Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Mother, Born One Hundred Years Ago Today

One hundred years ago today my mother was born in New Brunswick, Canada. Her parents, David Jewett Crabtree and Edith Rae Giberson Crabtree, had legally changed the family name from Crabb to Crabtree just four years before. She was the seventh of their thirteen children, and they named her Elva Myrtle.

Elva on the left, with some of her siblings

Over the next few months, I hope to tell some more about her life, but here are just a few of the facts that I know for now. She grew up on farms in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick and Easton, Maine. She attended Normal School to become a teacher and began her teaching career in rural schools in Maine and eventually retired from an elementary school in California. Education was very important to Elva and she took classes for as long as I can remember, eventually ending up with many, many credits beyond her Bachelor's degree.

Glamor shot (from the 1930s?)

Elva, looking lovely. I think that this photo might have been taken while she was dating my father.

Our family in Marinwood, California. L to R: Clair Harris Zarges (me), Elva Myrtle Crabtree Harris (my mother), Jean Lee Harris (my sister), and Daniel Lawrence Harris (my father).

She married Daniel Lawrence Harris, my father, in 1940. I was born in Maine in 1944, then we all moved to California in early 1945. My little sister was born in San Francisco in 1949.

Daddy died in 1972 and Mother died in 1998. That's the very barest outline of her life; there's much more to tell, of course.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Mallozzi Family at St. John's Catholic Cemetery

On every trip we made from New Hampshire to Stamford, Connecticut to visit with Bill's family, we almost always visited his mother's family graves in St. John's Catholic Cemetery in nearby Darien. 

The graves were all well looked after by the family and were decorated with flags, both cut and planted flowers, and always palm fronds at Easter. 

Vincenzo, the father of the family...

Vincenzo's wife, Alesandra

Detail from Alexandra's headstone

With the exception of the married daughters--Rose, Frances, and Delia--the children of Vincenzo and Alesandra are buried with their parents:

Filippina, also known as Pucci


Detail from Phil's headstone

Gennaro, also known as Gene

Mary, who lived to be 97

Amalio, also known as Mario...

and Mario's wife, Adeline

Vincenzo and Alesandra Poccia

Vincenzo married Alesandra Poccia [marriage date?] [marriage location?].

Vincenzo Mallozzi 
Born October 26, 1874 in Italy
Died November 13, 1951 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Alesandra Poccia family group sheet
Born December 28, 1880 in Santa Maria, Italy
Died April 13, 1967 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Rose Pelliccione
Born December 17, 1901 in Minturno, Italy
Died April 21, 1991 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Maria Francesca Tucciarone
Born May 16, 1905 in Minturno, Italy
Died October 29, 1986 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.

Filippina Mallozzi
Born April 27, 1906 in Italy
Died August 28, 1998 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Philip Mallozzi
Born September 30, 1907 in Minturno, Italy
Died June 18, 1950 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Gennaro Mallozzi
Born May 8, 1911 in Minturno, Italy
Died April 28, 1974 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Mary Maria Mallozzi
Born August 30, 1912 in Minturno, Italy
Died November 11, 2009 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Amalio Mallozzi
Born March 4, 1920 in Minturno, Italy
Died April 23, 2005 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 

Delia Zarges
Born 1922 in Pulcherini, Italy
Died August 18, 1966 in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.

Coming soon: The graves of the married daughters (as soon as I get someone in Connecticut to take one more photo--probably not until spring when the snow is gone).

Friday, November 28, 2014

St. John's Catholic Cemetery: The Mallozzi Family Monument

The Mallozzi family has always carefully tended the family graves at the St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Darien, Fairfield County, Connecticut. You can see that the monument is well looked after in winter and summer. 

For a map showing the cemetery's location, click here. For contact information, click here.

In the next posts, I will publish photos of the individual graves by family. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Father's Last Letter

My cousin, Tim, found this envelope in a family scrapbook. The writing on it belongs to his father, David Jewett Crabtree, Jr. 

Inside the envelope was the last letter David, Jr. had received from his father, David Jewett Crabtree, Sr.--Tim's grandfather and mine. It was written from Stockton Springs, Maine, a small coastal community near Belfast and Waldo, and was dated October 9, 1953 (although at first glance the date looks like 1963). David, Jr. was living in California when he received the letter.

David, Sr. died six months later on April 17, 1954.

I have typed the text (as I understand it) at the bottom of this page, with some added punctuation for clarity.

Stockton Springs
October 9, 1953

My Dear Boy David
I received your most welcome letter today
and will send you my naturalization certificate.
As soon as you are 
through with it send 
it to me. I am feeling 
very good my heart
is not very good 
since I had that 
Shock. Would like
to come out there

and see you all 
and that little Timothy
and his mother (1) all the
rest. I am still at
the Cape & see Cliff (2)
often. He is fine
and the family are
nearly all  grown
up. Wonderful childr-
en. Dave and Hazel (3)
are in their last 
year in college.
Charles (4) is a big 

and little Char-
lotte Ann (5). Was there
to a big convention
last week. Have
not seen Glayds [Gladys] (6)
lately. Bess (7) was
up, she was fine.
Dave, do your
best to live good.
Looks like a big
change in the
earth right away.
May God help each
one of us.

Will close.
Give my love to
all around there
and to yourself.
Good Bye,
from Dad.


Mentioned in the letter:

1. "Little Timothy and his mother," Timothy Crabtree, David Jr.'s son and David's wife, Muriel

2. "Cliff", Clifford Crabtree, David Sr.'s son

3. "Dave and Hazel," Clifford's children, David Clifford Crabtree and Hazel Crabtree

4. "Charles," Clifford's son, Charles Talmadge Crabtree

5. "Charlotte Ann," Charlotte Ann Crabtree, daughter of Clifford Crabtree

6. "Glayds,"  Gladys Crabtree, David Sr.'s daughter

7. "Bess," Bess Crabtree, David Sr.'s daughter

Clifford with his wife, Helen, and their children the year after Grandfather's letter was written
Photo courtesy of Patricia Pickard

Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding Tim

When my sister and I were little we spent a lot of time with our cousin, Timmy, who was the son of my mother's youngest brother, David and his wife, Muriel.

We loved Timmy like a little brother--maybe even more, because there was no sibling rivalry. Since he was younger than both of us, we got away with a lot where he was concerned because he was always willing to do whatever we asked him to do. We dressed him up as the Avon lady and got him to ring doorbells around the neighborhood. He always greeted the homeowner, who was no doubt surprised at seeing a miniature cross-dresser on the doorstep, with a cheery "Avon calling!"

Our little Avon lady

When Timmy was around 8 or 9 his parents were divorced and his mom moved back East with Timmy and his little sister, Kathleen, to be close to her family . We lost track of them and never saw Timmy again, but we never stopped thinking about our lost "little brother."

Timmy showing off his muscles

In my family history research I have received help from others time and time again, so I decided to explain this problem to the Facebook group I made for my cousins and others interested in my mother's family (Descendants of David Jewett and Edith Rae Crabtree). I posted this photo (above) and my query on July 28, 2014 and within an hour had the information I needed to contact him. 

By the next morning Tim and I were in touch and a lively and thrilling reunion by correspondence began. The little Timmy I remember is now a great-grandfather, which is pretty hard to get my mind around. I try very hard to remember that he's all grown up now and that I must call him Tim, not Timmy. 

