Thursday, November 7, 2019

Patrick Mullarney of Glencullen

Patrick Mullarney (1844-1906) was brother to my 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Mullarney-Howlett.  He was born in Ballymanus, County Wicklow to Thomas Mullarney and Elizabeth Ellis, on land rented from Daniel Tighe, a prominent local landlord.

Patrick had ambitions to become a national schoolteacher, and I believe that he idolized and was mentored by Thomas Howlett, who ended up marrying his sister Sarah.

In 1863, Patrick worked at Rathnew National School in Wicklow, not too far up the road from Ballymanus.

In 1867, Patrick started working in County Dublin (where the money and opportunity may have been better) at Lucan National School as well as Raheny School.

In 1873, he married dressmaker Ellen Flyght at St. Patrick's Parish in Wicklow, and they ended up having seven daughters together.

ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL
WICKLOW, IRELAND
By 1874, Patrick had officially left Wicklow, to begin work as a national schoolteacher in Glencullen, Dublin.  By 1881, he ended up being promoted to schoolmaster, a position he kept until at least 1894.

GLENCULLEN NATIONAL SCHOOL
COUNTY DUBLIN
In 1882, Patrick was charged by the Rathdown Union with failure to vaccinate his children.  It's unclear which vaccine was available at this time.  There weren't many, only cholera and smallpox, to my understanding.  In 1884, a dog bit one of his daughters, and Patrick pressed charges against Dr. Mackay for failing to treat her.

In 1892, a few months after his mother Elizabeth died, Patrick accused John Cullen of Glencullen of kicking his dog, causing a broken leg and shoulder, but the case was dismissed.  In 1895, he was arrested for public drunkenness, and in 1897, he lost his two youngest daughters to diphtheria (they were only ten and twelve years old).  To add insult to injury, his house was inspected by the local doctor (Mackay), and he was ordered to clean up and sanitize the room, to prevent the spread of the disease.

Late in 1905, Patrick contracted tuberculosis.  He checked into the Rathdown Union Workhouse for treatment for his sore eye in December of that year, a complication of his TB.  He was released a month later, in January of 1906.  He was dead by March of 1906.

PATRICK & ELLEN MULLARNEY'S HOUSE
ELMWOOD AVENUE
RANELAGH, RATHMINES
COUNTY DUBLIN
His wife Ellen remained at their house until her own death in 1932.

Of his seven daughters, only four appear to have lived to adulthood, but I don't believe any of them had any children of their own.  His eldest daughter Elizabeth ended up in Mountjoy Prison for a week in the summer of 1915 for stealing a box of polish.  She married a few years later, and I think she was the only child of Patrick's to do so.

***

SOURCES:

Dog License Registers (Dublin)
Petty Court Sessions (Wicklow and Dublin)
National School Teacher Salary Books (Dublin)
Slater's Royal National Directory Of Ireland (Dublin)
Catholic Parish Registers (Wicklow and Dublin)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records (Wicklow and Dublin)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Thomas Howlett of Dublin

This is a post about my third great grandfather, Thomas Howlett (1828-1878).  Thomas was a National School Teacher in Wicklow and Dublin counties.

A National School was, and still is, a secular elementary school, or public primary school, fully financed by the government.  It was set up in the 1830s to accommodate the need for a non-religious schooling, an alternative to parochial schools administered by the Roman Catholic Church or the protestant Church of Ireland.

Thomas appears in the salary books ("pay books"), which I was able to locate at the National Archives in Dublin, October of 2019.  I learned that from 1860-1862, Thomas was employed at Glenealy National School in Wicklow.

Patrick Mullarney, Thomas' brother-in-law, was also a National School Teacher in Wicklow and Dublin during the same time as Thomas.  I suspect that this might be how Thomas met his wife Sarah, Patrick's older sister, in Wicklow.

From a variety of records, it's clear that his parents were Jacobi (aka James) and Elizabeth Howlett of Wexford.  The one baptismal record that seems to match is from Ballyculane, Wexford, dated 1840, with parents Jacobi Howlett and Margarita Commins.  However, his marriage and death records declare him to have been born in 1828.

ST. MARY'S PRO CATHEDRAL
Dublin City
It's interesting that Thomas and Sarah were married in January 1863, at St. Mary's Pro in Dublin City, and that they baptized their daughter there in August of the same year.  It's quite possible that this was a shotgun wedding, with Sarah being two months pregnant at her wedding, and also being 11 years younger than her groom.  This might have invited a variety of scandals.

Sadly, though, in 1865, about a year and a half after the birth of their daughter Lizzie, young Sarah died of tuberculosis, back at her home in Ballymanus.  Her death record states she had the disease for ten months before dying.  That must mean that she contracted it when her daughter was exactly one year old.  At the time of her death, she was under the care of her brother Patrick, who was the informant on her death record (and not Thomas).  It isn't very clear to me that Thomas and Sarah had any kind of strong relationship.  They likely met through the School connection, had an evening of intimacy and were forced to be married because of it, probably only knowing each other 2 or 3 years total.  Given that Sarah was highly contagious, it's also quite possible that she left Dublin City to go back home to Ballymanus, leaving her daughter and husband behind, so she wouldn't infect them.

KINSEALY NATIONAL SCHOOL
NORTH COUNTY DUBLIN

After Sarah's death, Thomas worked briefly at St. Peter's National School in Dublin in 1867, but soon afterward was working as a school teacher at Kinsealy School, and there he met a farmer's daughter by the name of Bridget Campbell.  They were married at Baldoyle Chapel in 1870.

BALDOYLE PARISH
NORTH COUNTY DUBLIN
Thomas had been promoted to schoolmaster at Kinsealy by 1877.  He died of accidental drowning in Artaine, North County Dublin, on 2 Jan 1878.

In 1889, his daughter Sarah had sailed to New England, and in the same year married my 2nd great grandfather, Mathew John Leonard of Portland Maine (originally of Dublin).  I wonder if they knew each other in Ireland.  Her father had spent many years working in Kinsealy, about five miles south of Portrane, where Mathew John grew up...

***

SOURCES:

National School Teacher Salary Books (1868-1890)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Catholic Parish Records (Marriage and Baptism)
Maine Death Record of Elizabeth Howlett-Leonard

Friday, November 1, 2019

Thomas Mullarney of Wicklow

My 4th great grandfather was Thomas Mullarney of Ballymanus Upper Townland, in the Glenealy Parish of County Wicklow.  He was born around 1808 and died around 1877. 

In 1835, in Old St. Michael's of Rathdrum (church is no longer there), he was married to Elizabeth Ellis, and they were both living in Garrymore, Ballinacor, Wicklow at the time. 

It's unclear when they moved to Ballymanus, and became caretakers of one of Daniel Tighe's properties there, but it was certainly between 1835 and 1841.

I learned of this ancestor upon a trip to Ireland in October 2019, by procuring the death record of known ancestor Sarah Mullarney-Howlett, who was mother to my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Howlett-Leonard.  On Sarah's death certificate, it stated she died in Ballymanus Townland, and was wife of schoolteacher (Thomas Howlett).  This was a revelation to me, as all my Irish ancestral research had, up to that point, been confined to North County Dublin.

Once I studied a bit more about Sarah, I learned that her parents were Thomas Mullarney and Elizabeth Ellis, also of Wicklow.  The 1852 Griffith's Valuation matched up the name Thomas Mullarney, at House Lot 3 of Ballymanus Upper:


I paid a visit to the Valuation Office in Dublin, and managed to get a nice copy of the Valuation Map for Glenealy Parish, which was used for the above valuation document:

Griffith's Valuation Map
1852
Thomas Mullarney Lot (See Arrow at the bottom)
Click to Enlarge
I was also able to look through the old cancellation books, to run the full chain of title from 1842-1978.  The landlord for the Mullarney House was Daniel Tighe, who was also a neighboring landowner/tenant (as you can see from the above roster).  The Mullarney lot was measured at 9 acres, 3 roods, and 0 perches (about the size of ten football fields).  The 9 acre land was long valued at 5 pounds sterling (inclusive of house).  The house situated on it was always known as the "Woodranger's House" in these cancellation books.  I would be very curious to learn which house this is, and if it's still there.  As of 1978, the house lot had been subdivided onto a smaller land, and was then owned by a Bernard Kelly.

2019 Aerial Shot
Ballymanus Upper
(Mullarney House Still There?)
Thomas was listed as caretaker of this particular property of Tighe's, and he appears in many petty court sessions in Ballymanus/Glenealy, where he complained of trespassers and thieves:
  • In March of 1841, Thomas witnessed Francis and Dennis Toole trespassing on his tenant property, breaking a fence, and apparently stealing holly crops.
  • Also in March of 1841, Thomas witnessed Phillip Doolin breaking a fence and stealing oak crops.
  • In January of 1842, Thomas witnessed Mary Toole and Elizabeth Dowdall breaking the fence and stealing oak plants.
  • In June of 1842, Thomas witnessed Luke Cullen stealing sod and a horse from his tenant property.
  • October 1842, Thomas witnessed John Fitzpatrick stealing oak trees from his tenant property.
  • In 1851, Thomas witnessed Keven Develin stealing heath from his tenant property.
  • March of 1854, John Beety stole oak trees
  • Sept 1857 and in June of 1862, Thomas was charged for allowing his mare to wander out into the street.
  • October 1857, Thomas was accused by a local tailor Richard Byrne of threatening his life.
  • April of 1860, Thomas witnessed the trespass of cattle onto his tenant lands, said cattle owned by James Bradshaw
  • In January of 1865, Thomas owed Joseph Cowley for goods.
  • June of 1866, Thomas stood up as witness for William Mullarney, who was accused of assaulting Mary Kerwin.  William served a week of hard labor.  William was 17 at the time, so he could have been Thomas' son, nephew or little brother.
  • August of 1867, Thomas was charged with public drunkenness, and had to pay a fine of one shilling.
  • July 1868, Thomas was charged with having an unlicensed dog.  He licensed a male greyhound two days later
  • March 1869, licensed a slate mongrel.
  • July 1871, licensed a black sheepdog.
  • June 1873, public drunkenness again.
  • March 1874, licensed a brown mastiff.
  • March 1876, licensed a black sheepdog
Whom I believe to be Thomas' brother or father, James Mullarney of Ballymanus, had a few run-ins with the law:
  • In May of 1842, James trespassed onto Daniel Tighe's woods property in Ballymanus, and was convicted.  He had to stay in prison for a fortnight and pay a fine.
  • In July of 1864, he struck Martin Cullen on the public road in Glenealy, and had to stay in jail for a week and pay a fine.
  • In 1866, he landed in prison (unknown charge)
William Mullarney, mentioned above, who had spent a week in jail for assault, and who might be little brother or nephew to Thomas, also had a record:
  • One Eliza Mullarney had a child named William in the Rathdrum Workhouse on 19 Feb 1868.  No father listed.  Was this a child of William's?  Or was this Eliza the same who was wife to Thomas?
  • April and May of 1869, William was arrested twice for assaulting George Loftus Booth, although the cases were dismissed.
By 1877, Daniel Tighe's son, James, acquired title to the land, and most all other land in the Parish,  and at that point, Thomas Mullarney drifts off of title.  He had clearly lost the lease by then.  What is not so clear is what happened to him after that, or when he died.

Thomas Mullarney and his wife Elizabeth had four known children:
  • My ancestor Sarah Mullarney-Howlett (1836-1865).  Sarah died quite young, of tuberculosis, about two years after giving birth to my 2nd great grandmother, Lizzie Howlett-Leonard (pictured below).
  • Patrick Mullarney (1844-1906).  Patrick was a national schoolteacher, just like Sarah's husband, Thomas Howlett.  Patrick was also schoolmaster of Glencullen National School in South Dublin from 1881-1894.
  • John Mullarney (1852-1901).  John had a large family and lived in Georges Quay of Dublin City.
  • Thomas Mullarney (1854-1873).  Died as a teenager.

LIZZIE HOWLETT
(ABOUT 1883)
GRANDDAUGHTER TO THOMAS MULLARNEY

Given that his wife Elizabeth died in 1892, a widow, at aged 82, it seems reasonable to believe that Thomas Mullarney was born around 1808 (Wicklow parish baptismal records from that period are hard to find online), and could have died around 1877, when he lost the lease to the Tighe family.

Thomas was born about ten years after the execution of Billy Byrne of Ballymanus, who put this townland into history.  I wonder if his parents knew Billy (or were somehow related to him)?

Patrick and his family lived in Glencullen, Rathdown, South County Dublin (just a bit north of Wicklow), so perhaps Thomas died in that area too.

***
SOURCES:

1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses
Wicklow Cancellation/Revision Books
Griffith's Valuation
Catholic Parish Registers (Wicklow and Dublin)
Civil Birth, Marriage and Death Records
Petty Court Sessions (Wicklow)
Dog License Registers (Wicklow)
National School Salary Books (Wicklow and Dublin)

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Francis Leonard (1859-1945)

Francis Leonard (1859-1945) was baptized in April of 1859 at Donabate Parish.  He was son to Mathew Leonard and Anne Brien, of the Portrane Cottages, Burrow Road, Portrane, Donabate, Dublin.

Frank (known by his loved ones as Fransheen), was a great believer in Irish fairy culture, according to old Paddy Lynders who lived in the Burrow near Frank.

As mentioned in his father's blog post, the Leonards were hit hard enough by the Famine to seek employment elsewhere.  Thomas D. Leonard was the first to leave the Burrow of Portrane, in 1850, and started a successful florist business in Portland Maine.  After a couple decades there, Thomas had purchased an entire block of the West End of Portland (Briggs Street), built houses there, and summoned his family over.  His nieces and nephews heeded the call, and Frank sailed to Maine with his brother Mathew John in 1881, along with other siblings.  Frank lived in Portland for three years, having worked at JB Brown's sugar mill in Portland.  But, he missed Dublin, and moved back in 1884, living at the old family homestead at House 15 in the Burrow, eventually taking over the lease upon the death of his father Mathew in 1904.

Frank first married to a Catherine Kent of Rush, in 1898, and she died in Portrane of tuberculosis at age 27, in 1901.  They had no children.

ST. PATRICK'S RC CHURCH
DONABATE, DUBLIN
(courtesy of Peadar Bates)
On August 11, 1904, he married 17 year old Margaret Byrne (1887-1961), by pastor Anthony Murphy, at the newly erected St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Donabate (which had replaced the older and smaller one just across the street).  Margaret was born in Dublin, daughter of Joseph Byrne and Margaret Reilly of Balcunnin.

Frank and Margaret had eight children:

1.  Thomas Leonard (1905-1993) married Alice Cowley of Swords, and had three children, and at least 16 grandchildren.

TOMMIE LEONARD
(ABT 1980)

2.  Maria (1907-1909), died as a toddler.

3.  Margaret May Leonard (1910-2001), who married a Michael Hoey (1900-1986) from Meath.  They had two daughters.  Margaret and her family moved into the Rose Cottage owned by the Leonards.

