Sunday, November 27, 2011

Looking for Alice

John Johnson, Alice and Margaret Russell
James Johnson
Alice was a bit of a wonder to me for some time now.  Well, actually  less than a year ago I came across the death certificate for a cousin; William Dingle Watters1 that stated his wife to be a Alice Russell. Keep in mind, I am just finding out about the Watters family branch, so I didn't know much about William or the rest of his family.  But, now I have conflicting information, for I thought William was married to Margaret Howard, of which I had information about.  So, the solving mystery of Alice had to be discovered and adding to the tree.

First a little about Alice. She is the twin daughter of Calder Russell and Margaret Kingan.  The Russells are from Scotland prior to relocating to Nova Scotia in the 1800's because of all the available mines and the lure of a better life.  Alice and her twin Margaret were born in the mining town of Drummond Mines now called Westville in Jan 1909.   The photograph is of the twins at the age of 26 and two men are brothers; John and James Johnson which was taken in 1935 at  Upper Stewiacke, Nova Scotia.  In 1933, Alice marries a Athol Stewart of Trenton, Nova Scotia. Then something happens to Athol, which I know not, for Alice remarries my cousin William Watters in 1939.  To the best of my knowledge to date, Alice had no children from either marriage.

In searching for more information about Alice, I've discovered a few records about her birth and made contact with Alice's first cousin Myrtle2.   The first document is Alice's birth certificate in which I found Calder's employment of great interest; a Stableman.  Also, the comment of Twin was very important latter in adding Margaret's passing to Alice's ancestry tree.  The second document is my discover was a sign declaration by John (brother) to Alice's birth and middle name; Savage.
I find these bits and piece very interesting, along with being very important in piecing family information back together some 80 or more latter.  Not to mention thousand of miles of separation and lack of initial family information in the first place.

With all this information in hand, I still didn't know what happened to Alice after William's death.  Somewhere along the line I found a tidbit of information that Alice may had died in the Winnipeg, but that turn out false.  Then, just this past week I came across an old post on one of the many genealogy forums which had some information about Alice.  The presented information wasn't much, but it was enough for me to try the associated email.  The post was dated 2007, so what is the possibility that the email was still be used.  I sent an email to the address and less than an hour, Myrtle replied.   Through our conversations, Myrtle confirmed that Alice passed away in Westville and is resting in the same plot with William; Brookside Cemetery, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, though the marker doesn't have Alice's passing3.  The headstone marking her passing is to be found in the Auburn Cemetery Westville, NS.
Alice S Russell
Jan 1909- Dec 1967
Wife of
William D Watters

1  William Dingle Watters parents were James L Watters and Margaret McNulty.  I mention this because there are more than one William Dingle Watters in the family tree.
2   Myrtle supplied the pictures of the four siblings, the headstone for Alice.
3  Myrtle will be, if not already, be adding Alice's passing to the Watters headstone in the Brookside Cemetery.

