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, December 30, 2012

Great Uncle Ed's 5th Avenue Market. Vercellino Line.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today I'm posting an article on the closing of our Great Uncle's Ed's 5th Ave. Market from The Daily Post - Belle Fourche, South Dakota's local paper.  The article was published on December 11, 1980.  Uncle Ed was the youngest child of John Vercellino and Maria Viano.  He was born in 1907 and died in 2002.  Our Grandmother Elda (Charles Williamson's mother) was his only sister. 

Relationship Chart

John Vercellino and Maria Viano
 Raymond Domenic,  Elda Kay,   Edward Daniel

Elda Vercellino married Charles Williamson
Charles Ray Williamson

Charles Williamson married Luella Mattson
Kim, Victor, Kevin, Janice, Jon, Jilane, Lisa, Annette

I remember visiting Uncle Ed's 5th Avenue Grocery when I was a child.  Uncle Ed and Aunt Iris lived above the grocery in a small apartment.  A long metal staircase on the outside south side of the store let up to the apartment.  I could see how climbing up and down those stairs several times a day would become a challenge as Ed and Iris got older.  

I remember thinking how awesome it would be to live above your very own grocery store;  all that candy, cake and ice cream at your fingertips anytime of the day!  A child's dream come true. 

I remember Uncle Ed as a kind, gentle, and quiet gentleman with a warm infectious smile.      


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Gypsie Grandmother (Mattson Line). A Short Word on Our Christmas.

A Swedish Gypsie in Traditional Clothing

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tis a gloomy late afternoon at the Fortress.  A patient winter storm is carefully considering its way across Utah, blessing the mountains and valleys with much needed precipitation.

These storms are an irritant to Dad.  They cast doubt on his prediction of another 1930's, once in a century drought.  His drought predictions include savage dust storms scouring the western United States and the return to long lines at soup kitchens.   

"Food prices are going to double, even triple," he predicted yesterday at the family holiday gathering. The family was together at the new home of Ashley and Mike Costa (Ashley is Kim Williamson DelGrosso's daughter) for supper and gift giving.  Charles "BahHumbug" Williamson, well known champion of depression, is an expert at taking the joy out of any holiday gathering and replacing it with dust bowl predictions of mass starvation, disease and pestilence.

Happy Valley (the local's term for Utah County) needs people like Charles Williamson to remind us that things aren't always so Happy out in the real world where adulthood is legal and bad things happen to good people.  So, we've all decided to keep Dad just the way he is.   He is well read.  He knows investments.   He radar on the nation's economy is generally spot on.  He is a good judge of character.  He is a gentleman, a scholar and knows how to assemble a Walmart barbecue in ten minutes!

We had a great time at Ashley and Mike's new home in Highland yesterday.  JD made his famous DelGrosso Spaghetti Sauce (I knew I'd have several helpings so I left a note to remind myself to take my Nexium - the purple pill to control heartburn).   In addition to the DelGrosso Spaghetti main course, there was an assortment of salads, jellos, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, turkey, etc.  Several pies and chocolate were served for dessert.   I'm glad I wore my expando brand pants.  Expando pants expand at the waistband, providing the wearing the needed room to handle a Roman feast without unbuttoning his top pant's button.

Averie DelGrosso and Chauncey Bird announced their engagement.   It will be a Spring wedding - the date is still to be announced.  I sat opposite the happy couple and was amazed at how they were able to eat their holiday meal while holding hands!  I suggested they get married over Spring vacation.  I pointed out that more people would be able to attend over Spring break, and more people meant more presents.

"People will usually send presents if they can't come," Monica pointed out what is true for most families.

"Not our family."  I reminded everyone that our family is not like most families.  For many of us, spending a dollar is more painful than passing a kidney stone.  There was a chorus of nodding heads all around the table at my observation.

Chauncey will be a lawyer when he finishes school.   That is a good thing.  Our family is seriously short when it comes to the needed professions like law.   Our family is missing a doctor, nurse, lawyer, accountant, plumber, electrician, mechanic, undertaker, dentist, contractor and a forgiving priest.  I call them 'the needed professions'.  We can scratch lawyer from the list by marrying Averie off to Chauncey.  She has been given clear instructions not to mess it up :) 

It was decided by a unanimous, around the table vote, to issue a family wide directive to all those searching for a spouse.  The directive asks eligible family members to narrow their search of  candidates to those in the professions listed in the paragraph above.   The directive further states that no one in the family is allowed to date dancers or teachers.  We have an over abundant supply of them at the moment :) 

All of the little ones at the holiday feast were either sick, getting over a sickness or being exposed to a sickness.   Shared sickness holds a family together.  It teaches you to rely on one another in good times and bad.

Our Gypsy Grandmother

The topic of today's genelogy post is "Our Gypsy Grandmother".  We don't know a lot about our Gypsy Grandmother, except to say that she was adopted as a girl.  I found a letter in a box of Luella's things with a sentence or two about her.  The letter was written by one of our distant Mattson cousins
in 1964.

 Notice in the letter he refers to her as Grandpa Walter's Grandmother.  Grandpa Walter's Grandmother was Helena Beata Carlsdotter.  This is the relationship chart.

Relationship Chart

Helena Beata Carlsdotter (1836 - 1911)
is your 2nd great grandmother
Johan Albert Mattsson (Mathiasson?) (1872 - 1955)
Son of Helena Beata
Walter Albert Mattson (1912 - 1973)
Son of Johan Albert
Luella Mattson (1939 - )
Daughter of Walter Albert
Victor Williamson

He mentions her shoebox of charms and curses.  We know from family lore, that Great Great Grandmother Helena was adopted as an older child into the Mattson family.  She married one of the sons in her new adopted family (Emanuel Mattsson).

According to tradition, she was a good dancer.  Luella also remembers a family story about Helena's brother.  He was a tightrope walker.  He died during a performance by falling into a fire.  

Helena's family would have been part of the first Romanies (Gypsies) that arrived in Scandinavia during the 16th century.  Because of her family name, I'm assuming her Romanie family came from Denmark.    

Monday, December 24, 2012

Luella Nearly Meets her Maker and More from the Montana Mattson Ranch. 1939 to 1944

On the Montana ranch. 1942
Little Luella. Behind her left to right.  Her Grandmother Ida Tornberg Mattson, her mother Violet and her Grandfather John Albert Mattson.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I took Mom out early this morning to finish up her last minute Christmas shopping.  The weather report forecast snow for much of the day. The Battlestar (my Lincoln Town Car) doesn't do well in the snow, rear wheel drive cars seldom do unless you have studded snow tires or chains,  so we left at 7:00 A.M. in hopes of doing our shopping and getting home before the heavy snow hit.

Walmart's parking lot was surprisingly full.  I found that odd for 7:00 A.M., but considering today is Christmas Eve, I shouldn't have been surprised.  Luella wanted me to 'skidaddle' so she could shop for me.  I took a cart and set a course for Foods.  She shuffled away toward the gift certificates display.

My fellow customers looked shell shocked.  Their expressions spoke volumns.  I saw panic in many of the men's eyes.  One gentleman stood looking completely gobsmacked at a display of necklaces in the jewelry department.  I felt sorry for him, as I did the poor woman who's cart I past at least three times in the hour we were there.  Her face was white and expressionless.  I had a feeling she was trying to pull off a Christmas on a budget and it just wasn't coming together.

All of us in that store this morning tried to avoid eye contact.  It was embarrasing to be a member of the Last Minute Shoppers Brigade.  Our motto is "Christmas Christmas Go Away, Come Again Another Day."

The employees looked browbeat.  One of my former students who works in Walmart's bakery passed me as I was entering the store.

"Merry Christmas Mr. Williamson," he mumbled.

"Are you just getting off work?" I asked.

"Been here since 10:00 P.M. last night," he answered.  "I'm going home to sleep off Christmas."

"You're a good man Charlie Brown," I said as I patted him on the back and wished him a Merry Christmas.

Twenty minutes into my shopping and I still had an empty cart.  I'd lapped the store two times.  I think I struggle with Christmas shopping because of my attitude toward gifts.  Before buying anything, I ask myself if the object I'm considering to buy would be something I'd want to receive as a gift.  If the answer is no, it is put back on the shelve.  You can see why my cart was empty after 20 minutes with that kind of a BahHumbug attitude.

Forty minutes into the ordeal I bumped into Luella near the paper cups.

"Should I buy more of these?" she asked.  She was pointing to several boxes of the some cheap off brand Chocolates.  The chocolates are so full of wax many people use them for candles.  Insert a wick and you're good to go.

"Who are you giving those to?" I asked.

"I thought may Kim, JD, Kim's girls....." I stopped her right then and there.

"Everyone in this family is on some kind of a diet. Do you really think they are going to use a few hundred of their precious daily caloric intake on off brand Chocolates?   Would you?"

"You're right.  Here take them back."  I took the boxes out of her cart and re shelved them appropriately near the shortening.  "Let's get some chips then," Luella said, and she was off.

We drove away from Walmart several dollars poorer but happy to be done.  We stopped for a soda to fuel us for the drive home.

"Make mine a caffeine free with lime," she ordered as we pulled into the Walkers Gas Station across from Walmart.  Luella claims the soda concoctions I prepare for her are the best.  What she doesn't know is that 25% of her drink is the normal sugar loaded, caffeinated soda.  It's the only way to make the decaff, diet soda taste like anything from this planet.  Besides, I knew she had two packages of M&M's in her shopping bag for a mid morning treat.   A little sugar in her diet cola wasn't going to make any difference.

It was snowing heavily when we left Walkers.  The Battlestar was slipping and sliding as we climbed the hill toward the Fortress.

"We're slipping, we're slipping!" Luella exclaimed every time she felt the back of the car sway.  We got to the top of the hill, then had to drive DOWN a rather steep road and into the driveway.

"It's too steep," Luella pointed out the obvious.

"Well, its the only way home so there is no choice.  I've got the car in a low gear.  We should be OK."

We started down the hill.  Half way down I felt the snow take over the steering.  We were in the first stage of a 360 degree donut.

"TURN INTO IT.  TURN INTO IT!"  Luella shouted.  She was seeing all 73 years of her life pass before her eyes.  There wasn't anything I could do but sit back and enjoy the ride.  I knew the car would spin around and bump into the curb.  Then I would back down the last 100 feet or so into the driveway and all would be well.  Luella didn't see it quite that way.

"OH VICTOR, VICTOR!!" she shouted.  She tried to disengage her seat belt (impossible if you knew how long it takes her to put it on) and climb over the arm rest and into my lap.  She could see the curb coming closer and closer.  She felt death's icy grip on her shoulder.

I should have shouted "WE'RE GOING IN.  BAIL OUT BAIL OUT!" just to see what she would have done.  Its one of those missed opportunities in life you wish you could relive. 

We made it home in one piece.  Two good things came from that experience;
1.  Luella had her shock of the decade and will tell and retell the story in detail for the next year or so with many embellishments.  I'm waiting for the version where she jumps out of the car and muscles it back into alignment just before we slam into incoming traffic. 
2.  I've made up my mind to get the studded snow tires I was considering a month ago but didn't.

