Monday, September 16, 2019

Greeley Half Cousins - WWII Weddings

I've been sharing stories about my grandfather's cousin, Harriet Greeley, who lost her first husband in WWI and lost a son in WWII.

Harriet had an older brother, Sam, who also had sons who served in the military in WWII.

Samuel Arnold Greeley, born in 1882, and his wife, Dorothy Coffin, had five children (all second cousins to my mother):
Anne (1916-1919)
Samuel (1914-2001)
Frederick (1919-2004)
Lois (1922-1995)
Dorothy (1929-1979)

The two sons served in WWII and three of the siblings were married within an 18-month period in 1944-1945.

Daughter Lois married Master Sgt. Nicholas Blatchford on June 3, 1944, when he was home on leave, but her two brothers were not in attendance:

"Wedding News," Chicago Tribune, 7 June 1944, p. 19, col. 1; image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/370107834/ : accessed 14 September 2019).

Frederick Greeley served as an Army Air Force navigator and was reported missing in action in March 1944 after a raid over Germany. He survived a parachute jump over Belgium and was rescued by the Belgian underground and stayed hidden until the arrival of Allied troops about seven months later. [1]

Monday, September 9, 2019

Frederick Greeley Crocker Died in 1942

The younger son of Harriet Greeley and her first husband, Alvah Crocker, Jr., was Frederick Greeley Crocker. He was born in 1911 in France and married Mary Jane Bigelow in June 1934, just before his graduation from Harvard. They settled in Milton, Massachusetts.

During their first years of marriage, Frederick attended Harvard Business School, graduating in 1936.

Harvard University, "Harvard Business School Yearbook, 1934-35," p. 109, "Frederick Greeley Crocker"; image,
"U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999," Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 August 2019).
This yearbook entry suggests that although his home was "The Hilltop" in Fitchburg, he was possibly living in Brookline while attending Harvard.

At Harvard, Frederick was a member of the naval R.O.T.C. and was commissioned an ensign in the naval reserve at the time of his graduation. While in the naval reserve, he worked for a Boston investment banking firm and then with a manufacturing firm. Three sons were born to the couple, with the third born during World War II.

He was called into service in the summer of 1940 and was assigned to active sea duty in the summer of 1941. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (J G) in December 1941, and then to Lieutenant (S G) in the spring of 1942.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Greeley Half Cousins - Harriet's Second Marriage

Harriet (Greeley) Crocker became a widow at 32 years old with four children under the age of ten. It was another three years before she remarried.

She married Norman Harrower of Fitchburg and had one son with him. In 1930, they were living on Flat Rock Road, either next door or very close to her former parents-in-law in Fitchburg. The Alvah Crocker household immediately preceded the Norman Harrower household in the census.

1930 U.S. Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Fitchburg Ward 3, enumeration district 174, sheet 14A, dwelling 166, family 357, Norman Harrower; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 July 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 963.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Alvah Crocker Died in the Great War

My grandfather, Lowell Townsend Copeland, had several half first-cousins because his grandfather, Samuel Sewall Greeley, married twice and had many more descendants from his first marriage than his second. I have found several DNA matches among these descendants, as well as some interesting stories that I think tell me a little more about my grandfather.

One of grandfather's cousins, Harriet Greeley, was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1885. She was daughter of Frederick Greeley, the oldest son of Samuel Sewall Greeley. (See Surname Saturday ~ Greeley for my Greeley line.)

She married Alvah Crocker, of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, in 1907, in what sounded like a lovely wedding in Winnetka, Illinois.

"Country Wedding in Winnetka," Chicago Tribune, 20 October 1907, p. 4, col. 1; image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/350217401/ : accessed 25 August 2019).
The couple settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, after their marriage, where the Crocker family had been prominent in Fitchburg for many decades. Alvah Jr.'s father was a manufacturer of paper and his great-grandfather (also named Alvah) in addition to being a paper manufacturer, was a U.S. Congressman.

Alvah, Jr. was studying to be an architect and by 1909, was in Paris, France, to study art and architecture, bringing his wife and first child with him. The youngest was born in early 1917, just before her father, Alvah, joined the military.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Using AncestryDNA ThruLines

In February, Ancestry introduced a new feature called ThruLines™ which uses Ancestry trees (created by individual users) to suggest how I might be related to my DNA matches. In other words, who are our common ancestors.

Look for this icon on your AncestryDNA page to get started:


It's important to note that you have to have a family tree on Ancestry and you have to link your DNA to your Ancestry tree or this feature doesn't work for you.

When you first click on Explore ThruLines, you'll get a long page with icons for your known ancestors, followed by icons for possible ancestors. The following screenshot shows the paternal side of my third great grandparents.

James McAlpin has many, many descendants, and quite a few have tested their DNA. Jane Hunter was his wife.