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Marabilito Murder

The Marabilito Murder Case

  Sometime in the early evening of June 25th, 1917, at Evansville an Italian coal miner was brutally murdered as he sat with his head down and asleep at his kitchen table.  The perpetrator of this brutal crime were the wife of the victim and her lover.
  The victim, Peter Marabilito1, and his wife had come to Stellarton, where he obtained work as a coal miner.  Being new Canadians they were unable to speak English very well and kept to themselves.  The were able to obtain a Company house at Evansville.  When another Italian by the name of Natali Salvatori Carrari arrived in Stellarton and went to work in the cola mines, it was natural for he and the Marabilito's to become  friends.  It wasn't long before Carrari left his boarding house to lodge with his new friends.
  This arrangement worked well for awhile, but before long Mrs Marabilito and Carrari found themselves alone in the house when he and Mr. Marabilito were on opposite shifts.  It wasn't long before an adulterous relationship developed between the two.  As this relationship progressed the lovers began to plot the demise of Mr. Marabilito, whom they now viewed as an obstacle to their future plans.
  On the afternoon of his death, Peter, who had worked the day shift returned to his home and found his wife and Carrari waiting for him with a couple of bottles.  They all sat down and had supper and then finished off the two bottles of wine.  Through a combination of a hard day's work, the meal and the wine, Peter fell asleep at the table.  At this point Carrari picked up a meat cleaver and struck Peter in the head, he struck several blows ensuring that the deed was done.  It was still light outside and the lovers' plan had been to dispose of the body in a pit hole at the rear of the property, in the woods.
  They were not able to move the body until after dark so they moved it to a cubbyhole under the stairway.  This cubbyhole had a small trap door in the floor and was used by the Marabilito;s to kill and clean chickens.  The viscera and feathers would be allowed to fall into the cellar where it would be consumed by rats.
 When darkness came the two removed Peter's body from its hiding place and started to carry it to the pit hole.  They were startled by the sounds of a house in a nearby pasture and believing that someone was coming they dropped the body and fled to the house.  For some unknown reason they never returned to complete the job of hiding the body.
  The following morning, June 26th, a passerby discovered the body where it had been dropped and Chief of Police James L Watters was summoned.  Upon being told that a body had been found and it appeared that a murder had been committed Chief Watters sent word to the Sheriff J. S. Harris at Pictou and asked him to meet him at Evansville.
  Together the two officer went to the scene.  It was immediately obvious to them that the victim had been murdered and that the murder had taken place somewhere other than where the body was now laying.  The officers upon examining the body more closely found what appeared to be small white chicken feathers adhering to his clothing.  They made notes of everything that they had found and after the was identified by a neighbour, they went to the Marabilito homto deliver the sad news to Mrs Marabilito.
  When Mrs. Marabilito answered their knock and they delivered the news of her husband's death, the officers were struck with her extreme nervousness and apparent lack of emotion at receiving such disturbing news.  The officers did not linger long at the house and left after a short time telling her that hey would be back later.
  Chief Watters and Sheriff Harris returned to the location where the body had been found and began to examine the area more closely.  They soon found a trail of small white feathers leading away from the scene.  Their suspicions aroused, they followed this trail of feathers carefully and it led them right to the back door of the Marabilito house.  The offices conferred briefly and then entered the house for the second time and confronted Ms. Marabilito and Natali Carrari who was also present this time.  The two were separated and short time Mrs Marabilito broke down and confessed to murdering her husband with Carrari.  A short time after being informed of Mrs. Marabilito's confession, Carrari also confessed.  The two were arrested and taken to the Lock-up where they were incarcerated.  They were eventually taken before the Magistrate who remanded them into the custody to await a trail in Supreme Court at Pictou.
  It was discovered later that Mrs. Marabilito was pregnant and she died in her cell in the Pictou jail from complications of the pregnancy.
  At dawn on January 30th, 1918, Natali Salvatori Carrari was taken from his cell in the County jail to an enclosed court yard where the gallows had been prepared.  He was met on the gallows by "John Ellis" a pseudonym used by all the official hangmen in Canada, the rope was placed round his neck and the trap was sprung.  Natali Salvatori Carrari had paid with this life for the murder of his fellow countryman "Peter Marabilito."

The legal execution marked the last time that anyone was to pay with their life for a crime in Pictou County.

1. Name correction; Marablito, Pietro

The information presented here is from the book; The Stellarton Police Department 1889-1989, One Hundred Years of Service and Protection.  By George Megeney

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Police Chief

by George Megeney
Chief James L. Watters son of James Watters and Sarah J. Dingle Watters, started his police career in Westville Nova Scotia as an officer in the early 1900's Then he was promoted to the office of Police Chief in Westville.  Around 1915, Chief Watters was offered the Chief of Police position in Stellarton, in which he accepted.  In the early 1920's moves onto the city on Mahone Bay NS, where he held the office of Chief of Police  for about a year.
The following is extracted from the book in the image to the left.   In 1915 Mayor W.C. MacDonald was again conducting the town's business.  He and the Council  appointed the Mr. M.A. Patterson to be Stipendiary Magistrate.   The census that year showed the town's population was 4,970.  In April of the year the Council located an experienced Police Office who was willing to accept the position of Chief of Police.  He was the James L. Watters, a former Chief of Police in Westville.  Chief Edward Fraser willingly submitted his resignation and stated that he was relieved.  He said that his nature was not that of a policeman and he had found it difficult to carry out some duties that were required from time to time. He was thanked by the Mayor and Council for his efforts and loyalty during his short tenure.

James L. Watters was born in Westville in 18591. He went to school there and married Margaret McNulty.  They had five children, one daughter and four sons2.  He started his police career in his native Westville where he became Chief of Police.  In 1915 when an opportunity came up for a police job in Stellarton he readily accepted and moved his family to Stellarton.  He remained in Stellarton as Chief of Police for many years until accepting an offer from the Town of Mahone Bay, to become their Chief of Police.

  In May of 1922, James renders his resignation to the Stipendiary Magistrate in Stellarton and takes the Chief of Police position in Mahone Bay, a fair distance away.  He remained in Mahone Bay for near a year, where he decide to moves his family back Stellarton..  Upon returned home and secured employment in the Acadia Coal company's machine shop, where he remained until retirement.  He maintained a life long interest in Police work but after leaving Mahone bay was never tempted to get actively involved again.  However, succeeding Chiefs of Police called upon him for advice up until the time of his death at age 74.  Chief Watters had been involved in many interesting cases during his career, however the most widely reported case which was jointly investigated by him and Sheriff J. S. Harris was the Marabilito murder case3.

The Stipendiary Magistrate expressed regret at the resignation of Chief Watters, stating that the Court had lost the service of a very capable Officer, who was well versed in the law.  He also praised Mrs Watters for having rendered a valuable for having rendered a valuable service as matron of the lock-up and noted that her kindness, tender sympathy and strong personality would be missed.

