The batch of old photos these two lovely cabinet cards came in are all but one labelled with names! A feast for a “detective” like me! And how I love when I find two photos of the same person, like of this lovely lady. Pleased to meet you, Miss Merena “Rena” Estelle Hartt!
Merena Estelle Hartt was born on March 7th, 1871, in Upton, Massachusetts, to parents Oramel H. Hartt and Elizabeth “Lizzie” A. née Fay. She was the couple’s second child but grew up as an only child cause their first daughter Mary Louisa had passed away as an infant in 1867.
Merena’s father Oramel H. Hartt had been born in 1832 in Montpelier, Vermont, to parents Hiram Hartt and Mary E. née Holbrook. When Merena was born, her father Oramel was already 38 years old. He served in the American Civil War, I believe in the Union Army. At the time he was drafted in 1863, he was listed as single. He married Merena’s mother Elizabeth sometime after 1863, perhaps after the end of the Civil War. In 1870, Oramel was working as a clerk in a retail store in Upton, Mass. In the 1880s, he is listed as a glazier in Worcester, Mass., where he worked and lived in that profession until his death in 1896.
When Merena was 21 years old, she married Herbert C. Stoddard on June 22nd, 1892, in Worcester, Mass. Groom Herbert was a salesman at the time of their wedding. In 1920, Herbert was working as a conductor with the railroad company. Looks like the couple never had children. According to the 1920 Census, Merena and her husband as well as Merena’s mother Elizabeth were living at 5 Henderson Avenue in Worcester. This could have been their house in 1920:
Merena’s father Oramel passed away in 1896 of heart failure. Luckily he had witnessed his daughter’s wedding 4 years earlier. His wife Elizabeth outlived him by 32 years! Sadly she experienced another loss of a child, as Merena passed away in 1922, 6 years before her mother did, and her son-in-law Herbert in 1924. They are all buried at the Lakeview Cemetery in Upton, Mass.
As to who these photos belonged to before they ended up on sale, here’s my idea. The hand-written text on the back of one of the photos says that Merena was the “daughter of my mother’s brother Oramel”. Oramel had 4 sisters: Lucy Anna Hartt, and step-sisters Ellen Eliza Hartt, Frances Adelaide Hartt and Sarah Verona Hartt. The latter died as a child, so we have 3 options as all the other sisters of Oramel had children who were Merena’s cousins and one of them labelled these photos.
I will add these photos to the Find A Grave page and on FamilySearch of Merena. And eventhough there are no direct descendants of Merena out there, perhaps somewhere a genealogy-loving relative is hoping to find out more about her and see what this stunning lady looked like.