Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label WORTHINGTON Martha Elnora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WORTHINGTON Martha Elnora. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Four-Generation Picture that Didn't Happen, "Corrected"

When Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin was born, the four-generation photo of the Richardson family (above) was taken.  Look above at my header with baby Alice and her father, grandfather and great grandfather.   Nary a woman in the photo beyond the baby girl.  Might they have included their wives?

Could they have taken a 4 generation photo of Alice with her women ancestors?

I did make a blog post of my maternal line a couple of years ago for women's history month.

Let's take a closer look now.

Alice's mother Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (1893-1971) was alive and well and even had a photo taken with her, possibly the same day as the 4 generation picture with the men above.
Alice Josephine Richardson with
her mother
Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson

Alice was named for her maternal grandparents: Alice Copeland Harvey (1860-1921) and Joseph Elliott Harvey (1853-1915).

Her grandfather had died, but her grandmother Alice Copeland Harvey was very much alive.  Alice's family was living with with her when Alice was born.

Alice with her maternal grandmother,
Alice Copeland Harvey

Alice's paternal grandparents lived a few blocks way in the same town when she was born.  Years later she would live next door to Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (1865-1939) and Harry Bogart Richardson (1863-1932).  She had fond memories of living next door to her Richardson grandparents.
Alice with her paternal grandmother
Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson

So, yes for her mother and grandmothers who lived nearby, they could have been in the picture or taken one of their own.

What about her great grandmothers?

Baby Alice  had two maternal great grandmothers:
Mary Hubbard Nye (1812-1859) who had died decades before and Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett (1826-1919) who was still alive and well in Wisconsin.

Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland
In 1909, Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett traveled to Iowa for a visit and a four-generation photo after two of her grandchildren were born in 1907 and 1908 (John Harvey Rhodes and Katherine Ellen Rhodes).  Her daughter Alice Copeland Harvey came for a visit at the same time.
Now in 1917, she was getting more elderly, age 91, living with two other daughters and probably not up to the trip.  We'll give her a pass on getting there for a photo with baby Alice.
Four Generations:  Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland,  John Harvey Rhodes,
Katherine Mary Harvey Rhodes, Katherine Ellen Rhodes, Alice Copeland Harvey

Baby Alice had two paternal grandmothers:
Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington (1840 -1923) and Mary A C Bogart Richardson (1841-1910)

Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington lived next door to her daughter and son-in-law, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson.  Her husband, Robert Searing Worthington (1830-1903) had died so Alice never knew this grandfather.  She did know Great grandmother Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington and lived nearby and visited until she was 6 years old.
Alice with her paternal grandmother
Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington
Mary A C Bogart Richardson, died 7 years before Alice was born.  Her husband was the great grandfather in the above photo.
I don't have many pictures to share, but here is one of her as a younger woman:
Mary A C Bogart Richardson
So, There could have been another photo taken that day with Alice, 3 and possibly 4 generations of women.  All of the families, except for great grandmother Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland in Wisconsin, the folks all lived in Oak Park, Illinois.

So can we remedy this situation after all theses years?  Here is a try.

As a young woman, Alice went to Medical school starting in 1938, this picture was taken about that time so she is in her early 20s.
Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin

In this collage below we have Alice in her 20s, her mother (age 21) and one grandmother (age 19) are brides.  Her great grandmother in front is 16 in the picture and I'm not sure how old her great grandmother is, many decades past her 20s.
(Left to right) Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (mother),
Alice Copeland Harvey (maternal grandmother)
Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (paternal grandmother)
Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin ("baby")
Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland (maternal great grandmother)
Thanks to the magic of Janine Smith, our collage is now a portrait of Alice with her women ancestors who were alive when she was born.  Not the picture that could or would have been taken then, but now available for our enjoyment.
Left to Right: Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin ("baby")
Alice Copeland Harvey (grandmother)
Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (grandmother)
Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson (mother)
Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland (great grandmother)
One can only imagine their conversations, if this were possible.  "YOU are in medical school!  Tell me all about it!"

Only two women in this group lived to see Alice at this age.  Her mother lived to see Alice graduate from Knox College and to go to medical school.  Her grandmother  Martha Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson died the next year. She must have been so proud of her granddaughter, not only graduating from college but one of three women students in Northwestern University Medical School, class of 1942.  Nora was self educated, she graduated from high school, spent many years reading and learning and often gave engaging talks to local groups.  During the Depression she was hired as part of the team researching and writing the “Historical Survey of Oak Park Illinois” by the W.P.A. published in 1937(Work Projects Administration) a few years before Alice started medical school.  To have a granddaughter to to college and then medical school, must have been a great joy to the conclusion of her life.

I'm working on researching my family history.  The most recent book was on my great grandmothers and included Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson and Alice Copeland Harvey.  To read a summary, check out this blog post.  The year before, my book was on my grandmother's generation and included Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson, check out this post for more about her.  This year's book is on my great great grandmothers and will include Hannah Elizabeth Blodgett Copeland along with each of all of my great great grandmothers.

