It is always a good day when you receive an envelope with new information. A few weeks ago, I ordered a copy of a marriage register entry for my wife’s third-great-grandparents on her Darling-McAllister line. I had found them in the GRO (General Register Office) index, which indicated her third-greats were married in October, November, or December in 1845. I was pretty sure that the registry entry would provide an exact date and might provide other bits of information. And sure enough, it did. Although many other records are available electronically, the marriage records from the 1840s are still “they’ll send you a copy via mail.”
After a number of weeks, the registry entry arrived, and I learned that Joseph McAllister and Hannah Bell were married on the “Eighth of November 1845.” There were married in the Register’s Office with William Scott and Arin Bell as witnesses. I’ll bet Arin Bell was probably related to Hannah. The registry entry shows Joseph was a “Mariner” (I knew he was a sailor before). But most interesting I learned that Joseph’s father was Peter McAlister, a miller, and Hannah’s father was Jonathan Bell, also a mariner.
The registry document provided the exact date for the marriage of her 3rd-great-grandparents and the names for two of my wife’s 4th-great grandparents, Peter McAllister and Johnathan Bell. Definitely a good day (And clues for further research.)
Frederick W. Blanchard had one of the most difficult lives I have ever researched — Orphaned young, possibly left standing at the altar, a widower by the age of 19, and dead by automobile accident when he was only 51. Thanks to Digital Maine, I pieced together parts of his life that I might never have been able to decipher before, particularly the death of his mother and brother in other towns and places. Digital Maine is one of the best resources available online for researchers of Maine ancestors and is among my favorite websites. Try it if you haven’t done so before.
Blanchard 2017 Project
List of Grandparents
Grand Parent: Edward Everett Blanchard (1900-1971)
1st Great: Frederick W. Blanchard (1866-1917)
2nd Great: Albion Blanchard (1834-1868)
3rd Great: Cyrus Blanchard (c. 1791-?)
Ancestor #8 – Frederick W. Blanchard (1866-1917)
Frederick W. Blanchard was born in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine, on 16 February 1866, the third child of Albion and Mary S. (Washburn) Blanchard. His older brother, Charles A. F. Blanchard was born on 1 January 1858 and his older sister, Sarah, was born on 4 November 1861.
1868 – A Very Bad Year and a Rough Childhood.
It is not clear what occurred to the family, be it fire or disease, but on 7 September 1868, Sarah died at the age of six. Two days later he died at the age of 34.
Mary, Charles, and Frederick were destitute without Albion. Where the town paid Albion for his support, now the Town of Cumberland supported Albion’s widow and his two living children. Two-year-old Frederick went to live with his uncle, Charles H. W. Blanchard and the Overseer of the Poor of the Town of Cumberland paid for his board until 1875 (Age 9).
His brother Charles also went to Uncle Charles’ in 1868 but wasn’t there during the 1870 Census. In 1872, he was at D. Pittee’s where he worked for board. In the fall of 1872, he left Pittee’s and joined his mother in Saco, Maine. In 1873, Charles went to live with William M. & Samuel Merrill, again to work for board. Charles died on 16 February 1887 at the age of 29.
Mary was on the Cumberland pauper rolls from 1868 until 1873. The Cumberland Overseers of the Poor paid $64.31 for the board of Mary Blanchard at David Libby’s. In 1871, she was at the Yarmouth Almshouse. From January until mid-April she lived at A. M. Libby’s in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine when she “left for parts unknown.” In 1872 she located to Saco, York County, Maine where her son, Charles, joined her. Mary died on 2 May 1873 in Saco, Maine.
The 1880 Census finds young 14-year-old Frederick still living with his Aunt and Uncle Miranda and Charles Blanchard. However, the Cumberland Pauper Book is no longer showing Frederick as a recipient of support.
1885 – Another Bad Year
1885 started out wonderful. On 21 Jan 1885, Frederick filed an intent to marry (took out a marriage license) Ida V. Libby. It doesn’t appear that they ever actually married; the license was never returned. We may never know why they didn’t marry. However, five months later, on 21 June 1885, he married Laura C. A. Jensen. Five and a half months later, on 8 Dec 1885, Laura died of consumption.
1886 – A new life with a new wife.
Not to be kept down for long, 12 months later, on 14 December 1886, Frederick married Minnie M Bodge. Frederick and Minnie would have eleven children; all were born in Maine.
Gracie C Blanchard
Harry F Blanchard
03 Jan 1892
26 May 1969
Charles A Blanchard
Edward Everett Blanchard
Lizzie M Blanchard
07 Sep 1902
Sadie B Blanchard
21 Feb 1903
18 Apr 1920
Willis H Blanchard
Bet. 1 Jan-15 Apr 1907
Alanson S Blanchard
Unknown 1 Blanchard*
Unknown 2 Blanchard*
Unknown 3 Blanchard*
*The 1900 Census indicates that Minnie had six children, three of whom were still living. The three living would be Gracie, Henry, and Charles A. The other three are unknown.
Frederick’s occupation reveals itself in the 1894 Portland City Directory which shows him as a plasterer at 466 Portland. He would be a plasterer in the Census records and the City Directories his entire adult life.
In 1895 and 1896, Frederick is listed as a plasterer at 30 Chestnut in Woodfords. I have looked and can’t seem to find a 30 Chestnut in Woodfords (Deering). There is a Chestnut in Portland and one in South Portland, but I’m not finding on in Woodfords (Deering). Maybe a street had its name changed.
The 1900 Census reports Frederick and Minnie living on Front Street in South Portland. He lived in several other locations in South Portland including 131 Stanford.[i]
Frederick W. Blanchard died in Maine General Hospital from injuries resulting from an automobile accident at age 51 years, 4 months, 29 days.
He is buried in Forest City Cemetery in South Portland.
His wife, Minnie, died 31 years later, on 10 Feb 1948. She was buried with Frederick at Forest City Cemetery.
Frederick was born in Cumberland; he lived in Woodfords (Deering, now Portland), Portland, and South Portland all within 15 miles.
1870 Census (Ancestry)
Charles H. Blanchard – Cumberland, Cumberland, Maine, Page 8, Line 33.
1880 Census (Ancestry
Charles H Blanchard – Cumberland, Cumberland, Maine – District 29, Page 6, Line 32
1900 Census (Ancestry)
Frederick Blanchard – South Portland, Cumberland, Maine – District 79, Line 43.
1910 Census (Ancestry)
Frederic W. Blanchard – South Portland, Cumberland, Maine – Ward 2, District 103, Sheet 2B, Line 80, Family 42. 131 Sanford Street.
Cumberland Pauper Book – Digital Maine
Town of Cumberland, Maine, Cumberland Pauper Book – [Results of Blanchard search.] http://digitalmaine.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi? article=1001&context=prince_memorial_library_books.
Deed – Private
Don’s Private Files: Deed – Minnie Blanchard, Executrix, sold property on Free Street – 1918.pdf. Ref: Blanchard, Frederick W
Find a Grave – Find a Grave
Fred [Frederick] W Blanchard (1865 – 1917) – Find A Grave Memorial #142749158. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi? page=gr&GRid=142749158&ref=acom.
We know that Chin Chin played in Coshocton, Ohio, on April 11th. However, we don’t know yet where else the company played between there and Cumberland.
What we do know is from the April 14, 1920, edition of the Cumberland Evening Times – Page 10 – Column 1.
“Chin Chin” Coming to the Maryland Theatre, Tuesday, April 20
The Production of Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin” has rivaled even “Floradora” in its popularity. Walter Wills and Roy Binder are featured members of the organization. They are slim young men, masters of the eccentric dance and comedians of more than ordinary ability.
“Chin Chin is a musical comedy, or extravaganza, or fantasy, whatever it may please one to call it; but it is saturated with the comic spirit and abounds in delightful pantomime.
The notices accorded the company this year prove that the aggregation of players is exceptional and that the production as a whole is a real “Top Notch” Dillingham show, and that even in war times “Chin Chin” has been doing a record business on the road, near army camps and elsewhere.
The book of the play is by Anne Caldwell and R. H. Bernside, Lyrics by Miss Caldwell and James O’Dea, and music by Ivan Caryll, remembered for the melodies of “The Pink Lady” and “The Little Cafe.”
Of its songs, “Violets,” “The Gray Moon,” “Love Moon,” “Good Bye” and “Go Gar Sig Gong Jute” are not likely to be forgotten for some seasons to come. There is also saxaphone music by the renowned Tom Brown’s Clown Sextette. In fact, “Chin Chin” is one of those fortunate shows that is clean and wholesome fun, offending no one.
The Maryland Theater was built for about $70,000 based upon plans by John D. Allen, Philadelphia, PA. It opened on 21 November, 1907 with a seating capacity of nearly 1800. It closed on 9 October, 1963 and was demolished in December, 1966.[i]
The 1920 Census indicates that Cumberland was a city of nearly 30,000 people. The Julius Cahn Theatrical Guide for 1913-1914 indicates that the theatre had a capacity of 1,696, 600 on the main floor, 340 in the balcony, 600 in the gallery, and 56 box seats. The Stage was a large 38×33 feet and the front to back wall was 41 feet. There were four stage pockets. For newspapers, besides the “Times,” whose afternoon circulation was 7,179, there was the “News” with a morning circulation of 4,000.[ii]
Obtain a subscription to Newspaper Archives and look for additional information about “Chin Chin” playing in the Cumberland Times.
Find a source for the Cumberland News and see if they have any articles regarding the show.