Eliza Jane Scott,
great-granddaughter of
General David Wooster

Eliza Jane Scott

 

The Obituary

obituary of Eliza Jane Scott      
black white black bar
LAFAYETTE BLESSED HER
—————
Mrs. Eliza Jane Scott Dies At Age
Of Nearly 90 Years.
   Mrs. Eliza Jane Scott, widow of Joseph
Scott, died suddenly yesterday morning at
her home, 1530 East Madison street, of the
infirmities of age, hastened, it is thought,
by an attack of acute indigestion.  Though
almost 90 years old, she had enjoyed good
health up to about six or seven weeks ago,
when she began to complain of a bronchial
affection.   Sunday she did all the house-
work and prepared the three meals for her-
self and son, Mr. John G. Scott, with whom
she lived.   Yesterday morning she arose as
usual, but in a short time was compelled
to return to bed, dying shortly afterward.
   Mrs. Scott was born on Howard street,
near Fayette.  She was a great-granddaugh-
ter of General Wooster
, a famous officer in
the Revolutionary War.  She, with her sis-
ter, met General Lafayette on his visit to
Baltimore, and the nobleman, as she was
fond of relating, placed his hand on her
head and blessed her.
   Six children—Messrs. Benjamin F., Jo.
seph P., Charles F., and John G. Scott;
Mrs. Georgianna Graham and Mrs. William
H. Pentz—14 grandchildren and 9 great-
grandchildren survive her.
   The funeral will take place tomorrow.
The services will be conducted by Rev. J.
G. Sadtler, pastor of the Church of Our
Saviour, where she long attended.  Inter-
ment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery.
——————————
This obituary is apparently from
a Baltimore newspaper [Baltimore Sun?] of
Tuesday, 21 April 1903.
 

My thanks go to Harriette Stresewski, hstresewski@blazenet.net, a great-great-granddaughter of Eliza Jane Scott, for sending me this obituary and also the picture.

 
 

A Mystery

Eliza Jane Scott (née Maddox, born 4 November 1813, died Monday, 20 April 1903) was a daughter of Edward Maddox (born 1780, died 9 February 1835) and Rachel Ann _______ (maiden name unknown, born 1786, died 11 November 1863). We hoped to find one of Eliza Jane's parents listed among the grandchildren of General Wooster, but we did not.

General David Wooster and Mary Clapp had four children, only two of whom survived infancy.
   Children:
      1. Mary, b. 21 Jan. 1746/7; d. 20 Oct. 1748.
      2. Thomas, b. 30 July 1751; d. in 1792 on a voyage to New Orleans.
      3. Mary, b. 2 June 1753; d. 16 January, 1754
      4. Mary, b. 21 Oct. 1755; m. 6 Oct. 1774, Rev. John Cosins Ogden.
Source: Jacobus, page 187. Eugene R. Wooster repeats the same information on page 16.

Thomas Wooster married Lydia Sheldon of New York and they had children.
   Children:
      1. David
      2. Isaac Sheldon, b. 12 March 1780; m. Caroline Moore.
      3. George C[linton].
      4. Charles Whiting, b. at New Haven in 1785; d. 1848.
      5. Mary C[lap], m. ______ Turner.
      6. Henry
      7. Cornelius B[radford].
Jacobus did not list the children of Thomas, apparently because he himself did not research them. Instead, in a footnote he says that they can be found in Collins on pages 40 and 41. Collins lists the six sons and one daughter given above and Eugene R. Wooster repeats them on pages 28 and 29. However, in Orcutt on page 672 Mrs. Maria Clap Turner, one of the children in the family, was quoted as writing that there were FIVE sons and one daughter. Under the circumstances it seems reasonable to accept Orcutt over Collins. But how does one explain the extra son? Did Thomas father illegitimate children?

Mary C. Wooster married the Rev. John Cosins Ogden and they had three children, all of whom died sine prole [without issue].
   Children:
      1. Mary, b. Feb. 1775; d. single at New Haven, March 1839
      2. David Wooster, d. young and unmarried.
      3. Aaron Norton, d. unmarried, 1821.
Both Jacobus and Eugene R. Wooster say that there were three children and say that all three died s.p., but neither gives the names nor birth and death dates. David Wooster is the sole source that I have been able to locate that gives the names, etc, of the children. This is done on page 42.

 

My Conjecture

Not wanting to believe that the Eliza Jane Scott obituary contains specious information I can only conjecture that her mother, Rachel Ann ______, was among the children of either the General's daughter Mary or the General's son Thomas. The list of the children of neither was presented by Jacobus, who is the one among the genealogists involved whom I think to be the most reliable. His omission of such specific data probably indicates that he could not find the kind of evidence that he usually demanded.

My hunch is that Rachel Ann ______ was somehow a daughter of Thomas rather than of Mary. Thomas moved around a lot, living in New Haven, New York, and in New Orleans, making it quite possible that not all records were kept properly.

