Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Where Were My Ancestors 100 Years Ago?

For this week's edition of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver is doing a variation on a theme he used a couple of years ago.  Whereas that time he asked us where our ancestors were 150 years ago, this time we're moving into the 20th century and not looking back as far.

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

(1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 16 September 1917:  100 years ago.

(2) List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence locations (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

(3) Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.


This is going to be a much shorter list for me than the 1865 version, because I won't be including any of the Sellers ancestor lines.  I still don't have addresses for my relatives, particularly for those living in Europe.

My 2nd-great-grandfather Joel Armstrong (1849) was living in Burlington County, New Jersey.

My great-grandparents Cornelius Elmer Sellers (1877) and Laura (Armstrong) Sellers (1882) were living in Mount Holly, New Jersey.  Elmer's World War I draft registration card, dated September 12, 1918, has the address 115 Clover Street, so that might be where they were in 1917.  (Elmer died two days after he filled out that draft card.)  My paternal grandfather, Bertram Lynn (Sr.) (1903), was also in the household, as were his siblings Catherine Marie (abt. 1907), George Moore "Dickie" (1908), and Nellie Elizabeth (1912).  It's possible that Herman J. (about 1914) and Amelia (after 1904) were still alive and in the household; I only know that both children died before 1920.

My great-grandparents Thomas Kirkland Gauntt (1870) and Jane (Dunstan) Gauntt (1871) were living in Burlington County, New Jersey, although I don't know if they were in Mount Holly or Burlington.  Children living with them were Edna May (1902), James Kirkland (1905), and Thomas Franklin (1908).

My paternal grandmother, Anna Gauntt (1893), was almost definitely living in Mount Holly, New Jersey with her husband, Charles Cooper Stradling (1895).  I don't think they divorced until the 1920's.  Also in the home would have been their daughter, my aunt Ruth Carrie (1914).

My 2nd-great-grandmother Bela (unknown maiden name) Mekler (unknown birth year) might have been alive.  I know she had died by 1924, but that's it.  If she was alive in 1917, she was probably living in the area of Kamenets Litovsk, Russian Empire (now Kameniec, Belarus).  I don't know who she might have been living with.

My 2nd-great-grandparents Gershon Itzhak Nowicki (about 1858) and Dora (Yelsky) Nowicki (about 1858) were still in Europe, probably in Porozowo, Russian Empire (now Porozovo, Belarus).  Chldren living with them might have included Louis, Chaim, Harry, and Mirke.  I don't know when Louis and Harry immigrated, and I don't know when Mirke married (she did not immigrate).  Chaim is said to have died in 1918 and no Anglicizied name was ever used for him, so he probably stayed in Europe also.

My great-grandparents Morris Meckler (about 1882) and Minnie Zelda (Nowicki) Meckler (about 1880) were living in Brooklyn, New York with all of their surviving children:  Sarah (about 1900; Sam (about 1903); Harry (about 1905); my maternal grandfather, Abraham (1912); Florence (1915); and Elsie (1919).

My 2nd-great-grandfather Isaac/Victor Gorodetsky (about 1866) was living in Brooklyn, New York, having immigrated in 1914.  I don't know with whom he might have been living; I suspect he was not living by himself.

My 2nd-great-grandparents Morris Brainin (about 1861) and Rose Dorothy (Jaffe) Brainin (about 1868) were living in Manhattan, New York.  Living with them were their children Lena (about 1884) and Benjamin (about 1896).  It's possible their son William (about 1892) was at home with them, but he enlisted in the U.S. Army for World War I, so he already might have been in the service.

My great-grandparents Joe Gordon (about 1892) and Sarah Libby (Brainin) Gordon (about 1890) were also living in Manhattan, New York.  At home with them were their sons Sidney (1915) and Alexander (1917), the latter of whom was a mere five months old.

None of my ancestors was living in the only home of which I have a photograph.  In 1930 my great-grandmother Laura (Armstrong) Sellers Ireland and my grandfather Bertram Lynn Sellers were living in the Armstrong home at 343 Broad Street, Mount Holly, but in 1917 Laura's great-uncle and -aunt were living there.

I have seventeen ancestors who were alive 100 years ago, and possibly eighteen.

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