Thursday, September 20, 2012

Margaman Manning's Rifle

I have written about Margaman Manning before on August 2, 2008.  He was the son of Thomas Manning and Jane Stewart Manning and the younger brother of my great great grandfather, Dr. Thomas Jefferson Manning.  Margaman was born in January 29, 1840 in Walker County Georgia and lived most of his life there.  He married Harriet Evelyn Thornton and they lived in Dalton in Whitfield County Georgia.  During the Civil War he fought with the 39th GA Volunteer Infantry.  He was a Fifth Sergeant and was promoted to Second Sergeant around February or March 1864.

The rifle pictured above is an 1854 Harpers Ferry rifled musket.  According to a December 29, 2010 article in The Daily Citizen , the Dalton GA newspaper, it turned up at the 8th Annual Chickamauga Southern Civil Show and Sale in Dalton in 2003.  It was bought and donated to the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society.  It is currently on display at the Hamilton House in Dalton.   If you look very closely at the lower picture, you can see the name Manning engraved on the metal.  The article states that the rifle was likely issued to him in Vicksburg, MS on February 28, 1863.

Margaman was wounded and captured during the war and was sent to Camp Douglas in Illinois where he died on March 21, 1865.  You can read the article at the following link:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

James Bonnar Family from Scotland

Writing this blog has been very interesting, I've learned a whole lot and have received positive feedback from readers.  Recently, I was contacted by two different descendants of the Bonnar Family of New Brunswick Canada.   Each of them shared some very interesting information with me.  One of them, who descended from Maude Bonner Pangburn told me that in her family they were taught to never say the Bonner family was from Ireland, even though they moved to Canada from Ireland.  In fact, they were Scottish.  Maude Bonner Pangburn's father was Robert Nelson Bonner.  The descendant who contacted me said that she use to have a picture of her great grandfather, Robert Nelson Bonner, wearing his kilts.  She also said that the Bonner's were a sept of the Graham Clan and that Margaret Chambers Bonner was descended for the Cameron Clan.  In addition, she said that Johanna Harris Bonner, the wife of Robert Nelson Bonner was descended from the Sutherland Clan.  There is quite a bit of information about these Clans on the internet.
As I learn more, I will happily pass it along.

James Bonnar and Margaret Chambers Bonnar immigrated to New Brunswick in 1835 from Ireland.   Their family members had immigrated from Scotland to Ulster county Ireland at some time before then.  When I talked with the second Bonner descendant who contacted me, she verified that she too had been told the Bonners were Scotch-Irish from her great aunt, Alwilda Bonner.  I have been trying to find Bonner ancestors in records of Northern Ireland and I guess now I'll look for Scottish records.  The search continues.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Margaret Alwilda Bonnar

Alwilda Bonnar was born 4 April 1888 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.  She was the daughter of Robert Nelson Bonnar and Johanna Harris.  I wrote about their family on 20 May 2011.  Above is a photo of Alwilda.  Earlier I had learned that Alwilda was a nurse.  Guess because I am also a nurse, I became very interested in learning more about her.  She completed her nursing training at Massachusetts General Hospital.  I have come across two short articles that describe her nursing activity.  The first article is from an exhibit online at the virtual  entitled "Ashes & Rebirth, St. Mary's Ferry North/Devon".  Credit is given to Robert McNeil & Carol Randall.

"Allie Bonner (1882-1969) graduated from the Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, Summa Cum Laude, and became a surgical nurse for Dr. Lahey, founder of the world famous Lahey Clinic in Boston.  Allie also nursed in the Bowery District of New York City, where she must have seen the devastating results of liquor on the human liver and thus perhaps began the roots of her hatred for liquor.  At some point, Allie, described as a big woman with a ruddy complexion, returned to Devon to care for her parents and her sister Maude Pangburn, and in 1924 was awarded full ownership of this house.  She was a 'character' around Fredericton because of her strong beliefs and actions.

In an article written by John Alexander, he describes Allie Bonnar this way:  Allie was a familiar sight on the streets of the city, usually with a fur coat that reached down to her ankles.  She gave an impression of gliding along the sidewalk instead of walking.  Her cane seemed to have no medical reason except that of being used as a weapon.  She could be described as Fredericton's Carrie Nation because her one central focus in life was the elimination of strong drink from every level of society.  Those who were known to indulge in the consumption of alcohol and those whom she suspected of leaning in that direction ran the risk of receiving the sharp edge of her tongue, loudly and publicly.  When there was a liquor store at Westmoreland and Queen Streets it was not uncommon to find Allie outside the doors of the establishment, berating the customers and attempting to smash the contents of the "plain paper bags" with her cane..."

