Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Windy Springtime Weather

Ah, springtime in Maine! It's not all flowers and sunshine as evidenced by this news item from May 1891. Thankfully, there were no reports of serious injury. 


During the heavy wind that prevailed Monday, Oliver Blake of Deering, was riding along Ocean street in his covered meat cart when a sudden gust knocked cart and horse wrong side up. Mr. Blake and his goods were dumped into the road, but fortunately driver, horse and cart escaped serious injury. About six feet were blown from a chimney on the building on the building on Exchange street, Portland, occupied by Smith & Sale, Printers, Monday afternoon. The bricks came down through the roof and damaged the ceiling somewhat. 

Courtesy of, Bangor Daily Whig and Courier,
Thursday, May 21, 1891, Page 1. 

I did a brief check for any early hurricanes and found that the first hurricane came in early July. The events described happened on Monday, May 18th.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Tragic Deaths of Two Brothers

My 5X great-grandparents, Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr had two sons named Robert. Both of them died in tragic accidents, thirty-one years apart. Both sons were logging at the time of their deaths. My family has been involved in logging for many generations and it's a dangerous business.

Robert #1
The first son named Robert was born on May 23, 1755 and died on February 23, 1774. A newspaper extraction says that he fell under a sled loaded with wood. There is a Findagrave memorial for him in Wrentham Center Cemetery, but it doesn't have a picture of his gravestone. The History of Otisfield says that he was "killed by a loaded sled running over him." This book says that his tombstone has the following inscription:
As I did walk the road, 
Down hill a sled with me, 
The team ran very fast, 
My fall was the death of me. 
He was killed by a sled in a moment.

Robert #2
The second son named Robert was born on July 15, 1774, just a few months after his older brother of the same name was killed. The second Robert died on May 18, 1805 in Otisfield, Maine. The History of Otisfield says that he was "killed by a landing of logs rolling over him, breaking his back, at Crooked River, Otisfield." This Robert is buried in Bell Hill Cemetery in Otisfield and Findagrave has a picture of his gravestone.

Robert (2) was married on September 21, 1802 to Sarah West. She raised their son, John, alone and remarried on November 9, 1826. Her second husband was Simeon Turner. John Spurr was born on December 15, 1805, five months after his father's death.

Joseph Spurr died on June 17, 1805, about a month after losing his second son named Robert. Miriam died on November 6, 1811.

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr
Enoch Spurr
Roxanna (Spurr) Stanley
Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Here is a picture of my great-grandmother, Fanny May (Capen) Carter and her five children. Fanny's husband, Edward, was killed in July 1923 and she raised her five children as a single mother with the help of extended family. 

From left to right, Stanley Capen Carter (front), Edward Augustus "Gus" Carter (back), Fanny is holding Paul Albert Carter, Rebecca" Becky" Williamson Carter, and Thomas Richard "Dick" Carter. 

I'm guessing that this photo was taken about a year before Edward was killed. 

Fanny May (Capen) Carter was born on November 7, 1878 and died on August 5, 1961.

Edward Augustus "Gus" Carter was born on August 22, 1811 and died on December 27, 1997.

Rebecca Williamson "Becky" (Carter) Bailey was born on February 22, 1913 and died on February 7, 2003.

Thomas Richard "Dick" Carter was born on November 3, 1914 and died on October 7, 2005.

Stanley Capen Carter was born on May 13, 1917 and died on May 5, 1970.

Paul Albert Carter was born on June 10, 1920 and died on December 3, 1992.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Motherhood - 17th Century Style

Peter Brewer of Haverhill married Elizabeth Lilford on November 25, 1669. They are my 9X great-grandparents. Together they had 14 children in the twenty years from 1670-1690. Of 14 children, only Peter, Elizabeth, Dorothy (2nd), and Hannah lived to adulthood. Only twice was the previous child a year old or older when Elizabeth became pregnant with the next child. I can't imagine the physical and emotional toll this took on Elizabeth.

  1. Peter was born on September 15, 1670 and was living at Pemaquid in April 1689. 
  2. Elizabeth was born on March 5, 1672 and married John Tompson of Salisbury. Time between pregnancies: 9 months. 
  3. Dorothy was born on January 25, 1673 and died the next month on February 20. Time between pregnancies: not quite 2 months. 
  4. Thomas was born February 20, 1674 and died on March 6. Time between pregnancies: 4 months.
  5. Dorothy, the second child of that name, was born on February 11, 1675 and married William Middleton of Bradford on May 28, 1694. Time between pregnancies: not quite 3 months. 
  6. Ann was born on July 12, 1678 and died on February 6 of the next year. Time between pregnancies: 2 years and 7 months. 
  7. Richard, a twin, was born and died on December 27, 1679 Time between pregnancies: 8 months.
  8. Thomas, a twin, was born and died on December 27, 1679. 
  9. Mehitable was born on November 12, 1680 and died on January 19th. Time between pregnancies: not quite 2 months. 
  10. Mary was born March 11, 1682 and died on May 1, 1682. Time between pregnancies: 7 months. 
  11. Ebenezer was born on March 30, 1683 and died on July 30th. Time between pregnancies: 3 months. 
  12. Hannah was born on August 25, 1684 and married Adam Draper on March 6, 1704. Time between pregnancies: 8 months. 
  13. Mehitable, the second of that name, was born on February 24, 1686 and died on February 29, 1688. Time between pregnancies: 9 months
  14. Samuel was born on March 30, 1690 and died on May 27th. Time between pregnancies: 4 years and 1 month. 

I used the nine months figure to estimate the time between pregnancies because it was easier to do the math. However, I know there is a normal range of pregnancy between 38-42 weeks.

Peter & Elizabeth (Lilford) Brewer
Dorothy Brewer
Susanna Middleton
Mehitable Cheney
Susannah Blaisdell
Stephen Rowe
Charles H. N. Rowe
Anna J. Rowe
Eva D. Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

    Monday, May 2, 2016

    Enoch & Abigail (Wight) Spurr

    Enoch Spurr is my 4X great-grandfather. He was the son of Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr. He married twice and I descend from his family with his second wife. He was born on January 28, 1761 in Dorchester, Massachusetts and died in Otisfield on May 2, 1843. His first wife was Patty Druce of Wrentham, Massachusetts. She died on November 11, 1782 at the tender age of 21. Roxana, the only daughter of Enoch & Patty died on December 15, 1782. Both Patty and Roxana were buried in Wrentham. 

    Enoch's second wife was Abigail Wight. According to the Ware Genealogy, she was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts on May 31, 1767 to Joseph & Abigail (Ware) Wight. Her parents were also early settlers of Otisfield. 

    Enoch Spurr fought in the Revolutionary War and his pension file states that he was at the Battle of Monmouth, wintered at Valley Forge, and was present for the surrender of General Cornwallis. 

    Enoch and Abigail are buried in the Cedar Crest Cemetery in Otisfield, Maine. I visited on April 21, 2016 and found that his stone continues to degrade. Another picture from a few years ago can be found on his Findagrave memorial. 


    Children of Enoch & Abigail (Wight) Spurr

    1. Martha Druce Spurr was born on September 12, 1789 and died on March 27, 1831. She married James Cheever on December 8, 1822. 
    2. Roxana Spurr was born on February 29, 1792 and died on February 10, 1863. She married Edward Stanley on November 2, 1815. 
    3. Abigail Spurr was born on March 5, 1794 and died on February 20, 1871. She married George W. Longley on March 2, 1826. 
    4. Ann Spurr (twin of Abigail) died on December 28, 1873. She married Abel Longley on March 21, 1815. 
    5. Margaret T. Spurr was born on July 15, 1796 and died on May 9, 1870. She married James Wight. 
    6. Lydia Spurr was born on August 14, 1798 and died on November 25, 1870. She married Louis Jewel. 
    7. Mary Spurr was born on August 15, 1800 and died on December 8, 1891. She never married. 
    8. Enoch Spurr, Jr. was born on August 6, 1802 and died on November 3, 1883. 
    9. Betsey Spurr was born on December 27, 1805 and died on January 6, 1889. She married Samuel Scribner on September 22, 1830. 
    10. Sophronia Spurr was born on February 4, 1807 and married David L. Perley on October 27, 1885. 

    Enoch & Abigail (Wight) Spurr
    Roxana (Spurr) Stanley
    Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
    Edward Mellen Carter
    T. Richard Carter - my grandfather 

    Revolutionary War Service
    His parents journey to Maine

    Information on Abigail (Ware) Spurr from Ware genealogy: Robert Ware, of Dedham, Massachusetts, 1642-1699, and his lineal descendants. Boston, Mass.: Charles H. Pope, 1901. 

    Information on Enoch Spurr from: Spurr, William Samuel. A History of Otisfield: Cumberland County, Maine from the Original Grant to the Close of the Year 1944. Otisfield, Me., Otisfield Historical Society, 1994. PDF.

    Sunday, May 1, 2016

    2X Great-Grandparents Lifespan - Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

    I haven't done one of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges in awhile. I really like this one. 

    Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

    1)  We each have 16 great-great grandparents.  How did their birth and death years vary?  How long were their lifespans?  
    2)  For this week, please list your 16 great-great grandparents, their birth year, their death year, and their lifespan in years.  You can do it in plain text, in a table or spreadsheet, or in a graph of some sort.

    First, here is my chart of great-great-grandparents: 
    Data analysis: 

    • Earliest birth year = 1835 vs. Most recent birth year = 1863
    • Earliest death year = 1894 vs. Most recent death year = 1949 - Three men outlived their wives and three women outlived their husbands
    • Shortest lifespan = 41 years vs. Longest lifespan = 93 years
    • Average lifespan for men = 77 years vs. Average lifespan for women = 67 years
    • Two great-great-grandmothers died in their early 40s! One great-great-grandfather died in his late 50s! Two great-great-grandparents died in their 60s and two died in their 70s. Four great-great-grandparents died in their 80s and two died in their 90s!
    No matter how much time you have to live your dash*, make the most of it! 

    *Your dash is the time between your birth & death dates. 

    3)  Share your information about your 16 great-great grandparents with us in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.  If you write your own blog post, please leave a link as a comment to this post.

    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    The Family of William Williamson

    William Williamson is buried in the Middle Intervale Cemetery in Bethel, Maine. He is related to my 4X great-grandfather, John Williamson, and most likely they were brothers. The fact that they are immigrants from Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, Ireland and that there are other William Williamsons living in the area make it difficult to establish the relationship with certainty. It seems likely that they arrived in this country in the 1820s, well before the potato famine that began in the 1840s. William and John were shoemakers who travelled from house to house, making shoes for the entire family. William Williamson moved to the Sunday River section of Newry, across the Androscoggin River from Middle Intervale. 

    William Williamson married second Eliza (Elizabeth) Stuart/Stewart. She was considerably younger. Her memorial on Findagrave lists her birthdate as 1816 and in census records her age varies but is most consistent with 1810. After the 1860 census they appear in separate households and she is buried in the Sunday River Cemetery in Newry.  She spent her final days with her son, Richard and he lived with his nephew, Dr. William Williamson in 1870 and his brother, John in 1880. 

    William Williamson's family constructed from census records: 
    1. John (age 30 in 1850 census; not living with William and Eliza in 1860, I haven't found records after 1850). He must be from a prior marriage because he's only 10 years younger than Eliza. 
    2. Mary J. (age 24 in 1850 census; not living with William & Eliza in 1860; I haven't found records after 1850) She is probably also from a prior marriage as Eliza would have been 16 when she was born. 
    3. Sarah (age 18 in 1850 census; not living with William & Eliza in 1860; I haven't found records after 1850). I believe she may be the first child of William and Eliza based on the six year gap between Mary J. and Sarah and the more frequent births after her. 
    4. Margaret (age 16 in 1850; 26 in 1860; not living with William or Eliza in 1870; I haven't found records after 1860) 
    5. Rebecca (age 12 in 1850; not living with William & Eliza in 1860; I haven't found records after 1850)
    6. William Henry (called Henry age 9 in 1850; called William H. age 19 in 1860; In 1863, William is registered as eligible for the draft in Newry, Maine. In 1870, there is a William H. living in Gorham, N.H. at a hotel and farming with a wife, Jennie, who was a pastry cook. This may or may not be the same William Henry Williamson.)
    7. Maria (age 6 in 1850; called Mariah age 16 in 1860; I haven't found any records after 1860)
    8. Richard (age 3 in 1850; age 13 in 1860; age 22 in 1870 living with Eliza; is head of household that includes his mother, Eliza in 1880). He is buried in the Sunday River Cemetery. Findagrave has his birthday as June 1, 1847 and his death date as August 8, 1923. He is buried in the Sunday River Cemetery. 
    9. Thomas S. (age 11 in 1860) Findagrave lists his birth as June 1850 and death as January 17, 1869. He is buried in the Sunday River Cemetery. 
    10. George (age 6 in 1860; age 17 in 1870 living with Eliza, according the The Bethel Journals, there is gravestone in Sunday River Cemetery for a George D. who died January 30, 1927; I haven't found any records after 1870). 
    11. Albert (age 5 in 1860; age 14 in 1870 living with Eliza, age 24 in 1880 and working as a druggist in Norway, Maine). In the 1900 census, he is still living in Norway with a wife, Helen, who is 18 years younger. Maine marriage records show her name was Helen Augusta Tufts. Albert died February 22, 1911 and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Norway, Maine. Findagrave gives his date of birth as June 27, 1855. 

    The Bethel Journals - Williamson Family - some information conflicts with original records. 
    Some of my other Williamson blog posts
    Celebrating an Centenarian - John Williamson, William's brother (probably)
    What's Your Story, John Williamson?  - Trying to figure out the immigration of the family
    The Williamson Divorce - The Dr. William Williamson with whom William (of this post) lived in 1870.