My Great Great Great Grandparents. Bible Record of Births and Deaths.

The parents and siblings of my great great grandfather Otis Witham Means.

Robert Means. Born in Saco, Me

July 25th 1783

Charlotte K Witham. Born in Bradford MA??

September 7th 1790

Robert Means and Charlotte K Witham were married in Bluehill, Me, December 1st, 1809. By the Rev. Jonathan Fishev

Mehitable Kimball Means. Born Sept 11th 1810

John Witham Means. Born Oct 6th, 1812

Alexander Hamilton Means. Born Oct 23d 1814

Otis Witham Means. Born June 6th 1817

Robert Parker Means. Born Sept 24th 1819

Charlotte Kimball Means. Born Sept 16th 1820

Mary Susan Ray Means. Born March 30th 1823

Elvina Stevens Means. Born Nov 8th 1825

Robert Henry Byron Greensough Means. Born Jan 30 1831



Robert Means died Nov 2nd 1842. Aged 59

Robert Parker Means died Oct 26th 1819. 2 days 1 month

Mehitable Kimball Means died May 4th 1857.  Aged 46

John Gordon, C.K. Means Husband died Sept 16th, 1855. Aged 38 years 4 months 2 days

This Bible record is part of the 1924 Grace Means collection of ancestor records and portraits. Grace wrote on the back:




My Great Grandparents William and Nellie Means

William Gordon Means was born January 15, 1855. Nellie Bly Getchell was born February 15, 1857.

William Means married Nellie B Getchell July 1, 1880 in Machiasport. Their wedding attire is displayed at the Gates House, Machiasport Maine.

They had 4 children: Otis, Harriet, William, Elsie.

Otis Witham born September 22, 1883

Hattie Putnam born February 1, 1885

William Gordon born November 29, 1891

Elsie Getchell born April 30, 1893

My great grandmother’s bible recorded the births of her children. It is of note that Harriet married (and eloped the next day) on her mother’s birthday, February 15th. And, my mother (Louise Johnson) and father (James “Gene” Rier) married on the same day in Portland, Maine, 1943. Nellie, her daughter Harriet and her granddaughter, my mother, were all the same age when they married, 23 years old.



Postcard from Billy Means

scan-1There is no postmark suggesting postcard was hand delivered. Circa early 1900s.


Johnson Cove and Calf Island, Roque Bluffs, Maine. The Means cottage: Edgemere. Circa late 1800s early 1900s.

Read more about my mother’s notorious uncle, Billy Means here.


The Union Republic. Machias Maine. November 12, 1931.

Of course, the locals whispered another story. Billy Means was shot and killed in a bootlegging dispute. He was my grandmother Harriet’s younger brother.

Read more of that story here, the years before Billy Means died.

Eliphalet Scribner Means

The second son of Otis and Elsie Means of Machiasport, Maine.

Eliphalet was born September 14, 1839. He married Helen of Robbinston June of 1864 in Machiasport. “In War Rebellion.” He died March 10, 1888. They had two daughters, Charlotte K (“Lottie”) and Carrie A. [Reference: 1913. The Means Family]

Eliphalet was my great grandfather William’s elder brother.

Carrie was mentioned in my grandmother Harriet’s letters of 1908. Grace Means grew up with Lottie.

As I perused the ancestors’ books and ledgers, I discovered that the two Atlases dated 1881 and 1892 belonged to Eliphalet. It was evident from his cash and freight ledgers that Eliphalet sold merchandise, eggs, meats and tropical fruits ordered from Boston. I wondered how he could do that much business in Machiasport. The answer was in the Atlas of Washington Co by George N Colby and Co.

The ES Means store was in the village of Machias: No 19 on the map, five buildings up Main Street from the P.O. and Customs House, across the street from Holway Sullivan Co Steam and Saw Mills (later the Phoenix Opera House).

Eliphalet’s photo was included in the portrait collection of Grace Adele Means. Grace wrote long descriptions of each ancestor on the back of each photo, sent to Machias, Maine from NYC.

Eliphalet was very special to Grace.

“He needs no eulogy. His face shows his sunny, sweet and lovable disposition. He had in life my deepest love and his memory is a priceless possession… Always in sympathy – never anything but serene and smiling to us children in spite of almost constant suffering from Civil War injuries. I never heard him rebuke or speak an unkind word.” 

Grace wrote on the back of Eliphalet’s photo to her Uncle William, my great grandfather:


To Hattie, my grandmother, Grace wrote:


Andrew Fuller Means

The eldest son of Otis and Elsie Means of Machiasport, Maine.

Otis Witham Means and Elsie Fuller Berry Means had eight children, five survived beyond infancy. After their daughter Francis died in 1871, Otis and Elsie raised Grace Adele, their granddaughter. Recorded in the “Means Family” notebook written by John H Means of Boston and sent to William G. Means in 1913, their children:

Andrew Fuller born Bluehill May 6, 1838. Married Francis A Sawyer in Machiasport March 17, 1864. He was a physician in Boston. “In War Rebellion.” He died March 3, 1905. She is alive in 1913. They had one son, Harry F, born June 1867, alive in 1913.

Eliphalet Scribner born September 14, 1839. Married Machiasport June 1864 Helen of Robinston.“In War Rebellion.” He died March 10, 1888. They had two daughters, Charlotte K and Carrie A.

Harriet E born September 25, 1841. Married Nathaniel M. Putnam in Boston, August 28, 1864. He died September 5, 1891. She died July 29, 1892. Both buried at Forest Hill Cemetery Boston.

Francis Adele born January 14, 1844. Married J J Drew in Machiasport. She died October 29, 1871. [One daughter, Grace Adele.]

Henry and Henrietta twins died in infancy.

Otis W born August 25, 1853. Died in infancy January 4, 1854.

William Gordon born Machias January 15, 1855. Married Nellie B Getchell July 1, 1880. They had 4 children: Otis, Harriet, William, Elsie.

The portrait collection of Grace Adele Means contains photos of Otis and Elsie Means and three of five children surviving beyond infancy. Andrew, Eliphalet, and Francis. Grace wrote long descriptions of our ancestors on the back of each photo, sent to her Uncle William in Machias, Maine from NYC.

In that portrait collection, Grace wrote on the back of Andrew’s photo.