My Ancestor James McTeer (Mateer) from Kilkeel, Down, N. Ireland. Lived in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Related lines.

My ancestor James McTeer was born about 1697 in Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland (now N. Ireland).

Kilkeel (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Cottages near the beach, with the Mourne Mountains in the distance, Kilkeel, Newry and Mourne, N. Ireland.

A bit about Kilkeel:

Kilkeel, Irish Cill Chaoil, it is a fishing port and seaside resort in southeastern Northern Ireland. It lies at the mouth of the River Kilkeel at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. (1) It is the southernmost town in Northern Ireland.  Kilkeel town is the main fishing port on the County Down coast, and its harbor is home to the largest fishing fleet in Northern Ireland. It had a population of 6,541 people at the 2011 Census. The town contains the ruins of a 14th-century church and fort, winding streets and terraced shops. (2, 3, 4, & 5)

Sometime about 1730 James McTeer left Northern Ireland with a wife and family. On shipboard his children fell ill and died one by one, then his wife succumbed to illness as well; so, the grief-stricken young man arrived alone in Pennsylvania. This same traditional story has been handed down from generation to generation in both Tennessee and Ohio. Though the story is essentially the same in both branches, the number, sex, and names of the children vary, and no one has presumed to suggest a name or identity for this first wife. (8 & 9)

The first record of James McTeer was his application for a grant of land in 1747 in what was then known as Lancaster County, “West Side, Beyond the River Susquehanna” which eventually became Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1750. In 1736, the Penn family had signed a treaty with the Indians to open up the land on the west side of the river. The connection of the McTeers with the founding of the early Presbyterian Congregation of Silver Springs in 1736 indicates that they were residents of this area in the early 1730’s. (6 & 9)

Once settled in British Colonial America, he married second to Margaret Anderson about 1731 in Allen, Cumberland, Pennsylvania. It is believed he married third to Molly Sharon.

At least three generations of McTeers were elders in the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The church was founded in 1736. James McTeer was one of a group of forty-two members who, in the early years of the church signed notes to cover past church indebtedness and to guarantee the salary of the pastor.

Silver Spring Presbyterian Church and Cemetery
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

History of Silver Spring Presbyterian Church:

Scots-Irish settlers who traveled west across the Susquehanna River in search of new beginnings can be credited for establishing the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, located at 444 Silver Spring Road. Attracted by the region’s fertile soil and natural beauty, they made the decision to put down roots.

According to church records, the settlers, who embraced Presbyterianism, held their first worship meeting in 1732. Two years later, Alexander Craighead was appointed to preach to the people “over the river,” and by 1735, the first “Meiting House” was constructed on the land near the spring. It was described as a “small log building, roughly built, with split-log floors and seats, and few, if any, windows.”

By 1757, the area was officially organized and became known as Silver Spring Township. James Silver’s spring is still accessible from the north side of today’s “Meiting House,” where water is routinely used for baptisms.

In 1782, the Rev. Samuel Waugh was named the first American-born pastor to be licensed by the Donegal Presbytery. He lived with his wife, Eliza Hoge, daughter of David Hoge, one of Silver Spring Township’s founding trustees, in a small limestone house adjacent to the church property, which is now being used by the church as a retreat center. Waugh, educated at Princeton, served the church for 25 years until he died at the age of 58. (7)

Soon after completing his title to the property with a patent dated 11 Nov.1760, James McTeer built a store house near a large flowing spring, probably at about the point where Lisburn Road crosses Cedar Run. A Cumberland County map of the 1860s shows at that time seven houses on what had been the original McTeer land grant. (8 & 9)

Records of the Pennsylvania Direct Tax of 1798 for Allen Twp., Cumberland County, list James McTeer’s original house then owned and occupied by his son Samuel McTeer, as a stone dwelling, 16 by 22 feet, one story with four windows containing 48 lights (panes of glass); the accompanying kitchen was shown as an outbuilding 16 by 12 feet with two windows containing 12 lights; and the whole property including two acres of land was valued at $600.

When Major Will A. McTeer of Maryville, Tenn., visited the locality a century later this house was still standing and still owned by a McTeer descendant, Mrs. Ellen Saxton. The Major wrote his impressions in a letter from Mechanicsburg, dated 30 July 1898; “We got here last night. A beautiful town of five thousand inhabitants, nestled down in the richest and loveliest little valley I have ever seen. I am just now back from a visit to the old homestead of my great, great grandfather, four miles out. The main part of the old stone house is still standing but very old and dilapidated. The old farm is of the very best. A barn as big as Texas … filled … with oats by the six-horse load. I drank from the old spring that slaked the thirst of my ancestors.”

But only a few weeks after this encounter the old place was torn down; so, a neighboring farmer could use the stones for the foundation of a milk station. In Mrs. Saxton’s words, “It was hard for me to make up my mind to it but thought it best to lay sentiment aside as it was getting unsightly and useless
and possibly dangerous.” (8 & 9)

James McTeer was elected a captain (during the French and Indian War) in the Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Associators, 10,000 volunteer militiamen formed into 120 companies throughout Pennsylvania and commissioned by the governor. They were called Associated Regiments and they continued for the next 30 years until the Revolutionary War. His son, John, also raised a company of Associators in the Silver Springs community and was elected captain and served in the Revolutionary War. In fact, five of James Mateer’s sons and three of his son-in-laws served with the Pennsylvania troops at various times during the war. (6)

Out of his 400 acres James McTeer provided a farm for each of his four sons who remained in Allen Township. On 8 Dec 1770 “for love and affection” he deeded 100 acres to his son John; on 21 December 1770 he made a similar conveyance to his son William: and by his will he also gave land to sons James and Samuel. Son Robert moved to Fermanagh Township, Cumberland County, soon after his marriage and had already gone on to Tennessee before his father’s death. Since he received in the will only a token legacy, it is clear that Robert had in some way received his share at an earlier date, but the nature of that inheritance is now past recovery. (8 & 9)

His will was probated March 16, 1785, and Samuel McTeer was the executor. He died in his 89th year making the date of his birth about 1697.

Known children of James McTeer and Margaret Anderson:

  1. James McTeer (Mateer) born 6 April 1732 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died 12 October 1803 in Allen, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Donaldson (also listed as Denelson/Donelson) who was the daughter of Jacob Donaldson.
  2. Elizabeth McTeer (Mateer) born 9 April 1734 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died 18 May 1805. She married William Boyd.
  3. Capt. John McTeer (Mateer) born 30 April 1736 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died 10 April 1790. He married Mary Huston.
  4. William McTeer (Mateer) born 2 December 1738 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died August 1819 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He married Margaret Carothers.
  5. Robert Montgomery McTeer (Mateer) born 25 January 1740 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died 6 April 1824 in Blount, Tennessee. He married Agnes Ann Martin.

Some list him as marrying third to Molly Sharon. There were Sharon families in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania that were also from Ulster, Ireland (now N. Ireland). The following children are variously listed as children with his second wife and also sometimes as with his third wife:

  1. Alice (Elsie) McTeer (Mateer) born 17 March 1746 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died in 1804. She married John Carruthers/Carothers.
  2. Sarah McTeer born 19 April 1749 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died before 1810 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. She married John Pauley.
  3. Samuel Mateer (McTeer) born 12 April 1752 in Allen Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died September 1800 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He married Rosannah Quigley.

The next generation down, there is great confusion online regarding my James Mateer (McTeer) who married Elizabeth Nelson, and his parentage. Hundreds of people have copied incorrect information and parentage for him.

My James Matter (McTeer) is not the son of William Mateer (McTeer). Many list him as the son of Willliam Mateer and Dorcas McClure. There was a Dorcas McClure McTeer (Minteer) that is in probate records, witnessing wills in Harrison County, Kentucky, and would be attached to the McTeer lines that migrated to Kentucky. This is not the same Dorcas Mateer that is listed as a witness in some wills in Pennsylvania. Some list William Mateer as marrying both Margaret Carruthers and Dorcas McClure. There is a Dorcas McClure McTeer found in probate records in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, but they don’t match the death date for the William McTeer that married Margaret Carruthers. There were McClure families in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and this same Dorcas is listed in the will of a Joseph McClure. I have not attempted to work out the relationship of these two women named Dorcas McClure who married into the same McTeer (Mateer) family. But I know that I do not have a direct connection to her.

I have zero DNA connections to this McClure family of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. And although I do have some distant DNA connections to the Carothers family, there were a few intermarriages with the McTeer and Carothers families.

William McTeer and Margaret Carothers did have a son named James Mateer (McTeer) who was born 1 November 1765 in Pennsylvania, and died 23 May 1832 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. This James McTeer (Mateer) married Elizabeth Ross, the daughter of William Ross and Jean Nisbet. I do have distant DNA connections to the children of James Mateer (McTeer) and Elizabeth Ross, but they are remote matches.

My James Mateer (McTeer) also was not the son of Capt. John McTeer (Mateer) who married Mary Huston. This couple also did have a son named James! This James McTeer was called James “of Liburn” McTeer and was born about 1760 in Pennsylvania, and died 3 November 1817 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. I have found no marriage records for him. I do have some remote DNA matches to the descendants of the other children of John McTeer and Mary Huston.

My James Mateer (McTeer) also was not the son of Robert Montgomery McTeer who married Agnes Ann Martin and migrated to Blount, Tennessee. But of course, this couple also had a son named James! This James McTeer was born about 1763 in Pennsylvania, and died 26 September 1825 in Blount County, Tennessee, he married Martha Ferguson. I do have remote DNA matches to the descendants of Robert Mongomery McTeer and Agnes Ann Martin.

My James Mateer (McTeer) was also not a son of Samuel Mateer (McTeer) and Rosannah Quigley. Firstly, Samuel Mateer (McTeer) was only a few years younger than my James Mateer (McTeer). Of course, once again this couple did have a son named James! This James Mateer was born about 1780 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died 25 October 1856 near Georgetown, Fairfax, Virginia. He married Eliza Ann Tynan. I do have remote DNA matches to the descendants of Samuel Mateer (McTeer) and Rosannah Quigley.

The only son left is James McTeer. Once again there is great confusion as to the name of the spouse of this James McTeer who was the son of James McTeer (Mateer) and Margaret Anderson. He did marry a woman named Elizabeth, that is not contested, they share a cemetery headstone. Her name is listed as Elizabeth D. Mateer, the D. stood for her maiden name which was Donaldson (also listed as Denelson/Donelson). This is confirmed by research done by many prior to the invention of the Internet. But this fact has been largely ignored. Instead, people try to marry him to his future daughter-in-law Elizabeth Nelson! Some changing it to DeNelson (with no documentation to back up a DeNelson surname, just an attempt to explain the “D.” on her headstone).

Marriages of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania from 1749-1783.

Although hundreds of family trees on, also the information on (and elsewhere all over the web) try to list Elizabeth Donaldson (Denelson/Donelson) Mateer as Elizabeth D. Nelson Mateer. It is very much a case of them trying to fit a square peg into a circle! Elizabeth Nelson and James Meteer/Mateer married 17 Feb 1780 in East Pennsboro, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. I have seen some change the year of their marriage to 1760 to try to force it all to fit incorrectly!

Elizabeth Donaldson was the daughter of Jacob Donaldson. My sister, my niece, my Kennedy 2nd Cousin, and I, all share DNA matches to descendants of Jacob Donaldson who was born in Ireland (now N. Ireland) and died in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

There is a group of Pennsylvania Donaldson lines that appear to be connected and thought to be siblings (I do have DNA matches to the descendants of some of these lines).

  1. Jacob Donaldson of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, who married Janet (name also listed as Jennet). (My ancestors).
  2. Andrew Donaldson of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
  3. James Donaldson of Pennsylvania.
  4. David Donaldson of Hopewell, Pennsylvania.

James McTeer who married Elizabeth Donaldson and died 12 October 1803 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, did leave a will and in it is listed his son James McTeer (Mateer) – my ancestor.

My ancestor James McTeer (Mateer), the son of James McTeer and Elizabeth Donaldson, was born about 1757 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died in 1822 in Union Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. As noted above, he married 17 February 1780 in East Pennsboro, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania to Elizabeth Nelson, the daughter of Robert Nelson.

The surname is found various ways in addition to McTeer, Meteer and Mateer, including Matier, Minteer, Matteer, Mintre, Minater, Mintier.

Below are the known proven children of James McTeer (Mateer) and Elizabeth Nelson:

  1. Robert Meteer (Mateer) born 25 Oct 1781 in Pennsylvania. He died 6 Dec 1849 in Monday Creek, Perry County, Ohio. He married Esther Chambers on 11 Dec 1817 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. She was born 25 July 1790 in Centre County, Pennsylvania and died 16 July 1876 in Monday Creek, Perry County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Pvt. Elijah Chambers and Mary Linaberry (Lindaberry). They are my direct ancestors.
  2. William Mateer born about 1783 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died before 1870 in Clarion, Clarion, Pennsylvania. He married Eliza Eskill, and Martha Donnelly.
  3. Isabelle (Isabella) Meteer born 12 June 1784 in Pennsylvania, and died 25 October 1860 in Fairfield County, Ohio. She married Robert Work.
  4. Dorcas Mateer born about 1785 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and died 1825 in Huntington County, Pennsylvania. It appears she never married.
  5. Jennet (Jennette) Mateer/Meteer born 1786 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and died 1 January 1861 in Mahoning County, Ohio. She married William Steele. (She passed on the maiden name of her mother Nelson as a first name of her son).
  6. Joseph M. Mateer born 1789 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and died 11 January 1849 in Martinsburg, Blair, Pennsylvania. He married Mary Kline.
  7. James Nelson “J.N.” Meteer born 1791 married Parthena McMurtry Everett, the daughter of Abel Johnson Everitt and Bridget McMurty. Actress Carole Lombard’s direct ancestors.

My sister, my niece, my Kennedy 2nd cousin, and I all have numerous DNA matches to the descendants of all the siblings listed above except Joseph M. Mateer. There is a strong kinship, not just because of DNA, but also other family connections, like Isabella Meteer, her husband Robert Work, and their children all came to Perry County, Ohio then migrated to neighboring Fairfield County, Ohio. They came to Ohio first, but her brother Robert Meteer and wife Esther Chambers and their children followed them to Perry County, Ohio. Also, her niece, a daughter of Robert Meteer and Esther Chambers, Dorcas Meteer, married James M. Work, the son of Aaron Work and Millicent Everett. James M. Work was a nephew to Robert Work who married Isabella Meteer. Dorcas Meteer Work lived near her Aunt Isabella Meteer Work in Fairfield County, Ohio.

The next generation down. Children of my direct ancestors Robert Meteer and Esther Chambers:

  1. Mary A. Meteer (Mateer) born 22 September 1819 in Pennsylvania, and died 4 April 1905 in Columbus, Franklin, Ohio. She married on 30 June 1840 in Perry County, Ohio to John Baird, as his second wife.
  2. Chambers Meteer born 26 November 1820 Centre County, Pennsylvania, and died 12 August 1823 in Centre County, Pennsylvania.
  3. Julia Ann Meteer (Mateer) born 25 September 1822 in Centre County, Pennsylvania, and died 4 March 1896 in Maxville, Perry County, Ohio or Paralysis. She married on 29 October 1840 in Perry County, Ohio to James Price, the son of John Price and Nancy Albert. (My great-great grandparent).
  4. Elizabeth Meteer born 24 December 1824 in Centre County, Pennsylvania, and died 3 October 1893 in Bremen, Fairfield County, Ohio. She never married.
  5. Jane Meteer born 10 February 1827 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and died 28 October 1890 in Bremen, Fairfield County, Ohio. She never married.
  6. Dorcas Meteer born 11 July 1833 in Monday Creek, Perry County, Ohio, and died 11 June 1895 in Fairfield County, Ohio. She married 26 October 1865 in either Perry or Fairfield Counties Ohio to James M. Work, as his second wife. 
Actress Carole Lombard.

Actress Carole Lombard (born Jane Alice Peters) is a descendant of James Mateer and Elizabeth Nelson via their son James Nelson Meteer. My grandmother and Carole Lombard’s mother were direct 3rd Cousins. Please see my blog post: My Cousin Carole Lombard. Our shared Mateer/Meteer Ancestors for more information about her and her direct Meteer/Mateer family lines.


  1. Kilkeel, Down, Northern Ireland.
  2. “Kilkeel”IreAtlas Townlands Database
  3. Kilkeel Harbour”
  4. “Census 2011 Population Statistics for Kilkeel Settlement”Northern Ireland
  5. Kilkeel –
  6. James McTeer.
  7. Silver Spring Presbyterian Church a new start for early settlers By Stephanie Kalina-Metzger, For The Sentinel. Nov 3, 2014 via Wayback Machine.
  8. James McTeer.
  9. McTeer – Mateer Families of Cumberland County Pennsylvania, Frances Davis McTeer, 1975, p. 7, 23-26.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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My Ancestor Richard Taylor, the Tailor! 52 Ancestors, Week 20: Textile.

Colonial Tailor. Living history museum in Colonial Williamsburg.
Photograph by Rob Weisman

What came to my mind immediately when I read this week’s prompt was several of my ancestors with occupations directly related to wool, including my quite successful Trowbridge and Cogswell ancestors that were identified with the woolen trade and manufacturing. But after thinking about it, I decided to keep it simple this week and write about my ancestor Richard Taylor, who was a tailor!

We are lucky enough to know his occupation because he was called Richard Taylor “the tailor” due to his occupation and also to differentiate him from another man of the same name, Richard Taylor “of the Rock”, who was also living in Yarmouth in the Plymouth Colony in British Colonial America.

Not much is known about his life prior to coming to America, other than he was born in England. He married Mary Wheldon, daughter of Gabriel Wheldon. The other Richard of Yarmouth, Richard Taylor “of the Rock” married her sister Ruth Wheldon.

To learn more about Mary Wheldon, please read my other blog post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 8: Courting. My Ancestor Mary Wheldon Taylor. Her Life and Death.

Meaning and history of the name Taylor. Taylor is an English surname. It is derived from Old French tailleur meaning tailor, ultimately from Latin taliare meaning to cut. (1) We can deduce that my Richard Taylor came from a long line of tailors, given the meaning of his surname.

So, what would my ancestor Richard Taylor “the Tailor” actually do working as a tailor in British Colonial America? The tailors of colonial times made custom clothing of all types for both men and women. Almost everyone needed the services of a tailor. Most tailors were men, but there are some instances of women being tailors, and while tailors made clothing for women including riding habits; stays; hoops; and cloaks, most of their money was made by making items for men including greatcoats (a large overcoat); cloaks; robes; breeches; and sherryvalleys which were worn on the legs over breeches to protect their clothing. Tailors generally did not carry or sell cloth or ready-made clothing. Their customers would buy the cloth elsewhere and bring it to the tailor for the clothing to be made. (2 & 3)

So, what were sherryvallies exactly? They were thick, loose riding-trousers, fastened on the outside of each leg. They could be trousers or overalls and made of heavy linen, cotton or even leather, they buttoned on the outside of each leg. They were worn over breeches and stockings to protect these clothes from dust and mud encountered when horseback riding. It also protected the clothing from the smell of leather and horse. Similar to an overcoat, it would be removed once the rider arrived at their destination. Sherryvallies were worn by both the well-to-do and the poor. (4 & 5) They remind me of chaps worn by cowboys and ranchers.

A tailor in Colonial America would have made clothes for both the rich and the poor. The difference in the clothing would have been the quality of the fabric.

All tailors worked by hand.  To be successful, a tailor in British Colonial America had to be good with their hands, have good math skills, and be familiar with European fashion trends. They had to be detail oriented. They also worked closely with people and needed good customer service skills, including friendliness and being trustworthy. (2)


  1. Meaning of Taylor Surname.
  2. Colonial Jobs: Tailor.
  3. Colonial America Jobs, Trades, and Occupations
  4. Sherryvallies: Definition. Webster Dictionary and Wiktionary.
  5. Keeping Georgian Gentleman Neat: Sherryvalleys. Two Nerdy History Girls

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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My Cousin Carole Lombard. Our shared Mateer/Meteer Ancestors.

The beautiful Carole Lombard.

Carole Lombard was an American movie actress who became one of the highest paid stars of the 1930s. She is probably best known for starring in comedies and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film My Man Godfrey. She was married to actors William Powell and Clark Gable. She and her mother died in a plane crash in 1942 while returning from a tour to sell war bonds. Their DC3 crashed into Mount Potosi in Nevada on a clear night apparently due to a navigation error. (1 & 3)

Born Jane Alice Peters on Oct 6, 1908, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her parents were Frederick Christian Peters and Elizabeth Jane Knight. Her paternal grandfather, John Claus Peters, was the son of German immigrants, Claus Peters and Caroline Catherine Eberlin. On her mother’s side, she was a descendant of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. (2)

On her maternal side she was also a descendant of James Meteer (Mateer) and Elizabeth Nelson.

I love this photo of Carole Lombard. Old Hollywood glamour at its best!

Lombard was the youngest of three children, having two older brothers. She spent her early childhood in a sprawling, two-story house at 704 Rockhill Street in Fort Wayne, near the St. Mary’s River. Her father had been injured during his early life and was left with constant headaches which caused him to burst out in paroxysms of anger which disturbed the family. Her parents divorced and her mother took the three children to Los Angeles in 1914. (2)

Jane Alice Peters, the future Carole Lombard, with her mother and two older brothers. Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Her career spanned from the silent era to “talkies.” An auto accident almost ended her life as well as acting by inflicting serious scars on her face. Undaunted, she was able to cover the blemishes with the heavy use of cosmetics. She received her only Oscar nomination for Best Actress in My Man Godfrey. No Man of Her Own put her opposite Clark Gable for the first and only time but their marriage was still seven years away when they became the ideal Hollywood couple known for their success in the film industry. (1 & 3)

Carole Lombard and William Powell were married for 2 years. They dated for 8 months after getting together in Oct 1930 and they married on June 26, 1931. Two years later they divorced on August 16, 1933. although they remained very good friends until the end of Lombard’s life. At the time, she blamed it on their careers, but in a 1936 interview, she admitted that this “had little to do with the divorce. We were just two completely incompatible people”. (3, 6, & 7)

She did not see her final movie To Be or Not to Be released. With World War II raging in 1942, Clark Gable journeyed to Nevada to join a search party seeking the wreckage of a TWA twin engine DC-3 airliner flying from Indianapolis to Los Angeles. Aboard were 22 passengers including Carole Lombard Gable and her mother. She had finished a war bond drive just before boarding. There were no survivors. The blonde film star of the 1930s best remembered for her “Screw Ball comedies” was gone. Clark Gable rode on the train that carried the bodies of his wife and mother-in-law back to Los Angeles. She had left specific instructions for her burial in the event of death. Clark Gable purchased three crypts at Forest Lawn Cemetery, one for Carole, her mother and a reserve for himself. She mandated a swift, direct interment in a mausoleum crypt at Forest Lawn with only her immediate family present. In the wake of her death at age 33, the Army offered to conduct a military funeral to honor the first star to give her life while aiding the war effort. They were refused and her wishes were carried out as specified. However, a World War II Liberty Ship was christened in her honor. She is interred next to Gable and to her mother, Elizabeth Peters, who also perished in the crash. (1 & 3)

Carole Lombard in Supernatural (1933).

My favorite films of Carole Lombard:

  1. No Man of Her Own (1932). Her only film with Clark Gable.
  2. Supernatural (1933). Her only horror film. One of her stranger roles, but I love it!
  3. The Princess Comes Across (1936). She is paired with Fred MacMurray in this one, it is a mystery/comedy.
  4. Nothing Sacred (1937). A fun screwball comedy. Her only film in Technicolor.
  5. In Name Only (1939). A romantic film also starring another of my favorites Cary Grant along with Kay Francis.
  6. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941). Another fun screwball comedy film. But directed by one of my all-time favorite directors, Alfred Hitchcock.
Carole Lombard.

Fun fact: when the filming of No Man of Her Own concluded, on the last day of filming, Gable presented Lombard with a pair of ballerina slippers with a card attached that said, “To a true primadonna.” Lombard got him back when she presented him with a large ham with his picture on it. Gable kissed her goodbye, and they did not stay in touch, as Gable found Lombard to be bawdier than he was willing to handle, and Lombard found Gable to be overly conceited. It was not until four years later that their romance began to take off. Gable and Lombard never appeared together in another film, primarily because they became major stars at different studios, which didn’t like to lend them out. (3 & 4)

Carole Lombard with husband William Powell.

Famous Kin:

Carole Lombard is the only famous descendant of the Meteer ancestors that we share.

Carole Lombard and my Mom were direct 4th cousins. Carole Lombard’s mother, Elizabeth Jane Knight Peters, and my grandmother, Glenna Annette Kennedy Cole, were direct 3rd cousins.

Our shared ancestors are James Meteer (Mateer) and Elizabeth Nelson.

Carole Lombard with husband Clark Gable.

Our shared ancestor James Meteer (Mateer) was born about 1755 in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. He died 23 May 1832 in Union Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth Nelson. She was born 22 Apr. 1769 in Rye, Pennsylvania. She died 25 Sept 1804 in Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Robert Nelson. They married 17 Feb 1780 in East Pennsboro, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The surname is found various ways in addition to Meteer and Mateer, including Matier, Mintre, Minater, Mintier.

Marriages of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania from 1749-1783.

Proven children of James Meteer (Mateer) and Elizabeth Nelson:

  1. Robert Meteer (Mateer) born 25 Oct 1781 in Pennsylvania. He died 6 Dec 1849 in Monday Creek, Perry County, Ohio. He married Esther Chambers on 11 Dec 1817 in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. She was born 25 July 1790 in Centre County, Pennsylvania and died 16 July 1876 in Monday Creek, Perry County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Pvt. Elijah Chambers and Mary Linaberry (Lindaberry). They are my direct ancestors.
  2. William Mateer, married Eliza Eskill, and Martha Donnelly.
  3. Isabelle (Isabella) Meteer, married Robert Work.
  4. Jennet (Jennette) Mateer/Meteer, married William Steele.
  5. James Nelson “J.N.” Meteer, married Parthena McMurtry Everett, the daughter of Abel Johnson Everitt and Bridget McMurty. Carole Lombard’s direct ancestors.
James Nelson Meteer/Mateer and wife Parthena McMurtry Everett. Ancestors of Carole Lombard.

My sister Linda, my niece Elisabeth (daughter of my brother Bob), and my Kennedy 2nd cousin (who also shares my Price/Meteer ancestors), and me, all have numerous DNA matches to the descendants of the siblings of Robert Meteer listed above.

Our original immigrant ancestor was James McTeer (Mateer) who was from Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland, and settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. I am working on a blog entry about him and our other related kin. I will provide the link here when I publish it. 🙂

Carole Lombard’s direct line:

  1. James Meteer (Mateer) and Elizabeth Nelson.
  2. James Nelson Meteer and Parthena McMurtry Everett.
  3. Elizabeth Jane Meteer and Willard M. Knight.
  4. Charles Stuart Knight and Alice S. Cheney.
  5. Elizabeth Jane Knight and Frederick Christian Peters.
  6. Jane Alice Peters (Carole Lombard).
A publicity still from her film Supernatural (1933).

My direct line:

  1. James Meteer (Mateer) and Elizabeth Nelson.
  2. Robert Meteer and Esther Chambers.
  3. Julia Ann Meteer (Mateer) and James Price.
  4. Mary Elizabeth Price and Abraham G. Kennedy.
  5. Glenna Annette Kennedy and Durward Edward Cole. (My maternal grandparents).

My Mom would have loved knowing about this family connection with Carole Lombard. She loved old movies and named my sister Linda after actress Linda Darnell.

Carole Lombard and Cary Grant in In Name Only (1939).


  1. Carole Lombard.
  2. Carole Lombard.
  3. Carole Lombard. Wikipedia.
  4. Nixon, Rob “No Man of Her Own” (TCM article)
  5. No Man of Her Own (1932). Wikipedia.
  6. Gehring, Wes D. (2003). Carole Lombard: The Hoosier Tornado. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society Press.
  7. Ott, Frederick W. (1972). The Films of Carole Lombard. Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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My Immigrant Ancestor Daniel Strang, Sr. – A Frenchman Who Could NOT Make a Tasty Fricassee!

This week’s writing prompt for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Food and Drink. I immediately thought of my ancestor Daniel Strang, Sr! Evidently, according to Madam Knight of Boston, he may have owned an inn and tavern in Rye, Westchester County, New York, and offered his services as a cook to his guests, but he was a terrible cook! She requested he make her a fricassee, and in her opinion, as she states, “I desired a fricasee, which the Frenchman undertakeing mannaged so contrary to my notion of cookery, that I hastned to bed superless…” Her full review of her night spent at his inn is included below.

A bit about his tavern and inn, and Madam Knight’s review, from the book Chronicle of a Border Town: History of Rye, Westchester County, New York:

In the village itself, ‘Strang’s tavern’ was the ancient public house. A portion of the original building still standing on the southeast corner of the post-road and Rectory street.

A pencil drawing of Strang’s Tavern and Inn

Madam Knight of Boston gives an amusing description of her entertainment at this inn, in the course of her journey on horseback in 1704 from that city to New York: —

‘From Norowalk we hasted towards Rye, walking and leading our horses near a mile together, up a prodigious high hill; and so riding till about nine at night ; and there arrived and took up our lodgings at an ordinary inn a French family kept. Here being very hungry, I desired a fricasee, which the Frenchman undertakeing mannaged so contrary to my notion of cookery, that I hastned to bed superless : being shewd the way up the pair of stairs which had such a narrow passage that I had almost stopt by the bulk of my body. But arriving at my apartment found it to be a little Lento chamber, furnisht amongst other rubbish with a high bedd and a low one, a long table, a bench and a bottomless chair. . . . My poor bones compalined bitterly, not being used to such lodgings ; and so did the man who was with us ; and poor I made but one grone, which was from the time I went to bed to the time I riss, which was about three in the morning. Setting up by the fire till light, and having discharged our ordinary, which was as dear as if we had had far better fare, we took our leave of Monsier, and about seven in the morn came to New Rochell, a French town, where we had a good breakfast, and in the strength of that, about an how’r before sunsett, got to York.’ (1)

So, what exactly is a fricassee? It is a stew made with pieces of meat that have been browned in butter that are served in a sauce flavored with the cooking stock. Fricassee is usually made with chicken, veal or rabbit, with variations limited only by what ingredients the cook has at hand. (2, 3, & 4)

History of fricassee: by the general description of frying and then braising in liquid, there are recipes for fricassee as far back as the earliest version of the medieval French cookbook Le Viandier, circa 1300. In 1490, it is first referred to specifically as “friquassée” in the print edition of Le Viandier. (4 & 6)

Below you will find a recipe for Brown Fricassee Rabbit Recipe from the 1700’s, it is a brown fricassee and comes from The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse. The original book was published in 1747 (5) and gives you an idea of the types of ingredients used at the time. Rabbit meat would have been readily available for him to use, although often fricassee is made from chicken and in that case would be a white fricassee.


  • Rabbit meat
  • Three eggs
  • Breadcrumbs.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Mace spice.
  • Butter.
  • Gravy.
  • Wine.
  • Mushrooms.

Here is the video on how to cook the brown fricassee rabbit.

A bit about Daniel Streing/Strang, Sr., he was born in 1655 in Gien, Loiret, France. (Gien is on the Loire River and is 50 miles from Orléans). He was the son of Henri Strengs / Strangs / Lestrange and Marie Babault. His family were French Huguenots. He married Charlotte Marie Lemaistre on 21 August 1680 at The Chateau de Chamerolles, at Lorret, France, it was one of the few churches where Protestants of Huguenot or similar descent were able to marry. Their first child was born in France. The remainder of their children were born in America.

If you’d like to read more about his life and upbringing in France, time spent in England, as well as his life in America, and details about his wife’s family, and their descendants, see my full blog post about them here: Daniel Streing / Strang, Sr. and Charlotte Marie Lemaistre – My first confirmed French Ancestors.


  1. Baird, Charles Washington. (1871). Chronicle of a Border Town: History of Rye, Westchester County, New York, 1660-1870, Including Harrison and the White Plains Till 1788. New York, NY: Anson D. F. Randolph and Company.
  2. “Fricassee | (Oxford Dictionary)”Lexico Dictionaries | English.
  3. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Comfort Food. Penguin. 2007. p. 108
  4. Fricassee.
  5. Brown Fricassee Rabbit Recipe from the 1700’s – Kevin Felts. January 16, 2018.
  6. Hess, Karen (1996). Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery. Columbia University Press. p. 41.

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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52 Ancestors, Week 15. How Do You Spell That? My 2nd Great-Grandfather Elias “Eli” Nutick.

My great-grandmother Alice Elizabeth Nutick Armstrong. Daughter of Elias “Eli” Nutick & Margaret (Margarthe) Weiss.

The surname, parentage, and links back to his homeland of my great-great grandfather Elias “Eli” Nutick have been quite evasive. His line has been a royal headache and a never-ending brick wall for decades! Now, his wife, my great-great grandmother Margaret (Margarthe) Weiss’ line has been a dream to research. I have many DNA matches related to her Weiss/Fried/Propheter and other ancestors, all found in and around Klingenmünster, Germany. You can learn more about her family here: My Weiss, Fried, Propheter, and Related Ancestors from Klingenmünster, Germany

I have thought I found Nutick related kin via DNA a few times, only to discover if I went back far enough, the links were actually to his wife’s ancestors and not to him. I thought I really had it figured out when I had a few distant DNA matches that had the surnames Emig/Emich in their tree that went back to Germany, and those surnames were a good possible fit for Nutick, but alas, my connections to them are not on this line after all.

A little background on what is known about Eli Nutick. According to the two census records he appears in; he was either born about 1842 (according to the 1870 US Federal Census) or was born about 1816 (according to the 1880 Census). He dies in 1887, leaving his wife a widow with several young children. I tend to lean toward him being older and thus why he died thirty-two years before his wife. In the 1870 Census he states he was born in Bavaria. His wife also states she was born in Bavaria. This actually was of no help in researching their families because what was the Kingdom of Bavaria and what is now Bavaria is not one in the same and where she was born in Klingenmünster was sometimes listed as part of Bavaria, it is actually in the Rhineland-Palatinate. In the 1880 Census he lists himself (and his parents) as born in Prussia, as does his wife. Once again, this is not of much help, for the Kingdom of Prussia and what has been considered part of Prussia has changed over time in history, depending on the time period we are discussing. Later, his wife as a widow just lists her place of birth (and that of her parents) as Germany.

In the two census records where he appears as well as various other records, his surname is spelled as Ottic/Otte/Udig/Utic/Udie. But today I discovered his marriage record. I only found it by removing his surname from the parameters and only listing his first name and the name of his bride, Margaret Weiss. And guess what? His name is quite clearly listed as Elias Wegt!!!!!! This explains so much.

Marriage record in Hamilton County, Ohio for Elias Wegt and Margaret Weis.

The story that was told to me by an older Nutick family member in the 1980’s was that when Eli’s children went to grade school, the non-German speaking teacher in Ohio told them their name was Nutick from then on, because that is what she heard when they said their last name! Prior to the 1900 Census the name is listed as Ottic/Otte/Udig/Utic/Udie, and various other ways! I have no idea how Wegt (Weigt) sounded like Ottic/Otte/Udig/Utic/Udie, etc… to the census takers or why the teacher heard the name as Nutick. But once I understood his name was originally Wegt, I found DNA matches to a Wegt/Weigt family from Rawitsch, Posen – which was at the time part of the Kingdom of Prussia but is now in Poland.

At this time, my ancestor Elias “Eli” Wegt Nutick appears to be the son of Samuel Weigt (the son of Johann Gottfried Weigt) and Marie Elisabeth Kubel (the daughter of Johannes Wojciech Kubel). And he had at least one brother named Christoph Christian Weigt (Weicht). His brother migrated from Poland to Volhynia which is in Ukraine (in what was part of Russia at the time) before at least one of his sons immigrated to America. The DNA matches are still not as abundant in comparison to his wife’s family lines, but the DNA links are not as opaque as they were prior to discovering his marriage record.

The marriage record of his parents is thought to be found in Piaski, Gostyń County, Poland which is 26 miles from Rawitsch. There are still volunteers entering the marriage records from Posen into a database for genealogists to use. Not all of the records from the Posen area have been entered yet.

Regarding his brother’s migrating to Volhynia, this article discusses The Germans from Volhynia and Russian Poland. Many went to Alberta, Canada.

So, are we Polish?!!! Well, yes, and kind of! Where our ancestors came from is now part of Poland. And the surname Kubel, although not a super common surname, is found most often in Poland. Johannes Wojceich Kubel had a Polish name. Wojceich is very much a Polish given name. It is the equivalent to the Czech name Vojtěch, Slovak Vojtech, and German Woitke. The name is formed from two components in archaic Polish: wój (Slavic: voj), a root pertaining to war. It also forms words like wojownik (“warrior”) and wojna (“war”). (1) So, it would appear that at least one of our lines does have Polish origins.

Fun little side note here: when I was about 13 years old, I had several people ask me if I was Polish! Why several people thought I had Polish ancestry is still a mystery. But I suppose I could look at least partly of Polish ancestry.

I only know how to say a few sentences in Polish, but I will have to learn a bit more on Duolingo! And I absolutely love the Polish saying “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy”, which translates literally to “Not my circus, not my monkey.”

🇵🇱 Cieszę się, że mam polskiego przodka! 💖

The surname Kubel has a few origins, it could be from the German surname Kuebel that is generally thought to come from the Middle High German word “kübel” meaning a “vat,” or “barrel.” As such it was an occupational name for a cooper, or barrel maker. (4) But since he has a Polish given name of Wojciech, and the family lived in what is now Poland, it could also be from the surname Kubal. Kubal name meaning: Polish, Czech, Slovak, and German: from a derivative of Kuba, a pet form of the personal name Jakub. (5) As a Polish surname Kubal, it would have been also listed as Kubalska/Kubalski. In Polish naming the ending is ‘ski’ when it’s a male and ‘ska’ when it’s a female.

Weigt is a German surname, although found to a lesser degree in Poland. Johann Gottfreid Weigt is thought to be the son of Johann George Weigt and Rosina Elisabeth Krisch. Weigt is a German surname thought to be a reduced form of name Weigand. Weigand means “son of Wigant.” Wigant is a personal name derived from the Old High German word “wigant,” meaning “warrior.” (3) Krisch is a name most often associated with Austria. It is a German, English and French surname originally derived from the Old French given name Chistian and rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form Christianus meaning ‘follower of Christ’. (2)

Is this my last word on our Nutick line? Probably not! But it does seem to be forming into a much more coherent supposition as to the roots of my great-great grandfather Elias “Eli” Wegt Nutick.

Polish folk art.


  1. Wojciech Name Meaning
  2. Krisch Surname Meaning
  3. Weigand Surname History
  4. Meaning of German Surname Kuebel
  5. Kubal Family History – Kubal Name Meaning

Just for fun:

Polish for Indo-Europeans Beginners Course

“Not my circus, not my monkey.”

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 14: Check it Out! My Ancestor Rev. Thomas Shepard.

The writing prompt for this week is “Check it Out!” There are a few ways to take this, as in sharing something cool or neat, or something to do with libraries and books. I was inspired to write about my ancestor Rev. Thomas Shepard. His works are available at several brick-and-mortar public libraries and also in university libraries including Harvard University, due to my ancestor’s close historical connections with this university and with Cambridge, Massachusetts. Thanks to Google Books, the online library of today, and the Internet Archive, I will be able to share links to his works that you can read online for free.

The photo to the left of my ancestor is from a t-shirt available with his image from mediagratiae from their Puritan Collection! There does survive a sketch of my ancestor done in his lifetime, and the image is based on that sketch. I thought that was kind of cool, so check that out too! 😎

I have written about my ancestor in a prior blog entry I wrote last August in celebration of the 372nd anniversary of the death of my quite interesting and significant ancestor Rev. Thomas Shepard. That entry includes detailed biographical information about him, his life in England and America, his marriages, his descendants (including some famous ones!), and his religious and spiritual journey. To learn more about Rev. Thomas Shepard please read My Ancestor Rev. Thomas Shepard, an English and American Puritan Minister and Significant Figure in Early Colonial New England.

