Descendants of Peter Monamy
in the United States of America

This tree has been assembled with the most generous assistance of Janna Bennett
of the Lake Forest Historical Society, Illinois, USA.


The first three generations of the above tree are dealt with ad nauseam on other pages. The family history of the London lawyer, Henry Cobb Cornwall, P.M.Cornwall's youngest son, was little known among the English branches, however, apart from the fact that there was an American connection. Looking at Henry's marriage and the lives of his three children, one senses what in the parlance of our times might be called a dysfunctional family, or, at best, an ill-fated one. The death of John Richardson Cornwall, aged 21, coincides with the birth to his sister, Louisa Jessy, of a daughter, almost certainly out of wedlock. Although the marriage was regularised about a month after this birth, nothing is known of Thomas Ward, her husband. These events, traumatically disturbing, one suspects, for a Victorian father in the legal profession, were followed a scant four years later by the death of his other son, Henry Monamy Cornwall, reputedly drowned, circumstances unknown. The death of the bereaved father, Henry Cobb, followed four years later, when he was 58. Nothing is yet known of his widow, Louisa Richardson, or even if she survived him.

Henry Cobb Cornwall's grand-daughter Caroline Jessie Ward was aged eight when he died. Her education and upbringing before her marriage, aged 20, to Mr Leonard John Double of Kennington, are open to conjecture. In him she clearly found a stalwart and enterprising partner, and, one surmises, security and happiness.

Ford Madox Brown's famous painting, The Last of England, pre-dates the departure of Leonard and Caroline Double, with their three little daughters aged 4, 2, and three months, by some 18 years (1855), but in the features of his emigrating couple one may surely read their hopes and apprehensions. In fact, that looks like Caroline junior in the background, left.

The rest of the information on this page has been collected from the internet family search resources mounted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; various census and other records forwarded to me by Janna Bennett; and, especially, a charming letter dated 20 Aug 1976, written by Mrs Blanche E.McBride Hollands, see following line of descent:

Blanche writes (edited text): "I am a grand-daughter of Leonard Double one of the early settlers of Lake Forest (I am 78 years old). .... My mother Emily S.Double Gartley was a daughter .... Leonard Double came to Lake Forest at the request of John V.Farwell. He settled in a little log cabin just outside of what is now the L.F. Catholic Cemetery .... My mother came from England when she was only three months old." If precisely accurate, this dates the family's voyage to the New World to June or July 1873.

"Lake Forest was very dense in those years .... There were several children and I was told many times a cow bell was put on my Aunt when she went out. Only wooden plank roads were used. .... The homes which were built with the cement my grand father recommended were hard to burn down. The Farwell homes and many other buildings. .... Many of the land marks of which this famous cement was used are still building. Many of the cement sidewalks in Lake Forest have the "Double" name on."

"My Mother's Mother was one of the first to be buried in the Lake Forest Cemetery. Her head stone was made by Leonard Double --- it looks like a tree trunk, --- just to the left as you enter the Cemetery." A pause for thought here again on the life of Caroline Jessie Ward. The mother of eight surviving children, one born almost every second year, plus three or possibly four still-born infants, she suffered the experience of many mothers of this era and died at the age of 52, obviously exhausted, two years after the last still-birth. Her husband Leonard married again, 7th November 1893, and his second wife was Augusta Anderson, born 1853 in Sweden. According to the US census record for 1900, there was at least one daughter, Eleanor, of this marriage, born 1898. Leonard is described in this census as a brick layer, and in the census for 1880 as a plasterer. It seems as if he had a close relative, possibly a brother, who either accompanied or followed him to the US, since in the 1900 census there is also an Edward Double, described as a plasterer, born in England 1848, with an English-born wife Jessie and two children, Edward and Alice, born 1887 and 1891.

Whatever the status implications of these occupational descriptions, they would have meant nothing in the American society of the times, and the get-up-and-go of Leonard and Caroline Double clearly laid the foundations for the prosperity of their descendants in the next century. Blanche mentions her aunt, Mrs William Dickinson (Fanny --- was she the one supervised by a cow bell?), whose "house at the corner of Westminster and Summit" was built for her with the durable Portland Cement recommended by her father. Leonard's original log cabin was called "Fern Cottage", possibly remembered in the name of Vera Fern Double. Blanche also refers to her step-father's family.

The casual surfer may wonder what all this has got to do with Peter Monamy. I wonder myself, and it is extremely unlikely that any of the Double clan knew anything about him. Nevertheless, if anyone named Double, Wells, McBride, Gartley, Hollands, Dickinson or Meade happens to stumble across this page, and senses ancestral ground, they might be amused to discover that their descent (in one line, anyway) has been traced back five centuries, to Andrieu Mon Amy, Merchant Venturer, of Guernsey.

1725-1828       1783 onwards
george cornwall
monamy website index


© Charles Harrison Wallace 2002
all rights reserved