Profile Accuracy Theme of the Week: Bridge

+8 votes

This week's theme: Bridge.

To participate, simply:

  1. Choose a profile that fits this week's theme.
  2. Review and improve the accuracy of the profile.
  3. Reply with an answer below to let us know which profile you chose.

Make it a challenge: You don't need to participate every week, but those who do can earn  52 Weeks of Accuracy challenge badges. Our themes parallel Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks in case you want to do both. Click here for more info. 

If you would like the participation badge or pass a milestone (13 profiles in 13 weeks, 26 in 26, or 52 in 52) please post here.

Also see: Photo Sharing Theme of the Week: Vacation

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker

I can't participate because the profile I'd choose is not yet here.  That's Dorothy Hayden Truscott, who won several world championships and is a prolific author of books on bridge.  I considered it an honor to have played against her many times in competition - I learned a lot just from those experiences.  See her at Wikipedia.

17 Answers

+9 votes

For your Bridge Challenge I picked out one of my postcard views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in New York City.  It immediately brought to mind the Lowell sisters who married the Black brothers and lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  I just entered the image this morning for Mary Emerson Lowell  I was already busy hooking up her parents who were unconnected on Wiki last week due to inaccurate information on Mary's father Reuben B. Lowell, only proving your point about the importance of accuracy.  

by Pat Miller G2G6 Mach 1 (11.6k points)
+9 votes

With Bridge being the theme for this week, I immediately thought of my second great grandfather that was murdered on the Missouri River Bridge in 1879, but I recently worked on his profile for theme Crime and Punishment. So I decided to adopt unsourced Fredrick W. Bridge and work on his profile for sources and accuracy. I will also work on his two brothers, Edward and William Bridge and his sister Julia Bridge, as they all lack sources. 

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (372k points)
+8 votes

I have decided to work on the profile of my husband's great grandfather John Thomas Butlin who lived in Bridge Street, Rothwell, England. I will add the census information and try to find out about his boot making business.

by Gillian Loake G2G6 Mach 2 (24.8k points)
+9 votes

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge is a real bridge. Nearly a mile long, it spans the Hudson River and carries some 15,000 vehicles a day between Hudson and Catskill. The bridge is real. But


Rip Van Winkle fell asleep in the nearby Catskill Mountains, and slept for 20 years, right through the American Revolution. You can read his story here. It would be fun to create a profile for him. He has a Wikipedia article. He has ancestors: "he was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christiina." He has descendants: a son Rip, Junior, and a daughter Judith, wife of Mr. Gardenier and mother of Rip III.

But here on Wikitree, we do not create profiles of fictional characters. That is, I don't, and I am sure that you do not. But some people do. Did you know that there is a category "Disproven Existence"? It contains over 400 profiles of people who never existed, but who were added to the Tree by someone whose desire for a famous and important ancestor overwhelmed their commitment to accuracy. There are the fake French ancestors of Davey Crockett. There is Lady Clothilde Zeller, whose Find A Grave entry includes a biography and even a picture of her. There's Gapt of the Goths, the Scandavian god of war. Best of all, there's Anna of Arimithea. If only she existed, she would be my ancestor, and I would be first cousin (several times removed) to Jesus Himself!

But thanks to the Disproven Existence Team who are committed to accuracy, these non-existent ancestors have extensively researched and well sourced profiles--preceded by a warning flag: "Research has shown this person never existed."

So instead of creating a profile for Rip Van Winkle, I will thank the Disproven Existence team for their commitment to accuracy.

by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Mach 8 (86.8k points)
edited by Joyce Vander Bogart
You do a really great job, Joyce, bringing all sorts of subjects to our collective G2G attention.  I don't mind the good people of New York naming a bridge after a literary character but, yes, we don't need profiles on WikiTree of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lady Deadlock.  So I second your thanks to the Disproven Existence Team.
+7 votes
Since I have neither an ancestor who lived at or on a bridge or who bears the name bridge, I decided to choose the tablet seller Ernst Elias (1672-1722) for this topic.

As a tablet seller he was a traveling merchant who was constantly on the road and offered his tablets at the markets. One of his sons was even born on such a market in 1704. As a traveling merchant, he was the bridge between the villages and the people, and besides tablets, he also told news from other areas.

