The Descendants of Virginia Rayner

Recommend Me! Suggest This Page To A Friend!

Submitted by George Hart -

There are additional generations of this family to share. Please direct Queries and requests for source information to the email link above!

The Descendants of Virginia Rayner, 1832-after 1914,

Daughter of William Simpson Rayner & Sophia Cannon


Virginia Rayner was born in December 1832 at Travellers Rest. At the age of twenty one she was living in Shediac, where she met Daniel Sowerby, a farmer of age 32, born in New Brunswick 24 June 1820. They were married 28 April 1854 in Saint John [Weekly Chronicle]. They had nine children. Daniel died at St. Martins, NB, 21 August 1902. Two years later Virginia, 82, married John Andrew Nickerson, a widower 81 years old, at Shediac.

The census takers have often deformed this surname into Sowerthby, Sourbey, Sowbe y, thus requiring tenacious research. We have not found them in the 1861 census. The names of their children and grandchildren are drawn from Canadian and American census, 1871 onward. I thank Sheila Coulton for generously sharing her research with me.

    1. Eliza Sowerby, daughter of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Shediac about 1856. In the 1881 census she was shown as a tailoress. In the 1896 City Directory of Portland, Saint John, NB, she was a dressmaker living at 26 Sheriff Street.
    2. Clifton Edmund Sowerby , born at Shediac, NB, 15 December 1859 to Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, moved in 1880 to Marlborough, MA. He married 16 February 1889 Ella Freeman Walker, born there 31 December 1870, daughter of Thomas Walker, 1842-1871, and Francena Elizabeth Wood, 1851-1918. Clifton and Ella had eight children. At Marlborough, Clifton died 1 February 1929 and Ella died 18 October 1958 at age 87 [Walker & Others Tree].
    3. B1 Alice Francene Sowerby, born 6 June 1893 at Marlborough to Edmund Sowerby and Ella Walker, married Erwin Walker. He died in November 1929 and she died 1 November 1959. The census of 1930 and 1940 show her, a widow, living with her mother and her sister Ethel M. Sowerby.

      B1a daughter born about 1928

      B2 Clifton Edmund Sowerby II., born at Marlboro 6 June 1893. A factory superintendent and still single, Clifton enlisted in the infantry 5 June 1917. On 25 October 1925 he married Thelma L Hatch, who was born 1 July 1903 at Saugus, Essex County, MA, to William A. Hatch, 1876-, and his wife Bertha, 1877- [1910 census of Saugus]. Thelma died 30 March 1973 at Hollywood, Florida; Clifton died at Daytona Beach 5 March 1980 [Florida Death Index].

      B2a Clifton Edmund Sowerby III, son of Clifton and Thelma, was born 3 November 1927. He enlisted 11 January 1946. He married Charlottte ..?... but they divorced at Palm Beach, Florida, in 1951. He married Priscilla Katherine Lewis at Volusia, FL, 11 July 1970. He died 18 June 2011 at Daytona Beach. An obituary in the News-Journal of Daytona Beach mentioned his second wife and his daughter and the daughter’s three children..

      B2b Robert W. Sowerby, son of Clifton and Thelma, was born 14 September 1933. He married and divorced [Florida Divorce Index]. He died at Hernando, Florida 6 October 1996 [Social Security Death Index].

      B3 Howard Alonzo Sowerby, son if Edmund Sowerby and Ella Freeman Walker, was born at Marlboro, MA, 16 November 1894. He married Marion McKenzie, who died in 1930, leaving him and a daughter two years of age. At Nashua, NH, 22 June 1935 he married Gladys McDonald, daughter of William McDonald and Ethel Vanbuskirk. Howard was listed as a salesman in many yearly directories of Marlboro and at one time as the leading partner in a paper company. He died 20 April 1963 [Walker & Others Family Tree].

      B4 Nelson Douglas Sowerby, son of Edmund Sowerby and Ella Freeman Walker, was born at Marlboro 4 December 1896. In the Atlanta Constitution newspaper of 20 April 1924 Mrs Anna Gilbert announced the engagement of her daughter Ouida Maude to Nelson Douglas Sowerby of Boston. Ouida was born 27 November 1896. Ouida died 25 July 1953 at age 56, leaving two daughters and two sons. Nelson died at Winston-Salem 6 May 1990 at age 93.

      B4a Nelson Douglas Sowerby, Jr., was born 17 September 1929 in North Carolina. He married Mary Lee DeHart, 19, at Leaksville, North Carolina, 17 June 1954. They had a daughter and two sons. Nelson died at Brunswick, Georgia, 3 February 2011 at age 81.

      B5 Elsie Virginia Sowerby, daughter of Edmund Sowerby and Ella Freeman Walker, was born at Marlborough, MA, 19 April 1898 and died 10 March 1934, leaving her husband and two small sons. She married Willis Eden Walker, who was born 15 January 1891 and died 10 May 1958. Born at Bolton. MA, he was a son of Andrew Walker and Mary Anna McGrath. In the WW1 Draft of 5 June 1917 he was a single truck driver of age 25. In WWII Draft he was 51, married and employed by Ski House Camp. They had two sons. In the 1940 census his elder son, 15, was not in this home: he had either died or gone out on his own. The second boy, 12, was with his widowed father.

      B6 Myrtle Ella Sowerby was born at Marlborough, MA. 9 May 1903 to Edmund Sowerby and Ella Freeman Walker. She married Edward J. Logan, whose father William Logan was born in Missouri in 1871 and died in Rhode Island in 1895 at the age of 26 leaving three small children. The young widowed mother, nee Dora J. Drew, was born in August 1873 in Massachusetts, a daughter of Nicholas James Drew, 1850-1916, a mason, born in Lancashire, England, and his wife Mary F. Powers of Irish stock [Harrell-Hanks 1 Family Tree]. So Edward grew up with his mother and grandparents. The Portsmouth Herald of New Hampshire 20 April 1968 recounts the death of Mrs. Myrtle E. Logan, 64, widow of Edward J. Logan and creator of the Trading Post Gift Shop, after a fire in her home. She left a son and a daughter and six grandchildren,

      B7 Charles Lester Sowerby, son of Edmund Sowerby and Ella Freeman Walker, was born 8 June 1904 in Marlborough. At Shelburne, MA, on 20 November 1929 he, a salesman, 26, married Dorothy Alberta Pratt, 29, daughter of Christopher J. Pratt and Mary Lee. In the 1940 census of 330 Park Avenue, Keene, New Hampshire, they had two sons, 6 and 9.

      B8 Ethel Marjorie Sowerby, was born at Marlborough 20 August 1908 to Edmund Sowerby and Ella Walker. She married in middle age Franklin L. Wallace, machinist, who was born 20 March 1907 in Orange County, Florida, to John R. Wallace and Mabel Lathe. The obituary in the MetroWest Daily News of 15 October 2009 states that in Auburndale, Florida, Ethel Marjorie {Sowerby} Wallace, 101, died Tuesday, October 6, 2009 after a period of declining health. She was the wife of Franklin L. Wallace, who died in 1981. Born in Marlborough, the youngest of Edward and Ella {Walker} Sowerby, she lived there most of her life before moving to Florida in 1978. A graduate of Framingham Teachers College, she taught in the Marlborough schools 34 years and was principal of the Hildreth School for nine years. She was active in many professional and church organizations. "A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, October 18 at the John P. Rowe Funeral Home. Burial in the Maplewood Cemetery, Marlborough."

    4. Annie Sowerby, daughter of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Shediac in 1863, for in the 1871 census she was 8 years old. The online genealogist finds that only in 1888 did New Brunswick require and very slowly effect the registration of births, marriages and deaths. A few registrations long after the birth gives us a sprinkling of news about some family members. Anne married Charles Cooke, who was born in the Amherst, NS, area in January 1848, son of George Cooke, born in England in 1815, and his wife Ann, born in Ireland in 1820 [1871 &1911 census]. After some research it appeared that Annie Sowerby was Charles’s second wife and that his first wife was Martha Sowerby, probably Annie’s cousin, and that the first three children of a family eventually of eleven children were of the first marriage. Charles, 32, Martha, 28, and Nettie, Henry and George –5, 3 and 1—were living in Dorchester [1881 census]. From 1891 to 1911 at Shediac we can follow this blacksmith’s family. After that for lack of vital registrations we get rare glimpses. Jasper’s attestation document implies that Charles Cooke had died before December 1917.
    5. C1 Nettie May Cooke was one of the six of this family for whom some relative or friend made a late registration of the birth. In Nettie’s case on 22 April 1943 at Moncton her friend Frederick S. Palmer attested that Nettie had been born 25 February 1875, daughter of Charles Cook and Martha Sowerby. In several cases of the late registration of these Cooke children, reference was made to a family Bible. We know from another late attestation that in 1944 Nettie May became the wife of Frank Adam Murray, the late registration of whose death gives us information provided by his son-in-law Willard James of Sunny Brae. Born 1 July 1873 at Westville, NS, to Daniel Murray and Margaret Hamilton from Scotland, Frank was thirty years a CNR pipe fitter and his wife was Nettie Cooke. Her death was not registered.

      C1a Jean Margaret Murray, daughter of Frank Murray and Nettie May Cooke, was born 13 May 1903 at Sunny Brae, Westmorland County. There on 12 November 1924 she married Willard James, born 20 April 1903 at Moncton, son of Odbur James and Nina Blake. Jean and Willard had a son who was married at Moncton in 1948.

      C2 Henry E Cooke, son of Charles Cooke and Martha Sowerby, was born in 1875.

      C3 George W, Cooke, son of Charles Cooke and Martha Sowerby, was born 11 March 1880. In 1911 he was a blacksmith at Sackville, NB, single and living with a Cooke family [Census].

      C4 Bertha M. Cooke, first child of Charles Cooke and Annie F. Sowerby, was born about 1880.

      C5 Jasper Lydell Cooke, born 23 May 1885 at Dorchester, NB. When he joined up at Amherst 12 December 1917 he was a moulder, unmarried. He named as his next of kin his mother, Mrs Anne Cooke. On 10 August 1918 Private Jasper Cooke of the 28th Battalion was killed in action ten miles northwest of Amiens, France.

      C6 Mabel M. Cooke, born about 1884

      C7 Eva Gertrude Cooke was born 13 July 1889 at Dorchester, Dr. Church attending, according to a late registration by Mrs. Nettie May Murray of Sunny Brae, Westmor-land County, Eva’s half sister, at Moncton 3 November 1944. Eva married Arthur Edward Cooke in Westmorland 1 December 1909. He was born at Newton, MA, son of Harvey Cooke and Annie Brenton, of Nova Scotia. A retired CNR engineer, he died 19 August 1957 [NB Vital Records]. We know from an attestation she made about the birth of her niece Jean Murray that Mrs .Eva Gertrude Cooke was living in Ottawa in 1965.

      C7a Anna Ruth Cooke, born at Moncton 18 August 1914, daughter of Arthur and Gertrude Cooke, birth attested by her mother 17 September 1943.

      C8 Vina Elida, born at Shediac 1 June 1894, late registration 16 September 1939 by her older sister Eva Gertrude Cooke

      C8 Viola Cooke, born about 1890 in Westmorland; No birth registration. With the family in the census of 1891 and 1901 but not in 1911 – probably married by then but no such marriage registration in New Brunswick.

      C9 Lizza Cooke, born about 1894. Is this her name or a pet name?

      C10 Laurena Suretta ‘Laura’ Cooke, born 12 May 1899 in Westmorland, NB, daughter of Charles Cooke and Annie Sowerby [1911 census; late registration 10 August 1925 by Arthur Melanson].

      C11 Frank John Cooke, son of Charles Cooke and Annie Sowerby, was born 17 February 1898. Frank was a soldier in the World War, an unmarried machinist who joined up 5 March 1917 at Amherst, NS.

      C12 Cecil Reginald Cooke, son of Charles Cooke and Annie Sowerby, was born at Shediac 18 September 1902, according to an attestation at Moncton 27 July 1931 by Alice, Mrs Arthur E. Cooke.

      C13 Clinton Cooke was born 1 January 1906, son of Charles Cooke and Annie Sowerby, according to a late registration at Moncton 2 October 1933 by Arthur E. Cooke.

    6. Alice Sowerby, daughter of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Shediac, NB, 20 April 1866. She married William Ruggles Cutler at Shediac 18 November 1884. His parents were Rufus Cutler, born at Hopwell, Albert County, about 1796 and Elizabeth Hicks, who was born about 1900 to Ira and Sarah Hicks of Dorchester [Pepper Stein Tree]. A retired millwright, William Cutler, who was born at McKees Mills 6 April 1834 died at his Moncton home 7 March 1928 a month short of 89. Alice died 18 February 1938 at age 68 of heart trouble [NB Government Records].
    7. D1 Annie L., born about 1889, topped the list of the children of William and Alice Cutler in the 1901 census but her name did not appear in the 1911 census of the family. No information in NB Vital Records.

      D2 Mabel May Cutler was born 1 May 1885 at Dorchester to William and Alice Cutler, according to a late registration 17 August 1956 by her first cousin Josephine Linden, She married George A Terry, an accountant age 22 in Westmorland 18 July 1906. They are found in the 1911 census of Hamilton East, Ontario.

      D3 Mary Ann Cutler, daughter of William Cutler and Alice Sowerby, was born in Westmorland 18 March 1887, according to a late registration 17 August 1956 by Josephine Linden.

      D5 Daniel Rufus Cutler was born 7 February 1891. An unmarried commercial traveller of age 66, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage 11 March 1956.

      D6 William Arthur Cutler , son of William Cutler and Alice Sowerby, was born 18 April 1892, according to a late registration 2 November 1945 by his sister Mabel May Terry. He married Annie E. Sullivan, who was born 4 November 1875 and died of cervical cancer in Saint John 25 September 1940,

      D5a William Arthur Cutler, Junior, a dry dock worker in Saint John, married a divorcee nee Esther Ellen Wells, born in England to Charles M. Wells and Esther Ellen Malin. Esther’s former husband was Fred Gaunce, a farmer of the Sackville area, whom she married 15 April 1938.

      D7 George Linden Cutler, was born 18 May 1902 to William Cutler and Alice Sowerby [1911 census]. He was the informant registering the death of his brother Daniel in 1956. The New Brunswick Government Records have no other mention of him.

      D8 Marjorie Cutler, daughter of William Cutler and Alice Sowerby, was born at Shediac, NB, in June 1903 [1911 census]. No record in NB Index.

    8. Josephine Sowerby, daughter of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Shediac in 1867. At Hudson, Massachusetts, 5 February 1902 she married George Alfred Holyoke, who was born about 1872 to Henry A. Holyoke and Jane C. Stevens. In the 1910 census of Marlboro, MA, he was a hotel janitor and Josephine had given birth to two boys, Harold H., 7, and Alfred S., 5. In the 1920 census of Lancaster he was a farm worker and in 1930 he was working at a gasoline station and Alfred, 24, was living with them. In the 1940 census George was 69 and Josephine 73.
    9. E1 Harold Henry Holyoke, born 25 February 1903, son of George Alfred Holyoke and Josephine Sowerby. He married Mildred F. Schlott, born 22 August 1900. In the 1940 census of Stone, MA, he was a chef and she a hospital registered nurse. No children. He died at Asheville, North Carolina, 6 June 1977 and she died there 31 July 1977.

      E2 Alfred Sowerby Holyoke was born 4 May 1904 at Stow, MA. [Massachusetts Town and Vital Records]. Clinton Directories 1934-1946 show him employed and his wife Virginia an office secretary. In the 1969 Directory of Silver Spring, Maryland, he was a bookbinder She died at Palm Beach, Florida 30 March 1993 at age 81 and he died there 4 December 1995 at age 91 [Florida Vital Records]. No children.


    10. Charles Sowerby, son of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Shediac. At the age of 36 he married on 3 April 1906 Sarah May McFarland, born 16 April 1870 at Dover, Westmorland County . Her father was John A McFarland, born 6 June 1830 and her mother was Rebecca . Sarah was the youngest of six children. Her mother died at the age of 53 on 18 May 1884. In the 1901 census Sarah was the housekeeper for her brother Albert and her elderly father, who died 1November 1908. Two years after their marriage Charles and Sarah moved to Stow, MA, where he was manager of a farm [1910 census of Stow]. Evidently they returned to New Brunswick, for Stone No. 1 of the Methodist Cemetery at Dover is inscribed: SOWERBY Charles, 1867-1925 Sarah May, 1870-1946.
    11. Zella May Sowerby, daughter of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Shediac, NB. She was in the home of her parents for the census of 1881 to 1901. At the age of 31 she and Arthur G. McFarlene, a farmer 33, son of John E. and Rachel McFarlane of Dover, were married 26 March 1902 by Rev. J.B. Champion [Drouin Collection]. John died 10 February 1910 at the age of 45 and was buried in the Dover Methodist cemetery. The 1911 census of his family at Dover enumerated his widow, their three young children and his mother Rachel, also a widow.
    12. G1 Arthur G. McFarlane, born January 1903

      G2 Harris C. McFarlane, born March 1905

      G3 Iretta M. McFarlane, born May 1907

    13. William Albert Sowerby, son of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner was born at Shediac in January 1874 and was with his parents in 1881 at Shediac and in 1891 at Sackville. He immigrated to the United States in 1895 at age 21 and was found at Brockton, MA, in the 1900 census with his wife Jessie, who had immigrated in 1895. In 1899 he had married Jessie Clara Carr, who was born at Halifax, NS, 2 January 1878 to Robert Carr, carpenter, and Alicia Anne Deal [Application for Registration of Birth18 December 1946]. In 1910 they were living in Bridgewater, MA, and had Reginald, 8 years old and Alice Hazel, born there 1 August 1907. In the 1920 census of Lancaster, MA, William, Jessie, Reginald and Hazel had Jessie’s unmarried sister Alicia living with them. In 1925 the directory of Clinton, MA, showed William as a carpenter. In 1930 at Natick, MA, William at 53 and Jessie at 50 had an empty nest. Hazel had probably disappeared into the mists of marriage. In 1940 in their sixties William and Jessie were living at Inglewood, Los Angeles, CA. She became a US citizen there 12 July 1940. She died at Orange County, Florida, April 1958. He died November 1961 at Osceola County, FL.
    14. H1 Reginald Sowerby, son of William Sowerby and Jessie Carr, was born 20 March 1902. In 1930 census of Natick, MA, he was a painter married to Maude H.____, who was born 9 September 1904 at New York. In the 1930 census of Natick, MA, they still in their 20’s had Jean, 4 years old. All my attempts failed to find them in the 1940 census. The name Sowerby gets contorted and not found. At age 79 he died at Gainesville, FL, 30 March 1981 and she died at 88 in New York in June of 1993.

      H1a Jean Sowerby, born 1926 in Massachusetts

      H2 Alice Hazel Sowerby, daughter of William Sowerby and Jessie Carr, was born at West Bridgewater, MA, 1 August 1907.

    15. Daniel James Gilbert Sowerby, the youngest of Daniel Sowerby and Virginia Rayner, was born at Dorchester Road, Shediac, NB, 15 October 1878. At the age of 26 on 2 August 1905 the bachelor farmer married Eva May Carr, 22, of Marlborough, MA, but born in Halifax, NS, one of six children of Robert and Alicia Carr [1891 census of Halifax] They had three children in Shediac. In March 1924 the whole family moved to Middleborough, MA. Farmer Gilbert was 44, Eva 41 and the three students were 17, 14 and 6. Four years later, Gilbert was in auto repair, the two sons were rubber workers, the daughter was in school and the mother was keeping house. Then Eva died very suddenly and Gilbert at 50 was living with his 12 year old daughter. In the 1943 war registration at age 63 he was living alone and working for himself. Death registration not found.

I1 Roy Arthur Sowerby, son of Daniel Gilbert Sowerby and Eva May Carr, was born 12 October 1896 at Shediac {Notarized Late Registration by brother Edgar29 July 1964]. At the age of 30 on 30 October 1937 at Hanson, MA, he married Alice Louise Davach, born about 1908 to Edward A. Davach and Mary G. Sullivan. In 1940 they were living at 72 Emmet Street in Brockton and they had a son age one. The breadwinner was a machinist. He died at Brockton 9 May 1987 and Alice died there 8 July 1992 [SSDI]

I2 Edgar Charles Sowerby, son of Gilbert Sowerby and Eva Carr, was born 30 July 1909 [Late registration made by brother Roy]. He married Bernice ______ (record not found). In the 1940 census of Middleborough, he was a machinist and she was a stenographer. Edgar died at Middleborough 11 February 1978 and Bernice, who was born 11 July 1911, died there 23 May 1997 at age 85.

I3 Mildred Irene Sowerby was born at Shediac 18 December 1917 to Gilbert Sowerby and Eva Carr [Late Registration by brother Roy]. Some time after 1940 she married George E. Guild, born 8 March 1909 in Massachusetts to George Amos Guild, who at age 34 married Eva May _____, then 16. At Middleborough Mildred died in April 1991 and at Nowell, he died 7 January 2000 at age ninety.

- Dave Hunter and The Island Register: HTML and Graphics

Last Updated: 9/9/2012 12:33:24 PM
Return to Top!
Return to Family Page!
Return to Main Page!