Lister – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

The surname “Lister” is an occupational name coming from the term “to dye” or a “dyer.”  It was used principally in East Anglia and northern and eastern England.

There is an alternate source of the name as meaning “son of the arrow maker” taken from the Gaelic, “Mac an Fhleisdeir” and being Anglicized. I haven’t determined an immigrant ancestor yet, so the source of our Lister surname is still not definitive.

Variations of “Lister” include Laster, Lidster, Litster, Leister, and Lester.


Lister is most common in England, where nearly 12,000 individuals have the Lister surname, while it is most frequent in Bermuda, where one in 1,280 people have the surname.

In the US, Lister is most common in Utah (one in 8,812) and has the greatest number of Listers live in Texas (over 1,500).

Direct Lister Ancestors

  • 1st Great-Grandmother: Marada Mae Lister(1867-1932) Born in Indiana.
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather: 22. Nimrod Lister(c. 1826-c. 1890) Born in Ohio.
  • 3rd Great-Grandfather: William Lister (1802-?) Born in Maryland.



In 1920, Marada Alice Lister had been married for 27 years and lived on her farm in Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana, with her husband Joel Clinton Barnes and three of her six children. Her father, Nimrod, died in 1888.


In 1880. Marada Alice Lister was 13 years old and was living in Gill Township, Sullivan County, Indiana. In the household are her parents, Nimrod and Melinda, plus three of her eight siblings. I haven’t had a chance to research her grandfather’s life yet. (He’s number five on my Roberts Research list.)

39 individuals lived in Indiana during the 1880 Census with the surname Lister; 9 of them lived in Gill Township. All nine were related to Marada and Nimrod.


Nimrod Lister was born in 1824 in Ohio and lived in Ohio until he located to Indiana in 1859, so I presume he was living in Ohio with his parents in 1840. The 1840 Census included 12 households headed by Listers and two Williams, both in Ross County. I anticipate that I’ll know more about Nimrod’s youth and his father when I research William Lister.

Lister Descendants

My 3rd great-grandfather, William Lister (1802-?) married (??) about 1826 in Pickaway County, Ohio.

They had four known children

  •                         Nimrod – Researched somewhat.
  •                         Sarah – Not researched.
  •                         William M- Not researched.
  •                         James – Not researched yet.

Nimrod Lister has 162 known descendants that I know of, including individuals with the surnames  Lister, Roberts, Childers, Adkins, Barnes, Gerow, Perry, Burton, Smith, Taylor, and others.



William Lister is currently number 5 on my Roberts Research plan.

  1. Joel Barnes (1790-___) – Beginning to feel a bit like a brick wall.
  2. Lucy Wilson Taft (___-1939)
  3. Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
  4. Fanny Southerland (1796-1864)
  5. William Lister (c. 1802-___)


Ethel Wight Studio – Part 1

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

I was recently given access to some negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio of Portland, Maine from the 1930s. The photos were identified by the person who paid for the photo, not the person in the photo. So, there is “no guarantee the person in the photo is the same person who paid for the photo.” I’ll add, besides the Studio in Portland, Ethel also had a studio in Old Orchard Beach (Ocean Park) during many of the same years. These two photos probably came from the Portland studio.

I was asked to see what I could do with these photos if I added them to my Photo Identification Project. So, I digitized the negatives and inverted them to positives. I then used the information from the envelopes to determine who the image is most likely to be. As a test, or proof of concept I took a look at two envelopes with three images.

Howard Abildgaard – #667

The envelope says 476 Washington Ave | Portland

The 1930 Census shows Howard P. Abildgaard, son of Emil L and Serine Abildgaard living at 476 Washington Ave.[i] Howard was 18 years old. By the 1940 Census, Paul Howard had married, had a son, and was living at 3 Lennox Street, Portland, ME.[ii] I believe that this photo is of Paul Howard Abildgaard from between 1930 and 1939.

Paul Howard Abildgaard has a Family Search ID of G91G-G6F. I have uploaded the photo to his profile.​​

Margaret Ackerson – #742

The envelope says State St. Hospital | Portland

I was unable to find Margaret Ackerson in Portland, Maine during the 1930 or 1940 Censuses. However, I did find Margaret in the 1936 Portland City directory. She was a student nurse at 62 State and had a residence of 52 State, about two blocks from Mercy Hospital.