I will therefore improve his profile this week:
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G6 Pilot (893k points)
My mental image of "tablet seller" is that of an American traveling salesman touting his miracle cures, usually accompanied by various entertainers. Probably no one else had his wife give birth in a market! That would have attracted a lot of attention. I looked at their profiles for more information, but there wasn't any. Thanks, Dieter, for another interesting story.
Hi Joyce. the son who was born on a market is Hans Michel Elias (

I attached the original baptism record to his profil and added a translation to the bio.
Dieter, I just looked up the profiles of Hans and his siblings. They were all born in different small towns within a few hours of each other--I had to consult Google maps for that. The whole family must have travelled with Ernst--I picture a wagon like the American medicine salesmen had, but with his pregnant wife and children along. What a life for Maria!
+7 votes

The Koehnline Ice Company had a factory located right underneath, I think (might have been right next to) the Aetnaville Bridge in Bridgeport, Ohio. I've been meaning to go through the newspaper databases from around there for mentions of the Company or the construction of the bridge, so perhaps I'll do that this week.

Edit: found an old photo of the Ohio River & Wheeling Island- Aetnaville could be the bridge in the forefront, but I think it's actually the next one behind it.

by Thomas Koehnline G2G6 Mach 2 (20.5k points)
edited by Thomas Koehnline

My great-grandfather lost his arm in an ice-cutting accident, so I got to reading about ice. I found this e-bay item--it is a fan advertising your family's ice company. Very interesting!

Yup- I actually own one of those, having bought it just last year, though I wasn't aware another'd been put up for sale! When I saw it, I ended up looking for the poem on it- seems to have been an industry-wide advertising text devised by some marketing firm, which is kind of a shame, because it came off as something one of my aunts, or, in the same style, another member of the family could have written.

My my, losing an arm in an ice cutting accident can't have been pleasant... Worst incident I know of with relation to the Company was a cousin of mine who got murdered with an ice pick by one of his employees, but from what accounts of the incident say, he seemed to have it coming- a jury found the employee was acting in self-defense.

My great-grandfather's accident was in 1890--I think he was just cutting for personal use, not an industry. However, in Pittsfield where I live, there was a terrible accident at an ice-cutting plant. A steam boiler, used to run a conveyor belt bringing the ice up from the lake, exploded, killing 17 people. . . another interesting thing I found out about ice: The title of the Eugene O'Neill play The Iceman Cometh refers to the jokes about the iceman, like his colleague the milkman, being overly friendly with his female customers.

Ha! I actually didn't know that about the O'Neill play- when the Koehnline Company finally closed its doors in the 60s, selling their factory to a dairy company, the article about the closure in the local newspaper was titled "The Iceman Cometh No More," perhaps somewhat uncreatively.

My, that's an interesting story,., I'm not as familiar with the inner workings of such things during the time as I could be, but I feel like I've come across quite a number, perhaps unusually large, of steam boiler explosions while researching various genealogies
Having just read about steam boilers exploding, I was almost afraid to use my new steam iron yesterday.
We had large steam boilers, in the textile plant, 300, 150, and 60 horsepower units.   The 300 blew a handhole, one day, and filled the 48,000 square foot plant with steam, in minutes.  Fortunately, I was nearby, and able to get it shut down quickly.  There is good reason that NY State law requires annual internal boiler inspections for units over 15 HP.
+7 votes

I chose an Australian unsourced profile : Ernest Amos Bridges and added birth and death index details. A small contribution. I will see what else I can find out about the man.

by Anne Young G2G6 Mach 2 (22.9k points)
+4 votes
I was thinking of the covered bridges in Vermont, as I knew a distant cousin built some, back in the 1800s, but then I remembered.  My uncle, who I never knew, married a Bridge.  First I had to quickly add a profile for my uncle Floyd, who died before my father, the youngest of the family, was born.  So Floyd is here now as Adams-53203.  Sorry, uncle, I should have done this a long time ago.  Uncle Floyd was on the RR, and sadly died in a RR accident when he was just 20 years old.  He and his wife,  Elizabeth Julia Bridge had just had their first and only child that year.  She would remarry. but the Adams family always stayed in touch with her and my cousin.  The cousin was older than my dad by 4 years, and would call him her little uncle in school.  I know her mother's ancestry, because my dad used to tell me about her, and I have met my cousin's children, so I am happy to add my aunt, Elizabeth Julia Bridge to wiki as Bridge-2074.  I will be improving her profile, and will connect her with all her Bridges.   She's from the Bazaleel Bridge clan.
by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 6 (66.3k points)

I too first thought of covered bridges. I was disappointed that "The Bridges of Madison County" wasn't about bridges.