1.  The birth registry for James states his birth was Goldenville NS and the year was 1869.
2.  The children were;  Ellen R Watters, James G Watters, William D Watters, Harry T Watters, Hugh M Watters.
3. The Marabilito Murder will be told in a separate post.

The information presented here is from the book; The Stellarton Police Department 1889-1989, One Hundred Years of Service and Protection.  By George Megeney

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lost in Battle

War Cenotaph
This family has had many members that served their country's military over the years; Reynolds, Herricks, Watters and others.  But none that I knew of, until now, lost their life in combat.  Today, I found a small record stating the loss of Warren A Watters, the son of William Dingle Watters and Margaret Howard Watters of Stellarton Nova Scotia.  The battle or the place where Warren fell is unknown, but that's not important now.  Warren serviced prior to the 1945 defending his country.  However, he wasn't alone.  Warren's two brothers; James H Watters and William D Watters also served during the same period of time and both were wounded.

William's middle initial is not J, but rather D. 
These images can be seen at the War Cenotaph and on a link for Warren Watters that follows the monuments engravings. 

After I starting writing this post I was able to find the final resting place of Warren Watters.  He rests in a cemetery in Italy; Montecchio War Cemetery.

Sgt James H Watters, Sgt Warren A Watters and Private William D Watters!  All members of the West Nova Scotia Regiment RCIC.  I stand at attention and salute you for your service and life while protecting Canada and its allies. 


Update:  Received today, 3/7/2015 an image for Warren's Headstone

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Could it be?

Chas. Newbury; James G. Watters; Malcolm McGregor (Trainer);
Wm. E. Fraser; Howard McIntosh; Neil McLean;
and Alf. Hughes
 This picture is of the Rescue Team at the reopening of the Allan Shaft after the explosion of December 20th, 1914. The Reopening commenced March 31st, 1915 and finished April 18th, 1915.  I understand that two miners were lost in the explosion.  The type of mining that was going on here was Coal, dark dirty stuff.

Take note of the second individual on the left side.. James G Watters.  We have a James G Watters our tree, but I don't think this is he, for in 1915 James G would be only 22. And this man looks older than that.  There is a James L Watters that is 45 year in our tree, could it be he.  After all, James L was a miner in Stellarton.  I really don't know, but thought it interesting enough to share.  Trish you should like this picture of its steampunk qualities of this picture.

Picture is from the Stellarton Mining Museum and used with permission.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Watters are Gathering

The Watters line of my tree continues to grow.  Today, I found Margaret Louisa Watters in Lowell Massachusetts.  While doing some generic searching for any Watters records with a mother of Dingle, I am came across Maggie L Waters getting married in 1894, January 17th to be exact in the town of Stoneham MA.  So, upon looking closer at the record I found a young woman at the age of 20, born in Nova Scotia and her parents are James Watters and Sarah J Dingle.  So, that was enough for me to believe this young woman was my great aunt Margaret.  Now, If know this story, you know that Maggie's sister; Elizabeth Anna Watters Reynolds was living in Woburn MA at this same time.  By the 1910 US Census, Maggie and Elizabeth are both living in Lowell and only a mile away from each other.

OK, I hear you asking. And if you are not asking, you should be!!  Who did Margaret marry?  Well, that would be a John F Osborn of Rockland Maine and he be an Irish lad.  John and Maggie had a number of child and like many families, a few don't make it past birth.  In the 1910 US Census, the family includes; John and Maggie, Anna Jane, George Raymond, Norman Goldsworth, John J Osborn.  Looking at the names of Maggie's child there are a few repeating names here.  For example; Anna Jane Osborn, I would be willing to bet, she was named after her aunt Elizabeth Anna Watters and her grandmother Sarah Jane Dingle. Just a guess mind ya!  Also, Norman Goldsworth has an uncle that carries the Goldsworth middle name.  Where Goldsworth stem, I do not know.  I'll have too look into it sometime.

Now, we have our family in 1894 and 1910, where are they in 1900.  Nothing is popping up, so back to the generic search of using just last names of Watter and Osborn and place Massachusetts.  Bang! A hit on a record with the surname recorded as Orsborn. Yes, another error!   Looking into this record, the given names were all correct with what I have and the place is of Stoneham, also Maggie was of Nova Scotia.  OK, this is them.. Oh wait look what else I find, but a brother of Maggie's staying in the house as a boarder.  This would be John Watters, which was a mystery to me, other than a birth date.  I wasn't sure he lived past his childhood, but here he is living in Stoneham and working as a steam shovel operator. 

By the time Maggie's family reach 1910, two more children were born, but didn't make it passed age one; Margaret and Howard C Osborn.  I mention them here to bring the family back together again and in one place.  Instead of the bits and piece of data that are just waiting for a family to belong to once again.  Chuid eile i síocháin