McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

CNHI Special Projects

April 10, 2012

Great-granddaughter: Trip was ill-fated from the start

CORSICANA, Texas — Fran Reynolds never met her great-grandparents.

But, chances are, she knows far more about them then the average great-granddaughter.

That’s because Samuel Beard Risien and his second wife, Emma Jane, died aboard the Titanic 100 years ago this week.

Reynolds, a professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, has spent a lot of time tracking down stories and separating fact from fiction about the history of her great-grandfather.

Samuel Beard Risien was born in Deal, Kent, England in 1842. He took a bride in Mary Louisa Lellyett in 1868 in London, and the pair and one small child came to the United States in 1870. After the death of his

brother Joe, Risien and his bride eventually settled in the central Texas town of Grosebeck, about 100 miles or so south of Dallas.

He was soon joined by two brothers in Texas who made the trek from England — Alfred and Edmond.

Samuel and his bride did well financially, making much of their fortune in land dealings, and grew their family by two more children, including Charles, grandfather of Fran Reynolds.

There’s a mystery in the family story involving Risien’s wife, Mary Louisa, who sometime between 1883 and 1889 "disappeared," said Reynolds.

"We don’t know whether she died or they divorced, or what happened to her … it’s a mystery my sister and I have been trying to solve," she said.

Adding to the family dynamic, Mary Louisa’s sister, Emma Jane Lellyett, moved to Texas and in 1889 and Samuel Risien took her as his second wife.

The pair made several trips back and forth to England and South Africa through the coming years, keeping in touch with family.

Their final voyage would begin in 1911 with a trip to England and then South Africa and back before a return to the United States.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
CNHI Special Projects
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.