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CHILDREN:...(this page)

Mary Ann|Bridget Sophia|



11 September 1829, Fredericton area, NB Canada; bap: 13 September 1829, St Dunstans RCCh, Fredericton, NB Canada:

From the records of St Dunstans RCCh (a missionary church), Fredericton NB Canada:

"Bap. Mary Haggerty no. 69: The Thirteenth of September One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty Nine, the undersigned baptized Mary Ann, age two days, lawful daughter of Peter Haggerty and Nancy McGuire, sponsors: James Lofie(sp) and Mary McGuire. s/s Michael McSweeney"


Not known


Staceyville ME (maybe, no record)


Mary _________
Peter Haggerty  
Nancy McGuire   
      |*** Bridget Sophia Haggerty 
      |    m:
      |    Jeremiah Spencer
      |         |
      |         |*** Peter Spencer        
      *** 9     |    d: young
       others   |    
                |*** Martha Ellen Spencer    
                |    m: 
                |    Joel Holland
                |          |
                |          |
                |          |*** Joseph Prescott Holland
                |          |    d: young 
                |          |
                |          |*** Carol Maud Holland
                |          |
                |          |*** Grace Louise Holland
                |          |
                V          V*** Ethel Flora Holland...

V V From the yearbook of the | | Emerson College of Oratory, Boston MA, 1909 ; | | | | ETHELYN HOLLAND Worcester, Mass "Chile." "Ethel." | | "I love her for her smile, her look, her way."-- | | Elizabeth Barrett Browning. | | | | This quiet, demure, unassuming "Chile" is really | | the most particular girl in our class. Rehearsals | | must be just so and every one must be just on time | | with "lines" committed, and then if you will allow | | | | "Ethel" to run things, which will be entirely to | | her satisfaction, she will surprise you by her | | inventive mind. When the scene is produced you will | | have some startling (!) stage business. She is going | | to teach next year and will furnish you with limitless | | | | information regarding "agencies," for she has | | investigated all of them. | | |PIX: Ethelyn| | |

| |

                |          |
                |          |
                |          |*** Fred Louis Holland
                |          |
                |          |*** Spencer Emery Holland
                |                       |
                |                       |
                |                       **** Olive Ellis Holland  
                |                                m:
                |                            John Archibald Franklin
                |                                      |
                |                                      |
                |                                       **** Carole Ellen Franklin
                |                                            m:
                |                                            Alfred Mortimer Kern
                |                                                   |
                |                                                   |
                |                                                   |***  Sheridan Kern  
                |                                                   |     m: 
                |                                                   |     Demetrios 
                |                                                   |     Nikolas
                |                                                   |     Imirziades
                |                                                   |
                |                                                   |***  Pamela Kern
                |                                                   |     m: 
                |                                                   |     Darcy Robert Quinn
                |                                                   |
                |                                                   ****  Stephen Franklin 
                |                                                              Kern 
                |                                                         m: 
                |                                                         Tomoko Nago
                *** Mary Spencer 
                      m: ?
                    Flora E Spencer 
                      m: George Hartshorn
                    Augusta E (Ella) Spencer 
                      m: George Emery
                           |***  Blanche Emery

                    Nancy (Anne) Spencer
                      m: Louis D Greene                 
                    Frank Spencer             
                      m: Bessie _______
                    William Spencer
                      m: Mary _________

SophiaBridget Sophia Haggerty


1831(?) NB Canada


Jeremiah Spencer, 10 September, 1850.

In the "Marriage Returns of Penobscot County" page 115, the following was noted:" Jeremiah Spencer of Argyle & Bridget S Haggerty of Patten m. 10 Sep 1850 by Rev G J Newton". Therefore the "Bridget S Haggerty" above probably is also Sophia Haggerty Spencer.

His ancestors were Thomas and Patience Chadburn Spencer from Gloucestershire England, early English settlers who, in 1632, helped found Argyle ME, Berwick ME and the logging industry there.

He is noted in the 1880 National Census as living in Township #1, Range #14, Piscataquis Co ME w/others, probably a lumber camp.


25 July 1878, Portland ME; pneumonia; age 44 years; interred (alone) 27 July 1878, Evergreen Cem, Deering ME (via s/s Rich & Son)

In the 1860 National Census for the town of Argyle in Penobscot Co ME, Sophia was noted as 25 years old, her husband Jeremiah as 35 years old, b: NB Canada, a farmer w/husband Jeremiah on a farm with a real estate value of $800, a personal estate of $250 & 4 kids: Martha E, age 9, Mary A age 7, Flora E age 5 & Sophia 1 month old.

