Friday, October 10, 2008

an unexpected face found ...

... while 'long shot' browsing. Every so often I'll toss a name, sometimes with a location, into the google search box and see what might turn up. A few months ago it was "Sophia Stanton" and "Louisiana" that I threw out there.  Sophia was the wife of the John Stanton whose passport request is in the blog header graphic and thus mentioned in my last post. Within a year or two of his death she had relocated back to their native New England and in 1858 remarried to Samuel Richardson. 

The google search results were mostly unrelated but then I stumbled on a link to a digital image at the Louisina Digital Library (LDL) at, "an online library of over 84,000 digital materials about Louisiana's history, culture, places, and people." The full link ( led to a digital image of a painting titled Sophia Stanton in the collection of the Louisiana State Museum, a thumbnail of which is shown here. 

At this point I was fairly skeptical that this would be my Sophia Stanton, wife of John Stanton who was brother to my direct line, Hatevil Stanton, and whose sister, Nancy, was married to yet another brother, Jacob Clark Stanton but my email to the museum confirmed that this was indeed "Sophia Stanton, wife of John Stanton, owner of Stanton & Co. Wholesale and Retail Dealers of Ice" of New Orleans. My further inquiry regarding how the portrait (along with some other odds and ends) ended up in Louisiana elicited the information that it had been bequeathed to the museum by Mrs. Elizabeth E. G. Mann of Sarasota, Florida, in 1997 and that Sophia Cook was her "grandmother". 

At that time I checked the research I had done and was certain that Elizabeth Mann could not be a granddaughter as a check of the SSDI (and a friend with access to more place of birth and death information for Florida deaths than Ancestry) finds her as born 26 April 1909 in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, and died 9 Feb 1997 in Sarasota, Florida, and none of John and Sophia's children had a daughter Elizabeth at anytime, much less at that late a date.  Then I had to lay it aside and concentrate on other things.

Today, cleaning up the assorted debris on my desk, I ran across my notes on the portrait and the question about how the owner, Elizabeth Mann, related to the family. Sophia and John Stanton had five children: Adelaide Bartlett, Charles Benjamin, Ada Sophia, Helen Elouise, and John Gilman Stanton. Three of the children were quickly eliminated: Ada died as a child and Adelaide had no children according to the 1900 and 1910 census schedules. John Gilman Stanton married and had one daughter, Alice, who is still at home in 1910 at the age of 30, showing no evidence of marriage or children. 

This left Charles and Adelaide. Charles proved difficult to trace. In 1880 he and his wife and children are in Chicago, Illinois, and none are found again until 1910 when he and two of his four children are in Tacoma, Washington. His wife Florence is shown with 4 children all still living but the two missing children, Victor born circa 1878 in Illinois and Helen born circa 1874 in Kentucky remain stubbornly hidden.

Failing in that direction, I turned to Helen. In 1873, she married Henry Hill Goodell (or Goodale) and they had two sons, John Stanton and William. From notes on Ancestry's family trees, John married Edith Friese and William married Ethel Morris. John Stanton Goodell was elusive and all I found were John and Edith with her mother Matilda, enumerated in 1920 Ellsworth County, Kansas but there is no daughter Elizabeth age 10. William however turned out to be a bit easier and I located him with his wife Ethel and daughter Elizabeth (!!!!!). In both 1910 and 1920, they are in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, and Elizabeth is age 12 months and then age 10 respectively. For both John and Williams's households I was certain I had the right people, not because of the Ancestry tree but because the father was born in Turkey and the mother in Louisiana, an unlikely combination. 

With the solid listing of a daughter of the right name and age, I turned to the New England Historic Genealogy Society site and searched their Massachusetts Vital Records 1841-1910 database for Elizabeth Goodell's birth and hit the jackpot!! In City of Springfield records of births, Volume 583, on page 175, at Entry 670, recorded on 15 May 1909: Elizabeth Electa Goodell was born 26 April 1909 in Springfield to William Goodell, physician and wife Ethel Morris. 

So the identity of the portrait owner is determined, Elizabeth Electa Goodell, married to (--?--) at some time prior to her death, was the great granddaughter of Sophia Cook Stanton through Elizabeth's father William Goodell and his mother Helen Stanton. I suppose I ought to write the museum to update their information ... how come research seems to add to the stuff to be done?


looking4ancestors said...

Greetings Holly,
I enjoyed reading your post about the oil painting of your ancestor. How cool is that?! This was my first visit to your blog. I'll be back again.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

Holly, your detailed account of how you have drawn your conclusions from the facts found and put together are great. The posting is very readable.

Thanks for including the Louisiana website where you found the picture. My Puckett and Cook ancestors came from Sabine Parish, Louisiana and I think I'll investigate this site.

I've added your blog to those I follow at GeneaBloggers on Facebook. I'd love for you to add my Genealogy Traces to yours.

Holly Timm said...


The main reason I included the link to the digital images site was just in case someone came along who might find something there although one can sometimes find stuff in unlikely places as I did in this instance.


I'm glad you enjoyed my blog. I hope you find some of my future posts interesting as well.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Mrs. Timm, for posting all of this ever-elusive genealogy. Because of it, I've managed to confirm that Henry Goodell and Helen Stanton named one of their sons after her father. I'm doing a project of sorts on Goodell as he was the longest serving president of the UMass system, and for whatever reason his son was always just given as the initial "John S. Goodell" in his father's biographies. I could only suppose that he was named after "John Stanton" but now I have something tangible to back this up.

Thanks again
UMass Class of 2013

Holly Timm said...

Ken, I'm glad the research I did helped you. I often get way off on tangents reseraching so it is nice to know it is useful to someone.