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Berta Naomi Holcomb (1872 – 1949)

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Compiled and written by Kimberli Faulkner Hull © Cool Adventures
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John O’Neil, photographer (New Bedford, Massachusetts), Berta Naomi Holcomb, ca. 1890; privately held by the Faulkner-Hull Collection.
John O’Neil, photographer (New Bedford, Massachusetts), Berta Naomi Holcomb, ca. 1890; privately held by the Faulkner-Hull Collection.

Berta Naomi Holcomb was born 13 February 1872 in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts to Roland Holcomb and Elizabeth M. Cables.1 During her childhood, Berta lived with her parents and siblings, Calista and Charles, at 39 School Street in New Bedford and Berta attended Fifth Street Grammar School.2 Following grammar school, Berta attended New Bedford High School and was a member of the Plantagenets society; she is pictured sixth from the right in the photo.3

[Open Endnotes in separate tab]

“New Bedford High School Plantagenets in 1887, New Bedford, MA”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.
“New Bedford High School Plantagenets in 1887, New Bedford, MA”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.

Berta graduated in 1890 from New Bedford High School.4

Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent's Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891), p. 21-23, New Bedford High School Graduating Exercise, 27 June 1890.
Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent’s Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891), p. 21-23, New Bedford High School Graduating Exercise, 27 June 1890.
“New Bedford High School Class of 1890”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.
“New Bedford High School Class of 1890”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.

On 12 September 1894, Berta married William Fenderson Turner in New Bedford.5

“William F. Turner–Miss Berta N. Holcomb,” marriage notice, The Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 14 Sept 1894, p. 5, col. 3.
“William F. Turner–Miss Berta N. Holcomb,” marriage notice, The Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 14 Sept 1894, p. 5, col. 3.

The couple had four known children, Elizabeth, Frances, Roland, and John. Sadly, Frances died at the age of 13 in 1912.6

Zephaniah W. Pease, editor, “History of New Bedford,” vol. 2 (New York : The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1918), p. 197, William Fenderson Turner photo.
Zephaniah W. Pease, editor, History of New Bedford, vol. 2 (New York : The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1918), p. 197-198, William Fenderson Turner photo.

Following the death of Berta’s father, Roland Holcomb, in 1907, Berta’s mother, Elizabeth, and brother, Charles, lived with Berta and William, and their children, for several decades at 324 Cottage Street in New Bedford.7

“Death of Roland Holcomb, Succumbed to Heart Failure While Playing Cards with Wife,” obituary, The Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 23 Mar 1907, p. 4, col. 2.
“Death of Roland Holcomb, Succumbed to Heart Failure While Playing Cards with Wife,” obituary, The Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 23 Mar 1907, p. 4, col. 2.

Late in life, Berta, William, and their son, John, moved to Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts.8

Berta’s mother, Elizabeth Morton Cables Holcomb, died in 1932 in Fairhaven, Bristol County, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.9

Berta Naomi Holcomb Turner died at the age of 77 in 1949 in Dartmouth and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.10 William Fenderson Turner died at the age of 85 on 21 January 1957 and is also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.11

“William F. Turner,” obituary, New Bedford, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 23 Jan 1957, p. 14, col. 8.
“William F. Turner,” obituary, New Bedford, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 23 Jan 1957, p. 14, col. 8.
Zephaniah W. Pease, editor, “History of New Bedford,” vol. 2 (New York : The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1918), p. 197-198, William Fenderson Turner.
Zephaniah W. Pease, editor, History of New Bedford, vol. 2 (New York : The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1918), p. 197-198, William Fenderson Turner.

Berta and William’s children

Roland Holcomb Turner died at the age of 67 in March 1971. Roland is buried in Rural Cemetery in New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts.12

Technique, The Yearbook of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, vol. 11 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Undergraduates, 1925), p. 110, Roland Holcomb Turner.
Technique, The Yearbook of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, vol. 11 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Undergraduates, 1925), p. 110, Roland Holcomb Turner.

Elizabeth Hall Turner Davis died at the age of 88 on 19 November 1984 in Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts. Elizabeth is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.13

John Alden Turner died on 19 April 1988, one day after his 79th birthday. John is also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in New Bedford.14

The Cauldron 1931, (Boston, Massachusetts : Northeastern University Senior Class 1931), p. 34, John Alden Turner.
The Cauldron 1931, (Boston, Massachusetts : Northeastern University Senior Class 1931), p. 34, John Alden Turner.

