Recently I posted a photo at the Frazers of Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim Facebook Page. Joanna who started the Page asked me if I could identify the people in the photo. That is a fair question, so I thought that I would give it a shot in the Blog. Also other may chime in. Here is the photo:
I got this photo when I visited Eileen McMaster Frazer in Ballindoon in County Sligo. She generously loaned it to me so I could make a copy. It looks like the photo has been folded in the past and that someone scribbled on the face of George Frazer, the father. Here is what I have at my web page:
For some reason, these children are out of order.
The Two Girls in the Photo
I show above that there were only two daughters in this family and the rest were boys. That means that it should be easier to start with the girls. My assumption is that as the family had two girls and that there are two girls in the photo that these two girls are:
- Violet Frances born 1872 and
- Susan Jane born 1887
That tells us that Violet was about 15 years older than Susan. First, I need to get the Frazer children in chronological order.
Fixing My Frazer Ancestry Tree
Fixing trees is always good:
This is better, but I have no date for George Frazer. I suspect that George Russell Frazer died in 1875:
Perhaps George Russell was named after his uncle:
George William’s older sister Sidney or Sydney married John George Russell in 1869.
Here is a better list:
I’m just missing death dates for William and Susan. So far, this tells, me that out of the six children in the photo, I know that George Russell Frazer had passed away and that my great-grandfather was in the US. He arrived in the US in 1887.
Back to Violet Frances and Susan Jane Frazer
This is my top choice for Susan:
Joanna’s tree has Susan born 27 Oct 1886. How old is Susan here? If I guess 12, then Violet would be 27. That would also date the photo at about 1899. But then there is a younger person with George and Margaret. I have that Susan was the youngest. If she is the youngest, then is that a grandchild with George and Margaret?
This appears to be a boy to me.
Violet Frances Frazer 1872-1934
I was told by a relative that this is Violet on her wedding day:
Violet married on 7 Jan 1901. That would mean that Violet was 28 in the above photo.
In the other photo, the person who I assume to be Violet is on the crease:
So I’ve gotten myself into a pickle.
Where Were the Frazer Children in 1899?
One guess is that the photo I’m looking at was taken in 1899. Where were all the children around that time? There was a Census in the US in 1900 and one in Ireland in 1901, so that might help. I know that my great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer was in the US at the time. Here is James in the 1899 Boston Directory:
William Frazer married Amanda Skoog in Boston in 1910:
He must have been living with my great-grandfather James then as James had a house at 35 Alaska Street in Boston. It looks like William and Richard made their way to Boston in 1896:
They planned to stay with their brother in Boston:
So that makes me think that neither William nor Richard were in the photo in Ballindoon.
Frazers in Ireland
So that leaves these potential children in the photo:
We know that Violet was in Ireland as she married there in January 1901. Next is Hubert.
Hubert Frazer 1878-1954
Hubert made his way to Boston in 1901. So he could be in the photo. It looks like William and Richard went to Ireland to bring him to Boston:
Both these ships left from Queenstown which is current Cobh, Ireland:
Which One is Hubert?
That leaves me with these two choices for Hubert:
Then that leads me to this photo:
I’m not sure who labelled this photo, but if they were right, it would appear that Hubert is in the upper right. Here is my version of the same photo:
My vote for Hubert is on the left in the photo of this Blog:
Because Hubert and George were close in age, I guess the the brother on the right was George:
If the photo was in 1899, then George would have been 20 and Hubert would have been 21. That seems possible to me.
John Edward Frazer 1882-1870
Here is where I run into a problem. If the next boy was John Edward and the photo was taken in 1899, then John Edward would have to be 17 years old. The boy on the left doesn’t look 17 to me.
According to the 1911 Census:
Edward is 21 so he would have been born about 1890. The 1911 Census further indicates that Edward is younger than Susan:
This is consistent with the 1901 Census:
That means that I need to adjust the birth date for John Edward. The findagrave.com website agrees with a later birth date:
That gives me a revised birth order:
My Current Guess
I have tried to identify these six children previously. This time I went into a little more depth in identifying them.
Hopefully, I came up with the same answer last time.
More on the Dating: 1897?
