Thursday, November 15, 2012

Early 1900s Photo Album of Alwilda Rae (Merrill) Worcester of Prentiss, Maine

[Note:  Please scroll down to the comments section to see a comment from a family member with some identifications of people in the photographs.]

Small handmade photograph album owned by Alwilda Mae (Merrill) Worcester of Prentiss, Maine.  She was informally known as Alda.   

The album is approximately 6" x 4-1/4" and is filled with thirty-eight photographs, two strips of photographs and a calling card.

I noticed several spellings of Worcester (Worster/Wooster) in records and references online, but Alda spelled the name as Worcester in two places, including in the upper right of the front cover, shown above, and in the enlargement, shown below, and on the reverse of a photograph of two children.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections welcome]

Alwilda Mae Merrill was born 4 April 1892 at Mars Hill, Maine, the daughter of Albion Franklin Merrill and Margaret Emma (Palmer) Merrill.  

Albion Franklin Merrill sometimes appears as Albion A. Merrill.  He was born, according to most references, but not all, at Skowhegan, Maine, on 8 July 1856, the son of William Littlefield Merrill and Sarah Maria (Bickford) Merrill.  Alternate references, such as Alwilda's birth record, have him born at Mars Hill, Maine.   Albion died at Prentiss, Maine, in 1929.

Margaret Emma (Palmer) Merrill was born 23 February 1857 at St. George, New Brunswick, daughter of James and Esther Jane (Cook) Palmer.  Margaret Emma died at Prentiss, Maine, in 1932.

On 25 July 1911 at Carroll, Maine, Alwilda Rae Merrill became the second wife of Seward E. Worcester, who was born 13 February 1881 at Prentiss, Maine, the son of Seward and Melissa (Jepson) Worcester.  

I wonder if these photographs portray Alda and Samuel.

Seward E. Worcester's first wife was Bertha Lothrop, daughter of Samuel and Marcia E. (Belden) Lothrop.  Bertha and Seward had two children, Elwood S. Worcester and Bernice Worcester.  Bertha died in 1909.

Alda and Seward had at least three children of their own.  I wonder if their first child, Arlis A. Worcester (shown as Worster on his Maine birth record), is the Aldo shown in the photograph below.

There's a gem sized photograph that might be of Alda herself when a small child, or might be Aldo, but I'm leaning toward Alda: it was one of the first photographs in the album, the last letter looks like an "a", and the child looks more like a girl to me.

Perhaps the children shown in the photograph below with dog Jack were the first two sons of Alda and Seward.  If so, the photograph may have been taken before the birth of the third son in September 1919.

Most of the photographs are unidentified but readers with Worcester ancestry might recognize some of the people from family albums or research.

The following photographs have full or partial identity or an interesting comment.

Lester Scott Merrill, whose calling card was pasted into the album, was Alda's brother.  He was born 11 October 1885 at Mars Hill, Maine.  He married Marjorie Muriel (Lothrop) Grant, sister of Bertha (Lothrop) Worcester, Seward E. Worcester's first wife.  Marjorie's first husband was Fred Lorenzo Grant; they divorced.

One photograph shows a group of four people: Norman Libby, Sherman Craig, Bill and Leta.  I believe they were Sherman Horace Craig and his wife Hazeletta or Hazel Etta "Letta or Leta" (Libby) Craig and Norman Libby, who was Hazeletta's brother, and Bill, whose last name I don't have.

There's a photograph of a young Maxine, who was Maxine Irene Collins, born at Mars Hill, Maine, daughter of Ellery and Ethel Collins.  Ellery was the son of Alda's older sister Sarah Adelaide (Merrill) Collins.

Two photographs show the Elder family.  If a reader knows how the Elder family connects with Alda and Seward Worcester, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

There's a photograph of a woman identified on the reverse as Winifred.  I'd love to know the identity of the body of water in the background.  The Prentiss, Maine, area has many lakes and ponds, and the coast of Washington County, Maine, and the Penobscot River are not far away.  

I wonder if the scene above could be at Duck Lake, as the scene below shows.

This one had an interesting comment.  Possibly Alda and Hazeletta are part of the "jipsy crowd".

A few others from the album:

This photograph, with no identification of people or place, was found loose with the album, not in the album, so I don't know if it belongs or not.

If you have corrections to the family history of the Merrill and Worcester families above or additional information on them, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Prentiss, Maine [Zoom out five clicks to see the many lakes in the area, including Duck Lake at center bottom edge, not identified, to the west of Fourth Machias Lake.]

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  1. My name is Elnora Merrill Pace. I am the daughter of Jesse Albion Merrill Jr. who is the son of Jesse Albion Merrill Sr. (who is the young boy in the "Geo H. Barnes Photo" when he was about 5). Jesse Albion Merrill Sr. is the brother of Alwilda "Alda". The other children of Albion Franklin and Emmaline Palmer Merrill are Sarah Adelade "Sadie", Lester, and Esma "Essie". Jesse Albion Merrill Sr. was their fourth child. I am working on putting pictures and information and stories for my Merrill family together...if you go to hopefully you can access it. I grew up on the family farm in St. Albans, Maine but now live in AZ. You can contact me directly at I would love to know how you are linked to "Alda".

  2. Thank you so much for providing some identifications! This is not my family, but I couldn't resist purchasing it, researching it and putting the images online, in hopes that a relative, like you, would happen upon this post. Love your blog!