Tuesday, March 4, 2014

52 Ancestors:  Ann Armitage

Isn't Ann Armitage Hardy a dour-looking lady?  I know nothing about her personality when she wasn't in front of the camera:  it's  possible she assumed this expression at the photographer's request that she be still for the camera. 

Ann, or Annie as she seems sometimes to have been called, and my great-grandmother, Elizabeth Armitage Meinzen, were sisters.  Ann was born in 1850 in or near Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.  Her parents were Abel and Eliza (Hartley) Armitage.  Eliza died sometime before 1861 and Ann's father remarried and four more children were born into the family.

Ann came to the United States in 1864 and settled in Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio.  She married Thomas Hardy in about 1872.  Living sons recorded in census records were Robert, Peter, Thomas, William, and Jacob.  The 1910 census records that she was the mother of 10 children with only 3 living at that time. 
Annie died in 1919 of lobar pneumonia.  She was 68 years old and had been a widow for more than two years. 

Her obituary in the January 22, 1919 issue of The Steubenville Herald-Star reads:

"Mrs. Annie Hardy entered into rest at her home on River avenue, Brilliant, on Tuesday, at noon, aged 68 years.  She was the widow of the later Thos. Hardy.  Three sons survive her.  She was held in high esteem by a large circle of friends."

Annie and Elizabeth both lived in Jefferson County during most of their adult lives.  Having been born just two years apart, it's likely they were good friend.  Elizabeth already had cancer by the time Annie died and passed away a year and a half later.

Photographs of Ann and her gravestone are courtesy of Joyce Humphrey, another Armitage researcher.

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This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's call to her readers to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks



  1. Poor Annie! She doesn't look very thrilled to be photographed. With a nickname like Annie and her fun zigzag patterned skirt, though, she couldn't have been all that dour, right? :) Do you know why her home was called Brilliant?

    1. LOL. Yes, I do hope she had some sense of fun, Melanie. Brilliant was the town where she lived and I don't know how it came to have that name. Wikipedia says it was named after a glass factory that was in the town. I was going to guess possibly from kiln fires for pottery but Brilliant works so much better for glass. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. Poor Ann looks much older than 68, at least in comparison to many women I've known who have surpassed that age. As odd as this might sound, I like her tombstone. It looks like a little stool, almost the right height to sit on if ever anyone would actually want to sit on a tombstone.

    1. She's probably younger than 68 since she died when she was 68, but I don't really have any way of knowing what year this photo was taken. Don't you think women looked older 100 years ago than they do now?

      Yes, her tombstone does look like a neat little stool. I hadn't noticed that before.

      Thanks for leaving a comment.

  3. I think for a lot of our ancestors that they did not smile because of poor condition of their teeth.

    1. This is something that hadn't crossed my mind but it certainly could influence whether a person wanted to smile or not. I'd also heard that camera exposures were longer, therefore people had to hold still longer and a straight face is easier to hold than a smile. I guess there could be several reasons. Wish I knew the reason for Annie's expression.

      Thanks for sharing your thought, Claudia.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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