Bio Sketch – Anson Wayne Bickford

Whitten-Bickford Project
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-22
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I have researched many individuals that have gone west over the generations. Anson Bickford is the first individual that I found that went to California early in California History (in the 1850s or 60s) and then returned to the east coast in the 1870s.

Whitten-Bickford 2018 – Ancestor WB12

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Everett Anson Bickford
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Anson Wayne Bickford
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: A. Bickford

Anson Wayne Bickford (1835-1922)

Anson Wayne Bickford was born on 7 November 1835 in Kennebec County, Maine, to A. and Eliza Bickford. Various records indicate he was born in Oakland, Heartland, and Belgrade, Maine.

In 1873, the Maine legislature incorporated West Waterville. It 1883, West Waterville was renamed Oakland. Hartland, Maine is in Somerset County. Most of the records indicate Kennebec County, so Hartland seems unlikely. Because Oakland and Belgrade adjoin and Oakland was created long after his birth, I believe Anson was born in an area of Belgrade that later became Oakland. Further research regarding Anson’s parents should provide clues to Anson’s birth.

I know nothing about Anson’s childhood. However, when Anson was 16, Maine passed the first state law to prohibit the sale of alcohol. There were numerous protests against the law which culminated in the “Portland Rum Riot” when, in 1835, the mayor of Portland ordered the militia to fire on the rioters. One man was killed and seven were wounded. Maine’s prohibition law was re

pealed after that, in 1856, when Anson was 21 years old.

Although Anson was in his 20s when the Civil War broke out, I have been unable to find evidence that he served in the war.

First Marriage

Independence Day Parade – San Francisco 1865

The first place I found Anson after the Civil war was in California in 1865.  He is living in California with his first wife, Henrietta, in San Francisco.  Henrietta was from Halifax, so it is unclear if they met in the East then located to California or if they met in California and married there. In any event, the couple had fraternal twins, a girl and a boy, on 1 October 1865.

The following spring tragedy struck. Henrietta died of Consumption on 28 May 1866. His son “A. W.” (Possibly Anson Wayne, Jr.) also died the same day. Eight days later their daughter Nettie died.

Second Marriage

Anson appears to have remarried either later in 1866 or in early 1867 to Jean Elizabeth MacGowan[1] of New York. Their first child Jeannette was born in January, 1868. Jeannette was also known as Nettie like Anson’s first daughter. Anson and Jean had one more child, Ralph, while they were in California. Then the couple moved east, to Readfield, Maine. Anson and Jean had nine children together, eight of whom lived to adulthood. They are:

Children of Anson Wayne and Jean Elizabeth (MacGowan) Bickford

Name Birth Birthplace
Jeannette Jan 1868 San Francisco
Ralph W. May 1870 San Francisco
Edwin W. Between 1871 and 1873 Readfield, Maine
Matilda Louise Between 1874 and 1875 Readfield, Maine
Everett Anson 15 Oct 1876 Readfield, Maine
Estella A 29 Aug 1878 Readfield, Maine
Mertie Alice 10 Nov 1880 Wayne, Maine
Maud Barbara 10 Feb 1883 Fayette, Maine
Erna Eliza Greta 23 Sep 1884 Fayette, Maine

Readfield, Wayne, and Fayette are all adjoining communities in western Kennebec County, Maine.

The 1880 Census finds Anson and Jane living in Readfield with their six oldest children. Their seventh child, Mertie Alice was born on 10 Nov 1880 and died five days later on 15 Nov 1880.

The 1900 Census, reports the family had located about 20 miles away from Fayette to Auburn, Maine. The census reports that Jean birthed eight children, eight of whom were living in 1900. Mertie wasn’t mentioned.  Living with them in Auburn are Nettie, Everett, Maude and Erna.[2]

Jean died sometime between June, 1900, and October, 1904, when she was reported as deceased in the marriage registry of their son Edwin. Also, by 1904 Anson had moved across the river to Lewiston, Maine.

