Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grandfather found!

George H. Reynolds
circa 1940
I've been looking for my grandfather, George Henry Reynolds, since beginning this ancestral quest started ten plus years ago.  Recently, I was given a newspaper clipping of an obit that had some details about my grandfathers passing, from which I was able to extract a few hints. 

First, George was the second son to George H Reynolds and Elizabeth A Waters, of whom I have written about in earlier posts.  His date of birth is 27 April 1891.  It is said that he was born in Providence Rhode Island, but there is no records confirming this as of yet.  I did find his folks in Woburn Massachusetts where his sister Flossie was born in 1892.  At the turn of the century, George's father was no longer in the picture.  At this time, the family unit consisted of Elizabeth, George and Flossie and were now residing in Lowell Ma.   You can read more about Elizabeth Watters Reynolds; Waters or Watters. This seems to be starting point of the this Reynolds family in Lowell.  However, there are other Reynolds of similar first names living the area.  I wonder if there was a reason for the move to Lowell, either family or ethnicity. I was able to track the family forward to the year 1907, where Elizabeth is remarrying to a James McArdle of Lowell Ma.  And then again I found them in the 1910 census, where young George and Flossie are with their mother Elizabeth and step-father James in Lowell.  Then, in the winter of 1916, George gets married to Edith Ruby Heaney.  Edith is daughter of one William Heaney and Margaret Caldwell of Chelmsford Ma and Ireland.  This is George's second marriage according to the marriage certificate of 18 Nov 1916.  I have no record as of yet of George's first marriage, but I would think it would be in Lowell also, more research needed. Updated Aug 2012, read more about first marriage here; Hodge.  Well, shortly after my grandparent marriage, my uncle George came along.  Yes, another George!! Then in 1919 uncle E. Arthur and then my father William Caldwell in 1920.  I am sure you can figure out where my father got his name from... So, all the way up through to the 1930 the family is together, then George (my grandfather) is out of the picture.  Why,  I don't know, divorce I guess.  The three boys were were enumerated in the Ayer home for boys in Lowell on, 2 April 1930 as Wards of the state.  Then, but a few days later on the 8 of April 1930 they were enumerated again at home with their mother on Bleachery street in Lowell. 

So, what happen to George H Reynolds?  Up to this point, I found bits and pieces, some possible hits, but nothing to solidify his where abouts. Then a week ago or so, a cousin told be that he had moved to New York state and was working in a hospital.  Quite a change in careers, as George started or at least for awhile was a railroad man.  He worked for the Boston and Maine Railroad company at the time of his marriage to Edith.  Did he start there cause of his father?  Hmm, something to ponder!  Ok, back to the hospital job.  I had discovered a George years ago working in New York as an Orderly.  Is this him?  Then, the same cousin sent me an obit for George that she dug up in her files.  The obit didn't have a date or a newspaper name, but it did have a funeral home name, a city and state, and a cemetery name. I was had enough to start digging again for George.   All weekend I searched and searched the city records, but nothing except dead ends.  The cemetery didn't have a contact point like the Edson cemetery in Lowell, so I moved onto the funeral home.  This morning, after some simple digging for a Burnette Funeral Home of Middletown NY, I found a reference to a Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home.  They had change their name from Burnette in the early 1960's.  I found a contact email address to which I sent a request for record and confirmation that it was the same funeral home.  I was told that it was and that the records back int he 30's 40's and 50's were sparse.  So, at this point I am waiting for something more from the funeral home.  But, in the meantime, I chatted with a few genealogy researcher from the Middletown area and we came up with the same obit that was earlier mention, plus another clipping from a different newspaper that reported the death of George.

I have three clippings below.  To see the full pages go to my Reynolds Gallery on Flickr.

 Thursday 17 Oct 1946


Friday, 18 Oct 1946


Friday, 18 Oct 1946
Funeral Announcement



6 comments:

  1. wow this is so cool to find all this out.... I am at work so can not meander too long ... i need to take an entire weekend to get caught up on everything you have found

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, thanks to the clippings you have, I guess the bus ride my mother and father took when I was young was not for his funeral. I wonder where the went? Anyway, I was not quite a year old when he passed away. See what tricks the memory does play. I do know that when my sister and I would talk about old times and even though we were both in the same room hearing or seeing the event, we both remembered something different. My idea is that it depends on how old you were at the time. I child sees things differently. My sister was almost 4 years older than me, so when you are 10 and she is 14 she would understand something I probably would not. So, this is news for me to find out the actual date of George's passing - thanks again. -Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're doing such good work! Glad everything is coming together! =) Thanks again for all your hard work!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love it when it all comes to- gether. It seems like brick walls are more abundant that information but it is gret when you finally hit pay dirt. It always helps when a cousin or two comes along with some of the missing pieces. Good going Bill and cousin Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fascinating to read the 'story behind the story' - research is addicting, especially regarding one's own roots!

    ReplyDelete