Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Dash In Between: Ada's Story

Ada E. Flint Guthrie 1873-1946, Willoughby Cemetery, Great Valley, Cattaraugus Co, NY
photographed 10 August 2014 Megan M. Westfall

I am always doing research in one form or the other. I thought I would share information that provides data on the dash shown above between Ada's birth and death date. This was an interesting history romp around the internet chasing preliminary records on this family.

I started by looking for information on a George Abbott who buried an infant child at Peth in the area of Shin Hollow (town of Great Valley) in Cattaraugus County, New York on 6 February 1894 according to the Ellicottville Post newspaper. I used the website to find this newspaper item.

Census searches revealed that George was the son of Timothy and Jane (Nelson) Abbott of Great Valley and born in May of 1868. He was living with his parents during the census years of 1870, 1875 (New York did a state census for several years in between the federal census) and 1880. I also found George in the 1892 state census not yet married and living with his brother Frank who was married and had a family.

By 1900, George had himself been married for eight years and had a family of his own. He was married to a local girl named Ada and they had two sons, Bertram and Kenneth. This census records that Ada was the mother of four children, two living. We have the infant who was buried in February of 1894 and at least one other that must have died. (We will reserve further exploration of these children for another story.) George was an oil well laborer and the family was renting a home in Carrollton, part of the township of Great Valley.

It appears that the family had broken up by the year 1905 when 36-year-old George was listed as a boarder on State Street in Great Valley in the home of Albert Roff. Five-year-old Kenneth Abbott was living with his maternal grandparents, Irving and Ellen Flint, on Ellicottville Road in Great Valley. They were farmers and had two sons Forest age 18 and Devere age 13 as well as their 16-year-old daughter Vera still living with them and attending school. Kenneth was not going to school just yet. It would appear that there was no room for 10-year-old Bertram as he was found in the East Randolph Home for Friendless Children. Ada was not readily found in this state census.

Randolph Children's Home, left: new school building completed in 1904

In the year 1910, we find Ada and her son Bertrum [sic] living in Geneseo in Livingston County. Ada was a cook at a hotel owned by James Stanley on Main Street and Bertrum boarded there as well. Three doors down from the hotel was a widowed Irishwoman named Annie Delaney and her two sons, James, age 33 and Thomas age 29.  This Irish family had emigrated in 1882 and James was the proprietor of the livery stable in the town.

Erie Station in Geneseo, NY 1909
This census says Ada was 36 and married; but a year later, she was listed as a widow and married Thomas Delaney. It’s his first marriage, her second. He’s still living in Geneseo but her residence is listed as 131 So. Fitzhugh.

"New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Aug 2014), James J. Delaney and Ada E. Abbett, 04 Mar 1911; citing Vol 1 p 479, , New York, United States; FHL microfilm 831340.

She must have moved to Rochester as that is where the marriage took place and the address comes up in Rochester on Google. It was actually a well-to-do neighborhood that Ada found herself in as it is listed in Dau's 1910 Blue Book of Rochester Containing the Names of Prominent Residents. You can find the address listed in the book. It was the home of Eugene S. Bliven, a stock broker, and his wife according to the 1910 federal census. Perhaps Ada went to work for the family.

By 1920, young Bertram was listed in the Great Meadow Prison at Fort Ann Township in Washington Co, NY. Ada is back to using the Abbott surname in an apartment on Atkinson Street in Rochester. She has her son Kenneth living with her and in another apartment is her brother Devere Flint along with his wife and young son Neil. There is no sign of Thomas Delaney.

Ada must have decided to head back home for in 1922, she married an older widow named Almond Guthrie in the city of Salamanca. She was listed as a widow and said this was her second marriage, although technically it would have been her third.

"New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Aug 2014), Almond G Guthrie and Ada E Abbott, 14 Aug 1922; citing , Cattaraugus, New York, United States; FHL microfilm 0583819.

By 1925, Almond & Ada settled in the small community of Humphrey close to where she was born. At her death in September of 1946, she was buried in the nearby Willoughby Cemetery, where her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents also rest.

In April of 1921, Bertram married Lillian Robbins in the city of Rochester.

"New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Aug 2014), Bertram Geo Abbott and Lillian M Robbins, 14 Apr 1921; citing , Monroe, New York, United States; FHL microfilm 0831349.

They made their way to Brooklyn by 1930. His brother Kenneth was living with him and Lillian during the census that year. By 1940, he was 44 years old, divorced and one of two lodgers in the household of Rae Schneider, age 39 who was originally from Romania. She also had a 17-year-old daughter named Myrtle who was born in Massachusetts.

When he completed his draft registration card in 1942, Bertram must have married Rae as she had become Rae Abbott who was listed as his next of kin at the same address of 1087 Union Street in Brooklyn. He worked for the city of New York as a railroad clerk at Times Square.

"United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942", index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 Aug 2014), Bertram George Abbott, 1942.

According to his tombstone, Bertram George Abbott served in the United States Navy during the First World War from Kentucky. He also ended up at Willoughby Cemetery at his death in 1956.

Bertram G. Abbott 1895-1956, Willoughby Cemetery, Great Valley, Cattaraugus Co, NY
Photographed 10 August 2014 Megan M. Westfall
At this time, I have not been able to find out where George Abbott ended up. 

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