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, April 29, 2012

A 14th Great Grandmother, Anne, Duchess of Exeter, and Her Two Husbands. Williamson Line

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamson's
Tonight we read about a 14th Great Grandmother, Anne Plantagenet.  She was quite the woman and older sister to King Edward IV.

We begin with the Relationship Chart:

Anne Plantagenet (1439 - 1476)
is our 14th great grandmother
Daughter of Anne
Daughter of Anne
Son of Margaret
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 Mathew
Son of George Matthew
William Jonathan Williamson (1858-1934) married Effie Helen Victor (1867-1944)
to their children
Ima Della, Vinnie, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie Elvery, Emmett, Walter, Charles, Maurice

Anne, Duchess of Exeter, was the oldest of the children of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. She was born on August 10, 1439, at Fotheringhay—the same castle in which her youngest surviving sibling, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, would be born in 1452. In 1446, when she was six, she was married to fifteen-year-old Henry Holland, who would shortly become the second Duke of Exeter. The Duke of York offered a large marriage portion—4,500 marks--probably because Henry VI was childless at the time, putting the young Henry Holland in line for the throne. Only 1,000 marks of the portion were paid. It was a poor investment in any case, for Exeter proved to be solidly Lancastrian. He also seems to have been exceptionally quarrelsome, falling out with his father-in-law and with all manner of people during the 1450’s and serving time in the Tower. Among those with whom he seems not to have gotten on well with was his own wife. The couple had one child, Anne Holland, but evidently lived most of their lives apart.

Exeter was attainted in 1461 and eventually joined Margaret of Anjou in exile abroad. Meanwhile, the Duchess of Exeter was granted the duke’s Holland inheritance for life. For a brief time beginning in 1464, she had the custody of the nine-year-old Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, a ward of the crown. Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville later that year. Probably around Easter 1465, he transferred Harry to the care of his queen, whose youngest sister Harry married.

The Duchess of Exeter’s young daughter, Anne, had been promised in marriage to George Neville, a nephew of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. George at the time had the potential to be a quite wealthy young man, as the Earl of Warwick had no sons and the Neville lands were entailed in the male line. Elizabeth Woodville, however, wanted the heiress Anne for her own eldest son, Thomas Grey. She paid the Duchess of Exeter 4,000 marks to break the contract with the Neville family. This was certainly sharp business practice on the queen’s part, but it was hardly unusual for the times: rich young heirs and heiresses were hot commodities. Certainly Elizabeth could not have made the arrangement without the approval of Edward IV, the Duchess of Exeter’s brother. The Duchess of Exeter was no less keen to look after her own interests than the queen: as part of the marriage arrangements, the Holland inheritance was settled on little Anne, with a remainder interest in the duchess herself and in the heirs of her own body.

During the Readeption of Henry VI in 1471, the Duke of Exeter moved back into his London house of Coldharbour, which had been granted to the Duchess of Exeter during his exile. Probably the Duchess of Exeter prudently took herself off to one of her other residences during this period.

The Duke of Exeter fought with the Earl of Warwick at Barnet in 1471. There he was badly injured and was left for dead on the battlefield until a servant discovered signs of life in him and took him to a surgeon. He was later smuggled into sanctuary at Westminster Abbey, but Edward IV removed him and imprisoned him in the Tower of London. While her husband was still a prisoner, in 1472, the Duchess of Exeter took the opportunity to have their marriage annulled. Presumably the Church did not recognize allegiance to the house of Lancaster as a basis for an annulment, but the actual grounds are not known.

The duchess soon remarried. Like her brother the king, she married a social inferior—in her case, Thomas St. Leger, a knight who had probably been her lover for some time. As Anne Crawford notes, Edward IV had been showing St. Leger a great deal of favor for many years, including a substantial grant of eight manors in the early 1460’s. He was no gigolo, however; he served Edward IV militarily and administratively for years.

In 1474, the duchess’s child by the Duke of Exeter died, triggering the duchess’s remainder interest in her lands. The following year, Edward IV set off on an expedition to France, which ended in a peace treaty instead of the anticipated military engagement. Anticlimactic for most people, the expedition was fatal to one—the Duke of Exeter. He had been released from the Tower and allowed to join the expedition, presumably so he could prove his loyalty to the king in battle, but on the return journey, he was drowned. Whether his death was accidental or murder is unknown, though rumors of the latter abounded.

The Duchess of Exeter, meanwhile, had a daughter by Thomas St. Leger in late 1475 or in January 1476. The little girl, named Anne like her mother and her deceased half-sister, soon became motherless, for the duchess died in January 1476, possibly in or soon after childbirth. She was buried in the Chapel of St. George at Windsor.

Following his wife’s death, St. Leger remained on good terms with his brother-in-law the king. He served as Edward IV’s controller of the mint and as master of the king’s harthounds. In 1481, he was granted a license to found a perpetual chantry of two chaplains at the Chapel of St. George, in memory of his wife. He never remarried.

Thomas Grey, the Marquess of Dorset, who had married the Duchess of Exeter’s eldest daughter, Anne Holland, had remarried after the young girl’s death and now had a son of his own, who was contracted to young Anne St. Leger. The arrangement under which Anne was be deemed the heir to the Exeter estates was formalized in an Act of Parliament in January 1483. Richard Grey, Dorset’s younger brother, also benefited from the Act, in which part of the Exeter inheritance, worth about 500 marks, was set aside for him. The loser in this transaction was Ralph, Lord Neville, who was the heir of the Holland family, although since the Duke of Exeter had been attainted, the crown had some justification in treating his inheritance as it liked.

This arrangement fell apart when Richard III took the throne in July 1483. Thomas St. Leger attended the new king’s coronation and was given cloth of silver and velvet for the occasion, but he was soon afterward deprived of his positions of master of harthounds and controller of the mint. His daughter, meanwhile, was ordered to be handed over to the Duke of Buckingham. Perhaps, as Michael Hicks has suggested, Buckingham had the girl in mind as a bride for his own eldest son. This never came to pass either, of course, for both St. Leger and Buckingham ended up in rebellion against the new king.

St. Leger has been criticized for his lack of loyalty to Richard III, but Richard, having removed him from his offices, had given him no reason to remain loyal. Moreover, St. Leger had been unshakably faithful to Edward IV and, like many of the other rebels, was undoubtedly distressed at Edward V having disappeared from sight after having been deprived of his crown.

Unlike many of the rebels, who gave up the fight after Buckingham’s execution on November 2, St. Leger continued the fight in Exeter, but was ultimately captured. He was executed on November 13, 1483, at Exeter Castle, despite the offer of large sums of money on his behalf. St. Leger, described by the Crowland chronicler as a “most noble knight,” was buried with his wife Anne at Windsor. They are depicted here:

One last bit of business remained: the disinheritance of Anne St. Leger. In 1484, Richard III’s only Parliament overturned the acts under which Anne had been declared the heir to the Exeter estates. The beneficiary, however, was not the Exeter heir, Ralph Neville, but the crown itself.

Poorer but still well connected, Anne St. Leger ultimately married Sir George Manners, Lord Ros. Their eldest son, Thomas Manners, became the first Earl of Rutland. It is this earl’s countess who is credited with telling the supposedly sexually naive Anne of Cleves, “Madam, there must be more than this, or it will be long or we have a duke of York, which al this realm most desireth.”

Sunday's Photo Album

 The Wrapping Hides the Treasure Inside

 From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today is a first for me (and how often can you say that when you are past your peak and on the slippery downgrade to oblivion?).  I'm wearing my first pair of honest to goodness bifocals.  They have the demarcation line running through the lower half of each lens. By looking down I see through the reading glasses and by looking up and over the line, I can see into the distance. Both my grandmothers wore bifocals.  I use to tease them about that line running through their lenses. 
"Someday it will be your turn," they replied.  "Ya, well today isn't someday," I'd toss back with all the "gotcha" my youthful sarcastic nature could muster.

How Quickly it Passes.

Today is Someday.  Now it is my turn.  And to our younger readers I repeat what was said to me, "Someday it will be your turn."  That darn pesky Time has crept upon me like an unwanted guest and twinkle by twinkle,  stole away my semi perfect vision.

I've recently notice that Time has also been using my face as a canvas to study geriatric art.  Every week I notice another line where their wasn't one before and a sag accentuated with crow's feet.   It's comical the way we slowly disintegrate piece by piece until there is nothing left except Earth to Earth and Ashes to Ashes.

On a side note, I'm only now noticing how my head bobs up and down as I type this post.  The bifocal line keeps appearing right across the computer screen.   I know what you're thinking, a bobbing head is the next indicator of Death's hand upon your shoulder.  You may be right.  I'll think about it as I fall asleep in my rocker recliner. 
Pictures from Sunday's Album     

Gather around and let me show you a few pictures from the Sunday Albums.  We start with a few pictures from Lake Powell taken in the late 1980's

A Favorite Picture of my sister.
Kim DelGrosso at Lake Powell.

