Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rescued From Obscurity, Part 5: Family Ties

This post will complete our series on the research regarding this old nineteenth century photo album pictured at left. We have determined that the album was probably originally owned by George Vernum Killmore and his wife Amelia (nee Wright). 

The photograph below of a young man taken in Adrian, Michigan might have something to do with one of G. Vernum's brothers, Daniel or Schuyler, since they were both employed with Michigan Central RR. This paper cdv was paired in the album with the ferrotype of two younger boys that bear some resemblance to the young man. Perhaps the ferrotype is an earlier picture of the same young man and a brother?

Left #19A paper cdv, unknown. Right #19B ferrotype encased in paper frame, unknown.

Left #19A verso: "J.A. Foster, photographer, rooms opposite his old gallery over Park's Dry Goods Store,
Maumee St, Adrian, Mich." Right #19B verso of ferrotype. No markings. 

Since Amelia and G. Vernam were married in Aztalan, Jefferson County, Wisconsin in 1853, are these two photographs below of significance? They are placed first in the album. The second one of the gentleman was taken in Fort Atkinson (also in Jefferson County, Wisconsin). Might it even be photos of the original owners?

Left #1A paper cdv unknown. Right #1B paper cdv unknown.

Left #1A verso: "Goodwin photographer, 60 South Salina Street, Syracuse NY,
gallery up one short flight of stairs".
Right #1B verso: "Mrs. H.E. Raimheld, Artist, Ft. Atkinson, Wis."

The Kilmer family history states that Vernum's brother Luke married Fanny Gillham in St. Mary's, Sydney on 31 July 1852 and that he died in Australia. Could the family group photograph below be a picture of his wife and children?

Left #23A: paper cdv of an unknown woman and four children. Right #23B: paper cdv unknown subject.

Left #23A verso: "Advance Australia, Bray, photographer, 487 George St, Sydney, N.S.W."
Right #23B verso: "N.C. Sanborn, 50 Merrimack Street, Lowell, Mass." 

If the reference on the photographer's imprint (see image on right below) is to St. Louis, Missouri, could the photograph on the left be of Josephine S. Rego, wife of Vernum's brother William Deloss Kilmore, whom he married in Missouri on 18 February 1872?

#41: paper cdv, unknown subject.
#41 verso: "Outley's Photographic Palace of Art,
39 Fourth St, St. Louis, opposite Planters House"

Finally, how might the album have made its way to Cattaraugus County, New York?

G. Vernum is said to have worked for the NYC RR for twenty years and then went to the state of Washington.

We do find him listed with his brother William B. (sic) Killmore in Seattle, Washington for the year 1910. His age was listed as 87, he had no occupation and his marital status was widowed.

We can find in where G. U. Killmore, son of Luke, died in Sedro-Woolley, Kittitas County, Washington in 1916 aged 95. Luke R. Killmore died in Kittitas County in 1913. There was also more on the William B. Killmore family who lived in Seattle, Washington, but nothing on Amelia. Where was she?

At this point, the last we see of Amelia, she is closest to the area where the photograph album ended up. In 1900, Amelia J. Killmore born October 1832, was listed as a boarder in the home of Charles Briggs age 56 born July 1844 and his wife Mary E. born August 1853. Amelia was listed as married for 47 years and the mother of two children. Mary had no children. She and Charles had been married for 18 years according to this census data (ca. 1882). They lived in the city of Bradford, McKean County, Pennsylvania. Bradford is just over 20 miles from where the album was found. By 1910, Mary Briggs was living alone with her 17-year-old niece, Ethel Slate in Bradford.* 

From there we lose the trail. Nothing has been found for Amelia after that time and is where we have to leave the story for now.~

*A Charles Wallace Briggs, born July 1844 and died 1907 was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Bradford, Pennsylvania. He had a sister Jennie who married Edgar Slade. Their daughter Ethel May Slade married Rupert Arnold in the town of Perry, New York in 1914.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rescued From Obscurity, Part 4: The Killmore Family of Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York

While searching for online records in Syracuse about the George V. and Amelia Killmore family, others of that same surname kept popping up but I put the research aside for awhile.

