Saturday, January 7, 2017

Joseph Martin of East Haddam

My 3rd great grandfather was one Joseph Martin (1791-1872), who lived his entire life in East Haddam, Connecticut.

Joseph was born to Jonathan and Hannah Martin, who had emigrated from England (possibly Suffolk) at some point prior to 1777 (which was the date of his brother Jonathan's birth in East Haddam).  There is some confusion online about Hannah's maiden name being either Huxford or Fuller.

When Joseph was 4 years old, his father died, leaving him (and five siblings) to be raised alone by Hannah.  Joseph was of appropriate age to have fought in the War of 1812, much like other East Haddam residents.  There wasn't a draft at that time, so it's clear that Joseph didn't feel incentivized to join.

Joseph married Livia Phelps, daughter of Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Phelps, on October 1, 1817 in East Haddam.  They had a great deal of farmland up until around 1850 (lived in the Poor Farm), but recovered and secured land next door to Livia's cousin Hiram Phelps.

Joseph and Livia had seven children in East Haddam:

-Mariette Clark (1819-??)  One girl appears on the 1820 Census, so it's clear she lived that long, but since no girls appear on the 1930 Census, I'm inclined to believe that she had died by then.

-Niles Martin (1820–1893)  Niles moved 200 miles away from home, to start a farm in Bucks County, PA.  He enlisted in the Civil War in 1863 (same time as two of his brothers).  On this record, his occupation was listed as a "Drover" (one who moves animals long distances, like a cattle driver).  He and his wife Elizabeth had a son named Joseph, after his father, and a daughter Sarah.  For the 1860 Census, he was listed as (either a "Tinkerman" or a "Gentleman"), and for the 1870 Census, a "Lumber Merchant".

-Ephraim Martin (1824-1915) Ephraim married Elizabeth Harris and moved to nearby Hartford, where he also ran his own farm.  They had at least one child, Anna.  Ephraim enlisted in the Civil War in the summer of 1863, with two of his brothers.

-Esther Phelps Martin (1826–1901)  Esther married carpenter Leonard Sherman Clark, and they were my 2nd great grandparents.  No girls appeared living with Joseph for the 1830 Census, when she would have been four years old, so I wonder where she may have been at that time.  Legend has it that Esther was the "ugliest woman in East Haddam", and that Joseph was so grateful to get her married in 1843, he gave Leonard a lot of farmland as dowry.  Interestingly, however, Joseph and the rest of his family were the keepers of the East Haddam Poor House as of the 1850 Census. Esther bore Leonard 12 children.  Several hundred of her descendants still live in East Haddam and surroundings to this day.

-Edgar Mandlebert Martin (1830–1894)  Edgar married Azubah Wright.  Not long after Livia died in 1860, Edgar took over the family farm, keeping his father Joseph living with him.  Unlike his three brothers, he did not enlist in the Civil War.

-Catherine Isabella Martin (1834–??)  Isabella appears to have married a Charles Clark in 1857 (in Belfast, Northern Ireland - wonder what the story was there).  Can't find any additional records on her, though.  However, this record may instead match to a different couple (one lawyer named Charles A. Clark and his wife Isabella, both born in Ireland, and living in NYC in 1880).

-Datus W. Martin (1836–1874) Datus enlisted in the Civil War in 1863, fighting in the CT __.   When he returned from the War, he married his wife Adelaide, and started a farm in East Haddam.  They had three children together.  He died at the very young age of 37.  I believe Adelaide may have remarried afterwards, since I cannot find her in any subsequent records.  The 1880 Census has Datus' son Frederick managing his father's farm as a single farmer, at age 16.

Grave of Joseph Martin
Parker Cemetery
East Haddam, CT

Connecticut Town Records (Barbour Collection)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Martha Fuller Sheffer

My 2nd Great Grandfather, Charles Samuel Fuller, was the eldest of seven.  His eldest sibling was his sister, Martha Ann Fuller-Sheffer (1838-1918), who lived in Maine, Iowa and Missouri, but who had a connection to Australia that I would like to write about.

First, here is a picture of the eldest four of Charles' siblings, The photo appears to be dated just before 1900, a time after their brother Charles and their parents (Samuel and Ann) had died, after which they moved from Ottumwa, Iowa to Chicago.  Martha soon thereafter moved to Blue Mound Missouri with her husband George Sheffer, to retire and operate a hotel business.

Martha was born in 1838 in Maine to Samuel Bean Fuller, a railroad worker with Mayflower roots living in Waterville.  This is the house Samuel's kids grew up in on Front Street, just down the road from St. Joseph's Church.  Their house which was razed at some point before the 1970s, to build the post office:

Martha married George Henry Sheffer in January of 1859 in Waterville, Maine (where Martha and family were living at the time).  George, originally from Nova Scotia, had come from a lumber family, and it is believed that he may have met Martha when he moved to Maine to work.

In 1863, George and Martha moved to Ottumwa, Iowa to start up a dry goods mercantile business. Martha's parents and siblings followed them in the following years.  Her father, Samuel Bean Fuller, worked in the dry goods business as well, but after ten years his business was destroyed by a Town fire.

George and Martha had four of their own children, and adopted Martha's niece (also named Martha), when her sister Eva died in childbirth, and raised young Martha as her own:

1.  George Henry Sheffer, Jr. (1863-1908) - George was born in Ottumwa, and worked as a store clerk as a young adult (most likely his father and grandfather's dry goods store).  He moved to Missouri with his parents around 1900.  In 1906, after his father died, he and the family took a trip to Australia to visit his brother Samuel, and George Jr. caught a tropical fever while there.  He suffered with this for two years after he came back from the trip, and died in St. Joseph, MO, at the age of 44, leaving behind a wife and a seven year old daughter.  I haven't been able to find out their names yet.

2.  Etta W. Sheffer (1869- died between 1870 and 1880) - Young Etta was named after her aunt Julietta Fuller, and died as a child.  She is buried with the family at Ottumwa Cemetery, but the cemetery has no birth or death date information available.


3.  Samuel Fuller Sheffer (1875-1929) - Named after his grandfather, Samuel Bean Fuller, young Samuel Fuller Sheffer was born in Ottumwa, and married his wife Alice there in 1895.  In December of 1899, they had their first of two children (Mary), and very soon thereafter, in 1900, when his parents moved to Missouri, he made the bold move to Melbourne Australia for a new life in merchant business at Chamberlin Medicine Company.  In Australia, Samuel and Alice had their second and last child, Howard Melbourne Sheffer (nicknamed "Mel").  Samuel declared his residency to be San Francisco (according to a passport application from 1917), while residing primarily in Sydney (where he named his home "Wapello", the County he was born in).  Mel carried forward his father's entrepreneurial spirit and worked as Managing Director of Sheldon Drug Company in Sydney.  See advertisement and photo below from 1937:

Sheldon Drug Company was where the "Rexona" brand of soaps and antiperspirants were developed, and, in particular, Samuel's wife Alice gets the credit for the invention!

Rexona enjoys a long business history worldwide, and is now owned by Unilever.  More on the history of this brand, and the Sheffer's early business, can be read here.
Samuel's son Mel had six children, and many grandchildren, all of whom are happily residing in the Sydney area.

4.  Frank Merriwell Sheffer (1882-1949) - Frank worked in several odd jobs and also pursued his photography passions.  After the death of his father, he and his brother and mother sailed to Australia to visit his brother Samuel.  Not long after his return, his brother George died, and was later drafted into WWI.  On his draft card it stated he had blue eyes and brown hair.  At the end of Frank's life he worked as a studio portrait photographer.  He died in Humansville, Missouri in 1949 of myocarditis, leaving behind his wife, Agnes May Fisher.  I don't believe they had any children.

In addition to having her four children, Martha raised her niece Martha Ann Foland (1889-1961) as her own.  Young Martha was born to Martha's youngest sister, Evalyn Edith Fuller-Foland (1856-1889) who died giving birth to her.

Below is the last known picture of Martha, and I believe this was taken during her visit to Australia in 1915, after the deaths of her husband George, and her eldest son George, Jr., and it was a couple of years before her own passing.

ca. 1915 (possibly in Australia)
Back Row:  Mary Alice Sheffer (Samuel's Daughter), Alice Maude Sheffer (Samuel's wife), Samuel Fuller Sheffer, and Frank Merriwell Sheffer and his wife Agnes
Front Row:  Howard Melbourne "Mel" Sheffer, Martha Fuller-Sheffer, unknown small girl
Here are gravestone pictures from the Sheffer lot at Ottumwa Cemetery:


ETTA'S GRAVE (and another child's)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Maud Maple Miles, Renaissance Woman


Maud Miles (1871-1944) was a very active and dynamic personality, and a hero to us Fuller genealogists.  It's thanks to her painstaking work that we have many documents, diaries, and family trees passed down to us, so I felt it prudent to do a biography on her.