Joseph Mattson, Jacob Mattson and Brandon DelGrosso.

 Jacob and Kirk Mattson.  Kirk's tuned out.  
(By the way, the thing in his hand is called a cassette tape.  We used cassette tapes to hold our music and played them in things called Walkmans).

We move ahead several years to Kirk Mattson's Missionary Farewell.

Before leaving for church.  Candace, Angie, Camille and Gina Mattson.  
Gina wasn't please to have the photo taken.  Can you hear what she is thinking?
"OK, done yet?"  
Notice how far her sisters sit away from her on the loveseat?  I'm implying nothing,
Just making an observation  :) 

 Jacob, Kirk and Joseph Mattson 
Jake and Joe are smiling knowing Kirk would soon be leaving and they'd get the Nintendo all to themselves.

Sorry Aunt Bev.  
She hates to have her photo taken so I need to apologize for taking this 
(even though it was over twenty years ago).

 Forrest DelGrosso, Branson DelGrosso and Jake Mattson outside the church

 The gathering after.  Chaz Bodily enjoying a cookie.  The secret to keeping Chaz happy was copious amounts of sugar.
The Gathering After was held at the Mattson Home in American Fork

Can't shove it in fast enough to feed these growing boys.
Jake Mattson and Brandon DelGrosso

Kirk, with just a few of his admirers.

Finally from this Weekend's Sunday Album, Kim's Birthday

A few shots from Kim Williamson DelGrosso's birthday.  Don't know the exact year.

 Happy Birthday Kim

Candace Mattson, Chaz Bodily, Jake Mattson and Ashley DelGrosso. 
 Notice Chaz is without sugar?
Notice his attitude?

Uncle John at the Birthday Bash.  Angie Mattson is on the left waving her fork about 
while making a point about something.  Don't know what  :)

The Best of April's Photos

A short slide show of the best of this month's Sunday Photos.


September 13, 2014
Digitally enhanced photos from the story above......

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Illustrated Memories From the Fortress. 1987/88

Hello All,
Today we celebrate June in April.  While not officially a sanctioned holiday, this weekend's heat wave pushing our April temperatures into the 80's are worthy of celebration.

Today in our digital family reunion I've decided to take out the old dusty albums and show pictures taken in 1987 or thereabouts (that's a quarter of a century if that makes you feel any better).  There is a certain melancholy one gets when perusing old photo albums.  Those of us with sporting age in our resumes marvel at how quickly time has past.  We look at our faces in the photographs and compare them with what answers back in the mirror every mornings.  We curse the passing of time and its ravages on our youth.

"If I could only have those years back," some mutter, wanting to relive those happy days lone gone, forgetting that the passage of years has an effect on memory's reliability.  We forget that time can act like an opium on memory.  The 'bad times' lived through in every decade seem magically erased, leaving only the happiest of memories to hang our hats upon.

Others mutter, "If I could only have those years back," out of regret for poor decisions made and the wish that what was done could somehow be undone and a different path taken.

I remind myself that today is the day I'll look back upon in the future and ask, "If I could only have those years back."  Well, we have those years now.  We are not dead and buried, the sun shines and oxygen moves in and out of our lungs, so never forget the preciousness of the present. Today there are decisions to make and people to love and places to visit - so make every hour count.  Pull up the regret anchor weighing down on your soul. Take the thought that your best years are behind you out with the trash.  These things belong in the past. The past has already been lived.  Its the future that waits to be written.

Grandma Mattson's Funeral.  September 1987

Our beloved Grandma Mattson died in September 1987 in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Violet Pierce Mattson was the mother to Luella, Linda, John and Marvin Mattson.  She was preceeded in death by her husband Walter.  Grandpa Mattson died in February 1973.

Most of the family gathered in Belle Fourche, South Dakota for her funeral and burial. 

Grandma Mattson's grandchildren are pictured above.  Kirk is the tallest.  I'm standing next to Kirk; and thank you for commenting on my distinguished appearance. It is a fact I humbly report to guarentee the historical accuracy of this blog post.  Kim Williamson DelGrosso, Grandma Mattson's eldest grandchild (and my sister), stands next to me.  

I won't labor the length of this paragraph to list the others.  I've mentioned the most important, so let's leave it at that - shall we?

