Annie Florence Morris

Annie Florence Morris: born in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, in 1860; specifics of death unknown, but probably around 1933 in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Annie Florence Morris: born in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, in 1860; specifics of death unknown, but probably around 1933 in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Annie was born in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada, on June 27th, 1859, to sea Captain James E Morris (of the prolific sea faring family of Capt. Henry M Morris) and Mary Ann Cogswell (of the well known and documented Cogswell colonial family).

source: "The Cogswells in America"

source: “The Cogswells in America”

She was their third child, but the only to live past childhood. She had a brother, William Mansfield Morris who died at age 2 from “croup“; as well as a sister Josephine, who died at age 20 months from “hooping cough” (see whooping cough); both several years before she was born. This could explain Annie’s fear of anyone catching cold from the dampness and weather.

Her father, Captain James E Morris, then died at sea just after she was born (see the letter written to inform her mother), so she grew up with her widowed mother who never remarried.

Grand Pré Village, Nova Scotia

Grand Pré Village, Nova Scotia

In 1871, at age 11, she and her mother were living in the house of Annie’s aunt, Mary Ann’s sister – Margaret. Margaret was married to a William McDonald. residents of Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Annie’s census records indicate that she and her mother immigrated to the US a few years later, when she was 14.

In 1879, at age 18, she was married (in Cambridge) to John Wesley Macdonald of Portland, Maine, and they soon moved to Somerville. Annie’s mother joined them, of course.

IMG_1881a. Mr and Mrs John W MacDonald

Mr and Mrs John W MacDonald – portraits in article for newspaper on their Silver Wedding Anniversary


Edith MacdonaldIn the summer of 1880, their daughter, Mary Edith Olga was born, and they had many years as a family in a beautiful home on Elm Place. Annie’s widowed mother lived with them until her death in 1903.

In 1909, Annie’s husband, John, passed away after 2 years of illness. The address listed on his death certificate was on Walnut Street.

the house on Elm Place

the house on Elm Place

In 1916 her daughter, Edith, was finally married and she moved in with Edith and Clarence Lester at their home on Appleton Street in Arlington Heights.

the house on Appleton Street

the house on Appleton Street


A granddaughter was born (Audrey), and several years later we begin our investigation of her diaries. The only remaining ones start in 1927, when she was 67 years old, and end in 1931 with a significant gap in the middle.

I still do not have specific information on Annie’s death, but I assume it was around 1933 in Arlington. If any fantastic reader out there can help me track down that information, I’d greatly appreciate it! I find it hard to believe they didn’t put an obituary in the paper, but I can’t find one. Nor are the death records listed online for Massachusetts in the early 1930s.


16 thoughts on “Annie Florence Morris

  1. Al says:

    If you search real estate listings you can gleam a certain amount of information about the property. Things such as year built, and size ect. I was unable to find the house on Elm Place it might not exist today. Seems many of the homes were built in the 1900’s. This will take a trip to the town records.

    Audrey’s birth place is interesting. It still stands in all it’s spender today. The house in the photo (where Audrey was born) I believe is 83 Appleton Street, Arlington MA. This 6 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home has 3364 square feet and was built in 1850. It’s set quite a ways back from the street, 1923 the map says L. A. Johnson. Next door is 79-81 this house was built in 1919 and is a duplex. 7 bed, 2 full, 1 partial bath, 2,737 sqft Condo

    Arlington older map

    From this older map we can see the two properties were one and most likely subdivided around 1919 or so. A. C. Daniel is owner at this time. There are structures on the property so this map is sometime after 1850. Note, there is no Daniel Street. Question, do you know what Hrs. might stand for, found under the Daniel’s name? It was subdivided into 4 lots, 3 of these seem to be owned (see 1923 map) by Ethel L Coakley. There are structures on all lots one of which is facing Daniel Street. All three of the newer homes are duplexes so this leads me to believe they were income properties at the time. Again a trip is necessary to obtain the full story.

    Ethel L. Coakley, b. NH Feb 23, 1886, d. Aug 28, 1973 Arlington MA, maybe if you follow this it will reveal some details??

    Just something interesting: “Found on the name charts for the first time in 1910 on position #443, the baby boy name Ethel was given to 5 baby boys in 1939, ranking #1484 on the national boy baby name top chart. With that position 1 in 208,529 baby boys were given this name – making this a very unique name according to our Popularity Score algorithm. Ethel peaked in popularity 105 years ago in 1910 on position 443.”

    If you go back to even older maps you will find the McManus family on Summer Street. Strange that she doesn’t refer to Mr. here, maybe a retail situation or clearly someone she doesn’t hold in high esteem?

    Mariana, where did the Baldwin’s live, I didn’t find them on the map?

    Somerville MA History


    • dearmariana says:

      This is some great info, thanks! So, that’s interesting about the Johnsons possibly being owners. If the Johnsons were their landlords, it would explain the entry from today (Jan 18th) – Annie is concerned about Edith having committed a faux-pas with the landlady perhaps.

