Another Hartley Relative in Fall River Newspapers: Abel Burrows

In my previous Blog, I wrote about Abe Pilling who was a policeman in Fall River from about 1890 until 1925. I had good luck with finding out a lot about this very public man. Next I thought that I’d check around for other relatives. This Blog will focus in on Abel Burrows who was the husband of Mary Ann Hartley. However, some other Hartley relatives will be mentioned.

1 Nov 1870 – Death of Twelve Year Old Esther Hartley


One of the first entries was a sad one. The Hartley family arrived in the US not much more than a year before this time.

Other Wilkinsons were listed on the previous page. Mary Wilkinson was Greenwood’s mother. The ship arrived in Boston on  25 Ocober 1869. The Hartley family lived in Fall River for only a year or less before moving to New Bedford.

Mary Ann Hartley and Abel Burrows

I had to find this 16 February 1874 article by searching for Burrows. Hartley was hypeneated in the paper. Mary Ann looked to be 18 but is listed as 19 on the State Marriage record. Abel was a weaver at the time. I wonder how the two met as Mary Ann lived in New Bedford and Abel in Fall River.

Mary Ann’s grandmother Mary Pilling Hartley Wilkinson died not too soon after the wedding:

The above is from 25 Mar 1874.

18 May 1878

14 April 1880

7 June 1880

5 August 1880

19 June 1882

21 June 1882

Was Abel a cricket player? Cricket is a very English game, but there were many English in Fall River.

13 Feb 1884

30 April 1884

27 June 1884

Friends of the family?

Here is Linden Street:

6 Sep 1884

Here are Abel’s wife and children:

8 Sep 1884

Now we know Nancy’s nickname.

29 Jana 1885

Here is a map:

There is a balloon located at 47 South Main located at the intersection of at least two streets. I circled where the old business was and Linden Street. I wonder if the family home moved also at this time. If he did move, it was not right away. Here is the 1885 Fall River Directory:

20 Mar 1885

That would explain how Abel came by the jewelry business. Emanuel decided to stay. According to the 1900 census he arrived in the US in 1885 with his wife and daughter.

24 March 1885

24 April 1885

Here was a way to get people to Abel’s store:

25 June 1885

23 Dec 1886


8 Mar 1887

I guess I didn’t expect to find out so much about Abel.

15 July 1887

10 August 1887

This is of interest to me as I grew up in Rochester. Perhaps Mary Ann visited her brother James Hartley while in Rochester. According to the 1885 Fall River Directory, John Slinn was in the insurance business.

It turns out that John Slinn wrote an article of his trip to Rochester in the Fall River Daily Herald published 12 August 1887.

That is quite the fish story and I had to chuckle picturing where most of this took place. My guess is that the fishing took place at Snow’s Pond not too far from the Hartley farm. What the article doesn’t mention is that Annie Hartley was due to give birth to her 2nd child later in September of that year and already had a one year old Daniel Emmet Hartley.

8 Nov 1887

15 Dec 1887

19 June 1888

30 July 1888

24 Sep 1888

1 Jan 1889

Apparently Abel owed some money.

25 Jan 1889

15 Feb 1889

28 Feb 1889

17 Sep 1889

14 May 1891

12 June 1891

20 August 1891

Mrs. David Wilkinson is Marion Ann nee PIllng the sister of Abe Pillng who lived in New Bedford. She was born in 1861. I wonder if the vacation was actually in Rochester at the Hartley farm.

30 Jan 1992

More problems for Abel:

The same day:

15 Feb 1894

15 May 1894

9 Feb 1895

25 Feb 1895

Tessie must have been a nickname for Esther.

13 Jan 1897

I assume that the Burrows attended the Baptist Church.

1 Oct 1897

29 Dec 1897

27 Jan 1899

4 Feb 1899

15 FEb 1899

21 August 1900

Who knew my great-grandfather was in the Fall River Daily Herald or that he had visited Niagara Falls? I can’t tell if James was travellng alone or not.

5 Sep 1900

This is a bit of a mystery as there is no Joseph Hartley. My guess is that this was my 9 year old grandfather James Hartley and his 7 year old sister Nellie. Henry Bradford was born January 1900 and would have been the 7th chlld in the house, so perhaps James’ and Nellie’s trip to Fall River gave their mom a break.

14 Feb 1901

8 Jun 1901

The follow-up article two days later:

My guess was that they went to visit the Hartley family. This is the type of article I was not expecting – a story about Rochester in a Fall River paper.  Mrs. Williams must be Elizabeth Burrows Williams:

The child must be Florence Williams.

6 Sep 1901

16 Jan 1902

5 Mar 1903

So that was the end of Abel. His son-in-law became exectutor and sold off the contents of his jewelry business. I felt I got to know Abel a bit through the eyes of the Fall River newspapers. He was very active in sports and a supporter of cricket, polo and biking. He was in good shape and an avid biker until near his premature death. He had his share of problems with the death of two of his daughters and more than his share of robberies.

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