Friends Album: Checking in with the Neighbors

A while back, I found a 1920 census listing for Friends Album subject Frederick A. Young and fam and noticed that there was a family by the name of Wilson in the household next door. Is this a coincidence, given that there’s an Ellis Wilson in the Friends Album? Certainly ‘Wilson’ is a very common surname, but I felt I needed to dig deeper to see if I could find a connection to these neighbor Wilsons.

Ellis’ parents were Clarence T. Wilson and his wife, Susan. I haven’t really fleshed out their extended family or previous generations at this point because I was more interested in looking for more recent generations.

The Wilsons living next to the Youngs in 1920 are George R. (age 58), his wife Libby A. (age 60) and George’s mother, Elizabeth A (age 74). George is listed as a farmer.

The Wilsons are living next door to the Youngs in 1910 as well. Daughter Emma M. (age 24) is in the household at that time, as is son George E (age 15).

In 1900, the clan is even bigger. Another daughter, Libbie Belle, is with the family, along with mother-in-law Emily Hirst. Not only that, but there is another Wilson household right next door to them (on the other side from the Youngs): Albert and Annie, along with their son, Charles.

Most of these neighbor Wilsons have roots in New York, Connecticut or England. After looking a bit more into Clarence’s family history, however, he and his siblings were born in Massachusetts. Clarence’s parents hailed from Connecticut though. I’m trying to flesh out his father’s life a bit, but for now, there’s no clear connection between Ellis and his family and the Wilsons who were neighbors to the Youngs.

I suppose that there doesn’t really have to be such a connection between Ellis Wilson and the Youngs pictured in the album. The album is titled “Our Friends” and so it could be a hodge-podge of a acquaintances who are not related to each other in any way.


1900 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Newton, page 10, dwelling 90, family 94, Albert Wilson and family; ( : accessed 15 May 2011).

1910 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Newton, page 15, dwelling 170, family 174, Geroge R Wilson and family; ( : accessed 15 May 2011).

1920 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Newton, page 14, dwelling 240, family 249, George R. Wilson and family; ( : accessed 15 May 2011).

Friends Album: Photos 72 & 73

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

I believe that Photo No. 72 was taken at the same time and place as Photo No. 70:

Friend No. 72

Both photos are tintypes and have been trimmed distinctively, but what tipped me off to their being photographed at the same time is the arm rest in both photos. The style of dress in both photos is from the 1860s as well.

Photo No. 73 was stuck behind No. 72 in the album and I couldn’t take it out to scan it. Here is a photo of the photo:

Friend No. 73

This subject’s dress is quite adult, but I think she is barely a teenager. This photo is a small carte de visite.

[Photos 74 & 75]

More Friends Album Graves

For this Tombstone Tuesday, I give you still more graves associated with the Friends Album. As I mentioned in my post earlier today, I’ve found several memorials on FindaGrave associated with the Youngs, Morrises and Morrells. A kind volunteer in Connecticut even posted some photos for me minutes after I requested them this weekend. Here are the links:

Mary Morris (Photo in Friends Album)
Cornelia Morris Young (Photo in album)
Their parents, Roswell and Laura.

Henry B. Young (Cornelia’s husband)
Stanley M. Young (Henry’s brother (I mentioned him last week, along with brother-in-law William Morrell; no photo available on FindaGrave, unfortunately)

Friends Album: Photos 52 & 53

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

Photo No. 52 bears a striking resemblance to another photo in this series:

Friend No. 52 aka Cornelia Morris

Reverse of Cornelia Morris' (Friend No. 52's) photo.

I’m going to wager that these two ladies are related:

Mary Morris (Friend No. 22, left) and Cornelia Morris.

For what it’s worth, not that I needed further convincing, the photos have exactly the same imprint on the back and the handwriting on both looks to be the same as well. Here’s the reverse of Mary Morris’ photo.

