Friday, May 9, 2014

William Cook’s Brothers In Halton and Peoria: Elijah and Alfred

William Cook
I have written before that William Cook, my great great grandfather who homesteaded in Saskatchewan, came to Canada from England with his brother Elijah. I noted that I had found the brothers and their families in Halton, Ontario in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s. I also reported that I could find no trace of Elijah, his wife Charlotte (nee Bemrose) and their son William after that. Well, things have changed.

Due to a process of one piece of information leading to another, I have made some significant discoveries about William’s siblings. I had started looking into William and his family again due to the popularity of my blogposts about him, and because I wanted to provide more to my readers who want to know about the Cooks. (The responses I get from readers influence what I write about to a great extent). I discovered that another brother, Alfred Cook, also came to Canada with William and Elijah. (All of their father’s sons were therefore immigrants to North America). I was able to find Alfred living in Peoria, Illinois, starting in about 1896, and this led to my finding Elijah living there as well, and to discovering that Elijah also had a daughter.

Elijah Cook was born in 1858, the sixth of nine children, in Timberland, Lincolnshire, England, to William Cook Senior his wife Ann Squires. He married Charlotte Hannah Bemrose in Clee, Lincolnshire in 1883. Their son, William Alfred Cook, was born on March 27, 1885 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire. Elijah and his brothers William and Alfred came to Ontario, Canada in about 1888, very likely together. In the case of William and Elijah, their wives and children came separately at later dates. Elijah and Charlotte had a second child, Mary Ellen Priscilla Cook, on June 24, 1891 in Halton, Ontario. This birth is last record I have of Charlotte, and due to the records I have for the rest of the family, I suspect that she died in less than a decade after, and possibly in childbirth. The 1891 Canadian census shows Elijah living in Halton and working in a “brick yard”. He appears next in Peoria, Illinois, in the city directory, in 1895, as a “brick burner” for the “Peoria Brick” Company. Elijah and his brother Alfred then both appear in the 1896 Peoria City Directory, both working for the Peoria Brick Company, Elijah as a “foreman”, and Alfred as a “machine man”. It appears then, that Elijah may have come to Peoria first, to be followed by Alfred within the year.

Elijah appears in the Peoria city directory for the last time in 1900, and does not appear in the U.S. census for that year. His nine-year-old daughter Mary Ellen is found boarding with a family without her parents in Peoria in 1900. (There is a William Cook also boarding there, but he seems to be too old to be her brother William, but could be him with an incorrect age and place of birth). Because of this, and because the 1900 Peoria city directory is the last trace I have of Elijah, I believe he may have died in early 1900. His son William appears in the Peoria city directory from 1902 to 1906. In 1902 and 1903 he is working at the Kingman Plough Company, where his uncle Alfred is also working. Suddenly we next find William getting married in Monterey, California on May 27, 1906 to Angela Maria Serrano. They appear to have had only one son, William P. Cook, born August 23, 1909. William Alfred continued to live in the Monterey area for the rest of his life, mostly as a farmer, until his death on March 29, 1974 in San Francisco. As for his sister, Mary Ellen Priscilla, the next and only other record I have for her shows her marrying Ralph Alvan Wheeler in Monterey on May 18, 1918.  He dies November 4th of the same year.

William and Elijah’s brother Alfred was born about 1860 in Timberland, Lincolnshire. He was baptized August 5, 1860 at St. Andrew’s Church. He married Margaret Lancelotte in 1885 in Salford, Lancashire. Their first child, Frances Ancel Cook, was born in Pendlebury, Lancashire on August 31, 1885. Their son, and the only other child of theirs we know of to be born in England, William Jack, was born in Timberland on February 9, 1887. Their children born in Canada were Martha E. (born September 20, 1888) and Florence Mary, born about 1892. George Alfred Cook was born March 13, 1894 in Kirkville, New York, and Margaret was born in May 1896 in Peoria. Aflred and Margaret therefore had children born in three different countries. Alfred worked in a variety of occupations during his life, but in North America he primarily was a labourer in brick yards early on, and then a labourer for the Kingman Plough Company in Peoria for most of the rest of his life. It appears that Alfred was the only one of the brothers to return to England to visit, and it appears that he did this twice. His daughter Martha, although born in Canada in 1888, was baptized in Timberland at the age of five on August 20, 1894. This was two years before his father’s death. Alfred and Margaret also travelled to England on in 1909, as there is a record of them returning home to the United States on the Maurtenia on August 20, 1909. He lists his occupation as “blacksmith”, likely due to his having been an ironworks worker in 1881 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire with his brother Elijah. Alfred died on July 29, 1926 in Peoria, where he had always lived after 1895. His wife Margaret died on March 22, 1935, also in Peoria.

