The Sampson Family Oral Interviews

Interview - AI Stock Photo

With Herbert A. Sampson & Carol Sampson Feaster

Herbert A. Sampson and Caroline Suzanne Sampson were born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to William Allen Sampson (1860-1937) and Helen Ida Petty (1887-1931). Helen, a native of Newfoundland, immigrated to Massachusetts in the mid-1910s, while William hailed from Boston. In approximately 1924, the family, including older sister Lillian and younger siblings John, William, and Marion, relocated to Camden.

Tragically, Mrs. Sampson fell ill and passed away at the County Hospital in Lakeland, Gloucester Township, in 1931. Around the same time, Mr. Sampson, significantly older, suffered a stroke, rendering him unable to care for the children. He subsequently passed away in 1937. Following Mrs. Sampson’s death, the family effectively dissolved, and the children were dispersed. Since there were no immediate relatives in the vicinity to look after them, they were separated. Herbert, the older brother, was placed in the County Farm at Lakeland, and Lillian, the older sister, may have been sent to a county institution. Meanwhile, Carol, John, and William were admitted to the Camden Home for Friendless Children. Marion, the baby sister, was entrusted to another caretaker. Carol, John, and William resided at the Camden Home for Friendless Children for a period, were seemingly reunited with their father until he could no longer provide care, and subsequently, due to their age, were transferred to the County Detention Home in Pennsauken.

The following excerpts are derived from an oral interview conducted by Herbert’s daughter, Anne Sampson Harrison. Regrettably, Carol Sampson passed away in 1998 before her oral history could be documented in full.

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