Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oscar (52 Ancestors - #8)

This week I knew I’d like to write about Oscar or Martha (Dauwer) Bruynell. I was sorting through all the information I have on my husband’s grandfather when I came across the most detailed obituary I’ve ever read. It was a wonderful story and tribute to Oscar. My husband’s late uncle, Robert N. Bruynell, previous Town Clerk of Braintree, had penned this obit upon Oscar’s death back in 1989. I’ve re-ordered the obituary’s facts, added a few additional dates and a few more facts, but total credit for this story goes to Uncle Bob who so obviously loved his dad Oscar.

Grandpa Oscar in 1971

Oscar William Bruynell was born on July 9th, 1905 in Chelsea, Massachusetts as Oscar William Bruyneel. He was the son of Belgian immigrants Casmir Bruyneel and Emelie A. VanCouwenberghe. Casmir was a cigar maker and Emelie worked for a time as a chocolate dipper in a candy factory. Casmir and Emelie went their separate ways when Oscar was but five. After Casmir left, Emelie left Chelsea and Oscar grew up in South Boston and stayed there until he moved to Braintree, Massachusetts in 1969.

In his younger days, Oscar, was an active athlete and was especially good at track. He ran track in high school. His cousin John Stephan, who was a few years younger than Oscar, said Oscar was sometimes required to babysit for him. The two of them liked the open streetcars operated by the Boston Elevated Railway and made several trips to Lake Street in Newton to board the open cars for Norumbega Park.

Oscar graduated from Boston High School of Commerce and worked as an electrician at the Fore River Ship Yard in Quincy, MA and at an aircraft plant in Baltimore. During WWII he also did electrical work for the Mobeco Sign Company of Watertown. Because of his earlier training he was able to take care of minor electrical chores around his home. One of his memorable earlier jobs was installing sound systems in movie theatres when “talkies” came in! Oscar worked as a collector at the MBTA Red Line stations for several years retiring in 1970, before the Red Line was extended to the South Shore.

He loved to putter in his kitchen according to his son Bob. Oscar was an excellent cook. In fact, he and John Stephan, at one time, operated boarding houses on Cape Cod for civilian workers at Fort Devens. They provided their meals and packed them a lunch to take on the job each day.

Oscar married the love of his life, Martha Dauwer, on a cold fall day, November 15, 1924. It was at this time that Oscar legally changed his name from Bruyneel to Bruynell. Together they had five children, Bob, Kenneth, William, Shirley and Marjorie. William died in 1928 as a baby. Sadly, Martha died shortly thereafter leaving Oscar widowed when their oldest was 7 years old. After these two losses, Oscar’s main concern for the rest of his life was to keep his family as close together, despite the fact that they were all sent to live with different relatives so Oscar could make a living. Thankfully Oscar’s grandmother, Wilhelmina (Feller) VanCouwenberghe helped keep his family together.

Wilhemina and Grandpa
Obviously there were rough times for the family during the Great Depression when Oscar was on Welfare and had to line up to receive milk and other good distributed by the U.S. Government. Thankfully there were even more good times and the benefit of a close family. Oscar often took his youngsters fishing at Head House Pier and on their way home they would stop for french fries or soda at Kelly’s Landing or Joe’s Spa or maybe drop in at Stahl’s, a South Boston icecream and candy shoppe. Oscar’s hobby really was watching his children grow up. He often said how proud he was that all four grew up without causing problems.

Oscar spent a lot of time around boats and fishing with his cousin John. Once he retired he enjoyed deep sea fishing and sometimes went out of Boston or Plymouth on boats which provided gear needed to go after flounder or other fish.

Oscar never remarried after Martha’s death, but he found a nice friend in Annie Pitts. He and Annie would often attend family events together. They were a very sweet couple and Oscar always had a smile on his face when they were together!

Grandpa Oscar and Agnes Moloney
Also after his retirement he enjoyed going to the races at Raynham/Taunton Dog Track with his daughter, Marjorie (Conroy) who was a librarian at Tuft’s Library in Weymouth. Saturday night brought him poker games which were a regular favorite feature of his later life when he and a half a dozen of his friends formed an informal club and rotated the game amongst their homes.

