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, February 26, 2012

Luella's Forgetful Sunday and More on the Life and Times of the Mattson on their Montana Ranch

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I'm wondering about Luella today. She hasn't been "with it". This mental hiccup might be the result of spending to much time playing Solitaire on her iPad, or her diet (meaning a sudden drop in carbs which causes a slowness in the firing of the brain's neurons) or the early stages of dementia or just plain old age. Wanting to be completely fair, I'll present my evidence for your consideration and let you make the final judgement.

Example 1:
One of my Sunday weaknesses is a 32 ounce Diet Mt. Dew with one squirt of cherry syrup added just for the heck of it. I know its unorthodox, but a guy's got to push the envelope of acceptability once in awhile. Luella became addicted to the concoction several months ago after one taste, claiming it was the nectar of the Gods (which makes me think that I may have missed my calling in life. Perhaps bartending was what I was meant to do).

She decided not to deal with the early morning February air and waited for a home delivery.

"Here you go," I said upon my return. I handed her a deliciously poured and stirred beverage. Her eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning. She smacked her lips, took the drink, sat it beside her and reached for her purse.

"What do I owe you?" she asked.

"On the house," I replied feeling particularly generous for a Sunday in February.

I sat a 12 pack of Diet Pepsi (caffeine free mind you) that she'd asked me to pick up while I was out on her kitchen table and turned to leave. I noticed a despondent look on her face. It was the look a mother gives a neglectful child.

"No drink for me today?" she asked. I thought she was kidding but decided to play along.

"Nope, no drink for you today. Did you want one?" I asked looking for the faintest sign of a smile on her face telling me of her rouse.

"Well, I guess I really don't need one. I'm trying to stay off sugar." She looked back to her television, then back to me. That's when I realized she was serious.

"Look on the table beside you," I said.

"OH MY GOSH, HOW DID THAT GET THERE?" she shouted. We spoke a minute about her future. I pressed my case that now was the time to start looking for a cheap care facility with people she could be forgetful with. I turned to leave.

"If you write about this you be sure to mention that I got distracted looking for my purse to pay you back. You make sure you write that." I agreed and so I have kept my promise. I leave it up to you kind readers to make of it what you shall.

Example 2:
She lost her car keys at church. The Bishop helped in the search. They were found in the library.

Example 3:
Luella called her sister Linda today. Linda is recovering from surgery. Luella had a hard time hearing her over the phone. What does one do when having a hard time hearing someone on the other end of the phone? You could, 1) ask them to speak louder or 2) turn up your phone's volume.

Luella did neither. Instead she reached for the TV remote and turned it up instead! Not what I would have done.

A fair warning to my sisters and brothers. Your time is coming. Oh yes, your time is coming.

And now, let's venture back to the Mattson Ranch on the Montana plains circa 1940's. You may enlarge the pictures by click on each once.

Uncle Marvin Mattson around 1945. Marvin was the youngest of the four Mattson children. Today Marvin is retired and lives in South Dakota.

Every year the Montana ranchers would contract out Trappers to come to their land and kill coyotes. Each rancher paid a certain amount for every coyote killed. Luella remembers the trappers eating with the family at mealtimes. Coyotes were a constant problem on the ranch. They went after the sheep. In the picture above you see Luella standing with the trapper.

The Mattson Family Ranch looking down into the draw.

Uncle John in 1943. A very unhappy baby. Luella said he didn't what to have his
picture taken.

Irene Jacobson and Gladys ? holding 6 month old Luella. The Jacobsons were neighbors to the Mattsons. The Jacobsons sold their ranch and moved to Belle Fourche. They turned their home in Belle into a Boarding House. Irene's mother's name Roxy Jacobson.

Grandma Elda and Dad boarded at the Jacobson Boarding House for awhile after the divorce. Grandma Elda and Grandma Violet met each other at the boarding house when Violet came to Belle Fourche for medical treatment. Grandma Violet nearly bled to death. It was touch and go for a bit. Luella met Charles at the Jacobson boarding house for the first time. Dad was 13. Mom was 10. Was it love at first sight? No, Luella was extremely shy. Dad wooed her by riding his bike and showing off. Luella says he could ride on one wheel and with no hands! Imagine that!

Luella at Easter around 1942 sitting in front of the family's cherry tree. The cherry tree was in the back of the Mattson ranch house on the way to the outhouse.

Thrashing time on the ranch. Grandpa Walter stands near the machinery with his youngest son Uncle Marvin. Grandpa did enjoy his smokes. Of course, who didn't in those days?

Our 21st Great Grandmother Isabella, "The She Wolf". A True Ancestor to the Iron Willed Women in Our Family.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Strong willed, stubborn, frightful - all terms I've heard to describe the majority of the females in this family. One contributing source of these character traits could be our 21st Great Grandmother Isabella, The She Wolf" of France.

We begin with the Relationship Chart

Isabella "the She-Wolf" De France (1292 - 1358)
is your 21st great grandmother
Son of Isabella "the She-Wolf"
Son of Edward III , King of England
Daughter of Thomas Woodstock Gloucester
Son of Anne of Gloucester
Son of William
Son of Fulke
Son of John
Daughter of John
Son of Elizabeth
Son of Richard
Son of Aquila
Daughter of Aquila
Son of Sarah
Son of Abraham
Son of John
Daughter of Ezra
Son of Abigail
Daughter of Phineas
Daughter of Elmira
Daughter of Isabella Denora
Daughter of Vesta Althea. Violet married Walter Mattson
to their children
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

First a summary on her life.
Isabella, one of history’s most notorious femme fatales, a much maligned Queen of England.

