One Sargent (Slaymaker) family mystery solved—thanks to note about a button hook

Wikimedia Commons: Early 20th-century steel button hook with an art nouveau cherub design sterling silver handle. Author Sobebunny; 2009-0118.

Wikimedia Commons: Early 20th-century steel button hook with an art nouveau cherub design sterling silver handle. Author Sobebunny; 2009-0118.

Zillah Trewin, 1907, several years after 'Aunt Jennie' passed away

Zillah Trewin, 1907, several years after ‘Aunt Jennie’ passed away

Don’t you just love those ancestors to pieces who had the presence of mind to sit down and record notes about your family history? How fabulous it is to have those records. Don’t think you have any? Well, maybe not, but if you inherited boxes of papers you have yet to go through, you may just come across some real gems. My advice is to share them and preserve them as fast as you can.

My grandmother Zillah Trewin is one such angel in our family tree. Bless her heart. And yesterday, I came upon a piece of paper in an old file folder. The tides of time and multiple moves over a half century or more had separated it from the other notes she left behind. This paper has resolved one family mystery that emerged for me two years ago. I spoke about it in the post Cemetery Reveals New Mysteries about Sargent Family.

In that post I was left pondering whether my 2nd great grandfather William (Slaymaker) Sargent and his son William (Zillah’s uncle) had married sisters after the elder William’s first wife Mary Wills (Slaymaker) Sargent (my 2nd great grandmother) died of stomach cancer on 6 December 1877—about seven years after the family changed their name from Slaymaker to Sargent and emigrated to New Jersey from Northampton, England. Yes, I know, that’s a lot to digest. I have to re-read genealogy blog entries several times myself to get the whole ‘who’s who’. So feel free to pause here!

So, yesterday I came upon a yellowed piece of paper with pencil writing that confirmed just that and more! I was over the moon.

Zillah Trewin notes

Zillah Trewin notes from our family’s private archives

The note mentioned a button hook (for doing up shoes, which were buttoned in those days) belonging to “Aunt Jennie Sargent” (Sarah Jane Bowley, wife of William the son):

Button hook belonging to Aunt Jennie Sargent, my mother’s youngest brother’s wife. She was born in 1849, died 1904. She lived with us [in Jersey City, Hudson Co.] winters from the time Uncle Will died in 1896 [of ‘debilitation of the heart’] until she died when with us January 6, 1904. Spent summers with her sister at Manchester VT. She had the button hook from my earliest remembrance. Uncle Will was 7 when mother’s mother died and mother brought him up and [they] were very dear to each other. Aunt J. was youngest sister of Grandpa Sargent’s 2nd wife so father & son married sisters—one oldest and one youngest of 5 girls [Mary Bowley Pitt, widow, b. 1839, and Sarah Jane Bowley, b. 1849].

Now, I still don’t know where Wm Sr. and his wives are buried (I am amazed that Zillah and her mom did not pass that info down), but at least I have had my ‘wild’ suspicions confirmed about the father & son marriages to the two sisters. I sure would like to know how all that transpired! Wm Sr. remarried between 1877-1880 and Wm Jr. married in 1890, so I suppose Wm Jr. and Jennie’s romance blossomed over a decade of family gatherings, and although the age gap is a bit eye-opening, I suppose it was not uncommon back then, just as it is not that uncommon today.

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin, Zillah's mother, undated

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin, Zillah’s mother, undated

In any case, it was good to hear how close William was to my great grandmother Elizabeth Sargent Trewin (Zillah’s mom), and that she was critical in overseeing his upbringing after their mother Mary died. And it was wonderful of Elizabeth and her family to take in Jennie after William’s death. Zillah’s timeline is off, however, in that William Jr. could not have been 7 when Mary died. My records indicate that he was about 15 (an age corroborated by his death record); Elizabeth would have been 23 at the time. But perhaps Mary’s illness was a very extended one and Elizabeth took a leading role in his care from a much younger age.

Now, if an old button hook turns up one day, I’ll know who it belongs to!  Keep checking those old files and boxes!

William Trewin, Zillah's father, taken in 1895

William Trewin, Zillah’s father, taken in 1895

William Sargent Sr. circa 1869/70

William Sargent Sr. circa 1869/70

Advertisements
Categories: Death, Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Sargent, Trewin, Wills | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by WordPress.com.

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Period Drama on Paper at Middlemay Farm

Fiction Books, History, Memoir by Adrienne Morris

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

Travels with Janet

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Do Svidanya Dad

Exploring Dad's Unusual Story From NJ to the USSR

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Spared & Shared 2

-- rescuing history from old letters one page at a time

TOWER AND FLIGHTS

In The Beginning Man Tried Ascending To Heaven via The Tower Of Babel. Now He Tries To Elevate His Existence Using Hallucinogenic Drugs. And, Since The 20th Century, He Continually Voyages Into Outer Space Using Spacecrafts. Prayer Thru Christ Is The Only Way To Reach Heaven.

London, Hollywood

I'm Dominic Wells, an ex-Time Out Editor. I used to write about films. Now I write them.

Uma Familia Portuguesa

A história da nossa família

Trkingmomoe's Blog

Low Budget Meals for the New Normal

The Good, the Bad and the Italian

food/films/families and more

dvn ms kmz time travel

This is all about my travels to the past... my reflections and musings about yesteryear, as I find the stories of a people passed away and learn how to tell them.

newarkpoems

350 years of Newark in verse 1666-2016

Russian Universe

Understanding Russia with a Russian

Bulldog Travels

Everything and Nothing Plus Some Pretty Photos

Dances with Wools

knitting, spinning, dyeing, and related fiber arts

Life After Caregiving

On caregivers, faith, family, and writing...

Why'd You Eat That?

Food Folklore for the everyday scholar. These are the stories behind the foods we eat.

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

Almost Home

Genealogy Research and Consulting

Old Bones Genealogy of New England

Genealogy and Family History Research

ferrebeekeeper

Reflections Concerning Art, Nature, and the Affairs of Humankind (also some gardening anecdotes)

Map of Time | A Trip Into the Past

Navigating Through Someplace Called History

Out Here Studying Stones

Cemeteries & Genealogy

WeGoBack

family research ... discover your ancestry

the Victorian era

Did I misplace my pince-nez again? Light reading on the 19th century.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience.

Moore Genealogy

Fun With Genealogy

Meeting my family

RESEARCHING MY FAMILY TREE

Shaking the tree

musings on the journey towards knowing and sharing my family's stories

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

Scots Roots

Helping you dig up your Scots roots.

Root To Tip

Not just a list of names and dates

Food Perestroika

Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine

My Aunt the WAC

Marian Solomon's midlife transition from the farm to the Women's Army Corps (WACs)

Being Em | From Busan to America

this journey is my own, but i'm happy to share.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

The Daily Online Genealogy Newsletter

Irish in the American Civil War

Exploring Irish Emigration & Irish Involvement in the American Civil War

TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

Genealogy: Looking For "Dead People"!

Cemeteries of Brunswick, Maine

To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

%d bloggers like this: