Third Great-Uncle Milton K. White, aka James M. White

According to his naturalization papers, Milton K. White was born on March 30, 1849 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. This is a very crucial fact, as we shall see later. Milton was the fourth son and fifth child of Job R. and Elizabeth Phoebe White.

As far as I can tell, Milton immigrated to the United States with his parents on 1869. Like his father, He worked as a carpenter for many years. By 1876, Milton decided to become a US citizen. He is the only member of his family for whom I’ve found any naturalization paperwork. It was from this paperwork that I learned his birthday. At this time he was living in Chelsea, Massachusetts, not too far from his family in Lynn.

Two years later on August 28, Milton married Amelia Martin by Methodist minister George Sutherland. The Chelsea marriage register notes that this was Amelia’s second marriage, but I cannot tell whether Martin was her maiden or married name. As far as I can tell, Milton and Amelia did not have any children.

City directories show Milton living in Boston and working as a screenmaker then an upholsterer until 1892. For a long time, I thought Milton just dropped off the face of the planet.

Meanwhile, I found an entry in a Boston death register for a married son of Job and Elizabeth White named James M. (or N.) White. This James was a phrenologist living on Boston who died of cardiac and renal disease on January 9, 1900. I had assumed that James was just another son of Job and Elizabeth until I tried matching up tick marks with people under Job White in the 1861 Nova Scotia Census. There seemed to be one too many sons! I assumed that perhaps James may have been John David White, but I didn’t know for sure. I tried doing more research on James, then I carefully examined what I knew about each of Job’s sons.

Extract of James White entry in 1900 Boston Death Register from

Extract of James White entry in 1900 Boston Death Register from

When I looked over the death register once more, I noticed it gave James’ exact age to the day: 50 years, 9 months and 10 days. Calculating backwards, this made James’ birthday March 30, 1849, the same birthday Milton gave on his naturalization paperwork! James was Milton and Milton was James! There was no “extra son”.

I figure that Milton must have changed his name sometime after 1892. It’s a mystery to me why he would do this, and why in the world a former carpenter/upholsterer would become a phrenologist. According to Wikipedia, phrenology is “a process that involves observing and/or feeling the skull to determine an individual’s psychological attributes”. Was this a field that Milton/James was always fascinated with?

Milton/James was laid to rest somewhere in nearby Malden, Massachusetts. So far, I have been unable to find his wife Amelia on the 1900 US Census or in a potential remarriage. Perhaps new records in the future will help me figure out the mystery of Milton.

Third Great-Aunt Frances A. (“Fanny”) White: Getting Younger

Frances A. White, commonly called Fanny (or Fannie), was born, I believe, in 1846 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. She was the oldest daughter and fourth child of Job R. and Elizabeth Phoebe White.

Fanny seems to be the first of her family to immigrate to the United States, though I’m not sure of those circumstances. On July 8, 1868 she married Harmon S. Burns in Lynn, Massachusetts at the age of 22. Harmon S. Burns was an older widower who was born in Vermont around 1828. Like so many people in Lynn, he worked in the shoemaking industry. Their marriage being the first record where I find Fanny’s name and age, I have calculated her birth year to be approximately 1846. As time went on, as we shall see, Fanny seemed to shave a few years off her age!

The 1870 Census shows Fanny and Harmon living in Lynn with his adult son Alfred and her sister Jennie, as well as border Lizzie Clark. Fanny had not aged at all in two years, as her age here was 22.

The 1870s proved to be a difficult time for the Burns. Three children were born and later died during this decade:

  • Roseanna Blanche, born July 1, 1871; died August 8, 1878 of scarlet fever
  • Estella Elizabeth, born March 4, 1874; died December 8, 1874 of spinal meningitis
  • Harmon S., Jr., born February 3, 1876; died August 23, 1878 of scarlet fever

Fanny only appears to have aged 10 years by the 1880 Census, where she and Harmon are living along at 27 Cedar Hill Avenue in Lynn. However, they were not alone for long. On May 2, 1882, daughter Lena M. was born (the register of births shows her as unnamed). On May 6, 1884, daughter Elsie F. was born. I’m sure these daughters brought their parents much joy in the aftermath of their siblings’ deaths.

By 1900, the Burns family and lodger Everett Kent were living at 38 Cedar Hill Avenue. (Fanny aged only 15 years since 1880!) They moved there around 1889 and if my calculations are correct, they would have been next door neighbors to Fanny’s sister Jennie and the Colomy family during Bertha’s trouble with Percy St. Clair.

The next few years brought many changes for the family. On March 11, 1901, Harmon died of gangrene. He was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery at Public Lot-4, Section-22. On November 6, 1902, Lena died of tuberculosis. She, too, was buried at Pine Grove at Moss Path, Lot-692. The following year on January 3, Elsie had married James L. McNichol. That marriage did not last, as they were no longer together as of 1910. And on August 29, 1908 at the ripe old age of 44 (losing three years over the past eight), Fanny married 40-year-old divorced Edward H. Ives.

By the 1910 Census, Edward, Fanny and Elsie moved to 30 Dana Street in neighboring Revere (where Fanny did gain the necessary two years to become “46”). Later that year, on October 26, Elsie married William Younie in Boston. They eventually had a daughter (Bernice Elsie) and a son (William, Jr.). Sadly on February 25, 1917, Elsie died of a cerebral hemorrhage and was buried in Pine Grove (location unknown at this time). Once again, Fanny buried one of her children, this being her last. To add insult to injury, Edward died of a cardiac lesion that year on October 7.

