Have you ever felt oddly drawn to a person you’re researching? I’m not related to Carrie H. Chase née Dawson aside from her having been the first wife of my great-grandfather Frederick Cobb Chase. I followed her trail because I was seeking other family relations of Frederick and then I became curious when I noticed that she not only never remarried but for years continued to list herself as the wife of Frederick Chase even though she lived with her own relatives and he had moved clear across the country and remarried.
Why did he leave her? Did she simply not want to go with him to California? Did they separate prior to him moving? Or did she go with him but then returned home after a while? Why did she continue to live as Mrs. Chase? Was it just pressure to keep appearances or did she want or even expect him to go back to Massachusetts? Their time together was so short I can’t find a record where they may have kept house together.
Carrie H. Dawson was born on 4 October 1883 to George P. Dawson and Emma C. Webster in Lowell Massachusetts. She was 16 and attending school in the 1900 census. She lived with her parents, who were married for seventeen years, and five-year old brother Harry. Her father was born in New York and worked as a printer. The family lived on a mortgaged farm.
On the 30th of December 1903 at the age of 20, Carrie H. Dawson married 21-year-old Fred C. Chase in Nashua, Hillsborough, New Hampshire just eleven days after the death of Fred’s father. I have no idea if that little fact has any relevance, but it seemed odd to me.
The Long Beach California city directory of 1908 shows Fred’s occupation as piano tuner working at 240 Pine av. And his residence at 439 east Fifth. Either Carrie never came with Fred to California or she left before the 1910 census. In that census she was found again in the home of her parents and younger brother Harry on North st. in Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Her father still worked as a printer for the newspaper. (I can’t tell which paper, but something is in parentheses next to printer. I would assume Lowell, since it is closer than Boston). Carrie was listed as married for six years and worked from home as a music teacher. Her husband Fred rented a house at 1768 Atlantic Ave in Los Angeles California. He was living with Helen who for some reason listed herself as wife of nine years to Fred, the head of household instead of a widowed step-mother. She also made herself a little younger so she was only two years his senior instead of six. Interesting. Moving on…
Fred filled out a WWI draft registration card on the twelfth of September 1918 at the age of 36. This is the first document where I see his surname now spelled with a ‘c’, Chace. His residence was 4143 Van Ness Drive, Los Angeles, California. He listed Carrie as his closest living relative, but with address unknown. On the back of the card it says, “Add of wife unknown. Separated but not divorced”. On the twelfth of November 1919 Fred married my great-grandmother, Wanda. The certificate of marriage that Fred filled out stated that he was divorced and his marriage to Wanda was his second. I have not yet found divorce papers from his first marriage.
Carrie continued to live with her parents and younger brother in 1920. She worked as a sales girl in the confectionery industry still living as Carrie H. D. Chase and married. I could not find her in the 1930 nor the 1940 census.
I thought I had found her in 1940 living with Joseph Alton Paine and Mattie B. Paine née Chase in West Bridgewater Town, Plymouth, Massachusetts, but it turns out that Carrie was born a Chase not married into the name. When I saw that Carrie H Chase I thought I had found her living with her maternal aunt Addie Pamela Blodgett Cardell(1900 census, 1910 census, 1920 census, 1930 Census, 1932 death ). Oops.
So I’m looking for Carrie. I don’t know why, but I want to know what happened to her. Did she ever remarry? Did she remain single? Did she keep his name to the end? Did she hear of his death in 1931?
“Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VQDV-NXH : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H. Dawson, 04 Oct 1883; citing Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States, ; FHL microfilm 2,257,031.
“United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9T5-99Q : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H Dawson in household of George P Dawson, Tewksbury town (excl. State Almshouse incl. city Almshouse)), Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 1A, family 9, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,666.
“New Hampshire Marriages, 1720-1920,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FDK3-SY3 : accessed 14 June 2016), Fred C. Chase and Carrie H. Dawson, 30 Dec 1903; citing reference 314; FHL microfilm 2,184,818.
Long Beach City Directories: http://encore.lbpl.org/iii/cpro/CollectionViewPage.external?lang=eng&sp=1000005&suite=def
“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2VY-DV7 : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H D Chase in household of George P Dawson, Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1027, sheet 4A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,619.
1910 census for Frederick Chase: Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Long Beach, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_85; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0035; FHL microfilm: 1374098.
“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-26180-57000-42?cc=1968530 : accessed 14 June 2016), California > Los Angeles City no 8; A-Tompkins, John A. > image 759 of 4305; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
“California, County Marriages, 1850-1952,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-29192-24050-21?cc=1804002 : accessed 14 June 2016), 005580280 > image 17 of 594; county courthouses, California.
“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX1N-P5B : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H D Chase in household of George P Dawson, Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 3A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,719.