Finding the Finnish Connection

I agreed to help a friend of a friend look for her Finnish routes.  I started with her family group sheet.  She knew her parents, their birth dates and birth places in Finland, but nothing about her grandparents. 

I was able to find her parents arriving in different years, listed on the ship manifests.  Both ships had images and information on Ancestry.  The mother came 15 May 1912 on the Olympic, sister ship of the Titanic.  She had originally planned to sail on the Titanic, which sank 15 April 1912 but changed her plans.  This is where a person might wonder who they would have turned out to be, if one of their parents had never met, and married someone else…Anna was a servant, and would probably have been in one of the lower decks and less likely to have survived, even with the “women and children first” protocol. 

The ship manifests are great sources of information.  They are similar to a census record, in that the family groups are usually listed together.  They list ages, and occupations.  The records, at least in this era, listed the birth place, and the closest relative back at home – in this case the fathers were listed for both Anna and Hjalmar.  The records also listed the address where the traveler was going, and a contact person in the US.  Both Anna and Hjalmer named sisters who had immigrated before them, and were now living in the US.  Gathering siblings into family groups helps identify parents.  Anna travelled back years later with one of her daughters.  When she returned, she listed her mother as her closest relative in the country she was leaving (Finland).  Perhaps her father had died by then, but this was the only clue I had for Anna’s mother’s name.

I did find a website that listed birth and marriage records in the area and time of Hjalmar’s birth, so found his mother as well.  Working back and forth between immigration and birth records, I was able to find that Hjalmar had at least six sisters, several of whom also immigrated.

I learned that the Finnish folks used patronymic naming similar to the Swedes, so for example, John Isakson would be John, son of Isak, and William, John’s son would be William Johnson, on down the generations.  However, they also used their locations as last names.  The men would commonly use the farm name (or the landowner’s name) for their own last name.  If they moved, they would change names.  This would seem to make them a hard group to trace, but it is my understanding that they had good church and community records, including tracking people who move from farm to farm or community to community. 

Myra has a Family History Center within a mile or two of her house.  I suggested that she check with them and see if they might have someone more familiar with Finnish genealogy, records, and language. 

Just for fun, I checked out the locations on Google Earth.  I was able to find street views of the family homes as listed in the ship manifests and census records.  Anna was from a city, and I found an old photograph of the city taken at the time she lived there.  Hjalmar was from a very small fishing and ship building community, and I found modern photos from that area of Finland – popular with hikers and campers – it looks like a beautiful place to visit. 

I was able to give Myra my best guesses about the identity of her grandparents, but she will have some homework to do.  Her parents’ marriage record is likely to name the parents of the bride and groom.  Their death records also should have that information.  Hopefully Myra can confirm whether my information was accurate, and if so, we can try for another generation back.


Elbridge Fisk Trow born 24 October 1835

Elbridge Trow was born 24 October 1835, in Mont Vernon, NH, the son of Joseph Trow Jr and his wife Sarah Perkins.  The 1840 census only lists the heads of family, and both Joseph Trows were listed.  In 1850, Elbridge was listed with his father, stepmother, and older brothers Joseph and Henry, in Mont Vernon.  Elbridge’s father was a farmer, with real estate valued at $3000.

Just before Elbridge turned 21, on 15 March, 1856, Joseph published a notice that “This is to certify that I have given my son Elbridge F Trow his time to act and trade for himself as I shall claim none of his earnings nor pay any debts of his contracting after this date.  Joseph Trow. Jr.  (Farmer’s Cabinet from Amherst NH). 

I was not able to find Elbridge in the 1860 census.  His parents lived in Mont Vernon, but he was not with them. 

Elbridge enlisted in the Civil War on 29 August 1862 at the age of 26.  He enlisted in Company E, 13th Infantry Regiment on 19 September 1862.  He received a disability discharge from that unit on 20 October 1862, in Washington DC. 

THIRTEENTH REGIMENT NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEER INFANTRY. (THREE YEARS ) By S. MILLETT THOMPSON, late Second Lieutenant Thirteenth Regiment New HampshireVoiunteer Infantry, and Historian of the Regiment.

