A Christmas Gift


First of all Happy New Year! Tonight to celebrate, I decided to research a small Bible I had acquired and am ashamed to discover it has been 11 months since I have written… don’t know what I have been doing… well, yes, I do know. Living life but I have no idea where 2012 went and now we’re at 2013. My New Year’s resolution is to write at a minimum ONCE PER WEEK!  Okay, now on to my historical hunt and story for today.

With love from Mother

I love to purchase old items that I find with names in them. I enjoy researching the names and trying to discover who the previous owners were and to learn a small semblance of what their lives may have been like. After I’ve figure out a bit about their lives, I try to find current family members and work to reunited the items with the original owner’s family.

inscription

Tonight, to start off the new year, I researched the name of Miss Fannie I. Elliott, the name I found written in a small bible I discovered in a local antique store. On the facing page of the cover was the inscription, “Fannie I. Elliott A Christmas gift from her mother. Dec. 25th, 1884” I wanted to find out who Fannie I. Elliott and her mother were.

bibleThe book was with a batch of items that came from Ohio, so when I entered Fannie’s name into Ancestry.com’s search engine, I felt pretty good when the name appeared in Dover, Cuyahoga, Ohio. I was even more convince I had the right person after checking and linking other possible connections and family trees.

New Beginnings

Fannie Idella Elliott was born on Feb. 21, 1866 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio to William George Elliott (Dec. 16, 1824 – Nov. 7, 1897) and Louisa Parfitt (May 5, 1825 – June 4, 1900). She was either the eighth or ninth child born to the couple, as she was a twin. Her sister was named Anna Luella. Her parents were both born in England. I discovered a christening record for her father for Jan. 2, 1825 in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, England naming him as the son of Jacob Elliot and Susanna and one for her mother, the daughter of James Parfitt and Mary, christened on 26 Jun 1825 in Bruton, Somerset, England.

Family genealogy trees located on the web all purported that Fannie’s parents were married in Dover, Cuyahoga, Ohio on Sept. 16, 1847, but while researching each of their 10 children, the oldest, Frank Riddle Elliot, is reported to have been born in England according to both his death certificate and christening registration, although the name on the christening registration lists his name as Riddle Frank Elliot, christened on Dec. 10, 1848 at Brewham, Somerset, England to William and Louisa. This could mean a couple of things… the family history trees have the marriage location wrong, the family traveled back to their home country and the babe was born in England while on the visit or Frank was born in England before they left but his parents weren’t married and they lied on the christening registration, and quite possibly, that could be why they left England.

William and Louisa, in addition to the twins and Frank (Nov. 6, 1848-Oct. 7, 1909), were the parents of James John Elliot (Jan. 18, 1850 – June 6, 1931), Sarah M. (1853-1932), Fred (1855-1930), Lettia Louisa (1858-1943), Thomas Henry (abt 1860 – ?), Gilbert Willson (July 5, 1863 – May 21, 1946) and Walter Edward (Sept. 1, 1868-Oct.1, 1951).

1860UnitedStatesFederalCensus_300638096

1860 federal census showing William Elliot and his family

On June 8, 1860, the census taker recorded William Elliot and his wife Louisa were living in Dover, Cuyahoga, Ohio with their children Frank, 11; James, 9; Sarah, 7; Fred, 5 and Lettie, 2. All the children, including Frank, were listed as being born in Ohio.

1870UnitedStatesFederalCensus

The 1870 census taken in Cuyahoga County, Ohio

The 1870 census shows the reality of the times of the building of America. Each family listed on the census form along with the Elliot family was an immigrant family, with every head of household affirming they were born in England, Germany or France. The ninth US census shows the family still living in Dover, Cuyahoga, Ohio but with additional children. Living in the home are William, 47 and his wife Louisa, 45; son Frank, 21, whose birth, along with his parents, are listed as in England, James, 19; Sarah, 17; Fred, 14; Lettie, 12; Henry, 9; Gilbert, 6; twins Anna and Fanny, 4 and one-year old Walter. William, as a farmer, was able to give his family a comfortable living as evidenced by the value of his real estate, $7,300 and his personal estate was valued at $1,00.

