Treasure Chest Thursday: Framing the Past: Identifying Crapo Family Ambrotypes

FramingThePastCover

I recently had an article published in American Ancestors (published by NEHGS) which explored my journey of identifying a mysterious set of ambrotypes which were found in my grandfather’s workshop.

Cover of American Ancestors, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 2013

Cover of American Ancestors, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 2013

These were the ambrotypes that were discovered tucked away in my grandfather’s desk, placed out of sight for years, which had never been seen by my grandmother:

CrapoAmbrotypes

Click on the image below to read the full article and discover how this mystery was solved!

Mary Blauss Edwards, "Framing the Past: Identifying Crapo Family Ambrotypes", American Ancestors, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 2013, p. 42-44

Mary Blauss Edwards, “Framing the Past: Identifying Crapo Family Ambrotypes”, American Ancestors, Volume 14, Number 2, Spring 2013, p. 42-44.

As I stated in the article,  Henry Emerson Crapo and Isabella Frances Lannigan’s daughter Ada Marion (Crapo) Howland had three children. So if any cousins have labeled duplicates of these ambrotypes or other images of Henry and Isabella Crapo, please let me know!

Have you ever identified an unlabelled family ambrotype, daguerreotype or photograph through genealogical research?

Mini-Genealogical Biography of Adelia Deborah Everson

Adelia Deborah Everson (1849-1867)

Adelia D. Everson was born on June 3, 1849 in the town of Hanson, MA. Her parents, Barnabas Everson and Deborah Bates, had married the previous August of 1848. Adelia was Barnabas’s first child, but the second for Deborah. 1846 had been a terrible year for Deborah, in which she first lost her husband Warren in January of consumption, and then lost her 9 month old son, also named Warren, of “cholera infantum”. The widowed Deborah lived next to Maquan Pond, and she remarried Barnabas Everson, a neighbor who owned a large property across the street from her that extended back to Wampatuck Pond.

Adelia grew up in the house along Hanson Street (what is now Indian Head Street and Route 58). Her father Barnabas was a talented man: a farmer, a mason, a town selectman, a road surveyor, and eventually a saw-mill factory owner and worker in South Hanson, he was a well-known man and accumulated a substantial amount of real estate in South Hanson. Adelia was soon joined by her brother Richard in 1850, her sister Imogene in 1852, and two siblings that died extremely young – Lucia, born Dec 30, 1853, died 5 days later on January 4, 1854, and Lucius, born ten years later on July 17, 1863, died on the same day.

The Everson kids probably attended school on Maquan Street, which was the closest school building, located today near where the St. Joseph the Worker church is. The school was across the street from the almshouse, which today would be located near where the old Hanson middle school was. The Everson’s home was slightly below where the intersection of School Street and Indian Head Streets are today, on the left-hand side. They would have been well-acquainted with their neighbors: Beals, Howlands, and Whites, who all had property along the road and extended back towards Maquan Pond.

Here is a map from 1859 showing the Everson’s home and some of their neighbors:
(Barnabas’s main home and property is on the left side of the road. Across the road, and neighbored by the Lyons and Beals is the home that Deborah owned after her first husband’s death)

The Everson’s neighbors below them, closer to Indian Head Pond, was the family of Asa and Cynthia Howland. (Their home is on the bottom of the map above) Adelia and her siblings knew the Howland kids (George, Nathaniel, Albert, Cynthia, and Lydia) well: they would have attended the same school together, and played together.

Perhaps Adelia and Imogene played with Cynthia and Lydia, who were just about their ages, and ignored the older Howland boys while Richard Everson ran off to play with them. But as they grew older, Adelia soon had her eyes on one of those Howland boys: Albert Howland, born on November 15, 1847 and two years older than Adelia. Albert, like so many men in the area, began working as a shoemaker. In October of 1867, when Albert was 20 and Adelia was 18 years old, they were married in the Congregational Church on High Street by the Reverend Benjamin Southworth.

Their happiness was to be short-lived. Just one month later, on November 30 1867, Adelia suddenly became sick and died unexpectedly. Both Albert and her family were shocked and filled with grief. Albert, still very young at 20, turned to the Eversons to arrange for her burial. Adelia was laid to rest alongside her two baby siblings, Lucia and Lucius at Fern Hill Cemetery, across the road from the church in which she had been married in such recent memory. Later, her parents, her sister Imogene, and Imogene’s children George and Lillian would join them in a large family plot.

Here is her gravestone:

Albert remarried in 1872, five years after Adelia’s death, a woman named Cordelia Gray, and they went on to have a family. That year Adelia’s younger sister Imogene was also married: to George McClellan, who had been helping Barnabas Everson build a large brick chimney near Everson’s newly acquired-saw-mill along the railroad tracks in South Hanson. Although life moved on, Adelia’s memory was continuously honored by the preservation of several of Adelia’s possessions. Adelia’s mother Deborah owned a bible, which had been produced in 1833. Deborah, 14 years old at the time the bible was published, was probably given this bible from her parents, Moses and Deborah Bates.

On one of the first pages is written in a lovely cursive:
Deborah ______
East Bridgewater

The last name is torn away, but it most likely read “Deborah Bates”, who was born and raised in East Bridgewater. Deborah carried this bible through her two marriages, and when Adelia was married, Deborah gave Adelia her treasured bible. Adelia had been working on some needlework, and decided to try her hand at creating some bookmarks. She created one for her father Barnabas. It is a floral wreath and reads:

Adelia
To Father

The second is a lyre, a classical musical instrument:

The final bookmark reveals the tragedy of Adelia’s young death. The book mark is of a floral arrangement set in a large urn. But the stitching is only half-completed, for Adelia never had to chance to finish the bookmark.