Once again, Sheila Antworth Lafferty, who has been thanked on this blog before, was the heroine! She has given us a wonderful gift in helping to reunite my family with my long-lost cousin-like-a-brother. Tim knows now that we never forgot about him, and is learning more about his dad's family through this blog, the Facebook group of cousins, and the family tree pages on 

It took over 50 years of wondering and then just an hour to locate the right person with the right skills and knowledge to find the answer that finally solved this family mystery.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Some Late August Birthdays

For some reason, just looking at birth dates like this makes me feel connected to a whole lot of people. These are names from the Crabtree ancestors (my mother's family) and from my husband Bill's Mallozzi/Zarges ancestors. Click on any name to see a profile, and on "share tree" to see each family tree.

27 Aug 1924: Lois Stockson [share tree]
Lois was my mother's sister. I really loved the sound of her voice. 

Kinney siblings; Richard is on the right in the back row

Richard was my great grand uncle. He was the son of "Sugar John" Kinney who brought his little 15-year old wife down the frozen St. John River in 1835 in a sled pulled by a Newfoundland dog. 

Mary is on the left with an unknown sailor at her sister, Delia's wedding.
Mary never married. 

30 Aug 1912: Mary Mallozzi [share tree]
Mary was the sister of Bill's mother, Delia Mallozzi Zarges. She came to America from Italy on the ship, The Roma, in 1927 or 1928. Our family stayed at her house in Stamford, Connecticut many times, and even lived there for part of one year. She lived to be 97 years old.

30 Aug 1928: Arnold McLellan [share tree]
Arnold was my maternal first cousin, son of my mother's sister, Alma Crabtree McLellan. He died in 2010. 

31 Aug 1885: Everett Crabb [share tree]
Everett was born a Crabb but later became a Crabtree after the family changed its name in 1910. He was my grand uncle (brother of my grandfather David J. Crabtree, Sr.) and died the same year I was born. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

More About My Grandfather, David J. Crabtree, Sr.

Grandfather David in the field with his youngest son, David, Jr. 
c. 1940
From our family's photo collection

My grandfather, David J. Crabtree, Sr., was born David Jewett Crabb in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada in 1875; the ninth child of thirteen born to William Henry Crabb and Sarah Ann Kinney. He had five sisters and seven brothers. 

The family name was changed from Crabb to Crabtree in 1910 in Maine. See A Family Changes its Names for the details and the text of the legal document.

I had always heard that the Crabtrees came straight from England to Canada, so it was a great surprise to find that the truth was quite different. David was descended from both Loyalists and Pre-Loyalists. During the American Revolution, the Loyalists were the folks who remained loyal to the King of England, lost their lands, and left America to resettle in Canada. The Pre-Loyalists were those who had come to Canada from America prior to the Loyalist immigration of 1783. The story of the Loyalists is a dramatic one and full of hardship, and I hope to tell it eventually on this blog. 

David's maternal great-great grandparents, Israel Kinney and Susannah Hood, moved in 1767 from Topsfield, Massachusetts to Maugerville, in what would later become New Brunswick, Canada. Another set of great-great grandparents, John Crabb, Sr. and Elizabeth Bassett (who show up on both sides of David's family tree--David's father's grandfather, John Crabb, Jr., and David's mother's grandfather, Richard Arnold Crabb, were brothers), left Dutchess County, New York for New Brunswick in 1783.  

I never met my grandfather; what I know about him is the result of research, reading books, correspondence, and interviews. I haven't learned anything about his younger days, but I know that one of his sisters, Gertrude, died at the age of two; another sister, Elizabeth, died at the age of 24 of tuberculosis; and his brother, Aaron, died in the goldfields of Alaska in 1897. His sister, Sarah Ermina "Sadie" Kinney Thomas, was  the "Auntie" in my Aunt Sadie's memoirs (see Separated from the Family, etc.). Another sister, Anna Thursa Crabb, married Charles Field and I met them when I was a child and they visited our home in San Francisco in the 1950's. 

