still living - details excluded
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _William DANSON _____| | (1790 - 1824) m 1816| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Agnes Ann DANSON | (1820 - ....) | __ | | | _Donald MACQUARRIE __| | | m 1790 | | | |__ | | |_Agnes MACQUARRIE ___| (1791 - 1824) m 1816| | __ | | |_Martha LEA _________| m 1790 | |__
Age at death was 3 weeks, we found no baptismal record for him at Workington.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Bragg DANSON | (1803 - 1803) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _William DANSON _____| | (1790 - 1824) m 1816| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Elizabeth Jane DANSON | (1824 - ....) | __ | | | _Donald MACQUARRIE __| | | m 1790 | | | |__ | | |_Agnes MACQUARRIE ___| (1791 - 1824) m 1816| | __ | | |_Martha LEA _________| m 1790 | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Fanny DANSON | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Frances DANSON | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _William DANSON _____| | (1790 - 1824) m 1816| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Frances DANSON | (1819 - ....) | __ | | | _Donald MACQUARRIE __| | | m 1790 | | | |__ | | |_Agnes MACQUARRIE ___| (1791 - 1824) m 1816| | __ | | |_Martha LEA _________| m 1790 | |__
Her baptismal record gives her name as Françoise Danson, even though it was indexed as Dawson in the Drouin collection. The sponsors at her baptism were Thomas Binet and Marguerite Beaupré. The burial record, which names both of her parents, was witnessed by her uncle William Power, and by Gordian Horan, no relationship stated.
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1793 - 1835) m 1818| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Frances DANSON | (1827 - 1829) | __ | | | _Michael POWER ______| | | (1770 - 1815) | | | |__ | | |_Catherine POWER ____| (1797 - 1834) m 1818| | __ | | |_Elizabeth TOVEY ____| (1777 - 1857) | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Henry Bragg DANSON | (.... - 1807) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
Age at death was about 9 months, but we found no baptismal record for her at Workington.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Jane DANSON | (1802 - ....) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
This John Danson, mariner, was at Workington at least from 1797 until his death in 1814. The records of St. Michael's Church (Anglican) include the baptisms of three children of John and Fanny Danson during this period, plus burials of at least two more children (Jane and Bragg). The death of Captain John Danson at Workington was announced in The New Monthly Magazine, vol. 1, no. 5, published on June 1, 1814. The burial records of St. Michael's church show that John Danson, mariner, age 55, was buried on 15 may 1814.
One possible parent is the Jonathan Danson who baptised a son John in the parish of Camerton, 11 nov 1759. Jonathan and his wife Jane Dale were married at Lamplugh, Cumberland, England 10 oct 1754. They died in the 1790's in Camerton, where Jonathan's burial record of 24 jan 1798 identifies him as a farmer.
The Elizabeth Danson who died in 1816, age 28 (thus born about 1788) might be another child of John and Frances whose baptism has not been found.
The will of John Danson of Workington, mariner, was probated in the Deanery of Copeland 22 jan 1822 (FHL microfilm #99203). The will was written in 1814, but the month and day were left blank. The signature of John Danson appears feeble and labored. The witnesses were W. Dickinson (?) and John Falcon. He left all "messuages, dwelling houses, shops" at Workington, and all "shares of ships, stock in trade" etc. to his wife Frances during her lifetime provided she did not remarry. Then the estate would be divided among his "child or children" (this phrase is found in many wills of the time) in equal shares. He nominated his wife Frances and his son William as executors. The accompanying probate act says that he died on 13 may 1814, and notes that his son William was (as of 1822) "in the parish of Liverpool", consistent with the directory listings that we found there. The widow estimated the value of the estate at £ 600.
