Ancestor Bio – Horace Upton Newcomb (1877-1956)

By Don Taylor

Born in Canada, Horace Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Newcomb immigrated to the United States as a child. He lived a simple life as a carpenter in Boston and Cumberland County, Maine.

Blanchard Project 2017 – Ancestor #10

List of Grandparents:

  • Grandmother: Priscilla May Newcomb (1905-1984)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Horace Upton Newcomb (1877-1956)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Alexander Newcomb (1850-1929)

Horace Upton Newcomb (1877-1956)

Horace Upton Newcomb was born on 7 September 1877 in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada, the fourth child of Alexander and Amelia Jane (Allen) Newcomb. There are several records which indicate he was born in Cumberland County, Maine, however, Parrsboro is in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.  His naturalization papers are very clear regarding his birthplace. Horace was the fourth of 11 children. His siblings were

  • Mary Ellen Born 1875
  • Wealthy Jane Born 1874
  • Hugh Olsen Born 1875
  • Theodore Hill Born 1879
  • Ruby Stella Born 1882
  • Bertha Josephine Born 1886
  • Edith Mabel Born 1887
  • Willis L Born 1891
  • Martha Elfriede Born 1893
  • Carlos Alonzo Born 1895

All of the children, except for Ruby Stella, who died in 1899 at the age of 17, lived to adulthood.

In July 1880, Horace and family immigrated from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada aboard a steamer arriving in Portland, Maine.

It appears that in 1900 he is living in Boston as a lodger in the house of James B. Peppard and working as a deckhand.

On September 7, 1903, Horace married Ethel May Carr in Somerville, Massachusetts. The ceremony was performed by George Whitaker, Minister of the Gospel, who lived at 160 Cambridge St. Cambridge, Mass.

Horace and Ethel had four children:

  • Horace Arthur (1903-1988) Born in Roxbury, Boston, MA.
  • Priscilla May (1905-1984) Born in Hingham, MA
  • Theodore H. (1907-1986) Born in Hingham, MA
  • Hugh Earl (1909-1960) Born in Hingham, MA

In 1910, Horace and Ethel were living on Cross Street in Hingham, Plymouth County, MA. Horace was a laborer working for a contractor.
Search Military Records - Fold3

Sometime between 1910 and 1917, the family moved to Portland, Cumberland County, Maine and lived on North Street.  His WW I draft registration indicates he lived at 14 North Street, but the 1920 Census indicates he lived at 144 North Street. Either address is possible. Also, it is possible that the street was renumbered. Again, in 1920, Horace is listed as a carpenter and an alien. All four children are living with him and his wife.

I have been completely unsuccessful finding any of the family in the 1930 Census. However, by 1935, the family moved out to Peaks Island (in Casco Bay), Portland, Maine and lived on Island Street. Although Horace filed his first papers much earlier, he didn’t take the oath to become an American citizen until 5 January 1937.

The 1940 Census indicates that the children had all left home and Horace and Ethel were living together on Peaks Island. Horace was still a carpenter; however, he hadn’t work worked in the previous 39 weeks before the census was taken in April 1940.

Horace died on 11 April 1956. He was buried in Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland. Section E, Lot 344, Grave D1.


  • 1900 Census (A), Ancestry, Horace Newcomb (lodger) Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts.
  • 1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, Horace Newcomb – Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 October 2017), Horace Newcomb, Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1217, sheet 18A, family 427, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 612; FHL microfilm 1,374,625.
  • 1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, Horace W Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 October 2017), Horace W Newcomb, Portland Ward 1, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing ED 28, sheet 3A, line 40, family 57, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 639; FHL microfilm 1,820,639.
  • 1940 Census (NARA ), Family Search, 1940 – Horace V Newcomb – Peak’s Island, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 December 2017), Horace V Newcomb, Island Ward 2, Ward 1, Portland, Portland City, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-42, sheet 3B, line 71, family 69, 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 1475.
  • Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Horace Upton Newcomb – Memorial #132641945.
  • Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952, Ancestry, Horace Upton Newcomb – Oath – National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization, 1790 – 11/1945; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21.
  • Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952, Ancestry, Horace Upton Newcomb – Petition. Source Citation
  • National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization, 1790 – 11/1945; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21.
  • Maine, World War I Draft Registration Index, 1917-1919, Family Search, Horace M Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine.
  • Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915, Family Search, Horace Newcomb & Ethel May Carr. “Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 30 July 2017), Horace Allen Newcomb and Ethel May Carr, 07 Sep 1903; citing, Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,057,588.
  • Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records,1626-2001, Family Search, Marriage – Horace Newcomb & Ethel Carr.
  • U. S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Portland, Maine – 1957 – Page 520 – Newcomb – Original data: Original sources vary according to the directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Horace Upton Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine.

Howell – Surname Saturday

By Don Taylor


According to the Ancestry.Com, there are two main sources for the Howell surname. The first one is Welsh, coming from the Welsh personal name “Hywel” meaning ‘eminent.’ The second one is that Howell is an English habitational name coming from an Old English ‘hugol’ meaning ‘mound’ or ‘hillock.’ In particular, it has come to be a habitational name from Howell, Linconshire.[i]

Forebears indicates that it probably derives from an old Welsh word, hoew meaning ‘alert’ or ‘sprightly.’[ii]  The most famous historical bearer of this name was a 10th century Welsh prince, Howell Da.

I have not been successful in determining an immigrant ancestor in the Howell line to confirm the likely origin of this line, however, family oral history indicated they are of Welsh descent.


The United States has the most incidents of the Howell surname. There are over 123,000 incidences of the surname in the United States, and only 172,000 worldwide or to say it another way, about 72% of the individuals named Howell live in the United States. The highest frequency of Howell’s in any country is Jamaica, with 1 in 989 having the Howell surname.

The 1920 Census indicates that the greatest number of Howells lived in New York. Likewise the largest number Howells lived in New York during the 1880 and 1840 censuses.[iii]

Howell Ancestors

Peter M. Howell

My wife’s Howell ancestors were in Virginia in the late 1700s. In the mid-1800s they located to North Carolina and in the mid-1900s her branch moved to Maine.

My wife’s earliest known Howell ancestor is probably James Howell. I’m not confident that he was Peter M Howell’s father, but he was in the right place at the right time and died about 1817 when Peter M Howell’s father died. If correct, James Howell would be my wife’s third great-grandfather.

Peter M. Howell is my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather.  He was born in Buckingham County, Virginia.  He married in Cumberland County, Virginia, and died in North Carolina. He was an itinerate preacher. He published a book, The Life and Travels of Peter Howell, in the 1840s that chronicled his life. The book had an illustration of Peter Howell, which is the earliest image that I have of any ancestor.

Peter Fletcher Howell

Peter Fletcher Howell is my wife’s great-grandfather. He was born in Buckingham County, Virginia, but lived most of his life in Halifax County, North Carolina. He was a civil war veteran (CSA). He fought at “The Crater” and many other battles.

James Dallis Howell was my wife’s grandfather. He was born in Halifax County, North Carolina. He too was a preacher and lived most of his life in North Carolina, although he died in Maryland.

My wife’s father, Clarence Fletcher “Pete” Howell, was also born and raised in North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became an engineer. He located to Washington, DC in 1939 and lived there until the 1950s. In the 1960s he moved to Maine where he started several businesses that continue to this day. Pete passed in 1999.


James Dallas Howell

In hopes of a breakthrough in the Howell ancestor research, Jerome Howell has taken a Y-DNA test. His nearest Y-DNA matches are surnamed “Howle,” but no link between the families has been discovered. It appears that the common ancestor between them is more than five generations ago and, apparently, before a Howell/Howle surname split. The Howle line ancestors were in South Carolina in the 1780s while the Howell line ancestors were in Virginia at that time.

Known relatives.

My records have 138 direct-line descendants of James Howell identified over eight generations. This is about 5% of my Howell-Darling research.


[i] Ancestry.Com – Howell Family History – Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. See:

[ii] Forebears – Howell surname and meaning – Source: Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison – See:

[iii] Ancestry.Com – Howell Family History – Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. See:

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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 1850 Census, Family Search, 1850 Census – John Murphy – Biddeford, York, Maine. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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 ( : 26 July 2017), Dennis Murphy, 1860.
  • 1870 Census, 1870 Census – John Murphy – Biddeford, York, Maine. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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: 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. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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.
  • Maine, Marriage Records, 1713-1937, com, Herbert Winfield Whitten & Francis Florence Murphy. Maine State Archives; Augusta, Maine, USA; 1908-1922 Vital Records; Roll #: 60.
  • Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957, Family Search, Dennis Murphy – Military Service. “Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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 ( : 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.
  • 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.”








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.


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.


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.


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.

1940 Census (NARA ), Family Search, 1940 – Minnie Blanchard – Portland, Cumberland, Maine.

Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Minnie M [Bodge] Blanchard (1872 – 1948) – Find A Grave Memorial #142749169.

Maine Vital Records, 1670-­1921, Family Search, Birth – Minnie M Bodge – 24 Mar 1972.

Maine Vital Records, 1670-­1921, Family Search, Marriage – Fred W Blanchard & Minnie M Bodge – INTENTION: 14 Dec 1886.


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]


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.


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.] 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. 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). 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.