+5 votes
I wrote about my memories of the 3 Mile Bridge over Pensacola Bay:

I added sources to profiles of my great uncle by marriage Novy Hale (who's in a picture I used in my blog) and his wife, Great Aunt Myrtle Cook Hale.


by Auriette Lindsey G2G6 Mach 2 (25.4k points)
+2 votes

Before the bridge there was a ferry. By 1808 my ggg grandfather Solomon Woodworth was operating a ferry across the Seneca River in Cayuga County, New York. There was later a wooden bridge at that location, replaced in 1868 with an iron bridge. I'm waiting for an okay from the local historical society to copy the image of the more recent Quimby Bridge (linked on Solomon's profile).

Cayuga County 1829 - Ferry Location

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (409k points)
There's a picture at this week's "Vacation" question, of cars waiting for the ferry. I imagine Solomon's wasn't quite that busy. He probably had a boat, and maybe a bell to ring if someone on the opposite shore wanted to cross. Thanks for the maps, too. Everyone lived somewhere.
+2 votes

I have had a time trying to think of an ancestor/family member that had something to do with a bridge, or was a bridge to something else.  Finally, I remembered a great-uncle that the family believed went off a train over the Mississippi River, Wilson Adrian Darnall (Darnall-409).  I will see what I can find on him and built his biography.

by Wayne Anderson G2G4 (4.5k points)
+2 votes

My 3 Greats Grandfather,  . Was born in Scotland, where Rutherfords obviously originated, his death place is unknown but most probably England. Despite, being a hard to chip at brick wall he connects my English ancestors to my Scottish ancestors, bridging a path across.

by Francis Lehman G2G6 Mach 4 (44.8k points)
+2 votes

When I thought about the topic, I thought about the group of painters Die Brücke. So I checked who was part of it and the first one I found with a WikiTree-profile was a painter I like: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. He was completely unlinked, so I created profiles for his parents, his paternal grandparents and some of his aunts and uncles.

by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (690k points)
+2 votes
Can you use Google Translate to bridge the gap between oceans and language barriers? Si!
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (430k points)

I'm happy to see that Google Translate helped you. But for the opposite view, take a look at the biography of Basil Roy. (Roy-576) Someone found an article in French, ran it through Google Translate, and pasted the result without even reading it. The list of names now includes men with such first names as Wished, All Saints' Day, and Avoided, and such last names as Goat and Bumblebee.

Yeah. Like I said in the blog, some languages work better than others. You can also use another translation program too called .

+2 votes
My wife's ancestor, according to the family story, died, while crossing a bridge,  and he was thrown from his horse.
by Mark Weinheimer G2G6 Pilot (261k points)
I hope, someday, to find a newspaper account of the accident.
I am impressed by his profile. You have added two interesting stories, and properly sourced them as "memories." Thank you.
+2 votes

I adopted the orphaned profile of Harold Edwin Bridge this week.  He now has sources and a small bio.  He was a WWII veteran.  I've marked his profile as needs profiles created since neither his parents nor siblings are on WikiTree, that I can find.

ago by Kathy Zipperer G2G6 Pilot (331k points)
+2 votes

I worked on two profiles for the price of one this week; Captain Alfred Buck, who founded the Alfred Buck & Son Limited Canal Boat Company, and his son, also named, Captain Alfred Buck. Their canal company made them great profits, shipping both people and bricks along the Grand Junction and River Thames, both of which have a lot of bridges to go under along their route. 

ago by David Smith G2G6 Mach 2 (21.4k points)

Related questions

+9 votes
14 answers
+14 votes
23 answers
+12 votes
25 answers
+11 votes
21 answers
+11 votes
17 answers
+11 votes
22 answers
+13 votes
21 answers
+8 votes
20 answers
+22 votes
65 answers
+13 votes
20 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright