52 Ancestors Week 8: Prosperity

+11 votes

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge!

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesPlease share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:


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in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)

46 Answers

+17 votes
OK I am going to go with the word Prosperity and claim my husbands ancestors. I am not joking. My French Canadian spouse has ancestors whose names were PROSPER!!

There are several males named Prosper from several generations, and the surname kept changing - thanks to something called "dit" names - dit meaning something like "AKA"

But my husband has 2 direct ancestors named Prosper  who are linked below.



And Lausier (Losier) is the final name that was passed down - with several different spellings - hence my married name is Lozier.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (718k points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
I am also going to add that the descendents of Prosper Losier (Losier-50) have been collected into a Dictionary of Descendants which is what I have used to create a good number of Losier profiles.



Darn it!! I forgot that my husbands profile is unlisted, sorry!!

Adding the text for the JPG

This is the Famille Losier Logo - which was created by or for the Dictionaire Genealogique de l'association des Familles Losier. They organized the gathering of data plus the printing and distribution of the Genealogical Dictionary. Everything is of course in French. Except for some pages of the Introduction section, which are also in English. Other than this, and even with the genealogy details being in French, the whole book is fairly easy to understand. The Association are based in Tracadie-Sheila, New Brunswick which is a bilingual province officially. This logo tells the story of the 4 brothers, who left descendants. These brothers were the sons of the first Prosper Losier who settled in New Brunswick in 1786. I think the Association was officially formed in 1986. As you can see, there are 4 different spelling of the name, but for the most part the Lauzier and Lausier spellings have disappeared. Most families in Canada now use Losier and Lozier.
+17 votes

Going in another direction, I’m going to highlight my recent late grandfather.  I would say he lived a prosperous life.

When he "went home", he left behind a loving wife of 60 years, 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and a life full of love and giving.  He was a doctor for his profession, and a deacon in the church. He lived a life of service; both spiritually and medically.  He is truly missed.  Rest in Peace.

by C. Verworn G2G6 (6.2k points)
+13 votes


Although I'm not a direct descendant, my 6th cousin, once removed is Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller - a wealthy, prosperous man who in 1959 became the 49th governor of New York and in 1974 became the 41st Vice President of the United States.  


by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (187k points)
Oh hey! He married my 1C2R!! :)
Liz, we’re 10th cousins once removed!  Common Grandfather: Gerard Spencer.  Small world!
+15 votes

My grand aunt Perella Lovelace married a very prosperous young man, Enoch Bellis. When he was 10, his family came from England to Pennsylvania, and he worked in the coal mines there. He later became manager of a large company store and finally head of his own coal mining business. He backed my grandfather, C.A. Lovelace, in the oil business. This is a stock certificate showing Enoch as Secretary of my grandfather's oil company. In the end, coal mining brought more prosperity than oil wells in Oklahoma. 

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (163k points)
+13 votes

I'm resisting using any of the Richies or Richs in my family lines this week! My most prosperous relative that I'm aware of is my great-grand-aunt Agnes Hawkins.  From relatively humble beginnings as the daughter of a small-scale Irish farmer, she emigrated to United States in 1884.  I believe the phrase is that she "married well" as her husband Charles Dickinson Hawkins ran a jewellery store in New York.  Unfortunately for the couple they did not have any family of their own, and Charles died fairly early on, age 42, in 1901.  Agnes must have managed her wealth well because when she died in 1923 she left many parcels of property and real estate and share investments to be divided up amongst her relatives.  She, or Charles, must have be canny investors as there were shares in oil companies, which would have been a somewhat speculative investment around the turn of the last century.  Her will is a fascinating document and runs to many pages, as it has specific bequests to her surviving siblings, neices and nephews, over fifty people in total.  It was also an amazing find as a genealogist both to confirm known relatives and find new ones!

by Linda Hawkes G2G6 Mach 3 (36.2k points)
+15 votes

My great grandfather John Hawkes was a master fishmonger and had a business in Edmonton, London.
Although he wasn't wealthy he had come from very humble beginnings (his father was born in the workhouse in Southwark) so he was relatively prosperous.

by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 4 (42.5k points)
+15 votes
I haven't found any really rich ancestors, this is a hard subject.

However, my ancestors family have could be considered prosperous or rich in other ways.  One ancestor came on the Mayflower and there are about 20 ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War.  

So, maybe their form of prosperity was the freedom to pursue Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
by Bill Sims G2G6 Mach 5 (58.7k points)
Bill, your certainly have a rich heritage. Thank you for the great answer.
+18 votes

Financial prosperity managed to evade my great grandfather Thomas JohnstonIllness took it's toll on Thomas and he had somehow lost his two homestead claims and when he died at age 48 he was share cropping 360 acres in Placer County. He was however a prolific producer of children. This photo must have been taken near to his death in 1904. Notice his slippers. 

