My Grandmother’s Sisters, Teresa and Mary Keegan

Pictured above L to R: Pete Foley, Mary Keegan Foley, my grandmother, Lizzie Keegan Rier, and Teresa Keegan on the lawn in front of Grammy’s house in Lubec.

Grammy Rier (Elizabeth Keegan Rier) was the fifth of seven children, born in Trescott to James Keegan Jr. and Margaret Murray. She had three elder sisters: Winnifred (born in 1887), Teresa (born in 1889) and Mary (born 1891); one elder brother, James (born 1890). Winnifred died at the age of 31 in 1918. James went off to fight in World War I and was never seen again, according to stories handed down in the family.

From family stories I heard growing up, Teresa went to Boston to live, possibly in Charleston; Mary lived in Massachusetts, perhaps Leominster or Charleston. My Aunt Marion, Dad’s elder sister, went to live with Teresa when she was young and did not return to Lubec to live until the 1950s, in her late 30s. 

I found Grammy’s siblings in birth and/or census records. But, there were many gaps. Teresa and Mary disappeared off the map because I have not been not sure if they married or where they lived most of their lives. 

Newly discovered photos may aid tracking them down. Some photos of Teresa have “Teresa and Max” written on the back; Was Max Teresa’s husband? Alas, no surname was on the photo. 

Mary is often pictured with Pete Foley, names written on the back. One photo of her is labeled: “Mary Keegan Foley.” A discovery! 

Mary married Pete Foley. Mary had a daughter, also named Mary, indicated in one photo with “Aunt Mary’s daughter, Mary Keegan,” written on the back. I’m not sure whether this Mary was born out of wedlock, or the person labeling the photos made an error.

I’ve searched for documents to no avail, lacking a defined location for marriages and census records. But, there are labeled photographs of Teresa and Mary, some with Grammy Rier. I now know what these sisters looked like and I can identify them. It’s a start!

There are lovely portraits of My Dad’s Aunt Mary

 

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Mary’s daughter Mary

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Mary with a baby, perhaps her daughter Mary pictured above.

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L to R above: Mary Keegan Foley, Pete Foley, Lizzie Keegan Rier and her youngest daughter Carolee.

Marion Rier and her Aunt Mary

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Teresa Keegan and Max

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Teresa and her niece, Marion Rier

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L to R below: Teresa Keegan, my grandparents, Frank and Lizzie Rier. Circa 1940.

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L to R below standing: Lizzie Keegan Rier, Teresa Keegan, Patricia and Evelyn Rier. Far right: Carolee peaking around Evelyn’s dress. (Patricia, Evelyn and Carolee are Lizzie and Frank’s children.) Sitting: Frank Rier. Circa 1940.

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Related posts:

Searching for Grammy Rier’s Parents and Siblings.

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Book Recommendation: “Vital Records of Lubec, Maine Prior to 1892”

compiled by Patricia McCurdy Townsend. I searched for my Rier ancestors. My grandfather, Frank Rier, was born April 30th, 1890. Grandfather Frank’s parents were Burpee and Emma Batron Rier. I knew these names and dates but it is nice to have them verified.

In previous research I found my My Great Great Grandparents, Ingraham and Mary Rier, had four children born between 1860 and 1868: Burpee, Bertha E, Alice A and Ida May. Ingraham and Mary were born in Nova Scotia as were their children. They immigrated to Lubec, Maine between 1868 (the date their last child Ida May was born) and 1876, the year Alice died in Lubec. Ida May died there in 1883.

Then, I found a record that I had not seen. Emma Batron was Burpee Rier’s second wife. His marriage to Hattie E Williger of Whiting was published on February 13th, 1883. This book lists their marriage date by Reverend Thomas T. Smith as March 13th, of 1882. There must be an error in one of these records. Burpee’s marriage to Emma Batron of Pembroke was published on February 18th, 1888. There is no record for their marriage. I wonder what happened to Hattie Williger. There is no record of her death in this book.

