Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a dearth of cousins ...

… in the current paternal generations. My father was an only child as was his father, Arthur Stanton Adams. Arthur’s father was one of six children (half and whole). His whole brother George never married or had issue. George lived most of his adult life with his brother Charles and after Charles died in 1950, lived in his own small set of rooms. He was one of my favorite relatives and taught me how to play cribbage. He died in 1967.

Charles’ half-sister Lucy died as a child, not yet nine years old, of dysentery and his half-brother Warren at the age of six. His half-brother Frederick lived well in to adulthood but, like George, never married or had issue. Only his half-brother William married. William and his wife, Mary Jane Evans had 2 children, my first cousins twice removed.

I never really pursued tracing William’s children before, mostly I suppose because when I first started on this it was in the early 70’s without the current access online. So poking around I have discovered that William and Mary Jane had two children, William Everett Adams born 22 May 1894 and Margaret Porter Adams, born 19 July 1899.

From my great grandfather’s notes, I originally had William’s name as William Evans Adams but his birth record and draft registrations (both WW1 and WW2) give it as William Everett Adams. About 1920, he married Annie Dickson and they had two children, William and Priscilla, both of whom seem to have married and had children. Those children would be my third cousins, where ever they may be.

On the other hand, William’s sister Margaret seems to disappear after the 1930 census. In 1920, she is listed in Arlington, Massachusetts, with her parents as a 20 year old cashier at Electric Light. In 1930, now age 30, she is still there, living with her parents in Arlington, and is listed as a bookkeeper at Electric Light. Her father dies the following year and so far I have found no trace of her or her mother, Mary Jane.

My father’s maternal side is no better. His mother, Dorothy Anderson, was the youngest of three children. Her older sister Edith died at the age of three and a half of dysentery. Her older brother, Lesley, graduated from the Naval Academy and soon became engaged to a vaudeville actress but the marriage never happened. A few years later he married Beatrice Hawley and died in 1933, without issue.

Dorothy’s mother was also one of three children with an older sister who died of croup at not yet two and a half. Her much younger brother Stuart never married or had issue. Dorothy’s father, Frank Carroll Anderson, was one of four children and here we do a bit better for potential cousins. His sister Elizabeth died at the age of 29, probably of pulmonary tuberculosis, but both his brothers, Charles and Edward, married. Charles had one daughter, Edna, born about 1905, who disappears after the 1920 census. Edward had two daughters, Florence and Hester. Florence died in 1974 in Philadelphia, unmarried, without issue. Hester married and had three sons, Lewis, Edward and John. All three grew to adulthood and married. Their children, if they had any, would be my third cousins.

What all this rambling amounts to is, on my father’s side, the closest I’ve got is some unknown third cousins which explains why growing up all I ever knew on my dad's side were my grandparents and my "uncle" George.

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