A New Hampshire Mother: Evelina “Eva” (Rollins) Sykes of Manchester (1870-1942)

Sykes family, from left to right: Kenneth, their mother [who I identified as Evalina (Rollins) Sykes], Irma, and Basiel; Manchester Historic Association. Used with permission.

It all started with one photograph.  Shown on the left the graphic is identified as: “Sykes family, from left to right: Kenneth, their mother, Irma, and Basiel.” [Based on the real birth dates I tend to think that instead it should be Basiel, mother/Irma and Kenneth.]  Possibly this was taken on a 4th of July, based on the United States flag and guns on display by the children. But before I continue with my story, a little congratulatory side-trip is in order.

This story originated while browsing through the Manchester Historic Association online photograph archives, which I seem to do frequently. That archive is a treasure trove, so kudos to everyone at that organization for the countless hours of identifying, scanning and uploading. I would highly suggest that anyone researching the Manchester New Hampshire area should look there first for photographs.  AND if you have any old photographs of the city, identify them and consider donating them to this fine organization.

View of the Sykes Family House, Huntress Street. A woman (mother) stands at the bottom of the front stairs and a girl (daughter) [Irma Sykes] stands on the steps holding her doll – 1910. Manchester Historic Association. Used with permission.

Now, continuing with my story.  Since I am writing this during a month celebrating mothers, and the “mother” in this photograph was not identified, I felt it important for someone to do so.  I did find out who she was and where she came from, but in the meanwhile I discovered that someone had donated several photographs of the family, and it was a real “snapshot” of Manchester history.

The unidentified “mother” in the photograph was Evelina “Eva” (Rollins) Sykes, daughter of Daniel W. & Harriet May “Hattie” (Martin) Rollins. She was born 10 Aug 1870 in Waterloo Quebec, Canada, and died on 1 Jan 1942 in Goffstown NH.

In the 1891 Census of Canada she was shown living with her parents and 9 siblings in Bolton West, Brome, Quebec, Canada. That same year she married 4 June 1891 in Manchester NH to a loom-fixer, John A. Sykes who had immigrated to Manchester New Hampshire from England.  They raised  three children in Manchester: Baisel, Kenneth and Irma who are shown in the first photograph with her. They lived at 242 Huntress Street in Manchester, New Hampshire (the house still exists, notice the triangular window in the eaves).  And so now I continue with a bit of the family genealogy, adding more photographs from the Manchester Historic Association archives.

Portrait of John A. Sykes pictured in his State Guard uniform. Manchester Historic Association. Used with permission.

John A. Sykes, son of Joseph & Isabella (Bradshaw) Sykes (chemist) was b. 12 Feb 1861 in Manchester England, d 3 April 1924 in Manchester NH. He m. 4 June 1891 in Manchester NH to Evelina “Eva” Rollins, daughter of Daniel W. & Harriet May “Hattie” (Martin) Rollins. She was born 10 Aug 1870 in Waterloo Quebec, and died 1 Jan 1942 in Goffstown NH. they were buried in Piscataquog Cemetery, Manchester NH. She was born 10 August 1870 in Manchester NH, died 1 January 1942 in Goffstown NH. His occupation was loom fixer. In 1896 John A. Sykes was a Sergeant in the 1st New Hampshire National Guard, Company F.

Portrait of John and Evelina Sykes. They resided on Huntress St., Manchester. Probably taken around the time of their marriage in 1891. Manchester Historic Association. Used with permission.

1910 U.S. Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester > Ward 8 > 242 Huntress Street
John A Sykes 49, b — England
Evelina Sykes 39, b — Canada
Baisel A Sykes 16
Kenneth V Sykes 11
Irma B Sykes 8
Isabella Sykes 76
Children of John A. & Evelina (Rollins) Sykes:
1. Baisel Allen Sykes, b 20 March 1894 Manchester NH, d. July 1979. He m 26 Aug 1916 in Manchester NH to Ida Louise Fischer, daughter of Henry J. & March C. (Riedel) Fischer. She died 10 of Feb 1979 and is buried also in Pine Grove Cemetery. He was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.
2. Kenneth V. Sykes, b 13 Sep 1898 in Manchester NH, and died February 1986 in NH He married 29 Dec 1928 in Manchester NH to Marie Anna Reuel, daughter of Archille & Marie R. (Leblanc) Reuel.
3. Irma Beatrice Sykes, b 9 March 1902 Manchester NH, she died 31 Jan 1983 in Moretown VT ; m. 30 Aug 1922 in Manchester NH to Frank C. Lakeman, son of Lafayette S. & Nellie (Colby) Lakeman. He was born 25 Aug 1901 in Goffstown NH and at the time of his marriage, he was a baker. Her occupation at the same time was mill operative. They had a son, Francis C. Lakeman Jr. b 1929 in Manchester NH, and d. 28 April 1985 in Florida. In 1930 they were both living in Manchester NH. Other children: Mildred Ellen Lakeman, b 5 Sep 1932, d. 26 Jan 2017, m. 14 Sep 1951 to Charles Herbert Gee, son of Andrew A. & Bernice J. (Proctor) Gee; and Stelma Lakeman, b. abt 1930. As a widow [though prob divorced], she married 2nd) 10 Aug 1935 in Bolton VT to Ralph Ellsworth Morgan. They had 5 children including, Donald Lester Morgan b 23 Jan 1939 in Boston VT. She was buried in Green Mountain Cemetery, Montpelier VT.

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6 Responses to A New Hampshire Mother: Evelina “Eva” (Rollins) Sykes of Manchester (1870-1942)

  1. Amy says:

    Great sleuthing, and wonderful photographs, Janice! I am curious as to how you found her before her marriage to Sykes as her birth name is so common. That must have been a challenge!

  2. Kudos for identifying Eva as the mother of the Sykes family. I think I can answer Amy’s question. A search for Sykes in NH with a spouse named Evalina quickly turns up a marriage record and the 1910 census with the named children. A simple genealogy search trick which many do not use.

    • Janice Brown says:

      As a New Hampshire researcher I must say I am very fortunate as so many documents are online and easily searchable (for free). In addition to that I created an entire web site (apart from my blog) with additional information I’ve been able to locate such as name changes, war records, etc. I also lived in New Jersey for a while and was amazed at how difficult it is there to research, compared with what I was used to. Thanks Cathy as always for commenting.

  3. Thank you for passing along the Manchester online photo archive link.It should make for some good exploration!

  4. April Black says:

    I’m the first granddaughter of Frank C. Lakeman “Jr.”
    Which would make Irma Sykes my 3x great grandmother I believe! Very interesting to find this article with pictures of my relatives on the Sykes side!

    • Janice Brown says:

      April, so glad you found my story. All those photographs (the originals) are at the Manchester (NH) Historic Association. I saw the photograph in their online photo archives, and it always bothers me when a woman is identified only by her role and not by her name. So of course I had to discover who she was! Connecting people with “lost’ relatives is what I love to do!

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