4.  Elizabeth Agnes Leonard (1911-___), likely died young.

5.  Ellen (Nelly) Leonard (1914-____), who married Edward Willett.

6.  Catharine (Kathleen) Leonard (1914-_____), never married.  She was a twin to Nelly.

7.  Agnes Leonard (1916-____),  who married a Daniel O'Rourke, and had two sons

8.  Alice Leonard (1917-abt 2002) (named after Frank's sister).  She married William McLoughlin in 1939, and had a daughter Ann.  She made a visit in 1964 to the Portland family, and she hosted her brother Mathew's and Elizabeth's children when they visited her in Donabate, Dublin.

Frank applied twice for dog licenses, in 1896 and 1898.  He owned a red terrier (his father Mathew owned terriers as well, so Frank had grown up with them).




Based on the fact that Frank had marked "X" as informant of his father's death certificate (1904), his marriage license (1904), and also on his son Thomas' birth certificate (1905), it stands to reason he wasn't able to write - either during that time period, or permanently.

Frank farmed the land for most of his adult life.  At some point, the land was deemed unsuitable, though, and his son Thomas had to find other work.

In 1922, Frank and his family likely celebrated the liberation of the Irish Free State from the United Kingdom.  In the 1940s, about a year or two before he died, Frank acquired title to the Portrane Cottage that had been so long in the hands of the Estate of George Evans.  Upon his death in 1945, the fee land passed to his son Tommie, and is still in the hands of this family today.

Frank and Margaret are both buried at Old Donabate Parish Cemetery, next to an old limestone gravesite that may in fact be where his father Mathew is buried, and surrounded by grass (also potential other Leonard burial sites).
GRAVE OF FRANK & MAGGIE LEONARD
OLD DONABATE CEMETERY


MYSTERY GRAVE NEXT TO FRANK'S
(POSSIBLY HIS FATHER MATHEW'S)
***
SOURCES:

  • Donabate and Portrane, a History, by Peadar Bates
  • 1901 Census of Ireland
  • 1911 Census of Ireland
  • Baptisms, Parish Registers, Donabate
  • Civil Birth Records, Balrothery, Dublin
  • Civil Marriage Records, Balrothery, Dublin
  • Civil Death Records, Balrothery, Dublin
  • Memorials of the Dead, by Brian Cantwell
  • Petty Sessions Dog Licenses
  • Interment.net


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Patrick Leonard of the Burrow (1795-1865)

Patrick Leonard was born in 1795 at the Portrane Cottages in Burrow Townland, son to Thomas Leonard (who was likely the first Leonard to arrive in the Burrow).

Patrick was a tenant farmer to Irish landowner Joshua Evans, and had at least seven children with his wife Elizabeth Horish:

1. Mathew Leonard (1819-1904) (my 3rd great grandfather), who inherited the land from his father Patrick upon his death in 1865.  Mathew married Anna O'Brien of Blanchardstown, and had ten children, all of whom migrated to Portland Maine in the 1880s to be with their uncle Prod (see below).  Two of these children (Frank and Patsy) came back to Portrane to take over ownership of the houses upon Mathew's death.  During the time of Mathew, according to the 1901 Census, the family house had only two rooms, and outside there was a cow house, a stable, a fowl house (referred to as out-offices by the Census).  By the time of the 1911 Census, Mathew's son Francis had the homestead, and had added a second cow house to the out-offices.

2. Elizabeth Leonard (1824-__), who married a John Harrison.  I wonder if John was a relative of Eleanor Harrison, the wife of the landlord?  There was a James Harrison in Donabate Parish records whose son Nicholas had Mathew Leonard as his godfather in 1850.

3. John Leonard (1826-__) appears in a Donabate Parish baptismal record on April 16, 1826.

4. Thomas D. Leonard, (1828-1912) nicknamed "Prod," a gardener who emigrated in 1850 to Portland Maine, and married Alice Wade.  Prod started the wave of Leonards in his family moving to Portland from Portrane.

5.  Ellen Leonard (1829-___) (and her husband Thomas Keane) are offering their son Patrick for baptism September 10, 1848.  Mathew Leonard is listed as godfather, so it's quite likely that Ellen is another daughter of Patrick.

6.  Mary Leonard (1831-___) appears in a Donabate Parish baptismal record on April 9, 1831.

7.  Charles Leonard (1834-____) appears in a Donabate Parish baptismal record on November 25, 1834.

Patrick (aka "Pat") appears on the Burrow tithe books in 1833 below:


A word about the tithe system from above:

From 1823 to 1838, there was a law called the Tithes Composition Act.  This required all Irish citizens to pay a monetary compensation to benefit the Irish Anglican Church (instead of an amount representing a portion of fee land holdings), regardless of whether the citizens attended this church.  I believe my ancestor Pat Leonard was a Catholic, so it's likely that he is listed above as having paid money to a church he didn't attend.  There was a rebellion in the 1830s whereby the peasants refused to tithe the church.  The rebellion was so popular that Great Britain couldn't enforce the Act.  In 1838, the Act was repealed, and a new law was put in place, requiring all Landlords to do the titheing.  Of course, Landlords simply raised the rent on their tenant farmers in response.  But it calmed the masses, as they didn't feel robbed by the Crown.

See Patrick's listing below on line 22 and 34 of the Burrow section of the 1847 Griffiths Valuation, where it shows the Burrow's majority landlord to be Joshua Evans, Esq. (who was also then a Commissioner to the Court of Bankruptcy).

Also below are the Wade and Smart families, also figuring into the Leonard family:


Patrick died in the Balrothery Workhouse in 1865 (just a few months after his father Thomas died at the Portrane Cottages).  I have yet to review the Minute Books from this place, now available online, to try and learn more about Patrick's time there.  While none of the Leonards died of starvation, it's clear that there were financial troubles stemming from the Famine, and the Workhouse was often a place for people to go when they needed care or a place to live.  It's interesting to me that Patrick had still owned the houses in Portrane at the time, which passed to his son Mathew after his death.  Was the house too crowded for Patrick?  Was there a disagreement with his son?  Did he need some kind of care that Mathew couldn't provide?  I may never know.

BALROTHERY UNION WORKHOUSE
NORTH COUNTY DUBLIN
(NOW IN RUINS)
Across the road from the Workhouse is a mass grave with a single tall Celtic cross, bearing no names, but erected in 1918 "to the memory of the many unfortunate people who lie buried in this sad place."

I wonder if Patrick is buried in this mass grave, or if he is buried alongside his other family at Old Donabate Cemetery?


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joseph Martin of East Haddam

My 3rd great grandfather was one Joseph Martin (1791-1872), who lived his entire life in East Haddam, Connecticut.

Joseph was born to Jonathan and Hannah Martin, who had emigrated from England (possibly Suffolk) at some point prior to 1777 (which was the date of his brother Jonathan's birth in East Haddam).  There is some confusion online about Hannah's maiden name being either Huxford or Fuller.

When Joseph was 4 years old, his father died, leaving him (and five siblings) to be raised alone by Hannah.  Joseph was of appropriate age to have fought in the War of 1812, much like other East Haddam residents.  There wasn't a draft at that time, so it's clear that Joseph didn't feel incentivized to join.

Joseph married Livia Phelps, daughter of Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Phelps, on October 1, 1817 in East Haddam.  They had a great deal of farmland up until around 1850 (lived in the Poor Farm), but recovered and secured land next door to Livia's cousin Hiram Phelps.

Joseph and Livia had seven children in East Haddam:

-Mariette Clark (1819-??)  One girl appears on the 1820 Census, so it's clear she lived that long, but since no girls appear on the 1930 Census, I'm inclined to believe that she had died by then.

-Niles Martin (1820–1893)  Niles moved 200 miles away from home, to start a farm in Bucks County, PA.  He enlisted in the Civil War in 1863 (same time as two of his brothers).  On this record, his occupation was listed as a "Drover" (one who moves animals long distances, like a cattle driver).  He and his wife Elizabeth had a son named Joseph, after his father, and a daughter Sarah.  For the 1860 Census, he was listed as (either a "Tinkerman" or a "Gentleman"), and for the 1870 Census, a "Lumber Merchant".

-Ephraim Martin (1824-1915) Ephraim married Elizabeth Harris and moved to nearby Hartford, where he also ran his own farm.  They had at least one child, Anna.  Ephraim enlisted in the Civil War in the summer of 1863, with two of his brothers.

-Esther Phelps Martin (1826–1901)  Esther married carpenter Leonard Sherman Clark, and they were my 2nd great grandparents.  No girls appeared living with Joseph for the 1830 Census, when she would have been four years old, so I wonder where she may have been at that time.  Legend has it that Esther was the "ugliest woman in East Haddam", and that Joseph was so grateful to get her married in 1843, he gave Leonard a lot of farmland as dowry.  Interestingly, however, Joseph and the rest of his family were the keepers of the East Haddam Poor House as of the 1850 Census. Esther bore Leonard 12 children.  Several hundred of her descendants still live in East Haddam and surroundings to this day.

-Edgar Mandlebert Martin (1830–1894)  Edgar married Azubah Wright.  Not long after Livia died in 1860, Edgar took over the family farm, keeping his father Joseph living with him.  Unlike his three brothers, he did not enlist in the Civil War.

-Catherine Isabella Martin (1834–??)  Isabella appears to have married a Charles Clark in 1857 (in Belfast, Northern Ireland - wonder what the story was there).  Can't find any additional records on her, though.  However, this record may instead match to a different couple (one lawyer named Charles A. Clark and his wife Isabella, both born in Ireland, and living in NYC in 1880).

-Datus W. Martin (1836–1874) Datus enlisted in the Civil War in 1863, fighting in the CT __.   When he returned from the War, he married his wife Adelaide, and started a farm in East Haddam.  They had three children together.  He died at the very young age of 37.  I believe Adelaide may have remarried afterwards, since I cannot find her in any subsequent records.  The 1880 Census has Datus' son Frederick managing his father's farm as a single farmer, at age 16.