But Cornelia’s photo is pretty exciting because the notes on the back give us her marital information. Now, I have been building a Friends Album family tree in Ancestry, to help me keep track of everyone we’ve been discussing so far and to track the documents I find about each of them. I already had found a Henry Young, married to a Cornelia, on Ancestry. Why? Because they were the parents of a Frederick Young. I think they’re the parents of this Frederick Young aka Friend No. 8:

Friend No. 8 aka Fred Young

But wait, there’s more! I found the Youngs in the 1860 U.S. census and guess who is in the household? Stanley M. Young. We haven’t seen a photo of Stanley yet (well, not that we know of). But we have seen a photo of Stanley’s wife’s brother, William Morrell!

Are you keeping track? We’ve now connected the Morrises to the Youngs to the Morrells! To top it all off, I think I have found all of the above Morrises and Youngs in the same cemetery on FindaGrave, which may help me to locate their next of kin. More on that at a later date.

Here’s Photo No. 53:

Friend No. 53

This photo appears next to Cornelia’s in the album and both are the exact same size on the same type of backing. However, this photo has no imprint on the front or back and no other markings besides the schmutz you can see on the image itself. It’s an interesting photo nonetheless.

[Photos 54 & 55]


1860 U.S. Census, Litchfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Bridgewater, page 15, dwelling 125, family 125, Henry Young and family; ( : accessed 2 April 2011); Roll: M653_82; Image: 16; Family History Film: 803082.

Friend’s Album: Friends 48-51

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

The next photo is an anomaly in a couple of different ways:

Friends 48-51

First of all, there’s four, (count ‘em, four!) people pictured in this one photo. Also? It was taken in Idaho.

Idaho? This got me wondering, when did Idaho become a state? The answer: 1890. That helps to date this photo!

What is the connection between all of the other folks pictured in this album from the New York and New England areas and then this far-flung clan from out West? I think the order of the photos in the album might help tell the story. This photo shares the same page as the photo of Friends 46 and 47.

One thing struck me about the boys in both of these photos — they are both wearing quite elaborate bow ties. Could it be the same boy in both photos?

Friend 50 (left) and Friend 46.

The eyes and that right ear make me think this is the same boy. We can make a similar comparison between the girl in this photo and Friend No. 47:

Friends 48 (left) and 47

I think the match is even more clear here. Interesting! So somehow and for some reason this family uprooted from Connecticut and made its way out to Idaho.

We may never know why the family made that move, but in the meantime, I can try to learn more about the photographer. Let’s start with the imprint on the back:

Reverse of Friends 48-51 Photo.

We have photographer H. Erichson on Main Street in Moscow, Idaho. Moscow is in Latah County. I had some trouble finding a corresponding photographer by the name of Erichson on the usual genealogy sites (Ancestry, Footnote, FamilySearch, GenealogyBank), but a regular ol’ Google search turned up this mention:

“Henry Erichson was born in Germany in 1856 and arrived in the United States only fifteen years later. He learned the photographic art in Michigan and practiced in Red Bluff, California. After nine years as an itinerant photographer he established himself in Moscow, Idaho, from 1884. He continued in business there until at least 1908, serving on the city council and as president of the Photographers Association of the Northwest.”

This helpful information led me to a Henry Erichson, born in Germany in 1856, in the 1900 U.S. Census on Ancestry.

[Photos 52 & 53]


1900 U.S. Census, Latah County, Idaho, population schedule, West Moscow Precinct, page 6, dwelling 128, family 128, Henry Erichson and family; ( : accessed 27 March 2011); Roll T623_233, page 6B, enumeration district: 71.

“Digital Memories,” April 2001; University of Idaho Library Special Collections & Archives ( : accessed 27 March 2011).

Friends Album: Friends 46 & 47

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

The next photo is one of my favorites:

Friends 46 & 47

There’s so much to love about this photo — the girl’s dress, the boy’s bowtie. I can only assume this pair is brother and sister. It’s too bad her face is a little blurry. Also too bad that they’re not identified.

Once again, this photo was taken at Folsom’s in Danbury, Conn.

[Friends 48-51]

Friends Album: Photos 44 & 45

Read from the beginning here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

Friend No. 44 looks a little surprised to be here:

Friend No. 44

We’ve seen photographer Walter F. Chipman’s work before. He shot Friend No. 29 as well. Unfortunately, there are no identifying marks on this photo besides the imprint on the front.

