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, July 1, 2012

More from Christmas 1985 at the Williamson Home on 38th Street

 eFrom the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
I'm looking out the Fortress' Great Room window at a smoky Utah Valley below.  Smoke from several wild fires is caught in the valley, reducing visibility and giving the air a campfire aroma.  No wonder I'm in the mood for smores.

Pleasant Grove banned 4th of July fireworks here at the Fortress and surrounding neighborhoods.  Our homes sit dangerously close to the mountains.  One firework shot in the wrong direction could set the mountain ablaze along with Jilane and Kevin's home and, heaven forbid, the Fortress.  We will have to be content to sit on the deck, light our sparklers and watch the fireworks from below.  The town puts on a good show at the junior high school beneath the Fortress.

I'm hoping the western fires are far away from all our family and friends.

Two posts back I posted pictures from my 1985 visit home for Christmas.  I neglected to post a few other pictures I found in another file on my photo CD.  Today I post the remaining pictures.  Sit back and enjoy these parting snapshots from 27 years ago.        

Grandma Mattson invited us to her apartment for dinner at the Nearly There Assisted Living Center for the Elderly and Confused west of Rapid City's Bacon Park.  I'm sure it was to celebrate my visit from Utah.

"Grandma, can I help."  Annette said in her helping voice.  Grandma glanced in my direction.  I grabbed my camera and caught her expression, an expression I've seen many times and knew exactly how to read.

"Oh child, you shouldn't have asked that question," Grandma's expression replied.  "Where do I begin?  There's putting away the groceries, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the carpet, washing the dishes, peeling the potatoes........"

Annette never made that mistake again.   

 Lisa with her Dad Charles in Grandma's living room posing nicely for the camera while Cindernettie was on all fours scrubbing the kitchen floor.  While modest by most standards, Grandma's tree did the job supplying a Christmas atmosphere to the setting.  The Nearly There Assisted Living Center for the Elderly and Confused wasn't too keen on Christmas decorations.   The year before an elderly gentleman electrocuted himself by chewing on a set of Christmas tree lights strung along the serving line in the cafeteria.

"Who's going to help me clean up?" Grandma asked.  Annette was out the door and down the hallway in a heartbeat, nearly knocking down two of the Center's more unstable residents.  Luella wasn't listening.  The TV was on. 

"I'm too full," Lisa complained.

It was understood Charles was there for the meal only.  That left me and I was glad to do it.  I was always glad to help Grandma.  She was a fine old gal, fun to tease because she gave it right back.  Oh, and those looks of her's were priceless.  Let's hope she doesn't have reason to give us the look from the photo above when we pass over the river Jordan and meet her on the other side.       

Annette back from her daring escape.  Her cheeks were pinched raw by every geriatric she encountered in her travels through the Nearly There's halls and cafeteria. 

 Lisa wanting something back Luella had stolen.  Luella was in a jovial mood.  Can't get over the hair.

Back at the Williamson home on 38th Street.  I believe this was Bo on Christmas morning enjoying his rawhide bone.  I'm not an animal lover so I never remembered many of the family's pets, except for our nearly fossilized cat Inky.  Inky was our cat during my teen years.  She had arthritis and could hardly walk.  She had no interest in anyone or anything and threw up hair balls whenever she attempted to navigate the length of the living room.

Inky gave the family multiple clues she was ready for that final visit to the vet but no one paid any attention. One afternoon she'd had enough and took decisive action in the driveway.   Those who witnessed the event saw Inky sitting at the bottom of the outside porch near the station wagon.  She was waiting for car to back out of the driveway.  Just as the car started to move, she struggled to stand and hobbled with head held high behind the front left tire.   

She went out on her own terms.  You have to respect her for that.

Luella on Christmas morning.  I believe she's holding one of the presents I gave her - a nice Pyrex casserole dish.  She's reading the manual on the dish's proper use.

Luella didn't do a lot of cooking in those days.  In fact, if my memory serves me correctly,  she stopped cooking when dad brought home our first microwave oven (hence the reason for reading the directions to the cookware).  

Lisa with her haul.  Notice nearly all clothes.
Finally, a Williamson had made it into the IN crowd at school, hence the need to
dress in something more up to date than Garage Sale Chic.

 And Annette with her's.  Notice nearly all dolls and their accessories.
Annette was always in training to be a World Class Mom.
(And no one doubts that she's made it.  Annette IS a World Class Mom) 

Baby Jazmine in the kitchen waiting for something to eat.
We were all waiting for Luella to finish reading the Pyrex bakeware manual and cook us up
something completely delicious.

Kim Williamson DelGrosso with her newborn Autumn.
They don't get cuter than this folks.

 Oops, I spoke too soon.  Here she is again, the one and only Jazmine!!
Look at those baby blue eyes.
And what's even better?  She has something to eat and IS a happy camper (an ice cream cone no less, Luella was having trouble with the Pyrex bakeware.  It wouldn't fit in the microwave.  I tried to explain it was meant for the oven.
"Do I have one of those?" she asked.

Grandma Luella nearly dropping baby Jazmine.

The girls in the morning.  Ashley, Amber and Nichole.

And finally, Jazmine with cousins Brandon and Forrest DelGrosso

Happy Days....


Our 7th Great Grandparents, Guilty of "lightnes and laciviousenes"!"

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
What are to make of a Great Grandfather found by the courts of Plymouth, Mass., to be guilty of "lightnes and laciviousenes"?  Are we descended from someone of questionable moral fortitude?  Is the Puritan shame pronounced on our family seven generations ago still hanging over our heads?  Should we take care when visiting Massachusetts, knowing that any altercation with the law may resurrect this dishonor?   

