May Winnifred Russell Born 1877
This CDV (carte de visite) is identified as May W. Russell. Born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on 24 May 1877, she appears to be the only child of Emma and Warren Russell. (See last week’s blog for more on Warren and Emma.) The second picture, a cabinet card, is of 6 year old May, taken just one year before her father’s death in 1884. Orphaned shortly before her 9th birthday, when her mother died on 8 May 1886, May probably went to live with family members. By 1900, the then 23 year old had become a teacher and was boarding in Richford Village, Vermont. Still working as a teacher in 1910, 33 year old May was living with her Aunt Cora and Uncle Joseph Humphrey in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
Later that same year, May married William Stevenson on December 29 in Newbury, Vermont. William was born in Taunton, Massachusetts. He was a civil engineer, living in New York at the time. The family lived in New Rochelle, New York where it appears 37 year old May gave birth to her only child, Virginia in about 1914. The 1915 New York State census and the 1920, 1930 and 1940 federal censuses show William and Virginia living in New York without May, although in each census William lists his status as married. It is possible that May died in childbirth, as she does not appear in any records after the birth of Virginia. Cora Humphrey, the aunt that May lived with when she got married, was widowed by 1915 and lived with William and Virginia from before 1915 until at least 1930. By 1940, Cora Humphrey had disappeared from the records. William Stevenson lived well into his eighties – it appears that he never remarried.