Family was noted in the 1870 US Census for Bangor, Penobscot Co, ME; Husband's occupation was listed as a "day laborer", age 45, his listed name was "James", (rather than "Jeremiah"), she was listed as age 35, "keeping house". The census listed the following children, all b: ME:

                         Matti, age 19 
                         Mary, age 17 
                         Flora E, age 15 , attending school         
                         Augusta E., age 11, attending school
                         Nancy, age 9, attending school
                         Frank, age 7, attending school
                         William, age 3

She privately published an autobio-family-history in novel form (roman-a-cleft), in 1875, of her trials & tribulations with her stern parents; with her Catholic vs Protestant religion; with her close relationship to her brother Peter Jr; with her husband who appears disinterested towards his family; and, with pioneer life in northern Maine: "Forty Years In The Wilderness" by S. Spencer, printed in Portland Maine, 1875, copy's available in the US Library of Congress. (Her grand-daughter, Sheri Kern, who also is a writer as well as a NYC restaurateur also comments on the concerns of the modern women, see below.) She was a good Christian in the principled sense; a good business women for she continually supported her family with various sewing & retail dress selling business, in that, her husband was continually away lumbering or simply gone. A great family person for she raised them all-by-her-self. 8 kids:

Peter ... infant death

Martha Ellen ... b: 1851, Argyle ME; m: Joel P Holland, b: 7 December 1853, Castine ME; she had both singing & piano lessons; managed the younger kids while mother worked.

Mary ... b: 1853, Argyle, d: Portland

Flora (Flora E.)... b: 1855, Argyle ME; m: George Hartshorn who had: " had beautiful eyes and a merry laugh", no kids

Ella (? Augusta E.)... b: 1859, Argyle ME; m: George Emery

Annie (? Nancy)... b: 1861, Argyle ME; m: Louis D Greene, b: Brattleboro VT resided 50 years in Brattleboro, VT

Frank ... b: 1863, Argyle ME; m: Bessie ?

William ... b: 1867, Argyle ME; m: Mary ?

From Cousin Sheri Kern

February 3, 2001

Dear Ed and John,

So many months ago, John asked for a small written piece on the influence of Sophia Haggerty on my life and that of my family. As one who was trained as a writer, and raised by a writer, this seemed such an important assignment that I wanted to give it proper attention and effort. I have kept postponing it until this or that other project is finished. However, time goes by too fast. The particular piece I envision is not yet ripe in my psyche. It will not write itself just yet. In other words, I am “blocked” on a subject that seems simple on the surface, but is not. To write about it is to dissect what has been an undelineated part of myself and my growing up. Not able to do it yet.

So much for early morning throat-clearing. I owe my new-old cousins a letter. So here goes. My notes and musings:


Ed, I am so thankful for the full copy of “Mrs. S. Spencer’s” little book. Aunt Ethel’s transcription left out Sophia’s philosophizing. The passionate relationship with God has diminished in our branch of the family; Aunt E. did not feel it worth the drudgery of copying by hand. While daily prayers and inspirational poetry did not survive the generations, much in Sophia’s work ethic and daily approach to life has done so.

One small example: In writing about her work with the poor, she says that bringing one small item of beauty into a dismal house can inspire the inhabitants to work toward that beauty--to clean up the place, to try themselves to be a little better. I recognized that sentiment immediately, although I have never thought about it or heard it expressed. My grandmother, my mother, and Aunt Ethel herself all embody that.

All three ladies--all teachers--are/were always impeccably turned out. Lack of money is no reason not to look charming. All three were teachers, as I believe Martha Spencer Holland (my great grandmother) was also. I am not sure about that.

My mother, who retired about 10 years ago, never gave in to the more casual dressing many teachers do today. She talked about it with me. She dressed well for the children, because they study her--especially the little girls. They notice everything she has on. Also, she wanted all her students to know she thought they were important enough to take care in how she looked when she was with them. She did wear slacks of course, but not always, and her outfits were coordinated with a slight formality: proper scarves, earrings, etc. Her hair is always right. Her lipstick is always fresh. Her nails are always shaped and polished. She believed her students would try harder if she was pleasing to look at. She taught second and sixth grades.

Her mother, Olive, did the same thing. She taught art for Grades 1-6. She also believed you should make great effort for your family. You should remember your manners especially with your family, look your best especially for family. I believe that must have come from Sophia.

My mother, following Aunt Ethel’s example, always maintained a home full of color and comfort, with seasonal decorations, etc. Early in her marriage, there was very little money (picture 1948, a new baby--me--a WWII vet husband struggling to support us all and finish his BA). My mother spent fifty cents of their grocery money on fresh flowers. My tough old Dad, then about 22 but still a tough guy, was totally charmed in spite of himself. Those flowers must have glowed in that scruffy one-room student apartment with the diapers, and the senior thesis, and the textbooks and the leftover G.I. underwear. Those flowers probably kept us all going another week.