From The Works of Thomas Shepard re: the beliefs of the Puritans.

I often wonder what my ancestor would think of me, his eighth-great granddaughter. A cradle Roman Catholic who is also a student at Phillips Theological Seminary. If you read above what the Puritans believed, then no doubt my ancestor would have thought me a Papist in need of saving! Would he find my theological writings fascinating and sound? Would he even entertain reading my writings? I am guessing not. For not everyone had rights in Colonial New England. It’s no secret that the villages and towns were run by men and women had little rights if any at all. They weren’t permitted to attend town meetings and didn’t have any power in church decisions. The minister and church supported this concept as well, claiming that the soul consisted of two halves – an immortal half, which was the ‘masculine’ half, and the mortal half, which was the ‘feminine’ half. This belief extended even to childbirth, where it was believed that a woman would have a nice rosy complexion should she be pregnant with a boy, and a pale complexion should she be having a girl. (3) Just some things to ponder. 😮 But I would like to think I inherited my intellect and passion for learning from him and many other ancestors including those not as well known that were also ministers, as well as teachers, school principals, coopers, weavers, farmers, merchants, auctioneers, tailors, innkeepers (tavern keepers), vinedressers, blacksmiths, cobblers, milliners, dressmakers, and much more.

The first of his writings that I want to share that is available at Google Books is The Works of Thomas Shepard, First Pastor of The First Church, Cambridge, Mass. with a Memoir of his Life and Character. Published in 1853 from a copy at the Harvard College Library. Many of the works included are also available for stand-alone reading including The Sincere Convert.

The Works of Thomas Shepard, First Pastor of The First Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts “has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.” (1) This work is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Cover of the book The Parable of the Ten Virgins by Thomas Shepard.

The next work I want to share is The Parable of the Ten Virgins by Thomas Shepard. It is not found in The Works of Thomas Shepard sited above. The entire book can be found to read online via the Internet Archive: The Parable of the Ten Virgins by Thomas Shepard. This digital copy was sponsored by the Boston Public Library.

Partial review of the book:

Jesus Christ relentlessly divides the world into two. There are houses built on a rock, and on sand. There are sheep, and there are goats. There is wheat and there are tares. There are trees that bear fruit, and there are thorns and thistles. And, according to Jesus in Matthew chapter 25, there are wise virgins, and there are foolish virgins; and the one you are making all the difference here now, and in eternity.

At first, the size of the book and the language both make it appear that reading it may seem like a burdensome task, but I would like to propose that it shouldn’t be. Dr. John Gerstner in the foreword says, “Don’t read it. Study it, a few pages at a time; decipher it… It may not save you, but it will leave you in no doubt if you are saved, and even less if you are not!” We ought not try to just read through The Parable of The Ten Virgins. When your motive is to finish the book rather than understand it—it does become burdensome. But if your motive is to learn from the faithful expositions of God’s Word, and if your motive is to have assurance about the things of God, and if your motive is to fight to enjoy Christ here and to be prepared in the hereafter then this book is not a burden; it’s a blessing.

The book is a collection of Shepard’s sermon notes on the Parable of The Ten Virgins found in Matthew 25:1-13. He takes you verses by verse, sentence by sentence, and word by word. Though the work is a little over six-hundred pages, Shepard does not repeat himself. The points of doctrine always seem reasonable, and are never forced. It is never boring, especially when you realize his sermons are directed to you.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is a parable that covers much of the Christian life. This is precisely the reason why Shepard has written so much concerning it. It affects how we view the church, sin, wasting our time, and assurance of salvation. It affects how we view the most important of things. (2) – Taken from a review of the book by Chadd Sheffield.

Theses Sabbaticæ. Or, The Doctrine of the Sabbath – by Rev. Thomas Shepard. This sold at auction with Sothebys for $2,772 US! It was published in 1649.


  1. Books A – The Works of Thomas-Shepard
  2. Book Review: Parable of the Ten Virgins–Thomas Shepard by Chadd Sheffield.
  3. This Is What It Was Like to Be a Puritan During Colonial Times in New England – During a time when the separation of church and state was far from anyone’s minds, Puritan life was physically healthier but mentally taxing. By Katie Machado. 6 October 2020.

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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The Three Daisys. 52 Ancestors, Week 11: Flowers. March Theme: Females.

I was not looking forward to this week’s writing prompt. I have zero direct ancestors with a flower name, and not really any gardening stories to share of any ancestors I know about. So, I decided to branch out to cousins of my ancestors, and I found quite a few cousins named after flowers. The ones I considered were Daisy May Armstrong Tunis Diemart, my 1st cousin, 2x removed; Daisy Mae Marihugh Lewis, my 2nd cousin, 3x removed; and Daisy Delight Prindle Curtis, my 2nd cousin, 2x removed.

I decided to write mostly about my cousin Daisy Delight Prindle Curtis but will include a bit about the other two Daisys as well. I always loved her name! Named Daisy after the flower, her middle name Delight is delightful! I have not been able to locate very much information about the word delight used as a girl’s name, but I believe it was a name used by the Puritans. Her parents were not Puritans, she was born in farming country on the prairies of Clarksville, Merrick County, Nebraska on December 17, 1879, to Amos Prindle, a farmer, and his wife Susan Jane Moore.

Daisy Delight Prindle.

Within a year of her birth the family migrated to Orchard, Antelope County, Nebraska. The family are found in records between 1881 to 1888 living in Orchard, Neligh, and Glen Alpine, all places found in Antelope County. Her sister Clara Belle Prindle Harvey dies in March of 1888 and her mother Susan Jane Moore Prindle dies seven days later in 1888 in Glen Alpine and both are buried there. By 1895 her father had migrated to Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas, and is found there in 1898. In Arkansas City her father Amos remarried by 1895 to Lydia Rice, the widow of Henry Fast and Daniel Tooman. By 1900 he is living in Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri and lists himself as single, and I see that his wife returned to Arkansas City. I am sure there is a story there, but it has been lost to time. He dies in Carthage in 1910.

Daisy Delight Prindle did not migrate to Kansas with her father.  On December 28, 1898, in Neligh, Antelope, Nebraska, she marries James Harry Curtis, the son of Albert Curtis and Mary Adelaide “Addie” Brownell. She and James had seven children. Five of which lived into adulthood.

Daisy dies at the age of thirty-two on May 30, 1912, in Elgin, Antelope, Nebraska, leaving behind five children all aged ten years or younger. Her last two children were a set of fraternal twins: J.C. Curtis, a boy, and a girl Muriel May Curtis, born on December 1, 1911. The girl Muriel May dies seventeen days later on December 18th. The boy J.C. dies a few days later on December 22nd.

I do not know much about Daisy or her life other than what I was able to find in records. Did she love daisies? Was she delightful as her middle name could imply? Possibly. She certainly was pretty, and I love her choice of hair comb in the photo.

Her father Amos Prindle was named after his grandfather Amos. He was the son of Adolphus Prindle and Sally ___. My ancestor, David M. Prindle, Sr. who married Hannah Elizabeth Greatsinger/Kritsinger, was a brother of Adolphus. They were both the sons of Amos Prindle and Esther Canfield.

Daisy May Armstrong.

To the left is Daisy May Armstrong, my 1st cousin, 2x removed. She was born August 22, 1875, in Benton, Butler County, Kansas. The daughter of Edward Eben Armstrong and Nancy Isabella Wallace. She married on February 10, 1897, at her parent’s home in Kansas to William Taylor Tunis. In 1910 they are found living in Van, Woods County, Oklahoma where are husband is farming. They did not have any children. In 1920 she is found in Walker, Lincoln County, Nebraska, living with her husband and living with them is a nephew Henry Long aged fourteen. She is working as a schoolteacher.

Her husband dies in January 1923 in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas, and she returns home to Benton, Kansas. In 1930 she is found living there with her sister Elma Armstrong Pitcher, her brother-in-law, and a niece. She is working as a clerk in a grocery store.

Later that year in October 1930 she marries Glenn E. Diemart, a widower. She dies a little over six year later on 19 January 1937 in Towanda, Butler County, Kansas. To me Daisy May is a breezy, carefree name. Did she have a carefree personality? That information is lost to time. But her life was not an easy one, having no children of her own, being left a widow at the age of forty-seven. Maybe she enjoyed being a schoolteacher and working as a clerk in a grocery store? This was at a time that married women did not often work as schoolteachers. She was a widow by the time she was working at the grocery store.

Her father Edward Eben Armstrong and my great-grandfather George Pendleton Armstrong, who married Alice Elizabeth Nutick, were half-siblings. Edward was the son of Bradford Carroll Armstrong and his first wife Catherine Parker. George was the son of Bradford Carroll Armstrong and his third wife Martha A. Knight Lyons.

Daisy Mae Marihugh.

Pictured above is Daisy Mae Marihugh Lewis, my 2nd cousin 3x removed. We share ancestors Phineas Merchant and Submit “Mitty” French. She was born January 7, 1889, in Bay View, Skagit County, Washington, to Silas Wright Marihugh and Emily Merchant. Her mother Emily was a first cousin to my 3rd great-grandmother Cordelia Merchant Cole, who I wrote about last week. Daisy Mae Marihugh married July 7, 1912, in Skagit County, Washington to Grover Cleveland Lewis. They had five children born to this marriage. Two died as infants, one as a young child, only two lived to adulthood, Ray Andrew Lewis and Fern Nadine Lewis Coultas Scott Bullett. Both married and have descendants today.

Daisy Delight Prindle died rather young, when her children were quite young, and Daisy May Armstrong has no descendants. More is known about Daisy Mae Marihugh and her life, and I intend to reach out to her descendants alive today who would have known her before her death in 1967; so, I believe I will save writing about her in more detail for another day.

There are no references to list, all information is based on my own research.

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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My Ancestor Maria Thomas Badie, Gifted Two Silver Communion Beakers to The Dutch Reformed Church of Breuckelen (Brooklyn, New York) in 1684. 52 Ancestors March Theme: Females. Week 10: Worship.

BGC (Bard Graduate Center) Dutch NY Objects and Architecture. Photo Credit: New York Historical Society

My ancestor Maria Thomas Badie was a wealthy woman who was married three times. In surviving legal documents, Maria used Thomas or Badie as her surname, not those of her husbands. (1) In records, the most common variants of her name are:

  • Maria Thomas Badie
  • Mary Badie
  • Mary Badye
  • Mary Thomas
  • Maria Thomas
  • Maritie Tomas

She had 13 children, ten surviving to adulthood. All ten married and had children. Doing some quick math, easily, nearly 100,000 persons living today can claim ancestry. (1)

Pictured above is the gift of silver communion beakers that my ancestor Maria Thomas Badie gave to the church on October 3, 1684. She gifted them to the Dutch Reformed Church of Breuckelen (now Brooklyn) in celebration of the church’s 30th anniversary. The beakers were made by her son-in-law, Juriaen Blanck Jr. who was a silversmith, married to her daughter Hester van der Beeck. His father, Juriaen Blanck Sr. had also been a silversmith. The father had learned his trade in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and was the first documented silver and goldsmith to practice in New Amsterdam. (1)

Maria Thomas Badie and her husbands and her children are found in the church records for the Dutch Reformed Church in Breuckelen (Brooklyn) in New York.

Detail of a figure from the beakers gifted to Old First. Credit: New-York Historical Society

The silver communion beakers are engraved with female representations of Hope, Faith, and Charity, which I found quite fitting as we are celebrating Women’s History Month and our female ancestors.

Faith, Hope, and Charity represent the three great virtues. The symbols of faith, hope and charity are a large cross, a cross with an anchor and a heart. These three theological virtues are virtues that God puts into the soul. Charity is often called love and represented by the heart.

Faith, Hope and Love refer straight to God and symbolize the Holy Trinity.

The word Faith, from Latin fides, refers to one who trusts, who confides and relies on something. Faith is the Theological Virtue for which one believes in God. Hope, from Latin spes, is the Theological Virtue which responds to the attainment of Eternal Happiness of human beings. Love, used as a synonym of Charity, is the Theological Virtues that permits man to love God above all else and his neighbor as himself. Just as God loves any creature, Christians are invited to love their neighbors unconditionally, especially children, poor people and enemies. (3)

According to the Apostle Paul, Love is patient and kind, it does not envy or boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, it does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and it will never end because Love never fails.  

And now these three remain:
Faith, Hope and Love;
but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

First church ca 1654. Illustration: OF (Old First) Archives

The Dutch Reformed Church of Breuckelen (now known as Old First), was one of the first congregations in New York City. In 1654, Governor Pieter Stuyvesant established three “collegiate” churches in the towns of Breukelen (Old First), Flatbush and Flatlands. Through various changes in locations and configurations, the three churches have survived and celebrated their 350th anniversary in 2004. The congregations were serviced by Domine Johannes Theodorus Polhemus who traveled to all three on Sundays. (2)

The earliest worship services in Breuckelen were conducted under a tree, then in a barn. By 1666, the first church structure to be built in Breukelen was erected on a highway, now known as Fulton Street. (2)

It has been rebuilt and moved a few times over the centuries and the current location of that branch of the original church of Breuckelen, Old First, is located at Seventh Avenue and Carroll Street. Its first church structure was completed in 1886, a chapel on Carroll which still stands and is used for programming and community events. Around this time the church on Livingston Street was sold to developers and demolished. The iconic church now worshipped in as Old First was dedicated in 1891. (2)

My ancestor Maria Thomas Badie’s parents were Thomas Badie and Ailtje Braconie (aka Aeltien Brackhonge). The couple were French Huguenots living in Belgium, who emigrated to the Netherlands before embarking for New Amsterdam (New York). The family must have come to New Amsterdam early in the 1620’s if one follows a timeline relating to other events. (1)

Thomas Badie was Ailtje’s first husband and searching through records no other child has been found. When he passed, Ailtje inherited the estate. She married two more times, to Cornelis Lambertszen Cool and to Willem Bredenbent. While Lambertszen may have had other children, none seem to have survived, making Maria Thomas Badie the only heir, Ailtje having had no children by her third and last husband. Ailtje and Willem’s joint will in 1670 left everything to Maria. (1 & 4)

Maria Thomas Badie may have married her first husband, Jacob Verdon, before she arrived in the New Netherlands, or they may have met after her arrival.  The records indicate that their two known children were both born in the New Netherlands. (5 & 6) Unfortunately, Jacob died shortly after the birth of their two children. Maria Badie was still in her 20’s and she married as her 2nd husband, Willem Adriaenszen Bennet. He was an Englishman, and a cooper by trade.  About the same time that he married Maria Badie, he purchased, along with another man, 930 acres of land at Gowanus, from the Indians. The house he built there may have been the first house built by a white man in Brooklyn.  In 1639 he purchased his partner’s interest. During the 1643 Indian raids on Long Island, the house was burned and destroyed (6) Maria’s husband, William, and her stepfather, Cornelius Cool, died, possibly in these Indian raids. 

She married third to Paulus Vanderbeek. Actor James Van der Beek is a descendant of Paulus Vanderbeek and Maria Thomas Badie. There were children born to all three of her marriages. Maria inherited property from her mother, her stepfather and her husbands. She was a very wealthy widow when her last husband died. Some believe she was one of the wealthiest persons in New Amsterdam (New York).

Her death is recorded in 1697. Maria Thomas Badie Verdon Bennet Vanderbeek is buried in the Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery. My direct line is through her daughter from her first marriage to Jacob Verdon, Magdalena Jacobs Verdon who married Adam (Adolph) Brouwer (Brouwer Berkhoven).

As noted, Maria’s parents were French Huguenots, so her ancestry goes back to France. Her husband Jacob Verdon was born either in La Rochelle, France or the Netherlands. He was Secretary of the Dutch West Indies Company. He is reputed to have made several trips back and forth to America. His ancestry would be French as well.

My direct line from Maria Thomas Badie:

  1. Maria Thomas Badie and Jacob Verdon.
  2. Magdalena Jacobs Verdon and Adam (Adolph) Brouwer (Brouwer Berkhoven).
  3. Wilhelmus Adams Brouwer and Elizabeth Lysbeth Simpson (daughter of Pieter Simpson and Grietje ____).
  4. Elizabeth (Lysbeth) Brouwer and Harman (Harmen Gerritse) Van Sant (son of Gerret (aka Gerret Stoffelszen) Van Sant and Elizabeth Lysbeth Cornelius Gerritz).
  5. Catherine VanSant and Daniel Severns.
  6. Elizabeth Severns and James W. Cooper (son of William Cooper and Mary Groome).
  7. Rebecca Cooper and Thomas Barton (possibly the son of Thomas Barton and Mary Kimber).
  8. Catherine Ann Barton and James W. Lyons (probable son of James Lyons, see notes below)
  9. Martha A. Knight Lyons and Bradford Carroll “B.C.” Armstrong (son of John A. Armstrong and Sarah “Sally” Norris).
  10. George Pendleton Armstrong and Alice Elizabeth Nutick (daughter of Eli Nutick (Emig/Emich/Emick) and Margaret (Margarethe) Weiss). – My great-grandparents.

The Brouwer (Brouwer Berkhoven) line goes back to Cologne, Germany. Pieter Simpson was most likely an Englishman and his wife Grietje ____ was of a Dutch family. Although I cannot confirm the parentage of Daniel Severns, he may have been the son of John Severns and Frances Elizabeth Betts.

The Cooper and Groome families were Quakers. The Cooper line eventually goes back to Stratford On Avon, Warwickshire, England.

The parentage of James W. Lyons (II) has been a huge headache brick wall. What I do know is that he had two brothers named Joseph (Joseph James) Lyons (he married Hannah White) and John Lyons (he married Elizabeth Wiley). I am a DNA match to numerous descendants of his brother Joseph (Joseph James Lyons) and also have several DNA matches to the descendants of his brother John Lyons. Some list the brothers as the sons of Aaron Lyon/Lyons and Johanna Hatfield. This link has not been proven. I only have a few very remote DNA matches to descendants of this couple. Some list them as the sons of Samuel Lyon and Mary Lounsberry. This is based on an old U.S. Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications and in that record, they are basing the descendancy on John Lyons being tyhe son of Samuel Lyons and Mary Lounsberry, but with his wife named Sarah Smith via their son Isaac Dickinson Lyon. I have not really found much of a DNA connection to Samuel Lyons and Mary Lounsberry. It appears the three brothers were the sons of a James Lyons, and he may have been born in New York. But DNA has shown that the brothers are connected to the Lyons families of New Jersey.

My great-grandparents George Pendelton Armstrong and Alice Elizabeth Nutick. He was the 7th great-grandson of Maria Thomas Badie.

To learn more about my Nutick and Weiss ancestors visit my blog post: My Weiss, Fried, Propheter, and Related Ancestors from Klingenmünster, Germany.

To learn more about my Armstrong related Shephard ancestors visit my blog post: My ancestor Rev. Thomas Shepard, an English and American Puritan Minister and Significant Figure in Early Colonial New England.

To learn more about my Armstrong related Cogswell ancestors visit my blog post: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2021 – Week 45: Stormy Weather. My ancestors John Cogswell / Elizabeth Thompson – The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 – The Ship Angel Gabriel.


  1. Maria Thomas Badie, Silver Beaker Donor of 1684 by Jane Barber, December 18, 2018.
  2. Early Days. History of Old First Brooklyn Church.
  3. The Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. November 6, 2020. Savelli Roma-Vaticano Religious Blog.
  4.  “Editorial Iconoclastiana,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 65, Issue 1, 1934, page 19. Reproduced on
  5. O’Callaghan, The Documentary History of the State of New-York, “The Roll of Those who Have Taken the Oath of Allegiance in Kings County,” “Thomas Verdon native”.
  6. Marie Thomas Badie. AMERICA THE GREAT MELTING POT – Brooke Family Genealogy.

Banner image is photo of stained-glass window panel from Old First Church today.

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Theme for March: Females. The story of the life of my 3rd great-grandmother Cordelia Merchant Cole.

March is Women’s History Month. The writing theme for March is “Females” and for this ninth week it is “Female.” I have so many women in my family tree I could write about. And later in the month, I for sure want to include stories of Irish women in my tree in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. But I decided this week to write about my 3rd great-grandmother Cordelia Merchant Cole. Her story is often a sad one, but I have always wanted to make sure her story was told, and she was not forgotten by her descendants and other kin.

My third great-grandmother Cordelia Merchant was born about 1810 in Otsego County, New York. She was the daughter of Phineas Merchant and Submit “Mitty” French. Her father Phineas Merchant was the son of Ezra Merchant and Catherine Northrup. His lines go back well into Colonial America in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Side note: I am descended from two Northup sisters, Catherine Northrup Merchant on this maternal line I am discussing, and her sister Mary Northup who married Pvt. David Canfield. My connection to Mary Northup and Pvt. David Canfield is also on my maternal side, but it’s a different line that is the ancestors of my maternal great-grandmother Anna “Cora” Prindle Cole.

Her mother Submit “Mitty” French was the daughter of Samson French and Lusannah “Lucy” Root. The French and Root (and related) lines are well documented and also go back deep into Colonial America in Massachusetts.

Cordelia Merchant had eight siblings: older maternal half-brother William Festus Morgan, Eliza Ann Merchant Cole, Sampson Merchant, Lucy Merchant Temple, Theodore George Merchant, Clarissa Merchant Cole, and two brothers whose names are lost to time.

Her younger sister Clarissa would play a large role in affecting her life path. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Cordelia grew up in New York, in Worcester in Otsego County, and in Chenango in Broome County. The family made at least one trip back to Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, where her brother Sampson was born.

When she was ten years old, her family is found in the 1820 US Census for Worcester, Otsego, New York. She with her parents came to live in Broome County, New York by 1825 and her parents are found the 1830 US Census living in Chenango, Broome, New York. Living fifteen miles away in Broome County over in Colesville was the family of Nathaniel Cole, Jr. Nathaniel Cole, Jr. is found living there with his second wife Catherines Bries and their children, as well as the children from his first marriage to Laura A. Fuller. Included in the children from his first marriage was a Lewis F. Cole.

The Cole family is well known in Broome County history, Nathaniel’s father Nathaniel Cole, Sr. has a park named after him there. There is much known about the Cole family.

Lewis F. Cole was born March 1807 in Hoosick, Rensselaer, New York, the son of Nathaniel Cole, Jr. and Laura A. Fuller. Lewis’ middle name may have been Fuller, after his mother’s maiden name. Nathaniel Cole, Jr. was the son of Nathaniel Cole, Sr. and Abigail Oviatt. The Cole and Oviatt families descend from families of Colonial America in Massachusetts, including several Mayflower Pilgrims.

Laura A. Fuller was the daughter of Matthew Fuller and Martha Arnold. There is somewhat of a brick wall when going back further than this couple. There are some strong DNA indications as to what Fuller and Arnold families they belonged to, but their parentages are not clear as of now. What is known is that they were both of Bennington County, Vermont and spent time in Hoosick, Rensselaer, New York and Oxford, Chenango, New York and ended up by 1820 in Broome County, New York.

Lewis F. Cole’s mother Laura A. Fuller died in 1810 sometime after the birth of her last child Asa Walker Cole. Lewis was only three years old when his mother died. His father remarried by 1815 to Catherine Bries. We know that Lewis’ father left Hoosick sometime after his first wife’s death and we know he was back in Broome County, New York, living near his father, by 1815.

Broome County, New-York 1897 Map by Rand-McNally of Binghamton, Broome, New York.

How Cordelia Merchant and Lewis F. Cole met is lost to time. But the Cole family had kin living not only in Colesville, but in Windsor, Chenango, and other towns in Broome County, New York. I have been unable to find their marriage record, but they married prior to 1830 in Broome County. They were married before the 1830 census where her husband is found as Lewis Cole in Chenango, Broome, New York – 1 male aged 20-29 (Lewis) and 1 female aged 20-29 (Cordelia). 

Lewis F. Cole and Cordelia Merchant had three children:

1. Ira G. Cole born 9 Dec 1831 in Chenango, Broome, New York, and died 2 Feb 1900 in Holley, Orleans, New York. He married first to Violetta Palmer and married second to Ella A. Day.

2. Clarissa Marie Cole born 27 Jan 1832 in Chenango, Broome, New York, and died 6 May 1894 in Clarendon, Orleans, New York.  She married Abraham C. Frederick.

3. Loren Richard Cole born 9 Dec 1836 in Chenango, Broome, New York, and died 3 Feb 1908 in Wilmington, De Kalb, Indiana. He married Nancy M. Losure (the daughter of first cousins Joseph Losure and Sarah Lozier). They are my direct ancestors. You may learn more about the family of Nancy M. Losure by going to my blog post: My Lozier/Losure/Loser/Loeser Ancestors from Oberriexingen, Germany (and related lines).

Lewis F. Cole is found as L. F. Cole in the 1840 US Census for Chenango, Broome, New York – 2 males of 5 years of age and under 10 (Ira G. Cole and Loren Richard Cole). 1 male aged 30-40 (Lewis F. Cole). 1 female of 5 years of age and under 10 (Clarrisa Marie Cole), 1 female of 20 years of age and under 30 (Cordelia).

Image from a section of the e-book cover for A Scandalous Affair
By Clarissa Ross.

By 1839 Lewis Cole had begun an affair with Cordela’s younger sister Clarissa Merchant. The first child of Lewis Cole and Clarissa Merchant, a son named William Liberty Cole, was born out of wedlock on 18 Aug 1840 in Broome County, New York. So even though he is living with Cordelia and their three children when the 1840 census was taken, he has a child with his wife’s younger sister in August 1840 in the same year of this census.

Lewis Cole and his mistress and sister-in-law Clarissa Merchant had four children together out of wedlock between 1840 and 1849. All born in Broome County, New York.

After the birth of their child Sarah Ellen Cole in October 1849, Lewis Cole and Clarissa Merchant left Broome County, New York and headed to Indiana. To all accounts Lewis Cole could be uncaring and mean and sometimes feckless. As they were waiting to board the barge, Clarissa with young babe in arms could not find Lewis. She looked all over for him, carrying their infant daughter with their three other children in tow. She became frantic, crying, and could not locate him. He had been hiding from her the whole time, watching her look for him frantically. He finally appeared to her, laughing, thinking it was great fun to put her in such a state. (Paraphrasing of story told to my Cole cousin Joy, who is a descendant of Albert Jerome Cole, the youngest child of Lewis F. Cole and Clarissa Merchant).

He left his wife Cordela and three children in New York to fend for themselves when he ran off with Clarissa to Indiana.

Lewis Cole is found in the 1850 US Federal Census for Newville, De Kalb, Indiana, living with his mistress and sister-in-law Clarissa Merchant. Although she is listed as Clarissa Cole in the census, all their neighbors knew the truth. They had two more children one in 1850 and one in 1854.

Finally at the insistance of his Christian neighbors Lewis Cole divorces his wife Cordelia in November 1856 in De Kalb County, Indiana. The record is found in the courthouse records for De Kalb County: 

Record from courthouse list of divorces: Order Book 32. November Term 1856, Page 140, 141. Cole, Lewis. Cordelia Cole. Divorce.

He marries his longtime mistress and sister-in-law Clarissa Merchant on 25 Nov 1856 in De Kalb County, Indiana. Their last two children were born after their marriage.

His father Nathaniel Cole, Jr. dies in 1844. Lewis had been conducting his scandalous affair, carrying on with his wife’s younger sister Clarissa and having two children out of wedlock with her before his father dies. The distance between Coleville and Chenango is about 15 miles. But the whole community would have known about his sordid behavior, and it would been a stain on the Cole and Merchant families and their relations. It is not a surprise that Lewis was not included in his father’s will.

How much he financially supported Cordelia and their children while he was still living in New York is unknown, or if he ever gave any financial support after he arrived in Indiana. There was some land that he owned in Chenango that he had lived on with Cordelia and children.  Cordelia eventually sells this land to help support herself. 

Cordelia named her daughter Clarissa after her sister, so I must assume there had been some closeness between them, even though Clarissa was six years younger. I cannot begin to know how Cordelia felt when she discovered that her husband and father of her children was carrying on an affair with and had impregnated her younger sister. I am sure that Cordelia suffered great humiliation and shame.

By 1850 Cordelia had left Broome County and is found living in Clarendon, Orleans County, New York aged 40 with her three children: Ira Cole aged 19, Clarissa M. Cole aged 17, and Loren R. Cole aged 15. Ira and Loren are supporting the family, Ira working as a printer and Loren as a laborer.

It is a considerable distance between where Cordelia had been living in Chenango, Broome, New York, and Clarendon, Orleans, New York, it is 158 miles! I must assume she left Broome County in the 1840’s due to her husband Lewis’ affair with her younger sister Clarissa and them having children together while Lewis and Cordelia were still married. If I was Cordelia, I would not have wanted to endure the daily embarrassment and shame, having neighbors and family knowing all about it.

By 1855 Cordelia is found in the New York State Census and is living with her son Ira Cole and his wife Violetta in Barre, Orleans, New York. Loren Cole, aged 20, is also living with them.

By 1860 Cordelia is no longer living with her son Ira. Why she did not continue to live with he and his wife is not known. But by then they had children and it’s often not a comfortable relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Why she did not go to live with her married daughter Clarissa Cole Frederick and her husband and children is not known either. But family dynamics are complex and looking back now, I have no way of knowing what was going on in each of their lives.

Cordelia Cole in the New York, U.S., State Census, 1865. Living in the Poorhouse.

Before 1858 Loren Richard Cole went to live in Indiana near his father. He was only four years old when his father had his first child with his Aunt Clarissa. When his father and Aunt left New York for Indiana, he was only twelve to thirteen years old at the time, and by then his mother had moved them to Orleans County, so how much contact he had with his father as a child is unknown, but I am guessing not very much. He was the only one of Lewis’ children with Cordelia that came to Indiana to live near him.

Marker for Orleans County Alms “Poor” House and Cemetery, 1833-1960.

The fate of Cordelia Merchant Cole is a sad one. By 1865 she is living in the Orleans County Alms “Poor” House in Barre, Orleans County, New York. She is listed as a “pauper”.  She dies in the poorhouse before 1874 and is buried in the Orleans County Alms “Poor” House Cemetery aka County Home Burial Ground. There are only 46 cemetery markers, and they only have a number on them. Most of the early records were destroyed by a fire in the mid 1870’s. Thinking of what my third great-grandmother Cordelia Merchant Cole endured has often brought a tear to my eye during my research.

“The names of those who rest here are long forgotten, but their existence deserves respect and reverence. They no longer can speak for themselves. Hence, we must note that buried here is someone’s ancestor, a person once loved by those who cherished them in the rocking cradle and held trembling hand in sickness and old age at death’s beckoning. These bodies now dust, are lived worth remembering because of the interdependent web of existence and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.”

– Orleans County Historian C.W. Lattin, June 20, 2011.

Clarissa Merchant Cole. (Photo courtesy of my Cole cousin Joy Harber.

Above is a photo of Cordelia’s sister Clarissa. There are no photos of Cordelia, she died before photos were more commonplace, and her later life would not have lent itself to having photos taken. I have run into some descendants of Lewis F. Cole and Clarissa Merchant, often they are older in age, that do not want to accept the truth of the facts. Others tell me that Clarissa was a good Christian woman and loved by many when she died. That is probably true, the fact that as an old woman she was remembered as a much-loved Christian woman does not make the actions of her past when she was a younger woman untrue.

Side note: Asa Walker Cole (brother of Lewis F. Cole) married Eliza Ann Merchant who was the sister of Cordelia and Clarissa. So, two Cole brothers married three Merchant sisters.

Although Cordelia Merchant Cole is not a woman known in history in general or even in American history, but to me, she is an important woman in my family history. She was a woman of strength and courage who endured and persisted, but eventually lived in and suffered a death in a miserable place. But I am only here because this strong woman existed. She is my kin, my third great-grandmother, and an important woman in the ancestry of my family line.

My great-grandfather Joseph Edward “Joe” Cole, the grandson of Cordelia Merchant Cole.

There are no references to list, all information is based on my own research.

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Week 8: Courting. My Ancestor Mary Wheldon Taylor. Her Life and Death.

The writing prompt for this week is “Courting”. Either as in courting in the law or courting as in romance. I could write about the myriad of ancestors that are found in Colonial American court records, including the ancestor I wrote about last week, My Contentious and Quarrelsome (and litigious!) Mayflower Pilgrim Ancestor Edward Doty or The Courtship of my Ancestors William Durkee and Martha Cross – which was detailed quite well in court records. Or I could write about more recent ancestors, their siblings, and kin, that have had brushes with the law. But I chose to write about my Colonial Massachusetts ancestor Mary Wheldon Taylor.

Living roleplay reenactor at the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

And in doing so, I am writing about her accidental death and the jury of inquest that was formed to investigate it.

But first I want to tell you a bit about her life.

Mary Wheldon was born in 1621 in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, England, to Gabriel Wheldon and his wife Jane. She was baptized in the nearby parish of Basford on 23 December 1621.

The village of Arnold stands near Sherwood Forest. Basford and Arnold in Nottinghamshire, England, are now adjoining suburbs just north of Nottingham, and about 10 miles south of Sherwood Forest. Sherwood Forest is a royal forest in Nottinghamshire, England, famous because of its historic association with the legend of Robin Hood. It was the traditional homeplace to Robin Hood, some 400 hundred years earlier. (3 & 4)

Mary came to New England with her father and siblings. “Gabriel Whelden was one of the first settlers in what is now the Township of Dennis in Barnstable County on Cape Cod. He was given permission on 3 Sep 1638 by Plymouth officials to settle on Cape Cod, which included a land grant. At the time the area was called “Mattacheeset”.  It was organized into Yarmouth in 1639. Gabriel appears in the Yarmouth records, 6 Oct 1639, so he settled in Yarmouth between Sep 1638 and Oct 1639.” (3)

Mary Wheldon married Richard Taylor “The Tailor” in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, between 1645-1647. Their first known child was born in December of 1648. Her husband was called Richard Taylor “The Tailor” due to his occupation and also to differentiate him from another man of the same name, Richard Taylor “of the Rock”, who was also living in Yarmouth. This other Richard Taylor was given this nickname “of the Rock” “either because his house was made of stone, or because he lived near the boundary stone between Hockanom and  Nobscusset in the northeastern part of town.” (3) This other Richard Taylor “of the Rock” married Mary’s sister, Ruth Wheldon.

The children of Richard “The Tailor” Taylor and Mary Wheldon are listed below.

  1. Ann Taylor born 2 December 1648 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died 1648 in Yarmouth.
  2. Ruth Taylor born 11 Apr 1649 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died 28 Jan 1728 in Barnstable, Massachusetts Colony. She married Joseph Bearse (the son of Augustine Bearse AKA Austin Bearce).
  3. Martha Taylor born 18 December 1650 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died 1 February 1718 in Massachusetts. She married Abishai Marchant (the son of John Marchant of Martha’s Vineyard). – My direct ancestors.
  4. John Taylor born about 1652 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; Will proved 18 Jan 1722 at Chatham, Massachusetts. He married Sarah Matthews (the daughter of James Matthews of Yarmouth).
  5. Elizabeth Taylor born about 1655 in Barnstable, Plymouth Colony; died 4 May 1721 in Barnstable, Massachusetts. She married Samuel Cobb (the son of Henry Cobb and Sarah Hinckley).
  6. Hannah Taylor born 16 September 1661 at Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died 14 May 1743 in Barnstable, Massachusetts. She married Deacon Job Crocker (the son of William Crocker and Alice Hoyt).
  7. Ann Taylor born about 1659 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died after 1679. She married Josiah Davis (the son of Robert Davis and Ann).
  8. Joseph Taylor born 1660 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died 13 September 1727 in Marshfield, Massachusetts. He married Experience Williamson, of Marshfield.
  9. Sarah Taylor born 1662 in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony; died 31 July 1695 in Barnstable, Massachusetts. She never married.

On a winter day in early December of 1673, Mary found herself on a small boat, it is assumed she intended to go from Yarmouth to Duxbury or to Plymouth. On this day she was a woman in her early fifties and had been married to her husband Richard “The Tailor’ Taylor for about twenty-eight years. Her children were aged between eleven and twenty-five years old. Only her oldest two children, Ann and Mary, were married.

Map of Plymouth Colony from

You can see in the map of the Plymouth Colony above where she was traveling from at Yarmouth and going by water up to either Plymouth or Duxbury. At some point on her journey, most-likely when she was close to Duxbury Bay, her boat cast adrift, and she was found dead in the wrecked boat.

Mary’s death was quite tragic. Her body was found in a small, wrecked boat near Duxbury Bay. A jury of inquest was formed in Duxbury.

Meaning of an inquest: judicial inquiry by a group of persons appointed by a court. The most common type is the inquest set up to investigate a death apparently occasioned by unnatural means. Witnesses are examined, and a special jury returns a verdict on the cause of death. (1)

Coroners’ Inquests in Colonial Massachusetts: “Coroners had many duties. They officiated at inquests — lay jury investigations — not only into deaths but also into shipwrecks, felonies, housebreaks, and fires.” (2)

We do not know how long the jury of inquest lasted; it appears only a matter of days. But on 4th of December 1673, it rendered its verdict.

The following was their verdict: “The jury of inquest appointed to view a corpes found in a boate now racked, and being supposed to be the wife of Richard Taylor, somtimes of Yarmouth, and to make dilligent serch how the said woman came by her death, doe judge, that the boate being cast away, the woman was drowned in the boate.” (5)

Her husband died, grief stricken, within 9 days of hearing the verdict.

This sad tale of the death of Mary Wheldon Taylor was not the only grief engendered by drowning within the Wheldon family. Many years earlier in 1639, Mary’s sister Martha Wheldon also died by drowning at the age of seventeen.

We know about this because of a letter their sister Katherine Wheldon composed back to England reporting the death of her sister Martha. The letter is summarized in Thomas Lechford’s Note-Book as follows:

“A letter by Katherine Weelden to Mr. John Shanvat of Nottingham dated 29.4.1639.
touching the Death &c. of Martha Weelden of Dedham who was Drowned about 12
Dayes before. She was a godly mayde by all probabilites in this letter testified.” (3, 6, & 7)

Side note: The surname Shanvat (or Shamvat) has not been found in English records reviewed. It is possible that the surname was actually Chamlet, and that the recipient of Katherine Wheldon’s letter John “Shanvat” was related to Gabriel Whelden’s aunt by marriage, Christobel (_) (Whelden) Hewitt . . . (7)

Mary Wheldon and Richard “The Tailor” Taylor are my ninth great-grandparents.

Famous Kin of Gabriel Wheldon (and wife Jane), Great Migration Immigrant 1638:

Edwin Grozier, Owner of The Boston Post.

Charles Dawes, 30th U.S. Vice-President.

Merrill C. Meigs, Publisher, Chicago Herald & Examiner.

American Artist Norman Rockwell.

Bill Richardson, 30th Governor of New Mexico.

Tennessee Williams, Author and Playwriter.

Sydney Biddle Barrows, The Mayflower Madam.

Priscilla Presley, Actress, Businesswoman, and wife of Elvis Presley.

Orrin Hatch, U.S. Senator from Utah.

Annie Proulx, Novelist and Short Story Writer.

Sarah Palin, 9th Governor of Alaska & U.S. Vice Presidential Canidate.

Mizuo Peck, TV and Movie Actress.

Don Winslow, Author and Screenwriter.

Kristine Rolofson, Harlequin Novelist.

Lisa Marie Presley, Singer and Songwriter. Daughter of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley.

Avril Lavigne, Singer and Songwriter.

Ethan Hawke, Actor, Director, Screenwriter, and Novelist.


  1. Inquest – Law.
  2. Mellen, Paul F., Coroner’s Inquests in Colonial Massachusetts. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume 40, Issue 4, October 1985, Page 462.
  3. Minor Descent – Gabriel Wheldon (and Family).
  4. Sherwood Forest.
  5. Mary Whelton Taylor –
  6. Edward Everett Hale, Jr., ed., Note-Book Kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq., Lawyer, in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27, 1638 to July 29, 1641 (Cambridge, Mass., 1885; repr. Camden, Maine: Picton Press, 1988), p. 102.

If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

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