Monday, September 6, 2010

John & Nancy Tooker

As mentioned in other blog posts, the Tooker family of Connecticut was vast and spread out well over the State.  They frequently intermarried with the Hall, Clark and Bogue families, among other families in 19th Century Connecticut.  Many of these marriages were of first and second cousins.

John Harvey Tooker, Jr. (1819-1904) was one of the many Tookers of Lyme.  As mentioned in other blog posts, his father was born John Harvey Tucker (1790-1874), but changed the family name due to not wanting the family to be confused with a delinquent Tucker family, who also had similar first names.  John's mother was Olive Dart (1793-1872) , whose father, Samuel Dart had migrated from Devon, England (need to verify).  John Sr. died of cystitis, and Olive died of palsey, both in the family home in Lyme.

John Jr. was married to Adelia Slate from 1844 to 1849.  Delia divorced him based on "intolerable cruelty" and him being "habitually intemperate".

John conceived a child named Alice Tooker with Nancy Ann Hall (1836-1917) before ultimately marrying Nancy in February of 1854.  Nancy was one of the many Halls of Lyme.  Her father, Harvey Hall (1805-1859) was from England but lived in Colchester, Connecticut much of his life.  Her mother, Sarah "Sally" Hewlett-Mott-Hall (1805-1895), lived on the Glover farm in Newtown (Fairfield County Connecticut) after Harvey died.  The Glovers were not relatives, so I'm not sure why the move, when she might have been able to live with any of her seven children's families in Lyme.  Sally was daughter to Stephen Hewlett and Mary Daniels.  Her sister Abby married William Bogue and had 11 children.  Her brother Edwin Hewlett married Francina Mott (must have been some relation to Sally's first husband.

Nancy's brother Charles married a Clark.  Her brother Harvey married a Tooker.  It was the way things went, apparently.

Below is a brief account John & Nancy's family:

-Alice (1853-1920) married George Thomas Bogue (of the Lyme Bogues - who was also descended from Clark and Dart cousins of Alice), and had two daughters:  Alice and Nellie.  Nellie married her first cousin, Willis Manley Clark, who was Francina's son, and they lived in Essex, CT.  Nellie and Willis had six children together.  In 1911, at age 36, only three years after having her sixth child, Nellie was hit by a train in Willimantic, CT, while she was walking on the tracks by herself.  The train apparently tried to signal a warning whistle, but Nellie hadn't heard it since she was deaf.  She eventually turned around and saw the train, and was struck.  She died in the hospital from skull fracture.  Full article of this sad event, as written in the Willimantic Chronicle, October, 1911, is transcribed below:


A Woman was walking along the track and paid no attention to the warning whistle, turning however just as the engine strikes her.  A woman about 50 years old whose name could not be learned was struck this afternoon by the three o'clock train from New Haven, just this side of Turnerville.  She was walking along the track and was seen by the engineer.  He blew the whistle and she did not seem to hear it, he then applied his brakes but could not stop his engine quick enough to avoid striking her, the woman turned around and as she did she was struck in the shoulder and thrown to the ground.  The train was soon stopped and the woman placed on a stretcher and taken aboard the train.  Word was sent to St. Joseph's hospital in this city and the ambulance called, it met the train and took the woman to the hospital where she was treated for her injuries.
The woman was poorly dressed and looked as though she was in great pain. She had to be held down on the stretcher by the railroad man, until brought to this city and when taken in the ambulance to the hospital had to be held down on the stretcher by the attendant.


A short time after being taken into the hospital the woman died from fracture of the skull. Word was immediately sent to Dr. Louis I. Mason, the medical examiner, later it was learned that the woman was Mrs. Willis Clark of Hopeville which is about a mile from Turnerville.
The funeral of Mrs. Willis Clark of Turnerville who died in St. Joseph's hospital yesterday afternoon from injuries received in being struck by a train a short time before will be held Friday at 12 o'clock.  The service will be in the Episcopal Church of Hebron and internment will be in the Hebron Cemetary.

The deceased was about 45 years old and leaves a husband and six children.  The engineer felt much grieved at the woman's death.  He said that Mrs. Clark was walking on the tracks and apparently did not hear the whistle.  He put on his brakes, but not soon enough.  The woman, just as the engine approached her turned to one side and as she did the brake beam of the engine struck her.

Mrs. Clark was deaf and had the left the train at Turnerville.  Her home was about a mile and a half this side of Turnerville.

After her death yesterday afternoon medical examiner Dr. Louis I. Mason, who was called and after viewing the remains, turned them over to Elmore and Shepard to be prepared for burial.

-Francina Czarina (1855-1919) was given her middle name due to a Russian woman living with them at the time.  She moved to Montville, CT, and married William Edward Clark (brother to her sister Lizzie's husband Niles).  They had eight children.  Their youngest, Richard William Clark, married his own niece, Viola West, and went to jail for it.  They changed their last names to Williams and moved up to Keene, New Hampshire for a while.  Richard and Viola were married for over 50 years, and had five children together, all of whom lived to be happy normal adults.  I guess the heart wants what it wants...

