Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fearless Females - Profile of Mary Ann Matson

March 31 — Pick one female ancestor and write a mini-profile (500 words or less).

Mary Matson in 1919
My great-great-grandmother Mary Ann Matson was born in Clinton County, Ohio on Sept. 11, 1851. She was the youngest of the 13 children of Asa Matson and Dorothy “Dolly” Clevenger. Mary's parents were born in Virginia and migrated to Clinton County, Ohio in the early 1800's. Four of Mary's brothers served in the Civil War and two died in the war while another was wounded.

On December 10, 1868, Mary was married to Timothy Creeden in Clinton County. She was 17 and Timothy was 22. Timothy was an Irish immigrant, born in 1846 in County Cork.

In the 1870 census, Timothy and Mary “Credon” have a son named Patrick born in November, 1869. Timothy is listed as a farmer and they are living in the Richland Township next door to or with Mary's brother John Matson. Tragedy struck when Patrick died at the age of three in 1872. In the 1880 census, they are still in the Richland township and they have children James, Lizzie (Mary Elizabeth), Dennis, and Daniel.

In January 1884, Mary and her family moved to Mercer County, Ohio where they bought 40 acres of land in the Hopewell township. (Details on Mercer Land Purchase) Tragedy struck again when their son James died in 1889 from typhoid fever. He was only 17 years old and is buried in Old Buck cemetery in Hopewell Township. John Matson is buried next to James.

Mary at her boarding house
Mary and Timothy's son Edward was born in April 1884. They had 4 more children in Mercer County: Ida Belle, Julia, Charles, and Joshua. Timothy died in December 1899 and left the land to Mary. On September 29, 1901 Mary granted a mortgage to Bessie Copeland for part of the land. Mary had already moved the family to a boarding house in town in Celina, Ohio. In the 1900 census, Mary is living with the six youngest children at the boarding house. Daniel is working for the railroad and Edward is a clerk. Charles and Julia are attending school while Ida Belle and Joshua are still at home. In 1910, Mary is listed as the Proprietor of a Boarding House and three of the children have jobs while living at the house with three boarders. More deaths struck the family as her son Charles lost his son Carl in 1912 and her son Daniel lost both of his children in 1915 and 1916. In 1920, only Joshua is still at home, although Ida Belle and her husband are possibly living at the house. Mary's occupation is listed as "None", so perhaps she was able to retire by then.

Mary died in 1925 at the age of 74 in Mercer County, Ohio. (Mary's Obituary) She had been a devout member of the Immaculate Conception Church while living in Mercer County and she was buried in the Catholic cemetery there. Several people from Clinton County attended her funeral, including some of her Matson family. She lived through a lot including the Civil War, the deaths of two children and three grandchildren, and her husband's early death, but was able to make a living and raise the younger children by herself.

Once again, in honor of  National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

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