Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Workday Wednesday: Doll house work in the 1880s?

1880 Census, Portville, Cattaraugus Co, NY


I mentioned in a previous blog post about my other hobby of miniatures and dollhouses. I recently ran across an unusual occupation in the 1880 census while doing some work for a client (although genealogy is just a hobby/avocation, I sometimes take on client projects as time permits).

As shown above (although I apologize as this is not the greatest image to share), Fanny Maxson’s occupation was listed as that of “Dollhouse work” in the 1880 U.S. Census. I have never run across an occupation such as this before. My first thought was that maybe she did not function intellectually at her stated age (and therefore did not do real housework, only played with dolls). On second thought, though, it appears that she was married since she has a different surname than that of her father with whom she was living. I am unsure at this point, more research is needed. Unfortunately, this was not the correct family I was looking for and will have to set it aside to pursue another time. Oh, Fanny, what secrets do you hold?

I would love to hear more about any unusual occupations from census records. If anyone has any examples or ideas as to what Fanny might have been doing in 1880, please share!

Plus, if there are any blogging buddies that can help: I can't seem to find a good way of sharing census images on my blog. I had a portion of the above census captured to a One Note file and tried to blog it that way, but the actual image part didn't show up. Any assistance is appreciated!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Military Monday: Union vs. Confederate



This photograph is labeled D-3 from my photograph collection. The complete case measures approximately 1 ½ x 1 ½ inches in size. The hook that keeps the case closed is missing. The left side of the case is lined with red velvet. The right side houses a small tintype. The inside mat has flowers with six long petals in each corner and the same vine all around. The outer mat has oval cameo shapes in each corner. The subject is a young man in Union military dress wearing a cap and a jacket. The Union uniform is different from the Confederate uniform shown here at this blog post. There are five or six large buttons down the front of the jacket and possible markings on the shoulder although it is hard to distinguish. There may also be a belt buckle showing just under the last button. His hands are not visible. There is a thumbprint on the left-hand side of the photograph. I assume it is from the photographer when it was developed. The subject is young and looks clean-shaven unless the high furry collar is actually a beard. He has a more square-shaped face with dark eyes and full lips. His nose is thin and widens just at the end. His hair is midway past his ears.


This next photograph is labeled B-17 from my collection and serves as an introduction to Album B from my photograph inventory (see here). It was also given to me by Norman Vaughan from his mother Ruby Hardy Vaughan’s collection.


The photographs from this album are mostly cartes de visites (CDVs) and CDV tintypes (refer to the photo identification post here). The subject is also in military uniform and probably a Union officer.

Information on dating CDVs from Darrah’s book (p. 194) provides two clues to help date this photograph:

.016 thickness, white with a border of two gilt lines dates it to 1861-1869
Seated figure ¾ to full length with plain background dates it 1860-1868, rarely later.

This date further solidifies the notion that the subject wears a Civil War uniform. One person commented that he may have lost a leg. I think his leg is just crossed over the other one. He wears a longer jacket of darker material than his pants. There are at least eight large buttons down the front. The second through fifth button is unbuttoned and he has his hand inserted into his jacket (Napoleonic pose). The jacket also has at least three buttons on the cuffs. There is also some type of epaulets at the shoulders. A white shirt is peeking out at the neck. This is an older gentleman with lines on his face, a wide nose, thin lips and dark eyes. Very squared jaw. His hair is dark, parted and smoothed over to one side, not very long. He sits sideways in a chair with one arm propped on the top of the ladder back. 

Darrah, William C. Cartes de Visites in Nineteenth Century Photography. Gettysburg, PA: privately published, 1981.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sorting Saturday: Ambrotype #2


In continuation of my photograph sorting project: I mentioned this photograph which I have labeled D-1 from my collection in this post.  As I said, the case in which this image is housed is identical to D-2. The one detail I did not mention was size: the case is approximately 3 inches x 3 inches in size. (Rinhart’s description of this same case gives a measurement of 3 5/8” x 3 1/8”.) The mat for this image is different from D-2. This metal matting is called a “nonpareil” mat with paisley shapes in the corners. The outside metal matting has stars in each corner and four in each mid-section.

Ambrotype ca. 1865


To help you understand all the parts of cased images, it might be helpful to view this Youtube video by the Minnesota Historical Society in which actual cased images (daguerreotypes and tintypes in this example) are pulled apart and viewed in detail. This video, by photo curator Diane Adams-Graf, is just over three minutes in length.  See also my blog post on photo identification.

This particular image is an ambrotype, meaning the image is produced on glass. Ambrotypes are usually dated between 1854-1865. As one of the subjects in this image appears to be wearing a Confederate uniform, that helps date it to the 1865 time period. The subjects are two young men with no beards. They share similar facial characteristics and may have been brothers close in age. Twins run in the Hardy family but other people have said they do not feel these are identical twins. The young man on the left has on what looks like a Confederate soldier’s jacket, with rows of buttons (gilded by the photographer.) Two buttons are undone near the bottom, bringing to mind a Napoleonic pose.  The collar goes up the neck and has two more buttons on either side. The cuff has a chevron or v-shaped emblem (maybe of gold braid). There is possibly of an undershirt underneath that appears just past this sleeve. This may be what shows around the neckline as well. This subject has a narrow chin, oval-shaped face with hair halfway down his ears and smoothed back on top. I would almost say that his hands are folded in his lap but the image is not clear. You can see the fingers of his right hand but not so much of the left hand. Is he holding something?

The young man on the right sports a somewhat different hairdo with the hair on top made to stick straight up and twisted, although the length is roughly the same as the other one. He also has a narrow chin (which may recede) and his eyes appear somewhat drooped. He wears a dark suit jacket that is hardly distinguishable from the waistcoat which is buttoned midline with four buttons. He wears a white shirt underneath with a narrow pointed collar. He also wears a knotted bowtie. His hands are not visible.

Ambrotype of two brothers, ca. 1865
The original image was given to me by my father's cousin Norman Vaughan in about 1995. It was among items his mother, Ruby Hardy Vaughan, owned. She had many family items from her grandmother Martha Sizemore Hardy of Christian County, Kentucky. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Amanuensis Monday: The Joshua L. Hardy Family Bible Record

Following are the digital images and transcription of the Joshua L. Hardy Family Bible Record. The bible was originally in possession of Ruby Hardy Vaughan, the granddaughter of William Lewis Hardy mentioned in the records and copied by myself on May 8, 1991 (as noted in my handwriting on the first scan below.) After Ruby's death, her granddaughter Rita Vaughan inherited it. 


Mrs. Martha S. Hardy. Bible Bought of Glass. July 16th in the year 1884.

Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments: translated out of the original tongues; and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. New York: American Bible Society, instituted in the year MDCCCXVI. 1883.

[Contemporary note: In possession of Ruby Vaughn, granddaughter, copied 8 May 1991. R(esearch)#58]



William Lewis Hardy died Feb 28, 1957
Family Record. Marriages.
Joshua L. Hardy and Martha S. Sizemore was married the 28 of September 1854
John James Hardy and etter Anderson was married the 9 1892 November
Elizabeth V Hardy and W.C. Gross was married Dec 25 1892
Mary A. Hardy and J. L. Saddler was married Nov 7, 1894
John J Hardy and Nora Goode was married Jan the 19 1896
William L. Hardy and Alice Lovelace was married Nov 14, 1897




Family Record. Births.
Joshua L. Hardy was born the 25 of November 1827
Martha S. Hardy was born the 29 of September 1835
Sarah J. Hardy was born the 13 of September 1855
Elizabeth V. Hardy was born the 19 of June 1858
Mary A. Hardy was born the 27 of September 1861
Infant Daughter not named was born the 25 of March 1864
Infant Daughter not named was born the 19 of June 1865
John J. Hardy was born the 13 of October 1867
Eliza E. Hardy was born the 24 of April 1871
William L. Hardy was born the 6 of June 1874
Thomas H. Hardy was born the 8 of November 1878


Mary A. Sadler died the [-] of June 1941
Family Record. Deaths.
Infant Daughter not named departed this life the 25 of March 1864
Infant Daughter not named departed this life the 20 of June 1865
Sarah J. Hardy departed this life the 19 of December 1876
Thomas H. Hardy departed this life the 25 of March 1879
Eliza E. Hardy departed this life Feb the 25 1891
Joshua L. Hardy departed this life May 26, 1892
Martha S. Hardy departed this life May the 23 1915
Elizabeth V. Gross died the 1 day of March 1934

John J. Hardy departed this life Jan 15, 1938



I have read through this Book I began the 1 day of January 1891. Ended the 28 of January 1892. Mary Annie Hardy. Passed away June 3, 1941.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Champion Twin Brothers


Joshua L. Hardy and his identical twin brother, Thomas M. Hardy, were born November 20, 1827 in Montgomery County, Tennessee (see here for the Bird Hardy family record). They were the sons of Bird Hardy who was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia and his wife Tiersey Tyre who was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee.

Below is a photograph of Joshua, Thomas and their younger brother James Bird Hardy. Joshua is seated, with Thomas on the left of the photograph and James to the right wearing the longer coat and showing a gold watch chain. We can deduce who is who by comparing this photograph with this one of Thomas and his wife.

Hardy Brothers. l-r: Thomas, Joshua (seated) and James B.
original tintype taken around 1885

                Thomas married Nancy G. Sizemore on September 30, 1850 in Trigg County, Kentucky. Some four years later, Joshua married Martha Susan Sizemore on September 28, 1854 at her father’s home in Trigg County, Kentucky. Martha was Nancy’s younger sister, daughter of Anderson Perry Sizemore and his wife Sarah Goode both originally from Halifax County, Virginia.

                Thomas and Nancy had no children. Joshua and Martha had the following children: Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, John, Eliza, William Lewis, and Thomas. In addition, there were two unnamed daughters born to the family who died in infancy.

The Joshua L. Hardy family, ca. 1889, Gracey/Sinking Fork, Kentucky
l-r: William Lewis, John James, Martha (seated), Eliza E., Joshua (seated), Mary A., Elizabeth V.

               In the book, County of Christian, Kentucky by William H. Perrin (1884), Joshua and Thomas were both included in the same biographical sketch “as one is the counterpart of the other, about all the difference in them being in name.” The sketch goes on to say that “They are the champion twin brothers of the county, having weighed in the same notch for many years, and ‘each is the other’ to such a confusing extent as to nearly obliterate their individual identity…” A neighbor told the writer that the only way he could tell them apart “is that one usually wears his pants in his boots, while the other has his on the outside.”
 Joshua and Thomas were lifelong farmers and had farms of about 250 acres each lying near each other in the Bainbridge District of Christian County, Kentucky. Both voted Democrat and were members of the Masonic fraternity. According to the sketch, the twins were “held in high esteem by their fellow-citizens and are men of substantial worth to the community.”

              Joshua died on May 26, 1892 in Christian County, Kentucky (his funeral card is highlighted here). His brother Thomas died on September 3, 1903 with Nancy following a few short months later on January 26, 1904. Joshua’s wife Martha lived until May 23, 1915. All four were buried in the Sadler/Hardy family cemetery in Gracey, Kentucky.