Marguerite "Rita" Hamilton Stokes

Marguerite "Rita" Hamilton Stokes

Female 1894 - 1932  (~ 38 years)

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  • Name Marguerite "Rita" Hamilton Stokes  [1
    Born Jan 1894  Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Female 
    Alt. Birth 1896  [1
    Census 1900  Brooklyn Ward 9, Kings, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • United States, Household Members:
      1 Clement Stokes, age 35, Husband
      2 Mary Stokes, age 34, Wife
      3 Marguerite Stokes, age 6, Daughter
      4 Eric Stokes, age 2, Son
      5 Olga Stokes, age 1, Daughter
      6 Clara King, age 21, Servant
    Newspaper/Book Article
    • New York Times, Published May 15, 1902
      Brookyln Family's Fate; History of the Parents of Margaret Stokes, a Roraima Survivor.
      Margaret Stokes, the nine-year-old child, who is one of the survivors of the steamship Roraima, which sank in St. Pierre harbor, is the only remaining memeber of a family of five that lived in Brooklyn up to a few months ago. As the child is not expected to recover from her injuries, the whole family will probably be wiped out.
      The child's father was Clement Stokes at one time a well-to-do merchant of Barbados, B.W.I., but for the last few years a bookkeeper employed by a department store firm in Brooklyn. Some weeks ago he died of pneumonia, and the widow decided that if she could get back to her wealthy sister in Barbados she would be better able to take care of her three children, of whom Margaret was the oldest. Besides her there was a boy of four and a girl of three.
      The widow packed her belongings, and with a faithful cloured nurse, Clara King, who had been with the family in Barbados, she started on the journey that was to be the last taken by the family.
    Newspaper/Book Article
    • A WOMAN'S EXPERIENCE ON THE "RORAIMA"
      Margaret Stokes, the 9 year old daughter of the late Clement Stokes, of New York, who, with her mother, a brother aged 4 and a sister aged 3 years, was on the ill-fated steamer Roraima, was saved from that vessel, but is not expected to live. Her nurse, Clara King, tells the following story of her experience:
      She says she was in her stateroom, when the steward of the Roraima called out to her:
      "Look at Mont Pelee."
      She went on deck and saw a vast mass of black cloud coming down from the volcano. The steward ordered her to return to the saloon, saying, "It is coming."
      Miss King then rushed to the saloon. She says she experienced a feeling of suffocation, which was followed by intense heat. The afterpart of the Roraima broke out in flames. Ben Benson, the carpenter of the Roraima, severely burned, assisted Miss King and Margaret Stokes to escape. With the help of Mr. Scott, the first mate of the Roraima, he constructed a raft, with life preservers. Upon this Miss King and Margaret were placed.
      While this was being done Margaret's little brother died. Mate Scott brought the child water at great personal danger, but it was unavailing. Shortly after the death of the little boy Mrs. Stokes succumbed. Margaret and Miss King eventually got away on the raft, and were picked up by the steamer Korona. Mate Scott also escaped. Miss King did not sustain serious injuries. She covered the face of Margaret with her dress, but still the child was probably fatally burned.
      The only woman known at that time to have survived the disaster at St. Pierre was a negress named Fillotte. She was found in a cellar Saturday afternoon, where she had been for three days. She was still alive, but fearfully burned from head to toes. She died afterward in the hospital.
    Newspaper/Book Article
    • Reading Eagle - June 6, 1902
      Reading, PA, USA
      News.Google.com (Search used = "Edwin Croney"
      Roraima Child out of Bed
      Fort de France: Margaret Stokes, the little girl from Brooklyn who is the sole survivor of her family, the others having perished on the steamer Roraima, when the vessel was destroyed at St. Pierre by the eruption of Mont Pelee, was taken from the hospital here, with her nurse, Emma (should read Clara) King, by Edwin Croney a relative. They will leave to-night on the steamer Eden for Barbados, where Mrs. Croney, the child's aunt, lives.
      The little girl is now convalescent. She is emaciated, and has not entirely recovered from the effects of the burns she sustained, it being still necessary to keep bandages on her body.
      Some feeling has been created among foreigners here by the fact that Mr. Croney was compelled to pay to the hospital authorities the sum of 320 francs before they would release the girl and her nurse. The girl and her nurse are both British subjects, and in view of the fact that England contributed generously to the relief of the sufferers of Martinique, it is held that no charge should have been made for hospital treatment.
      Furthermore, the other patients were treated free of charge. Mr. Croney will make a protest to the Governor of Barbados against the action of the hospital authorities.
    Buried 1932  Westbury Cemetery, Saint Michael, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Died 12 Jul 1932  Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 7
    Person ID I380  Gittens Direct Line from REunion
    Last Modified 15 Sep 2013 

