How many degrees of separation to FDR?

I’m not very good at figuring out how many degrees of separation there are between me and someone, but this one is definitely less than the required six degrees.

Pictured below is Herbert Romulus O’Conor with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, taken sometime in the 1940s. I always seem to come across new photos when using Google from time to time. This one is from the Baltimore Sun.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Major General Charles Macon Wesson, and Maryland Governor Herbert O'Conor at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Major General Charles Macon Wesson, and Maryland Governor Herbert O’Conor at Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Maryland’s wartime governor, Herbert Romulus O’Conor, a Democrat (right), was the fourth Roman Catholic to be elected to the governorship and the first of Irish descent. He was born in 1896 in Baltimore and raised on Homewood Avenue in the old Irish 10th Ward.

 
He was a graduate of Loyola High School and, in 1917, from what is now Loyola University Maryland. After graduating from the University of Maryland Law School in 1920, O’Conor was appointed an assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore, and then served a decade as state’s attorney for Baltimore City.

 
In 1934, he was elected attorney general, and governor four years later, easily beating the incumbent Harry W. Nice. In addition to serving as the state’s leader during World War II, O’Conor initiated the construction of bridges over the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers as well as the purchase of the Claiborne-Annapolis ferry route.

 
O’Conor created the Commission on Post War Reconstruction in 1944, which conducted public works programs and built highways and public buildings. The next year, he founded the Medical Care program which provided health care for those who were needy.

 
He successfully ran for the U.S. Senate seat that was held by George L. Radcliffe in 1946, and retired in 1953, when he returned to the private practice of law. He was 63 when he died in 1960, and was buried in New Cathedral Cemetery.

Quoted from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bal-oconor-20031209,0,1906444.photo

Daniel Leven Wooters – A Womanizer?

Daniel L. Wooters, Sr.

Daniel L. Wooters, Sr.

This particular part of my grandmother’s side of the family (one of his daughters, Mary Cecelia, married into the Foard family) is a constant headache. And I still don’t think I have it completely figured out. You’ll see why…

Daniel Leven Wooters, Sr., was born about 1845 in Maryland. Over the course of his life, he constantly moved around and had multiple wives and many children. I think he may have had two wives at the same time, at one point, but I don’t know for sure. This is what I do know:

In 1862, he volunteered for the Home Guard in Denton, Maryland at the age of 17. In 1863, he  is listed on the Draft Registration list for military duty during the Civil War. On line 19, his information is listed as follows:

Draft registration records for Daniel Wooters

Draft registration records for Daniel Wooters

  • Residence: Denton
  • Name: Wooters, Danl
  • Age: 21
  • Color: White
  • Occupation: Soldier
  • Single
  • Place of Birth: MD
  • Former Military Service: 1st E.S. Regt
  • Remarks: In Service

On March 24, 1868 Daniel married Sarah Elizabeth Gibson (about 1849-1875) in St. Michael’s, Talbot County, Maryland. They had two children (this where is starts to get complicated – trying to figure out what child belongs to which wife): Ellen Virginia Wooters (1869-1952) and Mary Cecelia Wooters (1873-1935). On the 1870 census for Talbot County, Daniel’s occupation is listed as osytering. Living with them are possibley Sarah’s younger brothers, Richard, William, and Charles.

Sarah died in or about 1875. Daniel remarried not long after on February 17, 1876 to Mary J. Pocock (1857-?). She was 19, and he was 30. Their marriage was filed in Baltimore (unsure if that’s where is took place). Daniel is listed as widowed and his occupation is Stevedore (according to Wikipedia: Stevedore, dockworker, docker, dock laborer, wharfie, and longshoreman can have various waterfront-related meanings concerning loading and unloading ships, according to place and country).

In 1880, the lived at 20 Binney Street in Baltimore. The children listed with them are Mary C. (from previous marriage), Jenny (most likely this is Ellen Virginia; born about the same year [before Mary’s marriage to Daniel]), and Laura M. (born about 1879). Daniel is listed as a laborer and Mary as “working in house pickling.”

The next record I have of Daniel is the 1910 census. Here, he is married to Rose (born about 1880) and they live at 839 William Street, Baltimore. They had been married for 14 years (1896). The children listed on the census with them are: John Albert (born about 1901), Daniel Leven, Jr. (born 1904), Laura Irene (born about 1907), and William Henry (born about 1901). They also had Ethel and Rose Elizabeth (information provided by a descendant of Daniel who described him as a “scoundrel”).

Residence of Daniel in 1920 (1920 Sherwood Avenue)

Residence of Daniel in 1920 (1920 Sherwood Avenue)

Daniel died January 11, 1920. He lived at 1920 Sherwood Avenue in Baltimore. He is listed as widowed on his death certificate and is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery. His father is listed as Daniel R. Wooters and his mother is unknown.

Death certificate for Daniel Wooters

Death certificate for Daniel Wooters

Whether he had multiple wives at the same time is not known, but what I do know is that he remarried very quickly after his first wife’s death, he liked his wives young (19, 19, and 16 years old), and they don’t seem to have lived very long despite their youth. Hmmm….

I would love to be able to find death certificates or graves for his wives. It would be very interesting.

A 1920s Wedding for Ada Maggio

Sorry for the unexpected break in posting; life started getting a little crazy. But don’t worry, he’s a new photo for you!

Ada Maggio

Ada Maggio

Old wedding photos are some of my favorite types, and this one is at the top of my list. Ada Maggio was born in 1906 to Salvatore and Maria Maggio in Maryland. I don’t know much about her except that she was engaged in 1926 to John J. Dantoni.

Standing: Rose Maggio, Connie Russo, Ada Maggio, Lena Maggio, Marie Coreo, unknown | seated - unknown

Standing: Rose Maggio, Connie Russo, Ada Maggio, Lena Maggio, Marie Coreo, unknown | seated – unknown

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.

 

Salvatore and Maria Maggio

EDIT: I have just found out that the picture I had up is actual of a different couple, not the Maggios. I will have another post later about that couple and repost the picture then.

This is one of my favorite photos, and probably the oldest. Judging by the clothes, we can determine is falls into the 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 where 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 morning (plus, my personal opinion, it hides dirt better).

Judging by the time period, the occasion, and knowing it comes from my mother’s side of the family, our best guess is that this is a picture of Salvatore Maggio and Maria Grazia Mortillaro. They were married in 1890, at the end of the bustle period. Most people could not afford to buy new clothes when fashions changed, so it is not unusual for the bustle style to be lingering. Clothes were made to last then, and this dress could have been a hand-me-down as well. The man is wearing a typical Prince Albert coat of the period.

Salvatore Maggio (1866-1928) and Maria (1872-1913) were both born in Italy. They were married in 1890, most likely while still living there, had their first child, then immigrated to Baltimore, MD (though it is possible they immigrated first, then married; the details are a but hazy here). Salvatore was a cobbler and then the owner of a confectionery shop while Maria was a homemaker. Together they had seven children, six of which were girls.