However, I have read about the grown and married David as both a farmer and neighbor. His neighbors called him Dave, and knew they could call on him for help with cutting ice, cutting brush, sawing wood, threshing, and moving machinery. I read about his hard-working farming days in Sheila Antworth Lafferty's blog, Diary of an Aroostook Farmer; The farm journals of Milton Lloyd Flewelling (1901-1996), a farmer from Easton, Aroostook County, Maine. "Dave" and "Cliff" (my uncle Clifford Crabtree) are mentioned frequently in Milton's journals, and Patricia Pickard's booklet (No. 5 in the Bibliography, below) on Clifford Crabtree tells us that Clifford worked on Milton's farm in Easton, Maine. Milton mentions a great deal of going back and forth between his farm and Dave's place in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick.

These next three quotes are from Pat Pickard's booklet, and are used with her kind permission. 

[Dave] was a farmer, plus he was busy at the local Baptist church where he was Sunday school superintendent. With godly parentage, the children of this family learned to love the things of God. David never failed to take his family of 13 children to church, even trudging on foot through snow at times. (Page 1)

Evelyn (Allen) Crabtree shares a bit of history on the Crabtree family: "Clifford's parents owned a nice home in Easton, [Maine] and they had an opportunity to sell it, which they did. They moved from Easton to Beaconsfield, New Brunswick--just over the border from Easton [some time after 1905]. The move to Beaconsfield seemed to be a mistake. Clifford's father, David, found that the soil was full of rocks and it caused him a lot of grief. He worked and worked to clear them out, only to find more rocks the following year. It was a hard life on that farm." [NOTE: The writer of this book had the opportunity to visit this farm in the 1970s, and wonders how they managed to farm at all. It was a beautiful spot--high on a hill, overlooking the town of Easton--but not for farming]. (Pages 1-2)

Donny Ladner used to butcher hogs in the Easton/Beaconsfield area, and whenever someone had a hog that they wanted to have butchered, they would call him up, fill a barrel full of water, and put it on to boil so that they could dip the hog in it for easy removal of its hair after it was slaughtered. One day David had a hog to be butchered, and Donny came to the Crabtree home in Beaconsfield and did the job. After he got the hog killed, it was time to put it in the hot water. David looked at his wife and said, "Ede (as he called her), we forgot to boil the water!" (Page 7)

Form for replacement of lost naturalization papers

Dave left behind a physical description of himself. This is a copy of an undated form requesting replacement of lost naturalization papers. It was apparently used as a draft or kept at home as a record of the completed form. Dave tells us that he is male, white with a medium complexion, has blue eyes and brown hair, is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 148 pounds. He "kept papers in pocket. Lost while working in the field."

David is mentioned several times in the book, Prevailing Westerlies; The Pentecostal Heritage of Maine. It seems that David was often on hand to help with building and maintaining the churches of the area. His grandson, Charles T. Crabtree (see photo below) remembers: When the new sanctuary was built, I remember my dad talking to my grandfather, David Jewett [Crabtree], about getting permits to remove a big elm tree. He went on and on about the danger and expense. My grandfather just snorted. It was a thrilling sight for me to watch as the men began to ax away. They tied great ropes to guide the fall. It was a great victory to watch that monster fall in the exact spot my grandfather had planned. The only fly in the ointment was when Billy Washington sawed off a limb he was sitting on. He fell a long way but, miraculously, was not hurt. (pages 169-170).

Another church-building memory from the same book: Let's go back to the summer of 1947. The work on our new church on Court Street had been completed, and a group of us went down to Cape Jellison [Maine] to work on building a new church. Grampie Crabtree; Pastor [Clifford] Crabtree; [Clifford's] son, David, and I [author James Peters] traveled back and forth most of those days. We tore down an old barn for the lumber, which we hauled half way around the Cape to build the church... we tore the old building down and built the church... We had a few nails in our feet and bloodblisters under our nails from time to time, but we worked for the Lord and He blessed our efforts. I recall some of the antics of Charlie [Charles Flewelling, a missionary just back from Africa] and Grampie (David) Crabtree--who says Christians can't have fun? They were always playing practical jokes on each other and on anyone who happened to be in the vicinity. I considered it a great privilege to work alongside these men who, as we look back on our heritage, made such an impact for the Lord, both at home and on the foreign field. (Pages 171-172)

The late Rev. David J. Crabtree assisted greatly in the work of this church. [He] laid the foundation. (Pages 175-176)

Grandfather "Grampie" David and his grandson, Charles Talmage Crabtree (son of Clifford Crabtree)
All three served as ministers in the Pentecostal Church (David started out as a Baptist)
As Charles was born in 1937, I am guessing that this photo was taken c. 1952,
or two years before Grampie's death in 1954
(Photo courtesy of Patricia Pickard)

Undated photo of Grandfather David
Courtesy of Patricia Pickard

Undated photo from Patricia Pickard

This is an indirect (and not very flattering) story about Grandfather. My mother (Elva Crabtree Harris Rodriguez) told me about a time when her mother, Edith, was in labor with her last baby, David, Jr. My mother's older brothers were out with the horse and wagon and stopped to talk with a neighbor who asked after Edith's health. He jokingly asked that since they already had kids named Faith and Hope in the family, were they planning to name this new baby-to-be Charity? One of the brothers, no doubt feeling great sympathy for his mother's labor with her 13th child, said "'Twould be a great charity if he [David, Sr.] would leave her alone so's she'd have no more babies!"

Here are the last two stories that I have about my grandfather. The first was received in an email from Patricia Pickard, 4 May 2014:

I just came across a typescript that has a story about David Jewett Crabtree:
"A former neighbor from Beaconsfield, N.B., Handy Nevers, recalls that many a time David J. Crabtree and Frank Nevers (who became very good friends) walked twelve miles to Perth to attend Pentecostal meetings there. David lived in Beaconsfield, N.B. with his family, and Frank's family lived nearby in Dover Hill.
"David J. Crabtree had a terrible accident while living in Beaconsfield. He fell off a load of hay and broke his neck. He was prayed for and God healed him completely."

And from my cousin, Cheryl Blakely (via Facebook, August 11, 2014): I very rarely heard my mom [Faith Crabtree Blakely] talk of her dad. She did say he was like an old banty hen, tough and stubborn. She said he fell off the roof and broke his neck. She said it didn't kill him the first time. The second time did. Whether that's true or not, I have no idea.

Copy of David's obituary, courtesy of Patricia Pickard

embeddable family tree updated live from WikiTree


1. Bell, Edwin Wallace: Israel Kenny; His Children and Their Families. [Vancouver, B.C.], 1944. May be borrowed from Open Library for reading online:

2. Kinney, Fern Gallup: Kith and Kin of the Kinneys. [nd]. PDF file available for download:

4. Peters, James E. and Patricia Pickard: Prevailing Westerlies; the Pentecostal Heritage of Maine. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 1988.

5. Pickard, Patricia P.: Rev. Clifford A. Crabtree, Called of God. Prepared for the 90th anniversary celebration of Glad Tidings Church, Bangor, Maine, November 24, 2013. Published by Glad Tidings Church, 1033 Broadway, Bangor, Maine 04401. 2013. (A copy may be purchased from Glad Tidings Church for a suggested donation of $10.00 or more).

6. Pickard, Patricia, from a typescript, "Notes taken during a phone conversation that Pat Pickard of Bangor, Maine had with Handy Nevers of Brockville, Ontario on April 26, 2013."

7. Smith, Louise Elizabeth, compiler and editor: Grandma and Me; Family Stories, Information, and Photos of the Crabtree and Higginson Families of Amanda Myrtie Crabtree Briggs. Cave Creek, Arizona: Austin-Smith Books, 2007. (May be purchased from at

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Grandfather, David J. Crabtree, Sr.: A Timeline

Back in November 2013, I wrote down what I knew then about my Grandfather David J. Crabtree, Sr. (A Little About My Grandfather). I've done a lot of research and found out more about his life since then. 

