Monday, October 19, 2009

Re-thinking the identity of unknown male Russell, PART II.

Though the second wife of Thomas Russell, the elder, that is Jane McCallum, had a late child by Thomas, it is possible that she may have born children in a previous marriage. She bore James F. Russell in 1869, when she was 42 years old. If she did have other children, they could have been on their own before she re-married sometime between 1866 and 1869. Thomas Russell, Sr, died in 1880, and Jane (McCallum) Russell died in 1884; both were buried in Durham County, England.

The adult children of Thomas Russell and his FIRST wife, Jame McNelley/ McNally, who were Thomas W. and Robert Russell, immigrated through port of Boston to Houtzdale, Clearfield Co, PA, in Sep 1881. They were followed by James F. and Alma Emma in 1885, through the port of Philadephia, and John G. Russell came to Houtzdale in 1884 via Philadelphia according to his naturalization papers. Since these immigrations began in 1881, I paid little attention to any other Russell immigrants who showed up earlier in Clearfield County, but I was aware of them.

Recently, another family researcher called my attention to the 1880 census of Houtzdale in which another Russell family of Scottish immigrants was enumerated. They were Robert Russell, 33, born abt 1843, his wife Mary, 31, and their four children, Christina, Elizabeth, DAVID, and Alexander. My fellow researcher suggested that son, David, age 5, was my missing person. Incidentally, I posted a picture of a "David" Russell on my Genealogy web site for the past 9 years as a missing person. But, if son, David, was born in 1875, he would have been about 10 years old when the Kruger Studio portrait was taken in 1885 or thereabouts. Though the Kruger picture might have been taken a few years later, the unknown Russell seems to be much older than a teenager, and therefore, unlikely to be Robert's son called David. On the other hand, the father himself, that is Robert Russell, might be the unknown Russell. Moreover, my source found some unconfirmed data on Member Family Trees at indicating that Robert's full name was Robert McCallum Russell. And that does ring a bell even though it is slightly hollow at this point. Additional data on this family, particularly obituaries, might make the bell ring more clearly.

Oh yes, the 1900 census, indicates that Robert M. Russell and his son, David, were "Stationary Engineers". Does that not sound like a glorified term for "Secretary". Note that my unidentified, male Russell, who was featured in the last blog entry, was a SECRETARY for the Berwind and White Coal Company. According US censuses, Robert M. Russell migrated from Houtzdale, Clearfield Co., to Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland Co. (toward Pittsburgh), between 1880 and 1900. Robert and his wife were still in Mt. Pleasant in 1920. Robert's son, David, was still a bachelor by the 1930 census, aged 54 years.

Most of the time there are crumbs of truth in family tradition. It is up to the family historian to build these crumbs into a whole loaf of bread.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

You are very good story teller!