Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Short History of our Cantwell Ancestors 6th Great Grandparents to Us. (Mattson - Pierce lines)

6th Great Grandfather William Cantwell's headstone at Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield Ohio

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Everyone!
I'm taking some time and pushing our family line out a bit more along Grandma Violet's lines through the Pierce family to the George's and finally to the Cantwells. I've posted about our 4th Great Grandmother's brothers and the action they saw in the Civil War in an earlier post in April. This post will talk more about their service.

We will also discover our family's history extends to Ireland through the O'Brien Family of Dublin (6th Great Grandmother Margaret O'Brien).

I extracted much of this information from a Cantwell family history written in 1911. I did not change the language or grammar so you will read it the way it was written. Please note the beautifully written obituary's of our 5th Great Grandparents, William and Nancy Ann.

I realize this looks like a long read, but well worth your time to discover the loves and sacrifices made by the people who's blood flows through your veins.

And now, our Cantwell Family History:

Relationship Chart

6th Great Grandparents. William Cantwell and Margaret O'Brien
William Cantwell and Nancy Ann Williams
Martha Cantwell and Jacob George (our post below will also discuss Martha's two brothers James and Jacob Cantwell, our 5th Great Uncles)
Francis George and Henry Fiddler
Eldora Fiddler and Edwin Sherman Pierce
Walter Edwin Pierce and Vesta Dennis
Violet Pierce and Walter Mattson
Luella, John, Linda and Marvin

The Cantwell family has always been characterized by the pioneer spirit. William Cantwell's Father (William) not only came to this country when it was new, but almost immediately pushed out into the "panhandle" of Virginia along the Ohio river when it was "Away out west."

Our family has also rendered great and valiant service in time of war. In the civil war we equipped a regiment with officers and furnished enough privates for a small company. Many of these soldier were severely wounded, but only one, Col. James Cantwell was killed in battle. I have a letter from John Sherman in which me mentions with great commendations the large contributions of our family to the Union cause.

If we seek in William Cantwell and Ann Williams their most valuable contribution to their posterity, I think we will find it in their Godliness.

William Cantwell was the son of William Cantwell and Margaret O'Brien. Margaret was a native of Ireland and was probably born near Dublin. It is not certainly known whether William Cantwell was a native of Ireland, Scotland or England. Some older members of the family remember hearing that he was a native of Ireland. Others remember he was born in Scotland.

Margaret O'Brien was the daughter of a family of great wealth, that William Cantwell was a journeyman shoemaker, that owing to parental objection, the young couple ran away, took passage for America and were married on shipboard by the captain. When the O'Brien estate was settled between 1820 and 1830, it was impossible to prove marriage on account of the death of the captain and the loss of the ship's log. This migration to the U.S. must have taken place about 1770-1776. Different attempts were made to obtain a share of the O'Brien estate, but they all ended in failure.

William and Margaret's first child (William Jr.) was born in Baltimore County, MD. When William Jr. was a boy the family moved to Brooke Co. Virginia, now in West Virginia. Margaret Cantwell is remembered as a woman of great beauty, with small and perfect hands.

William Cantwell Jr. was married in 1797 in Brooke Co. Virginia to Nancy Ann Williams. Nancy Ann was a woman of strong character and had extraordinary intellectual acquirement's for a woman of pioneer days.

William Jr and Nancy Ann had a total of 12 children. William and Ann Cantwell joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Jefferson Co. Ohio in 1804.

Obituary of Nancy Ann Williams Cantwell.
January 4, 1850. Nancy Cantwell, wife of William Cantwell, in the seventy-first year of her age. In her usual health she retired to rest in the evening, and, after a moment's conversation with her aged companion, assumed an easy posture of the body and soon fell asleep. In the morning she was called to breakfast, but could not be awakened - she had slept the sleep of death; apparently, without a struggle, the spirit left the body and passed to its long sought rest. Forty six years had she been a worthy member of the militant Church: and, though her seat in the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mansfield, Ohio, is now vacated, and her aged companion, with a large circle of relatives, is left to mourn, she has, without doubt, reached her home in heaven. Calmness, firmness and consistency, marked her Christian course: and the sweet expression left on the cold clay, taken in connection with the uniformity of her life, satisfies all who knew her that her end was peace.
Obituary of William Cantwell. February 18, 1858.
Father Cantwell was emphatically one of the fathers. He was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, November 22, 1776. While he was quite young his father moved to Brooke County, Virginia where he was married to Miss Nancy Williams. November 30, 1797, with whom he lived more than fifty two years, she having departed this life in great peace and good hope of eternal glory on January 4, 1850. In the spring of 1801 Father Cantwell removed into Jefferson County, Ohio whence he came to, or near Mansfield Ohio, where he continued to reside till his death on February 18, 1858 in holy hope of immortal life, having been more than fifty-four years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, to which he was attached with the ardor of a life - love. He was pre-eminently a working man. Since the death of Mother Cantwell in 1850, his bible has been peculiarly his companion and his religion the solace of his heart. His strength gradually failed, till his benumbed and enfeebled body so affected his mind as to nearly, and in some cased, entirely efface from his memory the recollection of his former friends. But in his most debilitated state, when I visited him, I would introduce the name of Jesus, and immediately his mind would rally, and his soul evince that upon its altar the living fire of God's saving love continued to glow with inextinguishable flame; and thus, in the 82nd year of his natural life, he fell asleep in Jesus and has gone to live with him forevermore.
Martha Cantwell (daughter of William and Nancy) married Jacob George
Marth born September 8, 1802 at Steubenville Ohio. Died February 27, 1879 at Iowa Falls. Married on March 1, 1821.
Jacob George b. November 4, 1800 at Elkton Md. died November 22, 1869 at Iowa Falls.