I would be very interested in the opinion of others. Even more exciting would be some additional evidence.


Resources Used

Campbell, Rev. Hollis A., Sharpe, William C., & Bassett, Frank G. Seymour, Past and Present. Seymour, Connecticut, 1902: W. C. Sharpe, Publisher.

Collins, Holdridge Ozro. "The Wooster Family." New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, vol. XXX, October 1899, pp. 242-247, and vol. XXXI, January 1900, pp. 39-47.

Jacobus, Donald Lines. "Edward Wooster of Derby, Conn., and Some of His Descendants." The New England Genealogical Society Journal, July 1921, pp. 175-196.

Orcutt, Samuel & Ambrose Beardsley, M.D. The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880, with Biographies and Genealogies. Springfield, Massachusetts, 1880: Press of Springlield Printing Company.

Wooster, David, M.D., F.R.A. Genealogy of the Woosters in America Descended from Edward Wooster of Connecticut. San Francisco, California, 1885: M. Weiss, Printer.

Wooster, Eugene R., Jr. The Edward Wooster Family Booklet. Wake Forest, North Carolina, 1999: Privately Printed.


Additional Information

August 29, 2002 I received an email from Kellie J. Scott, kscott@bcps.org, of Baltimore, Maryland. Her message provides additional information about Eliza Jane Scott. Except for an introductory first paragraph I am presenting her message here in its entirety.

I met Harriette [Stresewski] over the phone yesterday, after coming across her query on genealogy.com, regarding Edward Maddox and Rachel Ann, the parents of Eliza Jane Scott. I was thrilled! I have never run across anyone researching this family, and I got in touch with her right away. Eliza Jane is my 3x great-grandmother through her son, Charles Edward Scott (not F as that obituary states). I had never seen the obit she sent me w/the story of Wooster. The obit in the Sun I found was very brief, and only mentioned the time and place of the funeral. I assume the larger write-up came from a different paper.

In the Methodist Circuit Records of Harford Co/Baltimore Co/Baltimore City, MD, there is a reference to Edward Maddocks marrying Rachel Ann Parsons in 1803. I have not been able to trace Rachel's line any farther back. There were several Parsons families in the area at the time, but I have only had a chance to look at the census, which doesn't mention females by name, and not look for any wills, etc.

My only other clue to Rachel being a Parsons is rather obscure. The ownership of her burial plot in Mt. Olivet was transferred to a K. Raymond and M.E. Justice. I had never heard of the Justice family, but assumed they must be closely related to the Maddox family to get the plot (over, say, a Scott grandchild). On a whim, I started looking for these two people back in the 19th century, not knowing if these people acquired the plot at that time, or on the death of Eliza's youngest son, John G. Scott in 1931 (the last person buried in the plot). I found a Mary Elizabeth Justice born March 4, 1839. Her parents were John Justice and Elizabeth Parsons (1819-1860), and Elizabeth's mother lived with her-- Magdalene Parsons, born in 1770. I don't know who Magdalene is, but in theory, she could be Rachel Ann and Elizabeth's mother. She would have been 16 when Rachel was born and 49 when Elizabeth was born-- which sounded like a stretch until I realized Rachel's last child was born when she was 49.

Perhaps the Wooster connection comes through Magdalene, or the unknown Parsons father.

One other thing... I look to the middle names of Eliza's sons for clues as well. They were Benjamin Franklin, Joseph Pierson, Charles Edward and John Gordon.

Hope this adds fuel to the fire. I can't see why the information in Eliza's obit would be false-- there would be no sense to that, since the Lafayette story makes it "thrilling" enough for readers in 1903.

If you have any thoughts, or would like me to look up any direction in particular, let me know. I live in Baltimore, and can access things fairly easily.
Sincerely,
Kellie Scott

Perhaps my conjecture is correct. Could Thomas have fathered the child Rachel out-of-wedlock with a teenage Magdalene Parsons? This could explain why Rachel's maiden name was given as Parsons when she married Edward Maddocks in 1803. Also, it might explain why Thomas pulled up stakes and moved to New Orleans, although I had always assumed that his reasons were primarily economic. His mother was heavily in debt, barely escaping debtor's prison, and I suspect that his straits were hardly different. Who knows?

I hope your browser reads the HTML tag that I have used to strike out the above paragraph. If not, consider the paragraph deleted--or at least crossed out in such a way that you can see where my thoughts WERE headed. It was a great theory, but it will not fly. Harriette Stresewski has informed me that her Aunt Ethel, who was her father's sister and a great-grandaughter of Eliza Jane Scott, married a man named Justice. It is that Justice family who own the plot in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. This means that the Mary Elizabeth Justice and her presumed mother Magdalene that Kellie Scott located probably have no real relevance to the question. As Harriette has said, "So the Justice family does not play into the matter of 'who is Rachel Ann' here." The answer most probably lies elsewhere. We shall have to keep looking.