My grandmother (Olive Holland Franklin) lived alone in a studio apartment near Jersey City. She, like I, found it hard to make a home without lots of people bustling in and out. However, her talk about her classroom and her students would have revealed her practical application of Sophia’s attitude.

Other attitudes or viewpoints that were expressed and have come down as quotes or paraphrases from Sophia (and possibly Peter and Nancy for all I know):

If you can look the man in the eyes, see the dishpan on the shelf, and still want him, marry him. Otherwise, move on.

The trouble with looking for the perfect man is that when you find him, he will be looking for the perfect woman.


These of course are humorous ones. There are others that do not pop into my mind just now. More serious, though, is Sophia’s belief in women’s independence. Her adamant assertions that women must take control of their own lives, and take an active role in the economic support of their families has always been a given with us. Women in our branch of the family have never been encouraged to marry before age 30. My mother’s marrying at age 20 set off much moaning and groaning from her own mother and three aunts. Olive (her mother) kept saying “I should have to sign something; isn’t there something I am supposed to sign? I will not sign it!” Even 3-4 years later, after I was already a toddler, Aunt Ethel and my grandmother were gently suggesting Mum come with me to New Jersey and get her teaching degree. They really did not think about how that would require a divorce etc. They were forcusing on their Carole Ellen without a professional skill, and a little girl (me) growing up with a dependent woman as a role model (not a term they would use, of course).

Woman were to have a “career” to fall back on. Even when the men they married were of good character, bad things could happen--and did. There was war, illness and death; there was the Great Depression. All of Sophia’s daughters worked and studied. One was a hat designer at Filene’s in Boston. Another also worked there, supposedly heading up one of the fashion departments. As I mentioned, I believe Martha was a teacher. All married later; most did not have children that I know of. I do not know what happened to Sophia’s sons.

Even that is part of Sophia’s “feminist” legacy. This is a matriarchal line. The two sisters of Aunt Ethel. and my grandmother were also teachers. Carol Holland never married. She was a music teacher, ending up as head of the music department at Geneseo College. Her specialty was choral music. Grace Holland married but did not have children. Her husband courted all of the sisters--first Carol (who thought he was a “fly-by-night”), then Aunt Ethel who wanted nothing to do with him. After that he was thrown out of the house by Martha who discovered my grandmother (the youngest and probably the prettiest) on his lap. Finally Aunt Grace (the homeliest based on old photographs) married him. Other than that he was a handsome WWI vet and a salesman, I know almost nothing about him although I have heard many stories about Auntie Grace.


It is the women who shine and whose personalities dominate. Aunt Ethel’s husband was a sweet, sweet man (Clarence Dike), also a teacher, but a satellite in Aunt E.’s orbit. He did dishes 40 years before it was fashionable for men to do so.

In previous generations, the men who were more “macho” became ill or died. The brother of Aunt Ethel and my grandmother (Spencer Holland) died young in the 1918 influenza epidemic, along with his only child, an infant. Their father, Joel Holland, a strong emotional influence, lost his leg in an railroad accident. My grandfather, John Franklin, died of Hodgkins when my mother was 6. The disease was triggered by battlefield gassing in WWI.

My own father is still very much with us and a curmudgeon, and hardly a satellite but very much the center of the universe. As is my own life partner, a fiesty Greek immigrant who closely supervises every day of my existence...because I allow him to do it. I have assigned him the job. And my mother permits my Dad his illusions. She has spoiled him rotten. My sister (Pamela Kern Quinn) is married to a man (Bob) who tolerates no nonsense and anyone in the Canadian government where he has made his career will tell you not to mess with him. But his life’s central structure is decided, sweetly but resolutely, by my sister. My niece, Sarah, just turned 13 and is in training. Bob has been heard to say in a determined tone, “I do not mind one woman organizing my every motion and possession, I’ll be damned if there will be two! Out!” Whether we girls are right in the truth of what I say here, I don’t know. But we all believe it.

It was the birth of Sarah and her brother Patrick that enlightened me (did I mention there was also a son in the next generation? yeah, there is) . I adore Patrick. He is a handsome, smart, funny, totally engaging kid. But I do not worry about his future or plan for him or wonder what he will be needing from me as time goes on. He will be fine. I feel an urgent concern about Sarah. We must make arrangements for her education, setting her up in whatever field she will choose, making sure she gets the right books, the right equipment, etc. I understand that this must be how men have felt for the last 10,000 years about sons. Daughters are beautiful and therefore will be fine. They will follow their inclinations and talents, marry, make a life. But the sons must be actively brought into the affairs of the world.

