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Workday Wednesday- Dora Russell Aiken

Dora J. Russell Aiken-Business Card
Dora J. Russell Aiken-Business Card (Click to enlarge.)

Dora J. RUSSELL was born to David S. RUSSELL (1833-1897) and Rebecca Ann LUTZ (1841-1916) on 05 April 1862 in Flora, Clay County, Illinois (per death certificate) or Lorraine Village, Black River Township, Lorain, Ohio. (I think the latter, though some family researchers insist on Flora, IL, and her daughter listed Flora as Dora’s birthplace on the death certificate.) Dora had an older sister named Cora, so in the family they were affectionately known as “Cora and Dora from Flora.” There were two brothers as well: George Franklin Russell (1870-1927) and Claude Elmer Russell (1875-1942).

We have been unable to find the family in any 1870 census, but in 1877, Dora, just 13, was working in Caledonia Twp., Michigan as a domestic servant in the home of William and Mina Tick. Dora is then found in 1880 in Black River Twp., Lorain Co., Ohio with her family, where she was working as a milliner at age 16.

Dora married William H. AIKEN about 1883 and their first child, Dorothy Adele AIKEN(1884-1953), was born in Black River, Lorain, Ohio. The family lived in Amherst, Lorain, OH in 1885. Their son Claude Frank AKEN (or Frank Claude AIKEN) (1887,88, or 89?-1944), was also born in Lorain Co., Ohio.

In 1900 the family was living in New Madrid, Missouri. By 1910 they had moved to Florence, Fremont Co., Colorado with just son Claude- daughter Dottie had married Samuel J. Lee in 1906 and they were living in St. Louis, Missouri at the 1910 census.

Dora and her husband split up sometime between the 1910 census and the 1917 St. Louis City Directory that lists her as a widow and working as a nurse. (Thus the above business card is probably from that era.) She may have lived with her son Claude Aiken and his wife around 1915 in Chicago and again (still?) in 1917, as Claude’s World War I Draft Registration of 05 June 1917 in Oakville, St. Louis Co., Missouri notes that his mother and his wife are both dependents.

Dora Russell Aiken is found in the 1920 US Federal Census in St. Louis, Missouri with her daughter Dorothy “Dottie” (Aiken) Lee and Dottie’s husband Samuel J. Lee. At the 1930 census, the household consisted of her son-in-law, Samuel J. Lee, his wife Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, their son Lloyd Eugene “Gene” and his wife Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee, and their young son Robert Eugene Lee, Dora’s great-grandson. She lived the remainder of her life with her daughter and son-in-law.

Four generations of Aikens: Dora (Russell) Aiken sitting, her daughter Dorothy "Dottie" (Aiken) Lee, Dottie's son Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, and Gene's son Robert Eugene Lee sitting on his great-grandmother's lap. Taken about 1933 at the house on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri.
Four generations of Aikens: Dora (Russell) Aiken sitting, her daughter Dorothy “Dottie” Adele (Aiken) Lee standing behind her, Dottie’s son Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, and Gene’s son Robert Eugene Lee sitting on his great-grandmother’s lap. Taken about 1933 at the house on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri. (Click to enlarge.)

Dora (Russell) Aiken died on 7 Apr 1935, and is buried with her daughter Dorothy and son-in-law Samuel Lee  in Memorial Park, MO. Her son Claude Frank Aiken is buried nearby.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) My Find A Grave Memorial# 57013339 for Dora Aiken Lee: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Aiken&GSiman=1&GScid=30159&GRid=57013339&. Accessed 2/25/14.

2) 1880 US Federal census for David S. Russell: Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Lorain, Lorain, Ohio; Roll: 1042; Family History Film: 1255042; Page: 345B; Enumeration District: 163; Image: 0040. Accessed at Ancestry.com 2/25/14.

3) 1900 US Federal Census for William H. Aiken: Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: West, New Madrid, Missouri; Roll: 877; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1240877. Accessed 2/26/14.

4) 1910 US Federal Census for William H. Aiken: Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Florence Ward 3, Fremont, Colorado; Roll: T624_119; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1374132. Accessed 2/26/14.

5) 1917 City Directory- St.. Louis, MO: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed 2/26/14.

6) 1917 US Draft Registration for Claud F Aiken: Source Citation: Registration State: Missouri; Registration County: St Louis; Roll: 1683865; Draft Board: 3. Accessed 2/26/14.

7) 1920 US Federal Census for Samuel J. Lee: Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: St Louis Ward 24, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: T625_960; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 468; Image: 245. Accessed 2/26/14.