I can’t be 100% sure that I have found Fanny in the 1920 Census. There is only one “Fannie A. Burns” in Massachusetts, who was an inmate in the Westborough State Hospital (a mental hospital). She was listed as married and age 61. Her parent information is not correct, but perhaps whoever put Fanny there did not give the hospital that information. In any case, I have to wonder if Fanny may have been committed there in light of all the tragedies she faced in her lifetime.

Fanny herself lived five more years, passing away in April 1925. Although I am not sure of where Edward Ives was buried, I do know that Fanny is buried next to her daughter Lena in Pine Grove Cemetery. According to Find a Grave, her age at death is 66 years old, which does line up with the “Fannie” in the 1920 Census. So how old was she at death, really? I say she was probably 78 years old.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference 2015

Alas! Due to financial constraints, I wont be going to this conference that starts tomorrow and ends Saturday in nearby Providence, RI.  I would have loved to hear Judy Russell and Lisa Louise Cooke, meet up with genealogy friends, and even squeeze in some of my own research.

However, I don’t have to miss out completely.  I invite you to join me on following the tweets, pictures and videos from NERGC at:

Third Great-Uncle John David White, and a U-Turn to Mary

John David White was born May 1845 in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, the third child of Job R. and Elizabeth Phoebe White.  He was christened on August 22, 1845 at Christ Church (the combined parishes of St. George & St. Patrick),just like his brother Edgar.

Other than being enumerated in Yarmouth on the 1861 Census with his family, I have no further record of John.  I assume that he lived to adulthood, based on the fact that his mother Elizabeth said she had six living children in 1900.   With such a common name, it hasn’t been easy to find definitive records that identify him (a marriage record would be perfect).

My “U-turn” is back to Mary Roberts (White) Goodwin, sixth child and second daughter of Job and Elizabeth White.  I previously wrote that Mary lived for many years with her daughter Augusta.  Just recently, I found out that Mary is buried in Pine Grove at Mayflower Path Section-3, Lot-68, in the same plot as her mother Elizabeth, but not mentioned on Elizabeth’s gravestone.  Find a Grave tells me that Mary died in August 1924.  Augusta is buried in Pine Grove as well, at Plot-K, Lot-750, but with no gravestone.  She passed away in December 1950.  I have to wonder if my grandfather knew her.

Third Great-Uncle William Faulkner White: A Key Connection

William Faulkner White, second child of Job R. and Elizabeth Phoebe White, was born 1843 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He married Maria J. McNiel on February 9, 1866 by Rev. Henry Augette in Yarmouth in the Baptist Church. He lived in and worked as a farmer in Kemptville, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia between 1867 – 1874. In 1879, William and his family decided to follow in his parents’ footsteps and immigrate to the United States. They lived in Peabody and Salem, which are towns neighboring Lynn, Massachusetts. While there, he worked as a machinist, then by 1900 he was working as a carpenter, perhaps following in his father’s footsteps.

William and Maria’s children were:

  • Gertrude M (born March 8, 1867 in Kemptville)
  • Ervin Havelock (born March 4, 1871 in Kemptville)
  • Herman Douglas (born December 8, 1872 in Kemptville)
  • Gilbert A. (born October 11, 1874 in Rockingham)
  • Ernest William (or Washington) (born December 21, 1877 in Yarmouth)
  • Murray C. (born May 15, 1880 in Peabody, Essex County, MA)
  • Edgar (born May 29, 1882 in Salem, Essex County, MA)
  • Mabel (born May 29, 1882 in Salem, Essex County, MA)

William died in March 1931. Like so many of his family, he was buried in Pine Grove (Campanula Path,Lot-105,Grave-1/a) but with no gravestone. Maria died September 1932 and is also buried at Pine Grove (Plot-L, Lot-200,Grave-1).

For me, this story does not end with William’s death. William’s son Ernest married Faustina C. Mason on December 14, 1896, a month after the birth of their son, Ernest Harmon, in Lynn. Three years later, their daughter Hazel Faustina was born on December 19, 1899. Hazel went on to marry Thomas Howard Hill and have a son of her own, Sherman Granville on October 9, 1919.

Hazel White on left, circa 1919.  Courtesy Deb Thompson Colomy.

Hazel White on left, circa 1919. Courtesy Deb Thompson Colomy.

Making the connection back to William Faulkner White was important to me because I knew Hazel, Sherman, and Sherman’s wife Ginny, and I needed to know just how we were related (turns out she is my second cousin twice removed). When I was a little girl and we would visit her, Hazel would give me some chocolate or a little toy. Ginny and Sherman were always kind and friendly as well. Years later, after my grandfather’s funeral, Hazel sought me out to ask, “Do you remember me?” Oh, yes, I did! I was glad to recount her kindnesses, and she was glad I remembered. I also learned around this time that she had been very close to my great-grandmother Bertha.

Sadly, that was the last time I saw Hazel. She stayed in Lynn, and we were living on the far end of Connecticut. Hazel passed away on January 18, 1992, having outlived not only her husband (who had died in the 1920s), but her son Sherman and daughter-in-law Ginny as well. All are buried at Pine Grove; Ginny and Sherman are in the World War II section (which I still need to visit), and Hazel is buried in the Wren Section, Grave 583. I was able to pay my respects during my pilgrimage to Pine Grove two years ago. Once again, I remembered this cousin and her kindness to me.

Hazel Hill gravestone, Pine Grove Cemetery.  Author's collection.

Hazel Hill gravestone, Pine Grove Cemetery. Author’s collection.