 THIS regiment volunteered under the call of July 1, 1862, for 300,000 men. Gathered personally their officers to be, two companies each were formed in Rockingham, Hillsborough, and Strafford counties; and one each in Grafton, Merrimack, Carroll, and Coos– all coming into Camp Colby, near Concord, between September 11 and 15. The muster-in of the rank and file was completed on September 20, and of the field and staff, with the exception of Assistant-Surgeon John Sullivan, on September 23. The colors were received on the afternoon of October 5; and at the same time a military outfit, including Springfield rifles, muzzle-loading, calibre 58.

Space does not admit fairly of extended mention of individuals. This was at first almost wholly a regiment of native* Americans and of New Hampshire’s representative young men, many of them lineal descendants of the patriots of 1776 who fought in the Revolution. The average age was a little under twenty-five years, average height five feet and eight inches, and the most were of the dark blonde type. Its companies were fellow townsmen, and its members were in almost every trade and calling — many of whom, too, since the war closed, have gained prominent positions, commercial, professional, and in the Legislatures of States and Nation. The detachments, at the front, of its officers and men, upon special and staff duties, because of their intelligence and efficiency, were very numerous — exceeding that of any regiment near and associated with it in the service.

The Thirteenth was at Camp Colby from September 11-15 to 4A. M. of October 6 ; then moved by rail via Nashua and Worcester to Allyn’s Point on the Thames river ; thence by steamer to Jersey City ; thence by rail–cattle cars-via Philadelphia and Baltimore to Washington, arriving there at 9.30 P. M. of October 8, and bivouacking upon the Capitol grounds; thence at 2.15 P. M. of October 9, marched via Long Bridge to Camp Chase on Arlington Heights, arriving there at 6 P. M., and spending the frosty night upon wet ground and without tents or cover. Here it was assigned to the First Brigade’ five regiments, Col. Dexter R. Wright, of Gen. Silas Casey’s Provisional Division, known as the Defenses of Washington. At 7 A. M. of October 17 marched to Upton’s Hill, and, the distant enemy threatening and noisy, to the outer picket lines beyond Falls Church, returning to Camp Chase on the afternoon of October 19, and there was continuously engaged in drill, intrenching, and guarding Long Bridge and the Potomac shore. Marched, November 1, to Camp Casey, near Fairfax Seminary, arriving at 3 P. M. Here the drill, under regular army officers, was most exacting and continued at long hours in all weathers, while the general labor and duties were very severe.

*I am sure that the reference to native Americans above refers to the soldiers being born in the US, and not American Indians.   The history of the Unit is much longer, but the above information covers Elbridge’s short stay in the Army. 

Elbridge did have a Civil war pension later. In 1863, Elbridge F Trow, age 27 of NH was listed in a roster of men in Suffolk County (Boston) who might be called into service.  He may have recovered to some extent by then, but his service record doesn’t show that he was recalled. 

On 1 January 1863, in Antrim NH, Elbridge married Hannah M Twiss, daughter of Dimon Twiss and Harriet Parmenter.  Elbridge was a farmer, this was the first marriage for both, and John H Bales, clergyman of Antrim, conducted the service. 

In 1870, Elbridge and Hannah lived in Mont Vernon with their first son, Franklin D Trow.  The family farm was valued at $3000, and they had $700 worth of personal property.   

Reported in the Farmer’s Cabinet Amherst May 1, 1872 Mr. Elbridge F Trow, of Mont Vernon, met with a serious accident while loading a heavy block of granite, Monday afternoon.  He had a bar under the stone, which would weight several tons, and was adjusting the chains preparatory to lifting with the derrick, when a chain slipped, causing his bar to fly up, and the end striking him on his chin and tearing the flesh complete down to the bone for several inches.  It was a very narrow escape from instant death. 

Jan 8, 1878 Farmer’s Cabinet Crystal Wedding Anniversary at Mont Vernon.  Fifteen years ago, on New Year’s eve, Mr. Elbridge F Trow – now better known as “Trow the butcher” – and his estimable lady were joined in marriage.  The fifteenth anniversary of this event was certainly a fitting occasion for the gathering of some 140 friends of the happy couple at their home on Tuesday evening last.  The company embraced large delegations from Milford, Mont Vernon and Amherst, with representatives from other places in this vicinity.  It is needless to say that the event was an exceedingly happy one, devoid of unpleasant formalities, but attended by that whole-souled hospitality on the part of the hosts that make all happy within their doors.  It was also a lively affair, as anything must be that Trow controls.  A very handsome collation was served ruing the evening, and it was after midnight before the company separated, amid strong protests of Trow, and assertions that the affair was just commencing, with earnest solicitations for all young folks to “stay to breakfast.”  The gifts brought by thoughtful friends embraced a table full of glass and china ware, with numerous other articles appropriate to the occasion, and expressive of the regard in which Mr. and Mrs. Trow are held by their many friends.  May they “live long and prosper,” and events always be ordered for the “general joy of the whole house.”

