Monday, December 11, 2017

Daguerreotype ~ Not an Alcott

In August 2016, I shared images of this daguerreotype that my second cousin sent to me. I wrote two posts about it: Tuesday's Tip ~ Analyzing a Daguerreotype and (Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Is This Eliza May Wells?

The photographer's imprint in the lower left-hand side of the case: A. H. Knapp, 123 Wash. St., indicates that this was produced in Boston in the 1850s.

Even though I theorized that this was an image of our common second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells, my cousin was convinced that it was an image of Louisa May Alcott's sister, Anna (Alcott) Pratt. (You can see an image of Anna here.)

It should be noted that Eliza and Anna and Louisa were related. Eliza's grandmother, Elizabeth Sewall May, and Anna's and Louisa's mother, Abigail May, were sisters: daughters of Joseph May and Dorothy Sewall. I explained the maze of relationships in my post: Cousin Louisa May Alcott.

On December 1, there was a newspaper article in the Boston Globe about another image of Anna Alcott Pratt that had come to light entitled: Never-before-seen photo of Louisa May Alcott’s sister found in old album. The article mentioned the name of the executive director of Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, Jan Turnquist. I contacted her through the website and she kindly replied with a phone call to let me know that no, this woman is not a member of the Alcott or Pratt families.

Therefore, until another images comes along to help us out, I'm returning to my original theory of who this is: my second great-grandmother, Eliza May Wells (20 Aug 1839 - 18 Sep 1880) who would have been 16 years old in 1855. She is the only woman in my database born between 1830 and 1840 who was likely to have been in Boston in the 1850s for a photograph.

Of course, she could be a collateral relative who may not be in my database.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

William Scott Pyle's Oldest Son, James V. Pyle

My second great uncle, William Scott Pyle (1856-1906), shared in the success of the soap manufacturing company started by his father, James Pyle. In the 1905 New York State Census, 49-year-old William S. Pyle, with the occupation of Manufacturer, is living at number 3 East 53rd Street in Manhattan with his wife, Mary V. Pyle (age 45) and his two children, Mary V. Pyle (age 19) and William S., Jr. Pyle (age 17). The household also includes eight servants!

(I have cleared out the extraneous information to direct your view to this Pyle family's entry.)

1905 New York State Census, New York County, population schedule, Manhattan, p. 42, line 13, William S. Pyle; digital images, ( : accessed 2 June 2014).
I have previously shared that William Scott Pyle died on January 1, 1906, of cirrhosis of the liver. (I shared his death certificate here.)

Five years later, in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the widowed Mary V. Pyle is living in Mendham, Morris County, New Jersey. With her are her children, Mary V. Pyle, age 24, and William S. Pyle, age 21, and seven servants.

1910 U.S. census, Morris County, New Jersey, population schedule, Mendham, enumeration district (ED) 22, sheet 8B, dwelling 159, family 180, Mary V. Pyle; image, ( : accessed 2 June 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 902.

This census asks the question "Mother of how many children / Number born / Number now living." This can be a helpful piece of information, letting us know if there are additional children we have not recorded. In this case, Mary reports that she gave birth to two children and two are living. However, this is not accurate, as there was an older brother, James Vanderhoef Pyle, who was born in November 1882 and died on 28 February 1887 of Diptheria.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday ~ William Scott Pyle (1856-1906)

In honor of a third cousin once removed who found me because of my blog, I am sharing this carte de visite of William Scott Pyle, my second great uncle (and her second great grandfather). He was the younger brother of my great grandfather, James Tolman Pyle.

The handwritten inscription is: Yours Truly W. S. Pyle.

The photographer was Julius Ludovici, who photographed in New York and Newport (which can be faintly seen in the lower right-hand-corner of the image).

There is no date on the back of the image, but based on the tie (wide and soft) and the white shirt, as well as a possible age of mid-20s, I wonder if this was taken around the time of his marriage in 1881, when he was 25 years old, or perhaps soon after.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wordless Wednesday ~ Mother's Childhood Home

Last week I attended the FGS 2017 conference in Pittsburgh. The main reason I went was because it was being held in my mother's childhood hometown and I could visit my cousin, who shares an interest in family history.

Not only did my cousin and I visit Uniondale Cemetery, where we have many maternal ancestors (see my 2014 post Pittsburgh Burials at Uniondale Cemetery), but we visited the home where our mothers grew up. We knocked on the door and the current homeowners couldn't have been nicer, letting us explore the grounds, walk around inside, and take photos. (I have since shared some of my 1940s and 1950s photos with the homeowners, some of which I previously shared at Mount Royal Boulevard.)

This photograph of the house was taken about 1958-1959 when my grandparents were preparing to sell it:

This photograph of the house was taken almost sixty years later, on September 2, 2017:

The house was originally built in 1820, one of a pair of farmhouses built by brothers. It was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DNA Toolbox

I recently read a blog post (Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree) reminding me that it's useful to include a genealogy toolbox of online resources right on my blog. I have never done this for From Maine to Kentucky, but because recently, I've gotten more interested in DNA testing and analysis (and encouraging family members to test), I thought that a DNA Toolbox might be helpful for me and for my readers.

At the top of my blog, I have added the tab called DNA Resources. Right now, it includes links to my favorite genetic genealogy blogs, links to some online video resources, and links to all the posts I have written about DNA in my research.

I will add to this toolbox in the future when I find new resources for DNA.

If you have a great online resource for DNA, let me know and I will add it.

And if you're inspired to take an autosomal DNA test (where you can find out about your admixture, or ethnicity estimates AND you can see how much DNA you share with cousins and maybe even find new cousins), FamilyTreeDNA is having a Mother's Day sale where their Family Finder DNA test costs only $69. This price is good through this Mother's Day, May 14.

And once your results are in (from whatever test you have taken), please upload them to, where you can take advantage of other DNA analysis tools and find cousins who have tested at other DNA companies.