Thursday, 12 October 2017

Jottings of interest: October 2017

William R Powe and the D that wasn’t…

In an earlier post, I commented that William R Poe had not been found in the 1840 census in Clinton County, Missouri. The ‘omission’ may have meant he’d left Clinton and gone somewhere else or perhaps just been forgotten by the enumerator Mr Armstrong M'Clintock. 

It turns out neither is correct and it was just poor handwriting and a change of spelling (both can be blamed on M'Clintock) and not reading closely enough (my fault) ….

Here is an extract of the 1840 image.

The last name is 'Wm [William] R Pow'

Apart from the spelling being ‘Pow’, as opposed to Poe or Powe, the initial ‘P’ had been previously read and recorded as a ‘D’. Comparing it to other names, such as Poge confirms that ‘P’ is intended, it's just a distended loop which its one leg has been unable to hold up!

The names of the others in the households were not included, but the total number of persons have been grouped by age and divided into males and females. The numbers add up. That is, the numbers are appropriate for William his wife Margaret and their four children; Agnes, Alonzo, Americus and Alexander (my ancestor).

The other minor correction is about the statement that his second marriage took place in April 1949 in Buchannan County. This information came from his widow late in her life as part of a sworn statement for her to obtain a widow’s pension. My guess is that she would have remembered her wedding day and her attestation is very specific even giving the name of the celebrant, Mr Saunders, justice of the peace.  

It is possible that it took place in another County, though the obvious choice would have been Clinton. It turns out that the marriage is not recorded there either. However, wherever it did take place, Mr Saunders did not lodge the information with the County Recorder so there is no official record. 

So the event is probably correctly remembered by his wife; it's just that there is no official record.

Even if there were a record in the marriage record book, it would not tell us the names of William’s parents – which is what I am trying to find out. The information in the record books at the time say something to the following effect;

I (name of officiant) married (groom’s name) to (bride’s name) on (date) and (place—often just county name).  Name of the officiant.  Date filed. 

Later records would have included parents’ details and the consent of the father for an underaged girl, as the JP would have been required to convince himself of in this case.

I’ll tweak my earlier post to bring it up to date with these clarifications.

Joseph Swan now in Wikipedia

My short item on Joseph Swan is now part of Wikipedia and can be added to by anyone with an interest. It’s a ‘cut down’ version of my blog item on him.  Hopefully, more detail can be added to the story of his life.

Of course, Joseph was mentioned before in a variety of articles but generally only with his name and a designation as engraver or publisher – now he has a justified separate identity!

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia which aims to allow anyone to edit articles. Wikipedia is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet and ranked the fifth-most popular website. Wikipedia is owned by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable organisation headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Lucy Poe Blandy: another picture and more details

Lucy was a member of United States Daughters of 1812 and it seems one of the last of the 'real daughters'. She passed away at the age of 94 on Christmas day 1946. I have previously obtained a copy of her Daughters of 1812 application papers which have been of great help in obtaining information about her father my ancestor William Romulus Poe. It was also the starting point also for my item on his daughter Lucy Poe Blandy.

The Society’s Newsletter of July 1947 had an item which stated that ‘Mrs Charles Henry Plotner presented a portrait of the late Mrs [Lucy Jane] Blandy, a Real Daughter who was a member of the society in the District of Columbia, to be placed in Headquarters.’ On reading that I wrote to ask if they still had the portrait.

Sadly, 70 years later after that gift, that portrait can’t be found, but the Society kindly kept looking and 12 October I received a note from Mary Raye Casper, 4th Vice President National. She informed me that:

Unfortunately, I was unable to locate a portrait of Mrs Blandy but did find mention of her in one of our District of Columbia Society scrapbooks. This information then led me to a familiar photograph that is at the Library of Congress which includes an image of Mrs Lucy Poe Blandy. I have attached this image taken on May 14, 1923, of four Real Daughters whose fathers "took an active part in the War of 1812".

From left to right: Miss J. E. Richardson, Mrs H. W. Blandy, Mrs J. F. Galliard, and Mrs Clara Louise Dowling, 14 May 1923 outside the famous Willard Hotel, Washington DC. 

The women were attending the twentieth-anniversary meeting of the founding of the national organization in Washington, DC, at the Willard Hotel. Comparing it to the photo in the earlier blog item, they were obviously taken at about the same time, which should make it easier to identify the blurry monument behind them. 

The photo is wonderfully clear and frank. The flag they are holding is a replica of the US flag as it was during the War of 1812 - with 15 stars.

By the way, the Daughters of 1812 are this year celebrating their Quasquicentennial

That's their 125th - from 1892-2017. 

Amongst their achievements, the effort to make the Star-Spangled Banner the official National Anthem of the United States began with the United States Daughters of 1812. The story and the efforts of Mrs Reuben Ross Holloway makes an interesting read.

The lyrics come from Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on 14 September 1814, by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key. He wrote it after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the huge American flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the Fort during the American victory.

Flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814,
photographed in 1873 in the Boston Navy Yard
by George Henry Preble. Via Wikipedia

Mrs Casper confirmed that their records show that Lucy Poe Blandy was very likely the last surviving Real Daughter of the District of Columbia Society of the N.S.U.S.D. of 1812. They have records that indicate that Marie Burnham Bonorden of El Paso, Texas, was the last surviving Real Daughter of the National Society. 

Mary died on 26 June 1973. Her father was Rev Jonas Burnham, who had a most interesting life and his story is recorded in a short book, Seventy years a teacher. Sketch of the life of Rev. Jonas Burnham (1920) by, Arthur Wellesley Perkins. Mary’s mother was his second wife Mary Lovina Wells.  Mary’s grave is in the Evergreen Cemetery East, El Paso, Texas.


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