07 February 2014

Fishing Friday #52Ancestors Irene Bertha Hammond

Birth 1883 in Stonington, Connecticut
Irene Bertha Hammond was born 10 April 18831 in Stonington, Connecticut almost exactly a year after the 26 April 1882 marriage of her parents, Joseph Henry Hammond and Annie Fowler (Griswold).2  She had two brothers; John Sherman born in 18873 and Walter Edward born in 1888.4

Early Life - 1900
Sometime between 1884 and 1887, Irene attended a Hammond family gathering. She was photographed with her father and mother and extended family members.5 In August1898 Irene visited relatives in nearby Mystic, Connecticut.6 On 6 June 1900 Irene was 17 years old and living in Stonington in a home owned by her father, who was a plumber. She had attended school for nine months in the previous year. Also living in the home were her parents, her brothers and her Uncle Frank G. Griswold, her mother’s brother. Irene’s paternal grandparents, John and Caroline E (Palmer) Hammond, appear on the same page of the census, suggesting a nearby residence. They are living with Joseph’s sister Caroline, her husband Carl Kelb and their children Helen and Ralph.7

First Marriage in 1904
In September 1903, Irene visited Stonington, this time to see friends.8 January 1904 found Irene again visiting friends in Stonington.9 Was she visiting a man named Clarence Norton Brainard? She married him a month later at the First Baptist Church of Stonington on the 9th of February.10  As a married woman during October of that same year she visited her parents at their North Main Street home in Stonington and then returned to her home in Mystic.11

Irene and Clarence produced their first child Norton Hammond 20 July 1905.12 Their second Norma Elizabeth arrived 6 August 1907 and died a year and a half later on 6 February 1908.13 During 1907 Clarence was frequently reported to be out with friends hunting and socializing.14 The only news I have found to date about Irene during this same period reports that she was confined to her home with an illness in October 1907.15 The couple produced one more child, my grandfather, Stanley Lamb, 13 June 1909.16

A Troubled Marriage
On 18 April 1910 Irene and her sons are living with Irene’s parents on North Water Street in Stonington. Her status is reported as married,17 but her husband Clarence has a postal address in Mystic.18 Oral family history tells that Clarence, an alcoholic, deserted Irene and absconded to Canada. The truth is more complicated and will be treated in greater detail in Clarence’s sketch.

During 1912 both Clarence and Irene’s father Joseph are listed as residing at 1 North Main Street, Stonington.19 This suggests that she was also living there. Irene performed in a play, Farm Folks, in April 1912.20 During 1914 both Clarence and Irene are listed separately as residing at North Main Street as is Irene’s father Joseph.21 Wives are not listed at all in this directory, so it does suggest an unusual situation. In February 1915, she was running a milliner’s shop.22 In September 1916 as a member of the order committee for the Mystic Lodge Daughters of Rebekah, Irene helped to create the sixty-fifth anniversary celebration.23 Irene’s 1916 and 1918 residences are reported as North Main Street. Clarence is absent from both.24 During October 1917, Irene hosted the Acroama club at her home.25

Divorce and Second Marriage
In February of 1921 Irene finally brings a suit of divorce against Clarence on the grounds of desertion.26  One month later on 8 March, Irene and her sons were admitted to the Stonington Second Congregational Church.27 In 1923 she is living in her parents new home at 201 Main Street, Stonington.28 At the end of the 1920s Irene remarried to Stephen Jerome Hoxie. In 1927, Irene is listed in Stonington by her first married name, Brainard.29 In 1929, she is listed in Mystic by her married name, Hoxie.30 They are living together with Irene’s son Stanley at 29 Gravel Street in Mystic on 5 April 1930.31

Eventually Irene and Jerome moved back into 201 Main Street. They are living there in 1942 at the time of Jerome’s WWII draft card32 and in 1953,33 shortly before Irene’s death 20 October 1954.34

1-34 Sources available upon request.

Scrappy Gen
Let’s Remember!

This challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is provided by Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small  (Don't you just love that title?). I am jumping in on week three, which will be my week one, but I am ommitting the number count in my title so as not to confuse anyone...or me. Thank you, Amy, for this challenge. Weekly recaps by Amy can be read here

As a bonus, because I am the Scrappy Genealogist, each of my posts will include a heritage page featuring my ancestor. Hope you enjoy them! Wondering about the 
Fishing Friday title? That's fishing for family Friday.

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