Ancestor Bio – Minnie Mable Bodge (1872-1948)

52 Ancestors – Week 191

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I consider successful ancestor research if I can learn and document the vital records (birth, marriage, and death), follow the individual through all the Census records during their life, and learn the names, births, and deaths of all of their children.  In the case of Minnie Mable Bodge, I was successful in all except I have not been able to find her in the 1880 Census. Hopefully, I will be able to find her when I do a more research into her parents, Albert S and Mary Elizabeth (Mayberry) Bodge.

Blanchard 2017 – Ancestor #9

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Edward Everett Blanchard
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Minnie Mabel Bodge
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Albert S Bodge

 

Minnie Mable Bodge (1872-1948)

Minnie Mable Bodge was born on 22 March 1872 in Lewiston, Androscoggin County, Maine to Albert S. and Mary Elizabeth (Mayberry) Bodge.

Marriage & Children

Minnie was living in Westbrook when she married Frederick W. Blanchard on 14 December 1886. She was only fourteen-years-old.  Frederick was twenty-years-old and living in Deering (today Portland) at the time.

Frederick and Minnie had eleven children, seven boys, and four girls, as follows:

Child Birth Death
Harriet May Blanchard 1888 1896
Gracie C Blanchard Jan 1890 1923
Harry Frederick Blanchard 03 Jan 1892 26 May 1969
Leon W Blanchard 1894 22 Feb 1894
Albert F Blanchard 1895 1895
Charles Albion Blanchard Oct 1897 Apr 1982
Edward Everett Blanchard 07 Jul 1900 24 Nov 1971
Lizzie M Blanchard 1902 07 Sep 1902
Sadie B Blanchard 21 Feb 1903 18 Apr 1920
Willard A Blanchard 1907 1977
Alanson S Blanchard 1911 27 Dec 2000

Sadly, Minnie saw the deaths of over half of her children; Harriet, Gracie, Leon, Albert, Lizzie, and Sadie all died before 1948.

Adulthood

1900 Census – Minnie and Frederick are renting a house on Front Street in South Portland. Gracie, Harry, and Charles are living with them. The census reports that Minnie had 6 children and that three were living which confirms that Harriet, Leon, and Albert had died as children. Frederick is a plasterer and Gracie and Harry are attending school.

Zillow photograph of 131 Stanford, South Portland as it is today.
131 Stanford, South Portland, ME – Today – Source Zillow

1910 Census – Minnie and Frederick own the home at 131 Stanford in South Portland. The house was built in 1900, so it is likely that Frederick and Minnie were the first owners.  Living with them are Harry, who is working as an inside plasterer, Charles, Edward, and Sadie are attending school, and little Willis, age three is home. The census reports that Minnie had 10 children, six of whom were living. The sixth living child was Grace who would have been 20 years old. Their fourth child to die as an infant was Lizzie who was born and died in 1902.

1917 – Tragedy struck the family on 15 July 1917 as Frederick died as the result of an automobile accident leaving Minnie a widow. The 44-year-old Minnie would have had four children at home, Edward, 17; Sadie, 14; Willard, 10; and Alanson, 6.

1920 Census – It appears that after Frederick’s death Minnie and the family could no longer afford the house at 131 Stanford. During the 1920 Census, Minnie and family were living at 69 Chestnut Street in Portland, ME. (Today it is the site of the Chestnut and Lancaster Parking Garage.) Minnie wasn’t working; however, son Charles was a laborer at a stove foundry and her son Edward was a salesman at an auto supplier.  Her 16-year-old daughter, Sadie, was not attending school nor working. She died a month later at the age of 17 of acute peritonitis due to acute appendicitis. Sons Willis and Alanson were living with their mother and were attending school.

Search Military Records - Fold31930 Census – The Widow Blanchard was a housekeeper of a boarding house at 3 Elmwood Place. There doesn’t appear to be and Elmwood in today’s Portland, but the other street on the census page is Cumberland Avenue, which would place Elmwood Place near Elm Street today where there are several new buildings today. Living with Minnie are her two youngest sons, Willard (Willis) and Alanson. Willard is a laborer at a bakery and Alanson is a clerk at a retail grocery store.  Living with them is a nephew Walter G. Blanchard.  Walter is 30 years old and divorced. This is confusing because Frederick Blanchard only had one known brother, Charles A. F. Blanchard who died in 1887 in Deering making it impossible for him to be the father of Walter G. Blanchard. I clearly have something incorrect. Either Charles didn’t die in 1887 or Albion and Mary S (Washburn) Blanchard had another child I don’t know about.

