Friday, April 25, 2014

John and Radigan Gourd of Cornwall

Radigan Pearce married John Gourd on 25 April 1711 in Liskeard, Cornwall, England. She and John had six children, all in Liskeard, so she spent her entire married life there. She was buried on 28 October 1750, also in Liskeard, at the age of about 70. John was a gardener, who on 9 Jan 1753, filed a complaint against two of his sons as follows, “Complaint by John Gourd of Liskeard, gardener, being poor, old, blind and impotent and unable to work; that his sons John of Helston and Sampson of Liskeard, gardeners, do not contribute to his relief ordered that John contributes 1s. 6d. and Sampson 6d., weekly, to their father's relief and maintenance.” From this we know that one of his sons lived in Helston, which is near Stithians. These two places are about 50 miles from Liskeard, but the Helston reference ties Radigan to both places through her son. In Stithians, there is a christening on 4 May 1688 for a Radigan Pearce. The parents were Nicholas and Katherine and they had a large family. If our Radigan is their daughter, she was the youngest and eighth child. John didn't die until after his complaint of 1753, so he outlived his wife. We really don't know anything of his birth or his parents.

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By looking at the map we can see the locations of the three places mentioned; Liskeard, Stithians, and Helston.

Liskeard, the farthest north and the place Radigan spent her married life, is an ancient stannary and market town located in SE Cornwall, near the resort towns of Looe and Polperro. It lies above the Looe river valley and about 14 miles W of the River Tamar, with the Cornish coast to the south, and Bodmin Moor to the north. Liskeard has original Victorian shop fronts, a Guild Hall, a Clock Tower and a Town Hall. Stuart House, another old building, was named after Charles I who spent six nights there in 1644 during the Civil War.

The church, St. Martin’s, is the second largest in Cornwall, and is built on the site of the former Norman church, the oldest parts dating back to the 15th century. Always an important market town and originally called Liscarret, Liskeard was one of the holdings of the Count of Mortain when recorded in the Domesday Book. At that time it consisted of a market, a mill, and 250 sheep. It received its first charter in 1240 from Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who was the brother of Henry III and held Launceston Castle at the time. There are lovely photographs of the area. See

Stithians (also known as St Stythians) is a small village and civil parish in the Kerrier district of Cornwall. It lies in the center of the triangle bounded by Redruth, Helston, and Falmouth. Its population (2001) is 2,004. The parish is mainly agricultural, located south of the Gwennap mining area and north of the quarrying areas of Rame and Longdowns. The River Kennall runs through the parish and in the 19th century, this river worked a number of flour mills, machinery at a foundry, and a paper mill.

There is a parish church dedicated to St. Stythian (a saint of uncertain origins), and there are references to the parish in the 13th and 14th centuries. There has been a church on the site since the 6th century but the oldest part of the current church is 14th century, with the tower being added in the 15th century. John Wesley visited Stithians in 1744-50 and brought Methodism to the parish. To read the entire description, please see

Nearby is Helston, referred to as the residence of John Gourd, the son, in his father’s complaint. In 2001 the town celebrated the 800th anniversary of the granting of its Charter, making it the second oldest town in Cornwall. King John granted the charter in 1201, making it a free borough town having certain privileges such as the right to its own court. In the Domesday Book it is referred to as Henliston. Its name is derived from hen lis, which means “old court” in Cornish, denoting it as a Saxon manor. Helston has always been associated with mining, and was a coinage town during the reign of Edward I.

It is famous for the annual Furry Dance or Flora Dance, said to originate from the medieval period. For more information, go to

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Samuel White Boucher

Samuel White Boucher was the youngest of four children born to Elisha and Hester McClanahan Boucher. He was born in Meigs County, Tennessee on 22 April 1854. He is listed with his parents on the 1860 Limestone, Meigs, Tennessee census. His siblings were Anna Jane who was born on 23 August 1846, William Robert, born 21 February 1848; and Amanda Malvina, who was born on 20 August 1852.

In 1870, Elisha and Hester moved to Missouri. Samuel’s sisters, Anna Jane and Amanda, were married by that time. Since Samuel was just 16, he made the move with his parents. His brother William, who was 22, did not move until later. His father told of the trip to Missouri in a letter written to Anna Jane which is included in his history.

