Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fearless Females--#1 Favorite Female Ancestor

Lisa over at The Accidental Genealogist is once again sponsoring Fearless Females honoring female ancestors during Women's History Month. Thank you Lisa.

     This year I have decided to honor my maternal great grandmother, Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick as my favorite female ancestor. I never knew Great Grandmother Frederick and have never talked with anyone who did. Her youngest daughter, Martha Marie Frederick, my maternal grandmother, saved photographs and perhaps some of her mother's jewelry. The photos picture a woman with an engaging face, always beautifully dressed and one shows her holding a small kitten on her lap. What's not to like about that! ;-)

     The Frederick's were the very first branch I researched when I began my genealogy obsession back in the 1990's. Frankly, they were pretty easy. Both the Frederick and Orr families were from Columbiana County, Ohio and that area had a VERY active genealogy club with numerous publications, even back in 1990.

     The marriage record for Lucinda Orr and Alfred Frederick was listed in one of the books as was their final resting place. Columbiana County, Ohio is only about a two hour drive from my house and it wasn't too long after learning more about them, that I was on my way to Columbiana, Ohio.

Lucinda Bell Frederick Orr
Carte d'visite circa 1860

     Lucinda Bell Orr was born in Elkrun Township, Columbiana County, Ohio on June 29, 1844. She was the daughter of William Morlan Orr and Nancy Cannon. Lou was the youngest child and joined a brother, Matthew Thomas Orr and three sisters; Elizabeth, Mary A. and Margaret C. The Orr's lived on a farm which was part of a parcel of land owned by William's father, Joseph Orr.

     Lucinda's father died on February 11, 1849 when she was only five years old. About one year later, her mother married a farm hand, Elijah McCormick. On March 24, 1859 Lou's sister, Mary died. She was buried beside their father in Carlisle Cemetery, Elkrun Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

     When interviewing various Frederick family members over the years, I did learn that the Orr and Bell families were once friends. They both lived in Elkrun Township in the mid 1800's. Lucinda is enumerated with a Bell family on the 1860 census and it has only been recently that I found out that her middle initial "B" stands for Bell.

Alfred F. Frederick and Lucinda Bell Orr Frederick
Carte d'visite circa 1880's

     On October 22, 1868, Lucinda married Alfred F. Frederick in Columbiana County, Ohio. The couple settled in Franklin Square, Columbiana County, Ohio and began to raise a family, Albert L., William Walter, Robert Bell, Edna May and Martha Marie (my maternal grandmother).

     Alfred was gainfully employed with the railroad most of his adult life. The Frederick's seemed to enjoy a good life. Photographs show nicely dressed individuals and I have a collection of engraved sterling silver spoons that may have been used for tea. There are also numerous pieces of engraved jewelry, pocket watches and glassware.

     I was told by one of my Frederick cousins that Lucinda had an entire collection of Three Faces (also known as Three Sisters, Three Graces, and Three Fates) glassware made in Pittsburgh by the George Duncan and Sons....now highly collectible. When Lucinda died, the collection was given to her son, Robert. His wife did not want the glassware and packed it all up and gave it to the Salvation Army!

     Lucinda never worked outside the home. It is said that she was a good cook and I have a hunch she was also an excellent seamstress. The detail work on all the women's clothing in the family photographs indicate that she was a superior dressmaker. Lucinda's mother, Nancy Cannon Orr, earned a living as a tailoress and her paternal grandfather, Joseph Orr, was a tailor. I know, first hand, that her daughter, Martha, was an excellent seamstress as she sewed for me.

Lucinda and kitten
     Between 1896-1898, the Frederick family moved from Columbiana County, Ohio to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

     In 1898, Lou's husband was involved in a train accident in Youngstown, Ohio, losing one of his legs. Alfred did survive. The following year, the Frederick family suffered a great tragedy on February 24, 1899 when William Walter, known as Walter, died in Youngstown, Ohio from typhoid fever. He is buried near his parents in Columbiana Cemetery, Columbiana County, Ohio.

     Lucinda died on December 15, 1909 in Bellevue, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from heart disease and bronchial asthma. She is buried beside her husband at Columbiana Cemetery, Columbiana County, Ohio (formerly known as Firestone Cemetery).

     I wish I could have known her.

Other Blogs on Flipside regarding Lucinda:
-Tombstone Tuesday: Alfred and Lucinda Frederick
-Frederick Spoon

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however if they are inappropriate, they will not be published. 

PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2011, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser


  1. Lovely article Linda! Glad to see you are finding a few minutes here and there to blog again. Missed ya!

  2. Very wonderful post about your grandma. I love all the photos.

  3. I'm very envious of your photos - especially the very old ones of Lucinda. What great treasures to have :-) Jo