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.

 

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“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!

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Christmas Traditions: My Mother’s Cookies

Every Christmas when I was growing up, we made Christmas cookies. A wonderful sugar cookie made with lemon extract and decorated with colored sugar and cinnamon hots. My children learned to make these cookies when they were growing up, then my grandchildren learned too. This year, my daughter Liz and her children, Hayley (14) and William (11) made Christmas cookies with me on Christmas Eve, after having a ham dinner together. What fun! Oh, the memories it brings back and the joy of making more memories. We used many of the same cookie cutters that Mom had and gave to me, horns, curlicues, birds and hearts.

I love looking at my mother’s writing on the recipe card. I have no desire to make a new one. I hope this one lasts for decades into the future. My only alteration of the recipe is to roll the cookie dough a bit thicker than 1/4″. It makes a moist, “fatter” cookie. Cooking time 10 to 12 minutes.

It appears the the lobster (center cookie) had his tail eaten. Who did it? I will not confess. Nibbling while cookies are hot out of the oven is part of the tradition!

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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.

 

 

Noni MacBride’s Blueberry Cake

Whenever our family visited Dr. Bob and Noni at their home in Lubec, there often was fresh blueberry cake in the kitchen this time of year. Mom made it too over the years. Now when I make this cake and the delicious smell wafts through the air, I am filled with memories. Noni’s blueberry cake recipe was published in my favorite old cookbook of Lubec recipes (1988). It’s one of my most valued cookbooks.

I made this cake for family visiting this week. There will be another before August is over.

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Of course, I alter recipes a bit for the times. I use real butter, not oleomargarine, and substitute organic sugar for white. I cook it in an 8″ x 8″ pan so it’s nice and thick, wicked moist, adjusting the cooking time.

In my family, great recipes must be handed down. I taught my grandchildren how to make this blueberry cake. This is my eldest granddaughter, Hayley, learning how to make Noni’s cake in August, 2012. She was eight. Hayley won a blue ribbon and first place in the cake section at the Machias Blueberry festival.

Hayley baking 2012.

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My grandson Odin, age six, won a blue ribbon for a two-crusted blueberry pie in 2010 and for several years afterwards. See that awesome story here.

 

 

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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