The 1880 census lists the Trow family in Mont Vernon, and Elbridge continued his profession as a farmer.  Besides son Franklin, they now have another son, Albert Fisk Trow.  They lived next door to Hannah’s sister, Mary Elizabeth (Twiss) Richardson, and her family.

Elbridge served in the state legislature 1880-1882 as Democratic representative sent from Mont Vernon. 

The 1890 Veteran’s Schedule for Mont Vernon lists Elbridge Trow, and says that he was kicked by a horse.  The pension records from the Archives in Washington DC would tell more about the injuries. 

Elbridge died 19 March 1892 of pneumonia, in New Boston NH.  His wife Hannah died March 28 1892 of pneumonia, in New Boston.  They were buried at West Street Cemetery in Milford.  The photos in Find-A-Grave show a substantial headstone, and it looks like son Albert and his wife Delle may share the same stone.  The last record I have for their son Franklin was the 1880 census.

John Clare Hodges married Agnes Sophia Stevens 23 November 1929

John Clare Hodges was born 18 February 1871 in Aylesford, Nova Scotia, the third child of John Henry C Hodges and Mary Jane Murphy.  He was known as Frank. 

The family was counted in the 1871 census in Aylesford South, which included the small communities around Morristown.  Frank’s father was a farmer.  Frank’s siblings were Egbert (1867 – 1943) and Arimenta (1869 – 1895).    

 The family was still listed in Aylesford South in 1881.  Frank’s father listed their ethnicity as English, although John’s father John C was actually born in Ireland.  John still worked as a farmer, and Frank’s brother Egbert’s occupation was listed as farmer’s son.  They lived next to the family patriarch, John C Hodges and his wife Rachel, and Frank’s aunt Diadamia (Hodges) Taylor. 

The family was counted in the 1891 census in Millville.  This was a community in the south part of Aylesford township, and it is likely that the family had lived in the same place for the past 20 years.  JH Hodges was still listed as farmer, and Egbert and Frank were laborers.      

On 2 November 1895, Frank Hodges married Margaret Gertrude Joudry.  He was 24, a bachelor and farmer from Millville and Gertrude was 21, a spinster, born and residing in New Germany, Lunenberg County, daughter of Joshua Joudry and Catherine Elizabeth Varner.  They were married in New Germany by Rev. Steven Lawson, Presbyterian minister.  New Germany is only 50 miles from Millville, but it is over the mountains.  Frank and Gertrude were in different churches – so I wonder how they met.

Frank was listed in the 1896 Nova Scotia directory as a farmer in Millville.  His son Lamont “Tom” was born in 1897 in Millville, and daughter Hazel was born in 1900 in Aylesford.  Inez was probably also born in Aylesford, in 1901, as the family was listed there in the 1901 census.  One sources says they lived on Ormsby road at Aylesford Station, in an 8-room house.  Another source says they lived at Dempsey Corner, and Frank was a farm laborer.  There may be truth in both sources, as Frank became a railway worker.

Frank and Gertrude had a baby in 1904 that died December 1904, age two months.  Gertrude died 29 January 1904. 

 In 1907, Frank was in the Nova Scotia directory of railway workers, as a section man in East Chester.    

The 1911 census lists the widowed Frank Hodges boarding with  Augustas and Maria Whitford in East Chester, and his three children, Lamont, Hazel, and Inez are with him.  The census also tells us that he earned $600 a year for his railway job. 

On 6 June 1911, Frank Clare Hodges, 40, widower, Baptist, trackman, residing in East Chester, married Lillian Webber, daughter of John Peter and Annabell Webber.  She was the widow of James Hebb and had three small children, Rena, John, and Burton.  They were married at Chester Basin by Rev. S. A. MacDougall. 

It appears that Lillian died, as Frank married again on 23 November 1929 in East Chester to Agnes Sophia Stevens.  At the time of this third wedding, Frank was listed as section man, widower, member of the Church of England, residing at 257 ½ Maynard Street in Halifax.  The bride was residing in East Chester, and had been previously married to John Zink.  The Zink and Hodges families were neighbors in the 1911 census.  