When they arrived in Missouri, the family settled in Texas county. All of Samuel's siblings also relocated so that the family could be together, as his parents had wished. On the 1876 census for Texas County, they are shown as follows- William K. Boucher, G. W. Whitlock, Rose & Purley Wellington, Hester & Sam Boucher, Haisen & Amanda Hickman w/children, William, Elish, George W. (all under 10). By this time, Samuel's father had passed away and he and his mother were living together. As can be seen, George W. Whitlock and his family were also living in Texas County at the time, as was George's daughter Rossea, listed as Rose Wellington on the census, with her daughter, Pearl. Rossea was divorced from her first husband, Horatio. On 27 May 1877. Rossea and Samuel were married in Texas County, Missouri. She was 13 years older than Samuel.

Sam and Rossie had three sons. Luther was born on 22 April 1878 in Clear Springs, Texas, Missouri. Arthur was born on 12 February 1880, also in Clear Springs. On the 1880 census the family lived in Pierce, Texas, Missouri next door to Rossea's father George and his second wife, Catherine Whitlock; and also Sam's brother, William R. Boucher. Edward, their youngest, was born 26 March 1882 and died 30 October 1885. By the time of his death, the family had moved to Hutton Valley, Howell, Missouri.

At some point in their marriage, Samuel went out west. He died in 1897 at the home of a cousin in Chelsa, Rogers, Oklahoma. It was called Indian Lands at the time. He was only 43 years old when he died.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20th Is a Special Day

It is the day my mother was born, in 1921. It is also the day she married my father, in 1941. She has been gone for one year now, and today I am remembering her.

Betty lived in Spokane until she was about ten when the family moved to Tacoma. The move was difficult for her because she was a quiet girl. Her parents bought a home at 43rd and Bell Street in Tacoma, and she attended Stewart Junior High School. In 1938 she graduated from Lincoln High School. She was very active in Rainbow and loved to dance.

She spent a year studying at Pacific Lutheran College before deciding that it wasn't what she wanted. She attended business school and began her long business career where she was very successful for a woman of her generation. As she said, she worked when all the other mothers were at home.

During World War II, she worked in Tacoma, as did her friends. They got a half day off on Saturday. While the men were away, they saved their money and purchased crystal, china and other items. They also spent a lot of time taking photos to send overseas to their husbands, so we have a lot of nice pictures of her. By the time my father returned from the war, Mom had purchased the home next door to her parents on Bell Street. After that, her brother bought a new home on 84th and B Street. She and Ray bought the home next to them, and my grandparents built their retirement home. And that's where we lived for the first fifteen years of my life.

I remember, as a little girl, Dad driving her to work when it was still dark. My brother and I dozed during these rides. I always loved driving by the statues at Wright Park. I remember listening to the radio play "Teddy Bear's Picnic" and "Mr. Sandman" during those rides. She worked for Flett Dairy at that time. From there, she went on to have a long career in retailing as an office manager. In my youthful eyes, she always looked perfect. When I think of her, I see a woman wearing a charcoal wool dress with pretty jewelry, hair in place and make-up immaculate. That was my mother most of the time.

At home, my father was sometimes with us since he worked different shifts at the Post Office. He was a good cook and did a lot of the cooking. When they were both gone, Grandma was always next door. Her kitchen window faced our house, and all I had to do was knock on the window and she would come over. After school, I spent many happy hours visiting with her while she sat in her rocking chair (it now sits in my house) and crocheted or did embroidery. Grandpa always sat in his big rocker and listened to baseball and news and smoked his pipe.

At the end of her career, Mom worked for a mobile home company. She was able to purchase a very nice mobile home complete with all new furniture for cost. This opportunity corresponded with my father's heart problems, so they sold their home and moved into a senior park where she made friends and enjoyed walking her dog and visiting. She retired and spent many years enjoying her retirement. Eventually they sold out and rented because they didn't want to maintain a home. They moved to Puyallup and lived near me. This picture was taken when they had been married for fifty years.

