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Showing posts from 2008

Fourteen Women, Two Photos, and a Small White Ribbon

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Clara Amy Smith Bird was born in 1841 in frontier Illinois. Her parents were Joel and Amy Bartholomew Smith, early pioneers of DuPage County, Illinois. This photo of her is dated 1891. I had the photo for quite a few years before I noticed the small white ribbon pinned to her dress. It didn't look like a piece of jewelry or other embellishment. Why was she wearing a white ribbon?

While scanning old family photos in Chicago a couple of years ago, I came across this picture of a group of fourteen women. There was no explanation of the grouping on the back of the photo, and I took it to be some kind of family gathering.



I'd looked at that image quite a few times before I noticed the photo that one woman near the front is holding. When I enlarged it enough to take a good look at the small photo in the woman's hand, I was amazed to realize that I had seen that face before! It was the same 1891 photo I had of my great-great-grandmother, Clara Smith Bird. Only then did …

Sophie Turns out to be Daphne!

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This little pixie captured my attention because the picture had substantial clues (and darling little leather shoes), but not certain identity. The photo is part of an album belonging to the Warrenville Historical Society in Warrenville, Illinois. The album includes photos of Warren family descendants, including some of my direct-line ancestors. I had never seen the photo before (unlike some of the other photos, which were duplicates of photos that were part of my great-grandfather Frederick Joel Bird's collection).

What I knew: The photo was of a little girl named (I thought) Sophie who was three years old in 1896. That much was handwritten on the photo. On the back of the photo was the name and address of a photographer in St. Louis. What I didn't know was Sophie's last name and her relationship to the Warrens.

I tried searching HeritageQuest for little Sophie, but could not find anyone who matched the details I had from the photo. This week, though, all that changed. I…

Looking for Lockwoods

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Hattie W. Woodworth (1861-1948) was the daughter of Jacob and Ellen Bird Woodworth. In 1882, she married Henry Lockwood, a farmhand who worked for her family in McHenry County, Illinois. Hattie's grandmother (and my g-g-g-grandmother), Louisa Goddard Warren Bird, mentioned the marriage in a letter to her sons Byron and Henry in December of 1882:

"Hattie was married the 5th of Sept. to a Mr. Lockwood a poor young man we like him very much perhaps he may have 6,00 dollars laid by he is a farmer, worked for Eddie, a year before they were married, so they became well acquainted with him."

Henry and Hattie spent the first 30 years of their marriage in Illinois, and somehow ended up in California in the early 1900's. Henry died between the 1920 and 1930 censuses, probably in California. She died in Los Angeles in 1948.

Hattie was a cousin to my great-grandfather, Frederick Joel (FJ) Bird. In the 1940's, FJ Bird began corresponding with Hattie and several other cousins…