Bertha Rier’s marriage to Norman A. Gavaza of Annapolis, Nova Scotia was published on September 23d, 1889. They were married September 30th, 1889.

I knew that Burpee’s two younger sisters died young. According to the vital records, Alice died on May 15, 1876 at 16 years of age. Alice’s date of death and age on the Rier gravestone is May 14, 1876, age of 13 yrs. two months. Ida died October 26, 1883 at the age of 15 years and 9 months as recorded in the vital records and on the Rier gravestone. Burpee and his three sisters were all born in Nova Scotia so perhaps the dates of birth for Alice and other family members were not accurate in Maine records.

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To read more about my great grandfather, Burpee Rier, and his parents Ingraham and Mary Rier, see this post:

Visiting the Gravesite of My Great Great Grandparents.

 

“Voices of Ancestors” 2nd Anniversary

was December 8, 2018. The blog has had over 25,000 views from over 13,000 visitors from 62 countries!

All Time Top 10 Blog Posts

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5. Visiting the Gravesites of My Great and Great Great Grandfathers.    

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6. 1913. The Means Family.   

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My Grandfather, Ezekiel (Zeke) Johnson

From my mother’s old photo album. Circa 1920s. At the Edgemere cottage, Roque Bluffs.

Zeke was born in 1885 and died in 1968. I remember my grandfather well, and his stories. He was a barber – and an inventor.

His parents were Jesse Warren Johnson (1857 – 1924) and Sarah Jane Marston (1856  – 1937). To my knowledge, Zeke had three brothers: Percy W (1880 – 1932), Charles E (1882 – 1971), and Adin L (1896 – 1972);  a sister, Effie M (1889 – 1985).

To his granddaughter (me), he was quite handsome and debonair. I can understand why my grandmother, Harriet Means, eloped with Zeke in 1908. She didn’t tell her parents, William and Nellie Means, because Zeke was from the wrong side of the river. You can read more about that saga here.

 

 

My Updated Ancestry DNA Results Arrived!

According to the Ancestry DNA website, my ethnicity estimate is based on the data that Ancestry collects and the methods used to compare my results to that data. Because Ancestry DNA is always collecting more data and their methods are constantly improving, my estimate may change over time. Read more here.

My ethnicity profile changed. The one surprise in the original results, received just eight months ago, was 6% Iberian Peninsula. That disappeared in the updated version. I can genuinely say that nothing is a surprise in my new results and reflects what I know from my genealogy research. My maternal ancestors (Means, Getchell, Berry, and Johnson families) descended from the Scots-Irish and the English. My Scottish ancestors, the Clan Menzies, were originally from Mesnieres in Normandy. My mother’s blond hair and blue eyes (and two of my sons) hinted at Swedish descent, although the percentage dropped from 35% Scandinavian to 10% Swedish. Vikings raided and settled in Scotland and Ireland in the 9th century so that makes sense. My paternal ancestors, the Rier and Keegan families, originated in Germany and Ireland, respectively.

I knew ancestors from both sides of my family immigrated to America in the early 1700s to late 1800s and settled in Downeast Maine (Machias, Machiasport, Trescott and Lubec).

It’s nice to see that my DNA results match the family tree I have been researching!

This is my original DNA results for comparison.

AncestryDNAStory-Sherry-220118

 

 

 

1913. The Means Family

Voices of Ancestors

This post has been updated with a full scanned copy of the Means Family notebook found here1913.Means

When I was in sixth grade, Mrs. Luce gave the class an assignment: write a story about our ancestors. When I got home that day, I told Mom about my homework project. I hoped to write about my grandparents and great grandparents. She retrieved a small brown notebook from a closet draw entitled 1913. Means Family. Compliments of John H. Means Boston to William G Means. William Means was my great grandfather. I knew the book existed for no one could grow up in my home and not hear stories about my mother’s ancestors but I had never read it, nor glanced at the pages.

I opened the little book and read the first page:

Our Ancestors

Our great-great-great Grandfather and family.

Robert Means born 1689 married Jeane Armstrong, daughter…

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