1940 Census – The 68-year-old Widow Blanchard was living alone at 335 Congress Street, Portland, ME. It must have been small apartments as there were 9 heads of households with people living alone or with one other person at 335 Congress Street. Today 335 Congress Street is a parking lot. Minnie was not working but the Census indicates that she did have additional sources of income.

Death

Minnie Mable (Bodge) Blanchard died on 10 February 1948, presumably in Portland, Maine. She is buried with her husband, Frederick W. Blanchard, at Forest City Cemetery, South Portland, Maine.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research the parentage of Walter G. Blanchard and learn how he was a nephew to Minnie Blanchard.


Sources:

1900 Census (A), Ancestry, Frederick Blanchard – South Portland, Cumberland, Maine – District 79, Line 43.

1910 Census (A), Ancestry, Frederick W. Blanchard – South Portland, Cumberland, Maine – Ward 2, District 103, Sheet 2B, Line 80, Family 42.

1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, Maine, Cumberland, Portland Ward 4, District 39, Page 11B, Line 80, (Family 321).

1930 Census (NARA), Family Search, 1930 Census – Minnie M Blanchard – Portland, Cumberland, Maine. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XM8L-PDQ.

1940 Census (NARA ), Family Search, 1940 – Minnie Blanchard – Portland, Cumberland, Maine. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMM4-QNP.

Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Minnie M [Bodge] Blanchard (1872 – 1948) – Find A Grave Memorial #142749169. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=142749169.

Maine Vital Records, 1670-­1921, Family Search, Birth – Minnie M Bodge – 24 Mar 1972. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HVQ-8PJ.

Maine Vital Records, 1670-­1921, Family Search, Marriage – Fred W Blanchard & Minnie M Bodge – INTENTION: 14 Dec 1886. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2HKC-5PR.

 

Frederick W. Blanchard – Orphan, Widower, & Plasterer

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.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.

Cover - Cumberland Pauper Book
Cover – Cumberland Pauper Book

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

Marriage Record – Date and Place of Marriage are blank.

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.

Children: Sex Birth Death
Gracie C Blanchard F Jan 1890
Harry F Blanchard M 03 Jan 1892 26 May 1969
Charles A Blanchard M Oct 1897
Edward Everett Blanchard M 1900 1971
Lizzie M Blanchard F 1902 07 Sep 1902
Sadie B Blanchard F 21 Feb 1903 18 Apr 1920
Willis H Blanchard M Bet. 1 Jan-15 Apr 1907
Alanson S Blanchard M 1911
Unknown 1 Blanchard* ? Bef. 1900 Bef. 1900
Unknown 2 Blanchard* ? Bef. 1900 Bef. 1900
Unknown 3 Blanchard* ? Bef. 1900 Bef. 1900

*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]

Death

Marker – Fred W & Minnie M Blanchard
Photo by Ben G.

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.

Sources:

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.

Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921 – Family Search

Maine, Death Records, 1617-1922 – Ancestry

  • Fred [Frederick] W Blanchard (1866-1917). http://search.ancestry.com/search/collections/MaineDeathRe/1138416/ printer-friendly?ssrc=pt&tid=10416014&pid=220072758160&usePUB=true.

Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1922 – Ancestry

  • Frederick W Blanchard & Ida V Libby.1885

U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 – Ancestry

  • Portland, Maine – 1894 – Page 239.
  • Portland, Maine – 1895 – Pages 239 & 240.
  • Portland, Maine – 1896 – Page 249.
  • Portland, Maine – 1897 – Page 746.
  • Portland, Maine – 1899 – Page 265.
  • Portland, Maine – 1902 – Pages 352 & 353.
  • Portland, Maine – 1903 – Page 353.
  • Portland, Maine – 1904 – Pages 352 & 353.
  • Portland, Maine – 1908 – Page 305.
  • Portland, Maine – 1909 – Pages 300 & 301.
  • Portland, Maine – 1912 – Page 317.
  • Portland, Maine – 1913 – Pages 308 & 309.