Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obituary of Lydia Fountain (abt. 1876 - 1963)

Today it's another round of Who is the Person in This Obituary...

I've got an obituary for a "Lydia FOUNTAIN" from my grandmother's collection of newspaper obituaries. All identifying information was cut off. My feeling is that it was actually my great-grandmother who saved this obituary and it happened to come into my grandmother's possession. Here is the obituary:

Lydia's date of death is actually just a few days after my great-great grandmother passed away, so maybe they were friends? I'm not sure if Lydia is a relation or friend so I did a bit of investigating.

I found her and her husband Byron in the 1930 census, in Starkey, Yates County, NY. Interestingly, her name was spelled "Lida T.", not "Lydia". I figured this was a transcriber's mistake until I found her in the 1920 census as well, listed again as "Lida T.". She and Byron were again in Starkey, Yates County, NY.

I couldn't find her anywhere in the 1910 census so I moved on to 1900 - and thanks to her unusual name, I found "Lida T." in Starkey again, this time living with her first husband, their eldest child, and her parents, George and Frances PUTNAM. I knew it was her because the obituary listed her son as having a last name of "BERRY" and here she was married to a James BERRY.

Having her missing in 1910 bothered me, so I kept looking and managed to find her 2 children with James BERRY living with her parents in Starkey. So it looks like James passed away, her children were living with her parents, so what the heck was she doing?

I'm not 100% sure, but I have a likely candidate.

I found a "Lida T." (thanks for the unusual name George and Frances!!) married to a James W. COLWELL in 1910, nearby in Dryden, Tompkins County, NY. I was also surprised to find one of my relatives, a Norman MIX, living with them. He was listed in the census as a son-in-law, but there wasn't anyone else living there so I'm not yet sure what that's about. He might be the link between Lida and my great-grandmother since my great-grandmother was born an AKINS but she married into the MIX family.

So, I don't believe Lida is related, but was probably a friend of the family and that's why my great-grandmother saved her obituary.

Obituary Text:

Mrs. Lydia Fountain

WATKINS GLEN - Mrs. Lydia Fountain, 87, lifelong resident of the Dundee area, died in Schuyler Hospital, Montour Falls today, June 18, 1963. She was the widow of Bryon Fountain.

She is survived by a son, Alton Berry and a daughter, Mrs. Lee McChesney, both of Dundee; two grandchildren and two great-grand-children.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Royce Funeral Home in Watkins Glen.

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