For me--and my sister admits she must fight the impulse--this attitude is reversed. For my mother, who also loves Patrick and dutifully sends him e-mails and little gifts and follows his education and interests fondly, Sarah is the star. Mum cannot help herself.


I hope you don’t get this wrong. We love men, all of us. If single or widowed or divorced, there are always men around. And we like strong men, bossy men, smart men. I still remember Aunt Ethel’s eyes shining as she looked at my brother Steve (did I mention I have a brother, yeah, I do. He’s 45, recently married and manages Japan and Korea for E*trade right now. Once he has a daughter he’ll appear more brightly on the radar screen). Steve was about 7, fair and straight, with “the Spencer eyes”. She kept saying, “what a cunning little boy!”.

By the way, Aunt Ethel has two sons. They both worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project and went on to work and teach as physicists. Mother saw one of them in old film footage on TV recently. We are not really in contact, although I found one of Ethel’s grandsons on-line. That was about 3 computers ago, and I have lost track of him. I feel a little guilty about it, and finding him again is on my “things-to-do” list because he does not know about you two, or the great Haggerty legacy. On the other hand, their Dad was an avid genealogist and they have a full history of the Dikes. It was Uncle Clarence’s obsession with family history that drove Aunt Ethel--out of sheer pique--to do the little bit that we have. That led her to seek out Sophia’s “little book”. She never had a daughter, and viewed my mother as hers as much as my grandmother’s. That is why my mother felt justified in “lifting” Aunt Ethel’s narrative when she found it among my grandmother’s things. I am not even sure the Dikes ever got a copy!

You will want to know the names of Aunt Ethel’s boys: Sheldon Dike (the older) and Robert Dike (the younger). Neither are living. Sheldon had five children. Bob had two adopted daughters. If I ever get all the names pulled together, I will pass it on.

I do not know if my brother feels this way himself, but I believe that Steve has had to fight his way through this matriarchy. He has accused us sometimes of leaving him out of the “loop” when it comes to family discussions. “Family discussions” usually means Pam, Mum and myself. We assumed Steve would not be interested, but he is! These discussions are not only about the family history, but health matters, gossip, etc.

If I had to say how Sophia may have influenced him, I would have to say I see it in the women he has dated and befriended over the years. He has always had women friends, and several women career mentors. I think he used date “high-powered” women, even those a level or two above him in the hierarchy, without any flutter of emasculation. Just the opposite. And he is able at once to allow a woman all of her strength and still feel protected.

At first I had been surprised by the woman he chose to marry. She is much younger and had not finished school. However, in the four years they have known each other, she did finish, and has embarked on a career--all at his prodding. She is Japanese and was trying to fit into Japanese expections. Steve set her free, and we are all waiting to see how far she runs. It is such a conflict for a man I would think, especially at his age. There the desire to carry home your wife and start a family, to bask in her total presence and intention, yet know her need to find her own independent strength and encourage her to do it. The interest in doing this for the great love of his life is, I believe, his legacy from Sophia. A great one.


Another legacy from Sophia is her sewing. All of Sohpia’s daughters sewed very well, of course. My great-grandmother, Martha, made all of her daughters’ things. During school vacations (they all taught, remember), the girls would come home and take over the household tasks--cooking, cleaning, etc. Martha would sew their wardrobes for the next season.

My grandmother made extra money during the hard years, restyling fur coats. She also sewed her own clothes. My mother made her own things and all of our school clothes. She sews now for Patrick and Sarah. I sewed all my own clothes until I started working. My grandmother also knit, crocheted and tatted. My mother crochets and knits. We all have afghans made by Mum. My sister embroiders. We all have done our own mending and alterations of off-the-rack items--including changing buttons, changing waistlines, removing or adding decoration to make an inexpensive outfit look pricey. These tricks we all learned from my grandmother and Aunt Ethel, who learned them from Martha who learned them from Sophia.

Well, I go on and on. More details will come to mind, I guess, but this is the gist of it. Any questions? Ask away.

I am sending my sister Pam this file, also. She had said she would write this for you, but I know she is busy and has not yet gotten to it. She would say the same things, and yet her “take” would be completely different. I hope she will respond with some thoughts of her own. You two can then edit our two pieces down into a something useful.

I wish this were a tighter, more elegant essay. Can’t do it. Please settle for this letter with all of its digressions. And thanks to both of you for your interest and caring. It means a lot.

Your cousin,

Sheri (Sheridan Kern)

Regards, top

Ed Costello
1009 Blenheim Dr
Raleigh NC 27612
e-mail: costello13@juno.com
tel: 919.782.6058