Saturday, January 3, 2015

Anna Stebbins and Ellen Parker, part 2

And so we begin part 2 on Anna Stebbins and Ellen Parker!

Ellen Parker, from the start, presented the greater challenge.  There were no dates provided, no husband given, only the clues presented in the type of photo, her dress, her name, and the fact that she was at Camp Dix at some point.

As I learned through my research, Camp Dix (now Fort Dix) is near Trenton, New Jersey, and was built in 1917-1918.  Trenton was certainly quite a ways from Chautauqua, New York.  389 miles according to google maps, or 6 hours and 18 minutes driving today.  In the 1920s though this would have certainly taken much longer.

Based on the photo, my best guess was that this was taken while on vacation.  Since I knew none of Anna and Harvey's children were named Ellen, my first step was to check the 1930 census to see if there was an Ellen Parker in Chautauqua Co, NY.  Perhaps she was a daughter-in-law.  And if I came up empty-handed, maybe she was a cousin who had moved away.

As luck would have it there was an Ellen Parker in the 1930 census in Chautauqua!  Aged 41, she was married to a Bert Parker, also 41.  Living with them was their son, William, aged 8.

Age-wise she seemed to fit.  I had guessed the photo had been taken in the 1920s of a woman aged in her 40s or 50s.  She would have turned 40 in 1929, which meant if this was a picture of her, it was probably taken in the 1930s sometime.  But if it was her, how was she related to Anna?

I searched much longer than I care to admit to find out who this "Bert" was.  At first I thought he was from Cattaraugus county initially, until I realized that Bert was Bert B. Parker, and this was Bert E. Parker.  It wasn't until I took a second look at the historical writeup for Harvey Parker that I realized Bert was indeed the son of Harvey and Anna.

The age was another item that had thrown me off.  In the 1900 census, their son Albert E. Parker was listed as aged 14.  This would have made him older than Ellen's husband Bert who, based on his later attributed age, should have only been 11.  Yet another lesson in not taking ages too exactly in census records.

In 1920 Bert and Ellen were living with her father, Frank Lundquist.  He was an immigrant from Sweden as was his late wife.  Like her husband Bert, Ellen had lost her mother by this time.  Her mother Matilda had died in 1917 when Ellen was about 29.  Matilda and Frank had immigrated to the US in 1880 and had 2 other children in addition to Ellen.  They were Theodore and Carl.

Ellen died in 1966 at the age of 78.  Her husband Bert died in 1980, at the age of 92!  Their only child William died in 2010.  There is a very nice writeup attached to his FindaGrave record if you are interested.

Before putting this set of photographs to rest, I wanted to see if I could decipher the meaning of the wording on the back.  In addition to "Camp Dix", there was also "Ephesians, 5-23", "Page 467", and "Can you beat it?".  The last seems to be a challenge to someone to take a better photo in a more distant place!  

As for the Ephesians reference, that passage is here,

 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

I am certainly no scholar of the bible so if anyone has any ideas as to why this particular passage was referenced, I would definitely be interested!

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