Now that I have identified John Edward, I would like to date the photo on him. My original guess for the photo was 1899 on how old I thought Susan Jane might be. Here is a chart using 1897 as a possibility:
John Edward looks fairly young. He seems sort of clingy. I’m not sure a 10 year old would be that way. That would put Susan at 10. She looks fairly tall, though girls can can tend to grow faster than boys. David is looking to me like a young 13. George and Hubert at 18 and 19 doesn’t look wrong. Violet at 25 could be right also. One temptation would be to say that everyone was dressed up for Violet’s wedding. However, that doesn’t seem to make sense given the look of the age of the children.
More on David Frazer 1884-1953
Violet Frazer married James Fairbanks in January 1901. That means that David would have been about four months short of being 17 years old:
Also David is wearing the same style of boots tucked into his pants as in the earlier photo. According to this ship record, David made his way to Boston in November 1912. David is the second person on the list.
This record shows that David had previously been in Boston in July of that year.
A Frazer Chronology
With all that was going on with this family, it would be interesting to do a chronology. This may tell an interesting story. It appears that George moved to Ballindoon in 1866:
Charles Sproule was living in Lot 5a. His name is crossed out on the sheet and George Frazer’s name is added. In the right column titled Observations is 66 which I take to mean 1866. This was probably right around the time he married Margaret McMaster who was from the area and before my great-grandfather James Frazer was born. I was told that the previous person occupying the house could not afford to live there. The Immediate Lessor is listed as John Gethen.
George Frazer 1879-1960
For some reason I am having trouble finding some records for George Frazer in the Irish Census and for his marriage. However, Frazer researcher Joanna has these records in her tree:
George helped out his Aunt Isabella Frazer at the Derrycashel farm:
George took over the Derrycashel farm in 1917. He had five children that were presumably born at that location.
David Frazer 1884-1953
I seem to be missing some information on David Frazer also. We have two photos of David. The second was taken around the time of the 1901 Census:
According to this record, David married in 1915 in Norwood:
Here is David’s petition for naturalization:
Here he says he arrived in the US in 1908. David’s petition was signed by his brother James and Robert McMaster:
I’m curious as to who this Robert McMaster is. Here is a Robert McMaster who is a Chef in Boston on 1910:
Here is Robert on one of my web pages:
Here is Dereentunny in Roscommon near the County Sligo border:
Ballindoon is to the NE of Lough Arrow. Another interesting thing about Robert is that he stated his intentions to be a citizen in the State of Michigan:
This next record shows that Robert went back to Ireland and traveled with some of his Johnston relatives in 1912:
Robert lists a John McMaster in Ireland that he visited. This was probably his brother John James McMaster born 1858.
Back to David Frazer After a McMaster Detour
David had a daughter named Eleanor Maude Frazer. One reference has her mother as Annie Gray which doesn’t seem right:
I believe that David death certificate also has Annie Gray as David’s mother, so there is some confusion. Eleanor’s mother should be Eleanor Taylor Frazer:
David is shown on the previous page of the 1920 Census. Here is a definitive record:
More on John Edward Frazer 1889-1970
John Edward was the little boy in the photo. He married Margaret Lillie McMaster in 1917 and had a daughter Lily Margaret Frazer in 1918 in Ballindoon. That same year, John Edward’s wife died. John Edward married Waitie Covell in New Hampshire in 1931. John Edward who usually wend by Edward died in Marlborough, Massachusetts in 1970.
Here is Edward in 1940:
Edward was a cook at a private school in 1940. I’m curiouis who Walter Stanley was. In 1935, he was living in Ballindoon. This was actually Walter Stanley Frazer, son of William Frazer and Amanda Skoog. According to the 1940 Census, Edward was naturalized.
At 5 foot 11 inches, Edward is no longer the little boy standing between his parents. Edward is living at 38 Batavia Street. That sounds familiar. I’m guessing this was Edward in the 1923 Directory:
Unfortunately, I can’t find Dover or Batavia in a current Google search. Here in 1926, Edward was in Roxbury:
There was also another Edward Frazer who was a fireman in East Boston at the time.
Apparently Batavia Street is now Symphony Road:
Apparently Dover Street is now East Berkeley Street:
However, there was an Edward Frazer who was a cook at Dover Street in the 1920 Directory. Edward’s petition says he showed up in the US in 1922. Here is the other cook Edward Frazer who was born in Rhode Island shown in the 1920 Census:
Forest Street in Roxbury would have been near where my great-grandfather James lived:
Here is more Naturalization information:
Edward is listed as a chef living at 26 Montrose Street, Boston in 1928. The affidavits were signed by Edward’s brother, my great-grandfather and Edward’s nephew George Frazer:
James’ son George Frazer was born in 1896, so he was actually a little less than three years older than his Uncle Edward. This shows that Edward had a close relationship with my great-grandfather’s family.
