home Canning,” Bulletin 304 (Revision of Bulletin No. 254)
• October 1941, “Foods to Help Keep You Fit,” Bulletin 316
• April 1942, “Home Canning,”  Bulletin 324
• March 1943, “Home Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables,” Bulletin 343
• May 1944, “Jams and Jellies,” Bulletin 355 (Revision of 335)
• May 1944, “Pickles and Relishes,” Bulletin 356


Everyone always talked about how much driving Marion Evans Dakin did as she traveled around the State of Connecticut.  She was said to have known every road, named or not.  But no one in the family talked about her as an author of nutrition and food preparation bulletins for the citizens of Connecticut.

Job well done, Nana!


©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2016
The link to this page is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-life-of-traveling-nutritionist-rest.html

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Life Re-Routed thanks to the 1918 Pandemic

Marion Evans before her marriage, 1912 in Gaylordsville Connecticut


Marion Evans was born in Sherman Connecticut 11 February 1886, the 2nd daughter of Charles Harold Evans and Caroline Matilda Helsten.  Her father Charles and her uncle Edward had built houses next door to each other, at the foot of Evans Hill Rd. where their parents, Charles Evans and Hannah Elizabeth Radford lived on the top.  On the other side of that same hill in Gaylordsville, lived Marion's maternal grandparents, Eric Adolf Helstein and Mary Hearty.

Charles and Edward had a busy house construction business in Sherman and Gaylordsville.  In 1888, they decided to move their families and their business north to Great Barrington, Massachusetts where there was a building boom going on.  Charles and Edward Evans opened the Barrington Building Co. which ended up building not only houses but also a high school their daughters attended and other large buildings around the community over the years.

Neither Charles, nor his wife Caroline had any college education.  They might have attended high school but I don't know.  It is clear that education was important to them: Caroline was involved with the Current Events Club and Charles with the Sons of the American Revolution in Great Barrington.  Charles' mother, Hannah Elizabeth Radford Evans, amazingly had one year of college back in 1844-1845.  Caroline's immigrant parents -- Eric Adolf Helsten and Mary Hearty-- came in the mid-1840s and did encourage at least one of their 4 children (Sarah) to have education beyond high school.

Both Marion (1904) and her older sister, Clarice (1902), graduated from Searles High School.  Clarice taught in local schools before going on and getting degrees and eventually teaching at Jersey City State Teachers College in New Jersey starting in 1937.

As young unmarried women in the early 1900s, they needed to have jobs.  One might live at home, but unless you had wealthy parents, you needed to support yourself.   Both Marion and Clarice were in school at the same time, each graduating in 1908 -- Marion from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York with a degree in Domestic Science; Clarice from Connecticut's State Normal Training School in Danbury with a teaching certificate-- each with a two-year degree.

Marion's first job out of college was teaching high school domestic science in Saginaw Michigan.  Then she came back east and took courses at Columbia Teachers College for 2 years.    Her skills caught the attention of the philanthropist Helen Gould (daughter of Jay Gould) who hired her teach nutritional cooking classes for women in Roxbury New York during the summer of 1912.  She worked for Helen Gould all year, helping with setting up a new organization's chapter, the Campfire Girls, in Irvington New York and typing a book of sermons for a minister there.  When not working, she would be back home in Gaylordsville Connecticut.  Her parents were now living in her Helsten-grandparents' former home just over the Housatonic River from Robert Edward Dakin who was back at his parents' home working on the Bulls Bridge Power Plant addition.
Wedding of Marion Evans and Robert Edward Dakin, 1913

Marion and Robert Married on 13 September 1913 in Gaylordsville.  Rob was and engineer working projects around the state.  So, they would set up house-keeping and when the job required that they move, they did.  So they had three children born in three different towns. Robert Edward Jr was born in Danbury on 15 May 1915, dying the next day.  Theodore Robert was born in New Haven on 11 November 1916.  Edward Evans was born in Derby on 28 January 1918.  In August 1918 the family had moved again, this time back to Danbury so Rob could work on the dam at Stevenson over the Housatonic River.

Marion's busy daily life with children and running the household was abruptly disrupted by the flu pandemic that was sweeping all over the world.  On Saturday 30 November, Rob got sick.  Marion had two young children -- a two year old and a 10 month old along with a sick husband.  She sends her older child to stay with Aunt Mary in Gaylordsville and her mother Carrie Helsten Evans comes down to help.  By Wednesday 4 December, her son Edward was sick, as was her mother Carrie.  On Tuesday 10 December, her mother Carrie dies, the next day, her son Edward Evans died and on Thursday there was a double funeral.  The next Monday, her husband Rob died.  So, in 5 days, Marion lost her mother, son and husband to the flu -- she was now a 32 year old widow with a two year old son -- her life had dramatically changed.



She initially moved back to her father's home to decide what to do; he had lost his wife, son-in-law and grandson with all those deaths but they had no time to grieve.  Marion needed to go back to work, she had a son to raise.  What to do next?   In 1918 there wasn't social security for a widow raising a child.  Luckily she already had some education to build upon.  Probably not true for many other families who were devastated by the Influenza Pandemic.

Marion decided to go to the University of Chicago for courses in nutrition during the 1919 spring  term with her father going along as "baby tender" -- so Marion, son Ted and her father Charles traveled from Connecticut to Chicago and moved in with her sister Clarice who was teaching industrial arts at the Laboratory School there.
Marion at Pratt Institute

After a quarter at U of C, Marion was hired at her alma mater, Pratt Institute, to teach home economics.  Off they all go to Brooklyn New York -- Marion taught at Pratt for two years before being hired by Connecticut Agricultural College (now U Connecticut) as Connecticut's first Extension Nutritionist in February 1921.  She retired from U Conn in July 1946.  Her son Ted grew up on the Storrs campus with students who would trade child care for room & board. 

In her job, she was writing extension bulletins on food preparation and also giving talks to local groups and large Expositions and State & County fairs all over the state of Connecticut.  


You already know she had taken many courses and many different schools.  She decided to take a leave of absence for a semester and enrolled as a student in the college where she was on the faculty and completed her bachelors degree in teacher training in home economics -- graduating from Connecticut Agricultural College on 9 June 1930.  

When her father Charles died in 1928 in Savannah Georgia on a train home from Florida to New York, one of the obituaries listed his three surviving children and Marion was listed as the wife of a professor at Connecticut Agricultural College!!  Her husband had died ten years earlier, SHE was on the faculty, he NEVER was!

Years after she died, in 1974, the university decided to honor the "pioneer women educators" with a plaque and garden outside Holcolm Hall.  Ion 22 October 1991, went to the dedication as did Wilma Keyes, the only survivor of the honorees.

"The women were faculty members of the  School of Home Economics who lived and taught in Holcomb Hall.  Built in  1922, Holcomb Hall replaced the first women's building, Grove Cottage,  which burned in 1919. 
Memorialized for their pioneering efforts to educate UConn women  are:  M. Estella Sprague, Marion Dakin, Gladys Hendrickson, Wilma Keyes,  Lillis Knappenberger, Marie Lundberg, Lisbeth Macdonald, Edith Mason,  Elizabeth Putnam, and Elsie Trabue.  All taught in what was then the  school of Home Economics and is now the School of Family Studies.  Keyes is the only one of the ten still living.  Her art and design courses led  to the establishment of the University's present department of Art in the School of Fine Arts. 
The Pioneer Women Educators Memorial is a gift of three UConn women... 
'These women were part of the progressive wave who were seeking to  carve out new opportunities and careers for educated women,... Home  Economics was one of the new areas and these pioneers  taught our generations of women to reach beyond the accepted roles of teacher, nurse and librarian.' 
"Martha Fowlkes, Dean of UConn's School of Family Studies, comments:  'Our School is proud and grateful beneficiary of the contributions of the  women educators in whose honor the garden is dedicated.  Through their  accomplishments in the field of Home Economics, these women represent  both the University's history of women's educational achievement and its  attention to the importance and dignity of families and the lives of  women, both inside and outside the home..."  

There was irony of the picture of Marion at the top of this page.  She is sitting in the wagon, the mode of transportation around Sherman and Gaylordsville.  Soon after the picture, she married and her husband was an engineer who needed to travel around the state.  So, by the time he died, he was driving a car.  After he died and she took the job as the first Extention Nutritionist in Connecticut, in 1921 she was driving around the state to make presentations.   By the time she died, she & Ted had not only taken a boat to England to visit her sister in 1929, and then before she died she had traveled by plane to Sweden and then Japan.  To top it all off, she even watched the landing of man on the moon in 1969. Could she have even imagined the changes in transportation in her lifetime when sitting in that family wagon.

More details on the life of Marion Evans Dakin (11 February 1886-4 July 1974) are included in my article that was published in TIARA Newsletter, 2 September 2015, vol. 32, no 3.   TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) had a focus issue on Researching the Lives of Women.




The link to this post is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-life-re-routed-thanks-to-1918-pandemic.html
©Erica Dakin  Voolich 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Six Photos of my Maternal Generations in Honor of Women's History Month, well, almost ...

In honor of women's history month, I'd like to share some pictures of my maternal line.
I need to throw out a BIG thank you to Marie Spangler Copeland, the "Genealogist Hostess from Heaven" in Wisconsin.  Marie not only shared Copeland research with me, took me to family sites I wouldn't have known how to find on my family research trip, but diligently copied and mailed photos that she had of my GGG and GGGG'grandmothers (from her husband's family).




Heading on back on my maternal line:

My mother, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin (1917 -2001):





My mother's mother, Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (1893-1971):




















My grandmother's mother, Alice Copeland Harvey (1860-1921):





My great grandmother's mother, Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland (1826-1919):




Continuing up my maternal line would be:
GGG grandmother: Rebecca Blodgett Blodgett ((1799-1862)
GGGG grandmother: Mary (Polly) Bangs/Berngs Riddle Blodgett (1761-1828)
GGGGG grandmother: Rebekah Moulton Riddle (Riddell or Ridel or Rydel) (1742-before 1806)
GGGGGG grandmother: Rebekah Walker Moulton (1716/17-1792)
GGGGGGG grandmother: Jemima Ward Walker (1693-1731)
GGGGGGGG grandmother: Judith Beaman (maybe) Ward (1667-1746)
GGGGGGGGG grandmother: Sarah Clark Beaman (1620-?)

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the 7 generations of women here.
They are my mother-mother-mother..... line.

However, thanks to that wonderful heavenly genealogical hostess, Marie, who gave me pictures of my GGG grandmother, my GG grandmother Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland's mother-in-law ....
still my GGG grandmother, namely Hannah Reed Copeland (1790-1861):






















and, her mother Hannah Samson Reed (1755-1815), my GGGG grandmother:






















Enjoy, may we learn more and more about our women ancestors, and may photographs or drawings of more of my maternal line materialize!

©2016, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this page is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2016/03/six-photos-of-my-maternal-generations.html


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Clarice Evans & Anna Halberg, Life and Opportunities for Women Educators in the early 20th century

Clarice, as I remember her in my childhood a couple years before she died.


In my young-child-mind, my great Aunt Clarice was an older woman who I loved to play with on the two occasions when I visited my grandmother, Marion Evans Dakin, in Connecticut.  I have such fond memories of making a "play house" in the lilac bushes and painting at an easel she had set up in the backyard.  Clarice died tragically from a fall down the stairs on 7 July 1953.  Such a wonderful aunt.  

But, was she anything more than just a fun person, a great playmate for a chid to play with?
I've been researching Aunt Clarice.  She was born Clarice Theodora Evans on 21 April 1884 in Sherman, Connecticut, the oldest daughter of Charles Harold Evans and Caroline Matilda Helsten Evans. She wasn't even a month old, when her older brother died at 14 months.  She grew up with a younger sister, and a younger brother.  She graduated from Searles High School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1902.  

The career opportunities for a woman in the early 1900s were limited.  She taught in the 1st district one-room school in Sherman (and according to her sister Marion was paid $246.50/year as its first teacher).  She went to the State Normal Training School, graduating in 1908.  She went on to graduate from Columbia Teachers college with a BS in 1920 and a MA in 1926.  From what I've been able to find, she taught in a variety of schools in various states, both as a teacher and as a specialist in industrial arts and then in teachers colleges.  Documenting all she did in education surprised me, I only knew of her final job at Jersey City State Teachers College, (1934-1950) in New Jersey and I knew of her teaching at the University of Chicago Lab School for a couple of years starting in 1918.  I am still learning about her career -- filling in the gaps.  She was someone who believed in progressive educational ideas -- children learning by doing.

One treasure I found in my grandmother's desk were letters from Clarice when she traveled to England 1928-1930.  Clarice was not wealthy -- she wasn't traveling abroad for two years on a "grand tour of Europe" -- No, Clarice was traveling to work at a new school, Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon, England who had offered her £300 plus transportation, and room & board to come for a year.  Dartington Hall was interested in her knowledge of a new area of education -- industrial arts.

Clarice used her letters to her sister (Marion Evans Dakin), her aunt (Mary Helsten Pomery) and her nephew (Theodore Robert Dakin) as her journal of her trip.   And, Marion dutifully saved most of them for Clarice.    She wrote about her joys and frustrations and observations of daily life.  

Clarice wrote about life at Dartington, schools she visited, classes she taught, museums & tourist sites she visited, plays she attended, books she read, artists & authors she met (Darlington was the "in place to be" for well known artists, authors, etc.)-- you name it, she wrote about it.  She frequently mentioned being cold in the English climate and wearing the same suit for most occasions (actually close to daily).  She would write and ask her sister Marion to check out various job opportunities for her upon return -- before extending her stay for a second year.

Clarice was a professional woman who corresponded with other women who she knew from various jobs and her time studying at Columbia Teachers College.    In her letter of 18 January 1929 to her sister Marion, she writes:
Had such a nice letter from Anna Halberg.  Her board which is a congressional committee have made her school into a Teachers College.  They told her that they had never heard of a woman head of T.C. so they planned to get a man and she could stay on as dean.  Since they haven’t the man she is to do all the work.  She is a little sore.

I can only imagine how "sore" Anna is to give up her job to a man, just because she is a woman and the job title has changed!  And, while they look for that man who can do ... well, Anna should do all the work!

I got to wondering if I could find Anna.  This must be a school in Washington D.C. -- where else could Anna be working where a Congressional Committee is the board for a school?  So I did a bit of searching online and found "Anna D. Halberg, 1927 -1931" is the principal of the Wilson Normal School and Wilson Teachers College in Washington D.C.   Looking at Wilson Normal School and Wilson Teachers College in Presidents of historically black colleges and universities 1837-2013, Robert W. Woodruff Library. http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=hbcupres
I found Anna D. Halberg and her predecessors were all female and "principals;" those who followed, were male and "presidents."

Humm, Anna is the head, doing all the work of the head, but the Congressmen have never heard of a woman as head of a teachers college, so they need to hire a man and 'she can stay on as a dean'.  

So, in the minds of male leaders, the women of the 1920s and 1930s could be teachers, principals or even teacher trainers in teacher colleges, but once the teacher training school became a "teacher college" and not just a "training school," the woman wasn't "qualified" to head the school.







































Clarice at the art museum -- one of her favorite stops when visiting a city.



© Erica Dakin Voolich 2016






Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Date of the Deed...Truth or Fiction Written in the Grantor Index?

A couple of years ago, the Massachusetts Land Office Records found in County Courthouses throughout Massachusetts, 1620-1986 came online on FamilySearch.org.  I was doing my "genealogy happy dance" thrilled to find my Thomas Dakeynes (Dakin) selling his early lands in Concord MA in 1659 to J Hayward.  I spent time admiring the beautiful records that I could easily view online, even though they weren't indexed.   The joy brought with it some questions, beginning with the actual date.  I blogged about that in 2013.

