Monday, March 4, 2013

Fearless Females, March 4: The Gammon-McKee Wedding

Yesterday I posted about Carrie Bernice McKee, the great-grandmother after whom I was named. Today I'm going to write about her wedding. She married my great-grandfather James Mathias Gammon on November 6, 1921.

On their wedding day, on the porch:

Their wedding was at her father's house, 1815 Westmoreland Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California. It was a gorgeous, huge Craftsman that still stands.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fearless Females, March 3: Carrie McKee

Today's prompt:
Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

I do actually share a name with an ancestor, but it isn't my first name. My father's father's mother was Carrie Bernice McKee. She was born in Wayne City, Illinois on June 24, 1887, after four older brothers. Her father Albert Finley McKee Senior was from Chagrin Falls, Ohio and her mother Sarah Helen Smart was from Newmarket, New Hampshire. The family moved around a lot but eventually Carrie moved to Los Angeles, where she met and married my great-grandfather James Mathias Gammon on November 9, 1921 at her father's house. They were both 34 years old. They had two sons: my grandfather Howard and my great-uncle Newton (who died in 2005).

Carrie and James died in the early 1970s, over a decade before my older brother was born. My mother never even met her, but my parents decided to name both my brother and I after her because she was such an intelligent and powerful woman in the Gammon family. My brother's middle name is McKee and mine is Carrie.

In about a month I will be going down to Maryland to meet the descendants of one of Carrie's brothers. She was the last of the McKee siblings to pass away (she outlived them all by at least 29 years) and when she did, my branch of the family lost touch with the others. It has been a particular joy of my research to rediscover these relatives. I was always very interested in Carrie because I was named after her, and she's always meant a lot to me.

For more photos of Carrie, check out her tag (CBM) on my Flickr photostream.

As a bonus, here are some of the extra-special female names in my family tree: Aralinda, Armilda/Artmilda, Auleen, Calantha, Coloma, Docia, Elender, Erman, Fairy, Firm, Junale, Marilda, Philonise, Philura, Treulie, Wilmartha, Zelina, Zilpha, and Zoa.

Do you have any of these names in your family tree? Have you even heard of them before? I've excluded any that are more modern than my grandparents.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fearless Females, March 2: Jenny Burns

I missed the first day and I have a very busy month ahead of me, but I'm going to try to participate as much as I can in The Accidental Genealogist's Fearless Females daily prompts for Women's History month. 

Today's is simple: "Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?"

Here's my photo:

This is Jane "Jenny" Robertine Burns, my great-great-great-grandmother. This photo is one of my all-time favorites, and has been pretty popular over on my Flickr photostream, too, so it was a natural choice.

I have no idea when or where this photo was taken, but it's by far the youngest picture of her I've ever seen. All I can suggest is that she is not wearing a wedding ring, so the picture was probably taken before her marriage to Thomas Fogden Overington, which took place on June 5, 1855. Long-time readers may remember my post last year about this wedding.

A little more about Jenny:
  • She was born on January 27, 1836 in Frankford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Her parents were Dr. Robert Bruce Burns, a Scottish immigrant, and Elizabeth Love Yarnall, a Philadelphian woman.
  • She had one older sister and eight younger siblings.
  • She married her husband Thomas when she was 19 and he was 26.
  • They had two sons, John (1864) and William (1871).
  • The family lived at the Overington mansion "Oaklands" at 4606 Leiper Street in Frankford, which is now Overington Park.
  • They attended services at Trinity Church Oxford in Oxford and its daughter institution, St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Frankford (which the Overingtons helped to found).
  • Thomas passed away in 1877 at the age of 48, unusually young for his family (for example, his father passed away in 1892 just a month before his 100th birthday). He was buried at Trinity Church Oxford in Oxford, Philadelphia.
  • Jenny lived another fifty years, but wore a widow's mourning black every day for that half-century.
  • She passed away on September 4, 1927 at the age of 91. She was buried beside her husband.
More photos:

Jenny with her granddaughter Claudia "Poppy" Overington, on or about May 16, 1906

And her gravestone: