Showing posts with label Mary Amanda Demarest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Amanda Demarest. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Remarkable GGM Mary Wood's "65 Years, 8 Months, 4 Days"

Mary Amanda Demarest Wood, 1831-1897
Hubby's great-grandma, Mary Amanda Demarest Wood, had quite an interesting life. Born in Manhattan 184 years ago yesterday (on June 1, 1831), Mary somehow managed to get to Plaquemine, Louisiana where -- at age 14 -- she married a New England carpenter Thomas Haskell Wood (1809-1890) who was 22 years her senior. 

Remarkable Mary gave birth to 17 children, including a set of fraternal twins who sadly died of diphtheria at age 5. Before the Civil War, Mary, Thomas, and their growing family left Louisiana for a part of Virginia that became part of West Virginia after the war.

By 1870, the Woods had settled in Toledo, where the second half of their family was born. A full list of Mary's children (including hubby's grandpa, James Edgar Wood) is here. She later became a nurse, as well.

Thomas Haskell Wood, 1809-1890
Mary outlived her husband by 7 years and 2 days. Her obit, above, shows that she died "aged 65 years, 8 months and 4 days." (His obit is at right.) The funeral was at Calvary Church in Toledo, which no longer exists, and she's buried in the vault of Forest Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio.

Thank you to the Toledo Public Library, which will kindly e-mail obituaries for free on request from this search site.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Timelines, Family Trees, and James & Mary's Wedding Day

My local genealogy club was lucky enough to recently host a talk by genealogy/history expert Laura Prescott. She spoke about "Timelines: Placing Your Heritage in Historical Perspective."

Among the many things I took away from that presentation was the idea of creating timelines to show my ancestors in the context of their family's events and local/national/international events. Laura mentioned free sites like (A wonderful find!)

She also mentioned that we have the ability to publish timelines, among other things, using Ancestry and the family tree data we've already posted. I'd never looked at that "Publish" button along the top row of the Ancestry home page. Pushing "publish" started me on the easy process of printing an 18 x 24 inch poster for my hubby's siblings, showing the four main families that correspond to each of their grandparents. (If you don't want to buy the tree poster, you can still print it free on your home printer--I did that too.)

Along the way, I enlisted hubby's help proofreading the family tree before we published the poster. He noticed I was missing an exact month and date for his grandpa's marriage.

In another browser window, I opened Family Search and quickly found an updated database of Ohio marriages. Info that wasn't indexed or digitized a year ago has been put online! (My lesson: Keep searching for those elusive ancestors or events--eventually new clues will present themselves.)

With just a couple of clicks, we now have the marriage document of James E. Wood of Toledo and his bride, Mary Slatter, who were married on 21 September 1898. All because we wanted to put together a family tree poster (see below).

The poster points up a glaring hole in the tree: We still don't know the parents of Mary Amanda Demarest. Cousin Larry has been on her trail for decades.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Plaquemine, Where Thomas Married Mary

Hurricane Isaac is pounding Plaquemine Parish, LA today...and my heart goes out to the folks who are evacuating or flooded out.

The Wood family has a strong genealogical connection to Plaquemine: It's the place  where Thomas Haskell Wood (b. 1809) married Mary Amanda Demarest (b. 1831 in NYC) on 14 May 1845. Thomas (hubby's g-grandpa) was a carpenter (according to the 1850 Census), one of many in the Wood family tree.

The first of their 17 children, Jane Ann Wood, arrived in 1846 (and was baptized in 1847 at St. Gabriel Church, shown above). After Jane came Thomas Jefferson Isaiah Haskell Wood, born in Plaquemine in 1848, and John Marshall Taber Wood, born in Plaquemine in 1850.

By 1851, Thomas and Mary and their three children had left Plaquemine...but a family mystery remains: How did Mary, a 14-year-old from Manhattan, meet Thomas, who was from New England, and manage to travel to Plaquemine to be married in 1845??

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Matrilineal Monday: Mary Amanda Demarest, Where Were You Born?

Mary Amanda Demarest married Thomas Haskell Wood in New Orleans in 1845, when she was 14 years old. Cousin Larry, our Wood family genealogist, has records of her marriage, her children, and her burial, but Mary Amanda's exact birthplace and date -- and her parents -- remain a mystery. She seems to have been born in New York City in 1831 (according to death cert, etc).

Last month, at cousin Larry's suggestion, I checked the records of the Reformed Dutch Church of Greenwich, New York City, where many Demarests were members. Alas, no Mary Amanda. But there were these three records of children adopted by Mary Van Orden Demarest, as you can see from the above excerpts from transcribed church ledgers.

This discovery has led to a new line of thinking: Maybe Mary Amanda was adopted into the Demarest family? Her birth record wouldn't show up as Mary Amanda Demarest. Of course this is only a theory. More research is in our future!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Ex Prohibito Concubitu

 Looking for my hubby's great-grandmother's birth, I came across this page from the transcribed records of the Reformed Dutch Church at Greenwich (New York City).

Great-grandma was Mary Amanda Demarest, not Pamelia Ann Demarest (see last entry in the photo). However, Mary Amanda's parents and early years remain a mystery, even though cousin Larry (our family's super-genealogist) has been searching for more than a decade.

Baby girl Demarests born in 1831 in New York City are of interest to us, since that was Great-grandma's year and place of birth. And looking for Mary Amanda Demarest led me to stumble across Pamelia Ann Demarest, born in 1831, in the church records.

Pamelia Ann was born ex prohibito concubitu which, a professional genealogist explained, meant her parents weren't allowed to marry. Having never seen or heard this phrase before, I was wordless for a moment (rare for me).

Was the parents' relationship too close (first cousins, for example, or even closer)? Was the father or mother already married? Was the mother (or father) too young to marry? Note that no father was listed, and the baby was adopted. It's also a legal issue: This child can't inherit.

But there's more to the Demarest mystery. I'll save that for another day!