By 1910, Anson had moved back to Auburn to live with his son, Everett. That census indicates that Anson was a widower and that he had 11 children, eight of which were living.

Death & Burial

Bickford Monument – Photo by “Stone Finders” via Find a Grave

Anson moved to South Berwick, Maine about 1920 and died there on 24 August 1922. He was buried about 100 miles away at Fayette Mills Cemetery, Fayette, Kennebec County, Maine with his wife Jean/Jane, where they lived for many years.

Further Actions / Follow-up

Follow-up with research of Anson’s parents to determine his most likely birth location.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

 

Citations

  • California Great Registers, 1866-1910, Family Search, Anson Mayne Bickford – No Image. “California Great Registers, 1866-1910,” Database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VT6N-SB2 : 8 December 2017), Anson Mayne Bickford, 06 Jul 1866; citing Voter Registration, Second, San Francisco, California, United States, county clerk offices, California; FHL microfilm 977,097.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Erna Eliza Greta Bickford – Birth 23 Sep 1884. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-SWY : 6 November 2017), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Erna Eliza Greta Bickford, Birth 23 Sep 1884; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,002,382. – Accessed 18 May 2018.
  • 1880 Census, Family Search, Anson W. Bickford – Readfield, Kennebec, Maine. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF35-72V : 15 August 2017), Anson W Bickford, Readfield, Kennebec, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district ED 102, sheet 384B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0482; FHL microfilm 1,254,482. Accessed 7 Feb 2017.
  • 1870 Census, 1870 Census – Anson Brickford [Bickford] – San Francisco, San Francisco, California. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN6Y-56H : 12 April 2016), Anson Brickford, California, United States; citing p. 220, family 1732, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,583. Accessed 17 May 2018.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Erna Bickford Salley & Albert Stevens Maddox. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-6TR9 : 13 March 2018), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Albert Stevens Maddox and Erna Bickford Salley, Marriage 24 Aug 1914; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,151. – Accessed 18 May 2018
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Death – Anson W Bickford. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24X-BSFD : 13 March 2018), Anson W Bickford, Death 24 Aug 1922; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,080. – Accessed 20 May 2018.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Estella A Bickford – 29 Aug 1878. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-789 : 6 November 2017), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Estella A Bickford, Birth 29 Aug 1878; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,002,382. – Accessed 18 May 2018.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Maud Barbara Bickford – 10 Feb 1883. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-C27 : 6 November 2017), Anson Wayne Bickford in the entry for Maud Barbara Bickford, Birth 10 Feb 1883; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 1,002,382. – Accessed 18 May 2018.
  • 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Anan T [Anson] Bickford – Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine,. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MML4-WG3 : accessed 17 May 2018), Everett A Bickford in household of Anan T Bickford, Auburn city Ward 3, Androscoggin, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 4, sheet 14B, family 357, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,587. – Accessed 7 Feb 2016.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Edwin W Bickford & Clara L Smith. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZ3Z-LCM : 28 September 2017), Anson W Bickford in the entry for Bickford and Smith, Marriage 1904; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 9,896. – Accessed 20 May 2018.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Everett Anson Bickford & Ada Maria Chase. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZ3Z-FB6 : 28 September 2017), Anson W Bickford in the entry for Bickford and Chase, Marriage ; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 9,896. – Accessed 20 May 2018.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – George W Salley & Erma E G Bickford. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24J-SQKV : 13 March 2018), A Wayne Bickford in entry for George W Salley and Erma E G Bickford, Marriage 01 Sep 1908; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,186 – Accessed 24 May 2018.
  • 1910 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, Everett Bickford, Auburn, Androscoggin, Maine. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MRSP-ND2 : accessed 18 May 2018), Everett A Bickford, Auburn Ward 2, Androscoggin, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 3, sheet 3A, family 73, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 536; FHL microfilm 1,374,549.
  • Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Raymond Richard Sherman & Barbara Maud Bickford. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24J-34CR : 13 March 2018), Ancon Wayne Bickford in the entry for Raymond Richard Sherman and Barbara Maud Bickford, Marriage 28 Oct 1911; citing Division of Vital Statistics, State Board of Health, Augusta; FHL microfilm 10,189. – Accessed 19 May 2018.

ENDNOTES

[1] Various records indicate Jennie’s maiden surname was McGowan and MacGowan. I have decided to use MacGowan for her surname because it is the surname on her memorial stone.

[2] The 1900 Census is a very confusing record. It clearly indicates Jennie E, the wife of Anson Bickford, is living but was born in February 1840 and is 60 years old. Other records suggest she was born between 1849 and 1850. To add to the confusion, her marker indicates that she died in 1898. I believe the birthdate in the 1900 Census should be Feb 1850, making her 50 years old. That would then be consistent with all other records except for her marker. It appears that her marker was carved about 1957 when her daughter Matilda was buried, which might explain an incorrect death date on the common marker.

The Three Missing Children of Anson Bickford.

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Sometimes it is an odd little note that can send you off researching an entirely new aspect of a person’s life. While I was researching my sister-in-law’s great-grandfather, Anson Bickford, I ran into an odd entry in the 1910 Census.

1910 Census showing children of Anson Bickford

What made it odd is the Instructions for the 1910 Census told the enumerators that the question about the number of children born “applies to women who are now married, or who are widowed, or divorced.” I wondered, why did the census taker include information about the children of a man, Anson Bickford? Also, it indicated that he had 11 children, eight of whom were living. The 1900 Census had a similar question and his wife reported having had 8 children, 8 of whom were living. The question arose in my mind, who were the other three children?

1900 Census showing children of Jean Bickford

The eight living children were easy. The 1880 Census and the 1900 Census provided the names for all eight children living in 1900. Jennette, Ralph, Edwin, Matilda, Everett, Estella, Maude, and Erna. Jennette and Ralph were born in California, so I looked for Anson in California and found him and Jean living in San Francisco during the 1880 Census. Then I found Anson married before he married Jean. There were newspaper articles and death records that spoke of sadness in 1866. In 1865 he and his wife Henrietta had twins, a girl and a boy—A.W. and Nettie. They were born in October 1865.  Seven months and 28 days later, on 28 May 1866, both Henrietta and their youngest son died. Henrietta died of “Consumption” and I can’t quite read exactly what A.W. died from. Nine days later his daughter Nettie also died. Again, I can’t quite read exactly what from.

Cause of Death – A. W Bickford. Cause of Death – Nettie Bickford

[Can anyone who can help me decipher the cause? If so, please leave comments below.]

I searched at length for other information regarding a third child for Anson and Henrietta in California and was not successful. I returned to looking at Maine records and found where Anson and his second wife, Jean, had a heretofore unknown 9th child.  On 10 November 1880, Anson and Jean had a daughter, Mertie Alice, who died five days later. That accounts for the 11 children suggested in the 1910 Census.

Burial

The death records for Henrietta, A. W. [Anson Wayne, Jr.??], and Nettie indicate that all three were buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery. Lone Mountain is no more. It opened in 1858 but changed its name to Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1867. With San Francisco real estate at such a premium,Laurel Hill Cemetery was relocated. People that didn’t pay extra for a private reburial were buried in a common grave in what is called the Laurel Hill Mound in Cypress Lawn Cemetery. Likewise, if the tombstones weren’t paid to be moved, they ended up with Public works and were repurposed for a seawall at Aquatic Park, a breakwater, rain gutters, and erosion control.[i]

There are still a few frayed ends to this story.

Frayed Rope – Photo by Tom Bech (CC BY 2.0)

I wonder why Jane failed to report her dead child, Mertie Alice, during the 1800 Census.

The newspaper article of Henrietta and A. W.’s death mentioned A. W. was their youngest son. Is there another child I can’t find any references to?  I don’t think so, but it still a frayed end.

,

Sources:

  • California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 (California Department of Public Health), com, Death – Henrietta Bickford & A W Bickford – 29 May 1866. Ancestry.com. California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2017. Original data: California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1830-1980. California Department of Public Health, courtesy of www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com. Digital Images.
  • California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 (California Department of Public Health), com, Page 329 – Bickford, A.. W., Page 329 – Bickford, Henrietta. California Department of Public Health, courtesy of www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com. Digital Images.
  • Weekly Alta, San Francisco, California, (via http://genealogybank.com). 2 June 1866, Page 8 – 5th column, “Died” – 12th paragraph – Henrietta & A W Bickford.

Endnotes

[i]  Internet: Curbed San Francisco – Article “Hidden Histories: Laurel Hill Cemetery by” By Alex Bevk – Posted Jul 2, 2012, 11:00am PDT  https://sf.curbed.com/2012/7/2/10356032/hidden-histories-laurel-hill-cemetery – Accessed 24 May 2018.

 

Ancestor – Margaret Alice Maloney (1855-1915)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-04
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.A pearl of Ireland, Margaret (or Marguerite) came to America as a teenager. It is unclear if she came alone or with her parents, but my suspicion is she came alone. Life in America was not the milk and honey she hoped for, but still, it had its blessings.

 

Whitten-Bickford Project – Ancestor #WB11

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother:                        Francis Florence Murphy
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Margaret Alice Maloney
  • 2nd Great-grandfather:         Timothy Maloney

Margaret (aka Marguerite) Alice Maloney Murphy (1855-1915)

The name Margaret comes from the French name Marguerite, meaning pearl. The names Margaret and Marguerite are used interchangeably in various documents referring to her. She was “Marguerite” during the 1900 census and “Margaret” in the 1910 census. Her death record says “Margerite,” an apparent misspelling. According to the 1910 Census, she could not read and write, so the records recording her name rely upon the spelling by other people.

Search Military Records - Fold3She was probably born in May 1855, at the tail-end of the Great Irish Famine. Times must have been incredibly tough in County Cork, Ireland while she was growing up. The 1900 Census, indicates she was born in May 1855 and is most likely accurate. Her death record indicates she was 62 year and 11 months old when she died, suggesting her birth in May 1852.  I prefer the 1900 census date because typically the respondent provides both month and year of birth. The death record relies on others to provide what they think is the birth date.

I know nothing of her childhood in Ireland. The Great Irish Famine of 1841-1849 was over by the time of her birth, but her native land of County Cord had seen more than a 30% reduction in population between 1841 and 1851. The aftermath of that had to have affected her childhood immensely.

She came to America in 1870. I have been unable to find her arrival information or if the 15-year-old young woman arrived alone or with family.

Marriage

Margaret married Dennis Frances Murphy probably in 1885 before their daughter Frances was born. They had three children, all born in Biddeford, Maine.

  • Frances Florence Murphy – Born 11 April 1886
  • John Walter Murphy – Born 20 August 1887
  • Joanna Josephine Murphy – Born 28 May 1890.

There may have been a 4th child born to Margaret. The 1900 Census indicates that Margaret had four children, only one of whom was living. The 1910 Census indicates that Margaret had three children, only one of whom was living. Thus, it is unclear if the 1900 census is incorrect or if Magaret had another child that was not spoken of.

Adulthood

  • Her son John died on 22 Aug 1887 at the age of two days.
  • Her daughter Joanna died sometime before 1900, but it is unclear what her age was, but clearly less than 10-years-old.
  • Her husband Dennis died in November 1890.
15-19 St. Mary’s, Biddeford Today

In 1900, the widow Murphy is living at 19 Vitromile Street in Biddeford, Maine. She is working as a “corder” at a cotton mill. Living with her is 14-year-old Florence. Between 1900 and 1910 Vitromile Street was renamed Saint Mary’s Street.

