11 February 2011

Who is this fine fellow?

I've started a new project (don't tell Alex!).

Yesterday, I scanned the photos from Mildred Dikeman's photo album. Yay grandmother Mildred! She actually identified every photo but two. So, now we know who these fantastic people are.

Or do we? His name is Rufus G. Russell. I did not even know he existed until I started the photo project. So, last night I started poking around in ancestry.com and found out that he is Mom's great grandfather:

Marcia Stoddard (Mack) Ahlefeld > Mildred Dikeman Stoddard > Lillian Adella Russell > Rufus G. Russell.

Rufus was married to Elizabeth, and they lived in New Haven, Connecticut in 1880.

Lillian's brother is Byron G. Russell:

He was a minister in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1877. He was married to Sarah E.

It is so tantalizing to learn a few little facts... but even with these tidbits of information we can now dig a little deeper and find out more about them...

Elizabeth Ann Sanford Russell.

I wonder if this is Rufus's wife Elizabeth? I'm thinking it might be, but I haven't found proof of her other names. I need to find the marriage and death records - places where the parent's information would often be listed. The only identification of the photo was her name.

And does anyone know where this lady fits into the Russell family?

Loly Tirrell Russell wife of Ransom R Russell.

The inscription on the border of  the album said Mildred's great-grandmother. Rufus's mother I suppose. Unfortunately I can't tell from the U.S. Census reports from 1850, Prospect CT. The family is listed as:

Ransom Russell, 54
Lola, 48
Edwin, 20
Henry, 19
Caroline, 15

My guess is that Rufus is already out of the house - he would be about 22 at this time. I found Rufus on an 1880 U. S. Census, New Haven, CT ...

R. G Russell, 51
Elizabeth, 55
Oscar Dikeman, 33
Lillian A. Dikeman, 30

So let's do the math. 1880-1850 = 30 years ... Lillian is 30 years old. So it is likely that Rufus Russell is married to Elizabeth by 1850 and probably enjoying fatherhood as well. If we add in the birth dates of Byron was born in 1846, and Lillian born in 1849... well, I believe we have our answer.

It would be good to get the marriage and death records to verify this information. They are probably located in New Haven, or maybe the records are old enough to be in the Connecticut State Archives Library in Hartford.

Do you see why I'm hooked?


  1. Isn't that Rufus Gustavus Russell?

  2. Elizabeth Ann Sanford was the older sister of my 3rd great-grandmother, Margaret Eleanor Sanford. They were daughters of Stephen Sanford (Elisha 6 Stephen 5 David 4 Samuel 3 Ephriam 2 Thomas 1 Sanford)and Cordelia Hotchkiss. Cordelia was the daughter of David Hotchkiss and Huldah Bradley. Stephen Sanford and Cordelia were married 30 March 1825 in Woodbridge, New Haven, CT. Rufus G. Russell and Elizabeth Ann Sanford were married 4 Sept 1845 In New Haven, New Haven, CT/New Haven VRs. They were married by Pastor A.M. Osbon/Osborn of the M.E. Church of New Haven. Both the bride and groom were of New Haven at the time of their marriage. I just have Elizabeth Sanford as being b. ca. 1826 in CT. Elizabeth had another sister, Cordelia Eliza Sanford b. 21 May 1833 who married John Newton Champion and a brother named Francis Abram Sanford. He was b. ca. 1839 and per a newspaper obit, "Abram Francis Sanford" died in New Haven, CT on 23 Dec 1864 of lung fever and was the youngest son of Stephen and Cordelia Sanford. His father's obit said he served in the "late war." I assume he is Frank A. Sanford who served in Co. D, 27th Infantry for CT and Co. C, CT 5th Infantry, but I don't have any firm verification of that. Pension papers say his pension would go to his widow, Julia E. Moses. My Margaret Eleanor Sanford was b. 15 Jan 1830 in Woodbridge, CT and m. 21 Nov 1847 in New Haven, New Haven, CT John Quincy Adams Pickett. They had 6 children. Would love to share more data and would love to find out if you might have a picture of my Margaret! Saw your blog featured in today's issue of the HisGen newsletter. (10/10/2012). Diana Gill Diana@Gill.Net

  3. Ha! Thank you Diana! Now I know how the Champion boys are related. I will post a photo of them soon. Now, to check my family tree for Sanfords.

  4. Per an obit for Stephen E. Sanford in the 13 Jan issue of the New Haven Register, there was another son - both were dead as of Stephen's death. One son was killed in the late War. Other than Francis Abram, I don't know who the other son was! - Diana Gill Diana@Gill.Net Obit can be found via GenealogyBank.


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