Saturday, July 9, 2011

One-Line Study - Everett Mansell Brenton

First, a little background: in a previous post, I discussed studying the Brenton line of my family in preparation for my BCG portfolio (a study focusing on my direct ancestry). The beginning of that that study was my grandmother, Helen (Brenton) Fritzley, who was born 28 Mar 1924 to Everett Brenton and Gertrude (Swift) Brenton in Brownsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was the focus of the post linked above.

This post goes forward in the study with the next ancestor in the Brenton line: Everett Mansell Brenton, my great-grandfather.

Everett's headstone in Taylor Cemetery, Brownsville, Fayette, PA. Courtesy of Joseph Howard Matthews.

Everett Brenton was born 18 Apr 1898 in West Brownsville, Washington County, PA.1-5 His parents were Johnston Brenton and Lena (Wright) Brenton.1-5 He went to school with some of his siblings in Bentleyville, a nearby town.6 His World War I draft card describes him as being tall with a medium build, brown hair and blue eyes.4 For most of his life, he was a brakeman on the railroad, like many men in the West Brownsville area.4,5,7 In fact, the town of West Brownsville has train tracks running down Main Street.8

Everett had four sisters: Bessie Irene2,3,5, Mary Virginia3, Sarah Jane3,5, and a sister who is still living. He had two brothers who died very young: Emery and Robert Clayton, who are also buried in Taylor Cemetery.

When Everett was 22, he eloped on 11 Sep 1920 with 17-year-old Gertrude Ada Swift to Cumberland, Maryland9, where (it so happens) minors did not need parental consent to marry. Gertrude's parents were well-regarded in the Brownsville community (connected by bridge to West Brownsville). It seems Gertrude was unable to get their consent to marry Everett.9

Remember kids, listen to your parents.

Everett and Gertrude's marriage did not end well - I will spare the details, as some of Everett's close family is still living. They separated in 1932, and their divorce was finalized in 1934. They had 5 children, who Gertrude supported after the divorce with the help of her mother, Delilah Swift.9

As far as I know, Everett never remarried. He continued to work on the railroad, as a brakeman and later a conductor9-12. He remained in the Brownsville area until his death in 1965, at the age of 66.12 He was buried in the same cemetery as his father and siblings.

(Sources below).



Endnotes
1. Everet Brenton, birth certificate as recorded in birth docket vol. 1, pg. 27, item 5 (certificate not numbered) (1898, issued 1961), Register of Wills, Washington, Pennsylvania.
2. 1900 U.S. census, Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, West Brownsville, enumeration district (ED) 141, p. 4B, dwelling 74, family 86, Everett M Brenton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=7602 : accessed 11 September 2010); NARA micropublication T623, roll 1494.
3. 1910 U.S. census, Washington county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, West Brownsville, enumeration district (ED) 253, p. 4A and p. 4B, dwelling 76, family 83, Everett M Brenton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 September 2010); NARA micropublication T624, roll 1427.
4. "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6482 : accessed 12 September 2010), record for Everett Marcell Brenton; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, NARA micropublication M1509; Card Number A-1636.
5. 1920 U.S. census, Washington county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, West Brownsville, enumeration district (ED) 22, p. 3B, dwelling 72, family 80, Everett Brenton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2010); NARA micropublication T625, roll 1658.
6. "Bentleyville Schools Now in Good Condition," The Charleroi Mail (Charleroi, Pennsylvania), 31 October 1914, p. 4, col. 2-3, paragraph 8; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2010), Newspapers & Periodicals.
7. 1930 U.S. census, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Brownsville, enumeration district (ED) 26-3, p. 2B, dwelling 36, family 39, Evert Brenton; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2010); NARA micropublication T626, roll 2038.
8. "West Brownsville, Pennsylvania," article, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Brownsville,_Pennsylvania : accessed 9 July 2011).
9. Fayette County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas divorce file no. 548 March Term (1934), Gertrude Ada Brenton vs. Everett M. Brenton, Divorce A.V.M., p.2, 11 September 1934; private collection of Joseph Howard Matthews, Pennsylvania.
10. Everett Mansell Brenton, 716-14-7240, 19 April 1937, Social Security Card, Social Security Administration, held in records of Joseph Howard Matthews, Pennsylvania.
11. "Husband in Arrears on Family Support," The Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania), 1 April 1944; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2010), Newspapers & Periodicals.
12. Everett M Brenton, death certificate 004659 (1965), Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, New Castle, Pennsylvania.

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