Friday, October 12, 2012

Never Married Women (Continued)

Never Married Residents: Parents Identified
  • Almira N Ells was born about 1808 in Freeport, the daughter of William Witherell and Abigail (Millett) Ells, although her death record identifies her mother as Abigail Bartol.Her surname is sometimes written Eells, and both parents were from Gloucester, Massachusetts. Almira was admitted to the Home 25 Sep 1875, but was dismissed in May 1881 "she having caused much trouble in the institution by her persistence in manifesting an uncomfortable temper and rendering all the other inmates unhappy." She died 8 Jun 1895 and was buried in Burr Cemetery in Freeport.
  • Elizabeth D Fuller was born in Boothbay 15 Jan 1815 and baptized in the Congregational Church of Boothbay 21 Jan 1816, the daughter of John and Rachel (Auld) Fuller. She supported herself as a dressmaker and by "various means" before her admission to the Home in April 1876. She died there 7 Feb 1897 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery.
  • Sarah Rice was born in North Yarmouth 8 Mar 1808, the daughter of Joseph and Experience (Hall) Rice. She worked as a nurse and had lived in Portland for more than 40 years when she was admitted to the Home in August 1876. She died at the Home 5 Jun 1887.
  • Sarah H. Barbour was born in Deer Isle 3 Mar 1817, the daughter of  William and Parmelia (Kimball) Barbour. She lived in Portland at least 20 years (she was enumerated there in 1850), and a member of Chestnut Street Methodist when she was admitted to the Home in Dec 1877. The Home's records indicate she had a sister, Mrs. Avery, living in New Orleans at that time, who is probably her sister Parmelia F. (Barbour) Averill, who was widowed four years earlier. Sarah died 21 Jun 1885 and Home records note she was buried in the Cushman lot at Evergreen Cemetery Parmelia (Barbour) Averill's daughter Harriet married a Cushman and that may be the connection.

Never Married Residents: Parents Not Yet Identified
  • Mary A Crane was born about 1811 in Northampton, Massachusetts. She had a sister Caroline M Crane who was several years younger. They lived together in Portland in 1860 and 1870 and both worked as nurses. Mary was a member of Pine Street Methodist Church when she was admitted to the Home in Oct 1874. A year later, on a visit to her brother (I believe to western Massachusetts or New York) she received a proposal of marriage and left the home in Oct 1875. I have not been able to determine if and whom she married and where and when she died.
  • Hannah (or Anna) Ring was born in Freeport about 1801. She supported herself as a nurse in Portland for many years before she was admitted to the Home in June 1875. She died six years later, 13 Aug 1881, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Never Married Women Admitted before 1900

Between 1856, when the Home first opened, until the end of the year 1899, 104 women were admitted to the Home. Most were widows, but 46 (44%) were women who never married. This was well above the usual percentage as never married women over age 45 was less than eight percent (8%) of the population in the 19th century.

Here are the never married women who were admitted between 1856 and 1873. I'll add more as time permits.

Never married residents: parentage identified (sorted by year of admission)

  • Ruth Jordan, born 24 Jun 1791 in Cape Elizabeth, daughter of Tristram and Hannah (Lasell) Jordan. Ruth was a member of Free Street Baptist Church. She was admitted 12 Aug 1856 and died 23 Feb 1867.
  • Serena/Cyrene Libby, born 27 Mar 1809 in Scarborough, daughter of Capt. Sewall and Sarah (Libby) Libby. Serena was blind and frail so an exception was made to admit her at an age younger than the minimum. She was admitted 12 Aug 1856 and died 12 Jul 1859.
  • Lavinia Mayberry was born 11 May 1780 in Windham, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Worster) Mayberry. Lavinia (sometimes listed as Lovina) was admitted 16 Aug 1861 and died 17 Jun 1862.
  • Nancy Butman or Bootman was born 5 Mar 1788 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Harrenden) Bootman. She was admitted in June 1862 and died 2 Sep 1864.
  • Sarah "Sally" T Cushing was born about 1791 in Portland, daughter of Loring and Lydia (Horton) Cushing. Before her admission to the Home on 3 Jul 1872 Sarah supported herself as a dress maker. She died 30 Jan 1874.
  • Amelia Cutter was born 16 Dec 1801 in North Yarmouth, daughter of Charles and Dorcas (Thompson) Cutter. She was a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church. Amelia was admitted in August 1872 and died 17 Sep 1881.
  • Martha Douglas Fernald was born in Pownal 13 Aug 1797, daughter of Joshua and Mary (Gooding) Fernald. Prior to her admission she had supported herself as a nurse and by sewing and quilting, A member of First Baptist Church, Martha was admitted 7 Feb 1873 and died 10 Jul 1876.
  • Sarah "Sally" Hoole was born about 1794 in North Yarmouth, daughter of Capt. William dna Hannah (Hatch) Hoole. A member of Second Parish (Congregational) Church, Sarah was admitted 15 May 1873 and died 12 Mar 1880.

Never married residents: parentage not yet identified
  • Catharine Simmons, born about 1778 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. An exception was made to the rule of only admitted women born in the United States because of her many years living in Portland. She was admitted in December 1858 and died 19 Sep 1869.
  • Betsey Holland was born about 1777 in Boston, Massachusetts. She lived in Portland for 40 years and was a member of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. Betsey was admitted to the Home 21 May 1866. She died 27 Aug 1871.
  • Hannah J Johnson was born about 1793 in Portland. Hannah had a niece, Mrs. Dyer. She worked many years as a nurse in Portland before her admission to the Home in Sep 1872. She died 13 Sep 1881.
  • Abigail Robinson, born about 1798 in Augusta. Abigail was a long-time resident of Portland and a member of Second Parish (Congregational) Church when she was admitted to the home 12 Nov 1873. She died 1 Jun 1876 and is buried in the Robinson lot in Evergreen Cemetery. Locating her gravestone or grave record might help identify her.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mrs Hannah Carr - unidentified

Mrs. Hannah Carr was reportedly 65 and born about 1790 and a member of Free Street Baptist Church when she was admitted to the Home for Aged Women in September 1856.

Hannah was dismissed from the home in  January1864 "after continuing eight years in the family and for the most of the time proving a very uncomfortable member, she was dismissed." 

In 1850 a Hannah Carr, aged 56, was enumerated with the family of  Horace and Mary (Keating) Carr.

It was probably this Hannah Carr who died in Portland 23 Mar 1872 from old age at the age of 73 and was buried in Eastern Cemetery.

I have not been able to learn much about her.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Miss Serena Libby - identified

Miss Serena Libby was, according to records of the Home for Aged Women, 50 at the time of admission, although she was actually a couple of years younger. She was blind and despite the home's age limit which at the time was 60 or older, the board unanimously agreed to admit her due to her disability, general frailty, and her not having family who could provide for her.

In 1850 she was enumerated with Hannah Thompson, 60, probably a widow, with twin sons. There is no known relationship between her and the Thompson family.

Serena or Cyrene Libby or Libbey was born in Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine 27 Mar 1809, the first of four children of Sewall and Sarah (Libby) Libby. Her father was born in Scarborough 6 Mar 1779, the son of Daniel and Dorothy (Hasty) Libby. He was a sea captain involved in the West Indies trade, sailing out of Portland where the family moved while she was young. Capt. Sewall died 29 Apr 1830 and his widow, Sally, was found living on Danforth Street in the 1831 Portland City Directory.

In 1834 the city directory lists Sewall Libby, mariner, with a home on Danforth, and widow Sarah at Sewall Libby's. This Sewall was the oldest of Serena's brothers who died in about 1833 of smallpox. The next available city directory, 1837, does not list widow Sarah, although she lived until 1842, but does list the middle brother, Cornelius M., mariner, home on Pleasant, but boarding at Park and High. The next directory, 1841, has widow Sally, home on York but boarding at Fore and High, and Cornelius M and Alvin B., mariner, both at Sally Libby's. Alvin was Serena's youngest brother. In 1844 Alvin B, mariner, has a home on Danforth; the others are not mentioned.

According to the Libby genealogy, Cornelius was injured "by a blow from a falling spar" and lost his hearing; he became a house painter and moved to California where he died. Alvin B. was last heard from in New York. None of the family is found in any subsequent Portland city directories until 1858 when Miss S. Libby is at 15 Elm Street (the Home for Aged Women).

Sarah "Sally" Libby, Serena's mother, was born in 1774 in Scarborough, the daughter of Phineas and Sarah (Libby) Libby. She died in September 1842 although her death is not recorded in Portland.

Serena had a cousin who was blind and who had a son also born blind, suggesting that the condition was congenital within part of the family, although the Libby genealogy stated she was blind for many years, not that she was blind from birth, it may still have been a related genetic disorder.

Source for information on her family: Charles T. Libby,  The Libby Family in America, 1602-1881 (Portland: Charles T Libby; Printed by B Thurston & Co, 1882), 195.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Miss Ruth Jordan - identified

Miss Ruth Jordan was 69 when she was admitted to the Home for Aged Women according to their records, which is consistent with her age on the 1860 census (73) and her age at death (79). She may actually  have been a few years younger unless the birth date noted in secondary sources was actually a baptismal date.

She was born about 1787 or 24 Jun 1791 in Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland, Maine, the youngest child of Tristram and Hannah (Lassell) Jordan. She never married, died in Portland 23 Feb 1867, and was buried is Western Cemetery. Portland.

Ruth had one sister and six brothers:
  • Barthomolew, b. 1765; lived in Denmark and Bridgton, m1)  Portland 1787 Rhoda Cox (5 children), m2) an unknown wife, m3) 1808 Priscilla Lord of Denmark (3 children).
  • Mial, b. 1768, m. Bridgton 1793 Ruth Jewett (no children).
  • Tristram, b. 4 Nov 1770; d. 4 Sep 1826; m. Thomaston 1798 Rebecca Hayden (1774-1835; 5 children). He was a tanner and shoemaker (as was his father); became a Baptist minister serving in Thomaston and Denmark.
  • Nathaniel, b. 1774, lost at sea, unmarried.
  • Simon, b. 1778. d. 30 May 1843, lived in Farmington; m. 1808 Hannah Walker, d. 1870 (5 children).
  • Hannah, v. 1783; res. Sweden; m. Ephraim Jewett of Denmark (Jordan Memorial does not list children).
  • James K. b. 1786; res Dover NH; m 1823 Nancy Carson (1790-1872; 2 children).
 Source: Tristram Frost Jordan, The Jordan Memorial: Family Records of the Rev. Robert Jordan and his Descendants in America (Boston: Press of David Clapp and Sons, 1882), p. 205-210.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mrs. Joanna Farrington - partially identified

Mrs. Joanna Farrington was born in Portland in 1785, and she died there 20 Aug 1874 at the age of 89. She is buried at Western Cemetery in Portland. When she was admitted to the Home was a a widow without any children.

She was a member of High Street (Congregational) Church.

In 1812 (the intention date was 15 Aug 1812) Joanna Tyler was married by Rev. John Lindsey to Eliphalet Farrington who was born in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts 15 Dec 1778, the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Fuller) Farrington. According to one source, he may have been previously married to Anne Baker and had by her a son Nathaniel born in Dedham in 1801.

There was no one with the Tyler surname enumerated in the 1810 Portland census, although there were some in nearby communities; there was also no Eliphalet Farrington with a household in either Portland or Dedham that year.

In 1820, Eliphalet is found in Portland, with two males, one 16-18 and the other 26-44 (this would be Eliphalet who would have been about 42), and two females, one 10-15, the other 26-44 (Joanna would then be about 35). Perhaps the two younger people were children of Eliphalet's first marriage.

By 1829 they had moved to his hometown of Dedham, where she admitted as a member of the First Parish Church by letter from High Street. They were enumerated in Dedham in 1830 (one male 50-59; one female 40-49) and in 1840 (one male 20-29, one male 60-69, and one female 50-59).

Eliphalet died in Dedham 17 Oct 1840 and is buried in the First Parish Church cemetery with his parents and siblings. After his death, Joanna transferred back to High Street Church in Portland. She was not located in the 1850 census, but was found in the 1851 city directory, working as a seamstress.

Eliphalet Farrington's ancestry is well documented, but the Tyler line is style a mystery.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mrs. Esther Davis - unidentified

Mrs. Esther Davis was born about 1784 or 1785 based on death and census records and on her age at the time of her admission to the Home for Aged Women.
Information from her brief record at the Home provide a few additional clues:
  • Born in Bridgton, Maine
  • Lived in Portland from early childhood
  • Widowed many years
  • children not able to support
  • Member of Chestnut Methdodist Church

She died 10 Apr 1875 at the age of 90 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery. Neither her parents nor her husband are included in the death record.
She was enumerated at the Home in both 1860 and 1870 but no new information is learned from those censuses. In 1850 she was living with Horace Harvey Sr and Jr, but there is no indication of what, if any, relationship they had; she may have been boarding with them, or they with her, and she may have been providing homemaking services for them in exchange for board.
In 1840 widow Esther Davis is found in the 1840 census, living in Portland's Ward 7. One other person is in the household, a female aged 20-29, perhaps her daughter. She is not found in 1830 and only one of the Davis families had a female the correct age--Solomon--however he does not appear to be related to Esther, so she may have been enumerated in a household with a different surname than hers.
In 1820, Esther is found in Portland; in the household is also found two males under 10 and one female under 10, suggesting three living children, and that she probably was widowed from 1815-1820. There is no death recorded in Portland of a male Davis of the right age nor are their any children with a mother named Esther during that decade. There were two marriages recorded in Portland during the right time frame that might be this Esther:
  • Stephen Davis m. 12 Nov 1807 Esther Gibans, by Rev. Elijah Kellogg (Congregation Pastor).
  • David Davis m. 7 Jan 1810 Esther Sawyer, by Rev. Edward Payson (Congregation Pastor).
In 1820 there was a Stephen Davis and family enumerated in the census in Portland. He is not found there in 1810, but David Davis is, with a male and female aged 16-25 and a female under 10.