Frank died in East Chester on 26 December 1931 of an intestinal hemorrhage.  He was buried at East Chester.  His occupation at the time of his death was laborer, road work.  Other than the infant who died, Frank’s other three children all married and had families. 

Agnes died 31 January 1961 in East Chester. OBIT: Mrs. Agnes Sophia Hodges died at her home in East Chester at the age of 88. She was the daughter of the late George and Agnes (Hawboldt) Stevens. Mrs. Hodges¦ first husband, John Peter Zinck died in 1910. She later married Frank Hodges who also predeceased her. There were no children from the second marriage. Mrs. Hodges is survived by three sons, William Zinck, Windsor Forks; John, Hantsport, and Arnold, East Chester.

Prof. Vroom’s American Scientific Tailor System of Dress Cutting

Otis Albert Vroom was originally profiled 18 October, 2011.

In 1890, Otis published “Prof. Vroom’s American scientific tailor system of dress cutting” a 28 page book of dress-making instruction. At the time of the original posting, I had not been able to find that booklet on line, but my brother, who is good with libraries, found a copy at the University of Connecticut and got a PDF copy.   

The book gives detailed instructions on how to measure at several points each, to create the perfect fitting waist, sleeve, skirt, and collar for the largest lady to the smallest child, “follows any fashion, and makes a perfect fit for any form without alteration.”

The student is instructed to learn each step thoroughly, as “there is as much science in dress cutting as there is in locomotive building, only it is a smaller job.”

It appears that the “system” included the instruction booklet and two templates – a square with different angles, and a curvature with different sized curves, apparently to help draw the shapes of what  would become the dress pattern. The book does not include photos.  His system uses the ∆ to mark dots and ▲to mark points, similar to modern paper patterns. 

The famous Butterick company started making graded sizes of sewing patterns in 1863, starting with boys’ and men’s clothing, then added women’s dress patterns in 1866.  Those patterns followed fashions of the times.  The Vroom booklet seems to be more generic in creating patterns, and instructs the users to consult fashion books for styles. 

The Vroom System sold for $10, and included the square, curvature, and book.  He also offered accessories of a case, tracing wheel, tape measure, and drafting paper. 

Contact me if you’d like more information from the booklet.

George W Newell born about November 1776

George Newell has born probably in Gardiner, Maine, around 1776.  I have not been able to find a birth record for him and don’t know his parents.  There is a book which names the heads of families for the first census (1790) in Maine.  There are two Newals – Ebenezer and Ebenezer Jr; four Newells – Jonathan, Zacharian, Zebulen; and Jonathan Newhall.  Perhaps one of them is his father.  Gardiner, Maine, is located in Kenebec County. The earliest beginnings in the history of Gardiner may be said to date back to the year 1607, when a party of Englishmen made an unsuccessful attempt to colonize at the mouth of the Kennebec River. Gardiner was founded, in 1754. The Kennebec River flows through the town.

George filed intentions to marry on 21 June 1880, and on 10 August 1800 he married Abigail March, in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  She was the daughter of Nathaniel March and Elizabeth Heard.  They had at least nine children, including Harriet, who married Joseph Smith of Ipswich, and whose granddaughter Josie Newell Smith carries the name of her great grandfather. 

On 28 July 1800, George Newell posted an ad in Jenks’ Portland Gazette:  Wanted, a quantity of HOPS for which CASH and the highest price will be given, inquire of GEORGE NEWELL near the head of Union Wharf.  Portland, July 27 1800

By 1810, George and family were back in Kennebec, Maine.  Census records until 1850 only listed the head of households, but the 1810, 1820, and 1830 list children by ages, and they line up reasonably well with the children of George and Abigail.  In the 1830 there was a Nathaniel Newell nearby, in the age category of 70-80.  He is old enough to be George’s father, but I don’t know his relationship, if any. 

Abigail died apparently after the 1830 census.  George remarried, to Lydia Burns, on 16 May 1834 in Kennebec.  He was 57, and she was 28 and previously married to Benjamin Burns.  The 1840 census again only lists the head of household, but the ages do match up pretty well with George, a daughter from his previous marriage, his new wife, and their first son. 

The 1850 census in Gardiner, Kennebec County, Maine, lists George, age 72, a farmer, and his new wife Lydia, 44, William, 16, and Joseph, 8. 

George died 15 November 1857 in Gardiner.  Lydia died 29 June 1864 in Kennebec.  His death record does not name his parents.

Generations Project

If you are a fan of TV shows such as “Who Do You Think You Are?” there’s a similar show on line, at  It is also on the BYU television channel.

The Generations Project takes non celebrities, and helps them look at their family tree.  Usually there is a back story, for example, a couple whose sons were saved by a bone marrow transplant.  The match was so perfect that they wondered if they were related to the donor, so they researched their own, and the donor’s family.  I won’t tell you the answers.

This program doesn’t teach how to do research, although they generally say where they found the information, such as census records or church records.  The subject of the episode does do some travelling, and the goal of the program is to relate family history to the person’s current life or life’s challenges. 

For the French Canadian cousins, look for the story of Nick, as it includes his Quebec ancestors and talks about how his ancestors (and ours) lived several generations ago.

The bad news? Each episode starts with a 30-second commercial, which is fine, but it comes on at full volume and even if you turn it down, the next time it will be loud again.  The good news?  That is the only ad, so you can watch the 45 minute episode without commercial interruption.

Indexing – A Way to Give Back

When you are searching an index for a record, do you ever wonder how the index was created?  Someone compared the hand-written original record, and transcribed the information so it would be searchable.

One site known for volunteers doing indexing work is  Here’s how it works:  You register with FamilySearch, then download a program from their website.  You then pick a database to work on, from a list they provide.  I always pick a database of personal interest, figuring that the sooner the records are all ready, the sooner they’ll be on line for everyone to use – including me.  Most recently I’ve been working on Vermont vital records.  OK, I’ve never come across a relative while indexing, but it could happen. On the other hand, someone I don’t know working on California marriage records made it possible today for me to find the marriage record for Will Richardson and Mary-Grace L Perham – not in the place I had been told they were married. 

Those Vermont records come in a set of 20 cards.  (Other databases, such as a state census, might be a single page with multiple entries, for example.) The indexing program opens up a spread sheet that corresponds with whatever database is open.  The indexer transcribes the information from the image of the record to the spreadsheet.  The Vermont vital records project involves typing names, dates, and locations for births, marriages, and deaths.  There is a spell check system.  Once all the information from those 20 cards has been transcribed, the spreadsheet is sent back to FamilySearch, and compared to someone else’s work on the same records.  If the information doesn’t match, a third party will look at the records and try to determine the correct entry. 

After a record series is completed, the information goes up on’s website for people to use. You can set personal goals, such as a certain number of names by a certain date.  You also get feedback relating to your own accuracy rate. 

Indexing is a way to help provide a link for people to their family history.  The records are free for all to use.  You can do volunteer work from the comfort of your own home. will tell you more about the indexing project and how to get involved.

Everyone Has A Story

In November 2010, I decided that I would start a blog, and try to write one mini biography a day about a family member from my family tree.  I selected a person whose birth, marriage, or death was that day, and people who mostly were born before 1900.  I looked for people for whom I had gathered the information from records and newspapers, as opposed to just finding someone else’s already written information.  Because of the availability of records on line, most posts ended up being about people living between 1800 and 1950.   

Picking one person per day has helped me focus on that person, and for the most part, not get led down a side path.  I’ve found extra spouses and children.  I’ve looked more closely at homes and occupations.  I’ve tried to find more than just the BMDs so I could put the person in historical context.  I have tried to be better about recording my sources, even if they aren’t put into the blog.

I have also met new cousins who have provided information about our mutual family members.  I’ve been able to share information with them.

Having made one loop around the calendar, and written about roughly 450 people, I have decided to stop writing a daily post, and go to a less frequent schedule.  Since my blog is searchable, I hope that other distant cousins will happen across my postings and contact me with more information, or questions.  I will continue to search for new information about those already posted, and for those yet to be written. 

Everyone has a story, or is part of someone else’s story.

Alvin Merrill Vroom died 3 November 1942

Alvin Vroom was born 27 May 1857, son of Isaac Ditmars Vroom and Mary Ann Hall.  The Vrooms were Dutch Loyalists who moved to Nova Scotia during and after the Revolutionary War.  Alvin’s mother died when he was about five, and his father married his cousin Saraphina Augusta Ditmars. 

The 1871 census lists Alvin living with his father, step-mother, sister Florence, and half-sister Mary, at Hessian Line, in Annapolis County.  Isaac was a farmer, and the family was Weslyan Methodist.  Hessian Line was the southern part of Clements Township, and was named for an area of land grants given to Hessian soldiers who served on the English side in the American Revolution.   

On 19 January 1881, in Hillsburgh, Alvin married Edna Purdy, daughter of William Purdy and Celia Wright.  This was probably the first marriage for both.  They were counted in the 1881 census living in Hillsburg, listed as Methodist, Dutch, and Alvin was a shingle maker.  The 1890 Nova Scotia directory lists Alvin as a mason, living in Deep Brook.  The 1891 census lists them in Hillsburgh.  Alvin was a blacksmith, and the family included their three children:  Mildred (1885-1970), Clifford (1887-1966) and Fredrick (1889-1970).  Edna’s mother lived with them. 

On 7 October 1891, the Vroom family arrived in Boston from Yarmouth, NS, on the ship SS Boston.  Alvin was listed as a mechanic. 

The SS Boston was a new ship, built the year before, and was rated as the fastest single-screw steamer of her dimensions, in the world.  The SS Boston often carried shipments of blueberries.  To learn about the blueberry shipping and marketing, and see a photo of the SS Boston, go to    

The family settled in Exeter NH, and the 1900 census shows them at 8 Centre Street.  Alvin was a blacksmith, and Mildred, Clifford, and Frederick were attending school.  This record says that Edna had four children, three still living, but I have not found the name of the fourth child.  (8 Center street is now the address for Exeter Big Brothers and Sisters and is probably a new building, not the original house.)

Alvin became a naturalized citizen in 1903, renouncing his allegiance to Edward VII and Great Britain (Canada) in favor of US citizenship. 

The 1904, 1905, and 1907 Exeter city directories list Alvin M Vroom with a blacksmith shop on Court Street at the corner of Bow, with a home at 5 Gill.   The house currently with that address is a large 5 bedroom home and supposedly built in 1900.  If this was their house, it would seem that the family was doing well. 

The 1910 census lists the family at 94 Front Street in Exeter.   Alvin continued to work as a blacksmith, but his wife and three children, now in their twenties, had no occupations listed.   

The 1911-1912 Exeter directory specifies that Alvin Vroom is a horse shoer at 1 Bow.  A separate advertisement says:  A.M. Vroom, Blacksmith, Automobile Work a Specialty.  Wagon building and repairing.  Jobbing and General Machine Work. 1915-1917 Exeter directory has the same entry. 

The 1920 census lists the family renting a home at 8 Center (or Centre) Street.   Alvin has a wheelwright shop.  The children are not living at home.  The 1921-1923 and the 1924-1926 directories lists Alvin’s blacksmith shop at 18 Court, and residence as 8 Centre.  Mildred was now employed as a librarian, and Clifford was an assistant manager. 

By 1930 Alvin had moved to Auburn Street, and was operating a taxi.  Mildred lived with her parents and was a librarian at Philips Exeter Academy.  The 1930 directory lists Vrooms at 56 Auburn, near Buzzell, and still lists him as a blacksmith at 14 Court.  (This is the area of the Exeter Hospital.)

The 1941-43 directory lists Alvin M as retired, living at 56 Auburn.  The directory says Edna died October 1940.  Mildred lived with her daughter.  Clifford was the manager of the Exeter Inn at 90 Front.  An advertisement for the inn says that it was owned and maintained for the public by the Philips Exeter Academy, and says: Always Dependable for Good Foods and Good Service at Reasonable Rates.  Their website now says:  Hospitality at The Exeter Inn has been a tradition since the Inn was built in 1932. The Inn provides a level of service and lodging that is indicative of our commitment to meet our guests’ every need. 

Edna died 28 October 1940, and Alvin on 3 November 1942, both in Exeter. Will take you to a section of a history of Rockingham County, NH, published in 1915 which tells about Alvin.  There is reference to him living in New York for a short time.  I found no records for him there, but in Mildred’s passport application, she stated that she had lived in Exeter, and Briarcliff Manor NY, so perhaps he was there as well. 


