If The Walls Could Talk At The House On Alphonse Street

Oh, what I wouldn't give to have the walls of the house on Alphonse Street tell me about all the events and stories that took place at 449 Alphonse Street in Rochester, New York. The first time I learned of this house was in the 1915 New York State Census. My 2nd great-grandparents, William and Mary Stinson were living in the house with their son, my great-grandfather, Arthur, and William's brother Louis who had immigrated with him to America from Swaffham Prior, England. They moved out of their home on Carter Street between 1911 and 1915. From various records available I was able to establish that my 2nd great grandparents lived in the home the rest of their life. The address was listed on William's 1975 death certificate and Mary's in 1973.

1911 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Many property records show that the house was built in 1930, but from the records I have uncovered, my 2nd great-grandparents were definitely living in the house prior to 1915. My great grandparents, Arthur and Anna (Kerr) Stinson were living with them per Census Records. Anna actually gave birth to my grandmother, June Stinson inside the house on June 19, 1923, per the details on June's birth record. A few years later my great grandmother Anna would pass away in the home on January 10, 1927, from Pulmonary Tuberculosis that she had been dealing with for 2 1/2 years prior to her death. So as you can see a lot happened within the home prior to 1930.


The Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps first show the house on Alphonse St in 1911 and were also in 1938 and 1950 maps. I don't have records to show for sure that they were the first family to live in the home, but I have a feeling that they just may have been. I still have more research to do to learn more about the house.

My grandmother, June (Stinson) Stoner with my father.

I am sure that there were many great times within the walls of the home that were never documented, unfortunately. My grandmother, June (Stinson) Stoner would sadly follow in her mother's path and would suddenly pass away in the Alphonse Street home on October 4, 1945, due to coronary occlusion. Leaving behind my father who just turned 1 the previous month.


If only walls could talk, I would be able to learn so much more. For now, I will continue to gather information about the house to see what else I can learn. I'm looking forward to talking to my dad about it the next time I see him. I would like to see what he tells me about the floor plan and compare it to the Sanborn Maps I found. I hope to one day visit the home too.


This blog post was written from a prompt “Curious” which is part of a year-long challenge to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. For more information on this series please visit https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/