Saturday, December 15, 2012

109, 110. Nancy and Catharine Collins

I have two students named Collins listed as attending the Mordecai school:

Ann or Nancy Collins was there in three periods:  The second half of 1811, from 1814 to mid-1816, and both 1818 sessions.  That's a strange pattern; is it possible there were two, even three girls named Ann/Nancy Collins?

Catharine Collins attended the school for just one session, the first half of 1811.

I don't have adults' names or hometowns attached to either girl's account, so this could be a short entry. 

Or not.  There's a mention in an 1812 letter from student Emily Sitgreaves to Caroline Mordecai, asking "My love to all the girls I know especially Mary Stith, and my dear little Collins write me how she comes on."  Except we don't have a Collins students at the school in 1812.  Emily Sitgreaves attended in both 1811 sessions, so she could be referring to either Nancy or Catharine with affection.

There's a letter from Caroline Plunkett to Ellen Mordecai dated 10 June 1826, in which she mentions "did I tell you Nancy O Brien, Collins, was going to keep school next session..."  That construction can mean "Nancy O'Brien, who used to be Nancy Collins" in the Mordecai letters.  Another mention of Nancy Collins comes twenty years later:  Ellen Mordecai writing back to Caroline on New Year's Eve, 1846, says:
"Mary and I went all over the schoolhouse now moved to where stood our kitchen and the school house is now used for one and sleeping apartments for the servants.  Only one name remains Nancy Collins cut deep into the schoolroom mantlepiece."
 So not only was Nancy Collins a student at the school, but one who left a permanent impression, literally.  

I found a possible match for Catharine Collins:  There's a family history that mentions a Catharine Collins born 1802 in South Carolina, who married in 1826 to a Henry Rodgers at Monroe, Georgia, and had five children--and her second daughter was named Nancy.  She was widowed before 1850, and died between 1850 and 1870, probably in Murray Co., Georgia.  There weren't a lot of students who attended the Mordecai school from South Carolina, but there were some, so this Catharine wouldn't have been an outlier geographically.

The student (or students) Nancy Collins could be this Nancy Collins, born 1798 in North Carolina, the daughter of Griffin and Martha Collins.  She would have married a Mr. Robinson (not O'Brien), and if all the Ann/Nancy Collinses are the same, she would have been 20 by the time she finished at the Mordecai school.  It's not impossible, but certainly unlikely.  Another family history has this Nancy Collins, daughter of William and Martha Collins, who married in 1827 to Samuel Black, in Bourbon KY--But her family moved from Virginia to Kentucky in 1797, probably before she was born.  There's no record of students coming to the school from Kentucky, though certainly some moved there later in life.  Haven't found a Nancy Collins O'Brien who would fit the mention from 1826, though.

Nothing for sure in this one.  But I'm glad to have the Collins mentions put together here, and maybe someone from family or local history will come by to claim one or both of these students.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

106, 107, 108. The Colemans

I have four (well, three*) students in my dissertation appendix named "Coleman":
H. Coleman who was only at the school in late 1818, right before the school was sold.

Louisiana Coleman, of Richmond VA, who attended for both sessions of 1817 and may have had a "John W. Pleasants" attached to her account.

Margaret M. Coleman attended both sessions of 1813, and was connected to a Col. H. E. Coleman.

Maria Coleman attended for six sessions, mid-1815 through mid-1818, and was also connected to a Col. H. E. Coleman. 
 *(It turns out that H. Coleman is really Maria Coleman again--see below.)

The main mentions of these Colemans in the Mordecai papers seems to be in the ledger:  Col. Coleman paying for music and French in July 1813 (so that's for Margaret),  "John W. Pleasants for Miss Coleman" in January 1817 (so that's Louisiana), "Col H E Coleman, Miss Maria" in January 1818, etc.  There was a bill paid to a shoemaker, for boots for a group of girls including "M Coleman," in March 1818.   The family also knew a Dr. Coleman in Warrenton, who may have been kin to these girls, but there are no mentions of daughters or nieces of his at the school.

Louisiana Coleman's unusual first name makes her a good place to start.  Louisiana Coleman (1804-1883) was the youngest daughter of Maj. Samuel Coleman (1755-1811) and Susannah Pleasants Storrs, of Henrico County, Virginia.  Her unusual first name was part of her family's pattern--she had among her older sisters "Araminta" and "Emmeline."  Her father died in 1811, so the John W. Pleasants who covered her bills might have been a maternal relative.  She married John Newton Gordon (1793-1870) in 1823, and they had eight children who all lived to adulthood:  Susanna, James, Amelia, Mary, Maria, Ann, John, and Edward (guess she didn't inherit her parents' fancy for offbeat names.)

Col. Henry Embry Coleman (1768-1837) turns out to have been a prominent figure.  Among other roles, he was on the jury that tried Aaron Burr for treason in Richmond in 1807.  His house, Woodlawn, was in Halifax County on the Staunton River, near John Randolph's plantation.  He and Anne "Nancy" Gordon (d. 1824; not a sister to the John Newton Gordon above, but maybe not a distant relative either) married in 1795, had twelve children; their eldest daughter Elizabeth married Charles Baskerville, whose sisters Mary and Ann Baskerville attended the Mordecai school.

Second daughter Margaret Murray Coleman (1798-1869) was probably the Mordecai student Margaret M. Coleman.   She was fourteen when she arrived at the Mordecai school for a year of education.  She married in 1821 to Richard Logan (1792-1869) of Halifax County, a lawyer and member of the Virginia legislature.  They had seven children; Margaret's son Richard died at Gettysburg.  She died just six months after becoming a widow, and is buried in Halifax County

Henrietta Maria Coleman
was the fifth child, third daughter in the family--so "H. Coleman" and "Maria Coleman" in the rolls were, indeed, very likely the same person.  She was born 1803, attended the school from 1815-1818 (ages 11-15), and married in 1834, to Rev. John Thomas Clark of Halifax County.  They lived at Chester VA (this house seems to have been Rev. John's), and had three children.  She died in 1844, age 40.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

101, 102, 103, 104, 105. The Cohens

There were five students named Cohen in the Mordecai rolls:
Cornelia Cohen (1805-1886) was a student at the school for five years, from early 1814 to the end of 1818.  Her parent was Mordecai Cohen, in Charleston SC.
David Cohen (1802-1860) was a student at the school for three sessions, mid-1815 to the end of 1816.  He was also from Charleston, also one of Mordecai Cohen's children.

Eleanor Cohen (c1803-1871) was a student at the school for three years, early 1814 to the end of 1816.  She was from Georgetown SC, daughter of Solomon Cohen.

Lucretia Cohen (1807-1888) was a student at the school for two years, 1817-1818.  She was from Charleston SC, another child of Mordecai Cohen.

Henrietta Cohen (1799-1886) was a student at the school for on year, 1814 (both sessions).  She was from Georgetown SC, daughter of Solomon Cohen.
A few things jump out from that list.  First, I already have the birth and death dates for all these students--unlike most students covered so far here at the blog.  Southern Jewish family history is quite well documented, and the Mordecais would have known more about the lives of these students (through their mutual networks) than about most of their farflung alumnae.    Second, we have two families represented--the children of Mordecai Cohen of Charleston, and the children of Solomon Cohen of Georgetown.

The Cohens appear throughout the Mordecai's ledger from 1814 to 1818; there's a mention of a Mr. Gregg being paid for Henrietta's travel expenses in 1814; David Cohen apparently boarded with Dr. Gloster in town.  They're also featured in family correspondence:  Rachel reports to Samuel that "Today Mr. Myers leaves George Town with his daughter & two of Mr. Cohen's, who in a letter yesterday morning informed papa that the indisposition of one of the children had prevented their being with us earlier.  I hope your next will tell us that the other two have changed their mind." (15 May 1814, in the Mordecai Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection)  A somewhat longer report came the next week: 
 Last night Mr. Cohen, who left his little girl here, as he passed through to carry his son to Mr. Girardins paid us a late & unexpected visit.  Today he dined here, he is one of the witty Familikin sort.  The other two Miss C's are not his daughters, the eldest is as I told you before handsome enough and a very charming girl -- she is only to remain 6 months at school and then, take my advice, and turn thy face to the south, wifeless brother of Rachel, look on those eyes of blue, that smile of ingenuous sweetness, and resign thy heart a willing captive. (same correspondents, 29 May 1814, Mordecai Family Papers)
Note that in 1814, Henrietta Cohen turned 15 years old.  Further speculation on Henrietta's marriage plans followed a couple years later:  "I believe that Mr. Cohen is going on a fruitless expedition," confided Julia in a letter to Samuel, "for it is said that Henrietta is engaged to a cousin of hers, Mr. Mordecai Myers."  (30 October 1816, Mordecai Family Papers) 

The Mordecais certainly had ongoing connections with these students, past school days.  In 1825, Ellen mentions that "Cornelia Cohen to spend the winter here," with here being Warrenton (Ellen Mordecai to Solomon Mordecai, 7 December 1825, Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke).  Julia Mordecai had a "commonplace book" (now in the Virginia Historical Society) with various details of family history, including the tidbit that Lucretia Cohen had eighteen babies born, with nine of them dying in infancy (p. 27).  David Cohen's engagement to a Miss Hart, and his marriage in 1830, are also subjects of discussion among the Mordecai siblings.

Because of all this discussion, I have married names and spouse names for all five Cohens, which makes tracking them down in the online genealogical resources pretty easy.

1.  The children of Mordecai Cohen and Leah Lazarus of Charleston:
David Daniel Cohen (1802-1860) married Mary Hart in 1830.  They had six children together.
Cornelia Cohen Lazarus (1805-1886) married her uncle Benjamin Dores Lazarus (1800-1875), brother-in-law of Rachel Mordecai's, in 1840, and had six children (five sons and a daughter, who all lived into adulthood) all born after her 35th birthday.  She was widowed in 1875, lost her son Albert to suicide in 1879, and died in 1886. 

Lucretia Cohen Mordecai (1807-1888) married Thomas Whitlock Mordecai, a nephew of Jacob Mordecai's.  They had eighteen children born, and half died in infancy.  Her youngest child, Thomas Moultrie Mordecai, was born when Lucretia was 48 years old.  (Her oldest son, also named Thomas, died in 1861, age 22, at Sullivan Island, a member of the Confederate army.) When Lucretia was 58, she was widowed.  Her surviving son Thomas was a successful Charleston attorney who remained close to his mother until her death at 81.   Here's a photo of her daughter Lucretia (1837-1922).
Note:  Mordecai Cohen was born in Poland.

2.  The children of Solomon Cohen and Belle Moses of Georgetown:
(Sarah) Henrietta Cohen Myers (1799-1886) married Mordecai Myers (1794-1865) in 1820, though they were rumored to be engaged as early as 1816.  They had twelve children born, most of whom lived into adulthood.  Henrietta was widowed in 1865, and died in 1886, age 87.  She is buried with her husband in Savannah GA.
Eleanor Cohen Lopez (c1803-1871) married Dr. Aaron Lopez (1800-1873) in 1818, and they had eleven children born.  She died in 1871, in Memphis TN, survived by her husband and at least one daughter.  


Monday, September 17, 2012

100. Anna Nesfield Cochran Green (1795-1842)

Number 100--and we're still in the Cs!?!  Indeed.

Anna (or Ann) Cochran (or Cochrane) was among the first students at the Mordecai school, arriving in 1809 and staying to the end of 1810.  When she didn't return in 1811, Rachel Mordecai commented, "I fear it will be long ere we shall find equal sense, solidity, & sweetness combined."  She may have gone on to Mrs. Rivardi's for 'polishing' after leaving Warrenton, but the Mordecais kept close tabs on her, so the outlines of her story are well-known.  By 1817, she was married to James Severn Green and living in Wilmington; when Rachel Mordecai moved to Wilmington to marry in the 1820s, she and Anna Cochran Green were friends.  Anna was frequently pregnant or newly delivered in those years, according to Rachel's letters.  When Mordecai alumna Jane Vance Dickinson died in 1828, Anna was among the three close friends to receive a mourning ring.  Anna's daughter Mary married in 1834, and was planning to move West.

So that's what I could learn before 1996.  What's available about Anna Cochran Green online, sixteen years later?

Looks like Anna Cochran was born in 1795, daughter of Robert Cochran Jr. (1772-1842) and the former Ann Maria de Keyser, in Wilmington.  Her name is often found with a middle name, Nesfield or Nessfield--a name that resembles that of a Cochran relative, Ann Nessfield Steele.  Anna's father was Collector for the Port of Wilmington, probably a fairly prominent job.  She married Major James Severin Green in June 1815, in Wilmington.  James Green's niece, Eliza Bradley, was a Mordecai student too (she arrived at Warrenton in 1811, just after Anna left).  Anna and James Green had at least nine children, born between June 1816 and September 1837--more than 21 years of childbearing.  We know she outlived at least one of her children, William, who died at age 14 in 1840.  Anna died in 1842, age 46; her youngest child, Sally, would have been just five years old that year.  Here is Anna's tombstone (and James's) in Wilmington (though it has her born in 1794 instead of 1795).  James outlived Anna by 20 years.

There is a portrait of Ann Nesfield Cochran Green, c. 1820, and a silver mug engraved with her name and birthdate (October 10, 1795), in a private collection in Wilmington.  (It's mentioned in the notes of Linnard R. Hobler, "Pure, Bright, and Solid:  Raising a New Standard for John McMullin and his Silver," a Master's Thesis from 2011, Corcoran School of Art.)  I found this little thumbnail version of the portrait on (at right)--the first image on this blog of a Mordecai student.

So, happy 100!  We're about 20% through the rolls now. ;)

99. Sally Clifton

There's a student on my rolls for the Mordecai school named Sally Clifton.  She was at the school for three terms, 1810 to mid-1811.  Beyond that, I don't have an adult name or a hometown attached to her record.  There's a sum paid to "ACM for S Clifton" in the ledger for June 1811--ACM is Alexander Calizance Miller, the school's music teacher.  That seems to be the only other mention of Miss Clifton in my notes.

Not much to go on, but let's see what I can find....

I pretty quickly found a Sally Clifton from the right neighborhood and era--but she married in June 1810.  So, probably not our Sally.  (There was at least one married woman who attended as a student, or at least attempted to enroll; the Mordecais found that remarkable enough to tell the story in family correspondence.)  So many other Sally Cliftons in the South!  But even checking for Sarahs and Saras too, I'm not finding a Sally Clifton who makes sense as a possible Mordecai student. 

Dead end for this entry, I think, so far, anyway.  Good thing #100 isn't so disappointing...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

95., 96., 97., 98. The Clarkes (Jane, Martha, Mary, Nancy)

I have four girls named Clarke in the rolls of the Mordecai school:

Jane Clarke attended two sessions, from summer 1811 to summer 1812.
Martha Clarke was there for one session in 1815, then for the last four sessions (1817-1818).
Mary R. Clarke of Nottoway Co., VA was there for one session, 1816 (second half).
Nancy Clarke was a student for four years, eight sessions, 1815-1818.

Nancy and Martha are at the school in overlapping times, and they have the same adult name, Col. John Clarke, attached to their accounts.  Mary R. Clarke has a different adult's name, Thomas C. Clarke, on her account.  But "Col. Clarke" appears in the school ledger in January 1815, for Mary, unless I misread Martha there; "John Clarke" appears for "Miss Nancy" in April 1815; And "Col. J. Clarke" for Nancy in February 1816; so this whole group might be kin.  (David Clarke and William Clarke are other names in the ledger, but they seem to be attached to student Olivia Norfleet--still, could be a further connection.)  I'm also thinking that "Mary R" and "Martha" might be the same girl--Mary R. would fill in one of the gap sessions for Martha.... hmmm.

Clarke is a fairly common surname, and none of these girls has an unusual first name.  But let's see what we can find anyway (acknowledging that Clarke may be Clark, Martha may be Patsy, Nancy may be Ann, etc.).

.... Hm, not too many leads.  Will leave this here for now.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

93.-94. Jane and Sarah Christmas

Two girls named Christmas are on the rolls for the Mordecai school. Jane Yancy Christmas is listed attending for three sessions, I think (1813a, and both 1815 sessions); Sarah Christmas is there for three other sessions, one overlapping with Jane (1812a, 1813b, 1815a).  Both have Lewis Christmas as the adult name attached to the account.

