Monday, May 8, 2017

Elizabeth Gibson (1832-1905) Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland

Widow Elizabeth Gibson Cooper
Elizabeth GIBSON is my second great grandmother. She was the daughter of Reverend Alexander GIBSON of Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland. Her mother was Jane GIBSON. I have not yet figured out how or if these two GIBSONs are related.

Elizabeth was born on 19 April 1832. She is the second of four daughters. Her father was the minister of the Presbyterian Church of Mullingar. She met her husband, Austin COOPER, a widower, with an infant son, Austin Irwin COOPER. She and Austin were married by license on 14 June 1851 in the Church [of Ireland] of Mullingar by Thomas Woodward. Austin worked for the Ireland Railway. His job located him around the central part of Ireland and parts of England. Austin and Elizabeth had fourteen children. These included:
back of photo 1884
Photo in author's possession

   Henry Cooper (1852-1883)
   Mary 'Minnie' Elizabeth Cooper (1853-1886)
   Alexander Sisson Cooper (1854-1927)
   Arthur Lincoln Cooper (1856-1876)
   Elizabeth 'Bessie' Cooper (1857-1938)
   Edwin Ashley Cooper (1860-1894)
   Samuel Penrose Cooper (1861-1893)
   John Turner Cooper (1862-?)
   Jane 'Jennie' Mauvillian Cooper (1864-1943)
   Water Ernest Cooper (1866-1949)
   Ashley Joseph Cooper (1868-1941)
   James Austin Cooper (1870-1872)
   Sylvester Cooper (1870-?)
   Marian Frances Cooper (1871-1923)

To read more of her detailed life as wife and mother, read blog post about Austin Cooper 1825-1883.

Also see blog about The Old COOPER Bible

Elizabeth was widowed by 1 September 1883. The family was living in Bellananagh, Co. Cavan at the time. She had two teen sons and one 12 year old daughter still at home. 

Widow Elizabeth leaves for the United States in 1884 following her daughter, Mary Elizabeth Cooper EDMONDS who left for Texas the previous year in 1883. 

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital image, ( : accessed 7 May 2017), Image 585 of 1096, Line 130, Eliz Cooper entry: citing List Number 697 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 477; Ship City of Rome out of Liverpool, R. D. Manning ? master, arrived New York on 9 June 1884.
Elizabeth is arriving by herself. Why? What about Jane or Jenny/Jennie, her daughter? 

The earliest record I find of Jennie in the United States is her marriage record to John William Oswald on 19 Nov 1891 in Cascade, Montana. 

"Montana, County Marriages, 1865-1950," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 7 December 2014), John W Oswald and Jane M Cooper, 19 Nov 1891; citing Marriage, Helena, Lewis and Clarke, Montana, county courthouses, Montana; FHL microfilm 1,906,338.

Here also is their marriage announcement in the local paper.

The Helena independent. (Helena, Mont.), 22 Nov. 1891. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 
 Their only child, son Austin H. Oswald, was born 27 Aug 1892, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the homeland of his father. I find the Oswalds back in Cascade, Montanta, in local newpaper in 1898. Look who is with them!

Hotel Arrivals Date: Friday, April 22, 1898  Paper: Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana)  Volume: IX  Issue: 231  Page: 9 (accessed 11 Oct. 2015).

Two years later, the Oswald family with Elizabeth are in South Dakota. He is a stockman in Fairbanks Township, Sully, South Dakota. According to the US 1900 Census, Elizabeth states her occupation is “making her home here.” 

1900 United States Census, South Dakota, Sully County, population schedule, Fairbanks, enumeration district (ED) 817, Sheet 7-A, Family #84, John W. Oswald household; digital image, ( : accessed 7 May 2017); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T263, Roll 1554.
Elizabeth Gibson is found visiting her youngest daughter, Marian Frances Cooper GEARHART, of Sedalia, Missouri, in 1905, where she dies of natural causes. Her funeral was at the local Presbyterian church. I will have to contact the church to find out where she was buried. I was so excited when I found her Obituary! This answered so many questions as to what I had about what happened to Elizabeth Gibson Cooper.

Elizabeth Gibson Cooper obituary, The Sedalia Democrat. Tuesday, May 2, 1905. page 3.,  col. 3. on :  accessed 12 Feb. 2015. 
What happens to the Oswalds and Gearharts? See future blog posts about their family stories and family connections.

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