Dad died in 1995, which means that Mom was a widow for fifteen years. She spent most of that time living with us in a little apartment we finished for her in our downstairs area. Now it is my little apartment. Mom always had a fear of being alone in her old age. Being with us provided her with that comfort of knowing she was not alone. She loved her grandchildren and told everyone she met about them. She baked the birthday cakes, because she wanted to be remembered. She was sometimes called the "candy Grandma" because she had so much candy sitting around. It was a trial for the moms who brought their children to visit (my daughters) because she provided the children with little bags and a scoop to scoop up candy to take home. She also bought soda pop if she knew someone had a particular flavor in mind.

Being something of a recluse, she didn't go out a lot, and seemed content to be home with her routine. It made it difficult as she grew older. When anyone offered to do something for her, her standard response was, "Judie will do it." After she gave up her car because she was "starting to make mistakes," I spent many years driving her to her errands and doctor appointments. She could fill a week better than anyone I know. When we would get to the end and I thought I might be finished, she would start telling me what she wanted to do "next time."

Her two years on Hospice were difficult for her because her world was shrinking; and for me, because I had to shoulder whatever she gave up. Eventually we moved her upstairs where she could see the coming and going of the household and visit with her Hospice "friends" who were a wonderful blessing to us.

Mom was deaf, which was difficult for her. She had some paralysis from a stroke. She could not walk and spent her life in a bed. In spite of those things, she had no pain, and was comfortable physically. At the end of her life, she was still ordering me around, talking a mile a minute with her visitors, and waiting to be ninety. Today she is ninety. I picture her visiting with her loved ones, laughing and happy as she was when she was young and beautiful.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Henry and Mary Ann McCabe Procter

Many years ago, my father received a letter from Alfred Procter of 8 Sheppard Road, Balby, Doncaster, England. He said, "I am what remains of the Procter-McCabe brood of 14. . . and not one president."

Alfred's father was Henry Procter, born at Cantley (4 miles E of Doncaster), Yorkshire, England on 17 April 1842. His parents were John Procter and his wife, Sarah Pinder. He was the oldest of six children. Beginning in 1851, Henry was enumerated on the Doncaster, Yorkshire, England census. Doncaster is a large town with Roman origins. In 1831, there were 10,000 people living there. The railroad reached Doncaster in 1849. By 1853, the Great Northern Railway moved its engine building works to Doncaster, and became the town's main employer. It became an industrial center due to its transportation, particularly waterways; and the presence of a huge underground deep seam coal reserve. An infirmary was built in 1853. The streets were lighted with gas beginning in 1827. The first free public library opened in 1869. This was the world as Henry Procter knew it. In 1851, Henry was eight years old and living with his father. In 1861, he was 18 years old and working as a servant for Henry Stevenson.

On 11 May 1865, Henry married Mary Ann McCabe at Doncaster. Mary Ann was the daughter of Francis McCabe and his wife, Mary Moloy, who lived at 1 Milner's Yard, Doncaster. Francis was born in Longford, Ireland, and Mary was born in Leitrim. Their first two daughters, Mary Ann and Elizabeth, were also born in Ireland; Mary Ann in about 1848, and Elizabeth in 1850. It is an easy guess that it was either at Longford or Leitrim. The third child, John, born in about 1852, was born in Yorkshire, as were Catherine, Ann, Margaret, and Francis. John was born at Bentley (2 miles N of Doncaster), and the rest of the family was born at Doncaster. So sometime between Elizabeth's birth in 1850 and John's birth in 1852, the McCabe family moved from Ireland to Yorkshire, England.

Henry and Mary Ann were living at 6 Priest's Yard on the 1871 census and Henry was working as a coal dealer. Their John, was two years old, and baby Henry was just three months old. By 1881 they had moved to 7 Wright's Court, and Henry listed his occupation as "coal porter." Their family included John, Ada, Alice, and David. Finally, on the 1891 census, they were living at St. George's, Wheatley. The children at home at the time were Ada, Alice, David, Fred, Frank, and Alfred. This was the last census showing Henry as head of household.

Mary Ann was living at 12 St. Mary's Crescent at Wheatley (44 miles NW of Doncaster) in 1901. Alfred, David, Frank, and Fred were living with their mother. She worked as a laundress. To be a widow of 49 years who did wash for a living would be a hard thing. I hope that big family of hers helped her to manage.

