Saturday, December 15, 2012

1880s Autograph Album of Bertie E. Bright of Union, Illinois


1880s autograph album of Bertie E. Bright of Union, Illinois. 


The album is approximately 4" x 3" and filled with nearly 70 pages signed by Bertie himself and his relatives, friends and schoolmates. An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.


From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections welcome]

Bertie Ezra Bright was born 19 February 1870 in Illinois, possibly at Union, the son of Henry and Nancy Marcia (Pike) Bright, who were born in England and in New York respectively.

Bertie's paternal grandparents were Henry Swerse Wright and Sarah (Vernal) Wright.  His maternal grandparents were Ezra George Pike and Louisa (Andrews) Pike.

Two pages in the album are difficult to read and appear to have been written by the same person, in ink, but not finished.  One of the pages has "Grandpa" added in pencil.  I believe the pages started with "When Thou"...

By the time of the album, his maternal grandfather had died, but his maternal grandmother had remarried William Pecor [which I think derives from the surname Picard].  So if it was truly grandpa who wrote on the two pages below, it was perhaps Henry Swerse Wright or William Pecor.



About 1894, Bertie married Nora Hopkins, daughter of Oren K. and Helena A. (Ross) Hopkins.  Nora was born 8 July 1870 at Sherman, New York.

Bertie and Nora lived at Marengo, Illinois and had at least four children.   Bert's occupation was listed as stone mason in the 1900 Census.  Nora died in 1939 and Bertie in 1962.

Three relatives signed pages in Bertie's album.  His Aunt Frankie signed a page.  If you have an idea of who she might have been, please leave a comment.


Bertie's cousin, Belle Loudenbeck, signed a page in 1886.


Cousin May signed a page.  Again, if you have an idea of who Cousin May was, please leave a comment.  I found more than one possibility.


Bertie's teacher Lester Barber signed a page in 1882.


If you have corrections to the information above, or information on any of the signers, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Alphabetical list of signers [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alpha order.]


  • Nellie, 1882; schoolmate
  • Walter
  • Several sets of initials: J. W.; G. W.; A.E.; C.B.; A.D..  1886
  • Aunt Frankie.  I didn't notice a blood aunt by this name but I could have missed her or she could have been married to one of Bertie's uncles.
  • Instead of a name, this could be "When Thou Hast".  It appears on another page, as well, as possibly "When Thow", in ink, with the word grandpa scrawled in pencil.  Only one of Bertie's grandfathers survived to write in the album, his paternal grandfather Henry Swerse Bright.  Bertie's maternal grandmother remarried a William Pecor, so perhaps it was he.
  • Hattie, schoolmate
  • Cousin May
  • Edith
  • Alphonso Adams of Union, Illinois, 1884
  • Jay Adams, 1884
  • Isaac Adams, signed at Union, Illinois, 1881
  • Nellie B. Allbee of Union, Illinois, 1882
  • Willie P. Allen of Union, Illinois, 1884
  • Lester Barber, 1882; Bertie's teacher
  • Frank E. Bliss of Union, Illinois
  • Sara Bliss, signed at Union, Illinois in 1882
  • Bertie E. Bright of Union, Illinois; album owner
  • W. S. Bright, signed at Union, Illinois, 1882
  • S. L. Brown, signed at Union, Illinois, 1886
  • Sarah Bunnell
  • Martha Bunnell, signed at Union, Illinois, 1882
  • May Clute, 1884
  • Chauncey Cowles, 1886
  • Michael Darity of Union, Illinois, 1884.  Could be Michael Dority
  • Kate Deitz of Union, Illinois, 1884
  • Allie W. Dowd, 1886
  • Anna Evans , signed at Rockford, 1886; schoolmate
  • Frank M. Fillmore, signed at Union, Illinois, 1883
  • Jessie Grennon of Union, Illinois, 1884; schoolmate
  • W. E. Ham, 1884
  • Mabel Harrin or Mabel Harrington of Union, Illinois, 1884
  • Esther Harrington, 1884; schoolmate
  • Jarvis E. Heath of Union, Illinois, 1881
  • Lydia Heath of Union, Illinois, 1882.  Inscription is very faint, but I believe the surname is Heath.
  • Nora Hopkins of Union, Illinois, 1886
  • Ida Kremer, 1882
  • Belle Loudenbeck, 1886; Bertie's cousin
  • Nettie Lucas, signed at Union, Illinois, 1882
  • Emma Lucas, 1881
  • T. J. Miller of Union, Illinois, 1882
  • Lucy Muzzy, 1876; schoolmate
  • L. E. P. of Greenwood, Illinois
  • Lois B. Perkins of Union, Illinois, 1882
  • Clinton E. Perkins of Union, Illinois, 1886
  • Josie Perkins of Union, Illinois, 1881
  • Eva L. Perkins of Union, Illinois, 1882
  • D. B. Perkins of Union, Illinois, 1886
  • Mabel Pervorse of Union, Illinois, 1888
  • Ralph Pettingill
  • Rollin Pettingill, 1884
  • W. C. Ramsdell of Coral, Illinois
  • Harry E. Randall, 1884
  • Lou Rogers, 1884
  • Percy Schneider, 1881
  • Mary Francis Schneider, 1881
  • Logan Sheldon, 1881
  • M* S. Sheldon of Union, Illinois, 1884; can't make out first name
  • Katie Sheldon of Union, Illinois, 1884
  • Jennie T., friend
  • P. E. T., 1884; schoolmate
  • Herbert S. Tompkins of Union, Illinois, 1881
  • Grace Waterman, 1886; schoolmate
  • A. G. Waterman of Union, Illinois, 1886
  • Addie Wynn, 1882; schoolmate
Union, Illinois


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