Grandma Mattson's Great Grandchildren at the funeral.  I'll list them for you and let you identify them in the photo based on the descriptions.
Amber, the sweater of many colors.
Autumn, in her calico 'done gone to Sunday Meeting dress'.
Ashly, always so photogenic.
Jazmine Burrows, shy and feeling very embarrassed because of her sister.  Its all she can do to keep from giving Nicole "something to cry about!" She bites her fingers instead.  It is a coping mechanism.
Nicole Burrows giving her best attempt at waking the dead.  I mean, it was a funeral.  You got to give her credit for trying.
Brandon DelGrosso. It's just Brandon.  You know, the kid that was always there looking so innocent.  You always wanted to know where Brandon was. Seen and heard was good a good thing for that boy.
Forest DelGrosso holds Sierra Burrows.  Best Smile of the bunch Forrest, and you managed to pull it off, even with the smell from a very dirty diaper.

Luella Mattson Williamson, Grandpa Emmerson Leissman, Charles Williamson and Grandma Elda Vercellino Leissman at the funeral luncheon.  Emmerson was stepfather to Charles.
Elda was his mother.    

Elda Vercellino Leissman with her grandchildren.  Janice Williamson Burrows, Kim Williamson DelGrosso, Annette Williamson, Lisa Williamson, Victor Williamson and Grandpa Leissman.

Here we are at Grandma Mattson's graveside.  I remember how we struggled with Grandma's coffin from the hearse to the grave through the wet soggy marshland Belle Fourche calls a cemetary.   I was all poor Uncle Ray could do to stand upright.  I struggled behind Uncle Ray, carrying my share of Grandma and his.  I know Grandma took great delight is watching us from the other side.  Her sense of fun was all too present that day! 

Notice the flowers in the Grandchildren's hands?  No, they are not putting them on Grandma's casket.  They are taking them off Grandma's casket and placing them on her neighbor's graves.  Luella gave permission for them to take a few flowers and put them on Walter Mattson's grave.  Well, things got out of hand.  

I suppose it was all good in the end.  Grandma's coffin was flowerless, but at least she made a good first impression on her new long term neighbors.  Wouldn't you agree? 

A picture of Candace and Cheynne at the cementary.

Christmas 1987

These pictures were taken at the Williamson home on 38th Street, Rapid City South Dakota.

Luella Williamson on Christmas Morning.  She is reacting to the sudden appearance of my camera. 
Bless her heart, such modesty and humility.

With a bit of friendly persuation, Luella removed her frock.
Merry Christmas to all.

Then it was off to the kitchen to fix breakfast.
She objected to the ever present paparazzi, hounding her every move.

Annette Williamson with Grandma Elda

Christmas Morning with Lisa Williamson - a regular ball of laughs.  Lisa could do 'teenager' well. You can tell from the wall decorations that there was no expense spared in getting the home ready for the holidays.

By the way, that's Charles Williamson in the background.  I believe he found a bit of lint on the carpet and was questioning who was responsible and who was going to pick it up.  Perhaps that's the cause for Lisa's expression?

Grandma Elda fast asleep.  Grandpa was talking, and we all knew that when Grandpa started reminiscing you were in for a long monologue.  Usually we all found reasons to be elsewhere.  All but dad.  His standing order was NOT to be left alone in the living room if Grandpa started reminiscing.  So what did we do?  We left him alone in the living room with Grandpa.

Annette Williamson, Grandpa Emmerson, Grandma Elda, Charles Williamson and Lisa Williamson.
Grandma and Grandpa were heading back to their motel for the night.  They'd had enough of us and Grandpa had run out of material.

Lake Powell with the DelGrosso's.  I'm thinking 1988??

Forest DelGrosso looking all GQ.  
Forest, you were such a stud!
What was that you just said? 
OK I agree.  You still are.

Amber DelGrosso, and there in the shadow is Autumn, then Ashly DelGrosso. 
We were enjoying a day of boating.

JD DelGrosso at the helm.  We were always in safe hands.

The DelGrosso's enjoying a bit of family time.  Left to right;  Kim, Amber, Autumn, Ashly and JD.

Meal Time!  Forest is on his 12th bowl of cereal.  Brandon is chomping to get back into the water
JD and Kim enjoy a cup of orange juice.

One had to take great care to retire to your tent early when vacationing on Lake Powell with Kim DelGrosso.  Kim loved her late evening swims; you know, being one with nature and all........  
From your smile I know you know what I'm talking about.

Ashly DelGrosso modeling the latest in swimwear design and safety gear.
Only the finest for this young aspiring star.