Pictures from the Montana Ranch

 Baby Luella with her mother Violet.

Baby Luella with her Grandmother Vesta.  

Baby Luella with her Father Walter.  1939

Baby Luella with her mother Violet.  1939

Young Luella with baby Linda and Grandmother Vesta
1942 (?)

 The family at home in the wheat fields.
Grandpa John Albert, Violet, Luella and Grandma Ida.

 Grandma Vesta holding Linda.  With Luella.

 The Mattson Homestead. 
Luella is standing at the gate.  Grandma Vesta and baby Lina are next to the house.

 Young Luella on her father's lap (Walter Mattson).

 Young Luella on the Montana Ranch

Saturday, December 15, 2012

William Farrar and Cecily Reynolds, Our 9th Great Grandparents and the Jamestown Indian Massacre (Mattson Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,

Today in our family gathering I'd like to introduce you to our 9th Great Grandparents, William Farrar and Cecily Reynolds.   We begin with the Relationship Chart

Relationship Chart 

William Farrar (1583 - 1637) Cecily Reynolds (1601 - 1661)
are your 9th great grandparents
Son of William and Cecily
Son of William
Daughter of Thomas
Daughter of Mary
Daughter of Hannah
Son of Sarah
Son of Levi
Daughter of John Mayberry
Daughter of Vesta Althea
Daughter of Violet Mae
Victor Williamson

William Farrar was the son of John Farrer and Cecily Kelke).  He was born before April 28, 1583 in Croxton, Lincolnshire, Halifax Parish, Yorkshire, England, and died before October 1636 in Farrar's Island, Henrico Co. Virginia. He married Cecily on January 03, 1624/25 - May 02, 1625 in Charles City, Henrico, Co. Virginia.

William Farrar was the third son of John Farrer the Elder, Esquire of Croxton, Ewood, and London, and Cecily Kelke. He was born into the wealthy landholder gentry of Elizabethan England.  It is not known for certain where the family resided at the time of William's birth. Though it is known that John Farrer preferred to live at Croxton, Lincolnshire near his wife's family the Kelkes rather than at Ewood, the Farrar ancestral estate since 1471. Christening records of two of the sons of John and Cecily Farrar seem to confirm that the family resided at Croxton:  
Parish Christening Records:
"John Farrer" Sex: male, Christening: 20 January 1581 in Croxton Parish, Lincoln, England. Father: John Farrer
"Willyam Farer" Sex: male, Christening: 28 April 1583 in Croxton Parish, Lincoln, England. Father: "John Farer."

The importance of education was long stressed in the Farrer family.  Among the earliest in the Farrer family was Bishop Robert Farrar (1500-1555), educated at Cambridge and Oxford, which a number of later generations also attended.  We don't know where William received his education,  though it is certain that he and his brothers attended the finest institutions. William was trained in the law which in addition to his families' wealth and high standing,  enabled him to make a valuable contribution in the New World.

In July 1609, The Armorial Bearings (Coat of Arms) of John Farrer of Croxton were confirmed as appertaining to him by William Camden Clarenceux, King of Arms." (College of Arms record.) 
This meant that the family received a Coat of Arms.
The family crest of:  ARMS OF JOHN FARRER THE ELDER OF LONDON, ESQUIRE AND OF CROXTON, LINCS., CONFIRMED IN 1609 consist of as "Argent, on a bend engrailed sable, three horse-shoes of the field; and for the crest, on a wreath of the colors, a horse-shoe argent, between two wings ."

On November 24, 1615, "John Farrer the elder of London, Esquire, granted to his sons Henry, John, William and Humfrey lands in Newgate, London." 


In 1611, four years after Capt. Christopher Newport's early explorations, Sir Thomas Dale left Jamestown to establish a settlement up river. Relations with the Indians had steadily deteriorated since 1607, and Dale's company suffered constant Indian attacks. The party finally came to a peninsula on the north side of the river, now Farrar's Island, where Dale established the colony's second settlement, "Henricus," known also as the "city" or "town" of "Henrico." In just four months the town grew to a fortified settlement. Frame houses lined three streets, and the men had built a wooden church, a brick foundation for a permanent church, storehouses, watchtowers, and huts. 

Life in the New World was hard, but the English had high hopes that their settlements would add valuable minerals and raw materials to their economy, in addition to providing strategic military outposts. They also saw this land as a new frontier for spreading Christianity. Virginia's economy was sharply transformed by the introduction in 1612 of new strains of mild tobacco by colonist John Rolfe. Rolfe's tobacco was shipped to England, and Virginia's economy soon began to prosper. In 1614, peace with the Indians was temporarily established, following Rolfe's marriage to Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, who had converted to Christianity and been baptized "Rebecca." 

In 1619 the Virginia Company instituted reforms in the colony that led to the establishment of a representative form of government. The colony was divided into settlements or "plantations," one being the City of Henricus. Each plantation sent representatives to Jamestown to the General Assembly of 1619, the first representative legislature in a British colony. An Indian uprising on March 22, 1622, abruptly halted plans to further develop Henrico. The Indians regarded the colony's rapid development as a threat. On Good Friday morning, Indians attacked settlements throughout the colony. Houses were burned. Men, women, and children were murdered. Henricus was almost completely demolished. Most survivors retreated to Jamestown or other nearby settlements. The city called Henrico was abandoned. The site of Henrico's first settlement was part of a large land grant made to William Farrar, Sr., and came to be known as Farrar's Island.

