Ancestor Sketch – Mary (Washburn) Blanchard

Ancestor Sketch – Mary S. [A.[i]] Washburn

Blanchard/Utterstrom Project
Blanchard-Washburn Line

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Mary (Washburn) Blanchard had one of the saddest lives I’ve ever encountered. Her birth and childhood are unknown. She married a farmer so poor he needed supplies from the town to keep his family fed. Then her house burned, killing her husband and a daughter. She lived for five years after the fire and died at the age of 39.

Blanchard-Utterstrom Ancestor #17

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Edward Everett Blanchard (1900-1971)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Frederick W. Blanchard (1865-1917)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother:  Mary S. Washburn (1834-1973)

Mary S. Washburn (1834-1873)

Birth

Mary’s birth is still unknown. The 1860 Census indicates that she was 25 years old, suggesting she was born in Maine from 1834 to 1835.[ii] Her son’s death certificate indicates she was born in Cumberland, Maine.[iii] It isn’t clear if she was born in Cumberland County or Cumberland Town.

Marriage

Mary married Albion Blanchard in a ceremony performed by Edias Baker in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine, on 2 February 1957.[iv]

The couple had three children.

      1. 1858 – Charles A. F. Blanchard
      2. 1861 – Sarah L. Blanchard
      3. 1866 – Frederick W. Blanchard

Disaster – September 1868

It appears that on 7 September 1868, the home of Albion and Mary burned. Their daughter Sarah died in the fire. Mary’s husband, Albion, died two days later in what must have been two days of agony.[v]

Mary was destitute and became wholly supported by the Town. In 1870 she boarded with David Libby in Windham.[vi]

In 1871 she was in the Yarmouth Almshouse. Her sons, Charles and Frederick, were being boarded with their uncle, Charles Henry Blanchard, in Cumberland.

In early 1872, Mary was at A. M. Libby’s in Windham and then “left for parts unknown.” Her 16-year-old son, Charles, was working for board at D. Pittee’s in Cumberland. Little six-year-old Frederick remained with Charles H. Blanchard in Cumberland, where he remained until he was at least 16 years old.

Mary reappeared living in Saco, York County, Maine, in early 1873, with her son, Charles, where she died on 2 May 1873. She was 39 years old. After her death, Charles boarded with William M & Samuel Merrill and worked for his board.

Events by Location

  • Map showing places where Mary Washburn lived.

    Maine, Cumberland County, Cumberland – Birth (1934), 1860 Census.

  • Maine, Cumberland County, Windham – Marriage (1857), 1870, 1872.
  • Maine, Cumberland County, Yarmouth – 1871.
  • Maine, York County, Saco – Death (1873).

Mary appears to have lived her entire life between Yarmouth and Saco, Maine, a distance of fewer than 30 miles.

Further Actions / Follow-up

Research on Mary appears to have reached a brick wall.  Possibly visits to:

  • Saco for death records
  • Cumberland for Marriage and Poor Records
  • Cumberland County (Portland) for other birth records may yield results.

Sources

1.     1860 Census, Family Search, Albion Blanchard – Cumberland, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDHK-XYB : 18 March 2020), Albion Blanchard, 1860. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDHK-XYB?from=lynx1UIV8&treeref=M647-GD1.

2.     Town of Cumberland, Maine, Cumberland Pauper Book, Digital Maine, Blanchard [search]. https://digitalmaine.com/cumberland_books/5/.

3.     Maine Marriages, 1771-1907, Family Search, Albion Blanchard & Mary S. Washburn – 2 February 1857. “Maine Marriages, 1771-1907”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F4N3 PXT : 14 January 2020), Albion Blanchard, 1857. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F4N3-PXT.

4.     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.

Endnotes

[i] Occasionally, the town pauper records refer to Mary A. Blanchard which may be more accurate than the Mary S. Blanchard reported in her son’s death information.

[ii] See source #1 above.

[iii] See source #4 above.

[iv] See source #3 above.

[v] Bennett, Thomas C., Vital Records of Cumberland, Maine 1701-1892 (Prince Memorial Library), Digital Maine, Deaths – Page 180 – Deaths. http://digitalmaine.com/cumberland_books.

[vi] See Source #2 above.

Mary Washburn & the Early Censuses

Census Sunday

Blanchard Project
Blanchard-Washburn

In “Searching for Mary Washburn’s Parents,” I concluded the neither Cyrus Washburn’s daughter, Maria, nor James E. Washburn’s daughter, Mary, could be the Mary Washburn, who married Albion Blanchard.

Mary had one of the roughest lives of anyone I’ve ever researched. In 1868, when she was only 34 years old, her husband and only daughter, Sarah, died, and she became destitute. Left with a 10-year-old and a 2-year-old, the widow became wholly supported by the town. In the five years she had left, she lived in the Almshouse in Yarmouth and boarded with A. M. Libby in Windham for a short time. Finally, in 1873 her oldest son, 15-year-old Charles, joined her in Saco before her death.

The point of all this is that there was no family that could or would take her in; thus, she remained destitute and supported “wholly by the town.” With no family able or willing to take her and the kids in, it is possible that she had no family. That might explain why she didn’t appear in any census records for Cumberland during the 1850 Census. Her son, Frederick, died in 1917. His death record indicates that his mother, Mary, was born in Cumberland. Not finding her in the 1850 Census, I wondered if she may be in the 1840 Census.

Using the criteria of the last name of “Washburn” and residing in “Cumberland County” during the 1840 Census, there were six results.

  • James E. Washburn – Determined not to be Mary’s father previously.
  • Cyrus Washburn –Determined not to be Mary’s father previously.
  • Otis Washburn – Determined not to be Mary’s father previously.
  • Marshall Washburn – Had no females living in his household under 20.
  • Charles Washburn –Had no females living in his household under 10.
  • Isaac C. Washburn – Had three males and four females living in his household. He was likely the one male between 20 and 30. The two other males were 15 to 20, and of the females, two were from 20 to 30, one was 10 to 15, but one was under 5. I thought, “Maybe.” But, further research was necessary.
Isaac C Washburn in the 1840 Census.

Sadly, further research suggests that Isaac C. Washburn isn’t Mary’s father either.

Isaac married Cynthia W. Stevens in 1837, a few years after Mary was born. Additionally, the female under five years of age is likely Cynthia, a 10-year-old (apparent) daughter in the 1850 Census. So. I’m confident that Isaac is not Mary’s parent either.

Conclusion

I think I’ve encountered a brick wall with Mary, at least as far as my online research is concerned. I think maybe a deep dive into town records might yield some additional information. Possibly, some newspaper will have an article that will tell me more.

Searching for Mary Washburn’s Parents

Blanchard Project
Blanchard-Washburn

As I embark on learning more about the life of Mary (Washburn) Blanchard, I start with what I know.  Mary married Albion Blanchard on 2 February 1857 in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine. The 1860 Census reported her as 25 years old, suggesting a birth year of 1834 or 1835. The Blanchard’s were living in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine, then. I have been unable to determine her parents.

Based upon the 1850 Census, some researchers have suggested her parents were James and Martha (Briggs) Washburn and lived in Minot, Cumberland County, Maine. It seems possible except for two items. First, the age is a bit off. That girl is only 11, instead of 15. Second, she appears in the same family during the 1860 Census when my Mary Washburn was married and enumerated with her husband, Albion, in Cumberland.

So, my question is, what other Washburns were in Cumberland County during the 1850s and could my Mary be one of them.

1850 Census

A review of the 1850 Census found 30 Results in 7 groups.

  1. Cyrus Washburn household with an apparent wife and five children.[i]            Nancy (wife), Cyrus (18), Elizabeth (24), Maria (16), Samuel (12), and Abba (age 9).
  2. James E. Washburn household with wife, four apparent children, and apparently his parents. The children were Mary (11), Martha (9), Nancy (7), and Elisabeth (age 1).
  3. Otis Washburn household with apparent wife Rachel and six children – Lorenzo (21), Emily (19), Ebenezer (16), Caroline (14), Sidney (12), and Matilda (age 7).
  4. Charles Washburn with apparent wife Elizabeth and two children. The children were Maria (1) and Charles (2).
  5. Sylvia Washburn, apparent mother-in-law living with George Warren.
  6. Elizabeth Washburn, an apparent lodger in Dorothy Clark’s home in Portland.
  7. George Washburn, an apparent lodger in Francis Blake’s home in Harrison.

Mary, age 11, in James Washburn’s household and Maria, age 16, in Cyrus Washburn’s home are the only candidates I see in the 1850 Census that could be Mary Washburn, the wife of Albion Blanchard living in Cumberland County in 1850.

Note: Androscoggin County was created in 1854 from towns originally in Cumberland County, Lincoln County, Kennebec County, and Oxford County. So, although they were in Cumberland County in 1850, they were in Androscoggin County after 1854 without moving. [ii]

In the 1860 Census, Cyrus is still with Nancy, Samuel, and Abby. Maria is not in the household.

Again, in the 1860 Census, James’s household includes his apparent wife, Martha, and children, including 21-year-old Mary.

It appears that Otis may have passed because Lorenzo is living in Falmouth with his apparent sisters Caroline and Matilda.

From this, I’m reasonably sure that Mary S. (Washburn) Blanchard is not James and Martha (Briggs) Washburn. Instead, I suspect Mary S. (Washburn) Blanchard is the daughter of Cyrus and Nancy Washburn. With that theory in hand, I need to find evidence supporting the theory and determine Mary’s parents.

Next, I’ll look at Cyrus Washburn and his apparent family of 1850 and follow Cyrus and his children in hopes of finding his daughter, Maria, is my Mary, the wife of Albion Blanchard.

UPDATE

I took a closer look at Cyrus Washburn and his daughter, Maria.  Marie Married Noble Munroe in 1856 and was in Auburn during the 1860 Census, so this Maria cannot be my Mary Washburn, married to Albion Blanchard in 1860.


Endnotes

[i] The 1850 Census did not provide relationships between people in a household, so any relationships cited are apparent and speculative if based upon the 1850 Census only.

[ii] Wikipedia: “Androscoggin County, Maine” accessed 23 January 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androscoggin_County,_Maine

 

Ancestor Sketch – Albion Blanchard

Blanchard Line
By Don Taylor

Albion Blanchard’s short life was clearly difficult. His mother died when he was young and he, and his only daughter, died when he was only 34 years old.

Blanchard Project – Ancestor #16

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Edward Everett Blanchard
  • 1st Great-grandfather:Frederick W. Blanchard (1865-1917)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Albion Blanchard
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Cyrus Blanchard (1791-1865)

Albion Blanchard (1834-1868)

Birth

Albion Blanchard was born on 3 July 1834 in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine, the ninth child of Cyrus and Apphia (Young) Blanchard).

Albion’s mother, Apphia, died in 1841 and his father remarried quickly.

In 1842, Albion’s half-sister Sarah was born.

In 1847, his older brother Cyrus died at the age of 22.

In 1848, his oldest brother Ebenezer died at the age of 30.

So, the 1850 Census found 15-year-old Albion living in Cumberland with his father, step-mother, a brother, a sister, and a half-sister. His sister Lydia and his brothers Daniel and Charles were elsewhere. (Further research regarding Albion’s siblings should be done.) Cyrus was a farmer, his brother Charles was a Mason, and Albion was attending school. The family unit, according to the 1850 Census consisted of:

  • Cyrus Blanchard           M    58    Maine     Farmer – Real Estate value: $1500
  • Elizabeth Blanchard    F     50    Maine
  • Charles Blanchard        M    26    Maine     Mason
  • Nancy Blanchard           F     18    Maine     Attending School
  • Albion Blanchard          M    15    Maine     Attending School
  • Sarah A Blanchard        F       7    Maine

Marriage

Albion married Mary S. Washburn on 2 February 1857 in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine. The marriage ceremony was performed by Edias Baker. The couple received their marriage license and had their ceremony on the same day.

The couple quickly began a family, with their first child, Charles A. F. Blanchard being born 11 months later, on 1 January 1858.

1860 Census

The 1860 Census found Albion and his wife living in Cumberland with his child Charles. Albion was a day laborer who owned real estate valued at $100.

  • Household                         Sex  Age  Birthplace
  • Albion Blanchard                M      25     Maine        Day Laborer – Property $100
  • Mary S Blanchard               F       25     Maine
  • Charles A F Blanchard      M      2       Maine

The birth of his second child, Sarah occurred on 4 November 1861.

Albion clearly struggled. The town began to help support Albion paying him $6.75 out of the monies supporting the poor in the town’s fiscal year of 1862-1863. It seems odd that the town would be supporting a young man, age 29, when bounties were being paid to Civil War Volunteers. That suggests some form of disability. However, in 1863, Albion was identified in a list of “Persons of Class I, subject to military duty,” which belies a disability.

In 1865, his father, Cyrus, died at age 74. And in 1866, his son Frederick W. Blanchard was born.

Again, Albion struggled and the town paid him $7.18 in support of the poor during the fiscal year 1867-1868.

Death

It appears that Albion, and his family, were really sick during 1868. The records of the poor for Cumberland Town indicate Albion and his family were paid $217.35 “in support to the time of his death.” Albion’s six-year-old daughter, Sarah, died two days before Albion, who died at the age of 34 on 9 September 1868.

Events by Location

Albion was born, lived, and died in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine.

Note:

There was an Albion Blanchard from Calais, Washington County, Maine who served in the Civil War in the 1st District of Columbia Cavalry and transferred to the Maine 1st Calvary in 1865. That Albion Blanchard was 19 years old in 1864 while 2nd great-grandfather Albion Blanchard was 30 years old in 1864.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research Cumberland town records to determine the cause of the town payments to Albion and his family and the cause of his death.

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Blanchard Project Photos – Part 2 of 2 – Utterstrom & Cassidy

Utterstrom/Cassidy
Photo Friday

I recently received a group of 13 photos all relating to people in my Blanchard project—one Cassidy, four Utterstroms, seven Halversons, and 1 blurry photo. Today, I’ll look at the five Cassidy and Utterstrom photos.

Blanchard Project

Four photos of the Utterstrom & Cassidy FamiliesOlaf and Hannah (Halverson) Utterstrom – Marriage 30 June 1897” – The back of this photo indicates “Hannah & Olaf Utterstrum 1890’s | Wedding? Olaf and Hannah were married on 30 June 1897. It was taken by The Elite Studio, 518 Congress St. Portland, Maine. I have added this photo to my project and added a copy to Family Search L1QQ-R6J and L1QQ-PCK.

Anders & Oscar Utterstrom” – The oldest annotation on the back of the photo says “Grampy & Oscar Utterstrom.” However, in a second (and newer) hand the annotation is “Anders & Oscar.” Finally, a third hand says “Grampy Anders | Oscar Utterstrom.” So, this is clearly Oscar Utterstrom (1899-1958) on the right and his grandfather Anders Utterstrom (___-___) on the left. Oscar was born in 1899 and the boy in the photo could be about 15 years-old. I haven’t had a chance to research Anders’ life yet, however, I believe he died in 1915. If so, this photo must have been taken about 1914-15. The backdrop for this photo is The E. T. Burrowes, Co that manufactured wire window and door screens at 70 Free St, Portland, Maine.[i] Andrew (AKA Anders) Utterstrom was a “screen maker” at 70 Free St. and lived at 81 Chestnut.[ii]

Anders is not listed in the 1916 City directory suggesting his passing before that directory went to press. I have added this photo to my project and added a copy to both individuals on Family Search – L1Q7-8RQ and L1Q7-9MJ.

Dorothea Utterstrom, dog, Annette Cassidy, Etta Utterstrom, ca 1940s” – Dorothea, Annette, and Etta are three first cousins with three different parents. Frank, Dorothea, and Harold Utterstrom respectively. Dorothea Utterstrom was born 28 Aug 1927, Annette Cassidy was born 2 August 1929, and Lucy Etta Utterstrom was born 17 April 1928. The back of the photo indicates the photo is ca. 1940s. However, if the photo was taken in 1940, the kids would have been, 12, 10, and 11 respectively. My sense is that they are a younger than that, probably 8, 6, and 7. If my ages are correct, the photo is ca. 1935 and not in the 1940s. I have added the photos to my Ancestry project but not to Family Search.

Cassidy’s & Utterstrom’s at Bonny Eagle Lake – ca 1940” – During the 1940 census, William (Jr.) was 8, Lois was 7, and Beth was also 8. Circa 1940 fits with the apparent ages of the children. I cropped the photo to allow for one of just Dorothea and William (Sr.) to be in one photo and them and the kids to be in another photo in my Ancestry Project.

William (Sr.) & Dolly Cassidy – ca. 1927-28” – The back of the photo identifies who and when and is pretty clear.  William and Dolly married on 24 September 1928. The photo shows some leaves on the ground a some of the distant trees somewhat bare, so I believe the photo is probably from the fall of 1928. This photo is not of high enough quality to post to any of the sites.

Final Note

If you are related to the Utterstrom and have photos you can share, I’d love to hear from you. Please use the comment form below. Add “PRIVATE” to the subject line if you do NOT want your comment published to the website.

Continue reading “Blanchard Project Photos – Part 2 of 2 – Utterstrom & Cassidy”