One of my most prolific lines in the Mount family. This is an old, old, old New Jersey family, coming over from England before New Jersey was even a state. They are also one of those families that had at least ten children per marriage and named each child after a beloved sister or brother, so the names circle around and around, and I have to chart out each person to figure just who they are and who their immediate kin are. As part of my 2018 #52Ancestors challenge to do something on one person each week, I am inspired by Catherine’s birthday this week to look at her a bit more closely.
I have just the barest facts on Catherine. She was born on 4 January 1859 to Thomas Hiram and Catherine Fisher Mount and was one of their twelve children. She married Peter Voorhees Perrine on 2 January 1883 in Hightstown and they have two boys, Charles M. and Thomas A. Sadly, Thomas A. comes into the world in 1891 and leaves it in 1892, a common occurrence in the nineteenth century, but it must have been devastating, nonetheless. She died suddenly on 8 January 1929 and is buried in the Cranbury Cemetery (also known as Brainerd Cemetery).
Census records can give a glimpse into the lives of our ancestors, but the five to ten year gaps between them are frustrating. From the Census I can glean that Peter V. Perrine was a farmer, son of a farmer, trained his son to be a farmer. Catherine was a farmer’s wife. The 1910 Census tells me that she did indeed have two children, only one living by 1910. But what about the in between times? Here, I find newspaper archives to be more entertaining. Small town, big city, rural community, whatever, newspapers are a treasure trove of the bits and pieces of our forebears lives.
It is from the Trenton Times that I discovered that Peter and Catherine were active members of the First Baptist Church in Hightstown. In 1914, the church held a harvest celebration and Peter was on the decorating committee. And in 1916, the Perrines lent their support to a lecture series through the Chautauqua on “Community Welfare.” A family birthday celebration in 1913 gives me a few more clues about siblings and relationships. While it is odd to note what gets into the paper, if you look beyond obituaries and marriage notices, you can find all sorts of things.
This year’s challenge lead me to obituaries for both Peter and Catherine, giving me more information than I had previously had. So Happy Birthday, Catherine!