Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Elizabeth Froman Proud - 52 Ancestors

Elizabeth Froman, referred to as Lizzie in her father's intestate court file and in early census records, is the third child and first daughter of her parents, John and Catherine (Saylor) Froman. 

She was born between 1864 and 1867.  The court file gives a birth date of January 5, 1866.  In the 1870 U.S. Census, she is recorded as 4; and in 1880, as 14; both correlate with the 1866 birth year.  The 1900 census has both year of birth and age but in her case, the numbers have been rewritten and aren't clear.  In 1910 the census recorded her age as 46 (therefore a birth year of 1864) and in 1920 as 53 (and so a birth year of 1867).  

She married George W. Proud but finding a marriage document has been impossible.  Even if they eloped there should be a marriage record somewhere!  The 1900 through 1920 censuses record her as George's wife as do family records, but neither provide a marriage date.  The nearest I can get to marriage information is from census records.  The 1900 census gives 18 as the number of years married which gives a calculated marriage date as before June 1, 1882.  The 1910 census indicates they had been married 27 years; therefore married before April 1, 1883.  Their first child was born in May, 1886.  

Living Situation
George's occupations varied during their marriage.  At different times he was a coal miner, a horse farmer, and a fruit merchant.

During their marriage, Elizabeth and George lived in Stoneboro on West Mercer Road (in 1900); on Strawberry Hill (in 1910) where he would have had the horse farm; and in 1920, probably on Linden Street in Stoneboro, based on neighbors and where the same neighbors lived in subsequent census records. 

Children (with birth years based on the 1900 U.S. Census)
Elizabeth was the mother of four children:
▸John, born May, 1886; a coal miner at 14 years
▸Gustus/Gustaphus/Gust, born June, 1888; a coal miner at 13 years
▸William, born ~1889; NOT a coal miner until after the age of 11 years
▸Lina, born ~1903 (based on 1910 census)

According to family records, Elizabeth died in 1927.  The Pennsylvania Death Index tells me the exact date was March 13, 1927.  Family records tell me she was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.

One of the things I like least about family history is not being able to learn much beyond birth, marriage, and death dates; and names of spouses and children.  I am disappointed to have not been able to find a marriage record for Elizabeth (Froman) Proud, and so much other information seems so tenuous.  I'm ordering a death certificate and interment information and I'll continue to search newspapers to see if I can learn more about her, but I'm not hopeful.
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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


© 2014 Copyright by Nancy Messier.  All rights reserved.


  1. I know the feeling. Ordinary lives reduced to a few legal documents. Unless you come from a family in which someone wrote letters and diaries and someone else kept them instead of throwing them away, it's a challenge to find something more interesting or revealing.

    1. And the sad thing, Wendy, is that my father probably knew Elizabeth! And I bemoan the adage that the only time a woman's name should appear in the newspaper is when she is married and when she dies. If only....

  2. Unfortunately, there are few civil marriage records for Pennsylvania prior to 1885. An obituary might tell you, otherwise you will need to find either the right church or the Justice of the Peace's record book for the township.

    1. Hi, Michael. I've been unable to find an obituary. Though her daughter, Lina Proud, appears abundantly in newspaper articles, Elizabeth seemed to fly under the radar. Maybe in the future some source will become available and I'll find more about her. Thanks for the suggestion of Justice of the Peace's record books. I hadn't thought of it.


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