Monday, January 26, 2015

1868-1890 Autograph Album of Emma Elizabeth Childs of Niles, Michigan


1868-1890 autograph album that belonged to Emma Elizabeth Childs of Niles, Michigan.  Her surname and identity were teased out from various clues in the album, including pages signed by her grandmother, Sarah (French) Childs Carr Sawtell, and various cousins.


Another person, who inscribed a page at Hadley, Massachusetts, on November 15, 1873, gave some tantalizing clues:
  • He or she was a Gopher and Emma a Wolverine [Minnesota and Michigan]; both had New England roots.
  • The first names of Emma's parents: Moses and Nancy [later determined to be Moses F. and Nancy (Van Horne) Childs]
  • The first names of aunt and uncle combination: Horace and Nancy [later determined to be Horace and Nancy (Munn) Van Horne.]
  • Emma's parents were from New England stock
  • It's possible that Emma's family was visiting Massachusetts and would be celebrating Thanksgiving with family.

The album measures approximately  8" x 6" and contains the sentiments of nearly 50 of Ellen's relatives and friends, mostly from Michigan and Massachusetts, with a few from Iowa, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New Hampshire and Minnesota.

An alphabetical surname list and an alphabetical list of the signers, together with any personal information they offered, appear at the end of this post.  The album also contained two small photographs, perhaps from Niles, Michigan, one of the City Armory and another of the City Library; a needlepoint bookmark and a small greeting card.





From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Emma Elizabeth Childs, or possibly Emily Elizabeth Childs, was born about August 1853 at Howard, Michigan, the daughter of Moses F. Childs and Nancy (Van Horne or Van Horn) Childs, who were born at Baltimore, Maryland, and Springfield, Massachusetts, respectively.

Moses' parents were Moses and the above-mentioned Sarah (French) Childs Carr Sawtell, born in Massachusetts and New Hampshire respectively.   It took me a while to determine that Sarah was married three times, and that Emma's father was from her first marriage.  Researching one cousin in particular, George Frederick Baldwin, led me to the the digitized book "Genealogy of the Child, Childs and Childe Families: of the Past and Present" by Elias Child, published in 1881, which listed the marriage, children and grandchildren of Moses and Sarah (French) Child, including cousins George and Emma.

On August 24, 1881, Emma Elizabeth Childs married Arthur L. Fitz, son of George Washington Fitts and Catherine (Van Horne) Fitts.  Arthur was born February 8, 1847 at Chicopee, Massachusetts.  It appears that Emma and Arthur were first cousins, as from what I could tell, Emma's mother and Arthur's mother were sisters.  Sadly, Arthur died in 1893.  I don't believe Emma and Arthur had any children.

Arthur didn't inscribe a page in Emma's album, but I believe his brother Edward Southworth Fitz, medical doctor and minister, inscribed two pages.  Note that he described himself in both as Emma's cousin.  He would later become her brother-in-law.



Other relatives who inscribed pages in Emma's album: [and there may be more - check the list of signers below.]
  • Cousin Anna, who signed at Westfield, Massachusetts, on February 12, 1874
  • Cousin George F. Baldwin of Boston, Massachusetts, who signed on October 18, 1868.  George's mother, Sarah Maria (Childs) Baldwin was a sister to Emma's father Moses F. Childs.
  • Cousin M. Louise Baldwin, who signed at No. 87 Chester Square, Boston, Massachusetts, on October 14, 1868.  She was George's sister, Maria Louise Baldwin. Her mother Sarah Maria (Childs) Baldwin was a sister to Emma's father Moses F. Childs.
  • Isabelle H. Fitz, who signed at Chicopee, Massachusetts, on May 23, 1890.  She called herself Emma's cousin.  She was a first cousin to Emma's husband Arthur L. Fitz.  She may have also had a distant cousin relationship to Emma herself.
  • Uncle Horace Van Horn, who signed on November 21, 1873 at Hadley, Massachusetts. He was a brother to Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs.  
  • Aunt Nancy (Munn) Van Horne, wife of Horace.
  • S. F. Van Horne, who signed at Westfield, Massachusetts. Ellen's cousin
  • Cousin M. Jennie Van Horne, who signed at Hadley, Massachusetts, on November 22, 1873. Presumably Mary Jennie Van Horne, daughter of Horace and Nancy (Munn) Van Horne.
  • Cousin Alfred Van Horne of Manchester, New Hampshire; son of Horace and Nancy (Munn) Van Horne
  • Cousin Helen M. Wilde, who signed on September 20, 1873; daughter of Waldo Conklin and Fanny (Van Horne) Conklin, who was a sister to Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs.  Helen's husband Walter H. Wilde also inscribed a page.
  • Uncle B. Franklin Bennett, who signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1868.  Presumably Benjamin Franklin Bennett, son of Benajmin and Mary (French) Bennett. His mother was a sister to Sarah (French) Childs Carr Sawtell, Emma's grandmother.
Emma died in 1920 in Michigan and is buried there.  If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Surnames in the Album