Maud D. Maple was born on February 11, 1871, the eldest child to attorney (and Civil War vet) William Henry Maple III and my 2nd great grand aunt Julietta "Etta" Fuller, in the town of Chariton, Iowa.


During the time of Maud's birth, Etta and William were moving around Iowa a bit, and lived for a time in Iowa City and also Ottumwa (where Etta and her parents and siblings had moved to from Maine in 1863).

Around 1881, when Maud was ten, the Maple family moved to Chicago (perhaps this was a better fit for William's law practice).  Her brother William Jr. was already seven, and her sister Nina Grace Maple would be born in Chicago in 1883.

Maud's talent for art was obvious to her parents, and she was enrolled in Chicago Art Institute, where she was taught by Arthur Wesley Dow.

In 1893, she participated in the World's Columbian Exposition.

In 1895, Maud married David Anderson Miles, a civil engineer from Indiana and Kansas.  Perhaps they met at the Institute.


Immediately after the wedding David and Maud moved to Kansas City, Missouri.


Their first child, William Maple Miles, died in childbirth in November of the year they moved.

Their second child, Mildred Irene Miles, was born in Kansas City in 1898.

In 1904, Maud's work was featured at the Louisiana Purchase Expo of the St. Louis World's Fair.  Later that year, her husband David died on Christmas Eve at age 36, leaving his 33 year old wife and 7 year old daughter behind.

Maud soldiered on, continuing in her job as a Kansas City public school art teacher at Manual Training High School.  On that salary, she managed to support young Mildred.  She got lucky and was hired to engrave bronze trail markers along the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri, including the one below:

In 1907, Maud's work was featured at the Art Institute of Chicago's "Annual Exhibition of Water Colors, Pastels and Miniatures by American Artists".

At some point just before 1920, Maud and Mildred moved north to Lombard, Illinois, where Maud's parents were living at the time.  Maud's father William died in 1920, and her mother Etta died in 1922, both in Lombard.  Maud's daughter Mildred got married in 1921, moved to Chicago, and ultimately traveled the world and later remarried.

Maud continued her work as an artist and art teacher in the Chicago area at this time.  She also painted many large pictures of California missions for the Santa Fe stations across the country.  On one visit to her cousins' home in Elmhurst, the family went to Addison, where she painted a picture of the old windmill standing in solitude in the midst of acres and acres of farmland. The mill later became the focal point around which Mt. Emblem cemetery was planned.


According to a few websites, Maud was also known for being a writer, color theorist, painter of Western scenes, and bas relief sculptor.  Her work was also featured at one point in the Smithsonian Collection in Washington DC.

One of her lecture series was published in the form of "Short Talks to Art Students on color from an Artist's Standpoint:  Also Dealing with the Relation of Color to the Musical Scale" c. 1914, Kansas City.

The University of Chicago's weekly Music Magazine in 1920 featured a writeup on her color music theory:

From that, she is frequently credited as the inventor of the term "color music" as a new art form.  In the book Brian Eno: Visual Music, Maud is mentioned:

Here again in the 2005 publication Color Music:  Synaesthesia and Nineteenth-Century Sources for Abstract Art, by Judity Zilczer.

Now, as shown in the first writeup, Maud always gave credit to elder researchers in color theory, and to be fair, the concept originated with Pythagoras and was carried forward by French theorists in the late 16th Century.  Maud merely advanced the theory for the 20th century in America.

Maud died in Wilmette, Illinois in 1944 at age 73, in the care of her daughter Mildred (and Mildred's children Winifred and David).

Maud and her husband David are buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City.  This blogpage is a tribute to her as an artist, a family member, and a diligent genealogist, as passed down by her granddaughter Winifred Marks, who also worked in the education system and was a published author of her own right.


Diary of Charlotte Huntington Wood (cousin to Maud Maple Miles)

U.S. Census Records

Color Music:  Synaesthesia and Nineteenth-Century Sources for Abstract Art, by Judity Zilczer, c 2005

Brian Eno:  Visual Music, c 2013 Christopher Scoates

Musical Courier, August 26, 1920, University of Chicago

Illinois Women Artists Project

Find a Grave

Saturday, December 26, 2015

William Lee Clarke (Town Clerk of Westbrook Maine)


William Lee "Bill" Clarke (1919-1996) was Town Clerk of Westbrook for a record 38 years.  I recall when growing up there that he often ran unopposed, and I myself voted for him when I came of age to do so. I had often wondered if he might bear any relation to my extensive Clarke family of Maine, and Connecticut before that, which had originated in America at the Jamestowne Settlement in the early 1600s with the arrival of John Clarke.  I was surprised and delighted to discover in 2015, upon researching the matter, that an ancestor of Bill's had come from Connecticut, so there may be a distant connection (more on this below), but nothing definitive can be found as yet.

Bill Clarke was born in 1919 in Westbrook, and for the first few months of his life the family lived on 111 Mechanic Street, corner of West Valentine, just eight years after the migration of his father, Lee Elbert Clarke, from New Canaan, Canada in 1911.  Lee lived on Manners Avenue in Portland upon his naturalization in 1914.  He married Casco-born Millie Dawn Scribner in July of 1916, and bought the house on Mechanic Street shortly thereafter.  Lee worked as a bookkeeper at Parker & Thomas Company in Portland, and had lost his arm, and was thus exempt from the draft during WWI in 1917. I learned from a grandson of Lee's that this was due to a hunting accident in Canada in 1909 when Lee was 20 years old.  It isn't known if the gun fell over or what happened, but his injury was sustained to the left arm, back of the wrist, and therefore his arm was amputated just below the elbow.


The Clarke farm house on Spring Street was originally built in 1910 for William B. Bragdon, who later became mayor of Westbrook. Bragdon lived there for about a decade, and was known for having given a public speech from the front porch around 1919, the year he was elected Mayor (one year term).  Not long after the election, in April 1920, Bragdon sold the house to Lee Clarke and William Scribner (Lee's father-in-law), when Bill Clarke was about 7 months old.  Lee maintained his bookkeeping practice, while his son Bill eventually ran a dairy farm there called Blue Spruce, and he used to deliver the milk door to door.  Blue Spruce continued in the family until the late 1980s, and Bill would also eventually sell his milk to Oakhurst Dairy in Portland.

From 1943 to 1949, Bill worked on Westbrook City Council, and at the end of this run he married Jackie Rochelau, whose father was a WWI veteran, and business owner, born to French Canadian immigrants.

In 1956, Bill Clarke ran for Town Clerk, a post he succeeded to and kept for 38 years, elected for 19 consecutive two year terms, until 1994.  In addition to working tirelessly to help many people obtain their fishing and hunting licenses, he was the officiator of many thousands of marriages of Westbrook's citizens, including my own mother's second marriage in 1980.  Clarke made a comment to mom about their shared name, and they joked together about the possibility of a relation.

Bill officially gained ownership of the house and farm in August 1977, when his elderly mother and two siblings deeded the land to him and Jackie.

Bill Clarke passed in 1996, and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the family plot with his parents and siblings.  He is fondly remembered by many in Westbrook for his kind nature and encyclopedic mind. A couple years before his passing, Wayside Drive in Westbrook was renamed "William L Clarke Drive".


Paternal Ancestry of Bill Clarke

Bill was born to bookkeeper Lee Clarke, an immigrant to Maine originally from New Canaan, New Brunswick, Canada.  Lee's father, Gesner Abner Clark, grandfather Charles Clark, and great grandfather Nehemiah Clark, were all born in New Brunswick as well.

Bill's father Lee is shown in this family photo, he's second from the right, amongst his brothers.  In the second row is seated Gesner and his wife Melissa.  (Courtesy of Haddon Clarke family)

Nehemiah's father, Elias Clark, was from Hartford Connecticut, and appears to have migrated to New Brunswick, Canada in 1779, just after the Revolution.  This could one day bring me to a Connecticut connection between my family and his.  One thing I've learned, is that Elias' father was named Joseph Clark, but he is not to be confused with a Joseph Clark III of Middletown.  This Joseph was indeed an indirect ancestor of mine, and records and DNA testing have proven to me that Elias is not the son of this Joseph.  However, it's possible that this Joseph of Hartford (born abt 1730) may also be a relation, yet likely more distant.

The Future of the Clarke Farmhouse

Mr. Clarke's farm and house lot was sold to Risbara Construction in January of 2014.  There are currently discussions of converting the property into a mixed use development (and there are mixed reactions to this among the City's residents).



Westbrook Historical Society

U.S. Federal Census Records

Census of Canada

Maine Birth Records

Maine Death Records

Ancestry Family Trees

U.S. Social Security Death Index

U.S. Naturalization Records

Cumberland County Registry of Deeds

Portland Press Herald

American Journal

Google Earth

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Stevens Family of Portland Maine

The Stevens Family were among the original settlors of Deering, back when it was part of Falmouth.

In fact, part of the Deering area was named "Stevens Plains," for the painted tinware business that was headed up by Zachariah Brackett Stevens (1778-1856), who is widely believed to be the namesake of Stevens Avenue and Stevens Plains, which intersected with Morrill's Corner.



Zachariah was the son of Isaac Sawyer Stevens and Sarah (Brackett) Stevens. He was trained as a blacksmith by his father, and later branched out into tinsmithing. He built his shop at Stevens Plains in the early 1800s and sent out peddlers with his tinware and other necessities for the public and also built a general store at the Plains which carried bartered goods for the tinware. Much of his tinware was decorated by Sally Brisco (wife of one of his tin sellers), Sally's nieces (the Francis sisters) and some of his own children and relatives.

Zachariah's sons Alfred and Samuel Butler Stevens, were also tinsmiths who worked in the factory. Samuel took over after his father's death.

Zachariah's brother, Nathaniel (1780-1853) moved into Stroudwater Village, purchasing the Daniel Herrick House at 1 Cobb Avenue.  He and his very tall sons established a smithy in the Village in the early 1800s around the same time his brother was starting his tinsmith shop at Stevens Plains.  Nathaniel's shop only lasted until around 1822.  In the winter of 1861, Nathaniel's nine year old grandson Charlie drowned in Stroudwater River (as so many others did) while walking on thin ice.

Zachariah and Nathaniel's father Isaac (1748-1820) was a Revolutionary War veteran, born to Isaac Sr. (1719-1804) of Andover Massachusetts, an original settlor of old Falmouth.  Before that the Stevens family had been Andover natives going back to Colonial times, with their immigrant ancestor being John Stevens (1605-1662) of Caversham, England, who had arrived in Massachusetts around 1635.

built 1767
A grandson to Zachariah, Augustus Ervin Stevens (1825-1882), was Mayor of Portland from 1866-1867, and during the Great Fire.  His mother was Sally Briscoe-Stevens, a grand niece of Paul Revere.  Augustus got his start working in the family grocery business, later branching out into partnership at the grocery called Lynch & Stevens, and from there invested in many other business ventures.  He was reputed to have been a very successful businessperson with much integrity.  He died of heart failure in his easy chair in his home at the former Asa Clapp house on Spring Street.  The Stevens family held the Clapp House from 1863-1914.


John Calvin Stevens, famous Portland architect, was born in Boston to Mainer parents whose immigrant ancestor was a William Stevens (1616-1653), also of Caversham, England, possibly a brother to John, the immigrant ancestor of Zachariah et al..

The Stevens Family are buried at all the City cemeteries of Portland.



Saturday, July 11, 2015

History of Morrill's Corner

Little has been written online about Portland's "Morrill's Corner", at the intersection of Forest Avenue, Allen Avenue, Stevens Avenue, and the Portland & Rochester Railroad. 

Stevens Avenue was constructed from the separate Horse Railroad, upon which many of the Stevens family had lived, but for whom is Morrill's Corner named?  Well, the short answer to that would be "Brothers Rufus and Levi Morrill, who dominated the business landscape of this corner beginning in the early 19th Century."

But for the long answer, I believe it's important to get the history of the Corner and the ancestry of these brothers in order.

First of all, it's important to note that all Morrills of New England descend from two unrelated colonial era English immigrants:  John Morrell (early settler of York County, Maine) and Abraham Morrill (early settler of Salisbury Massachusetts).

Stephen Morrill (1737-1816) of North Berwick (great grandson of John Morrell) was the very first of the Morrills to arrive in this part of Falmouth, long before it was given the name Deering, and he was the first of many Morrills to arrive in the area during that period.  Nathaniel Deering came from neighboring Kittery, and he was the same age as Stephen.  It seems likely that these two early Falmouth businessmen from York County had known each other and possibly inspired each other to move to Falmouth in the 1760's.

