Archive | April 2014

Jane McKean Moore

This adorable little girl is identified as “Jane McKean (Moore) Daughter of Tom McKean.” The photo was taken by Charles Rabineau at 19-21 North Pearl Street in Albany, New York. The subject, Jane McKean was born 27 May 1911 in Troy, New York and the photographer, Rabineau, died in 1916 at the age of 76. This photo was taken during the last few years of his career.


The front of the cover has a lovely embossed floral design.


Jane McKean’s father Thomas was born between 1879 – 1882 in Scotland and appears to have worked for the United States Postal Service all of his adult life. Her mother, Charlotte, was born in Kansas about 1888. By 1915 the couple had divorced and Jane was living with her father. In 1920 Thomas was living with Jane and an extended family group in Troy. By 1925, Thomas had married a woman named Jessie who was born in West Troy, New York on 14 September 1884. The family lived at 131 Second Street in Waterford, New York.

In 1927, the McKean family traveled to Scotland – presumably visiting Thomas’s family there. Thomas had been naturalized in Rensselaer County on 20 Oct 1890, probably by his father’s naturalization. The family was living at 131 Second Street in Waterford, New York.


By 1940 Jane was married to Kenneth Moore and they had three children: Barbara born about 1932, Mary born about 1933 and Robert born in December of 1939. The young family was renting a house at 83 Third Street in Waterford, New York. Jane’s husband, Kenneth worked as a shipping clerk at a paper mill. The couple had 5 more children: Nancy, John, Margaret, Kathleen and Michelle.

Kenneth died 15 Feb 1974. Jane died 15 Feb 2005 on the 31st anniversary of her husband’s death at the age of 93 while living in Prince Georges, Maryland. It appears that Jane grew up as an only child, but when she died she had 25 grandchildren and a number of great-grandchildren. A large family indeed!



Richard Kenneth Holbrook 1918-2006

I found these photos at the Lancaster Flea Market in Central Massachusetts. There were two photographs taken by the Empire Studio in Greenfield Mass. matted inside of cardboard frames, identified as “Richard K. Holbrook, Spring 1921.”

Richard Holbrook


Richard Holbrook


When I got home I discovered a hidden treasure. Tucked behind one of the photos was a postcard that had been made from one of the photos.


Richard Holbrook postcard

Richard Holbrook postcard back

Richard Kenneth Holbrook was born 21 May 1918 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. His parents were Sela and Bertha Holbrook. In 1920 the young family owned a home at 260 Conway Drive in Greenfield. Sela, born about 1889 in Vermont, was a locomotive fireman for the B. and M. Railroad.

By 1930, the family had moved to Main Street in nearby Montague City. A sister for Richard, named Barbara, had been added to the family about 1925. Sela was now an engineer on the steam railroad.

In 1940, he married Dorothy Bolton who was one year his junior.

During World War II, Richard was inducted into the United States Navy in 1944 and was stationed aboard the USS Arkansas. The battleship Arkansas had an interesting history, serving first in World War I and then again in World War II. During the time of Richard’s service the ship escorted convoys in the Atlantic taking part in the battle at Omaha Beach. It was later transferred to the Pacific providing gunfire support during the Battle of Okinawa. Richard was honorably discharged 3 January 1946, having served as a fire controlman third class. Later in 1946 the ship was used as a target for atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll and the ship lies at the bottom of the Bikini Lagoon. Richard and his wife moved to Pauchaug Plains Farm in Hinsdale, New Hampshire after his discharge. He took a job working as an office manager and manager of the parts department at Packard Sales and Service in Greenfield, Massachusetts.

Richard died on 13 August 2006, after 66 years of marriage to Dorothy, living all of their married life on their farm in Hinsdale. She died two years later at the age of 89.

Walter Minard Deyoe – 1873 to 1961



This dashing young man is identified on the back of the photo as Walter Deyoe. Although I never did discover how a photograph from Oil City, Pennsylvania ended up in a central Massachusetts flea market where I discovered it, here is Walter’s story:

Walter Minard Deyoe was born in Saratoga Springs on 30 July 1873 where his father, Rufus, leased a farm from his grandfather, Minard Deyoe. Walter’s father, Rufus, was born in August 1838 and his mother, Gulia G. was born in July 1850. Both parents were from Saratoga County, New York. The young family moved to Oil City Pennsylvania about 1878 when Walter was about 5 years of age. His father first worked as a carpenter in Oil City, but by 1893, Rufus was a city tax collector. Rufus died 10 September 1900 at the age of 62, still the city tax collector at the time.

It appears that the family maintained a sprawling property between 202 and 211 West Sixth Street for many years. This was the family’s residence but also the location of the greenhouses where Walter began as a farmer and developed his floral business, W.M. Deyoe & Co. They also had a floral shop at 6 Seneca. Much of the family, including Walter’s mother Gulia, worked with him.

Of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair, Walter married Geraldine Fulton about 1897. Geraldine was born in June of 1871 in Pennsylvania and Walter was two years her junior. She was perhaps the one who gave the census taker the wrong year of birth for Walter making him a little closer to her age, the 1900 census stating that both husband and wife were age 28. They had at least four children. A son, Robert, was born in February of 1899. Robert was a veteran of World War I and in 1966 went on to become the Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania after his retirement from the floral business. Another son, Walter, Jr. was born in 1901, and a daughter, Ruth was born in 1906. She later joined her father in his floral business and married Jesse Esken in 1937. In 1916, Geraldine gave birth to one last child named Gerald. She was 44 years old at the time.

Tragedy struck the family on 18 April 1935, when son Walter, Jr. died at the age of 33, six days after an emergency appendectomy. Less than two months later Walter Sr.’s mother Guila died on the 6th of June. She was 84 years old.

The family floral business flourished in the same location for many years. Geraldine died 21 November 1955, and Walter survived her by a little over 5 years, dying on 2 January 1961.



I was lucky enough to connect with another researcher, Joyce Neidich, who was kind enough to supply an article from the Souvenir of the Oil City Derrick from 1896. To my surprise, the photograph used in the Souvenir was the same as the photo that I had purchased.



Joyce researches in Western Pennsylvania and she can be reached through her website: .  Many thanks to her for her contribution of this news article.

Olga K. Lawrence – 1913 Vintage Photo

I found this photo at a flea market in Lancaster, Mass. This vintage photo is identified as Olga K. Lawrence and dated June 1913. This might be a graduation picture. The photo is about 2 – 3/4” x 3 – 3/4” matted in a frame approximately 5” x 7.” The matte has ragged edges. Olga Kelsey Lawrence was born in September 1895 in New York. Her parents were Edwin or Edward Lawrence and Sadie Secord. She married Carlton Kirke Wilcox on 21 Oct 1918 in Orange, Mass. She had two children: a son, Carlton born about 1921 and a daughter Joyce, born in 1925. Olga died 6 April 1967 of cancer and is buried in Lawrence Brook Cemetery in Royalston, Mass.

Olga K. Lawrence