Grave of Joseph Martin
Parker Cemetery
East Haddam, CT
SOURCES:

Connecticut Town Records (Barbour Collection)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Martha Fuller Sheffer

My 2nd Great Grandfather, Charles Samuel Fuller, was the eldest of seven.  His eldest sibling was his sister, Martha Ann Fuller-Sheffer (1838-1918), who lived in Maine, Iowa and Missouri, but who had a connection to Australia that I would like to write about.

First, here is a picture of the eldest four of Charles' siblings, The photo appears to be dated just before 1900, a time after their brother Charles and their parents (Samuel and Ann) had died, after which they moved from Ottumwa, Iowa to Chicago.  Martha soon thereafter moved to Blue Mound Missouri with her husband George Sheffer, to retire and operate a hotel business.


Martha was born in 1838 in Maine to Samuel Bean Fuller, a railroad worker with Mayflower roots living in Waterville.  This is the house Samuel's kids grew up in on Front Street, just down the road from St. Joseph's Church.  Their house which was razed at some point before the 1970s, to build the post office:


Martha married George Henry Sheffer in January of 1859 in Waterville, Maine (where Martha and family were living at the time).  George, originally from Nova Scotia, had come from a lumber family, and it is believed that he may have met Martha when he moved to Maine to work.

In 1863, George and Martha moved to Ottumwa, Iowa to start up a dry goods mercantile business. Martha's parents and siblings followed them in the following years.  Her father, Samuel Bean Fuller, worked in the dry goods business as well, but after ten years his business was destroyed by a Town fire.

George and Martha had four of their own children, and adopted Martha's niece (also named Martha), when her sister Eva died in childbirth, and raised young Martha as her own:

1.  George Henry Sheffer, Jr. (1863-1908) - George was born in Ottumwa, and worked as a store clerk as a young adult (most likely his father and grandfather's dry goods store).  He moved to Missouri with his parents around 1900.  In 1906, after his father died, he and the family took a trip to Australia to visit his brother Samuel, and George Jr. caught a tropical fever while there.  He suffered with this for two years after he came back from the trip, and died in St. Joseph, MO, at the age of 44, leaving behind a wife and a seven year old daughter.  I haven't been able to find out their names yet.

2.  Etta W. Sheffer (1869- died between 1870 and 1880) - Young Etta was named after her aunt Julietta Fuller, and died as a child.  She is buried with the family at Ottumwa Cemetery, but the cemetery has no birth or death date information available.

SAMUEL FULLER SHEFFER

3.  Samuel Fuller Sheffer (1875-1929) - Named after his grandfather, Samuel Bean Fuller, young Samuel Fuller Sheffer was born in Ottumwa, and married his wife Alice there in 1895.  In December of 1899, they had their first of two children (Mary), and very soon thereafter, in 1900, when his parents moved to Missouri, he made the bold move to Melbourne Australia for a new life in merchant business at Chamberlin Medicine Company.  In Australia, Samuel and Alice had their second and last child, Howard Melbourne Sheffer (nicknamed "Mel").  Samuel declared his residency to be San Francisco (according to a passport application from 1917), while residing primarily in Sydney (where he named his home "Wapello", the County he was born in).  Mel carried forward his father's entrepreneurial spirit and worked as Managing Director of Sheldon Drug Company in Sydney.  See advertisement and photo below from 1937:


Sheldon Drug Company was where the "Rexona" brand of soaps and antiperspirants were developed, and, in particular, Samuel's wife Alice gets the credit for the invention!




Rexona enjoys a long business history worldwide, and is now owned by Unilever.  More on the history of this brand, and the Sheffer's early business, can be read here.
Samuel's son Mel had six children, and many grandchildren, all of whom are happily residing in the Sydney area.

4.  Frank Merriwell Sheffer (1882-1949) - Frank worked in several odd jobs and also pursued his photography passions.  After the death of his father, he and his brother and mother sailed to Australia to visit his brother Samuel.  Not long after his return, his brother George died, and was later drafted into WWI.  On his draft card it stated he had blue eyes and brown hair.  At the end of Frank's life he worked as a studio portrait photographer.  He died in Humansville, Missouri in 1949 of myocarditis, leaving behind his wife, Agnes May Fisher.  I don't believe they had any children.

In addition to having her four children, Martha raised her niece Martha Ann Foland (1889-1961) as her own.  Young Martha was born to Martha's youngest sister, Evalyn Edith Fuller-Foland (1856-1889) who died giving birth to her.



***
Below is the last known picture of Martha, and I believe this was taken during her visit to Australia in 1915, after the deaths of her husband George, and her eldest son George, Jr., and it was a couple of years before her own passing.

