Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shared Names: Post 3 for Women's History Month: Flora Maria Cone

Those of you who read my other blog "Letters to my Grandparents", know that I am trying to follow Lisa Alzo's "Back for the Sixth Year: Fearless Females Blogging Prompts" writing about female ancestors to celebrate their lives and National Womens' History Month.  Today we are prompted to write about a female ancestor with whom we share a name. I am named for an ancestor, my mother's father Cecil Oscar Werst. Cecily is the English feminine for Cecil. Writing about that does not seem to be in keeping with the spirit of these prompts. Instead, I thought I would write about a name, Flora, that was passed down on the female Cone side.

From collection of her great niece Flora Lee (Dunlap) Long
Flora Maria Cone was the first child and only daughter of William Warner and Elizabeth "Eliza" Harriet (Utley) Cone. Her parents married 30 November 1854 in Hornellsville, Steuben county, New York. Flora was born there fourteen months later on 7 February 1856. Three years later, the little family was complete with the birth of her brother and my great grandfather Frederick Naaman Cone 29 March 1859.

The family moved to Guilford, Chenango county, New York before 1 July 1863, when William is registered as a brick maker by the local draft authorities. Flora lost her mother before she was ten and according to my grandfather Charles Newton Cone's recollections of his father (Flora's brother Frederick) remembrances became a sort of surrogate mother to her younger brother. The family situation may have been complicated by William's frequent absences during passenger pigeon hunting trips. A large clan of their mother's family, Pratts and Utleys lived nearby, so the children may have been cared for by relatives during William's hunting trips.

On 6 December 1867, 40 year old William married Eliza's younger sister Hannah Utley age 24. This marriage allowed Flora to train as a teacher, a career she pursued until retirement. Most often, as a single teacher, Flora lived with extended family members. In 1875 she is teaching in Masonville, New York and living with her mother's sister Alice Temperance (Utley) Teed's family. By 1880 she is in Worthington, Minnesota teaching school and boarding with John C and Lydia (Hornell) Clarke (the Clarke's granddaughter Helen Brown Newton would eventually become her brother's wife). By 1895, Flora is back in Masonville teaching at the Pleasant Hill Academy and living with her father and step-mother.

Flora never married but family was very important to her. She was an avid genealogist, tracing her heritage back to passengers on the Mayflower. Certainly she was pleased when her brother named his second daughter, born 26 April 1894, Flora Harriet Cone.

Flora Harriet (Cone) Brim
born 26 April 1894 Worthington, MN
died 1 November 1990 Ephrata, WA
photograph from collection of granddaughter Flora Long
Flora Maria Cone also lived long enough to know that Flora (Cone) Brim continued the tradition naming her second daughter Flora Elizabeth Brim.

Flora Elizabeth (Brim) Dunlap
born 23 August 1920 Kirkland, WA
died 12 February 2013 Elmer City, WA
photograph from the collection of Flora Long

The tradition did not end there, as Flora Dunlap named her youngest child Flora Lee.

Certainly Flora Maria Cone would be proud of all the Floras who followed her.


 5 March 2015 Update

Flora Lee Dunlap Long has let me know that in fact there is a 5th Flora. She named her first child Flora Marie. She added that her grandmother Flora Harriet (Cone) Brim gave her a tintype of Flora Maria Cone when she was a young girl. I'm certain the original Flora Cone would be especially pleased to know of all the Floras who followed her.

1 comment:

  1. I also named my first daugter Flora Marie Meng.

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