“Happiest when surrounded by little children”

1944 newspaper obituary clipping for Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson of New Jersey and Kansas



[Transcription follows]



     Mrs. Andrew Carson, (Anna Mary Hopkins) was born December 25, 1857 in Trenton, N.J., and died at the home of her daughter, Mrs R. Knott in Abilene, Kansas, on Saturday, September 16, 1944, at the age of 86 years, 8 months and 19 days.

     On June 9, 1875 she was united in marriage to Andrew Carson of Trenton, N. J., in 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Carson moved to Skiddy, Kansas, later they moved to a farm near White City, where they lived until 1919 when they moved into town.

     She joined the Methodist church in White City on December 2nd, 1894, during the pastorate of Rev. J. S. Ford. She was a very faithful and active member until her health failed her. By such women of love and integrity are our churches and communities maintained. She was a good neighbor and loved by all who knew her. She was happiest when surrounded by little children.

     Mrs. Carson greatly loved her home and family, always kind and thoughtful as a wife and mother, she lived in her own gentle way.

     Her passing is a great loss, not only to her family but to all who knew her. A devout christian has gone to her God.

     Mr. Carson preceded her in death on April 18, 1937.

     She is survived by the following children: Mrs. Ralph Knott of Abilene, Mrs. George Tyson of Council Grove, Roy of White City, Elmer of Herington, Mrs. Amanda Carroll of Pittsburg, Frank and Raymond Carson and Mrs. Lillian Bailey of Wichita; thirty two grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and one great, great, grandchild.

     Mrs. Carson had been an invalid for nearly three years, spending most of her time with her daughter Mrs. Knott, who employed Mrs. Cordelia Williams to care for her. About two years ago she fell and broke her hip, and spent some time in the hospital. When it had almost healed several months ago, she had another fall and the hip was rebroken.

     Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Wednesday at 2:30 with interment in White City cemetery. Frey funeral home had charge of arrangements; Rev. O. J. McCulloh preached the sermon.

     The pall bearers were: R. R. Adam, W. H. Ashe, Howard Shepherd, C. C. Miller, George Hauserman and F. F. Girtch.

     Music was furnished by Mrs. J. F. Bacon at the piano and C. C. Miller, Howard Shepherd, Mrs. E. G. Larson, and Mrs J E Bowert, who sang “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Sometime We’ll Understand,” and “Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.”

     Supper was served by the Eastern Star at the Full Plate Cafe to relatives from a distance attending the funeral.

[End of transcription.]

I am a descendant of one of the eleven great-grandchildren mentioned in the above obituary. My grandmother would have been one of the unnamed 32 grandchildren, and would probably have attended the funeral of her grandmother, although I do not have any recollection of her telling me that. Our branch of the family has no photographs, letters or ephemera from the New Jersey Hopkins side of the family, and I am still working to prove her ancestry.

The clipping transcribed above is, just that, a clipping, so full publication data for a proper citation is lacking. Two facts suggest publication information: 1) the newspaper was published on a Thursday following the death and funeral of Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson and, 2) the newspaper was published in Morris County, Kansas.

Consulting a perpetual calendar for 1944, I was able to determine that the likeliest publication date would have been Thursday, 21 Sep 1944, the first Thursday following her death on Saturday, 16 Sep 1944.

I was then able to narrow down the newspaper to one of two possibilities using the U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present online as part of the Chronicling America project of the Library of Congress, which I have blogged about previously.

Search of the U.S. Newspaper Directory using state of Kansas, and county of Morris, plus decade from 1940-1950, as shown in yellow, above.


Only the Council Grove Republican and White City Register (indicated in red, above) are likely candidates for this newspaper clipping based on the publication information. My belief is this obituary appeared in the 21 Sep 1944 edition of the White City Register, page unknown. Determining whether this is, in fact, true has been added to my “to do” list.

Notes: The formatting shown in this post is not true to the original; it was a very long, narrow column in the original newspaper, which I have chosen not to replicate. In the original, each new section is indented, and there is no spacing between the paragraphs. I was unable to get it properly formatted in this blog post but felt that sharing the information was more important than formatting of same.

1. The children of Anna Mary (Hopkins) Carson all lived in towns and cities in Kansas, although that may not be clear to those unfamiliar with the area.

2. “Mrs. Lillian Bailey of Wichita” was actually Mrs. Lillian Barley, wife of Christian Arthur Barley. They lived in at 850 Faulkner in Wichita in 1943, per Polk’s Wichita City Directory (Kansas City, Missouri: R. L. Polk & Co., 1943), p. 57, entry for Christian A. and Lillian Barley; digital image, “U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989”, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Mar 2014). The 1944 Wichita directory, if one exists, is not available on Ancestry currently.