Text of the will:
Will of John Danson (Deanery of Copeland, Wills 1821-1830, Family History Library microfilm #99203, original will at the Lancashire Record Office, W/RW/C/R287B/4)
This is the last Will and Testament of me John Danson of Workington in the County of Cumberland mariner. I give devise and bequeath to my wife Frances Danson All my Messuages or dwelling Houses Shop and Hereditaments Situate at Workington aforesaid with their and every of their Appurtenances and all my real Estate whatsoever And all my Shares of Ships Stock in Trade and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever and of what Nature or Kind soever and wheresoever situate. To hold the same Messuages Shop Hereditaments real and personal Estate to my wife and her assigns during the term of her natural Life or so long as she shall continue my Widow and from and after her Decease or second Marriage I give devise and bequeath the same to all and every the Child and Children I may have living by my said Wife at the time of my decease To hold to them and to their respective Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns absolutely forever equally to be divided between them and amongst them share and share alike and to take as Tenants in Common not as joint Tenants. I hereby nominate Constitute and appoint my said Wife during her Viduity and my Son William Executrix and Executor of this my last Will and Testament: hereby revoking all Will or Wills by me at any time heretofore made and declare this only to be my last Will and Testament. In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament set my Hand and Seal the _____ day of _____ in the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fourteen. Signed Sealed published and Declared by the said John Danson the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his Presence and in the Presence of each other have hereunto Subscribed our names as Witnesses hereunto.
[signed] John Danson [seal]
[signatures] W Dickinson, John Falcon
[on the reverse of this sheet:]
On the Twenty second Day of January in the Year of our Lord One Thousand eight Hundred and twenty two this Will of John Danson late of Workington in the County of Cumberland within the Archdeaconry of Richmond Mariner who departed this life on the Thirteenth Day of May One Thousand eight Hundred and fourteen was proved in common form and Frances Danson of Workington in the County of Cumberland Widow and Executrix therein named was sworn well and faithfully to execute and perform the same (Power being reserved for William Danson of the Parish of Liverpool in the County of Lancaster Mariner one other of the Executors in the said Will named and so forth) and that according to the best of the knowledge information and belief of the said Frances Danson the whole of the good chattels and credits of which the said Testator died possessed within the Archdeaconry of Richmond in the Diocese of Chester (exclusive of what the said Testator might have been possessed of or entitled to as a Trustee for any other person or persons) and not beneficially and without deducting any thereof on account of the debts due and owing by and from the said Testator were under the Value of Six Hundred Pounds.
Before me, Anty Dalzell, Surrogate.
Family information says only that he was a merchant captain who died by falling down the hatch while drunk. If he actually died while away from England, it appears the Prerogative Court of Canterbury would have jurisdiction over his estate in England, if any. (If he did not leave a will, and if there were any significant estate, the administration should likewise have fallen under the same jurisdiction—but the administrations apparently do not have a general index yet.) The family story did not indicate whether he was English (as opposed to Canadian), and it was not known when or where this accident was supposed to have occurred.
Now that the Drouin collection of French-Canadian records is available on Ancestry.com, the puzzle has been solved, and we also understand why the information was so difficult to find. First, we found a small number of records in the Drouin collection indexed under Danson. One of these was the baptism on 15 oct 1834 of John Danson, son of John Danson, captain of a ship, and Catherine Power. These were the parents named in the family story about the origins of Marion Danson. There was no marriage in this collection for a John "Danson", so we looked for a marriage of Catherine Power instead. The expected marriage was found, with the groom indexed as John Dawson! The rest of the records were then found by searching for Dawson. While examining these records, it became apparent that the index as of 2010 is extremely bad, so it is possible that additional records have been missed because they are incorrectly indexed. In most cases, the original entries in the church registers clearly say Danson.
The marriage was celebrated at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City on 06 jun 1818. The record gives the names of both of the bride's parents, as well as the presumed place of birth of the groom and the ages of both:
"John Danson of Workington in the County of Cumberland in England, Master of the Brig Frances, now lying in the port of Quebec, bachelor, aged twenty two years (by Licence and with the consent of her Mother) to Catherine Power daughter of the late Michael Power, of Waterford in Ireland, Mariner, spinster, aged twenty one years, this sixth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen. By me George Jehoshephat Mountain, officiating minister." The entry bears the following signatures: John Danson, Catherine Power, Wm. Power, brother, Eliza Power, mother, Mary Jane Bradley, sister, Wm. F. (?) Lane.
