Where’s Waldo?

Over the autumn, our daughters took an artwork class on the Museum of Wonderful Arts every Sunday. This gave my spouse and me two hours to walk across the museum, take pleasure in a leisurely lunch or, climate allowing, benefit from the open air. Whereas visiting a bit of Japanese artwork, I observed a whole lot of the artwork work was donated by American artwork collector Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935), a trustee of the museum. I’ve encountered Ross’s center identify of Waldo a number of instances through the years, and for New Englanders this normally signifies a descent from Cornelius Waldo of Ipswich and Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Cornelius Waldo first seems in New England in 1647 residing in Ipswich. He married Hannah Cogswell by 2 January 1651/52, when Hannah’s father conveyed land to “my sonne in legislation Cornelius Waldoe…” The Waldo household moved to Chelmsford by about 1668, and Cornelius died there in 1700. Hannah died 4 years later in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the place she had in all probability moved to reside along with her daughter Rebecca.[1]

Hannah (Cogswell) Waldo was the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Thompson) Cogswell, who had been natives of Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire. The Cogswell household arrived on the ill-fated Angel Gabriel, which “burst to items and [was] forged away” in a storm at Pemaquid in August 1635. The Cogswell household survived (though a few of their provisions didn’t) and shortly settled in Ipswich. In a previous post, I famous how Hannah’s brother William Cogswell  was an ancestor of U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Presidents John and John Quincy Adams, and Diana, Princess of Wales and her sons William and Harry. All descendants of Cornelius Waldo would likewise be associated to these people.

The Cogswell household survived (though a few of their provisions didn’t) and shortly settled in Ipswich.

In addition to Denman Waldo Ross, different Waldo descendants embody President Calvin Coolidge, First Girl Mamie Eisenhower, and the transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882). Emerson’s legacy has additionally led to quite a few namesake people carrying Waldo as a center identify who’re doubtless not descendants of Cornelius (see my put up on Presidential surnames), as findagrave has gravestones of greater than one hundred later men named Ralph Waldo Emerson![2]

Cornelius and Hannah are additionally ancestors of the genealogist Waldo Lincoln (1849-1933), who served on the NEHGS council and different committees, and was president of the American Antiquarian Society 1907-27. He authored two prolonged genealogies, appropriately on the Waldo (1902) and Lincoln (1923) households, the latter of which included within the New England descent of President Abraham Lincoln.

I had anticipated to incorporate the genealogist Waldo Chamberlain Sprague (1903-1960) as one other Waldo descendant. Objects at NEHGS by Sprague are rather more substantial (45 objects in our catalogue), though practically all of them derive from manuscript materials he donated to NEHGS. Sprague served as Historian Basic of the Mayflower Society and was notably centered on genealogies of households in his hometown of Quincy in relation to its dad or mum city of Braintree. Sprague’s Genealogies of the Households of Braintree, Mass., 1640-1850 was microfilmed by NEHGS in 1983, and reformatted into Register type in 2001, and is now accessible on our website, serving because the go-to sources for colonial households of Braintree and Norfolk County broadly. Nonetheless, in reviewing Sprague’s ancestry, I couldn’t discover any connection to the Waldo household, even in looking family by marriage. I additionally discovered he didn’t descend from the Sprague household both, as his grandfather Alfred White Chamberlain (1821-1891) changed his surname to Sprague in 1849, so it seems Waldo Chamberlain Sprague was neither a Waldo or a Sprague!

What number of instances do you see Waldo within the chart under?

Click on on picture to broaden it.


Extra sources for Chart: Gary Boyd Roberts, Ancestors of American Presidents, 626-27; Waldo Lincoln, Genealogy of the Waldo Family, 1: 12-21, 24-38, 41-49, 64-66, 69-75, 84-88, 105-6, 158-63, 201-3, 272-79, 313-15, 463-64, 2: 659-60.


[1] Waldo Lincoln, Genealogy of the Waldo Family, 1: 12-21.

[2] The 1900 Census has at the very least 64 males named Ralph W. Emerson, all born after Emerson’s beginning.