I revisited the questions and what I learned about the dates in the Grantor Index in an article that is in the current MASSOG (Vol. 40 (2015-2016), no. 1, 22-26).



































It is easy to say that the Grantor Index clearly gives a date of 12 August 1659, so that MUST be the date of the deed.  Looking  at the dead "clouds the issue" -- it is NOT dated 12 August 1659.  The word "August" doesn't appear anywhere in the deed!  
If you can't easily find a copy of my article in the current MASSOG (it is available online to Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG) members), I recommend you go back and read my blog and you'll understand the challenges of the date of the deed.























I will recommend that folks take a look at the whole issue of the MSOG's Journal MASSOG, it has interesting articles besides mine.  Happy reading!

©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2016

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Death on the Railroad Tracks, the Sequel

Nathan Cobb, date unknown

























In two earlier posts [Death on the Railroad Tracks part 1 and part 2], I wrote about the death of Nathan Cobb on the Northwestern RR tracks in Oak Park, Illinois on 24 June 1892.  I focused on the fact that the train tracks were not elevated and right down the middle of the street -- very easy to be hit by a train.

Lake and Marion in 1903.
 One can only imagine how easy it was for accidents to occur.




















At the time, I was amazed how many people had accidents involving either trains or "grip cars" in one day in one article in the Chicago Tribune, but I focused in the blog posts on Nathan Cobb.

I took the time to expand the blog posts into a full article about Nathan Cobb and about the other folks mentioned in the article -- some were in another accident or were helping out someone who had been injured.  I included information on grip cars.  I ended with an obituary that I wrote for Nathan Cobb -- his life deserved more acknowledgement beyond an elderly man suffering from dementia walking in front of a train.  I can only hope the people named in the article will help someone else who is searching for a "missing" relative that seems to have vanished without any death certificate.

The article is in the Illinois State Genealogy Society Quarterly, volume 47, number 3, Fall 2015, pages 133 - 139.


























When the ISGS Journal arrived, I was surprised to see that the photo of South Blvd and Harlem Ave. from the Oak Park River Forest Historical Society was featured on the cover.
Such a nice surprise.

The link to this post is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2015/10/death-on-railroad-tracks-sequel.html
©2015, Erica Dakin Voolich

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Johanna Carolina Hellsten, the Rest of the Story

If you've been reading the saga about Johanna Carolina Hellsten and Uno Kempff, you'll notice there are some time gaps that we do not know all the details. This post will fill in all of the details that we know about Johanna, after many posts on Uno Kempff and his shenanigans with the law.

What do we know about Johanna, the oldest daughter born to Carl (Kalle) Hellsten and Johanna Sparr on 25 February 1851 in Nikolai Parish, Örebro, Sweden?

What did she do with her life?

She was 16 when her family fell on hard times in Sweden.  She wrote to her uncle in America, describing her talent for handwork in her father's brewery and general store (which had gone bankrupt), appealing for funds to travel and help once she arrived.  Eric Adolf Helsten had immigrated to USA in 1845, his mother died in 1863. His brother Manne (Theodor Emanual) Hellsten had managed their mother's estate and there was a small amount of money due to Eric. Eric agreed to have his niece Johanna borrow those funds.  Eric knowing the "reduced circumstances" of his brother Carl's family, he has his brother Manne send the funds to their sister Lovis who lives nearby to Johanna's family and who will give the money to Johanna when she is ready to travel.


She was a young woman of 17 when she immigrated to Gaylordsville, Connecticut arriving in New York City on 22 April 1868.  Her uncle had alerted Castle Island of her upcoming arrival and they notifiied him of her arrival.  Eric finds a job for her working for the Bostwick family in Gaylordsville.  She agrees to a two year commitment to work as a domestic servant for them.
Bostwick family in 1870 US Census, New Milford (Gaylordsville),
Connecticut.  Johanna is listed as a domestic servant.










She was just 21 when she ran away from Gaylordsville to New York City  -- nary a goodbye or thank you to her helpful uncle.
The Bostwick family tells Eric how they liked her so much the first year, and Maria Bostwick's mother (probably the Eunice Sanford, age 71, above) liked  her so much that she gave her a tip at the end of her service in her final pay.

Her own family was very worried that Johanna connected with Uno Kempff, someone who was from the same town in Sweden, but who had a criminal past.  He had been writing her asking her to help him find work -- much to her family's dismay.
She ran off to New York City in 1871, and we have no record of her meeting up with Uno in 1871, but we have no proof that she didn't.  The next time we find Johanna is in 1874, coming back to NYC on a ship from Hull, England with Uno, pretending or actually being his wife.
Since Uno was married to another woman back in Sweden and living with yet another woman and possibly fathering that other woman's child, one wonders about the relationship between Uno and Johanna in 1874.  The family had heard a rumor in 1871, that Johanna had not only run off to NYC but had also married Uno.

I have not found Johanna Carolina Hellsten (Johanna, Hannah, Caroline, Carolina) in New York City in 1871, however, I did find her multiple times from 1875-1877 -- advertising her services as a dressmaker.
The first one was in the New York Herald on 31 August 1875:








In August 1875, she is a "Dressmaker" who can do all kinds of family sewing by the day at a reasonable price, in a couple of weeks (14 Sept.) she is a "Competent Dressmaker," who is available by the day or week at a moderate price, with references.  Sounds like she had some practice that first couple of weeks.  By 5 December, she is not only competent she can "make old dresses over equal to new."

By 24 September 1876, she is not only a competent had seamstress, she now advertises her ability to operated any machine.  She has also moved to 88 Clinton Street, from 27 Bond, of last year.

Then, the final listing I find for her as a dressmaker, is 24 April 1877, she is now at
111 WEST 11TH ST. -- FIRST-CLASS DRESSMAKER 
to go out by the day, or will take work home; best ref-
erence.                                                  Miss HELSTEN.


So, maybe she went home to Sweden after she ran away to New York City for some reason and was never mentioned in any of the many family letters to Eric Helsten (that I had translated and put in the book, A Ring and a Bundle of Letters), came back to New York with Uno Kempff, and then stayed and worked as a dressmaker.

In each of these ads, she is Miss J. C. Helsten, or Miss Helsten, not "Mrs. anyone."
Was traveling as Uno's wife, a convenience to get from Europe to New York and not appear to anyone as a single woman, or maybe not?
Who knows, I don't.

So, did Johanna stay in NYC and live happily ever after?
We have one final clue about Johanna ....
The 1910 Census for Brooklyn, New York, 60 Gates Avenue, in a three-family building, lives
Caroline J Hellsten,








She is now called Caroline J Hellsten, 58, single, never had any children.
Go to the next page of the census and you'll find she had Albert F Faberstedt, 45, also from Sweden living there as a boarder.  He is listed as married for 20 years, naturalized having came to the USA in 1887.   Albert is working as a painter.




She came in 1892, but is not naturalized.  She is working as a cook, was employed on
15 April 1910, but was out of work for 24 weeks in 1909.  She rents her home.

Notice, she is not naturalized.  No surprise.
From 1855 to 1922, a woman took the citizenship of her husband, so in order to become a US citizen, Johanna would have had to have married someone who was a citizen (birthright or naturalized).

[I wrote a blog post about how a woman could lose her US citizenship.  Marian L Smith’s wrote two fascinating articles tracing women’s naturalization from 1802 through 1940. These are in Prologue Magazine. Read the first and click through to the second one.]

Neither Malin Klangeryd nor I have found anything more about Johanna Carolina Hellsten. No marriages, no deaths. No other census listing, no passages to and from Europe (should be something if "came in 1892").

I'll write again, if we find anything.


©2015, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this post is http://genea-adventures.blogspot.com/2015/06/johanna-carolina-hellsten-rest-of-story.html