Friday, May 1, 2020

1864/1865 Payments on Behalf of Family in Robbinston, Maine, of Civil War Soldier Thomas Chester; in 1860s/1870s Ledger of Financial Transactions of Robbinston

Thomas Chester, age 32, serving in Company F of the Maine 30th Infantry Regiment: payments made in 1864 and 1865 to his parents and sister in Robbinston, Maine.  Unlike the format of most of the entries, Thomas' name was listed surname first.

Found on numbered page 10 in a ledger of Robbinston, Maine, financial transactions from the mid 1860s to the 1870s.

Payments made on behalf of:
  • John Chester, age 61; father
  • Elizabeth Chester, age 61; mother
  • Rebecca Chester, age 15; sister 

Per the 1850 Census of Robbinston, Maine: John Chester, a shoemaker, and wife Elizabeth were born in Ireland, as were Thomas and at least one other sibling. It appears the family then migrated to New Brunswick, Canada, where at least two more children were born. The youngest children were born in Maine.

In Thomas Chester's petition for naturalization, dated 18 December 1854, however, he states that he was born in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, on 25 December 1831.  He came to the United States in 1837, presumably, with his family to Robbinston, Maine. Bernard Foley of Roxbury, Massachusetts, and James Edwards of Boston stated that Thomas had lived in Boston for six years.

Thomas may have been the Thomas Chester - in a record in the online database U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 - who was 31 when he enlisted in Company F of the Maine 30th Infantry Regiment on 4 January 1864.  This Thomas mustered out on 2 June 1865 and appears to have spent time as a prisoner of war.  The town Stacyville appears attached to this record - if our Thomas, perhaps he was working there. Stacyville is well over 100 miles from Robbinston.

This pension record from 1883 lists only Thomas' mother Elizabeth.

If you have information on the family of Thomas Chester, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

The ledger measures about 13" by 8" by 1/2" and contains entries for almost 50 families and many pages of other financial transactions. About half of the 178 numbered pages have entries. The ledger is missing its covers; the first page of what remains is shown below.

Soldiers and sailors listed in the ledger
  • The numbers in parentheses indicate specific pages in the ledger.
  • Many of the men listed below were born in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia and may have returned to Canada after the War.  See the map below to see how close New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were, particularly in the Age of Sail.
  • If you have information on any of the men listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

The List, Alphabetized

Note: the map below has wording that puts Robbinston, Maine, in Saint Andrews Parish, but that parish is actually across the river in Canada.

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