If you have a group of people you would like to put into a photo like mine, contact Janine Smith at Portrait DNA From Many to One.  Janine can sure work magic with restoring old pictures (such as Mary A C Bogart above) and creating new family portraits.  Her artistry made this blog post possible. Thank you Janine.

The link to this post is
©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2019

Monday, January 29, 2018

Remember the Women as we Climb the Family Tree, part 2b

I made the decision to focus on the women when I head up our family tree.  So many family history books tell you about the vital records of the men, extol their deeds and adventures and maybe if we are lucky tell us the full names of their wives and a hint as to her family.  I feel that family history should be more than just birth, marriage and death dates -- to celebrate our families, we should include their stories, after all they were people, not just a list of dates, and thanks to them we are all here now.  Not all of their stories are going to include record-shattering achievements of world leaders, and most likely no one in the family is that famous person.

Last year I focused on three women in my grandmother's generation:  Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson, Marion Elizabeth Evans Dakin and Clarice Theodora Evans.

This year it is time to move on to my great grandmother's generation:  Mary Alice Smith Dakin, Caroline Matilda Helsten Evans, Mary Louisa Helsten Pomeroy, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson, and Alice Copeland Harvey.

In the other half of this blog post, Remember the Women as we Climb the Family Tree, part 2a, I focused on the first three women who were all from my paternal side.  Now, I'm going to focus on the two women on my maternal side, both great grandmothers of mine.  The first three women all eventually lived in Gaylordsville, Connecticut; these two women eventually ended up in Oak Park, Illinois, neither was born there.

Alice Copeland Harvey

Alice Copeland Harvey (23 February 1860 - 24 April 1921) was born on the Copeland Family Marino sheep farm on the border of the town of Jefferson, Wisconsin.  It was in the early days of settling Jefferson, her father had come out from Bridgewater, Massachusetts and settled on land that his uncle, the congressman John Reed, had purchased.  Another uncle had also come from Bridgewater with a friend to start a shoe company, Copeland Ryder Schools (Jefferson Shoe Company).  She came from a hard-working family with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins -- likewise for her husband.  Alice married Joseph Elliott Harvey from the next town, Lake Mills on 24 October 1879.  He came from a family of seven, his mother died when he was 5 and his oldest sister stayed home to raise him.

Alice and Joseph had four children:  Katherine Mary Harvey (born 22 August 1881), William Riley (born 7 January 1884), Charles Copeland Harvey (born 3 March 1889), and Adelaide Copeland Harvey (born 4 November 1893).  When they were raising their children in Lake Mills there were always plenty of relatives nearby to help with the children or to play with them.  Joseph was a salesman when he worked, and sometimes he had other problems, so life had extra challenges.  When her two oldest, Kath and Riley graduated from high school, they both wanted to go to college.  Kath taught school in Lake Mills, then Alice moved the whole family to Madison, opened a boarding house near the University of Wisconsin so they could attend.  Kath graduated with a degree in education, Riley in engineering in 1905. Cope wasn't interested in college, he was a musician and wanted to be a Big Band leader.  Alice moved her family to Oak Park, Illinois and enrolled her youngest in school.  Riley found work and Cope was jobbing.  Kath taught in Madison and then moved to Iowa when she married.

Alice learned frugality back on the farm and how to get by, which stood her in good stead though out tough times in her life.  But, not just frugality, she was educated and loved to read.
Her granddaughter told me: "Grandma Harvey sewed so much 'making over and making do'  she had a  great gentle sense of humor--said her epitaph should read 'Let it rip!'   She had read all of Dickens by the time she was 12 years old."
She was known as the person in her generation who knew of the "good New England Stock" which they came from which included folks on the Mayflower and she joined the
D. A. R. when living in Madison.  Unfortunately, not all of the family history letters, etc. that folks say they sent to her are among the things that I have or have access to.

When her youngest child married Adelaide and Bobbie lived with her. Alice was helping Adelaide care for their two young daughters, when Alice had a cerebral hemorrhage and died at age 61 on 24 April 1921.  Alice outlived her husband by six years, lived to see all of her children married, lived to see six of her seven grandchildren born, and lived to see her son Cope first as a Big Band director and then to go off to World War 1, returning safely from France.  She was at Cope's wedding, he and Julie left on their honeymoon, and she died while they were gone.

Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson

Martha (Mattie) Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (17 November 1865 - 25 April 1939) was born in Chicago and she was named for both of her grandmothers, Martha Searing Worthington and Elnora Esther DeLoss Cobb.  Her father, Robert, had moved from Albany, New York to a farm in Wisconsin with his father, Denison, after his mother, Martha, died. His father Robert went to the "big city" to for work.  Her mother, Elnora Esther, had come with her parents (Nathan and Elnora Esther) to Chicago from small towns near Rome, New York.  Robert S. Worthington was working in freight forwarding and his next door neighbor Nathan Cobb was running a planing mill.  Robert married Elnora Esther Cobb, the girl next door.  They had one child, little Mattie didn't have many children to play with, but since Robert was the oldest of 10 children, it was not unusual for Mattie to have an uncle living with them as each started out working in Chicago and providing entertainment at home.  The family was doing well enough to be building a house, nearby.

Life changed when Mattie was five in October of 1871 with the Great Chicago Fire. Originally it looked like it was far away, but it grew closer and they spent the night on the North Avenue Beach, where Mattie met Emmy Sharp, another little girl her age and size -- they became life-long friends as did their parents.  When her family rebuilt, it was out "in the country" and nearby to where the Sharps also built a home.  This "country village" was Oak Park, which became one of the fastest growing suburbs of Chicago, thanks to the Fire.  The box of china which melted together in the fire, was taken as a lump and put into the yard of the new home when they built.  As awful as the Chicago Fire was, it was fortuitous in that is why her future husband's family moved to Chicago to help with the rebuilding.

Her parents were very involved with the Episcopal Church, first in Chicago, then in the mission in Harlem, and then with the founding of Grace Church Episcopal in Oak Park. Mattie was very proud that she knew the general confession backwards and would hit the middle word exactly when the priest did.

Mattie married Harry Bogart Richardson on 5 December 1889; and once married, started calling herself Nora [her mother Elnora Esther was still alive and her grandmother Elnora Esther had just died, so "Elnora" would be confusing, I suspect].  Nora and Harry had two boys:  Robert (Bobbie) Worthington Richardson (born 18 October 1890) and Harold Bogart (born 21 April 1894).  Harry worked downtown Chicago for his father's insurance agency or a local bank selling stocks and bond and insurance -- except for a couple of years --SURPRISE-- when he was in the Secret Service, one chasing counterfeiters in Denver. Nora was busy raising her boys and at one time traveling occasionally to see her husband who took the job out of financial necessity, then having Bobbie live in Denver with her husband and Harold with her in Oak Park..

Nora grew up in a household with her father quoting the classic poets, she loved learning.  As an adult, she never went to college but she was always furthering her education or volunteering for charities in the community.  She joined the XIXth Century Club, went to their meetings initially to learn and years later became one of the entertaining speakers there and at the Grace Episcopal Church mentioned in the newspaper.  She would study the issues, and so when she and her husband had a difference of opinion on the presidential candidates, there were "dueling" posters in the front parlor windows of the house in 1928.

In her final years, times were tough, her husband had died, as had her son Harold.  She did not have much income beyond the rent from next door.  She was hired by the W.P.A. [Works Progress Administration set up during the Great Depression to put local unemployed folks to work in their communities].  Six people were hired hired to help catalog and research the history of the town of Oak Park -- a perfect job for her.  She knew the town when it was a few hundred people and saw it grow into the thousands, she knew how to research, and how to write.  In 1937, the Historical Survey of Oak Park Illinois was published -- many of the chapters are authored by her [her initials appear on them] and the "Local History Index" became available in the Public Library.  The book is still being used by the Librarians when someone comes to the desk asking about the History of Oak Park!

Nora died on 25 April 1939 at the age of 73 from chronic myocarditis with emaciation and exhaustion contributing factors.  She outlived her husband and one son.  But she did live to see her oldest granddaughter start medical school and her youngest start college.  She must have been so proud of their education opportunities that she probably wished she had had.

Nora and Alice knew each other -- they met through their children who married, Bobbie and Adelaide.  Clearly they were also friends.   When Alice died in 1921, it was Nora who wrote the obituary in Oak Leaves, the local paper.
Death of Oak Park Woman Brings Memory of a Life Devoted to the Service of Others

    Alice Copeland, wife of the late Joseph E. Harvey, entered into rest on Sunday, April 24, after a brief illness.  Mrs. Harvey was born in  Jefferson, Wis., her married life being spend in Lake Mills and Madison, Wis., before coming to Oak Park about fifteen years ago.  She was essentially a home-maker, a woman of unusual charm and fine mentality, who lived a life of unselfish service to others.  A keen sense of humor carried her over many of the rough places of life, and her beautiful serenity of expression showed the power within. 
    Mrs. Harvey was a member of the Oak Park D.A.R., having a fine ancestry of which she was justly proud.  Her four children--Mrs. Alfred Rhodes of Esterville, Iowa; William Riley Harvey of Rogers Park; Charles Copeland Harvey, and Mrs. Robert W. Richardson of Oak Park, are left with the blessed memories of an unusually beautiful life of devotion to others, cheerfully given.
    Funeral services were held on Wednesday, with burial at Lake Mills, beside her husband.
    The one who sends this brief tribute feels that it has been a privilege to have known Mrs. Harvey, and that she has been enriched by having been one of her friends.


The stories here are quite condensed from the last 200 pages devoted to these two women's lives in my book Remember the Women! Heading up the Branches of our Women's Family Tree, Part 2.

©2018, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this post is

Thursday, February 12, 2015

One More Scrapbook Revelation and a P.S.

Who is this sweet little girl?  
Why is her picture on a cover of a magazine including an article about "Blind Man's Bluff"?

This is Martha Elnora (Mattie or Nora) Worthington Richardson.
Either Mattie or her mother, Elnora Esther Cobb Worthington, created a beautiful scrapbook full of pictures from the DeMorest's Monthly Magazine that I wrote about in a series of blog posts.

In my third post about the scrapbook, I wrote:
Since initially posting about my family's scrapbook initially in A Scrapbook with a Surprise, little did I know how this would challenge me to find out more.  I had no idea that so much could be learned from what looked like a simple scrapbook full of period pictures.  I shared some of that adventure in Some Logic, Some Help, and "Ask a Librarian" or two ... Gives an Answer.   Well the adventure continues and, as the blindfolded person in the above picture, I feel as if the clues are all around me -- IF I could ONLY see them!
Here's my latest update on the adventure.

Discovering that the scrapbook was made from a copy of the Congressional Record (45th Congress, 1877-1879) led to one question after another about not only the Congressional Record but also the history of scrapbooking in an attempt to date the album.

The help of many people made this story possible:
Gena Philibert-Ortega (, Ellen Gruber Garvey (author Writing with Scissors: Am. Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance), Madaleine J Laird (, Connie Reik (Tisch Library, Tufts U), George D Barnum (Agency Historian Government Printing Office), and John J Devine (Boston Public Library, Social Sciences and Governmental Information Department).
Thank you.

Now, you can read the whole story in one article in the Winter 2015 issue of Crossroads, or in my series of blog posts:
A Scrapbook with a Surprise
Some Logic, Some Help, and "Ask a Librarian" or two ... Gives an Answer
Blind Man's Bluff ... Is that What this Scrapbook Playing with Me?

The conclusion, included in the article but not in the above posts is this:
In order to date the scrapbook, just finding the year of publication of the pictures in it and year of publication of the Congressional Record that was being used was not sufficient.  We needed to know when the volume became available to the general public.  The congressional sessions that it covered, ended in February 1879.  After editing, reviewing, etc. it would then go to press.  Now, the turn around is about 18 months.  How long it was then, is unknown.  The clue would be when would it have arrived at the Depository Libraries around the country.  The congressmen would have had it to share with constituents about the same time.  So, checking with the Boston Public Library, the date it was checked into the BPL collection was 2 September 1884 -- 5 1/2 years after it the congressional session ended.

A post script:
I thought my blog post ended there, with knowing the possible date of the acquisition -- what else was there to learn?

Well, George D Barnum, after seeing the article in the Crossroads, emailed me:

I just looked again at the article, and I couldn’t resist passing this thought along: I don’t believe I’d seen a photo of the binding of your scrapbook before.  It’s a very standard GPO binding of its time. The marbled paper on the boards of the front and back cover would have been made here at GPO (believe it or not, we still do it for some things, although not the bound Record any more).


Thank you George for that last clue and interesting video.

©2015 Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to the page is

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Scrapbook with a Surprise, and a Question

A few years before my mother died, she took me upstairs to a chest where she had a couple quilts and some scrapbooks.  Two of the scrapbooks belonged to Robert Searing Worthington.  Mother said the other scrapbook belonged to Robert's daughter, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson.  I suspect that this scrapbook belonged to Robert's wife, Mattie's mother, Elnora Esther (Ella) Cobb Worthington (1839 - 1923).

The scrapbook is full of illustrations that were originally published in the woman's magazine, Demorest's Monthly Magazine dating from 1876 to 1882.  Since Martha was born in 1865, I suspect her mother, Ella, kept the scrapbook because Mattie would have been age 11 when she was first saving pictures from a woman's magazine that included articles, prints, and paper dress patterns.  It turns out that the Demorests developed a business selling dress patterns, magazines and sewing machines among other things.

A few illustrations were in color.

There was a big surprise about this scrapbook that I accidentally discovered as I looked through the various pictures.  One picture became unglued over time.  I discovered this was not a regular blank book meant to be a scrapbook.  Instead of blank pages with pictures glued onto each one, this is what I saw:

The Congressional Record?!  YES, THE Congressional Record for the House.  I'm not sure which year, but this unglued page is December 14, the year would be on the top of the right hand page and all of those pages are securely glued down.  The year was probably in the about 1874 or 1875 since the pictures which have dates start in 1876 and the footnote on this page refers back to something in 1873.

For the curious about the business of the day in Washington then here is more of this page:

I got to wondering why the cover (above) didn't identify the book as the Congressional Record?  Was that flower strategically placed on the cover?  I looked at the binding more carefully and realized that the three lighter colored stripes of tan were actually tape, probably strategically located over the book title!