8) 1930 US federal census for Samuel J. Lee: Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: St Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 1245; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0239; Image: 830.0; FHL microfilm: 2340980. Accessed 2/26/14.

9) Family ephemera and photographs- treasures all.

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
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Stories- A Family Legacy, Part 2

Edith Roberts- Declamatory Contest. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Jasper Co., Iowa, shortly after 2 Feb 1917. (from a clipping without date)
Edith Roberts- Declamatory Contest. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Jasper Co., Iowa, shortly after 2 Feb 1917. (From a clipping without date)

Telling the family stories is a wonderful legacy to pass on to your children.

But I can’t find ANYTHING about my ancestor ANYWHERE…

Don’t know much about the actual stories of the lives of your ancestors? There are many resources available, both online and at specific places that can help you piece together a life and/or a family. If you are not lucky enough to have many family stories, you can learn more about your ancestors to help put their lives in context.

Newspapers

Newspapers are a great resource for learning the stories of ancestors, or the places and times in which they lived. Newspapers of 50+ years ago included who was visiting where, long or one-line obituaries, detailed political and voter information, etc. The obituary of Jefferson Springsteen (1820-1909) tells of him running away to join the circus as a boy- how could he then be upset when his son Abram Springsteen ran away to join the Union Army as a drummer boy at age 12? There is a story there… A short note about Miss Edith Roberts (1899-1982) taking first place in the Declamatory Contest as well as “the Dramatic’ is on the same page as the notice of  the “Death of Grandma Roberts” (her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts, 1835-1917). What mixed emotions Edith must have felt that day! Such information from newspapers allows us to realize and then understand the challenges and triumphs of those who have gone before, and help us tell the stories of our ancestor’s lives.

"Death of Grandma Roberts"- Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Jasper Co., Iowa. Undated newspaper clipping but Elizabeth died 02 Feb 1917.
“Death of Grandma Roberts”- Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Jasper Co., Iowa. Undated newspaper clipping but Elizabeth died 02 Feb 1917.

Genealogy Bank is my favorite newspaper website for ease of use and breadth of papers held, though it is a for-pay website. Ancestry.com also has newspapers, as do a few other for-pay websites. Some favorite free websites are chroniclingamerica.loc.gov, http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc for California newspapers, and http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html for New York state and other newspapers, postcards, etc.

If you can’t find articles about your own family, read through the headlines, ads, and social columns of the newspaper from where they lived and during that time period- it will help to put your ancestors into the context of their times.

Books

There are many books that can be found in the history section of the bookstore or library that can help you to piece together more information about your ancestor’s probable daily life. (Jane Austen’s England by Roy Adkins is on my list to read- it tells about everyday life in the late 18th and early 19th century England.) Used or out-of-print books may be found at abebooks.com, alibris.com, or a local used bookseller can do a search for you. Many other family or social history sources can be found on Google Books (books.google.com), such as county histories. Although your ancestor may not have had the money or inclination to buy a writeup in a county history (AKA “Mug Books” since they sometimes required a payment to be included), just reading about the area in the first part of the history can give an idea of the topography, religion, economics, goods and services provided, social groups, etc. Google Books may give you a snippet of information from a book so that you can determine if you would like to buy it, or it may provide an ebook for free to download. The Internet Archive (https://archive.org) has millions of pages of books, videos, etc. available for free. (Sadly, some of them are OCR’d images and may be hard to read, but may still be useful.) They also offer “The  Way Back Machine” to help you find old web pages from now-defunct websites. Another good free online book source is hathitrust.org.

WorldCat (http://www.worldcat.org) is a great place to find a book, and then your library may be able to get it on interlibrary loan for you if it can’t be found locally. College libraries that include manuscript or special collections and dissertations may provide wonderful information. Some may be dry and/or scholarly, but you may be able to find information that can help you enhance the date and place information you already know about your family.

Here are some social history questions to ask, and research, about your ancestor’s time, place, and life:

What events were going on locally, nationally?

What was the economy like? Boom time or bust, or just a long struggle like in the 1890s?

What were prevailing religious views?

What were political leanings and issues of those in the area where your ancestor lived?

What provided income to your ancestor, and how common was that occupation?

Some of the answers can help provide family stories. We inherited some strange tools- they were very old and it was hard to tell what they were used for. They belonged to descendants of George Lee (1821-aft 1880) who lived in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, England, which was a large shoe-making center. George and his sons all came to America, and at least one son, Josiah, was a shoemaker. With the knowledge that shoemaking was important in their hometown in England, and then the US Federal Census that listed shoemaking as an occupation for Josiah, some online research for shoemaking tools helped us identify the purpose of the artifacts. The tools we have were probably Josiah’s, and now we can add shoemakers to the family stories.

