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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Margaret Watson Cooke's Research on Aaron Bonnell & Ann Brotherton Descendants

My great-aunt Margaret Watson Cooke corresponded with Bonnell descendants all over the country. In 1963 she gave my family the last version of her compilations. Somehow I ended up with many earlier versions, many with handwritten notes and corrections (she typed everything herself).

In comparing the work on my direct line I found the final version did not include two of my great-grandmother's siblings who had died as children. I had direct knowledge that Aunt Margaret knew all about them–they're discussed in the book Margaret's mother wrote and that Margaret treasured.

A careful comparison of the versions showed that in the fifth version she had dropped every individual who died as a child. In some cases she also deleted people who'd died as unmarried young adults. I'm guessing she did it to reduce the typing workload. Maybe one of you knows why since some of your relatives may have corresponded with her.

For my own purposes I retyped her work, including every individual she'd identified regardless of their age at death. The only person, other than me, who saw this was Charlie Bunnell. Somehow that seems selfish, so I put it on, where I put the books my grandparents wrote about their families.

If you are interested in looking at it, you can find it Margaret Watson Cooke's Compiled Descendants of Aaron Bonnell and Ann Brotherton.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Photographs of the Henry Bonnell-Amelia Mattox family

I have quite a few photographs of the Henry Bonnell-Amelia Mattox branch, so I thought I might as well share them. More photos can be found in the book their daughter Margaret Alice Bonnell wrote about her family. I made it available on through the link here: Family of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox. Information on Margaret's husband and children is contained in the book he wrote, available here Family of Jon Watson & Agness Begg. I am sorry that none of the photos are dated. I'm just glad someone wrote names on the backs.

If any of you have similar collections, let me know and we can post them here too if you like.

Of all these people, my personal favorite was Kate Bonnell because I found her trunk in a closet at the family home in Barry, Illinois when I was a child. Naturally I asked about her and learned she was my great-grandmother's sister. The stories I was told were the first that made me curious about my ancestors. Who knew dead people could be so interesting? Kate was a school teacher, a single woman who left her family and friends and taught out west, in places like Wichita, Kansas when it was still a cowtown. She taught in the Salt Lake City, Utah schools when control was transferred from the LDS church to the government. She taught 75 first graders in the morning and another 75 in the afternoon, ultimately having a nervous breakdown. Articles in Salt Lake newspaper support the stories. She spent the rest of her life with her sister in Barry. When she died suddenly of pneumonia in 1902 the Salt Lake City papers published her obituary, noting her work in the schools there. Judging by the lengthy obituary in the Barry newspaper, she was well-liked there too.

I'm just glad I didn't know as a child that she died in the room I always slept in when I visited my grandparents. Some things are best learned as an adult. The huge cabbage roses on the wall paper were creepy enough when I a kid. Plus the room had no wall switches or outlets, only a lamp hanging from the ceiling. At night you turned on the light by waving your arms around over your head until you found the dangling cord. Good times.

Amelia Mattox Bonnell
Wife of Henry Bonnell

A collection of Bonnell-Smith and Watson Relations
The seated man on the far right, in front of the giant fern, is William Walcott Watson, husband of Margaret Alice Bonnell. She is seated in the middle of the front row, with her daughter Margaret in front of her. Margaret was born in 1899.

Helen Bonnell Smith
Daughter of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox
Helen Bonnell Smith, wife of Eugene Smith  (left) and her sister-in-law Emma Smith
Emma Smith
Helen Bonnell Smith's sister-in-law, sister of Eugene Smith

Stanley Smith
Son of Eugene Smith and Helen Bonnell
Stanley Smith
Son of Eugene Smith and Hellen Bonnell

Stanley Smith and his paternal grandfather Nathaniel Smith
Stanley's parents were Eugene Smith and Helen Bonnell.

Charlie Bonnell
Son of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox
Kate Bonnell in Wichita, Kansas
Daughter of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox
Kate Bonnell in Britingham
Daughter of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox

Kate Bonnell (left) and other teachers in Wichita, Kansas
Kate is the daughter of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox

Jane Eberhardt Smith Bonnell
Wife of William Wayland Bonnell

James Pierce
Husband of Jennie Bonnell, daughter of Henry Bonnell & Amelia Mattox

Hubert Farwell, Bonnie Farwell, Maro Farwell
Children of Belle Bonnell and Hart Farwell

Bonnie Farwell
Daughter of Belle Bonnell and Hart Farwell
Maro Farwell and his grandmother Farwell
Grandson and Grandmother
Nellie Burleigh, Gertrude Burleigh and William Burleigh
children of Mary Elizabeth Bonnell & Demoine Burleigh
Photograph taken Horton, Kansas

Gertrude Amelia Burleigh
Daughter of Mary Elizabeth Bonnell & Demoine Burleigh
Photograph taken Minneapolis

The photo has "Stella Bonnell" on the back.
She is probably Emily Estella Bonnell, born 7 October 1873 Griggsville, IL and died 8 July 1899 at Fairfield, Illinois, according to the book Margaret Alice Bonnell Watson wrote.. She is another child dropped from Margaret Watson Cooke's compilation of Bonnell descendants.

Written on the back: "Ralph Bonnell in Heaven"
This is probably Benjamin Ralph Bonnell. According to Margaret Alice Bonnell Watson's book, he was born 7 October 1875 at Astoria, Ill and died there 28 December 1878, and is buried in Astoria. He was the son of Joseph Gatch Bonnell and Sarah C. Metz.
Margaret Watson Cooke listed him in her early compilations of Bonnell descendants, but in later versions she dropped him and all the descendants who did not reach adulthood.
Alva Belle Bonnell
Daughter of Joseph Gatch Bonell