Last week I headed out to Haverhill, Mass., to do some poking around regarding my great-grandparents Lloyd and Elizabeth (Pearson) Johnson, who lived there. They were the parents of my maternal grandfather, Frederick Johnson.
Lloyd interests me because I wonder why he left England and what he was looking to find in America. He already had a good job as an electrical engineer in England. He first went to Tennessee and then later to Haverhill, Mass., where he worked as an insurance agent and a hatter, lowly jobs compared to what he had been doing in Britain. He then went to Boston, then Malden. He died in 1953, at age 78, in Medford. My grandmother said he told stories of business trips to Africa, so perhaps he liked adventure or was always looking for something new.
I wrote about Lloyd and Elizabeth in another blog entry here.
I had been to the Linwood Cemetery before looking for Elizabeth’s grave, but could not find it. I have a map and the grave location, but it’s a large cemetery and none of the roads or burial areas are marked, so it’s a bit confusing to navigate. I finally found Elizabeth’s grave yesterday. It’s a small stone, but in good condition. I’m so used to seeing family plots at the cemeteries I visit, so I found it sad to see hers standing alone. Her husband left Haverhill and remarried and only her son Hector remained in Haverhill. He is also buried at Linwood with his wife Eva, but I gave up trying to find their stone.
Her gravestone is inscribed:
Aged 34 yrs.
Note: According to her birth record she was actually 33. The obituary states she was 35.
I also went to the Haverhill Public Library to check out their local collection and to look at newspaper microfilm for her obituary, which I was very happy to find, although it didn’t give any new information.
Haverhill Evening Gazette
Thurs Feb 17, 1910
Johnson, in this city, Feb. 16, Elizabeth Johnson, wife of Lloyd Johnson, aged 35 years, 3 months, 14 days, funeral from Trinity Church Friday afternoon at 3 o'clock, relatives and friends invited. Friends may view the remains at her late home, No. 2 Boston Street, after 4 o'clock Thursday afternoon.
I looked at the library’s collection of Haverhill City Directories to learn more about Lloyd’s time there.
He is first mentioned in the 1904 Haverhill City Directory: Lloyd Johnson, electrician, rms 11 Beacon
1905 Haverhill Directory: Lloyd Johnson ins agent 91 Merrimack rm 47, h 2 Boston (note: h=house)
Under Businesses in 1905 Directory: John Hancock Mutual Life Ins. Co., 91 Merrimack, Rm 47 (Note: I drove down Merrimack Street; it seems like what would be no. 91 is now a large parking garage)
Under Street Directory in 1905:
2 Lewis F. Brown Mill Oper
2 Lloyd Johnson ins agent
1 Charles Moore shoe maker
1 John W. Flanders fore
This is the first time I have seen mention he worked as an insurance agent.
1906 Haverhill City Directory:
Lloyd Johnson, ins agt h 2 Boston
1907 Haverhill Directory: Lloyd Johnson, hat fin h 2 Boston
Same people living on Boston as the year prior
Hat manfrs in the directory:
Emmons Bros Co. (ladies) railroad Ave, Bradford
Thom, WB & Co., 270 River, also shops in Boston and New York
1909 Haverhill Directory:
Lloyd Johnson, hat fin h 2 Boston
Boston Rd WH
1 Jesse J. Jedrey hatter
1. Robert T. Regan
2 Lloyd Johnson hat fin
3 Lewis F. Brown hat fin
1910 Directory: Lloyd Johnson, hat finisher h 2 Boston
1911 Directory: Lloyd Johnson removed to Boston
It was interesting to see he left town soon after Elizabeth's death as the family seemed to have a strong connection with the city. Lloyd's son Hector married a Haverhill girl and they raised their family there.
I also drove by the house where they lived at 2 Boston Street, assuming the house numbers have not changed.
|2 Boston St., Haverhill|