WILLIAM FARRAR who emigrated to Virginia in 1618 was a subscriber to the Third Charter of the Virginia Company (He paid £37 10 shillings, although many who subscribed never paid.). His name appears among the citizens and merchants of London listed in Article V of the Charter, 
"So that posterity may hereafter know who have adventured and not been sparing of their purses in such a noble and generous action for the general good of their country..." 
Alexander Brown wrote: 
"Unlike the Second Charter made up mostly of trades people, three fourths of the Third Charter were of the gentry," and many of those named in Browne's Biographies, among them, our 9th great grandfather William Farrar, "are originators of families who are today largely represented in the United States, and as patriotic citizens should take much pride in being of the Founders' Kin as is taken by Englishmen in tracing from the Roll of Battle Abbey."

At the age of 35 William Farrar cast his lot with the venturers and sailed from London March 16, 1618, in the "Neptune" with Lord Delaware, who had been urged by the settlers to return to Virginia as a governor and who had persuaded many of the gentry to emigrate to Virginia. Although the ship was a large one, with 200 passengers, especially equipped by the Virginia Company for Lord Delaware's return, the voyage was a long, perilous one lasting sixteen weeks.

"Meeting with contrary winds and much bad weather many fell sick, and thirty died (among them) Lord Delaware himself... Camden tells us he had been feasted at the Western Islands, and that his death was not without suspicion of Poison. And I think I have seen that he died about the mouth of the Delaware Bay, which thence took its name from him... After his death they were forced on the the Coast of New England, where they got a Recruit of Wood and Water and took such an abundance of Fish and Fowl, as plentifully served them to Virginia. They likewise here met a small Frenchman, rich in Bever and other Furrs, who feasted them with so great a Variety of Fish, Fowl and Fruits, they were all amazed." (From the History of the First Discovery & Settlement of Virginia by W. Stith)

A further account of the Neptune's wanderings was given in a lawsuit by the owner of the ship Treasurer, which, while on a fishing voyage, met the Neptune at sea, June 5, 1618, and took on eleven of its passengers due to sickness aboard. The ships then parted, the Treasurer turning south, the Neptune taking the usual northern course, but later their paths met again and sailed along together for awhile. At the mercy of winds and sickness that so often accompanied these voyages, the Neptune finally arrived in Virginia in August.

In spite of the great tragedy of the voyage, the Neptune brought welcome news that "multitudes were preparing to be sent." Although the cultivation of tobacco was becoming profitable for trade, attracting an increasing number of settlers, the colony was struggling desperately for survival. In the summer of 1618, Virginia experienced a severe drought and an epidemic considered the worst in the colony's history. That William Farrar survived and remained to play an important part in the establishment of the colony is a great tribute to his stamina as well as his ability.

William Farrar quickly made a place for himself in the colony acting as appraiser, executor of estates, a member of the the King's Council and justice of two counties. There is no record of whether William Farrar was married in England or possibly brought a family with him to Virginia. If he had a wife and children, they died before or shortly after he arrived in Virginia. 

William Farrar was first granted 100 acres on the Appomattox River, Charles City County, about three miles from where it flows into the James River. Listed in the minutes of the Virginia Company, May 1625: "Land laid out for ye Company below Shirley Hundred Lland: Wm. ffarrar uppon Appomatucke River 100 acres."

During the famed Indian massacre of Virginia settlers, which began on Good Friday, March 22, 1622, ten persons were killed at William Farrar's house upon the Appomattox River. There were...
 "slain at Mr. Farrar's house, Master John England and his Man; John Bell, Henricke Peterson, Alice his wife, William his son, Thomas his Man; James Wardlaw (Woodshaw); Margaret and Elizabeth, Maidservants." 
Some writers have erroneously stated that William Farrar was then living at Farrar's Island, but records show that the Island was not abandoned as Henrico City until some time after the Massacre.

William Farrar fled with other survivors and managed to escape and find refuge at the fortified home of his neighbors Samuel and Cecily Jordan on the James River arriving the next day, where he stayed for years thereafter. Beggar's Bush, the plantation of Samuel Jordan (a member of the First Virginia Assembly, whose name is on the monument at Jamestown), was a stronghold of the colony to which settlers fled for safety when attacked by Indians. 

After the Massacre, "Master Samuel Jordan gathered together but a few of the stragglers about him at 'Beggar's Bush' where he fortified himself and lived despite the enemy." Governor Wyatt wrote to the Virginia Company, April 1622, "that he thought fit to hold a few outlying places, including the plantation of Mr. Samuel Jordan; but to abandon others and concentrate the colonists at Jamestown."

It is thought that Beggar's Bush, soon to be known as Jordan's Journey, one of the earliest land patents of record, was a large area similar to the "hundreds". It was located at the present Jordan's Point, Prince George County (formerly Charles Cittie), near where the Appomattox River flows into the James River, and where the Hopewell Airport is now located. 

In the Muster of Jordan's Journey, February 16, 1623, nearly one year after the massacre, 42 persons are shown still living at Jordan's Journey. Two years after the massacre on January 21, 1624/5 William Farrar and seven of the settlers for whom he later patented Farrar's Island, are among those listed. 

About one third, 347 of the 1240 Virginia colonists, perished during the Indian Massacre. As Indians continued to prey upon settlers, colonists were ordered to remain in specified settlements. In the years following the Indian uprising of 1622, the colonists engaged in regular attacks against the Indians, pushing them farther and farther westward. Presumedly William Farrar's home on the Appomattox River was burned and destroyed by the Indians, and he did not return to live on the property. He stayed on at Jordan's Journey as he and other survivors had been ordered to do:

From Persons of Quality: A List of Names; of the Living in Virginia, February the 16, 1623LivingAt Jordan's JorneySislye JordanTemperance BaylifeMary JordanMargery JordanWilliam Farrar (37 more names follow the above listed.)

