Friday, May 29, 2020

Josephs Family from Portland, Maine in Manuscript Genealogy of William Willson of Harpswell, Maine, and St. George, Maine

Pages 179-201 relating to the Josephs family of Portland, Maine, in a manuscript genealogy of William Willson (about 1750-1801), also seen as Wilson, his descendants and related families of Harpswell and Saint George, Maine.

The genealogy was handwritten by Willson's great grandson William Blake Josephs (1854-1918) of Portland, Maine, in 1901 [with later entries by both himself and others].  He was also the grandson of Manuel Joseph Frates Govia, a mariner from Madeira who found his way to Portland, Maine.

Note: Some of the pages dealing with the Josephs genealogy were written by someone other than Josephs himself.

The manuscript is discussed in installments, as noted below.

The manuscript measures approximately 7-1/2" by 5"and contains 201 numbered pages, with pages 182-183 and 199-200 missing.  William Blake Josephs wrote the vast majority of the information.

Note: most of the entries are unsourced, but information may have come from people with direct knowledge. Take all with a grain of salt, knowing there may be nuggets here not found anywhere else.

Be aware: the compiler used very little punctuation, including periods at the end of sentences, and was not careful about pronoun antecedents and spelling.  All of this makes some of his information difficult to nail down.

Toward the end are a few pages of entries in a more contemporary hand, perhaps entered by Joseph's widow Mary Jane (Blair) Josephs or one of their children. The missing pages are in this section.


Page 3
Having some family records and
wishing to preserve them is what led 
me to prepair this Book the early trad-
itions of the family herein quoted
have been handed down to me and
are Know doubt correct the principle
part of this work is the Military His-
tory of my great grand Father William
Willson his record of service in the Am-
erican Revolution i got from the 
Secretary of the State of Mass. (Maine
Was a part of Mass until 1820) this rec-
ord was taken from the Revolutionary
Archives of the State of Mass. The accou-
nt of the Battles he passed through
Was taken from the best works in pr-
int on the Revolutionary War Viz
Carringtons Battles of the American
Revolution, Lossings Field Book of
The Revolution. Paul Allen's History
of the American Revolution (Published
in 1819). Dr. Thatchers Military Jour-
nal. The part that relates to the 
Penobscot Expedition was taken from 

Page 4
Williamsons History of Maine also
Nathan Goulds History of Col Jona-
than Mitchells Reg. of Cumberland Co
The experience of the Regts to which Will-
iam Willson was attached was also his 
Experience so I have given the Battles
In detail which is very interesting rea-
ding especially that part which has refer-
ence to Cap Enos Stones Journal in
These few extracts it shows what beca-
me of the Prisoners taken by the British
in the Battle of Hubbardton Vermont it
can not be found in any history that
I ever saw. our Ancestor William Willson 
was one of the Prisoners

Chapter I - Ancestry - Early Wilson Familys
Chapter II - William Willson and Descendants
Chapter III - The Militia Co and enlistment into Continental Army
Chapter IV - Advance of Burgoyne
Chapter V - Evacuation of TiconderogaBattle of Hubbardton
Chapter VI - Capt. Enos Stones Journal
Chapter VII - Penobscot Expedition
Maine Historical Soc Safe [ page 174
Additional entries

Pages 179 to 201 - the Josephs Family of Portland, Maine

Some of these pages have entries from a more contemporary hand, presumaby after the death of compiler William Blake Josephs (1854-1918) of Portland, Maine. Transcriptions appear below the images of pages written by Josephs.

Page 180 and Page 183 - Pages 181 and 182 are missing

Pages 190 and 191

Josephs - Family

The correct name of this family 
is Govia (1) the first of the family in
this country was ____ Govia (probably
Manuel Govia) he came to this country
from the Island of Madeira a province
of Portugal he was therefore a Portuguese
he was in the country prior to 1777
Probably for he had married a spanish
lady Louisa Martin their first child
was born April 15 - 1777 in New Orleans
his name was Manuel Joseph Frates
Govia we think there were three other
children all born later in Madeira we
are sure of one daughter Antonette while
Manuel the first child was a baby his
parents moved to Madeira where the 
rest of the family were born. when the
first child Manuel Joseph Frates had 
grown to be a young man probably ab-
out 18 years old. according to the custom
of his country was obliged to serve 3 yrs

(1) The reason of the change will be
seen farther on in this article

in the regular Army this was something
that young Manuel did not fancy so he
left home and came to this country the
land of his birth where he lived at first

in this country we know not we know 
of him first when he was a man of 30 yrs
or more at this time he was making 
Portland his home he was a Mariner
by occupation serving as a cook he was
a man about 5 ft 10" in height square
shoulders and good looking his complex
ion was dark upon his arrival in this
country he dropped his last two
names and called himself Manuel
Joseph this was probably done to pre-
vent identification fearing that he
might be found and pressed into
service. he married in Portland in 
1812 Mrs. Susannah (Wilson) Flood
daughter of William and Martha
Wilson of Harpswell (Baileys Id)
they lived on or about India St dur-
ing his life. he followed the sea ll
his life dying with yellow fever on

