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.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Luella Williamson's Handwritten History.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Autumn 2011's first Sunday and the weather here in northern Utah is beautiful. The mountainsides are showing groupings of color. I see reds and oranges mixed with the greens and browns. I know I speak for many in our family when I say that Autumn is my favorite time of the year.

I spent several hours this week working on transferring our extensive family tree to Ancestry.com. I also worked on several new branches of the Mattson / McCrillis lines. We have new ties to Quaker ties to England through the Fisher line. In fact, our 9th Great Grandfather, John Fisher, sailed to America on William Penn's first voyage to Pennsylvania on the ship Welcome.
Among the Society of Friends who were passengers accompanying William Penn in the ship "Welcome" on its first voyage to his new colony in Pennsylvania was a glazier named John Fisher, who became the ancestor of a large American family. His son Thomas Fisher became Overseer of Highways and a justice of the peace in the new colony, and served also as agent for the Proprietary in Sussex County. His son, Joshua Fisher (1707-1788), was to achieve lasting fame for producing the first nautical chart to be made of Delaware Bay and Delaware River, a resource that remained the authority until it was supplanted by modern Federal topographical surveys.
Of course, there will be more to come on these new family lines.

Today I'd like to share Luella Williamson's incomplete, handwritten autobiography found in a box of photographs. My scanner identified two pages as photographs. The other pages were scanned as text. This makes it more difficult to read. I tweaked the documents as best I could to make the writing legible. Remember, click on each picture to enlarge. I transcribed each page below its photograph for ease in reading. It really makes an interesting read. Also, I read this to Luella and asked for additional detail. Her verbal remembrances are highlighted in blue.


Luella Williamson's Autobiography
Page 1.

I Luella Mae Mattson was born the 14 January 1939 to Violet Mae Pierce and Walter Albert Mattson. At birth I weighed 10.5 lbs and was born at 8 o'clock A.M. The night before I was born there was a terrible blizzard and father fought snow drifts and high winds all the way to Broadus Powder River, Montana. At that time my parents lived about 5 miles north of Hammond Montana and lived with my grandparents, Albert [and Ida] Mattson.

The house that we lived in at that time was an old homestead house made of log. There were so many cracks between the logs that my grandmother Ida Joshina Thornbert [incorrect spelling] and my mother used to have to poke rags in the cracks to keep the cold out. As the years went by my father added more on to the house and improved it. [he brought in granaries to add to the home. The log cabin made the center of the house. The granary's were bedrooms. There were two kitchens and two living rooms. The grandparents had sort of their own apartment but all meals were shared]

Page 2.

When I was 21 months old my parents gave birth to a son on the 15 October 1940. He was given the name Walter Albert Mattson after my father.

The first thing I can recall remembering was my folks walking in the house and saying that my brother was dead. He had died of acute pneumonia. My folks had tried to get him to Belle Fourche to the doctor , but he had died about thirty miles from Belle in my mother's arms.

At the age of 5 1/2 years I started Grade School at Pinele Montana a country school about a mile from our home. My first teacher was a Mrs. VanEaten. The first year held a rather frightening experience for me. One of the eighth grade boys, a Bobby Brownfield, used to chase me home at night with a pocketknife saying

Page 3.

he was going to cut my ears off. This went on till my mother went and had a talk with the teacher. [I was walking and he was riding a horse. He'd chase me on horseback. I was 5 1/2 and he was 13 or 14 years old. He rode that horse 8 miles to get to school]

The school house in which we went to school was a typical country school for that time. With the big pot belly coal and wood stove. In the winter we left our coats on most of the day and all sat around the stove. [the stove had a chrome base. We'd sit with our shoes on the chrome. You could smell the rubber from our shoes burning]. The back of the schoolroom held the coal bin. I remember the fragrance the coal seemed to add to the school room. In the back of the school there being the outdoor bathrooms [outhouse] and the shed for the horses.

The winters in Montana were always quite severe and my father would take us to school on a big bobsled pulled with our team of horses. We would all bundle up real good. And even 15 degrees below didn't ...

Page 4.

bother us. At that time there was an old man that lived with us. His name was Alex Winger. He had a mustache. And I can remember on the way to school long icicles used to grow on his mustache. [icicles would also grow out of the horses nostrils. The bobsled was huge, about the size of a small room].

By this time I had one sister, Linda Joyce and two brothers, John Edward and Marvin Dale.

In the Spring there was lambing and calfing. During which my mother had to help Daddy and Alex with lambing and I can remember them bringing in lots of little lambs almost frozen. They would put them in a tub of hot water for awhile and they almost always would survive. We always had from 20 to 50 bum [the lambs the mothers wouldn't accept] lambs every summer.
[the bum lambs were fed by lining several beer bottles filled with cow's mild with rubber nipples on an inclined board. I hated cleaning the beer bottles. My parents didn't drink. I remember one time someone came by the house with a few beers. My dad had two beers and was drunker than a skunk. He lay on the bed with us on either side, crying that he would never do that again. He was embarrassed. The beer bottles came from the empties left outside of the local bar. My grandfather was an alcoholic before he married my grandmother. After marriage the only time he could drink was when we went into town. Grandmother would give him $1.00 to spend. He loved to dress to go to town. It was his favorite thing to do ].

One of the jobs I disliked the most was feeding the bum lambs. Spring time has always been my favorite season, and especially.....

Page 5.

on the ranch. We always had big snow drifts on the hills till at least May. And then it seemed that all of a sudden it would get warm and the snow would start to melt and all the small draws and gullies would fill with water. I just loved the sound of the running water and smelling the nice clean smell that it gave the countryside. I can remember walking to school and hearing the meadow larks singing and the fun of finding the first green grass.

Our house was located in a deep draw. In the summer my brothers, my sister and I used to pick a lot of berries. There were June Berry's, Choke Cherries, Plums and Buffalo Berries. Our mother would turn us loose and we'd play in one of the branches of the draws all day. When I was small I had a dreadful....

Page 6.

fear of blood. So if one of the boys got hurt I would run and Linda would have to take them to the house.

Living on a ranch I had to start assuming responsibilities around the house quite early. Starting when I was eight I had to help with washing, ironing, cooking and baby sitting my brothers and sister.

I grew very fast both mentally and physically and when I was ten I was about the size of a sixteen year old. And at the age of ten my mother had to help in the field. And I was almost totally responsible for doing the washing and ironing and cooking the meals. Lunch time was the biggest meal. My father would kill 3 chickens before he left for work. I would pick and clean them and fix the dinner for almost 12 people. Along with this I...

Page 7.

kept the house up and took care of my brothers and sister.

When I think back I can remember that I never wanted to act like a child. And everyone would remark about it. I always tried to act like an adult. All of my friends were kids of from four to five years older than I was. All except the Talcott boys and they were pretty close to my age. Although a lot shorter.

When I was eleven I had my first job. I hired out to some people to help with the cooking and house work. I got paid $2.00 per day. We got up at 4:30 every morning and it soon turned out that I was doing everything and totally taking care of their baby. At the end of four weeks I was very eager to stop earning money and go home.

End of her written story. Would you like to read more? Call Luella and encourage her to continue this autobiography. She'll do it if given enough pressure.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Discovery of a GGG Grandmother. Jane Tway. Williamson Line.

The burial place of our Great Great Grandparents, Whitty Victor and Nancy Morris

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons,
Tracing family history has brought me a great deal of satisfaction and an equal amount of frustration. The satisfaction comes from finding a relative you've been searching for and another branch of our family becomes visible. The frustration comes in finding a grand parent with nothing to go on. History doesn't easily give away its secrets. Sometimes I wonder why my numerous great grandparents didn't write their own histories. I'm guessing they thought no one would ever be interested in their common day to day lives.

I'll share an example. Our common Great Great Grandfather, George Matthew Williamson knew who his father was. He knew his grandfather and his aunts and uncles. He knew his family's oral history. It was common knowledge to him. The tragedy is that he never wrote that history down. I've spent dozens of hours over the last two years playing detective with our Williamson lines. I've followed every piece of evidence to its natural conclusion. Today, I'm nearly certain who our Williamson's were in Virginia, but not 100% and never will be. All this confusion because a great great grandfather didn't think it interesting enough to record and pass his history to his children and grand children

Today is a good day for our family history. Today a mystery is solved that I've been researching for a long time. Today we get to meet another Great Grandmother who's identity was unknown.
Her name is Jane Tway.

Shall we begin with a Relationship Chart?

Relationship Chart

Great Great Great Grandparents
Isaac Morris and Jane Tway
Great Great Grandparents
Nancy Morris and Whitty Victor
Great Grandparents
Effie Helen Victor and William Jonathan Williamson
Ima Della, Vennie, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walter, Charles and Maurice

I've been working with Brent Heeren, a distant cousin through the Morris line on finding the identity of Great Great Grandmother Nancy Morris's parents. My thanks to Brent for doing most of the research and a special thanks for sending an email this week with proof positive. Nancy's parents were Isaac Morris and Jane Tway. I can now removed the "?" I had on this line in our family tree.

Brent sent the following obituaries on our two Great Great Grandparents. They are posted below.

Whitty Victor
Born Feb. 18, 1818 in Dover Kent County Delaware, Death: Mar. 17, 1903 Nodaway Adams County, Iowa, USA
Whitty Victor, whose death last Tuesday was mentioned in last week's paper, was 85 years and l month old. He was born of
Elijah VICTOR who was born on 6 January 1785 in Maryland, and Eunice Hitch, born of Christian parents in Essex county, Del,, near Dover, Feb. 18, 1818.

When Whitty was about fourteen years of age he removed with his parents to Cincinnati, O., where he grew to manhood and where he was married Nov. 6, 1845, to Miss Nancy Norris. A year later he removed to Blackhawk county, Indiana., and after several changes of residence he came with his family to Adams county in 1801. He lived near Nodaway for many years and in 1885 sold his farm and bought another six miles west of Corning in Douglas township. His wife died April 22,1886, and he then made his home with his daughter for a time. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Victor, of whom only three ate living, Mrs. Jane Barker of Douglas township, Mrs. Emma Lathrop of Conklin, South Dakota, Mrs. Effie Williamson of Rapid City, South Dakota. A brother and two sisters also survive him, Elijah Victor of Shelbyville, Ind., Mrs. Elvira Brown of Wellington, Illinois., and Mrs. Sarah Green of University Place, Neb. July 28, 1887, Mr. Victor was married again to Mrs. Mary L. Preston, who died in this city June 20, 1901.

Whitty was converted at the age of 43 and became an active and faithful member of the M. E. church. He was a devoted Christian man, a true Christian hushand and father and his Christian life and Christian teaching bore fruit in the family circle and in the community where he was known and respected as a faithful follower of the Lord. "Blessed are those that die in the Lord" The funeral was conducted Thursday from the U. B. church in this city by Revs. W. H. Drake and W. F. Wallace. Mr. Victor had selected for the scripture lesson the 90th Psalm and for a text Second Timothy, 7:4. The family has the sympathy of many friends.
Adams County Free Press, March 25, 1903, page 8

Nancy Morris Victor
Birth Feb. 22, 1822 Ohio, USA. Death: Apr. 22, 1886 Nodaway Adams County Iowa, USA

Nancy M. Morris was born February 18, 1818 in Ohio to Isaac J. Morris and Jane Tway. She married Whitley Whitty Victor November 6, 1845 Cincinnati, Hamilton County. A year later they removed to Blackhawk county, Indiana., and after several changes of residence they came with their family to Adams county in 1801. They lived near Nodaway for many years and in 1885 sold their farm and bought another six miles west of Corning in Douglas township. She died April 22,1886 in Nodaway, Adams County, Iowa, and her then made his home with his daughter for a time. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Victor, of whom only three ate living, Mrs. Jane Barker of Douglas township, Mrs. Emma Lathrop of Conklin, South Dakota, Mrs. Effie Williamson of Rapid City, South Dakota. She is buried on Lot 26 of On Lot With Benjamin C. and Whitty, 22 April 1886 in Methodist Grove Cemetery, Nodaway, Adams County, Iowa

Our discovery tonight is the inclusion of the Tway family in our Williamson history. The Tway's originate from Ireland.

I'll start researching this new family line and post my findings as time permits.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nearing the End of Grandma Violet's Photo Albums. More from Rapid City and a Time Long Ago.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Our train has stopped once again in Luneville, or at least you'd think so if you completely trusted my slightly warp memories of how things were in our simpler times. I will confess a naughtiness in my descriptions of how things once were. I can't resist. But know this, a kernal of truth in a shell of fancy lies at the heart of each paragraph.

These pictures from Grandma Violet's albums show a simpler more innocent time. Remember hopping on your bike and shouting to your mother that you're off to play? Remember your mother's admonition, "be careful". If you're mom was a worry wart she'd add "Where are you going?" In those days only the most fanatical of helicopter parents dropped the dreaded bombshell "Stay in the yard!" An order to "Stay in the yard!" was the death sentence to play. The kids in my neighborhood confined to their own yard had few friends. We felt sorry for them.

Today many children are lucky to get permission to step outside. These juvenile inmates watch the seasons change through their living room windows. They yearn to grow up, abandoning their childhood for the freedom of the teen years and an end to the confinement imposed by mothers fearful of unknown terrors lurking in every bush and around every corner.

Even after growing up, some never stray far from their comfort zones; never taking a risk, never testing their limits in a competitive university or work environment. These poor souls were bred in captivity, held on a leash and domesticated to the point of uselessness.

I saw something unusual as I drove home from the Space Center yesterday. Just before reaching 1100 North I saw a boy who looked to be ten or eleven years old. He was dressed in a nice golf shirt and shorts. He looked like he was about to go somewhere. He stood in a deep puddle at the end of his gravel driveway. Both his hands were at the bottom of the puddle dredging up the mud. He stood up as my car approached holding two handfuls of thick rich mud. "Is he going to throw that mud at my car?" I thought to myself.

He saw me. I smiled. He face brightened. He held out his muddy fists for me to appreciate. I gave him a thumbs up. Was he going to get a good thumping for getting so dirty? Perhaps, but the smile on his face told me that whatever the punishment, the experience of a puddle thick with mud was worth it. He was free. My faith in humanity was partially restored.

Speaking of mud and unkempt, unleashed children left to fend for themselves; may I present a few pictures of children who once lived on 38th Street, Rapid City, who only now in their advanced years, are showing signs of civility.

This is Jilane Williamson as she looked in the 1970's. Notice the high forehead? I think Luella was experimenting with polygamist hairstyles and fashion back then. That dress strengthens my theory. Honestly, doesn't Jilane look like your typical young Colorado City girl of today? Yep, there she is with her simple down home looks, walking home from school to her father, three mothers and 22 brothers and sisters.

Another picture of Jilane, now a bit older. A bit of a tom boy I think. She's sporting a new, almost human hairstyle. Luella was correct to hide her unnaturally high forehead. The freckles are more pronounced in this photograph, giving her that Tom Sawyer look. The yellowing teeth are a bit of a shock. Before you judge her dental hygiene, let me remind you that the color of one's chompers were not a concern back then like they are now. Black, yellow or white - it didn't matter. At least they were straight, making Jilane decently good looking for a South Dakota gal.

This is Annette, the youngest of the Williamson clan. Nettie was born practically perfect in every way; such an oddity in our family. Odd because it is my firm belief our family was a spiritual testing ground.

"Charles and Luella have married. It appears they plan on starting a family," I imagine one of their guardian angels saying to the other.
"Unlucky for them," the other answered.
"They're slated for that odd lot of spirits over there."
"What, all of them?"
"Yep, all of them."
"Why, what have they done?"
"Their experimenting," the angel said as he pointed skyward. "They want to know what will happen if you place several of 'those kind' in the same family. They call it psychological sibling mixing."

I believe there were seven of us being held in that premortal corral, meaning Charles and Luella's eighth child was unexpected. A normal one was selected and sent along. Did she come willingly? I don't know, but here she is, our family's caboose, making the rest of us look well past our sell by dates. Yet strangely enough, she's taken to us. We're all counting on her to sneak us past the pearly gates when our time is called.

You're my favorite Nettie. Don't you forget that?

Princess Leia and Jabba the Hut in their early years. Both our handicaps are visible in this photograph. Kim's large protruding tongue and my beckoning for food to satisfy my insatiable appetite are easily seen. I believe I got my hands on that stuffed toy shortly after the photograph was taken. We have the photographer to thank for saving my life. He removed the stuffing from my windpipe just before I suffocated. The animal looked so delicious; I couldn't help myself. I knew Luella wouldn't let me slobber it down so I had to act quickly.

