Our Family History

Catherine Gordon[1]

Female Abt 1758 - Abt 1815  (~ 57 years)


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  • Name Catherine Gordon  [2
    Born Abt 1758  Jamaica ? Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Baptism 1758  St Catherine, Jamaica Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Baptism 1758  St Catherine, Jamaica Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Died Abt. Sep 1815  Somers Town, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Thesis on black women 2010  UK Find all individuals with events at this location 
    PDF of short biography 
    Person ID P123  Despard Only
    Last Modified 26 Sep 2020 

    Father Unknown Gordon 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Sarah Gordon,   b. Abt 1730, Jamaica ? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Guess DOB Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F287  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Edward Marcus Despard,   b. 6 March 1751, Coolrain, Queen's Co. (Laois), Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Feb 1803, Horsemonger Lane Jail, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years) 
    Married Abt 1785  The Caribbean Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. John "James" Edward Despard,   b. Abt 1780, Belize? Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 26 Sep 2020 
    Family ID F16  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Documents
    Catherine Despard short story
    Catherine Despard short story

  • Notes 
    • Attached is the will of Sarah Gordon, mother of Catherine Despard. Here's a partial transcript:

      'To my dear daughter Catherine Gordon Despard now in London to declare in this last will and testament the following negroes for some time in my possession: negro man Jack, negro woman Maria little boy her child December and a negro woman Louisa belong unto her the said Catherine Gordon Despard'



      She also left Catherine the co-executor of her estate:



      'My daughter and best of friends Catherine Gordon Despard in city of London and my dear sister Catherine Pierce inker (?) in Kingston executors'

      So - it seems Catherine owned four slaves in 1791! - though she may not have been aware of this, and if she was she may have freed them (as EMD did with slaves he inherited in the Bay of Honduras. There's no record of them following her to England. But it shows that she was a free black woman of Jamaica.

      As I mention in my book, in the memoirs of EMD's nieces she's not acknowledged as his wife - they call her his 'black housekeeper' and 'the poor woman who called herself his wife'. So I don't know if she figures in the family tree!

      -----------------------------------------

      Name:Catherine GordonGender:FemaleParish:St CatherineBaptism Date:1758Baptism Place:St Catherine, JamaicaFather: Gordon Mother: Gordon FHL Film Number:1291724Page Number:268

      Maybe the same catherine?

      "her father was a most respected clergyman of the established church" Cliff D Conner


      Conclusion
      Catherine died in 1815. The announcement of her death was nestled among more
      than twenty other death notices in the September 16, 1815, issue of the English
      newspaper, Jackson’s Oxford Journal. It simply stated, “Mrs. Despard, widow of the
      unfortunate Col. Despard” (“Deaths”). No age or exact date of death was listed. Readers
      only learned that Mrs. Despard met her fate at Somers Town. Across the Atlantic nearly
      five months later, readers of the New-England Palladium, in Boston, Massachusetts, may
      have nearly missed the same notice listed among the deaths of local men, widows, and
      babies and the drowning of three brothers aged twenty-two, twenty, and ten (“Died”).

  • Sources 
    1. [S1202603248] Ancestry Family Trees, (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), Ancestry Family Tree.
      http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/AMTCitationRedir.aspx?tid=102554215&pid=380

    2. [S1244988806] Jamaica, Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1879, Ancestry.com, (Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.).