The book weighs 7 3/4 pounds.  The pages are quite thick.  Looking carefully at the book I and realized how she had constructed this.

For each page used front and back with pictures glued on, there were a bunch of pages equal in thickness cut out.  Then a page of tissue was glued in, using one of the cut out pages to glue to, before another page of pictures.

The page on the right has the print from the magazine, there is a page of issue paper inserted.  If you look closely towards the bottom of the page on the left,  you can see the stumps of the cut out pages.

So now my question:  Why would Ella Cobb Worthington own a copy of the Congressional Record?

In 1876, Ella and Robert Worthington were living in Chicago, and according to the Lakeside annual directory for the City of Chicago, he was a cashier.  Before the Chicago Fire, Robert worked for Gibson, Chase & Company (in freight forwarding).  After the fire, Gibson, Chase goes out of existence and Robert goes to work for J.N. & S.E. Hurlbut, commission merchants.  At some point, Robert goes to work for the Chicago Board of Trade Real Estate Committee, as the Secretary and is involved with the building of the new board of trade building which opened in 1885.  About 1877, they move to "the country," Oak Park.  Robert's scrapbook was full of articles from the newspaper that he found interesting, anything on Thackery & Dickens and obituaries of friends and family.

None of this points in my mind to a family who would have bought a copy of the Congressional Record -- not exactly a casual reading book at 2 1/2 inches thick (and now 7 3/4 pounds).

Do my readers have any idea?  Please post if you do!

The link to this post is
©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Remember the women!"

"Remember the women!" is the famous quote of Abigail Adams to her husband John when he was off setting up the new government for the country.    I don't have any women ancestors who were writing the constitution (there weren't any), but it important for us to "remember the women" in our own family -- even if this is a different interpretation of her phrase!  So today's post is about my mother's grandmother, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson, a.k.a. Nora, a.k.a. Mattie.  My mother had fond memories of living first upstairs from, and then next door to, her grandparents.


Martha Elnora WORTHINGTON was born in Chicago, 17 November 1865, daughter of Robert Searing WORTHINGTON (1830-1903) and Elnora Esther COBB (1839-1923). Her father Robert Worthington had come to Chicago in 1855 from the family farm in Wisconsin and taken a job as a clerk.  Her mother Elnora Cobb had come from Madison, New York with her parents either late in 1851 or early in 1852.  They married 12 February 1861 and had one child, Mattie.

Her father kept a scrapbook starting in 1865 (see the young man and the President, for an example).  Here is the back cover of his first volume.  The top article is from 5 August 1870 and the ad below is dated "4 Aug 1870."  I suspect these events, which I have transcribed, are linked.

near Union Park Congregational Church, an envel-
ope containing papers and currency.  The finder will
be rewarded by leaving the same at 574 Washington-st,
or at the office of Gibson, Chase & Co., 88 Market-st.
[hand written date of Aug. 6 1870]

  A little daughter of Robert S. Worth-
inton, Esq., had a providential escape
from death, on Wednesday evening. Mr.
W. was unhitching the horse before his
residence, No. 574 West Washington
street his daughter begin in the carriage,
when the animal ran away.  In turning a
corner the little girl was thrown out of the
vehicle upon a pile of stones, and but for a 
cushion falling under her, which was liter-
ally cut to pieces, she must have been
killed.  She received but a couple of
slight wounds on the head.

No seat-belts and child "car"seats in 1870!  It was fortuitous, our little Mattie survived her run-away-horse-wagon ride.


After the Chicago Fire, Mattie's parents decided to build a home out in "the country" at the end of the train line in Oak Park.  There she met Harry Bogart Richardson who had come to Chicago from Belleville, Ontario with his family, after the Chicago Fire as part of the rebuilding effort.

Martha Elnora married Harry on 5 December 1889 in Oak Park, Illinois.  When they married, her  parents built a house next door for them to live, affectionally known as "Rotten Manor."  They had two sons, Robert (Bobbie) Worthington Richardson (1890-1951) and Harold Bogart Richardson (1894-1935) who grew up next door to their Worthington grandparents.  And when her mother's parents (Nathan and Elnora Esther Cobb) were elderly, they lived and died there too.  This extended to the next generation when my mother, Alice, and her sister Madelon & their parents moved into Rotten Manor when she was in grade school.  Her father was Bobbie Richardson and her mother was Adelaide Copeland Harvey (Grawa).

One can only imagine the usual ups and downs of childhood in the upstairs apartment in Rotten Manor with two girls and a bulldog named Mark that my mother had brought home from the schoolyard.  The vet cleaned it up and by it's license traced it back to it's original owner in Springfield, Iowa (the dog had jumped out of their car and run away when they were on a trip).  The old owners allowed the new family to keep the dog.

The envelop on the left is addressed:
Alice Jell Richardson, Girl Skoot.
From The Society Eddytor

Inside was the following news bulletin!