Isabella of France, Edward II’s queen, was a woman much maligned in her day. Today, it is said that her maniacal laughter can be heard on stormy nights at Castle Rising in Norfolk, and that in the ruins of the 14th century church where she is buried, her angry ghost can be glimpsed, clutching the beating heart of her murdered husband. In literature she has fared no better; Christopher Marlowe’s “unnatural Queen, false Isabel” has also been described as “a woman of evil character, a notorious schemer,” and as the “She-Wolf of France.” Tragic, cruel, tormented: how did Isabella acquire such a reputation?

Born in 1292, the daughter of Philip IV of France and sister to three future French kings, Isabella was a pawn in the game of international politics. She was married at the age of twelve to Edward II of England, thus beginning a public and private life more turbulent and eventful than any heroine, or anti-heroine, in fiction.

Through a long period of civil war, Isabella bore Edward four children but was constantly humiliated by his relationships with male favourites. Although she is known to have lived adulterously with Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, accusations of murder and regicide remain unsubstantiated. Had it not been for her unfaithfulness, history may have immortalized her as a liberator — the savior who unshackled England from a weak and vicious monarch.

The History of our 21st Great Grandmother Isabella, The She Wolf of France.
Isabella of France was born in 1295, the youngest daughter of King Phillip IV of France. Bethrothed as an infant to Edward II of England, the marriage was delayed as Edward I disapproved. It was not until after he died that Isabella, then eleven or twelve, finally met her betrothed. She sailed to England to get married in 1308.

Isabella was young even for a bride at that time, being only eleven when she was sent to her husband. Already a noted beauty, descriptions of her make it seem that she was slender and pale skinned. Unfortunately her husband, nine years older, had little time for her.

She was outraged to find her jewels had been taken from her and given to Edward's first favourite, Piers Gaveston, who wore them at the wedding.

Unfortunately this would prove a pattern, as Edward far prefered the company of his favourites to his wife, and often rewarded them at her expense. Gaveston was a commoner, which rankled further, and quickly gained a reputation as a corrupt and greedy man. Worse, he and Edward were sworn brothers, which meant that they shared their possessions - unthinkable when the stability of a throne was at stake.

In 1310-11 Edward launched a campaign against Scotland, which failed dismally. After his disastrous invasion of Scotland, Edward fled with his favourite, Piers Gaveston.

The result was massive unrest in England. In the aftermath of the disaster in Scotland, the Barons took their chance and raised an army against the King to try and remove the hated Gaveston. When he was seperated from Edward, Gaveston was surrounded and captured at Scarborough Castle.

When they captured Gaveston in 1312, there was brief wrangling over his fate, and then he was executed by the barons for his corruption.

This brought Isabella a brief period during which her marriage was more peaceful. Three of the couple's children were born during this period, including the longed-for son and heir who would become Edward III.

During this time a scandal erupted in France in 1314. The wives of Isabella's brothers were caught having affairs, which as one brother was the King of France and one was the heir, was treason. Isabella was a witness against them and both women were imprisoned for life, the marriages dissolved.

Isabella's peace was not to last. In 1318 Edward II took a new favourite, Hugh le Despenser, who proved worse than Gaveston. The period of their influence is referred to in English history as the "Tyranny".

Hugh le Despenser's greed rapidly outgrew Gaveston's. He stole lands from relatives, disinheriting them. There were rumours that he tortured one heiress until she lost her mind and then confiscated her lands on grounds of insanity. He boasted of his cruelty and influence and rapidly became as hated as Gaveston had been.

In 1322 despite losses like the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Edward launched another campaign against the Scots. This time, when the action failed, he fled with Despenser, leaving Queen Isabella and her ladies at the mercy of the Scots. Facing torture, with two of her ladies killed, Isabella escaped by sea in a dangerous voyage, evading the Flemish navy.

Exiled briefly at the demand of Isabella and the Barons after the Scots campaing, Despenser turned to piracy. This earned him a death sentence in France, although as the King of France was Isabella's brother it was already an unsafe land for him to travel in. Despite this proof of Despenser's character, Edward quickly overruled his advisers and brought his favourite home.

Despenser's retaliation was simple. Isabella's lands were confiscated and she was placed under house arrest. This removed a rival for the King's attentions, and by playing on the suspicion that as a Frenchwoman she would not be loyal to England, he undermined her support. Even her household staff were changed to those of his choosing.

In 1325 events reached a head. Some say at the urgings of Despenser, Edward II refused to pay homage to the King of France over the French lands he held. Charles IV of France confiscated them.

Queen Isabella used the debacle of the loss of Edward's lands in France in 1325 as a chance to press for a diplomatic mission to her brother, ostensibly to get the lands back.

Edward II was unable to take Despenser to France, as Despenser would be executed for piracy. If the King left him behind, without the King's protection the Barons would kill Despenser as they had Gaveston. Queen Isabella was sent in his stead.

