Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Google Alert makes my jaw drop!! - Part 2

Part 1 - Cordelia Botkin, psychopathic killer can be found here.

Now that I knew Cordelia was, in fact, related (wife of my 2nd cousin 6x removed to be exact) I was curious to learn more about her.  Who was Cordelia Adelaide BROWN and where did she come from?  For answers I first turned to Ancestry.

Cordelia was born in 1854 in Brownsville, Nebraska to Richard and Lemina Alderman BROWN.  She was one of seven girls born to Richard and Lemina.  On the 26 Sep 1872 in Kansas City, Missouri, at the age of 18, she married Welcome A. BOTKIN.  Welcome was 15 years older than Cordelia at the time of their marriage.

In 1874, Cordelia gave birth to their only child, a son named Beverly Brown BOTKIN.  In the 1880 census Welcome, Cordelia and Beverly are living in Kansas City, MO where Welcome is working as a banker.

The 1878 United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made men, Missouri Volume, contains a sketch of Welcome, calling him "a man of social, genial disposition, well calculated to make and retain friends."  It also states that Cordelia "of Kansas City, daughter of Richard and Lumina Brown, and old family of that city now in California"  Nothing in the biography indicates what is to come in the life of Welcome, Cordelia and Beverly. 

It appears that sometime in the late 1880's the family moved to Stockton, CA where Welcome became a salesman for the Armour Packing Company.  They seperated sometime around 1894.  Although estranged, Welcome in Stockton and Cordelia in San Francisco, Welcome continued to support Cordelia.  They spent just enough time together to maintain their maritial status, a situation that agreed with both of them.  But their lives couldn't have been more different.  While Welcome remained a steady and successful businessman, Cordelia's life was marked with drinking, gambling and partaking of the fun to be had in San Francisco. 

Then came the day in September of 1895 when Cordelia met John Dunning in Golden Gate Park.  A meeting that would eventually lead to murder.......


  1. This story is simply fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing. And thanks as well for making me aware of google alerts! Hopefully I'll get a jaw dropping hit from it as well, some day!

  2. What fun! After reading this, I set up a few alerts, but I think I will need to refine them. I feel like a fisherman waiting for a fish to strike discussing what is the best bait.

  3. Angie, I hope you get some great stories like I have lately! Please let me know if you get anything interesting!
    Margel, my surnames are uncommon enough that I don't have to filter them any other way. I can see having to add a location maybe to screen out some hints that don't relate to your ancestor. Can't wait to hear if you come up with anything!

  4. Your article is fascinating, but it makes me feel like a dimwit. I've been using Google Alerts for some time, but not as intelligently as you have. I've probably missed countless items of real importance. Thank you for the information.

  5. Lisa, this is good, I'll tune in tomorrow for the conclusion.