Kim and I, a few years later. Luella tells me I had a sore on my hand which is why I favored it so in this picture. Notice how Kim grew into her tongue?

I'm loving those suspenders! Amazing at how life repeats itself. I had suspenders then and am considering them today. Shouldn't every 50 plus male have a pair of suspenders on hand to keep his pants up?

This picture was originally black and white. Grandma Violet colored it by hand. Who could afford color photography back then? We were lucky this photo was taken on film and not a tin type. I'm guessing this was taken in 1963, just after the first film cameras were available at Rapid City's Sears and Roebuck Department Store. Notice my hair style hasn't changed in 50 plus years? Kim, on the other had, enjoys experimenting with her's (and not for the better). Why change a winning appearance from the past. Stick with what works.

This picture was taken in September 1959 shortly after our small family moved to 39 East Signal Drive, Rapid City. I'm standing, Kim is seated and Grandma Elda supports us. Elda was Charles's mother. She looks so young in this picture.

I just noticed the back lawn, or should I say weed patch. No wonder we all have allergies!

I'm on my throne.

My highchair was my favorite place in the entire universe. I knew food would be forthcoming when Luella strained to hoist me into that chair (and I mean hoisted - I had a big appetite). I loved food then and I love it now. I like it hot and in enormous quantities.

Keep it coming!

Luella tells me that I was picky in presentation. I'd toss my plate to the ground if any of my food touched when plated. Mixing flavors was a No No! Just a bit of juice from my canned peas leaking into my mashed potatoes would send me into a violent temper tantrum complete with kicking, screaming, head spinning, eyes bulging and obscenities shouted in a guttural Latin. I mellowed somewhat after the local priest paid us a visit and bathed me in holy water. He also advised Luella to wear a crucifix whenever she fed me.

And finally, my Pièce de résistance ! My one great masterpiece from my childhood. I was a struggling young artist, always looking for interesting subjects to draw and paint. Leonardo had the Mona Lisa. I had my sister Janice, reluctant as she was to see this creation with her school picture as it's centerpiece.

How did I get the $10 bill drawn correctly, having probably never seen one. Remember, a nickle in your pocket in those days was gold. It must have been dad's pay day. I'm sure Luella reluctantly surrendered the money after hours of begging and most assuredly kept a close eye on me as I worked in my basement studio.

This is yours Janice. You're welcome to it if you'd like. I thought about framing it and giving it to you for Christmas. Would you value the hours spent in its creation? Would you cherish it? Would you pass it on to your descendants? Hmmmm. Better keep it in my permenant collection.

(See Bob. You're not the only gifted artist in this family!)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Angie's Research on our Seagram Line (Mattson / Pierce)

GGG Grandmother Isabella Seagrams

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove


Today you eyes are granted a rest from reading another one of my entries. Cousin Angie did our research this week and sent the following for your consideration.
Thanks Angie. I believe you're spot on. I've updated this information on the Family Tree, which by the way is uploaded to Ancestry.com.

Before you jump into Angie's research, I thought it best to give you a Relationship Tree so you understand who she is researching:

Relationship Tree:

3rd Great Grandparents, Isabelle Seagrams and Andrew Jackson Pierce
Edwin Serman Pierce and Eldora Elizabeth Fiddler
Walter Edwin Pierce and Vesta Althea Dennis
Violet Mae Pierce and Walter Albert Mattson
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

And now, Angie's research:

Hello Everyone,
Long time; No contact........until a few weeks ago, when Len Pierce sent me an email just checking up on me. I have been so engaged in my Dennis line research, that I haven't really put much focus on anything else. Well his email made me think about looking again at the Pierce line, and this is a very long email of what I have found in the last two weeks. (Note: Some of these links, you will need to have an Ancestry.com account to view, but I'll be specific to their content).
Victor's blog posting of Isabella Pierce is a great place to start:
This is what we already know:
Andrew Jackson Pierce married Isabella Seagrim February 21, 1860 in Margaretville, Delaware County, New York:

Andrew and Isabella had five children; Edwin (Len and Our Grandfather), Herbert, Ida Belle, Margaret and Jennie (Richard's Grandmother).
Thanks to Richard Carlton, we know that Andrew died from a bad fall in 1874 and is buried in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
Isabella remarried Hosmer Stevens and had no children with him.
In the last few years of Isabella's life, she lived with her daughter Jennie:
It reads:

"Aged Mother Passes Away

Mrs. Isabel Stephens died Wednesday evening February 13, 1918, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. George Joslin, in this city, at the age of 77 years.

Mrs. Stephens had made her home with her daughter in Cassville for the past three years. For much of that time she was in very delicate health and was given constant care by Mrs. Joslin. Everything which loving hands could do for her comfort was done.

Rev. L. H. White conducted a short funeral service at the Joslin home Thursday afternoon. Her body was sent to Iowa Falls, Iowa for interment. It was accompanied by Mr. Joslin."

Isabella Seagrim Pierce Stevens as buried in Hardin County, Iowa. This is a picture of her headstone:


Ida Belle Pierce only lived six months, and she is also buried in this cemetery. This is a picture of her headstone:


Ida Belle Pierce also has a "Find a Grave" link:


I cannot find where Andrew Jackson Pierce is buried, although I suspect he is in this same cemetery, but may not have a clearly marked grave.

When I started my search a few weeks ago, I started my search on some information that I found on Victor's blog that Richard Carlton had sent him, it said:

"All I have on Richard is that he is thought to have been born in 1817 in England and that he had at least 2 male children before Isabella. I don't have a name for his wife, but only that she was born in Scotland."

So now.....this is what I have found:

Based on the information given by Richard Carlton, this is simply a family tree that I found on Ancestry.com:


It lists Richard Seagrim married to Margaret Lunn with one child, Mary Lunn born 1833 in Delaware County, New York. (which was a great sign of being on the right trail).

It also lists Margaret Lunn remarried to John D. Reside with two sons, Nelson and Charles.

If you click on Richard and Margaret's daughter Mary Lunn, you'll see that she married John Morse, and if you then look at their son Eugene, you'll see a "story". I have attached the contents of this story for those who don't have access to Ancestry.com. This is the paragraph of interest:

"My Mother, Mary Lunn Segrim daughter of _____Segrim & Margaret Se grim. I remember Great-Grandmother Lunn (Grand Mother and Great-Grandmother, both were weavers, by trade not by name)

After grandfather Segrim died, Grandmother married John D. Reside, who became by step-grandfather. I have heard Mother speak of a grand-father Malache and I have seen a Testament, given her by a grand father Elderkin."

This is what I have found on RICHARD SEAGRIM, I cannot be 100% sure on all of this information, but it's definitely note worthy:

I believe that this is an index of wills, Richard Seagrim is the last on the page:


These are Naturalization Records of Delaware County, New York:


"Seagrim Richard 40 yrs old in 1838-02-14 1820 Plimouth (sic) England Andes .1329"

This record says that Richard was 40 years old in 1838, so that would make his birth date about 1798, not 1817 as originally thought. So either I'm understanding the documentation wrong (which is highly likely), or Richard Seagrim was about 34 when he married Margaret, who if born in 1818, as documented, would have only been 14 when she married Richard in about 1832......let's hope Margaret was really born in 1814, but I doubt it. Another theory would be that this link is Richard's father's record, and his name was also Richard, or maybe the Richard Seagrim in this link is not even our relative? More research will need to be done as to the content of the will to help determine this theory.

So we know that Richard Seagrim was born in England in either 1817 or 1798, no documentation to prove it. We know he married Margaret Lunn in about 1832 in New York, no documentation to prove it. We know he died after Isabella was born in 1839, so we can assume he died in about 1840 in New York, no documentation to prove it. This is all of the documentation I can find on Richard Seagrim. I cannot find any documentation on his immigration to America.

However, there is a lot of documentation on MARGARET LUNN, and this is what I have found on her:

She was born between 1814-1818 in Scotland, no documentation to prove it. I have not found any documentation on her immigration to America either. After Richard died in about 1840, Margaret Lunn remarried John D. Reside in about 1841 in Delaware County, New York, no documentation to prove it.

Based on the following link, I believe Margaret's father's name was Charles Lunn, and her mother's name was Mary Elder, and she had a brother named John:


Also in this link, you'll see that Margaret's brother John Lunn married Eunice Pierce, who I believe is the same Eunice Pierce, who is the sister of our Andrew Jackson Pierce. So that would mean that Margaret's brother John married her son-in-law's sister. So Isabella's Uncle John married her sister-in-law, making John Lunn Isabella's brother-in-law AND her Uncle. I'll have to do more research to be certain.

