"Thomas Steward and His First Family"
- all that was written on back of photo at right (this photocopy sent to me by a relative years ago)
The following is a timeline I wrote out, attempting to trace the whereabouts of this family.
1858, 1 Sept - Thomas Steward marries Catherine Young at Skowhegan. Both of Skowhegan.
1859, Dec (est) - dau Emma F Steward born in Skowhegan.
1860, 29 July - date Skowhegan census (below) taken
1862, 9 Dec - dau Rosa M Steward born in Skowhegan [date calc from age at death]
1863, 24 July - Thomas is drafted, to serve in the 7th Maine infantry. He did not go.
1863-1864 - perhaps a dau Mary born (seen in 1870 census, aged 6) **see below**
1864, Jan + Feb - Thomas arrested for failing to join, deserted, and was again arrested
1864, July+Aug - deserted (location unknown) and arrested twice.
1865, 2 July - discharged from service
1866, Spring - dau Sarah born (seen in 1870 census, age 4)
1870, January - son Herbert (aka Orion H) Steward born in Skowhegan (death rec says Lexington)
1870, 21 July - (above) census for Jerusalem taken
1872, 19 Feb - dau Hannah B Steward born in Skowhegan
1873, circa - Thomas lived in Cornville, "soon moved to Athens", lived there 3 or 4 yrs. Wife died there. Moved from there ca 1877-78 [affidavit in pension, dated 8/31/1889]
1874, 8 May - son Thomas J Steward born in Athens, Maine
1875, 13 July - wife Catherine (Young) died in Athens
1875 or '76 - worked in Dead River, ME. "Had lost wife and had with him two small children" [Affidavit in pension file, dated 12/7/1892]
1875, 23 Oct - dau Hannah is adopted by Luther and Lovisa Rowell. Name changed to "Alberta Rowell"
1878, 9 Mar - Thomas remarries to Estelle Skillings, at Anson, Maine
No burial place has been found for Catherine (Young) Steward. Cemetery transcriptions of graveyards in Athens and Skowhegan have been searched, as well as all of those Somerset County cemeteries included in the Maine Old Cemetery Association (MOCA) records.
It is interesting to note that, in the 1870 census for Jerusalem, Franklin County, Maine, there are only five households in town (in 1860, there were 7, but 2 were unoccupied). One of those five households just happens to be a Young family. John Young, though himself listed as born in Maine, was also shown as having foreign born parents, just as Catherine (Young) Stewart was. Perhaps there is a link between them, though my research has yet to find one.
Since I began typing this blog, I also continued my search into these family members. In the past, I had searched high and low for those two girls (Mary and Sarah) that were only seen in the 1870 census. For many years, before we had the ability via Ancestry.com and Family Search to search for names, the family had been "lost" between 1860 and 1880, as myself and other researchers were always looking in Somerset County. It was in 2003 when I had found Thomas and his family in neighboring Franklin County, with two more names in the household we hadn't known about! Last night, trying again to find these Stewart girls, I lucked out. In the Mass VR, there is an 1897 marriage in Everett, MA between an Isaac W Bryden, Jr and a "May" F (Stewart) Crosgove, both a second marriage for them, both were listed "of Everett, age 30". She had been born in Skowhegan, the daughter of Thomas Stewart and Katie Young!
Unfortunately, I have yet to find them in the 1900 census, and Isaac is afterwards seen in the 1902 Portland street directory, and remarries (listed as a widower) that same year. I haven't found May/Mary yet in a death record between 1897 to 1902.
Daughter Sarah has been found. Not sure how I previously missed her while doing blank searches for anyone with a Thomas Stewart/Steward and Catherine/Katherine (Young) for parents, but found her this time around. In 1907, a Sadie E Spaulding was married to an Arthur Woodman of Fairfield, and the above parents were listed. This marriage was listed as her second (in error), she being a widow. Her previous marriage was to William H Spaulding (6/27/1888 in Waterville, ME), whom she married shortly after her divorce from her first husband, Clarence Witham, was finalized. They had been married on 10/21/1883 in Embden, Maine, and they had a daughter Alice together. When Alice was married, she listed her mother as being born in Embden, which seems more likely the correct location, as compared to later accounts of her being born in Exeter, ME. Sadie, aka Sarah Etta, died in 1939, and was buried in Sunset Cemetery, North Anson, the same cemetery as her father. The Lewiston Daily Sun, 08/09/1939, printed an obituary for her.