The US census forms the basis of much of our family history research. It is often among the first things we search for when trying to answer a genealogical question. However, there are clues that are often missed. Let’s take a look at 5 hidden clues in the US census. […]The post 5 Hidden Clues…
In just under 16 months, there have been 10,718 visitors. Ancestor stories truly are universal.
A big thank you to all of you who have visited!
“Trinidad & Tobago”,12
“United Arab Emirates”,2
If you look carefully, you will see the sign below the shuttered windows upstairs on the right. Miss Means was my grandmother Harriet Means Johnson. Photo courtesy of Michael Hoyt.
A close up of the sign.
There is a woman in the upstairs windows on the left. She is not my grandmother. I expect the upstairs was divided – or perhaps she is a parent waiting for a child to finish their piano lesson.
This is the first photograph I have seen of Harriet’s studio in Machias, Maine. Before today, I did not know the location of her studio above the Machias Lumber Company on Main Street. The building is still there.
Harriet studied piano under the renowned Frederick Mariner who had a summer home on the Penobscot River. Mariner’s studio was in NYC but he accepted gifted students at the Bangor Piano School.
Harriet Putnam Means 1906: Graduation from Bangor Piano School
Later Harriet moved to Bangor, opened a piano studio there, then eloped with Ezekiel “Zeke” Johnson in February of 1908 – without telling her parents.
Read the Harriet stories, gleaned from her 1908 letters, here.
My grandfather Frank Rier was born in Lubec and lived there most of his life. My grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, was born in Trescott and moved to Lubec at age 13 to work in the sardine industry. Grammy married Frank Rier on October 12, 1911 in Leominster, MA. They lived in Leominster until around 1924 – 1926, when they returned to Lubec. Grandfather Frank had a garage in Lubec and was an auto mechanic. The family story told was that Grammy’s sister Mary lived in Leominster and her sister Teresa lived in Boston. I assumed that Mary married before Grammy did and lived in Leominster opening the door for my grandparents to re-locate there; Frank worked at the FA Whitney Baby Carriage Company in Leominster as a striper, a skill he learned while detailing cars, or perhaps it was the other way around.
Yesterday I found that Grammy’s sister Mary lived in Lubec in 1920 and worked in the sardine factory as a packer, as did Teresa (who I thought had moved to Boston by then). Mary and Teresa were single and in their 30s at the time.
Does anyone else have family from Lubec/Trescott area that re-located to Leominster, MA to work around 1911? I’m doing a little detective work to find out how my grandfather Frank found a job and married there. Just when one believes you have the family history coming together, something new turns up!
Featured photo: Frank and Elizabeth Rier circa 1940s.
Below: Circa 1920. L to R. Frank, Elizabeth holding their son, Paul, daughter Marion stands beside Grammy, and their son James “Gene” Rier, my Dad, is on the far right.
I am a DNA novice so I’m busy exploring what it all means: migration patterns of my ancestors from 1700 through 1925, and my DNA matches with 652 fourth cousins or closer. As yet, I have not figured out the meaning of 150 ethnicity regions and the numbers associated with them in my profile.
I am particularly fascinated by the 6% Iberian DNA. There is much to learn!
My grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, worked in the sardine industry in Lubec most of her life beginning in the early 1900s into the 1970s. According to my Uncle Barney, she left school in Trescott at age 13 and went to work in the Lubec sardine “camps.” She, and many other women from Lubec, have fond memories of their work in the sardine factory. Grammy Rier always said, it was work, but yet, a very social event for the women and a friendly competition every day.
The following is an excerpt from the book 200 Hundred Years of Lubec History, 1776 – 1976 by Ryerson and Johnson, published by the Lubec Historical Society. It is a great reference book to learn more about my family history and can be found at the Lubec Memorial Library.
The last page of this history “Yesterdays Sardine Factory – Today” was written by my Uncle Barney who established a Sardine Museum in Lubec after he retired, which he opened when he felt like it, but mostly he collected and worked on antiques and old machinery.
Washington County, Maine In the Civil War 1861-66 by Ken Ross lists every soldier and sailor from Washington County, contains detailed descriptions of the battles they fought in and much, much more. A writer friend of mine kindly loaned me this book so I could find my ancestors who fought in the Civil War.
More than 4700 men from Washington County served in the Civil War. Over 490 of these men died of disease, more than 224 men died of wounds, over 590 men who were wounded survived to live with their wounds, 509 were disabled.
Maine and the nation paid a high price in the Civil War. It claimed 620,000 lives, nearly as many lives as American lost in all other conflicts combined (644,000).
My ancestors who fought in the Civil War include my great grandfather William Means’ eldest brothers, Andrew and Eliphalet Means, sons of Otis and Elsie Means. Both men were Sergeants in the 3rd Battalion (The Third Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry); both men were disabled.
Andrew Fuller Berry Means enlisted at age 23 and served from 12/11/61 to 7/21/62. Battles that the 3rd Battalion participated in during that time period were:
1ST BULL RUN (1861 July 21)
BAILEY’S CROSS ROAD (1861 August 27 & 28) YORKTOWN (1862 April 5-May 4) WILLIAMSBURG (1862 May 5)
FAIR OAKS (1862 May 31)
SEVEN PINES (1862 June 1)
WHITE OAK SWAMP (1862 June 25)
CHARLES CITY CROSS ROADS (1862 June 30)
MALVERN HILL (1862 July 1)
Eliphalet Scribner Means enlisted at age 22 and served from 12/11/16 to 12/11/63. Battles that the 3rd Battalion participated in during that time period are listed above, as well as those named below:
2nd BULL RUN (1862 August 30)
CHANTILLY (1862 September 1)
FREDERICKSBURG (1862 December 12-15)
CHANCELLORSVILLE (1863 May 1-5)
GETTYSBURG (1863 July 1-3)
WAPPING HEIGHTS (1863 July 23)
AUBURN MILLS (1863 October 12)
KELLY’S FORD (1863 November 7)
ORANGE GROVE (1863 November 27 )
MINE RUN (1863 November 30)
Andrew Means was a physician in Boston. After the war, Eliphalet was the proprietor of the ES Means store in Machias. They both lived with their disabilities, as did hundreds of other men, for many years. Andrew died in 1905 at the age of 67. Eliphalet died at the age of 49 in 1888.
Washington County, Maine In the Civil War 1861-66 by Ken Ross is available on Amazon in paperback for $18.00, a valuable addition to your reference library.
UPDATE: This book can be found at the Whitneyville Library and at The Washington County Courthouse Heritage Center Museum and Genealogy Research Room in Machias.
“They did not know enough to run” Private Samuel B. Wing
TIME-LINE WITH HISTORICAL INFORMATION (47 pgs.) compiled by Craig Young