Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary

Found two newspaper articles about the my great grandparents- celebrating their  "50th Golden Wedding Anniversary". Yes I have to say that I am very lucky to have found either write up but especially the second write up with so much information included. I am still picking it a part and researching all the different points, organizations, and family. I need to go line by line, listing out what I need to research.

first write up: 50 Years of Marriage.......  the Golden Anniversary 
The Repository, Canton Ohio Dec 29, 1932 + picture of couple

Alliance Ohio  Dec 29, Mr and Mrs Edward C. Branfield of 624 East Oxford Street, celebrated their golden anniversary Saturday Dec 26.  They were married in 1881 in Sharon PA and are aged 71 and 65 years respectively. A family dinner was held at Alliance Country Club followed by a reception for friends. Gold was the prevailing color at the tables, decorated with candles and  flowers.

The couple have seven children, 10 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. Children present include John E Branfield of Pasadena Cal, Mrs Edmond Wells Thomas of Gettysburg PA; Mrs Benjamin Franklin Davis of Pittsburg PA; Dr Vancil R Branfield of Lakewood ; Mrs John Peterson [Patterson] Gardner; Albert Branfield and Dr Richard Branfield, all of Alliance. Mrs Allen Hindson, a sister of Mrs Branfield, who attended the wedding 50 years ago was also present.

second write up;  Alliance Review, Alliance, Stark Co., Ohio

Alliance Couple Celebrate Golden Anniversary - 1932   [w/picture]
under picture... Mr and Mrs E C Branfield are guests at a sumptuous dinner in the spacious dining room of the Alliance Country Club. In addition to the joyous festivities of the Christmas season, a very happy company gathered in the spacious dining room of the Alliance Country Club on Saturday December 26, for the celebration of the Golden Wedding of Mr and Mrs E C Branfield, when, with their immediate family, about 60 relatives and friends were seated at the tables, which were beautifully decorated, and upon which an excellent dinner was served.

On account of the widely separated families, which gathered from Pennsylvania, Michigan and California and various cities in Ohio, only as impromptu program could be arranged. but was so well carried out that no improvement could be desired. Mrs Brown of Detroit MI, sister of the bride, acting as toastmistress.
Before being seated the dexology was sung, followed by prayer by the Rec A R Elshoff, DD, Pastor of the Emmanual Reformed Church. During the meal someone put the question, "What's the matter with the Branfields?" which received the voiferous reply: "They're all right." Congratulatory addresses were given by Dr Elshoff, Attorney H S Wykuff (city solicitor), E W Thomas, of Gettysburg, PA a son in law, and others. Mr Thomas recital of his experience in 'asking dad' would arouse the eympathy of those having passed through such an ordeal, but perhaps would discourage some timid soul apt to face it.

During the dinner a very pretty scene was enacted, when two little grandsons of the bride and groom came forward, and in works worthy of much older speech makers, presented two beautiful corsages, on to the bride and the other to Mrs Allen Hydson [HINDSON]  a sister of the groom, who was also present at their wedding fifty years ago in Sharon PA.

Beside the many valuable gifts from the children and other relatives a beautiful bouquet of flowers was presented by Attorney Wykoff on behalf of the Pythcon Sisters and past Chiefs Association, also from the Eastern Stars, of which order Mrs Branfield is an honored member, while another evidence of sincere good wishes in similiar form was presented by T Jarman in behalf of the Alliance Welsh Women's Club, of which Mrs Branfield has been recently re-elected President.

It has sometimes been thought fitting on these occasions to re-enact the wedding ceremony, but to those who have known and enjoyed the friendship of this happy couple for many years such procedure would seem inappropriate, as the vows made fifty years ago have evidently been faithfully performed, and we would venture assertion that the honeymoon has not yet waned.

At the reception which followed, large number of friends gathered to offer their best wishes, during which time several musical selections were  given, among them a duet by Mr Branfield and Mrs Brown, which might well be called  "the belated encore" as it was sung by them at the wedding party fifty years ago.
A male party composed of the sons and sons in law gave several selections, which convinced us that were they more conveniently situated they could form a glee club, of which would need not be ashamed.
When the hour of parting came we could truthfully say, "This, indeed, is the end of a perfect day" while wishing Mr and Mrs Branfield many more years in the enjoyment of the affections of their large family and the loyalty of their host of friends.

Mr Branfield was born in Blaina Monmouthshire, the son of Edward and Esther Branfield. Mrs Branfield was born in Maestage Glamorganshire, the daughter of Mr and Mrs John James, both coming to this country with their parents, who settled in Coalburg O. Their family now consists of four sons and three daughters [one daughter having died in infancy] and are highly respected in the communitys in which they live....... T Jarman

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - E. C.BRANFIELD

Great Grandfather on my Fathers Mothers side.............

