Sunday, December 16, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #108

Doug sent me an article that played a part in solving Challenge #104 (see also the followup):

A pioneer in a new school of dancing, Faith Yvonne Bacon has found that she also is the scion of a pioneer Alameda County family.

Her first visit to Oakland, Miss Bacon explained yesterday, brought her first visit with her uncles, Thomas P. Bacon, 1077 Trestle Glen Road and Robert Bacon, and her first details of the lives of her grandfather and great grandfather.
The great grandfather was Henry D. Bacon, founder of the Page-Bacon Bank in San Francisco, donor of the site for Oakland's Madison Park, and donor of a library and art gallery to the University of California. Bacon was offered the portfolio of Secretary of State in President Lincoln's first Cabinet, family papers show.

The grandfather was Frank Page Bacon, owner of the Bacon Block in Oakland, who died in 1928. Her father, Frank Page Bacon, Jr., never lived in Oakland.

Genealogical research by Miss Bacon's cousin, Mrs. Betty Bacon Week, Jr., shows that she can include among her ancestors of 100 to 300 years ago Sir Francis Bacon, the English essayist, and James Fennimore Cooper, the man who wrote "The Last of the Mohicans." [Oakland Tribune, Feb. 6, 1938]
Two questions:

Who were Betty Bacon Week's parents?

Was Faith really descended from James Fenimore Cooper?

Drew Smith

To answer the second question: apparently not.

Drew Smith

There's a 13-year-old Betty Bacon in the Oakland, CA home of Thomas P. Bacon and his wife, Mildred E., at the time of the 1930 census. She has a brother, Thomas P. Bacon, Jr.

Mildred's maiden name appears to be Sumner, as there is a Betty Bacon born in Alameda County on 20 June 1916 to a mother with that name. There is also a Thomas P. Bacon born in Sonoma County on 2 March 1911, also born to a mother with maiden name Sumner.

Findagrave identifies the Thomas Bacon born on 2 March 1911 as Thomas Pinkerton Bacon, Jr., who died 27 September 1995, and who is buried in Etna Cemetery in Siskiyou County, CA.

Findagrave also has a listing for Thomas P. Bacon in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, with a birth year of 1883 and a death year of 1955.


You got 'em both. The IGI says that Isaac Jones Cooper—supposedly Faith's great-grandfather—was the son of James Fenimore Cooper, but there seems to be no basis for this.


let's not be too hasty...

Another page from the same website Drew quotes:
James Fenimore Cooper Genealogy does list an Isaac Cooper as one of Cooper's children, but doesn't show a marriage or descendants.

Do any of Cooper's biographies have info on his children?


The Isaac Cooper with a James Cooper as a parent, is apparently several branches UP the line from James Fenimore, and some kind of great-great uncle or thereabouts...


James Finemore Cooper had a brother Isaac who died in Cooperstown in 1818 at the age of 37. A couple of other brothers named sons Isaac, but no connection to Missouri that I can find.

Regarding the other question, on his WWII registration Thomas Pinkerton Bacon, Sr (b 1883) listed Mrs. B. B. Week as a relative who will always know his address. Betty was born in 1916 making her a pretty young genealogist when she met up with Faith in 1938.


You know I meant *Fenimore*.


Maybe too young to understand that not every Bacon is descended from Sir Francis, and not every Cooper is descended from James.

Thanks for the challenge, Doug!


Thank you, Chris. It's fun to hang around this blog to see what interesting challenge comes up next.

Incidentally, the article in this post was not the first one I found revealing the paternal ancestry of Faith Bacon. The first was the Tribune article on the day of her suicide in 1956. Paragraph three and four above appeared almost verbatim in that later article. I found the 1938 one just before I sent it to you. I was refining my search and tried the exact phase "Page Bacon," which uncovered a couple new articles, including this one.


Betty Weeks parents were Thomas Pinkerton Bacon Sr. and Mildred Sumner. Mildred was the younger sister of Grace Sumner. Grace was the mother of Thomas P. Bacon Jr. She died at age 23. Thomas Sr. married her sister Mildred. Thomas Jr. and Betty were both cousins to Faith Bacon.

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