The Lester Cousins

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.

 

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15 thoughts on “The Lester Cousins

    • dearmariana says:

      No, as far as I know, Amozelle and Joshua never had any kids of their own. And I don’t think Almon remarried. I don’t really know what he got up to after his wife’s death. I’m in touch now with the daughter of Chris Lester, so maybe she knows…

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      • Dorothy Paxton says:

        Almon and Ernest Lester lived in( according to Ernest WW1 draft registration. )98 Bridge St Weymouth, Norfolk Mass.. Ernest worked at Bethlehem Ship Building Co in Quincy, Mass. Almon died before I was born but I never heard nor found any info about him remarrying.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dorothy Lester Miller Paxton says:

        On the Johnsons and Lester connection : Valentine’s son

        Owen Johnson Lester
        B:31 Oct 1903 in Cambridge Ward 4 Massachusetts D:13 Sep 1975 in Orange City, Volusia, Florida, United States

        Evelyn M Lester B:
        Other spouses (1)

        Parents Valentine Ballard Lester 1873-1932
        Lillian Johnson 1872-

        Liked by 1 person

      • dearmariana says:

        That’s right! There are Johnsons in the family. Totally forgot. Do we think it’s the same Johnsons, though? If they were family, wouldn’t Annie use their first names? Or maybe just because they are a bit removed (i.e. Lillian’s family), perhaps Annie is more formal with them?

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  1. Al says:

    I think if you follow the Johnson family you will find the link. Annie is very formal, I’m thinking she was raise to be extremely polite and respectful. The Johnson’s of course will more than likely connect into the Lester family so Annie would not feel as close to them. It would be very interesting to know who split the property and when. It might just be that the home Annie and the Lester’s are living in belongs to the Johnson’s and they kept this piece for Clarence? Do we know who lives on the other side of this house? Could be telling in some way but to date it seems as though there is no closeness with these neighbors? Of course it might just be that the space opened here up for the Lester’s at an opportune time, the birth of Audrey? I’m waiting to see what Annie talks about as we move through her days. A.C. Daniel first owner of the Johnson property, could be a family link here as well? I think it’s worth investigating. Property might have been inherited?

    I…….. like Annie can hardly wait for spring!!

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    • Dottie Lester Miller Paxton says:

      I think that since Valentine was arrested and jailed that the family kind of avoided him as others would have. I have been in touch with Alfredda/ Alfretta Lester’s family but haven’t heard from him in a while. Gillespie, William listed as head of house when Lester boys lived there also a child name Donahue and Have not found why he was living with Joshua.

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  2. Dorothy (Dottie) Lester Miller Paxton says:

    I noticed some of the family lived on Appleton St in Arlington Heights. My mother Dorothy Barnes lived on Appleton St in Arlington heights for many years with her parents James Henry Barnes and his wife Margaret Haynes Barnes. may be a clue to how my parents met as my Dad worked for a Greek Diner in Arlington heights called Christy’s. Owned by family named Christopulous.
    On Mark being in the west— I entered the info on Mark because I wasn’t sure if that was why he was supposed to be there or not or an error .

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