The Alliance Review, Friday October 19, 1941  DEATHS

                                                          E. C. BRANFIELD

Relatives in Alliance have received word of the death Thursday of E. C. Branfield which occurred at Albuquerque, N. M. while on route from a three month visit in Alliance to
Tuscon, Ariz., where he and Mrs. Branfield planned to reside.

Mr Branfield who observed his 81st birthday anniversary in July, came to the United States from England as a child or 9, the son of Edward and Esther Branfield. He resided in Alliance for 32 years and had been in the coal business, his life occupation.Since his retirement he had spent most of his time in the west.He was a member of the First Methodist Church and on December 31 would have been a member for the Knights of Pythfas for 60 years.

He is survived by his widow and seven children: John Branfield of Pasadena, Calif; Albert Branfield of East Mill Street; Mrs John Gardner of South Linden Avenue; Mrs Ed Thomas of Gettysburg, PA; Vancil R Branfield of Lakewood; Mrs Ben F Davis of Pittsburgh PA and Dr Richard Branfield of Hartshorn Street. There are 15 grandchildren  and four great grandchildren, also three sisters and a brother, Mrs William Bryn and Mrs Alan Hindson of Youngstown, Mrs William Gee of Kinsman and Charles Branfield of Masury.

Funeral arrangements have not been set.


I believe they visited their son John Edward BRANFIELD before going to Arizona. I believe that were going to move to Arizona because Mrs Branfield had asthma and needed the Arizona climate. Doesn't look like that came to be. After her husband passed away unexpectedly in Arizona, I believe she traveled back to Alliance Ohio where most of  her children lived and stayed till she passed away in 1945.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - Affidavit of Birth


                 Great Grandmother Mary Ann (JAMES) BRANFIELD 

                                                         AFFIDAVIT OF BIRTH

County of Allegheny
State of  Penna

Before me, a Notary Public in and for said County, personally appeared Mary Ann Branfield, who being first duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that she married Edward C Branfield, who is now deceased, at Sharon, Pennsylvania, December 26, 1881.

Affidavit further says that her son, John E Branfield, was born of that marriage, October 23, 1883, at Coalburg, Trumbull County, Ohio, and

              That he now resides at #166 North Mentor Avenue, Pasadena, California.

Affidavit further says that she was born, October 8, 1865 at Meistag, Gla-Morganshire, Wales, entering the United States, September 1870, with her parents.

Affidavit further states that her father, Jonathan James, was naturalized at Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio in 1884, thus naturalizing her, and that she has retained that citizenship.

Affidavit further says that her late husband, Edward C Branfield, was born July 6, 1860, at Rhyme, Monmouthshire, England, entering the United States with his parents in 1869, and that said Edward C Branfield became a citizen of the United States by naturalization about 1890 in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, and that he retained his citizenship.

Affidavit further says that her son, John E Branfield, was born a citizen of the United States of America and has retained his citizenship.

(signed)  Mary ann Branfield

Sworn to before me and
Subscribed in my presence
This 11th day of April 1944

(signed) Jessie Rupert, Notary Public
Jessie Rupert, N. P.
My Commission Expires
March 7, 1947

mailed 3 copies 4-11-1944

I love that I have an original signature for Mary Ann James Branfield

My main question is why did Mary Ann need to create this document? 
The document only included one son, herself, her deceased husband & father. She had a total of 8 children -4 boys & 4 girls-  but only her first son (& first child) is mentioned in this affidavit. Feels like a lot of it was to prove citizenship but maybe birth too

Wonder if it had to do with John being in California.... did he need to prove his birth &/or citizenship for a job? The census & death certificate & obituary say he was a plumber. He was involved in some type of work related accident and he died 3 July 1944- almost 3 months after affidavit date. So maybe nothing to do with that.  

1944 was during World War II. Did the war have anything to do with creating this document? I believe that the European campaign was settled early in 1944 so might be something with the Pacific campaign. I have not found anything to indicate he was in the service/veteran. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - BRANFIELD marries JAMES

                My Great-Grandparents on my Fathers Mothers side

born: 6 July 1860 Blaina Mommouthshire, England
died: 9 October 1941 Quemado, Catron Co., New Mexico
buried: Alliance City Cemetery, Alliance, Stark Co, Ohio

M. A. James   (Mary Ann JAMES)
born: 8 Oct 1865 Meistag Glamorgan, Wales
died: 13 July 1945 Alliance, Stark Co., Ohio
buried: Alliance City Cemetery, Alliance, Stark Co., Ohio

Married 26 December 1881
First United Methodist Church
Sharon, Mercer Co., Pennsylvania USA

There is no record at the church of this marriage. The church burned in February 1987 with all of the old records. There was no other storage. Of course Pennsylvania did not require the collection of marriage information until 1885 so that is a dead-in also. The newspaper write up of their 50th Golden Anniversary confirms the above wedding dates and place.

