Sunday, October 28, 2012

Never make assumptions: wrong Ives

I descend from the Ives family of Centralia, Lewis County, WA, which included Allen Ives and his son Charles Abrastus Ives.  I assumed that it was a pretty safe bet that any hits for the surname Ives, made by in a search of the local newspaper for 1907, would be for this family.  Wrong!  Instead, I got the story of the one-legged chicken belonging to a resident of Connecticut, which was used as a filler in the back pages.  Don't get me wrong, it was very entertaining.  Another example of the time-gobbling rabbit holes we all fall down in pursuit of our ancestors! 

Source:  Centralia (WA) Chronicle, 24 Oct. 1907

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Joanna Ives Faidley: surrounded by her girls

     My grandmother had definite opinions about who she liked and disliked among her relatives. She wouldn't have hesitated to say that her father's sister, Joanna Ives Faidley, was one of her favorite aunts.  Apparently, this was helped by the fact that "Aunt Joie" could be counted upon to take my grandmother's side, when a question of appropriate fashion arose.  My grandmother grew up attending the Church of the Brethren, which her grandfather, Allen Ives (Joanna's father), had founded in Centralia, Washington.  The Church frowned upon extremes of dress.  When my grandmother would ask for her next dress to be sewn in whatever the new style was,  her own mother might frown and be ready to say no.  Aunt Joie could be counted on to come to the rescue, saying it wasn't too extreme, and that it was a fine idea.  Although a devoted member of the Church herself, Joanna Faidley seemed to be pretty whimsical.  She is frequently pictured with a huge grin, and this picture of her own daughters would seem to indicate that they were hardly restricted to severe clothing.  Giving her youngest daughter the name "Bluebelle" indicates that this lady was by no means conventional.  I know the size of the hair bow was envied by my grandmother!

     In this picture, Joanna Ives Faidley is seated in front of her five daughters.  From left to right are:  Mayme/Mamie, Rena, Ida, Lou, and Bluebelle.  My grandmother took a red felt pen many years later and added all the names.  While we might question her choice of tool and placement, I am really grateful to have the information.    Comparing the names to available census listings, the caption on the photograph is probably one of the few places where these women are all named at once.  There are, however, name variations to be aware of for clarification.  Mayme is Mary Elizabeth, born in 1883, Rena is Irene/Irena, born in 1873, Ida was born in 1885, Lou was Frances Louella, born about 1870, and Bluebelle was Kate Bluebelle, a happy surprise in 1892.  Sadly, she only lived to the age of 27, and is buried with her father, John Faidley,  in Kansas. 
     According to the known ages, and the book Family Chronicle's More Dating Old Photographs, 1840-1929, this picture appears to have been taken around 1910-1912.  Note:  on a PC, double-click to open larger.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Connecticut, 1701: Don't mess with your mother-in-law

  In an article called “Reminiscences of Bean Hill, Norwich,” author Burrell W. Hyde noted the following court case involving my ancestors :
"Allusion to the Royces recalls what befell those who cast reflections upon their mothers-in-law in early times; it is stated in the Colonial Records of Connecticut (Norwich, June 23rd, 1701), Bean Hill:
 Whereas Thomas Stoddard being called before me to answer for casting reflections and aspersions upon his Mother-in-law Deborah Royce, after much kindness received, by him and his wife, after all, reporting that his wife's mother had broken his wife's heart for her unkindness in not giving her a bit of the cake made for her son Jonathan Royce, ordered: that Thomas Stoddard pay a fine of ten shillings to the County Treasurer.
 John Tracy, Justice of the Peace."
The Connecticut Magazine, an illustrated monthly, Volume 3, c. 1897, Hartford, CT,
pages 295-6.
I find myself wondering how this situation got to the point of being decided in court:  who complained, was this relationship always rocky, and what was it like afterward, especially for the wife/daughter caught in the middle, Deborah Royce Stoddard?  Families behaving badly are nothing new.  That must have been some cake.