Memories of Aunt Laura Boardman

My Aunt Laura, as we called her, was the wife of John Henry Boardman.  She was a little person with an independent spirit and lots of determination.  She lived alone for years (26) after the death of John, I know because I knew her personally.

Laura Cuthbert Boardman

After John’s death on 15 January 1957 in West Seattle, King Co., Washington, Laura came and joined us at Christmas, birthday celebrations and other events.  So I came to know her from the age of about 9 years and on.  She was a lovely and gentle person but very determined to continue living on her own and remaining independent till the very end.  She had a nice giggle.

Aunt Laura in later years

Laura has an interesting ancestry because she is a Cuthbert. I am not an expert on her family line but this is what I know and I have taken this from an tree – see source info below:

Laura was the daughter of William James Cuthbert born 8 Mar 1862 Darwen, Lancashire, England and died 16 May 1930 in Long Beach, Los Angeles.  Her mother was Charlotte Elizabeth Wilson born 8 Sep 1860 and died 29 Mar 1911 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  

Laura has two siblings a William James Cuthbert born 28 November 1887 in Winnipeg, Manitoba and a Charlotte Elizabeth Cuthbert born 28 November 1887 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  

Laura’s father’s parents were a William Cuthbert and Susan Howarth.  Her mother’s parents were James Stewart Wilson born 18 Aug 1835 in Kingston, Ontario and Eleanor Branscombe born 6 May 1835 in New Brunswick and died 14 May 1924.  

They had 8 more children besides Charlotte Elizabeth.  They were David, George, William, John, Martha, Nell, James and Mary Catherine.

 James’ father was a John Wilson born about 1809 in Barrhead, Renfrew, Scotland and died 21 December 1856 in Sydenham Twp., Grey (is all I have).  Eleanor’s parents were Mill Branscombe and Charlotte Day (1816-1903). She is buried in Sarawak Daywood Cemetery.  

Charlotte’s father may have been a Peter Day.  Charlotte had some siblings:  Eleanor, George, Miller and then she had married a Charles R. Noble (16 Oct. 1813 to 4 Jan 1891) and had Mary, Walker, Buzza and Frances.

Source:  Ancestry One World Tree, A Community Tree, Feb. 2008.  There are other family trees at Ancestry, some with pictures and stories about Laura.  Apparently she had earned some medals for service.  They are public trees so you can access them easily with an subscription or try Rootsweb.

I have her birth as the 8th of May 1891 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It comes from her naturalization record which I talked about in an earlier post.

Laura tenaciously lived on her own till about six months before her death when she moved into a nursing home somewhere in West Seattle. I vaguely remember my Aunt Aileen struggling with the issue of caring for an aging person.

The story goes that she was wandering around one day in the nursing home and went into a room, climbed on the bed and passed. It was not her room.  She was 92 years old.

Laura Eleanor Cuthbert Boardman is buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Seattle next to her husband John, her in-laws Robert and Ethel Boardman and other family members.

It never occurred to me at the time to ask Laura about the family and John, so I say to you, go now and ask questions of your family don’t be like me!

Laura E. Boardman’s headstone

My mother received a letter with tax forms from Laura’s niece Peggy Korver regarding her estate, dated March 1985.  Apparently Peggy was the executrix of her aunt’s will.

I do believe that Laura and Aileen were close throughout the years up until the end. Laura was sixteen years older but that didn’t seem to matter. Their friendship spanned probably, if I guess correctly, from about 1921 to Laura’s death in 1983, which is 62 years.  The picture below was probably taken when they all gathered in Pasadena for the reunion I have posted about in a past post:  9/12/2012, “A Series of Photographs Give a Clue to a Family Reunion.

Aileen & Laura 1924

Aileen & Laura 1924


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