Friday, October 16, 2009

A search for the past

I have three other blogs concerning the Cafarella and Cincotta side of my family. My mother's side is much easier to follow than my father's. It seems that the Mitchell side of my family has disappeared off the face of the earth.
It was difficult even from the very beginning of my search as my grandfather was adopted and spoke very little about his past. In addition to that, my father died when I was two and a half. As a result, I had much less contact with that side of my family even though I grew up fairly close to my family's assumed origins in New Brunswick. There were also many connections in Northern Massachusetts. I guess all I can do right now is hope that someone might see this blog and begin my journey toward understanding the Mitchell family history.
I am interested in hearing from people from Bradford, Andover and other northern Massachusetts towns with the Mitchell name, as that is where William Everett Mitchell spent his childhood in and out of an orphanage. He had a brother named Edmund or Edward.
My grandmother spent time in northern Massachusetts and the Medford and Malden area. Her name was Henrietta Day from the Hatfield Point area of New Brunswick. I suspect that her Mother's name was Jones, but I am not one hundred percent sure how that Jones name got into the family.
Other members of the family included: Richard Bruce Mitchell, Harold Mitchell, Everett Mitchell, Mary-Joan Mitchell, married to Donald Ross and then there are the Northrups in New Brunswick. My aunt Helen has family in Alberta Canada somewhere, presumably Calgary, though I do not know her married name.
I would welcome any contacts that can give me any information on any of these people.
My sister Mary, brother Richard and I, William, have a background in Littleton and Houlton, Maine as that is where my father brought my mother, Mary Cafarella to live. My Cafarella family including Mary Rose, Philip, William and briefly Lawrence came to join them.

Henrietta Day and William Everett Mitchell

For some time now I have been trying to make sense of my grandfather's records. The story from my mother was that William Everett Mitchell was placed in an orphanage when his mother remarried and his stepfather did not want the child. He told stories about spending Summer vacations in Bradford with family. Yet in the 1880 census, he was in the Episcopal orphanage of St Mary in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was supposedly born in 1874, so that made him about six years old.

I found a copy of their wedding registration in the Massachusetts archives a couple of days ago. On June 3 of 1896, they were married by A.A. Bennett who was the pastor of their church. William E. was registered as a teamster. He was 22 and lived in Malden. He stated he was born in Boston. It is usual in these records to state only the first names of the parents assuming that the last name is the same. In this case, his parents were William E. and his mother was Maggie. Then in a slightly different hand her last name was Patterson. This leads me to several possible scenarios.

1. Maggie was not married when she had him. Her name was Mitchell and that is how he got that last name.

2. Her maiden name was Patterson, they were never married, and the father, William E. Mitchell found his way on to the records to give William his last name.

3. Maggie and William E. were married and he died or they divorced. She then remarried to a Patterson.

Henrietta, sometimes found spelled: Henreatta for some reason, was 18 years old. She lived in Malden and worked as an Operator. What she was operating is a bit of a mystery, though she could have been a telephone operator. She stated that she was born in New Brunswick. Her father's was Henry Day and her mother's name is Celia A.Jones.
William Everett Mitchell and Henrietta Day Mitchell. I presume this is in Canada.

William Everett Mitchell was born in northern Massachusetts. His early childhood was eveidently spent in Bradfod Ma. at least as a Summer residence. As I understand it,he had a brother whose name was Edward or Edmond. His mother remarried and the new husband did not want two children. William was placed in an orphanage. I have seen the records of this, but have not seen them in many years. As a result, I do not remember the details. I believe that the orphanage was a Saint...something, in Methuen, Lawrence or one of the surrounding towns. His mother then evidently left for Canada somewhere. I will try to find out more about this in time. I do have records of him possibly living in a rooming house for some time as a youth as well. He met Henrietta here in Massachusetts when she came here to work.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

William Everett Mitchell

The back of this has the most elaborate self promotional print. The address was Florence street Malden, Mass.