William Gains the Hand of our 9th Great Grandmother

Upon the death of Samuel Jordan, nearly a year after the Indian Massacre and shortly before the February 16, 1623 Virginia Muster, the Reverend Greville Pooley 46, minister of the Parish of Fleur-Dieu Hundred, near Jordan's Journey, read the burial service and four days later wooed the widow, Cecily Jordan, and thought he was accepted. The parson, in his joy at having won her hand "spread the word" of the engagement and boasted of his good fortune, which Mrs. Jordan resented, saying he would have fared better had he not revealed it, for she had not wanted her engagement announced so soon after her husband's death nor until after she had delivered her unborn child. The young widow refused to go through with the wedding and instead accepted William Farrar's proposal of marriage.

 Enraged Parson Pooley, undaunted, went before the Council on June 14, 1623 to state his claim thus instituting the first breach of promise suit in America. Pooley accused the lady of having jilted him and alleged that it was nothing short of "Skandelous" for Mr. Farrar, his rival, to be "in ordinary dyett in Mrs. Jordan's house and to frequent her Company alone." This was the celebrated case of its day! The Governor and Council could not bring themselves to decide the questions and continued the matter until November 27, 1623, then referred the case to the Council for Virginia in London, "desiring the resolution of the civil lawyers thereon and a speedy return thereof." But they declined to make a decision and returned it, saying they "knew not how to decide so nice a difference." Reverend Pooley was finally persuaded by the Reverend Samuel Purchase to drop the case. As a result on January 3, 1624/25, Reverend Pooley signed an agreement freely acquitting Mrs. Jordan from her promises.

 Cecily Jordan then went before the Governor and Council and formally "contracted herself to Captain William Farrar." William Farrar, trained for the law in England, successfuly defended Mrs. Jordan winning not only the suit but his client in matrimony.

During the course of the breach of promise suit, William Farrar was made administrator of Samuel Jordan's estate. A worn record, dated November 19, 1623 shows Court presided over by Sir Francis Wyatt, Governor, and Christopher Davison, Secretary, indicates that a warrant was issued "to Mr. Farrar to bring in the account of Mr. Jordan his estate by the last day of December." Another warrant was issued to "Mrs. Jordan, that Mr. Farrer put in security for the performance of her husbands will." An abstract of the orders were to be delivered to Sir George Yeardley.

In the 1624 will of Richard Domblawe of London, bachelor, "Mr. William Farrar" was appointed co-executor of his affairs in Virginia.

In the census of January 1624/5, William Farrar was listed at Jordan's Journey, where his muster was recorded jointly with that of Mrs. Sisley Jordan and her three daughters: 



WILLIAM FERRAR aged 31 yeares in the Neptune in August 1618. 
SISLEY JORDAN aged 24 yeres in the Swan in August 1610. 
MARY JORDAN her daughter aged 3 yeares }
MARGARETT JORDAN aged 1 yeare }borne heare
TEMPERANCE BALEY aged 7 yeares }

(*The age of 31 years stated for William Farrar is thought to be in error by ten years based on his 1583 christening record.) 

William Farrar 42, and Mrs. Cecily Jordan 25, were married shortly before May 2, 1625. The young, attractive, and wealthy twice widowed Cecily came with a ready-made family of girls as Cecily had had two daughters by her second husband Samuel Jordan- Mary 4, and Margaret 2, plus her daughter Temperance Bailey 8, from her earlier first marriage. 

Since William Farrar and Cecily Jordan had married, his bond to administer Samuel Jordan's estate was ordered canceled: "At a Court, 2 May 1625, 'Yt is ordered yt Mr. William Farrar's bonde shall be cancelled as overseer of the Estate of Samuel Jordan dec'd."

William Farrar was given a position of great responsibility when on March 4, 1625/6, Charles I appointed him a member of the King's Council, a position he held until 1632. He attended quarterly court at Jamestown and was closely associated with the governor, councilors and burgesses. Shortly after William Farrar's appointment to the Council, he was made commissioner of the Upper Partes on August 7, 1626:
"Monthlie Courtes to be kept above Percies hundred shalbe kept at the discretione of Mr. William ffarrar, one of his Majesty's Councill of State, either at Jourdan's Journey of Shirley Hundred." 

William Farrar and his wife Cecily continued to reside at Jordan's Journey after their marriage. Records from the Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia 1622-1632 show that William Farrrar was living at Jordan's Journey as late as September 1626, and possibly until 1631/32. The children born to William and Cecily Farrar, of whom there is record, were Cecily, William and John. The children were probably all born at Jordan's Journey. Thomas Pawlett, of West & Shirley Hundred, who had arrived in Virginia aboard the "Neptune" with William Farrar was named godfather of William Farrar II. The numerous Farrar descendants of Councilor William and Cecily Farrar all stem from the elder son, Col. William Farrar, Jr.

In the list of burgesses for 1631/32, Arrowhattocks, Neck-of-Land and Curles were represented by Capt. Thomas Osborne, while "both Shirley Hundreds, Mr. ffarrars and Chaplaynes" were represented by Francis Eppes and Walter Afton. This would seem to indicate that William Farrar was not at the Neck-of Land (Farrar's Island) and it may be that it was only after the sale of his inheritance in London in 1631 that he patented the Island. After the Great Massacre of 1622 many colonists were in doubt as to where to locate and did not settle permanently until after 1628. Whatever the date, the delay proved fortunate for William Farrar, for he was able to select one of the choicest locations, the site of Henrico Towne, the second settlement in the colony. His land extending to Varina, the county seat, and his duties as "chief" justice of the county made him a close neighbor and associate of the leading families of Henrico as well as Charles Citty County.