An agreement was made between the King of France and his sister that her son, the heir to the throne would do homage in his father's place. Edward II sent him across. This was a mistake. With her son safe in France, Isabella refused to return unless Hugh Le Despenser was exiled. Worse, she joined forces with Roger Mortimer, England's then greatest General, who was in exile in France after he escaped the Tower of London and execution by the Despensers.

Edward II demanded that the French king compel her to return. Charles IV's famous response was not to his liking:

When her husband refused to exile Despenser, Isabella raised an army and with Roger Mortimer she invaded in 1327. Her brother's support was limited, perhaps because of the debacle with his first wife in 1314, and so their force was mainly made up of mercenaries.

The two had a tiny army of 1,500 and Edward felt no great concern. However when Isabella landed, the Barons took her side - not least the one who raised an army, sacked one of the Despenser's castles and presented her with the treasury.

Hugh Le Despenser, his father and Edward II tried to flee. The majority of their followers deserted them, and they were split up. Despenser's father, who had encouraged his son's actions, was caught and hanged.

The King was captured and imprisoned as was Despenser. In 1326 Hugh the Despenser was sentenced to death by torture (hanging drawing quartering and mutilation) for treason and for causing discord between the King and Queen. The execution was performed to public celebration.

For an idea of how popular Edward's favourites were with the common people, in a time when creating book pages involved days of painstaking work, both their executions were carefully recorded for posterity.

Edward II was deposed and imprisoned. In 1327 it is widely believed he was murdered in prison by means of a red hot poker.

His son, Edward III, took the throne under his mother's regency. He was only fourteen so under age to hold it in his own right. However he disapproved of Roger Mortimer who formed a close relationship with his mother. The dislike went both ways, and Mortimer did not treat the young king well.

Edward III began to suspect (probably correctly) that Mortimer planned to kill him. To prevent this, immediately after he came of age, he overthrew the regency and executed Mortimer despite his mother's pleas.

The traditional story is that Isabella went mad from grief and was banished from court, but this seems to have been a medieval chronicler's imagination, as she was known to have joined an convent, a usual retirement for widows or noble ladies who sought seclusion from the world. She was also known to have made many visits to her son's court, which is unlikely if she had actually been banished.

When she eventually died in 1358, despite having taken the nun's habit and joined the order of the Poor Clares, she was buried in her wedding dress.

Her son, Edward III, would become widely renowned as one of England's strongest monarchs.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Report on Lisa Williamson Coronato's Surgery and Recovery

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
As many of you know, Lisa Williamson Coronato (number 7 of 8) underwent surgery a week or so ago for severe intestinal problems. Charles and Luella drove to California to help with the kids.

After two years of pain, and countless visits to the doctor's office, an ultra sound technician finally discovered something mysterious growing around her insides. Lisa overheard her mumbling during the procedure about not being able to see certain landmarks in the abdominal cavity. Lisa tried to get her to talk. The technician refused to elaborate but did question Lisa's mental state.

Several days later Lisa had an appointment with a surgeon. A procedure was set up. Lisa went under the knife and is today getting better (although somewhat changed from the ordeal as you'll read later).

Lisa is home and recuperating. She complains bitterly about the pain, but that is to be expected from the world's worst patient and champion for a patent's right to pain killers on demand. I'm told her children hid the pain medication from her and dispensed it according to the doctor's prescription. Draker took the brunt of her hysterical and hateful outbursts of anger when told she had to go another hour before her next pill.

"The only swearing I've heard worse was on that Deadwood TV show," Draker said. "Its also a good thing I have quick reflexes. She threw everything she could get her hands on at me and Aidia when I'd say No."

"It was like that movie The Exorcist when she'd get really mad," Aidia added. "I almost threw up that time right after she got back from the hospital when her head turned completely around when she shouted for her pills."

Draker's picture taken during the height of her pain.

"That was sick," Draker chimed in. "I gave in once and gave her her pills ten minutes early when she said she saw her dead Grandmothers coming to take her to Jesus. She told me they had a message for me. I asked what it was.
"They say you should GIVE ME THE DAMN MEDICINE!" she shouted at me. Then she threw her bed pan." Draker pointed to the dent in the bedroom's sheet rock from the impact and the stain from its contents on the wall and the floor.

I called the hospital to get information on Lisa's recovery right after her surgery. I was surprised when the hospital rerouted my call to a US Air Force doctor. He asked about my relation to Lisa.

"I'm her brother," I answered. There was a long pause.

"Have you experienced any unusual pain in your intestinal cavity?" he asked.

"Well, now that you mention it, I have."

He took my name and address and said someone from from the hospital would be contacting me. I could tell something wasn't right from the sound of his voice, so I decided to use my charm and quick wit to mentally disarm him in hopes that he would slip up and tell me the truth. I told him I was the director of a space education center. That did the trick. We talked space, black holes, warp fields and then the conversation turned to alien visitations.

"Listen, can you keep a secret if I share something with you?" he whispered.

"One sci fi fan to another?" I replied.

"You got it."

"You have my word as an avid Star Trek and Stargate fan."

He took down my email address and said he was sending me a couple photos and to keep them "under wraps".

"Someone is coming. We can't talk now." He hung up the phone.

