Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

The First Two Children – Lucy and Charles Miller April 13, 2017

As I’ve written before in my blog posts about my grandmother, she married a widower with 2 teen age children.  I haven’t found any subsequent information or references to these two children.  I’m curious.  One would think that they would continue to figure in their father’s and new stepmother’s lives.  But I don’t recall ever hearing anything more about them.

Somewhere in various bits of family letters etc. I do recall coming across a very tender and loving letter written by my grandfather to Lucy when she was about 10 – I’ll search for that letter – I hope I can find it.

Also I vaguely recall that his siblings helped look after the infants Lucy and Charles.  The widowed Charles had a large number of siblings, some of whom might have helped in this sad situation.  Specifically, his sister Volney might have taken on the young children – again I think I found this somewhere – now to find it again.

I’ve turned to Ancestry.com to gather more information.

Lucy Jewett Miller b. 1866 d.1929   At age 29 (in 1895) she married Clifford Stanley Kerr.  Clifford was a year younger.     She is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery Newark

Charles Dion Miller   b. 1867   d. 1960

 

Mary Elizabeth Murdock April 10, 2017

bennett-mr               IMG_0013   My paternal grandfather Major Charles Dana Miller – this is the man my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Murdock married in 1882.  He fought in the Civil War – Mary Elizabeth Murdock was born in 1863.  So the man who was to be my grandfather was a soldier fighting in the Civil War when my grandmother was born.

Mary married a man many years her senior.  How did this come about?  Family rumor has it that she went West in 1880 from Crown Point New York to Mt. Vernon Ohio to look after Charles’s young children after their mother died.

IMG_0014  Mary Elizabeth Murdock, 1882 (?)

Charles was born in 1836.  So he was 27 years older than Mary.  He was a widower with 2 children.  They married in Chicago in November 1882.

Questions – how did this sequence of events happen?

Well, Mary went West shortly after her own mother died and also her younger sister.  A time of sorrow and upset.  Mary had recently graduated from Albany Normal School (State Teachers College) – so she was a qualified teacher.

But my research in ancestry.com reveals that when Charles’ wife died the children were young teens, age 14 and 13, not infants needing a carer.  So if she went West to be a carer she would have been more of a housekeeper than a nanny, and possibly a tutor for the children.

And furthermore, there were Murdocks who had previously migrated from Crown Point New York to Mt Vernon Ohio.