    Father Clement Hamilton Stokes,   d. 9 Apr 1902, New York City, New York, United States Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Mary Cox,   b. Abt Mar 1866, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. May 1902, Martinique Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 36 years) 
    Married Abt 1890  [2
    Family ID F1423  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Father James Edwin Croney,   b. 21 Oct 1861,   d. 28 May 1950, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Mother Emma Drinan Cox,   b. 5 Feb 1861,   d. 31 Dec 1941, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married 9 Aug 1883  Saint Michael, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Family ID F759  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Darnley "Erroll" Wyndham Gittens,   b. 26 Apr 1890, Saint Michael, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Dec 1960, Christ Church, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Married Abt 1916 
    Children 
    +1. Ronald Neeland Wyndham Gittens,   b. 30 Sep 1917, Rosedale, Pine Road, Belleville, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1966  (Age 48 years)
    +2. Michael Wyndham Gittens,   b. 19 Mar 1924, Rosedale, Pine Road, Belleville, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Apr 1985, Christ Church, Barbados Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
    Last Modified 19 Sep 2013 
    Family ID F31  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    L-R: Nurse Clara King, Marguerite 'Rita' Stokes
    L-R: Nurse Clara King, Marguerite "Rita" Stokes
    Recovery in Port de France hospital following the Mont Pele Eruption on Martinique.
    Picture by Henry Houston Kingston Jr. downloaded from the web site http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~pamelabi/mtpelee.html

  • Notes 
    • Name: Margaret /Stokes/ [5]
    • (Research):From: patricia hoad [mailto:[email protected]]
      Sent: 05 December 2008 12:06
      To: florence gittens
      Subject: RE: Fenwick Wyndham Gittens

      Hello Florence,
      Apologies for delayed reply; I've been traveling, as you know.
      I agree with your relative Cliff, that Wyndham is not a Barbados name.I remember even as a child (Pat was a flower girl at the wedding) wondering about it when your parents got married!! I also agree with him that there seem to have been strong connections--with St. Kitts in particular. (My father's parents were married there according to the marriage certificate, and Granny's (also my maternal grandmother) parents were living there when six of their children died in a fire.) Errol's family was involved in some similar traumatic incident but I forget where that took place. (Errol's first wife Rita (nee Stokes) was a six year old child who was on a boat in the harbour at Martinique when Mount Pelee erupted. She was with her parents on deck when she wanted to go to her cabin to fetch her doll, and was accompanied below by her nurse. The volcano erupted when she was below and all on deck perished. Rita was burned especially on her hands and she was rescued by some nuns who bandaged her hands, fingers together. By the time she got to medical aid, her skin had grown back between her fingers - and for the rest of her life she had webbed fingers like a ducks feet. She died of a ruptured appendix and peritonitis in the early 1930s).
      Love,
      __________________________________________________________________
      from: FEW Gittens [email protected]
      to: Cliff Gittens
      date: Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 3:11 AM
      subject: RE: Margaret Stokes
      Hi Cliff

      Rita Stokes was burned on her hands and the nuns bandaged her hands – which were left bandaged for sometime. As the skin regenerated, her fingers were "stuck" together and her fingers were webbed together like ducks feet.
      Rita died from a ruptured appendix which in those days was difficult to treat – no antibiotics. This information was told to me by my mother, Errol's second wife.