Serendipitously, I later ran across some family group sheet information on a Kilmore family in Syracuse from a member of the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. The information is mainly focused on a Rathbone family but included information on Luke Kilmore, son of Henry Kilmore, who married Achsah Rathbone. The source for the Kilmore information was cited as History of the Kilmer Family in America, edited by Charles H. Kilmer. Page 88. This book was not available in its entirety online at the time of this writing but I am including below information taken from the Rathbone compilation regarding the Kilmore line:

History of the Kilmer Family in America, edited by Charles H. Kilmer. Page 88.
Children of Luke 3 [Henry 2, Heinrich 1.]
CATHERINE. Maried Ezra Cowner of Syracuse, NY
DANIEL BRADLEY. Married Miss Marguerita Matty. Her father was a cousin of Marshall B. Soult, one of Napoleon’s grand marshalls.
    Daniel was captain of a packet from Syracuse to Buffalo. In 1863 he became ticket agent for the Michigan Central RR. After this kept a wood yard seven years. Accumulated enough resources to live a retired life, and died in 1887.
SCHUYLER V. Married Miss Mary Matty, a sister of his brother Daniel B.’s wife. 
    He has been captain of a packet boat, seven years traveling ticket agent for the Michigan Souther RR, and twenty years superintendent of the American Dairy Salt Company. Residence, 220 Seymour street, Syracuse, NY.
CORWIN. Died 1849 and no family.
VERNUM.Married Amelia Wright. Went to sea in 1845. After leaving sea life went to California. Returned to Syracuse, NY, and was employed by the New York Central RR, which position he retained twenty years. Then went to state of Washington.
KATURAH. Married Enos Fields. He is dea, and she is living at Waterloo, NY.
LUKE. Married either a Gilman or Gilmore. He was a sea captain. His family are supposed to be in Australia. 
DELOSS. In state of Washington.
ROSELTHA. Married George Bragdon.
JAQUELINA. Married Hiram Seeley. He is dead. She at Little Falls NY.

And from the family group sheets:

Family of Achsah Rathbone (59861) & Luke Kilmore
61864. Katherine Kilmore.
On 1 Jan 1839 Katherine married Ezra Pierce Downer in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.
61865. Emery Kilmore.
61866. George B. Kilmore.
61867. Daniel Bradley Kilmore. Born ca 1818 in New York.
Daniel Bradley married Margaret V.. Born in 1830.
61868. Schuyler V. Kilmore. Born in Mar 1820 in New York.
Schuyler V. married Mary. Born ca 1829. Mary died bef 1900.
61869. Corwin G. Kilmore. Born on 7 Jul 1822 in New York. Corwin G. died aft 1900.
61870. G. Vernam Kilmore. Born on 24 Aug 1824 in Salina, Onondaga County, New York.
On 7 Dec 1853 when G. Vernam was 29, he married Amelia J. Wright, daughter of John Russell Wright (21 Apr 1802-19 Nov 1880) & Luna Williams (10 Nov 1805-22 Aug 1840), in Aztalan, Jefferson County, Wisconsin. Born on 30 Oct 1831 in Watervale, Onondaga County, New York.
61871. Luke Kilmore. Born ca 1829 in New York. Luke died in Austrialia.
On 31 Jul 1852 Luke married Fanny Gillham in St. Mary’s, Sydney.
61872. William D. Kilmore. Born on 15 Oct 1832 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.
On 18 Feb 1872 when William D. was 39, he married Josephine S. Rego in Missouri. Born in Indiana.
61873. Rosetta Kilmore. Born ca 1837 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.
Rosetta married a Mr Bragdon.
61874. Jacqueline Kilmore. Born ca 1840 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.
Jacqueline married Hyrem Seeley.

There's a lot of information here and it is very telling in terms of this photograph album.

First off, now we know George also went by his middle name of Vernum or Vernam. Then we know it was to him that the photograph in the album shown below was given “by a friend” (reference the writing on the back):

Left Photo 28A, paper cdv, unknown. Right Photo 28B paper cdv, unknown. 

Left image 28A verso, photographer imprint: H. Lazler, Syracuse & Oswego, NY. Wording in pencil "To Vernum by A Friend"
Right image 28B verso, no photographer imprint or writing. Blue two-cent revenue stamp from civil war era.

It was noted in an earlier post that according to the 1875 state census Vernum was employed by the NY Central RR which is also mentioned in the above excerpt from the Kilmer family history. The history also states that his brothers Daniel and Schuyler worked as ticket agents for the Michigan Central RR. Railroad history with its multiple consolidation and mergers is more confusing than family trees, but generally for our purposes it helps to know the following from Wikipedia:

The New York Central Railroad (NYC) was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States. Headquartered in New York City, the railroad served most of the Northeast, including extensive rail lines in the states of New YorkPennsylvania,OhioMichiganIndianaIllinois and Massachusetts, plus additional lines in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Qu├ębec. Its primary connections included Chicago and Boston 

1926 Map of New York Central Railroad

I am guessing that the locations of some of the other photographs may at least have something to do with the movement of these brothers in their employment. For instance, in initial online research at for A. Parke in New York, New York during the years 1850-1880, we find 46-year-old Archibald Parke, a Vermont native, listed in the 2nd district, 14th ward of the city of New York during the 1860 U.S. federal census. His occupation was listed as “fancy goods” with his sixteen-year-old son listed as a clerk.

