So now that I’ve gone and smashed what I thought I knew about Carrie Wood, here are my questions:
- Was Carrie actually Delia’s mother, rather than the other way around?
- If so, can I find Carrie’s husband/Delia’s father? Was she unmarried?
- If Carrie was born in Massachusetts to Massachusetts-born parents, can I find her in Massachusetts Town and Vital Records?
- If Carrie was a “conveyancer” in 1910, was she employed similarly before 1910?
- If she wasn’t a servant, just a boarder, why did she leave Sarah Jones Kenrick’s house for Agnes Holden’s? (I have so many questions about her, too, but that’s for another day — because what’s the deal with her 1910 jaunt to Boston anyway?)
- Where is Carrie after 1910, and how long can I find records for her?
- Where is Delia after 1900, and did she marry? Because if she were the teenager in 1900, then we’d expect to see her marrying in the subsequent decade-ish or perhaps see her continue in service in someone else’s house.
- Did Carrie or Delia die in Newton? or Cambridge? or Boston? or anywhere trackable?
- Have I looked for Carrie in Newton in 1899? I should do that if I haven’t. Hm.
So I went back to Ancestry with the updated birth date, and that started popping. I found a few Carrie Woods in Massachusetts. I also now had her middle initial, A., courtesy of the City of Newton Directories, which, along with location, whittled things down further.
I was fairly certain we needed a Carrie Wood who was based in greater Boston, so I discarded one in Berkshire County, one in Plymouth County, and I decided to keep a wary eye on one born in Cambridge but buried in Worcester. (I subsequently discovered that Carrie was not our Carrie. I found her in Worcester in 1900, when ours is in Newton, but her parents are also from Maine and New Hampshire!)
The logical candidate was born in Cambridge, MA, on 29 July 1859, to Charles P. and Hannah M. Wood. As it happened, she wasn’t the first Carrie A. Wood born to her parents — an infant of that name and parentage died at one week old in 1856.
But Carrie v.1859, her parents’ only living child, appears in their home in the 1860 US Census, the 1865 MA State Census, the 1870 US Census, and the 1880 US Census. Across those four records, her father’s birthplace is consistently listed as New Hampshire, and her mother’s shifts from Maine to Massachusetts. All the way around, though, she was not the Irish immigrant I initially took her for. Her grandmother, Hannah Somerby, also appears in the censuses, herself American-born.
Another fun note — Carrie’s father is consistently identified for 20 years as a seller of flour. Not a baker or a grocer, but very specifically a seller (in one year, he’s listed as a wholesaler) of flour… until 1880, when he’s listed as a bookkeeper.
The 1890 US Census died in a fire, which makes Carrie Wood another potential casualty of a lost link. But the Newton city directories do cover that time period, so I decided my next move would be to go backward from 1900.
She wasn’t in the 1899 City of Newton Directory. So I tried the 1899 Cambridge directory, found here. Her father was there, but her mother wasn’t, but if only heads of house were listed, Carrie and her mother would be invisible. In 1899, she was 40 years old, and the very next year, she and Delia, whoever Delia was, would be living at the Kenricks’. So I tried the 1899 Boston directory, available here, hoping I wouldn’t have to go all the way through everywhere in the Greater Boston area. I didn’t find her in Boston. So if she wasn’t in her father’s house in Cambridge, she might have been in any of the other surrounding towns.
So here’s what I’m left with now:
- Our Carrie Wood is visible in Newton from 1900 to 1923 — but the 1925 City of Newton Directory marks her as “rem to Roxbury,” meaning she likely relocated there in 1924 or 1925. I’ll follow up on this bit next.
- Her parents’ deaths, 1902 for Hannah and 1905 for Charles, don’t seem to line up with any of her moving.
- In 1903, her occupation is listed as “copyist” for the City of Cambridge. From 1905-1923, she’s listed as “examiner of titles” for Cambridge. It turns out “conveyancer,” her occupation as listed in the 1910 Census, is a legal specialization involved in buying and selling property. These days, it’s a lawyer, which I’m not sure she was, but it fits with “examiner of titles.”
- After leaving the Goodes’ residence (which followed her time with the Kenricks and with Agnes Holden), she appears in two different boarding houses in Newton.
- I can find nothing of Delia. I’m starting to wonder if the shared surname might have been a coincidence.
Next stop, Roxbury…