William's father, John Farrer the Elder had his very long will written on November 14, 1627. On May 28, 1628 the will was proved by his son Henry. (Excerpts from the will of:) John Farrer, the elder of London, Esquire, of parish of St. Mary Aldermanbury Parish, bequeathed: To third son William Farrar "all those messuages, land, etc., in Hoddesden, Bloxeborne and Amwell or elsewhere in the countie of Hertford heretofore ... conveyed to Henry and John Farrer (which they were to relinquish to William) ... To William and his wife and children 20 pounds a yeare during the terme of their lives and longest liver of them to be paid out of Greate Ewood and Little Ewood at ye feaste of ye Annunciation of ye blessed Virgin and St. Michaell the Archangel by my sonne Henry Farrer his heirs or assigns."
In the codicil to his will dated April 24, 1628, "Also my will is that my son William shall receive of mine executor fiftie pounds at his return into England ... My pewter, brasse, bedding and Linen shalbe divided equally between my fower sonnes Henry Farrer, John Farrer, William Farrer and Humfrey Farrer... and that William Farrar's part shalbe reserved for him or ye valewe thereof in the handes of my overseers, and in case he be not living it shalbe reserved for his wife and children." 
"Son Henry Farrer sole executor; overseers, son John Farrer and nephew Henry Wilkenson. Witnesses to codicil: Henry Croke, Henry Wilkenson."

William, at age 48, returned to London in the summer of 1631 after his father's death and sold his inheritance to his brother, Henry Farrar of Berkshire, for £200 in a document dated September 6, 1631. William's wife, Cecily, and his children, Cecily and William appear in the deed and relinquished their rights to his inheritance. It isn't known whether his wife or children accompanied him on the trip. William carried with him letters from Virginia colonists, as was the custom to do. A letter from John Ferrer of Little Gidding to his brother Nicholas: "I have since I wrote my other letter gott from William (Farrar) these inclosed which I send you now what is best to be donne for delivery of them I leave to you as being best able to judge..."

The achievement for which William Farrar is most remembered is the establishment of Farrar's Island, in what is now Henrico Co. Virginia on a bend in the James River. The estate consisited of 2000 acres, very large for its day, granted to William Farrar for the transportation of forty settlers. It probably wasn't until after the sale of his inheritance in London in 1631 that William Farrar patented Farrar's Island, living there for only about the last five years of his life. It was not until after William Farrar's death, at the age of 54, that the patent for Farrar's Island was finally granted posthumously by King Charles I to his and Cecily's son William Farrar II on June 11, 1637. 

One of the most dramatic events occurring during William Farrar's tenure on the Council was the arrest and deportation of Governor Harvey, "a Royal governor who had exercised unbearable tyrannical and arbitrary power." After an eventful decade during which the Virginia Compny was overthrown along with the loss of a representative form of government which it had attempted to establish there was uncertainty about what to expect from Royal rule. In March 1634 the Council reluctantly voted to accept the loss of prime territories to Lord Baltimore, but rebelled against Gov. Harvey. William Farrar was one of a committee of 20 appointed to arrest Gov. Harvey and return him to England in protest.

May 1636: Nathan Martin patented 500 acres, 100 acres of which was due "by surrender from William Farrar Esquire for transportation of two servants." 

William Farrar's brother Humphrey's will dated October 1636 mentions property bequests to each of his brothers except William Farrar of Virginia. It is presumed that this omission establishes that William Farrar had died prior to the drawing of the will. William Farrar was survived by his wife Cecily 37, and children Cecily, William and John. He undoubtedly left a will, but it does not survive.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another Addition to This American Dynasty: Ethan John Wilson

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today we celebrate the arrival of the newest member of our American Dynasty.  Ethan John Wilson was born on December 7, 2012 (Yes, on Pearl Harbor Day).

Ethan John Wilson's Relationship Chart

Afton DelGrosso Wilson posted the following picture and information on Facebook to share with family and friends.

Ethan is the second child of Afton and Zach Wilson.  Elliana is his older sister.  Elliana and Ethan are 11 months apart; something which has happened before in our family.  Ethan's grandmother, Kim Williamson DelGrosso, and his Great Uncle Victor are also 11 months apart.  Kim was the eldest child of Charles and Luella Williamson.  I came in at number 2.  Kim was wild, daring and adventurous.  I was just the opposite - a young boy who didn't want to be President of the United States because I had "Freckles on my nose".   Kim had the looks, I had the brains  :)
We were a good start to the Williamson family.

The Wilsons live in Utah County, Utah.

Zach and Afton Wilson with Daughter Elliana and newborn son Ethan.

Welcome to our Family, Ethan John Wilson

Your Great (and I mean GREAT) Uncle,


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Iron Man Bodily. A Legend of His Time

No Guts, No Glory Kevin at the start of the trail wearing his hiking outfit.
The tourists worshiped him.  The rangers greatly respected him.  The lady hikers fell in love with him. 
 The male hikers hated his guts.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,

I was standing in a long line at Walmart the other day.  I was impatient.  I had places to go and people to see.   One of Utah's original 1847 pioneers was navigating her way through the writing of a check and slowing down the line.

"Sweet Jesus, why doesn't she get a debit card and join the rest of us in the 21st century?" I thought to myself.  Then I remembered how my own mother tempts time whenever she writes a check while out grocery shopping.    