She was a superb storyteller, very dramatic and just held you attention the whole time.  She talked about everything from war, to politics, to religion, especially Roman Catholicism, for which she held an intense hatred.  She was a very intelligent lady and was on top of current events."

The second article I received from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.  It was estimated that the date was about 1962 and the publication was the Fredericton newspaper.

Miss Bonner
Makes Herself
Heard on Liquor

A high-pitched voice burst suddenly Thursday upon the Court House room where Canada's royal commission on health services was holding a public hearing.  "The more liquor outlets there are the more hospital beds will be needed," it shouted.

"You can put that in your report", the voice went on evidently directed at Saskatchewan's Chief Justice Emmett Hall, chairman of the commission, "and tell Mr. Diefenbaker I said so."  Mr. Justice Hall reacted by announcing that the next submission would be from the New Brunswick Dental Society.

Outside, the owner of the voice identified herself as Miss Alwilda Bonner of Fredericton, a retired registered nurse and an official of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.  Earlier this week she attended a WCTU convention in Saint John where plans were made to fight any relaxation of New Brunswick's stern liquor laws.  A commission of inquiry was recommended sweeping changes in the law.  Miss Bonner also had something to say Thursday about fluoridation.  When the N.B. Dental Society call for addition of sodium fluoride to community water supplies to prevent tooth decay, she shouted from the spectators gallery, "Rat poison".

I think these articles speak for themselves in describing Alwilda.  I recently received an email from a grand niece of Alwilda's who stated that she left her home to the Salvation Army when she died.
I also talked on the phone with another grand niece who stated she believed that Alwilda also left $250,000 to the Salvation Army in her will.  She certainly held to her convictions.  I'll bet there are more stories about her.  Although I might not agree with her approach in expressing her convictions, I now know her better and hold a good deal of respect for her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mamie Manning, wife of Forbis Manning

Great grandfather Forbis Manning was first married to Judith Holt, second he married Great grandmother Laura Griffith and third he married Mamie Estill.  Other family members have not researched Mamie and hardly ever mentioned her.  In reviewing information I have about Forbis, I was reading his obituary.  He died in 1929 and Great grandmother Laura died in 1923.  However, in his obituary it states that he was survived by his wife and five children.  Interesting, I thought.  I looked at his death certificate and it too states he was married at the time of his death.  I learned his third wife's name was Mamie when reading a letter written by his daughter Lizzie after he died.  Lizzie is writing to her brothers and sisters about settling Forbis' estate.  She stated she wanted to be sure that  "Mamie got her share".

I began by looking for a marriage license and found one in Bryan county, Oklahoma where F. Manning, age 51 married  Mrs. Mamie McGuire, age 32 on June 8, 1924.  That's just about one year after Great grandmother Laura died.  Seeing her labeled as Mrs. McGuire meant she had previously been married.  The certificate also showed that she was from Granger, Texas which is in Williamson county.  When I searched for Mamie McGuire, born 1892 in Texas, the very first census that appeared was the 1920 Williamson, Texas census with Mamie McGuire, who was widowed,  and her three children living with her uncle Tom E. Miller.  Her children were James, Verna and Bobbie McGuire. Then searching for a marriage record I found that R.J. McGuire married Mamie Estill on Jan 21, 1912 in Williamson county.  R. J. McGuire was Robert J. McGuire who was born in 1888 and died in 1915 in Williamson county.  In back tracking census records, I found that in 1910 Mamie age 17 and her mother Anna Estill (widowed) were living with Mamie's sister Hattie Hill and husband Tom Hill, again in Williamson county.  Mamie's father James Arthur Estill was born in 1849 and died in 1895 and her mother Anna died in 1918.

Here are the events I knew at that point.
1892 Mamie Estill was born
1895 James Estill, her father died
1910 Mamie and her mother live with her sister
1912 Mamie married Robert J. McGuire
1913  James McGuire was born
1914  Verna McGuire was born
1915 Mamie's husband, Robert died
1916 Bobbie McGuire was born
1918 Mamie's mother, Annie Miller Estill died
1920 Mamie and her children live with her Uncle, Tom E. Miller
1924 Mamie and Forbis get married in Bryan county, Oklahoma
1929 Forbis Manning died

I began to feel sad for Mamie having lost both parents and being widowed twice by age 37.  On the 1930 census, Mamie Manning and her three children are living in Tillman county, Oklahoma. Her children are listed with the last name Manning.   I am very curious about how and why Mamie went to Bryan county.  Did she meet Forbis in Bryan county or in Granger, TX?  And why did she leave Bryan county and move to Tillman county after Forbis died.  Did Forbis adopt the McGuire children?  Mamie never married again.  The Social Security Death Index shows that Mamie Manning born May 30, 1892 died in March 1980 in Grandfield, Tillman county, OK.  I haven't yet found where Mamie is buried and have not found any other records of her children.

Here's a picture of Great grandfather Forbis Manning.  There is no family photo of Mamie Manning.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Matilda Bonner and David Ross- Part I

On February 4, 2011 I wrote about Matilda Bonner and David Ross.  Today I would like to update the information.  In reviewing what I had written and doing some more research, I gained additional information.   One of the keys that sent me looking was the 1900 census where Matilda indicated she had given birth to 13 children and 10 were still living.  I went back to the earlier census information and identified other children of Matilda and David.  Originally on February 4, 2011, I had named the following children of David and Matilda Ross.
Charles G.

The 1861 New Brunswick census names David and Matilda Ross and their children and birth year.
John Ross 1852
James T. Ross 1854
Ann C. Ross  1856
William E. Ross 1858
Isabella J. Ross 1860
All five of the children were born in New Brunswick, Canada.  It was a challenge finding them all because the  1861 census lists only individual listings and not the whole family on one page.  The way I located them was that first I looked for David Ross and noted he was listed on sheet 10, line 371.  Then I found Matilda on sheet 10, line 372.  From there I just began looking for Ross children who could be found on sheet 10, in proximity to lines 371 and 372. I found a Ross family member on page 10 for lines 371-377.

Margaret Ross was also born in 1864 in New Brunswick, 3 years after the 1871 census. She is present on the 1871 Kemptown, Colchester, Nova Scotia census.  Other children of the Ross family that were born in Nova Scotia and on the 1871 census include:
Ann C. (noted to be Christy A.) 1856
Isabella J. 1860
Margaret 1864
Alfred and Albert Ross twins were born in December 1865 in NS, but only Albert is listed on this census.  That is curious because I located the death record of Alfred in 1903 in Massachusetts.
George Henry Ross  1867, NS
Matilda Ross 1869 NS

So far, that's ten children of the 13 Matilda reported on the 1900 census.  Other Ross children I have found include  Ada M. Ross born in 1872 in Nova Scotia, Charles G. Ross born in 1874 in Maine and then David Brooks Ross was born in Maine.  The marriage records for David indicate he was born in 1866 in Maine, but that's very inconsistent with the birth years and birth locations of the other children because in 1866, the family was in Nova Scotia.   I suspect he was born in 1876.

In 1880, the family is in Portland ME.  Those appearing on this census are David and Matilda and their children:  Edward age 19, Margaret age 15, George age 11, Ann age 9, Alma age 7 and Charles G. age 5.  David Brooks Ross does not appear on this census.

I have found nothing about John Ross who was born in 1852 in New Brunswick.  Regarding James T. Ross,  there is an interesting extraction from a New Brunswick newspaper in 1870 about James Thomas Ross.  It is as follows:

Date:  March 7, 1870
County:  Saint John
Place:  Saint John, New Brunswick
Newspaper:  The Daily Telegraph

Runaway- A lad about 10 years old was found by Police Saturday eve. in the bar room of a man by the name of Mr. Warburton on Duke St. (St. John)  He says his name is James Thomas Ross and has been living for at least 6 or 7 years with his grandfather, James Bonner, farmer who lives between Truro & Riversdale, N.S.  He wanted to see his father, David Ross, Carpenter, Fredericton.

This is an interesting extraction because the names and places all fit for James T. Ross.  His grandfather's name was indeed James Bonner, Matilda's father. The Ross family was in Nova Scotia at that time, but I have no official record that James Bonner was also there, except this newspaper article. The next record I found related to James T. Ross was his death record in 1907 in Chelsea, MA.  He died on 16 Oct 1907 with stomach cancer.  He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, MA.

Ann C. Ross who was born in 1856 is seen on the 1861 New Brunswick census.  She again appears on the 1871 census as Christy A. Ross.  In the marriage records of Massachusetts,  Christina the daughter of David and Matilda Ross is noted to be marrying Tisdale B. Talbot on 03 Jan 1903 in Boston..  In this marriage record, she is named as Christina Doyle, so she must have married before marrying Mr. Talbot, but I found no record of the marriage to Mr. Doyle.  In 1910, Tisdale and Christina appear on the census in Boston.  I have found no other records for Christina Ross Talbot or Tisdale Talbot.

