It’s always exciting to get new information, especially from a primary source, after hitting a brick wall for so long. I just received a scanned image of my paternal grandparent’s marriage record in Boston, MA from October 6, 1914 that I received from my research request from the Massachusetts State Archives. This record revealed the unknown names of my father’s parent’s parents whose names he did not know, except for one. This is truly very exciting for me as now the door will be open for me to learn since I have access to their names. The parents of Fritz Olson: father-Svente Olson, mother-Anna Freman. The parents of Carla Edberg: father-Carl Edberg, mother-Freda Olson. I had heard that my grandparents may have been cousins, but the exact relationship is uncertain. (Note: It is legal for first cousins to marry in Massachusetts, although in Puritan Massachusetts it was frowned upon. The Swedes must have thought it OK.)
I found in a Google Books search that Rev. William W. Bowers was at the Baker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church , Upham’s Corner, South Boston. I am speculating that this is the church where Carla and Fritz were married. This postcard was postmarked July 31, 1914 so it is how the church appeared at the time of the marriage. A parking lot now occupies the spot where the church once existed and beside that spot is the Strand Theater which opened in 1918, a popular stop on the vaudeville circuit.
The marriage record also reveals the places where they lived at the time of their marriage. Thanks to Google Earth I was able to zoom right in on the address and found the exact houses, where I imagine Fritz rented a room and perhaps Carla boarded.
Fritz lived at 244 Lexington Street, Boston, MA in the Boston Harbor area in the vacinity of what now is Logan International Airport. (Click map to enlarge.) The record states that Fritz’s occupation is a “pitman” for BERy. With a little research I found that acronym to stand for the Boston Elevated Railway Company,
a precursor first to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Carla lived at 54 Sudan Street, Dorchester, MA in South Boston. (Click map to enlarge.) The occupation of Carla at the time of marriage is listed as “domestic”. She had been a nurse (governess) in London, England, in the employ of a physician, before she emigrated. So perhaps she had a similar position or was even a household maid.
I’m sure these neighborhoods were quiet different 100 years ago, when my grandparents immigrated in 1912. But it must have been a wonderful time of adventure for them, though uncertain, as world War I began in the summer of 1914. I can almost imagine Gramma getting off the trolley and walking down the street to her temporary dwelling where she was greeted by the beautiful wooden front door with the great oval window and then entered her home and retired to her room where she may have thought of her Fritz and their forthcoming marriage.