? [6]ER
AEddyReading
Abbott [2]FReese
AylsworthFitz [3]Rhinehart
BFoote [2]S
Baldwin [2]GSawtell
BallardGreenT
BarclayHThoms ?
BennettHallToll [2]
BradleyHubbardV
BrownHuntVan Horn/Horne [5]
CMVan Ness
CarrierManchesterW
ChildsMunnWeston
ClarkeOWilde [2]
CrispOliphant

Signers in the Album      [Note: Given names within a specific surname might not be in alphabetical order.]
  • Flora, signed on July 3, 1869
  • "Remember Allan". Penciled note at bottom, perhaps written by Emma herself: "Nash". The signer may have been Allan Nash.
  • Not sure of signer's name - perhaps Ruth. Signed at Niles, Michigan, in September 1877, or 1871.
  • Anna, signed at Westfield, Massachusetts, on February 12, 1874; Emma's cousin
  • Unsigned at Hadley, Massachusetts, on November 15, 1873. Wonderful poem about how a Wolverine and Gopher met. Emma was living in Michigan, so the signer was apparently from Minnesota. The signer also gives the names of Emma's parents as Nancy and Moses; and Horace and Nancy as brother and sister to Emma's parents. Nancy and Moses were Emma's parents, Nancy (Van Horne) Childs and Moses F. Childs. Horace and Nancy were Horace Van Horne, brother to Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs, and Horace's wife Nancy (Munn) Van Horne.
  • Unsigned
A
  • Finette Abbott, signed on December 8, 1869
  • Julia M. Abbott, signed in November 1869
  • Georgia P. Aylsworth, signed at Niles, Michigan.
B
  • George F. Baldwin of Boston, Massachusetts, signed on October 18, 1868; Emma's cousin George Frederick Baldwin.  George's mother, Sarah Maria (Childs) Baldwin was a sister to Emma's father Moses F. Childs.
  • M. Louise Baldwin, signed at No. 87 Chester Square, Boston, Massachusetts, on October 14, 1868; Emma's cousin Maria Louise Baldwin.  Her mother Sarah Maria (Childs) Baldwin was a sister to Emma's father Moses F. Childs.
  • Katie Ballard of Chicopee, Massachusetts, signed on March 13, 1884
  • E. B. Barclay, signed on October 5, 1874 at Littleton, Iowa. The page has another name, Erskine, but I don't know if Erskine was a signer or the author of the poem quoted.
  • B. Franklin Bennett, signed at Boston, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1868.  Benjamin Franklin Bennett, son of Benjamin and Mary (French) Bennett.  His mother was a sister to Sarah (French) Childs Carr Sawtell, Emma's grandmother.
  • May Bradley, signed at Chicago, Illinois, on March 8, 1871
  • Mary Brown of 101 Front Street, Niles, Michigan, signed on June 21, 1869
C
  • C. E. Carrier, Penman; lovely bird and butterfly design - on a card tucked into the album.
  • Emma Elizabeth Childs of Niles, Michigan; album owner.  On the last page of the album, she signed three times as Emma E. Childs and at the bottom as Mrs. Emma E. Fitz, reflecting her marriage to Arthur L. Fitz.
  • Carrie Clarke of Muskegon, Michigan, signed on August 5, 1869
  • Lizzie G. Crisp of Boston, Massachusetts, signed on February 23, 1884 at Chicopee, Massachusetts.
E
  • A. Eddy, signed at Niles, Michigan, on June 21, 1876. Emma added a note: "Rev. Dr. A. Eddy died Mar 5, 1883"
F
  • Edward S. Fitz, signed at Chicopee, Massachusetts, on August 19, 1868.  Edward Southworth Fitz, brother of Emma's future husband Arthur L. Fitz; and also Emma's cousin as their mothers were sisters.  
