My dad’s Uncle Albert was a young man of 23 when he moved with his parents and younger brothers to Dolgeville, Herkimer Co., New York. A couple of years later, he and the family were enumerated there in the 1910 U.S. census.
In the previous 1900 federal census, Albert — then just 15 — was already employed as a laborer in an Adirondack sawmill in Hawkinsville, N.Y. This was not unusual for children in that period, according to Eleanor Franz in her book Dolge1.
Children went to work at the age of twelve or fourteen both in factories and on the farms, and their earnings went to feed the rest of their families….Clothes were rough and homemade. Schooling stopped at the sixth grade.2
A better lumber job
After the move to Dolgeville, Albert continued his lumber career as a planer at a piano sounding board factory, but under more hospitable conditions — presumably with better income, hopes of a pension and in a town with modern amenities like electricity and spacious public parks.
Albert’s dad and two of his brothers, including my paternal grandfather W. Ray Carboneau, also got new jobs after the move — all at the piano sounding board factory.
|Albert Barney Charboneau and Family – 1910 U.S. census – South Main Street, Dolgeville Village, Town of Manheim, Herkimer County, N.Y. Source: FamilySearch3|
|William M. Charbonneau||Head||54||Engineer||Sounding board factory||Rented house|
|Eva M. Charbonneau||Wife||44||None|
|Albert B. Charbonneau||Son||25||Planer||Sounding board factory|
|W. Raymond Charbonneau (my paternal grandfather)||Son||23||Gluer||Sounding board factory|
|Orvil Charbonneau||Son||18||Laborer||Sounding board factory|
|George D. Charbonneau||Son||11||None|
When Albert met Annie
For Albert and his brothers, another benefit of moving to a larger, bustling village was the chance to meet a life partner. At the time, Dolgeville offered many ways for young people to socialize — at banquets, balls, concerts and athletic events, not to mention church functions.
Yet it appears that Albert may have met his future wife Annie E. Miller by a more traditional route — a family introduction. In 1910, Annie’s father Charles Miller4was also working as a planer at the Dolgeville sounding board factory.
Regardless of how the two young people met, by 1912 Annie and Albert were smitten and ready to settle down together — and that meant a wedding that would leave a trail of genealogy details for me to find more than a century later.
More on this in the next post. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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