Re: May C Munson, artist 1902-1906, possibly from Waterbury - Who was she?

Harvey Conklin Hilton

There is a Miss May Munson of Southbury, CT who attended the 2nd Munson Family Reunion in New Haven, CT 19 Aug 1896.
A book on the proceedings of the reunion was published.
A book on the genealogy of Thomas Munson, founder of Hartford, CT also exists. 
 “The Munson Record: a Genealogical and Biographical Account of Captain Thomas Munson (A Pioneer of Hartford and New Haven) and his Descendants”, Vol.1, Myron A. Munson, New Haven, 1895  
There is a May E Munson b. 1868 living in Southbury in the 1900 census. She is single.  She is a nurse living with her brother.

Good Luck, Harvey

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 9:27 PM billjosey via <> wrote:
No, they weren't wealthy.  Theodore M. S. Hansen ran a delicatessen in Waterbury and Olivia's husband was a harnessmaker.  There are no May C Munsons in the 1910 US Census, and the nearest one geographically in the 1900 US Census is in Illinois.  I've also checked the Waterbury city directories for every year from 1890 to 1910 inclusive.  I've found three possible candidates (so far).  Given that "May" could be a  nickname for "Mary," there are probably more:

1. Mary B R Munson, widow of Luzerne Ithiel Munson, lived at 59 Willow St during the period 1900-1909 when Olivia lived at three nearby addresses: 716 West Main St., 48 Manhan St., and 19 Willow St., according to Waterbury City Directories.  This Mary was a daughter of Archibald Eligah Rice and Susan Bronson, and a descendant of Capt. Samuel Bronson.  She was born 15 May 1840, died 15 Dec 1910, and is buried in Riverside Cemetery.  I don't know if she was called "May," but I'm considering her because of the proximity of her home to Olivia's, even though she was not "Miss Munson."

2. There was a marriage of a Mary Estelle "May" Munson to Isaac Ferris in 1906 in Greenwich, Conn.  This person was listed as May Munson, age 21, in the 1900 US Census, in a Munson family in Greenwich.  Her father, Arthur, was a sign painter.  She died 9 Jan 1917 in Stamford.  

3. May C Munson Sees (1879-1971), born May C Munson in Davenport, NY, (near Oneonta), twin daughter (with Maud) of Delas Munson (later known as Milton D), a grocer.  In the 1901 Oneonta City Directory, she was a clerk in her father's grocery.  In 1906 in Oneonta, she married Harry B. Sees of Pittsfield, Mass.  They moved to Miami, Fla., where she died 26 Aug 1971.  She is buried in Wildwood Cemetery, Williamsport, Pa.

Maybe one of these dabbled in painting??  If someone on this list has access to, maybe obituaries of these three ladies would help.  Thanks.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike McHenry <maurmike@...>
To: <>; billjosey@...
Sent: Mon, Oct 26, 2020 6:43 pm
Subject: Re: [GenConnecticut] May C Munson, artist 1902-1906, possibly from Waterbury - Who was she?

This sounds like a commissioned commercial artist. Was your family wealthy at the time?  Did you find her in the 1900 or 1910 census?

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 11:03 AM billjosey via <> wrote:
Looking for info about May C Munson who painted two oil paintings that have been handed down in our extended family.  The two paintings are nearly identical, and they are paintings of the home of our ancestor, Rasmus Hansen (1824-1894), who was a clockmaker in Skibby, Sjælland, Denmark.  They were painted in 1902 and 1906.  The 1902 painting is in one branch of the family and the 1906 painting is in another branch.  I'm trying to determine who May C Munson was and why she would have painted two pictures of our ancestral home.  I've done extensive genealogical research on the family over the past 50 years, and I have no evidence that she was related to us.

Here is what we know about May C Munson:

- She painted an oil painting in 1902 of the Skibby, Denmark, home of Rasmus Hansen for Theodore M. S. Hansen, resident of Waterbury, as a gift for his parents Anton Mathias Hansen & Mariane Christine Hansen.  Mariane was born in the house.
- She painted an oil painting in 1906 of the same house for Nikoline Olivia Hansen Petersen (or for her daughter Elna), resident of Waterbury, who was also born in the Skibby house.
- she signed both paintings "May C Munson"
- She painted a watercolor in 1900 that was auctioned in 2018 on ebth.comThe signature looks the same as the one on the 1906 painting in our family.  You can see it at
- She painted a water scene that is also in the family.  I don't know whether it is a watercolor or an oil.
- Olivia's granddaughter Ramona Madison Bendell (now deceased) said in 1994 that she thought May Munson roomed with someone in the family on West Main St. or Bishop St.  She referred to Munson as "Miss May Munson."  Ramona was about 80 years old at the time of this conversation, so I don't take the details of something that occurred before her birth in 1914 as necessarily accurate.  (She would have heard this information from her mother, Elna.)  Olivia Hansen and her husband Niels Peter Petersen lived at 716 West Main Street in Waterbury in 1900-1901, 48 Manhan St. 1902-1904, and after he died in 1905, Olivia lived at 19 Willow St until 1910.

Two images of the 1906 painting are attached.  One shows the overall painting; the other is a close-up of the signature.  I'm hoping somebody recognizes the name.  Any clues are welcome!

Bill Josey
A Connecticut transplant in Kensington, Maryland


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