September 30, 2014

The wife of Jesse Watson Olney

Jesse, the son of Julia Watson and James Brown Olney, was a lawyer from Catskill, NY and a graduate of Yale. In 1900 he was living with his widowed father in Catskill and then was not found again until 1918 when his WW I registration card listed him as a farmer in Victorville, California with wife Marie K. I did not find them in the 1910 census. In the 1920 census Marie was listed as born in Ohio.

Attempting to find marriage place and date, I began searching for him the in NY 1905 census.  On familysearch I came across a 1905 passenger listing for Mrs Jesse Olney, returning to NY from Bermuda. Going further I found a NYC marriage record for December 1905 uniting Jesse Watson Olney and Catherine Morris Bruno (then 24 per the ship record).   A bit confusing ... did she use a different name or was this a different wife?  I had trouble finding them in the 1910 census.

California has detailed death records, and I did find one for Marie Olney, listing her parents' surnames as Nelson and Parsons. But then I was stuck ... could not find them in census records, nor a birth records. Little by little, the story evolved -- greatly due to newspapers. But there were quite a few twists and turns before all the pieces fell into place. Based on newspaper items I found that Jesse and his first wife had divorced in 1909 and he married Marie in 1912 -- but not as clear cut as that may sound.

In the 22 July 1912 San Francisco Chronicle I found a marriage notice for Jesse, naming his new wife as Maria and her father as Robert .... but she was listed as Mrs. Maria Carhart. So, who was her first husband and what happened to him?  In the 1900 census I found Robert Nelson and his wife Marian along with Marie Carthart and Thomas T, both listed as boarders. I did not find Thomas and Marie in 1910 but did see her listed with her parents as Marie K Carthart WIDOW .. and step-daughter.

Thanks to another researcher on I found Thomas' death notice (which I had not located on various newspaper sites).  He died in 1901. But more perplexing was the listing of his wife as Marie Longstreet & that they had married in Paris 4 years earlier. So it seems her mother was first married to someone named Longstreet.

The sad story is that Marian Parsons married Dr Aaron O Longstreet in Ohio in 1868 (hence why I never found a Marie Nelson birth record there). In a matter of only 3 days he died of diptheria in 1879 having become infected while treating a patient. His widow, Marion, married Robert T. Nelson in 1892.

In the 1897 San Francisco Chronicle I found a marriage notice for Marie Longstreet and T.F. Carhart who had married in Paris and, after the fact, had alerted her mother, listed as Mrs R T Nelson, by cable. Now I'm curious as to why Thomas and Marie were in Paris and how they met .... but not today. Thomas Fair Carhart Jr was a New Yorker born only 28 years before his death in Los Angeles.

Now that I had a string of names for Marie ... Longstreet, maybe Nelson, then Carhart ... I did find a newspaper item stating that she and Jesse married in 1912 at the home of Mr and Mrs Robert T Nelson.

Following their marriage, Jesse and Marie were found together in several census records & travel records. He died in 1954 and there was no mention of Marie in his New York Times death notice. He is buried with his parents in Catskill, NY. She outlived him by 5 years and is buried with her mother and step-father in California. So, not sure what happened after 1940 -- did they stay together or not?  Jesse's first wife appears not to have re-married. She died in Florida in 1967.

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