Mabel Dodson Cortright > Jameson Harvey Ransom > Charles Francis Ransom > Lillian Emma Ransom > Charles Lloyd Walters
I have often thought of Mabel as one of my favorite ancestors, but I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s has something to do with the number of great photos I have of her. Maybe I just like rattling off her “full” name: Mabel Dodson Cortright Ramsey Ransom. My great-grandma Lillian remembers meeting Mabel and I knew Lillian. Maybe it’s the thought that I knew someone who, in turn, knew someone born in 1805. Makes the generations seem closer somehow. Whatever the reason for my partiality, here is what I know about Mabel Cortright.
Mabel Dodson Cortright was born in Salem, Pennsylvania on November 25, 1805 to Isaac and Mary (Dodson) Cortright. She married John Ramsey around 1825 and the couple had two children. John died in 1830 and on November 2, 1836, Mabel married Samuel Ransom. Samuel had 7 children (5 living in 1836) from his first marriage and together Mabel and Samuel had 4 children. The family was living in Plymouth, Pennsylvania until at least 1854 when Mabel was named in her father’s probate records. By 1860 they were living in Chillisquaque, PA and Samuel died in Lewisberg, PA in 1863. From 1867 until around 1880, Mabel lived with her daughter and son-in-law Maggie and Samuel Slifer and their children in Perry Hall Mansion in Baltimore County, Maryland.
By 1885, Mabel was living with her son Jameson and his family in Leroy, Iowa. Jackson, Michigan city directories show Mabel once again with Maggie Slifer and family from 1888-1894, and a photo taken in her 90th year (1895) was developed in Jackson. Daughter Maggie died in 1897, and by 1900 Mabel was again living with son Jameson in Leroy. Mabel died on October 8, 1902 in Blairstown, Iowa and is buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Her obituary was included in the Northwestern Christian Advocate and concluded as follows: “She had the happy faculty of growing old gracefully, seeing the bright and good sides of life and taking a keen interest in the progress of the world. Her Christian life was not ostentatious or pretentious, but rather of the quiet and modest kind. Her virtues were beautiful in their simplicity and found sweetest expression in her home life.” I can only hope for half such an obituary when I’m gone!
Sources: Census records and City Directories from Ancestry.com; Northwestern Christian Advocate, Vol 50, Google Books; family photos; Pennsylvania Probate records, FamilySearch.com; Ransom Notes compiled by Karen A. Keil.