In 1910, the widow Murphy is living at 17 Saint Mary’s Street in Biddeford. That is the same building as in 1900. She is working as an “operative” at a cotton mill. Living with her is 24-year-old Florence. Today, the building includes six one-bedroom apartments immediately across the street from the former Saint Mary’s Church.

  • In 1911, Margaret’s daughter, Florence, married Herbert Winfield Whitten in Biddeford.

Margaret Alice (Maloney) Murphy died in Biddeford on 29 April 1915. Her burial location is unknown.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Learn how Margaret immigrated (ship, date, etc.).
  • Find Margaret in the 1880 Census.
  • Research where in County Cork Margaret was born.
  • Learn location for Margaret’s burial.

Sources

  • 1900 Census (A), com, Margaret Murphy. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
  • 1910 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, Margaret Murphy – Biddeford, York, Maine. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MR3L-NYG : accessed 27 October 2017), Margaret Murphy, Biddeford Ward 6, York, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 236, sheet 5A, family 66, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 547; FHL microfilm 1,374,560.
  • Maine, Birth Records, 1715-1922, com, John Walter Murphy – Aug 20, 1887. Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll Number: 79.
  • Maine, Death Records, 1761-1922, com, Margerite Murphy – 29 Apr 1915. Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; 1908-1922 Vital Records; Roll Number: 40. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1962&h=1345310&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=oFD881&_phstart=successSource.
  • Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1937, com, Herbert Winfield Whitten & Francis Florence Murphy. Maine State Archives; Augusta, Maine, USA; 1908-1922 Vital Records; Roll #: 60. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=MaineMarriageRe&h=1028162&indiv=try.
  • United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, Dennis F Murphy . “United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJDG-XFQN : 3 April 2015), Dennis F Murphy, 1890.

Ancestor Bio – Dennis F. Murphy (c. 1845-1890)

By Don Taylor

Born of Irish immigrants, Dennis Murphy had a rough childhood. He enlisted and went to war at a young age. He returned from the war and worked.  He married at about 40 years old, had three children, two of whom died as children. He died at age 45 leaving a wife and a four-year-old daughter.

Whitten Project 2017 – Ancestor #10

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Francis Florence Murphy
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Dennis F. Murphy
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: John Murphy

Dennis F. Murphy (c. 1845-1890)

Dennis Murphy was born sometime in 1845 or 1846 in Calais, Washington County, Maine. His father was John Murphy, an immigrant from Ireland. His mother is not clear. The 1850 Census indicates that John married Joanna Murphy within the year. So, it is not clear if John was a widower or if he and Joanna were together before that and married later.

Childhood

Photo of State School for Boys, South Portland, ca. 1920
The State Reform School in Cape Elizabeth was first built in 1850. In 1898, part of Cape Elizabeth became part of South Portland. This photo is circa 1920 after it became the State School for Boys. in South Portland. The photo is courtesy of the Maine Historical Society via the Maine Memory Network.

Shortly after his birth, the young family moved to Biddeford, Maine, and his sister Mary was born in 1850.

Certainly, Dennis’ childhood was difficult.  The 1860 Census finds the family split up.  Dennis’ parents are living in Biddeford as is his sister, Mary. He, however, is at the State Reform School in Cape Elizabeth for larceny. His age is given as 13, a year younger than the 1850 Census suggests.

 

Military

In 1861, when he was 16 years-old, he enlisted in in the 5th Maine Volunteer Infantry, First Regiment, Company A.  He indicated that he was 18 years-old at the time.  The 5-foot, 4½-inch young man was described as having a florid complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair.  His was a three-year enlistment. Although he enlisted in Biddeford, he mustered in two days later in Augusta, Maine, 72 miles away.

