Genealogy

There are multiple connections between the earlier Wilderness series and The Gilded Hour. On this page you’ll find a series of family trees and a chronology. I hope you have fun exploring.

This preliminary chart should establish that Anna and Sophie are half first cousins, once removed. Note Sophie’s mother’s maiden name.

Overview

As Martha Kirby Bonner explains to Jack Mezzanotte shortly before Sophie Savard’s wedding, there are three branches of the Bonner family,  corresponding to Nathaniel Bonner’s three alliances:

The Somerville Line

At a young age Nathaniel spends time in Quebec and enters into a relationship with Giselle Somerville which results in the birth of his eldest child, Luc or Luke, whose name changes a number of times over the course of the novels.

The Wolf Line

Nathaniel’s first wife is  Sings-from-Books of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk, who dies in childbirth at a young age. Hannah is the only child of that marriage who survives into adulthood.

The Middleton Line

Nathaniel’s second and final marriage is to Elizabeth Middleton. Four children of this union survive into adulthood.

Click for full size image. An asterisk indicates death during or following from the Civil War; a black box indicates no issue surviving into adulthood.

Freeman Family Tree

Click for full size.
Click for full size.

Savard Family Tree

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Click for full size.

Bonner Chronology

Note:

1. Not everybody is included here. It’s selective.

2. If you don’t find a name here, that doesn’t mean the person died an early death. It just means they are not on this chart.

3. The dots at the far right mean that individual is still alive when The Gilded Hour takes place.

4. Yes, a lot of men died in the Civil War.

5. I’ve had email asking whether any of Curiosity’s descendants are in the new novel. Sophie Savard is Curiosity’s great granddaughter, and Hannah’s granddaughter.  More information about Sophie’s family can be found on her page.

6. I often flip a coin to decide the fate of any given character. If I had my way, they’ll all still be alive and healthy. Which clearly won’t do. So remember, everybody is gone at this point. It’s a sad but inevitable truth.

 

Sophie Savard

Summary

Sophie  Elodie Savard is the daughter of Simon Savard,  born in Paradise to Ben and Hannah Savard. As a young man Simon relocated to New Orleans to study medicine, where he met and married Selah Freeman, the daughter of a New Orleans apothecary and  great granddaughter of Curiosity Freeman.

Selah’s father Galileo  was born on the New York frontier and raised in Albany and Johnstown. He apprenticed as a cooper, but had aspirations to study medicine, an opportunity not available to black men at that time. Through his connections to the Savard family in Paradise he was offered the opportunity to move to New Orleans, where he took up the study of pharmacology. There he met and married Danae Anne Martin, a Free Woman of Color. Of their three children only Selah survived into adulthood.

Selah and Simon Savard met soon after he arrived in the city. They married within a year. Simon was a staff physician at the Savard clinic Dispensaire de Bienfaisance on the rue Dauphine; his wife, trained by her father as an apothecary, was also employed by the clinic. Both died in the last year of the Civil War.

Galileo & Curiosity Freeman >

Almanzo Freeman & Selah Voyager >

Galileo (Leo) Freeman & Danae Anne Martin >

Selah Freeman & Simon Savard >

Sophie Elodie Savard

 

Sophie, born 8 July 1855 in New Orleans, was orphaned at age ten. At that time she was taken in by her Aunt Quinlan  and moved to New York to be raised in her home on Waverly Place. Also in the household is her half cousin Anna Savard. The two girls grow up together with a strong bond.

Sophie and Anna attend first grammar school and then enroll at the Rutgers Women’s College. Finally they go to the Woman’s Medical College. Sophie specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. As a woman of mixed race many professional and social avenues are shut to her, but she is a talented practitioner and is often called on by her male colleagues. She works primarily among the poor women and children of the city.