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)

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