I'm breaking my promise to show you the two photos he sent from Lisa's operation, but I can't be the sole bearer of this information. It needs to get out so everyone knows.

Picture 1:
The Xray which shocked the doctors and lead to the Air Force's and Dept. of Homeland Security's involvement and intercession into Lisa's surgery.

Picture 2:
The "fibrous tumor" removed from Lisa's gut. Lisa called it 'Wilson'. Now you know the reason why a "fibrous tumor" was given a real name. I blotted out the watermark intended for Area 51's use only.

The Fibrous Tumor,"Wilson"
Carbon based.
Suspected Intelligence

Let's keep this knowledge and information within the family. Leaking it to the press or discussing it with anyone without the highest security clearance could lead to my arrest and imprisonment.

One other thing while we are on the subject, I have the phone number to call if you begin experiencing unusual pain in your chest cavity. You may think it indigestion or a heart attack, but I urge you to consider the alternative. I'm told there is something about our family's DNA that attracts 'out of this world' attention. Why do you think I felt compelled to create the Space Education Center? And we shouldn't forget Janice's and my love for Star Trek, and don't get me started on my brother Jon. Then there's Kim..... Yikes - this could explain a lot.

I could go on and on but let's change the subject before I get that knock on the door at 3:00 A.M. and find myself at the receiving end of a long needle at a Federal mental hospital for those who knew too much and couldn't keep their mouth's shut.

Let's brighten Lisa's day with a few Before and After pictures.

Lisa over the years...... (and I mean Years!)

Sweet and Innocent

Starting down "that" road..... An alleyway. A trash can.
Perhaps a metaphor of things to come?

Nearly there.....

Going, Going and Over the Edge

The Long Road Back. Rehabilitation.

The Good Times.
Pre Wilson

A New Life without Wilson.
"It" kept her prematurely and unnaturally young.

Lisa is considering plastic surgery but hesitates because of the cost.
"The amount of plastic needed for your reconstruction could bring the benchmark price of crude to the breaking point," the plastic surgeon cautioned during the consultation. "We will go ahead if you can live with the fact that your neighbors will be paying $5.00 per gallon for gas just so you can reclaim your youth."

Life moves on, and no matter how much you want, you're along for the ride.


Our 9th Great Grandfather, Present at the British Surrender at Yorktown (Williamson Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Snow in Utah Valley! This strange winter produced it's third snowfall to dust the valley floor. I thought of shoveling, but a strain of Sunday laziness has infected the Fortress leaving me with no other desire than to sit at the computer and mentally climb up and down our family tree looking for the good and the bad apples residing in its branches.

In today's digital reunion we learn about our 9th Great Grandfather Christian Andereck. We begin with the Relationship Chart

our 9th great grandfather
Daughter of Christian
Daughter of Mary
Son of Elizabeth
Son of John
Daughter of John
Daughter of Jane
Daughter of Nancy

Effie married William Jonathan Williamson
to their children
Ima Della, Vinnie, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie Elvery, Emmett, Walter, Charles, Maurice

Christian Andereck was born in 1704 in Rumisberg, Canton Of Bern, Switzerland and died in 1785 in Strasburg, Shenandoah, VA at age 81.

Christian and his bride Anna Catherina Jung were married by Rev. John Casper Stoever at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA. on December 30, 1735. Anderegg is the correct spelling for the family name. Andereck was the English name that was given at arrival at Philadelphia. Christian arrived in America on the 11th of October 1733 on the ship Charming Betty under the command of Captain John Ball.

Charming Betty, Germany to Philadelphia, October 11, 1733

[List 35 A] List of all the Passengers imported in the ship Charming Betty, Capt John Ball, Philadelphia, October 11, 1733

Johan Katner 40
George Katner 18
Henry Meakle 34
Peter Gruber 34
Samuel Loody 18
Christian Andereck 28
Ulrich Leebegoot 45
Johan Pieter Leebegoot 16
Adam Spagh 60
Nicholas Burger 20
Wilhelm Imler, sick 55
Peter Stocker 53
Johan Vogt 53
Johan Long 45
Johan Long, Junr 15
Nicolas Heltsell

Feronica Katner 34
Susanna Meckle 35
Anna Gruber 24
Maria Loody 46
Susanna Leebegoot 36
Margaretha Burger 50
Anna Burger 25
Anna lmler 20
Anna Stocker 51
Maria Vogt 46
Anna Long 36
Maria Dorothea Heltzel 30

Johan Henrich Katner 9
Henrich Adam Katner 8
Martin Gruber 1 1/2
Adam Leebegoot 13
Jacob Leebegoot 10
Adam Spagh 12
Philip Burger 12
George Breitengross 13
Ludwig Imler 11
Johan Imler 7
Andreas Vogt 12
Caspar Vogt 8
Johan Georg Long 1
Christoffel Heltsel 4 1/2
Hans Jacob Heltsel 1 1/2

Maria Katner 11
Maria Meckle 3 1/2
Catherina Meckle 1/2
Dorothea Loody 9
Elisabeth Loody 9
Maria Loody 3 1/2
Anna Lebegoot 5
Maria Leebegoot 5
Margaretha Burger 10
Margaretha Burger 1/2
Catherina Imler 20
Sabina Imler 18
Maria Stocker 17
Barbara Stocker 13
Catherina Vogt 18
Maria Vogt 16
Maria Long 10
Catherina Long 8
Barbara Long 4
Eva Catherina Heltsel 12

October 12th 1733. A true List. John Bail.
At the Courthouse of Philadelphia, Oct. 12th, 1733.
The male adult heads of households on the Charming Betty signed their names to this roster. As you can see, our 9th Great Grandfather's signature isn't present, meaning he was illiterate.