When telling your family stories, whether in print, electronic form, or oral stories, it is important to ALWAYS differentiate general facts from those known specifically about your family. Also, document sources with proper citations, so that you or others may revisit those sources to verify or  disprove ideas and ‘facts.’

 

Adding social history to your research can give a deeper understanding of the lives of our ancestors, and enrich the family stories we leave as a legacy to our descendants.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Newspaper clippings are from the Prairie City News, around 02 feb 1917.

2) I have no affiliation with any of the websites listed, and do not receive any benefits from them financially or in product. (FTC Disclosure.)

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

Copyright 2013 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Those Places Thursday: Samuel J. Lee and Son Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri

 

 

Real photo postcard (RPPC) of Sarah & Chouteau Ave. in St. Louis, Missouri. The "X" marks where the pharmacy is.
Real photo postcard (RPPC) of Sarah & Chouteau Ave. in St. Louis, Missouri. The “X” marks where the pharmacy was.
Reverse of Lee drugstore location postcard. Inscription: "This is where I hangout about 14 hours a day." Written by Lloyd Eugene Lee, RPh.
Reverse of Lee drugstore location postcard. Ink inscription: “This is where I hangout about 14 hours a day.” Written by Lloyd Eugene Lee, RPh. (Printed info in pencil is from a family get together when we looked at all the old photos while most of the folks who knew what was in them were still with us.)

 

 

Five Family Photos for Friday- Samuel J. Lee of St. Louis, Missouri

A portrait of samuel J. Lee taken in St. Louis, Missouri. He appears to be about 3 or 4, so this would have been taken around1882-3.

A portrait of Samuel J. Lee taken in St. Louis, Missouri. He appears to be about 3 or 4, so this would have been taken around 1882-3.

[Click on any image to enlarge.]

 

Samuel J. Lee was born to Samuel Lenton Lee (1849-1932) and his wife Louisa M. Brandenburger (1859-1934) in Bunker Hill, Macoupin, Illinois on 29 Jun 1879. He married Dorothy Adele Aiken (1884-1953) on 1 Dec 1906 in Bunker Hill. They moved to St. Louis, Missouri by 7 Sep 1907, when their son Lloyd Eugene Lee was born.

Samuel J. Lee (left) in his Chouteau Ave store in St. Louis, Missouri, circa 1920?
Samuel J. Lee (left) in his Chouteau Ave store in St. Louis, Missouri, circa 1920?

Sam Lee had a drugstore at 4067 Chouteau Ave. in St. Louis. When his son also became a pharmacist, the store was called “S. J. Lee & Son.”

Samuel J. Lee home at 6204 Alamo Ave., St. Louis, Missouri. 1930s or 1940s?
Samuel J. Lee family home at 6204 Alamo Ave., St. Louis, Missouri. 1930s or 1940s?

The Lees purchased their home at 6204 Alamo in St. Louis sometime between the 1920 and 1930 censuses.

Christmas, possibly 1960s, at the Samuel J. Lee home on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri.
Christmas, possibly 1960s, at the Samuel J. Lee home on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri.
Samuel J. Lee in His Drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1940s or 1950s?
Samuel J. Lee in his drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1950s or 1960s?

Sam died 24 Sep 1964 in St. Louis and was buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Jennings, St. Louis Co., Missouri.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Birth information for Samuel J. Lee: Source Citation: Registration State: Missouri; Registration County: St Louis (Independent City); Roll: 1683856; Draft Board: 24. Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Accessed 12/11/13.

2) Samuel J. Lee and Dorothy Adele Aiken marriage certificate in family artifacts.

3) Birth record of Lloyd Eugene Lee: Source Information: Ancestry.com. Missouri Birth Records, 1851-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Missouri Birth Records [Microfilm]. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Accessed 12/11/13.

4) 1920 US Federal Census: Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: St Louis Ward 24, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: T625_960; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 468; Image: 245. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Accessed 12/11/13.

5) 1930 US Federal Census: Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: St Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 1245; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0239; Image: 830.0; FHL microfilm: 2340980. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls. Accessed 12/11/13.

6) Find A Grave Memorial # 56893479, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56893479. Accessed 12/11/13.

7) Note: edited 7/2/14 and changed “George Lenton Lee” to “Samuel Lenton Lee.” George Lee was the father of Samuel Lenton Lee; Samuel’s mother was Eliza Lenton.

 

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Copyright 2013 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.