The Christmas family were locals in Warrenton; there is still a Christmas family historical house standing (barely) in town.  The Mordecais who stayed in the area mention the family's doings in their letters.  One hair-raising report finds a drunken "T. Christmas" chasing his wife through the streets with a stick, breaking down doors and signs, even beating a man in his rage, because Betsy Christmas danced with another man at a party.  (Caroline Mordecai Plunkett to Ellen Mordecai, 12 May 1826, Mordecai Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection; stay tuned, because Betsy Davis Christmas was a Mordecai alumna too--more on here in a few entries.)  A later letter indicates that this man's problems continued:  "Tom Christmas is out of jail, his mother & brother stood his securities." (Caroline Mordecai Plunkett to Ellen, 12 May 1828?, Jacob Mordecai Papers, Duke University)

Well, I can't complain about it being a common surname this time, but it's also not an easy name to google.  Nonetheless, because they're local and Warrenton isn't a big town, they're pretty easy to track down.

Jane Yancy Christmas (c1798-1820) was the daughter of Jane Yancey(1774-1845) and William Christmas (1766-1804); her mother remarried, so Jane also had a stepfather, Captain John Green (to make this family a little more complicated, John's first wife was William Christmas's sister, Martha). Jane was born and died in Warren Co., NC.  Her brother was Lewis Yancey Christmas.*  As their father had died by the time Jane and Sarah attended school, it makes sense that Lewis was the tuition payer in the school ledger. 

Her sister Sarah Christmas married John H. Marshall in 1818.  Sarah sometimes appears as Lucy D. Christmas in family histories, but with the nickname "Sally."  The names Lucy and Lewis could be confusing on siblings, and maybe she preferred a more distinctive sound?  She's "Sally D. Marshall" in a bit of 1820 paperwork about land.  I can't find a record of children or a death date for either Sally or John Marshall; they may have left the area.

*Lewis Y. Christmas freed a group of his slaves, acknowledged to be his own children and grandchildren, in his 1859 will, and left funds for them to be transported safely to a non-slave-holding state (or Mexico).  The will was contested by Lewis's white kin, but it was upheld in court.  The Christmas family, black and white, still has reunions that they call "Christmas in July"--here's a report from a recent gathering

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

92. Elbert Alston Cheek (1803-1871)

Another boy's name turns up in the Mordecai rolls.  Young Elbert Cheek attended the school for both sessions of 1813.  Only local boys attended the school (no boarding room for boys), so we know he was from Warrenton. 

As usual with historical lookups, it's easier to find a man--men owned property, men didn't change their surname on marriage, and men used fewer nicknames (no Martha=Patsy problem).  So it's quick to find that Elbert Alston Cheek was born on Valentine's Day in 1803, eldest child of Robert Tines (or Tynes) Cheek (1772-1841) and Mary Hinton Alston (1782-1864), according to a family Bible.   The Cheeks owned a plantation called "Shady Oaks" outside Warrenton, and Robert T. Cheek ran a hotel in town.  By the time he attended the Mordecai school as a ten year old, Elbert had a younger brother and three younger sisters (another younger brother died in infancy).  Four more brothers and another sister arrived after Elbert's time at the school.  He married Mary Sue Hayes (b. 1803) in 1825, in Warrenton; they had nine children together between 1827 and 1851.  Their adult children lived in Mississippi and Kentucky, with a few staying near Warrenton.   (Same details given here, with slightly different dates in some instances.)  Elbert Cheek is mentioned in the 1924 local history "Glimpses of Old Warrenton," in passing (as the father of a local Civil War veteran, Col. William H. Cheek--more about William here).

(Robert Tynes Cheek pulled a bit of a stunt for genealogists:  he left an extra $500 in his will to each grandson named Robert.  So there were four grandsons named Robert, including Elbert's oldest son.)

Found an obituary for an Elbert Alston Cheek V, who died young in 2008--must be some kind of kin, because that's not a common set of names.

91. Mary Cheatham

There's a student named Mary Cheatham in the rolls of the Mordecai school.  She was there for one year, 1814 (both sessions), and a William Cheatham is the name associated with her account.  William Cheatham appears in the Mordecai ledger, paying for "Miss Mary," in April 1814.  (William Cheatham also appears on the page for February 1816, without a child's name attached, possibly meaning he lived near enough to Warrenton or to the Mordecais in other places to have further dealings with them; or perhaps he had a niece who attended after Mary's time there.)

