Saturday, October 29, 2011

c. 1905 photo of teacher Ethel Matthieu & IDed students, Farmington, Maine

Photograph of teacher Ethel Matthieu and students from a Farmington, Maine school.  I've found Ethel's surname spelled variously as Mathieu, Matthew and Mathew.

From online research, hopefully correct:

Teacher Ethel Matilda Matthieu (1880-1962) was born in April of 1880 at Farmington, Maine, the daughter of Joseph W. Mathieu and Emma Mary Mathieu, born in St. Francois, Beauce, Quebec, and St. Claire, Dorchester, Quebec respectively.  Her parents married at Farmington, Maine on 16 May 1872.

Ethel married Wilfred J. Caron (1876-1959) at Farmington, Maine, on 6 September 1910.  

Wilfred was born about 1878 in Canada, the son of Auguste and Celina (Laurendeau) Caron.

Ethel and Wilfred lived at Rumford, Maine, where Wilfred was a barber and later a manufacturer.  By the time of the 1930 Census,  Ethel, after raising at least one child, was again teaching.

Ethel's older brother Albert A. Mathieu graduated from Holy Cross at Worcester, Massachusetts, and became an attorney and judge at Waterville, Maine.

It would be interesting to know how closely Ethel and Alfred were related to Jean-Baptiste Mathieu, the first French Canadian settler at Waterville, Maine.  Jean-Baptiste had migrated from Quebec down the "Indian Trail", later called the Kennebec Road or the Canada Road.  He would stay at a place as long as there was work for him and then move farther south.  In the early 1820s, he had worked his way to Shirley, Maine, where he started a business of supplying logging camps with provisions.  In 1827 he moved his operation to Waterville.

Clyde Luce; Adella Luce; Eva Luce; Almon Luce

These four were siblings, the offspring of Francis Eugene Luce and wife Lucy (Furbush) Luce, born in New Portland, Maine, and Farmington, Maine, respectively.  There were six older siblings not in the photograph: Simon, Mary, Emily, Frank Carville, Elizabeth and George.

Clyde Eugene Luce, who was born 17 June 1883 at Farmington, Maine, would marry Cora E. Oliver on 22 August 1909.  Cora was born in June of 1885 in South Dakota, the daughter of George and Emma M. (Smith) Oliver, who were born in Industry, Maine, and New Vineyard, Maine, respectively.  

It appears that Clyde helped his father in the operation of the family farm, as his parents and his own family were living in the same household at the time of the 1920 Census of Farmington.  By 1930, they were living adjacent to each other but in separate households.  Clyde died in 1957 at Farmington, Maine.

Adella Luce, Clyde's sister, was born 27 February 1885 at Farmington, Maine.  She married Robert Earl McCleery on 23 November 1910 at Farmington.  He was born 24 September 1878 at Farmington, Maine, son of Robert and Susan E. (Stanley) McCleery.  Robert and Adella farmed at Farmington, Maine, and had at least one child, a son.  Adella died in 1963 at Farmington, Maine.

Eva C. Luce, sister of Clyde and Adella, was born 2 June 1887 at Farmington, Maine.  On 1 September 1906, at Farmington, Maine, Eva married Albert Ward.  He was born about 1887 at Bondsville, Massachusetts, the son of David and Lydia (Paine) Ward, each born at Bondsville.  Albert gave his occupation on the marriage record as railroad brakeman.

By the time of the 1910 Census, the couple was living with their young son in Fairfield, Maine.  Albert's occupation was listed as brass finisher in a car shop.   By the time of the 1920 Census, Eva (Luce) Ward was a widow, and she and her son were back at Farmington, Maine.  

On 12 October 1920, Eva married John E. Stevens of Farmington.  He was born about 1884 at Stow, Maine, the son of John A. and Mary E. (Kneeland) Stevens, born in Fryeburg, Maine, and Sweden, Maine, respectively.   

