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Fifth in a series of Eight
Cecil J. Reynolds Letters

 

 

The following family names appear in this letter:  BUTT, KELLOWAY, KING, LACEY, REYNOLDS, RIDDLE, and THISTLE.  As before, the symbol "[?]" immediately following the last letter of a word indicates that we are uncertain about that word. The same symbol with a space on both sides of it indicates that an illegible word or phrase has been omitted.

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1993

Dear Bruce:

I was brought up in Small Point, next to Broad Cove, so I tend to retain unconsciously the old ways down there before the Great War (1914-1918).  Down there very little was thrown away, whereas the opposite is true up here, or so I gauge from a walk around the block on Wednesdays.  My son Alan keeps pointing out that even in a small “city” there’s no room to store anything.  However, I still remember the oft-repeated warning: “Don’t throw that away; it may come in handy some day.”  And it often did.

In the last few days the top section of a pile of letters stacked against the radio … has begun to slide off onto the pile of papers (MSS) below.  So I’ve just filled two plastic bags with letters of the last four months.  On the bottom or near it I came across your letter of August 19, 1993.  I had “threatened” to write to you about two weeks, but to my dismay did not find your address under K in my book.  So now with your letter I can duly enter it, and perhaps keep in touch.  I know you are swamped with work in “the trenches of Academe”, so just put this away for a day when you can get your breath for a brief while.

The reason I sought your address was this; I had already sent along to the Nfld. Genealogical Society three volumes[?] of the story of my ancestor search since about 1979.  Now on Monday I sent a fourth volume entitled “Addenda to the Ancestor Story” with a promise to add some family charts of descent soon.  So I found a couple of large envelopes filled with early charts full of “errors”, with them I found several sheets of births, marriages and deaths (wrong order—down there at least marriages normally came before births).  These had been … sent along by a distant cousin, Joan Reynolds Fogarty of St. John’s.  She does the typing of the chapters of my autobiography which I doubt I’ll ever finish.  I am now on Ch 34, and about page 800 or something.

So I found those sheets last week and noticed how many Kings appeared in them.  Kings and Reynoldses seem to have intermarried from as far back as 1820 down to the current moment.  By some genetic quirk our family has constantly run to far more daughters than sons.  Thus, if they wished, there are scores of Kings and Thistles who could, if they wished, trace their descent to James Reynolds (1749-1834) who came to Mulley’s Cove in the spring of 1749 *1 as an apprentice to the boot-making Laceys.  In 1876, my grandfather Nicholas Kennedy Reynolds married the last surviving Lacey and united the properties in Small Point but not in ancestral Mulley’s Cove, although Grandfather owned a narrow strip of land across from the Salem School in my boyhood.  The genetic quirk of lots of girls and a small minority of boys goes all the way back in generations to before the James who emigrated.  Four girls were born to his parents in Rockbeare, Devon, and they almost gave up on getting an heir.  But then they had 3 boys: Nicholas, James and John.  Nicholas, at 18, inherited the family estate when his father James died suddenly in 1766.  This meant James & John had to seek their own fortunes.

According to the foggy legend told me by my father in 1930 (I was unemployed in the Great Depression then) James & John had both come to Nfld., James to Mulley’s Cove and John to Caplin Cove.  Now, however, we know James came alone.  John stayed home, married twice, was widowed and died at 59 at his brother’s home.  So who was the original Reynolds in Caplin Cove where we always knew we had “relatives” of that name?  It turns out that he was James’ third son, born in 1794, but married twice “down the shore”.  He had been named for his uncle back home.

But let’s get on to the King angle.  One Reynolds girl married a William King who died in 1914 aged 71.  Another Wm King died in 1923 aged 82.  And a third Wm King died in 1926, aged 86.  A Henry King married an Esther Reynolds (see below) in Dec. 1862.  Which one was it?  A Mary Reynolds King died at 100 in Jan. 1919.  She was one of the daughters of Lot Reynolds, James’ second son.  Lot was “famous” in the family for having all daughters, at least 4 (possibly 7), and no sons.  A later Reynolds, also named Lot (1838-1869) died unmarried.  (If you recall your Bible, the Biblical Lot had 2 daughters and no sons.)  A Henry King married Esther Reynolds in 1862.  She was then 19, the second daughter of Giles Reynolds, the original James’ youngest son & my great-grandfather.

The original James’ eldest son was named for him.  He had four daughters before he begat a son, and he died in middle age, before his father James.  This son was of course named James for his father & grandfather.  He was born in 1823 and married a Jane King in 1849.  They had 5 daughters and 1 son.  He was named Wm Giles but was always called Giles.  He was born in 1854 and died in 1925.  I visited at “Uncle” Giles in Mulley’s Cove when I was a boy at Salem School.  He was my grandfather Nicholas’ first cousin.  There’s more King-Reynolds stuff if I only had time to sort it out.  My cousin Walter R. [i.e.,REYNOLDS—BK] in Small Point married a Sarah King who quite possibly might have been “related”.  My uncle Jesse Lacey Reynolds married a Miriam King.  Neither had son, but together 7 daughters!

I would certainly have liked to have [?].  She was Maria King, but as yet I do not know her parentage.  In any case she was really remarkable. Giles Reynolds, the emigrant James’ youngest son, first married 18-year-old Cecilia Butt of Perry’s Cove in 1833 but she died in childbirth the next year and Giles was “crushed”.  The grandparent Butts of Perry’s Cove took the baby and named him Wm Giles Reynolds.  (He became the ancestor of all the numerous Reynoldses of Perry’s Cove and Salmon Cove.)

Maria King of Broad Cove “comforted” Giles and 2 years later on the night after Xmas 1837 got him over to the parsonage and married him.  They had three girls and three boys, but, oddly, not one was named for the parents.  Dorcas, the oldest, married Alfred Riddle, James the next married twice (to Dinah Kelloway of Perry’s Cove and a Reynolds from Caplin Cove), Esther married Henry King, William married Frances Thistle, Nicholas married Eliza Lacey (only daughter of his first cousin Esther Reynolds Lacey).  Finally came the last child Cecelia born 1851, died 1867.

You will note that at Wm’s birth he had a half-brother Wm 10 years old in Perry’s Cove, and when Cecelia was born she was named for Cecilia the first wife now 15 years dead.  What a story there must be in there!  Incidentally, I was to be named for the second Cecelia, Grandfather’s little sister who died at 16.  But I broke the family pattern of girls first, so was called John for my father and Cecil for Cecelia with the female ending dropped.

I don’t know whether you have any interest at all in genealogy and the King story, so probably all this bored you.  But digging up those sort of drove me to write.  When, if ever, you get a spare moment, drop a line and tell me how the teaching battle is going.

Yours sincerely,

Cecil J Reynolds, 28 Sewall Dr, Old Town, Me, 04468

(1903-19—)



*1 an error, of course--BK

 

 

Back to: Cecil J Reynolds Table of Contents

This page transcribed by: Bruce King (October, 2001)

Page Last Updated March 06, 2013(Craig Peterman)

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