The earliest and largest business of The Corner was the Morrill Tannery run by Levi and Rufus Morrill (mentioned in more detail below), who were two of Stephen's sons.  Levi tanned cowhides, and Rufus tanned sheepskins.

Tannery operations were quite simple.  The process involved dipping sheep or cowhides in a vat of lime, followed by dipping them in a vat of hemlock juice (which hardened the hides into leather).  Finally, the hides would be soaked in hen manure and water.


As we can tell from the date of the above map, Morrill's Corner has been called this since at least 1871, which was the year that Deering was formed from Saccarappa, with the remainder of Saccarappa to the north being named Westbrook.  This map appears to have been created for the genesis of the Town of Deering.  Morrill Avenue abuts Forest Avenue just south of Morrill's Corner.

"R. Morrill"'s home (Rufus) can be found pinpointed here on Forest Avenue, just north of Morrill Avenue (now Morrill Street).  On the Horse Railroad to the west (later Stevens Avenue), one can see what appears to be "A.E. Morrill" as well.  Further south on Forest Avenue, and just north of Grove Street, one can see "C.E. Morrill Tannery", which is most definitely Charles E. Morrill's.


(CIRCA 1933)
(Became a lodging house up until 1932)


The large colonial brick house above was also known as the "Morrill House".  In its later years it was a rooming house run by George and Loretta Beach.  It was closed for business in 1932, and it was razed sometime shortly thereafter.  As I mentioned above, I believe it may have been the Levi Morrill House (brother to Rufus-more on these brothers below).

Stephen and his two wives had thirteen children, but two were most instrumental in the development of Morrill's Corner, and a third son was instrumental in fathering the Burnham & Morrill empire:

-Rufus Morrill, Sr. (1796-1860), a sheepskin tanner, married both Webb sisters (Mary and Sally, at different times of course), and had nine children of their own at the Corner, most likely in the house above, which was situated next to a toothpick factory for quite some time.  Rufus Jr. (1834-1911), a nurse, who was second to youngest, had three children in Westbrook. Rufus Jr. was a railroad engineer , and he kept the house until his death, where lived with his sister Susan and his daughter Sarah (both spinsters).  Sarah owned it for many years after Rufus' death (Rufus' Sr. son Edmund had moved to Ellsworth, NH, and his eldest daughter Mary had died in China in 1900 - Edmund later became the Governor of Kansas).  Sarah rented the 2nd apartment to a variety of tenants (George A. Thombs, James Sneddon, Albert T. Stults, Truman E. Estabrook) during Sarah's final years there.  Around 1938, Sarah ended up at an elderly care private hospital on 554 Stevens Avenue (owned by Mae Ward) and Sarah's tenant, Truman Estabrook, stayed with the house until it was razed in 1941, in favor of an automotive shop.  The hospital Sarah stayed at also served as the quarters for the sexton of Evergreen Cemetery next door to it.  Sarah died there in the 1940s.

Below is an 1895 article concerning Governor Edmund Morrill of Kansas and his visit home to Portland, and this article provides quite a bit of information about the Morrills Corner of the turn of the century.

AUGUST 29, 1895

-Levi Morrill (1802-1868) was a manufacturer, and cowhide tanner.  He and his wife Harriet Quimby had two children. According to the above, he built the red brick mansion which was then occupied by Keeley Cure hospital (which might be 1229 Congress-where the Amoco station was-see photo above).  Levi's son, Charles Edwin Morrill (1841-1891), fought in the Civil War but by 1871, was put in charge of the family tannery (located a half mile south of Rufus' house), which was then called the "C.E. Morrill Tannery", located on Forest Avenue - just north of Grove Street.  According to Morrill Online, in 1871 and 1874 he patented methods of manufacturing shoe bindings (patent no. 121,400 and 134,763), and with Charles Hardy, he patented a method of evening leather in 1874 (patent no. 147,770).  This tannery could well have been previously run by his father Levi, uncle Rufus, and grandfather Stephen, prior to that.  Charles Edwin Morrill's son, Levi Morrill (1872-1904), carried on the family business to some extent.  He moved to Boston and worked as a leather merchant.  Levi married Anna Hill Lee of DC in April of 1904.  On their honeymoon in Atlantic City, Levi suffered from morphine poisoning and died in their room at the St. Charles Hotel.


Below is a tree outline of this historic family (click to enlarge):

I created the above to give you an idea of the Morrill migration from Berwick to the Morrill's Corner area, and it omits many people.  This is subject to further update, of course, should I discover the need for it.  But as for this writing (July 2015), it gives a relatively accurate picture of the history of this family, for which Morrill's Corner is named.

In 1900, another business started up on The Corner.  It was called "Morrill's Coal & Grain Company" on 35 Allen Avenue.  The business ran until at least 1940.  This business was not owned by anyone in the Morrill family, however, to my knowledge at present.


Today, everyone knows of Morrill's Corner as a busy, if drab looking, commercial and industrial section of Deering just north of Woodfords, and the location of established restaurants Wok Inn and McDonald's, which have been there since I was a youngster in the 70s, as well as the popular Morrill's Corner Pub just south of Wok Inn.  A proposed development name Morrill's Crossing purported itself to be an attempt at revitalization of the area, and was slated to begin construction in 2010, but it appears to have stalled as of this update (2019).  While I'm certain that the developer believes this will be a 'revitalization' of the area, it appears to have been a pretty drastic change - something I'm certain that Mainers didn't take too kindly to.

A new development push as of 2018, the Smart Corridor, re-imagines the Corner as a part of a 7-mile stretch of Portland and South Portland in need of improvement as to safety, traffic congestion, and overall development design.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

York County Exodus of Early 19th Century

In my research into a variety of family groups who resided in Tuftonboro, NH (in Strafford County, which is now Carroll County) in the 19th Century, a common thread has emerged.  Many of these family groups have ancestors who moved in the early part of 19th Century to Tuftonboro from Berwick, Eliot and Kittery Maine, a horse and buggy journey of about 30-40 miles northwest.

To name a few:

I would love to find some kind of rationale, or common thread, if any exists, for these various Maine families to have moved west.  Strafford County (later known as Carroll County) wasn't known for much outside of sheep and cattle farming and a couple old grist mills.  Maine was where all the industrial shipping work was to be found.  The Embargo Act of 1807, however, effectively bankrupted many families in Maine, and was the death knell for much of Maine's timber industry.  Perhaps the move to rural NH was a reaction to the Act?  Perhaps cheap farm land was the way to go?  Perhaps these were all Revolutionary War (or War of 1812) veterans, and they received land patents for their military service?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Beans of Carroll County NH


My 6th great grandparents, David Bean (1717-1770) and his wife Mary Judkins (1715-1774) (who were 2nd cousins), came from the very large Bean family of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, which established a strong military history, descending from John MacBean, Scottish prisoner of the English Civil War who was sold into slavery upon arrival in the New World.

David was born in raised in Brentwood, son to John Bean of Exeter, and great grandson to the aforementioned John MacBean.  He and Mary had twelve kids in Brentwood, and moved during the 1760s to Sandwich, in Carroll County (then part of Strafford County).  I wonder what precipitated the move to Sandwich (which was 75 miles north an over 12 hour horse and buggy ride).

When David died in 1770, his children were ranging in ages of 11 to 30.  All seven of his sons fought in the Revolutionary War (James, Samuel, David Jr., Moody, John, Josiah and Benjamin).

After the War, only a few of David's children stayed in Sandwich, and the rest moved to neighboring Moultonboro.  His youngest son David was an early founder of Tuftonboro.  In fact, several Bean Cemeteries are located in these towns, and they are the final resting places to David's many descendants, although I'm not sure where David and his wife Mary are buried at present - likely somewhere in Sandwich.

Below are handy FindAGrave links to the various cemeteries named for the Bean family:

Bean Cemetery, Bean Road, Moultonboro (David's son John and family)
Bean Burial Ground, Sodom Road, Tuftonboro  (David's son Josiah's son Andrew and family)
Bean Graveyard, Tibbetts Road, Tuftonboro (David's youngest son Benjamin and family)

Their son, David, Jr. (1743-1817), was my 5th great grandfather.  He stayed in Sandwich, where his wife Abigail Moody and he had eleven children, including my 4th great grandmother, Sally Bean-Fuller (1781-1840), who moved south to Lowell Massachusetts with her husband John Fuller, descendant of Edward Fuller of the Mayflower, and also including Nicholas Bean, whose wife Lydia Brown may have been related to my Brown family of Moultonboro, and whose daughter Rebecca most likely married into my Elliott family of Sandwich.

Below is a pedigree chart showing descent from John MacBean of these various Bean families of New Hampshire (some people have been omitted for ease of visual):