The brig Frances is listed in Jollie's Cumberland Guide and Directory, (1811) with Master W. Dawson, owned by T. Falcon and Co. The same directory shows a brig Friends, Master E. Dawson, owned by E. Dawson and Co. (This is probably Edward Dawson, captain, residence Cross Hill. He married Jane Harris at Workington 20 jul 1794 and had at least the following children, of the right generation to include our John: Ann baptised 25 aug 1799, Henry baptised 23 aug 1801—at least one newspaper advertisement, in the Liverpool Mercury, calls the master of the Friends Danson instead of Dawson, 13 feb 1818). A notice in the newspaper the Cumberland Pacquet, 15 mar 1814, announced the pending sale of a 1/32 share of the "Francis", William Danson, master. We found entries in Lloyd's Register of Shipping for the Frances during the years 1810-1822, indicating that it was built in 1810. The ship disappears from the Register after 1822. It is listed either as a brig or a snow, 185 tons, trading between Workington and Fyal, Ireland (1810-1811), Liverpool and New Brunswick (1812), Liverpool and Halifax (1813-1814), Belfast and Nevis (1815), Waterford, Ireland and Quebec (1818-1819), Liverpool and New Brunswick again (1820-1821), and Liverpool and St. Vincent (1822). (The Registers for 1816 and 1817 have not yet been examined.) This information immediately suggests two conclusions: First, our John Danson was probably the son or another close relative of the William Danson who owned this ship, or part of it, in 1814. Second, since the ship seems to have been based in Liverpool beginning in 1820, it seems most likely that we will find some of his children baptised there.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the brig Frances arrived at the port of Quebec on 29 aug 1817, Master Danson, from Waterford, a passage of 56 days, carrying 8 settlers and cargo (see theshipslist.com). The same brig, but listed in the Quebec Mercury (supplement, 05 jun 1818, p. 1) as Francis, arrived next at Quebec on 02 jun 1818, Master Danson, 45 days from Waterford, with 66 passengers and cargo. This second arrival is just 4 days before the marriage of John Danson and Catherine Power. Perhaps Catherine and her family were aboard the Frances in 1818, and her mother was so impressed with the assistance rendered by the captain that she gave him permission to marry her daughter.
About 10 months after the marriage, a child Jonathan was baptised in Workington on 29 apr 1819 at St. Michael's Church (Anglican), son of John Danson and Catherine. Did the couple return to England to meet the rest of the Danson family?
Another baptism for a child of the same name and with the same parents is recorded at St. Peter's, Liverpool, on 26 jul 1819, the father described as a mariner living in Stanhope Street. The 1821 edition of History, Directory, and Gazetteer of the County Palatine of Lancaster (Edward Baines, vol. 1, p. 235) shows John Danson, mariner, living at 22 Stanhope Street, as well as a William Danson, mariner, at 39 Stanhope Street. The same entries are found in the 1824 and 1825 editions. However, both are gone by 1827 (Gore's Directory of Liverpool). Nevertheless, the 1829 edition of Gore's Directory shows Isabella Powers living at 22 Stanhope Street! (The surname Power or Powers is extremely uncommon in Liverpool, according to these directories. In the next generation of the Power family in Quebec, the name Isabella occurs a couple times. The Isabella Power in Liverpool might be another sister of John Danson's wife.)
He is listed next to William Power in the 1825 census of "Bas-Canada" (district of Quebec, faubourgs de St. Jean et St. Louis, page 14). The household of John Danson consisted of five people, a child under the age of six, a married male between the ages of 25 and 40, two girls between the ages of 6 and 14, and a married woman between the ages of 14 and 45. The children do not seem to correspond well with the what is known of this family, so it is possible that they are from the Power family.
By 1829, John Danson was captain of the ship Madner, according to the baptismal record of his son William. However, we found no such ship listed in Lloyd's Register, so it may be that the name of the ship was not understood correctly by the priest.
The British National Archives web site "Access to Archives" shows the following items that may relate to this family:
The wills, administrations, and inventories of the Deanery of Copeland are on microfilm at the Family History Library. The series goes back to the late 16th Century and is mostly organized by decade and then by the first letter of the surname.
We believe we may have found John Danson's burial record as well, this time actually written as Dawson, at the Basilica of Notre-Dame, 04 nov 1835:
"Le quatre novembre, mil huit cent trent cinq, nous Prêtre vicaire de Quebec sousigné avons inhumé dans le cimetière St. Louis, John Dawson, Navigateur, né de parents à nous inconnus, décédé le veille, en cette ville, par suite d'un excès de boisson, comme il s'appert par le certificat du coroner, son age à nous inconnu. Présens Raphael Martin sousigné et Augustin Garneaud qui a declaré ne savoir écrire." While this might be our John Danson, it is at least equally likely that the accident happened somewhere else, and that this report is for a different man. However, it should be noted that by 06 mar 1836, John Danson was definitely dead, as noted in the burial record of the last son, John, 06 mar 1836.
