Gertrude had a baby brother?

Receiving loads of old papers and photos has been a godsend for me as a family historian, but sometimes they come in like a tsunami and I don’t have time to properly pore over everything before I must turn my attention back to work and the rest of my life. So it was with me and a couple of boxes of family-history-related items I brought back with me from my grandmother’s house after talking with her for several hours about family history. Normally I would have taken months to go through every last tidbit I brought back, but before I had a chance to do that I travelled to my grandmother’s home town (Wadena, Minnesota) for 10 days and I came back with enough data and scans to occupy me for a couple of years.

Among the items I brought back from my visit with Harriet were a number of photos and written notes that Harriet herself had inherited from her aunt Eva (Scott) Martes, who died on November 22, 2006. Eva was the younger sister of my great-grandmother Gertrude (Scott) Askew (1897–1980). I had time to scan a few hundred photos and sheets of notes before I had to set the project aside to prepare for my Wadena visit. Continue reading

Mystery Scott photo album, part 1

Today’s post is about a photo album that’s intrigued me since I first saw it about four years ago. I’ve shared a couple of the photos from the album in previous blog posts, referring to the album in which I found them as an album that probably belonged to my great-great-grandfather Frank Scott. The album itself is quite fascinating and is filled with photos from the 1920s of a well-to-do couple named “Roland and Flo” who apparently liked to travel quite a bit.

The photo album presents a comfortable but curious mix of people from two distinct socioeconomic strata. The first group includes my known Scott relations (my great-grandmother Gertrude Scott Askew, her sister Cassie Scott, her father Frank Scott, and his second wife Lois Lanudge Scott)—poorer folk working multiple jobs to make ends meet and living in rural Wadena county, Minnesota. The second group appears to center around the couple named Roland and Flo—an apparently well-heeled and well-traveled couple.

But who were Roland and Flo? Until last week, despite having records on over 13,000 people in my family history database, not a single one of those people was named Roland, and none of the women named Flo or Florence were possible candidates for Flo in the photo album. Continue reading

Frank Scott’s second wife & TB

Maritime-Tuberculosis-Association-Billboard-1930s1-300x197Growing up, I learned only bits and pieces about my great-great-grandfather, Frank Scott. His first wife (Maggie McAllister, my great-great-grandmother) unexpectedly died at the age of 38 on June 11, 1910, leaving Frank with four young daughters. After his wife’s death, he placed his daughters with family members, so perhaps my great-grandmother’s bond with—and memory of—her father wasn’t as great as it would have been had the family not been broken up. My grandmother Harriet has fond memories of driving with her “grandpa Scott” in his delivery truck, and of visiting him at his pickle factory. Frank died when Harriet was only 13, so her memories were perhaps not as full as they might have been had he lived longer.

I was told that he remarried after his first wife died, but all I was able to learn about this second wife was that her name was “Loie.” I was also told that Frank died of tuberculosis in a “sanitarium” in November, 1937.

Continue reading