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?  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Obit - Douglas John ABERLE

                                                    Douglas John ABERLE passed away

This is a discussion I had with myself: I never know whether it is proper to refer to him as my ex-Father-In-Law or just leave it at FIL. He is after all one of the two grandfathers to my two boy, and the father of my ex-husband. I have remarried and have a new set of In-Laws, If I call my husband my ex husband than should it be my ex FIL too. YES I have decided that he is in fact my ex-husband and my ex-FIL. BUT he is not an ex-father or ex-grandfather, so that is the difference.

                                         Doug had always been a  nice man, and he will be missed.

                                                       17 June 1921 - January 26, 2014

Obituary for Douglas J. Aberle       Passalacqua Funeral Chapel
Douglas J. Aberle, 92, of Benicia [CA] passed away Sunday in a local care home following a long illness. He was born in San Francisco and has called Benicia his home for the past 10 years.

He served in the United States Army during World War II. He was a passionate french horn player, enjoyed traveling the world and was a fan of the 49ers, Giants and the University of Michigan.

Douglas worked as a Mechanical Engineer for Federal-Mogul Corporation for over 43 years before retiring in 1983.

Douglas is survived by his sons John [Doulgas] (Debra) Aberle and Walter [Bridge] (Patricia) Aberle, 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy [Bridge] Aberle in 2003.
Funeral services with Military Honors and burial will be private at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma [CA]. Family prefers donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation.