Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Project progress - and Maria

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.


I used to post here sometimes as "B" said...


jerome said...

Many thanks for sending the link. It is useful to take us back a further generation to Maria's parents, Mahlon and Selena.

Do feel free to post again, as "B" or any other letter you choose.

B. said...

It mentions this source for her school:
Fleming, George Thornton, 1855-1928 (Pittsburgh, Pa. : [Press of Wm. G. Johnston & Co.], 1904)


Here is his book:

but this one can be downloaded:
on page 160 (pdf page 169), there is a list of names of who was admitted to that school... There might be familiar names between them?

jerome said...

I saw the source reference on the Ackley family history site but couldn't access it at the time. Many thanks for the links which opened straight away. It is the history of Pittsburgh Central High School. Maria F Ackley is listed in the admissions for 1864-65, when she would be 14 or 15, but she is not in the much smaller list of graduates further on in the book. We know she subsequently trained as a teacher and worked as a teacher for around ten years before marrying CTR. If anyone else would like to check this book out it may provide some more details. If the OCR is reliable, she is the only Ackley who went here, there is no mention of Selena or Emma.

Wild_Thing said...

I found record of where Maria was granted her permanent certificate for teaching from the state of Pennsylvania in 1860 when she was 20 years old. Here is the link: https://books.google.com/books?id=5uMBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false. It is on page 95. Maria's certificate number is 660.

I also found record that she taught in the First Ward schools when she was 18 and 19. I will have to search for the links. You may already have that information.

jerome said...

To Wild Thing

Thank you very much for providing that information. Regarding further details, all that I have found personally is published in the current articles and comments on this blog, so if you have any more information we would be very pleased to receive it.