Left Photo 22A: paper cdv, Mr. A. Parke (see verso), photographer imprint "W. Kurtz, 872 B'way, NY".
Right Photo 22B: paper cdv, unknown.

Left image 22A: photographer imprint with logo image "W. Kurtz, New York. Six first premiums. First class gold medal Paris" Right image 22B: photographer imprint of ornate design "Melander Bros. Photographers, 88 N. Clark St, Chicago" 

The last photograph with writing in the album shows a name and address first tentatively transcribed as such: “Sid Ballow, 15 W Van Anden, Entire E Bck yd, Feb 12”. 
Left 38A: paper cdv, unknown. Right 38B: paper cdv. Sid Ballow (see verso).

Left 38A: photographer imprint "M. E. Morris, Floral Gallery, 75 Genesee St, Auburn, NY"
Right 38B: photographer imprint "W. N[?] Tubbs, Photographer, Newark Valley, NY";
writing "Sid Ballow, 15 W Van Anden, Entire E Bck yd, Feb 12"

A google search with this address turns up an 1857 directory for the town of Auburn, NewYork just west of Syracuse (note Auburn is the town listed in the imprint of the photo next to this one). Newark Valley, New York is in Tioga County, south of Cayuga County and closer to the town of Ithaca.

A search for Sid Ballow in New York for the years 1850-1880 in turns up the following list:

Sydney Ballow   1865     Ward 4, Auburn, Cayuga Co, NY          father Joseph, spouse Catherine
Sidney Ballou     1870     Auburn, Cayuga Co, NY                       Catherine
Sidney Ballou     1875     Ithaca, Tompkins Co, NY                      spouse Catherine, child Joseph
Sidney Ballou     1855     Ward 8, Syracuse, Onondaga Co, NY   father Joseph, mother Susan

In 1855, both 20-year-old Sidney and his father Joseph were listed as “pavers.” Joseph, aged 76, was a native of Rhode Island. Sidney and his older 37-year-old brother Spencer (a teamster) were born in Oneida Co, NY while his next youngest brother, 17-year-old Silas and the rest of the younger siblings were born in Onondaga County, NY.

The search had to be manipulated further to find Sidney in 1860 using just the first name, 1860 and Syracuse, NY. He was indexed as “Sidney Ballon” for that year. in the 8th ward of Syracuse. His brother William was living with him then and they were both listed as “street pavers.” Joseph was found also under “Ballon.” Though he was 80 years old, he was still listed with the occupation of “street paver,” too.

So now we know of more family acquaintances and friends, but can we learn anything from the album about those in the family?

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rescued From Obscurity, Part 3: More Neighbors

In an attempt to gather more information on the George V. Killmore family, another search is started on using his full name as noted with a birthdate of 1825 and a residence of Syracuse, NY from 1850-1900. 

Here is how we find him indexed:

1855 George V. Kilmer with Amelia J.; Syracuse
1865 George N. Killmore with Amelia, Mary, Luke R.; Syracuse, Ward 5
1870 George Kilmer with Amelia, Mary, Luther; Syracuse

And as noted previously:

1875 George V. Killmore with Amelia, Luke; Syracuse

We do not find a listing for him in 1880. How come? Well, we have to manipulate the search engine several times to find out more using variant spellings and other first names such as Amelia with a narrow focus of Syracuse only during 1880. Finally, up comes a list of Killmores in the 1880 census and we find the family we are looking for. Turns out they are indexed as “Verma G. Killmore” with “Amiela” Killmore, child Mary E. Eaton and Nettie Sandford as other in the household.

By viewing the image, we see the Killmores listed on the bottom of the page at 8 Grace Street. His age is listed as 56 and hers as 48. On the next page is their 27-year-old daughter Mary E. Eaton, a seamstress and a niece aged 25, Nettie Sanford also a seamstress.

Three houses down from them during this census was the James McConnell family. James, a 35-year-old cartman and his wife Ellen were Ireland natives according to this census. They had four young children all born in New York, including 4-year-old Alice C. McConnell and 1-year-old Ellen T. McConnell. Would you say then, that the photos of young Alice (right on first set of photos) and baby Ellen (left on second set of photos) from the album were taken right around that year?  

