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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #52: Daniel Noyes Cookson

     Daniel Noyes Cookson is my 4th Great Grandfather and one of my resolutions this year is to find out more about him.  I have almost no documentary evidence of him.  He appears in Cutter's "New England Families Genealogical and Memorial" p. 455 as the father of Calvin Gray Cookson and his brothers and sister.  He does not appear in any US Census from 1790 to 1850 by name although I suspect he is listed in the family of  his brother or cousin at least once. The data from Cutter is that he was born in 1770 in Unity, Maine and died about 1850 in Linneus, Maine.  Actually the town of Unity didn't exist in 1770 although there were people living in Maine (then part of Massachusetts) at that time.  In Calvin Gray Cookson's enlistment record of 1839 his birthplace is given as Belmont, Maine.  There were people living there in 1770, in fact in a history of Belmont there is an anecdote from the Revolutionary War where a Cookson is mentioned by last name only. Unfortunately the early records of Belmont were destroyed in a fire. Records do show that one of the early leaders in the town was named Calvin Gray, perhaps the namesake of my 3rd Great Grandfather.

     Daniel married Lucy Gifford according to Cutter.  Per him she was his second wife but no data was available about the first wife.  I did find a marriage record dated 4 Jun 1801 for Daniel Noyes and Lucy Gifford in Whitefield, Lincoln, Maine. This was on Maine Genealogy.net and is a transcription.  There are two Daniel Noyeses in the area at the same time but they married a Rachel and a Susannah.  It seems possible that either the transcriber missed the name Cookson or the clerk omitted it.  Whitefield is not far from Unity and Belmont. However, it is 1801 and their first child was born 1811.  Perhaps there were earlier children or the transcriber transposed the date and it is actually 1810. So I will look for the original record.

     The family is living in Linneus around 1840.  Daniel, oldest son of Daniel Noyes Cookson, is listed in the 1840 Census.  His sister Lucy is there with her husband, Henry Townsend.  Calvin Gray is not listed in the Census but he enlisted in Houlton in 1839 and married in 1840.  I believe that he is listed in the family of his father-in-law, John Dow in 1840, also in Linneus.  The History of Linneus lists Daniel Noyes Cookson in the index and on the page noted it says that Daniel Cookson (no Noyes) bought land but I don't know if this is the father or son. The Aroostook Vital Records don't list his death but it likely was too early.

     So, my plan is to comb the probate and land records for all the counties where the family is noted at all and see if

I can find traces of him. Hopefully, next year I can post an update which gives the records!

52 Ancestors Year 2 # 51: Mary Victoria Stefani Emanuel, my Grandmother's youngest sister

     My sister and I always enjoyed visiting my mother's Aunt Mary, she was warm and welcoming and the food was great! I chiefly recall the big fireplace which was built on a platform of stone so that you could sit in front  of the fire. They had quite a bit of wooded land in back of the house, we used to pick blackberries there. Her son, my mother's Cousin Carl, had a house there that he had built himself, it had lots of custom hand made wooden shelves and such.And he was fun to visit as well.

     Mary Victoria Stefani was born on 14 March 1900 in Issaquah, Washington. She was the third daughter and fifth child of Frank and Angelina Stefani. I don't know anything specifically about her childhood except I did find a photo of her with other children in 1911 on a 4th of July float sponsored by the Ladies Temperance League. Her father was a coal miner but he also owned a laundry which she and her sisters worked in for awhile. She attended school in Issaquah but  only went through two years of High School according to the 1940 U.S. Census.  In 1940 she was a secretary at a brokerage firm. Perhaps she went back to work when her kds were grown as in the 1920 and 1930 Censuses she was not working.

     On 30 Mar 1918 (16 days past her 18th Birthday) she married Eric Emanuel, he was 33.  Eric was a Swedish immigrant who was working in the office of the Coal Mine.  I believe that her sister Edith also worked in the office and her father was a miner so they met through one or the other.  After marriage they lived on Hill St. in Issaquah close to her parents.  In 1922 Eric became co-owner of the Harris-Emanuel Fuel Co. which he ran until he retired in 1945. By the 1930 Census they were living in a house in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. We have a photo of it, it was a large family home.I believe that Eric built it. Mary and Eric had two children: Anita Mae and Carl F. (Frank or possibly Francis, I have never seen it spelled out which suggests that it was Francis!). By 1940 they were living in Bellevue in another good sized family home, this time in a ranch style, also built by Eric.

     Anita married and had four children so eventually Mary had at least six grandchildren.  She enjoyed her children and grandchildren a great deal and often entertained them or other family members in her home. These are the meals that my sister and I remember fondly. Eric died in Mar 1975 and Mary went to live with her sisters in Seattle.  After the death of her oldest sister, Edith, in 1982, Mary and her sister Dell went to live in Bremerton near her daughter, Anita. Mary died on 5 Feb 1994, greatly beloved by her daughter, grandchildren and great gr

andchildren. In a recorded reminiscence my mother, Margaret Kells McDonald, said this about her: "Actually, Aunt Mary it seems played such a big part in Uncle Eric’s life.  She was by his side for many of the things he did.  I didn’t realize that they were really a team until I started writing and realized that that’s where Aunt Mary fit in—right by his side, all the way!" And I think her children and grandchildren would say the same as well! 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #50: Daniel Hudson, Mason

     Daniel Hudson was our immigrant ancestor in the Hudson line.  He came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1639, 376 years ago! Daniel was born on 30 Jul 1620 in Chatham, Kent, England.  His parents were Daniel Hudson and Anna Josselyn, both came from families of Knights and so were in the gentlemanly class.  Daniel's Great Grandfather, Henry Hudson was a member of the Muscovy Company seeking a Northeast route to China. Henry was also was the father of the Henry Hudson famous of his explorations of North America and the namesake for the Hudson River and Hudson's Bay. In 1628, Daniel's father, Daniel, was a subscriber to stock in the "Adventurers for a plantation intended at Massachusetts Bay in New England, America".  So it would seem that his son, Daniel, took him up on this plan.

    Daniel arrived about 1639 and is recorded in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1640. He was a brick maker and mason by trade and in 1647 he helped to build the first school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1653 he moved to Lancaster, where he held quite a bit of land.  In 1672 he moved to Cambridge, living "south of the river" but he returned to Lancaster after a few years. He was active in the town, frequently appearing in the records and referred to as "Goodman Hudson", a title of respect for a yeoman or farmer not of noble birth.  In 1647 he married Joanna White in Lancaster and they had 14 children.

    The story of the death of Daniel Hudson is somewhat shocking as we do not think of Massachusetts as a place where settlers were killed by Indians (I didn't, anyway). Bu at that time Lancaster was a frontier town.  In 1676 there had been an Indian massacre and the town had rebuilt after that and in 1692 there were eight garrisons set up in it.  Daniel Hudson and his sons were allowed to continue in their house, "it having a good fort." By 1697 the town had grown to about 275 people.  The Indians fearing the increasing encroachment, launched a new attack.  On 11 September they attacked surprising many in their fields. They killed nineteen settlers and took five captive. The minister was one of those killed. Daniel Hudson, his wife, Joanna, and two children of his son, Nathaniel, were also killed. two of Daniel's daughters, Joanna and Elizabeth were taken captive.  His surviving children signed an agreement on 2 Dec 1697, "For our sisters' wearing clothes we mutually agree to leave them undivided at present, hoping that one of them, namely: either Johanah or Elizabeth may be yet alive.  Also in case that either of our said sisters shall by God's goodness be againe Reduced from Captivity, that then we do farther oblige ourselves as aforesaid to allow & pay unto either of them that so Returne her portion doubly."  Neither of them returned.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #49: Adelina Justina Stefani, my mother's Aunt Dell

     When I think of the holidays I often think of going to my Aunt Dell's house to watch the Rose Bowl Parade on her color TV. Aunt Dell was always fun and she enjoyed my sister and I. She was born Adelina Justina Stefani on 29 Nov 1896 in Issaquah, Washington(then known as Gilman), the fourth child and second daughter of Frank and Angelina Stefani. She was named for her mother's younger sister, Adele Tinetti. Adele would've been called Adelina as a pet name in the family, in the same way that Dell's mother was named Angela but called Angelina all her life. I believe that Dell was also named for her Dad's sister, Adelaide, his only surviving sibling. Adelina Stefani was generally called Dell all her life but also sometimes called "Delina".  I have never heard her referred to as Adelina.

     Dell was famous (notorious perhaps) in the family for being very popular with the boys.  On a family taped recollection her older sister, Edith, recalls that every year at the 4th of July each kid was given a dollar. Edith could never decide what to spend hers on and ended up putting it in the piggy bank.  But Dell always spent hers and didn't come home until late in the day having had a great deal of fun.  Her niece Marian tells the story that she used to leave and receive notes from boys hidden in the wood pile behind the house. If her father had found them he would have been quite angry with her! It is a family mystery as to why the men didn't treat her as well as they ought to have (at least from the family's perspective!).

     Dell was the first daughter to get married, marrying John Burr Adams on 22 Mar 1916 at the County Court House. Her sister, Edith, signed as a witness on the Marriage Certificate.  They lived in Seattle and soon had two sons, Harold Lewis, born 9 Feb 1917 and Samuel John born 3 Nov 1918.  John worked as a fireman for the City of Seattle.  All did not go well for John and Adelina and in 1927 she walked out and they were divorced.  The boys lived with him.  In the 1930 Federal Census they are living with their Dad and Angelina is living in Seattle in a Boarding House and working in a laundry.  She would have had experience in this line of work from working in the family laundry back in Issaquah. Both boys followed in their father's footsteps career-wise and became firemen.

     Dell married again on 2 Jun 1934 to Frank "Shorty" Dorner. In the 1940 Census he is listed as a "machinist" in the plumbing industry.  Interestingly enough, in the 1940 Census his wife, Florence and her daughter, Myrtle, are listed as working in a laundry. So perhaps Dell met Shorty through her. Florence and Shorty apparently were divorced as she remarries the same year as Frank and Dell, in November. Frank and Dell were happily married until his death in 1985.  In her last years Dell lived with her sisters, Edith and Mary, in Seattle and then Bremerton. She died on 18  Jul 1995, at the age of 98. She outlived all her brothers and sisters.

