George R. Prince holding his son

If there is anything to be grateful about the change in family dynamics in the 20th century, it is that father’s could hold their babies and play with their children.  This is George Raymond Prince (1895-1939) holding either George Raymond Jr. (1921-2004) or Paul Everett Prince (1924-1991).  I live the casual informality here but my heart breaks a little as this photo is included in an album my grandmother Kathryn Preston put together for my father about his family.  Sadly, Barclay Gibbs Jones Sr. never got to hold Barclay Jr. this way.

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George Raymond Prince holding George Raymond Prince ca. 1921

George R. Prince, Philip H. Prince and Kathryn M. Prince were the children of George Cornell Prince.  They make up the New Jersey branch of this early Bradford County, Pennsylvania family.

George R. Prince, Sr. lived in Camden and worked the family business at Prince Concrete.  He married Clara about 1920 (would love more detail on this!) and they had five children: George R. Jr. (1921-2004), Alice Rae (1922-1922), Paul Everett (1924-1991), Joyce Eleanor (1926-2003) and David Roger (1924-2004).

Eleonor Tompkins and Joseph Poland

It’s February and the stores are filled with heart shaped boxes of candy, so romance in on my mind as I select this weeks’ #52ancestors and #52familyphotographs.  I don’t know when it was taken but I think the location is the back porch of James Haviland Tompkins‘ house in South Orange, NJ. This is Joseph Fairfield Poland and Eleonor Marie Tompkins. If it is courtship, then it is pre-1935 wedding.

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Joseph Poland and Eleonor Tompkins

I always wondered what it would have been like if my father and Joe Poland could have communicated more easily (email, whathaveyou) as their careers intersected in so many ways.  Joe was an early force in the field of engineering geology and had a world wide reputation, known by Italians as the “savior of Venice” for his research on why that city was slowly becoming a puddle. Back in the states, he was instrumental in helping California deal with some of its many water issues.

I know far less about Eleonor, the grown up. I know that after her mother’s early death, Eleonor lived with the Tompkins clan in Jersey City.  Haviland depended on his sisters Louise and Grace to take care of the little girl while he worked.  It was a sad day for them when he married for the second time to Elizabeth Carol Baldwin and set up a new household which included Eleonor and two new children.  The family story is that none of his children could leave Jersey City until Samuel D. Tompkins died.  It bears out as shortly after his 1926 death, Haviland and family moved to South Orange.

Joe and Eleonor lived in Sacramento and had five children, who will not be named here because they are still alive and this is the internet after all.

 

Mortimer Oldham Heath

Sometimes in genealogy you go sideways and squirrel off in a seemingly directionless research path that leads to fascinating discoveries. That’s what happened this week with my desire to post this lovely picture of Mortimer Oldham Heath. #52ancestors #52familyphotographs

Mortimer Oldham Heath

I love his curls, the hat and the intense stare (which I know is probably due more to the discomfort of mid-nineteenth century photography than any message he is trying to send down the ages).

Mortimer O. Heath was born in Lytchett Maltravers, Dorset, England on 16 December 1853 to William Mortimer and Emma Heath.  He emigrated to Littleton, North Carolina in 1872 where he lived among the vineyards in the area, sketching and drawing activities of those around him.  In 1878, he returned to England for a short visit. In 1880, he returned to the US, landing in New York harbor.  In perusing the passenger list, one also sees Miss Susan E. Jones, 26 year old spinster (as noted on the passenger list under occupation).  Five years later on 25 November 1885, these two married at St. Clements’ Episcopal Church on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.

Susan Emlen Jones was the fourth of five children of Richard and Alice Woodmansie Davis Jones.

Sadly, Mortimer succumbed to tuberculosis on 27 April 1891 at a resort in Tryon, North Carolina.  He is buried in St. Andrew’s burying ground in Mount Holly, NJ.

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Mortimer Oldham Heath

 

 

Jean Van Syckel with Louise Tompkins

Apparently my grandfather was a genius at photographing children.  In both of these photographs you see the joy in each person for the other. #52ancestors #52familyphotographs

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Jean Van Syckel and Louise Tompkins

Jean Van Syckel was born on 28 July 1875, probably in Flemington, New Jersey, to Chester and Mary Jane Mount Van Syckel.  She was the youngest of their four children and the Flemington, She never married but the Flemington, Jersey City and Detroit, Michigan newspapers tracked her visits with her brother and sister.  Louise Tompkins tells stories about the house and garden at 182 S. Main St. where she “vacationed” as a child.  Mary and Jean kept a large garden and small orchard in the back yard of that house.  Mary succumbed to dementia on Christmas day in 1952.

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Jean Van Syckel and Louise Tompkins