Oscar enjoyed occasional visits to Fenway Park and one of these games inclulded Carl Yastrzemski’s next-to-last game. Oscar, Leo and Bob said that was an emotional game for all of them. In later life he enjoyed watching the Red Sox on television if the game didn’ t start too late! He would say that the day games were fine but he would fall asleep during the late night contests! Oscar was also a fan of television quiz shows.

Sunday morning often saw him appearing at his son Bob’s house with the newspaper to visit the grand children while sharing coffee and donuts.

Oscar was described as a quiet man who helped people when he could. He was a practical joker as well when he used to tell everybody that he had 14 grandchildren and 18 great grandchilldren with two more on the way!

Oscar William Bruynell, 83, of East Braintree, a retired electrician and retired MBTA collector died on June 21st, 1989 at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

Original Obituary written by Uncle Bob about his Father Oscar 

Note: If Oscar was alive today, I’d ask him more about the boarding house that he and his cousin John ran down the Cape. This was something I found interesting.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mary Jane (52 Ancestors - #7)

Mary Jane (Shaw) Shaw was born to John Thomas and Ellen (Meehan) Shaw on September 15, 1887. She was obviously very beloved as you can tell by the fond memories and loving way my brother-law, James (Chip) Bruynell tells us her story...

John, Mary Jane and Mary

Nanny, we pronounced it “Nah’-nee”, was born in a sleepy quintessential fishing village known as Little Heart’s Ease on Newfoundland’s Coast. Most villagers eked out a living there fishing the bountiful waters known as the Grand Banks.

Soon after marrying James Shaw (December 30th, 1909), Mary Jane and James, with their two sons Ronald and Anthony emigrated to the U.S. and settled in the predominately Irish Catholic neighborhood of South Boston known as “Southie” to those who took up residence there. James embarked on a trade as a carpenter while Nanny lovingly raised a family of three boys and one girl. John and Mary rounded out the family and were born as U.S. citizens. (Mary Jane naturalized on December 8th, 1952).
James and Mary Jane Shaw (1949)
They lived on the upper end of G Street historically known as Dorchester Heights even though it was located in “Southie”.  Nanny loved her Romany rye bread and could venture down to Doc’s one block away at the bottom of the hill for staples for her kitchen.  Sundays were a special day on G Street for “Sunday Dinner”. Her favorite meal to prepare was a boiled dinner consisting of either a daisy roll or smoked shoulder with carrots and potatoes with pot liquor on the side.
James and Mary Jane (1949)
In October, 1951, while working at his shop, James suddenly died of a heart attack. Mary, the youngest of the family, was already 7 months pregnant with their first grandchild and unfortunately James would never get to share that joy with Mary Jane.

Nanny was deeply religious. Every night at precisely 6:40, she would brew herself a cup of either Tetley or Lipton tea, butter a piece of toasted Romany rye bread and take a position at the kitchen table where an old style radio with a rotary tuner would be preset to her favorite and only station. Sitting around the table with whomever was staying or visiting, all were fervently glued to the radio as the familiar scratchy drawling voice of Richard Cardinal Cushing, a very predominant figure in Boston, would intone the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary. There were to be absolutely no diversions to be undertaken until the last “Amen”. Bedtime prayer time would follow for any of the grandchildren present. The prayers typically would begin with a litany of “God bless … where they would list individually all those near and dear to them. On one occasion, the first and last of its kind, Nanny became a little upset when one of the grandchildren concluded his prayer with “God bless Sparky and Spooky”, the family household pet dog and cat. That was one of those religious taboos.
James (Chip) Bruynell with his beloved grandmother, Mary Jane (about 1957)
Nanny eventually moved to Chickatawbut Street in Dorchester where she shared a duplex with her daughter Mary and husband Kenneth and their five children. This was very advantageous for the grandchildren because they knew that she made a habit of “spoiling” them. Nanny always had a cache of nickels on hand and she doled them out like she meted out her prayers on those she loved. Back in the day, one could go to Ike’s and buy a candy bar for 5 cents. There were extra bonuses for those who would do her grocery shopping which usually consisted of a loaf of her favorite bread and a quart of milk to go with her tea. Both of these items could be purchased for under 60 cents.

Nanny possessed the benevolence of a saint and the patience of Job. Her three sons would often visit her. They were all considered “Masters of Tease” no doubt a Shaw trait passed down even to this day. Ron, the oldest, was the best at it. With him it came as second nature. On one particular occasion after Nanny had made sure that at Sunday dinner everyone was served, she would, at last, sit down to enjoy the meal after “Grace” had been said. She was still donning her apron in case she had to refill a serving dish besides kitchen duties were never concluded until the last dish was dried and put away. Ron made an excuse to momentarily excuse himself from the table and on his way back, unbeknownst to Nanny, stealthily sneaked behind her chair, unfastened her apron strings, and reattached them snuggly to the chair. It wasn’t until sometime later when she tried to get up to refill a platter that she discovered that she wasn’t going anywhere easily unless the chair was attached to her butt. Flustered, she would reprimand any of her sons if the occasion warranted with a phrase she would use quite often and you knew it was coming. On that and any occasion she would say, “Ron, ye ain’t got a grain of sense in that head of yours”. Nanny still had a trace of that “Newfie” accent and was very accustomed to the local vernacular which she never lost despite her years here.

When Mary and Ken needed a well-deserved break from the kids and decided to go out for an early night, Nanny would always come over and sit with the kids and made sure they were behaving. Rewards were always more predominant than admonitions.
Mary Jane's Prayer Card
Nanny’s health soon began to deteriorate. She became increasingly unsteady on her feet and her memory was starting to fade. On one summer morning shortly after rising for breakfast she finally succumbed. It was that day that the angels sang and she went peacefully and lovingly to her maker to whom she always remained faithful.

Note: If Nanny was alive today I would ask her about her parents. She also had a daughter Madeline who died young while in Newfoundland who I would like to know what happened to her.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

James Shaw (52 Ancestors -#6)

James is my husband's grandfather who passed away before even my oldest brother-in-law was born in 1951.  I've always heard about him and knew he must have been a great guy given he raised my mother-in-law Mary and she is pretty terrific.  So I sent my husband Buddy out last week to be the roaming genealogist for me and find out about the person who was his grandfather, and this is what he discovered about James Shaw.

In the tiny village of Little Hearts Ease, Newfoundland, James Daniel Shaw was born on August 15, 1886 to Daniel and Catherine (Flynn) Shaw. James was the third of seven children. Little Hearts Ease was a very scenic rural village with a population of about 250 and they saw their first post office in 1896. Located to the south of Trinity Bay, it was surrounded by coves and it's harbor considered quite secure. Many men, including James, had the occupation of fisherman and townspeople could pick raspberries, blueberries, bakeapples, black berries, and partridgeberries up in the slopey green hills above the coves.
James Shaw - 1940s
In December, 1909 he married Mary Jane Shaw and their wedding was witnessed by William Shaw (of Daniel) and Mary Shaw (of James).

Like many of his relatives, James decided to move his family to Massachusetts. James arrived in Boston in January, 1924. His wife and sons Ron and Anthony (Mike) followed almost two years later, in December, 1925.

When he came to the US he lived at various locations in South Boston including 614 and 524 East 6th Street and G Street. Once settled, James and Mary Jane welcomed two more children, John and Mary Catherine. James decided he liked living in Southie and became a US citizen on the 6th of February, 1939.
Left to Right: James and Mary Jane Shaw, their daughter Mary and her new husband Ken (1949)
James was a very small in stature and a stern man. He would never yell at you...he would just give you a look and that was enough, you knew what he wanted. James worked hard as a carpenter for a company he referred to as Sharkies and did a lot of work on the side as a carpenter.

