The various Lester cousins come up frequently in Annie’s diaries. As we go along, I’ll try to post relevant info here.
It’s a bit tricky to follow, though. Ready?
Clarence Mark Lester, Annie’s son-in-law and the head of their household in 1927 at the time of the diaries, had several siblings. One of his brothers was Almon. Almon and his wife, Emma, had 7 children, 6 of whom survived childhood. Emma, however, unfortunately passed away in 1917 in her late 30’s, leaving Almon with 6 kids ranging in age from 3 to 22.
So these 6 kids are Clarence’s nieces and nephews. Still following?
Now what happened in 1917 after Emma passed away is important in understanding this cast of characters. The two eldest of the 6 offspring of Almon and Emma were young men at the time, the eldest named Deverd (who was 22 in 1917). Deverd was married by the time of his mother’s death, and already started his own family. After she passed, he took in his two younger brothers, Clarence Thomas (aged 10) and Chris (aged 8).
So that accounts for 3 of Clarence’s 6 nieces and nephews. Still with me?
The next eldest child was Ernest, who is mentioned as early as January 1927 in Annie’s diaries. He was about 16 when his mom passed, and I’m not sure with whom he lived… perhaps he stayed with his dad, Almon.
The two youngest of Almon and Emma’s children, Emma (aged 5) and Ruth (aged 3), were sent to their aunt’s house – Almon and Clarence’s sister, Amozelle.
Fast-forward to 1927 and the setting of Annie’s diaries, Deverd is 33, Ernest is 26, Clarence Thomas is 20, Chris is 18, Emma is 15, and Ruth is 13. I’m sure there are some intense family discussions over how to best raise these teenagers and young adults. Amozelle probably stops by her brother’s house to vent as much as anything.
Amozelle is a feisty one if you’ll believe Annie’s depiction of her, “loaded to the gunwales“! At the moment, on the blog as we’re going through Annie’s diary day by day, we’re trying to figure out what drama occurred that Amozelle was so upset by in Jan/Feb of 1927. My guess is that it has to do with the various parental units in charge over this array of children. I would expect Amozelle to be disapproving of her nephew, Deverd’s, charge over Clarence Thomas and Chris… as well as perhaps of her other nephew, Ernest, who may have been left to his own devices in the wake of his mother’s death.
Whatever the drama is, it seems that the Lester family is all having to stick together a bit for the sake of these children who have lost their mother.
Now, to make things even more confusing… Amozelle was married to Annie’s first cousin, named Joshua E Morris. Annie’s father and his father were brothers. I’m a little confused as to whether family and friends referred to him as “Joshua” or “Ernest”. I have a cousin who calls him the former, while I have photos labeled with the latter.
As far as geographic locations of all these people, it gets a bit complicated as well. It seems that almost all of these families had their homes down in the Boston area, and in addition they almost all had “cabins” or summer residences up North – mostly in Maine as far as I can tell from the family photos.
Amozelle and Joshua, for example, had their primary residence near Clarence and Edith’s house in Arlington on Wachusett Avenue, while they maintained a “summer residence” in Bath, Maine.