Carrie Morton Mather

Mather_CarrieM_PassportApplication_1919_2_cropI discovered Carrie M. Mather on one of my subject forays into my family tree.  I was trying to find all the World War I service men and women, and so I was taking a hard look at anyone who was born between 1880 and 1900.  As I plugged names into Fold3 and Ancestry, I was careful to just look at military service.  I was able to document quite a few male veterans but I was shocked at the number of female veterans I had.  Carrie is descended from a Mount family line firmly entrenched in New Jersey.  And yet her story compels me.

Carrie Morton Mather was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on 26 October 1886 to Frank N. (1855-1921) and Sarah Elizabeth Applegate (1855-1944) Mather.  Frank and Lizzie Mather had two daughters, Caroline and Ida (1882-1949).  Carrie attended the New Jersey State Normal school, graduating in 1907. In the 1910 Census she living with her parents and is employed as a teacher.

Mather_CarrieM_PassportApplication_1917_2_CropIn December of 1917, she boarded the Espagne at the port of New York to sail to France to assist with YMCA Canteen work.

In 1919 I find her listed as a sophomore (non matriculate due to lack of course credit) at Pomoma College in California. Later she is listed in a University of California register as graduating early on 17 Dec 1920 from University of  California, Berkeley with a BA.

The California Alumni Monthly for 1922 reports that she is with the Girls’ Baptist Mission Dormitory in Iloilo, Philippines.  And the Annual of the Northern Baptist Convention for that same year reports that she received her appointment.

She appears to have left the Philippines on 9 January 1924, stopping in Houghon China and Japan before returning to the US.  That same year she marries Lawrence E. Blackman, a Canadian music teacher.  The actual record escapes me but a newspaper article in October mentions her recent marriage.  Lawrence and Carrie are living in Peoria, Illinois in the 1930 Census, where he is employed as a music teacher.  In 1944 the couple moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. where they become directors of the Dupont Community house.

After that I loose track of her, except that she appears to have been living in Silver Creek, NY when she died in January 1969.  It is possible that she settled there as I believe Ida Mather and her husband Harry Burton Skidmore lived in the area.

I would love to know more about her experiences abroad.  What made her give up a comfortable teaching position and strike out for a war zone?  And then return, shake off the dust and head in the opposite direction to the Philippines?  If it weren’t for her passport applications, I might never have found this clue.

Burns Wilson Mount

This week of #52Ancestors brings me back to the Mount family, but focuses on the branch of the family that migrated out to Ohio.  How helpful it would have been to have known about this group when I actually lived in Ohio.  I chose Burns Wilson Mount because his birthday falls in this week and because the prompt this week is “favorite name.”

It can be especially challenging for research when your subject has a really unusual name that is made up of very common words.  Initial searches lead me to many people who died of burns near Mount Healthy.

Burns Wilson Mount was born on 7 February 1897 in Warren County, Ohio to Addison and Clara Moses Mount.  Addison Mount migrated from Hightstown, New Jersey when he was 17 years old and his children are the first generation to be born in Ohio.  Burns was the youngest of six sons raised on a farm in Butler County.  When he was 17 two major life events happened for him: he married Kathleen Frazee and he enlisted in the Ohio National Guard, eventually serving as a private in the 166th Infantry in World War I.

Burns and Kathleen Mount had two children, Arthur B. and Ralph E., both of whom also served in the military during World War II.  After serving in WWI, Burns returned to Ohio and got a job in a steel mill, where he worked for the next twenty years at least.  Unfortunately, creative searching strategies have not lead me to any images of Burns although I did find entries for his two boys in the Young Patriots of World War II publication.Mount_ArthurandRalph_WWIIYoungPatriots_crop

Burns Mount died 29 October 1959 and is buried with military honors at Woodhill Cemetery in Franklin, Ohio.  His wife Kathleen (1897-1968) is buried next to him.  As recently as 2012 someone had decorated the grave with an American flag, which is fitting for a 20 year old who went off to France so many years before.  Happy Birthday, Burns Wilson Mount!

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Elizabeth Brightly Jones

Jones_ElizabethBrightly_signatureI chose Elizabeth for my second #52Ancestors because I had life dates for her but little else and she had what for the Jones family is an unusual name.  I thought I would learn all there was to know just by stringing her census records together, since she apparently never married.  Little did I know.

Elizabeth Brightly Jones was born in Brooklyn, NY on 9 January 1887, to Richard Woodmansie and Elizabeth Walsh Brightly Jones.  Sadly, her mother appears to have died later in January of complications from childbirth.  Although Richard Jones remarries in 1904, Elizabeth kept variations of her mother’s name as she grew to adulthood, which helped me to find her; one of the hardest names to research is Elizabeth Jones.

122_hopsital_1893bElizabeth trained as a nurse at Bryn Mawr Hospital, graduating in 1912 and working in New York, Missouri and Pennsylvania.  She served during World War I at the American Red Cross Military Hospital in Paris, France.  There is great information about this in both her passport application, which contains letters from her employers vouching for her credentials, but also in her Veterans Compensation application, which details her training and work history.  Of note is also the article that appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle welcoming her home after the war.

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Interestingly enough, it is through these and other records that I found evidence that she used a hyphenated version of her name, Brightly-Jones as well as spelling out her middle name. Perhaps this was a way of honoring her mother.

I feel a sense of connection with Elizabeth because in 1990 when I broke my ankle in a riding accident (the horse bucked on purpose but I fell off by accident), I was taken to the Bryn Mawr hospital emergency room and later had surgery at that hospital to pin the ankle back together.  This Veteran’s Day I will make it a point to honor her service during World War I.   Happy Birthday Elizabeth Brightly-Jones!