top of page

The Glass Plate Negatives - part 11

This post is part of my series, 'The Glass Plate Negatives'. If you are just joining me, feel free to read all posts from the beginning and learn how I uncovered the identity of our mystery family! You can click here to begin.

The discovery was just as thrilling as I thought it would be. And as I went on a history hunt, I found the Treadwell family kept getting more interesting.

From the papers that were with the negatives and photographed by the seller, I was able to learn that one person was named Gerrie Treadwell. I researched Gerrie easily on I found him living in Bridgeport, Fairfield County, CT.

Gerrie's father's name is Elberton Eugene Treadwell. How is that for a name? And his mother's name is Laura. As I searched and found online family trees for this Treadwell family, I did not see any more than two children. Given the dates of the pictures, I was able to confirm that the teen boy in the pictures is Gerrie Treadwell. His younger sister is Laura Ione Treadwell. I haven't discovered where the name Ione came from but some records refer to her simply as Ione. However, nowhere does it list Leta (the girl at the window) as one of the Treadwell children.

Here is the 1880 census for Mexico, Oswego NY, which shows Elberton, Laura and son Gerrie. They are the first listing on this page.

1880 New York Census record accessed at

By 1900 the family had moved to Bridgeport, Ct, and Laura Ione was born. The family is listed just a few lines down; the number '40' is in the far left column. 40 Center Street, Bridgeport Ct. was their address. This also matches the address on the paper the seller photographed that came with the plate glass negatives.

1900 Connecticut Census record accessed at

The house still stands. Sadly however, it looks nothing like it did in the early 1900's.

Photograph on left was shared by Paul Holbrook. Photo on right is from Google maps, street view of 40 Center St. Bridgeport CT, USA, accessed April 2019.

By 1910, Gerrie had left home and it was just Elberton, Laura and their daughter, Laura Ione, at 40 Center Street. They are listed toward the bottom of the page. The number '40' is in the far left column as they are at the same address as they were in 1900.

1910 Connecticut Census record accessed at

The United States Census records revealed a lot! Not only confirming names of family members, ages, and places of birth, but the father's profession as well. Elberton was an insurance agent. I have found no evidence (so far) of a physician, surgeon or veterinarian in the family, so the pictures taken of the horse tilt table and surgeries (see in extras) remain a mystery for now. But perhaps he took the images for his insurance work.

The 1910 census records also tell us the number of children born and we can see Laura lists that she gave birth to two children and two children are living. So the beautiful young woman seen in so many of the pictures is not a daughter. The photograph index that was with the negatives lists her name as 'Leta'. Leta at the window in 1902 couldn't be Laura Ione, who was only 9 or 10 at the time. I really hope I am able to identify Leta. Something about her makes me want to know her more.

Photographs shared by Paul Holbrook, used with permission.

Grandma Sarah, who is on the photograph listing in the image above, is seen below. I believe this is Sarah Louisa Rogers Treadwell, who married Lyman Treadwell and is the mother of Elberton. She is the grandmother of Gerrie and Ione. I found her full name on She was born in 1836 and died in 1919.

Photograph shared by Paul Holbrook, used with permission.

I found an earlier photograph online of Sarah and her husband Lyman.

Photograph accessed at

I love their clothing and the hair styles! If I can't travel back in time, researching the past and telling the stories of people long ago is the next best thing.

I feel so attached to this family now. I have an affection for them and growing interest as I uncover new facts and more of their history.

Go here to read the next post in this series.

129 views0 comments


bottom of page