Sunday, March 10, 2013

Monogram mystery solved!

A few days ago I asked one of the mailing lists I am subscribed to for help in identifying an old monogram found on a pocket-watch and ring that were among items from my parents' safety deposit box. The monogram was so ornate it was hard for me to convince myself what the initials in the monogram are.

It appeared that the ring monogram contained the same initials although the surface is quite worn. 

Mystery solved!
I determined the watch and ring had belonged to my maternal grandfather, Harold Theodore Veith. What clinched the identity for me was finding a photo of my grandfather wearing this ring in 1909. In photos of him in later years, this ring is replaced on his hand by his wedding band and sometimes his masonic ring. Before I found this photo, I was browsing monogram fonts and came across a font entitled 'Monogram kk' in which the letters 'HTV' are pretty similar to the engravings. The letters can be closely traced with the additions of a few extra flourishes.

Harold Theodore Veith 1909

closeup of ring

'Monogram kk' font for initials 'HTV'

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rescued Photo #1 - Ann Brayton Pratt

When I was in Vermont last September, I spent an hour or so browsing at the Antique Center at Camelot Village in Bennington, VT. This shop is huge and is composed of many individual 'stalls' where all kinds of antiques are sold. I could have spent days in this place, and hope to go back on my next visit.

I spent most of my time there looking thru old photos and was amazed at how many of them had identification written on the back. If only all my old family photos were identified! I decided to buy a few that caught my eye and see if I could identify the families of the individuals, and possibly to locate a living descendant who would like to have these photos. Please contact me if you are related to these people and would like the original photo.

Ann Brayton Pratt 
back side of Ann Brayton Pratt photo
The first photo is identified as Ann Brayton Pratt, (Mrs Frank Pratt 2nd), daughter of Mr and Mrs Alanson Brayton. I was able to find her death certificate on .
"Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 03 Mar 2013), Ann Eliza Pratt, 1910.
From the information on the death certificate we know that Ann Eliza Brayton was born 26 January 1833 in White Creek, New York, daughter of Elanson Brayton, birthplace unknown, and Matilda Crandall born in Hoosick, NY. She died at age 77, widow of George F. Pratt on 7 October 1910 at Sloan Road,  Williamstown, Massachusetts of  "senile degeneration complicated with cancer of liver". Ann was buried in Hoosick, New York on 9 October 1910. The informant for the information contained in this certificate was Mrs. Frank Young, of South Williamstown. Her relationship to the deceased is not given.

Ann E. Pratt is found with her husband Frank Pratt in the 1900 Federal census (citation at the end of this article), living in Williamstown, MA in the home of the Frank and Gertrude Young family. Ann and her husband are listed as father-in-law and mother-in-law to the head of the family, Frank Young. Presumably wife Gertrude Young is the daughter of either (or both) of the elder couple. In this census entry, Frank Pratt is listed as born in Oct 1829, age 70 and married for 32 years (1868). He and his father were born in Vermont, and his mother was born in New York. No occupation is listed. Ann E Pratt is recorded as born in Jan 1834, age 66. She is listed as having zero children, with zero children living. Ann and her mother were born in New York, and her father was born in Vermont.

In the 1900 census, children of Frank and Gertrude Young are  listed as Harry Young, age 20, Lulu Young, age 18, Bliss Young, age 16 and Ella Young, age 12.

Since Gertrude Young is age 39 on this record, she was born 7 years before Frank and Ann married and was probably Frank's daughter from a previous marriage. This correlates with the report of zero children and is consistent with the name of Mrs Frank Pratt 2nd on the back of the photo. Ann Brayton was probably Frank Pratt's 2nd wife and Gertrude is most likely Ann's step-daughter.

So it appears that Ann Eliza Brayton Pratt did not have direct descendants but her siblings may have had descendants who would value Ann's photograph. From the 1850 U.S. Federal census (citation below), Ann appears as one of probably nine children of Alanson and Matilda Brayton. The minors in this household are:
Caroline S Brayton, age 18, Ann E Brayton, age 16, Amon O Brayton, age 14, Julia G Brayton, age 12, Franklin B Brayton, age 10, Ardelia C Brayton, age 8, Marcus M Brayton, age 6, Mary J Brayton, age 4 and Charles E Brayton, age 2.

Hopefully, some descendant of the Brayton/Pratt/Young/Crandell family will someday see this post in a google search of names. Contact me if you want the original photo!.

1900 U.S. Census, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Williamstown, Enumeration District (ED) 89, sheet 11-B, family 249, Frank Young household; digital image, ( : accessed 2 March 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 633.

1850 U.S. Census, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Williamstown, sheet 152-A, family 129, Alanson Brayton household, digital image, ( accessed 2 March 2013), citing National Archives microfilm publication M 432, roll 305.