-Ephraim Norman (1856-1858) died just a few days shy of his 2nd birthday.

-John F. (1860-1913) married twice (Ida Beers & Mary Mitchell), and had 5 children.  When he died in 1913, Mary married Gilpin Clark, a cousin to all the Clarks everyone else was marrying.

-Ralph Saunders (1862-1939) married Lillian Bogue and had two sons, Arannah and Ralph Jr.  They both married Clarks.

-Charles Carrol (1864-1942) was a building carpenter.  He married Minnie Allen and had five kids.  His eldest son Horace married Charles' sister Musette's eldest, Josephine.

-Lizzie Tooker (1870-1942) married Niles Clark (brother to Francina's husband William), and had nine kids.  Lizzie and Niles were my great grandparents.

-Sarah Lucretia (1872-??), I can't find anything beyond the 1880 Census.  She wasn't named on her father's will, probated in 1917, so she must have died prior to then.

-Musette Cressie (1874-1948) married Augustus Ferdinand Snow, who was 30 years her senior.  They had eight children together.  Augustus had a son Albert (1880-1949) from a prior marriage (well actually Albert's mother was the neighbor during his prior marriage), who lived with his father and stepmother Musette.  When Augustus died, Albert (being only 6 years younger than his stepmother) married Musette, and adopted the eight children as his own.  Albert was married to Musette for 30 years, twice as long as his father was married to her!

-Samuel Israel (1875-1951) was a stone mason.  He married twice and had a daughter named Flora.

-Mary Tooker, the youngest, married George W. Lovely, and had two boys, George Jr. and John.  John married a girl named Fanny...which means that her married name was Fanny Lovely!

John Harvey Tooker fought in the Civil War from 1862-1863 in the CT 26th Regiment, Company F.   He enlisted on 30 August 1862, and mustered out November 10 of that year.  He finished up in August 1863, completing a nine month enlistment, and was paid $44.78 for clothing/money advanced.  Below is an account of the 26th Regiment, which saw its only Civil War battles in Louisiana:

Regimental History
C. V. INFANTRY (Nine Months)
THE Twenty-sixth Regiment was organized in September, 1862, under General Orders No. 99, dated August 13th. Recruiting occupied from about August 20th to September 10th, when ten companies assembled at Camp Russell, Norwich, coming from New London and Windham Counties. The officers of the line were elected by each company after its enlistment, before they were commissioned. On September 19th the field officers were elected by the line officers. The staff was appointed by the Governor. On September 25th the regiment was formally mustered in by a United States mustering officer, but the rolls were not signed. From this time to November 13th the regiment remained in Camp Russell, and became quite proficient in company and regimental drill.
On November 10th and 12th the regiment was again mustered in by United States Mustering Officer Lieutenant Watson Webb, who signed the rolls. Orders were received on November 12th to break camp, which was done on the 13th, and at 3 P. M. the regiment, with full ranks, eagerly left its first camp and marched through the crowded streets of Norwich, viewed by thousands of spectators and friends, and embarked on the steamer "Commodore" for New York. On November 14th it was disembarked at Brooklyn, and marched to Centerville Race Course, where it made its second encampment until December 4th. This camp was known as Camp Buckingham. On December 4th this camp was evacuated, and at 4.30 P. M. the regiment arrived in Brooklyn, and the same evening embarked on the steamer "Empire City." Remaining in New York Harbor until the morning of December 6th, the steamer put to sea under sealed orders. It was not divulged until several days later that this regiment was a part of an expedition to rendezvous at New Orleans, under Major-General N. P. Banks. On December 13th, arrived in the Gulf of Mexico; on the 14th, at Ship Island; and on the evening of the 16th, at New Orleans. On the 18th disembarkation was made at Carrollton, a few miles above New Orleans, and tents were again pitched, at Camp Parapet, a large enclosure from the Mississippi to Lake Pontchartrain. Here for the first time arms were issued to the regiment, and officers and men eagerly studied and practiced the manual of arms. In common with all Northern men going into camp so far south, much malarial sickness appeared, and soon the hospital was more than full, and many died. The influence upon the men of these frequent and sudden deaths was somewhat dispiriting.
On January 21 and 22, 1863, the regiment was paid off in full.
On or about March 13th, when Commodore Farragut passed up the Mississippi with his magnificent fleet and successfully passed the Port Hudson batteries, the cannonading of which could be distinctly heard in the regimental camp, it became quite evident that the Twenty-sixth was soon to participate in more active warfare at the front. For this change the men were impatient. On May 20th the regiment embarked at Carrollton, on board the steamer "Crescent," for Baton Rouge, where it arrived on the morning of May 22d, and during the forenoon it disembarked some six miles above, at Springfield Landing, in full view of the river works of Port Hudson, which, like Vicksburg, was a high bluff at a bend in the Mississippi, and strongly fortified on the river front; also with a parapet several miles in length in the rear, passing over and across ravines, gulches, and woodland, enclosing a rebel camp of many acres, and garrisoned by 6,000 to 7,000 men under Major-General Frank Gardner. The Twenty-sixth regiment was at this time attached to the First Brigade (General Neal Dow), Second Division (General T. W. Sherman), Nineteenth Army Corps (Major-General N. P. Banks).
Upon disembarkation at Springfield Landing the regiment was ordered immediately to the front to report to division headquarters. "Grim-visaged war" was now apparent. The mortar fleet below Port Hudson kept up a continual shelling of the rebel works, the missiles passing directly over the regiment. On May 24th the regiment joined the left wing of the corps investing Port Hudson, which had progressed from right to left. The enemy were driven into their inner works during the afternoon of this day, abandoning their rifle-pits and outer works, ten in number, in front of Sherman's Division. During the evening communication was ordered to be established at the extreme front, between Sherman's and Augur's divisions on our right. A detachment from the Twenty-sixth was selected for this purpose, and by 10 o'clock its object was accomplished, and Port Hudson was completely invested. May 25th, 26th, and 27th were days of preparation for the first assault by the entire corps upon the enemy's works, which were as strong as skill and time could construct. At 10.30 A. M. the bugle called into line Sherman's Division, but not until 1.30 P. M. was all in readiness for the charge. The Twenty-sixth occupied the right center of Dow's Brigade, and it so happened that at this point, by the "Slaughter" plantation house, were assembled Generals Dow, Sherman, and Andrews (Chief of Staff to General Banks), when General Dow ordered his brigade to the charge. With great enthusiasm General Sherman also in person ordered "Forward!" and led the column until he lost his leg and his horse by a shot.
Charging over an open field upon a protected enemy is a story that has been told and written in the blood of thousands. Impetuosity, bravery, and skill accomplished the same here and no more than at Fredericksburg and many other historic fields. An advanced position was secured and held. When the Twenty-sixth called its rolls after the battle, 107 were dead and wounded. Among the number were all ranks, from colonel to private. This regiment had received its first baptism of fire and blood, but only to prepare it for better service. The picket line that night was held in front of Dow's Brigade by the Twenty-sixth.
From May 27th until June 14th the entire command was under continual fire, night and day. On the afternoon of June 13th a heavy skirmish line was thrown out on Sherman's front, in which the Twenty-sixth performed a conspicuous part, losing one man killed and seven wounded. On June 14th a second general assault was ordered. Sherman, who had lost a leg May 27th, had been succeeded by General Dwight, who selected a position more to the left, and on the extreme right of the enemy, near the Mississippi River. The result of this assault was similar to the first. It was made in the early morning. No troops could have been better handled, or acted with more gallantry. In this charge the Twenty-sixth numbered 235 men, and its total casualties were sixty-one. Of this number four were killed and sixteen wounded by a single shell. After this battle the brigade commander said in his report: "The nine months troops have demonstrated by their gallant conduct that they can be relied upon in any emergency."
From June 16th to July 8th the siege was continued. On July 7th news was received of the surrender of Vicksburg, and on the next day Port Hudson surrendered, with 6,408 prisoners. General Banks's total casualties during the siege were 500 killed, 2,500 wounded (official). That the Twenty-sixth had borne a conspicuous part was acknowledged by its being selected as one of ten regiments to receive the capitulation of the garrison on July 9th, and was assigned to the left of the line-the second post of honor. From July 10th to 25th this regiment performed provost and guard duty at Port Hudson. On July 25th orders were received to break camp and embark on the steamer "St. Maurice," and return to Connecticut for muster out, by reason of expiration of term of service. The regiment left Port Hudson on the 26th, via Mississippi River, Cairo, Chicago, and New York; thence by steamer to Norwich, where it arrived August 7th. Upon its arrival it was received by the Mayor and city authorities, who bestowed upon the organization every attention and honor. The Mayor delivered an address of congratulation and welcome, and the citizens turned out en masse and provided a sumptuous collation on the public park. On August 19th the regiment again reassembled in its original Camp Russell, and was mustered out and paid off.
Port Hudson, La., May 27, 1863.
Port Hudson, La., June 13, 14, 1863.

John died of chronic bronchitis in April of 1904 in their Lyme home.  Nancy died of stomach cancer in the summer of 1917.  At the time of John's death, his house in Lyme was valued at $200, his 30 acres of land at $200, and his 4 head of cattle at $120.

Here are a few assorted pictures of the Tooker family, including children of John & Nancy Tooker (Francina, Musette, Charles, and Lizzie):

Fannie Stoll-Snow, Richard Snow, Winona Snow
Emma Clark-Stoll, Musette Tooker-Snow (unknown baby)





  1. Hello Scott, I am trying to help my mom (maiden name of Tooker) find some family information, would you be able to contact me at
    Thank you!

  2. Hi,
    I found your website when I realized that my East Haddam Hall-Clark-Bogue families were going around in circles marrying each other. Thanks for the explanation.

  3. Glad I found your web site. My Grandmother is a Tooker from this line. I do have the Military records for John Tooker.