  • Isabelle H. Fitz, signed at Chicopee, Massachusetts, on May 23, 1890; Emma's cousin. She was the daughter of Luther and Elizabeth (Hazelton) Fitz. She was the first cousin of Emma's husband Alfred L. Fitz and may have been related to Emma by blood as well.
  • Edward S. Fitz, signed at Niles, Michigan, on December 10, 1872; Emma's cousin and also her future brother-in-law, Edward Southworth Fitz.  Perhaps the same Edward S. Fitz as above.
  • H. E. Foote, signed on October 12, 1869
  • John M. Foote, or Jonathan M. Foote, signed at Niles, Michigan, on November 5, 1869
G
  • George F. Green of Springfield, Massachusetts, signed on December 26, 1873
H
  • Amos T. Hall of Niles, Michigan, signed in June 1868; he sketched an intricate bird and worked his information into it.
  • Harry Hubbard, signed at Philadelphia, presumably Pennsylvania, on October 7, 1889
  • T. Dwight Hunt, signed at the Presbyterian Parsonage at Niles, Michigan, on December 6, 1870; "your Pastor"
M
  • V. Annie Manchester of Chicopee, signed on May 16, 1883
  • A. B. Munn. He referred to himself as a Gopher in Florida, so a Minnesotan who had moved to Florida.
O
  • Sarah F. Oliphant, signed at Niles, Michigan, on July 5, 1869
R
  • Amelia M. Reading, signed at Niles, Michigan, on March 10, 1870
  • Annie Reese, signed in June 1869; she sketched two designs and worked her information into them.
  • ? P. Rhinehart of Cassopolis, Michigan, signed in January 1873 or 1893
S
  • Sarah F. Sawtell, signed on August 16, 1868 at Groton, Massachusetts; Emma's grandmother Sarah (French) Childs Carr Sawtell, who was the mother of Emma's father Moses F. Childs.
T
  • Aggie B. Thoms, signed at Niles, Michigan, on October 3, 1877. Her surname might be longer than Thoms, such as Thomas or Thompson.
  • Julia B. Toll, signed at Niles, Michigan, on February 28, 1880. She would marry Walter J. East about 1884.
  • Libbie Toll, signed on Niles, Michigan, in January 1880. Presumably Elizabeth Toll, older sister of signer Julia B. Toll
V
  • Horace Van Horn, signed on November 21, 1873 at Hadley, Massachusetts.  He was a brother to Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs.
  • S. F. Van Horne, signed at Westfield, Massachusetts. Ellen's cousin
  • M. Jennie Van Horne, signed at Hadley, Massachusetts, on November 22, 1873; Emma's cousin. Presumably Mary Jennie Van Horne, daughter of Horace Van Horne, a brother to Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs.
  • Alfred Van Horne of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Son of Horace Van Horne, brother of Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs.
  • Mrs. H. Van Horne, signed on November 20, 1873 at Hadley, Massachusetts. Nancy (Munn) Van Horne, wife of Horace Van Horne.
  • Carrie L. Van Ness of Edwardsburg, Michigan, signed on November 6, 1880.
W
  • Cora Weston, signed at Westfield, Massachusetts, on March 3, 1874
  • Walter H. Wilde, signed on September 20, 1873 at Springfield, Massachusetts.  Husband of Emma's cousin Helen M. (Conklin) Wilde.
  • Helen M. Wilde, signed on September 20, 1873; Emma's cousin Helen M. (Conklin) Wilde, daughter of Waldo Conklin and Fanny (Van Horne) Conklin, who was a sister to Emma's mother Nancy (Van Horne) Childs.
Niles, Michigan and Hadley, Massachusetts


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