The cashier looked jittery.  I'm sure she had other things on her mind, like wondering whether or not her heavily rusted 1972 Buick would start at the end of her shift.  The yellow calloused skin on her forefinger and middle finger told me she was a smoker.  Nicotine deprivation was most likely the cause of her jitters. She wanted a smoke.  I wanted out of there.  We were both caged animals. 

I felt a chill of anxiety, like death's fingers working their way around my throat.  I dared not leave the line to walk it off.  If I did, I'd only have to get back in an even longer line at another check stand.

So there I was, trapped in a Walmart line, surrounded by the undisciplined offspring of several other Christmas shoppers and forced to listen to CIA sanctioned, canned Christmas torture music.  My frustration almost reached the point of no return.  I was tempted to walk up to the cashier and charged the old lady's groceries on my own credit card just to get the line moving.

Notice I said almost.  I'm not crazy.  Remember, I'm a member of the Bah Humbug Christmas Club.  Others in the line would have misinterpreted my act of desperation as an act of Christian holiday kindness.  Such a reputation would force me to resign my membership in the Humbugs.  I couldn't have that.  There had to be another solution to my problem. 

Just when things seemed the darkest.  Just as the old lady asked the cashier how much the total was for the third time, just when I was about to sink into an oozing pool of hopelessness,  a brillaint idea materialized in my mind.  I took out my cell phone and pretended to make a call.

"Jilane, I'm stuck here at Walmart.  I've got KEVIN BODILY'S Christmas present but don't think I'll get out of here in time to get it to you for the party,"  I spoke slowly and loudly so everyone around me could hear.

"Sir, did you say Kevin Bodily?" the lady in front of me with twelve kids asked.

"Yes I did.  Do you know Kevin Bodily?" I asked.  Of course I knew she knew who Kevin Bodily was.  Everyone in Utah County knew who Kevin Bodily was.

"Isn't he the guy who hiked up and down the Timp Cave trail all summer long?  Didn't he set a new record of over 800 miles on that killer trail up the mountain and back?"  She asked.

"Why yes he did.  Isn't he something.  What a man.  What an example to the young people of America.  We should be proud of what he's done for God and country.  I'm just proud to claim him as my brother in law."

There I said it.  Now all I had to do was wait for the reaction.

 Kevin at the start of the trail.
I made him go up to the trail after it had closed for the season for this picture.

"Hey everybody.  This is Kevin Bodily's brother in law.  You know, the guy who walked over 800 miles on the Timp Cave mountain trail setting a new record," the lady spoke out so everyone could hear.  "He's got a present for Kevin but may not be able to get it to him in time if we don't do something."

The cashier jumped up on her moving belt.  "Anyone object to letting Kevin's brother in law move to the front of the line?" she asked.

The line parted, just like the Red Sea did for Moses.  I walked up to the old grandma still writing her check.  She evidently didn't hear who I was.

"I've got a gift for Kevin Bodily.  I need to pay for it right now or he won't get it in time for a Christmas party."  The old lady looked at me, then the object in my hand, then back at me.

"Who?" she asked while cupping her hand over her ear to hear me better.

"KEVIN BODILY," I shouted.

"Kevin Bodily?  Timp Cave Kevin Bodily?" she asked in a quivering voice.

"YES, THAT'S HIM," I shouted.

"You go right now young man and get that gift to Kevin.  I'll pay for the gift.  He is such a wonderful man.  I met him once at the Walker's gas station.  He was buying a diet coke.  He even let me buy if for him AND pay for his gas as well.  I'll be happy to pay for his gift.  You run along now and tell him Mrs. Scown said hello."

I thanked everyone for being so kind and generous and left the store.  It was going to be a wonderful Christmas after all.

The map showing the steep 3 mile up and down trail leading from the Visitor's Center to the Cave and back.  Kevin hiked the trail twice each day. Stud is too weak of a word to describe what he accomplished. Iron Man is more fitting.  I should know.  I hiked the trail three times a week, just once up and down. I know the pain.  I know the suffering.  How he did it I'll never know. Even his wife, Jilane, stands amazed at what he accomplished.
"He's a better athlete than me any day.  In fact, he's a better man than me as well.  There, I said it and I'll not take it back," she said.

Congratulations to my awesome Brother in Law, Kevin Bodily for setting a new hiking record this last summer on the Timp Trail.

The Newest Additions to the Williamson Family

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I've yet to report on the happy news of two recent additions to the extended Williamson family.  Today I'll remedy the situation and introduce you to Charles and Luella's newest great grandchildren.

Levi Wallace Turley
Born at 12:34 P.M. on August 20, 2012
6lbs 14 oz  

Levi is the son of Autumn DelGrosso and Derrick Turley
The family lives in American Fork, Utah

Autumn and Derrick with daughters
Lydia and London

Levi's Relationship Chart

Welcome to our family Levi.  

Finn Johnson
Born at 5:57 P.M. on October 22, 2012 
9lbs 1 oz

Finn is the firstborn of Chandler Burrows and Cort Johnson.
Chandler, Cort and Finn live in Rexburg Idaho.

Chandler, Finn and Cort

Finn's Relationship Chart

Welcome to our family Finn.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Thanksgiving Round Up and Camille Mattson Weds

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
We start this post with family news.  Its late and I apologize.

Camille Mattson Weds Brad Hall

Camille Mattson married Brad Hall on October 20, 2012 in American Fork, Utah.  The wedding was held in the late afternoon followed by a reception that evening.  We begin with a relationship chart.

Relationship Chart

Camille and Brad will make their home in Utah Valley.  

