Charles S Clearn and Family

Charles was October 1863 in Lynn, Massachusetts.  His parents were James William McClearn from Nova Scotia, and Olive Parker from Maine, who had married in Salem on 11 Aug 1859.  James and Olive were counted in the 1860 census in Lynn, with their 1 month old daughter Ida. (Ida died at age 2 months.)  James was a cordwainer, a person who makes new shoes out of new leather (as opposed to a cobbler who repaired shoes.)  The 1860 census listed the value of James’ personal property at only $100, the least amount for any family on that census page.  The 1860 Lynn city directory lists James as a boarder at 60 South Common.  City directories at this time and place did not name the wives, unless they ran their own business, such as a boarding house, or unless they were listed as “widow of” or divorced and head of the household.  The 1863 directory lists William McClearn, shoemaker, living at 13 Prospect.  Since Charles was born in 1863, it is likely that he was born at this house. 

The 1865 directory lists William McClearn, shoemaker, house on Stickney near Commercial.  The 1865 state census shows a move to nearby Saugus.  The family includes Charles’ older brother William, born in 1861.  By 1869, the family was back in Lynn, as J. William McClearn, shoemaker, was listed on West Neptune.  Charles’ twin brothers Eugene and George were born 14 September 1869.  Eugene died at age one month of “canker”.  This is an eroding ulcer of the check and lip, generally seen in ill-fed children. 

The 1870 census shows Charles with his parents, and new younger siblings Ida (second of that name) and George. George died at age 11 months of cholera infantum, a common disease in the summer among the poor.  James is a worker in a shoe factory.  The next year, the family moved to the rear part of the house at 7 Mt. Vernon. 

By 1880, at age 16, Charles is working in a shoe factory, along with 18-year-old William, and their father. The family lived at 440 Western avenue.  A new addition to the family is his younger sister, Eliza Jane (later known as Jennie).   Although not technically an adult, because he is working, Charles is now listed in the city directories.   

After 1882 Charles’ father is not seen in the Lynn directories.  In 1883, Charles’ brother William died. 

On 25 Sep 1885, Charles (now as Clearn) married Minnie Blanche McKeown in Lynn.  He was listed as a shoemaker, and Minnie was an “operator”.  The record doesn’t indicate that she works for a telephone company, and it is more likely that she operates some kind of machinery in a factory.  Minnie’s parents were William McKeown and Rebecca Hodges of Middleton, Nova Scotia.  I found no record of children for Charles and Minnie.  It appears that the marriage ended about 1894, as the city directory shows Minnie Clearn living at a separate address.  In the 1901 Canada census, she was listed as divorced, living back in Nova Scotia.  During these years, Charles lived at 29 North Common, 112 North Common, 28 Blossom, 117 Jefferson, and 19 Olive.  The city directories listed Charles’ mother Olive, and sister Jennie at these same residences.  Part of the time his brother-in-law Charles Janvrin (Ida’s husband) was listed at the same home, so it can be inferred that all the surviving members of the McClearn/Clearn family lived together.  Because Charles’ mother was listed as “Mrs. Olive” rather than “widow of James”, it appears that James was out of the family group, rather than deceased.  Olive died in Lynn on 10 May 1896, of chronic bronchitis. 

The 1900 census shows Charles Clearn living in a boarding house at 18 Ireson, and he lived there at least seven years.  On 24 Nov 1908, in Lynn, Charles married Annie M Dalton, widow of Peter H Martin.  Anne had a daughter Anne from her previous marriage, and young Anne may have lived with Annie and Charles until her own marriage three years later.   

In the 1910 census Charles and Annie lived at 35 Rand and both worked in a shoe shop.  In 1914, Annie travelled to Ketchikan, Alaska, with her son-in-law.  Her daughter and grandchildren lived in Skagway.  This is the last record I currently have for Anne.  Charles was not with her on the boat.  The 1914 city directory lists Charles at 35 Rand. 

I have not yet found Charles in the 1920 census.  His sisters Jennie and Ida (now divorced) lived in Cambridge, but he was not with them. 

The 1930 census lists Charles as a boarder at the hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.  He was a washerman in the hospital laundry.  Because there was a different section in the census for inmates (patients) it appears that he was an employee. He was listed as single. 

Charles died 15 Jan 1938 at this same hospital, of myocarditis and acute coronary thrombosis.  The informant for his death certificate was his sister Ida Janvrin from Dighton, MA.  Charles was buried at Belvue cemetery in Philadelphia.  In 1951, the bodies were reinterred at Philadelphia Memorial Park and Belvue became a shopping center parking lot. 

Charles’ sister Ida died in 1949, and Jennie died in 1955.

I attempted to find out what happened to Charles’ father James.  His marriage record to Olive listed him as son of John and Jemima.  IGI (International Genealogical Index) lists a James Caldwell McClearn, born Feb 1834, to John McClearn and Jemima Stewart.  The 1900 census lists a James C McClearn born Feb 1834 as an inmate at the alms house in Marblehead.  He is listed as married (no wife with him at the alms house). James C Mclearn lived in Salem in 1906, and did shoe repair and the 1907 directory lists him as deceased.   I found a death record for James C McClearn born 1834 in Nova Scotia.  This man died 9 Sep 1906 in Tewksbury at the state hospital.  His father was John, maiden name of mother was Stewart.  His occupation was cobbler.  Unfortunately, the hospital was the informant for the death certificate, which might have provided a link to another family member.  I’m not positive that this James is the same person, but there are some connections that make this likely to be Charles’ father.

 

 

 

 

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