Posts Tagged ‘Emma Adelia Briggs’

More than a year ago, I wrote a post on my great grandmother’s birthday, where I mentioned that I had seen a date when she supposedly married my great grandfather, but I hadn’t yet found the proof. And then I went and found the proof and never posted an update. So, here it is! My information had the date listed as 22 May 1889. As it turns out, I was a year off and I’d been looking in the wrong place. Emma and Samuel lived in Marion County, which is where Samuel’s family lived. I’d checked Marion County  and Huntingdon County, PA records with no luck. It never occurred to me to check Crawford County!

Of course, it all makes sense after the fact. My mom has frequently told the story about how her mother fell when she was pregnant with my youngest uncle, and went into labor. Grandpa had to rush her to the hospital in Bucyrus. Since kids weren’t allowed up in the hospital, my mom and other uncle had to stay in the car. While they were there, a car pulled in next to them, relatives from Bucyrus who’d been called by my grandfather to come and take care of the kids. But my mom and uncle refused to get into their car.

Aunt Grace’s notes state that Emma had come to Ohio to live with family, but then she had to go home again briefly because her father was ill. John B. Briggs died on 15 April 1890. Emma married my great grandfather the following month. But before she did, she was probably living in Bucyrus. Her youngest sister, Laura, had been sent to live with family in Bucyrus after their mother died, so everything fits.

Well, except it would be nice to know WHO those relatives in Bucyrus were…

So, I’m a little late to the party here. RootsMagic is giving away a free iPad and I entered the contest today, which involved visiting a bunch of different blogs for clues. Along the way, I added several new blogs to my feed reader. One of them, Ruth’s Genealogy, had a post referencing 52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy, a series of blogging prompts. Since one of my resolutions was to try to blog here once a week (and I’ve been failing miserably), I figured better late than never. Though I’m not new to blogging, this particular blog is still very much in its infancy and I haven’t quite fleshed out what I want it to be. Perhaps this will help.

This weeks challenge:

Week 5 – Life Experiences: Sometimes the challenges in life provide the best learning experiences. Can you find an example of this in your own family tree? Which brick wall ancestor are you most thankful for, and how did that person shape your family history experience?

Well, when you put it that way, I realize just how much of a newbie I am at this hobby. I haven’t gotten far enough into my genealogy to have multiple brick walls yet. However, I do have one and that is establishing the identity of my great great grandmother. And yes, I would say this has been an excellent learning experience.

My great grandmother was Emma Adelia Briggs Foster. Her mother, the elusive g-g-grandmother, died when Emma was a young girl. Without getting into the nitty gritty details, my quest to find her identity has given me a taste of several different research methods. Every answer I’ve found has raised more questions. While I still do not have a positive ID, I’m closer to finding the truth than I think anyone else is at this point. It’s been hard for me to set this particular line aside to work on others, but I know when I do, the experience I’ve gained through searching for Emma’s mother will prove invaluable when researching other lines.

I feel a connection to these women, and by that, I mean both my g-g-grandmother and Emma. I’m not sure which one of them is behind the driving force of this connection, but I do know that I can’t visit Marion without stopping at the cemetery where Emma is buried to say hello. And I have choked up more than once.

Whichever one it is, I’m thankful that she continues to inspire me not to give up. Given my recent health crisis and my internal debate over finishing grad school, finding that kind of motivation is priceless.


Emma Briggs FosterFinally! A birthday! On this date in 1868, my great grandmother, Emma Adelia Briggs was born in Blairs Mills, Pennsylvania (Huntingdon county) to John B. Briggs and… well, more on that later.

Emma, according to the notes of her daughter, Grace Foster Seckel, moved to Marion, Ohio and worked in a dress shop. Eventually, she married Samuel Blocksom Foster. The information I have states they were married on 22 May 1889, but I have yet to find a record that confirms that. As I stated in the post about my grandfather, Emma and Samuel had four children together.

Emma lived to see her 81st birthday and then died two days later on March 13, 1949.

This photo is courtesy of Grace Foster Seckel’s daughter (I will not name living people here without their permission). I think she looks about 15 years old, but I could be wrong. I’d be interested in hearing any other opinions on the subject. Feel free to leave a comment here if you have anything to say.

Emma’s mother is a bit of a mystery and it’s one that I will discuss in multiple future posts. I’ll start this evening by mentioning that the 1870 census shows John B. Briggs living with his wife Adaline and three children, Alfred, Emma (who was 3 at the time) and Thomas, whose age was listed as five months. Remember this fact, because it’s going to show up in another post very soon.

Self-portrait of Howard Eben Foster

Fifty years ago today, a man I never knew left this world too soon. Howard Eben Foster was only fifty years old and his first and only grandchild was just nine months old when he died.

Howard’s parents were Emma Adelia Briggs and Samuel Blocksom Foster. All in all, there were four children: Hattie Corrine, Carl Blocksom, Lulu Grace (or Grace Lulu–she wrote it both ways) and Howard.

I’m told that Howard had no middle name when he was born. He took on Eben as his middle name because it was the name of the doctor who saved his life after he was stricken with scarlet fever. The impact of this becomes even more obvious when one learns that his older sister, Hattie Corrine, died of scarlet fever before Howard was born.

Visiting the cemetery where his parents and oldest sister are buried, it is easy to believe that they never recovered from losing their first born child. It’s also easy to believe that perhaps Howard’s parents tried not to get too close. I’m making a lot of assumptions, of course. But the stories I’ve heard indicate that life wasn’t easy for him.

Those stories of Howard range from shockingly painful to laugh out loud hilarious. One hopes that old wounds might have healed if he’d had the time on this earth to repair them. It saddens me that he never had the chance. But I am also so grateful that those family members manage to view things with a wider lens, so that those hilariously funny stories are willingly shared.

Howard is one of the two biggest reasons that my interest in genealogy has taken hold. It seems only fitting that I should begin this blogging attempt by remembering him today. After all, without him, I wouldn’t be here to write this blog post.

Rest in peace, Grandpa Foster.