William Skellie Matteson

William Skellie Matteson
(10 May 1877 - 31 Jan 1969)

NEW INFO: (June 2008) Research into Chautauqua County, New York for data on William Skellie, likely our ancestor's namesake, uncovers a likely match for William's father and grandfather and possibly more extended family members. Link to write-up under "Marcellus Matteson" summary, below.

NEW INFO: (Feb 2008) One of the photos in the box of William's things that was passed along was a picture of three boys. In Further researching half-sister Olive (Sherman) Grover, the 1930 census lists her three sons. They are a definite match for the boys in the picture. A confirmation that Louisa O. Sherman and Olive S. Grover are the same! Note: The 1930 census lists Olive with middle initial L, probably for Louisa. Link to the write-up about Olive Sherman, below.

NEW INFO: (Jan 2008) A copy of William and Allene's marriage certificate was secured from the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS). The certificate verified William's mother's full name, as was previously worked through with research. (Nice to know the research results were interpreted correctly - see details below!) Some surprises were: William was reported as living, in December 1903, in Minneapolis, Minnesota! This researcher had seen a census listing for William S. Mattison in Minnesota, but didn't have any way to tie it in to the family history. More about that follows. One big correction is that the online record from the WHS gives the marriage date as one year later than it actually was. The official record tells us the following:

        Full name of husband:                                       William S. Matteson
        Name of the father of husband:                         Marcelles Matteson
        Name of mother of husband before marriage:    Emily Louise Castle
        Occupation of husband:                                    Locomotive Fireman
        Residence of husband:                                      No. 16 Grove St Minneapolis
        Full name of wife previous to marriage:             Eva Allen De Golier
        Name of the father of wife:                               Herbert Denzil De Golier   
        Name of the mother of wife before marriage:    Emma Baldwin Seekins
        Birthplace of wife:                                            Township of Clayton, Polk Co Wis
        The color of the parties:                                    White
        No. and date of license:                                    Dec 16, 1903
        Time when marriage was contracted:                Dec 29, 1903
        The place, town or township, and county
           where marriage was contracted:                    Town of Lincoln, Polk co
        By what ceremony contracted:                         Ring Ceremony
        Names of subscribing witnesses:                       Herbert Manley DeGolier
                                                                                Iva (sic., Ivy) Pearl DeGolier
        Name of person pronouncing marriage:            Rev. Ida Richards P.H.D
        Residence of person last named:                      Turtle Lake, Barren
        Date of certificate or affidavit of marriage:        Dec. 30, 1903
        Date of registration:                                         Jan 2, 1904

The new address information at time of marriage lead to the 1900 census listing for William S. "Mattison", age 23, living as a "Lodger" in a "household" of eleven people. The head of household, his wife and son are listed first, with eight lodgers. All of the lodgers are single, most in their 20's or 30's. On the census, William is listed as "At school" with a notation that he has spent two months there. As of the June 1900 enumeration date, the address of residence was noted as 7th St. S., 4th Ward of the City of Minneapolis. The head of household is noted as a "Switchman (R.R)" and the occupation of one of the other lodgers in the household is listed as "Fireman (Locomotive)".

William Skellie "Bill" Matteson is the Patriarch of the Matteson family, as far as is known to this family history researcher at this time. His life intersects with the Brohmer family line via his marriage to Eva Allene DeGolier, and through their daughter Elizabeth, who married Paul Otto Brohmer, Sr. In seeking to follow "grandma" Beth's ancestry (Elizabeth Matteson Brohmer), we are quickly brought up short with the story of her father's life. One family story relates that Bill Matteson arrived in the town of Amery, Polk County, Wisconsin, where he met and married Allene, via an orphan train. It was reported that, upon arriving at the home where he was to reside, he was taken outside and beaten. Along with the beating was a warning that he could expect more of the same if he did not cooperate and do as he was told. His age at arrival in Wisconsin in unknown. The family he stayed with is unknown. Whether he stayed with that family for long, or found a way to make his way on his own, the first public record we have of William is his marriage to  Eva Allene DeGolier, who preferred to be called Allene. William S. Matteson and Eva Allene Degolier were married in Polk County, Wisconsin on December 29, 1903. William was 26 years old. (See "New Info" of Jan 2008 for data on 1900 census found.)

"Cousin" Bill Matteson, son of Herbert Matteson and grandson to the patriarch William met with us one day to give us some more family information. He told us that William's father was named Marcellus (or maybe Marsellies?) and that his mother's  maiden name was Castle. (This part is confirmed by an Ancestry.com California Death index listing reporting William S. Matteson's Mother's Maiden Name as Castle.) The story goes further, that Marcellus left his wife, later remarrying, though never divorcing. If this is true, it could very well be that the abandoned wife, William's mother, was unable to care for their children on her own - perhaps surrendering them to an orphanage, or to the promise of a foster family who could care for them.  The woman Marcellus married, cousin Bill said, was named Delia. He told us that, though Marcellus was an adulterer, having never legally divorced, it was Delia that collected Marcellus' Civil War pension after his death.

And one more family history tidbit is that William had a half sister named Olive Sherman.

One other "publication" sheds light on William's life. In a wonderful compilation of memories from the DeGolier family, Clint DeGolier recalled that "Bill Mattison (sic) married Allene." Clint goes on, "He (Bill) was a bus boy in Amery for the hotel." He reports that part of his job for the hotel included bringing some food prepared by the hotel to the "train men" on the freight trains that would run through Amery, into East Lincoln and on in to Turtle Lake and beyond. Clint's report stated that, "The train men would order their food ahead, and he (Bill) would get it together from the hotel and bring it down to the caboose - their home on wheels while on the run. It would be about noon when the freight train got there from Minneapolis so they'd have their dinner and it was up to him to get those dishes back to be washed up and cleaned up."

Now into this mix of family lore and facts comes a box with a few belongings of "Bill" Matteson himself. It was a box made to look like a large book, marked “The Cabinet File” at the top of the “spine” with the “title” of the “book” being “Letters.” There was a hasp opening and the following contents were inside:

One blue-green pocket sized New Testament with the following inscription on the right front cover page: “Willie Materson, (next line) Present to him by his father Marcellus Materson, (next line) Please read this Willie and think of your father who has gone home.” There is a penciled correction to the name “Marcellus Materson” – changing the last name to Matteson. There was also a penciled note at bottom: “Rec’d. Jan. 1st 1886”. The book also had a penciled tic-tac-toe game on the back cover. There were no other markings.
In the box was also a red pocket sized Holy Bible. A presentation page is marked: "Presented To Willie S. Mattison from his Mother Dec. 25th/84". On close inspection, a small paper was taped into the bible at the beginning of the New Testament. The text was written in what looks like purple ink. Notes in pencil were added later. It reads:
                (Pencil) Born at Forestville N.Y.   
                Celia D. Mattison Born July 4th 1868
                (Pencil) B..Palatine Ill
                Charlie C. Mattison  " (Born) Aug 19th 1869
                (Pencil) O'Comowoc Wis.
                Jennie C. Mattison  " (Born) Dec. 22nd 1873
                Willie S Mattison    " (Born) May 10th 1877 (Pencil - Pa.)
                 (Pencil) North East Erie Co.

                Celia Died Oct. 22nd 1870 (Pencil -  Chicago Ill.)
                Jennie Died July 29th 1880 (Pencil - Brockport Pa.)

LINK to photos of the bible pages, with inscriptions.

Another item is the box was a journal book, a flip top style, also pocket sized. It contains William's daily diary during the last months of his World War I military service. No other prior journal has been found. The journal is not dated. LINK to a transcription of the journal.

Lots of clues to pursue!

Beginning with census data, the first census that William shows up on is the 1920 census*. Looking at birth dates and places of birth of their children listed on the 1920 census (detailed later), we have some clues about Bill and Allene's travels following their marriage. Daughter Grace E. is listed as being born in Minnesota in about 1905, son Herbert W. is born about 1908 in North Dakota, then Elizabeth N. is born about 1909 in Wisconsin, and finally, daughter Pearl J. is born about 1911 in North Dakota. *(See "New Info" January 2008 for update on 1900 census listing found.)

Searching North Dakota public records showed a cash sale of public lands totalling 154 acres to William S. Matteson in Burke County, with the title transferred on April 9, 1913. It was from North Dakota that William Skellie Matteson enlisted in the Army to fight in World War I. A record from Ancestry.com's "North Dakota Military Men, 1917-1918" states that William "enlisted at Minot on Dec. 14, 1917, was sent to Jefferson Barracks, Mo, and served in Company B, 3rd Engineers Sappers until discharge." He was discharged at Fort McDowell, California on April 18, 1919, as a private. Link to another page to get more data on William's military service.

In 1920, the family is all together in Lincoln, Polk County, Wisconsin. The census was enumerated on January 27 & 28, 1920. Listed are:
            Wm. S Matteson, age 42, "Engineer", "For the Railroad"
            Allene D. Matteson, age 43
            Grace E, 15
            Herbert W, 12
            Elizabeth N, 11
            Pearl J, 9

In 1930, Allene Matteson is listed as head of household, living in the city of Amery, Polk County, Wisconsin, with just Pearl in the household with her. Allene is working at nursing, as a "Practical Nurse". But where is William? Diligent searching found William and son Herbert in Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California. The California Brohmers know that "Grandpa Matteson" lived in the Bay Area, and it appears that 1930 was a transition period as the family made the move from Wisconsin to California. William is listed as "W L Matteson, age 52, Dairyman, Dairy (Industry)". Son Herbert is 22 years old. He is listed as a "Laborer" working at "Odd Jobs." Both William and Herbert are noted as "Lodger" in the household of Frank Rohner.

The California Years

When William Skellie Matteson's army ship was nearing San Francisco after his service in the Phillipines, he noted in his journal, "God's Country." He found enough to like about it that he moved Allene and Pearl to the "Bay Area". Son Herbert would remain here to raise his family, and daughter Elizabeth (Beth) and her husband from Amery, Wisconsin, Paul O. Brohmer would move here as well. Grace remained in Wisconsin.

Eva Allene Matteson died on Christmas Eve Day, December 24, 1938. She was buried in the Alta Mesa Memorial Park Cemetery in Palo Alto, California. She was 62 years old. In 1948, Pearl Joy Matteson would be buried there as well. Pearl Joy Matteson, family lore tells us, had some special needs, perhaps was mentally retarded. This author is not positive just what her afflictions were, but family stories are that while the Matteson family was toughing out the farm life in North Dakota, "Grandma Beth" was sent off to live with an aunt in a fine home in Chicago, where life was comparatively very good for her. At some point, however, Beth was brought home to help care for Pearl. One of the things in the "treasure box" of Bill Matteson's things is a collections of receipts for "Care and Maintenance" for Pearl at the "Sonoma State Home." It would appear that following Allene's death, Pearl was placed at this facility to manage her care. Receipts are for $20.00 each month over 1945-46. Pearl died on September 7, 1948.

Another receipt in the treasure box is for a marriage license dated November 14, 1946. The note on the receipt is "Matteson to Jackson." Bill would marry Mary E. Jackson, with her son Don's blessing. We know because his "blessing and good wishes" are offered in a letter also kept with the other treasures. Mary and Bill did indeed enjoy many years of marriage together, 13 in all before she died in 1960 at age 83. It is interesting to see the cemetery at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, where William S. Matteson is buried between his first wife Eva Allene and his second wife, Mary E. Matteson. But William must have planned well ahead as he was to continue to live into his 90's. He lived another nine years following Mary's death, dying on January 31, 1969.

More Clues -


Family lore reported that Olive Sherman was William's half sister. William's journal reported that he visited "Olive" in San Mateo in his last weeks of army service. While transcribing the journal, a couple of places seemed to refer to Olive and then mention also Alvin. It was first thought that this "Alvin" was poorly written version of "Olive", but one translator was sure that some references were clearly "Alvin." Some notes also specified "he" when referring to calls or visits. So, when a search for Olive Sherman in San Mateo in 1920 brought up a record for Olive Grover, married to Alvin Grover, the record bore further examination. (Note, a record was also found for a woman named Olive Sherman, living in Santa Cruz. For some time it was assumed by this researcher to be the Olive referenced by family stories. Not until putting together the personal journal and census data did new possibilities open up!) Olive Grover was born in 1891, in Pennsylvania, according to the 1920 census. Looking for a 1910 record for Olive, born about 1891 in Pennsylvania brought up a record for the family of Oliver E. Sherman, age 71, Emily "D" Sherman, age 61, and Louisa O. Sherman, age 18. This may have seemed a dead end except that the Ancestry.com search included a World Family Tree listing for Louisa O. Sherman showing her mother's full name, with the maiden name given as Emily Louisa Castle. Could this be William's mother? Her maiden name was Castle! (Jan 2008 - confirmed. See new info from marriage certificate, at top of form.) See also "New Info" Feb 2008 for additional confirmation that Louisa O. Sherman and Olive S. Grover are the same.


Mother, is that you...?

The 1910 census has potentially connected a woman named Castle who married a man whose last name was Sherman. Now, can we prove that this is William's mother? Well, since we began this by looking for Olive Sherman, it seemed a good idea to look back to the 1900 census to see what this family looked like. As in 1910, the family resides in Harborcreek, Erie County, Pennsylvania. The transcription is quite off on all three family members, but all are listed, as follows: "O C" Sherman, 61, "Elnilz F" Sherman, 50, and "Lovis O" Sherman, 8. This 1900 census gives us some inportant additional data: Emily L was born in August, 1849. She reports being the mother of five children, two of whom are living. She was born in New York. Her father was born in France and her mother was German. To the question of "Number of Years Married", she answers "29". "Louisa O" reflects that her birth month and year are August, in 1891. Further documentation confirms some of the data found here. A listing in "US and International Marriage Records, 1560 - 1900" gives a record of marriage of Oliver Elias Sherman and Emily Louisa Castle in 1887, however, a small notation on the 1910 US Federal census regarding marriage status notes "M2" for both Oliver and Emily Louisa, indicating that is a second marriage for both of them. Presumably, Emily Louisa's answer of 29 years married included both marriages.

But where is the Olive Sherman we are looking for?

Still checking for a match for the "Olive Sherman" of family lore and the "Olive" whom William visited as he ended his war service, further examination was made of Olive Grover. A California Death Index record gives a full name of "Olive S. Grover." It was not uncommon for women to drop a middle name at marriage and legally use their maiden name in its place. If we assume that she preferred to be called Olive, she might then have chosen at marriage to drop the name Louisa and be Olive Sherman Grover. The California Death Index record confirms a birth date for Olive S. Grover as August 3, 1891. Small connections here make it quite likely that Louisa O. Sherman is "our" Olive Sherman Grover.

William's treasure box included a picture of three people, taken in Union City, Pennsylvania at the W. L. Ketchum studio with a notation on the back that looks like "Mrs, D, Mr. Sherman and Daughter Olive". It almost looks like the first part of the notation could be "Mom", and it looks as though followed by a peace sign from the 1970's. The "daughter Olive" looks to be between five and seven years old in the photo. I would assume from the posing that this is Emily Louisa, Oliver Sherman and their daughter, whom they must have called simply "Olive." LINK to photo page. (Note: Nothing has been learned to date about Emily Louisa Castle's parents. However, in doing some searching through Castle families via census searches, several women named Olive Castle were found. See also "More on the Castle connection," below.)