 I'm guessing that Mary Cheatham might have been from Chesterfield County, Virginia, only because a lot of Cheathams lived there.  But I can't find a William with a daughter Mary the right age.  Their names are too ordinary; and Mary might have gone by Molly or Polly or May later in life, and the Cheatham might have been spelled Chatham in some records.  The usual story!

Next entry:  another boy's name in the school rolls.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

90. Sally Cary

There's a student on the rolls for the Mordecai school named Sally Cary.  She was at the school for both 1811 sessions.  I don't have a hometown or an adult's name attached to the account, and I don't think she got mentioned in any Mordecai correspondence.

Neither part of the name is particularly uncommon. She's obviously not this Sally Cary, but she could be from that Virginia family--as we have seen over and over here, families tended to recycle first-last name combinations across branches and generations.  I do find a Sallie Cary (1806-1848), daughter of Captain Miles Cary of Norfolk County, Virginia.  She'd be on the young side of the right age, but without more details, I can't say she's the Mordecai student.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

87., 88., 89. E. Ann, Martha, and Mary E. Carter

There were three girls named Carter on the rolls at the Mordecai school:

E. Ann Carter and Mary E. Carter were at the school for the last two sessions, in 1818; they're listed as being from Prince Edward County.

Martha Carter was at the school for four sessions, 1811-1812, also from Prince Edward County.

There are mentions of the Carter girls in the school ledger:  In November 1811 money was received from "Andrew Jones of Mr. Williams for Martha Carter."  Andrew Jones again brought money for Martha Carter in June 1812.  Dr. Gloster was paid on behalf of Miss Carter and other girls in April 1813.  Mrs. Gloster was paid for Miss Carter and other girls in September 1813 (looks like they might be boarding with the Glosters?).  A Samuel Carter turns up in the ledger in April 1818, paying for "daughters and ward" (so E. Ann and Mary E. might well be sisters).

In the letters, there's a mention in February 1818 by Caroline Mordecai:  "we hear of recruits every day, there are three Miss Carters coming from Prince George."  (Caroline Mordecai to her sister Ellen, 14 February 1818, in the Jacob Mordecai Papers at Duke University)  One of the three may have been the "ward" of Samuel Carter mentioned above, who turned out to have another name, not Carter.  And note that they may have been coming from Prince George County, not Prince Edward.

That seems like a lot of information to go on, but... I'm not connecting any of these names up to a firm place, family, tombstone, or record of any kind.  Carter's a common name, obviously, but still.  Someone out there must know who these Carter sisters were.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

86. Eliza Carson

There was a student named Eliza Carson at the Mordecai School for three sessions, mid-1813 to the end of 1814. A John Carson paid the Mordecais in July 1813, November 1814, and February 1815; she may be from Chester SC. Not much to go on, but let's see what else there is out there...

This genealogist finds a John Carson born 1747 in Ireland, who was living in Chester SC in the 1760s-1780s, and died in Hardin KY in 1822, who was married to an Elizabeth--might be a candidate for her father, or maybe even grandfather. But I don't think there's a daughter Elizabeth showing in his will. So huh.

Monday, March 26, 2012

83., 84., 85. Esther, Mary, and Winnefred Carr

I have three girls named Carr in my records for the Mordecai school:

Esther Carr of Pitt County, NC, attended the school from early 1813 to mid 1814 (so, three sessions). Elias Carr was the adult associated with her account.

Mary Carr attended the school in early 1815, and then for all of 1817 (so, again, three sessions, but these weren't consecutive).

Winnefred Carr attended the school for two sessions, early 1814 and early 1815 (two non-consecutive sessions). She was also from Pitt County with Elias Carr as the adult on her account.

Elias Carr appears in several places in the school ledger, including a mention in January 1814 of him paying tuition for his "daughters"--so that establishes the relationship between Elias, Esther, and Winnefred Carr, at minimum. He also appears making a payment in January 1817, so he may also be the parent or relative of Mary Carr. (But he's in the ledger again in April 1818, when none of the girls above was enrolled, so I won't assume that. Still, it's a start.) He's clearly not this Elias Carr, though there must be a relationship there, and thus to the girls at the Mordecai school.