     I didn't really know Aunt Dell until we moved to Seattle when I was 11 in 1960. She had taken our mother and her sister's old dolls and refurbished them and made dresses for them for my sister and I. I was thrilled and impressed by that.  Dell was always fun to be with and she had a great love of life. She, my grandmother, Edith, and their sister, Mary were great friends all their lives, talking on the phone daily. When my sister and I visited our Great Grandfather's hometown of Sporminore we met a Stefani cousin and discovered that she and her sisters also talk on the phone every day! So it seems to be a family trait! I hope I have inherited at least some of the enjoyment of life that characterized Aunt Dell!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #48: William Bassett, Pilgrim, arrived on the Fortune

     It has been a source of some frustration to me that I have not been able to find a Mayflower passenger among my ancestors. This despite the fact that many ancestral lines go back to the 1600's in New England in both my father's and my mother's families. Even some in Plymouth. You'd think you'd somebody could have married a descendant of a Mayflower Passenger, right? So every year at Thanksgiving I review all the lines again  and look to see if I've missed a Mayflower ancestor. So this year I didn't find that (I did find a couple of spouses of cousins who had Mayflower ancestry but that doesn't count.). But I did find William Bassett, who came on the SECOND ship, the Fortune which arrived a year after the Mayflower in 1621.  It arrived on 9 Nov 1621, according to what I've read, after the first Thanksgiving.  The truth, though, is that no one has an exact date for that feast, it's thought to have been somewhere in October or early November 1621.  So it's possible he was there. But I think my father would find it amusing and a telling part of family lore to say that he missed it!

     William Bassett was born in Sandwich, Kent, England in 1600, possibly the son of William Bassett and Cecily Light.  He came to the Plymouth Colony in 1621 aboard The Fortune as noted above.  His wife, Elizabeth, was also on the ship and they married shortly after arrival. They had five children.  William was a blacksmith and was one of the wealthier and more prominent men in the town.  He acquired land in Duxbury and in Bridgewater and was one of the proprietors of Bridgewater.  He served in several town and court positions.  He had the largest library of any of the Pilgrims. His inventory after death lists more than twenty books, mostly theological, at a value of over 9 pounds. His wife died prior to 1651 when he married a widow, Mary Tilden Lapham. He died on 4 Apr 1667 in Bridgewater, leaving a last will and testament.

     William didn't come on the Mayflower but he was one of the earliest Pilgrims, a leader in the community and one of the founders of this country. The Pilgrims who came on the first four ships, with the Fortune being the second, called themselves the "First Comers", S

o he was a first comer to this country. And he was a reader which makes me feel a kinship even over the centuries!

Friday, November 20, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #47: Walter Hudson Peterson, my Uncle Wally

     This week's prompt is to write about "Sports".  In my family there is very slim pickings in that category.  My husband's father and grandfather played baseball in College and my father played Basketball in High School but I have written about them (and my father would've thought it hilarious if I wrote about him in the category of sports!). Dennis' brother played baseball and football in High School and my father's brother played football in High School.  I also found a cousin who was on his High School Bowling team. Over 10,000 on my trees and this is about it in terms of sports! But I thought I'd write about my Uncle.

     Walter Hudson Peterson was born 1 Aug 1918 in San Antonio, Texas.  He was named Walter for his father, Walter Leonard Peterson, and Hudson for his mother, Elizabeth Hudson. (At least, I am assuming this as it seems logical). His father was employed by the US Army as a Physical Ed Instructor with YMCA. WW I was still in progress when he was born. The family moved to Fort Worth where his younger sister, Betty, and brother, John (Jack) were born.  The family moved to Detroit and then to Chicago where his father entered a Seminary and became a Presbyterian Minister. The first Church his father had was in Bessemer, Michigan. This is where Wally (as he was called by the family) went to High School.  And this is where the sports comes in! He played guard on the football team. After High School, Wally went to Ironwood Junior College where he again played guard on the football team.  This explains the photo I have of him wearing a helmet.  I believe that this is the football gear worn at that time. My father said of him, in his autobiography, "He was muscular, well coordinated and a tough he-man.  Playing guard in football is a rough, mud-biting, nose-grinding, and hard-knocking 'sport'...I imagine that he couldn't be pushed around.  He was held in respect by other boys...I think he had courage, but no chip on his shoulder."

     He married Grace Basket on 15 Sep 1938.  They had a long and loving marriage with three children of their own and one adopted child.  When WW II came he served in the Pacific in the Navy.
He became an Industrial Psychologist and was successful in his field.  His brother says, "He was brilliant and independent in thought...He could speak well and clearly. I don't know anyone who made more sense and who could handle questions and elicited discussions better." He loved to spend time with his children and grandchildren camping and visiting National Parks. My sister and I always enjoyed any time spent with him. He died 25 Jan 2001 in Decorah, Iowa, leaving his wife and many descendants. I think he would be amused to know that I have chosen him to write about in the category of "Sports!"