Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hello Frankford Gazette Readers!

Wow, I am so grateful to Joseph Garvey for sharing my family's history and this blog with the good people of Frankford. I feel very fortunate that I was born into a generation that can share things so easily over the internet.

My Overington family posts are mainly the last several on the front page here, but there are one or two more available if you click on the word "Overington" under the header "Labels" down on the right.

My photos are on Flickr. The Overington family photos are mostly here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60027918@N02/sets/72157626978233995/

There are more Overington relatives in the photo sets for the Burns-Yarnall family (William Overington Jr.'s mother was Jenny Burns), as well as the Newman-Overington and Jones-Overington families (my great-grandmother Claudia "Poppy" Overington's two marriages). The first several photos in "Miscellaneous Relatives" are Overingtons as well.

My family tree is on Ancestry.com under the name "Gammon Family Tree." Here's a link to Poppy's page in it, if you are interested in the various family members.

Thank you for sharing an interest in the Overington family.

If you didn't come from the Frankford Gazette, their post is here.

William Overington, I

William Overington, I by dressedupinwords
William Overington, I, a photo by dressedupinwords on Flickr.
This is the only photograph I have of William Overington. I'm sure I have the original somewhere but I can't find it. This copy was in a newspaper many decades ago.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Frankford, Philadelphia Historical Photographs

While looking up photos of Oaklands for my last post, I found these two photographs that I thought might also be of interest to the Garveys, particularly if their family also has history in the area. 

The top image has no notes on it other than a stamp identifying the photographer as "Dan. E. Paul, Commercial Photography, Bell Phone, 2225 N. 2nd St., Phila, PA." The second one has writing on the back. It says "Literary Club Nov 7, 1922. Historical Pageant." Then the people on the carriage are named, other than the driver and one passenger. Left to right, based on visible faces, are the driver, Mrs. Blood, Mr. Thorp, Mrs. Overington, Mr. Overington, (unknown), Mrs. Ervien, Mrs. Murray, Mrs. W. Whitaker, and Mrs. Fuller.

The Overingtons are visible in the first photograph, as well. They are on the right side in the back, wearing the same hats as in the second picture. Most, if not all, of the other Literary Club members are there, too. 

For more Overington pictures, including pictures of the house, check out the rest of my blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Banner

I've updated the banner at the top of the blog. Instead of the title and the names of my ancestors, I've used a photograph of my great-grandmother as a girl, looking through photo albums on the porch at Oaklands. I think it is a better representation of what my blog is to me. I hope anyone who visits this blog enjoys it as well.

Oaklands - the Overington Family House

At the request of Mrs. Garvey, who lives across the street from Overington Park, I've taken the time to look at my pictures for glimpses of Oaklands, the house my ancestors lived in on that property. According to Brian H. Harris's book on Frankford (a neighborhood of Philadelphia) for the Images of America series, the house was built in 1847 for William Overington, my 4x-great-grandfather and the first of the Overingtons to come to America. The earliest map I have found is from 1849 and clearly names the 37-acre property "Oaklands" under the ownership of W. Overington.

On later maps the buildings' footprints are shown more clearly - probably more accurately, as they are in different places - and the property has visibly shrunk as parcels were sold off. On this map from 1920 (note: rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise from the one above), you can see that Allen Street has been renamed Overington Street. There is also a semi-circular drive approaching the back of the house from Pilling Street. Earlier maps show an L-shaped drive that came off Leiper Street to the front of the house. In fact, the house's address was 4606 Leiper Street. The other visible (square) building on the property is the stable. 

There are not too many pictures of the house itself. The earliest I've ever seen is in Harris's book. I have reproduced it here, hopefully not in violation of copyright. I assume that it must be an early photograph because the trees around the house appear quite young, and in later photos the columns on the porch are white.

Here is a picture I had of the house, showing the driveway up to the front. It is probably not much later than the one above, based again on the trees and the appearance of the porch.

And here is one we've had hanging on our wall for years. On the back it lists all the babies that were born in the house, ending with my grandmother's uncle William Overington III in 1910. My grandmother wasn't born in the house but she was the last child to be raised there.

Here is a much later photograph showing the drive off Pilling Street, visible in the second map:

And here are two more pictures of the front of the house. Apparently the driveway remained in the front but does not appear to be paved, which may be why it was not drawn onto later maps.

This picture is from the "big snow" one year:

A much earlier photograph of my grandmother's grandmother and her sister on the porch of the house, showing the doorway:

This photo appears to be of some kind of theater group but in any case it's a better angle to show the porch and doorway:

Here my grandmother is a baby, being held by her mother on the porch (ca. 1925-26):

And finally, my grandmother's mother as a girl at the pump by the stable. This is the only photograph I know of that has the stable in it.

I apologize for all the time-skipping in this post but I thought this arrangement would be best for showing the house.

Oaklands was in disrepair by the time my grandmother came along. I am not sure when it happened, but I suspect it was in the 1930s that the property was sold to the city or some such body, which subsequently leveled the house and turned the lot into Overington Park.