William E. Ross was born in 1858 in New Brunswick.  He is on the 1861 New Brunswick census but not on the 1871 Nova Scotia census.  He does appear in 1880 on the Portland ME census.  He is listed as Edward, age 19 which suggests he was born in 1861.  Although the 1858 birthdate and the 1861 date don't match exactly, I do believe Edward is William E. Ross.  Edward Ross died in Worcester MA on 10 July 1911.  He was living in the Worcester State Hospital in Worcester MA.  It was an insane asylum.  His death record indicates he was born in New Brunswick in 1862, had been in the hospital for 6 months and 11 days.  It indicates that he died of paralysis which he had for 2 years, as well as heat exhaustion he had for 5 days.  Edward is buried at the Glenwood Cemetery in Everett, MA.  There is quite a bit written about the history of Worcester State Hospital.  Just googling the name will bring many links to information as well as photos.  Here is one of the links:

There are many photos of the hospital and descriptions of some of the "treatments" that patients received.  Insulin shock therapy and sweat therapy were just a few.  If you have an interest in "old abandoned asylums", Worcester will give you plenty of information.

I'll stop Part I here and continue with Part II on the next blog entry.  There is more to write about the children of Matilda Bonner and David Ross.  Scroll down further on this page to read Part II.

Matilda Bonner and David Ross-Part II

I will continue with information about the children of Matilda Bonner and David Ross.
Isabella J. Ross was born in 1860 in New Brunswick.  She appears on the 1861 New Brunswick census and on the 1871 Nova Scotia census.  Beyond the two census records, I have found nothing more about Isabella.

The next child of Matilda and David Ross is Margaret Ross who was born in 1864 in New Brunswick.  Margaret appears on the 1871 Nova Scotia census and on the 1880 Portland ME census.  Maggie Ross is noted to be the daughter of Matilda and David Ross on the 1889 marriage record in Chelsea MA.  Maggie married Charles T. Clark on 23 Nov 1889.  His full name was Charles Tupper Clark.  He was born in 1865 and was the son of Arthur W. Clark and Sarah.  Maggie Ross and Charles Clark had three children that I have identified.  Nellie Clark was born 17 Aug 1890, Charles Arthur Clark was born 26 Feb 1893 and Baby Girl Clark was born 25 Dec 1898.

In 1865 twin boys Albert and Alfred Ross were born in Nova Scotia.  Their birth record indicates clearly that they were twins.  Albert appears on the 1871 Nova Scotia census, but there is no listing for Alfred.  I have found nothing more for Albert Ross except that 1871 census.  I did locate a death record for Alfred Ross.  I wonder if the name on the 1871 census should have been Alfred rather than Albert.  Alfred Ross died 25 Feb 1903 in Boston.  Cause of death was a skull fracture acquired after falling down stairs.  He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett MA.  That is the same cemetery where James T. Ross is buried.

George H. Ross was born in 1874 in Maine.  He appears on the 1880 census in Portland ME.  George married Margaret Finlayson on 22 Sept 1890 in Massachusetts.  Margaret was born in 1872 and the daughter of John Finlayson and Adaline Cothran.  The marriage record indicates that George was a machinist.  I identified two children of George and Margaret Ross.  Adeline M. Ross was born 20 Nov 1893 and Madge G. Ross was born in December 1896 in Everett MA.  Sadly, George died on 17 Dec 1898.  He committed suicide with a pistol.  George is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett MA.  His wife Margaret appears on the 1900 and 1910 census in Boston living with her mother Adaline and her young daughter Maggie Ross. In 1920 and 1930 Margaret and Madge are living with Margaret's brother Richard Finlayson.  Margaret is noted to be widowed.  The child, Adeline M. Ross does not appear on these census. On the 1930 censes, Madge G. Ross is noted to be a teacher.  I came across a list of graduates of the Boston State Teachers College in 1938.  In that list Madge G. Ross was awarded a Masters Degree in Education.  A Massachusetts Death record shows that Madge died 20 Sept 1988.

Throughout my review of census records I have been confused by the children Ann and Alma.  On the 1880 Portland ME census, what is transcribed as Ann Ross appears to be Ada when you look at the original document.  She would be Ada M. Ross born in 1872.  The Mary A. Ross who appears on the 1900 census in Chelsea MA is Alma. who was born in  1877 or 1879.  By tracing Mary A. Ross' marriage records, I found her known as Alma Ross on the record of one of her children.

Ada M. Ross who was born in 1872 married John B. Austin on 11 Sept 1894 in Boston.  She was 22 years old.  They had 7 children:  Ethel M. Austin born in 1895, Albert Frederick Austin born in 1900, John A. Austin born in 1901, George Irving Austin born in 1903, unnamed Austin born in 1905, Francis Dale Austin born in 1906 and Frank D. Austin born in 1907.  Frank Austin died 19 Aug 1907.  Young John A. Austin died 10 Nov 1908.  His death record indicates that he fell from a street car.