Assuming that this is our Castle/Sherman connection, we have made a truly wonderful discovery - William's mother's full name! Prior to this, only her maiden name was known. Now a more thorough search of the census records could be made. Three things came out of this search:

    1870 US Federal Census listing, 3rd Ward in the City of Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
    "Mattison, Geo W" (M?), 25, Cooper, (b.) NY
    "Mattison, Emily L, 20, Keeping House, (b.) NY
    "Mattison, Cicilia L D, 2, (b.) NY
    "Mattison, Chas C M, 9/12, (b.) ILL

Looking back at the family information taped into William's bible, this seems without question to be his family - except the head of household. Who is George? Unfortunately, relationships of household members to the head of household were not listed until 1880, so we must simply surmise. Two strong possibilities exist: This is Marcellus Matteson and his full name is George Marcellus, or, this is a Matteson relative. Further searching for George Matteson/Mattison/Madison on prior and subsequent censuses yielded no pertinent results.

The 1880 census did yield a listing for one E. L. Matteson, living in North East, Erie County, Pennsylvania. She is living in the household of Robert Graham and family, listed as a domestic servant. It seems that this could possibly be William's mother, but where is William? And is brother Charly still alive? (Recall that the family notes in the pocket bible told us that Celia died October 22, 1870. Also, sister Jennie had been born and died by the 1880 census date.) Referring back again to the list of William's siblings and their birth dates and places, North East, Erie, Pennsylvania is where William was born. 

A listing for a boy named William S. Matteson was found on the 1880 census. He is three years old, living with his grandfather William C. Matteson and grandma Rachel. They are living in French Creek, Cautauqua County, New York. William C. is 63 years old, a Cooper and Farmer, born in New York. Rachel, his wife, is 57 years old, born in New York. William S. is listed as "Grandson" and is listed as being born in Pennsylvania, father born in New York, mother born in "unknown." Is this our William? There is no way to know for sure, though it could be likely enough. Family lore states that because Marcellus left the family, William's mother could not care for him (and brother Charly?). This is how he ended up shipped off to Wisconsin. Further research for William C. and Rachel Matteson/Mattison/Madison yielded no further census records. However, one genealogical report for a Wm. Matteson may be a link. In a listing of the descendants of Deacon Thomas Matteson, Jr., born in 1742 in Coventry, Rhode Island, there is a listing of his children and grandchildren. One of Thomas Jr.'s sons, Johnson Matteson, had a son named William, born in 1817. This birth date matches William S's grandpa William C's year of birth, per the 1880 census, but there is no way to make any firm match. As with many other Matteson searches, nothing further could be learned about Johnson Matteson or his son William. For the latest finds about William C. Matteson, see section below on Marcellus: Research continues, June 2008
And what about Dad?


William's pocket bible included the notation that it had been given by his father, Marcellus Matteson. This is really all we have to go on, except for a verbal account of the family research done by Cousin William Leroy Matteson, grandson of patriarch William Skellie Matteson. During a visit, he expressed again the family story that dad (Marcellus) left mom (Emily Louisa) with the kids, whom she could not raise on her own, so son (Willie) was sent off to Wisconsin on the "orphan train." Dad (Marcellus) remarried, though there is not record of divorce and his new wife, Delia, claims his Civil War pension when he dies. That's the current story.

Well, there is much to follow up on in the family stories! First off, a general census search for Marcellus Matteson does yield an 1860 census listing for a family living in Sandgate, Bennington, Vermont. His father is named William R. Matteson, age 36 (b. abt 1824), William's wife is Sarah A. Matteson, age 35 and siblings are George (11), John (10), Sharlott (8), and Ward B (8mo). Marcellus is 13, born in Vermont. Could this be "our" Marcellus? There is no way to confirm it.

One other "Marsellies" Matteson, son of Ashuel Mattison can be found in Shaftsbury, Bennington County, Vermont on the 1850 census there. He is age 17.

