Saturday, December 13, 2008

Updating the Blog

Over the past few months, with the assistance of Marion Ray Scott, we have received more information about the Newman Family who lived at 125 P Street NW.

We now trace ancestors by name to the 1700's for both William Robert Newman and Mary Frances Proctor Newman. Also we have a more complete listing of siblings.

Please continue to check back for more information and photographs.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

When We Were Young

Hello, To the left is a picture of me (Louise Newman Montgomery) at age 6 mos.

I've heard from quite a few of you who have looked at this blog. It is always delightful to hear from you! My granddaughter Deidre Montgomery, and grandsons Eric Shepperd and Randy Preston have encouraged me to "keep the pictures coming".

Their encouragement has inspred me to share pictures from when they were cute, kissable babies. They are still cute and kissable to me, though no longer babies.

So here goes "When We Were Young", these are photos of some whose roots reach back to P Street NW.

This is a picture of my husband Raymond and me "When we young" on P Street NW with our daughter Joan.

This a photograph of Sonny and Joyce (our son and daughter)

Pictured above are my great grandchildren. Standing (l-r) Gibron Shepperd, Daniel Montgomery, and Christopher Montgomery. Seated (l-r) Elleana Shepperd, Simona Montgomery, Khyber Shepperd, Alexandra Shepperd, and Lauren Montgomery

This is my Jerome Augustus Newman and below is his daughter Carolyn.

Carolyn and Charles Glodt and children (my niece with her family) and

Monday, January 14, 2008

Newman Family: Before P Street NW

William Robert Newman married Irene Mary Harley in 1883 in Washingon D.C. The couple lived in a home on corner of D Street NW near the intersection of Third Street and Virginia Avenue.

The home was located near the U.S. Naval Hospital. Briggs Elementary School could be seen from the back of the house. I'm sharing these markers with you, for as we searched the internet maps for the house, it appears the entire neighborhood has been replaced by several large buildings.

I remember the house was on the corner. It was made of brick, with sculpted iron grating along the steps leading to the veranda and back porch. The doors had wood framed screens. The house had been built in the mid-1800's (before homes had indoor plumbing or electricity). Kerosene lamps and chandeliers lit the house, a wood burning stove in the kitchen was used to prepare meals and heat water, outside near the door stood the water pump, and coal burning fireplaces kept the house warm.

It was here that Robert and Irene Newman had their family. Herman Martin (born 1883), Walter (born 1884), Grace Elizabeth (born 1887), Mark (born 1889), Lewis (born 1892) and Lena (born 1896)

After Irene Newman's death, Robert kept his family together while continuing to work. To supplement his income, in addition to his regular job, he worked as a waiter. In September of 1898, Robert Newman married for the second time. His bride, Mary Frances Proctor was from Southern Maryland. Robert and Mary Frances had six children who lived to adulthood, and three who died during early childhood.

Pictured below are four of Robert and Mary Frances' children, a granddaughter and a Proctor niece. This pictue was taken on the steps of the Newman home on D Street NW, circa 1914

Seated on the top row are (l-r) niece Mattie Proctor, son Paul Augustus Newman (my father), and daughter Mary Myrtle Irene Newman. On the lower row (l-r) are son William Robert Newman, Jr., daughter Agnes Cerelia Newman, and granddaughter Theresa Evelyn Proctor

Thomas Alexander (Jack) Newman, was born October 8, 1919. The picture of Jack on the right was taken in front of the house on D Street NW circa 1922, earlier that same year Robert and Mary Frances gave birth to twin daughters. At the time of birth Mary Frances was 39 years old, and Robert 64.

As adults: Mattie married Ed Proctor; Paul married Lida Isabel Johnson, Myrtle married Marques Ray, William Robert, Jr married Helen (maiden name unknown), Agnes did not marry, and Theresa married Raoul Perez. Jack married Annie Mae Miller

Sadly, three Newman children Theresa, Marian and Frank (the twins) each died in early childhood at seperate times. Daughter Agnes Cerelia and son Ralph died seperately in their twenties.

Washington D.C. in the 1920's, was growing as a city. Washington city spread into Washington county, as developers built row houses, apartments and large homes for those migrating to the Capitol. By the mid 1920's the Newman family moved to a newer home, 125 P Street NW.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mary Frances Proctor Newman

My grandmother was Mary Frances Proctor Newman. She was born in 1881.

I do not remember her actual birthday, but recall we celebrated her birthday in August because she liked that month.

Mary Frances Proctor was the daughter of John Alexander Proctor and Margaret Ellen Newman, who married on December 12, 1874 in Prince Georges County, Maryland. Margaret (born February 21, 1857 and died about 1886) was the daughter of John Isaac and Martha Ann Butler Newman, who married November 21, 1854 in Waldorf, Charles County, Maryland. John Isaac Newman (born about 1833 and died about 1875) was the son of John Newman and and Ann Proctor. Martha Ann Butler (born about 1832) was the daughter of Josias Butler and Catherine Proctor; on April 17, 1901 Martha Ann Butler Newman died in Croom Station, Prince Georges County, Maryland.

The siblings of Mary Frances Proctor Newman whom I remember are Hubert Proctor, Annie Proctor Brady, and Walter Proctor.

Proctor Sisters circa 1950 (l-r) Annie Proctor Brady and Mary Frances Proctor Newman.

Annie Proctor Brady's children were Alton Brady, Milton Brady and Elizabeth Brady.

Mary Frances married William Robert Newman on September 26, 1898. Prior to marriage, Mary Frances had worked in a doctor's office. Though unable to read or write, she learned midwifery and natural remedies - skills she would contine to practice while living on P Street NW. In addition to raising her stepchildren as her own, Mary Frances Proctor Newman gave birth to nine children. Paul Augustus (1900), Theresa (1902), Mary Myrtle Irene (1904), William Robert, Jr. (1907), Agnes Cerelia (1909), Ralph (1910), Thomas Alexander (1919), and twins Marian Elizabeth and Frank (1922). Sadly, Theresa, Marian and Fank (the twins) died in early childhood; while daughter Agnes and son Ralph died in their twenties.

After the death of William Robert Newman, her husband of more than 50 years, Mary Frances continued to live at 125 P Street but spent more time at the Maryland farm of daughter and son-in-law (Myrtle and Marques Ray). By the 1960's she spent most of her time at the farm. Her children, grandchilden, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren enjoyed visiting her there.

Mary Frances Proctor Newman passed away on January 3, 1968 at the age of 86. Her funeral mass was held at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 206 New York Ave NW, Washington D.C., where she had faithfully attended mass most of her life. She is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington.

Friday, January 11, 2008

William Robert Newman

This is a picture of my grandfather, William Robert Newman, Sr., born February 27, 1857 in Bryantown, Maryland.

01-14-2009 UPDATED INFORMATION: His father was Sylvester William Newman (born about 1830 and died about 1868); Sylvester was the son of John Newman and and the grandson of William Newman. Sylvester married Mary Jane Harley on January 20, 1932 in Bryantown. Mary Jane (born about 1832 and died 1916) was the daughter of James Harley and Mary Collins.

The Newman family traces our history in Maryland to the 1600's through oral history, property records, and census data. Other historical sources include baptismal and marriage records from local Catholic parishes.

Oral tradition identifies Newman ancestry as a mix of Native American (Indian), English, French, and German. We trace our family history to Charles County {God bless you} and Prince Georges County, Maryland; as do other families of mixed ancestry with well documented histories. Our kinship group includes these Maryland families: Newman, Harley, Proctor, Savoy, Swann, Butler, Penny, Thompson, Watson and Neal. The ancestral mixture of the individual family varies, but collectively our kinsmen include those families with some degree of Native American, European, and/or African ancestry.

Oral history tell us our kin were not the Indian sort driven from their land, nor the wealthy European settler sort of folk, nor the African slave sort. "Wesort" (WEE sort) are our own.

Researcher and writer Mario de Valdes y Cocom makes a good point in observing "throughout the seventeen and early eighteen hundreds free people of black and white ancestry intermarried not only among themselves but with families of Indian and white ancestry".

My grandfather was born during the last days of Franklin Pierce's presidential term. During his childhood the U.S. Civil War was fought (1861-1865), abolition of slavery in Maryland occured (1864), Lincoln was assasinated (1865), and the period of Post- Civil War Reconstruction began (1865-1877). On July 6, 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

The world continued to change as William Robert Newman reached adulthood. The first two stroke engine was built in 1876, the same year Bell and Watson filed a patent on the telephone. The Gilded Age (1878 - 1889) had begun.

Twenty years after the Civil War, America began to see families from rural and farm communities move to urban centers in search of better economic opportunities and an improved quality of life. Reconstrution is marked by the changing economic, political and social conditons of the nation. Historians note these changes both opened and closed doors of opporutnity. The notorious 1896 Plessy vs Ferguson ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation. The court case was birthed by tensions related to Reconstruction. With the ruling, Jim Crow had come of age.

During this era, William Robert Newman married Irene Mary Harley, his oldest brother James married her sister Margaret, and his older brother Richard married her sister Bertie. His younger brother John Albert married Sarah Ann (who was not a Harley sister). His sister, Alice Lucinda, married Lonnie Robinson. And his sister Sarah Olivia married Roy Proctor.

On February 6, 1883 Willam Robert Newman and Irene Harley married in Washington, D.C. Their children who lived to adulthoood were Herman Martin (born 1883), Walter (born 1884), Grace Elizabeth (born 1887), Mark (born 1889), Louis (born 1892) and Lena (born 1893). During the mid-1890's Irene died leaving Robert Newman with at least six children ranging from adolescent to toddler.

William Robert Newman married Mary Frances Proctor on September 26, 1898. Prior to marriage, Mary Frances had worked in a doctor's office. Though unable to read or write, she learned midwifery and natural remedies - skills she would contine to practice while living on P Street NW. In addition to raising her stepchildren as her own, Mary Frances Proctor Newman gave birth to nine children: Paul Augustus (my father), Mary Myrtle Irene, William Robert, Jr., Agnes Cerelia, Ralph, Thomas Alexander, and twin daughters Marion and Margaret. Sadly daughters Theresa, Marion and Margaret died in early childhood; while daughter Agnes and son Ralph died in their twenties.

It was in the mid 1920's when the adult children pooled their money to purchase the house at 125 P Street NW in Washington, D.C. Though Papa was nearly 70 years old he continued to work as a "huckster", selling groceries and meats to businesses and households in northwest Washington D.C. He delivered his goods from a horse-drawn wagon.

During his lifetime the United States grew from 31 States to 48 States. As an adult he lived through Reconstruction, The Gilded Age, two market crashes, the Great Depression, and two World Wars. He saw the invention and mass use of the telephone, the automobile, radio, televison, and passenger airplanes. Though he experienced the death of his first wife and the deaths of some of his children, William Robert Newman, Sr. lived to celebrated his 50th Wedding Anniversary with his wife Mary Frances.

On March 6, 1950 at the age of 93, William Robert Newman passed away. He is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washinton, D.C.

Ann Newman Jackson

Among the things I remember about 125 P Street NW are visitors, especially on sundays and holidays.

This picture was taken during a visit from Ann Newman Jackson, I am on the right.
Our grandfather was William Robert Newman, Sr.

Ann and I still keep in touch by phone, conversations with her are always delightful.

Ann Newman married Jesse Jackson. The picture above was taken during her pregnancy, their daughter is Judith Ann.

Ann's husband (pictured below) wrote books for young adults. His books include Call Me Charley (1945), Tessie (1968), and Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord: The Life of Mahalia Jackson Queen of Gospel Singers (1974).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

John Atkins

John Atkins was the father of Lida Isabel Johnson Newman. Some of what we know about John Atkins is revealed by his handwritten will, dated Jauary 6, 1938. While clearly providing for his brother Thomas, his daughter Mrs. Lida Newman, and including his nieces Mrs. Ruth Henry and Mary Robinson, and Mrs. Daisy Mann, he left little room for contention. He wrote that anyone disatisfied and protesting his will would forfeit what had been left to them.

He also left instructions for handling his account with Lincoln National Bank. Ownership of the house at 452 Ridge and all funds in his account remaining after his obligations had been settled were to be tranfered to his daughter Lida.

We are unsure of when he was born, but belive he died in the summer of 1946.

John Atkins served in the US Military. During his time of service his post including fighting in the Spanish American War (April - August 1898). After returining from the war, like many US Military officers, he settled in Northwest quadrant of Washington D.C. He owned a home on Riggs Street NW near what is currently Logans CIrcle.

During his civilian career John Atkins was a succesful contractor involved with constructing new buildings in northwest D.C.