Sunday, January 6, 2019

52 Ancestors in 2019: #1 - Margaret West

Margaret West is My "First" Focus for 2019

So - I completely missed 2018!   Didn't write one blog post, but as part of 2019, I'm not dwelling on my past fails and working to find joy in the journey.   Joy: (noun) - a feeling of great pleasure and happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.  Working on my genealogy brings me joy.   Finally, finishing the book I have been working on, literally for years, will bring me exceptional joy.   Yet, I'm pretty sure as a genealogist the journey is more than half the fun; so maybe subconsciously I'm not finishing for a reason?   Over the past two years, I have done vast amounts of research related to my book and its time to move this journey along.  As an action step to living MyIntent word (JOY) in 2019, I am going to use my blog as a way to flush out those details to assist with the finishing of my book on Annagusta West.   Maybe with any luck, I will finish it in 2019?!

Somewhere along the way, maybe in 2017, I was re-introduced to Margaret West.  She became more than just a name in the family tree.   She was the younger sister of Annagusta West.   Margaret was born on November 26, 1847, to Edward West and Mary Ann Graham in the tenements of NYC.  She was their fourth born child.  The story had always stopped there; Margaret had been a brick wall in my genealogy research but if you dig hard enough and keep at it occasionally you are given gifts.  Strangely enough, I truly do believe that Anna sends me some every now and again.   This gift came by the way of a newspaper posting from February 7, 1929, in The Newark Courier in which there was a notice to all possible heirs of Edward West, Anna's brother.   This notice listed the name Spaulding, which was a name I wasn't familiar with.   I explored this lead and found that Margaret West married James Spaulding in the 1860s.  The brick wall came tumbling down but it got left in a big pile of rubble so I am making her my first focus for this new year.  I'm cleaning up the pieces to make sense of her story and to see how she fits in with her sister.

Margaret West had her first child, Patrick Spaulding in March of 1861.  She was just thirteen years old and James was twenty-five - OMG!  There are no words.   Patrick was born just one month after her parents had Margaret and her siblings baptized at the Church of the Epiphany in NYC.  It was also just three months before her mother died from consumption.   The more I learn about the West family I fear that there was a great deal of dysfunction going on in the home leading up to the years before their mother's death.   James and Margaret would have eight other children before she died while giving birth to their tenth child - Margaret, who also died a few months after being born.    Margaret West Spaulding was only 36 years old when she died.  She is buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY

James and Margaret's Children:

  1. Patrick Spaulding: B. Mar 1861 D. 17 Jun 1943 - he lived at least 43 years in Long Island State Hospital, which was an insane asylum. I believe he was committed after stealing from family members.  I'm trying to find his patient records.
  2. John F. Spaulding: B. 10 Nov 1863 D. 12 Nov 1892 - he died serving as a Brooklyn Fireman with Engine No. 4 working the Harbeck Store Fire.
  3. Daniel Spaulding: B. Feb 1865 D. 19 May 1903 - he worked as a driver, unsure if he married.
  4. Mary Spaulding: B. 1868 D. unknown - she became Sister Dolores Spaulding - living at Holy Cross Convent - Convent of Sisters of Charity in Harrison, NJ.   If anyone knows how to find genealogy records on past nuns please advise.
  5. Elizabeth Spaulding: B. Feb 1869 D. unknown
  6. Annie L Spaulding: B. Jan 1873 D. 19 Oct 1946 - married John J Foster - they are buried with Margaret.  It appears they never had children.
  7. Catherine M. Spaulding: B. Oct 1875 D. 11 Mar 1931 - never married, is buried with her mother.
  8. James Spaulding: B. 1877 D. unknown
  9. Francis Edmund Spaulding B. 13 Jan 1880 D. 04 May 1935 - married Emily Traynor, had two children; Frank E. and James T.   He is buried in St. John's Cemetery.    He took over the family undertaker business.
  10. Margaret Spaulding: B. Oct 1883 D. 02 Dec 1883 - it is presumed that her mother died from complications from giving birth to her.  She died soon after.

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