Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Martha, Mary Eliza, and Clara Cook Revisited

As I have mentioned in the past, one of my main interests in researching my family history has been finding out more about the family of Emma and William Cook, my maternal great great grandparents. I am happy to say that additional information has been provided to me about their daughters Martha Annie Wheatly Cook, Mary Eliza Cook, and Clara Matilda Cook, who were also the sisters of my great grandmother, Faith. I had previously written about them in two blogposts entitled Mary Eliza and Albert Godfrey: The Cooks Born in Canada, and William and Emma Cook’s Other Children,  the latter of which I now realize contains some key errors about my great grand aunt Martha. Thanks to the kind assistance of some other descendants of William and Emma, I was able to sort this out. (I have also found several other pertinent records in the process. I have also decided to remove the incorrect information from the previous blogpost so as not to run the risk of perpetuating misinformation).

Previously, I had Martha married to a man named Druitt, having a daughter, travelling to England, and dying in 1920. In actuality, she married a man called David Moran, who was the brother of her sister Clara’s husband, Charles Benjamin Moran. David was born David Franklin Moran on June 9, 1878 in Wellington, Ontario to William Moran and Lydia Stephen Terry Moran. His father had been born in Londonderry, Ireland and his mother was born in Ontario. The family moved to Saskatchewan, where Martha and David likely met. They were married between 1901 and 1906, and censuses show them as single in 1901, and married in 1906. In 1906 they are living and farming next door to David’s brother Ben, who has Martha’s sister Clara living with him as a housekeeper.

On March 1, 1911 Martha and David’s son William Arthur Moran was born. It does not appear that they had any other children. By 1938, the family is living in Canoe, near Salmon Arm, British Columbia, where Martha and David reside for the rest of their lives. Martha died on October 24, 1949 in Kamloops, British Columbia of ovarian cancer. David passed away in Kamloops on January 21, 1957. They were both buried in Salmon Arm, likely in the Mount Ida Cemetery. According to family who knew her, she was shorter than her siblings, was “talkative”, and liked to bake cookies. Her son William Arthur, married Myrtle Juanita Lee on May 15, 1946, and was later divorced. They had at least one child, a daughter, who apparently is still living. Arthur died on July 7, 1970 in Vancouver.

I have recently also discovered that David and Martha Moran had played a special role in the life of Martha’s sister, Mary Eliza Cook, when they were living in Rocanville, Saskatchewan. According to a newspaper article of unknown date and origin in the possession of family, they hosted Martha’s wedding to William Foster.  His surname is incorrectly written as “Forest” in the article:

Unknown newspaper and date
Image courtesy of H. Chagun
I estimate the marriage to have taken place in about 1915, as in the previous year Mary is listed under her maiden name in a Vancouver Directory, and the next year she is married according to census data. It is lovely to imagine how she looked as a bride, and how they all must have enjoyed the “large reception and dance”. It is also wonderful to know that her brother-in-law, and husband of her sister Clara, gave her away, and that her brother Godfrey attended the groom. From what I can gather, the "ribbon race" may have been marriage custom from the British Isles, in which the winners won prizes such as alcohol, or were declared the next to be married. (If anyone knows more about wedding "races", I would love to hear what you have to say). Mary Eliza and William had two sons, one named David William Foster, who was born in Winnipeg on June 7, 1918, and who died on September 26, 1989 in White Rock, British Columbia. Their other son may still be living, so no further information will be mentioned now. I have been able to locate William’s date of death, which is January 1, 1972, in New Westminster, British Columbia.

Through the information provided by family, I was also able to find the death date of Mary Eliza and Martha’s sister, Clara Matilda Cook Moran. She died on February 2, 1917, at the age of forty-five, in Rocanville, Saskatchewan, where she was living. She is also buried there. I have no information that she and Ben ever had any children, perhaps due to Clara's advanced age of thirty-eight when she got married in 1910. Ben died on April 27, 1938 in Salmon Arm, where he had been staying for seven months, likely with his brother David, as Martha was the informant for his death registration.

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