SHEFFER FAMILY PHOTO
ca. 1915 (possibly in Australia)
Back Row:  Mary Alice Sheffer (Samuel's Daughter), Alice Maude Sheffer (Samuel's wife), Samuel Fuller Sheffer, and Frank Merriwell Sheffer and his wife Agnes
Front Row:  Howard Melbourne "Mel" Sheffer, Martha Fuller-Sheffer, unknown small girl
Here are gravestone pictures from the Sheffer lot at Ottumwa Cemetery:

 
 


 
ETTA'S GRAVE (and another child's)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Maud Maple Miles, Renaissance Woman

MAUD MAPLE MILES

Maud Miles (1871-1944) was a very active and dynamic personality, and a hero to us Fuller genealogists.  It's thanks to her painstaking work that we have many documents, diaries, and family trees passed down to us, so I felt it prudent to do a biography on her.

Maud D. Maple was born on February 11, 1871, the eldest child to attorney (and Civil War vet) William Henry Maple III and my 2nd great grand aunt Julietta "Etta" Fuller, in the town of Chariton, Iowa.

ETTA FULLER-MAPLE

During the time of Maud's birth, Etta and William were moving around Iowa a bit, and lived for a time in Iowa City and also Ottumwa (where Etta and her parents and siblings had moved to from Maine in 1863).

Around 1881, when Maud was ten, the Maple family moved to Chicago (perhaps this was a better fit for William's law practice).  Her brother William Jr. was already seven, and her sister Nina Grace Maple would be born in Chicago in 1883.

Maud's talent for art was obvious to her parents, and she was enrolled in Chicago Art Institute, where she was taught by Arthur Wesley Dow.

In 1893, she participated in the World's Columbian Exposition.

In 1895, Maud married David Anderson Miles, a civil engineer from Indiana and Kansas.  Perhaps they met at the Institute.

DAVID ANDERSON MILES

Immediately after the wedding David and Maud moved to Kansas City, Missouri.

MILES HOME
CAMPBELL STREET
KANSAS CITY, MO

Their first child, William Maple Miles, died in childbirth in November of the year they moved.

Their second child, Mildred Irene Miles, was born in Kansas City in 1898.

In 1904, Maud's work was featured at the Louisiana Purchase Expo of the St. Louis World's Fair.  Later that year, her husband David died on Christmas Eve at age 36, leaving his 33 year old wife and 7 year old daughter behind.

Maud soldiered on, continuing in her job as a Kansas City public school art teacher at Manual Training High School.  On that salary, she managed to support young Mildred.  She got lucky and was hired to engrave bronze trail markers along the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri, including the one below:




In 1907, Maud's work was featured at the Art Institute of Chicago's "Annual Exhibition of Water Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists".

At some point just before 1920, Maud and Mildred moved north to Lombard, Illinois, where Maud's parents were living at the time.  Maud's father William died in 1920, and her mother Etta died in 1922, both in Lombard.  Maud's daughter Mildred got married in 1921, moved to Chicago, and ultimately traveled the world and later remarried.

Maud continued her work as an artist and art teacher in the Chicago area at this time.  She also painted many large pictures of California missions for the Santa Fe stations across the country.  On one visit to her cousins' home in Elmhurst, the family went to Addison, where she painted a picture of the old windmill standing in solitude in the midst of acres and acres of farmland. The mill later became the focal point around which Mt. Emblem cemetery was planned.

MILL IN ELMHURST
SITE OF MAUD MILES PAINTING

According to a few websites, Maud was also known for being a writer, color theorist, painter of Western scenes, and bas relief sculptor.  Her work was also featured at one point in the Smithsonian Collection in Washington DC.

One of her lecture series was published in the form of "Short Talks to Art Students on color from an Artist's Standpoint:  Also Dealing with the Relation of Color to the Musical Scale" c. 1914, Kansas City.

The University of Chicago's weekly Music Magazine in 1920 featured a writeup on her color music theory:



From that, she is frequently credited as the inventor of the term "color music" as a new art form.  In the book Brian Eno: Visual Music, Maud is mentioned:



Here again in the 2005 publication Color Music:  Synaesthesia and Nineteenth-Century Sources for Abstract Art, by Judity Zilczer.


Now, as shown in the first writeup, Maud always gave credit to elder researchers in color theory, and to be fair, the concept originated with Pythagoras and was carried forward by French theorists in the late 16th Century.  Maud merely advanced the theory for the 20th century in America.

Maud died in Wilmette, Illinois in 1944 at age 73, in the care of her daughter Mildred (and Mildred's children Winifred and David).

FINAL HOME OF MAUD MILES
RIDGE AVENUE
EVANSTON, IL
Maud and her husband David are buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City.  This blogpage is a tribute to her as an artist, a family member, and a diligent genealogist, as passed down by her granddaughter Winifred Marks, who also worked in the education system and was a published author of her own right.


