All towns listed below are in Maine.
My grandmother’s paternal grandfather, Franklin Maddox, took his life in 1944 one month after his 85th birthday. In the newspaper clippings I managed to get a hold of from my great aunt Viola (now deceased) was his obituary:
BLUE HILL, March 19- Franklin E. Maddox, a well known gardener, died suddenly on Saturday at his home.
He was born in Ellsworth on Feb 18, 1860, and worked for many years on Blue Hill’s fine summer estates.
Mr Maddox is survived by four daughters and one son.
Funeral services will be Monday afternoon at 4 o’clock at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lena Saunders, Pleasant street. Rev. A. L. Anderson will conduct it, the bearers being Edward Parker, Lou Piper, Percy Moore and George Mason. Interment will be in Seaside cemetery.
Starting with this, I begin my research. A quick check of existing family trees agreed February 18th, but stated 1859 as the year; they also listed Sedgwick as his birthplace, not Ellsworth. A quick census search reveals that a Franklin Maddox, aged 1, lived in Sedgwick in June or July 1860. While this is not definitive proof of where he was born, it does seem to support the 1859 year. I decided to go with the 1859/Sedgewick combinati0n for now.
There is no father listed in census entry; just Lydia J (age 24) as his mother and Georgianna (3) as his sister. All are listed as being born in Maine. Fast forward 10 years to June 1870; this census has a George (13 and suddenly male) and Franklin (11) Madocks, still living in Sedgwick, but now living with Jonathan and Eliza Page, ages 59 and 58 respectively. Lydia is now gone; I can only speculate as to what happened to her. So who are the bloody heck are the Pages?
The 1880 census shows Franklin (21) living with a Hugh (72) and Elizabeth (71). Franklin’s occupation is listed as “nephew.” So that means his mother Lydia could have been sibling to either Hugh or Elizabeth; however Lydia would be 44 if she were still around. Hugh and Elizabeth are much older. I will surmise for now that Franklin was great-nephew to either of them, although it is feasible that one could be a sibling or half-sibling to his parent.
The Pages listed in the 1880 census are similar to the Pages listed in the 1870 census; the wife is named Eliza(beth) in both, the husband has a year on his wife. Both men were Farmers who lived in Sedgwick. Back tracking to the 1860 census, we see that a Hugh(50) and Elizabeth(50) Page are listed directly above the Maddox family! Also, they have a Jeremiah Page(12) living with them, who also appears in the 1870 version, 22 years old. I am going to go with the assumption that this is the same family listed in the three censuses.
So can the clues provided give me any direction at all?
I’ve sent an email to the town clerk in Sedgwick for any vital records related to Franklin; hopefully I will get a response.
I have 3 beautiful boys. My oldest will be 11 soon, while the twins are halfway between their 7th and 8th birthdays. They are my inspiration for digging into the past, my goal to find the answer to the simple question, what makes them? They are also my biggest roadblock.
My day consists of the routine many parents are familiar with. I wake up and get the kids off to school. I head to work. I come home. I check the math homework. I take the kids to some extracurricular activity like baseball or soccer. We have dinner. The kids go to bed. I try to unwind for the hour I have left before it is time to rinse and repeat. Very little time is left for genealogy, especially the kind I really need to do at this point in my research.
95% of my research is done via the Internet. I’ve found out tons of great stuff, but I am deadlocked on much, the kind of stuff I need to visit a library or city hall for. Most pertinent places are close on the weekends when I might have the opportunity to dart out to grab some information. I could drag the kids with me, but I am pretty sure digging through records in a dusty town hall basement isn’t going to be what they consider fun. While finding that document that pinpoints great grandmom’s maiden name might give me a thrill, my son’s idea of a thrill is far different.
They do find some of it interesting; they love hearing about ancestors who fought in wars, and my son’s still laugh that we have an ancestor named Zebulon, which kind of sounds like an alien planet to 21st century ears as opposed to a biblical name. One of the twins was elated to find out we his first and middle names were identical to a distant ancestor, something we actually discovered after he was born.
I also realize I am young compared to the average genealogist. Most of the fellow genies I communicate with are in their fifties, sixties, or seventies. As my children get older they’ll be spending less time with their uncool dad and eventually will be going out on their own, and I’ll have more time to spend on genealogy. I can wait; they are only this age for a time and I won’t get it back.
My great-great grandfather, Charles Brenton Cameron, was employed by the city of Charlottetown, PEI, Canada as a police officer for over 50 years(1872-1925), including 30 as the chief, or “Marshall” as they called it. During a 2001 trip to Canada, we searched for information about him, including at the police station; while a helpful officer tried to assist us, the station was undergoing renovations and files were stored elsewhere, including a portrait we were hoping to see. Ah well.
Fast forward to 2010; I went to the Charlottetown Police website, something they did not have 9 years earlier. On the site was a picture of Charles, along with a biography written by his great-granddaughter, Helen! While short, it gave me some great information I did not have previously! But as I go through the information, I realize some of it is inconsistent with what I have; Charles’ listed parents and siblings are completely different. The parents listed here are John Cameron and Jane Wadman.
Research done by one of my local cousins as well as that appearing on the Island Register web site states that Charles’ parents were Archibald Cameron and Sarah MacLean. The Island Register list is filled with some mistakes as well; it is highly unlikely that Charles’ middle name was Marshall; this was his rank with the police station until they switched to chief.
Further research discovered a family tree of John and Jane having only 5 sons, leaving out just Charles. A book, “Augustine Cove”, reports Charles being the son of John; judging by discussions on Ancestry, I believe this book might be the source of this relationship. Other pages show his parents being Alexander and Sarah. Not a single one of these pages mentions any hard sources, like birth, christening, marriage, or death records. You might argue that a great granddaughter still living in the city of the person would be a good resource, but I’ve learned that while people are a great place to start, their information isn’t always reliable. Hell, my own father told me my grandfather joined the military after World War 2 started; I discovered he actually joined before it started.
Tons of Internet searches haven’t worked out. While I did manage to find out more about Charles Cameron, none of it gave me any hints as to his parents actually are. The listing of him on the Island Register has an email address attached to it, I will email this individual for source information. If that fails, I will probably resort to contacting individuals in PEI to get to the bottom of this enigma; another trip is currently out of the question.
The Halls are an integral part of Nobleboro’s history, as well as part of my family tree. In 1807 Daniel Hall married Thankful Hatch and had 10 children, one of who was my ancestor, Washington Hall. At some point he married Sarah J(ane) Hall; according to the records they were both from Nobleboro, but were married and spent the remainder of their lives in Brewer.
But who were Sarah’s parents? Was she actually a Hall? Her death certificate mentions her father was also named Daniel Hall (judging by the number of Daniel Halls in that area it might have been a legal requirement to have at least one child named Daniel if your last name was Hall), but does not mention her mother’s name; it does mention that both parents were born in Nobleboro.
Searches on Ancestry and Google have proved fruitless. I’ve sent an email to the Nobleboro Historical Society asking for any information they might have, and also plan on contacting the Brewer town hall to see if they have any information about her marriage.