Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cabinet Photo of an Elderly Ruth (Thorndike) McKellar of Spruce Head, Maine

Wonderful cabinet photo of an elderly Ruth (Thorndike) McKellar, with an identification on reverse giving her residence as Spruce Head, Maine.

From brief online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Ruth Thorndike was born on 10 June 1796 in Thomaston, Maine, the daughter of Benjamin Thorndike and his wife Priscilla or Pat (Woodbury) Thorndike, who were both born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and moved up the coast to Thomaston.   Please note in the comments section that a reader's research shows Ruth's mother's name was Priscilla, but he also notes that at least one other Priscilla in his family was nicknamed Pat.

Ruth's paternal grandparents were Captain Ebenezer Thorndike, born in Beverly, Massachusetts, died in Thomaston, Maine, and his wife Lydia Herrick Thorndike, also born in Beverly and who also died in Thomaston.  

Ruth maternal grandparents were Charles Woodbury, born in Falmouth, Maine, and his wife Lucy Dyer, born in Cape Elizabeth.  

Ruth Thorndike married Thomas G. McKellar, who was born 15 July 1786 in St. George, Maine, the son of John McKellar and his wife Martha (McCarter) McKellar, who were both born in St. George and who both died at nearby Cushing, Maine.

Thomas' paternal grandparents were Robert McKellar, born in Scotland - I have yet to disover his wife's name.  Thomas' maternal grandparents were John McCarter of Cushing, Maine, and his wife Martha, born in Northern Ireland, died at Cushing.

Thomas G. McKellar died 8 August 1848, but Ruth lived to the age of 94; she died 21 June 1890 in South Thomaston, Maine.  

Thomas and Ruth had quite a few children, but some of those children had short or fairly short lives.   At least one son died at sea, and two died in far off places such as New Orleans or Havana, reflecting perhaps in all three cases the dangers of the seafaring life.  Some of the daughters also died fairly young.  Poor Ruth had quite a bit of sadness in her long life.

At least she had some grandchildren to console her.  Her daughter Hannah, who died fairly young, married Benjamin Fales and had two sons.   Her son John also raised a family with wife Lucy or Lucille (Condon) McKellar.  And possibly also providing Ruth with grandchildren was her son Joseph R., who was born about 1818, with his wife Elizabeth Ernst of Georgia, where Joseph settled.  

My hesitation about Joseph R. is that Ruth had a later son, also named Joseph, which is a bit confusing, since they both appeared to live into adulthood.  Perhaps I've run into a mistake here.  Perhaps the later Joseph had a different first name but went by Joseph.  He was living with his mother on the farm in South Thomaston, along with his sister Priscilla and a sailor named Fred W. Fales, who was perhaps the son of Ruth's daughter Hannah (McKellar) Fales, who had died in 1857.

Daughter Mary Emeline married Captain James Sayward Keller, who had changed his surname from Kelloch, and had a son James W. Keller, before dying in her 30s.  

If you have corrections to make to the information above or additions or comments, I would most appreciate hearing from you.  Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. George W. Jones, IIIDecember 29, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Ruth's father is my 1st cousin, 6 generations removed.
    According to my information, her mother's name was Priscilla.
    However, Pat (Patricia) is a nickname for Priscilla. My maternal aunt was also named Priscilla, but everyone called her Pat.
    A real pleasure to discover Ruth's photo on this website, along with the additional family information..

    1. Thanks for your comment, George. I'm amending the post to offer the possibility of Pat/Patricia as Ruth's mother. Glad that you happened upon the picture. As for the other information, if you notice anything else awry, please let me know.