Ada M. Ross Austin died 04 April 1912.  The cause of death was Phthisis Pulmonales, which in today's terms was tuberculosis.  She was only 36 years old and left five children and her husband John.  Ada is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden, MA.

Mary A. Ross is also known as Alma Ross was born in either 1877 or 1879 in Maine.  Alma married John W. Arnault on 03 Jan 1902 in Boston.  They had three children: Ella Mary Arnault born in 1905, Lottie E. Arnault who was born and died in 1908, and Alma Arnault who was born in 1912.  Mary A. Ross' name appears as Amy on the 1910 and 1920 census and it appears as Amy Alma Ross on Ella's birth record in 1905.

Charles G. Ross was born in 1875 in Maine.  He appears on the 1880 and 1900 census in the family home.  In a 1912 Directory of Chelsea MA he is named as is Matilda Ross.  Matilda was noted to be the widow of David.  On his 1917 draft record, Charles indicates that Mary O'Brien would know his whereabouts.  In 1920, Charles is a boarder of Ms. O'Brien's.

I did find a death record for David C. Ross which indicated he died in 1908 of "old age" and was buried
at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett MA.  I do not have a death date for Matilda.  On several records, including the Pension File of Matilda's brother, Thomas Henry Bonner, it was indicated that the family lived at 58 Blossom Street, Chelsea MA.  I was able to find a current photo of 58 Blossom St and a description. It was built in 1900, was a duplex with a total of both sides that included 10 rooms, 6 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  Here is a current photo of 58 Blossom St.

As you can see this home has been well kept all these many years.  All of the Ross family is gone, but their home remains.  This will end my discussion of the family of Matilda Bonner and David Ross.  If anyone who might read this has any additional information, please contact me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Search for Austin Bonner

My last blog entry was May 20, 2011 and now I'm ready to get back to work. While researching great grandfather Thomas Henry Bonner, I have learned a whole lot about the Bonner/Bonnar family and made some great contacts with other Bonner descendants.

Today I have a rather complicated entry to make. I'll try to make it easy to read. Great Grandfather, Thomas Henry Bonner had a brother named Henry Bonner. Henry married Amanda Pond. I wrote about them on February 24, 2011. They had four children: Robert Douglas, Ernest Alfred, Austin and Henry. In the Feb. 24 entry, I mentioned that I had information about everyone except Austin Bonner. I have since gained information about Austin Bonner. Oddly enough what sent me in the right direction was the obituary of his brothers, Robert Douglas Bonner and Ernest Alfred Bonner. In Robert's obituary in 1933, Austin is mentioned as a surviving brother. In Ernest's obituary it states he is survived by his neice, Mrs. Helen Bonner McInnis of Portland ME. What confused me was that I had never heard of Helen and I was surprised that the obituary didn't name the four children of Ernest Alfred Bonner.

Here is his obituary from the Portland Maine Telegraph, March 16, 1947.

I still don't know why his children aren't mentioned except perhaps the person writing the information wasn't aware of them. Ernest had been divorced since about 1920 from his wife Belle Hazelton Bonner. I began searching Helen Bonner McInnis and found that in 1910 Helen Bonner was age 6 and living at Swans Island, Maine with Hattie and Horace Stanley. She also lived with Hattie Stanley in 1920. I'm not sure of their relationship because the census stated that Helen was a boarder, even at age 6. So by backtracking in the Maine Deaths and Marriages for someone with the last name Bonner, I found Helen's parents. They were Nellie M. Cook and Austin Bonner. Nellie Bonner died in October 1903 at Swans Island after giving birth to Helen in July 1903.

Helen first married Charles Parker in 1923 and they had one child Edna Hilda Parker. Secondly she married Horace McInnis. Helen died in 1994 in Portland ME and in her obituary she is survived by her daughter Edna and it states her parents were Austin Bonner and Nellie Cook Bonner.

Although I have only gained one additional shred of information about Austin Bonner, I don't know what happened to him after his wife Nellie died. It appears that he left Swan Island and perhaps remarried, leaving his daughter in the care of Hattie Stanley. There is still no census information or death information that I've found about Austin after the 1903 death of Nellie Cook Bonner, until he is mentioned in the 1933 obituary of his brother.

I found a nice photo of Hattie Stanley, the woman who raised Helen Bonner McInnis.

I will keep searching for Austin Bonner, just don't quite know where to look.