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 – Laurance Louis Harmon

Howell-Welch-Harris-Harmon Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.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)

Birth

Although spring had arrived a few weeks earlier, the morning that Laurance[1] 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.

Childhood

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.

Marriage

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.

Military Service

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.

The 43rd Company, 151st Depot Brigade – Camp Devens, Massachusett

Camp Devens was an epicenter for the Spanish Flu in 1918 where over 850 soldiers, mostly privates like Laurance, died.[2] 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.

Adulthood

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

Death

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.

Events by Location

  • Maine, Cumberland, Gorham                 – Residence 1915-1917, 1930-1941, Death, Burial
  • Maine, Cumberland, Portland                – Residence 1918.
  • Maine, Cumberland, Scarborough        – Birth, Residence 1900, 1910.
  • Maine, Cumberland, Westbrook            – Marriage, Residence 1917, 1919-1922.
  • Massachusetts, Camp Devens                – Military Service 1918.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Try to find Laurance’s military record to see why he was discharged after only three months.
  • Determine the exact property he purchased along County Road in Gorham.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Sources

  • 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.

Endnotes

[1] 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.

[2] Internet – Wikipedia – Fort DevensEstablishment during World War I

Relative Sketch – James Cooper Lamb

Darling-McAllister-Lamb
By Don Taylor

James Cooper Lamb was the brother of my wife’s 2nd great-grandmother, Margaret Mary Lamb (1860-1929). I researched him primarily to seek additional information regarding his mother Isabella (Atkinson) Lamb who appears to have vanished from the records about 1864. I may, or may not, have found her in am 1898 record.

Darling-McAllister-Lamb – Brother of #27

List of Greats & Grands

James Cooper Lamb (1862-1898).

Birth

James Cooper Lamb was baptized on 18 May 1862, He was nine years old during the 1871 Census, taken on 2 April) so I presumed he was born between 2 April 1862 and 17 May 1862.

James had a difficult childhood. His mother appears to have vanished from the records after the birth of his younger brother, Edward, in 1864. The 1871 Census shows the family has been broken up and nine-year-old James is living with his grandparents.

Adulthood

Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library, from their British Cigarette Cards collection.

The 1881 Census finds 19-year-old James working as a servant in the household of John Lancaster.

James may have become ill and entered the City Road Workhouse in London on 5 August 1886. He was transferred to the Highgate Workhouse the next day and was discharged from Highgate on 4 September 1886.[1]

James’ father, Edward Lamb, died November 1st. 1893. Edward’s estate was probated and James received the effects. James was a sergeant in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

Death

James died on 20 April 1898. His estate was also probated. The Isabella Lamb (a widow) was the administrator. It isn’t clear if this is Isabella, James’ widow, or Isabella, the widow of Edward Lamb. If the latter, that would prove James’ mother, Isabella, was living in 1898.

Events by Location

  • England, Westmorland, Soulby – 2 Apr 1871 – Residence.
  • England, Cumberland, Culgaith – 3 Apr 1881 – Residence.
  • England, Cumberland, Carlisle – 10 Jul 1894 – Probate of father.
  • England, Middlesex, Holborn – 5 Aug 1886 – Event.
  • England, Westmorland, Warcop – Between 2 Apr – 17 May 1862 (Birth)
  • England, Westmorland, Warcop – 18 May 1892 –  Christening,
  • Ireland, Kildare, Curragh – 20 Apr 1898 – Death.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Find the probate record for James Cooper Lamb.
  • Find the military record for James Cooper Lamb.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Sources

  • Source Title: 1871 England Census (April 2)
    Repository: Ancestry
    Citation: 1871 England Census (April 2) (National Archives of the UK), Ancestry, John Atkerson – Soulby, Westmorland, England. The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1871 England Census; Class: RG10; Piece: 5271; Folio: 88; Page: 7; GSU roll: 847454.
  • Source Title: 1881 England Census (April 3)
    Repository: Ancestry
    Citation: 1881 England Census (April 3) (National Archives of the UK), Ancestry, James Lamb – Age 19 – Culgaith, Cumberland, England. Class: RG11; Piece: 5143; Folio: 60; Page: 14; GSU roll: 1342241.
  • Source Title: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995
    Repository: Ancestry
    Citation: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995, Ancestry, James Cooper Lamb – 20 Apr 1898. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/1904/records/571734/.
  • Source Title: England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957
    Repository: Family Search
    Citation: England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957, Family Search, LAMB, Edward of Sanford. Citing this Record. “England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:7X3N-7DT2 : 27 August 2019), James Cooper Lamb in entry for Edward Lamb, 10 Jul 1894; citing Probate, Westmorland, England, United Kingdom, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, Great Britain.
  • Source Title: England Births and Christenings, 1538-­1975
    Repository: Family Search
    Citation: England Births and Christenings, 1538-­1975, Family Search, James Cooper Lamb – Warcop, Westmorland, England. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NR9L-K8X : 11 February 2018, James Cooper Lamb, 18 May 1862); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 97,420. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NR9L-K8X.
  • Source Title: Letters
    Repository: Personal Files
    Citation: Letters, Letter – Betty Darling Kemon to Jerome Howell 30 Dec 1978.
  • Source Title: London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930
    Repository: Ancestry
    Citation: London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930 (London Metropolitan Archives), Ancestry, Lamb, James born 1862 – Page 284. London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: HOBG/542/13.
  • Source Title: London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930
    Repository: Ancestry
    Citation: London, England, Workhouse Admission and Discharge Records, 1764-1930 (London Metropolitan Archives), Ancestry, Lamb, James born 1862 – Page 285 . London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: HOBG/542/13
    City Road Workhouse (St Luke´s and Other Workhouses) Register, 1885-1886.

EEndnotes

[1] I am not positive this event related to James Cooper Lamb, the son of Edward and Isabella Lamb, however, I have accepted it tentatively and have entered it here.

Ethel Wright Collection – Part 6

Baker, Baldwin, Bangs, Barry, & Bassett

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

This week for Photo Friday, I look at identifying five more negatives from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The names on the envelope are of the individual who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is important to analyze the photo and information to positively identify the photographs.[ii]

Child of Mrs. Leroy Baker
(Probably) Richard Baker (1933-2018)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Leroy Baker – 684 Forest Ave., Portland.”

Child of Mrs LeRoy Baker ()

The 1936 Portland City Directory reports Leroy R. (Alice A) Baker living at 684 Forest Ave., Portland.

The 1940 Census reports Leroy R. Baker at the Maine State Prison.

The 1940 Census also reports Alice A. Baker living with her mother, Isabell Boyle, a brother, Lawrence, and Alice’s three children; Richard L., Barbara J., & Isabell R. ages 6, 5, and 2 respectively.

I believe this child is either Richard or Barbara. I believe that because the photo is of a single child it was taken about 1934 of Richard. If it had been taken in 1935/6, I believe the photo would have been taken of the two children together. I see the bonnet and the sweater, however, the dress at that time is not sufficient to persuade me to believe it is a photo of Barbara.

I found a person online (at Ancestry.Com) in who appears is a grandchild of Leroy and Alice. I’ve asked that person if they can identify the apparent uncle/aunt in the photograph.

I created a profile for Richard Baker (1933-2018) on Family Search but have not uploaded the images to that profile, however, I have uploaded them to my Flickr Account – See Photo 1 & Photo 2. I hope that the descendant of LeRoy and Alice can confirm the identity of the child in the photo.

Nancy Baldwin (1934-2012)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Wm Baldwin – 51 Morning St, Portland #679”

Nancy Baldwin ca. 1934

The 1937 Portland City Directory shows William G. Baldwin and his wife Gertrude J. residing at 51 Morning in Portland.

The 1940 Census shows William and Gertrude living on Morning with their five-year-old daughter, Nancy.

Family Search suggests this couple is William George Baldwin (1910-1970) and Gertrude J. Quinn (1916-Deceased)

Several Ancestry Trees suggest that Nancy Baldwin is the child of William and Gertrude and that she was born 25 May 1934 and died 7 May 2012. As such, I’ve created a profile on FamilySearch, LYWL-4K3 and uploaded one of the images to that profile.

Mrs. Blanche Bangs

The envelope this negative was in says, Mrs. Blanch Bangs – 92 Vesper St., Portland.”

Mrs. Blanche Bangs

The 1920 Census shows Blanche Bangs, wife of H. John Banks, living at 92 Vesper Street, Portland. Blanche was born circa 1893 in Canada.

The 1930 Census shows Blanche living at 92 Vesper, but she was a widow.

The 1940 Census shows Blanche still living at 92 Vesper, and still a widow.

In 1935, about when this photo was taken, Blanch would have been about 43. The woman in this photo appears to be in her 40s to me, so I believe it to be Blanch.

A quick search for Blanche on Family Search failed to yield a clear result, so I took a closer look.

1930 Census – Blanche Bangs Age 37 Widow, Married at age 27. She was born in Canada. Her father was born in England and her mother was also born in Canada. She came to the states in 1911.

Looking back on the 1920 Census, Blanche’s mother, Roxanna M. Bangs was living with the family. That helps confirm a Record of Marriage that indicates H. John Bangs married Blanch Halstead on 26 November 1919. H. John’s mother was Roxanna Bangs. Blanche’s parents were Joseph Halstead and Julia A. Noble, who were living in Portland at the time.

Blanche Halstead, the daughter of Joseph and Julia (Noble) Halstead, has a profile on FamilySearch, LYL4-KL1.

Alice M. Barry

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Alice M Barry – 407 Chapman Bldg, Portland #79.“

Alice M. Berry – ca. 1934

First, the Chapman Building is the original name for the Time and Temperature building in downtown Portland, Maine. It is a fourteen-story building at 477 Congress Street.

The 1940 Census indicated three “Alice M Barry’s” in Cumberland.

  • Alice M. Berry, Age 55, Wife of Edward C. Berry. She lived with her husband at 174 Edwards Street in Portland.
  • Alice M. Barry, Age 38, Daughter of Thomas E. & Nellie T. Barry. She was a clerk typist for the Government in 1940. She lived with her parents at 218 Pine in South Portland.
  • Alice M. Berry, Age 45, wife of Norris J. Berry, lived at 277 Maine Street, Westbrook.

The Portland, Maine, City Directories for 1933 through 1937 complete the identification.  reports

  • 1933 – Alice M Barry – Sten[iii] r 218 Pine SP
  • 1934 – Alice M Barry – Sten 477 Cong Room 407 – R 218 Pine SP.
  • 1935 – Alice M Barry – Sten r 218 Pine SP
  • 1936 – Alice M Barry – Sten 317 Cong r 218 Pine SP

From the city directories, we can be certain the photo was taken in 1934 or 1935. From the directories and the 1940 census record, we can be certain this Alice M Barry is the daughter of Thomas E. & Nellie T. Barry. In 1940, Alice was 38 which suggests she was about 32 in this photo. The woman in the photo seems to be in her early 30s, so I’m confident this is her.

Family Search has an Alice M Barry, born 3 September 1902 to Thomas Edward and Nellie “Ellen” T (O’Donnell) Barry. Her profile on FamilySearch is G9F3-LM4.

Hope Cleone (Bassett) Shedin (or Sheddin)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Hope Bassett – Me Gen Hospital City #318.”

Hope Bassett ca. 1934

A search on Ancestry quickly found a high school yearbook photo of Hope Cleone Bassett in the 1932 Augusta, Maine yearbook. That photo is clearly of the same young woman who was born October 9, 1914.

In 1935 Hope was working in Augusta as a nurse and in 1938 she had moved to Portland where she was a nurse employed at 22 Arsenal which was the Maine General Hospital, the predecessor of the Maine Medical Center.

The 1930 Census indicates that Hope C Bassett, of Augusta, Maine was the daughter of Jacob P. H and Anna E. Bassett.

Hope died on 13 September 1977.

Hope did not have a profile on Family Search, however, her parents did. Because I learned that Hope died, I created a profile for her on Family Search – ID 27VJ-8CT and uploaded the images of her that I have.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of a family member of yours, I would love to hear your reaction. Have you seen the photo before. Do you disagree with my assessment?


Endnotes

[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera, and computer software.

[iii] “Sten” is the abbreviation for Stenographer used in these directories.