Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cabinet Photograph of Zenas Downs of Swanville, Maine

Cabinet photograph of Zenas Downs of Swanville, Maine.  The photograph was taken by the W. L. Hall studio of Belfast, Maine.

See other posts that feature:

  • Cabinet photographs of two of Zenas' grandchildren, Zenas Downs Hartshorn and Hattie Mae Hartshorn, children of Martha (Downs) Hartshorn and her husband Charles Andrew Hartshorn. The identifications on all three photographs appear to have been written in the same hand.
  • Another photograph of Zenas' granddaughter Hattie Mae (Hartshorn) Moore, as a middle-aged woman, then married to Andrew Park Moore and living at Bangor, Maine

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

According to the record of his November 15, 1895 death, Zenas was born at Frankfort, Maine, the son of Paul Downs and Margaret (Moore) Downs, who were born at Frankfort, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts, respectively.  Whether the information on this record is totally correct or not, I don't know.

Zenas' gravestone gives his birth year as 1822; many online trees have the birth year as 1821.  The earlier year presumably comes from his death record, which implies a birth month and year of October 1821.  In a draft registration record dated June 1863, Zenas is listed as 40 years old, a fact that would favor a birth year of 1822, since the information presumably came from Zenas himself, unlike the information on a death record.

On November 18, 1851 at Monroe, Maine, Zenas married Mary Jane Mitchell.  Mary Jane was presumably the Mary Jane Mitchell born January 31, 1828 at Monroe, Maine, daughter of Seth and Dorcas (Nealley) Mitchell.   Zenas and Mary Jane farmed at Swanville, Maine.

In addition to daughter Martha (Downs) Hartshorn mentioned above, Zenas and Mary Jane had at least two other children, son George, who died in infancy, and daughter Hattie, who also died young. Thankfully, Martha provided them with grandchildren to love.

Zenas L. Downs died in 1895 and Mary Jane (Mitchell) Downs in 1914.  They're buried with George and Hattie in the Greenlawn Cemetery at Swanville, Maine.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Sources:  Maine Death Records 1617-1922; Maine Marriage Records 1713-1937; U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records 1863-1865; Find-a-Grave

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