IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
Family Album

Important! Please read all of the notes for this album. Questions have been raised about some of the identifications given for the first photo by the original contributor. Researchers are cautioned to verify all information for themselves.


Pictured are possibly the children of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Catherine (Treanor) Holmes - but questions have been raised (read all of the notes)

~As identified by the photo contributor, Ellen Elliott:

Top row:

Leonard James or Ambrose James born 12/29/1866 died 09/29/1929, probably in Rapid City SD. He married Bessie Unknown.
Philomena 'May' Catherine born about 1865 died after 1880
Devillo Ambrose or Devillo Daniel aka Andrew born 6/6/1869 and died 07/18/1955 in Lansing, Iowa. He married Mary Regan

Bottom row: 

Alice Blanch born about 1877 died 1879-1880
Cornelia 'Nina' born 1878 died after 1949
Celestial Elizabeth born 11/23/1876 died about 1879-1880


Written On Back Photo Post Card of 6 Holmes Children

Dear Cousin Nan and family
I will name the children according to age.
May Catherine
Ambrose James
Devillo Daniel
Celestial Elizabeth
Alice Blanch
Nina Cornelia

Dear Cousin,
I am sending you
a picture of my six
little ones. they are
all pretty well,
three of them go to
school. we are getting
along quite well with
out our dear good father
and husband but ok!
we miss him so
write soon you dear
cousin Nina [illegible]
Lansing, Iowa

Click to enlarge the postcard!!
Back of postcard with writing.
Click the image to view a larger version.


- Important Notes -

~notes from the photo contributor, Ellen Elliott (2005)

The photo-postcard was written to my great grandmother, Elizabeth Ann 'Nan' Treanor Loughlin in Dubuque. However, it was not mailed since Nina had written all over it and there is no address or stamp. Nina's name was Catherine, but perhaps her middle name was Corneilia like the baby's and she went by that within her family, since her mother's name was Catherine.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (born in Augusta twp. Oneida Co. NY) and Catherine Treanor Holmes had 8 known children.  The eldest, Eva Catherine, was born 08/18/1862 and died 02/19/1894 in Waukon, Iowa. She married Andrew Burnet Clarke about 1879 which is why, I believe, she isn't on the above photo and helps to date it. Another child, Oliver Jr isn't in the photo.  He would have been about 5 at the time. Perhaps he was home sick.

May Catherine - probably Philomina 'Minnie' Catherine died??
Ambrose James - probably Leonard J. died 1929
Devillo Daniel - probably Devillo Ambrose Andrew died 1955
Celestial Elizabeth
Alice Blanch
Nina Cornelia -the baby, Nina was born abt 1878 - appears to be about 1 yr old in the photo


~notes from Kelley Regan Schipke (2010)

I believe that the photo of the six children is actually a photo of my grandfather, Devillo Daniel Regan, and his 5 siblings, May, Ambrose, Celeste, Alice and Nina. I believe the postcard is written by my great grandmother, Nina Regan Boyer. When her husband died, she moved the family from Iowa to Dakota Territory (South Dakota).

My great grandmother's maiden name is Holmes.... Nina Holmes Regan Boyer.  I think she may be one of the eight children of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Catherine (Treanor) Holmes, which would probably make her a cousin of Elizabeth Ann Treanor Loughlin.  I found an 50th Anniversary article for Mr. and Mrs. Devillo A. Holmes of Lansing, IA that says Mr. Holmes' brother, Oliver Holmes of Dubuque, IA and Mr. Holmes' sister, Nina Regan Boyer of Rapid City, SD were in attendance.

My grandmother, Agnes Regan, wrote an article for a book about the history of families in Faith, South Dakota. In that article is the same picture of my grandfather and his five siblings that appears in the Oliver Wendell Holmes and Catherine Treanor Holmes family by Ellen Elliott.

I am not a genealogist.  I just happened to come across this picture when I "googled" Oliver Wendell Holmes.  I knew that I had seen that picture before in one of my grandparents' photo albums. 


~notes from the Allamakee co. coordinator, S. Ferrall (2011)

After taking a good look at the image of the back of the photo, I can see that the signature is that of Nina Regan, not Holmes. I asked the two ladies to confir and get back to me about the photo identification so I could remove it from this album, leave it & re-label, etc., but was never contacted again. I have decided to leave the photo in the Holmes album, but highlight the notes. Researchers should decide for themselves.


Oliver Wendell Holmes JR

Son of Oliver Wendall Holmes SR & Catherine (Treanor) Holmes. Oliver Jr. was born 05/19/1874 in Allamakee co. and died 05/26/1948 in Dubuque, Iowa

Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr, confirmation photo, undated
Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. Confirmation photo, undated.

Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr., undated
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., undated

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr & Selma Gaemme
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr & Selma Gaemme, wedding photo, undated

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr and Selma Geamme were married between 09/26/1892 and 09/23/1894 in Lansing, Allamakee co. Iowa. They were the parents of 9 children.


~The photos were contributed by Ellen Elliott, from her personal collection. Elizabeth Ann Treanor Loughlin was her great-grandmother & the sister of Catherine Treanor Holmes. One of Elizabeth's daughter's, also Elizabeth Ann, married Henry Theis.  Their daughter was Ellen's mother, Gladys Theis Vogel.

Note - Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. is not a direct descendent of THE famous duo. In fact, there are no direct descendants of Oliver Wendell Holmes, the poet or his son, the Supreme Court Justice. If this OWH's is related, it is a distant relationship.  While trying to confirm or rule out a kinship, I discovered that the name Oliver Wendell Holmes was not unusual, particularily in the North East.

(Ellen's email address can be found on the surname registry under Holmes)


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