The coroner's inquest appears to be this one (from the web site of the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales de Québec):
Nom: Dawson Prénom: John Occupation: Marin - à bord du «William Lunshington» (this should be William Lushington) Lieu de résidence: Âge: Parents: Date de décès - découverte du corps: 1835-11-03 Date de l'enquête: 1835-11-03 Lieu de l'enquête: Québec (Ville : Québec) Nom du coroner: Charles Panet Cause ou circonstances du décès - verdict du coroner: Mort due à une consommation excessive d'alcool Présence de témoignages: Oui Remarques: Langue des documents: Anglais District judiciaire: Québec Source: Centre d'archives de Québec, TL31,S26,SS1 (1960-01-353\2310), Fonds Cour des sessions générales de la paix du district de Québec Numéro de dossier: 76
(A copy of this dossier may be ordered from the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales de Québec, using the request form https://www.banq.qc.ca/formulaires/reproduction/index.html.)
There is at least one other John Dawson in the records of Notre-Dame de Québec. A Margaret Dawson daughter of John Dawson matelot (sailor) and his wife Catherine Brennan was baptised on 07 oct 1832 and died the next year. This couple was married 17 oct 1831 at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in the city of Quebec. At that time Dawson was "lately of the Brig Grenada, seaman". By 1834, however, he was simply a "journalier", a day laborer.
Some citations have been located in the Liverpool Mercury (newspaper images on the web site of the British Library (http://newspapers.bl.uk) (or other sources specified below):
Also, the ship Mary, from London, arrived at Prince Edward Island on 06 oct 1823, master J. Danson.
We are indebted to Tim Latham for a citation found in Harry Fancy's Shipbuilding at Workington: A Checklist (Whitehaven, England: Friends of Whitehaven Museum, 1985): the Frances was built by Michael Falcon of Workington and launched 09 dec 1809.
The church records at Workington are not particularly enlightening. However, we found evidence of one couple who might be John's parents scattered across three parishes, Workington, Dearham, and Maryport. A John Danson, mariner, married Frances (usually called Fanny) Bragg at Dearham, 11 mar 1787. Children of this couple were baptised at Dearham in 1794 (Jonathan), 1795 (John, but apparently born in 1793, the two transcripts we found disagreed on this point), 1796 (Frances). Also, we found another daughter Fanny at Maryport (1792). There were three more children at Workington: Mary (1797), Joseph (1799), and Henry Bragg (1807). Finally, we found two children buried at Workington but not baptised there: Jane (1802), and Bragg (1803). Very likely, the father, John Danson, mariner, was the Captain John Danson whose death at Workington was reported in The New Monthly Magazine, vol. 1, no. 5, published on June 1, 1814.
Regarding the problem of the date of birth of John, son of John Danson and Frances Bragg, the transcribed text of the Bishop's Transcript is on the internet at http://www.cumberlandroots.co.uk/Dearham.htm. This version says that the child was born in 1793 but baptised in 1795. Comparing this entry with those surrounding it, we note that it is the only entry which states the year. The other entries are simply in chronological order by date of baptism, with the year marked only at the beginning of each yearly list. In other words, this entry appears to be worded in such a way as to make clear that the birth and the baptism were in different years. Further, the 1793 birth date results in a more plausible spacing of the births in this family. If it were in May, 1795, the next birth, in baptism, in February, 1796, would seem to be too close, and the preceding baptism, in October, 1794, even closer.
It seems plausible that this could be the family of our John Danson, but there is no proof yet. The will of Captain John Danson mentions only one son, William, who was to serve as co-executor; the estate was to go to the widow Frances, and then upon her death or remarriage to the unnamed children in equal shares. The names in the two families seem to overlap, but that might simply indicate kinship rather than a direct relationship. Also, the same given names seem to be very common in Workington. One difficulty might have a simple explanation: the marriage record in 1818 gives John Danson's age as 22, but, if the correct date of birth of the John Danson recorded at Dearham is 26 may 1795, he would have been 23 on the date of his marriage. Indeed, he would have been 23 on the date the Frances arrived at Quebec that year. He would have been even older if the 1793 date is correct. But the marriage record says a licence was issued, and the age in the marriage record was presumably copied from the licence. Perhaps the licence had been obtained earlier, during a previous voyage to Quebec. It is also worth noting that, under this scenario, the Frances would have been named for John's mother Frances Bragg, and that the previous master, William Danson, could be John's brother. Though the evidence is still quite circumstantial, we show John Danson as the son of John Danson and Frances Bragg.