Congratulations to the happy couple.  The wedding was wonderful.  Camille was beautiful.  She is both greatly loved and feared by her family and friends.  You'd have to know Camille to understand :)

Aunt Linda came down from Idaho for the event.  Uncle Marvin showed up the next day.  I enjoyed the reception.  The food was a big plus.  Aunt Bev's chocolate cake was on the table for all to enjoy.  It isn't a Mattson event without Aunt Bev's chocolate cake.  One thing disappointed me;  the refreshment table was missing a bowl or two of Aunt Joann's (Bev's sister) world famous caramel corn.  I guess I'll have to wait for the family Christmas party for that decadent indulgent.

Some of us are hoping Brad can take the edge off Camille's sarcastic ways.  Camille has always given me a run for my money in the sarcasm department at family gatherings.  Hopefully, with Brad's help, that won't be the case anymore.  I'm hoping married life will bring out the hidden, domesticated Camille some of us think is buried deep down  :)

The Thanksgiving Round Up 

I'm hoping everyone in our digital family union had a wonderfully filling Thanksgiving.

I'm reminded of the ancient Roman feasts when our family gathers for holiday feasts.  Like the Romans, we slouch  around the table, consuming mass quantities of exotic dishes until our stomachs can take no more.  The ancient Romans remedied the situation by excusing themselves to go vomit so they could return and feast once more.   The Roman solution would be frowned upon in our family.  Vomiting up one's meal isn't a way of endearing oneself to the hostess.

In our family, the women attend feasts wearing outfits one size larger to accommodate for their expanded stomachs.  The men solve the overeating problem by undoing their belts and the top button of their pants.

A panorama of semi dressed bodies lounging about in the living room and family room would greet an after the feast visitor. Some relatives would be found sound asleep; others would be moaning for a Tums, Rolaid or a table knife to put themselves out of their self inflicted misery.  A few might be alert enough to forage for crumbs on the carpet around them.  A legion or two of pestilent flies buzzing around the corpses would add just the right effect to complete the mental picture (if it wasn't November).  I think a cawing crow on the deck would be another nice effect.
Thanksgiving gives me the opportunity to confess publicly how thankful I am for family and friends.  I'm thankful for the twenty-two years I spent Directing the Space Education Center, and the outstanding dedicated staff and volunteers who worked in that happy place.  I'm thankful for the 310,000 people who came through our doors on voyages of imagination.  I'm grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support this program has received over the past several weeks.  There are many decisions to be made as we work to create a new Space Center in a new building.

The Williamsons and Burrows descended on Jilane and Kevin Bodily's home in Pleasant Grove for our Thanksgiving meal.  Steven and Janice Burrows were there with most of their children and grandchildren. The DelGrosso's had their meal at Kim and JD's house.  Later that night they they joined us at Jilane's for games and dessert.

You never know what you'll get at a Williamson holiday gathering.  In the best of times,  the event would pass peacefully with little to report other than Great Grandma Luella managing to keep a portion of her meal on her plate and off her blouse and the children surviving with little or no blood loss.

In the worst of times, there could be fireworks if family members aren't strategically positioned around the holiday table.  It is prudent to seat our family's few remaining independents between the rabid Republics and the Peace, Land and Bread Democrats.  Great Grandma Luella was chastised earlier in the week by my sister Lisa for attempting to convert her twelve year old daughter to "socialism".

Great Grandma brushed up for the holiday gathering by watching hundreds of hours of PBS and CSPAN.  She's tired of hearing conservative rhetoric from her children and grandchildren.  She was ready to dish it right back if given the opportunity.  We had to make sure that didn't happen.  Great Grandma was seated at the end of the table this year where she could do no harm and, on Lisa's insistence,  far away from the children in the next room.

We sometimes have a problem with religion at family gatherings.  Not only should family members with strong political views be separated, the hostess should also take into consideration her relatives' diverse religious beliefs as she sets out the name places around the table.  Those who favor reincarnation are generally tolerated by the liberals and teens.  Our Mormon majority are too numerous to separate so they must be sub categorized by conviction.  The more forgiving, back of the chapel Mormons, are good to mix with the minority agnostics.  Front row, hymn singing Mormons, are good to sit in the white hair section.  Knowing where the faithful are makes it easy to call upon someone to offer the Thanksgiving blessing on the food.

One of my jobs at all holiday reunions is to monitor the gathering and inject myself into any conversation or situation that appears to be approaching the boiling point.  My 30 years in the classroom uniquely qualifies me for the task.  I know the family very well, having been a part of it  for 54 years, and can generally detect the raising of voices quickly enough to bolt across the room, squeeze in between the combatants, and turn a phrase fast enough to cool the waters and redirect the conversation.  I've been brushing up on anecdotes and feel confident I can keep things civil and peaceful until everyone goes home to debate whether or not they'll ever attend another gathering.

I have a nuclear option if my efforts to calm a heated debate fails.  I walk over to Great Grandpa Charlie, pull him away from the poor soul he has trapped in a conversation, and tell him that So and So has a question on the how to prepare for the approaching apocalypse.

"You've come to the right person," he says as he shuffles towards a potential convert.  He must be careful as he dodges the dozen or so great grandchildren decorating the carpet.  One can't afford to fall and break a hip at his age.

Great Grandpa Charlie believes the world is fast approaching its sell by date; a conviction he has strongly held since 1959, which is why he purchased six acres of farmland in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

"When the government falls apart we can go to South Dakota and live off the land," he answers proudly whenever asked why he doesn't sell the land and pocket the profit.  His survival plans unravel when we press him for details on how we are suppose to get to South Dakota from Utah if things suddenly head south and starving mobs ravage the cities, towns and countryside.

Anyway - here I go getting carried away.  To sum up - I'm hoping all of you had a very happy Thanksgiving.