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!

Professor S. N. Christie – hanging on by a census record in Poughkeepsie

Professor S. N. Christie, 1888 Eastman Business College

Professor S. N. Christie, 1888 Eastman Business College

I like a lot of solid evidence, any historian does, so this makes me nervous. Prof. S. N. Christie, of the 1888 Eastman Business College, pictured here, is probably the man I will describe below. His identity hinges on one census record that describes the man in my hypothesis. He is also the only man that comes up – there were not a plethora of S. N. Christies in Poughkeepsie. So, assuming my hypothesis is right, this is likely your guy.

S. N. is Samuel N. Christie. Born in 1849 in Maine – although his birthplace appears as PA once and NY once, other than than ME it is! The census record I’m placing all my hope on is the 1880 Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, New York federal census. This is the closest federal census to the date of the class photo and unfortunately the 1892 NY census records don’t extend to Dutchess county. In 1880 Mr. Christie is about 30 living with his wife Rosella and two small children Mabel and Frederick. And here’s the real hinge, he’s listed as a teacher. Ok, good possibility!

Unfortunately “Professor” Christie had a change of heart at some point and became an insurance salesman. EVERY OTHER document he appears in have his occupation listed as Insurance agent or salesman – son Harvey went into the biz too. Samuel died in 1923 in Connecticut, as did much of his family, daughter Mabel, son-in-law Henry, wife Rosella, probably his son’s but I couldn’t confirm that.

So there it is, my weak argument – I’m hopeful a family member can shed light on him and confirm the identity.

The Gaines couple and Eastman Business College, Class of 1888 in Po’keepsie

Photos of the 1888 class as well as President and Treasurer, Clement C. Gaines and Mrs. C. C. Gaines.

Here’s what the documentation shows: Mr. Clement Carrington Gaines was born on March 15, 1857 in Charlotte county, VA according to a passport application. He was 53 at the time of the application in 1911. The wife Elizabeth he listed was 27. Likely NOT the same wife as in this class photo.

In 1880, the closest census to this photo, 23 year old Clement was living at home in Virginia with his parents and siblings. Parents were Richard V. and either Virginia or Elizabeth Gaines (different names in different years). Clement was listed as a student, his father a farmer. By 1900, Clement had married Mirina E. who was 13 years his senior. They lived in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, NY. Clement was a teacher. I believe it is Mirina who is pictured here as Mrs. C. C. Gaines.

The could had no children listed as living with them. But, thank goodness for the 1892 NY census, in that year, in Poughkeepsie, Clement was 38, a professor, no wife was listed, but a young Minerva Gaines was 14 years old. This was likely Mirina’s daughter, but I can’t find anything else after that one census. Was this a mis-recorded wife? Had Mirina already died?

By 1920, second wife Elizabeth had entered the picture. She and Clement, now 62, still lived in Dutchess county, NY with 4 small children – aged 7 to 2. I hope Clement had a lot of energy!

An additional list of life events follows on his Find A Grave memorial. According to that site, he died in 1943 and is buried in Gaines Family Cemetery in Virginia. Other photos of the couple are for sale in an autograph book listed here.

Anyone know what happened to Mirina or Minerva?