December 11, 2014

Deconstrucing the marriage notice for Mrs Carhart

When Mrs Marie Carhart married Jesse Olney in 1912, the San Francisco Chronicle listed her as the daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert Nelson. My first assumption was that Marie Nelson had previously married someone named Carhart – but only part of that was true.

Moving backwards from 1912, I found the widowed Marie Carhart, age 37, living in Upland, California in the household of Robert T Nelson and his wife Marian, listed as STEPDAUGHTER in the 1910 census.  In the 1907 Los Angeles city directory Maria Carhart was listed as widow of Thomas.  In the 1900 census I found Marie and her husband Thomas in the household of her mother and stepfather along with another step-daughter Carrie Longstreet born in Ohio 1872.  With that strong hint about Marie’s maiden name, I was able to put the rest of the story together. I found Marie, her widowed mother, and 3 sisters in Ohio as Longstreet in 1880.

Knowing her maiden name helped me find her Oct 1897 marriage to Thomas F Carhart in Paris, France as reported in both SF Chronicle and the LA Herald stating that Mrs Nelson received a cablegram regarding her daughter Marie K Longstreet.

So that explained the Carhart and Nelson connections and we know that Robert Nelson was her stepfather … so who was her father? Having found the widowed Marian Longstreet and daughters in the 1880 census allowed me to backtrack in Ohio. Neither Marie nor her sister Carrie had been born by the time of the 1870 census, but their parents were married and the oldest sister was with them. Her father was Dr Aaron O Longstreet, born in Ohio about 1843.  He and Marian Parsons married in 1868 in Springfield, Ohio. They had 5 children between 1869 and 1877, 4 girls and a boy. Their son George did not live to be a year old. Two years later tragedy struck the family as Dr Longstreet died of diphtheria 3 days after treating a patient. I’m not sure how or why Marian and children relocated to California (perhaps she knew Robert Nelson as he was a native of Ohio also), but a rather full family story evolved from the brief notice of Marie’s marriage to Jesse Olney.

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