Since my mother always said that, although she was born in New Brunswick, her family moved back and forth a lot between Canada and the United States, I thought it might be useful to show a timeline for her father's life. Since these facts all come from official documentation, there are plenty of gaps and, I'm sure, lots of stories missing about the family's moves from one country to another. 

A very brief summary of his life: When David Jewett Crabb was born on June 20, 1875, in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada, his father William was 38 and his mother Sarah was 32. (David was born a Crabb, but became a Crabtree when the family name was legally changed in 1910 in Maine). He married Edith Rae Giberson on April 29, 1899, in Easton, Maine. They had 13 children in 27 years. He died on April 17, 1954, in Belfast, Maine, at the age of 78, and was buried in Houlton, Maine.

I have more information, including a physical description, photos, and a pretty good story about Grandfather, and will put all that together in the next post. In the meantime, here is the timeline. 


A couple of notes: 

I have used the ages written down by the census takers, and you will see that sometimes the ages for individuals are off from one census to another

Although some census takers thought Jesse was a girl when he was little, I kept him among the sons!

I like to imagine these big households, bursting with teenagers and toddlers.

In 1881, David Crabb was 5 years old and lived in Carleton County, Canada. Also listed in the household: Parents William H. (age 45) and Sarah A. (35); siblings John F. (18), Aaron C. (15), Sarah E. (14), Henry A. (13), Adelia (11), Elizabeth (8), Charles W. (7), Talmage (6), and Wesley D. (3). This screen shot (click for a larger version) of a page from the 1881 Census of Canada shows the family.

April 29, 1899
David J. Crabtree married Edith R. Giberson on April 29, 1899, in Maine. He was 21 and she was 18; his occupation was farmer, and hers was housekeeper. His parents were also a farmer and a housekeeper, as were her parents. All of the parents were born in New Brunswick. Here is a copy of the record from Maine.


In 1900, David was 22 years old and lived in Easton, Maine with his wife, Edith (age 18); they are listed here in the 1900 U.S. Census. You will see that they are living next door to David's widowed mother, Sarah (age 53), and David's brothers, Talmage (24) and "Everard" (actually Everett, age 14), and sister Annie (Anna, age 16). 


In 1910, David J. Crabb was 32 years old and lived in Dover, Maine with his wife, Edith (age 26), 3 sons (Clifford, age 7; Beecher, age 5; and Jesse, age 3), and 2 daughters (Alma, age 9; and Hope, age 1 month); they are all listed in the 1910 U.S. Census:


On June 1, 1921, David J. Crabtree was 40 years old and lived in Victoria County, Canada with his wife, Edith, 3 sons (Clifford, age 17; Beecher, age 15; and Jesse, age 13), and 6 daughters (Alma, age 21; Hope, age 10; Bessie, age 7; Elva, age 6; Anna, age 4; and Sadie, age 1). Here they are in the 6th Census of Canada, 1921:


On April 1, 1940, David A. Crabtree was 64 years old and lived in Ludlow, Maine with his wife, Edith, 3 sons (Beecher, age 37; Jesse, age 25; and David, Jr., age 11), 2 daughters (Lois, age 16; and Faith, age 14), and a grandson (Alma's son, Ivan McLellan, age 4). They lived next door to David and Edith's daughter, Gladys, her husband, Murray Victory, and their son, Wayne (spelled "Wane" here). They are listed in the 16th Census of the U.S., 1940:


On Sept. 26, 1946, Edith died in Houlton, Maine at the age of 65 or 66, depending on which birth date you go by. She was buried in Houlton, Maine. 


David died at age 78 on April 17, 1954 in Belfast, Maine. He was buried with Edith and with their son, Jesse (who had died in 1950) in the Evergreen Cemetery in Houlton, Maine. 


One more note: Thank you to Sheila Lafferty for showing me a better way to do screen shots!