20 December 2010

10 December 2010

The 1930 Census

Eighty years ago, and for much of its history, the United States Census was not the self-reported mail-in form that it is today. In 1930, an enumerator would go door-to-door and make a personal accounting by hand of every resident in their assigned district. Here is the 1930 Census form of the section of Chattanooga that we are interested in, as preserved by the National Archives (click to enlarge).

This form was filled out by enumerator Leora Perry on 15 April 1930. In the first column, vertically, she has recorded the street she is visiting -- East Ninth Street. In the second column, the house numbers of East Ninth Street are recorded.

At 1025 East Ninth Street, lived the Raymo family -- Margaret A Raymo and her four children, Arthur J Raymo, Charlotte A Raymo, Chester T Raymo and Roger D Raymo. Margaret, as she was a widow, was listed as head of household in column 6.

Columns 7 and 8 record whether the residence was owned or rented, and what the home value or monthly rent was. The Raymo home was rented for $50 a month.

In 1930, the U.S. Government was interested in how widespread the radio had become in America. As indicated in column 9, the Raymos had a radio.

Column 10 asks if the residence is a farm. Not here in Chattanooga City!

Columns 11 through 15 contain a personal description of each individual, including gender, age and marital status -- very valuable to genealogists. In April of 1930, Margaret was 47 years old. Her children were aged 23, 22, 21 and 19 respectively.

Columns 16 and 17 record each individual's education. Arthur, Chester and Roger each had attended school in the past year. (All three were students at the University of Tennessee.) The whole family could read and write as indicated in column 17.

Where the individual was born is recorded in column 18, along with their parents in columns 19 and 20. As we know, they were all born in Michigan.

Columns 21 through 24 dealt with immigration and citizenship. The Raymos were all US citizens.

Columns 25 and 26 record the occupation and industry of each individual. In the Raymo home, the three boys were students and unemployed. The only one working was Charlotte, who was a library secretary -- a job she held for most of her life.

In addition to providing valuable genealogical data for each individual, the census forms are also useful for getting a sense of the area our ancestors lived in. By looking at the other individuals enumerated on the same street, you can see what kind of neighborhood they lived in. East Ninth Street looks like a typical middle-class street. The occupations of the Raymos neighbor include bus drivers, firemen, railroad workers, letter carriers and nurses. Most folks are native Tennesseans, but there is also a family of Russian Jews.

Also of interest is the household at the bottom of the page -- 1014 East Ninth Street, the home of bookkeeper Leonard Dietzen, his wife Mary and their seven (!) daughters. Their eldest daughter, 16 year old Margaret Dietzen, would five years later, become the wife of Chester T Raymo, and forty years later, my grandmother.

03 December 2010

The Giants of Ninth Street

Chattanooga, 1930

29 November 2010

Mother and Daughter

Margaret (Merrow) Raymo and her daughter Charlotte A. Raymo

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I've been taking a break from the scanning. Back at it soon.

Happy Thanksgiving to the families of Arthur, Roger and Chester!

Arthur J. Raymo, Roger D. Raymo and Chester T. Raymo

17 October 2010

In Uniform

Chester T. Raymo, Arthur J. Raymo and Roger D. Raymo in their Army ROTC uniforms. Presumably, they were all in the Rocky Top Battalion at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Chattanooga, 1930

09 October 2010

The Old Seat

When this 1929 photograph of Arthur J. Raymo came across the scanner, I recognized the footbridge in the background having seen it before. In his mother's photographs from 1905 there is an image of the same bridge.

This 1905 photograph was taken on Arthur E. Raymo and Margaret A. Merrow's honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls. After a google search turned up a vintage postcard of the same view, I could confirm it was a footbridge over the Niagara River to the Three Sisters Islands. I can find no contemporary photographs of the bridge so my assumption is it no longer stands.

What I find interesting here is that in a 1923 letter Arthur E. Raymo sent his wife Margaret while on a business trip to the Niagara area, he wrote:

My Dearest Wife and all - I have sure had some go today. Early this AM for walk to place above fall where we sat, the morning after we were married, think I was at the same old seat.
It seems plausible that in 1929, while on their road trip north, the widow Margaret brought her four children back to "the same old seat" that her and Arthur both had fond romantic memories of.

