Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gambles...AFTER the Letters

Descendents of the original Gambles that settled St. Vincent have been in touch, and shared this with me about the "story after the story", i.e., what happened after the letters stopped...
I do know a little about what happened to everyone, thanks mainly to my late grandfather, Neill (Bo) Gamble (Willie's son), who sat down one day & went through the entire family tree with me, including the names of almost all of his Gamble cousins.

Mary Ann Neill Gamble was born in Ireland in 1841 and passed away in 1903 (as you know from one of the later letters). (The letter is dated 1902, but the headstone at the cemetery says 1903 -- perhaps a transcription error?). She would have been 61 or 62.

Alexander Gamble was born August 20, 1834, in Coot’s Hill, County Cavan, Ireland, and passed away September 8, 1925, at the home of his daughter, Ellen Gamble Lapp, in St. Vincent at age 91. They are buried in St. Vincent Cemetery; there is a large headstone erected in their memory.

She and Alexander Gamble were married in Dundee, Scotland, on November 5, 1861.

Their children, in order of age:

Elizabeth (Lizzie) was born February 13, 1863, in Dundee, Scotland. She married Hugh Griffith and had five children. Hugh died August 2, 1909 at age 58 -- killed instantly when struck by lightning while atop a haystack. Lizzie died of pneumonia on March 19, 1916 at age 53. They are buried in St. Vincent Cemetery, as is their son, Hugh Jr. & his wife Agnes.

Alexander Jr. (Young Alick) was born May 26, 1865, in Albany, New York. After the death of his first wife, Maggie, he remarried. His second wife's name was Martha, and Barbara Kennedy believed she was the sister of his first wife, from Emerson. He wound up in Idaho, where he worked as a contractor and carpenter. He died in Idaho Falls, Idaho, of complications due to asthma on November 28, 1943, at age 78. I am not sure how many children he had; the letters mention three.

In 1990, I was contacted by a woman with the last name of Gamble from Idaho, who had gotten my name through the Ontario Genealogy Society. She was married to one of young Alex Jr.'s descendants & interested in the family history. I was thrilled to hear from her and sent her a copy of all my research notes to that time, but unfortunately never heard a thing back from her.

Ellen was born in 1868 in Ontario (likely Beaverton), married Richard Lapp and lived in St. Vincent. She died in 1960 and would have been about 92 at the time. They are buried in St. Vincent Cemetery. They had five children, most of whom lived in the St. Vincent area, & some of their descendants are still in the area.

Jane (Jenny) was born in 1870 in Ontario (likely Beaverton). She married John (Jack) Griffith, Jr. on October 19, 1893 (we believe he was a cousin to Lizzie's husband Hugh, not exactly sure of the relationship) and lived in St Vincent until her death in 1950 at around the age 80. They are also buried in St. Vincent Cemetery. They had five children, some of whom lived in the St. Vincent area, & some descendants still live in the vicinity.

William (Willie, also later known as Bill) was born March 17, 1871, in Beaverton, Ontario. He married Lillie Maud Griffith of Winnipeg (another cousin of Hugh's & Jack's, again, not entirely clear on the relationship) in 1901. They had nine children. After her death in 1928 (at the age of 44), he and the younger children lived in Hallock, and he later lived in Crookston, where he passed away in 1952 at the age of 81. He & Lillie are also buried in St. Vincent Cemetery.

Alice was born in the early 1870s in Ontario (Beaverton), married Alec Forrester, and lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where she died sometime in the mid-1960s. She would have been around 90. They had two children.

Samuel (Sammy) was born in 1879 in St. Vincent, and wound up in Golden, Colorado, where he died on May 23, 1964 at age 84. His death certificate listed his occupation as "custodian, Colorado School of Mines," but my grandfather told me he ran a pool hall for awhile and also worked with the police department. He & his wife Thea (who was a schoolteacher at St. Vincent) had no children.

Margaret (Maggie) Neill, to whom all the letters were written, never married and lived by herself after the deaths of her parents. She died in Beaverton, Ontario, on November 29, 1949 at age 89, and is buried in the cemetery of St. Andrew's, also known as "The Old Stone Church," on the outskirts of town.

William & Lillie were my great-grandparents. The only descendants from this part of the family still living in Kittson County (in Hallock) are their grandchildren (my mother's cousins) Dorothy Berard Swan, Kaye Walters Cederholm, and Kenny Walters.

I feel sad to see the letters coming to an end -- even though I've read them before, it's almost been like reading them all over again for the first time. I appreciate your sharing them with the world through the Internet, & especially all the explanatory little links you've added that really add colour & context to the story.
...and thus ends the story of the Gambles, early settlers of St. Vincent, as told through their own words.