William Elliott and family in 1880 Federal Census Cuyahoga County, Ohio

William Elliott and family in 1880 Federal Census Cuyahoga County, Ohio

According to the 1880 US Federal Census, the Elliott family was living in North Olmsted, Cuyahoga, Ohio. William and Louisa are both 55 years of age and living at home were James J., 29; Thomas H. 19; Gilbert W. 16; Anna L. 14; Fannie I. 14 and Walter aged 11.

When Fannie was 18 she was given the bible, a copy of the New Testament published by the American Bible Society in 1872, on Dec. 25, 1884 according to the inscription written by her mother. I’m going to assume that since she was a twin, her mother Louisa, probably gave her sister Anne a bible as well. The bible’s pages are in remarkable condition, considering its 141 years, and unfortunately, I believe that’s from its lack of use.

BibleLeaf

A New Generation

By the time Christmas rolled around the following year, Fannie had become the bride of Walter R. Keyes (1864-Jan. 9, 1938) at the age of 19. They married on Dec. 24, 1885 in Rockport Township, Cuyahoga, Ohio. There is a notation on the marriage certificate that the consent can be found on doc. no. N, No. 1 file. Walter Keyes is the son of James H. Keyes from Gloucester, England and Martha J. Wilde of Scotland.

Marriage certificate for Fannie Elliott and Walter Keyes

Marriage certificate for Fannie Elliott and Walter Keyes

The young couple started their family with the birth of a daughter, Luella M. (1887-1947). A second daughter, Alta Keyes, was born on Aug. 12, 1888 in Rockport, Cuyahoga, Ohio and died before she was two. A son, Howard, was born on 1891, followed by Ada R. (1894-1936); Walter J. (1897-1980); Melvin (1900-1980) and baby Everest who was born in 1902 and died the following year.

1900UnitedStatesFederalCensusWalter was a hardware clerk in 1900 and the family lived in Rocky River, Cuyahoga. The 1900 federal census shows that Walter and Fannie had been married for 15 years and she was the mother of six children, with five of them living. The family had a 25-year old servant living with them named William E. Baker.

In 1910, the family is still living in Rocky River, Ohio next to Walter’s younger brother Edward and his family. Walter and Fannie were now 45 and 44 years of age respectively and had recorded on the census as having another child who had been born and died. Walter was listed as a hardware merchant, son Howard was a salesperson, working alongside his father and 16-year old daughter Ada/Ida was a bookkeeper for a local coal company.

Fannie and Walter Keyes in 1910

Fannie and Walter Keyes in 1910

Fannie and Walter were present at the weddings of their children, including Howard, who married Alma L. Mireau on June 3, 1912 and Ada, who became the bride of Arthur H. Hoag on Aug. 9, 1917.

The 1920 census shows the family living on Chapel Road in Madison Township, Lake County, Ohio. Only Walter, Fannie and their youngest son Walter, 21, are living in the home. In 1920, Walter has left the hardware business and lists his occupation as farmer and the son is a bank teller. The family is doing well and own their home free and clear.

Walter & Fannie living alone in 1930

Walter & Fannie living alone in 1930

The 1930 census shows that Walter and Fannie are in their mid-60s and are living alone back in Cuyahoga County. Walter is no longer working and they also own this home, located at 194 Loraine St., free and clear.

Although I have been able to locate the death certificate numbers for Fannie and Walter, I have been unable to find a copy of their actual certificates. Fannie I. Elliot Keyes died on July 5, 1932 at the age of 66. Walter passes a few years later on Jan. 9, 1938 at the age of 74. Fannie’s twin sister, Anna Luella married Bertrand H. Perrin and died on Oct. 16, 1938 in Geneva, Ashtabula, Ohio.

Death certificate of Anna Luella Elliott Perrin, twin sister of Fanny Idella Elliott Keyes.

Death certificate of Anna Luella Elliott Perrin, twin sister of Fanny Idella Elliott Keyes.

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