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.

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.


Donna and the Balalaika – 1926

Donna Darling Collection – Part 5

Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Item #5 of the Donna Darling Collection is a photograph. Actually, it is two photographs of Donna with a stringed instrument that I consider one item. One of the images was torn badly. The other had some sticky gunk on it. One had writing and printing on the back; the other one did not. For the image below, I set the color to black and white then auto-set the contrast and brightness. Finally, I brought the sepia up and saved it as a web-sized image.  I did not touch it up.

Photo of Donna Darling with Balalaika
Donna Darling with Balalaika – Donna Donna Revue: Princess and the King – 1926

The back of the picture was stamped, “DONNA DARLING & SAMMY CLARK” as well as (in smaller block print, it is stamped “THE PRINCESS AND THE KING.” Handwritten on the back is “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”  The front of one of the photos says “DAVIES – PORTLAND, ORE.” This one does not.  So between the two photos, I have two stories.

Newspaper photo of Donna (Montran) Darline.
Source: The Independent Record (Helena, MT)  28 Nov 1926, Page 6.

The photo shows Donna playing what appears to be a six-string prima balalaika. The prima balalaika is a Russian instrument.  That fits with Donna’s costume of what looks to me as a “shabby sheik” Eastern European looking outfit. (Hopefully, someone will comment and provide me with exactly what kind of clothing she is wearing.)

I had seen this image before. It was in several newspaper articles during late 1926 associated with “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”  In 1925, Donna was still performing “Donna Darling and Girls,” So, I am sure this photo was taken in 1926 sometime before the picture was used in advertising in Helena, Montana in November 1926.


The University of Oregon, UO Libraries, Knight Library, 2nd floor North, has several photographic collections.


Among those collections is one containing photographs of George W. Davis, who operated the Davies Studio from 1901 until 1925.

I should see if my sister, one of her kids, or my cousin who lives in Oregon, might be interested in stopping at the library and see if they have any photographs from 1926 showing Donna or Sammy in their collection.

I’m Back – Vacation was Great.

   After a couple weeks vacation, I am back home.  The vacations was wonderful.  The highlight for me was a presentation to the “Aunties” about the Darling Family.  I’ve been working on their tree for quite some time and developed a “life book” ala Henry Louis Gates’ “Finding your Roots.”  It went over extremely well.  They have the life book and a biography of each of their ancestors on their Father’s side that I could find as well as a CD containing copies of the images of all the documents used to do the book.  I also did a slide show out of key highlights of their family tree.

   Also, while there I took photos of many photos, letters, and documents that I hadn’t seen before as well as recorded conversations with many of the Aunties.  I will have hours and hours of work to incorporate the information into my records, but it will be fun.

   We did some shopping at Reny’s – A Maine Adventure. I usually hate shopping, but Reny’s t is always a pleasure. They carry a lot of “manly stuff,” Carhartt, Pendleton, and Woolrich — In sizes that fit me.  I picked up a new fedora and suspenders.  I love Reny’s.

   My wife and I then attended the wedding of her niece, SH.  It was a beautiful event out on Casco Bay (Portland, ME).  Another event for my records with photos.

   My wife then visited with her best friend since the 8th grade, EB.  It was a great to see her again.  We laughed long enough and hard enough to cause my side to hurt. We were able to turn on EB and her husband to TED Talks. There is one we call “Amy the Unicorn” that my wife and I find amazing.  Fun to watch, extremely interesting, and even enlightening. It has nothing to do with genealogy, but is  well worth watching See it on TED.

   We then followed my wife’s passion and went stalking the wild tormaline, appetite, and other stones at various quarries in Maine through Poland Mining Camps.  The food was excellent, the beds comfortable, and my wife was extremely happy with the rocks she collected.

   I’ve still got a lot of followup to do after the vacation, catch up on email, incorporate photos into iPhoto and categorize them. But soon it will be back to my normal life and I’ll be able to support the Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society, work on my genealogy, and, of course, blog here.