06 October 2010


The 76 year old Emma (Handeyside) Raymo and two of her great-grandchildren, Janice Bills and Ann Bills
Wayne, 1929

Next up: The old seat

03 October 2010

Marion and Arthur

My next task after identifying the Bills' children is to see if I could find their parents, Marion Raymo (1898-1953) and Arthur H. Bills (1898-1966) in Charlotte's photographs. In the same batch of 1929 negatives was this photograph:

The woman with the three Bills' children must be Marion. Despite the blurriness of the image, I remembered seeing that distinctive face before. Going back through my earlier scans, I found what I was looking for, from 1925.

Marion Raymo and Arthur H. Bills
with daughters Ann Bills (aged 3) and Janice Bills (aged 2)

Next up: Great-grandmother

02 October 2010

Detective Work

As I've explored my family history I've found that genealogical research involves quite a lot of detective work. Not just combing through years of census records, searching through microfilm and delving into the stacks at the genealogical library, but also piecing together lives from the old photographs in Charlotte's collection.

I have been scanning hundreds and hundreds of photographs from the original medium format film negatives. Charlotte had them organized in envelopes, labeled by year, but apart from that I have no other information on most of them. I have to infer a lot from the date and the context of similarly aged negatives.

An example of one of these puzzles, recently on the scanner...

Who are the three young children seated with Charlotte in this 1929 photograph? It is clear for the other photographs in the 1929 envelope that sometime that year, Margaret and her four children went on a road trip in their new car. It appears they visited Wayne, Toronto and Niagara Falls, so it seems very likely that these children are some of Charlotte's relatives back in Wayne, Michigan.

By looking through the 1930 census records for Wayne, Michigan for all the Raymo descendants, I find a likely candidate family.

Marion (Raymo) Bills was the daughter of Ralph Raymo and Fannie Norris. Marion was Charlotte's first cousin. Her three children, Ann, Janice and Robert would be aged about 7, 5 and 2 respectively in 1929. This seems to be a excellent match for the children in the photograph.

Can I find more evidence to support this hypothesis? I then remembered, thanks to Susan, I had a Charlotte photograph album from 1960 that had (labeled) photographs of the grown up Bills children.

Robert Bills and his wife Marjorie, Janice McIntyre and Ann Koch
Wayne, 1960

Yep! It's them, thirty one years later, with almost the same facial expressions!

Next up...finding Marion Raymo and Arthur Bills.

26 September 2010

News of the Day

Chester T. Raymo
Chattanooga 1928

18 September 2010

Mother's New Car

The four Raymo children and their mother Margaret's new car -- a Ford Model A, purchased for $746.50 on 23 October 1928 from the D. S. Etheridge Company of Chattanooga.

12 September 2010

Brothers in Arms

Roger D. Raymo and Chester T. Raymo
Chattanooga 1927

04 September 2010

Modelling Career

Chester T. Raymo (aged 18), a future mechanical engineer, with a scale model ship he built.
Chattanooga, 1927

01 September 2010

Leslie Theodore Raymo

Arthur's other older brother was Leslie Theodore Raymo (1877-1932) or Lester as he was later known. He lived with his wife Edith M. Smith in Yspilanti, Michigan and later Norvell. For a time, he was employed as a machinist, and later was a odd jobs laborer.

Leslie and Edith had three children:
  • Howard Lester Raymo, born 1898, died 1967. Howard married Grace (surname unknown).
  • Emma B. Raymo, born 1901. Emma married Elmer Ring in 1918.
  • Ethel B. Raymo, born 1906. Ethel married Ellis W. McCabe in 1923.

30 August 2010

Ralph and Fannie

Arthur's older brother was William Ralph Raymo, eldest son of Theodore Raymo. Ralph, as he was called, was born in Nankin, Michigan on 23 October 1872. On 14 September 1895, Ralph married Fannie E. Norris, daughter of Frank Norris and Ellen Gloss.

Together, they had four children:
  • Ellen M. Raymo, born 11 August 1896, died 15 August 1897.
  • Marion Raymo, born 18 Jun 1898, died 7 April 1953. Marion married Arthur H. Bills.
  • Norris D. Raymo, born 28 September 1899, death date unknown. Norris married Elsie J. McCalloster.
  • Melvin Raymo, born 28 September 1904, died 18 March 1977.

Ralph died in January 1951. I have not yet determined when Fannie passed away.

(Thanks to Elaine for providing the photograph.)

23 August 2010

Brothers and Sisters

Arthur Elsworth Raymo's surviving siblings, around the time of Arthur's funeral in 1926.

