Sunday, July 22, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 29 - Music - Silent Film Pianist

The 52 Ancestors prompt for this week is "Music". This should be a fun prompt. Do you know of a musical relative? (According to my dad, my great-uncle Pete could play anything that had strings.) If not, what about an ancestor with a musical name? Place names can be musical as well. Any ancestors from New Harmony, Indiana or Trumpet Island, Maine? (Or take inspiration from classic rock: Chicago, Boston, Kansas... What was it in the '70s with naming bands after places?) I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Carrie Niehaus Myers was the sister of my great-grandmother Anna Niehaus Creeden. According to family stories, Carrie was a fantastic pianist and one of her jobs was playing piano at a theater during the silent film era. The 1910 census for Mercer County, Ohio shows Carrie was playing piano at a theater as early as age 17.

I was hoping to find some information on where she played, but haven't had any luck so far. Three theaters are mentioned in an article published in The Celina Democrat on September 4, 1914: The Rex and Bijou motion picture houses and The Eagle Theater. I would guess she played at one of them.

The Celina Democrat, September 4, 1914
By 1920, Carrie was busy as a wife and mother. She was married to Charley Myers and they had a 5 year old daughter named Marjorie. While she was no longer employed as a pianist, she continued to entertain family and friends for many years.

#52Ancestors is a series of weekly family history prompts developed by Amy Johnson Crow.


  1. Kathryn, my great-grandmother was also said to have been a talented musician, playing piano and violin, and supposedly also played at the silent movies, in Dublin. I have not found documentary confirmation of this so far either, although her occupation was described as musician in the census returns. What a coincidental parallel!

    1. That is an interesting parallel! My grandmother was an identical twin and they played violin and piano, so that's even another coincidence. Thanks for stopping by! Sorry on the delay. I just realized that Blogger still isn't notifying me about comments.

  2. Kathryn, in your Blogger settings, under 'posts, comments and sharing, delete you email address, save the changes, then input it again, and save the changes. Do the same in the 'email' section. It then worked for me.