Citations in the notaries of the district of Quebec: notary Laughlan Thomas MacPherson, "protest" for John Danson, Brig Francis, 20 nov 1818 (repertoire says Dawson!); "engagement", John Danson to Henry G. Forsyth, 09 aug 1825; notary William Fisher Scott, sale, John Danson to Jonathan Moore, 27 sep 1832. It should be noted that John and William Danson seem to have had dealings in Liverpool with Smith, Forsyth and Co.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--John DANSON | (1793 - 1835) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _William DANSON _____| | (1790 - 1824) m 1816| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--John DANSON | | __ | | | _Donald MACQUARRIE __| | | m 1790 | | | |__ | | |_Agnes MACQUARRIE ___| (1791 - 1824) m 1816| | __ | | |_Martha LEA _________| m 1790 | |__
His burial record is the first definite indication that his father had died:
(From the parish register of 1836 for Notre-Dame de Québec, fol. 48v, burial 91:) "Le six Mars mil huit cent trente six, Nous Prêtre Vicaire de Québec soussigné, avons inhumé dans le cimetiere St. Louis, John, fils légitime de feu Sieur John Danson, et de Dame Catherine Power, décédé la veille, en cette ville, agé de seize mois, Présens Pierre Rinfrette soussigné et Laurent Bontête (?) qui n'a su signer..."
This record is ambiguous as to whether Catherine had already died. Although the construction is not strictly grammatically correct, the word "feu" can sometimes be used to mean that all the persons whose names follow are deceased, and not just the first name in the list. This is evidently the case here, because the burial record for Catherine on 28 dec 1834 is very clear.
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1793 - 1835) m 1818| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--John DANSON | (1834 - 1836) | __ | | | _Michael POWER ______| | | (1770 - 1815) | | | |__ | | |_Catherine POWER ____| (1797 - 1834) m 1818| | __ | | |_Elizabeth TOVEY ____| (1777 - 1857) | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Jonathan DANSON | | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
Another baptism for apparently the same child at the church of St. Peter in Liverpool 26 jul 1819 indicates the father was a mariner and gives the family's address as Stanhope St. The maiden name of the mother, Catherine, is not given. There does not seem to be another occurrence of a John Danson with a wife Catherine in either Workington or in Lancashire.
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1793 - 1835) m 1818| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Jonathan DANSON | | __ | | | _Michael POWER ______| | | (1770 - 1815) | | | |__ | | |_Catherine POWER ____| (1797 - 1834) m 1818| | __ | | |_Elizabeth TOVEY ____| (1777 - 1857) | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Joseph DANSON | (1799 - ....) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
At the time of her marriage, October 31, 1860, she was living at 1 Belgrave Terrace, Higher Broughton, Salford. Solomon was living at 113 Bury New Road, Strangeways, Manchester. (On the 1861 census, the family living at 1 Belgrave Terrace, Broughton, Salford, is Icha Sergioides, age 38, born in Constantinople, "Levant merchant", his wife Aspensia, children Alenandoz, Nicholas, Julia, and John, and servants Eliza Turner, Ann Bagshaw, and Sophia Patrick. We presume Marion had worked here. This entry is indexed by Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org as Sergivides, a name that is otherwise unknown.)
The first known record in the United States is a civil court case, Marion Victor v. Solomon Victor, a divorce action, September term, 1869, in the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne Co., Indiana. The divorce was not granted, according to a notice of court orders published in the edition of Thursday, October 14, 1869 in The Radical, Richmond, Indiana. She next surfaces as "the woman in question" in a sensational incident in Bloomington, Illinois. She had "run away" with Alston Rich and had lived with him as his wife in Bloomington from about May, 1870, until August, 1870, when Solomon Victor discovered where she had been living and shot Alston Rich (who recovered, and left town with Mrs. Victor, after which Solomon was acquitted of attempted murder). By November, 1870, she was in DeKalb County, Illinois, where she filed for divorce, but by March, 1872, she and Solomon had apparently reconciled, because she withdrew the suit.
The next definite record in the United States is the 1880 census of Marinette, Wisconsin. In 1882, she bought a house there at 802 Terrace. In 1895, she sold the house and was living in Omaha. In 1899, Albert Fairchild quitclaimed the same house back to her. Marion sold the house to her daughter in 1913, but remained in the household until her death in 1916. She is living with her daughter and son-in-law in 1900, Gosper Co., NE (ED 74 p 3), showing birthplace as "Canada Fr."
Family lore says she was raised in a convent in Quebec, and came to England when "of age". Exactly what that means is not very clear — but it is certain she should be listed on either the Canadian or British census of 1851. The 1851 census in Quebec, however, is suspected of being incomplete. In any event, she has still not been found.
(Albert Fairchild was Asa Albert Fairchild, born about 1852 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, son of John Fairchild and Laura Porter Bigelow from Vermont, who moved to Marinette, Wisconsin in 1863. His wife was Helen May Graves, according to the birth record of their son Maurice Fairchild, 11 oct 1887, at Marinette, Wisconsin. They were married 14 July 1878 at Peshtigo, Oconto Co., Wisconsin. Another source places Asa's birth at Knightstown, Henry Co., Indiana, and notes a daughter Marion Fairchild born 31 mar 1882 and died 12 oct 1882, at Marinette. This family is the subject of a typescript by Herbert I. Corning, The Family History of Asa Albert Fairchild and His Wife Helen May (Graves) Fairchild which is Supplemental and Part of the Fairchild Genealogy, Long Beach, California, 1968, now in the collections of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, not yet examined.)
A possible sighting was found on the "Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks" web site, in a series of extracts of marriage records in the parish of St. Mary's (Church of England, founded 1754, closed 1890), in the city of Manchester, England. At the marriage of Thomas Todd, agent, of Manchester, and Matilda Alexander, of Patricroft, on 28 jan 1854, the witnesses were Robert Harrison and Marion Danson. The witnesses at this period are usually one male, for the groom, and one female, for the bride, so this Marion is very likely a woman. Our Marion was 22 years old at this time, and this record, if it is indeed her, places her in Manchester, where she was married six years later.
The 1861 census shows her age as 20, birthplace Quebec, Lower Canada. The age seems to be in error, as all other documents so far located put her birthdate about 1832 or 1833. It is just possible she managed to get to England in time for the 1851 census.
Marion and her two children are still in Marinette on the 1885 Wisconsin State Census. They are not on the 1875 census of Marinette at all (then in Oconto County), so it is still unknown whether Solomon Victor ever reached that city. Her son Walter claimed on one census that he had come to the US in 1867, but there are no definite records of any member of this family in the US (with the possible exception of a Solomon Victor who arrived in NY in 1854) prior to 1869.
We now know that Marion and her two children sailed from Liverpool on the steamship St. George, arriving at Quebec on 23 jun 1868. Solomon was not aboard, nor did we find him on the indexed passenger lists for Quebec 1865-1869. The passenger list says she was married, age 32, and gives her occupation as "matron." The Victors are the second family on the embarkation list, coming aboard on 05 jun 1868.
In the Drouin collection of French-Canadian records, now available on Ancestry.com, we finally located the records of this family, as well as the reason why they were so difficult to find. There are only a few entries in the Drouin collection indexed as Danson. We now know that at least some Dansons have been indexed incorrectly as Dawson!
The baptism of Mary Ann Danson was recorded at the Basilica of Notre-Dame in the city of Quebec on 16 jan 1832 (indexed by Drouin as Dawson):
"Le seize janvier mil huit cent trente deux nous Pretre vicaire de Quebec sousigné avons baptisé Mary Ann née hier de legitime mariage de John Danson maitre d'un batiment et de Catherine Power de cette ville. Parain: Joseph Bradley. Marainne: Catherine Bradley sousignée, le pere absent."
There does not appear to be any relationship between Marion Danson Victor and the Albert Fairchild involved in the real estate transactions in Marinette. He was Asa Albert Fairchild, son of John Fairchild and Laura Porter Bigelow, with New England ancestry back to the middle of the 18th Century—and no Canadian ancestry.
Although there is no trace of her siblings in later records, and no evidence of any cousins on her father's side living in Canada, we now know that she had many relatives on her mother's side who lived in Quebec city. At least one aunt and many cousins were still in the area when she returned to Canada with her children in 1868. Had she remained in contact with them? Did their families retain any memory of her story? Did any of them remember her in their wills? In particular, was her uncle William Power her guardian?