We begin with the traditional Relationship Chart:

Thomas Crippen (1650 - 1709)

is your 7th great grandfather.  Married Frances (Bray?)

Jabez CRIPPEN (1680 - 1785)
Son of Thomas
John Crippen (1720 - 1801)
Son of Jabez
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
Violet Mae Pierce (1918 - 1987)
Daughter of Vesta Althea 
Violet married Walter Mattson
Luella, Linda, John and Marvin


Information taken from a web site authored by Donna Younkin Log

Samuel W. Comstock wrote of the history of the Crippen family:
"The Crippen family are of English descent. Thomas 'the' earliest known male member of America came over from England not far from 1665 to Plymouth, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
"During the Third Generation some one of them introduced the spelling Grippen and their descendants followed that but the greater number have spelled the name Crippen"
Other descendants use the spelling Crippin. It would appear that the majority of families today use the spelling Crippen, so with no priority given, I will use this spelling throughout unless it is known, by record, that a particular descendant used the "in" spelling.
Comstock's records also included a number of references to early Crippen families in Virginia. Researchers have speculated that these families are actually descendants Thomas Crippen but, to my knowledge, this has not been proven.

Our 7th Great Grandparents, the First Crippens in the New World (That I Know Of)

Thomas Crippen1 and his wife Frances (Bray?) were in Plymouth, Mass., on 6 March 1665/66. Thomas Crippen and Moses Rowley bought land in the Quaker Colony, Falmouth, Mass. in 1685/86 called Society of Saconesset. Thomas and his family moved to Haddam, Conn. and he died in East Haddam about 1709. His will was dated 10 May 1705; and his estate inventory dated 24 January 1709, gives 47 lbs, 1 sh. The children, as named in the estate settlement, were:

Katharine Rowley,
Mary Corbee,
Mercy Crippen,
Experience Crippen,
Thomas Crippen
Jabez Crippen

The Plymouth Courts, Morality and Sex

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, FASG. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691. Salt Lake City, UT

Part Two: Topical Narratives

Chapter 12: Morality and Sex .
.. Of course, barring confession or a couple being caught in flagrante delicto, it would have been harder to prove adultery than fornication resulting in pregnancy. The Plymouth courts were probably as fair as any courts of the time could be, and the Plymouth magistrates found themselves at times in a very delicate balance between their desire to punish morality crimes and their sense of not wanting to injure the innocent. Sometimes they found a compromise.
On 2 March 1651/52 the Court of Assistants ordered Edward Holman, who had been observed to frequent the house of Thomas Shrive "at unseasonable times of the night, and at other times, which is feared to bee of ill consequence," to keep away from Shrive's house, and ordered Shrive's wife not to frequent the house of Holman, and to avoid his company.
In another case, on 1 June 1663 the court went one step further, ordering Joseph Rogers to remove his dwelling from Namassakeesett, because he had been keeping company with Mercy, the wife of William Tubbs "after such manor as hath given cause att least to suspect that there hath bine laciviouse acts comitted by them." William Tubbs was ordered not to allow Rogers to come to his house, and Rogers was told that if he should be found at Tubb's house or in the company of his wife, he would be severely whipped.
On 6 March 1665/66 the court required a bond of £20 from John Robinson, plus £10 each from two sureties, for his future good behavior, he having been convicted of some lascivious speeches and actions toward Frances, the wife of Thomas Crippin. Crippin was also accused of being a "pandor of his wife in lightnes and laciviousenes," and he, not being able to find sureties, was required to bind over to the court £40 in livestock and other property. Jonathan Hatch was convicted of unnecessarily frequenting the house of Thomas Crippin, giving rise to "suspision of dishonest behavior" towards Crippin's wife, and he was warned to keep away from her or "hee will answare it att his peril."

John Robinson was convicted of "lascivious speeches and actions toward Frances, the wife of Thomas Crippen"?  We start with the defination of Lascivious:

inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd: a lascivious, girl-chasing old man.
arousing sexual desire.
indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness: a lascivious gesture.

Now the plot thickens.  In the ruling, Frances' husband Thomas is accused of being a "pandor..."
The court spelling of "pandor" is incorrect.  The correct spelling is "pander".  The defination is below:
a person who furnishes clients for a prostitute or supplies persons for illicit sexual intercourse; procurer; pimp.
a person who caters to or profits from the weaknesses or vices of others.
a go-between in amorous intrigues.

To add another level of unbelief, the court convicted Jonathan Hatch of frequenting the Crippen home giving rise as the court says to "suspicious behaviour".  Mr. Hatch was ordered to stay away from the Crippen home or "he will answer to it at his peril". 

I've connected the dots from the court ruling and find it hard to believe the facts.  Could our 7th Great Grandfather be guilty of providing services to the Puritan community out of his home?  Was Frances a willing participant?  What would lead Thomas to such behavior? 

The fine on Thomas for his part was 40 pounds.  In today's money that would be roughly $3000 to $5000 dollars (although direct comparison with early colonial pounds and today's dollars is nearly impossible).  Thomas couldn't raise the money.  Instead, the court held property and livestock for that amount until he could raise the money himself.  Perhaps the Crippen home needed a second income.  Who knows?

My parting comment, these court actions occurred in 1665/66.  Thomas would have been 15 or 16 years old and just newly wed to his wife Frances.  Frances would have been 20 or 21 years old at the time.  Their youth would have been taken into account in the judgement passed against them. 

Again, all the more confusing.  There are more questions than answers so, who are we to judge?
We leave it to history