While the census records show brief glimpses of this family over time, they do not give the full picture. With only census records, we would have to be content to identify only eight of Henry and Mary Ann's children. Alfred said there were fourteen, and that means six are missing. For a long time I didn't do anything about this problem. Then, one fall I decided to try to find them and started ordering birth certificates.

At Crane Yard, Doncaster, on 16 June 1865, Emily, a girl
At Robinson's Row, Dockin Hill, Doncaster, on 4 July 1867, George, a boy
At Doncaster, John, born 26 December 1868, from our family records
At Priest's Yard, French Gate, Doncaster, on 29 December 1870, Henry, a boy
At French Gate, Doncaster, on 30 October 1873, Jane, a girl
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 25 August 1874, Alice, a girl
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 27 August 1875, Ada, a girl
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 11 October 1879, David, a boy
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 5 January 1881, Fanny, a girl
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 1 September 1882, Percy, a boy
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 5 November 1885, Frank, a boy
At Wright's Court, High Street, Doncaster, on 6 July 1884, Fred, a boy
From Alfred's letter, "I was born in 1887, December 10th."

You can see that Emily was born just a month after they were married. She died in 1866. That left them childless. George arrived in 1866, but he died in 1867. Once again, they were childless. It wasn't until our ancestor, John, was born in 1868 that their home finally became the family place it was to become. After John, Henry arrived in 1870 and died in 1871. They were back to just John, but Mary Ann's arms weren't empty as before. They lost five children to infant death. That seems like a lot, but in earlier times it was more common. Their home began to fill up as they added Jane, Alice, Ada, and David. Fanny was born and died in 1881. A year later, they lost Percy the same way. After Percy, they had Frank, Fred, and Alfred. There is still one child missing from this picture, and I hope we find that little person.

Henry obviously died sometime after the 1891 census and before the 1901 census. A certificate would tell us the date. And Mary Ann died sometime after the 1901 census. According to Alfred's letter, which was written in 1965, all of the brothers and sisters of this family were deceased except for him. It goes without saying that the Procter McCabe posterity is a large one. Our ancestor, John, came to the United States (See John Procter, 26 December posting), but the rest of the family remained in the British Isles. I have not followed any of their trails to know who they married or what they did with their lives.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Originally posted in May 2008, I want you to know a bit about Doncaster since it is where the Procter family lived. I am posting it again, since Henry Procter's birthday is in April. We have only traced them back to 1760, but so far, they all lived in or around Doncaster. If you visit the Vision of Britain link and look at Doncaster, you will find interesting descriptions written by early visitors to the area. The link is at the left, and all you have to do is type in "Doncaster" and it will take you to the information. Go to the "Travelers Tales", and you will find the list. One was written by William Camden, whose first edition of Brittania was published in 1586 in Latin. The copy is taken from a 1607 edition, so it is a view of Doncaster at that time. The other excerpt was written by Daniel DeFoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, among other things. His interesting account of Doncaster was published in the 1720's and is based on actual visits he made.

John Bartholomew's Gazetteer entry is from 1887 and is also on this site. He said that Doncaster "was the Danum of the Romans and the Dona Ceastre (Camp on the Don) of the Saxons. Previous to the Reformation it was the seat of several monastic establishments. Its corn market is of considerable importance, and its trade is mainly agricultural; it has, however, mfrs. of canvas, sacks, and ropes, some iron and brass foundries, and agricultural implement works, besides the extensive locomotive and carriage works of the Great Northern Ry. About 1 mile to the SE. of the town is the racecourse, one of the oldest and finest in the kingdom."

I found it interesting that the Romans built a fort there where they crossed the Don River. Then the name changed with the arrival of the Saxons. Eventually, it took on its present name. Imagine having a history dating back to the Romans (70 AD). Actually, they have found evidence of people being there even earlier than that. A good place to look for information about the way of life at the time of the Romans and the archeological discoveries is to check out this site:
and look for "Romans on the Don." There is a lot of good information there about the Roman time period in and around Doncaster as well as the archeological research of the area.

I also thought Wikipedia had a nice little summary with photos. I added a couple of the photos to this posting.

Doncaster is known for horse racing, lovely country homes, historical buildings, Robin Hood, being on the main road from the south going north into Scotland, and good places to stay, among other things. It is less than two hours from London and about three hours from Scotland. The locals refer to it as "Donny." I think I need to visit this place!