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.

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