During his three years with the Fifth, he would have seen action at Bull RunSouth Mountain, Antietam, FredericksburgChancellorsvilleMaryes Heights, Salem Heights, Banks’ Ford, Gettysburg, Hagerstown, Mine Run, North Anna, TotopotomoyCold Harbor, Petersburg and many other skirmishes before he was transferred to the 6th Maine Infantry on 23 June 1864. Today the 5th Maine Volunteer Infantry’s memory is preserved at the Fifth Maine Regiment Community Center on Peaks Island, Maine.

In September 1864, he was transferred to the 1st Regiment of the Maine Veteran Infantry. There he would have participated at the Battle of Cedar Creek. He was honorably discharged on 6 December 1864.

Adulthood

The 1870 Census finds the 24-year-old Dennis living with his father, mother, and sister in Biddeford. He and his father both work in a machine shop.

The 1880 Census still finds Dennis living with his father and mother in Biddeford. He and his father are both machinists. None of the family can read or write.

Marriage

Dennis married Margaret Alice Maloney (possibly Mahoney) probably sometime in 1885. They had three children:

Name Born Marriage Death
Frances Florence Murphy 11 Apr 1886 1911 – Herbert Winfield Whitten 1952
John Walter Murphy 20 Aug 1887 n/a 22 Aug 1887
Joanna Josephine Murphy 28 May 1890 n/a Before 1900

Dennis was living on Gooch Street when his son, John Walter Murphy, died in 1887 at the age of two days. It is not clear when Joanna died, but certainly before 1900.

The Biddeford directory of 1890 indicates that Dennis is a machinist at the Saco Water Power Machine Shop and lived at 51 Gooch Street.

On 7 July 1890, Dennis applied for a military pension.

Death

Marker – Dennis F Murphy – Photo by Steve (#46835300) via Find a Grave.

Dennis F. Murphy died at 45 years of age on November 18, 1890. Dennis was buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Biddeford, York County, Maine.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Visit the Fifth Maine Regiment Community Center at 45 Seashore Avenue on Peaks Island, Maine and learn more about the service of Dennis F. Murphy and the actions of the Fifth Maine Volunteer Infantry.
  • Visit McArthur Library and review the Murphy’s in the Biddeford Directories.
  • Order Margaret Murphy’s Pension Application #499,630 from the National Archives ($80). It should also contain the information from Dennis Pension application also.

Sources

  • 1850 Census, Family Search, 1850 Census – John Murphy – Biddeford, York, Maine. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6VD-8Q6 : 12 April 2016), Dennis Murphey in household of John Murphey, Biddeford, York, Maine, United States; citing family 1066, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • 1860 Census, Family Search, Dennis Murphy – Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Maine [See Page 4 of images – Key] Page 82  (State Reform School) – Line 34″ United States Census, 1860″, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDHY-13V : 26 July 2017), Dennis Murphy, 1860.
  • 1870 Census, 1870 Census – John Murphy – Biddeford, York, Maine. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6DH-DKR : 12 April 2016), John Murphy, Maine, United States; citing p. 94, family 646, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,063.
  • 1880 Census (A), John Murphy – Biddeford, York, Maine. com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census[database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  • 1900 Census (A), com, Margaret Murphy. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
  • Biddeford, Maine Directory, 1890-1891, com, Dennis F Murphy – No Image. Original data: Biddeford, ME, 1890. W. A. Greenouch & Co., 1890.
  • Find a Grave, Dennis F Murphy – Memorial 151088087. Find a Grave Memorial Created by Steve – Record added: Aug 22, 2015, Find A Grave Memorial# 151088087. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=151088087.
  • Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1937, com, Herbert Winfield Whitten & Francis Florence Murphy. Maine State Archives; Augusta, Maine, USA; 1908-1922 Vital Records; Roll #: 60. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=MaineMarriageRe&h=1028162&indiv=try.
  • Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957, Family Search, Dennis Murphy – Military Service. “Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:246V-9LL : 4 December 2014), Dennis Murphy, 20 Nov 1861; citing Military Service, State Archives, Augusta.
  • United States Civil War and Later Pension Index, 1861-1917, Family Search, Dennis F. Murphy – Pension App. 794,293; Cert. 518,106. “The United States Civil War and Later Pension Index, 1861-1917”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N4J6-M44 : 24 March 2016), Dennis F. Murphy, 1890.
  • Maine, Birth Records, 1715-1922, com, Francis Florence Murphy. Maine State Archives; Cultural Building.
  • Maine, Birth Records, 1715-1922, com, John Walter Murphy – Aug 20, 1887. Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll Number: 79.
  • Biddeford Daily Journal ((Biddeford, ME), ), Newspaper Archives, 1887-08-23 – Page 3, Column 1 – Biddeford & Saco. https://newspaperarchive.com/biddeford-daily-journal-aug-23-1887-p-3/.
  • Maine, Birth Records, 1715-1922, com, Johanna Josephine Murphy – 28 May 1890. Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll Number: 79.
  • Wikipedia: “5th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5th_Maine_Volunteer_Infantry_Regiment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death of a Child Provides Clue to Grandparents.