      Regards
      Florence

      ___________________________________________________________________

      from: Jean Mayers [email protected]
      to: [email protected]
      date: Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 6:28 AM
      subject: RE: Margaret Stokes
      mailed-by: hotmail.com


      Hi Cliff,

      The following was taken from a face book entryby Trevor Gittens. I replied to it and asked what was Rita Stokes given name he gave me Marguerite Hamilton Stokes, and I replied to him giving him Clement Hamilton Stokes as her father. This is what he gave on face book.

      Darnley Errol was my grandfather, he married Rita Stokes and had two children, Ronnie and Michael. Michael was my Dad. Rita nee Stokes was 6 years a six year old child who was on a boat in the harbour at Martinique when Mt. Pele erupted. She was with her parents ( we now know that her father died in N.Y. as per my sister-in-law's email ) on deck when she wanted to go to her cabin to fetch her doll, and was occompanied
      below by her nurse. The volcano erupted when she was below and all o deck perished. Rita was burned especially on her hands and was rescued ny the same nurse who bandaged her hands and fingers together. By the time she got medical aid her skin had grown back between her fingers, and for the rest of her life she had webbed fingers like duck's feet. She died of a ruptured appendix and pertonis in the early 1930s.

      I thought that Trevor would have given you the above.

      I have Clement hamilton going into N.Y. with wife Mary children Marguerite, Eric and Olga and a Clara King. Have not been able to find birth for Clara. On an EllisIsland website I have Marguerite Stokes returning to N.Y. at a later date and it says she had a scar on her forehead and hands.
      She was going to an Uncle. Sorry I did not write it down.

      I would be interesteing as to who she and Clara returned to in Barbados. It was not David's grandfather Ernest Dudley, as David's mother would have spoken about it. It is also interesting to note that David's mother did not speak about her death. Rita died in Pine Road, and old man stokes and David's mother lived in Collymore rock, these locations are very near.

      Clement Hamilton Stokes married a Mary. Do you have her surname? I went to the archives looking for the marriages of these Stokes children
      (17) but could only find 2 or 3 . There is on faccebook a picture of a McGuffie family put on by Geoffrey Evelyn, he also is descendant of a Stokes girl. I came across the picture and got in touch with him, and he gave me the Evelyn family.

      The Stokes name has died out in Barbados. I will sent you what I have on the Stokes family. Most of the dates aren CHRISTENING DATES, and
      also deth dates are BURIAL DATES. i have not researched at the archives. I have relied on information from David's mother Milred Esmee Doreen Mayers nee Stokes.

  • Sources 
    1. [S45] Ancestors of Florence Edith Wyndham Gittens, Florance Gittens, (Name: 31 Blue Waters, Worthing, Christ Church, BB15141 Barbados;), See File "Florence Gittens M:.

    2. [S876] 1900 Population Census Schedules, United States. Census Office. 12th census, (Washington, District of Columbia : Bureau of the Census Micro-Film Laboratory, [197-]).

    3. [S882] 1900 Population Census Schedules, United States. Census Office. 12th census, (Washington, District of Columbia : Bureau of the Census Micro-Film Laboratory, [197-]).

    4. [S333] database, New York Times, New York Times, accessed 16 Nov 2011), BROOKLYN FAMILY'S FATE; History of the Parents of Margaret Stokes, a Roraima Survivor; May 19, 1902 edition.

    5. [S880] The San Francisco Calamity. World Wide School. Digital images. Chapter XXVIII., Charles Morris, (http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/hst/northamerican/TheSanFranciscoCalamity/chap29.html: n.d.).

    6. [S881] database, ((News.google.com : Dec 2010)).

    7. [S877] Caribbean Family History.

    8. [S879] Marguerite "Rita" Hamilton Stokes.

    9. [S2346] IGI.


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