There are several Ancestry.com listings for Civil War service for one Marcellus Matteson. Actually, one record is for Marcellus Mattison and another for Marcellius Matteson.

Research continues, June 2008. William Skellie Matteson's unusual middle name has provided some clues as to his lineage. In researching William Skellie, a likely namesake for our William, an internet file with letters written by William Skellie during the Civil War was found. Link: http://www.112thnyvi.com/page19.html The website where these letters are posted details the soldiers of the 112th New York Voluntary Infantry, made up mostly of boys from Chautauqua County, New York. In looking over the website, the townships of Mina and French Creek were mentioned. The name French Creek rang a bell, as that was the home in 1880 for a possible match for "our" William, then a boy of three years old, living with his grandfather William and grandmother Rachel. (See previous detail of 1880 census research.) This in itself did not bring any great revelation, only a continued thought that there must be a link with William Skellie and William Skellie Matteson.

A revelation - check a map! A map is indespensible in genealogy detective work. Looking again at the detail in William's family bible of the dates and places of birth and death for his siblings, firstborn Celia Matteson was listed as being born in Forestville, New York. A look at a map showed that Forestville is also a small town in Chautauqua County, New York. As she was born in 1868, I decided to check Ancestry.com for 1860 census records for Forestville, New York. Their search engines are powerful, but mis-transcribed or misspelled names can make simple name searches ineffective. The ability to search census records down to the township can - and did - yield great results. I found the family of William "Matterson", age 43, wife Nancy, and children Celia, Marcellus, "Bardman", Jane, and Kate. Also in the household was Lemuel "Lnnings", age 77. I think it is highly probable that THIS is "our" Marcellus Matteson. Marcellus is 15 years old in 1860, which would make him 23 or 24 at the time of his daughter Celia's birth eight years later. There is an obvious likelihood that this daughter Celia was named after her aunt. So exciting! What else can be learned about this family?

An 1850 census for this family was found. This time the head of household is listed as William "Mattison." Wife Nancy is listed as well as children Celia, "Goardman", "Silas", and Jane. It seems likely that "Silas", age 6, is our Marcellus Matteson, the name being possibly a nickname, or simply not heard fully by the enumerator. In 1850 the family could be found in Hanover, also in Chautauqua County, New York. On both the 1850 and 1860 censuses, William Matteson is listed as a "Cooper."

Further family/census research notes:
Having found this "new" Matteson family, with a high likelihood of being the right Marcellus to be the father of our William Skellie Matteson, there arose a doubt as to whether the family lore about Marcellus was correct. Recall the story:  Marcellus left his wife, later remarrying, though never divorcing.  The woman Marcellus married, cousin Bill said, was named Delia. He told us that, though Marcellus was an adulterer, having never legally divorced, and that it was Delia that collected Marcellus' Civil War pension after his death.  Having found two men named Marcellus Matteson so close in age, the possiblity arose that some of that family lore might belong to the "other" Marcellus from Sandgate, Vermont. A couple of facts seemed to support this idea. The first was the comment in William Skellie Matteson's bible, given to him by his mother, "Please read this Willie and think of your father who has gone home,” together with the date noted in the bible, “Rec’d. Jan. 1st 1886.”

Backing up just a tad, it is important to look at documentation which supports the family lore story, as follows:
However, in researching the connection of this Matteson family to the Skellie family, with the thought that our William Skellie Matteson may likely have something to do with William Skellie, the thought arose that Marcellus and William Skellie may have fought in the Civil War together. However, William Skellie served in the 112th  New York Volunteers, made up mostly of men from Chautauqua county. In researching the regiments that are reflected in the above reports for Marcellus Matteson, it was noted that those regiments were formed in the farther East regions of New York, or Central New York, at best. This seems to make it more likely that these service records belong to the Sandgate, Vermont Marcellus Matteson...or do they? A glance at two pieces of information swung the pendulum back in favor of these records correctly belonging to "our" Marcellus. These were:
  1. Marcellus joined up at age 18. He would have been too young to join the 112th Volunteers when that Unit was formed. He was likely to have been placed wherever more men were needed at this late date in the war.
  2. The enlistment place was noted as "Otto, New York." This ties up well with the record for Marcellus' dad living in, guess where?, Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York in 1870. 
An attempt was made to order up the military pension application files, but NARA was just revamping their order process and forms. My request was sent back with instruction to try again. Accordingly, the online application was completed in June, 2008. The website gives notice that the process could take up to four months. An update will be posted when anything new is learned.  NANCY MATTESON:

The 1850 census lists William's wife, Nancy, as age 31. We can estimate her year of birth as 1819. In 1860, she is reported as age 40, so her year of birth would be about 1820. Records for the Forestville Pioneer Cemetery list a grave for Nancy W. Matteson, died October 15, 1866, aged 46 years, 2 months and 15 days. This calculates out to a birth date of July 30, 1820.    

This discovery of Nancy's death record makes it more plausible that the 1880 record with William C. Matteson, wife Rachel, and grandson William S. Matteson, living in French Creek, New York, is indeed our Matteson family, with William having remarried after Nancy's death. A hunt for marriage records for William and his second wife Rachel might also verify where he was living before their marriage.


It appears that there were at least three William Mattesons in Chautauqua County, New York in the early to mid 1800's. This researcher was working hard trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, finally deciding that "our" William simply could not be one of the two more prominently recorded William Mattesons. In a book on the history of Chautauqua County, New York, it is stated that "In 1810 and 1811 the Matteson family came; first Thomas, then William and his brother Estys; their father, William Matteson, came in 1811. He was a Revolutionary pensioner, and died in 1858 in his 99th year." (Didn't get the web address from Google books for this...will look it up again.) These Mattesons seem to line up well with the line of Hezekiah Matteson on the Mattesons in the USA website, link: http://matteson.us/hezekiah.shtmlMehitable Matteson (Zerobabel-2, Hezekiah-1) married William Matteson, Sr. son of David Matteson and Sarah Corey. Their daughter Sarah married a Matteson cousin, Thomas Matteson, Jr., (Thomas, Sr.-3, Abraham-2, Hezekiah-1) likely the Thomas mentioned in the book excerpt above. Two sons of Mehitable and William Sr. are indeed William, Jr. and Estys. Unfortunately, William Jr. is listed with a date of birth of January 27, 1789. This makes sense as the book would indicate that this William, Jr. was an adult upon arrival in Chautauqua County in 1810, while "our" William (grandfather to William Skellie Matteson) was not yet born! William C. Matteson's year of birth is indicated as about 1817 - age 33 in 1850, age 43 in 1860.

No record could be found for William in 1870 in Chatauqua County. Some creative searching finally uncovered an interesting record, I think is very likely "our" William C. Matteson. The record shows William "Matterson" living in Otto, Cattaraugus County, New York. Cattaraugus is the next county to the east from Chautauqua County, so this seemed likely enough. This record gives William's age as 52 and shows his occupation as "Cooper." Only one other person is in the household with William, a 17 year old girl named Katey, noted as "Keeping House." Her record lines up with the family listing in 1860 for "Kate" age 7.

Where to next, then? Well, in William Skellie Matteson's journal are some brief notes that may give us more clues to go by. The very first page of the journal contains this list:

Peleg  Matteson  g-g
Theodore   "       Bro. Dumy [Danny?]
Norman     "          "
Walker      "          ?
Nabby       "       Sister


If William Skellie Matteson's notes are accurate, then his father is Marcellus Matteson, Grandfather is William C. Matteson, and Great-grandfather is Peleg Matteson. The only record found for Peleg Matteson in Chatauqua County, New York is a cemetery record. Interestingly, a record for William Matteson that is likely to be "Grandpa" William C. Matteson is listed together with Peleg's record. Both men are buried at the French Creek Cemetery in French Creek, New York. Information from gravestones is as follows:
There is a note stating that William's stone is "just a 12x6 inch white slab, imbedded in the ground.

