Thompson Family – the mystery of Mildred

A name that I frequently heard growing up as a Thompson was ‘Cousin Mildred’. As a young child, this confused me, since I thought I knew all my cousins. Of course, I also thought all cousins were children.

We would occasionally get gifts from Mildred, but if I ever met her, I don’t remember. I do remember asking Nana Thompson about her once, but I’m sure I didn’t get it. Talking with my father the other week, I realized he didn’t get it either. So who was ‘Cousin Mildred’.


Note – all relationships noted in the charts are shown in relation to Raymond Brooks Thompson, my grandfather.

Aunt Mildred

In the Summer of 1900, Sarah Thompson was a 50 year old single mother living in Boston with her Brother George, and her two small children, Frank (9) and Mildred (7). Ten years later the 18 year old Mildred was living with her brother and his new spouse. They were living in the house of Frank’s father-in-law William Brooks, and raising their first son, Raymond, then 6 months old.

(The house held four generations, including Raymond’s great grandmother, Francis “Fannie” Brooks, William’s mother).

But, an aunt is not a cousin, so let’s continue…

Cousin Mildred

Raymond’s aunt eventually married a Mylott, and had twin daughters, Muriel and (you guessed it) Mildred. This makes Mildred and Muriel my grandfather’s cousins.

Mystery solved? Not so fast. My father said the Cousin Mildred we were looking for was Mildred Tyler. “So Mildred Mylott married a Tyler?” “No, Cousin Mildred was never married.”

Sigh…

Cousin Mildred Tyler

To solve the mystery of Mildred, we have to look on the OTHER side of the family, my great grandmother’s side.

Dexter Nash married Annis Hunt and had at least 7 children, but only two girls; Georgetta was born in 1853 and Hattie in 1858. Hattie was to marry William Brooks and give birth to Gram, while her older sister Georgetta married a Tyler and had two girls, Annis and Mildred.

TADA! I now not only know who Cousin Mildred Tyler was, but also why to a young child growing up around lots of aunts, uncles, great aunts and great uncles, understanding who Mildred was was so confusing – there was an Aunt Mildred and TWO Cousin Mildreds in the Thompson branch of the family tree.

I have heard from several family members that Hittie (Gram) and Mildred (Tyler) were very close growing up, and continued that friendship all their lives.

Here’s the whole picture:

Of course, I still don’t know which Mildred sent the gifts…