In James' spare time he enjoyed going to evening baseball games at M Street Park and he enjoyed playing cards...his favorite game was called 45. He also enjoyed going to Castle Island in nice weather or would take the street car to Everett to visit relatives. James never drove and therefore was always dependent on the street car to get him everywhere.

Another favorite pastime for James was playing the dogs. Oddly enough he never went to the track. Instead, he would go down to the corner bar and place his bets with a bookie! We never found out how lucky (or unlucky) he was with his bets.

James lived a simple, uncomplicated life and had minimal belongings. One of his most prized possessions was a ship that he had worked diligently to build inside a bottle.

James often hung around the local fish piers in Boston because many of those he knew were family and friends who worked on the O’Brien boats. Every week like clockwork James would bring home fresh cod off these boats, salt it and hang it on the clothesline on his back porch to dry it out for a week. When they were ready to eat the fish they would soak out the salt then deep fry it in pork fat.
James (Jimmy) Shaw on his last trip to Newfoundland
James only returned to Newfoundland once after his son Mike got out of the service. He worked until the age of 65 at which time he died suddenly of a heart attack while at work on October 17th, 1951.

Note: On my ride home tonight from picking up my husband from work, I asked him if his grandfather was still around, what would he ask him.  My husband was interested in James' fishing methods while he was still in Newfoundland, so that is what his conversation would revolve around.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Joanne (Amirault) Sweeney (52 Ancestors - #5)

Aunt Joanne (Amirault) Sweeney was my maternal grandfather, Harry Amirault's, sister. I remember her fondly from the visits she made to Nana Amirault's home each summer). She was always happy to chat with us young ones as we passed through Nana's home on our way to play with our friends on Bartlett Street. We were glad she visited us all the way from New Hampshire! Again, family jumped in and wrote this wonderful story that we will be preserving for future generations. Let's read what my cousin, Pat (Sweeney) Cloutier has to say about her mom Joanne who was born to Laurence and Mary Alice (Boudreau) Amirault in Middle East Pubnico, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1903.

In my mother's immediate family, there were eleven children. These children were parents to fifteen children and those children had thirty seven grandchildren. My mother, Joanne, shortened from Johanna, grew up in a tiny Acadian fishing village on a beautiful deep harbor in Nova Scotia. Her father was a poor farmer and sometimes he worked on the fishing boats.
Joanne is front left (with all the hair!)
The roads were dirt and most families only owned a bicycle. There was an enterprising young man who owned a truck that was fitted with benches on either side of the covered truck bed. For ten cents he would pick up anyone needing a ride to Church. They got a ride to Church and didn't have to walk the two miles for only a dime! In my first visit to the old home in 1950 they still had those wonderful big oak telephones on the wall that had a 12 party line. They could tell by the ring who it was for and if it was a long-distance call!

Several of her siblings moved away once they were old enough. Joanne and three of her sisters became nurses. Three of them trained in NH and one in Nova Scotia. They all paid their own way through school.

Mom graduated in 1925 and continued working at the same hospital she trained in. She met her future husband there when she was taking care of his brother. They were engaged for several years due to the depression. They couldn't afford to get married. They finally did marry in 1934 and became proud parents to a little daughter in 1936. Mom stopped working and was a stay-at-home mom only that designation had not yet been used. She was always there when I walked home from school for lunch. I started school the same year that the US entered WWII. I remember going with her to get coupons for food and permits for a month's supply of sugar, five pounds. Mom was a good homemaker and managed well through the rationing.
Joanne and Ed Sweeney about 1930s
The Americans at home found that as the war progressed, more and more things were rationed. Not only did we have to make our food budget stretch, automobiles were no longer being built; gas was rationed anyway, and very difficult to find. I remember the kids who lived out in the country were asked to pick milkweed pods and bring them in to school. That was for the flyers' jackets. We didn't have butter readily available. One could buy a new substitute called margarine. I had the job of trying to mix it up. It came in a large white blob and had a little packet of powdered yellow "stuff". You mixed that into the white blob and pretended you were eating butter! They survived the war years by working hard and being creative for the products that you couldn't have.

Mom went back to nursing when I was in my teens. She hadn't been home to Nova Scotia for many years; It was at least twenty five. In those years she got married, had a baby and once the war came there were no boats from Boston any more, heading for Nova Scotia. Finally, I was working and able to "keep the home fires burning" for my father and me while she enjoyed many trips to Nova Scotia. After the boats began sailing to Nova Scotia, and airlines made trips down east, she traveled "home" every summer.
Aunt Joanne (front left) with all her siblings
In essence, my mother and her siblings had very happy growing up years on the farm. They remained close all their lives as have all the next generation. Mostly, the siblings lived a long life. My mother was 89. She had one sister who lived to 106!! One of her brothers died very young due to cancer, the other lived to almost 80 and at least three lived into their nineties. I am so happy that I had the chance to visit the old homestead and to get to know so many of my relatives. I only regret that I never knew my maternal grandparents.
Ed and Joanne on their wedding day, 4/19/34.  Because it was during the depression Joanne didn't wear a wedding gown.

Note: Pat's comment about the family is so true. Family values were instilled in me due to knowing all my great Aunts! To this day I keep in touch with many of their children, including Pat! If Aunt Joanne were alive today I would ask her what her nursing training involved back in the early 1900s. All my great Aunts who left home from their tiny village to become nurses...they were really pioneers in their own way!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Charlie Nickerson (52 Ancestors - #4)

In the explanatory text of "Getting to Know You", it mentions that I'm definitely receiving help from family and friends with writing. It was a wonderful surprise to receive a full history of my Uncle Charlie from his daughter Gail (Nickerson) Handrahan this morning. My family grew up visiting all my Uncles and we spent many Christmases, Easters and 4th of Julys at twinkle eyes Uncle "Chucka's" home running around his huge back yard and climbing the two massive pine trees when we weren't supposed to! Of course Aunt Doris did all the fussing with delectable food and I'm still always happy to visit Aunt Doris today. Well let's get to it and see what Gail has to say about her beloved dad...

Charles Savol Nickerson, Jr., my dad, was born on August 20, 1922; the oldest son of Charles Savol Nickerson, Sr. and Caroline (O’Meara) Nickerson.  Charlie had three brothers, and a sister, Audrey who sadly died of pneumonia at age two. Since the family lived with Caroline’s parents for some years after they were married, Charlie shared a room with his Uncle Joe O’Meara, Caroline’s younger brother.  This became the foundation for a life-long friendship between the two.

Weather permitting Uncle Joe, Charlie, Sr., Charlie Jr. and Charlie’s brothers:  Bill and Joe would play baseball every Saturday in the dusty field near their house. Their youngest brother, Dick, who was 13 years younger than Charlie, Jr. was only a toddler if there at all during these years.   After their game Charlie and Uncle Joe, as he was always referred to, even though they were somewhat close in age, would take the trolley car into a Boston hospital so that they could both receive treatment for their asthma and then ride home again for dinner.  Finn and Haddie (a favorite of Charlie Sr.’s and a recipe he brought from his native Canada) might be waiting on the back of the stove, or if they were early enough a snack of fried bologna.  Mayonnaise sandwiches were reserved for school lunches.

In 1922 radio had first come to the White House with only a handful of stations broadcasting.  No one had even heard of television.  The papers were full of stories about the sharp shooter, Annie Oakley, Babe Ruth and a man called Walt Disney who had just started his first film company.

Twelve-year-old Charlie won a scholarship to Boys Latin, only attending for a short time as Charlie, Sr. and Caroline moved their family often, finally settling in the Dorchester Lower Mills.  It was here, that Charlie and his brothers would tinker with their cars in the driveway and wash the engine or other parts in Caroline’s (Carrie’s) big soapstone sink.
House at 10 Churchill - Lower Mills, Dorchester (recent photo)

House where Charlie lived in 1937 - 126 Chestnut Ave, JP
Or another time having seen the new “television” in a store window, Charlie Sr. and Jr. gathered all the necessities to build one of their own.  After their first success they went on to build more for other family members.

Charlie, Jr. worked for Bakers Chocolate and then as an intern at an engineering firm before enlisting at age 17 in the Navy to serve in World War II on the USS John Rodgers.  Soon after brother Joe enlisted in the Army and Bill, the Navy; all three serving their country at the same time.  Dick would later enlist and serve in Germany.
Charlie in his Navy uniform
USS John Rodgers (Wikipedia photo)
Charlie trained as a radio man on a destroyer attached to the admiral’s fleet.  Duty was in the Pacific Theatre before ending with a sail into the Sea of Japan.  Soon after he was discharged, he returned home and met Doris Mannett on a blind date; 3 years later they were married and 2 years after that their only child, Gail, was born.
Doris Mannett
Family was the center of Charlie and Doris’ life.  Weekends were spent with Nick and Carrie sleeping over in Weymouth.  Saturday night the rest of the brothers and their families would arrive,  there would be card games or plays written and acted out starring characters such as Tex or silhouetted on a sheet with a light shining on them to depict an operation in progress.  Every holiday would bring all the Nickerson brothers and their families together.   And as the family grew, Christmas dinner would be served seated around the pool table that had been covered with the best linen tablecloths and silver in the downstairs playroom.
Forefront - Cousin Lisa, Aunt Doris and Cousin Rick - 1974 Christmas
Uncle Joe and Auntie Phil sitting at the pool table set with nice linens for Christmas, 1974
In later years Sundays were always spent with Uncle Joe O’Meara, his wife, Gladys and their children, Joe, Gerry and Jim.  Wednesdays would be dinner with Dick, his wife, Harriet and their children, Karen and Richard.
Charlie Nickerson as a groomsman in his brother Dick's 1963 wedding
Charlie was an avid Red Sox fan and worked as a bartender in the press booth at Fenway Park where Curt Gowdie was an announcer.  He never missed a game and would sit in the living room watching on tv, volume turned down with a radio to his ear to listen to that commentary and always, a book open in his lap.  One of his many hobbies included collecting baseball cards with twin grandsons, Sean and Greg.

Charlie passed away July 1, 2008 after battling COPD for more than 15 years and was buried in the National Cemetery in Bourne, MA.  His wife, Doris, still lives in the same house that they bought together on March 1, 1953.  Still in the neighborhood are five other original owners or their families.
Charles grave at the National Cemetery in Bourne, MA
If he were here today, my dad would be pleased to see multi-generations of families, helping one another even living together to save for their future.  After all at one time he had a brand new car which he drove to work one morning.  That night he came home with two not-so-new cars, one for himself and one for his brother whose car had completely broken down.  He never thought to mention his new plan to Doris …… who later totally understood and supported his reasoning.
Left to Right - Brothers Charlie, Dick, Bill, Karen and Joe - 1984
And if I could ask my dad one more question, it would be:  For 50 years you carried a picture in your wallet of 3 year old me sitting on Santa’s lap …. Did you always show only that to anyone who asked to see a picture of your daughter?  Actually, I think I already know the answer to that!

Note: After re-reading Gail's story about her dad, I actually got quite teary thinking how much I missed the Wednesday dinners and all the family gatherings. Uncle Chuck wrote notes about his family genealogy prior to his death and it really put me on the track to finding his great grandfather Richard O'Meara. If he were still here today I would definitely ask him to tell me more about his years in the Navy and to pick his brain about his parents and Annie Cremmins!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Emelie (VanCauwenberge) Bruyneel Stevens Jones (52 Ancestors - #3)

Emelie (Van Cauwenberge) Bruyneel Stevens Jones was born around 1888 in Belgium, probably like her brother Frank in or near the town of Geraardsbergen, also known as "Gramont"or "Grammont", in East Flanders. She immigrated to the US around 1904, probably with her mother and siblings to join her father. Along with other Dutch and Flemish immigrants who worked as cigarmakers, the Van Cauwenberges had lived for a few years in the Hackney section of London, where they had been listed in the 1901 England census. Emelie's father worked in London and later in Boston as a cigar-maker.   Emelie's father, Emiel (or Emil) Van Cauwenberge, immigrated to the US in 1903, and her mother and siblings followed in June 1904 on the SS "Kroonland", but Emelie was not listed on that passenger list. She may have come separately, or perhaps was inadvertently omitted from the list.

Emily VanCauwenberge (taken on April 11th, 1953 @ Margie (Bruynell) and John Conroy's wedding)

Before a Justice of the Peace in May 1905 in Chelsea, MA, Emelie married her first husband, fellow Belgian immigrant Casimir Bruyneel, whose later records show he was from the same town as the Van Cauwenberges, Grammont/Geraardsbergen, in East Flanders. On the marriage record she was listed as a servant, and at only 17 had to have permission from her father. The marriage resulted in one child, Oscar, born a scant two months later, but Emelie and Casimir were divorced before the 1910 census, when she and her son resided with her parents. Emelie then worked as a chocolate dipper.
Emily's marriage to Casimir Bruyneel

Just three months after the census was taken, in July 1910 Emelie married for the second time (again before a JP), to Belgian immigrant cigarmaker Louis Stevens, who had been boarding with her family. Tragically, Louis Stevens died in April 1913 from endocarditis, at the Rutland State Sanatorium where he had been treated for three months for pulmonary tuberculosis; he was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston. No evidence was found of children from their marriage.
Emily's Marriage to Louis Stevens

In September 1918 Emelie married a third and final time (again before a JP), to London-born Harry Jones. Despite his British name, Harry was the son of Dutch parents, Hendrikus and Johanna (Versluis) Fukker, who at his birth were living in the Mile End Old Town section of London's East End. Young Harry had arrived in New York with his mother and several siblings in February 1903 from Liverpool on the SS "Umbria", joining his father, a cigar-maker born in Rotterdam in 1872. The Fukkers had married and had a first child in Holland before moving to England, where several of their children were born from 1896-1901. Harry's birth (as Henry Fukker) was registered in 1898. The elder Henry Fukker moved to Boston in August 1902, preceding his family just as Emelie's father did. Given their similar origins and profession it is very likely the two families knew each other in England and certainly in Boston. By 1910 the Fukkers (or Jones as they were called in the census, though still Fukker in the Boston City Directory) lived in the 14th Ward, on Burnham Place. Harry's father formally changed the family name when he applied for US citizenship in 1915; as a minor, Harry was included in Henry's naturalization. Therefore, when Emelie married Harry in 1918, by the laws of the time, she automatically became a US citizen, and never had to apply in her own right.

At the 1940 census Emelie (now Emily) and Harry lived in South Boston on East Fifth St.; Harry worked as a driver for a coal company. In their household was their son, Harry, Jr. aged 12, and Emily's widowed son, Oscar Bruynell (here confusingly called Harry's "son-in-law" and named Oscar "Brown").

When Emily's third husband, Harry, died in November 1963 they lived at 48 Newport St. in Dorchester. Harry died of heart disease and emphysema, and was laid to rest in a plot he (or possibly his son, Harry Jones, Jr.) had purchased at Mt. Hope Cemetery. When Emily died two years later in the Hogdon Nursing Home in Roxbury of pneumonia and a stroke she was buried in the same plot (by the FF O'Brien Funeral Home). Her son, Oscar Bruynell, was the informant for the death certificate. He said her parents were "Wilhelmina Feller" and "Emil Van" (using a surname spelling similar to that adopted by Emily's siblings Francis Vann and Marie W. (Vann) Morton). Although Emily had only two children, she left at least 7 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Note: If I met Emily today, I would ask her to introduce me to her son, Harry Jones.  I would also like to know what it was like to immigrate from Belgium to England to the U.S. 

Written by Liz Barnett (8/2013)