William Everett Mitchell-Photo from Joyce Woods 12-13

Again we have the jug ears. No ID.
I am wondering if this might be William Everett Mitchell by the Jug ears, but There is not ID.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Photo from Joyce Woods 10

Henrietta Day, Carol tells me, was originally from Newfoundland. This is a new story for me. It may be that they moved to New Brunswick when she was quite young. Carol distinctly remembers her father Everett talking about this.
Henrietta Day Mitchell

Henrietta Day

This was taken in the same studio as the gentleman in uniform, but I cannot make out the Logo.

Henrietta and Hatfield Point

In the late 19th century, Henrietta Day moved from Hatfield Point to Massachusetts to find work. There she became an operator. This is all that is stated on records of her presence there. I assume that she was a telephone operator.
In Massachusetts she met William Everett Mitchell. They Married in...... They had five children named: Lauretta, Helen, Richard, Everett and Harold. Richard, the youngest was born in the US, so the next episode had to be after 19o8.
In time the family moved to Hatfield Point as Henrietta was very homesick for her home. William was not happy there in Canada, or perhaps there were few opportunities there. In time the marriage soured and William moved back to Massachusetts alone. I assume that he moved to the Malden area. Hatfield Point is on an inland bay called Belleisle Bay northeast of St John, New Brunswick. It is a estuary, though it is certainly a long way from the sea. The land is very open around the bay as I remember it, sloping gently up from the bay on all sides. Some distance from the water, in a wooded area, was a very large field sloping down to the South with a high, wooded hill on the West side and a small road on the East side leading down to the town some distance away, and on beyond the house deeper into the country. A long low Federal Cape style house sat on a crest of the hill about 2/3 of the way from the bottom of the field. This evidently was rented from or purchased from a neighbor. I use the term Federal for lack of a better word as this was Canada. The styles there are somewhat different from the US in appearance as well as name. Along the longer, South side of the house was a porch, enclosed with windows above short walls. There was a distant view of the bay from this porch. In my time there was no paint and as I visited over the years it became more and more dilapidated. This is where Bertha Northrup lived. This was not otherwise a family home. The Northrups, George and Charlie, children of our Aunt Lauretta once took me up to the top of the field and beyond into the encroaching woods. There was the foundation of the older house that I remember them calling the Judge Jones house. This is where the Jones girls lived, and I assume it was where Henrietta's mother as raised. The tradition was that there were five girls, four of whom married Governors of various US states. The truth of that story is completely up in the air. As I understand this, they lived there together till Henrietta's death. The house had burned to the ground many years before I saw it.
As I remember the interior of Bertha's house, it had a center entrance with a steep narrow staircase leading up to the loft past the back of the chimney. I do not remember this being finished space. To the right of the door was an all purpose room with couch and chairs, and a large wood cook stove along the wall to the left as you entered. There was a similar room to the left of the door, but I do not remember it all all.
As the boys grew up, they all moved back to Massachusetts. Richard, My father evidently built a cabin for Lauretta before moving to Littleton, Maine permanently.

Henrietta's Children

Bertha Lauretta married Thomas Northrup. She had four children. They were Charlie(unmarried), Bertha(unmarried), George(unmarried) and Laura who married Sandy Currie and had Joan, James, Joyce Wood and Margaret. Lauretta died in 1952.

Harold married and returned to Massachusetts and went into the building trade on the South Shore. His wife was.... and his children are.....

Everett married Vera who was a good friend of my mother Mary. Their children were: Everett, Mary-Joan Mitchell Ross. Everett moved South also and died in the Derry area of New Hampshire.

Helen Moved west to the Calgary area.

Richard(my father) Married (Vera above introduced them)Mary Carolina Cafarella and had three children: Mary Rose Mitchell Burrill(married to Fredrick W. Burrill) (Three children), Richard B. Mitchell II, (married to Jane Teresa Callnan)(Two children) and William Philip Mitchell (married to Marcia Good)(Divorced) Richard died in 1955. The diagnosis was Bright's disease, but my sister raises some doubt as to the actual cause.

Everett, Richard Bruce(my father), Harold and their father William Everett Mitchell 1939

Not shown are Helen and Loretta.