Saturday, 26 April 2014

Passing Things Down

This week, I received two big boxes from my mother.  They contained belongings of my father's maternal grandmother, Sarah Adeline "Addie" O'Hara Hall.   Our family has very few family heirlooms and now I am keeper of these.  I have a few other things from other branches that may appear in a future post.  One of my plans for this year is to make a catalog of the family treasures we do have so that my children will know what they are and to whom they belonged.
Since my grandmother saved these bowls to pass down to my dad, they were important to her and probably special to her mother as well.  Having them in my possession has made me wonder about Addie this week and so this month's post is about her family.

Addie's floral china bowl

Addie's glass bowl on a stand

Addie was born in Kansas City, KS to James O'Hara and Emaline Jane Reynolds in 1879.  She and I share a birthday -- 86 years apart.  She died in 1970 when I was four years old, but I never met her.  She and her husband, Arthur Hall, had six children.  I never met any of them except for my grandmother, Treasa.  I feel a loss not having known them.  I knew/know, or at least met, most of the siblings of my other three grandparents.  
Arthur and Addie Hall
A few generations of my grandmother's family can be easily traced through census records that are available online.  However, my mother did most of the work before online census searches were available.
On the 1910 census, Arthur Hall is listed as a mechanic.  Besides himself and Addie, his household consisted of his first three children, son Postelle, daughter Vera, and baby son Lawell who had not yet been named.  Also living with them were Arthur's father, Milton Hall and Addie's father, James O'Hara -- the Mark Twain-looking fellow in the outdoor family picture below.  Sometimes Addie's brothers, Tom and Harvey lived with the family as well.  In other censuses, Arthur is listed as a farmer.  Arthur and Addie's children were born in Oklahoma, but the family also lived in Florida and Georgia.
The Hall family c1915
Someone wrote 1916 on this photo, but I'm pretty sure it was taken in 1917 because my grandma is the baby in her uncle's arms and she was born in the middle of 1916.

The family picture has Howie, Florida written on it.  My grandmother was born in Oklahoma and the family is on the census, owning a farm in Leesburg, Florida in 1920.  So they moved shortly after she was born.  At some point, they bought a Florida citrus farm, but suffered a freeze the first year and lost the farm.  Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida was across Lake Harris from Leesburg.  It was incorporated in the mid-20's when it's founder, William John Howey, was looking for buyers for his citrus land.  I wonder if Arthur and Addie purchased their ill-fated property from him.  By 1930, they had moved to Georgia.  Arthur never recovered from the heartbreaking loss of his farm.  He became ill and died in 1934 at 61 years of age.  My grandmother was the only child left at home by this time.

Addie, pregnant with my grandmother
Arthur a few years before his death
My grandmother, Treasa

Addie's father, James O'Hara, was a house painter.  Some census records say he was born in New York.  Other sources say he was born in Ireland and came to the USA as a young child.
Addie's mother, Emaline Jane Reynolds, was born in Iowa and spent most of her life in Kansas.  Beers and Proper are other surnames in Emaline's line.  We know James O'Hara's father was Patrick O'Hara, but we don't know any other surnames from this line.


  1. Such beautiful things. Thanks for sharing. When we cleaned out Mom and Dad's house prior to selling it, I didn't take many things, but what I did take are very precious to me. Thankfully, Mom was still alive to tell me the history of everything.

  2. What t a wonderful collection of family keepsakes, especially the old photographs.


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