Left Photo 25A, paper cdv. Unknown. Right Photo 25B paper cdv. Alice Cecilia McConnell.

Left Photo 25A verso: J.N. Esselstyn, 100 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY
Right Photo 25B verso: Goodwin, Photographer, No. 60 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY.
Over the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Store. Up one flight of stairs. "Alice Cecilia McConnell"

Right photo scan 26A paper cdv "Ellen Teresa McConnell"
Left photo scan 26B paper cdv subject unknown

Right photo scan 26A verso imprint: Goodwin, Photographer, No. 60 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY. 
Over the Atlantic & Pacific Tea Store. Up one flight of stairs. "Ellen Teresa McConnell"
Left photo scan 26B verso (blank)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rescued From Obscurity, Part 2: Location, Location

Since over half of the photographs came from Syracuse, New York, that was where I thought I should focus my search. Because of the wording on the back of the first photograph with anything written on it, I wondered if Mrs. Killmore owned the album originally.

I had done a little digging on the John Baker family associated with the house in which this album was found. They were a family intertwined with other historical research I have done in the area. I could find no Killmores ever listed in the area between the years of 1850-1900 but I have not searched deed records in association with the house. There seems to be nothing about the Baker family that indicates they might be connected to the album at all. I found no immediate references to any names found in the album (Killmore, Lancaster, McConnell, Ballow or Parke). Nor did I find any references on the Baker family connecting them to the Syracuse area or any of the other places noted in some of the photographer imprints.

"Edmund S. Lancaster" Photograph #15A.
Imprint: C. H. Overton, Cortland NY"
So where do we start looking for Mrs. Killmore? By looking for Edmund S. Lancaster in Syracuse, New York.

"Edmund S. Lancaster" Photo #15A verso.
"May 24 1889. 16 years 10 months.
Mrs. Killmore Oct. 24 1889"

Calculating his birth date from the writing, I typed Edmund S. Lancaster born 1872 in Syracuse, NY from 1875-1900 in the appropriate fields of the records search engine at

Right away I got a record of the death of Edmund S. Lancaster that occurred 26 July 1952 in Ventura, California. He was born in New York 28 July 1872. This was from the California Death Index 1940-1997 and only listed the surname of his father as Lancaster and the surname of his mother as Wilson. The website does not have images available for these records.

This fits our Edmund as he was 16 years and 10 months in May of 1889, but California and 1952 are geographically and chronologically a long way from what we are looking for.

Two other records located on suggest that Edmund S. Lancaster did a fair amount of traveling as he is listed on two passenger lists in 1912 and 1913 arriving back to New York from Bermuda and Havana. Perhaps this was for work but the records were not explored further.

What also came up in the search was an Emund (sic) S. Lancaster indexed in the 1875 state census in Syracuse, New York. Looking at the image of this record, we see young Edmund one month shy of his third birthday living with his parents Edward F. Lancaster, a native of Washington County, New York, and Agnes, a Scotland native. Edmund had several brothers and sisters listed including 12-year-old Franklin H. Lancaster. Edmund's father was a carpenter and joiner according to this census.

But what about the fact that Edmund's photograph was taken in Cortland, New York in 1889? could not help when his full name, birth year and residence as Cortland, New York was entered into the search engine. We move on to try a google search for “Edmund S. Lancaster, Cortland, NY 1889.”

As luck would have it, has a transcript of the 1889 directory for Cortland County, New York that includes the village of Cortland with the following listed:

Lancaster E.S.clerk for C.M Screw Co. rooms 41 Greenbush
Lancaster F.H. secy, C.M. Screw Co. h 150 Port Watson
Cortland Machine Screw Co. J.D. Macfarland, pres; W.A. Clarke, treas; F.H. Lancaster, sec.; 54, 56 and 58 Railroad

I believe we have found young Edmund and his older brother. It would appear that Edmund did not live far from the photographer who took his picture that year as we also find listed:

Overton C.H. photographer over 41 Main, h 23 Greenbush

There are no Killmores listed in this directory. We can imagine that Edmund had the photo taken and mailed one back home to Syracuse because guess who we find just two houses away from the Lancaster family during the 1875 state census?

Fifty-year-old George V. Killmore, a bridge carpenter for the NYC RR, his wife 43-year-old Amelia J. Killmore and their 14-year-old son Luke R. Killmore. All three were natives of Onondaga County (where the city of Syracuse is located) according to this census.

Do we have our Mrs. Killmore? Maybe.