The 1930 Census found John and Eva and her son living at Augusta, Maine, where John was a mechanic at the State Garage.  Eva died in 1977 at Farmington, Maine.

Almon J. Luce, brother of Clyde, Adella and Eva above, was born 15 July 1890 at Farmington, Maine.  On 17 August 1918 at Waterville, Maine, Almon married schoolteacher Persis Wentworth.  She was born 14 May 1895 at Freedom, Maine, the daughter of Charles Danford Wentworth and wife Maud Edna (Fuller) Wentworth, born in Waldo, Maine, and Freedom, Maine, respectively.  

I found mention of a collection of papers belonging to Maud and her father Edmund Allen Fuller.  The collection includes the autograph book of a young Maud, family photos, Edmund's ledgers and other items preserved and donated by the daughter of Almon and Persis (Wentworth) Luce.

Almon and Persis ran the family farm at Farmington, Maine.  Almon died at Farmington in 1979.

John Titcomb; Mabel Titcomb; and possibly Harriet "Hattie" Mary Titcomb   

I found siblings John S. and Mabel Ruth Titcomb, the children of Manning Ellis Titcomb and Ella Mary (Jones) Titcomb.    

They had a sister Harriet who was born in September of 1889, but she is either not in the photograph or perhaps she is the "Addie Titcomb" in the middle row.  

John S. Titcomb was born 22 January 1886 in Maine.  He married Addie H. Leeman of New Sharon on 19 November 1911.  Addie was born in March of 1893 in New Sharon, Maine, the daughter of Thomas William Leeman and wife Marie Elizabeth (Cookson) Leeman.

John and Addie raised a family of at least four children at Farmington, Maine.  In the 1930 Census of Farmington, John's occupation was listed as general farming.  His father Manning, by then a widower, was living with them, for some reason listed as a servant.  John died in 1974.

Mabel Ruth Titcomb was born 28 June 1892 at Farmington, Maine.  She married Joseph Leslie Jannell on 16 June 1918 at Farmington, Maine.  He was born at Lisbon Falls, Maine, on 4 February 1896, the son of Leslie David Jannell and wife Belle Jennie (Dingley) Jannell.   Joseph and his parents were living at Mexico, Maine at the time of the 1910 Census; his father was a machinist at a paper mill.

After their marriage, Mabel and Joseph moved to Massachusetts.  They were living at Weymouth, Massachusetts at the time of the 1920 Census, where Joseph was working as a mechanic at a garage.

In 1921, Joseph started his own garage, Jannell Motors.  His reputation grew to the point where Ford offered him a franchise in 1933.  Jannell Motors is still in operation today, at locations in Weymouth and Hanover, Massachusetts.  One of the oldest Ford dealerships in the U. S, it's run by two grandsons of Joseph and Mabel.

Just in case Addie Titcomb is Harriet Titcomb:

Harriet ("Hattie") Mary Titcomb was born 26 October 1889 at Farmington, Maine.  Hattie became a teacher and moved to Massachusetts, in the general area of where her sister Mabel and husband Joseph Leslie Jannell were living.   Hattie died at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1984.

Carroll Luce; Lora Luce

Carroll Luce and Lora Luce were siblings, the offspring of Nathaniel and Lida E. (Mosher) Luce. Nathaniel was born in Freeman, Maine; Lida was born in Farmington, Maine.  In addition to Carroll and Lora, there were two other daughters in the family.

Carroll Luce was born 28 June 1892 at Farmington, Maine; his birth record shows a name of Jessie, as well as Carroll, making me wonder if he had a twin who didn't survive, of if his parents hadn't yet made a final choice of names for him.    Someone wrote [apparently later on] the name Carroll and a date of 1907, so it appears they were linking the birth and death records.

