The Gilbert Diary of 1937

I’m so excited to be almost finished with another diary. This is the longest one I’ve transcribed to date and I have November and December left to finish. But my excitement is getting the better of me. Henry Gilbert kept … Continue reading

Amy Blackmore, a volunteer in the Women’s Army Corp

Amy E. Blackmore was a senior at Plymouth High school in Wayne County, Michigan in this photo. Very little is known about this young woman. She was born about 1914 in Michigan. The second youngest of 6 children; her mother (Avis … Continue reading

Professor A. C. MacDonald, a Canadian in Poughkeepsie and some “Aliens” in the house

Prof. A. C. MacDonald, 1888 Eastman Business College

Prof. A. C. MacDonald, 1888 Eastman Business College

I don’t believe Mr. MacDonald has any direct descendants looking for him, although I hope I’m wrong. A colleague of Mr. Christie and Mr. Gaines from the 1888 Eastman Business College photo, Professor A. C. MacDonald was Alexander MacDonald of Canada. He was born about 1855 and although his exact date of entry to the United States isn’t known to me, he was definitely here by 1886. That’s when he married his wife Elizabeth D. MacDonald. They had one child, named after mom, born in 1888.

Professor MacDonald and family show up in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, New York in the 1892 NY census (unlike Mr. Christie), the 1900 census and the 1910 census. MacDonald was a life long teacher apparently. I can’t confirm his location in 1880 – he may have still been in canada. And no record of any of the 3 family members seems to extend past 1910 – even the daughter. But my research hasn’t been deep.

Interestingly in 1900 there were 2 foreigners living with the family. A Jorge Juan Soroa, an 18 year old male from Cuba whose parents were Spanish; and N. Tamaoki, a 19 year old male from Japan. Were these foreign students attending his school? Much like exchange students of today – although they weren’t exchanged per se since the younger Elizabeth (12 at the time) was still at home. Mr. Soroa traveled to the US several times after that based on an “Alien Arrivals by Airplane” list and other documents.

Let’s hope the younger Elizabeth didn’t disappear after 1910. Maybe she’s living in Spain or Japan!

Wm. Litchfield

Wm. Litchfield, Stockton, CA

I admit, I’m a little stumped by Mr. Litchfield. While only his last name appears (several times) on the front of the picture, on the back “Wm. Litchfield” is scribbled. The photographer was in Stockton, CA. With a quick search there are two possible people this could be. 1) William Litchfield born 1881 in Canada, lived most of his life (1922-1940 at least) in Pasadena, CA. Mother was Jean M. Litchfield from Canada, father (unknown) was from England. 2) William Litchfield born 1874 in Minnesota. Son of C. L. Litchfield and Jennie Hanson. Resided in Oakland, CA during the 19-teens and into the 1920 census. However, he isn’t in California very long: 1880 in MN with family, 1900 in Alaska with brother Arnold, 1910 in Seattle, 1920 in Oakland, 1930 in Seattle, 1940 in Washington state.

I’m leaning toward the latter Mr. Litchfield as the one in the picture. Why? Because while he didn’t live in CA very long, when he did he lived much closer to Stanton where the photo was taken. Pasadena is 5 + hours away (even longer back then). That’s literally all I have to go on without more in depth research. I will contact family members of both Mr. Litchfield’s, maybe they know more. William Litchfield is for sale on eBay here.