Friday, November 26, 2010

2 Photographs of Bertha Archer of Cherryfield, Maine; one is graduation photo from Castine Normal School

Two large photographs of Bertha Archer of Cherryfield, Maine.  Each was taken by the Tuttle studio of Belfast, Maine.

Identification on reverse: Aunt Bertha Archer when she graduated from Castine Normal School.

Different dress in the photograph above, but same rug and background.

Identification on reverse: Aunt Bertha, Carrie Archer Tracy's sister

Bertha Archer was born in December of 1879 in the Cherryfield, Maine area, the daughter of Charles Henry Archer, born in Steuben, Maine in 1845, and his wife Corella Leighton, born in Cherryfield, Maine, also in  1845.  Bertha's paternal grandparents were Eliakim and Jane (Barfield) Archer.  Her maternal grandparents were Ebenezer Jordan Leighton and his wife Drusilla (Wilson) Leighton.

See the comments section below for a reader's query about Charles Henry Archer's second wife Florence, as shown on the 1900 Census; the reader's aunt Marie was in the household.

On the 1900 Census of Cherryfield, Maine, Bertha's occupation was listed as School Teacher.  On 31 December 1906, she married Thomas N. Wilson, who was possibly born in Worcester, Massachusetts.  After this event, I lost track of them.  Hopefully a reader will clear up the mystery.

Bertha had two sisters and a brother.  Her brother Frank was born in July of 1877.  I read online that he drowned at Friendship, Maine, on 4 July 1903.  I searched online for a newspaper account of this but had no luck.  [Note: a reader, who left a comment below, has a newspaper clipping about Frank's drowning in a sailing accident.]  I wonder if a Fourth of July event had any significance in this tragedy.

Bertha's sister Frances "Fanny" was born 5 March 1872 in Cherryfield, Maine.  In 1897, Fanny married Elmer Eben Sawyer [Note: Eben's full name provided by his great grandchild; the reader also noted that Elmer died in 1917; see comment below.]

Bertha's sister Carrie Archer, mentioned on the reverse of one of the photographs, was a twin to Fanny, born 5 March 1872 in Cherryfield.   I found a marriage for a Carrie Archer and Alfred Tracy in the Maine Marriages online database; both gave their residence as Stacyville, Maine, which is located some distance from the Cherryfield area, though it's possible.

There's a lot of confusing information about Carrie Archer and Alfred Tracy online.  In one place a researcher referenced a marriage between Carrie Vesta Archer and Alfred Leslie Tracy, but the information for Carrie was partially incorrect, and her birth state was given as Vermont.

If I have the correct Alfred Leslie Tracy, he was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, 8 November 1873, the son of Foster Jacob Tracy, who was born in Cherryfield, Maine, in 1840, and his wife Melissa (Leighton) Tracy, who was born in Unionville, Maine, in 1843.

I believe that Carrie died in 1910, and that Alfred then married, in 1911, Ida "Margie" Tourtelotte, who was born in Cherryfield, Maine, in 1873.

But, as in mysteries #1, #2 and #3, I'm hoping that a reader will come forward and solve the mystery of Carrie (Archer) Tracy, mystery #4.

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented above, please leave a comment in the comments box or contact me directly.


  1. My father's grandmother was Fanny Archer who married Elmer Eben Sawyer. I have the newspaper article concerning Frank Archer's death it is dated June 6th (no year) and is titled "Sad Drowning in Friendship" "Frank Archer of Cherryfield loses his life while sailing" and I can send it to anyone interested.
    Elmer Eben Sawyer my great grandfather died at age 54 in 1917.
    I am researching the second wife of Charles Henry Archer. He is listed in the 1920 census age 70 with Florence Archer age 27 and Marie age 7. Marie was my aunt Marie MacDonald. Any info on Florence would be welcome.

    1. Thanks for the clarification and the additional information. I amended the post with your insights. Please let me know if it needs further editing. Thanks!