The following is a link to 23 cemetery's in Delaware County, New York. Here you will find in Dunraven Cemetery in Middletown, Delaware County, New York, where Margaret Lunn (Seagrim) Reside and other family members are buried:


"Margaret Lunn, wife of John Reside, d. Dec 18, 1887 age 78 yrs
John Reside, d. Sept 18, 1905 age 82 yrs 9 mos 16 days, Co E 144 Reg NY Vol"

Now, the following link is the absolute proof of Isabella to Margaret Lunn and Richard Seagrim. It's an 1850 census in Delaware County, New York:



In the household it lists John Reside and Margaret Reside, Children: Mary Seagrim, born in 1833, James Seagrim, born in 1835, Martha Seagrim, born in 1837, and finally, our dear sweet Isabella Seargrim, born in 1839, Nelson Reside, born in 1842 and Charles Reside, born in 1848.

These are the 1860, 1870 and 1880 Andes, Delaware County, New York census records for John and Margaret Reside:




*In the 1870 census, William Reside is John's brother, and Philip and Margaret are William's children.

Notes: Just some things I noticed in putting this puzzle together is that Richard and Margaret's first child's name is "Mary", and Margaret's mother's name was (possibly) Mary. Also, Isabella and Andrew named one of their daughter's "Margaret", after Isabella's mother. I wonder if Richard's father's name was James, as it is the name of his only son, and Margaret's father's name was (possibly) Charles.

End Comment;

There's only a hand full of people in the almost 7 billion people on earth that will find this stuff interesting. I'm so glad I can share my excitement with you! (I can only hope it's all the correct information, or at least a good start)

Love Always,


Sunday, September 4, 2011

And Once Again...More From Grandma Violet's Photo Albums

Grandma Violet Mattson. Date Unknown. Place Unknown. Mood Unknown.
This picture is priceless. It shows Grandma Violet with her hair down :)
It was decided to put her in a retirement village shortly after this was taken so she could be properly monitored. Her apartment was near the top of the 10 story building. She rarely needed the elevator, being as handy as she was with a broom :)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello From the Fortress!
Cousin Angie called me on Friday with good news. Angie made headway pioneering Great Grandmother Ida Tornberg's mother's line in Sweden / Finland.

Ida Tornberg married Albert Mattson
Walter Albert Mattson married Violet Mae Pierce
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

She is accumulating the information and will send it along for posting to this blog.

Angie and I discussed our frustrations springing from researching family history. Some of our family lines are well researched with names and dates taking us back hundreds of years. There are, however, several lines which dead end after the first or second Great Grandparent. Every week several hours are being spent by both Angie and I searching every document available which might shed light on the mysteries of these broken lines. It's a diet of doom and gloom for the most part, occasionally sweetened by a tasty morsel of information which might point you in a more promising direction.

I write this so you'll understand that although the number of posts in this blog may have decreased, the cause is certainly not laziness (although there are those nights where your only solace after a day in purgatory is the mental numbness of television) or loss of interest. The reason is that the easy names and stories have been posted. I call those ancestors the "low hanging fruit" in our family tree. We've moved beyond the lower branches and climbed up to the more difficult names.

I look forward to posting Angie's findings. Look for them this week.

And now we here at the Fortress are pleased to present another weekend of pictures from Grandma Violet's photo albums. Remember, they are in no particular order so if we jump several decades between shots you'll understand.

Aunt Linda
(click to enlarge)

Ida Tornberg married Albert Mattson. Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
Walter Albert Mattson married Violet Mae Pierce
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

Remember, Grandma Violet took black and white photographs and colored them by hand. Linda's High School picture above is an example of Grandma's work.

Diana Pierce
(taken in the mid 1940's. Click to Enlarge)

Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
to their children
Great Uncle Walter and Grandma Violet

Diana is the only child of Great Uncle Walter making her Luella, Linda, John and Marvin's first cousin.

Diana was, for the most part, raised by Great Grandmother Vesta in California. She visited the Mattson ranch on occasion with her Grandmother. Diana lives today in California.

Luella, a runner up for Homecoming Queen, Spearfish High School, 1956. (To this day she scowls when the phrase 'runner up' is mentioned in her presence). Strangely enough, the Queen mysteriously lost her balance and nearly fell backwards out of the convertible as it circled the football field before the homecoming game . She was saved by the attendant on her right.

Some thought our own Luella had something to do with the accident. She denies it to this day, although not as emphatically as she did back then.

Victor and Kim Williamson
Summer 1960. Click to enlarge

This picture of Kim and I was taken shortly after Luella and Charles moved the family to the dizzying heights of Signal Heights in Rapid City, South Dakota. Our actual address was 39 East Signal Drive. Our duplex still sits atop that hill overlooking the Robbinsdale section of town.

Kim and I are playing nicely, nothing unusual for me. Highly unusual for Kim. I'm struggling to get to my feet to escape my sister's torments. Kim, on the other hand, see's Luella with a camera and immediately stops pinching me and breaks into a perfect pose for the picture (Kim and Lisa are our two most photo ready siblings. Say "Camera" and watch their posture immediately snap to a nearly perfect 90 degrees; a smile worthy of Vanity Fair follows no matter what their disposition. Amazing!).

This picture was taken before our sandbox was installed. I loved the sandbox. The loose sand let me breath whenever Kim would tire of me and push my face into the sand to rid herself of a meddlesome and annoying brother.

I'd shampoo Kim's hair with fist fulls of sand when she wasn't looking. She'd scream and come after me. I'd do my best to escape by waddling away; a process made all the more difficult due to heavily laded, aromatic and drooping diapers held in place by sharp pins and moist rubber pants. Then came buckets of tears when she'd catch me and proceed to feed me sand and grit.

"Camera!" See what I mean?
Kim 1960.
Click to Enlarge

Victor (1960)
Click to Enlarge

I'm sure this was the photographer's eleventh attempt to garnish a smile, but what a smile! I'm proud of myself. The hair is somewhat of a let down. Surely Luella could have done something with it. Styling for its time? I believe today this is called a Flohawk?

There is a noticeable absence of stains on my shirt. My eating disorder (spilling half of everything intended for my mouth onto my shirt - a genetic trait passed on to me from Grandma Violet though her daughter Luella) developed later in my childhood. Today I have a closet full of unwearable ties because of it.

Notice the aura surrounding me? The camera captured forever on film that special magnetism most people sense in my presence. Please, don't pretend you haven't felt it. It's that feeling you get around me that causes the hairs on the back of your neck and arms to stand on end. This is accompanied by goosebumps and a measurable increase in blood pressure. Some feel it first in their stomachs, resulting in quick trips to the nearest bathrooms.

Shelly (age 4) and Shane (age 6 months) Mattson. 1970
Click to Enlarge

Ida Tornberg married Albert Mattson. Vesta Althea Dennis married Walter Edwin Pierce
Walter Albert Mattson married Violet Mae Pierce
to their children
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

Uncle Marvin married Pam Evans
Shelly and Shane

You've got to hand it to Aunt Pam. She knew how to get her children ready for a picture. Shelly and Shane are practically perfect in every way.

Shelly and her kids today

Shane and his wife Cari today

Great Grandmother Vesta (Violet's Mother) with three of Aunt Linda's children (Patrick, Michael and Brian). Early 1960's. Click to Enlarge.

Lisa Williamson, late 1970s. Rapid City.

And right out of the blue in Grandma Violet's album comes this picture of my sister Lisa, born in 1972. I was under the impression that athletics and Lisa, spoken in the same sentence, resulted in stuttering, so finding this picture surprised me. I say I'm surprised because of something I remember Lisa saying during her electrifying run for Miss Teen USA, representing the great State of South Dakota.

"My only sport is entrapment," Lisa was overhead saying to the contest from Wyoming as they readied to walk onstage for the question and answer part of the pageant.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" Lisa asked.

"Yes," the girl from Wyoming answered through her heavily waxed smile.

"Not for long," Lisa whispered.

Ah yes, anything to shake things up. You're all nodding aren't you? You know I'm spot on :)

Jilane tells me that Lisa was quite the athlete in her time (when both women and men wore neck to knee swimming suits). Today, Lisa's athletic prowess is demonstrated by her speed and agility when making that perfect cup of morning coffee. The things you learn when you write and research family history.

Have a Great Week!