Their son, George Alfred Cook, had a son William Alfred Cook, who became a multi-billionaire, and one of the richest men in America. I hope to write about them next.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An 1853 Account of Wrights and Merriams in Denmark, Lewis County, New York

1853 Denmark Document Page One
Courtesy of Bob Tate

1853 Denmark Document Page Two
Courtesy of Bob Tate

One of my readers, Bob Tate, was kind and generous enough to have sent me a document, written in 1853, describing the early days of the town of Denmark in Lewis County, New York, at the turn of the nineteenth century. I don’t think I have ever touched paper so old. I don’t know who the author is, but there are clues enough in the document to identify him if he is included in the area land records. One of the exciting aspects of the piece is that it mentions my four times great grandfather, Charles Wright, his children, and his brother Freedom. It also mentions my three times great grandfather, William Merriam.

I present here a transcription of the document, to which I have added punctuation: Thank you so much, Bob.

Came to Township No. 5 (now Denmark) on the first of May in the year 1802. Bought 125 acres of land on Great Lot 14 in said Township of Richard Harrison and Josiah Ogden Hoffman, by their attorney Abel French Esq. for 3.50 per acre. Found the following families on said township vis. Capt Charles Wright, his sons Charles, Ty, Stephen, Erastus, Chester, Matthew, and son-in-law William Merriam, also Joseph Blodget and his son Calvin, son in law Shadrach Case also Andrew Mills, Freeman Williams, Darias Sherwin also single men Reuben Robbins, Levi Robbins, David Goodenough, John Williams, Isaac Mungen, Joseph Rich and Beralal J. Rich and Abner Whiting except the Wrights. These were all that I knew of on the upper part of the township so-called at above the Big Hill. On the lower part of the township were Joseph Crary, Jesse Blodget, Freedom Wright, James Bagg, Charles Mosely, Simeon Dunham, Solomon Berewell and Peter Beroff, Lewis Graves Esq. and his brother David Graves and Phinchas Woolworth. Bought land on said township the same day that I did.

Single men on the lower part of the township were Abel French Esq., Douglas Wright,  Jabez Wright, William Clark and Daniel Clark. No houses but log and shanties. No building in Copenhagen but a saw mill and a log bridge across Deer River. No wagon had passed from Lowville to Copenhagen only a path under brush and a blind one to be found.

The Township No. 5 was the fifth Township from Lake Ontario. Names of Eleven Numbers as they are in May 1854 beginning at Sackett Harbor Lake Ontario
                                                                                No. 1 Houndsfield
                                                                                No. 2 Watertown
                                                                                No. 3 Rutland
                                                                                No. 4 Champion
                                                                                No. 5 Denmark
Situated on Lake Ontario                              No. 6 Henderson
                                                                                No. 7 Adams
                                                                                No. 8 Rodman
                                                                                No. 9 Pinckney
                                                                                No.10 Harrisburgh
                                                                                No.11 Lowville

No. 5 was divided at first by Deer River all that part was situated east of Deer River ws attached to the town of Lowville all of that part North of Deer River was attached to the Town of Champion and belonged to Oneida Count in the winter of 1802 and three townships No. 5, 9 and 10 were made into a Town and called Harrisburgh and remained so till 1807 then No. 5 was called Denmark. No. 9 was called Pinckney and No. 10 retained the name of Harrisburgh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A W.W. II Marlow Mystery: Robert Craig and the Little Ducks

Robert Craig and two Duck children
photo courtesy of Ruth Peacock
One of the wonderful items sent to me by my first cousin once removed, Ruth Peacock, was this photo of Robert Craig and the Duck children taken in England when Robert went there during W.W. II. Who these children are is a bit of a mystery. Now the family connections will take a little explaining.

First, Robert Donald Craig was the brother of Harold Jackson Craig, who was the husband of Zella Marlow, my great aunt, and the youngest biological child of Joseph and Annabelle Marlow. During W.W. II, Robert visited the Marlow family in Yorkshire, England--well, actually, the Duck family.

Joseph H. Marlow’s sister, Elizabeth Marlow, had married a man by the name of William Duck. They had both passed away before W.W. II, but had at least nine children: Annie Elizabeth, Damaris Ann, Benjamin, Nora, Barbara Marlow, John, Maria Jane, Alice Margaret, and Gordon. The “Duck” children in the photo would need to have been the offspring of one of the sons to have the last name “Duck”. Judging by the sons’ death dates, the children could have belonged to any of them. It is not certain when during the war the photo was taken, but I think it would be more likely to have been toward the end of the war. My best guess is that the children are the youngest son and daughter of John Duck and his wife Kathleen Rider, i.e. Alfred Robin (born 1933) and Kathleen (born 1936). I suppose the children could be those of one of the Duck daughters, but would likely have had a different last name.

