Monday, March 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: # 11 Richard Howard Bailey (1853-1935) - Can anyone help fill in the blanks?

Tinsmith Products - used with creative commons license via; photo credit to Jessica at
Richard Howard Bailey is my 2nd great uncle. (Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him.) I'm hoping that someone can help me with the gaping hole I have in the beginning of his life. It's been most frustrating! I finally decided to write about him anyway and maybe someone can help me find his early years.

I actually found Richard in a backwards fashion. Before I started looking for him, I knew from my 2nd-great-grandfather's, Edward C Bailey 's, obituary in 1926 that his only surviving sibling was Richard H. Bailey, of Vandergrift, PA. I also had a few lines on him in my great-grand mother, Pauline Bailey Hartman's notes:"[Papa] Also had a bro. Dick (Richard Carl). ...Brother Richard had a family of several girls. I remember some of their names - Dove, Mabel, and Pin (probably short for Penelope?). There were four but I've forgotten the other name." As usual ggm's notes give some good clues but ultimately do not turn out to be entirely correct.

I don't know where ggm got Carl as a middle name as all the records I've found show Howard as his middle name (not even any of the wrong "Richard Bailey's" had "C" as a middle initial in Ancestry's hints -- and there are A LOT of "Richard Bailey's" in our country, and quite a few in our extended historical family).  Although I uncovered Richard from the end of his life and then the middle, I will tell you about him in the regular chronological order, more or less.

I found out from his grave marker  that Richard was born in September 1853, in Pennsylvania - per the various censuses. BUT, I can't find him as a child. Since he was born in 1853 (assuming the date is right), he missed the 1850 census -- the one in which my 2nd great grandfather was at home with his parents, a brother and two sisters. The 1860 Census I'd found previously (when researching James and Rebecca Ella) shows the siblings' Mother, Maria [Williams] Bailey, with Richard's younger brother James and three of his sisters (one younger, two older), but Richard is not present. He would have been 7 years old. At the time of the 1870 Census I've found James and Ella living with another family*; Eliza Jane was married and found on the Census living with her husband - her sister Lydia was visiting. Brother John had died in the Civil War. I haven't found Anna Mary or Edward C on the 1870 Census. Does anyone know where Richard Howard Bailey was in his childhood years? Please share it with me! You can contact me at the email address provided on the "Contact Me" page or leave a message in the comments.

In 1876, Richard married Jennie Houston (or Hanston) [both options per, memorial # 78189758].  He was 23; she was 19.  I don't know where they married or the specific date.The censuses show that from at least 1880 through 1900 they lived in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, in the township of Cherry Hill, where Richard worked as a tinsmith. (I found an interesting video that shows what a tinsmith did, it runs about 4 minutes:  )

In those years, Richard and Jenny produced a large family [I've not yet researched the kids, except as incidental to their parents]: Mabel E (abt 1876-1959); Harry H (abt 1878-?); Lina (abt 1880-?); Belle (abt 1883 -?); Dove L. (1884-?); John (1885-?); Roth James (1887-1984); Bessie (1890-?); and Richard (1893-?).  In 24 years of marriage Jennie had had 9 children, of whom 8 were living as of 1900. In 1899, Richard and Jennie's daughter Mabel married John Q. Adams, and started their own household. In 1900, Lina, Belle, John, Roth, Bessie, and Richard still still at home. Lina worked as a glass decorator, and the other four were in school.

Vandergrift PA 1896
Public Domain, obtained through wikipedia creative commons

By the time of the 1910 census, Richard had moved the family to Vandergift, PA, a town that had been built by a Steel Company to house its workers, but it was a vast improvement over the stereotypical company town, in that the President of the company hired Frederick Law Olmstead's firm to design an attractive town where residents would own their homes, not rent them (Geo. McMurtry, president of the steel mill, edited the plans to fit in more workers). The steel mill was built first, then McMurttry had the town built, and platted, and installed water, sewage, paving for streets and sidewalks, natural gas, electric lines and street lights before opening up lots for sale, for $750 each. Free lots and 1/2 the cost of construction were offered to churches. Somewhat later, Vandergrift Heights was built for the company's semi-skilled employees, with smaller lots and only water service; those lots cost $150. The President achieved his goal of an extremely loyal, very productive, non-unionized work force. Richard did not work for the steel mill; he was now an agent (salesperson) for a lightning rod company, and Jennie kept house (given eight kids, pre-automation, that was a hard job).

In 1910, at 32, Harry had returned to live in the family home; he worked as a wagon team driver. At 26 and 20, Dove and Bessie also lived with their parents; they worked as typesetters in a printing office. Roth was 22 and working as a pattern maker in a family business; and young Richard was a apprentice moulder at age 17. Both also lived with their parents in Vandergrift.

In 1911, Richard (58) and Jennie (54) moved 13 miles southeast to New Kensington PA. I don't know how many of the kids moved with them as my source (city directory) only lists head of household and spouse. They remained there through 1915, at least, and Richard continued to work as a salesman.
Lightning Rod used with creative commons license via; photo credit to Bev Currie at

In 1920, Richard (67) and Jennie (63) were ling in Vandergrift again, with Roth, Harry (written as "Hale H"), and Richard, who worked in the mill as steel workers. Richard worked as a Janitor in a public school. Jennie kept house for all of them. Richard's last remaining sibling, my 2nd-great-grandfather, died in 1926.

In 1930, Richard (77) and Jennie (74) lived in the home of their son Roth. Richard (77), no longer worked. Roth did odd jobs at that point.  Harry and young(er) Richard also lived there; Richard, the younger was not working, but Harry worked as a janitor at the school.

Jennie died in February 1932. Richard died 2 years and 7 months later in September 1935. I haven't yet found an obituary for either one of them.

So this time ggm's notes got that there were a lot of girls in Richard's family; but missed the fact that there were just as many boys. She got Mabel & Dove right. I'm wondering if the one she recalls as being named "Pin" might actually be "Lin" for "Lina"? Ggm didn't remember the other girl's name (singular). It was probably Bessie. I haven't run across Belle since the 1900 Census. She might be the one who died early; although Ive no confirmation on that speculation yet.

[*UPDATE: I've since found out that James and Ella were living with their mother and her new husband, Samuel Huber. See: Eliza Jane's story and Mariah/Maria Williams Bailey Huber's story.]


The primary things I need to find out are:

Where the heck was Richard birth through marriage?
Was he really a son of John & Maria Bailey? (I'm assuming yes because he was Edward's brother, but he could be an adoptive brother of some sort, or a half brother.)
What was his birth date and his marriage date?


(Sources: 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 Federal Censuses; New Kensington, PA City Directories; Find A Grave Memorial# 78189836 & # 78189758;,_Pennsylvania

photo credit: <a href="">BevKnits</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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