Sunday, September 4, 2011

Some Simpsons of Schuyler County NY

Well, I'm coming close to the end scanning and posting the newspaper clippings of obituaries that were in my grandmother's possession. Some have been quite a mystery so hopefully with them out on the interwebs some person will come across them and find information they didn't have before.

Today though, I'm posting on some people I do know about, well, one in particular.

So my great-grandmother was always known to me as "Grandma Simpson". She was married to a Leon SIMPSON, but he was her second husband and they did not have children, all her (many) kids were with her first husband, William MIX. He and my grandmother Cornelia divorced in 1935. Their 10 (yes, 10!) kids stayed with him and other relatives while Cornelia moved to Ohio to establish residency in order to get the divorce.

She came back to New York but the kids were kind of scattered around and the story goes that the state came in and said unless she provided a good stable home for them the kids would be taken into custody by the state.

So the story goes that Cornelia and Leon decided to marry. The twist is that Leon and Cornelia were (allegedly) half first cousins.

They were related because Leon's father, Augustus SIMPSON, was married to Cornelia's alleged half-Aunt, Amanda CHESLEY (referred to by my grandmother and great-grandmother as "Aunt Bird").

Okay, so stay with me Aunt Bird's dad, Alonzo CHESLEY, allegedly slept with his wife's younger sister Laura (my great-great-grandmother).

So if that is the case (and right now there is no reason to dis-believe a disappointing family legend like this), that would mean Aunt Bird was half-sister to Cornelia's Mom. So any kid of Aunt Bird's would be related to a kid of Cornelia's Mom.


Secretly though, this is why I love genealogy. It reminds me of how messy and human we all are.

ANYHOO, so for whatever reason, Leon and Cornelia married. I don't know for sure if they were related in any way, but hey, it was the Great Depression and Cornelia needed to make a home for her kids and probably people have gotten married for worse reasons than that.

My grandmother always remembered her Step-Dad fondly, saying he was a nice man. My grandmother had just turned 15 when they married.

So below are the obituaries for Leon, obviously cut out and saved by his widow Cornelia. Also below is the Card of Thanks published by the family after the funeral. Click image to view larger.

Leon's father Augustus's obituary is here:

And finally, here is the obituary for Leon's Uncle Irwin (Augustus's brother):

Sadly, it looks like the 3 of them all died between 1957 and 1960. Also, according to the obituaries, all 3 are buried in Union Cemetery in Burdett, Schuyler County, NY. However, when I go to rootsweb, interments for this cemetery do not list Leon, but do list Augustus and Irwin (and lots of other SIMPSONS)

Maybe there is no headstone for Leon? Maybe he didn't actually get buried there? That will have to be an investigation for another day!!

Obituary Text:

Hector Man, Stricken at Work, Dies

HECTOR - Leon Simpson, 64, of Hector died early Friday morning after becoming ill at his work with the Schuyler County Highway Department. Simpson, a road maintainer with the department for seven years, reported to work as usual but soon complained of chest pains.

He declined to be taken to a doctor or hospital and was taken home by a fellow employee, Joe Barber, who remained with him. Noting that Simpson appeared worse, Barber notified officials at the highway department who dispatched an ambulance and doctor.

(Note - numerous spelling errors in transcription below match original newspaper obituary.)
Leon A. Simpson, 63, of Valois, Friday, April 15, 1960. He was an employe of Schuyler County Highway Dept. Survived by wife, Mrs. Cornelia A. Simpson; step-daughters, Mazie Patrick of Sodus Point, Dazie DeMarco of Ithaca. Ann Donnley of Educador, South America; stepsons, Floyd Mix of Newark Valley, Laurence Mix of Alpine, William Mix of Ithaca, Leslie and John Mix of Montour Falls, Donald Mix of Trumansburg; mother, Mrs. Armanda Simpson of Burdett; sisters, Mrs. Frances Leonard of Willard, Mrs. Weir Whitney of Burdett; 24 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett. Calling hours: Sunday 2 to 4 and and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral there Monday at 2 p. m., the Rev. Fred VanZee. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Leon A. Simpson of Valois. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett. Calling hours: today 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Monday at 2 p. m., the Rev. Fred VanZee. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Augustus Simpson, 88, of Burdette RD, today, May 18, 1957. Survived by wife, Mrs. Amanda B. Simpson; son, Leon of Valois; daughters, Mrs. Frances Leonard and Mrs. Weir Whitney of Burdett RD; brothers, Herbert and Irving of Burdett; 6 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett, where friends may call Sunday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Monday at 2:30 p. m., the Rev. William H. Thomas. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

Irwin Simpson, 80, of Bennettsburg, N. Y., Thursday, Feb. 11, 1960. Survived by wife, Mrs. Lillian S. Simpson; daughter, Mrs. Nye Chapman of Cayutaville, N. Y.; brother, Herbert of Valois; two grandsons. Body at Arnold Funeral Home, Burdett. Calling hours: Friday 7 to 9 p. m. Funeral there Saturday at 2:30 p. m., the Rev. Willis Hopkins. Union Cemetery, Burdett.

1 comment:

  1. Regarding Leon, don't forget the cemetery may have him listed under a different first name or reversed his middle name and first name. I've seen such cases... just sayin'.