Friday, September 23, 2016

1868 Diary of Willie E. Jordan of Webster, Maine (now Sabattus, Maine)

1868 diary of Willie E. Jordan of Webster, Maine, which is now part of the town of Sabattus.  William E. Jordan turned 16 on July 11 of that year.

The page facing the title page indicates that the diary "hung on the Christmas tree 1868".  Whether Willie meant to write 1867, when he received the diary, or whether it was customary to hang a completed diary on the Christmas tree, I don't know.

An alphabetical listing of the people mentioned in the diary, a transcription and images of all of the pages appear at the end of this post.

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

William E. Jordan, "Willie", was born July 11, 1852 at Webster, Maine, the son of Warren Jordan and Elizabeth Chase (Watts) Jordan.  Willie noted his birthday in the entry of Saturday, July 11, 1868.

A recurrent theme throughout the album is Willie's love for Carrie D. Weymouth.   Caroline D. Weymouth, born at Webster, Maine, on April 8, 1850, was the daughter of Oliver B. Weymouth and Elizabeth (Weymouth) Weymouth.  I don't believe Willie and Carrie D. Weymouth ever married, though each married someone else.  Carrie married Charles H. Maxwell and moved to Brockton, Massachusetts.  Charles, Carrie and one of their sons, Walter S. Maxwell, are buried in the Melrose Cemetery at Brockton.

A tintype tucked in the diary may be of Carrie.

About 1883, William E. Jordan married Medora Octavia Potter, daughter of George H. Potter and Lydia (Crosby) Potter, "Dora".  Dora was born in New York about May 1863.  William and Dora had, I believe, two children:
  1. Lydia E. Jordan, born November 21, 1884 at Fall River, Massachusetts
  2. Clarence Benson Jordan, born October 10, 1886 at Monmouth, Maine

William died February 13, 1902 and is buried in the Litchfield Plains Cemetery at Litchfield, Maine; I'm not sure if Dora is buried there or not.

Surnames in the Diary

? [15]GGravesSSmall
CC ?HHamiltonSpofford [2]
DD ? [3]HobbsTilden
Davis [2]JJordan [10]WWeymouth [3]
DeeringMM ?Winslow [4]
DrinkwaterRRigby [3]
FFarnham [2]

Alphabetical List of People Mentioned in the Diary - If you can identify, clarify or enhance, please leave a comment or contact me directly
  • "Aunt With came home", entry of January 3, 1868.  Possibly Mrs. Wealthy P. (Grant) Watts, wife of Freeman Jefferson Watts, a brother to Willie's mother Elizabeth Chase (Watts) Jordan.  She and her family were then living in Connecticut.  Wealthy was born at Prospect, Maine, about January 1829, daughter of Ephraim Grant and Mary Polly (Stewart) Grant. 
  • Carrie, presumably Carrie D. Weymouth or Carrie A. Carr
  • Charles or Clark - went to school with Willie
  • Jimmie - visited school
  • Frank
  • James was over, and Father went to the village with him
  • Marinea - not sure of name
  • Joseph - possibly Joseph F. Winslow
  • Josey - possibly Joseph F. Winslow
  • Jairus or James
  • "One year today Charles was married.", entry of Sunday, June 28, 1868
  • Addie or Haddie
  • John
  • Martha or Althea
  • Aunt Jenny
  • Jamey Carey or Jamey Corey
  • Carrie A. Carr - the entry of Sunday, January 26, 1868 seems to indicate that it was Carrie's birthday.  However, the Maine State birth record for Carrie Augusta Carr indicates she was born on June 6, 1853 at Bowdoin, Maine, daughter of James Carr and Charity J. (Coffin) Carr.  Perhaps it was someone else's birthday but Carrie was in attendance.
  • Reverend Chick
  • J. E. D., possibly John E. Davis
  • L. E. D., possibly Lydia Davis, though I believe her middle initial was F.
  • F. H. D.
  • Lydia Davis - presumably the Lydia F. Davis, born about 1856, who lived at Webster, Maine, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth Davis and sister of John E. Davis
  • Jonnie E. Davis - presumably the John E. Davis, born about 1853, who lived at Webster, Maine, son of Isaac and Elizabeth Davis and brother of Lydia F. Davis
  • Frank H. Deering, 16.  "The entry of December 8, 1868 notes the 16th birthday of [Frank C. Hoad Deering, born December 8, 1852, son of Gideon Deering and Joann (Hoad) Deering.
  • Erwin Dennett - presumably the Erwin Dennett born September 27, 1847 at Bowdoin, Maine, son of Nathaniel and Mary (Chase) Dennett. He would marry Annie Elizabeth Butters in 1878 and become a clergyman.  The diary entry of Sunday, September 27, 1868 notes Erwin's 21st birthday.
  • Mr. Drinkwater.  There were several men with the surname Drinkwater living at Webster, Maine, at that time.
  • S. Eaton or L. Eaton, 12.  The entry of Friday, July 24, 1868, presumably referring to the birthday of S. Eaton or L. Eaton
  • I. H. Farnham - presumably Isaiah H Farnham, who was born about March 1853 at Sabattus, Maine, or Woolwich, Maine, son of Bradford D. Farnham and Lucy May (Ames) Farnham.  At the age of 48, Isaiah was killed by a fellow employee later judged insane.
  • Laura E. Farnham.  Laura Ellen Farnham was born at Woolwich, Maine, on August 16, 1855, daughter of Bradford D. Farnham and Lucy May (Ames) Farnham.
  • Dr. Milan Graves - entries of November 12, 1868 and November 14, 1868 note the death and burial of the baby daughter of Dr. Graves and wife Sarah P. (Winslow) Graves.  Several of Sarah's siblings are mentioned in the diary.  
  • "Mrs. Hamilton died".  Entry of Tuesday, April 21, 1868
  • Rev. Haynes or Hanes - Willie spelled it both ways
  • Reverend Heath
  • Mrs. Hobbs
  • Robert Jordan, Grandfather - presumably Willie's paternal grandfather, Robert Jordan (1792-1878), as Willie's maternal grandfather, Freeman Watts, died in 1856.
  • Uncle William - presumably Willie's paternal uncle William Jordan, husband of Mary Vesta (Andrews) Jordan.  They raised their family at Webster, Maine.
  • "Mrs. Lucy Jordan was buried to day.", the entry of January 19, 1868.  Presumably Lydia (Jones) Jordan, "Lucy", who died January 17, 1868 at Webster, Maine.  She was the wife of Dominicus Jordan and the daughter of Phineas Jones and Ruth (Ames) Jones.
  • Mr. Jordan - Willie visited him on the evening of February 14, 1868; Wilie found that "the girls was gone".  Perhaps Dominicus Jordan, widower of the earlier-mentioned Mrs. Jordan, who was Lydia (Jones) Jordan, "Lucy", who was buried on January 19, 1868
  • Willie's older sister Emma Orilla Jordan, born January 22, 1848, daughter of Warren Jordan and Elizabeth Chase (Watts) Jordan.  Emma would marry Irving T. Ham and have a daughter Nellie. Sadly Emma died in 1880.
  • Mother.  The entry of April 11, 1868, notes the birthday of Willie's mother, Elizabeth Chase (Watts) Jordan, born April 11, 1824.
  • Elder Jordan preached
  • W. E. Jordan, 16 - diarist William E. Jordan, "Willie" himself, who noted his birthday on July 11.  Willie was born July 11, 1852 at Webster, Maine, son of Warren Jordan and Elizabeth Chase (Watts) Jordan
  • Bethiah E. Jordan, 75; entry of July 25, 1868 - I haven't yet found a Bethiah born on July 25, 1793.  Willie had a maternal aunt born Bethiah E. Jordan in 1836 in May.
  • W. E. Jordan - the name of a relative or Willie himself, who wrote the name in the entry of November 29, 1868
  • Mr. Merrey or Merry or Murry or Murray - Willie spelled his name in various ways
  • Elder Page preached
  • Roselvin James Rigby, Willie's friend. He was born September 15, 1853 at Bath, Maine, son of George Washington Rigby and Dorcas Jane (Garcelon) Rigby.  Roselvin is mentioned throughout the album, and his 15th birthday is noted in the entry of Tuesday, September 15, 1868.
  • Rigby's.  Presumably the home of George Washington Rigby and Dorcas Jane (Garcelon) Rigby.  They would later move their family west.
  • "Mr. Rigby's folks went west today".  Entry of Wednesday, May 13, 1868. Mr. Rigby is presumably George Washington Rigby, father of Willie's friend Roselvin James Rigby, who also went west not long after.
  • Hattie Robinson (presumably Harriet Arvesta Robinson, born August 19, 1851, daughter of Samuel and Mary M. (Merrill or Foss) Robinson)
  • Leander M. Small.  The entry of December 28, 1868 notes that school has opened with Leander M. Small as teacher.  Presumably Leander M. Small, born at Richmond, Maine, on May 25, 1849, son of George Small and Sarah Bryant (Allen) Small.]
  • Mr. Spofford
  • John C. Spofford, 12.  The entry of Wednesday, November 25, 1868 notes the 12th birthday of John Calvin Spofford, born November 25, 1854, son of Phineas M. Spofford and Mary Ellen (Wentworth) Spofford.
  • Reverend Stinson
  • Herbert E. Teel - entry of Friday, October 9, 1868: "Herbert Teal got covered up three feet deep in sand" - luckily for Herbert, he survived this mishap.  Herbert E. Teel was born June 1, 1854, son of Jonathan Teel and Elizabeth (Hanscom) Teel. 
  • Elder Tilden preached 
  • WEY [perhaps for Carrie D. Weymouth ?].  See more on her under her name.
  • Carrie D. Weymouth, the object of Willie's affection in 1868, judging from entries throughout the diary.  She was born at Webster, Maine, on April 8, 1850, daughter of Oliver B. Weymouth and Elizabeth (Weymouth) Weymouth, "Betsey".  She would marry Charles Scott Maxwell of Lewiston, Maine, in 1873 and move to Massachusetts.  The young woman in the gem tintype tucked in the diary may be Carrie D. Weymouth.  The entry for April 8 notes her birthday.
  • W. B. Weymouth.  The entry of June 19, 1868 notes the birthday of William Bartlett Weymouth, born at Webster, Maine, on June 19, 1854, son of Oliver Weymouth and Betsey Smith (Weymouth) Weymouth
  • Mr. Winslow, teacher; Willie's teacher, possibly Joseph F. Winslow
  • Mr. Winslow came home with me today, possibly Willie's teacher Joseph F. WInslow
  • Joseph F. Winslow - presumably the Joseph F. Winslow born January 30, 1848 at Greene, Maine, son of Aaron Winslow and Hannah (French) Winslow; he may have been Willie's teacher, Mr. Winslow.
  • Josie F. Winslow, or Josey F. Winslow - possibly Joseph F. Winslow
  • Nellie Witham.  The entry of April 12, 1868 seems to read either: "Nellie Witham's little girl was buried today, Reverend Stinson" or "Nellie Witham's little girl was blessed today, Reverend Stinson", hopefully the latter.


  1. I didn't recognize anyone, but did know a Bertius Jordan married to an Elsie Wheeler, at one time they might have lived in Wales or Webster Me. They were friends of my Grandmother Stella Wentworth Barr. Long gone now.

    1. Probably related! Thanks for taking the time to comment.