Saturday, December 28, 2013

William and Cornelia Mix in 1925

My last post from yesterday saw my maternal Great-Grandparents William and Cornelia Mix in 1915 via the New York State Census.  I also found the 1925 state census so we can take a look at them 10 years on.

Two more children have been born in the last 10 years - a boy, Leslie, and a girl, Anna (who is my maternal grandmother).  The eldest boy, Floyd, is not listed here, he's now 18 and has likely moved out.

William and Cornelia also have a boarder living with them: Clifford Hyna who is a Teamster.

The census lists them as living in Dryden, Tompkins County, New York.  But when I looked at the map, the "Brookton" road that they are on is actually a road very near the Caroline Depot Road they lived on in 1915.  So the official town is Dryden for the records, but in reality there are just a couple miles from where they lived before.

William is listed as being a Carpenter on this census - usually he is a farmer working the land the belongs to others.  They moved very frequently to wherever the work was and my Great-Grandmother Cornelia kept lists of where they lived.  For this time of June 1, 1925, she says they were living at the Miller's.  They had moved there just 2 months before and would stay through the next year when Cornelia was surprised with another baby.  I'm sure she thought my grandmother would be the last but oh no!

The oldest living at home, Spencer, was working as a Building Laborer.  Laurance, Masie, Daisy and William E. were all at school.  So only 7 year old Leslie and 5 year old Anna were at home with Cornelia.

I always think about Cornelia with all those kids because my grandmother Anna told me of a strong memory she had at the dinner table where her Dad, out of patience with the kids, said to his wife: "Nelia, can't you control these kids?".

Of course, all that might explain why they ended up getting divorced in 1935!

Below is a photo from 1923 of the twins, Masie and Daisy, and my grandmother Anna, so in this census, they are all now 2 years older.

What's really interesting is that today when I looked at that building, I realized I saw it yesterday when searching on Caroline Depot Road for yesterday's post.  It is in fact, the Caroline Depot train station!  It's now gone, but here it is in 1923.

There's another photo from 1923 that shows it as well (it also shows my cutie-pie Grandma!):

And here's a link to what I looked at yesterday:

The link is from the Town of Caroline page which is part of the Tompkins County NYGenWeb site.

So now I know where these 2 photos were taken!

And finally, here is a photo of the oldest boy still living at home in this 1925 census, Spencer, taken the next year in 1926:

1933 is the year Spencer left the family and never returned.  His whereabouts were a mystery to his parents and siblings until I started doing genealogy and found him in census records.  He had passed away long before I started my research though.  No one knew why he left the way he did.

So that's the state of William and Cornelia in 1925!

Friday, December 27, 2013

William and Cornelia Mix in 1915

What a treat for me - spending some time on genealogy research during my Christmas break!  It was a busy year - what time I did have I spent on my Domelle line and got a lot of breakthroughs - so now I want to turn my attention back to my Mix line to see what has popped up in the interim.

I did a search on Ancestry on my maternal great-grandmother Cornelia Elizabeth (Akins) Mix and the first thing I noticed was a New York State census from 1915 that I hadn't seen before.  Yay for New York!  On pg 4 of the NY State Census for Election District 03, Assembly District 01, City of Caroline, in Tompkins County they were listed.

So without a doubt, there's my family - my maternal grandmother is not yet born in 1915 but her old siblings and parents are listed:

They are listed as living on the crossroad between Caroline Depot Road and State Road 1004.  I found Caroline Depot road right away on a current map, but State Road 1004 must be an old name for something because I searched and was unable to locate it.  But they were on one of those crossroads.  Caroline Depot was named this because there was once a railroad line from Ithaca to Owego.  This little road and the depot was about 8 miles southeast of Ithaca.  The depot station and the railroad are both long gone but the name remains.

So in the house at the crossroads, we've got my 38 year old Great-Grandfather William H. Mix and his 28 year old wife Cornelia E. (Akins).  They were married Christmas Day in 1904 - this is a photo I have of Cornelia that says it's from 1904 - maybe it was taken during her engagement?

And now, 10 1/2 years later, they have 6 children (which includes one set of twins). 4 boys - Floyd (age 8), Spencer (age 7), Laurance (age 4) and William (age 56 days).  The twins were 2 year old girls Mazie and Daisy (listed in this census by her birth name Mable).

That must have been a boisterous household!!  At least the 3 oldest boys went off to school during the day!

I found a photo of Cornelia with the twins were they were just babies in 1913:

So in 1915 those little girls are now in their terrible two's and there's also a 2 month old baby to care for - YIKES!

William's occupation is listed as "Farmer" which is what he did all his life - I don't know that he ever owned his own land, as far as I know he always farmed for others, or worked as an itinerant farm laborer once the economy got bad in the 1930s.  The family moved A LOT - following the work.  I have a list that my Great-Grandmother kept of all the places they lived and at which houses the kids were born in.  Cornelia was wonderful for keeping lists of all kinds of things - birth/death dates, addresses, etc.

For when this census was taken - June of 1915 - this corresponds to when Cornelia's list says they were living at the "Bates Pl." which means the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bates.  So it was Mr. Bates land that they were farming.  She also lists her son William as being born at that house.

They lived at this house listed in the census from 01 March 1915 through 01 April 1916 when they moved on to another farm.

And so that completes my analysis of the state census I found!  Maybe I'll come across an old map that shows the State Road 1004 or the name of Bates on farm land.  We'll see!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"My Mother's Poem"

My long-living maternal Great-Grandmother Cornelia Elizabeth Akins Mix Simpson (1886-1987) was very anti-smoking. 

Her youngest son Donald Thomas Mix (1927-2009) told my mom about a little poem he said she would always repeat to her boys (she had 10 children - 7 of them were boys!).

He quoted it in an email to my mom back in 2008:

hi debbie





Sounds just like something a Mom would repeat to her boys back in the 1930s to get them to stop smoking.

I researched the little poem and found it is a variation of lines that are attributed to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, (1754-1846) the Harvard Medical School founder and doctor who was the first to test the vaccine for smallpox.

His version is:

"Tobacco is a filthy weed,
That from the devil does proceed,
It drains your purse,
It burns your clothes
And makes a chimney of your nose."

It's interesting how both versions are english and get the same point across, even have the same cadence and yet use different words.  It reminds me of the little childhood songs you learn that vary across regions but mean the same thing.