April 22, 2015 – S is for Stevens, Sarah, Susanna

I have not been up to snuff today. Tooth ache,  headache, tired – probably from not sleeping well.  so picking something to write about has had my head spinning.  So I am going to write a little about some S people in my family tree.

My aunt Sheila O’Connor was a sweet woman.  She was not as adventuresome as my Aunt Pat and seemed to be more of a follower than a leader.  She went to England in WWII to serve in the Canadian Army as a nurse – at the encouragement of her sister Pat.  She was there until 1946. Then she returned to Canada and stayed on in the military.  She was able to get into the air force but then later had to leave because of hearing loss.  That was hard on her.  I can empathize with her because I have hearing loss and struggle to hear at times.

Back in the  1950’s she and a friend Jess McCormick purchased the Cragsmere Inn on the St Lawrence River near Ivy Lea in the 1000 Islands.  I loved visiting there when I was young.  Several of my cousins worked there in the summers but I never had that opportunity. They made the best pies. Loved eating there and hanging out in the water. I was not a good swimmer but I tried the water there from time to time.

She also worked in the winters at Stony Lodge Hospital from time to time and I got to see her there and at the cottages in Canada in the summers.  She was just so nice to us. Never unkind and always positive.

She died in 1988 from an intestinal blockage and not being in great health. It was so sad. She was younger than I am now when she died.  She never married and yet had been in love at 18 and her father stopped her from eloping. Then she had several serious relationships while in the military but none of them worked out.  I think all the nieces and nephews had a terrible sense of loss when she died.

Then there are the Steven’s cousins.  My great grandmother Emily McArdles two sisters married two Steven’s brothers. Mary Elizabeth married Samuel James Stevens and they had eight children. They lived in Athens and James was a cabinet maker. When my grandfather went to high school in Athens he lived with the Stevens family. They did a lot of going back and forth and as my mom grew up she knew a lot of those cousins. Frank Stevens was a favorite of hers and she was friends with Gerald Stevens the expert in old Canadian glass and other antiques.  At some point the family moved to Montreal, at least some of them.

The other sister Sarah Susan McArdle married William Ransom Stevens.  Their first child James Ambrose died at the age of one month.  Maud Evelyn was born a year later.   Before 1900 they moved to Grand Island Nebraska. I have an envelope full of letters that Susie wrote to her sister Emily. I have not transcribed them yet.

I suspect that Susie’s problems with childbirth are related to the RH negative blood that runs in the McArdle line. I have spoken to the children of Mauds son  Tom O’Gorman and they have RH neg as well.  Maud and her husband Tom O’Gorman moved to Sacramento Califormia and their children and grandkids are there and in Nevada.  They have quite a few children but only three lived to adulthood. William, Mary and Robert.   Robert was a pilot and lived in Long Island NY. He married but I have no record of children.  Mary married on O’Hara and lived in Nevada. Tom married and had three children two who lived to adulthood.  I have had contact with Suzette who gave me info on the Stevens family.  They were Loyalists from Vt who came to Canada and settled in Athens.

first two pictures have aunt sheila in them.

the other pictures are of the Stevens family. The large family is the Samual James Stevens.  The older picture is of the Stevens family that came from Vermont. Samuel Sr. and his wife Mary Elizabeth.

O_Connor_siblings O_Connor_Wedding_1941 Samuel James Stevens_cousins Samuel_Stevens_Family Sarah_Susannah_McArdle_Stevens Stevens_Family Suzette_and_Paul_O_Gorman


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