At the very bottom of the bookmark reads : To my husband.

Albert returned the bible to the Eversons, along with Adelia’s bookmarks. Placed inside of the bible, the bookmarks remained there as they were passed down from woman to woman through the generations, a tribute to Adelia Everson Howland, whose short life is remembered in part by three small hand-crafted tokens of affection for her loved ones.

Howland Cemetery, Hanson, MA

Every summer I explore this cemetery, as it is on my aunt’s property, and never ceases ceases to captivate. I also try to photograph it each summer, keeping records over time of the state of the stones.

Per the advice and sharp eye of my Aunt Maria, we uncovered a broken headstone in the small Howland plot so that I could photograph it. Fending off the swarms of mosquitoes, I took several good photographs of it before reburying it, in attempts to longer preserve the stone from thieving hands. Several stones have disappeared over the years, with visitors to the campground nearby most likely the culprits, which is a shame.

The stone is of Pamelia Thomas (DRAKE) Howland, wife of Lewis Howland. She died 9 NOV 1869 in Abington at the age of 64 of consumption.

Her footstone reads PTH, it is pictured here resting on top of the base of another grave:

Here is a photo of Lewis Howland’s stone, the only full gravestone left:

Lewis Howland, it seems, was the first interred in this small plot. Dying of small pox, he was buried here on his land, and his wife and some of his family chose later to be buried here as well.

Here is another headstone base with no stone attached to it, along with a small chunk of marble gravestone with no visible writing on it:

More deed and will research is needed, but it appears that the land passed into our family via Lewis Howland’s brother Warren, who married Deborah Bates. When he died of consumption, ownership of the land passed to Deborah and her second husband Barnabas Everson.

Burial Hill, Plymouth, MA

Went on a visit today to the Pilgrim Hall Museum, then took a stroll through downtown Plymouth and ended up at Burial Hill, overlooking Plymouth Harbor. Nearby Cole’s Hill has the monument which always comes to mind: “ The Monument marks the First Burying Ground in Plymouth of the passengers of the Mayflower. Here under cover of darkness the fast dwindling company laid their dead, leveling the earth above them lest the Indians should know how many were the graves.” Cole’s Hill also has the large statue of Massasoit, as well as a sarcophagus which holds the bones of Pilgrims which periodically wash out from the hill, due to rains and erosion. (My mind always excites at notions of performing DNA testing on these bones!) Here’s a good description of Cole’s Hill and its significance.

Burial Hill, however, is separate and was once the main location for Plymouth’s fort. The oldest stone is 1681. James Deetz did much research in Plymouth, and wrote much about the area.

The main entrance to Burial Hill is well-marked:

A broad brick walkway leads up the Hill:

Here is a sketch from 1853 of Burial Hill:

(Bartlett, The Pilgrim Fathers (London: Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co., 1853))

And my contemporary view of the Harbor:

Burial Hill was the site of the first fort, as well as the powder house towards the back end, where another entrance is. It is also filled with many of the famous Pilgrims of the Mayflower and their descendants.

William Bradford’s obelisk:

John Howland:

Burial Hill is steeped in history and Pilgrim lore, and the town of Plymouth knows it well. The place is sprinkled with an array of signs, plaques, and monuments from clubs and organizations marking places of importance and people of significance within the cemetery. For all of its touristy nature, however, it still makes for a fun experience.

Howland Smallpox Cemetery, Hanson, MA

My family owns a portion of land along Maquan Pond, which has been owned by the family for many generations. In the 1800s it used to be a combination farmland and unusable bogs. For a time it belonged to the Howland family, and their farm was not far from the pond. An isolated uprising of smallpox hit the town in the mid 1800s, and Lewis Howland and his family were affected.

Lewis Howland was a furnaceman, and he was the son of Warren and Peddy Howland. He was born 31 MAR 1806 in Pembroke, MA (which was soon to become Hanson), the eldest of 7 children. He died of small pox at the age of 40 years, on 14 APR 1846 in Hanson, MA. Since much of rural Massachusetts was still superstitious or uninformed about the nature of disease, his body was prevented from being buried in the public cemetery, and he was interred towards the back of the Howland farm.

Lewis Howland’s stone

Lewis Howland’s brother Warren had died just several months before Lewis himself. Warren Howland Jr. was born 23 JAN 1813, the son of Warren and Peddy Howland in Pembroke, MA. He married Deborah Bates 11 NOV 1840. They had one boy, Warren Howland III who was born 26 DEC 1845. Sadly, however, Warren Jr. died of consumption 22 JAN 1846, several months after the birth of his son. He was buried in Fern Hill Cemetery, Hanson, MA. Deborah Bates, now a widow, then had to deal with the death of her son several months later, 21 SEP 1846.

Deborah Bates Howland, now a widow and childless, soon remarried Barnabas Everson on 25 AUG 1848. Barnabas was a smart investor, and good with property, and soon owned the land on which the Howland farm was. It was through the Everson family that the land was then passed down generation after generation to our family ownership of it today.

That’s the history of the area that I have ascertained through family stories, documents, and gravestones.

As for the current state of this small cemetery, time and thievery have not been kind. The cemetery is surrounded by four granite posts with an iron rail around it. Only one stone fully remains, that of Lewis Howland, and the entirety of the stone has been removed from the ground and lies facing upwards. It is made from white marble, and has eroded, but the epitaph is still readable. There is evidence of another gravestone, with the base still remaining with two small iron posts sticking up from the base. Beside it is a footstone which reads, barely, PTH. This is the footstone of Pamela Howland, Lewis’s wife.

A great amount of leaves and overgrowth now cover the area. Several of the stones are missing, a prime target for those wandering near Camp Kiwanee.