The “Charming Betty” became a well known privateer ship. It sailed under the British flag and mainly engaged French ships around Bermuda. Today, we would call it a pirate ship because of their activities. In 1747, the “Clinton” of NY and the “Charming Betty” of RI fought two French frigates for three hours. There were many deaths and several prisoners taken.

Great Grandfather Christian served in Captain Alexander Machir's Company during the Revolutionary War. He managed to serve even thoughhe was beyond the age of acceptance. He shaved ten years off his age to be able to serve. Captain Machir's Co. was involved in escorting Cornwallis' army after their defeat at Yorktown to their departure point in New York. Christian's grandson Frederick Jr. inherited a land warrant for property near Fisher's Hill in 1796 that was issued because of Christian Andereck's service during the Revolution.

Read about the British surrender at Yorktown, eyewitnessed by our Great Grandfather.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Pirate in the Williamson Line.

Henry Strangeways

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons,
What is Valentines Day without a good pirate story? Tonight we learn about our 12th Great Grandfather Henry Strangeways - its "Yo ho Yo ho A Pirate's Life for me". We begin with the Relationship Chart.

Sir Henry Strangwayes (1506 - 1544)
is your 12th great grandfather
Son of Sir Henry
Son of Giles
Daughter of Sir John
Son of Grace
Son of Edmund
Daughter of Thomas
Son of Rebecca
Son of Cuthbert
Son of Cuthbert
Son of Matthew

William Jonathan Williamson, son of George Matthew (1858-1934)
married Effie Helen Victor (1867-1944)

their children

Ima Della, Vinnie, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie Elvery, Emmett, Walter, Charles, Maurice

Henry Strangways (died in 1562) also sometimes known as Stranwish, was an English Gentleman Pirate who attacked Spanish and other shipping. He was repeatedly imprisoned, and pardoned by highly-placed friends during his approximately eight year piratical career from about 1552 to 1560.

Strangways began his life as a pirate in 1552 plying the Irish Sea for plunder. There he joined forces with the Cornish Killigrews. His achievements were such that two men of war were prepared at Portsmouth to apprehend Strangways. He next appears in the historical record in 1555 imprisoned in the Tower of London. However nothing came of it and it is probable he had highly placed friends helping him out. In 1559 he was condemned to death after being arrested with 80 of his men, but he managed to avoid the sentence just before execution.

That same year n 1559 he was recorded as wanting to "steal an island" from the King of Spain. However, piracy seems to have taken precedence, he attacked not a Spanish island but Spanish ships. This is known to us because of an official complaint and request for damages which was made out to Philip II of Spain in which a ship, belonging to Johannes de Bagnes, was plundered by Strangeways.

Stangeways died a free man in 1562, pardoned once again by well placed friends, this time the highest, Queen Elizabeth I. The Royal Pardon after his death, the many releases from jail, and the seemingly complicit co-operation by authorities has suggested to later historians that Strangways reputation is as much a Privateer as a pirate.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grandma Elda's Will and Video of her Life

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today as I sifted through boxes of photographs I came across several pictures taken of Charles, Luella, Grandpa Liessman, Lisa and Caden at Grandma Elda's grave in Bismarck North Dakota.
I decided to put them in a small video accompanied by pictures from Grandma's life realizing most of us didn't have the opportunity to offer Grandma our last respects.

Before the video, I'd like to share the first page of Grandma's last will and testament below. There is a second page listing Luella as her executor if Grandpa and Charles were dead. I left that page out of this post. I posted the first page of her short will to illustrate something which struck me about her life.

Grandma left Grandpa $500. She left her best dishes and her "quaint little candy dish" to Luella, and that it all. Everything else, was for Charles - which really wasn't much. To me this illustrates one thing, while Grandma had little in this life to leave behind, the memories we have of this wonderful woman - cantankerous and stubborn on her bad days and full of fun, wit and delightful sarcasm on her best, will not be forgotten as long as we are alive to remember them.

The material things we leave behind should not be the measure of our lifes. The memories and love we leave behind are. Our memories of Grandma Elda keep her with us until the last of us who remembers her passes into that last goodnight.

That is how she continues to reach out to us today.


Our Williamson Quaker Roots

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons,
Snow if falling over Utah Valley! From the front window I can see most of Pleasant Grove. American Fork disappears into a wall of white. I don't mean to startle you with the exclamation mark (one should take caution when using strong punctuation on a Sunday), but I wanted to emphasis the fact that this is the second time this winter snow has accumulated on the Fortress' front lawn. We were buried under a mountain of white this time last year. This certainly has been an interesting winter.

Today I wanted to introduce you to the faith of many of our Williamson forefathers. The following list represents just a few in our family line professing Quakerism. Their strong religious beliefs brought them to this country. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of their decision.

10th Great Grandparents, William Brinton and Ann Bagley
9th Great Grandparents Francis and Alice Fincher
8th Great Grandparents, Francis and Grace Standfield
8th Great Grandparents, Henry Willis and Mary Pease
6th Great Grandparents, Joseph and Rebecca Bennett

Many in the above list were persecuted for their Quaker beliefs. They endured steadfastly with a determination to raise their children in a community which tolerated religious freedom. I admire them most of all.

I believe to truly appreciate our family's strong religious history we should know something about their beliefs. For that reason I'd like to introduce you to Quakerism 101. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with our grandparent's beliefs and practices.


American Quaker History
(The Religious Society of Friends)
A Primer
In 1675, another large group of immigrants left England for the New World. They were mainly from the Midlands region of England, and most were members of the Society of Friends, called the Quakers. From 1675 to 1725, over 23,000 of them settled what would become Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Eastern New Jersey.

Religious Beliefs

The Quakers were members of a faith called the Society of Friends. Their religious beliefs were very different from the Anglicans, Pilgrims, and Puritans. Their faith was centered on a "God of Love and Light." They believed that each person was capable of being saved by "the inner light." For them, this light was represented in Jesus.

The Quakers didn’' believe in the authority of clergy. They also didn't believe that God should be worshiped in churches. Instead, they created an organization based on the equality of individuals. They held meetings in meeting houses rather than religious services in churches.

The Quakers believed that war was wrong. They refused to support a military, unlike many other colonists. Also, they were one of the first American colonial groups to condemn slavery. They believed in the natural equality of all people under God.

Like the Puritans, the Quakers had suffered from persecution because of their faith, in both England and America. The ruling Anglicans in England imprisoned Quakers because they didn't believe in paying taxes. In Virginia, they banished them. The Puritans of Massachusetts banished Quakers, and, in some cases, burned them as witches.

The Quakers themselves developed a different approach to those who didn't share their beliefs. In their own colony in the New World, they promoted religious freedom. People in Quaker settlements were allowed to worship according to their own Christian beliefs. However, Quakers didn't allow people who did not believe in God to settle in their colonies.

Other Immigrants

In this spirit, the Quakers welcomed several different immigrant groups to share their settlements. William Penn, founder of the colony, actually recruited many of these people from their native lands. There were German, French, Dutch, Swedish, and Danish settlers in the Delaware Valley. Some of them were Quakers, and some were from other religious backgrounds. The Germans especially found the area welcoming. In fact, the term "Pennsylvania Dutch" refers to the German word for "German": "Deutsche."

Who Were the Quakers?

Most of the Quaker settlers had come from the northern Midlands area of England. There were also some that immigrated from Ireland and Wales. About half of them came as family groups.

Their economic and social backgrounds were very different from the Pilgrims, Puritans, and Anglicans. Most of them were poor to middle class. Very few came from the upper classes. Most made their living as craftsmen, farmers, and manual laborers.

Although many were poor, they found the means to come to the New World. Some had been given the money for their passage by Quakers in England. That means they came to this country without a large debt to pay off.

They brought their manner of speech from the Midlands, too. The colonial Quakers used the forms of speech "thee" and "thou" for "you," as did their English relatives. This form of speech is still used among the Amish people of Pennsylvania. They are descendants of the early German settlers.

The Delaware Valley

The Delaware River Valley was an area full of promise for the Quaker colonists. The Delaware and the river systems around it were good settings for mills and commercial trading by boat. There were many natural resources in the area, too, with coal, iron, and copper. The fertile soil was good for farming.

William Penn making a treaty with Native Americans in Pennsylvania.
The climate of the area was temperate. This was good for farming, and for the health of the colonists. They did have malaria and yellow fever epidemics, but not to the extent the Virginians did.

The Delaware Indians

The Native American tribes in the Delaware Valley were friendly to the new settlers. They were very different from the warring tribes who had threatened the Jamestown settlers in Virginia. The Lenni Lenape (called the Delaware Indians by the Quakers) did not fight the new colonists. Also, the Quakers bought land from the Delaware; they did not claim it as their own. Founder William Penn learned the language of the tribes so he could communicate with them.

William Penn

William Penn.
William Penn (1644-1718) was one of the most important colonists of the era. He was an English Quaker who received the land that became Pennsylvania from the English king, Charles II. It was in payment of a debt owed Penn's late father. It was Charles II who named the new area "Pennsylvania," for the man who was its most important early leader. Penn developed its laws, society, and commerce, and also oversaw its growth. He established a colony built on the idea of harmony and love among the people.

Their Homes

Most Quakers made their homes of fieldstone, with slate roofs and windows and doors made of wood. They came in two styles. One was a two-story house with rooms on each floor and fireplaces on one side. The other was called a "Four-over-Four" house. This was a two-story house with four large rooms on each floor. They were simply furnished and full of light. The simple lines of this furniture are still popular today. It is the style of Shaker furniture, named after a 19th century religious group related to the Quakers.

An example of a Quaker house,
from Quakerstown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Family Life

As in other colonial cultures, family was the center of life for the Quakers. They thought that the family was the center of love. For them, that love included both the traditional family and the "family" of all members of their faith.

