Sunday, July 10, 2011

Backward Glance - Grace Eliza Coryell

The name of Grace Eliza Coryell Marguerat has been familiar to me almost as long as I can remember. She was my Grandma Claire Hoyle's grandmother who lived in Chicago. Grandma was very proud of her heritage through Grace, who was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), being a descendant of both John Coryell and Emanuel Coryell, who served with distinction. John Coryell supplied General George Washington with boats to cross the Delaware River at Coryell's Ferry. Emanuel was a quartermaster.

Born into this distinguished family on September 12, 1838, in Nichols, Tioga County, New York, her parents were George Patterson and Harriet Nancy (Field) Coryell. Grace was the third of four children. Sarah and Charles were older, with a younger sister, Martha. All of them eventually moved to the Chicago, Illinois, area.

She attended a Moravian school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and in A history of the Moravian seminary for young ladies: at Bethlehem, Pa, is a record of her marriage to Eugene Marguerat.

By 1862, Grace and Eugene were established in Chicago. As a prominent and respected citizen of Chicago, she was mentioned in society page articles. Grace was active in the D.A.R., as well as other organizations in the city. She belonged to the Chicago Woman's Club for many years, beginning in November of 1880. She was a member of the Reform Committee in 1890.

According to this reference, she submitted an essay. It would be so interesting to find it!
Annual announcement of the Chicago Woman's Club
 By Chicago Woman's Club (Chicago, Ill.)  Grace Marguerat, a member.
Paper: The French Drama.
Essayist: Mrs. G. E. Marguerat." p. 61.

Grace bore seven children: Claire Elise, William Allen, Charles Coryell, Eugene Francois, George Coryell, Henri Debonneville and John Parson. While all of them lived to adulthood, the family suffered several tragedies in the way of infant and child deaths, as well as the early death of a daughter-in-law by suicide. There were also other reasons for sadness, including divorces, and another daughter-in-law who was declared insane and placed in a mental institution. I imagine Grace to have been a very strong woman.

Eugene died on March 7, 1907. Grace outlived him by eight years, almost to the day, passing away on March 6, 1915, in Chicago. According to her death record, she succumbed to chronic bronchitis, which she had suffered for 30 years. She is buried in the Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.

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