I’m At Least The Fifth Generation Of My Family To Live Here

family treeThis is what I knew about my family’s history in Frankford.  My grandmother at one time lived on Plum Street and went to Saint Joachims, then to Frankford High School.  My grandfather lived somewhere in East Frankford before he got married and my father grew up in Bridesburg. That’s it.  So having been driving through East Frankford a lot to go see what’s going on in the factories, it got me thinking where my grandfather might have lived.  If the house still stood it might be a cool pic, and something to share.  So I emailed my father and said “Give me the addresses for all our relatives in Frankford”.  Took him forever to get back to me, and when he finally did I realized why.  My ancestors have lived in like 20 houses here!  And it runs back 5 generations.  Now in a perfect world I would take all the stuff I come across and sort it out and do a lot of digging and then turn it all into a perfectly edited narrative.  But I have a day job and new wife so right now I’m just throwing up on the blog what he sent me back and we’ll call it a journey of discovery as time goes by and hopefully we find out more.  Now when he says “my father”, he means his father and my grandfather.  So when he says “my great grandfather” that makes the guy my great great grandfather.  That’s five generations right?

From the Philadelphia City Directories.  Was supposed to list the head of the household so women were not counted unless they were single or widowed.
Addresses before 1900 may have different numbers or even names.  After the great consolidation of 1854 it took another 50+ years to eliminate all the duplicate street names.

Alexander Smiley – my father’s uncle
1223 Oxford in 1896
1922 Orthodox in 1896 and 1897
4831 Frankford in 1898 and 1899
1922 Orthodox in 1900
1924 Orthodox in 1901
1922 Orthodox in 1903
2012, 2003, 1920 Orthodox 1903 through 1911
2027 Pratt 1912
1815 Margaret 1913

John W. Smiley – not sure.  Could be one of the missing siblings.
1924 Orthodox in 1901
1922 Orthodox in 1902
4446 Frankford in 1912
1677 Fillmore in 1913

Robert W. Smiley – my great grandfather
122 or 1640 Tacony in 1889 through 1892
2039 Orthodox in 1893, 1894
1922 Orthodox in 1896 through 1902
1810 harrison in 1903 through 1921

William D. Smiley – my grandfather
2016 Bridge 1910, 1911
1815 Margaret 1913
2028 Bridge 1914, 1915
5021 Melrose(demolished for I95) 1917, 1918, 1919
5211 Ditman 1929

This isn’t the end of this trail, it’s the beginning.  Hopefully we’ll dig a little more, gotta some house pics.  I’d like to find out what they did for a living.  So we’ll see.

  • joseph

    Are you related to the Smiley’s on the 1800 block of Pear St.? My mother wanted me to ask. She recalls a tall slender man she thinks his name is Ed. She’s not sure. He had a very small dog. Oh by the way she tells me now that it was in the 1950’s.

  • Gil

    Probably not. By 1949, almost all of our Smileys had moved over to Bridesburg. We didn’t come back until 1970. While I was researching the Smiley history I found others who were not related to us living in Frankford. Now I would like to know more about them.

    One exception is my grandfather (Jim’s great grandfather) Bill Smiley who was still living somewhere in Frankford during that time period but I do not know where that was. He was thin but not all that tall. He was single. His wife died in the1920s.

  • I grew up on the 52oo block of Sylvester Street. (between Bridge/Pratt) There was a Tavern on the corner of Oakland Street and Bridge Street called “Smileys”. It goes by a different name now but during the 70’s thru the 90’s it was Smileys. Hope this helps.