******JUST REVEELED ******
A fearse Bull Dog lokated at 227 Wiskinsin Avenoo atacked a Pair
of Big Black Mules at that adres and litrly toad them to Shreds,
showing no Mersy.  After Komiting this Turrable Deed the Culprit
Slank away to a Nayboaring House where he lay on the Floor Lick-
ing his Pants-no- Panting his Chops-no-I shud say Licking his
Chops and Breething in Short Pants as if no thing Sinister had
When the Owner of the Big Black Mules diskovered the Holly Cost
and saw the Entrayls of her Butefull Big Black Mules strued on
the Ground she Uttered a Peersing Shreek and Dashed next Door
were her Muther was visitin.  Casting her Short Frales Little
Figger on the Divan she Wrung her Hands and Skreemed threw her
Tears and Nose "Muther, Mark has Etten my Butefull Big Black Mules".
Her Muther, in a low Modulated Voice as usual, sed "My darling
Dotter you shud be more cairfull with youre Properte and other Im-
pedymenta speshly Big Mules.  They shud have Lockedup in a Box
Stawl or something.  Upon herring these Wurds the Owner of the
Big Black Mules in a Frensy shouted ( as tho her Muther was Deef)
"I dont Cair", axsent on the Cair, "Those Mules are Runned".
The Culprit, foaming at the Mouth utherwise Chops, lept on the
Owner of the Big Black Mules, but when she Shouted in a Hi Shril

Voice "No, No, you Notty Dog" he turned Tale and Slank or Slunk, I
forget which, to a Sitting Posishun on top of a Radyater and looked
out of the Windo as if he had not shortly Purpetrated a Holly Cost.
The Grandfawther of the Owner of the Big Black Mules who waz wurkin
on a X wurd puzzel was shocked to heer of the Catsafterme ansd sed
"Dogonit I can't think of a Sinnynim for Hollycost in three letters
begining with A and ending with Z"
Granmuther, her feet on the Radyater, remarked in a Strong Di-ossy-
sen Suprana "This is Possytively Harrying, I dont supose you will be
abel to find as Large or as Butefull a teem of Mules in the Loup
or outside of it".
Meenwile the Owner of the Big Butefull Black Mules retreated to
her Home folowed by the Culprit at Heal.
Wen the Polees herd of this Turrible Kalamity they took no intrust
on lerning from an inosent bistander that the Owner of the Big
Black Mules was alsow a part Owner in the Culprit.  Thasall.

February 1929 [handwritten]

Only one press release survived.
This press release must have been special to the girl whose dog chewed up her beautiful black mules -- once she calmed down.  It was found in her personal papers after she died in 2001, seventy-two years later.

For those not in the Chicago area, "the Loop" is the downtown shopping area; and in this case, the grandfather who was told "This is Possytively Harrying" was named Harry.

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

The link to this post is

Ancestral Power Worthy!

When working on an upcoming post on my great grandmother Martha Elnora Richardson Worthington (1865 - 1939), I came across these his and her bookplates.

My first reaction was, isn't that nice, "his" and "her" bookplates.  Hers even came with her own name, Nora Worthington Richardson, and not "Mrs H B Richardson" as one might expect for the early 1900s.  The lower right hand corner has 1917, possibly the year they were printed or maybe the order/re-order number for the printer.

I found something odd on each, just above her name is "HBR," his initials.  Above his name is "Jr." and he wasn't a "Jr."

In the back of the scene on each is a "crest" with a Latin inscription.
Thanks to Googletranslate, I know what they say.

Hers:  "Virtute dignus avorm" = "ancestral power worthy"
His: "virtute acquirtur honos" = "virtues honor"

I agree, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson is ancestral power worthy!

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Young Man Runs up to the President-elect ....

The President-elect of the United States travels to Chicago after the election, a  young man runs up to him ...
So what do you think happened to that  30-year-old man who no one knew who he was when he approached the President?

Did the president's body guards, a.k.a. the Secret Service, immediately arrest him?

Actually if it were our current President, the young man might not have gotten into the the Tremont House Hotel where the President-elect was staying or any where near the parlor of the hotel where the future President was meeting with his Vice President-elect. But this didn't occur when our last president from Illinois was elected in 2008, but rather when our first President from Illinois was elected in November 1860.

That young man was Robert S Worthington, my great great grandfather.  He moved to Chicago from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in 1855 at age 25.  In 1855, he is listed in a Chicago directory as a clerk for American Transportation Co.; in 1859, as a cashier.  In the 1860 Census in Chicago, he is listed as a bookkeeper and living in a resident hotel.  Definitely not a political wheeler-dealer in the world of Chicago and national politics who would be expected to be meeting with the soon-to-be sworn in president of the United States.


Fast forward 140 years, to 2001, when my mother died and I inherited Robert's two scrapbooks.  They are chocked full of newspaper clippings, page after page, corner to corner.  There are interesting articles and obituaries.  I've actually spent time over the years working on making sure I've identified all the obituaries related to the family (some actually led to solving some genealogical problems); and when a genea-friend came to visit, we scanned and she posted information from the others on Find-a-Grave so that people seeking might find the information.

Inside the front cover of Robert S Worthington's scrapbook 
-- notice he even used the lightweight pages that were not 
meant for gluing stuff on to them.

Looking closer at the first page:

It is an article describing the assassination of the President and Secretary of State, "THE PRESIDENT EXPIRED THIS MORNING" and Robert has added the year 1865 to the page.  This is April 1865, just four and a half years after Lincoln was elected the first time, now he was dead.

Our young man, a month shy of 35, has started his scrapbook with the assassination of the President.  By now Robert is growing up.  He is married, and his wife Elnora is expecting a baby in November.  He works for the freight-fowarding company of Gibson, Chase & Co. and will do so until it goes out of business after the Chicago Fire when he re-invents himself again.

I had assumed that the enormity of the assassination of the president is what spurred him to start the scrapbook, not realizing that he, Robert, a clerk/cashier had actually met the president on that fateful day in 1860, just over four years before.

What I learned a couple of years ago, was that thirty years after Robert's encounter with the President-elect, he told someone the story and it made it into the local paper.  By then he was no longer a clerk/cashier in a freight-forwarding business, but rather the assistant secretary to the Chicago Board of Trade who had supervised the construction of the new building after the Chicago Fire. He worked as the Secretary for the Real Estate Board for the Board of Trade and basically seemed to be a "clerk of the works" managing the details of the construction [finished in 1885].

So, what did happen to 30-year-old Robert when he ran up to President-elect Lincoln back in 1860?

He got Lincoln's autograph!  No one questioned Robert's being there.  My how have times changed.
If someone had run up to Obama in a Chicago hotel, he probably would have been hauled off to jail--definitely not given an autograph.

So, do I have that autograph.  Nope, no idea what happened to that black book.  Never even knew about it until I read it in the paper.  Besides, we all know that everything we read in the paper is correct.

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©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fact Checking: Can a Woman Lose her US Citizenship by Marriage?

When searching for something else, a headline in a 1914 newspaper caught my eye:  “AMERICAN WOMEN DENATURALIZED BY MARRIAGE.”
The first two paragraphs:
     “Mrs Ernest Thompson Seton, vice 
president of the Connecticut Woman
Suffrage association, has just recently
returned from a short visit to Cuba.  
On her return to this country she 
had it forcibly and disagreeably
brought to her attention that the
United States penalizes women who 
commit the crime of marrying a for-
eigner by depriving them of their cit-
izenship.  Such women, although they
may be American born and of the
purest American ancestry, they are hence-
forth aliens, unless and until their
husbands consent to naturalize and
thus to carry their wives back to into
American citizenship.
     Ernest Thompson Seton, although
he has become so thoroughly identi-
fied with this country in the minds of
the readers of his delightful books, is 
an English subject.  He was born at
Shields, in the County of Durham, and
his first residence, when he crossed
the Atlantic was in Canada.  He and
Mrs. Seton were married in 1896 but
even after marrying an American wife
Mrs. Seton is powerless either to re-
tain or regain her status of American
citizen.  Hence when on the steamer
coming from Cuba she wished to land
at a port in Florida, she found that 
she was not allowed to do so.   She 
must proceed as an alien to a port 
designated for the entrance of immi-
grants and moreover she had to an-
swer the long list of questions which 
is put to the men and women who 
come to this country from Europe or 
Asia.  Had it been discovered that 
she was suffering from any contagious 
disease or had she been a poor wom-
an and therefore in danger of becom-
ing a public charge, she might have 
debarred from landing and de-
ported--not to her native country, for 
that is California--a state where wom-
en are really citizens and have the 
vote--but to the country of her hus-

Quick summary:  Mrs Seton, a resident of US, born in California visits Cuba probably on a vacation.  She discovers on her way home that she is no longer a US citizen because her husband is British.  She can’t debark at the port where she had expected to debark, instead she had to go to the port where aliens were processed.  There she was treated like an alien: lots of questions to answer, physical examination to determine if she had any contagious disease, and determination to see if she were poor and likely to become a burden upon society.  Such a surprise for what was probably a prominent woman who was married to a well-read author.  She had lost her citizenship by her marriage and the only way to get it back was to have her husband become naturalized!  She could have been deported “back” to not her country (USA), but to her husband’s country, whether or not she ever lived there!

[and yes I know California isn't a country, but they had given the women the right to vote before the 19th amendment was passed in 1920.]
When I read that story, I thought of my own great grandmother Martha Elnora Worthington.  She was born in Chicago in 1865; and in 1889, she married Harry Bogart Richardson who was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1863!  Did Elnora lose her citizenship?  Did Elnora ever leave the country after she was married?   Did Elnora have any difficulties?   

Time to Fact check the 1914 newspaper story, then answer the questions for Elnora.

Researching the accuracy of these claims, first brought me to Familysearch Wiki:
  • "From 1855 to 1922 a woman took the citizenship of her husband. An alien woman who married a United States citizen became a United States citizen.
  • From 1907 to 1922, a woman born in the United States who married an alien lost her U.S. citizenship and became an alien. For more information, read Marion L. Smith's article, Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802-1940."

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.  Relevant to our Mrs. Seton in the above article.

“After 1907, marriage determined a woman's nationality status completely. Under the act of March 2, 1907, all women acquired their husband's nationality upon any marriage occurring after that date. This changed nothing for immigrant women, but U.S.-born citizen women could now lose their citizenship by any marriage to any alien. Most of these women subsequently regained their U.S. citizenship when their husbands naturalized. However, those who married Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, or other men racially ineligible to naturalize forfeited their U.S. citizenship. Similarly, many former U.S. citizen women found themselves married to men who were ineligible to citizenship for some other reason or who simply refused to naturalize. Because the courts held that a husband's nationality would always determine that of the wife, a married woman could not legally file for naturalization.”

Clearly, in 1914, the immigration agents were correct to treat Mrs. Seaton as an alien, she HAD lost her citizenship because he husband had never naturalized.  But, the law eventually changed: 

“Happily, Congress was at work and on September 22, 1922, passed the Married Women's Act, also known as the Cable Act. This 1922 law finally gave each woman a nationality of her own. No marriage since that date has granted U.S. citizenship to any alien woman nor taken it from any U.S.-born women who married an alien eligible to naturalization.  Under the new law women became eligible to naturalize on (almost) the same terms as men. The only difference concerned those women whose husbands had already naturalized. If her husband was a citizen, the wife did not need to file a declaration of intention. She could initiate naturalization proceedings with a petition alone (one-paper naturalization). A woman whose husband remained an alien had to start at the beginning, with a declaration of intention. It is important to note that women who lost citizenship by marriage and regained it under Cable Act naturalization provisions could file in any naturalization court--regardless of her residence.”

All of the discussions in Marian L Smith’s two articles are quite interesting and worth reading.  She takes the process and fills in the details of the rest of the story and illustrates it for a variety of women examples.  Interestingly, the rest of the original article about Mrs Seton, discusses some other suffragettes who had this same problem and then talked about junior suffrage league meetings and organizing. 

It turned out that the issue of denaturalizing women was connected to the issue of women’s right to vote.

“The era when a woman's nationality was determined through that of her husband neared its end when this legal provision began to interfere with men's ability to naturalize. This unforeseen situation arose in and after 1918 when various states began approving an amendment to grant women suffrage (and which became the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920). Given that women who derived citizenship through a husband's naturalization would now be able to vote, some judges refused to naturalize men whose wives did not meet eligibility requirements, including the ability to speak English. The additional examination of each applicant's wife delayed already crowded court dockets, and some men who were denied citizenship began to complain that it was unfair to let their wives' nationality interfere with their own.”
Back to our Martha Elnora Worthington, born in USA, who married Harry Bogart Richardson, born in Canada.  Elnora was the daughter of a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution.  Her husband was the grandson and great grandson of United Empire Loyalists.  Did she lose her citizenship by her marriage?  I know her son told stories of traveling to Ontario to visit relatives, so she did leave the country.

They were married in 1889, according to Familysearch Wiki quoted above:
  • From 1855 to 1922 a woman took the citizenship of her husband. An alien woman who married a United States citizen became a United States citizen.

“Just as alien women gained U.S. citizenship by marriage, U.S.-born women often gained foreign nationality (and thereby lost their U.S. citizenship) by marriage to a foreigner. As the law increasingly linked women's citizenship to that of their husbands, the courts frequently found that U.S. citizen women expatriated themselves by marriage to an alien. For many years there was disagreement over whether a woman lost her U.S. citizenship simply by virtue of the marriage, or whether she had to actually leave the United States and take up residence with her husband abroad. Eventually it was decided that between 1866 and 1907 no woman lost her U.S. citizenship by marriage to an alien unless she left the United States. Yet this decision was probably of little comfort to some women who, resident in the United States since birth, had been unfairly treated as aliens since their marriages to noncitizens.”

The key to her citizenship is whether her husband naturalized.  Harry Bogart Richardson came to the USA in 1871 as an eight-year old child.  In the 1910 US census he lists himself as naturalized.  He would have automatically become a citizen if his father naturalized while he was a child and most likely his name would not appear on any naturalization paper, just the father’s name.  

I have not successfully documented his  father’s naturalization.  When I contacted NARA, they sent me copies of a pile of cards, all men were named William Richardson and came from Canada in 1871 and lived in Chicago.  There was no way to distinguish which was OUR William Richardson.