MARYLAND/VIRGINIA/DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Ridgeway - Martin - Willett - Coombs Family

FRANCIS IDA WILLETT or IDA FRANCIS WILLETT


Completely rewritten January 2016

 

Laura L Coomes or Coombs, one of our Cator lineage great, great grandmothers was born about 1853-1860, the child of John C and Harriett Coomes. Laura had one son and one daughter with her first husband, Fielden D Willet (1816-1879)...who then died.

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1880 CENSUS:  Harder times have befallen our widowed GGGrandmother Laura Willet.  She has moved by choice or more likely by necessity to Middleton, Charles County, MD to live with her father and his young wife.  Laura and her small children William and Ida (our future great grandmother), are at the home of her dad John C. Cooms who is a 56 year old farmer.  John's married to his second wife now, Mary E. LNU who is just 26.  (Could this be a third wife?)

Cooms' daughters Elizabeth, Mary (school) and son Thomas P. Cooms (farmhand) are 20, 19, 18 respectively and could be the children of Laura's mom Harriett, but cannot be the children of Mary E. Cooms. 

Laura Cooms is 25 and almost as old as her stepmom Mary is (26).   The younger family members, no doubt children of Mary and John together are Margaret, Caroline, Mary and an infant, all 5 and under. 

A cousin Walter Cooms who is 20 is living with the family also.  This is a robust household no doubt with lots of noise, and hopefully lots of laughter!

  

1882: Within two years, Laura has remarried and moved again. In 1882 Laura married her second (and last) husband, Philip A. Martin (Sr.), born in Germany around 1847, he immigrated to America at between the ages of 6 and 13.   Laura and Philip had four children together, Maggie Martin  b. April 1883; Philip (Jr.), b. August 1884; George E. born about 1885, and John Francis "Frank" born June 29, 1886. 

SON WILLIAM A. WILLET:  Laura's first child with Fielden, son William Arthur Willet grew up to detest his stepfather and actually beat his stepfather Philip Martin on one occasion.  Note:  William Arthur was born September 29, 1875.  William lived till August 4, 1949. 

 

 

 

Laura and Philip's son Philip A. Martin, Jr., was a criminal in his early 20s and died young, at the age of 26 on June 5, 1911.   He is buried at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery in DC.

Note:  There are various dates and ages given in records for Philip Jr., but I am using the grave dates as proof.

Philip Martin, Jr. IF he is in his mid 20s at time of death, versus the 21 listed in the following news article in the Post on June 6, 1911 and 22 listed in the Death Notices on June 7, 1911.

The news article of an explosion and attempted robbery is likely this second child of Philip and Laura's, Philip Martin Jr. This is from the Washington Post also, on Sep 12, 1902 page 4.  Philip Jr. would have been about age 18 at this time.

 

 

The next article is also about Philip Martin, Jr. and appeared in the Washington Post on Sept. 20, 1904, two years after the robbery.  According to the article he has turned 21, which he would have in August 1904.▼  

The accidental death of Philip Martin, Jr. is described in the following news article in the Post on June 6, 1911

 

Great Grandmother Laura  died on June 19, 1932, at the age of 79, at home which was located on 418 G Street SE, DC. Laura, a Catholic, had final mass was at St. Peter's Church and was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

  Francis Ida Willet, one of our maternal Cator lineage great grandmothers was born in Maryland in March of 1877, the child of Fielden and Laura Willet. She married John Henry Ridgeway our great grandfather in this line on May 22, 1895 and later married her second husband John Warren Thompson.

 

 

 

Ida and John Henry had 5 children:

1)  RUTH A. RIDGEWAY (GRANDMOTHER IN OUR CATOR LINE) was born in Maryland on March 7, 1896. (SEE NEXT GENERATION)

2)  ELVA JOSEPHINE "ELVIE" RIDGEWAY. When "Elvie" Ridgeway was born on March 7, 1898, in Maryland, her father "Henry" was 22 and her mother Ida was 21. Elvie married Henry Douglas  Trammell on August 13, 1914, in DC. They had two children during their marriage, Ellen and Leslie. She died on September 3, 1965, in District of Columbia, at the age of 67, and is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, MD.

1898-1899 MOVE:  The Ridgeways move from Maryland to DC; perhaps this is when they moved in with her mom Laura Willett Martin and stepdad Philip Martin.  Philip and Laura have 4 children of their own at that home.

3)  DAUGHTER MARIAN LORETTA RIDGEWAY is born in December of 1899 in DC.  At the age of 15, Great Aunt Marian married Robert Hamilton Beach on August 2, 1915, in DC. They had 12 children in 22 years. She died on August 15, 1985, in Clinton, Maryland, at the age of 85.

 

1900 Census: Ida and Henry Ridgeway are definitely now living with their three daughters, Ruth (March 1896), Elvie (March 1898) and Marion (Dec. 1899) at the home of Ida's mom and stepdad Philip at 28 Grant Street in DC.  Ida Willett Ridgeway is the stepdaughter of Philip Martin and the daughter of Philip. Both Henry and Philip are day laborers.   So in 1900 the house is full with 11 people: 65 year Philip; 40 year old Mom/Laura; a 17, 15, 14, 12 year old and Ida and Henry at 23 each with kids Ruth, Elvie and Marion ranging from 4 years of age to 5 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4)  DAUGHTER ETHEL M. RIDGEWAY is born about 1907 in DC. When our Great Aunt Ethel was born, her dad was 32 and mom 30.  Ethel married Raymond George Van Heiten and they had one child Marjorie Jean born February 10, 1929, a Depression Era baby.   Raymond was a T/Sgt in the USMC and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Raymond was born on 3/10/1900 and enlisted in the Marines 11/15/1921 and retired from the Marines on 12/1/1951 - 30 years of service.  He died just months later on 3/12/1952, at the age of 52. Note:  A T/Sgt in Marines was an E-6 and the sole rank in this grade.  After 1959 (after his death) this rank became E-7 Gunnery Sergeant.
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5)  DAUGHTER MARY A. RIDGEWAY is born about 1909 in DC. She lost her father Henry when she was only 3 years old. I do not have other information on her at this time.

By the 1910 Census Ida and Henry Ridgeway are living in their own place again - 400 19th in DC.  Henry is an ironworker.  Henry is 38 and his wife Ida is 32. Their 3 youngest daughters were born in DC:  Marion L., Ethel M. and Mary A. Ridgeway.

 

1912 - 1915: Great Grandfather Henry Ridgeway died on January 3, 1912 in Prince George's County, MD.  On Feb. 28, 1915 Ida remarried.  Her second husband was James Warren Thompson. ►

 

 

 

 

 

 

  RUTH ALICE RIDGEWAY, our maternal Cator lineage grandmother was born in Maryland in March of 1877, the child of Ida and Henry Ridgeway. She married CHARLES CONRAD CATOR, JR., our grandfather on on March 7, 1914.  They divorced and she married George Fowler.  Ruth had no children with Fowler.  She died at the age of 33 due to complications of pneumonia following an automobile accident in which revenuers were chasing bootleggers and the car she and Fowler were driving in was hit.

Ruth and Charlie eloped, but it was a difficult elopement.  You can see the details in my blog at  http://snippetbiographies.blogspot.com/2012/12/charlie-cator-runs-away-twice.html .

 

Charlie and Ruth's first daughter was Bernice Lucille Cator born on June 12, 1915 in DC.  

 

 

Their second daughter was Evelyn Estelle Cator, born January 10, 1917 in DC. 

 

 

 

 

Their third daughter was Mary Alice Cator born January 24, 1918 in DC also. 

 

 

 

 

1916 Sept. 24 - DEATH:  Ida Willett Ridgeway Thompson died at age 40 at Providence Hospital in Washington DC.  It is sad that my husband's grandmother Ruth died at 33 (accident complications) and his great grandmother Ida at 40.  Too young. 

1923 - Divorce:  Ruth and Charlie divorced on March 26, 1923 in Fairfax Virginia after 9 years of marriage.  She was 27.

1929 July 7 - DEATH:  Ruth Ridgeway Cator Fowler dies in DC.  She is buried 3 days later in Forestville MD.  She was only 33 and died of pneumonia contracted from her friend and caregiver of her injuries following an accident in DC when revenuers were in pursuit of someone and caused an accident which involved the nearby car of Ruth and her husband George.  Refer to my blog for the story of her death:  http://snippetbiographies.blogspot.com/2014/12/ruth-ridgeway-cator-fowler-ultimately.html

 

Please share information....  Questions? Comments?  Suggestions?
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