June 11, 2010

The Woolsey Children

"Katy’s name was Katy Carr. She lived in the town of Burnet, which wasn’t a very big town, but was growing as fast as it knew how. The house she lived in stood on the edge of the town. It was a large square house, white, with green blinds, and had a porch in front, over which roses and clematis made a thick bower. Four tall locust trees shaded the gravel path which led to the front gate. On one side of the house was an orchard; on the other side were wood piles and barns, and an ice house. Behind was a kitchen garden sloping to the south; and behind that a pasture with a brook in it, and butternut trees, and four cows -- two red ones, a yellow one with sharp horns tipped with tin, and a dear little white one named Daisy. There were six of the Carr children -- four girls and two boys. Katy, the oldest, was twelve years old; little Phil, the youngest was four; and the rest fitted in between."

John Mumford Woolsey, son of William Walton Woolsey and Elizabeth Dwight, was born 10 Jan 1796 in Connecticut. He died 11 Jul 1870 in New Haven, CT. His family can be traced back to Jonathan Edwards; boasted two Yale presidents, Timothy Dwight and Theodore Dwight Woolsey; Judge John M. Woolsey, who is remembered for declaring James Joyce's Ulysses and Marie Stopes' Married Love was not obscene; and his daughter, Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who was author of the What Katy Did children's novels.

John married Jane W. Andrews, daughter of John Andrews and WHO, 22 May 1832 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH. Jane was born in 1804 in CT and died WHEN in WHERE. They married 22 May 1832 in Cleveland, OH. Their children were:

Sarah "Susan" Chauncey Woolsey was born 29 Jan 1835 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH and died 9 Apr 1905 in Newport, RI. She grew up in an attractive home, surrounded by an atmosphere of modest wealth and leisure. Her vivid personality and many-sided interests endeared her to friends and relatives. She wrote easily, talked well, was fond of games of all sorts, sketched, painted and took an active part in the religious and social life about her. She was a notable addition to any group because of her stimulating wit, her wide knowledge of books, and her ability to share with others her abounding zest for living.

Sarah worked as a nurse during the American Civil War, after which she started to write. Although she had amused herself from childhood by writing little tales and poems, she published nothing until after the war, when she contributed to many of the best known periodicals in America from 1870-1900.

She edited many popular works of her time and authored three volumes of poetry: Verses (1880); A few More Verses (1889); and Last Verses (1906), printed after her death with a memoir by her sister. But she was best known as a popular writer of stories for young people that were lively in tone, sensible, wholesome and pleasingly moral.

Her first book for girls, The New-Year's Bargain, appeared in 1871, and from then until 1890 she produced a new volume almost yearly. Among the most popular was the What Katy Did Series (1872-1890), inspired by Sarah and her siblings.

Jane Andrews Woolsey was born 25 Oct 1836 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH. She married Henry Albert Yardley.

Elizabeth Dwight Woolsey was born 26 Apr 1838 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH and died 1910 in WHERE. She married Daniel Coit Gilman.

Theodorus Bailey Woolsey was born was born 5 Mar 1839 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH. He died 20 Jun 1907 in NY.

Theodora Walton Woolsey was born 7 Sep 1840 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH. She died 7 May 1910 in Newport, RI. Her obituary in the New York Times read: "Miss Theodora W. Woolsey dies in Newport, R.I. yesterday in her 69th year. She was the daughter of the late John M. and Jane Andrews Woolsey, and a niece of Theodore Dwight Woolsey, for many years President of Yale, and a cousin of Theodore Salisbury Woolsey, a long time Professor of International Law in Yale Law School."
William Walton Woolsey was born 18 Jul 1842 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH. He died 28 Apr 1910 in Charleston, Charleston, SC. He married first to Catherine Buckingham Convers, daughter of Charles Cleveland Convers and Catherine Buckingham, on 1 Ju 1869 in New York City. Katherine was born 4 Oct 1844 in Zanesville, OH and died 2 Oct 1887 in Brooklyn, NY.

Their children were: Clara Constance (died in infancy), John Munro (1877-1945; Yale University), Convers Buckingham (1880-1951; Yale University), Catherine Buckingham and William Walton Jr. (1886-1964).

He married second to Elizabeth “Bessie” Gammel (1873--) abt. 1892. His marriage to Bessie gained his entry into Charleston aristocracy. Their daughter, Elizabeth Gammel Woolsey, was born 28 May 1897 in Breeze Hill Plantation, SC and died from breast cancer in 1968.

Writing under the name Gamel Woolsey, Elizabeth was one of the first American chroniclers of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and her account, Death's Other Kingdom (1939), is an unbiased, sensitive exploration of how war affects human behavior. She also wrote two novels, the autobiographic One Way of Love (not published until 1987) and the unpublished Patterns on the Sand. After her death in 1968, her poetry was collected and published by Kenneth Hopkins.

Before leaving Charleston for New York in the early 20s, Elizabeth suffered an attack of tuberculosis that would mark her life; the illness recurred during periods of emotional stress and prevented her from bringing much desired pregnancies to term. In New York she met and married Rex Hunter, a journalist; the marriage was not happy, and Woolsey used this experience for her largely autobiographical novel "One Way of Love". In 1928, when living in Greenwich Village, New York, she met Llewelyn Powys, husband of Alyse Gregory who was then editor of the Dial, and tried repeatedly to give him a child, even following him to the remote village of East Chaldon in Dorset, England in 1929. There, she was rescued from what had become an impossible amorous triangle by Gerald Brenan who, by the summer of 1930, had decided it was time to find a wife, and fell in love with Woolsey when he saw her gathering flints on the downs. He tells of this meeting, and of their married life in the second volume of his autobiography, Personal Record. The letters of Gamel Woolsey and Llewelyn Powys were published and show how both transformed their experience of love and loss into literature even as they were suffering the separation that resulted in Woolsey's decision to end the relationship.

Although Woolsey and Brenan could not marry because Woolsey had never obtained a divorce from Hunter, on 11 Apr 1931 they performed a private ceremony on the steps of the Church of Santa Maria d'Aracoeli in Rome (which they legalized on 25 Aug 1947). In 1934 the couple moved to Spain, to a rambling, old house they had bought in Churriana, a village on the outskirts of Malaga. There, they witnessed the first months of the Spanish Civil War. They were naively convinced that the British flag would shield them from both Franco's rebels and the Andalucian anarchist radicals, but lack of funds forced them to travel to Gibralter. They were cut off from Malaga by Franco's troops and forced to return to England, where they remained through World War II.
Theodora Woolsey was born in 1849 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH and died WHEN in WHERE.

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