I would be grateful to anyone, whether on the Duck/Marlow side in England, and/or the Craig/Marlow side in Canada, who could shed more light on this photo—the people in it, and the circumstances of its creation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marlow Kin in Rimbey, Alberta

There is a Marlow mystery which I believe I was able to solve. Ruth Peacock, of the previous blogpost, told me that she has always been curious about the “Watts” family in Rimbey, Alberta. She said that she was always told that the Watts children were something like fourth cousins of her father Joseph Robert “Tom” Marlow, but she never understood how exactly they were related. She said that Sarah Watts, the mother, had furniture from “Sleights” in Yorkshire, from where the Marlow family had come.

I told her I would investigate. It occurred to me that there should be a local history for Rimbey, Alberta, just as there was for Lougheed. I went to the website, and found such a book, which indeed included a write up on the Watts family, i.e. Over the years: A history of the Rimbey Area.  (There is a photo of the family there).It stated that Henry and Sarah Watts had come from Springfield, Illinois in 1906, following the death of her father, Robert Appleby. I was able to find the Appleby family in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census in Jacksonville, Illinois, which stated that they were born in England (as did the Canadian Census for Sarah). Robert’s wife was “Mary”, and was born about 1835. The U.S. Census Mortality Schedule, gives her initials as “M.A.” and states that she died in July 1879 of “congestive chills” and was a “farmer’s wife”. Her birthdate is estimated as 1838. I set to work to find a marriage for a Thomas Appleby to a Mary A. in Yorkshire at about a time corresponding to before Sarah’s birth (1865). I was able to find that “Robert Wray Appleby” married “Mary Ann Marlow” in the third quarter of 1863 in the registration district of “Scarborough” in “Yorkshire North Riding”. Searching my own family tree for a “Mary Ann Marlow”, I found that Joseph H. Marlow’s father William had a sister Mary Ann, born about 1833. I could find no other candidates for Mary Ann Marlow Appleby on my tree, and since the Watts family were thought to be cousins of ours, and since I could find no evidence of this Mary Ann in England after the family appears in the United States, I am going to say that this is the Mary Ann Marlow who was the mother of Sarah. This would make Sarah Appleby Watts the first cousin of Joseph H. Marlow. Their children would be second cousins, then I believe.

Sarah Jane and Henry Watts’ children were Robert William, born 1894, Frederick, born 1901, and Ruth, born 1905, all born in the U.S. before the family came to Canada. They would have arrived in Alberta about six years before Joseph Marlow and his family immigrated there, and their move may have influenced Joseph to follow suit. I have yet to find passenger lists for Joseph or the Appleby family, but it is possible that they all came from England together, and possibly with more Marlows or Applebys.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Curious Case of Haviland Marlow

Haviland Marlow
courtesy of Ruth Peacock
I have been in contact with my first cousin once removed Ruth Peacock, born Ruth Marlow, to whose work on the Marlow family tree I am indebted. She has generously shared her memories, her writings, and her photos. Ruth created a Marlow family tree back in the 1980’s for the purposes of a Marlow family reunion which took place then in Lougheed, Alberta, but she was unable to find much about her grandfather Joseph H. Marlow’s family background. I was delighted to share my findings with her.

A mystery she described back in the 1980’s is still unsolved, but us very tantalizing. She wrote the following, which she says took place in the late forties or early fifties:

“No trace of all Grandpa’s people is known—because an experience happened to me that tells me there is lots to learn of our roots. When my parents, my husband and I were in business in Alliance I was surprised one day to meet a young fellow from Ontario who in all aspects of character resembled my relations and above all carried the same name ‘Marlow’. Haviland was his first name. His voice resembled the Marlows to the point where it fooled my mother who thought, when she heard it that George Marlow had come to visit. No other incidents occurred to whet my curious appetite, but Hav some time later had a mind boggling experience that convinced both of us that we indeed were kissin’ cousins. It happened one day in the old ‘Saloon’ at Lougheed. It was after Hav had sipped at a few suds that he casually looked about him and saw a face so familiar that it disturbed him to the point that he wondered if he had imbibed too much too soon or was seeing images of the past. He compelled the urge to vacate the premises on the double and summoned his courage to inquire the name of the stranger. The man is George Marlow someone said—‘My uncle George Marlow has been dead five years’, Hav said, it can’t be true, this man can’t be George Marlow. This man was George Marlow and he resembled Hav’s Uncle George so much that he passed as his double. Hav said his uncles had the same family names of William, Fred and Tom. So there is something to this roots thing. Someone should do something about it before the valuable sources of folk-lore and information are lost by the wayside in the battle of life”.