      The Baldwins are supposedly at 29 Daniels Street, which would have been on the right just after rounding the corner from their house.

      Coakley seems like a name that I’ve run into before, but I can’t be sure. Need to check my notes! I’m unfortunately back to work tomorrow morning, so I’ll add it to my to-do list for next weekend!

      Thanks Al for these links, I’m going to need to spend some time with them.


    • dearmariana says:

      Do you think the “Hrs.” is like… horse ranch… or something? I’m just seeing that it says “Farmer” under another one. It looks like it’s got to be an industry abbreviation of some sort.

      Also, I forgot to say… I actually have 2 addresses on Appleton for them, depending on the Census. Early on it listed as 81, but then later (when Annie is writing) it’s listed as 85. But there is no 85, so that’s confusing too.


  2. Al says:

    I was thinking horses as well but I just don’t know? As far as the house numbers go the home that Annie and the kids are at is a two family so that explains the 79-81. As of today 83 is the number for the house next door, when numbers are assigned they leave room for properties to be broken into smaller lots so it’s possible that it was 83-85. There is no 85 and I matched the house with the photo you posted. It’s right.


    • dearmariana says:

      yeah, I think you’re right. I had also seen that house on Google Street View and I thought it looked remarkably similar. I wonder why they would have moved next door. Odd no?


  3. Al says:

    I don’t think the Johnson’s are the landlord’s however it’s the house that Audrey was born so I’m thinking they are important to this story somehow. It seems as though Coakley owns and developed the properties, I’m thinking because the next street is named Daniel Street that would be after the original owners so it might be the Daniel’s broke up the property between Johnson and Coakley. There could be other owners in between we just have no way to tell at this juncture. It’s also possible that McManus is the agent collecting the rent??? Let’s see how this unfolds?? $20.00 for rent seems a bit low to me but I really can’t say? It’s my new theory. Maybe you can find something out about these people I didn’t get anywhere but you just might break through.

    The Parker’s are interesting. I did a bit of research on them but still can’t understand how they know one another. I didn’t find any family connection. I’m guessing you already know that two of their children died. This makes the connection with Lucy even more interesting. Do you happen to know the story with Walter Parker?

    I’m just wondering, do you have any photo’s of Annie other than these profiles? I’m thinking she turns herself toward the camera in what she believes is her best side. This woman is so cute!!!! Without a doubt exasperating but still laughably cute.

    Your family is just so much fun I’m so glad you can share them with me. —Al


    • dearmariana says:

      I’m thinking the same about the Daniels. The Johnson situation may unfold later in the diaries, but clearly this all needs a bit of property research to be clarified! I’ll investigate how much of that I can do from here (I live in Italy!).

      The Parkers are interesting indeed! Yes, Walter was born paralyzed and eventually died at age 11. That’s all I know though; did you find anything more descriptive? There was a sister too, who died of cholera as an infant. It seems the Parker family has had a rough time of it.

      I don’t have any other Annie photos from earlier in her life, unfortunately. I have a couple from newspaper clippings later in life (head turned same way!), and I’ll try to get those up soon.

      My family IS so much fun. Crazy bunch of nuts! Love it.


  4. Al says:

    I was thinking there might be a relation between the Johnson’s and Lester’s. What do you think? Pregnant women in those days would be sent away from town to have their baby. Do you know when they moved to Arlington? Are the Lester’s from Arlington or else where. Would love to know a bit more about the Johnson’s!! I’m thinking Edith owes the Johnson’s??


  5. Al says:

    I forgot….the school is just down the street. Paul Revere Street, where the road forks. I think Annie mentioned listening for the school bell a few times. When you have a chance check it out see if I’m right.


  6. Al says:

    No I didn’t know anything about Walter but felt it was something tragic. It was great that Lucy had Annie, the Parker’s had their hands full!!


      • Al says:

        Hi Mariana, When you have a chance could you check your charts and see if you have a Cogswell that married Maria Louise Dewis. Maria born June 28, 1850 died May 04, 1944 Advocate Nova Scotia. She was first married to ? Cogswell and then to Douglas Porter. He would have died sometime before 1881. If I have it correctly Annie’s mother was Mary Ann Cogswell. I don’t know if there is any connection. I’m having trouble finding this dude. Thanks.


      • dearmariana says:

        Hi Al, I don’t see her, no. But I honestly have kind of only stuck to my direct line in the Cogswells so far. There are about a million of them! Have you checked the text of “The Cosgwells in America”?

        My Mary Ann Cogswell was often confused with another, because her parents were Daniel Cogswell and Abigail Newcomb (yes, as in Ben Newcombe). All very common names in that line. Mary Ann was one of 10 children that they had.


  7. Al says:

    Thanks Mariana that was a great reference!! Unfortunately not helpful. Who knows I might just stumble upon it some day??? These two married in between census!!!! Something happened to him, I have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

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