Not New Hampshire: Henry Prince Nourse, 4th Great Grandson of Rebecca (Town) Nurse

NURSE Henry Prince watermarked

Henry Prince Nourse of Salem MA (1862-1928). This photograph is dated to the 1870-80s.

A handsome young man named Henry Prince Nourse stares out from this lovely tin-type photograph.He was not from New Hampshire, but the pose was charming enough that I bought it, to write about him.

He did not fall far from the tree,” as the saying goes, as he was born in 1862 in Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts, the son of Aaron and Harriet Matilda (Kimball) Nourse.  He was also the 4th great-grandson of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse who was murdered, after being convicted of witchcraft, during the so-called “Salem Witchcraft Trials.”

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Temperance and the Good Templars in Manchester New Hampshire

Merrimac Good Templars watermarkedI came across a curious Victorian invitation card, that I share with you now.  It shows a pensive-looking, blond woman, cloaked on a winter’s night. The card reads: “Compliments of Merrimack Lodge, No. 5, I.O G.T. Valentine Party, Feb. 14, ’87.” Following some research it is apparent that this notecard was generated in 1887 by the International Order of Good Templars, specifically the Merrimack Lodge, which was located in Manchester, New Hampshire. Continue reading

The Nurse from Milton Mills, New Hampshire: Flora N. Runnels (1866-1960)

Written on the back of the photograph: "Flora n. Runnels, Milton Mills, Strafford Co., N.H."

Written on the back of the photograph: “Flora n. Runnels, Milton Mills, Strafford Co., N.H.”

She has a fairly plain face, intelligent dark eyes, curly hair. She wears the pinstriped frock of a nurse over her dark dress. Her collar is tightly and demurely closed with a pin.  The name of the woman in the photograph is Flora N. Runnels.  I should also add here that it turns out (yes again!) that she is a cousin, albeit distant, from me.

I would have liked to learn more about her, but information is lean. She was born in Acton Maine, and by 1880 she was 13 years old and living in Milton Mills, New Hampshire with her parents Isaac and Mary along with several siblings. Census records show that she graduated from high school, not a small feat for women of her time in a farm family. Possibly she took classes or courses for nursing, but sometimes women became adept by watching other women. Continue reading

Frank O. Foster of Manchester NH and His Connection to Gen. John Gray Foster

Frank Orrin Foster with his first wife, Alice (Fern) Foster.

Frank Orrin Foster with his first wife, Alice (Fern) Foster.

I started off preparing this story, with just a pair of matching photographs, of Frank O. Foster, and his wife, Alice. As is often the case I acquired these on Ebay, happening to notice they had spent some time in my native city of Manchester, New Hampshire. I felt fortunate that someone had the foresight to label their names on the back of these lovely portraits.

My preliminary research revealed several Foster genealogies, and on inspecting the first one, I felt a bit smug that researching this line would be easy to do.  Well, I was so wrong.  There is nothing easy about researching FOSTER in New England, as all the older published genealogies have some major flaws and errors. Continue reading

A New Hampshire Mother of a President: Eliza (Ballou) Garfield 1801-1888

Cabinet Photograph: Mrs. Eliza Garfield (1801-1888), Attributed to James Fitzallen Ryder, American photographer, Special Collections, Fine Art Library

Cabinet Photograph: Mrs. Eliza Garfield (1801-1888), Attributed to James
Fitzallen Ryder, American photographer, Special Collections, Fine Art Library, Harvard Library

She was the first woman in American History to see her son sworn in as President of the United States.  At his inauguration ceremony, the new President turned first to his mother, kissing her on the cheek, before he kissed his wife.

He was, of course, James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States.    She was Eliza (Ballou) Garfield, who was born in 1801 in the small town of Richmond, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. She was affectionately known as Grandma Garfield. Continue reading