Readers of this blog will be pleased to know that, in spite of current illnesses, work on the second volume of Separate Identity continues.
And hopefully you can help.
This is a special request for any information you can find on the pre-marriage history of M F Russell, when she was Maria Frances Ackley.
Information needs to be verifiable, so the source need to be provided.
You may have access to a newspaper archive (see below) or be adept at working your way around Ackley family history sites. You may have material on Maria's later life that gives references to when she was a single woman. And you may be able to add some context to existing records. Just as a "for instance" consider the two newspaper cuttings below.
They both relate to Maria as a school teacher. The first is from The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette for July 27, 1872. Miss Maria T Ackley is elected to fill a vacancy in the North Avenue building. We can probably assume this is a misprint for Miss Maria F Ackley.
The second is from five years later, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for July 3, 1877. Right at the bottom of the page for the North Avenue School, we find Maria F Ackley elected.
But what is the context? How did these schools work at that time? What age groups would Maria be teaching? What level of qualification did Maria need to get the job? Did you have to specialize to teach at these schools, or was your training just a general all-round education to a level recognized at the time? Such background gives "meaning" to the cuttings.
And these are just two cuttings from my internet newspaper archive. You may have a subscription or access to a different archive with different newspapers and additional information about Maria.
So please could all readers check and send in anything they can find. It is far better to get the same information two or three times than for something to be missed.
Something short could be sent as a blog comment. Anything more detailed with attachments can be sent direct to me (you'll find a contact email by clicking my name on the blog) and I can then collate this information and forward it to Rachael.
Thanks, in advance, for any help you may be able to give.