The Quakers encouraged marriage within their community. But they discouraged Quakers from marrying non-Quakers. People who did that were often banished from the community.

Raising children was of great importance to Quaker family life. Their upbringing was a serious responsibility for parents and the whole community. Children were taught to obey their parents. But the Quakers didn't agree with the Puritan's harsh punishment of children. Instead, they used reason to reinforce good behavior. Nor did they agree with the Puritan idea of "sending out." They encouraged their children to stay at home among family. They were very strict in certain areas, however. For example, they didn't allow dancing, which they thought was wicked.

The Quaker idea of equality was part of their understanding of family. Children were considered to be equal to adults in many ways. In the home, children sat at the dinner table with their parents. In the meeting house, children as well as adults preached to the members.

The Quakers' idea of equality extended to women, too. In the 18th century, most cultures and religions considered women inferior to men. But the Quakers celebrated equal roles for women and men, especially in practicing their faith.

Quaker Meetings

The Quakers held meetings several times a week in a meeting house. Like their homes, the Quakers' meeting houses were simple buildings. In them, they held worship services, as well as the community's business meetings. Women and men held separate meetings. They worshiped together, in separate areas.

The Quaker services were very different from other Christian services. They quietly gathered together in the meeting house. Then they each "turned their mind to the light." There was no altar or pulpit. They didn't have a minister to lead them in worship, because they didn't believe it was necessary. They didn't have a set of rituals to follow, either.

A painting showing a Quaker meeting, with a woman preaching.
Often individuals, young and old, male and female, would rise and begin to preach. Their belief in the equality of Friends led them to believe that anyone could be inspired to preach.

Childhood: School

While the Quakers were great believers in the power of reason, they had many different approaches to education. Children were encouraged to learn to read by reading the Bible. But they weren't encouraged to spend years in school, as the children of the Puritans were.

The interior of the Plymouth Quaker Meeting House
in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, built in 1708.
Still, literacy was encouraged, and about one-half of adult colonists could sign their names. There were laws establishing schools, and requiring that children learn to read and write by the age of 12. Many schools were part of local Quaker meeting houses, and were run by them.

The Quakers favored "natural knowledge," and learning by doing. They also encouraged children to learn a trade. Boys and girls were encouraged to learn, in the classroom and in the world around them.

Their Food

As in so much of their life, the Quakers stressed that food should be simple. Like the Puritans, they didn't believe in indulging their appetites, so feasting was discouraged.

The Quakers liked simple food, prepared simply. They usually boiled their food, and made different kinds of puddings and dumplings. Through boiling, they created a food we still eat today: Philadelphia cream cheese. They made it by boiling cream, then drying it in cloth. They also made foods like apple butter in a similar way.

In keeping with their religious beliefs, the Quakers avoided foods that were created with slave labor. At that time, sugar came from sugar plantations, worked by slaves. Many Quakers refused to buy it. Also, salt was taxed, and the taxes used to pay for the military. The Quakers were pacifists--they did not believe in war--so many did without salt, too.

Their Clothing

The Quakers dressed plainly. They believed that clothing should be as simple as possible, in cut and color. Even hats and hairstyles were discouraged. Most clothes were made of gray homespun fabric. Men wore leather breeches or simple trousers, shirts, and aprons to protect them while working.

Women's clothing was also extremely simple. Their clothing didn't have buttons, pockets, or decorations of any kind. Women wore simple homespun dresses, with aprons and a simple shawl. Their clothing was grey or another dark color. Children dressed like their parents, in very simple clothing.

Games and Sports

The Quakers didn't like sports. They thought they corrupted the natural order of life. They had laws that forbade them. They especially condemned the "blood sports" and gambling favored in Virginia. They believed that killing for sport was evil, and that an animal's life should be taken only to provide food.

The Quakers also condemned ball games enjoyed by the Puritans of New England. But they did believe that exercise was good for people, especially children. They encouraged activities like swimming and ice-skating, which they found "useful." They also liked to garden, which they considered useful, too.

Celebrating Holidays

Like the Puritans, the Quakers didn't believe in celebrating religious holidays. They believed that all days should be devoted to God. They also believed that gaudy displays on Christian holy days was wrong. The Quakers also refused to celebrate old folk holidays, like May Day. Instead, they treated all days equally, dedicating them to hard work, simple living, and faith.


The Quaker ideals of equality are seen in the way their colony was organized, including the division of land, and the structure of society and government. William Penn was in charge of selling the land to raise money. Then, he oversaw the dividing up of the land into independent family farms. This he did in a manner that land, and the wealth that land brought, would be evenly distributed. This ensured that there would not be a small number of very wealthy landowners.

Most Quakers lived on a family farm, with other Quaker farms nearby. This encouraged neighborhoods. Quakers often helped out their neighbors, including non-Quaker families, in building homes and barns.

The Quakers elected officials, like sheriffs, judges, and peace makers, to enforce laws and keep order in the settlements. The Quakers encouraged political activity among the settlers of all backgrounds. They held elections, and elected an Assembly in Pennsylvania.

The Quakers also believed in a minimal government, because that allowed greater individual freedom. And, significantly, they believed that a person was free to follow one's own conscience. Even those who disagreed with Quaker ideals were allowed that important freedom within their communities. The first law passed in Pennsylvania established freedom of conscience, and of worship to all.

