This one has been the big mystery running around in the back of my mind for the last few weeks. In the big trunk of photos that we found at Grandpa’s house, there are three photos with mention of Nellie Eimer who doesn’t appear to be related in any way to any branch of the family. I’m holding out hope that perhaps her mother is the link, but I haven’t yet been able to find her maiden name to confirm that. Do you have any of these names in your family tree? Please get in contact by leaving a comment!
- “Nellie” Ellen Malden Howell was born 23 July 1868 in Dawley Bank, Shropshire, England and died 10 July 1930 in Carbondale, Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, USA. Nellie applied for a passport 1 April 1920 and listed the purpose of her passport as, “to visit relatives,” for the duration of four months. On this same document, she lists her arrival year as 1883. She married Frank Eimer 17 Jan 1891. She lived the rest of her life in Carbondale, Pennsylvania and never had children.
- Frank Eimer was born in 1867 and died 3 Januray 1938. He was a baker in Carbondale. After Nellie died, he married Isabell Turnbull. His parents are Harry (1839) and Mary (1844-1875) Eimer.
- William Howell, Nellie’s father, was born in England in 1843. He died 2 December 1920 in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. He lived with Nellie and Frank in Carbondale, PA until his death. I haven’t been able to find him on any English census, and there doesn’t appear to be record of his family living in England prior to the first time they show up on a census, the 1910 US census. Per the information he gave the census taker, he married Lizzie in 1864. His will lists his living relatives as, “Mrs. Ellen Malden Eimer daughter, Mrs. Sarah McCoy daughter, and Mrs. Elizabeth Stephens grand daughter.” Frank Eimer was named the executor of the will.
- “Lizzie” Elizabeth ?, Nellie’s mother, was born 1843 and died 18 November 1913. I’m not 100% sure on the death date, but it seems to match up from the PA death record indicies. Lizzie appears on the 1910 US census and not on the 1920 census. I don’t know much about her other than this little bit of information.
The first photo is a photo postcard. The stamp area in the top right corner of the second photo gives me a date range of 1904-1918 (AZO with four triangles up). The back reads, “Mr & Mrs Wm Howell later on their 50th anniversary on our front porch,” and was likely written by Olga (Powis) Kitko, the front porch being in Beccaria, Clearfield, Pennsylvania. Below that, written later, is, “Nellie Eimers Mother & Father,” again, probably written by Olga. If the Howells married in 1864, that would give us 1914 for their 50th anniversary which isn’t possible if Lizzie died in 1913. I’m pretty comfortable saying this photo was taken in 1913. Olga would’ve been 13 at the time.
Another photo postcard, dating again between 1904-1918. Written on the back in Olga’s older handwriting is, “Aunt Nellie Eimer, Carbondale,” and printed is a Photographer’s Studio, “F. E. Allen Studio, 3d and Pine Sts., Williamsport, PA.” I haven’t been able to find the photographer’s name in any local directory, so I’ve got no lead on a date for this one. I’d definitely put it closer to the 1918 mark. This is where I get the “Aunt” title from though and why this has me so confused. I suppose it’s possible that Aunt was used to describe a close family friend – I know I grew up with a number of “Aunts” that I wasn’t related to, and the term was used symbolically for a person of importance to our family.
And the last photo – not a photo postcard. There are a few other photos of the same size (only about three inches high) that are marked with ’17 on the back – I’m taking this to mean that they were taken in 1917. This photo is labelled in Olga’s older handrwriting, “Nellie Eimers Father Carbondale Mom & Me.” If this was taken in 1917, Olga would’ve been 17 in this photo (she graduated high school, something rare for girls at that time). From Left to right, we have William Howell, Jessie (Battin) Powis, and Olga (Powis) Kitko. Lizzie is missing here which makes sense, because she passed away years before the photo was taken.
L ackawanna Public Records - The search for Marriage licenses and Register of Wills was used to find Frank Eimer’s will, William Howell’s will and the marriage license for Frank and Nellie Eimer.
Playle’s Photo Postcard Dating – I go back to this resource often since it seems to be one of the most comprehensive databases for dating photo postcards
Pennsylvania Birth and Death indices – The indices are a great place to start for information. Records can be ordered for a fee, but sometimes just the index is enough to collect an exact date.