Sunday, July 28, 2013

Matrilineal Monday: Mary Elizabeth Bellangee

Mary Elizabeth Bellangee Dickson

Mary Elizabeth Bellangee was my third great-grandmother.  She was born 26 January 1844 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and died 15 May 1929 in Los Angeles, California. 

Bellangee is derived from the French surname de Bellinger.  Originally from Poitou, France, Mary’s ancestors were Huguenots who fled their homeland for America in the late 1600s.

Mary was one of four children born to her parents, John Gustavus Bellangee and Amelia Brown.  She had one sister, Anne Amelia Bellangee, and two brothers, William Bellangee and John Bellangee.  Her father, John Gustavus was a well-known mason in Milwaukee, but sometime between 1861 and 1863, he moved his family to the area near Morrow, Ohio.  Mary would have been in her late teenage years at the time of this move.

In 1863, not long after moving to Ohio, Mary Elizabeth Bellangee married George William Dickson in Hamilton, Ohio.  Together they had five children:

i.                MARY DICKSON, born 1866 in Hamilton, Ohio.  She died as an infant.
ii.              ELIZABETH DAVOCK DICKSON, born 1868 in Point Edward, Ontario, Canada; died 1952 in Los Angeles, California. 
iii.             ANNE AMELIA DICKSON, born 27 October 1870 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada; died 1952 in Hood River, Oregon.   She married (1) John T. Griffin and (2) Malcolm Brakspear Oliver Rutherfurd.
iv.             GEORGE WILLIAM DICKSON, born 16 April 1872 in Point Edward, Ontario, Canada; died 1945.  He married Janet Adamson.
v.              WILFRED BELLANGEE DICKSON, born 1 January 1875 in Point Edward, Ontario, Canada; died 1937.

Their first child, Mary, died as an infant.  Sometime after her death and before the birth of their second child, Elizabeth, George and Mary relocated from Ohio to Ontario, Canada, just outside Detroit.  There, they raised four children.

At some point prior to 1895, George and Mary moved to Douglas, Wyoming.  Their eldest son, George William Dickson, Jr., got a job working at the telegraph office in Douglas, and the rest of the family decided to go with him. The Dicksons appear to have been a very close family who liked to stay near each other.  Both Elizabeth and Annie lived with their parents in Douglas, and George and Mary Dickson helped raise Annie’s son George after Annie’s divorce.  George and Mary Dickson later moved to Los Angeles with Elizabeth, and Annie joined them there after the death of her second husband.

Mary with grandsons George Rutherfurd (left) and his half-brother Malcolm Rutherfurd

Mary Elizabeth Bellangee Dickson

 My grandmother, LaVerne Rutherfurd Smith, daughter of of Annie’s son George, fondly remembered her great-grandmother.  Her father used to visit his grandmother often in Los Angeles when LaVerne was a child.  He would often take LaVerne with him on these visits, and she remembered spending time with Mary and her daughter Elizabeth.

My grandmother recalled that Mary was quite small in stature.  She was also very literary, and had gotten her grandson George interested in poetry.  Mary and George had a shared love of literature and the written word.  Mary was of an advanced age when my grandmother was a girl, but she was engaging and kind to her.  My grandmother also recalled that Mary told her about attending finishing school as a young woman at the beginning of the Civil War.

Four generations: LaVerne Rutherfurd, Mary Elizabeth Bellangee Dickson, Annie Dickson Rutherfurd and George Rutherfurd.


  1. What a great wrap up! I especially love that you have photos of Mary throughout her life. What a treasure!

    1. Thank you! My grandmother saved a lot of photos, and we were able to go through them all and identify everyone in them, so it's absolutely thanks to her that I'm able to share these pictures.

  2. What a wonderful write-up about Mary's life. And the photos! They are lovely. I especially like the four generation photo. What a treasure that is. Do you know when it was taken?

    1. Thank you! I think my grandmother was 10 years old in this photo, so that would make this 1928/1929. It definitely wasn't too long before Mary died.

      I have a photo of me, my grandmother, my mother and my newborn son that I also treasure. A four generation photo is pretty priceless.

    2. Erin,

      I want to let you know that two of your blog posts are listed in today's Fab Finds post at

      Have a great weekend!

    3. Wow, thank you, Jana! I am so glad you enjoyed those posts. Have a fantastic weekend.