My Ancestor Deacon Edward Fox: Cordwainer and Revolutionary War Veteran

My ancestor Deacon Edward Fox (1755-1839) was a Revolutionary War veteran who served in the 2nd New Hampshire Regiment. He was born in Nottingham, New Hampshire, in 1755 and married Anna Creighton (1762-1843). Together they had 10 children.

According to notes on FamilySearch.org and Find-a-Grave, Edward supported his family by working as a cordwainer in a shoe factory.

Photo: cordwainer statue on Watling Street, in the Cordwainer ward of the City of London, England
Photo: cordwainer statue on Watling Street, in the Cordwainer ward of the City of London, England. Credit: Alma Boyes; Wikimedia Commons.

Cordwainer? What exactly does a cordwainer do? I wanted to learn more about cordwainers in America, so I searched the term in GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives.

A screenshot of GenealogyBank's search page showing a search for the term "cordwainer"
Source: GenealogyBank

This search led me to a Salem Observer newspaper article that gave me a bit more information about the profession.

An article about cordwainers, Salem Observer newspaper article 3 March 1860
Source: GenealogyBank, Salem Observer (Salem, Massachusetts), 3 March 1860, page 1

A second article, this one from the San Francisco Bulletin, describes the science of being a cordwainer.

An article about cordwainers, San Francisco Bulletin newspaper article 28 July 1888
Source: GenealogyBank, San Francisco Bulletin (San Francisco, California), 28 July 1888, page 2

According to Wikipedia, a cordwainer made new shoes from leather – while a cobbler only repaired shoes. So, my ancestor was a shoemaker.

Edward died in Meredith, Belknap, New Hampshire, in 1839 and was buried in the Sanborn Cemetery in Belknap County. Unfortunately, the cemetery was vandalized and Edward’s gravestone was destroyed.

You can clearly see the initials E. F. on the remnants of Edward Fox’s gravestone in Meredith, Belknap, New Hampshire. See: Find A Grave.

Photo: gravestone of Edward Fox, Sanborn Cemetery, Meredith, Belknap County, New Hampshire
Photo: gravestone of Edward Fox, Sanborn Cemetery, Meredith, Belknap County, New Hampshire. Source: Find A Grave.

Edward’s wife Anna died at age 81 in Meredith, New Hampshire, and was buried with Edward in the Sanborn Cemetery. I found her obituary in GenealogyBank.

An obituary for Anna Creighton Fox, New-Hampshire Gazette newspaper article 19 September 1843
Source: GenealogyBank, New-Hampshire Gazette (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), 19 September 1843, page 3

A quick Google search of “Anna Creighton Fox + New Hampshire” led me to a photo of her gravestone, which is, fortunately, still intact. See: Find A Grave.

Photo: gravestone of Anna Creighton Fox, Sanborn Cemetery, Meredith, Belknap County, New Hampshire
Photo: gravestone of Anna Creighton Fox, Sanborn Cemetery, Meredith, Belknap County, New Hampshire. Source: Find A Grave.

Genealogy Tip: Search GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives using your ancestor’s occupation as a keyword to find more insights into their lives and the times in which they lived.

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