JOHN COOPER BOULDEN

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      THE STORY AS I KNOW IT

      The Boulden family were early planters on the Eastern shore of Maryland.  Their story goes back to Jamestown 1610 when Thomas Boulden came to Virginia.  He moved up the Chesapeake Bay to Kent Island and was buried there in 1665.  The family continued expanding north into Cecil County and eventually across the state line into Delaware

      John Cooper Boulden was born in Oct. 20, 1854 to Ezekiel Boulden and Mary Helen McCaulley, his wife.  His birth and death date are noted on his tombstone in Riverview  Cemetery Wilmington DE.   He was the second of nine known children of Ezekiel and Mary Helen.  It is very likely that they lived on his farm on Pond's Neck where he died in 1869. It is about half way between the Sassafras and Bohemia rivers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This information comes from The Boulden Family by Estelle Smith Kepler. This is where Ezekiel died in 1869.

      A year later Mary Helen Boulden was listed on the Cecil County 1870 Census, District 4, Roll: M593_583, p141 living as a farmers tenant within the Fair Hill  area.  The family is:
          Mary H Boulden, age 39,  Farmers Tenant - all born in Maryland
          John C.                age 15
          Mary E                age 12
          Margaret             age 10
          Susan H               age 9
          Julia                     age 6
          Geo K                  age 3
          Ezekiel                 age 1
          Sarah Hammond  age 25, born Ireland, domestic

      The oldest brother, Henry is found on the Chesapeake City Cecil County Census working on a farm owned by John Moore.

      John Cooper is now man of the house.  I don't know why they left Pond's Neck.  Fair Hill is in the north of the county, a good 20 miles away.  There is a Bill of Sale in the Cecil County Recorder of Deeds, box 5, #590, 1861- 1871 from John C. Boulden to Mary H Boulden.  I have not seen it yet, so don't know what it is about.   It may resolve some of these questions. 

      The 1880 Delaware Census, roll T9-120, page 271 A, ED 27 has the family living on a farm in Pencader, New Castle County, Delaware:
          Mary H. Boulden, age 50  all born in Maryland
          John C. Boulden,  age 25
          Maggie,                age 21
          Susan H.               age 17
          Julia                      age 16
          George                 age 12
          Ezekiel                  age 10

      The eldest sister, Mary E. is gone, probably married.  The older brother, Henry  is married and living on a famr in Cecil County.   Pencader is very close to the Maryland border and there were other Boulden farms there.  So this a not a surprising move.   Their next known move was to the city of Wilmington Delaware.  Probably to provide John C. with work opportunities.

In 1887 the John Cooper Boulden family were living in Wilmington DE with his mother, Mary Helen Boulden.  They ran a boarding house.  The 1887
Wilmington City Directory, page 88 has Mary Helen listed with boarding house, 810 Market St. It seems John is in the business also.  His listing said  "in boarding and sales at 310 Shipley St, home 810 Market St".  The Grand Opera House was in full operation then at 818 Market St.  According to              the 1900 Census noted below states he had a child in 1886, so his wife and daughter must have also been at 810 Market St.

 Sometime between 1880 and 1885, John Cooper married Catherine Ann Taylor, daughter of Robert Sawyer Taylor and Hannah Kelley,  both of Delaware.  John and Catherine had four children.  They were
Etta Cooper Boulden, born Jan 1886, died Dec. 31, 1973
Robert Taylor Boulden, born April 17, 1889, died Aug. 21 1889
Grace M. Boulden, born Jan 1893, died after 1973.  She wed Donald van Trump of Wilmington DE.
Mary Helen Boulden, born Feb. 24, 1894, died Dec. 18, 1900

I have a note that the family attended the First Presbyterian Chruch of Wilmington.  I need to check their records for additional information.

The 1888-1895 City Directories do not list John C. Boulden in Wilmington though his mother continued to run a boarding house at different locations.     The 1900 census noted below suggests he was in PA with him family. 

      They returned by 1894 and in 1895 lived at 714 Madison Av.  In 1900 they had moved to 844 Madison Av. and by 1904 they were living at 1101 W. 7th St . where they stayed for at least 20 years.

      The family in 1900 was listed on Del Census, Ward #5, Ed 18, page 7B, on roll T623_154: living at 844 Madison AV.
      John C. Boulden head born Oct 1854, age 46, born MD as were both parents, he was a foreman in a car shop.
      Catherine A. " wife, born March 1864, age 36, born DE, Father born England, mother born DE
      Etta C. " dau, born Jan 1886, age 14, born DE
      Grace M. " dau Jan 1893, age 7, born PA
      Mary N. " dau born Feb. 1894, age 6, born DE

      One very interesting personal note comes from the book N.C. Wyeth, A Biography by David Michaelis, published in 1998 by Knopf.  N.C. Wyeth was the first of the Wyeth family painters.  In 1904 N.C. Wyeth was courting a young woman with the usual ups and downs.  Into this rather involved story comes the statement on page 97,  that his girl "learned that the night before Valentines Day he had accompanied Blanche Swayne and Etta Boulden, the daughters of his landlady and boardinghouse cook, to the theather."   This implies that Catherine A cooked, perhaps in her mother in laws boarding house.

      The 1910 Wilmington Census,  Roll T624_146, page 16B, ED 32  states clearly that the family runs a boarding house.  The household holds 3 boarders and Grace M. Boulden is the only daughter at home.  Delaware did not issue death certificates previous to 1913.  Etta wed in 1910 so is not included in this household.

      John and Catherine Boulden  continued at 1101 W. 7th St until 1920 with daughter Grace.  Wilmington Delaware 1920 Census, Ward 5, Roll:T625_201, page 64. He is listed as a General Contractor Hauling line.  Grace is a teacher in a public school, and Catherine worked in a Boarding House.  The census was taken in January of 1920. 

      John Cooper died in June of that year.   He is buried at Riverview Cemetery with a number of Bouldens and Pennocks.  His tombstone is shared by all.  His section reads  "John C. Boulden Oct 20 1854 - June 9, 1920".  In November of that year, Catherine paid to have their deceased children moved to Riverview Cemetery from White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery.  Unfortunately, records from White Clay were destroyed in a fire.  Catherine never remarried and lived until 1944.  She is also buried at Riverview.

      RESEARCH QUESTIONS

      If you know the answer please CONTACT US

  1.         Where did the family live between 1886 and 1894?
  2.          What caused the death of Mary N?
  3.          Find the deed transfer from 1861-71.   
  4.          Read the records of First Presbyterian church between 1880-1944.

 

 

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Date Last Edited: 11/21/2011
Edited 6/3/2021