Not New Hampshire: The Lost Faces of World War One

HONOR ROLL BANNER 2During World War 1 American newspapers sometimes printed photographs of those who died in action or from disease.  One publisher called it “Our Nation’s Roll of Honor,” and bi-weekly showed a pictorial of 25 small photos of young men who had died in the wartime effort. [Editor’s note: I have been unable to determine the exact publication name, so if any of my reader’s knows, I hope you will leave a comment.]

American losses in World War 1 were less than its counterparts in Europe. Though the numbers even today are not definitive, it is estimated (by the International Encyclopedia of the First World War) that there were 116,516 deaths, and approximately 320,000 sick and wounded of the 4.7 million who served. “The USA lost more personnel to disease (63, 114) than to combat (53, 402), largely due to the influenza epidemic of 1918.” WGBH additionally provides a table showing all losses in that War. Continue reading

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One Face But Many Samuel Mardens of New Hampshire

Photograph taken at S. Piper Photographer studio in Manchester NH. Undated. Written in pencil: "Samuel Marden"

Photograph taken at S. Piper Photographer studio in Manchester NH. Undated. Written in pencil: “Samuel Marden”

At first glance Samuel Marden would seem like an uncommon name. I thought the same. I purchased “a great CDV photo of an older man identified on back as Samuel Marden. It was taken at the S. Piper Studio in Manchester, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and dates to the 1860’s.” The sales description goes on to detail a specific Samuel Marden born in 1804 and who died in 1871.

The image *could* be of him, but wait, there were two other men named Samuel Marden who were living in the area, and who would have had the opportunity to have their photograph taken in Manchester. I backtracked a bit, and studied the photograph. Continue reading

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The Joslin and Allen Families of Surry, Cheshire County, New Hampshire

Old post card showing "oldest house" in Surry, NH

Old post card showing “oldest house” in Surry, NH

Surry is a quaint and lovely town in Cheshire County, in the south western section of New Hampshire. Two families settled early in the town, intermarried and thrived–the Joslin and Allen families.

I use their photographs to illustrate these genealogies.  Continue reading

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New Hampshire and Portsmouth’s First Woman Mayor: Mary Ellen (Carey) Dondero (1894-1960)

Residents of Portsmouth, New Hampshire are familiar with the Dondero name. A beloved former mayor, Eileen Dondero Foley, just passed away in February of this year (2016). Less known these days, but historically important, was Eileen’s mother, Mary Ellen (Carey) Dondero. She was a daughter, mother, sister, wife, business woman, politician, civic leader and pacesetter. She is the focus of this story.

She was born Mary Ellen Carey on March 16, 1894 in Portsmouth NH, the daughter of Denis and Nora (Leary) Carey, both of whom were Irish immigrants who lived in Portsmouth. Mary grew up in, and attended schools there, graduating from high school.  She was just 19 years old when she married in 1913 to Charles A. Dondero, a young man of Italian origin, and also a native of Portsmouth. They had five children, four daughters living into adulthood. She also ran two convalescent nursing homes in Portsmouth and Stratham NH. Continue reading

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Faces of the Benjamin G. Brooks Family of New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Benjamin Gove Brooks, born 1819 in Henniker NH.

Benjamin Gove Brooks, born 1819 in Henniker NH.

The faces of Benjamin Gove Brooks, his wife Frances Eliza (Downer) Brooks, and their son B. Ferdinand Brooks, look out at you from pale CDV photographs. Benjamin and his wife Frances were both born and raised in New Hampshire. Benjamin was a machinist, and so he moved to wherever he could best ply his trade. He lived in both Holyoke MA (first marriage), and later in Westford, MA (after second marriage). Benjamin and Frances had three children, one of whom was B. Ferdinand, who only lived to be 22 years old. In 1900, the widowed Frances, her daughter Maria Adelaide, and granddaughter Hazel moved to Enfield, New Hampshire, living with the Shaker community there.

Benjamin Gove Brooks descended from Henry Brooks of Concord and Woburn, Massachusetts. The Brooks genealogy is shown below.

Continue reading

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