One other mention of Peleg Matteson is on the gravestone of Abagail Matteson, which notes "w. Peleg" on it. She is buried in the same cemetery where Nancy W. Matteson is buried, in the Forestville Pioneer Cemetery. Her date of death and age at death are also recorded: Mar. 6 1856, age 63. Little else could be found about Peleg and Abagail. No 1850 census record could be found. There should be a record of Peleg in 1860, but none could be found. Little else could be learned from the other family names recorded in William Skellie Matteson's journal: There is a Norman Matteson in Chautauqua County, but none of the other names match anything found. More research into the Chautauqua County Norman Matteson is in order.

Well, that is where things stand for the Matteson side of the equation as of June 14, 2008. Now that we have found a very likely match for William Skellie Matteson's father, Marcellus, we need to consider how he and Emily Louisa Castle connected. As of 1850 there were no Castle family listings in Chautauqua County. However, in 1860 there is one family, though there is no family member named Emily Louisa, or anything like it. We do find the Nathaniel Castle family in Harmony, Chautauqua, New York. The family consists of Nathaniel, age 49, Olive C. Castle (interesting possible connection to our Emily Louisa, having named her daughter Olive), age 48, and Elijah Castle, age 18. It seems possible that the family may have welcomed Emily Louisa, possibly a niece or cousin, into their home. Note: this family lived in 1850 in Lee, Berkshire, Massachusetts, listed as follows: Nathaniel, age 36, Olive, age 38 , Patience, age 15, Elijah C., age 8, Eliz. A, 2/12, and Edwin A, 2/12.

 Loose ends -

OTHER PHOTOS (Click on hypertext to link to photo)

 A couple of photos in the treasure box add to the mystery of how old William might have been when he was sent off to Wisconsin. There is a photo of a young man, noted "17 Years" on the back, but with no name. His photo was taken by Goodrich & French of North East, Pa. The second picture, an 8 x 10 photo has this note on the back, "Dad's graduation picture when he finished the 8th grade." Seven young men and women are grouped in a very elegant setting, all handsomely dressed. There is no indication as to where the photo was taken. It is assumed that William S. Matteson is the subject of the photo at age 17 and is one of the eighth grade graduates in the group photo. One other picture raises the question of what may have become of Wiliam's brother Charlie/Charly. A picture with the notation "Uncle Charly" on the back, undated, shows a young adult - the photo was taken in Billings, Montana by the Hunt company. Little could be learned conclusively when researching Charly/Charlie/Charles Matteson in Billings, Montana. Side note: Another "treasure" from William's box which ties back to the Sherman family is a photo of a little girl, taken by a photographer named Goodrich & French in "North East, Pa." Written in pen on the back is a notation "Hattie Agnes Sherman" and "Age 3 Years". It is not known at this time how Hattie is related. She is possibly a cousin to (Louisa) Olive Sherman.

One other possible connection was found while researching William Matteson's early years. Another William Matteson was born to parents living in Wonewoc, Wisconsin. Though it could be ruled out that this was "our" William Matteson, the name of the town resonated with this researcher. William's sister Jennie was recorded as being born in "O'Comowoc", Wisconsin. The name is so close in sound, it seems possible that the name was recorded as best it could be recalled. Another possible town that this could tie to is Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  The real point is that the family obviously lived in Wisconsin at one point, so some connections to Matteson family members may have brought them there. Another question arises from this - could William have been sent out to Wisconsin, not on an "orphan train" but to live with an extended Matteson family member? Without knowing more about William's father's family, relationships to other Matteson families are unclear. Research showed that three Matteson households were present in Wonewoc, Juneau County, Wisconsin in 1870. Jennie was born on December 22, 1873. The family may have been living with or near one of these Matteson families. This information may prove useful as more research is done into the family of William's father, Marcellus Matteson.