Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Project: Finding George H Reynolds

George Henry Reynolds; where did he come from and where did he go?   These are the question I have about my great grandfather.

Shortly after the death on my mother Mary M Herrick Reynolds, Jan 2001, I realized I knew so very little about my families tree.  Sure, I had the bits and pieces like my father's family is back east and my mother's family is out west in Washington state.  I even had a hint of a great aunt in Florida.  So, I gathered up my mothers belongings and started to piece the tree back together.  It's been better than twelve years putting things together and along the way I have found relatives all over the place.  And now communicate with many.  But, that is another story, so back to George.  When I started digging, I didn't know my great grandfather by name and knew even less about his wife, my great grand mother.

In my mother's papers was a crude tree outlining my father's side, in which it listed my grand father as George Henry Reynolds.  To this point I only new George Reynolds as my uncle.  So, armed with just these small pieces I started researching the Reynolds in Lowell Massachusetts.   It wasn't  long that I discovered my great grandmother; Elizabeth Anna Wat(t)ers Reynolds, her children James, George and Flossie living in 1900 Lowell Massachusetts.  This find explored into finding the rest of my Reynolds family in Lowell.  However, George is still a mystery!

Along the way a documents came to light putting the family in 1892 Woburn Massachusetts and revealing for the first time my great grandfather was also a George H Reynolds.  So, there were three George's in consecutive generations.  The document was a birth certificate for Flossie Jane Reynolds listing Elizabeth Wat(t)ers as mother and George H Reynolds as father.  George is a mason from England and Elizabeth is from Nova Scotia. Then, my grandfather's birth certificate was found in 1891 Woburn.  This certificate conflicts with the 1900 census claiming he was born in Rhode Island.  This birth certificate also listed Elizabeth of Nova Scotia and George a mason from England.

Soon, I had Elizabeth's family in Nova Scotia outlined, include two sets of 3x great grandparents.  However, nothing more was found about George.  No marriage record for George and Elizabeth.  No birth record for first born son James who was born in 1889 Westville or Truro NS, prior to the family coming to the states.  A good thing happen while searching for George in NS, I found living Watters relatives.  It has been so great to communicate with them.

But, and that is a Big But... no George H Reynolds of England.

So, after many years searching and searching for George without finding a hint, I brought in a professional Genealogist to help.  The following is the new findings that were produced.

George H Reynolds b. Nov 1868 England.  The birth date was found in a document from the Lowell Overseers of the Poor Collection 1896 intake record for Elizabeth Wat(t)ers Reynolds.

George Reynolds, mason, age 24, was living at 15 Centre St., Woburn MA in 1892, “residence the previous year, Providence, Rhode Island.   This information was found in a document List of Polls.

1893 Woburn City Directory
George H Reynolds was living at 20 Hovey Street Woburn in 1893.  He is a Currier.  A Currier is a leather worker, so a bit of conflict with being a mason.  A very interesting and supporting find William D Watters,   William is Elizabeth's younger brother.  He too is working as a Currier.    Upon reviewing the document, it reveals three other George Reynolds living in Woburn MA and working as Currier.  I wonder if there is any family connection.  Something to look into.   This document was a city directory for Woburn MA, which I've seen before but had no supporting data to put claim.  William being in the same house is support enough.

In the Overseers of Poor record for Elizabeth, she states that she separated for George in 1894 and at the time of the intake, she thought he was dead.  No records have been found for support the death.

In the Overseers of the Poor record for Elizabeth, she states that George (my grandfather) was born in Providence.   So, it is my thought that the birth wasn't recorded until the family settled in Woburn, thus a registry for George's birth in Woburn setting up the conflict.

No additional records have been found for George H Reynolds thus far, so the search continues.

Armed with the birth date of 1868 for George, I have enlisted three amateur genealogists in the Truro, Stelleraton and Westville Nova Scotia area to dig into finding any information; migration, marriage, birth of son.  Anything to link George to Elizabeth and James.