De Vere Stapleton

copyright 2008 by Nathaniel Lane Taylor

Draft: 1 January 2008

1. Vere7 Stapleton (John6, Benjamin5, Robert4, Benjamin3, Robert2,1) was baptized at Martock, Somerset, England, 8 July 1835, son of John Stapleton, a saddler, and Ann (Richards) Stapleton. In John Stapleton's will of 16 March 1861 and codicil of 7 March 1863 (proved at Taunton, Somerset 24 April 1867), Vere Stapleton is indicated as possibly living but proof of same would be required for execution of bequests, suggesting he was overseas (this is also said of his brother John Stapleton).

It appears that this is the same man as the Vere or De Vere Stapleton who lived in the United States from 1859 until his death apparently in 1881 (his year of death was stated by his daughter Cora on her 1921 passport application). His first notice in the United States is his arrival at the port of New Orleans (Louisiana, United States) on 16 April 1859, on the ship Epanimondas from Liverpool (passenger list). His age is there listed as 30, though he was actually 23 at the time. Vere Stapleton apparently died in 1881, but it is not known where.

He married, apparently soon thereafter, Mary Ann Williamson, who was born in Bedford County, Virginia, about 1830 or 1832 (stated aet. 20 in 1850 US Census; aet. 28 in 1860 Census), daughter of Henry Parsons Williamson (Jr.) and Lucy Hill (Bowles) Williamson (see material from Edwin David [Dave] Robertson of New York City). Nothing has been found to suggest how Mary Ann Williamson came to meet Vere Stapleton; presumably this was in Louisiana or Arkansas, less likely in Virginia. Vere and Mary Ann (Williamson) Stapleton were living in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas in the 1860 US Federal Census (enumerated in August), with a daughter, Anna Belle, aged 3 months (the Census gives Vere Stapleton the first initial 'V'; perhaps only later did he use the name'De Vere'). Vere was listed as a school teacher, born in England, age 28 (actually he was 25).

Cora Emma, apparently their second child, was born 8 October 1861 and stated her birthplace to be Center Point, Sevier County (later Howard County), Arkansas, some 150 miles west of Little Rock, near the Oklahoma border. On 25 May 1872, 'De Vere' Stapleton, age 36 (correctly stated!), appears on a list of passengers arriving at New Orleans on the brig-schooner Mischief from Utilla, Honduras (Mischief registered at Nassau, Bahamas): he is listed as 'Engenier' by occupation. The principal residence(s) of Vere and Mary Ann (Williamson) Stapleton after 1860 or 1861 are not known. They have not been found in the 1870 US Census or the 1880 US Census. Daughter Cora (Stapleton) Nye stated in a 1921 passport application that her father De Vere Stapleton had died in 1881. In the 1880 US Census Cora was living in Boston, in a boarding-house; neither parent can be found in Massachusetts or anywhere else in 1880.

Late in her life, on 4 June 1939 Cora Stapleton gave flowers to her episcopal church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in memory of her parents, "the Rev. and Mrs. De Vere Stapleton," but it is not known whether Vere Stapleton was actually a minister or if so to what religious denomination he might have belonged (church bulletin clipping, penciled "1939" in margin). One other piece of evidence is the flyleaf of a book inscribed "De Vere Stapleton, Thibodeaux, La." The town of Thibodaux (current spelling) is the seat of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and is in the Mississippi Delta some 60 miles west of New Orleans. It is not known whether Stapleton might have lived there at some time, or just visited and perhaps acquired this book there. I have made no systematic search of probate indices for these various locations in Louisiana or Arkansas, but this is a possible next step.

The only list of the children of Vere and Mary Ann (Williamson) Stapleton is found in a letter and chart by Bettie Talbot of Bedford County, Virginia, based on information apparently compiled by Mary Ann (Williamson) Stapleton's sister Susan Rebecca (Williamson) Andrews and subsequently inherited by Mrs. Talbot. The chart shows that Mrs. Andrews, who died in 1925, must have been in correspondence with her niece Cora in Massachusetts: she recorded the names and birthdates of Cora's two grandchildren, who were born in 1915 and 1918.

Children of Vere and Mary Ann (Williamson) Stapleton:

                i.   Anna Belle8 Stapleton, b. ca. June 1860, in Arkansas; said in Bettie Talbot chart (1991) to have died as a child.

2             ii.   Cora Emma8 Stapleton, b. 6 October 1861, Center Point, Sevier County (later Howard County), Arkansas (1921 passport application; 1927 passenger list).

              iii.   John Henry8 Stapleton, named in Bettie Talbot chart (1991) and there said to have died as a child.

              iv.   Sarah Virginia8 Stapleton, named in Bettie Talbot chart (1991) and there said to have died as a child.


2. Cora Emma8 Stapleton, (Vere7, John6, Benjamin5, Robert4, Benjamin3, Robert2,1 ), was born 6 October 1861 at Center Point (later Howard County), Arkansas (as she stated as an adult). She died April 1944 at Wellesley, Massachusetts; she was buried 12 April 1944 at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. After her birth in 1861 her whereabouts is not known until the 1880 US Census, when she was living in a boardinghouse in Boston, Massachusetts, and working as a clerk in a store. She married at Boston, 22 February 1881, Charles Henry8 Nye (Charles Ruggles7, David C.6, John R.5, Simeon4, Caleb3, Nathan2, Benjamin1), a grocer, of Somerville (Mass VRs Marriages), son of Charles Ruggles and Mary Jane (Boardman) Nye (on Nye see George Hyatt Nye and Frank E. Best, A Genealogy of the Nye Family [Nye Family of America Association, 1907], p. 587]). They had only one child, Mary, in 1882. Charles Henry Nye died at Lexington, Mass., 17 March 1887 (Mass VRs Deaths), and was buried in his family plot at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge.

Cora Emma Stapleton long outlived her husband; by 1900 she was living in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with her widowed mother-in-law, Mary Jane (Boardman) Nye, and daughter Mary Nye, where she lived for the rest of her life. She died in April 1944, and was buried 12 April 1944 at the Nye plot in the Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.

Only child of Cora Emma Stapleton and Charles Henry Nye:

3              i.   Mary Lillian Nye (birth name; subsequently known as Mary Stapleton Nye), b. at Somerville, Mass., 17 December 1882.


3. Mary Lillian or Mary Stapleton Nye was born 17 December 1882 at Somerville, Mass., only child of Charles Henry Nye, grocer, and Cora Emma Stapleton; she died October 1964 and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.

At her birth her name was registered as "Mary Lillian" (and so it appears in the 1907 Genealogy of the Nye Family); however she apparently used "Mary Stapleton Nye" as her name, as is found on a printed bookplate she used, as well as on a chart of information originally compiled by her aunt Susan Rebecca (Williamson) Andrews of Bedford County, Virginia.

In 1914 (in Massachusetts, but I do not yet have the record for city and date) she married William MacArthur Scott of Spokane, Washington, and Drumclamph, near Castlederg, County Tyrone, Ireland (Mass. VRs Marriages 627:142, non vidi). She had moved to Spokane with her husband by 1915; their two children were born there in 1915 and 1918. In 1920 the family was still living in Spokane (US Census) but by the next year they had moved back to her husband's birthplace, the farm of Drumclamph, near Castlederg, County Tyrone, Ireland, where Mary's mother, Cora (Stapleton) Nye, was intending to visit them in 1921 (passport application). They lived at Drumclamph for the next 14 years, returning to Massachusetts in 1934 (passenger lists) and living in Wellesley, where Mary had lived before marriage.

Children of Mary Lillan Stapleton and William MacArthur Scott:

                i.   Joseph Robertson Scott; b. at Spokane, Washington 1 November 1915; d. at Newton, Mass. 17 July 1986; m. at Wellesley Hills, Mass., 27 December 1941, Carolyn Ayer Harmon, daughter of Dudley and Selene (Ayer) Harmon; three children.

               ii.   Mary Elizabeth Scott; b. at Spokane, Washington 17 February 1918; d. at Old Greenwich, Connecticut January 1982; m. Harold George Russell (who was b. 7 May 1918, and d. at Old Greenwich, Connecticut 3 March 2002); five children.


Nathaniel Lane Taylor, January 2008

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rev 01/30/2008