Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mothers ♥

Four moms: (l to r) Pauline Hopkins Caterson, Hazel Peterson Masterman, 
Mae Enz Cousins & Mary Cousins Caterson

The first “Mother”s Day” actually has it’s beginnings  in 1870 with a Mother’s Day Proclamation written by Julia Ward Howe (author of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”) in 1870 as a demand for peace after the Civil War. The first verse says:

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears! Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." Read the rest HERE.
So before the last hundred years, when everyone marked the occasion with flowers, candy and cards, there wasn’t much of a celebration for these ladies! So, I am writing about the mothers in our families’ past who toiled, sacrificed and loved.

Phebe Pierce McMonagle (1775 – 1866) – daughter of Loyalists from NY that emigrated to New Brunswick after the Revolution. Wife of Hugh McMonagle who drowned in 1803 on his way to the first Session of the General Assembly, leaving her with 4 young daughters and pregnant with my ancestor, Hugh John. She raised her family alone, only asking for assistance from the legislature 5 years later. (See petition HERE.) She never remarried and lived to the ripe old age of 91.
Margaret (?) Phillips (1800 - 1886) - My 4x great-grandmother. I don't know much about her, except she raised her three grandchildren in Philadelphia from the time they were very young, they live with her and her husband Richard in 1860 when they are 9, 6 and 5. I don't know who their parents were or what happened to them, just that their father was named Joseph. Richard died a year later, as did her son William, and these grandkids lived with her until her death.
Eunice Ann Ells Harrington O’Leary (1831 – 19??) – Second oldest daughter of James Ells, born in Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia. Eunice married a teacher in NB named John Harrington in 1848. They had 5 children, but 3 months after the youngest, Annabell, was born, John died. Eunice went back to Nova Scotia, where she married Daniel O’Leary in 1864, a widower with 5 children. They proceeded to have 4 more kids together! One of his sons, Arthur, married on of her daughters, Adelaide.

Adrienne Harrington McMonagle (1855 – 1944) – (photo left) Born in 1855 in New Brunswick, daughter of John & Eunice (Ells) Harrington, Adrienne’s father died when she was 3 years old. Her mother (above) remarried when she was 9 – they ended up with a total of 14 kids in their blended family! She married Joseph H. McMonagle, grandson of Phebe above, around 1876 and they had 3 children: Alice, Jennie (my g-grandmother) and John, named for her father.       
   They moved to Massachusetts in 1888, where in 1899, their son John died. Then in 1917, Joseph killed himself by drinking carbolic acid. In 1920, Jennie died from tuberculosis and before Adrienne’s own death in 1944, she also buried her last child Alice. Her life sure was full of deep losses.
   By the 1930’s, Adrienne, known to her grandchildren as “Nammy Mac,” was virtually blind, but her spirits were always high. She wrote this poem in 1939 about her happy childhood back in Nova Scotia called “Thoughts in the Dark.” Read it HERE.

Jennie McMonagle Masterman (1879 - 1920) - (photo above) Daughter of Adrienne above, mother of my paternal grandfather. He was only sixteen when she died, and his love for her was in his eyes whenever he spoke of her. A gentle, sweet person, she was a contrast to his gruff father. She knew she was dying, tuberculosis was a downward spiral. Before she passed away, she gave him this beautiful poem "Boy O'Mine." Read it HERE, it's so sweet.

Anna Katrina Andersdotter Hanson (1843 – 1925) –(photo right) “Farmor” as she was known to her grandchildren (Swedish for father’s mother) was born in Denmark to wealthy dairy farmers. She fell in love with and married one of the farm workers, Peder Hanssen, much to her family’s chagrin. They set the newlyweds up with a nice house and land, only to have it lost due to Peder’s gambling habit. Three times! They moved to Sweden for better jobs – settling in Delarie, a mill town. They had some terrible tragedies; losing two sons named Lars: one was nearly cut in half in a grist mill, Anna caring for him for two weeks before he died. The other was scalded by caustic soda when he fell into a bucket of it at 1-1/2 years old. Anna nursed him for a week before he died.
   Peder suffered a serious burn on the job when he slipped into a vat of acid, scalding his buttocks, crotch, legs and feet. Doctors wanted to amputate, but Anna nursed him through a coma and back to health.
   Anna also allowed her only daughter, Anna, to go live with her uncle at the age of 4. He and his wife had lost their only child and could afford to provide her with the best in education and more, which she & Peder could not. Anna returned at 19, but shortly followed her brother Henry to America. The rest of the family emigrated in 1894, except Anna & Peter’s son August, who made a last minute decision to stay in Sweden.
   They settled in Massachusetts, near Boston. Peder went in for an operation in 1908, but died on the operating table.

Anna Sofia Persdotter Gustafsson (1847 – 1935) – (photo leftBorn in Vreta Kloster, Sweden, she married Nils in 1868. The lived as tenant farmers at several farms, having eleven children, but only six survived to adulthood, one being my great-grandmother Jenny. A few of the children came to America – Jenny and her sister Anna married brothers here – but they never went back to Sweden. Nils and Anna bought a farm with a partner that cheated them out of it, so they wound up living in a little cottage.

Rebecca Skillman Hopkins (1824 – 1883) – Ah, this poor woman! Her husband Samuel spent more time in jail than not, but he must’ve been a silver-tongued devil, as they had 9 children! Sadly, she was left to raise them herself, losing a few including twin girls at 2 weeks of age, born when Rebecca was 46 years old. Two of her daughters lost several of their own children, which are buried with Rebecca. She lived with her daughter Emma when she died in 1883 at 59 years old – after proclaiming herself a widow in the 1880 Census. Can’t blame her! She must have been a special woman as Samuel’s brother posted a lovely poem to her in her death notice in the Baltimore paper.
Krescentia Knab Enz (1862-1943)  - (photo above She had lost her mother at a young age, her father remarried and had a couple of daughters. She came to America from Bottingen, Germany in 1883 at 21 years old,  alone, with plans to work in a restaurant in Philadelphia upon her arrival. While working there for $5 a month plus bread and board, she met Joseph and they married. Over the course of 22 years, they had 9 children, the last of which was a son who died. She was nonetheless a happy person, loved to dance and laugh!

Mary Ann Enz Cousins Beckman (1888-1964) - (photo aboveDaughter of Krescentia, she was really a hoot! Married Arthur Cousins, a spoiled Brit who didn't feel as though he needed to work, and had 2 kids. As World War 1 broke out, he took their kids to London to visit his family, and wasn't really planning to bring them back. Poor Mae (Mimi to us) busted her butt to earn passage there and eventually brought them home, later divorcing Arthur.
Mary Mallin Timmins Jukes (1837-1928) – Born in England, she was my kids’ ggg-grandmother. She married Israel Jukes around 1859, and had ten children! All but two lived into adulthood. What makes her remarkable is that she not only raised her children, but two of her grandchildren as well! And without Israel’s help, as he disappeared sometime while the children were young. Mary used to say, “One day there will be a knock at the door...and it will be your father,” but it never happened.
   Her daughter Annie married Homer Leslie Ingles, had twin boys Percy & William, then had another son, Earl in 1896, and died a week later, followed by little Earl 6 weeks after her. At this point, Mary was caring for the twins , with her daughters’ help, while Homer worked out of state. Suddenly, not 2 years later, in Nov. 1898, Homer died while visiting them and the arrangement became permanent. Percy said they didn’t have much, but were loved.
Caroline Marshall Coffin (1826-1912)  - Raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Caroline married Nantucket native Obed Coffin, a mariner, in Baltimore. They had 7 children including a set of twins, and a son that died at 2 years of age. Obed spent the last 6 months of his life on a ship out of NY, on board which he accidentally died when a line broke and hit his head. Their children were ranging in age from 21 to 11 when he died, leaving them to fend for themselves. Her twin boys lived with her the rest of her life, along with their sisters from time to time. The boys all made their livings on the water. She is my kids' ggg-grandmother.

These mothers did their best under terrible circumstances, which most of us cannot imagine. We wouldn't be here without them! 

Happy Mother's Day !! And thanks Mom  

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