A Little Bird Told Me…the Power of Twitter

I spend an inordinate aTwitter iconmount of my free time researching early New Jersey history and sources for shreds of information about several of my ancestral lines that once lived in Trenton and surrounding communities: namely the Carson and Hopkins families of Middlesex, Monmouth and Mercer Counties.

My challenge is that I have never lived in New Jersey, nor have I ever traveled to New Jersey. I do the bulk of my research online, so I am always interested in learning about websites that focus on New Jersey history or have original New Jersey documents.

Yesterday, I learned through Twitter (a social networking site) that the journal called
New Jersey History is available online, for free:

I explored the link, and discovered not only the latest version of the journal online, but several additional issues, going back to 2009. Best of all, the journal is searchable, and browseable.

I quickly located three articles that were of interest to me, and may be of interest to other genealogists. I then shared these explicit links through Twitter. Since I’ve not yet integrated my Twitter feed into my blog, I thought I would share them here.

 Another: “To Reach Sweet Home Again”:The Impact of Soldiering on New Jersey’s Troops During the American Civil War.” njh.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/njh/…

— Dawn Bingaman (@AncestorRoundup) September 27, 2012

Contains map: “A Survey of the Canals and Water Raceways of New Jersey”. njh.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/njh/…. Thanks to @petermarsch for main URL.

— Dawn Bingaman (@AncestorRoundup) September 27, 2012

Tweets appear in Twitter  in reverse chronological order, with the newest at the top.

New Jersey History is a peer-reviewed journal, with issues dating back to 1845. I cannot wait to explore more than what is currently available online!

Twitter, like other social networks, has been maligned at times for having too much meaningless information (cruft). However, it can be used by genealogists to share information and resources. Even without a Twitter account, you can search public tweets. Look for common hashtags like #genealogy or #familyhistory.

[Edited 18 Feb 2018 to restore missing images.]

My Carson Family Group Sheet: The Beginning

Oral interviews with my grandmother and a cemetery visit were the start of my journey to learn more about the family of my 2nd-great-grandfather, Andrew F. Carson (1854-1937), born in New Jersey

I was fortunate to have begun researching my genealogy when still a child, back when my maternal grandmother was still living. She had grown up in Kansas in the company of three of four of her own grandparents and was an adult when they passed away. Besides having been raised near them, my grandmother had also become the family archivist, probably because she was the female who lived the longest of her generation. All from that generation were long dead by the time I came around, asking questions about them.

One day over a meal, as was typical for us, I asked again about her grandfather, Andrew F. Carson. She recalled that he did have brothers, and was able to name Wes, Charley and Furman Carson. Other than their names, she also relayed the fact that they had once lived in New Jersey. She knew that Andrew, Furman and Charley had moved from New Jersey to eastern Kansas, and knew or knew of a number of cousins in the area, as both Andrew and Furman had large families. One other tidbit she offered was that my 2nd great-grandfather Andrew Carson and his brother Furman Carson had married Hopkins sisters before moving west. She had no exact dates for any events, and was unable to provide any information about earlier generations. But, she offered, did I want to look at her scrapbook? She thought she had saved some things from them that I could look at.

As a result of those early interviews, I was able to begin the Carson family group sheet. I carefully penciled in the names of the brothers into the appropriate areas of the pre-printed form my father provided to me, and added the additional information to the notes field. I then filed the family group sheet away in a notebook. In 1992, I made my first visit to Kansas. My brother took me to visit the local cemetery in White City, Morris County, Kansas: home base for the Carson family. We took pictures of the headstones of all relatives we knew of on that trip. We extracted birth and death information from our “field notes” and photographs, which we later added to the group sheet. Unfortunately, my grandmother had already begun her slow decline with Alzheimer’s disease, so I don’t know how much of what I shared about her family on my return trip she understood.

Carson Family Group Sheet, dated 1994
My Carson Family Group Sheet, ca. 1994

It wasn’t until several years after my grandmother’s death that I picked up where I had left off on the Carson family. Now the family group sheet was shaping up, except there was a big blank spot at the top of the sheet where the names of my 2nd great-grandfather’s parents should have been recorded.

The days of being able to plug a name into a search engine or Ancestry.com were still a ways off, so I went down to my local library, pulled down the census index books (remember those?) and begin taking notes on my legal pad. Because I live in Washington state and New Jersey wasn’t well-represented in our library, I had to then go to the local branch of the National Archives to gain access to the New Jersey census microfilm. (Fortunately there is a local branch of the National Archives in Seattle.)

Armed with the names of four Carson siblings and approximate birth dates for three of them, locating their parents in New Jersey shouldn’t have been too difficult, right? Right….

Andrew Carson grave marker (1854-1937)
The above grave marker for Andrew Carson (1854-1937) was photographed by my father in White City Cemetery in 2002. My own image taken a decade earlier is trapped on a slide somewhere. Courtesy R.E. Bingaman, (c) 2002.