Autumn Delgrosso gets the last say.
And isn't that always the way it is :)

By the way, Autumn's hair is an original from the Kim DelGrosso Studio of Hair Design.
With scissors and brush its a quick pull pull with a snip snip - all accented with several screams supplied by the poor soul on the stool.  In a matter of minutes you were done.  Then it was up to the closet to select the scarf or baseball cap to wear until your next appointment.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mattson, DelGrosso, Bodily. Early 1980's. More From the Collections.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

I'm slowly working my way through hundreds and hundreds of slides taken between 1972 and 1990. They are posted randomly, and for that I apologize. The thought of organizing my entire collection, then categorizing them by decade, year, time and place would be too much to consider. To be perfectly honest, I would never do it. These pictures would end up lost to time and never appreciated. So, with your permission, I'll continue to post away in a grab bag random sort of way.

That being said, let's take another journey in the Wayback Machine.

Who is this little chubby cherub enjoying a paddle in his raft?
Chaz Bodily is the correct answer.

And in goes mom. Jilane and Chaz. Chaz loved the water. Jilane hoped for a tan. This picture was taken in Provo. Vernell's is a candy company. Kevin got the raft through his job at the Quaker Oats Warehouse. Ah, the life of leisure. Things haven't changed much for Jilane over the years :)

Baby Chaz Bodily once again, a bit older this time and wearing his Sunday Best. Jilane had a strange taste in children's clothing back then. All of this helps us understand the reasons Chaz is the way he is today.

There is one thing about John Mattson everyone should know; Keep him away from a garden hose! The lure of water is temptation he can't resist.

This picture was taken in front of the Mattson home on 510 S. American Fork. John is at the hose. Jake Mattson is in the blue trunks doing his best to land a strike before the full brunt of the garden hose is turned on him.

Joseph Mattson (yellow top), being the good older brother, couldn't stand idly by and let Jacob
battle the Dragon alone. Joseph and a fellow neighbor Knight took up buckets to extinguish the
Dragon's flame restore peace once again to the Kingdom. John, heavily outnumbered
fought bravely on. He succumbed in the end, giving the boys the sweet taste of victory.

Aunt Bev never got involved in anything messy. She was the one who cleaned up
the messes.

While the boys battled in the driveway, Bev enjoyed the lazy late summer afternoon by teaching her youngest daughter Candace to ride a bike.

An action shot taken just before Candace's frightful Crash and Burn. Down she went onto the neighbors lawn. If memory serves me correctly, Uncle John saw her fall and turned the garden hose on her. She had strayed too close. I told you Uncle John and water hoses are a bad combination.

Not to worry, the boys came to their little sister's rescue. Several hundred gallons of water later, the lawns were thoroughly watered and the battle ceased.

And how does one celebrate a courageous victory? Ice Cream of course.
Are you thinking "Poor Bev?".
I agree.

A half gallon container of ice cream didn't go far in the Mattson home. There wasn't much left by the time the four oldest (Kirk, Gina, Angie and Joe ) got their fill. Jake, Camille and Candace were left with the drippings - and those inevitable went to Jake. Grabbing the empty container and running away from the two youngest girls was good sport for him. The little girls cried while he licked the box clean.

You never commented about Jake's uncivilized feral ways if you wanted to keep your face clean. Jake would chase down those who did and use their faces as a towel.

Joseph Mattson's 13th Birthday.

This was a special birthday in the Mattson home. Special not because Joseph was the family's newest teenager. It was special because of what Joseph was given that day as a birthday gift. A gift which marked the family's entrance into the technological age.

Do you see what I mean?

Joseph's 13th Birthday gift was the Mattson's very first video game system, the original Nintendo 64! They played that box morning, noon and night. The Nintendo 64 was the beginning of a new era in computer and gaming history, captured the moment it arrived for the first time in the Mattson home.

How could Joe celebrate his birthday without his favorite cousins? Brandon DelGrosso, Joseph Mattson and Forrest DelGrosso. This may have been their fist exposure to home video gaming as well.

That same summer I took the older cousins to Lagoon.
Angie, Jake and Joe Mattson with Brandon and Forrest DelGrosso.

Jake and Forrest on Lagoon's brand new JetStar II

I'd like to think that Brandon DelGrosso's fascination with climbing may have gotten its start in Lagoon's Fun House. Do you remember the game? For a little extra cash (compliments of Uncle Victor) you got to climb a wobbly rope ladder up a wall to the top. A cheap prize was yours if you made it.

Jake Mattson

I loved roller coasters; however these spin you around rides were not good for me. I let the kids ride the twirl around rides while I indulged in my favorite amusement park concessions. It worked well for my wallet. I only had to buy one treat for me!

Jake Mattson and Brandon DelGrosso on the Jet Star II just before
take off.