Pages 192 and 193

Josephs - Family

board the Brig Lucy Ann while lying
in the port of Havana Cuba Nov 17
1834. he was an honest and upright man
one of the Portland papers in speaking
of his death said - he was an honest and
Industrious man this was true for all
that knew him said the same Manuel
and Susannah Joseph had 6 children
all born in Portland Viz

1 - Louisa Martin       born  Mar 30 1813
2 - Manuel Blake          "     Jan 6 1815
3 - William Wilson         "     June 16 1817
4 - Sarah Eunice           "     Aug 13 1819
5 - Edward Payson        "    May 26 1822
6 - Martha Anntonette   "    Dec 25 1825

this family are all dead except the last 
child Martha who is still living in
Tacoma Washington in he [sic] 78 yr of her
age she has lived longer than any
of the family except her mother who 
was 78 yrs and 5 months when she died
the deaths in this family have been
as follows - Louisa Martin died
in 1838 - Manuel Blake died in 187 [last digit omitted]
William Wilson died July 28 - 1881
Sarah Eunice died      1888
Edward Payson died in 1828
After the death of Manuel Joseph
his wife Susanna married in 1835
William Sheafe a widower there was
no children by this union Mr. Sheafe
died in 1844 leaving her again a wid-
ow she and her family lived together
until they were married she spent
the remaining years of her life with her
daughter Martha A Wight dying at her
home in Yarmouth Me June 24 - 1867
aged 78 yrs 5 months (she was born Feb
8 - 1789 of their children we will say
that they were all married, as follows

1 - Louisa Martin
She married William Sheafe
a son of her mothers husband she died
yount leaving 2 children
William Edward born June 1831

Pages 194 and 195

Josephs - Family

Louisa born 183  [last digit omitted]

2 - Manuel Blake
of him we know but
little for he lived in all parts of the
world he was of a roaming disposition
the last few years of his life were spent
in Portland his death was caused by
shocks he died in 187 [last digit omitted]

3 - William Wilson
he was a sea faring man
 the early part of his life commencing
as a boy aboard a Vessel and rising to
the position of first mate he sailed all
over the world visiting all the principal
ports his last Voyage was to California
the time of the gold fever he spent 3 years
in California made some money and
came back to Portland in the fall of
1852 this ended his sea faring life
the remainder of his life was spent
as clerk in stores he married twice
the first i know but little about 2d
he married Ann Maria daughter
of John Dennis of Portland a chum
of his sister Martha's they were mar-
ried Jan 9 - 1853 after 28 years of married 
life he died July 28 - 1881 his death was
probably caused from a carbuncle his wife
Ann Maria died Dec 1884
her death was caused from a Torpid
liver she had been sick for several
months she was not quite 50 yrs old
at the time of her death she was born
March 7 - 1835 in Eastport Me no better
parents ever lived than these honest and
upright christians the children 
William and Ann Maria Josephs 
were as follows
1 - William Blake     born   Feb 21 - 1854  [a later entry by Edith Needham: my father died Aug 13 - 1918) [author of the manuscript]
2 - Anna Maria          "       Apr 21 - 1856   [later entry: died]
3 - Edith Bruce           "                      1857  [later entry: died]
4 - Susie                      "      July 21 - 1859  [later entry: died]
5 - Arthur Bruce died  "     Dec 12 - 1861
6 - A Boy                           died at birth
7 - Fannie died             "     Jan 31 - 1869

Pages 196 and 197

Josephs - Family

Three of these are dead Anna Maria 
died  1858  Edith Bruce died
1858 the boy died at birth
the others are all alive and married
and all live in Portland

4 - Sarah Eunice
She married Martin Thaxter
in 1840 they were married 12 years before
having any children Mr. Thaxter was
a harness marker by trade he was also
an Engineer serving as such on one of
the U.S. gun boats a short time during
the civil war their children were all
born in Portland and are as follows

1 - William                  born   1852
2 - Martin Howard       "       Mar 28 1854
3 - Joseph Wight           "       July 16 1856
4 - Susan Helen            "       Mar 1859
5 - Andrew Ricker         "       186  [last digit omitted]

Two of these are dead William dying very 
young Andrew Ricker died when young
the parents are both dead Mr Thaxter
dying in 187  [last digit omitted] his wife Sarah Eunice
died in the spring of 1888 the rest of
the children are living and married
and have familys

5 - Edward Payson
he died when a small boy at the age of 6 years in 1828

6 - Martha Anntonette
She married in 185  [last digit omitted] John
Wight a native of Prince Edward Id
he was a mariner in early life after-
wards a farmer in his last days they
owned a farm in Freeport near mast 
landing he died in Freeport in 188  [last digit omitted]
with consumption Martha his wife 
is still living at about 78 yrs of age
She owns a place and lives in Tacoma
Washington they had 2 children Viz

1 - Edward Josephs      born        1857
2 - William Archibald      "           1862

Page 198 and Page 201 - Pages 199 and 200 are missing

Josephs - Family

These children are both living in the
state of Washington Ed in Seattle and 
Archie in Tacoma they are both mar-
ried and have children

Continues on in the more contemporary hand.

If you notice errors or have information on any of the people mentioned above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

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