Whitten Project
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.One of the most difficult “brick walls” I see is when several people about the same age are living in the same place. I had been struggling with Dennis Murphy, who was married to Margaret (or Marguerite) Maloney and lived in Biddeford, Maine. Dennis and Margaret were probably married sometime about 1885 because their first child was born on 11 April 1886. They had three children, two of whom died before the 1900 Census. Margaret is listed as a widow in the 1900 Census, so it appeared that Dennis died before 1900. Also, their youngest child was born on 28 May 1890, so it is reasonable to suggest that Dennis died after August 1889.

I could find birth records for the three children. A marriage record for the daughter indicated that Dennis was born in Calais, Maine, but none of the records I could find provided Dennis’ date of birth. I could not find any facts regarding this Dennis that would differentiate him from the other Dennis Murphys. I decided to try and follow the two children who had died and see if a newspaper might have carried the story. I got excited when I found that NewspaperArchives.com had “The Biddeford Journal” and was saddened that the issues available online contained many issues from 1888 but then they jumped to 1920. I searched anyway looking for Dennis Murphy, Dennis F Murphy, and lots of other combinations. Then success. The August 23, 1887, issue of the “Biddeford Daily Journal,” page 3, Column 2 had an article for Biddeford and Saco news.  It has a one line article: “A five day-old son of Dennis F. Murphy, of Gooch street, died last night.” His middle child, John Walter Murphy was born on 20 Aug 1887. If he died on 22 August, he would have been two-days-old instead of five-days-old, but sure looks like the right child – On Gooch street – Hummm…

Image of The Saco and Petlee Machine Shop c. 1910, Biddeford , Maine
Saco and Petlee Machine Shop c. 1910.
The Saco Water Power Machine Shop later became the Saco and Pettee Machine Shop, and finally the Saco-Lowell Machine Shop.
Photo courtesy McArthur Public Library via Maine Historical Society.

The 1890 Biddeford, Maine, city directory shows Dennis F. Murphy working at The Saco Water Power Machine Shop and living at 51 Gooch St.

Looking again at the 1880 Census and focusing on Biddeford, I quickly found a John Murphy, with wife Joana and son, Dennis, living at the “rear of Gooch Street.” And the names fit as well.  Dennis named his son “John” and one of his daughters “Joanna,” apparently to honor his parents. Dennis was also born in Maine and his parents were born in Ireland.

I’m confident that the Dennis Murphy who lived on Gooch street in Biddeford is the correct ancestor.  I am also convinced that Dennis’ father was John Murphy and his mother was Joana. The 1880 Census also indicates that there were two households living in the same dwelling. Besides John & Family, there was a Jeramiah McIntire with his wife Susan. They were in their 70s and could easily be related.  Could these people be Joana’s parents? I will find out when I research John and Susan’s lives.

Follow-up

Continue researching Dennis Murphy’s life.


Sources: