My Ancestors (2) – Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody – 1865-1944

Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody, daughter of Anders Westlin and Anna Brita Kling.

Anders Westlin was born November 20, 1830 at Nas, Delarna, Sweden, . He married Anna Brita Kling, born June 24, 1829 at Rodon, Naskatt, Jemptland, Sweden. Her father, Johan Kling was born in Delarna, Sweden and her mother, Katherina Tjarnstrom was born in Jemptland, Sweden.

Anders and his wife Anna had four sons, none of them living beyond the age of four, before Anna Charlotta was born on May 13, 1865, and Christina was born August 30, 1866, at Ostersund, Sweden.

In 1882, Anders Westlin and his wife sold their property in Ostersund and sailed with their two daughters to New York in the “City of Rome”, arriving at Castle Garden on June 24, 1882. Anna Charlotta would have been just 17 when they landed.

Their destination was North Dakota, and there they established a cattle ranch on Silver Prairie in the vicinity of Sandoun (now McLeod), Richland County.

At some point, Anne Charlotta met Kemper Peabody and they married at Wagon Landing, Wisconsin, June 26, 1889. Kemper’s jobs kept them moving throughout North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa when their first six children were born. Burton  Westlin, their oldest daughter, Arla Mary (my Grandmother), Kemper Francis and Helen Perry were all born in North Dakota, between 1890 and 1899. Laurence was born in Iowa in April of 1901.

In 1901 they moved to New York where he was employed by the New York Central Railroad. Their youngest daughter, Dorothy Westlin, was born in Mount Vernon, New York in 1904. The whole family was quite active in the Church of the Ascension in Mount Vernon. It was there that Arla Mary Peabody met Alfred Duryee Guion.

Grandma Peabody

Anna Charlotta was kept quite busy with church activities and raising her children. She visited Trumbull fairly often along with her other children. All of Alfred and Arla’s children knew their Grandma Peabody quite well.

Grandpa notified his sons, away from home, about her death in the letter dated January 23, 1944. He wrote:

Dear Boys:

Grandma died last Tuesday at 11:30 A.M., having been unconscious from the night before. She passed away quietly and peacefully, and if the expression may be permitted, happily, with her loved ones near. Death is at best a lonely adventure and is made more so when none near and dear are close by. Helen and Dorothy were there; Burton and Anne arrived later, as did Ced who was in New York and happened in about 11:30 to see them all. At Grandma’s request no funeral service was held, which, all with the exception of Kemper, met with the approval of the family. She was cremated Wednesday. Dorothy expects to continue living in the same apartment.

Grandma’s life span marks an era in American history which is fast becoming legendary. Born in Sweden, she came to this country as a young girl and with her parents settled as pioneers in what was the raw Far West in those days. Battling fierce Dakota winter storms and summer’s heat and drought, life was lived under the most primitive conditions. With Grandpa frequently away from home for days at a time, with the constant fear of marauding Indians, often facing periods verging on privatization and want, she raised a family of seven children, never for once lowering her ideals of honor and integrity. Not knowing what the next day would bring she still carried on. In the light of these struggles when your mother was a baby, the words of that beautiful old hymn take on for me a greater significance:

Lead, kindly light, amid th’encircling gloom,

Lead Thou me on

The night is dark, and I am far from home,

Lead Thou me on.

Keep thou my feet! I do not ask to see

The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I like to think of Grandma going to join Grandpa and your mother — going home, as it were, after a long and useful journey:

So long Thy power have blessed me, sure it still

Will lead me on.

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

The night is gone;

And with the morn those angel faces smile,

Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.

In the intimate service which we hold, each in the stillness of our own hearts at her passing, I am reminded of a little prayer which years ago, as director of a church boys club (the Brotherhood of St. Andrew) was customarily part of our closing service: “Guide us all the day long, oh Lord, through this troublulous life until the shadows lengthen and the evening come and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in Thy tender mercy grant us a safe lodging and rest and peace at last with Thee.”

So passes from this earth one whom it has been good to know and who can set for us all an example of courage and faithfulness to ideals which can be a treasured memory, and an inspiration.

Source: The Ancestry of Franklin Merriam Peabody, Collected and made into this book as a mark of affection by his grandfather, Franklin Asbury Merriam, 1929.

Tomorrow I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1946. Dan and Paulette are approaching the arrival of little “Jean Pierre” and the rest of the family, especially Grandpa, are anxious for the announcement from France.  Both Lad and Dick, with their wives, are living in Trumbull and working in Bridgeport. Dave should be headed home and Grandpa is also expecting to have him stumble in to the old homestead in the very near future.

Judy Guion 


Trumbull – Dear Ceddie, Dearie (4) – News From Family and Friends – September 13, 1942

This is the final page of a long round robin letter to Ced, from family and friends, gathered to celebrate Grandpa’s 58th birthday.

Dan in uniform @ 1945



In line with my somewhat radical idea that it is the fellow who has successfully reached another milestone on life’s journey who should be grateful enough for the privilege to remember his family with a token or two, I passed out a few small trinkets which seemed appropriate for each personality, and then turned my attention to a peculiar looking package which had just been brought in tied with a battered clothesline, to which a large placard was attached reading as follows:

“Steeped in the traditional Guion sentimentality, a

group of your progeny and assorted admirers have

donated this gift for your smoking pleasure, or

any other dissipation that might appeal to you.”

Inside a large cigar box was a tiny little cigar, around which were wrapped bills in the amount of FIFTY dollars. For a moment I guess I was sort of knocked speechless.

After dinner dishes were washed, the family went out in the bright sunshine of the backyard to have a birthday snapshot taken to send it to you, Ced, in due course. Cards with birthday greetings from Aunt Betty, Elsie, Jean (Mortensen) and Dick, and a flashlight from Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) rounded out the day in a very pleasant manner.

The photos in your letter, Ced, certainly aroused quite a bit of comment. Dick and Dan as well as myself were especially interested to see the airplane view of Anchorage. Your tire trouble has a familiar ring. Just yesterday I had much the same experience myself and am now without a spare until Carl picks up a tire he expects to come in tomorrow which may serve the purpose. I am also going to see if I can’t get a Briggs filter to send to you as requested. There is also on its way to you a little birthday remembrance in addition to the Reader’s Digest, which I hope you will find interesting.

Attached you will find some round robins which you will perhaps appreciate all the more when I tell you most of the writers did not have to be urged, but in most cases, eagerly volunteered to add their bit when it was announced that you were to be the recipient.

About the only other incident I think of is that the man came to put our Stoker in condition yesterday, so with coal in the bin and the furnace ready for duty, the onset of winter can be faced with a fair amount of composure. Lad and Dan both go back tonight and probably will not be home for a week or so. Lad is now wearing his sergeant stripes and looks very well in his uniform. Both boys look very fit and Army life seems to be agreeing with them.

Have not heard from Grandma or the other Peabody’s lately so I assume no news is good news.

Write again soon and don’t forget to include further chapters on the plane rescue expedition.


Tomorrow, a letter from Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend, to Ced.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 297 – Ancestry of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion – 1829

Arla Mary Peabody’s Grandfather, Anders Westlin, was born 11.20.1830 in Sweden and in 1862 married Anna Brita Johansdotter, born in 1829. Anna had two children from a previous marriage. Her oldest, Peter Olaf Blomberg, moved to America in 1880. Her oldest faughter, Carin Blomberg, moved to Stockholm in 1876.

Four of the children of Anders and Anna died before they were 5 years old. Anders and his wife, Anna Brita moved to America 6.02.1882 with their two surviving daughters, Anna Charlotta, who had just turned 17, and Christine, just 15 years old. 

They must have moved to Minnesota to be close to other Swedish families. Anna Charlotta met and married Kemper Peabody at Wagon Landing, Wiscosin, 6.26.1889.

They must have moved to North Dakota shortly after their marriage because their first child, Burton Westlin Peabody, was born  in Dunbar Township, North Dakota,  on 4.1.1890. Arla Mary was born in Sandoun (now McLeod), North Dakota on 2.9.1892. Two other children, Kemper Francis and Helen Perry (who married Ted Human) were also born in North Dakota. 

In 1901 the family moved to New York so Kemper Peabody could take the position of Building Inspector in the Engineering Department of the New York Central Railroad. Three more children joined the family, Anne Westlin (who married Fred Stanley), born in New Rochelle, NY, Laurence Kane (interestingly born in Dubuque, Iowa) and the youngest, Dorothy Westlin, born in Mount Vernon, NY. 

Dorothy was only 9 years old when her oldest sister, Arla Mary, married Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa) on 3.27.1913 in Mount Vernon, NY. Their first five children, Alfred Peabody (Lad), Daniel Beck, Cedric Duryee, Elizabeth Westlin and Richard Peabody were all born in Mount Vernon, New York.

In 1922, Alfred and Arla moved to Trumbull, Connecticut because Arla fell in love with a house that they discovered while on vacation. Their youngest child, David Peabody, was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1925.


Special Picture # 283 – 2000 New York Census

Alfred Beck Guion, Grandpa’s father, passed away on March 2, 1899. A little over a year later, his wife Ella had sold the fancy Lincoln Avenue house and bought a much smaller place on Dell Avenue. Two of her sisters had moved in to help. This was quite a drastic change for Alfred, (Grandpa) only 15 years old. 

The 2000 New York Census – this page was completed on June 6, 2000.


This particular section shows Guion, Ella, 69 years old,  head of household, Alfred D, son, 15 years old, student, Elsie M, daughter, 12 years old, student,  Duryee, Lillian, sister, 40 years old, Lizzie, (also known as Aunt Betty) sister, 36 years old.


fr: Ella Duryee Guion, Elsie Guion; back: Alfred Duryee Guion, AuntLillian and Aunt Lizzie, also known as Aunt Betty, who came to Trumbull to help with the children after Arla passed away in 1933.



Special Picture # 281 – 1880 Census – Alfred Beck Guion


This is a listing of the household of Mary L Guion, the Aunt of my Great-grandfather, who lived at 682 Lafayette St in New York in 1880. 

This is a listing of what was included in the original Census document, found on

It shows that my great-grandfather, Alfred Beck Guion, born in New Orleans, was 25 and listed his occupation as a stockbroker. Hr married Ella Duryee, from a prominent New York family, (date unknown, but their first child, Alfred Duryee Guion, (Grandpa) was born in September of 1884). He passed away in 1899 of a heart attack, which precipitated their move from the elegant house on Lincoln Avenue to a much more modest home on Dell Avenue.

NOTE: His father was born in Rye, New York but his mother was born in Havana, Cuba in 1819.

Special Picture # 270 – Book of Common Prayer – 1877



This Book of Common Prayer, used in the Protestant Episcopal Church, was given to Grandpa’s Mother, Ella Duryee, at Christmas when she was twenty-seven, four years before she married Alfred Beck Guion, my great-grandfather. 



Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. Dan has already been drafted and the other 3 older boys are all concerned about their own status in the draft. Grandpa and Dave are the only two Guions left in Trumbull.

Judy Guion