Carroll's 1907 death record is even more confusing, as his father is listed as Nathaniel Luce, but his mother is listed as Jane Carville, who was in fact Nathaniel's mother.  His birth record shows his mother as Lida E. (Mosher) Luce.  Sadly, Carroll died from complications of appendicitis on 26 July 1907. 

Lora Luce Carroll's sister, was born 13 November 1897 at Farmington, Maine.  I think that's her birth date, as there is a birth record for that date with no name listed, which was true for at least one of their other children.  

Lora's first name is shown as Laura A. Luce in the Maine Marriages Database, but Lora Dyer in the Social Security Death Index.  According to the Maine Marriages Database, she married Leslie A. Dyer on 12 June 1915, when both were living at New Portland, Maine.  

Leslie A. Dyer was Leslie Linn Dyer, who was born 8 September 1893 at New Portland, Maine, the son of Fred W. and Minnie (Heald) Dyer, who were born at New Portland, Maine, and Anson, Maine, respectively.  

Lora and her husband lived at New Portland, Maine, where he worked in farming and was a laborer.  Lora named a son after her brother Carroll.  Lora died in 1995 at Farmington, Maine.

Lila Mosher was born 23 March 1897 at Farmington, Maine, the daughter of James Herbert Mosher and wife Nettie Caroline (Luce) Mosher.  Lila married Linwood James York, who was born 10 May 1896 in Brighton, Maine, the son of James W. and Mary Esther (Cooley) York.  

Lila and Linwood were farmers and raised their family at Farmington, Maine.  Lila died at Farmington in 1979.

As for Addie Titcomb, so far I've been unsuccessful in further identifying her.  I can find several instances of a married Addie Titcomb in the Farmington area,  but not an unmarried Addie Titcomb.  

Spreading out into Maine a bit, I find a couple possibilities, but I have no way of knowing if I have the right Addie.  Hopefully a reader will come forward.  

I'm leaning toward the possibility that she was actually Harriet "Hattie" Mary Titcomb, sister of John Titcomb and Mabel Titcomb, as discussed above.

If you have any corrections and/or information to share on any of the people mentioned above, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

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  1. Was Ethel's mother's maiden name also Matthieu? If so, this might be her baptismal record:

    Baptized, in Ste-Claire, Co. Dorchester, PQ,

    On the 28th Aug 1853, [ ... who signed below], baptized Marie Emma, born the same day of the legitimate marriage of Marcel Matthieu, farmer, and of Cleophie Morin, of this parish. Witnesses: Joseph Matthieu and Marie Matthieu

    There is a bit of information about the witnesses that I can't make out, and I think it also says that they couldn't sign their names.

    [signed] Jean Langevin, Priest

    Emma M Matthieu lived until 1951
    She, Joseph, son Carroll and daughter Rose buried in Riverside Cemetery, Farmington, ME

  2. P.S. I have seen a lot of 1900 Censuses where the month of birth was correct and the year was off by one. I wonder if the enumerators asked for the age of the person and the month of birth, then did the math to try to arrive at the year.

  3. Yes, I think you found Ethel's mother's baptism record and, for sure, the burial records! And yes, I always take the 1900 month/year with a grain of salt. The month is likely correct; the year is 50/50, if that. Thanks, as always, for your insights. I hope to learn more about Ethel's family from the guru of French Canadian genealogy, Bob Chenard, at Taconnett Falls Genealogy Library at Winslow, Maine

  4. Thanks for your kind words, Brett! I've learned a lot from your blog, Photo-Sleuth, about photographs and photographers, and I've especially enjoyed how you transform research into a great story. (For the benefit of other readers: )

  5. I am Ethel Matthieu's granddaughter. Your info is generally accurate. Her father Joseph's parents were Jos. and Anatalie Fortin Mattieu.He was a designer and builder. The library in Farmington is testimony to his skill. Joseph and Enmg are about 9 generations away from the same couple, Jean Matthieu... who emigrated sometime around 165oé

  6. Marcel and Cleophee Matthieu--correction