Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adam & Bess, The Final Chapter

Oh how I've been putting off writing this post.... I just didn't want to give Adam up just yet. But all good things (actually all things) must come to an end and here it is!!!

What else I know about Adam.

Adam's Grandparents

When I first started my Adam research I kept getting confused because I kept getting an Adam Filsinger in Syracuse who was considerably older than my own Adam. With a little more digging, I found out that this Adam is actually Adam's grandfather. He's married to a woman named Christina and he's a blacksmith born in 1833! LOVE IT!!! Apparently he was also pretty popular in early Syracuse because I found his name on a Syracuse map. I also found a picture of him and his wife Christina in newspaper archives on, however, is really persnickety about copying and pasting out of their archived newspaper articles. Each time I would do it, the computer would completely freeze up. I do have a printout for myself but it's pretty grainy.

Adam Before Bess

As Adam and Bess were born in 1886, they do not appear in the 1880 census. Also, much to the dismay of almost everyone who does genealogy, the 1890 census was mostly destroyed in a fire.... The first time we find Adam is 1900 when he is 16 years old.

He lives with his family and does not go to school. He is a Grocery Clerk at this point. His father is a Policeman, Cora is a millinery cashier and the rest of the kids are at school. His father owns his home but has a mortgage on it.

***Adam's mother is listed as having birthed 5 children and having 5 children still living, which is fortunate for her. Think about that question for a minute. That question appears on the 1900 & 1910 census records but luckily is no longer asked in 1920. Think about that for a minute. It's chilling.. And what a horrible question for the census taker to have to ask someone. As much as I love the past, this is one part of the past that cannot be romanticized in any way.

Adam & Bess Present Day (Well 1910 Present Day)

Isn't it fortunate that the diary I found is the exact same year as the census?!? It really lends to the reality of it all for me. And helps with the names/dates/people involved.

As you know, Adam and Bess are in their first year of marriage. He is listed as a Typewriter In..... (it could say inspector but I'm not certain, I feel like his job is a little more physical than that) Adam and Bess own their own home but have a mortgage on it. They have only been married for 6 months at the time this census was taken. (April 16, 191-Adam does not mention the census taker on that date in the diary). He is listed as 0 weeks out of work in 1910 (thus far) so we can imagine that his work has been pretty steady. Both of Adam's parents were born in NY. Bess's mom was born in NY but her father (Arthur Witham) was born in England. All of Bess's grandparents were born in England.

They live right around the corner from Adam's parents house. Adam's parents own their home free and clear.

As for the siblings, Bess has a brother (Arthur jr who you never hear about) and Katherine. Adam has Cora who is married at this point. Clara who is a school teacher, and Ray and Oscar who both work in factories.

Everyone in 1920

By 1920 we're starting to see some changes!!!

Adam and Bess now live in Watertown NY. Adam is a Physical Director at the YMCA!!!! LOVE IT!!!


They have 3 daughters!!!! (I know you wanted to know this!!!)

Catherine L- 7-This means she was born in 1913, 3 years after our story takes place
Mary E- 4
Sara A-2

Now daughters pose a problem for genealogists because daughters get married, and unlike on Facebook, NOWHERE can you find their maiden names!!! I hit a big wall with this one. I just can't FIND any of these girls. What I need are some marriage records somewhere.... I'm lost on this... Completely lost. This is why I've had no luck in tracing these people forward... I am SURE that there is some Filsinger ancestor who would just LOVE this.... But hell if I can find them....

But yes, happily they have children. The two eldest go to school.

By then Clara is married to William Hoffman. They have no children.
Raymond is married to a woman named Alvine and they have 2 children.
Oscar is married to Clara Merle (whom you've all met) and they have 2 children, the first of which is born in 1915.


Adam and Bess live in Watertown for the rest of their lives.
The girls are still teenagers and living at home.

Bess's mom appears on the census living with her sister Katherine. Katherine is 49..... Some time in the last 10 years Bess's dad passed away.

Neither of Adam's parents are on the 1930 census. This does not mean they have passed away, it could just mean they were not counted. It could be they have passed away. I don't know at this point.

All of Adam's siblings are still living.


In the time that Adam is in Watertown I found him in a number of bits in the newspaper. He does a lot with the YMCA-from coaching and playing sports to taking groups of boys camping.
One of the most exciting things that I found in a newspaper (which is on my computer that is acting up) is a photo that ADAM TOOK on one of these trips. It's just scenery, but it was pretty wild to see.

I wonder what he would think if he knew that someone would read his diary and then see that pic sometime... I wonder that a lot actually-How surreal it would seem to that person. Today at work I saw some coverlets from mid 1800. Can you imagine the woman that made it and what she would think if she could see 150 years into the future and that I would be looking at her handy work in a museum?!?!? It's kind of mind boggling.


Adam dies young in 1945. He's 59. He's the director of the YMCA by then. He has a heart attack.

Bess lives 20 years without him and then passes in 1965 at 79.

They are buried in Watertown.


Ellie Kings said...

Wow! It's good to be here again. Thank you Christine for your prayers and your words of comfort. I'm hanging in there, moving slowly toward the light.

Christine said...

Oh Ellie!! How excited I was to see your name! Welcome back. You've been in my thoughts and prayers very much.

Zev said...

Genealogy is so confusing! Especially when you have sons and fathers with the same name. I'm not even sure half the names in my family tree are correct, and I've been starting at the beginning to try to go back and document every relationship.

Meredith said...

And so ends the saga of Adam and Bess. What a great ride!
I really liked how you went the extra step with the research to give us readers some historical context.
There is something about seeing the beginnings of a legacy that gives the story all that much more meaning.

Christine said...

Thanks Meredith! I really enjoyed it. I already knew I liked Geneology but the extra research was a lot of fun too. And since I'm kind of a mid-1800's gal, the 1910 information was interesting to me as well. I've not thought too much about typewriter factory workres in 1910 before.

Christine said...

And Thanks for reading Merdeith. I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

I left it up the past few weeks so no one would miss the last post (well and I because I'm busy and tired!!!) but thanks for reading along!!!