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1793 - 1835) m 1818| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Marion (Mary Ann) DANSON | (1832 - 1916) | __ | | | _Michael POWER ______| | | (1770 - 1815) | | | |__ | | |_Catherine POWER ____| (1797 - 1834) m 1818| | __ | | |_Elizabeth TOVEY ____| (1777 - 1857) | |__
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--Mary DANSON | (.... - 1824) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
A sampler by Thisbe Danson, dated 1832, when she was 10 years old, has survived (photo in Wikipedia article on Clan MacQuarrie attributed to Paul de Bedyk at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54061854). While some accounts say that the entire family—William, Agness, and all of their children—were aboard the Thisbe when she was lost at sea in 1824, the published accounts do not mention any survivors. Therefore, since Thisbe herself clearly survived, it seems more likely that Agnes and the children were not on board, and that all but Thisbe eventually died prior to the 1841 census, at which time Thisbe was found living with relatives in England.
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _William DANSON _____| | (1790 - 1824) m 1816| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--Thisbe DANSON | (1822 - ....) | __ | | | _Donald MACQUARRIE __| | | m 1790 | | | |__ | | |_Agnes MACQUARRIE ___| (1791 - 1824) m 1816| | __ | | |_Martha LEA _________| m 1790 | |__
From about February 1810 until February 1817, he was Master of the ship Frances, of which his father John Danson was the major owner and "Ship's Husband", according to a deposition made by William in 1822 in connection with a dispute about the finances of the ship (National Archives of the UK, C 13/794 and 812). From the spring of 1817 until the ship was sold in 1821, the master of the ship identified in several other records was John Danson, evidently William's next younger brother.
Advertisement from the Liverpool Mercury, 26 jul 1823.
This is the only known representation of the Thisbe.
Although I was not able to locate the baptism for William, his descendants indicate he belongs here, and he is clearly identified as the son of John and Frances Danson in the dispute of 1822. By then he was the master of the brig Thisbe, after which his daughter was named — she was born on this ship in 1822 — , and which sank in 1824 on its way to Montreal, all hands lost. By 1841, the daughter Thisbe, age 19, was living with her grandmother Frances Danson, age 77, in Workington. The Monthly Magazine and British Register, volume 41, reports the marriage of Captain William Danson, of Workington, to Miss M'Querie of Liverpool, in the issue of March 1, 1816. There was another William Danson, a blacksmith from Pilling, Lancashire, with a wife Agnes Speight, married in 1813, and thus a possible source of confusion in sorting out the children to be attributed to the present William. The children baptised at Liverpool and at Workington are most likely his.
He arrived at Quebec with the Thisbe on 16 may 1822 (the newspaper report calls him Dawson), having left Liverpool on April 26 (more likely the date reported by the newspaper should have been March 26), and proceeded from Quebec on to Montreal, arriving 24 may 1822 (the newspaper report this time calls him Dinson). It was on this voyage that his daughter Thisbe was born, according to the family story. The Thisbe next reached Quebec on 24 sep 1823, again from Liverpool. In 1824, the Thisbe was reported to have sailed from Liverpool on April 6, but never arrived in Quebec. The wreck of the Thisbe was reported in the Montreal Gazette on 24 sep 1824: "A Jolly Boat with 'Thisbe of Liverpool,'on the stern, was picked up by the Margaret Ann, arrived at Miramichi, in long[itude] 36. The boat was bottom up. This vessel, it is stated sailed from Liverpool in April last with a very valuable cargo for Montreal, and has not since been heard of."
A more extensive report of the mishaps of that season was reported in the Caldonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland) on 19 jul 1824:
Ship News, Aberdeen, July 15.