William Penn outlined three major freedoms: (1) the right to one's life, liberty, and estate, (2) the right to representative government, and (3) the right to trial by jury. Also, taxes could not be imposed without the approval of the people.

Slavery: It is important to note the difference among the colonists on the issue of slavery. While many Quakers owned slaves at the founding of the colony, by the late 17th century, colonial Quakers were fighting for its abolition. In 1758, the Philadelphia Quaker Meeting issued the first anti-slavery document in history.

One of the great symbols of freedom in the U.S. is the Liberty Bell. It was created by the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of William Penn's "Charter of Privileges." That list of laws and rules outlined the goals of the Quaker colony.

The inscription is taken from the Bible. It states, simply and profoundly, the beliefs of the Quakers: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." The great bell was rung on July 8, 1776, to celebrate the birth of a new nation. The Quaker ideal of liberty for all would inspire the colonists as they waged war against those who would deny them their liberties.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our 8th Great Grandfather Samuel Fuller, Our third Great Grandfather to sail on the Mayflower

A Modern Replica of the Mayflower

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
If there were PureBlood Americans (to borrow a term from the Harry Potter books), defined as Americans with family roots firmly planted in this nation's founding and history, then we could well be at the head of the class. Purebloods would be Americans with ancestors who participated in the founding of this nation and fought in her earliest wars.

The landing of the Mayflower was one such Pureblood historical event. We know from previous research that we had two Great Grandfathers on the Mayflower: Francis Cooke and Degory Priest. Today I'd like to introduce you Samuel Fuller, an 8th Great Grandfather, who also sailed on the Mayflower.

In summary then:
Our Three Mayflower Great Grandfathers (each sailed without their wives) are:

Francis Cooke
Degory Priest
Samuel Fuller

Let's begin with our family Relationship Chart to Samuel Fuller

Samuel Fuller's Signature from the Mayflower Compact

Samuel Fuller (1612 - 1683)
is our 8th great grandfather

John Fuller (1656 - 1726)
Son of Samuel

Thankful Fuller (1689 - 1748)
Daughter of John

John Crippen (1720 - 1801)
Son of Thankful

?James Osborn Crippen Crippen (1788 - 1866)
Son of John

Sarah Martha Crippen (1814 - 1891)
Daughter of ?James Osborn Crippen

John Mayberry Dennis (1844 - 1897)
Son of Sarah Martha

Vesta Althea Dennis (1892 - 1978)
Daughter of John Mayberry

Volet Mae Pierce (1918 - 1987)
Daughter of Vesta Althea
Violet married Walter Mattson

to their children
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin

A brief historical sketch of Samuel Fuller.

Samuel was born in England and baptized at Redenhall Parish, Harleston in the English county of Norfolk on January 20, 1580. He was the son of Robert and Sara (Dunkhorn) Fuller. Samuel's father Robert was a butcher in the area of Norwich. Initially Samuel learned the trade of a say-weaver, one who makes cloth for tablecloths and bedding.

In 1604 the Puritan minister John Robinson left his position at Cambridge to become pastor of St. Andrew's Church in Norwich. In the face of persecution from King James I, Robinson left Norwich and soon made his way to the village of Scrooby. Samuel Fuller went to Scrooby as well at this time, presumably influenced by Robinson. In 1609 the Separatist congregation at Scrooby escaped to the Netherlands and made their way to the city of Leiden, where they could worship as they pleased. Fuller went with them to Leiden and became a deacon in their congregation. Fuller's first wife Alice Glascock having died, he took as his second wife Agnes "Anna" Carpenter in 1613. Anna gave birth to a child but it died in infancy and was buried in Leiden. Anna died soon after and in 1617 Fuller took a third wife, Bridget Lee. All of his wives were Englishwomen.

Although some historians and genealogists have proposed that it was in Leiden that Fuller acquired training in medicine, possibly while attending lectures at Leiden University, historian Norman Gevitz has found no evidence to support any conclusion other than that of Fuller having done so only once in Plymouth. Gevitz considers the contentions that Fuller was the "Mayflower physician" and played any role as a healer during the "General Sickness" after the Pilgrims' arrival nothing more than "myths”

Fuller and the elders of the congregation entered into negotiations with some speculators to travel to North America and establish a colony there. In 1620 a ship named the Speedwell departed Holland with a small number of Separatist colonists, Samuel Fuller among them. They docked at Southampton, Hampshire, where they met up with a ship called the Mayflower. The ships set sail for North America, but the Speedwell was found to be unseaworthy and they had to put in at Plymouth in Devon, England.

The Mayflower Arrives at Plymouth

Fuller took his apprentice and servant William Butten with him and sailed to North America on the Mayflower. He left his wife behind in Plymouth, England to care for his young child, which later died there. Samuel Fuller's brother Edward Fuller joined him, along with Edward's wife Ann. The settlers founded a colony in North America and named it Plymouth, after the city they had set out from. In 1623 Bridget Fuller took passage on a ship named the Anne and came to Plymouth Colony (America). Four years later they had a son they named Samuel, who became the Reverend Samuel Fuller of Middleboro.

Samuel Fuller home site on Leyden Street, Plymouth.Samsads