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 2 (25.5k points)
Lyn, thank you for sharing Thomas and his large family. I did notice his slippers. My maternal great grandmother made homemade shoes in a moccasin style, and I would suspect his are this same type.
Such a beautiful, tender photograph. Thank you for this.
Love this photo.  It's similar to some of my family photos from the era.   At least two of the women's dresses in your photo were made from the same material;   I have a family photo where the 6 daughters had  3 pairs of them wearing dresses of the same material.

Thanks for sharing,  I'm sure you're proud to have it.
+13 votes

Minnie Cornelia Pierson came from a family of prosperous farmers in New York state. I came to that conclusion because she, her sister Libbie and her brothers all went west with enough money to invest in small businesses. 

But Minnie and her husband were the most prosperous of all, for their two daughters studied at the University of Iowa, and excelled in their fields, History and Music.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 5 (59.2k points)
+11 votes

I've not got any close ancestors that were monetarily prosperous. Most have had great families. I had one who SHOULD have been rich and famous. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Grawrock-4 was an inventor, and a good one. Supposedly, you can thank him for your car turn signals, good shocks, and a few other items. Unfortunately, while he was a great inventor, he was a lousy gambler, and family history has him selling his company to pay the gambling debts. Note that one of his inventions, was in heavy use in WWII as a special shock for tanks. Someone made millions with that invention. Just not us :) On his profile are the three inventions i know he got patents for, the others may have been given away to others.

by David Grawrock G2G6 Mach 1 (14.7k points)
+11 votes
Like many other prompts, I'd have to answer with my grandpa, H. F. Barr.  He was born to impoverished parents who divorced when he was about three years old, was moved across the country, and didn't know the names of a single grandparent.  He finished high school because he wanted to serve in the US Army Air Corps.  He served in the European Theater, was eventually honorably discharged around 1947, and became a plumber.  He worked at this job for several decades until he'd saved enough money to buy an orange grove.  He was born into poverty and eventually became the owner of both a home and an orange grove.  That exemplifies prosperity to me.
by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (100k points)
+12 votes
I'll be going the mundane route of picking a financially prosperous ancestor. Most of my ancestors within 5 or 6 generations were moderately successful salt-of-the-earth types that got their hands dirty when they worked in the fields or in construction or keeping house, so 4th great grand uncle Franklin Fridman is a definite outlier.

Franklin came to America in 1834, with his brother-in-law Joseph Ebaugh (my 4th ggf). Franklin settled in Cincinnati and trained as a boiler-maker. In 1836 he was 2nd engineer on the "Lady Scout", a steamboat on the Ohio River. After an accident crippled his hand, he began peddling on foot with a backpack to farmers in Ohio and Kentucky. By 1839 he had saved up enough to buy a storefront at Boat Run, Monroe Township, Clermont, Ohio. Over the next few decades Franklin leveraged that storefront into a company involved in tobacco, lumber, shipping, and even banking!

I haven't actually finished Franklin's profile yet, but it's next in line.
by Dave Ebaugh G2G4 (4.3k points)
+10 votes

My ancestor Samuel Muncy was a well-to-do plantation owner in Virginia.  He prospered as a result of planting tobacco.

by John Williams G2G6 Mach 1 (16.6k points)
edited by John Williams
+10 votes

Amasa Stetson (1769-1844) comes to mind. He was the brother of a direct ancestor.

According to various secondary sources, Amasa started out as a poor boy, learned the shoemaker's trade (his father's line of work, and also a major part of the economy of his home town of Braintree, Massachusetts), and somehow got into the big-time shoe business in Boston together with a brother. He amassed a large fortune. At his death in 1844 his estate was worth about $500,000 -- in 1844 that was serious money! He married, but he had no children.

During the War of 1812, he was commissary for the district of Massachusetts. This apparently involved procuring supplies for the military. Some time after the war he successfully sued the U.S. federal government to pay him a large sum of money owed to him for helping to finance the war. More than 200 years later, I have to wonder whether he really had been a patriot using his own funds, or if he somehow increased his personal wealth at the expense of the government.

He built a town hall for Randolph, Massachusetts, and created an endowment fund for the town school. In 1801 he bought land in Maine and later caused the town to become the town of Stetson. He built a public meetinghouse for the town, with the intent of donating it to the town, but the transaction was not finalized. I learned about this from a 1997 newspaper advertisement in which the town was attempting to gain clear title to the property it had been using for over 150 years. The ad contained a long list of his heirs, apparently from around the time of his death, seeking to determine whether any of them or their heirs might want to dispute the town's claim to the property.

I have not found evidence of relatives in the Stetson family inheriting significant shares of Amasa's wealth, but I have observed that his surviving siblings and their children were generally rather well off.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
edited by Ellen Smith
+9 votes

The definition of prosperity can depend on what you came from.

My 5X-great-grandfather, Johann Georg Benfer, grew up in a remote, mountainous area of Wittgenstein (now in Germany).  When he decided to emigrate to Pennsylvania in 1766, Wittgenstein was still a feudal state. A German historian explained that the Counts had enormous power over the personal and economic lives of their subjects. Most villagers did not own sufficient land to earn a living, so they leased extra land from the Count and/or from the parish. Taxes and revenues were levied not only on the villagers’ land, but also on their cattle, poultry and other livestock. They had to pay firewood fees and charges for the Count's messengers, watchmen and threshers. One tenth of their grain, hay, sheep and calves went to the Count. Plus, they had to perform certain services such as hunting for the Count, transporting wood for him and working for set periods on the Count's farms.

After George immigrated and married a girl in Pennsylvania, they moved to the wilderness where they had to clear land to build a log cabin and have fields for farming. He always farmed, but now he owned his land. Even though he had to pay taxes, he didn’t have the overwhelming obligations to the Count that he experienced in the old country. Not only did he have a farm and house to hand down to his eldest son, but he was also able to build homes nearby for three more sons. George must have seemed rich to family back home.

by Beverly Benfer G2G6 Mach 1 (15.4k points)
+8 votes

For this week, I wish you all buona fortuna in your research. I'm talking about my great-grandfather's second wife, Fortuna Grassohttps://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2020/02/52-ancestors-week-8-prosperity.html

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (297k points)
+8 votes

Prosperity is a relative word.  My Andrew line traces from Scotland to Rhode Island to Vermont, and seemed to enjoy some prosperity in a time after the Revolution when many people in Vermont were quite impoverished.  The father was a prosperous miller, who could leave his descendants assets of greater value than many of his neighbors.  One daughter, Hannah, stood out as one who married into wealth.  {Andrew-1250} Her husband, Timothy WARE, owned a hotel just north of Williamstown MA. Timothy had a good reputation in Pownal VT, where he held positions of trust.  Their two oldest boys matriculated to Williams College, when the average boy had only a few years in the local school before he was put to work on the farms.  But their good fortune turned to tragedy, when one boy died at college in 1823.  His younger brother also died at Williams in 1827.  Timothy and Hannah had two young children left, Nancy and John, and by the time they were in their teens, the family, moved to Illinois to be near other members of the Ware family.  Sadly, Timothy and the children all died in an epidemic in 1837, leaving Hannah a grieving widow and mother, a thousand miles from her own family.  When she died in her early 70s in 1854, she left a large estate, most of which went to the church and missionary societies.  Such stories make me ponder what prosperity really is.  I suspect Hannah would gladly have given away much of her wealth to have seen her children live to grow up, and to have been able to grow old with her husband.  Probably none of us fully appreciates when we really are prosperous,  


by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 3 (30.6k points)
+12 votes

The most "prosperous" of my ancestors was probably my great-great grandfather, Thomas Binkley [[Binkley-1486|Thomas Binkley]]. He was born in 1837 in Perry County, Ohio, and passed away in 1897 in Lovington, Illinois. The following biography was published in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois, Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Company, 1891, p. 716. 

Amid the fertile farmlands of Lovington Township is a tract of eighty acres belonging to the gentleman above named and devoted by him to general farming. It is pleasantly located on section 24, and is embellished with every necessary structure. To say that the owner is one of the most prominent farmers in the community gives but a slight idea of the respect he commands, for he is looked upon as one of the most intelligent citizens to whatever class they may belong. A good neighbor and a reliable businessman, he also merits the gratitude of all who are pleased with the advance of civilization in this section.

Here he is, about 1890, with his sizable family:

by Gary Christopher G2G6 (9.8k points)
+7 votes
Prosperity has many definitions, wealth, success, affluence, riches and more. I think for this week's challenge, I will select my 9th GGF, James Bishop {Bishop-184}. We know he came from England about 1625. We know he had two wives and had a 'richness' of children. We know he 'prospered' from his tutoring with Rev. John Davenport. We know he was 'successful' as Secretary of New Haven Colony in 1651, Representative from 1665-1668, and Deputy Governor from 1683 until his death in 1691. We know that he is a direct ancestor to Pres. William Howard Taft.

What I did not know until today was that he has at least one very successful and notable descendant...he is Jack London's 6th GGF!

So many different ways of defining prosperity!
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (189k points)
Thanks for picking another of our mutual ancestors.  Jack London is a relative.  Cool.
+9 votes
My maternal grandparents lived a life of prosparity as they raised seven children with out receving goverment handouts. My grampa worked long hours and once my aunts and uncles were in school my grandma worked in the candy department at sears.
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Mach 3 (32.8k points)

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