52. Anna L. Loven Lapp

51. Anna L. Loven Lapp

63. Anna L. Loven

30. Mother Lapp

According to her death certificate, obtained in 2003 from the New York State Department of Health, Anna was born October 11, 1879 in Hancock, NY and died October 16, 1953 in Cohoes, NY. Unfortunately, the informant (her son, my grandfather) apparently didn't know any more than I initially did about her parents, who are listed only as ? Loven.

Early on, I couldn't find her in the census prior to 1910 (but see below). The date of birth on the death certificate conflicts with ages listed for her in the 1910-1940 censuses, which imply a birth year between 1880 and 1885 (and she isn't listed with the family in 1880). Even her name varies considerably. In the 1910 census she is Anne E. Lapp (a phonetic misspelling of Annie?). She consistently renders her middle initial as L in the album, while other sources list C. In 1930 (four years after her husband's death), in both the census and another source, she is using a last name of Lansing — as it turns out, the result of a short-lived second marriage that for the longest time I knew nothing about.

I did find Annie, Frank and John P. Loven on a Delaware County genealogy page, in a list of children who spent time at the Albany Orphan Asylum. I was initially skeptical that this was our Anna, but the connection to Hancock and to contemporaneous relatives named Frank and John led me to seek permission from the orphanage, which became Parsons Child and Family Center, to examine the case file, now residing in Box 39, Folder 4, Special Collection 17377, at the New York State Library in Albany.

I went to Albany June 4, 2004, and found that this really is our Anna. Mentioned in the records are parents Peter and Mary Jane, Charley (stepfather Charles Monigan), Matty (younger brother Mathias), older sister Mary, younger sister Norma, and foster family the Bests. A letter from Corilla Best in June of 1900 indicates Anna has returned to board with them, and the 1900 census includes a line at the Best household for boarder Anna Lovan, working at one of the many shirt collar factories for which Troy was famous at the time.

When I first went looking for Anna in the 1900 census, I couldn't find her. In online images of the page she is on, her line was illegible and therefore hadn't been indexed. What was visible was Lov##, An##. In the more recent scan on, her line is clear, and I can see that, weirdly, the birthplaces listed for her and her parents are New Jersey, Germany, and Ireland. Even if I'd found this line, I probably wouldn't have believed it before finding the unquestionable correlation between the orphanage records and the photo album.

The orphanage records consistently list C. as Anna's middle initial. The records do not provide any information about her mother's maiden name, and her admission record says only (1879) (written later in a different hand) for her date of birth. Her birthplace is listed only as Delaware Co. Her brothers John and Frank are listed as born in White Mills Delaware Co, almost certainly White Mills, near Honesdale, in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

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