|1930's Department Store Window|
I was never certain that this was not an apocryphal story or one based in some fact. Frankly, after researching, I still don't know for certain; however, I did find a story to blog about.
My Dad had several "family stories" regarding his mother's cousin, Carson VanGilder. Checking my genealogy records, there was no Carson VanGilder in the tree; however, my Grams, did have a cousin named Carson Boyd. Apparently Dad figured all of his Mom's cousin's had to have the surname of VanGilder since she did...LOL Carson was a VanGilder. His mother, Sallie Ellsworth VanGilder married William Milroy Boyd. Sally and my paternal great grandfather, George Ethelbert VanGilder were siblings.
Carson, my paternal first cousin, two times removed, was born in the Morgantown, West Virginia area on February 7, 1897. Oddly, I was not able to locate a birth record for him. He joined five brothers and sisters. Six more siblings were added to his large family.
My paternal great grand aunt Sallie seemed to chose family names as the middle name for her children. I have yet to find out what family line Carson's is from. Perhaps it is a Boyd woman's surname. To be fair, I have not researched them. I should also add, I have no idea where Aunt Sallie's middle name, Ellsworth, came from and she is in a tree where I have done decades of research ;-)
The 1900 West Virginia Federal Census places the Boyd family in Morgantown and William Boyd is providing for his family as an oil rig builder. Of interest to me: the census enumerator is my paternal great grand father, George Ethelbert VanGilder. He would be Uncle George to Carson. (Year: 1900; Census Place: Morgan, Monongalia, West Virginia; Roll: 1767; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 0083; FHL microfilm: 1241767)
There is a listing on the 1920 West Virginia Federal Census for the newly weds. C. P. Boyd and wife, Elizabeth. They are living in Morgantown and he is employed as a laborer with a brick company. The birth information for C. P. Boyd's parents is not correct; however if Elizabeth was the person the enumerator was talking with, she may not have known. (Year: 1920; Census Place: Morgantown Ward 4, Monongalia, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1964; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 107; Image: 1002)
Carson and Betty had one child, a son, Carson P. Boyd, Jr., born February 6, 1921 in Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). World War II Veterans Compensation Applications, circa 1950s. Records of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Record Group 19, Series 19.92 (877 cartons). Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
On April 2, 1925 there is a brief article regarding the divorce of Carson and Betty Boyd on page 7 of The Morning Herald, Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
By 1929, Carson is listed as living with his mother and several siblings at 271 Stewart Street in Morgantown and employed as a clerk. (Polk's Morgantown City Directory 1929-1930.)
Harry McRae Webster, a well known and regarded writer, producer and stage and film director. (all director, writer and stage information taken from various Internet websites)
Director (17 credits)
1919 The Heart of a Gypsy
1917 Jimmie Dale, Alias the Grey Seal (Short)
1914 The Devil's Signature (Short)
1914 Seeds of Chaos (Short)
1913 The Brand of Evil (Short)
1913/IV The Boomerang (Short)
1913 In Convict Garb (Short)
1913 The Spy's Defeat (Short)
1913/I The Broken Heart (Short)
1912 The Girl of the Mountains (Short) (as Henry McRae Webster)
1912 The Fall of Montezuma (Short)
1911 His Friend's Wife (Short)
1910/II Love's Awakening (Short)
1910 A Fortunate Misfortune (Short)
Writer (4 credits)
1913 In Convict Garb (Short) (scenario)
1913 The Spy's Defeat (Short) (scenario)
1912 The Fall of Montezuma (Short) (scenario)
Producer (2 credits)
1919 Reclaimed: The Struggle for a Soul Between Love and Hate (producer)
1917 Jimmie Dale, Alias the Grey Seal (Short) (producer)
Carson's mother, Sallie Ellsworth VanGilder Boyd, died in 1933. How long he lived in New York City is unknown; however, there is a Morgantown City Directory for 1935, which lists Carson living at the Boyd home, 271 Stewart Street with his sister, Edna and father, William. Carson appears to have continued living at the 271 Stewart Street address into the 1940's, employed as a salesman.
I do not know when Carson married Mary M. Tamasy, perhaps in the late 1940's or 1950's.
There is a listing for Carson P. Boyd in the public records index as living at 410 North Water Street, West Newton, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the date of the listing is not available. (U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2)
At some point in time, Carson and Mary moved to Venice, Florida.
On Find A Grave there is a photograph of the tombstone for Carson P. Boyd, listed as Carson Perrie Boyd and his wife, Mary M. Boyd in West Newton Cemetery, West Newton, Pennsylvania. He died at the age of eighty seven, on September 7, 1985. I was able to locate an obituary for his wife, Mary M. Boyd, nee Tamasy. Mary was born on August 10, 1908 in Reduction, to Barney and Mary Tamasy. She died on Feb 27, 2000 at the age of ninety three in Green Tree, Pennsylvania. No children were mentioned in the obituary.
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