The Jean, [Master] Innes, arrived at Quebec, after a boisterous passage of 47 days from Liverpool, with some of his sails split, and loss of part of his bulwarks. Captain Innes gives the like melacholy account of the loss and damage of shipping on the outward passage to America, as has been already so amply detailed—not a vessel, as he writes, arriving, but has suffered more or less from the heavy gales they had encountered. The Pilot, [Master] Law, and Brilliant, [Master] Beverley, of this place, had both arrived; the former after being nearly lost, having upset for some time, and lost all her boats, but was supplied with one boat by the Jean, off Seven Islands Bay; and the latter with considerable damage in her sails. The crews of seven vessels, which had been abandonded, had arrived at Quebec; as also the master and four of the crew of the fine brig Cumberland, with a valuable cargo on board, (found abandoned at sea, as stated in our last) the remaining part of the crew, eight men, being washed overboard by a heavy sea, by which the above survivors were variously disabled. The Thisbe, with a general cargo, and the Camillus, in ballast, which sailed from Liverpool on the 3rd ult. with the Brilliant, had not arrived. In passing the south-east end of St. Paul's Island, the wreck of a large ship ashore, with her bowsprit only standing, was observed from the Jean, with the appearance of something like a tent near the wreck. From this circumstance, Mr. Innes supposing some of the crew might still be alive, hoisted out one of his boats, and boarded the wreck, which he found to be a large new ship, about 400 tons per register, fir built, paint strokes and covering boards black birch, with knees at the bows, which shews that the vessel had had a billet or figure head; but the stern was gone, and there were no papers found to discover the name, &c. The cargo consisted of lower port timber, with lathwood for broken stowage; and from the quantity of seamen's clothes, blankets, &c. among the wreck, he apprehended the crew had been lost in the fall of last season. This is unhappily confirmed by farther accounts of the fate of the unfortunate crew and passengers, 22 in number, being found dead in a tent, in which they had endeavored to shelter themselves, and preserve life, after the loss of their vessel, which proves to be the new brig Jessie of Greenock.
It was not long after this that news of the fate of the Thisbe reached Liverpool. The Liverpool Mercury reported on 30 jul 1824 that "a jolly-boat, with 'Thisbe, of Liverpool,' on the stern, was picked up by the Margaret Ann, arrived at Miramichi, in lon. 36. The boat was bottom up." (This is the same report that appeared in the Montreal Gazette almost two months later, see above.) When the Margaret Ann at length returned from Miramichi, New Brunswick, the Liverpool Mercury reported the further details: "On the 11th May, the Margaret Ann, from Miramichi at this port, picked up the Thisbe's boat, in lat[itude]. 46 23, lon[gitude]. 35 0; at the same time, saw a vessel's topmast, with the heel uppermost, supposed the head to be kept down by the rigging." The "jolly boat" was the small boat, about 16 feet in length, equipped with 4 or 6 oars and sometimes a sail, used for small tasks such as ferrying passengers between ships, etc. It would normally have hung at the stern of the ship, so that it could be lowered easily to the water (see the article on jolly boat in the Wikipedia). The mast found nearby was probably that of the Thisbe, all hands surely lost.
A marriage "allegation" dated 27 jan 1816 for this couple was filed at Cheshire (FHL microfilm #1894298). The bride's name in that record was indexed on the FamilySearch,org web site as Agnes McQuire, but the original "allegation" record clearly calls her Agnes McQuarrie. Both spouses (William listed as a mariner) were at that time "age 21 and upwards", and both gave their residence as Bridgewater Street, Liverpool.
__ | __| | | | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | | __ | | | | |__| | | | |__ | | |--William DANSON | (1790 - 1824) | __ | | | __| | | | | | |__ | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| (1764 - ....) m 1787| | __ | | |__| | |__
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _William DANSON _____| | (1790 - 1824) m 1816| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--William DANSON | (1816 - ....) | __ | | | _Donald MACQUARRIE __| | | m 1790 | | | |__ | | |_Agnes MACQUARRIE ___| (1791 - 1824) m 1816| | __ | | |_Martha LEA _________| m 1790 | |__
Baptised as Guillaume Danson, and indexed in the Drouin collection as Guillaume Dawson. The baptismal record says that his father John Danson was then captain of the ship Madner (or perhaps Nadner?). The godparents were Joseph and Henriette Binet.
__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1759 - 1814) m 1787| | |__ | _John DANSON ________| | (1793 - 1835) m 1818| | | __ | | | | |_Frances BRAGG ______| | (1764 - ....) m 1787| | |__ | | |--William DANSON | (1829 - ....) | __ | | | _Michael POWER ______| | | (1770 - 1815) | | | |__ | | |_Catherine POWER ____| (1797 - 1834) m 1818| | __ | | |_Elizabeth TOVEY ____| (1777 - 1857) | |__
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