Further research found Margaret Ackerson, age 30 living in Bronx, New York during the 1940 Census. She was a Nurse living at a “Nurse’s Home” on Lafayette Avenue. She had lived in Cumberland, Maine in 1935 and had been born in Maine.[iii]

However, further research was not successful in determining Margaret’s parents with certainty. As such, I was not able to positively her. Items I believe I know:

  • Name: Margaret Ackerson
  • 1910 – Born in Maine ?
  • 1935 – Attended Nurse’s school in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine.
  • 1940 – Worked as a nurse 60 hours a week at Hunt’s Point Hospital, and boarded at 1325 Lafayette Ave.

I have added her photos to Dead Fred.

Dig Up Your Relatives at - The Original Genealogy Photo Archive

Final Note

Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.


[i]  “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 8 October 2020), Howard P Abildgaard in household of Emil L Abildgaard, Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 85, sheet 8B, line 62, family 187, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 831; FHL microfilm 2,340,566.

[ii] United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 February 2020), Paul H Abildgaard, Ward 9, Portland, Portland City, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-117, sheet 8A, line 30, family 161, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 1476.

[iii] 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Census Place: New York, Bronx, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02477; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 3-643


My Top 10 Fee-Based Genealogy Websites

Tuesday’s Tips
By Don Taylor

  1. Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Ancestry – Without a doubt, I use Ancestry more than any other fee-based website. I have a World Subscription and use Ancestry almost daily.
  2. Newspapers – I find Newspapers.Com has more pages that fit my needs. Ancestry will bundle a Basic Newspapers.Com subscription with their subscription, but I find the basic doesn’t provide the information I need. Consequently, I have the Publisher Extra plan and love it.
  3. American Ancestors – The New England Historic Genealogical Society is an excellent resource, particularly for New England ancestors.
  4. Genealogy Bank – I wish I could afford all the sites I want. To save money, I switch between a Genealogy Bank and a Newspaper Archive subscription each year. Both of them are very good.
  5. Newspaper Archive – Again, I subscribe to Newspaper Archive every other year.
  6. Fold 3 – Fold 3 is the top/best site for military records. I subscribe occasionally. When I do, they give a Newspapers.Com discount. Also, it can be bundled with an Ancestry.Com subscription. I’ve subscribed that way also.
  7. General Register Office – This is the Online service to order BMD records from England and is a pay-as-you-need system. They are the place to search for English records. When you find a record you can order it (B&D) for electronic delivery in a few days. For marriage records, they send a physical copy and delivery takes a couple of weeks. I use them several times a year.
  8. State Societies – I find subscribing to various genealogical societies helpful. They typically have some kind of magazine or newsletter plus provide access to member resources. I typically join one when I’m researching ancestors in that state and see what they have. Currently, I am a member of the Maine Genealogical Society, but I’ve had memberships with the Minnesota and Southern California societies in the past couple years depending upon who I’ve been researching.
  9. Local Societies – I also maintain several local society memberships for places where my ancestors lingered. For example, many of my Brown ancestors lived in Morrison County, Minnesota, so I keep a membership with them. Likewise, my Wolcott ancestors were among the Founders of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut, so I’ve been a member there on and off. I highly recommend being a member of the local historical or genealogical society where your ancestors lived.
  10. DNA Testing Sites – Strictly speaking, DNA testing sites are “fee-based” that is to say, you gain access to resources on their site after you have paid for testing. I’ve tested with AncestryDNA, 23&Me, and Family Tree DNA. However, once you’ve tested with them, further fees aren’t charged to access your results.

My thanks to Randy Seaver and his “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” for encouraging me to consider what I think of as my top 10 paid sites.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 75

Russell Erwin Amsterdam

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

I was conflicted about if this should be a typical Treasure Chest Thursday where I’m looking at items from the Donna Darling Collection, or if it should be a Photo Friday. I decided on looking at seven photos of my uncle Russ from the perspective of items from the Donna Darling Collection.


Russell was born in August 1927. In the first photo I have of him, he is in a baby carriage. His dress suggests it was summer, so I figure this photo is from the summer of 1928.

With the Twins – ca. 1929

Russell in some sort of sailor suit with two young men, who appear to be twins to me. Russell seems to have a little less stable, so I suspect it is from when he was around two.

At the Beach – ca. 1930

Next are two photos of Russell at the Beach. I vacillate between thinking he is 2 or 3 in the pictures. He seems sturdy on his feet in the photo with him and two boys, so I think three is more likely. Another shot of him with his dad, Sammy, was clearly taken on the same day and Russell looks larger than a two-year-old.

Russell and his father, Sammy

Russell & two (unknown) boys.

Indian Headdress – ca. 1930

Next is an adorable photo of Russell in an Indian costume, including a headdress. Donna and Sammy went on their National Tour with “Princess Winona,” a Native American.

On the Ship – 1930

Finally, there are two photos of Russell on a ship. I believe this was from 1930 when Sammy, Donna, and Russell traveled to Panama for work. The first one is of the three of them, while the second one is of Russell looking away.

Russell aboard ship with his father & mother, ca. 1930.

Uncle Russ aboard ship, age 3, ca 1930.

I really miss Uncle Russ, he is the only biological uncle of mine I ever met and I really liked him.  In later years, he and my mother became best friends and cruised together. They took an Alaska coastal cruise and a Mississippi riverboat cruise together. I know my mom found them greatly enjoyable. (I never met any of my biological father’s siblings.)

Ancestor Sketch – Albion Blanchard

Blanchard Line
By Don Taylor

Albion Blanchard’s short life was clearly difficult. His mother died when he was young and he, and his only daughter, died when he was only 34 years old.

Blanchard Project – Ancestor #16

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Edward Everett Blanchard
  • 1st Great-grandfather:Frederick W. Blanchard (1865-1917)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Albion Blanchard
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Cyrus Blanchard (1791-1865)

Albion Blanchard (1834-1868)


Albion Blanchard was born on 3 July 1834 in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine, the ninth child of Cyrus and Apphia (Young) Blanchard).

Albion’s mother, Apphia, died in 1841 and his father remarried quickly.

In 1842, Albion’s half-sister Sarah was born.

In 1847, his older brother Cyrus died at the age of 22.

In 1848, his oldest brother Ebenezer died at the age of 30.

So, the 1850 Census found 15-year-old Albion living in Cumberland with his father, step-mother, a brother, a sister, and a half-sister. His sister Lydia and his brothers Daniel and Charles were elsewhere. (Further research regarding Albion’s siblings should be done.) Cyrus was a farmer, his brother Charles was a Mason, and Albion was attending school. The family unit, according to the 1850 Census consisted of:

  • Cyrus Blanchard           M    58    Maine     Farmer – Real Estate value: $1500
  • Elizabeth Blanchard    F     50    Maine
  • Charles Blanchard        M    26    Maine     Mason
  • Nancy Blanchard           F     18    Maine     Attending School
  • Albion Blanchard          M    15    Maine     Attending School
  • Sarah A Blanchard        F       7    Maine


Albion married Mary S. Washburn on 2 February 1857 in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine. The marriage ceremony was performed by Edias Baker. The couple received their marriage license and had their ceremony on the same day.

The couple quickly began a family, with their first child, Charles A. F. Blanchard being born 11 months later, on 1 January 1858.

1860 Census

The 1860 Census found Albion and his wife living in Cumberland with his child Charles. Albion was a day laborer who owned real estate valued at $100.

  • Household                         Sex  Age  Birthplace
  • Albion Blanchard                M      25     Maine        Day Laborer – Property $100
  • Mary S Blanchard               F       25     Maine
  • Charles A F Blanchard      M      2       Maine

The birth of his second child, Sarah occurred on 4 November 1861.

Albion clearly struggled. The town began to help support Albion paying him $6.75 out of the monies supporting the poor in the town’s fiscal year of 1862-1863. It seems odd that the town would be supporting a young man, age 29, when bounties were being paid to Civil War Volunteers. That suggests some form of disability. However, in 1863, Albion was identified in a list of “Persons of Class I, subject to military duty,” which belies a disability.

In 1865, his father, Cyrus, died at age 74. And in 1866, his son Frederick W. Blanchard was born.

Again, Albion struggled and the town paid him $7.18 in support of the poor during the fiscal year 1867-1868.


It appears that Albion, and his family, were really sick during 1868. The records of the poor for Cumberland Town indicate Albion and his family were paid $217.35 “in support to the time of his death.” Albion’s six-year-old daughter, Sarah, died two days before Albion, who died at the age of 34 on 9 September 1868.

Events by Location

Albion was born, lived, and died in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine.


There was an Albion Blanchard from Calais, Washington County, Maine who served in the Civil War in the 1st District of Columbia Cavalry and transferred to the Maine 1st Calvary in 1865. That Albion Blanchard was 19 years old in 1864 while 2nd great-grandfather Albion Blanchard was 30 years old in 1864.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research Cumberland town records to determine the cause of the town payments to Albion and his family and the cause of his death.

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