And there is.
The Governor Elias Carr had among his aunties a Winnefred Carr and an Esther Johnston Carr, and yes, a Mary Carr. Their father was Elias Carr (1775-1822) and their mother was Cecelia (or Celia) Johnston. (Winnefred was named for Elias's mother, and Esther was named for Cecelia's mother.)

Esther Johnston Carr (1798-1864), then, was 15 when she arrived as a student at the Mordecai school, and she stayed till she was 16 in 1814. In 1816, she married a local man, Allen Blount (1789-1828), at her father's house. The couple had six children between 1817 and 1827, five boys and a girl. Esther was widowed in her early 30s, and died in 1864, in the same county where she was born. Here's her tombstone.

Winnefred "Winnie" Williams Carr (1800-1855) followed her older sister to the Mordecai school in 1814, when she was 13. In 1822 she married a Dr. John Thomas Eason (1796-1864). They had ten children together, born between 1822 and 1843. The couple moved to Sumter County, Alabama, before the last two children were born (so, probably in the late 1830s), and Winnefred died there at age 54, having survived at least two of her children (William died at age 17 in 1842, and Elizabeth died at age 20 in 1853).

Mary Carr (1802-1822?) followed her two older sisters to the Mordecai school in 1815, overlapping with Winnefred for one session. She was about 13 when she arrived there. and 15 when she left. In early 1822, she married Josiah E. Fowle (1791-1822?) of Massachusetts, but apparently (according to family tradition) faced her father's "violent opposition" to the marriage, and was disinherited. The story continues that Josiah was killed in September 1822 when he was captured by pirates in the West Indies, while returning from the couple's honeymoon there. She may also have been "lost at sea" in the same incident, as some accounts tell their tale. If so, she was just 20 years old at her death. She doesn't always turn up in lists of Elias Carr's descendants, perhaps because she had no children in her short life, thus no descendants.

(Note that both Winnefred and Mary married in the year their father died.)

Three Mordecai students, solid identifications on all of them. Only the fate of Mary seems even slightly uncertain.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

82. Mary Ann Campbell

I have a student named Mary Ann Campbell on my rolls for the Mordecai school. She was there for both sessions in 1811. No hometown; but a James Campbell is shown paying tuition during 1811, for music, drawing, and painting (extras taught by non-Mordecai family members).

All of Mary Ann Campbell's name is fairly common; there were a lot of Scottish-American families in Virginia and North Carolina in the 1810s. But wait--there was a Col. James Campbell who heled establish the Leaksville branch of the State Bank of North Carolina in 1818. Many of the other families affiliated with the school were also involved in banking--George Mordecai himself would eventually be a Raleigh-based director of the State Bank. Col. James Campbell of Leaksville (now Eden) married a Sophia Spencer in 1821--but that could be a second wife.

(There's a weird story about a family of Campbells in Leaksville; sometime in the early 19c., "they bought some beef that happened to be unwholesome....the entire family were severely stricken, and the young man David was the only one that lived.")

Well, maybe Mary Ann Campbell was from Leaksville, or not. It's hard to say. But of course I hope she wasn't one of the food-poisoned Campbells there.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

81. Sarah Camp

One student named Sarah Camp attended the Mordecai school, for both 1818 sessions. She's listed as being from Norfolk VA, with a John Camp as the adult on the account.

First thing I see from online is that the surnames Camp and Kemp can be found interchangeably. Good to know. And apparently there's a genealogical volume out there, The John Camp family pertaining to the ancestors of John Camp of Norfolk Virginia (1936) by Sadie Scott Kellam, but it's not (yet) on Google Books. These Camps and Kemps, including Lt. John Camp, a Revolutionary War veteran from Virginia, might also be kin? Especially interested to see that they were connected to the Nashes, who were kin the Camerons (see immediate previous entry on Cameron girls). Lt. John Camp (1743-1818) of Norfolk did have a daughter Sara (aka Sallie), but she was born about 1770 (d. 1854), probably too old to be a Mordecai student herself. But she reminds me to remember to look at Sarah/Sara/Sallie/Sally as equivalent names, too...

