Sunday, August 26, 2012

Buelah Kendrick

To start off this blog, I decided to start with the photo I have thus far put the most effort into identifying.  Given her rather unique name of Buelah Kendrick, and knowing that she was 4 months old when this photo was taken in Washington D.C., I figured I had a reasonable chance of finding out exactly who she was, and contacting a relative.  Well, as it turned out I was right and I was wrong.

Buelah Kendrick was born about 1899 to Grant S. and Katie Coppersmith Kendrick.  She was their only child.  She was married before the 1920 census, when she was 21, to a slightly older (at 30) Adelbert Charles Eastburn.  In the 1920 census, Buelah and Adelbert were living with her parents, as well as her grandfather, William Coppersmith, and a great-aunt, Harriet Bogue/Bogne.  Buelah's family were longtime residents of the Virginia/DC/Maryland area, so perhaps the fact that her husband Adelbert was born in New York made him that much more interesting to her.

Buelah and  Adelbert lived fairly long, presumably comfortable lives.   Adelbert was a native of Yonkers, NY.  He went to Brown University, where he obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering, a relative rarity as a college graduate in his day.  After graduation, he joined the Reserve Army, where he served as an officer in both World War I and World War II.  In World War I, he was a researcher for early military searchlights.  He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Despite their long, and presumably happy relationship, Buelah and  Adelbert never had children.  Buelah died January 4, 1982 and was interred in Arlington Cemetery.   Adelbert followed soon after on October 21, 1982.

This left me with a conundrum on my hands.  Here I had an identified photo, but she unfortunately had no descendants.  Additionally she didn't have any siblings, leaving her without nieces or nephews.  I decided to then focus on  Adelbert's family, to see if perhaps he had any siblings whose children or grandchildren might want to keep Buelah's photo.

Adelbert Charles Eastburn was born to Charles Adelbert and Catherine Eastburn, the second of two children.  He had an older sister, Anna.  Hoping that Anna had descendants, I decided to see what I could find out about her.  It was then that I learned Anna never married.  I struck out again.  There were  no nieces or nephews on either side of the family who might want to keep Buelah's name alive.  I'll be honest, this was a sad moment for me.

The final thing I discovered, was that Adelbert and Buelah left a large sum of money to Brown University, where they established the Adelbert C. Eastburn college scholarship.

Perhaps because Beulah's was the first photo I decided to put time and effort into researching, I admit I have become quite attached to her.  So, until I find someone who might treasure Buelah's photo as a welcome keepsake, she will always have a special place on my mantle.


  1. Wonderful research, Katie! I look forward to following your blog. (A10SCN2)

  2. Great research! I can see why you became attached to Beulah. Thanks for your efforts to find the family members of these orphaned photos!