MARYLAND/VIRGINIA/DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Ridgeway - Martin - Willett - Coombs Family
FRANCIS IDA WILLETT or IDA FRANCIS WILLETT
Completely rewritten January 2016
Laura L Coomes or Coombs, one of our Cator lineage great, great grandmothers was born about 1853-1860, the child of John C and Harriett Coomes. Laura had one son and one daughter with her first husband, Fielden D Willet (1816-1879)...who then died.
1880 CENSUS: Harder times have befallen our widowed GGGrandmother Laura Willet. She has moved by choice or more likely by necessity to Middleton, Charles County, MD to live with her father and his young wife. Laura and her small children William and Ida (our future great grandmother), are at the home of her dad John C. Cooms who is a 56 year old farmer. John's married to his second wife now, Mary E. LNU who is just 26. (Could this be a third wife?)
Cooms' daughters Elizabeth, Mary (school) and son Thomas P. Cooms (farmhand) are 20, 19, 18 respectively and could be the children of Laura's mom Harriett, but cannot be the children of Mary E. Cooms.
Laura Cooms is 25 and almost as old as her stepmom Mary is (26). The younger family members, no doubt children of Mary and John together are Margaret, Caroline, Mary and an infant, all 5 and under.
A cousin Walter Cooms who is 20 is living with the family also. This is a robust household no doubt with lots of noise, and hopefully lots of laughter!
1882: Within two years, Laura has remarried and moved again. In 1882 Laura married her second (and last) husband, Philip A. Martin (Sr.), born in Germany around 1847, he immigrated to America at between the ages of 6 and 13. Laura and Philip had four children together, Maggie Martin b. April 1883; Philip (Jr.), b. August 1884; George E. born about 1885, and John Francis "Frank" born June 29, 1886.
SON WILLIAM A. WILLET: Laura's first child with Fielden, son William Arthur Willet grew up to detest his stepfather and actually beat his stepfather Philip Martin on one occasion. Note: William Arthur was born September 29, 1875. William lived till August 4, 1949.
Laura and Philip's son Philip A. Martin, Jr., was a criminal in his early 20s and died young, at the age of 26 on June 5, 1911. He is buried at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in DC.
Note: There are various dates and ages given in records for Philip Jr., but I am using the grave dates as proof.
The next article is also about Philip Martin, Jr. and
appeared in the Washington Post on Sept. 20, 1904, two years after the
robbery. According to the article he has turned 21, which he would
have in August 1904.▼
The accidental death of Philip Martin, Jr.
is described in the following news article in the
Post on June 6, 1911▼
Great Grandmother Laura died on June 19, 1932, at the age of 79, at home which was located on 418 G Street SE, DC. Laura, a Catholic, had final mass was at St. Peter's Church and was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Francis Ida Willet, one of our maternal Cator lineage great grandmothers was born in Maryland in March of 1877, the child of Fielden and Laura Willet. She married John Henry Ridgeway our great grandfather in this line on May 22, 1895 and later married her second husband John Warren Thompson.
Ida and John Henry had 5 children:
RUTH ALICE RIDGEWAY, our maternal Cator lineage grandmother was born in Maryland in March of 1877, the child of Ida and Henry Ridgeway. She married CHARLES CONRAD CATOR, JR., our grandfather on on March 7, 1914. They divorced and she married George Fowler. Ruth had no children with Fowler. She died at the age of 33 due to complications of pneumonia following an automobile accident in which revenuers were chasing bootleggers and the car she and Fowler were driving in was hit.
Ruth and Charlie eloped, but it was a difficult elopement. You can see the details in my blog at http://snippetbiographies.blogspot.com/2012/12/charlie-cator-runs-away-twice.html .
Charlie and Ruth's first daughter was Bernice Lucille Cator born on June 12, 1915 in DC.
Their second daughter was Evelyn Estelle Cator, born January 10, 1917 in DC.
Their third daughter was Mary Alice Cator born January 24, 1918 in DC also.
1916 Sept. 24 - DEATH: Ida Willett Ridgeway Thompson died at age 40 at Providence Hospital in Washington DC. It is sad that my husband's grandmother Ruth died at 33 (accident complications) and his great grandmother Ida at 40. Too young.
1923 - Divorce: Ruth and Charlie divorced on March 26, 1923 in Fairfax Virginia after 9 years of marriage. She was 27.
1929 July 7 - DEATH: Ruth Ridgeway Cator Fowler dies in DC. She is buried 3 days later in Forestville MD. She was only 33 and died of pneumonia contracted from her friend and caregiver of her injuries following an accident in DC when revenuers were in pursuit of someone and caused an accident which involved the nearby car of Ruth and her husband George. Refer to my blog for the story of her death: http://snippetbiographies.blogspot.com/2014/12/ruth-ridgeway-cator-fowler-ultimately.html
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