GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2001-01 > 0978833125
Subject: [GM-L] Re: GenMassachusetts-D Digest V01 #12
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 21:05:25 EST
Thanks for asking, but I need an Ella SMITH or an Ella STEARNS from
Northhampton, Deerfield, Ware, and/or possible Westfield, MA area. My
maternal great-grandfather was HIRAM B. STEARNS who fought in the Civil War
from Deerfield, MA when he was eighteen. He was in the 21st infantry, and
was listed as a farmer when he enlisted. My mother said he was born in
Bennington, VT. My great-grandmother was CECELIA SMITH who was born in
either Northhampton or Ware, MA. My grandmother was HILDA STEARNS who was
born in West Deerfield on March 30, 1878. She had 2 brothers Frank
(?Franklin) and Harrison. Her first husband's name was ROBERT FRAISER
(?spelling). They were married c. 1896. He died before their son was born,
Robert Fraiser, Jr. He died when he was 4 from diphtheria. One clue I have
about the marriage was a man carved rolling pins for all the brides in the
town that year. I can only assume it was Deerfield.
Nannie's second husband was LORENZO VINCNET OLMSTEAD, whom I can't
find anything about, other than there a lot of Lorenzo Olmsteads, none of
whom are my grandfather so far. My mother said he was born in Duchess
County, NY. He was a lot older than Nannie and was passed 60 when my mother,
HAZEL ELOISE OLMSTEAM was born in West Springfield, MA in 1916. Springfield
vital stats has no record of her birth. She also had a sister Rosa Nellie,
who went by the name of Nellie. Aunt Nellie died at 18 from TB. My
grandfather died c. 1920 but I don't know if it was in MA or CT.
Nannie's third husband was from CT--George Sherman. He was killed by
drunk driver in the 1930s in CT.
Nannie's last husband was John Carroll from Maine. I have their
marriage certificate, so I got some info there.
Ma always talked about "Aunt Hat" (I assume Hattie, Harriet) who had
a lot of sayings--mainly old English sayings. Aunt Hat was probably crippled
up, because one day when I walked in Ma's nursing home room leaning on a
walker from arthritis, she told me I looked just like Aunt Hat. There was an
Aunt Ella. The problem is Ma never used last names or whether they were
Gramma Stearns' or Grandpa Stearns' family.
There was one major event that was major in other's lives--Nannie
lived in the Professional Building in Westfield in the early 1950s when it
burned. She was fortunate and got out alive. Some didn't.
I had my maternal family's Bible with all the information, along with
the rolling pin, and Nannie's diaries. I lost them and other precious family
records in a fire. It is proving to beyond difficult to find the info that
was lost, and irreplaceable is the family Bible that went back to 1815.
I know I've given a lot of info and certainly not in a professional
manner. My mother made these ancestors so real, that, although most died
long before I came along, they are very real to me. In addition, I'm a
writer and it's natural for me to tell a story instead of making lists. I
apologize if this offends anyone.
Peggy J. Knox
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