Third Great Uncle Edward Stanley Lipsett

Edward Stanley Lipsett (who went by “Stanley”) was born on July 24, 1859, Clam Harbour, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. He was the firstborn child of Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster. Like his younger brother Robert, he started out as a member of the Church of England, then became a Methodist sometime around his marriage.

When Stanley immigrated to Massachusetts between 1881 – 1883, he was a fisherman. Like so many fisherman, he ended up in Gloucester, Essex County, MA. There he married Caroline (“Carrie”) Eliza O’Brien, another native of Guysborough County (who also happens to be my third great-aunt) on December 29, 1883 in Gloucester.

The Lipsetts immigrated back to Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia most likely during 1884. Stanley’s occupation eventually became a sea captain, but I suspect he was still involved in the fishing industry. By 1911, however, he became a farmer and even had a stint as an undertaker at least in 1926.

Stanley and Carrie had two sons: Robert Bruce, born January 13, 1885 and Ralph Stanley, born March 16, 1892. Ralph’s life was cut short during World War I. On September 19, 1918, he killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai in France. Records show that his body was interred at what looks to be Marcoing Line British Cemetery, now known as Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery (Plot 1, Row F, Grave 12) in Sailly, France. There is also a memorial at Manchester Cemetery, dedicated to Ralph and other Manchester boys who lost their lives in the Great War.

Stanley’s son Robert went on to give him his only descendant. In 1921 Robert married Marion Sidney Worth in Saskatchewan, Canada. They immigrated to Massachusetts and on May 20, 1928, granddaughter Margaret Carolyn Lipsett (known as Carolyn) was born in Salem, Essex County, MA. I want to make note of Marion and Carolyn especially, since I had known them as a girl. Carolyn (having moved back to Salem around 1949) was especially close to my grandmother Eugenie, who was her second cousin.

Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau and Carolyn Lipsett.  Author's collection.

Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau and Carolyn Lipsett. Author’s collection.

n 1931 Robert’s family moved back to Nova Scotia to Dartmouth in Halifax County. I’m sure Robert and Marion were on hand as Stanley and Carrie were aging. In 1934, both Stanley and Carrie passed away. Carrie died on April 20 of coronary thrombosis, and Stanley died just six days later of prostate cancer. Stanley, Carrie, Robert (who died in 1960) and Marion (who died in 1974) are all buried in Manchester Cemetery. Carolyn died in 2008, never having gotten married or had children.

Great-Great Grandfather Robert Fenwick Lipsett

Robert Fenwick Lipsett (whose name I love, by the way) was born on January 23, 1866 in Manchester, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, to Robert Bruce Lipsett and Christina McMaster. He was the fifth of eight children and the third son.

Robert married Sarah Sophia O’Brien (who went by her middle name) on January 18, 1893 in Manchester by a Methodist minister. Prior to marrying Sophia, Robert was a member of the Church of England, like his father (his mother was a Methodist).

Throughout his life, Robert’s occupation was pretty much the same: sailor/mariner/seaman. He was of good height (5’11”) and had blue eyes. I can almost picture what he may have looked like as he went about his hard work at sea. (Alas, I have no pictures of him!)

The children born to Robert and Sophia were mostly reviewed here, but below is a summary of them:

  • Eva Christina, born November 7, 1893
  • Beryl Sophia, born January 17, 1896
  • Leona Carolyn, born 1898, died 1900
  • William Croft, born August 29, 1900, died 1904
  • Claude Stanley, born December 18, 1902

Sometime between 1901 and 1902, the Lipsett family moved to Guysborough, where Claude was born. One by one, each child grew up and moved away, Claude being the last in 1923. With an empty nest, Robert and Sophia moved to Halifax, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, sometime between 1921 and 1932.

On July 23, 1932, Sophia died at home (110 Chiebrieto Road, Halifax) of chronic valvular [something?]. It doesn’t seem that Robert stayed in that home alone very long. By 1935, he was living with his daughter Eva Atwell, at least part of the time. There are some passenger lists that show him traveling from Halifax to Boston or the Port of Calais, Maine, so perhaps he went back and forth with the changing of the seasons. After all, his daughter Beryl still lived in Nova Scotia.

I was excited to find Robert listed on the 1940 Census as part of a three-generation household in Lynn, MA: himself, his daughter Eva & her husband Thomas F. Atwell, and his grandchildren Thomas II and Eugenie (with her husband George Edmund Pleau). The household became four generations in late 1941 when my father was born, and Robert rejoined the family from Nova Scotia in October. Eventually, Robert’s Nova Scotia home became Manchester again.

The end of Robert’s life was similar to so many in their advanced years. On November 21, 1847, he fell down the stairs at home in Manchester and suffered such trauma to his spinal cord that he became a paraplegic. He spent the rest of his life in St. Martha’s hospital in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, finally passing away on February 19, 1948. He was buried with his wife and two small children in Evergreen Cemetery, Aspen, Nova Scotia.