The Washington Monument in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore Md.
Our 5th Great Uncle helped lay the Foundation.

In his boyhood Jacob George went to Baltimore and learned masonry. He helped lay the foundation for the Washington Monument at Mr. Vernon Place, Baltimore (see photo above) with Sater Stevenson as Master Mason. Later he learned shoe making with his brother at Harrisburg, PA. He came to Ohio about 1820.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. George lived on a farm near Spring Mills, just across the road from Wm. Cantwell's place. In the fall of 1853 they moved wth all of their family in covered wagons to Iowa, spending the winter at Crawfordsville. In the spring of 1854 they settled on a large farm near Iowa Falls. Mr. and Mrs. George and their family were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. When they came to Iowa Falls there were no Methodists and no church building of any kind. Mr. George organized his own family into a class, and with the help of his boys and his son-in-law, Henry Fiddler (who married his daughter Francis), built a church at Iowa Falls and gave it to the Methodists. Martha and Jacob had 11 children.

Henry Fiddler and Francis George's daughter Eldora Elizabeth Fiddler , b. Feb. 22, 1859 at Eldora Iowa. Married Edwin Sherman Pierce, stockman. Cascade Springs S.D.
Eldora and Edwin had the following children:
  • Walter Edwin. Our Great Grandfather. born August 23, 1885
  • Ora Joslyn born June 2, 1887
  • Francis Herbert born Feb. 27, 1889
  • Mattie May Belle born Feb, 23 1891
  • Henry Raymond born Dec. 11, 1892
  • Dallas Glenn born Sept. 17, 1894
  • Eldora Rose born Feb. 17, 1901

Additional Information on Jacob Young Cantwell, brother of Martha Cantwell. Son of William and Nancy Ann.
J.Y. Cantwell read medicine with Dr. J.W. Chandler of Mansfield and graduated in medicine in 1847. He practiced in Mansfield. On April 15, 1861 he entered the medical department of the Union army as surgeon of the 4th Reg't O.V.I. When his brother, Col. James Cantwell, organized the 82nd regiment, he was made surgeon. He was shot through the thigh at the battle of Cross Keys, VA on June 8, 1862. He was in active service in the field until December 1863, filling the office of Brigade, Division and Crops surgeon. He participated in more than 20 battles, in all of which he officiated as operating surgeon. In January, 1864, he was commissioned by President Lincoln as surgeon of the U.S. Volunteers and was assigned to duty by the Surgeon General as inspector of hospitals with headquarters at Washington. By recommendation of the Surgeon General he was brevetted Lt. Col. for Meritorious Service.

Addition Information on James Cantwell, brother of Martha Cantwell. Son of William and Nancy Ann.
James Cantwell was born near Steubenville Oh in December 1811.
Immediately after his marriage, James Cantwelllived on a farm 4 miles northwest of Mansfield Ohio, near Spring Mills. Later he lived in Mansfield. In 1845 he volunteered for service in the Mexican War. He was elected and served as First Lieut. of the company of which McLaughlin was captain. After the war he represented Richland County in the state legislature, and also represented the district in the Ohio senate.
The second day after Fort Sumpter was fired upon he raised a company of volunteers and went to Columbus, the state capital, April 16, 1861. He was assigned to the 4th Reg't O.V.I and elected Lt. Colonel. Later when the call for volunteers for 3 years was made he organized the 82, Reg't O.V.I of which he was commissioned colonel in October, 1861. His brother Dr. J.Y. Cantwell, was surgeon of this regiment. The regiment was assigned to service in the Army of the Potomac. It is reported that Gen. McClellan said Col. Cantwell was the best drill master in the Army of the Potomac. He was killed at the second battle of Bull Run on August 29, 1862. The ball striking him below the left eye and passing out through the back of his head.

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