Ruth sent me a photo of Haviland Marlow, and his obituary, from which I was able to start constructing a family tree for him. I found Haviland and his family in Durham County, Ontario. Hav did indeed have an Uncle George, and great uncles Tom and William, but no Fred as I can yet tell. His uncle George Marlow, born in 1878, died on May 2, 1943 in Whitby, Ontario. Ruth’s Uncle George Marlow was born in 1901 and died in 1985.

Haviland himself was born on May 17, 1929 in Nestleton, Durham, Ontario, the son of  Reginald Weldon "Ted" Marlow and Amelia Hunking. He died on June 2, 1984 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan.

I was able to take the tree back to the first ancestor from England, a John Marlow, born about 1807. I could not find him on my own tree, and have as yet found no reliable information linking him to a family or place in England. Some people on Ancestry have given him the father Thomas Marlow from Lincolnshire, but I can find no evidence for this. It is interesting that the area of Ontario where the Marlow family lived carries some of the place names from the general area of North Yorkshire from where our Marlows hail, i.e. Whitby and Pickering. I suppose this could mean that many of the original settlers came from these places in England.

I would be grateful to anyone who could help with locating the Ontario Marlow family’s roots in England.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jane Marlow Helps to Solve a Murder

Bridge at Littlebeck, North Yorkshire Moors
By Brian Norman, Accessed via Wikipedia Commons

While doing some random googling this morning, I stumbled across a story about my three times great grandmother, Jane Marlow (a.k.a. Marley). She was born Jane Fewster in about 1800 in Eskdaleside, North Yorkshire, and married George Marlow on January 19, 1826 in Whitby. She was the daughter of Thomas Fewster and Jane Ward, the mother of William Marlow, and the grandmother of Joseph H. Marlow. I was delighted to find this story, as it is unusual to find such detail about the life and personality of an ancestor in England who lived so long ago, particularly a female one.

The Annual Register, or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1857, includes the following story:

York Assizes—Murder—Sarah Jemmison was charged with the wilful murder of her illegitimate son, Joseph Jemmison, on the 9th of December last.

From the evidence it appeared that the child whose death was the subject of inquiry was born three years ago, and was soon after its birth placed out at birth with a Mrs. Jane Marley, at Sleights, near Whitby. The child remained there for a long period, and the payments for its board being very irregularly made, and an arrear of 6l. or more having accumulated, Mrs. Marley declined any longer to keep him, she being herself in a position in life too poor to support any additional burden. The prisoner was then living as servant with Mr. Pearson, at Egton, a farmer, and in his absence she brought the child to his house. On his return he objected to its remaining there, having, as he said, as many as he could keep himself already. The prisoner proposed then that she should take her boy to a relation at Moorsholm, a distance of twelve miles. The farmer consented, and sent his son, a young lad, with his donkey and cart, to help her on the road. She parted from the lad at the junction of two roads, taking that which led to a large tract of moor land. The child was never seen again alive. This was in December last. Three months after a shepherd observed his dog feeding on something, and on inspecting it, found it to be the leg of a child. He returned home, taking it with him, and on someone’s suggestion the dog was kept without food for two days, and then let out. He at once went out to the moor in question, and returned apparently sated. He was then again taken to the moor, and led the way to a spot near where Pearson’s son had parted with the prisoner, and there a thigh and, not far off, the skull of a child were found. Further search was made, and other parts, sadly mangled and torn, as was supposed, by the dog, were discovered. On the skull were traces of injuries as to which evidence was laid before the jury by medical men, to the effect that in their opinion those injuries had been inflicted during life, and were not such as could be caused by the gnawing of a dog. The falsity of the prisoner’s statement was also proved: she had said, when asked what she had done with the child, that she had left him with Mrs. Wilson, his father’s sister.

After an absence of about an hour the jury returned a verdict of “Guilty”, but with a recommendation of mercy on account of the prisoner’s destitute condition. Sentence of death was passed, but, on the recommendation of the Judge, was committed to penal servitude for life.

In Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths around the Tees, the author Maureen Anderson expands upon the story. She relates that Sarah’s sister had originally taken the baby to stay with Mrs. Marley. On November 29, 1856, Sarah went to Mrs. Marley and informed her that she could not pay her the money that she owed her, but would try to pay her soon. She stated that she wanted to take the boy away, ostensibly to the poor house with her. Mrs. Marley apparently told her not to take the child that night, but to return the next day. When Sarah came for him the next day, the boy was wearing a white shirt with a slit on one of the sleeves, as he had had a “sore arm”. This shirt apparently matched one which had been found by the dog. Anderson goes on to state that Mrs. Marley went to the Pearson home a few months later to try to collect her debt, but to no avail. Sarah came to her house the next week, and told her that the child was staying with his father’s sister near Guisborough, “adding as a joke that his uncle would kill him because he was fond of pulling the cows’ tails”. When Mrs. Marley asked if she had clothes for him, she told her that the family had a boy a little older who had died whose clothes he was wearing. Later, after being apprehended by the authorities, it came out that Sarah had murdered her child and left his body on the moors.

I have since found references to newspaper reports which indicate that Mrs. Marlow’s suspicions led to Sarah’s arrest. (The names “Marlow” and “Marley” seem to be interchangeable, as we have found in the past).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Stephen Harts of Pinckney and Turin, Lewis County, New York

Happy New Year, everybody!

When I was researching my three times great grandfather, the Honorable Stephen Hart of Pinckney, Lewis County, New York, I became confused by references to “Stephen Hart” living in Turin, Lewis County. After doing some further research, I discovered that they were two unrelated people with the same name, of about the same age, living in two different towns in the same small rural county. I thought it might be important to blog about this discovery, despite the fact that other Lewis County researchers are aware of the distinction, particularly because it is so easy from the extant documents to get the two Stephens mixed up.

In fact, this is precisely what happened in 1903 to James M. Hart, the author of The Genealogical History of Samuel Hartt, a book with a much longer title, which includes the lineage of my forebear, Nicholas Hart, whose name goes down in infamy. Finding this book on the World Vital Records website was one of my main discoveries of 2013, particularly as it is the one document I have found which clearly connects Jeremiah to Stephen to John Hart, my great great grandfather, in one fell swoop. James Hart states that Stephen “settled at Turin and later at Pinckney, N.Y., in the Black River section”. I feel I should set the record straight as many people are likely to take the word of James Hart, who has published the only in depth genealogy of the descendants of Nicholas Hart of which I am aware. In addition, the book, The History of Lewis County, New York written by Franklin B. Hough in 1883, mentions both Stephens without making clear distinctions between the two, except by where they live, therefore paving the way for future readers to amalgamate them in their minds. I am thinking that it is likely that James Hart partly drew upon Hough for his account of our Stephen Hart’s life, and thus made his error.

I know that the Stephen Harts are two different people because not only did I do my Stephen’s family tree, I also did the Turin Stephen’s. I felt it was important to do this so that I also did not mix up their families. I discovered that although the two Stephens were not related to each other, they are both related to me! The Turin Stephen is descended from my other Hart line, that of Deacon Stephen Hart of Connecticut, one of the forebears of my great great grandmother, Sally Wright Merriam. He is my second cousin five times removed. Our nearest common ancestors are Hawkins Hart and Sarah Royce, my six times great grandparents.

The Turin Stephen Hart was born on June 3, 1767 in Wallingford, Connecticut to Nathaniel Hart and Alice Hall. He was only about four years older than the Pinckney Stephen. He married Eunice Seymour in Colebrook, Connecticut, on September 9, 1790. They had a total of nine children of which I am aware: Jeremiah, Martin, Seymour, Melinda, Eliza, Sylvester, Anson, and twin boys who died at birth. He came to Lewis County, New York from Colebrook between 1803 and 1807, roughly about the same time our Stephen came to the area. Interestingly, he and his family came from the same general area in Connecticut as the Charles Wright extended family, within a few years of each other, as they are both reported to have set out from Colebrook. The families may have known each other before coming to Lewis County, and they were related, but may not have known this. He, like the Pinckney Stephen, was a farmer.

His brother, Levi Hart, however, who also settled in the Turin area from Connecticut, was involved in politics, as was the Pinckney Stephen. He served in the New York State Legislature in 1817 and 1818, a few years before our Stephen held that distinction. Levi’s daughter, Caroline, married Clinton Levi Merriam (also distantly related to me through Sally Wright Merriam), who became a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. They were parents of the famous naturalists, Clinton Hart Merriam and Florence Augusta Merriam Bailey, to whom I am therefore at least doubly related, however distantly. (I may blog about them in future).

The Stephen Hart of Turin died in Turin on August 13, 1857, four years before the death of the Pinckney Stephen; so as they were born about four years apart, they therefore died at about the same age, that of ninety years old. I think that it was highly likely that they knew each other, or of each other, especially considering the political activities of their families.