May 28, 2007
A pleasant surprise to get your message with the information about Charles Ewer's musical abilities.My husband's great-grandmother was Charles' half-sister, Pauline C. Ewer, daughter of Henry Ewer's 2nd wife, Orinda Case, but named for his first wife, Pauline "Polly" Crowell Ryder.
So many died young in that family.Henry was widowed twice, then dead at age 48.He had two children by his 2nd wife: daughter Pauline (1847-1880) and son Henry (1844-1873).Young Henry was wounded in the Civil War and returned to Barnstable, where he died at age 19, on 22 Dec. 1863.I have his Civil War pension file.
Your information about Charles being in Washington, D.C. helps explain why his half-sister Pauline was there.She also was a singer.The 1870 census shows Charles and Pauline Ewer at a boarding house in D.C., with Charles' occupation listed as "clerk, U.S. Treasury Dept."
In 1872, Pauline married Edward Zuill Brailey (1843-1903), originally of Halifax, Nova Scotia.He worked as a stenographer in D.C. after being wounded in the Civil War.However, on the 1870 census, Edward Brailey was living in Chicago with his mother, Emily Appleton.His occupation: law reporter (i.e., court stenographer).
Edward and Pauline (Ewer) Brailey had three daughters before Pauline died in January 1880 at age 33.The role of mother to the three girls was filled by their paternal grandmother, Emily (Stevens) Brailey Appleton.On the 1880 census, the family is in Philadelphia, the girls aged 6, 4 and 2.
The next generation:The eldest of the three daughters, Grace Ewer Brailey (1873-1951), was my husband's maternal grandmother.She and her two sisters spoke fluent French.Grace played classical piano at performance level -- Mozart, Schubert, etc., and also the "modern" composers of her era such as Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Scriabin.
A funny story about Grace E. (Brailey) Pratt's musical versatility:Grace's husband, Francis Edward Pratt (1865-1935) was a mining engineer who spent extended periods in Mexico and Brazil.When Grace and her young daughter (my future mother-in-law) were living in Mexico City, and her husband was away on extended field trips, Grace earned extra income by playing piano for the silent films in a movie theater.
Regarding the singing abilities of Grace's mother Pauline, we have a copy of an old D.C. newspaper clipping that starts off, "Pauline Ewer, a Barnstable lass, gave a recital last..."I think the article lists the pieces she sang -- I don't have it handy.Myhusband's family has always wondered what Pauline was doing in Washington, D.C.Now we know that she was there with her musical half-brother.
Thanks for writing, Wendy, and we look forward to learning more about Charles Cary Ewer and his wife and children.
(The above posting by V. Cheney is in reply to the following message by W. Glavis of May 27, 2007)
Hi, I just happened upon your post at Genealogy.com about Charles Cary Ewer.
I'm a descendant of his and have a fair bit of information that my cousin collected about his family. The only problem is that I don't have this stuff to hand at the moment - but WILL do when I get home in about a month.
I haven't actually been working on this part of the family so it's not absolutely at the forefront of my mind, but I do think we have one of the Family Bibles (sure it mentions Polly Crowell)
Charles Cary Ewer fought in the Civil War and then moved to Washington - where he later died of wounds from the war. He was a well-known singer - a soloist. (I've got his score of 'Creation') My cousin has transcribed a letter he wrote home during the Civil War. I think there's a fair bit of info about his ancestors.
- Wendy Glavis