I can't seem to get any further than this. Suspect the Camp family all those links connect to is the right one, but beyond that... the right Sarah (or Sara, or Sallie) Camp (or Kemp) isn't jumping out of the genealogical websites.

Monday, January 16, 2012

79-80. Charlotte and Mary Ann Cameron

Two girls with the surname Cameron are in the rolls for the Mordecai School:

Charlotte Cameron attended the school for four sessions, 1810-1811.
Mary Ann Cameron attended the school for four years, 1814-1818.

I have written a good bit about Mary Ann Cameron's brother Thomas, so her family and her story I know very well. I'll get to that in a moment.

I have no idea who Charlotte Cameron was. She wasn't a sister of Mary Ann's, or a close cousin, and I have no other mentions of her in the Mordecai papers, though she was with them for a longer-than-average time. I have no hometown, no adult's name attached to the account, nothing. That doesn't mean she didn't exist, but it's also just possible that I misread a record--both "Charlotte" and "Cameron" appear in other contexts throughout North Carolina history. I'd have to see the rolls again in person to confirm what I saw almost 20 years ago.

(I did find a Charlotte Cameron, b. c1792, who married Joshua Holt Toomer c1812, which would make sense for an older Mordecai student, to marry a year after she leaves school; but I can't find any stronger evidence to link her to the school. And the Mordecais might have remarked on a recent student's wedding, but there's no mention of Miss Cameron becoming Mrs. Toomer.)

Now, Mary Ann Cameron, on the other hand.... She was born in 1804, the eldest daughter of Duncan Cameron and Rebecca Bennehan Cameron--and thus, born into a lot of property. She struggled at the Mordecai school. Dozens of her report slips and letters to home have been preserved in the Cameron Family Papers at the Southern Historical Collection, and they present a frustrating tale of a child who can't ever be quite neat enough, can't ever pay sufficient attention, to avoid scolding and other petty punishments. She was sent to the foot of the class, and even made to wear a dunce's cap on one occasion, for doing her grammar repetitions poorly. She quarreled with other girls, she wouldn't sing loudly enough in music class, she wasted paint in art class. The list of minor infractions was almost endless. She apologized to her parents, over and over, for the bad reports. She also asked about her younger brothers, and hoped they would write to her--but Thomas (1806-1870) was slow to learn and soon overtaken by their brother Paul (1808-1891).

Mary Ann returned to her family when the Mordecai school was sold in 1818; she was fourteen years old. Rachel Mordecai Lazarus encountered Mary Ann ten years later, and was surprised to find Miss Cameron "improved in appearance," with "genteel manners" and a pleasant singing voice (Rachel Lazarus to Ellen Mordecai, 22 January 1828, Mordecai Family Papers at the Southern Historical Collection, Chapel Hill). Mary Ann lived at home the rest of her life, which was a short one: she died in 1839, age 35, from tuberculosis, a disease that would also claim three of her sisters.

It was while visiting the Cameron plot in a cemetery in Raleigh, in 1995, that I started thinking about the project that became my postdoctoral research--a study of Thomas Cameron, Mary Ann's brother--so, in a way, it was Mary Ann who introduced me to the academic field that became my home (disability history). Glad to have finally reached her in the alphabetical parade of Mordecai students.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

78. Eliza Callagham

I have a student named Eliza Callagham (or Callaham, or possibly Callaghan or Callahan) on my Mordecai school roster, listed as being from Halifax VA, kin to James Callagham, attending the school just one session (the second half of 1815). James is shown in the ledger paying for Eliza's tuition in July 1815; otherwise I don't think the Callaghams appear in the Mordecai materials.

Seems like the name might also be Calliham... this family tree finds several spellings used interchangeably by Southern Callahams/Callihams in the 1700s and 1800s. That tree includes a James Callaham (b. c. 1773) who married a Mary "Polly Smith" in 1797, in Halifax Co., VA. That puts them just exactly in the right place and time to be the parents or at least guardians of this Mordecai student. Beyond that listing, the trail seems to run out--I can't find Eliza herself. But maybe someone else is more creative in their spelling and searching?