In fact, James lived at 26 Montrose Street in 1927, so Edward must have been living with him at the time.
I believe that was this house that I have a photo of:
This looks to be the same house today:
In the older photo there was a porch over the entranceway. Here is another view:
When Edward arrived in New York City from Ireland, he was 33 years old. Edward gives this for his nearest relative in Ireland:
He also knew that he was headed for Roxbury in Boston.
Edward appears to have a lot more money than the average traveler if the handwritten amount is right The story I heard was that my great-grandfather was sending money back to help get his brothers to the US. Interesting to note also that Edward intended to stay in the US for 10 years.
Here is what I have up to 1900:
The last entry was meant to be 1975. I have something in every decade except for the 1850’s. This would have been during the height of the potato famine. Margaret McMaster had these siblings born around that time:
Summary and Conclusions
- They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and I have proved that to be true in this blog two times over.
- I feel as though I have been able to identify each person in the photo.
- This lead me to identify David Frazer in the Frances Violet Frazer wedding photo.
- I also updated some information on each of the children of George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster
- I came up with a timeline of what was going on in Ireland and in the US.
Here is a color-coded timeline:
Addendum – William Goes Back to Ireland
This was an important event. On the 8th of February 1919, William and his family arrived in Liverpool on their way to Ballindoon with his wife Amanda and three children after sailing from Portland, Maine:
This brings up another point. I don’t have Elsie in my tree. She was born 30 Jun 1914 in Mansfield, Massachusetts:
The William Frazer story is quite compelling. William moved to the Boston area in 1896. After living in the US for 18 years, he decides to go back to Ireland with his now American family. In a sense, he went against the trend and against those staying in the US for economic improvement. He left his new friends and family in the US for his parents and family in Ireland and a simpler but more difficult economic situation.
Addendum #2 – Telling the Stories
- George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster – They remained on the farm in Ballindoon. In 1901, they have David, Susan and John Edward at 16, 14 and 12 helping out on the farm. In 1911, George William is listed as 75 and Susan and Edward are with them listed as 23 and 21. Susan and Edward each married in 1918. Edward has a daughter born May 1918 but Edward’s wife dies less than a month after the birth of their daughter. In February 1919, George and Margaret’s second oldest son William returns to the farm in Ballindoon with his wife and young family. Edward’s infant daughter Lilly dies within days of the return of William Frazer and family. Edward leaves Ireland for Boston in 1922 two months after the death of his mother. George Frazer the father lives to an old age until 1928.
- Violet Frances (1872) She married James Fairbanks in 1901. After marriage, she went to live on James’ mother’s farm in Drumvoney, County Sligo. I have that she had four children and died in County Sligo in 1934. Violet’s husband James died in 1912.
- Hubert (1878) – He came to the US in 1901 shortly after his sister Violet married. He married Annie McKinnon in 1917. He had three boys and two girls and became a store owner in Squantum, Quincy, Massachusetts.
- George (1879) – He moved in with his Aunt Isabella and worked his grandfather’s farm in Derrycashel, County Roscommon. He married Annie Craig in 1915 and had one girl and three boys and died in 1960.
- David (1884) – He arrived in the US in 1908. He married Eleanor (Elsie) Taylor in 1915 and had a daughter born in 1919 in Boston. David’s wife died in 1927. He married Annie Gray in 1931 in Milton, MA and died in Milton in 1953. David was a cook in 1920 and also have that he was a grocery clerk, but I am missing some information about him.
- Susan Jane (1887) – She married Edward Crawford in 1918. He was likely the son of Joshua and Kate Crawford from Derreenasoo, County Roscommon. Edward was present at the death of his mother there in 1931. My notes say that they moved to Northern Ireland. Edward, also known as Stuart Edward died in Linaskea, Fermanaugh in 1963. Susan died there at the age of 85 in 1972.
- John Edward (1889) – I mentioned some of Edward’s earlier life surrounded by tragedy above. After moving to the Boston area, Edward married Waitie Covell in 1931. Edward was a chef. He died in Marlborough, MA in 1970. I don’t have any record of surviving children of Susan Jane or John Edward.
- I don’t mention the three older Frazer brothers directly as they are not in the photo. However, I have already mentioned James and William Frazer. The other brother Richard has a son who marries David’s daughter.