I have a copy of a very colorful Marriage Certificate copied from a family bible. I received this copy from a cousin (by marriage) Jean DAVIS, Weems, Lancaster Co.,Virginia USA.

                                                           Certificate of Marriage

This certifies that E. C. Branfield and M. A. James 
were united by me in the 
Holy Bonds of Matrimony 
at Sharon [Pennsylvania]on the 26 day of 
December in the year of our Lord 1881...

in presence of John L James [brother of bride John Lewis JAMES] and M Herbert [unknown]........  
signed ....[?] Applegate, Notary Pulblic


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Alliance City Cemetery, OHIO

                                        GREAT GRANDPARENTS from Fathers Mothers Side
Alliance City Cemetery
Alliance, Stark Co., Ohio

Edward C. BRANFIELD was born 6 July 1860 in Blaina Monmouthshire, England. He traveled with his parents to the United States in 1869.
   While traveling back from visiting his son John Edward BRANFIELD in Pasadena, California, he died of heart failure. This occurred in Quemado, Catron Co., New Mexico. - 9 October 1941 His body was transported by train to his home in Alliance, Stark Co., Ohio and buried at the Alliance City Cemetery,

Mary Ann (JAMES) BRANFIELD was born 8 October 1865 in Meistag Gla-Morganshire, Wales. She traveled with her parents to the United States in 1870. She died (13 July1945) and was buried with her husband at the Alliance City Cemetery. She passed away of Cardiac Asthma Myocarditis - suffered 20 years.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Surname Saturday - JAMES, LITTLE, JONES, BROWN oh for a unique surname

JAMES  this is as bad as LITTLE, JONES, and BROWN and I have them all.......  PLEASE give my one good unique name!!  

And so it came true.......  I have not been able to uncover this mystery yet (but I will). The mystery involves my Great Grandaunt Margaretta JAMES.

She is the daughter of Jonathen and Margaret (JONES) JAMES. Born 20 June 1868 in Glamorgan,Wales. Entered the USA in 1870

She married a man named James BARTHOLOMEW(coal miner & then store keeper). Rumors say that they divorced. But whatever happened between them before they divorced must have been really something since she is said to have legally changed her children's and her last name to BOTTOMY to spite him. Did it? 

NO! I don't know the significance but I reeeeeally want to know. 

1880- Margaretta was 12 years old and living with her parents Jonathen and Margaret JAMES in Hubbard, Trumbull County, Ohio 

By the 1900 (& again in 1910) US Census Margaretta had already changed her name and her two sons last name to BOTTOMY. They lived in Fairfield Twp, Tuscarawas Co., Ohio. Odd thing is the husbands name is  John not James and he was included in both census with the family and the surname of BOTTOMY.

The 1920 & 1930 US Census shows the first son John Henry BOTTOMY married a Florence MAIER. They married with the BOTTOMY surname. Their children also have the last name of BOTTOMY. They lived in Stark Co., Ohio.

1930 US Census, second son Clarence BOTTOMY also retained the name and married a Chloe [Unknown] with children. They lived in the Cuyahoga, Ohio.

Located Margaretta's tombstone: 

                   1868     -    1953
       Alliance City Cemetery
        Alliance, Stark Co., Ohio
She is buried along side her parents
Jonathen (John G.) and Margaret JAMES

Now I wonder when BROWN entered the picture? Is it John? James? 
What does BOTTOMY mean? Significance?
Still need to locate the 1920, 1930 & 1940 US Census for Margaretta.....  no success yet. 
But what about the change of name? Where to look? 

                               A real mystery for sure!  True or Myth?? Who knows yet!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Happy April Fools Day!

My worse (my only)  prank was  April 1, 2001. I am married, two grown children,  both parents living and lots of cousins. In 1999, my husband and I moved from Citrus Heights California to Drums, Pennsylvania after the military bases closed in Sacramento California. My husband was following his workload to Tobyhanna Air Base, Pennsylvania for a 5 year period and then we were going to move back to our home in Citrus Heights. In the meantime, our children were living in the home while we were gone. 

This year for whatever reason I thought I would send out a April Fools Day joke. I had never done this before and not sure why this year. AND I wished I had not done it at all. I apologize to all my family. 

I decided to tell all my relatives in California and New York that I was pregnant. My two boys in California are already in their early twenties and I am almost 54 years old. What a stupid thing to do. Wow, did get some pretty strange mixed message messages and a number of congratulations (probably didn't know what else to say). I don't think I fooled my dad but my mother seemed believe it and was concerned about having another child at my age. Apparently no one remembered (except my dad) that I had had my tubes tied more than twenties before. 

I really started feeling bad instead of laughing about it.Later the same day I sent out the April Fools Day - it is a joke message. I felt a collective a sigh of relief and maybe some shaking their heads in disbelief.

I felt bad about the whole thing and apologized to everyone,  so I have never done that again.

Any other confessions?