Thursday, April 13, 2023

Couser Family: The First Generation

William and Sarah Waddle Couser, represent the top-level generation for the Couser family and is designated generation Number 1. William was born in 1780 in Ireland. He married Sarah Waddle, who was born about 1781 and also from Ireland. According to his family, William resided in the Parish of Ballymore, probably near the small village of Poyntzpass. The William and Sarah Couser family were members of the Presbyterian faith and attended services at the Cremore Presbyterian Church, under the preaching of Pastor Alexander Strain, near the village of Poyntzpass.  William passed in 1842 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the old Acton Parish Cemetery Graveyard, situated between Poyntzpass and the village Acton in County Armagh.

Following his passing, Sarah Waddle Couser and four of her children, William, Ellen, Joseph, and Sarah, started their immigration to the United States on the steamer Oxford, departing on July 15, 1847.   The voyage lasted thirty-five days and they landed in Staten Island, NY, on August 19, 1847.  All five members of the family were sick upon arrival and were quarantined for 10 days, likely in the Quarantine Marine Hospital.  When they landed at Staten Island, they were not allowed to have their baggage, and thus their clothing, books, and family records were all lost.  Sarah Waddle Couser did not recover and died on August 21, 1847.  Sarah was buried in an unmarked grave on Staten Island, NY.  It wasn’t clear that Samuel, their second son who previously arrived in America in 1830, was allowed to visit Sarah before she died but did attend her burial.  Because of ill health, the other family members didn’t attend Sarah’s burial.

The 19th century immigrant remains, which were previously buried on Staten Island in unmarked graves, were dug up and reinterred in an underground vault on the grounds of the new courthouse in Staten Island's St. George neighborhood on April 27, 2014.

Map of County Armagh, Ballymore Parish
Map of County Armagh, Ballymore Parish within Blue Circle

Front Gate Acton Cemetery
Front Gate of Acton Cemetery Graveyard

Acton Cemetery, Unmarked, Unkept Graves
Acton Cemetery, Unmarked, Unkept Graves

Acton Cemetery, Unkempt, Unmarked Graves
Acton Cemetery, Unmarked, Unkept Graves

Quarantine Maritime Hospital,  Staten Island
Quarantine Maritime Hospital,  Staten Island

Site of Moved Unmarked Graves, Former Maritime Hospital

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