By Don Taylor
As I begin looking more closely at the life of Albert S. Bodge, I find his life seems to have fallen apart sometime between 1872 and 1880. Looking at his property transactions might shed light upon this period in his life.
I Albert S Bodge of Gray in the County of Cumberland and State of Maine
In consideration of two hundred dollars paid by John J. Bodge of Windham in the County and State aforesaid the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, do hereby remise, release, bargain, sell and convey, and forever quit-claim unto the said John J. Bodge and his heirs and assigns forever all my right, title and interest in and to a certain piece or parcel of land with the buildings therein situated in Windham and being the homestead farm formerly owned and occupied by John Bodge late of said Windham deceased containing about sixty acres more or less. Meaning and intending hereby to convey all my right, title and interest as an heir at law to the homestead farm formerly owned and occupied by the late John Bodge and to all the real estate of which he died seized and possessed in said town of Windham.
To have and to hold the same, together with all the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, to the said John J. Bodge and his heirs and assigns forever.
In witness whereof, I the said Albert S. Bodge and Lizzie M. Bodge wife of the said Albert S in testimony her relinquishment of her right of dower and all claims in the above described premises, have hereunto set our hands and seals this ninth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy six.
Witness: Jacob Clark Albert S Bodge (Seal) L M. Webb to A. S. B. Lizzie M. Bodge (Seal)
Jacob Clark, Justice of the Peace, Henry (?) Houston, Register
Albert lived in Gray in 1876.
Lizzie was alive in 1876.
Albert’s father, John Bodge, died before June 1876.
Albert’s father, John Bodge, had a 60-acre homestead in Windham, plus buildings.
There was a John J. Bodge living in Windham in 1876 who purchased the land for $200.
Albert had a brother, John P. Bodge who was eight years older than Albert. This may have been Albert selling his share of the inherited property to his brother. The difference between “P” and “J” might be attributed to penmanship.
Alternately, it may have been a sale to another heretofore unknown Bodge.
[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog, Transylvanian Dutch and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”
By Don Taylor
One of my first process activities in reviewing an ancestor’s life is to follow the individual through all of the available census records. Often this can be difficult, but in the case of Albert Bodge, it was pretty easy.
Albert was born 2 Aug 1838 and died 19 Aug 1897 at the age of 58. The 1890 Census isn’t available, and I found him in the 1880 and 1870 Censuses living in Westbrook. During the 1860 and 1850 Censuses, he lived with his parents, John and Betsey Bodge, in Windham. Other records have indicated he had four siblings, a brother and three sisters.
Searching for the John Bodge family in the 1840 Census was quick and easy.
So, the 1840 Census enumerated all of John and Betsy’s children.
Of interest, there were eight Bodge households in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine, during the 1840 Census – Andrew, two Johns, two Thomas’, Josiah, Olive, and William.
John A. Bodge was a single, white male, age 20 to 29, who was apparently married to a female 20 to 29. It will be essential to note the second John Bodge to avoid confusion in future research.
[i] “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHT6-498 : 8 December 2020), John Bodge, Windham, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing p. 447, NARA microfilm publication , (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm .
[ii] Because the 1840 Census does not provide relationship information, the relationships identified here are tentative and only “apparent” based upon age and household.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A review of the 1850 Census found 30 Results in 7 groups.
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).
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).
Otis Washburn household with apparent wife Rachel and six children – Lorenzo (21), Emily (19), Ebenezer (16), Caroline (14), Sidney (12), and Matilda (age 7).
Charles Washburn with apparent wife Elizabeth and two children. The children were Maria (1) and Charles (2).
Sylvia Washburn, apparent mother-in-law living with George Warren.
Elizabeth Washburn, an apparent lodger in Dorothy Clark’s home in Portland.
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.
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.
[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
Paul, the husband of my wife’s niece, said he didn’t know much about his great-grandfather, Laurance Louis Harmon. I was invited to be the godfather to his children several years ago. As I believe it to be important for children to learn about their ancestors, I am excited to learn about Paul’s ancestors so I can help my godchildren to learn more about where they come from. Finally, Paul’s ancestor was born in Scarborough, to a family name long known to me as a volunteer at the historical society. As I quickly learned, besides Paul’s great-grandfather, I learned of six more greats in his family tree, which means much more research in the future.
Howell-Welch Project – Ancestor #14
List of Greats
1st Great-grandfather: Laurance Louis Harmon (1897-1941)
2nd Great-grandfather: Lewis Lunbard Harmon (1863-___)
3rd Great-grandfather: Joseph Harmon
4th Great-grandfather: John S. Harmon
5th Great-grandfather: Joseph Harmon
6th Great-grandfather: Nathanel Harmon
7th Great-grandfather: John Harmon
Laurance Louis Harmon (1897-1941)
Although spring had arrived a few weeks earlier, the morning that Laurance Louis Harmon was born, April 11, 1897, there was light snow and a temperature of 33. Laurance was the third, and last, child born to Lewis and Lucille (Cousins) Harmon. Medical Doctor, Martin Coffin, attended the birth in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine.
The 1900 Census found 3-year-old Laurance living with his father, a farmer, mother, and two siblings, Ernest (age 11) and Velma (age 8). They were at school and Laurance was too young to attend school yet.
The 1910 Census found 13-year-old Laurance attending school but his siblings were both working. Earnest was laboring at a sawmill and Velma was doing housework. His father was still a farmer.
Laurance followed his father into farming, as the 1915 Portland City directory reports. The 17-year-old was living with his father (L. L. Harmon). His mailing address was RFD 2, Gorham.
Laurance married Mildred R. Swain on 1 October 1917. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John A. Ford in Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine.
Laurance and Mildred would have four children, a boy and three girls.
On 5 June 1918 Laurance registered for the draft. He and his new wife were living at 7 Grace Street, Portland, Maine. He was employed as a machinist at Peterson Motor Company, 327 Forest Avenue, Portland. It was described as tall, with a slender build, blue eyes and brown hair.
Two months later, on 28 August 1918, John was inducted into the army as a private. He was assigned to the 43rd company, 11th Rec Batallion, 151st Depot Brigade at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.
Camp Devens was an epicenter for the Spanish Flu in 1918 where over 850 soldiers, mostly privates like Laurance, died. The War ended on 11 November 1918. Laurance was discharged, three months after arriving, but a month after the war ended, on 5 December 1918 with an honorable discharge.
After his short time in the service, the young family located to Westbrook where Laurance worked as an auto mechanic until at least 1922.
The 1930 Census finds Laurance living with his wife and three oldest children in Gorham. He is still working as a mechanic in a garage. He is living on County Road in Gorham, near the Scarborough line.
The 1940 Census continues to find Laurance living with his wife and four children on County Road, and working as a mechanic at a machine shop
Laurance Louis Harmon died 4 April 1941. He was buried in the South Gorham Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland County Maine. He was survived by his wife and his four children.
1900 Census, Various, 1900 Census – Lewis L Harmon – Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMLF-FL3 : accessed 20 December 2020), Lewis L Harmon, Scarborough town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78, sheet 18A, family 436, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,591.
1910 Census (NARA, 1910), Various, 1910 – Lawrance C. Harmon – Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MR3M-H97 : accessed 19 December 2020), Lawrance C Harmon in household of Lewis L Harmon, Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 101, sheet 20A, family 467, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 538; FHL microfilm 1,374,551.
1930 Census (FS), Laurence Harman – Head – Gorham, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XM8L-7KP : accessed 19 December 2020), Laurence Harman, Gorham, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 17, sheet 7A, line 2, family 105, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 830; FHL microfilm 2,340,565.
1940 Census (FS), Family Search, 1940 Census – Lawrence Harmon – Gorham, Cumberland, Maine. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMMW-WMH : 28 February 2020), Vyra A Harmon in household of Lawrence Harmon, Gorham Town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-27, sheet 6A, line 37, family 92, 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 1474.
Find a Grave, Laurance L Harmon – Memorial #127906305. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 December 2020), memorial page for Laurance L Harmon (1897–1941), Find a Grave Memorial no. 127906305, citing South Gorham Cemetery, Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine, USA ; Maintained by Maine 101 (contributor 47130320).
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Alton [No Name] Harmon – 11 May 1919. Citing this Record. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-7HYM : 16 December 2020), MM9.1.1/Q24N-7HYM:, Birth 11 May 1919; multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm 10,133.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Laurence L Harmon – 11 Apr 1897. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VZQD-3P8 : 16 December 2020), Lawrence L Harmon, 11 Apr 1897; citing Scarboro, , Maine, United States, multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Birth – Ruth Marie Harmon – 19 Jul 1922. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-9GQ7 : 16 December 2020), Ruth Marie Harmon, Birth 19 Jul 1922; multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm 10,128. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-9GQ7.
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921, Family Search, Marriage – Laurence Harmon & Mildred R Swan – 1 Oct 1917. “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q24N-SHR3 : 16 December 2020), Laurence Harmon and Mildred R Swan, 01 Oct 1917; citing Westbrook, Cumberland, Maine, United States, multiple sources, Maine; FHL microfilm.
Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996, Family Search, Marriage – Laurence Harmon & Mildred R Swan – 1 Oct 1917. “Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCN2-TRK : 27 November 2014), Laurence Harmon and Mildred R Swan, 01 Oct 1917; citing Marriage, Maine, United States, State Archives, Augusta.
Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957, Family Search, Military Service – Laurance or Laurence Louis Harmon 1918. “Maine, State Archive Collections, 1718-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KG9Q-67X : 11 March 2018), Laurance Or Lawrence Louis Harmon, 28 Aug 1918; citing Military Service, United States, State Archives, Augusta.
Maine, World War I Draft Register Index, 1917-1919, Family Search, Draft Registration – Lawrence Louis Harmon – Inducted 28 Aug 1918. “Maine, World War I Draft Registration Index, 1917-1919,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2HM-P1F5 : 15 March 2018), Lawrence Louis Harmon, 1917-1919; citing Draft Registration, Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States, Maine State Archives, Augusta; FHL microfilm 005652220.
Portland Press Herald (Portland, ME, ), Genealogy Bank, Alton S. Harmon – Obituary 27 May 1998. Portland Press Herald (Maine) 27 May 1998, obit for ALTON S. HARMON CONSTRUCTION WORKER, WWII VETERAN, GenealogyBank.com (https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F9C33C5B8BC7A98 : accessed 19 December 2020). https://www.genealogybank.com/doc/obituaries/obit/0F9C33C5B8BC7A98.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Portland, Maine – 1915-’17 – Page 212 – Harmon – Portland, Maine – 1915-’17 – Page 213 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Westbrook, ME – 1930 – Gorham Directory – Page 241 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Westbrook, ME – 1934 – Gorham Directory – Page 178 – Harmon. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 , Ancestry, Laurence L Harmon (1897-1941). National Archives at Washington DC; Washington DC, USA; Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1941; NAID: A1, 2110-C; Record Group Number: 92; Record Group Title: Records of the O.
S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry, Alton Swain Harmon (1919-1998) – No Image. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/28283679:60901.
S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry, Lawrence Louis Harmon (1897-1941) – No Image. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/89437:60901.
United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Draft Card – Laurence Louis Harmon – Registered 5 June 1918. “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZFY-BQX : 24 August 2019), Laurence Louis Harmon, 1917-1918.
 Laurence and Laurance are used interchangeably throughout many documents. His military service record even uses both on the same page. I have standardized by using “Laurance” because it is the spelling used on his tombstone and is likely the spelling he used later in life.