Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grant family home in Central Falls, Rhode Island

Around 15 years ago, I asked my father, Warren W. Grant, to drive us past what had been his family's home in Central Falls, Providence County, Rhode Island. My father had never lived in the home since his father, Ralph W. Grant and his mother, Florence Hazel (Hazel) Skinner, moved from Central Falls to New Jersey around 1920.

54 Jenks Avenue, Central Falls, Rhode Island

The lot this house was built on was purchased for $100 by Lydia B. [Leach] Grant (Ralph's grandmother and my g-g grandmother) from Jas. H and Jonathon Chase on 4 April 1891. Lydia 's husband, Joseph Goff Grant had died around 18 months earlier.

Deed for sale of lot from Jas. H and Jonathon Chase to Lydia B. Grant, 4th April 1891.
Recorded in Book 67, page 61 of the Record of Deeds in the Town of Lincoln, RI
Presumably, the house was built soon after the lot was purchased and Lydia moved into the new house with her son William Sprague, and daughter Mary Elizabeth by 1892 when William appears at that address in a Pawtucket and Central Falls City Directory. Lydia died there on 9 June 1900, on the day that the census enumerator visited the property. Living there at that time were her son William Sprague Grant with his family, as well as William's un-married sister, Mary Elizabeth Grant.

My great-aunt, Marion Grant Wood (Ralph's sister) was the last Grant to live in the house. The house was sold around 1940 when Aunt Marion moved with her husband, George Henry Wood, Jr, to East Greenwich, Rhode Island. I remember Aunt Marion telling me it took a long time to clean out the house and the "burn barrel in the back yard was going for days." Luckily, she saved family heirlooms and family records - it was the family stories I heard on our visits to her when I was a child that piqued my interest in family history when I became an adult. What I would give to just have 10 minutes with her now to confirm some family lore!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fifty nine years ago yesterday

October 11th was my parents' wedding anniversary. Warren Westcott Grant and Dorothy Minna Veith got married at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwichport, Massachusetts on 11 October 1952. Their best man and matron of honor were Matt and Fran Zuck. My father knew Matt from growing up in Clifton, NJ and Mom got to know them both during the years she and Dad dated.
Warren and Dorothy Grant
11 October 1952
 My mom did not wear a traditional wedding dress. She said that she wanted a dress she could wear again.
Mom's parents - Harold and Minna Veith
 and Warren and Dorothy Grant
The wedding reception was held at the Eastward Ho! Inn in Orleans, MA.It poured with rain during the whole event.
At the Reception

After the reception, my parents went on a short honeymoon to Rockport, MA. My dad had a MG at the time and this is the vehicle they used for the trip.
Dad's MG at Rockport MA

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My cousin-bait worked!

I don't remember whose blog I was reading when I first came across the term "cousin bait". It was mentioned that blogging about our family history is a good way to "troll" for unknown relatives. The hope was that someday someone googling a family name would come across a blog post that had mentioned the mutual ancestor and contact could be made between previously unknown relatives. I remember smiling at the term and thinking it was a great idea. I didn't seriously expect it to work for me though!

Last week, I got a comment on one of the blog posts I had made last summer in which I mentioned I was traveling back east to meet previously unknown descendants of my immigrant ancestor, Joseph Zeiler, my great-great grandfather. This poster is a previously unknown 2nd cousin (once removed)! Her family descends from my great-grandmother's brother, Theodore A. Zeiler and his 2nd wife, Carrie E. Belknap.

Elmdale Cemetery
Jefferson Township, PA

Theodore A. Zeiler
1885 - 1936

Grace E. [Brown] his wife
1873 - 1903

Carrie E. [Belknap] his wife

 My great-grandmother was Theodore's younger sister, Hannah Zeiler. This new cousin and I have been busily exchanging emails back and forth and comparing family information. We are both hoping that with our new connections we can find previously unseen photos for some of our ancestors. She is hoping to see a photo of her grandfather, Theodore, and I am hoping to find a photo of my great-grandparents, Joseph Zeiler and Margaret Mack.