Great-Great Uncles and Aunts via Eva Lipsett

Although my great-grandmother Eva (Lipsett) Atwell died before I was born, two of her four siblings’ lives overlapped mine.

The first was Beryl Sophia Lipsett, who was born on January 17, 1896 in Guysborough, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Beryl never married, but later became a principal of a school in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia. She maintained her ties with her sister Eva and Eva’s family as she seemed to visit Lynn, Massachusetts just about every Christmas in the 1930’s. Although she died on March 11, 1971, I have no specific memories of Beryl. She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Aspen, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, alongside her parents, Robert Fenwick Lipsett and Sarah Sophia O’Brien.

Beryl Lipsett + Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau, 1953.  Author's collection.

Beryl Lipsett + Eugenie (Atwell) Pleau, 1953. Author’s collection.

The next two children died so young, there are barely any records of them. Leona Carolyn Lipsett was born in 1898 and died in 1900. I couldn’t find any birth or death records for her online; the only evidence I’ve found of her is her burial with her family at Evergreen Cemetery.

William Croft Lipsett was born on August 29, 1900. Like Leona, I could not find a birth or death record. William was actually recorded on the 1901 Census, but died three years later in 1904. He, too, is buried at Evergreen.

Snippet of William Croft Lipsett in 1921 Canada Census.  Courtesy

Snippet of William Croft Lipsett in 1921 Canada Census. Courtesy

The baby of the family was Claude Stanley Lipsett, born December 18, 1902 in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. According to the 1940 U.S. Census, he completed four years of high school. Not long after he finished school, Claude sought other opportunities where his oldest sister lived. In 1923 he immigrated out of Port of St John New Brunswick and headed to Boston. He later married fellow Nova Scotian Clara MacWhinnie about 1928. Claude and Clara lived in Lynn, and Claude worked as a machinist in a die manufacturing company. For some reason, they had no children, but they were definitely involved in Eva’s descendants’ lives. I remember Claude especially at my grandmother’s (his niece) Christmas parties. What I remember most about Claude that he was very hard of hearing (maybe due to his work?); we always had to shout at him to be heard. His wife Clara passed away in 1976, but Claude lived on for many years until February 27, 1991. Both are buried with her parents in Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Claude Lipsett, 1965 (sadly, the best picture I have of him).  Author's collection.

Claude Lipsett, 1965 (sadly, the best picture I have of him). Author’s collection.

Let Freedom Ring – Norwalk Style

Every Fourth of July, I try to make it out to Norwalk, CT’s annual “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony at the old Town House at Mill Hill. Out of all the Independence Day celebrations, this one is most true to the real meaning of the holiday. It is celebrated every year nationwide (although it is not formally organized) as a result of a Concurrent Congressional Resolution that can be read here (see the top of the linked page). Every year, it’s a little different; sometimes more elaborate than others. This year was rather simple, but faithful to Independence Day.

Let Freedom Ring!

Let Freedom Ring!

Diane Jellerette, Executive Director of the Norwalk Historical Society, welcomed everyone to the annual “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing ceremony. She reminded us of how our own city of Norwalk was involved in the Revolution during the Battle and subsequent Burning of Norwalk, where General Tryon only left about 6 homes standing of nearly a hundred that were in town.

Ms. Jellerette welcomed the many city and state officials that were in attendance. Mayor Harry Rilling said a few words, proudly declaring that, “America is, without a doubt, the best country on earth.” He reminded us of the phrase “with liberty and justice for all” from the Pledge of Allegiance we recited earlier applies now more than ever to all people.

Mayor Rilling.  Author's collection.

Mayor Rilling. Author’s collection.

Dressed in colonial garb, Town Clerk Rick McQuaid had the honor of reading excerpts of the Declaration of Independence (to be honest, I believe he read the whole thing).

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid reads the Declaration of Independence.  Author's collection.

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid reads the Declaration of Independence. Author’s collection.

Finally came the centerpiece of the ceremony: the ringing of the bell thirteen times, once for each newly independent state. (Technically, the bell ringing is to occur at 2pm, but that is when we started the whole ceremony.)  Councilman Erik Anderson read off the list of states as Senator Bob Duff (who attends the event every year) rang the bell of the old Town House.  (I was hoping to embed video, but WordPress doesn’t accept that filetype.  However, you can view my tweet that captured at least part of it here.)

What followed was a beautiful, pitch-perfect rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by Catherine Robinson of Norwalk’s Crystal Theatre. Many couldn’t help but join in as the song progressed.

Catherine Robinson, singing the National Anthem.  Author's collection.

Catherine Robinson, singing the National Anthem. Author’s collection.

The ceremony concluded as Ms. Jellerette explained that the Town House will shortly be undergoing a renovation. Just recently, the grounds of Mill Hill were renovated to include a walkway and an herb garden, which she invited all to check out. And in the fall, a new Norwalk Museum will be opening up on the same grounds as City Hall after being out of commission for quite some time. There is much to look forward to regarding Norwalk history!

New herb garden at Mill Hill.  Author's collection.

New herb garden at Mill Hill. Author’s collection.