Endnotes

1. New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Births Register 1872, p. 105, no. 240, Berta N. Holcomb, 13 Feb 1872. Parents: Roland [Holcomb], born in Westfield, and Elizabeth M. Cables, born in New Bedford. Father’s occupation: Trader.

Middle name of Naomi listed in Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent’s Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891, p. 23, New Bedford High School Graduating Class of 1890, Berta Naomi Holcomb.

2. 1880 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 114, page 45A-46B, dwelling 338, family 490, Roland Holcomb household.
Address: 39 School Street
– Roland Holcomb, age 42, grocer, born in Massachusetts
– Elizabeth, wife, age 40, born in Massachusetts
– Calista S., daughter, age 20, single, born in Massachusetts
– Charles R., son, age 17, salesman, born in Massachusetts
– Berta, daughter, age 9, born in Massachusetts

“Admission to the High School,” newspaper articleThe Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 10 July 1886, p. 5, col. 3.

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3.  “New Bedford High School Plantagenets in 1887, New Bedford, MA”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.

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4. Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of New Bedford, with the Superintendent’s Annual Report, for the Year 1890, (New Bedford : Mercury Publishing Company, 1891), p. 21-23, New Bedford High School Graduating Exercise, 27 June 1890, Berta Naomi Holcomb.

Also, “New Bedford High School Class of 1890”; photograph held by the New Bedford Free Public Library photograph collection, New Bedford, Massachusetts; published online at Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collection Online.

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5. New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, Marriage Register 1894, vol. 442, p. 219, no. 397, William F. Turner–Berta N. Holcomb, 12 Sep 1894.
Groom: William F. Turner, age 23, first marriage, clerk, born in Dartmouth. Parents: Elbridge G. [Turner] and Harriet J. Hall.
Bride: Berta N. Holcomb, age 22, first marriage, born in New Bedford. Parents: Roland and Elizabeth.

Also, “William F. Turner–Miss Berta N. Holcomb,” marriage notice, The Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 14 Sept 1894, p. 5, col. 3.

Also, Zephaniah W. Pease, editor, “History of New Bedford,” vol. 2 (New York : The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1918), p. 197, William Fenderson Turner photo.

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6. 1900 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 180, ward 2, page 8B, dwelling 145, family 192, William Turner household.
Address: 661 County Street
– William Turner, age 28, bank clerk, born Aug 1871 in Massachusetts
– Berta N., wife, age 28, born Feb 1872 in Massachusetts, 2 children born, 2 living
– Elizabeth H., daughter, age 4, born Feb 1896 in Massachusetts
– Frances, daughter, age 1, born Mar 1899 in Massachusetts

Also, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, standard certificate of death, New Bedford, Bristol County, Francis Turner, 28 Apr 1912. Birth: 27 Mar 1899. Age: 13 years, 1 month, 1 day. Parents: William F. [Turner] and Berta N. Holcomb.

Also, headstone reads: Frances Turner / 1899-1912 / John A. Turner / 1909 – 1988 / His Wife / Ethel A. Rogers / 1910 – 1996.
Find A Grave, memorial 139415997, Frances Turner (1899–1912), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

Also, 1910 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 194, ward 3, page 20B, dwelling 392, family 453, William F. Turner household.
Address: 324 Cottage Street
– William F. Turner, age 38, bank teller, born in Massachusetts
– Berta M., wife, age 38, born in Massachusetts, 4 children born, 4 living
– Elizabeth H., daughter, age 14, born in Massachusetts
– Frances, daughter, age 11, born in Massachusetts
– Roland H., son, age 6, born in Massachusetts
– John A. son, age 12 months, born in Massachusetts
Same address, family 454
– Elizabeth M. Holcomb, age 69, widowed, born in Massachusetts
– Charles R., son, age 47, widowed, born in Massachusetts

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7. Ibid.

Also, “Death of Roland Holcomb, Succumbed to Heart Failure While Playing Cards with Wife,” obituary, The Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 23 Mar 1907, p. 4, col. 2.

Also, New Bedford, Bristol County, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Return of a Death, no. 141, Roland Holcomb, 22 Mar 1907.  Age: 68 years, 9 months, 21 days. Birthplace: Westfield, Massachusetts. Parents: Hial and Sophia Loomis. Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, 26 Mar 1907.

