Intro to Grandma Julia and the Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory

She was the fourth born of eleven children, Julia Ann (Moore) James and she was my great great grandmother. In 1907, according to the postmark on my featured postcard, Grandma Julia was residing at 18 Pleasant Street, in Plainville, Mass. Upon some effort on my part via the Internet, I made an attempt to find an existing home in the present day at that address with no success. Therefore, I assume either the address numbers on the street have since been changed or the home no longer exists.

The Bitgood’s Pine Knoll Laboratory, was operated by George E. Bitgood and was located in Farnumsville, Mass., which is a historic district encompassing the Village of Grafton. Located on the Eastern bank of the Blackstone River, the Village has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1996. According to the front of this postcard, Bitgood’s sold an Original Compound, vegetable syrups, ointments and powders including the use of roots and barks.

It seems that the postcard was sent to Grandma Julia to serve as a reply after her payment for an order was sent.

On the front right edge is a handwritten message for a receipt, to the best of my ability, it says: “Your check received allright, many thanks for same and promptness. Yours in Respect, G.E. Bitgood Farnumsville, Mass. 8/14/07”

Grandma Julia was born December 19, 1836 in Salem (Chesterfield), Conn. to George Martin Royal Van Buren Moore and Harriett Otis Daniels. Her father was born in the Chicopee Mountains, Monson, Mass., on April 5, 1804 and died at the age of 79 in 1882. He married Harriett Otis Daniels in Old Lyme, Toron, Conn., they had eleven children. In upcoming blog postings, I will get into more details about some of the siblings and other extended family as they come into play with exploring the postcard correspondence.   

Grandma Julia’s mother Harriett was born in 1812, the only child of Betsey Widger and Ransford Daniels. He was a sea Captain and was lost at sea, leaving behind his widow and daughter. Betsey Widger remarried to Stephen Otis and they had ten children.

At the right here is a tin type photo of Julia Ann (Moore) James probably from the late 1800’s.

In 1853, Julia married Charles Henry James, in Massachusetts, and they had ten children, two of whom died as infants. In a later blog, I will list their children. Charles Henry was born July 1, 1824 in Bennington, Vermont. He was the son of William Henry James and Catherine Jane (Simmons) James Northup. From his parents William and Catherine, he had two siblings Henrietta and Sally. After his father’s death, at about the age of ten, Charles Henry and his sister Henrietta were placed with the family of Dr. Wilcox who sent him to Williams-Town College. After the death of Dr. Wilcox he lived with a family named Mattison at North Pownal, Vermont.

According to my grandmother’s notes (Gra Gra), that were passed down to her from her own father…this William Henry James was a writing and music teacher. He hired a school and taught evenings in Providence and surrounding towns, 12 lessons for a $1.00. When he was not teaching, he ran a shingle mill.

After William’s death, Catherine remarried to Ichabod Northup, Jr. and they went on to have a son also named Ichabod. I may explore this further in future blogs, as my genealogy research continues on this branch.

Both Grandma Julia and Charles Henry James were Nurses by occupation. Julia retired in 1909, only five years prior to her death. In this photo, Julia is on the left. I am not sure who the other girl is.

Prior to 1860, Julia and Charles resided in Dighton, Mass., then in at least the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Census they lived in Providence, R.I. In reviewing some Census information in prep for this blog, I noticed in 1860 they had a Phillis Moore, age 84, living with them. There will need to be some more research with this but it is possible she is Julia’s Great Aunt. At first, I thought maybe it would be her grandmother but her father’s mother’s name is supposed to be Clarissa. So, perhaps I can get the mystery solved and share that another time.

Charles Henry James died on December 19, 1892, in Providence (sadly, notice that was on Julia’s birthday). From reading the postcard correspondence, from the collections passed down, I have learned that after this timeframe, Julia tended to reside in Plainville, Franklin and Attleboro, Mass.

This photo was appears to be taken not long before her death and it is actually a real photo postcard. The gentleman standing in the back would be her son, it was either William or Martin. The two ladies, I am not certain who they are but I think they would be either her granddaughters or nieces. I am still working on better identity for them. Although I have most of the genealogical data on this branch, trying to figure out who they are in the pictures can be a bit difficult.

Grandma Julia Ann (Moore) James died on April 12, 1914 at the age of 77 yrs., 3 mths., 24 days. Her residence was listed as 121 Peck Street, in Franklin, Mass. According to her death certificate, she had Cancer of the Pylorus (stomach) over the previous year and had been sick for a month from February 27th until the 12th of April. She and Charles Henry (along with their daughter Harriet) are buried in Springvale Cemetery, in Rumford, R.I. Since I learned this a few short years ago, I have made the trip a couple of times to visit their graves, I do have photos but they are not handy at the moment.

This introduction for my great great Grandma Julia is compiled of a few more “facts and figures” and a little less personal touch than I might like. However, as I am able to share some of the postcards that belonged to her and can share her correspondence between family members then more will be learned and shared about her life in a more personal way.

My next blog will introduce you to the last of my three “leading ladies” Aunt Etta (Henrietta). She is the daughter of Julia and Charles Henry…assumably named after Charles Henry’s sister Henrietta. Until next time…

 

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DarpityJean

I enjoy researching family history, writing and solving jigsaw puzzles. My childhood nickname was Darpity and my middle name is Jean--hence, DarpityJean. My Gravatar is an illustration my mother made in 1940, which seemed to be the right fit to use. View all posts by DarpityJean

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