SOURCES:

Diary of Charlotte Huntington Wood (cousin to Maud Maple Miles)

U.S. Census Records

Color Music:  Synaesthesia and Nineteenth-Century Sources for Abstract Art, by Judity Zilczer, c 2005

Brian Eno:  Visual Music, c 2013 Christopher Scoates

Musical Courier, August 26, 1920, University of Chicago

Illinois Women Artists Project

Find a Grave


Saturday, December 26, 2015

William Lee Clarke (Town Clerk of Westbrook Maine)

WILLIAM LEE CLARKE
COURTESY OF WESTBROOK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

William Lee "Bill" Clarke (1919-1996) was Town Clerk of Westbrook for a record 38 years.  I recall when growing up there that he often ran unopposed, and I myself voted for him when I came of age to do so. I had often wondered if he might bear any relation to my extensive Clarke family of Maine, and Connecticut before that, which had originated in America at the Jamestowne Settlement in the early 1600s with the arrival of John Clarke.  I was surprised and delighted to discover in 2015, upon researching the matter, that an ancestor of Bill's had come from Connecticut, so there may be a distant connection (more on this below), but nothing definitive can be found as yet.

Bill Clarke was born in 1919 in Westbrook, and for the first few months of his life the family lived on 111 Mechanic Street, corner of West Valentine, just eight years after the migration of his father, Lee Elbert Clarke, from New Canaan, Canada in 1911.  Lee lived on Manners Avenue in Portland upon his naturalization in 1914.  He married Casco-born Millie Dawn Scribner in July of 1916, and bought the house on Mechanic Street shortly thereafter.  Lee worked as a bookkeeper at Parker & Thomas Company in Portland, and had lost his arm, and was thus exempt from the draft during WWI in 1917. I learned from a grandson of Lee's that this was due to a hunting accident in Canada in 1909 when Lee was 20 years old.  It isn't known if the gun fell over or what happened, but his injury was sustained to the left arm, back of the wrist, and therefore his arm was amputated just below the elbow.

BIRTH HOME OF WILLIAM LEE CLARKE
111 MECHANIC STREET
WESTBROOK, MAINE


WILLIAM LEE CLARKE FARM HOUSE
333 SPRING STREET
WESTBROOK, ME
The Clarke farm house on Spring Street was originally built in 1910 for William B. Bragdon, who later became mayor of Westbrook. Bragdon lived there for about a decade, and was known for having given a public speech from the front porch around 1919, the year he was elected Mayor (one year term).  Not long after the election, in April 1920, Bragdon sold the house to Lee Clarke and William Scribner (Lee's father-in-law), when Bill Clarke was about 7 months old.  Lee maintained his bookkeeping practice, while his son Bill eventually ran a dairy farm there called Blue Spruce, and he used to deliver the milk door to door.  Blue Spruce continued in the family until the late 1980s, and Bill would also eventually sell his milk to Oakhurst Dairy in Portland.

From 1943 to 1949, Bill worked on Westbrook City Council, and at the end of this run he married Jackie Rochelau, whose father was a WWI veteran, and business owner, born to French Canadian immigrants.

In 1956, Bill Clarke ran for Town Clerk, a post he succeeded to and kept for 38 years, elected for 19 consecutive two year terms, until 1994.  In addition to working tirelessly to help many people obtain their fishing and hunting licenses, he was the officiator of many thousands of marriages of Westbrook's citizens, including my own mother's second marriage in 1980.  Clarke made a comment to mom about their shared name, and they joked together about the possibility of a relation.

Bill officially gained ownership of the house and farm in August 1977, when his elderly mother and two siblings deeded the land to him and Jackie.

Bill Clarke passed in 1996, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the family plot with his parents and siblings.  He is fondly remembered by many in Westbrook for his kind nature and encyclopedic mind. A couple years before his passing, Wayside Drive in Westbrook was renamed "William L Clarke Drive".

WILLIAM L. CLARKE DRIVE
(FORMERLY WAYSIDE DRIVE)

Paternal Ancestry of Bill Clarke

Bill was born to bookkeeper Lee Clarke, an immigrant to Maine originally from New Canaan, New Brunswick, Canada.  Lee's father, Gesner Abner Clark, grandfather Charles Clark, and great grandfather Nehemiah Clark, were all born in New Brunswick as well.

Bill's father Lee is shown in this family photo, he's second from the right, amongst his brothers.  In the second row is seated Gesner and his wife Melissa.  (Courtesy of Haddon Clarke family)



Nehemiah's father, Elias Clark, was from Hartford Connecticut, and appears to have migrated to New Brunswick, Canada in 1779, just after the Revolution.  This could one day bring me to a Connecticut connection between my family and his.  One thing I've learned, is that Elias' father was named Joseph Clark, but he is not to be confused with a Joseph Clark III of Middletown.  This Joseph was indeed an indirect ancestor of mine, and records and DNA testing have proven to me that Elias is not the son of this Joseph.  However, it's possible that this Joseph of Hartford (born abt 1730) may also be a relation, yet likely more distant.

The Future of the Clarke Farmhouse

Mr. Clarke's farm and house lot was sold to Risbara Construction in January of 2014.  There are currently discussions of converting the property into a mixed use development (and there are mixed reactions to this among the City's residents).

DRAWING OF PROPOSED FUTURE DEVELOPMENT


SOURCES:

Westbrook Historical Society

U.S. Federal Census Records

Census of Canada

Maine Birth Records

Maine Death Records

Ancestry Family Trees

U.S. Social Security Death Index

U.S. Naturalization Records

Cumberland County Registry of Deeds

Portland Press Herald

American Journal

Google Earth