(from left to right)
Leslie T. Raymo (1876-1932), Hazel (Raymo) Krumm (1886-1974), Fannie (Norris) Raymo (b.1874), W. Ralph Raymo (1872-1951)

19 August 2010


Today, August 19th 2010, is the 100th birthday of Roger D. Raymo (1910-1997). Roger, fourth child of Arthur and Margaret Raymo, was born on this day in 1910 in Dearborn, Michigan. Roger married Helen Comber in 1940 and they had three children. During World War II, Roger served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he worked as an engineer for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Marietta, Georgia.

Roger D. Raymo (aged 16) in 1926

16 August 2010

Letters from Emma

After the tragedy of Arthur's death, his family received two letters from his 73 year old mother, Emma (Handeyside) Raymo. This first letter was written after Emma received word of Arthur's accident, but before he succumbed to his injury later that day:

Mar 19, Wayne, Mich.
My dear ones, one and all. Your message received and am so sorry to hear such sad news. But you will have to forgive any absence for I feel too poorly to make the trip, but Ralph, Fannie and Hazel will leave Detroit on the 11:15 tonight. They will be there before this letter does. I have been sick, not out of the house for six weeks. Not very good yet but my prayers will be for my son and your dear daddy that he shortly will be better and be restored to you all. May God bless you all. My sorrow is pretty near greater than I can bear, but I shall hope and trust to hear better news. From Grandma to all, Emma Raymo.  
Charlotte, my dear, I can't express my sorrow.

Once Emma learned the news of her youngest son's death, she wrote this letter:

Mar 20, 1926
My dear ones all. Just a few lines to tell you of mine and your sorrow. To think such terrible things can happen and how sorry that I am not able to be with you to help one and other, to help bear it together. But you, his dear children, help your dear mother to bear her grief. Be good and patient with her. Every one of you must help her to be brave and I will surely try to think and you will all be good and put your trust in God. My folks, Ralph, Fannie and I hope Hazel will be with you before you get this. My heart is too full to think so good morning. Love to all. Tell Uncle Ralph and Aunt Fannie, Melvin rested very good last night and is lots better this morning. Charlotte, do try and write to me when you get so you can and please don't forget.
From Grandma, who loved your daddy and loves his family. This is a sad thing to happen but I hoped your first message might prove too serious, but not so. Love to all.

Note: Ralph and Hazel were Arthur's siblings. Fannie (Norris) was Ralph's wife. Melvin (Raymo) was the son of Ralph and Fannie.

13 August 2010


Margaret (Merrow) Raymo at the graveside of her husband of twenty years, Arthur E. Raymo. Arthur was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chattanooga.

12 August 2010


On March 19th, 1926, my great grandfather, Arthur Elsworth Raymo, was killed in a terrible industrial accident at his alloy plant.

The tragedy was described in the next day's Chattanooga Times:

     Arthur E. Raymo, Sr., general superintendent of the plant of the Southern Ferro Alloys company, died at Chattanooga hospital yesterday evening at 6 o'clock following the loss of his right arm in an accident at the plant yesterday morning at 10:30.
     Mr. Raymo is said to have been inspecting machinery when the glove on his right hand got caught under a wide unloading conveyor belt, which threw him against a post and tore his arm off at the shoulder.
     He was taken to the hospital and given surgical treatment, physicians entertaining hopes of his recovery until late in the afternoon, when it became apparent that blood transfusion would have to be resorted to. Tests of the blood of individuals was made preparatory to making the transfusion and, a donor suitable blood having been found, the physicians were preparing to take blood from him when the injured man died.
     Mr. Raymo, who was 46 years of age, came to this city from Detroit, Mich., ten years ago and resided at 1025 East Ninth street. He was well known in Chattanooga, being an active member of SS. Peter and Paul's church and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
     Surviving him are his wife and four children, Arthur, Jr., Charlotte, Chester and Roger, and his mother, sister and two brothers, Mrs. William Krumm, Detroit: Ralph Raymo, Wayne, Mich., and Lester Raymo, of Ypsilanti, Mich..
     Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

The last photograph we have of Arthur Elsworth Raymo (1880-1926)

11 August 2010

Frosty the Engineer

Chester T. Raymo, Arthur J. Raymo, Arthur E. Raymo, Roger D. Raymo
Chattanooga, Winter 1925/26

09 August 2010

Scenic Center of the South

Chester T. Raymo (aged 16)

Roger D. Raymo (aged 15)

Chattanooga, 1925

04 August 2010

Twenty Years of Marriage

Margaret (Merrow) Raymo and Arthur E. Raymo

28 July 2010

The Raymo Ancestry - Montréal and France

We can still go a few more generations back from François Raymond. His parents were Michel Raymond and Josette Leduc, married in Montréal in 1766. Josette was Michel's second wife, he had previously married Marguerite Aubin in 1756.

Michel's parents were Charles François Raymond (1697-1746) and Marguerite Danis (1699-1784). Charles was born in La Prairie, Québec, just outside of Montréal. Marguerite was born in nearby Lachine.

Charles' parents were Toussaint Rémond (1669-1741) and Barbe Pilet (1677-1757). Toussaint was the first of this family line in North America arriving in New France sometime in the late 17th century. He was a soldier under the command of Philippe de Rigaud Vaudreuil, who was a French colonel deployed to New France in 1687 to protect the early colonists and fur traders from Native attacks. Vaudreuil later was appointed Governor-general of New France. After Toussaint's service was complete, he remained in the New World as a colonist.

His marriage record reveals who his parents were and where he immigrated from in France.

Toussaint was the son of Barthélémy Rémond (1639-1708) and Marguerite Chaudier (1635-1708). They were from the Roullet parish of the city of Angoulême, France.

Here the trail stops. Any further records on the Raymo/Raymond patrilineal line, if they exist, will be in France.

24 July 2010

The Raymo Ancestry - François Raimond

Most of the Raymo ancestry past Mitchell Raymo that I have uncovered come from two main sources. First the Drouin Collection of French Canadian church records, which is available online as well as in microfilm form at the New England Historical Genealogical Society library in Boston. Second, is the book Genealogy of the French families of the Detroit River region, 1701-1911 by Fr. Christian Denissen, which is also available at the NEHGS library. It is likely that Denissen's tome drew heavily on the same primary sources that make up the Drouin Collection.

With these sources as a guide, I can trace the Raymo ancestry back a few more generations.

Mitchell Raymo's father was François Raimond, born in Montréal, Québec in 1769. His surname can be found in records also as Rémond, Raymond and Ramo. As a young man, François came to settle in Fort Détroit for an unknown reason. At Ste. Anne's Church in Detroit, on 17 May 1802, he married Rose Lemay, a young woman also of French descent.

Partial translation (C'est difficile pour moi.):

The year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Two and on the seventeenth of May, after having publicly read three consecutive Sundays, the banns of marriage between François Raimond, adult and legitimate son of Michel and Josette Leduc, of the the City of Montréal, diocese of Québec...and between Rose Lemay, minor and legitimate daughter of Théophile and the late Marie Pelletier...
François then settled in the farmland of Nankin, west of Detroit where he begins to show up in the U.S. Census records. In 1830, he is listed as Francis Ramo.

François and Rose had at least ten children.
  • Marie Raimond, born 1804
  • Catherine Raimond, born 1806
  • Archange Raimond, born 1808
  • François Raimond, born 1809
  • Michel Raimond (aka Michel Rémond aka Mitchell Raymo), born 1813
  • Alexandre Raimond, born 1815
  • Marie Des Agnes Raimond, born 1817
  • Jean Baptiste Raimond, born 1819
  • Unnamed infant, born and died 1822
  • Marguerite Raimond, born 1826
Daughter Archange went on to marry Warren Fenton in 1825. Their daughter Rosanna Fenton (1831-1898) married Samuel Denniston (1822-1885), the younger brother of Margaret Denniston, Mitchell's second wife. (Rosanna was Mitchell's First Cousin and Margaret's Sister-in-Law.)

François died in 1834 at the age of 65, leaving his Nankin farm to son Mitchell, who later passed it down to his son Theodore.

23 July 2010

The Raymo Ancestry - Mitchell Raymo

I will take a break from the photographs for a few posts in order to share some of the genealogical material I can add to the Raymo family history.

Mitchell Raymo of Nankin, Michigan, was the father of Theodore Raymo and grand father of Arthur Elsworth Raymo. Mitchell was born in Detroit, then part of the Michigan Territory, on 25 February 1813. He was born as Michel Rémond and later in life adopted an anglicized version of his name.

The registration of his birth can be found in the records of the Ste. Anne de Détroit Catholic Church (found in the database of the Institut Généalogique Drouin). Ste. Anne's was the primary church for the French Canadian Catholics living in the Detroit area at the time.

My best transcription and translation:

Michel Rémond, né avant hier du legitime mariage de François Rémond et de Rose Lemai, a ete baptisé par nous pére sousigne aujourdhui, le vingt sixième jour du mois de fevrier de année mil huit cent treize. Le parrain a ete Théophile Lemai et la marraine Jeane Chauvin, epouse de Charles Rouleau, les quel ont declare ne savoir signer de ce enquer. 
--(Signe) Gabriel Richard, pére.

Michel Rémond, born yesterday of the legitimate marriage of François Rémond and Rose Lemai, was baptised by the undersigned priest today, the twenty-sixth day of the month of February in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirteen. The godfather was Théophile Lemai and the godmother Jeane Chauvin, wife of Charles Rouleau, who have declared they are unable to sign this register.
--signed, Fr. Gabriel Richard

Mitchell, at the age of 22, married a teenaged Laura Drake (b. 1819) in 1835. Laura gave birth to two daughters, Mary Elizabeth Raymo (b. 1836) and Rhoda Ann Raymo (b. 1838). Laura died sometime after that of undetermined causes. Mitchell, a widower with two young children, soon remarried. In 1840, he wed Margaret (Denniston) Mains (b. 1812), also a widow, who had recently arrived in Michigan from New York with her father Samuel Denniston, an Irishman from Longford.

Together, Mitchell and Margaret had five more children:

  • Theodore Raymo, born 1841
  • Leonard Reuben Raymo, born 1844
  • Newton Raymo, born 1847 (died in childhood)
  • Rebecca Raymo, born 1849 (believed to have died in childhood)
  • Owen M Raymo, born 1854
Theodore was the progenitor of the family documented on this blog. Leonard settled in Missouri and is the ancestor of many of the Raymo lines there. Owen remained in Wayne, Michigan and left no known patrilineal descendants.

Mitchell first appears in the U.S. Federal Census in 1840 as the head of household in Nankin, Michigan. He is listed here as Michael Raymo.

In 1850, when the U.S. Census began to enumerate all members of a household, he is listed as Mitchell Remoo.

The John enumerated here is Mitchell's step-son John Mains, son of Margaret and her first husband, the late Robert Mains. Margaret's father Samuel is also listed here.

Finally, in 1860, he is enumerated in Nankin as Mitchel Ramo.

In 1870, Mitchell is absent from the census rolls. Margaret is listed as head of household. I have not located a death record for Mitchell so I do not know if he died prior to 1870. However, in 1880 there is a Mitchell Raymo in the census records for Goshen, Indiana, listed as born in Michigan in 1813, but married to a woman named Lucy. It appears likely that Mitchell left his family sometime after 1860 and resettled in nearby Indiana.

21 July 2010

Grandma Josephine

Charlotte A. Raymo and Arthur J. Raymo with their other grandmother Josephine (Greusel) Merrow (1861-1938)
Chattanooga 1925

18 July 2010

Grandmother, Uncles, Aunt and Cousins

The Raymo family matriarch in 1925 was Theodore's widow Emma (Handeyside) Raymo, photographed here at the age of 72. She is joined by, from left to right, her grandson Arthur J. Raymo, daughter Hazel (Raymo) Krumm, son Ralph Raymo, brother (uncertain?) John Handeyside, granddaughter Evelyn B. Krumm and son-in-law William C. Krumm.

NOTE: I had previously identified the unknown elderly gentleman as Emma's brother-in-law Owen M. Raymo, a druggist who lived in Nankin, Michigan. Upon further reflection, I believe it is more likely to be Emma's older brother John Handeyside (1846-1939). After Emma was widowed, she lived in Nankin in the home of her older brother John. The gentleman here appears to have a greater resemblance to Emma than Theodore. In 1925, John would have been 79 years old.

FURTHER NOTE: Examining this photograph more closely, it appears that John Handeyside is sporting a Freemason's pin on his watch fob, and William appears to have a Kiwanis Club belt buckle.

13 July 2010


Charlotte A. Raymo (aged 18) and friends
Chattanooga, 1925

11 July 2010

Mother and her Brood

Roger D. Raymo, Arthur J. Raymo, Margaret (Merrow) Raymo, Charlotte A. Raymo, Chester T. Raymo
Chattnooga, Summer 1924

03 July 2010

Infield of Dreams

Not exactly Tinker to Evers to Chance, but not bad.
Roger D. Raymo, Arthur J. Raymo, Chester T. Raymo
Chattanooga, 1924