Monday, October 21, 2013


I'm taking  part in a meme started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. Using
prompts from "The Book of Me, Written By You" I'm leaving my memories
of my life for present and future relatives. This week's prompt is: my grandparents.

I didn't know our grandparents as well as now I wish I had. My Dad's parents lived
up in Maine, a good distance away from where my family lived in Boston; we'd go
"up home" for a few days in the summers when I was a kid and visit them for a few
hours.  On our Mom's side, our grandmother lived with us but she passed away in
1957 when I was eight years old. Our grandfather's name was never mentioned and
 there were no pictures, so to this day I have no idea what he looked like.

So here's what I know:

Paternal Grandparents: Floyd Earl West and Cora Berthella Barker.
My grandfather was born on 14Apr 1893 in So. Paris, Me. and had a younger brother Clarence who was two years younger. His mother Clara Ellingwood West died four
days before Floyd's eighth birthday and the boys and their father Philip J West were
living with my West 2x great grandparents when the 1900 Federal Census was taken. When World War 1 came along, Floyd enlisted on 29Apr 1918 but never served
overseas because he was assigned to Camp Devens in Massachusetts during the
Spanish Flu epidemic to work as an hospital orderly. After contracting pneumonia himself, he was honorably discharged on 12March 1919.

Two weeks later, on 24Mar 1919 he married my grandmother Cora Berthella Barker.
Cora was born on 27Oct 1899 at Bethel, Maine. Like Floyd, she'd lost a parent when she
was young, at age five  when her father died. He'd left debts so Cora had a pretty unsettled
childhood that included two stepfathers before she married my grandfather.
Floyd and Cora had five children , three girls and two boys, including my father Floyd Jr.

My grandfather supported the family with odd jobs during the Great Depression and
mostly in the lumber trade afterward.He also hunted and trapped which was common
in rural western Maine.

Floyd died  in 1970 and Cora in 1987.

Grandmother West with my cousin Mindy Sue West

Maternal Grandparents Edward F. White Sr. and Agnes McFarland
Agnes McFarland
Edward F. White was born on 3Jul 1899 in Boston, Ma., the third of 9 children. My Mom
said he was a chauffeur when he met my grandmother Aggie. The two of them might
have met through their fathers, both of who were employees of the city of Boston.
Aggie was born 7Oct 1898, the 14th of 17 children. Both she and Ed were the children of immigrants who'd come to this country in the late 19th century.

They were married 19Oct 1924 in Boston. My uncle was born in 1925 and my Mom in 1927.
Sometime after my Mom's birth a third child was lost in a miscarriage and the marriage
fell apart. Edward left my grandmother who spent several years trying to get him to pay
child support during the height of the Depression before divorcing him on 21Nov 1935.
As far as I know he never did pay any child support because she couldn't find him. Even
now I can't find him on the 1930 or 1940 Federal Censuses. My mother later found him
after I was born and discovered he'd remarried and had two sons by his second wife.
I've written here before about my search to find out more about him and his family.

My grandmother Aggie died on 12 Feb 1957 in Malden, Ma. of heart failure caused by
damage from having rheumatic fever as a child. Edward died on 6Dec 1991 in Billerica,
Ma. and is buried in an unmarked grave. 

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