Photo No. 45 was taken by still another photographer in Danbury, Conn.:

Friend No. 45

This new (to us) photographer was Harvey A. Lesure. I’ve added his address to my Danbury photographer map on Google Maps.

This imprint is especially helpful as it includes the year — 1886. I found Lesure at 207 Main in directories in 1885 and 1886. Interestingly, he’s again listed in 1886 at 247 Main (that address was also used by Mrs. J. H. Folsom, Frank Smith and Wynard’s Studio over the years).

[Friends 46 & 47]


Carter’s Danbury Directory for 1886-7, Harvey A. Lesure, p 111; ( : accessed 27 March 2011).

Danbury, Connecticut Directories, 1885-86, Harvey A. Lesure; ( : accessed 27 March 2011).

Wordy Wednesday: Friends Album Update

Well, I’ve done it! I’ve found a living descendant of a subject in the friends album. I haven’t contacted him yet. I’m still figuring out what I want to say.

Friend No. 12 (Ellis B. Wilson)

In the meantime, I’ll share some tidbits from a major clue that led me to the grandson of Ellis B. Wilson (I’m withholding the grandson’s name to maintain his privacy). Over the weekend, I decided to search the Hartford Courant archives to see if I could find Ellis’ obituary (previously, I found his FindaGrave memorial, which provided me with his date of death and the names of his two wives). Other records had confirmed for me that Hartford was the place to search for his obit.

The Courant’s archives delve back into the 1700s. The paper does charge users for anything besides a brief abstract of its older articles, but after failing to find the obituary through other free resources available to me (and resources that I already pay for), I decided it was worth the nominal fee to get the details that his obituary would divulge.

From Ellis’ obit, I learned he was known as “Mr. American Legion Baseball,” having established the American Legion Baseball program in Connecticut. I also learned that he died while on vacation in Treasure Island, Fla.

The obituary named his daughter and her place of residence at the time of his death. This allowed me to find more information on her, which led me to her sons including the one I know still to be living.

I think I’m going to wait until I’ve finished going through the entire album before I contact Ellis’ grandson. I’m still hoping that I’ll find other descendants of other known subjects in the album. This could lead to a dilemma. My original goal was to return the album to descendants of those pictured after I realized that many of the photo subjects belong to the same family. Now, it appears that I may identify descendants of unrelated subjects. I’m loathe to split up the album, at least right now. But if Ellis’ family doesn’t have this picture of him, how I could I not send it to them? Dilemma!


“Ellis B. Wilson, 77, Dies; Legion Baseball Pioneer,” The Hartford Courant (1923-1984), Jan. 30, 1971, p 4: ProQuest Historical Newspapers Hartford Courant (1764-1985); ( : accessed 26 March 2011).

Tuesday’s Tip: Inserting Images in GoogleDoc Spreadsheets

For the Friends Album, I created a spreadsheet to keep track of the various images and data I’ve assembled about each. One of my goals was to be able to sort the spreadsheet by location, photographer, etc. Imagine my frustration when I first sorted the spreadsheet and the photos didn’t sort with the rows.

I had initially populated the spreadsheet with images by using the menu command Insert -> Image and then resizing each image to fit the designated cell. I’m not quite sure why this command exists, because it was pointless.

After the sort didn’t work, I did some research on how images really should be included in Google spreadsheets. I found this page, which was very helpful. Instead of using the menu command, using this formula embeds the image in the selected cell:


It was a pain to go back and repopulate the spreadsheet with images the proper way, but at least now I can sort the rows and the photos will move with them!

UPDATE: Friends Album, Photos 1 & 2

I stated in a previous post about the Friends Album that I couldn’t find the photographer, E. A. Osborne, in various records. After searching other Danbury, Connecticut photographers, however, I have refined my search techniques and managed to locate him in Danbury city directories in 1893, 1895, 1898 on Ancestry. His name was Edward A. Osborne and his studio address was listed as 197 Main, just like in the imprints on Photos 1 & 2.


Crofutt’s Danbury City Directory, 1893, 1895, 1898. ( : accessed 8 March 2011).