A Couple Crazy Connections

Need a little genealogy brain teaser or just something to make you scratch your head or go “ewww.” Well, here you go.

The Gentrys and Levelles have a strange double connections going on. There is not just one marriage to connect the families, but two. Two sisters married a father and son. Weird, huh? Let me break it down for you.

Mary Ellen Levelle, circa 1880s or 90s

Mary Ellen Levelle, circa 1880s or 90s

Mary Ellen and Rose Estelle Levelle were sisters, born about five years apart in Baltimore. Mary was born June 19, 1867 and Rose in March of 1872 (their parents were Edward Francis Levelle and Mary J. Loughran for those keeping track).

Haden Gentry, late 1800s or early 1900s

Haden Gentry, late 1800s or early 1900s

Mary married Haden Gentry (born December 12, 1850 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky) on April 17, 1888 at the age of 20 (Haden was 38). Mary was his second wife. His first wife, Annie Agnes McElroy, died in 1884, leaving behind five children, one of which was Alfred St. John Gentry.

Alfred, born in about 1866 in Baltimore, married Rose in about 1892. He was about 26 and she was 20.

1310 Aisquith Street

1310 Aisquith Street

So Haden Gentry’s sister-in-law was also his daughter-in-law. And they all lived together in a “boarding house” with Mary and Rose’s father and brother (Edward Francis Levelle and Edward Francis Jr.). This arrangement lasted for at least 10 years, with multiple families living together in one house.

This house, in 1900, must have been two townhouses combined (physically or not), because all 14 people are listed for the address 1308 Aisquith Street and there is not a 1310 listed. But then in 1910, only 1310 is listed with a different family occupying 1308 (11 people in a townhouse!) I used to drive by these housed everyday to work and would just wondering what they would have been like 100 years ago.

John & Anna Schaffer

So a while back, I posted a Victorian photograph of who I thought were the Maggios. It recently came to my attention that the couple pictured was actually John and Anna Schaffer. Here is that photo again:

Anna and John Schaffer - 1884

Anna and John Schaffer – 1884

One of my favorite things to do is to try and date photos. If you have a good knowledge of historical clothing and context, this can be relatively easy, depending on what garments and hairstyles those in the photo are wearing and the event that is pictured. I have a degree in costume design, so I have a passion about historical clothing.

This is one of my favorite photos, and probably the oldest my family has. Judging by the clothes, we can determine it falls into the late Victorian era, specifically the bustle era, the 1880s. It is clearly a wedding photograph, with the bride wearing a long veil. While Queen Victoria did make it fashionable to wear a white wedding dress, many women still wore the customary dark dress. This was a practical choice – their best dress, if dark, could be worn both at their wedding and when in mourning (plus, my personal opinion – it hides dirt better). The groom is wearing a typical Prince Albert coat of the period.

1413 E. Lafayette Avenue - The listed residence in 1892

1413 E. Lafayette Avenue – The listed residence in 1892

John G. Schaffer was born on December 29, 1858 in Baltimore, MD to Bavarian immigrants Gabriel Schaffer and Julianna Walgardt. For most of his life, John was a cobbler.

Anna M. Davidson was born on November 9, 1864 in Baltimore to Samuel George Davidson and Mary Jane Pow/Powell (not sure which is the correct last name). Before marrying John, her occupation was listed as a seamstress.

1804 Aiken Street - The listed residence in 1930

1804 Aiken Street – The listed residence in 1930

They were married in 1884 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. Together they had four children: Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Francis X., and an unknown child who died before 1900. They raised their family in various homes on the 1800 block of Harford Avenue.

Anna passed away first on September 29, 1930. John died four years later on September 3, 1934 succumbing to injuries inflicted after being hit by a car eight months previously. Both are buried at Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Baltimore.

 

The Bogues at New Cathedral

New Cathedral Cemetery, formerly known as Bonnie Brae or just as Cathedral, is a Catholic cemetery located in Baltimore, MD. It is a combination of three different cemeteries: St. Peter’s Kirkyard, Cathedral Cemetery, and St. Patrick’s Cemetery. The earliest interments are from 1770 from St. Peter’s. These were moved to Cathedral in 1816, and then Cathedral moved to a new location once space ran out in 1869 and the name was changed to New Cathedral. St. Patrick’s moved to New Cathedral in 1936.

This is a gorgeous cemetery and very, very large. I could get lost in there.

Many of my Irish ancestors are buried here, including the Bogues.

Below are Henry Bogue, his wife Margaret, and children. All his children are buried either in the same plot or one close by. Here are those graves, minus Henry Bogue Jr. and John.

Henry Bogue Jr. is buried with his wife and family, all in the same plot as his father. Only about half of his children are buried here.

Henry Jr.’s grandchildren, through his son Robert, are also here.

As are Henry Jr.’s wife, Ellen Tracy’s parents and siblings.

New Cathedral does offer genealogical searches through their website. For free, they will look up to see if someone is interred there and where the plot is. They will go into more detail and even take pictures of the grave for a fee. I have not used this service yet as I live close enough to visit, but it will be a good resource in the future to find the plots of those i do not know.

Scottish Roots & Scotland’s People

I finally gave in and signed up for ScotlandsPeople in order to search and view the documents, hoping to gain more information on my Scottish ancestors. The way this site works is they let you “search” for people but do not allow you to view the results without payment, only allowing you to see how many results are in which category. You have to purchase credits (30 credits for about $11) to see any details . It costs one credit to view the actual search results, and another 5 credits to view the document.

My overall thoughts of this website, while comprehensive and vast, is not worth the price. I do not like their style of payment and would rather pay a flat fee to view as many documents as I want. Because of this, I was not able to explore as I wished to see if I could find new people. Instead I confirmed a couple dates and relations I already knew, though I did find a father for someone. Also, I thought this site would provide more  detailed and substantial information that I have found elsewhere, but other than occupation, the same information could be found for free on FamilySearch.

My conclusion: only pay for this site if looking to view the actual documents of information you already know.

With that said, here is what I did find:

The parish birth records for Burton Thoms

The parish birth records for Burton Thoms

The records states that Burton Thoms was born to William Thoms (who was a weaver) and Isabella Anderson in Dundee on January 15, 1803 and christened January 23, 1803 (there are two dates listed, one next to the father and one next to the mother; as the first is always earlier than the latter, I assume this is the birth and christening dates).

The parish records for the marriage of Burton Thoms and Jean Strachan

The parish records for the marriage of Burton Thoms and Jean Strachan

On the 13th of March, 1825, Burton Thoms, weaver, and Jean, daughter of William Strachan, weaver, were married, both in this parish [Dundee].

The Origin of the Bogues

Henry Bogue Sr. was born in County Fermanagh, Ulster, Ireland (now Northern Ireland) in 1767.  He married a woman named Margaret who was born about 1782 in Ireland. Together they had 6 children: John, Henry Jr., Robert, William, Mary Ann, and Catherine. Margaret immigrated to the United States with her six children in 1825. They arrived at the Port of Baltimore between April 1st and June 30th. Margaret would have had someone to meet them in the new world, to set up a house/farm/homestead, but I do not know at this point who that was. You would assume it was her husband, but according to the Tithe Applotment, there was a Henry Bogue in Tatnabuddagh, Aghalurcher, Co. Fernmanagh in 1833. Whether this is the same Henry or not, there is no way to know right now. It is possible that Margaret was meeting another family member or that Henry met them, then returned to Ireland for a period of time. The one connecting factor between Margaret’s Henry and the one listed in the Tithe book is that being listed in the Tithe Applotment Books means he occupied agricultural land and John Bogue (Henry and Margaret’s son) was listed as a farmer on the passenger list. Not a strong connection, but there it is.

Henry Sr. died December 13, 1863 (age 96, a remarkable feat for that time period) and Margaret December 6, 1832 (age 50).  They are buried in New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore.

It is harder to uncover any further ancestors due to Irish records before the 1900s being mostly destroyed or never existing. Any records that do exist would be with parish records (baptismal and marriage records), graveyard, or family members and I don’t have access to any of these.

In my research of the Bogue surname, I came across a book written in 1944 called Bogue and Allied Families by Virgil T. Bogue. While there are no connecting ancestors listed, the history of the surname is interesting. It seems that the Bogues are originally from Scotland. During the reformation, many of them became protestant. To escape persecution, many fled from Scotland to America. Those who still held to the Roman Catholic faith fled to Ireland. (The Bogues in my family are buried in a Catholic cemetery, so I believe they were Catholic).

It is also believed that there are two separate Bogue lines within Ireland. There are those Bogues I just described, descended from Scots settled in and around Co. Fermanagh, and then there are those who live around Co. Cork. These Bogues are believed to be purely of Irish descent and of a mainly Catholic persuasion, whereas the other line has a stronger protestant leaning.

Henry Bogue Jr. made quite a name for himself as he is listed in books amongst other prominent Marylanders. Sadly, he is not my direct ancestor so I will save his story for another post along with photographs of the gravestones from New Cathedral.