As I've been on the hunt for any information on my second great grandparents, George and Mary (Baldwin) Sellers, yesterday I decided to give Genealogy Bank a whirl. The Sellers family was residing in Philadelphia at the turn of the 20th century. The site had The Philadelphia Inquirer available for the years I was most interested in, so I signed up and began my hunting.
As usual when it comes to this particular duo, I came up with bupkis.
Not content to let the night be a total loss, I started searching for the other relatives, including my second great grandfather Frederick Gledhill, and his wife, Elizabeth Gormley. I found an interesting article on a boom of June brides applying for licenses. Among them was Elizabeth.
The most interesting thing was that Miss Elizabeth, residing at 2045 Annin Street, was marrying her beau--and he resided at the same address1. This must have been unusual for the time they were marrying (1906).
I mentioned this scandalous finding to my mom, who of course mentioned it to my grandfather. As often happens, he chose this moment to dole out a tidbit of interesting information. According to him, Frederick had been disowned by his family when he decided to marry Elizabeth Gormley. Apparently they did not approve because she was Catholic2. Frederick's parents were immigrants from England and were, one presumes, devout Protestants. Elizabeth was also the oldest daughter of Irish immigrant parents3. Anti-Irish sentiment was certainly an issue around this time, and that may have affected Fred's parents' feelings toward his fiancé as well.
By today's standards, inter-faith marriages are hardly uncommon. But back during Fred's time, it seems to have been an offense worthy of disowning. Elizabeth faced several tragedies during her short life, so it is a comfort to know that at least she had a husband who loved her enough to accept being disowned by his parents. On another bright side, not everyone in Fred's family agreed with his parents. His brother, Amor (pronounced Aim-er), remained quite close with Fred. He brought his children to see Fred's family at their farm4. During the last years of his life, Fred was quite ill and rarely left his bedroom in his son's house. Amor came to visit his brother often5. I'm told the pair looked alike--but Fred had more hair!
1"Rush of June Brides," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 05 Jun 1906, p. 16.
2Richard J. Gledhill, Sr. and Barbara Gledhill-Begg. Oral interview, 24 Feb 2013, by Barbara Gledhill-Begg via telephone. Interview synopsis in the possession of Stacy McConnell, Azusa, California.
31900 U.S. census, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Philadelphia, 30th Ward, enumeration district (ED) 764, sheet 9A, dwelling 141, family 169, Mary Gormley household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm 1241472 roll 1472.
4Dan Dyke, "Re: Amor Gledhill," Ancestry.com message to Stacy McConnell, 19 Feb 2013.
5Richard J. Gledhill, Sr. and Stacy McConnell. Oral interview, 21 Feb 2013, by Stacy McConnell via telephone. Interview synopsis in the possession of Stacy McConnell, Azusa, California.