Monday, August 9, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Essie's Step-Daughter

(I was originally going to post more of Essie's memoir, but spent yesterday absorbed in researching Essie's step-daughter/cousin instead)

In Essie's memoir she mentions many relatives, including her cousin Emma Martha Holly.  Emma and Essie's mother were sisters and they were also connected through Essie's father (Isaac Thomas Mott) as his mother and Emma grandmother were sisters.  So Emma and Essie were both first cousins and second cousins!  Essie also talks about her meeting a kind young Frenchman named Eugene Lies as a young girl while staying with the Hollys.  Essie and Eugene would marry years later after their paths crossed again on the other side of the country.  This was not Eugene's first marriage however, as Essie tells of his and Emma's courtship, marriage and her death very soon after in her memoir.

Emma and Eugene had a daughter, Emma Marie Louise Lies right before the senior Emma's death.  Eugene, obviously grief-stricken, left his infant daughter in the care of the Hollys and went on to spend the next few years before his second marriage on the high seas.  Of all the Hollys, the late Emma's brother Augustus was particularly attached to the little Emma and ended up raising her even after her father's re-marriage. 

Emma married Edward Roche who was many years her senior and they had a daughter, Louise around 1869 in New York.  Edward died about ten years later:

NEW YORK HERALD, 12 Feb 1879

"Obituary.

EDWARD ROCHE
"A cable dispatch was received in this city on Monday night announcing the death of Edward Roche, the senior member of the firm of Roche Brothers, importers of sugar and West India produce, at No. 115 South street.  The deceased was born in Ireland in 1813, and was consequently in the sixty-sixth year of his age at the time of his death.  About forty years ago he started in business on his own account, and afterward became one of the founding members of the firm of Roche Brothers & Coffey.  On the death of John Roche, in 1873, the deceased became senior partner in the firm, and continued as such until his death.  He was for a long time a member of the Produce Exchange, but severed his connection with that institution a few years since.  He has been in feeble health for a long time past, and two months ago he started for St. Croix to spend the winter, in hopes that his health would be improved by the climate of that place.  The cable dispatch announces that his death occurred at St. Croix on February 9.  His remains will be embalmed and returned to this country without delay, when they will be taken to his late residence, No. 33 Remsen street, Brooklyn."
Louise married Walter Channing Burbank who gave the following report to his alma mater, Harvard, in 1897 (this is an excerpt, the full article can be read here):
"I was married in New York, Oct. 23, 1890, to Louise V. Roche, daughter of Edward and Emma L. Roche, and in November following we sailed for Europe. We spent the winter in Nice and Monte Carlo, and the spring in Paris and London, returning in June of that year.  Our son, Channing Roche Burbank, was born Sept. 6, 1891, at our summer home in the White Mountains, Shelburne, N.H."
Emma Marie Louise Lies Roche died on 15 Sept. 1933:

(from The New York Times)

"Mrs. Edward Roche.

Widow of a Shipping Merchant in the West Indian Trade
"Mrs. Emma L. Roche, widow of Edward Roche, a shipping merchant in the West Indies trade, died on Wednesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Walker Channing Burbank, 825 Fifth Avenue, at the age of 83.
Mrs. Roche was born in Hammond Street, as that part of Eleventh Street west of Seventh Avenue was then known.  She was a daughter of Eugene Lies, a son of Admiral Lies of the French Navy, and Emma Louise Holly Lies.  Her maternal grandmother was a daughter of Supreme Court Justice William Coggshall [edit: was actually William Lucius Rose] Rose, of New York, and her grandfather, William Holly, was a member of the family credited with founding Stamford, Conn., about 1640."
Emma's daughter, Louise, died on December 28 1938.  On an interesting aside, in 1915, Louise was hit by Harry Payne Whitney's car.  Louise and Walter apparently separated and there was some legal action against one another though I have been unable to learn more (I believe Louise sued him on behalf of her mother, Emma Lies Roche).  Louise's son, Channing Roche Burbank died in 1964.

Although Emma Holly, and her daughter are minor mentions in Essie's memoir, they were certainly important parts of Essie's life both because of Eugene, and Essie's own connection to them.  I know from reading that Eugene and Essie wanted to re-claim little Emma and raise her but her uncle, Augustus refused.  It is interesting to wonder what little Emma's life would have been like if she had come to California to be with her father and step-mother/cousin.  I also wonder whether Eugene and Essie were sad not to be able to raise little Emma who was a daughter, step-child, cousin and namesake of a beloved relative to them.  Although they were clearly never close, I like to think they had a warm regard for one another (I think Essie's loving recollections of little Emma's mother in her memoir make it likely).

Over at cousin Heather's excellent blog Nutfield Genealogy, she has been writing extensively about her recent trip to Hawaii and all of the wonderful genealogical treasures she found there.  One of those treasures was a letter written to Heather's relative, John Dominis, by Isaac Thomas Mott, Essie's father.  The letter is a very fun read concerning thwarted young love and parental interference - or duty, depending on how you look at it!  Thank you Heather for transcribing and sharing the letter!

1 comment:

Thank you for commenting!