Also, Headstone reads: Roland Holcomb / 1839-1907 / Elizabeth M. Holcomb / 1839-1932. Find A Grave, memorial 151020563, Roland Holcomb (1838–1907), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

Also, 1920 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 132, ward 3, page 11B, dwelling 193, family 327, William F. Turner household.
Address: 324 Cottage Street
– William F. Turner, age 48, Asst Treas., born in Massachusetts
– Berta N., wife, age 48, born in Massachusetts
– Elizabeth H., daughter, age 23, single, born in Massachusetts
– Roland H., son, age 16, single, born in Massachusetts
– John A. son, age 11, born in Massachusetts
Same address, family 328
– Elizabeth M. Holcomb, age 80, widowed, born in Massachusetts
– Charles R., son, age 55, single, born in Massachusetts

Also, 1930 U.S. census, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 3-115, page 12B, dwelling 210, family 327, William F. Turner household.
Address: 324 Cottage Street
– William F. Turner, age 58, Bank Treasurer, born in Massachusetts
– Berta N., wife, age 57 born in Massachusetts
Same address, family 328
– Elizabeth M. Holcomb, age 90, widowed, born in Massachusetts
– Charles R., son, age 67, single, born in Massachusetts

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8. 1940 U.S. census, Dartmouth, Bristol County, Massachusetts, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 3-33, page 6B, dwelling 160, William Turner household.
Address: 324 School Street
– William Turner, age 68, Asst. Treasurer at savings bank, born in Massachusetts
– Berta, wife, age 68, born in Massachusetts
– John A., son, age 30, single, credit manager, screw factory, born in Massachusetts

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9. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, Death Index, 1931-1935, Elizabeth M. (Cable) Holcomb, Fairhaven, Bristol County, 1932, vol. 37, col. 69.

Also, W. A Greenough, complier, New Bedford and Fairhaven Directory 1932, (Boston, Massachusetts : W. A Greenough, 1932), New Bedford, p. 284, Elizabeth M. Holcomb.
– Holcomb, Eliz M wid Roland died Jan 21 1932.

Also, Headstone reads: Roland Holcomb / 1839-1907 / Elizabeth M. Holcomb / 1839-1932. Find A Grave, memorial 151020582, Elizabeth Morton Cables Holcomb (1839–1932), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

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10. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, Death Index, 1946-1950, Dartmouth, Bristol County, Berta N. (Holcomb) Turner, 1949, vol. 38, p. 289.

Also, Headstone reads: 1844 – Elbridge A. Turner – 1907 / His Wife / 1844 – Harriet J. Hall – 1896 / 1871 – William F. Turner – 1957 / His Wife / 1872 – Berta N. Holcomb – 1949.
Find A Grave, memorial 139426324, Berta N. Holcomb Turner (1872–1949), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

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11. Ibid. Also, “William F. Turner,” obituary, New Bedford, The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts), 23 Jan 1957, p. 14, col. 8.

Also, Zephaniah W. Pease, editor, History of New Bedford, vol. 2 (New York : The Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1918), p. 197-198, William Fenderson Turner.

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12. Technique, The Yearbook of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, vol. 11 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Undergraduates, 1925), p. 110, Roland Holcomb Turner.

Also, United States Social Security Death Index, Pennsylvania, Roland Turner, Mar 1971. Birth: 31 Dec 1903. Last residence; Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

Also, headstone reads: Roland H. Turner / 1903-1971. Find A Grave, memorial 194300828, Roland Holcomb Turner (1903–1971), Rural Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

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13. Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003, Dartmouth, Bristol County, no. 053660, Elizabeth F. Davis, 19 Nov 1984. Birth: 23 Feb 1986.

Also, headstone reads: Clara Turner / 1869 – 1875 / Harold M. Davis / 1894 – 1965 / His Wife / Elizabeth H. Turner / 1896 – 1984.
Find A Grave, memorial 139427435, Elizabeth Hall Turner Davis (1896–1984), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

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14. The Cauldron 1931, (Boston, Massachusetts : Northeastern University Senior Class 1931), p. 34, John Alden Turner.

Also, Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003, New Bedford, Bristol County, no. 026972, John A. Turner, 19 Apr 1988. Birth: 18 Apr 1909, Massachusetts.

Also, headstone reads: Frances Turner / 1899-1912 / John A. Turner / 1909 – 1988 / His Wife / Ethel A. Rogers / 1910 – 1996.
Find A Grave, memorial 139425797, John Alden Turner (1909–1988), Oak Grove Cemetery, New Bedford, Bristol County, Massachusetts with headstone photo.

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Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, author, “Berta Naomi Holcomb (1872 – 1949),” Cool Adventures (https://cooladventures.com/collection/berta-naomi-holcomb-1872-1949/ : posted 2021).


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