George Herbert Fuller died 2 November 1934

George H Fuller was born in Portsmouth, NH on 12 February 1860, the third child of Joseph W Fuller and Eliza Jane Hawkins.  Some records on line list his year of birth as 1861, but the 1860 census, dated 10 July 1860, lists George with his parents and two older sisters, plus his half-sister from Eliza’s first marriage.  The census says he is 5 months old, which corresponds with the date of 12 February 1860.  George’s father was a farm laborer, with real estate valued at $1500 and personal property at $500.  The family list concludes with John Fuller, a seaman, age 21.  In 1860, the family relationships were not listed.  He might be Joseph’s son from his first marriage although I did not find a birth record for him. 

The 1870 census lists the Fuller family   in Portsmouth.  Their real estate is valued at $1000, with personal property of $50.  Joseph is a laborer, Eliza is keeping house.  John is listed next, age 31, a laborer.  Family relationships still aren’t listed but the placement of his name on this list is still a clue that he may be Joseph’s son.  George’s half sister Elizabeth Josephine is not in the household, but Fanny, Maria, and George are all attending school.  Little Theodore Henry is only six. 

George’s father died 10 March 1880 in Portsmouth.  The 1880 census lists Eliza and the rest of the family on Sagamore Road in Portsmouth.  The household includes his half sister Elizabeth Denney, and Fannie, Maria, George, and Henry.  Eliza was listed as keeping house.  The sisters were listed as “without occupations” and George and Henry were laborers. 

On 28 January 1886 in Portsmouth, George married Adeline L Spinney, daughter of Henry P Spinney and Olive Newbergin.  Addie had previously been married to Charles Tetherly and had a daughter, Estella born in 1882. 

In 1888, George and his family lived with his mother.  He was listed in the 1895 Portsmouth city directory living at the rear of 31 Court Street. 

The 1900 census lists George’s family at 25 Gates Street in Portsmouth.  He worked as a railroad laborer.  The record says that Addie has had two children, both living, but this count is not accurate.  Her daughter Estelle is still living. George Jr was born in 1886, Olive Eliza (apparently named for her two grandmothers) was born in 1888, but died at age two of membranous croup.  Elizabeth Eveline had been born in 1895, and was called Bessie in her younger years. A stillborn son was born on Christmas Eve of 1896.  She has had at least five children born, with three still living.  The 1905 city directory lists George Fuller as a laborer, residing at 25 Gates. 

In 1910, the family was still at 25 Gates in Portsmouth.  George was a laborer in a stable.  Addie now reports seven children born, and three still living.  The “still living” are Estelle, George, and Bessie.  Violet had been born in 1900 and died in 1903 of convulsions.  At this point, two children not living are yet to be identified.

The 1918 city directory lists George H Fuller at 180 Gates.  I’m not sure if they moved, or if the houses were renumbered.  The 1920 census also lists them at 180 Gates.  This census says that George could read and write.  The occupations are hard to read, but it appears that George was a general helper for the government.  Addie was a housewife.  George Jr was perhaps a messenger for the government.  Lizzie (called Bessie previously) had no occupation.  George Jr’s wife Rose was a general helper, perhaps in a laundry room.  They also had two boarders. 

The 1926 directory list George, (laborer) Addie (nurse), Elizabeth, and George Jr at 180 Gates.  The 1928 and 1931 directories have the same listing. 

The 1930 census lists George at 180 Gates.  They rented their home for $14 a month. George, now 70, had no occupation, nor did Addie at age 66.  George Jr was a laborer, doing odd jobs. 

Searching the local newspaper on-line at Ancestry, I saw several items that referred to Mrs. George H Fuller visiting friends, or being visited. Besides this George, and George Jr, there may have been another George H Fuller in the area and I was not able to determine which Mrs. Fuller was in the news.  However, an item in the 8 Feb 1934 Portsmouth Herald has the following item: The friends of George H Fuller of Gates St will be sorry to learn that he has been confined to his bed for the past four weeks.  He has been in failing health and unable to work for nearly five years, but is a very patient sufferer. 

George died 2 November 1934 in Portsmouth of a cerebral hemorrhage.   He was buried at Sagamore Cemetery in Portsmouth.  Addie died 14 January 1954 and is also at Sagamore. 

It is possible that the houses have been renumbered since 1930.  The house currently at 180 Gates, built about 1750, is on the market, for just under $800,000, or $3200 per month – quite a jump from the $14 that George was paying.  To see what that house looks like now (assuming it is still on the market when you read this) check out the realtor’s website at

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