June 25, 2018
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Palin’s paternal kin staked claims all across New England

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

With Gov. Sarah Palin’s mom, Sally Sheeran Heath, having Gower ancestors in Abbot, Farmington, Topsham and Winslow, I wondered if her dad had forebears in our neck of the woods.

Turns out that Charles R. Heath has roots in each of the other five New England states, according to Robert Battle’s Rootsweb site at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/heath.htm.

Gov. Palin’s great-great-grandmother Alma Miranda Rhodes, who married James W. Heath in Illinois, was born in 1845 in Vermont.

The 1850 census of Richmond, Vt., on ancestry.com mistakenly indexes the child as Adina Rhodes. But I looked at the census image on computer, and though it is faint, it seems clear to me that it is Alma M. Rhodes. Her father, Charles, 35, also is enumerated in the family, as are his parents, head of household William Rhodes, 78, and wife Sally, 74.

William and Sally (Salisbury) Rhodes were

born in Rhode Island, according to the census, and their farm was valued at $10,000.

I don’t find Charles’ wife, Jane, in the census, though there is a “James” listed right after Charles and right before the children. Maybe the census-taker misunderstood the name of who else lived in the household.

Battle’s site lists both Charles and Jane (Goodrich) Rhodes as born in Vermont, as was another great-great-great-grandparent, Lucinda (Field) Heath. Her parents were Vermont natives Luman and Abigail (DeLong) Field.

Four other great-great-great-grandparents were born in Massachusetts, according to Battle: Justus Ruddock, 1792, in Buckland; wife Rhoda Damon, 1795, in Hawley; Asa Newell, 1799; and Nancy M. Boyden, 1795, Massachusetts or New Hampshire. This group seems to have moved on to Wisconsin, as did Palin’s Gower family from Maine.

Great-great-great-great-grandfather Eli Boyden died in Chesterfield, N.H., and great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Heath was born 1754 in Tolland, Conn.

Palin’s dad also has a Westcott line in Rhode Island and a Bingham line in Connecticut.

Next week we’ll consider what all four presidential and vice presidential candidates have in common.


The Maine Society of Mayflower Descendants, founded in 1901, will hold its 107th meeting Saturday, Nov. 22, at Verrillo’s Convention Center, 166 Riverside St., Portland, off Exit 48 of the Maine Turnpike.

The business meeting will be held at 10 a.m., led by Robert R. Dow, governor of the Maine Mayflower Society.

Opening ceremonies and the Compact Day luncheon will be held at noon. Reservations must be received by Friday, Nov. 14. Tickets are $16 each for sliced turkey, scallops or roast beef luncheon.

Make checks payable to Maine Mayflower Society, sent c/o Virginia Link, 17 Mildred St., South Portland 04106. No tickets at the door.

The speaker will be Richard D’Abate of Wells, executive director of the Maine Historical Society for the past 12 years. He also was associate director of the Maine Humanities Council, where he directed and curated “The Land of Norumbega,” an international conference and exhibition of rare maps on Maine’s role discovery and encounter. The project led to the 1994 book, “American Beginnings: Exploration, Culture and Cartography in the Land of Norumbega,” published by University of Nebraska Press.

Requirement for membership in the Maine Society of Mayflower Descendants is proof of descent from any passenger on the Mayflower voyage that terminated in 1620 in Plymouth, Mass.

The Mayflower Society has two colonies in Maine. The contact for the Priscilla Mullins Alden Colony in the Bangor area is James Albert, 1469 River Road, Bucksport, ME 04416; for the Constance Hopkins Colony, Jeanne Edwards, P.O. Box 208, Gouldsboro, ME 04607.

For questions about reservations for the Nov. 22 meeting, call 799-3952. For other Mayflower questions call 721-9528.


The Aroostook County Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, at the Lions Building, 111 High St., Caribou. Participants will share with the group which ancestor they’d like to invited to dinner, and why they chose that person.


3436. GAGNON-DUBE-MITCHELL-RANCOURT. I’m looking for Eva Gagnon, born about 1870 in Canada, daughter of Joseph and Philomene (Dube) Gagnon. Eva married a Mitchell and lived on a farm in New Hampshire. When her sister, Rosalie (Gagnon) Rancourt, died on March 23, 1909, in the Maine town of Albion, her obituary listed her sister, Eva Mitchell, as living in Newmarket, N.H. All the family seems to think that Eva died about 1947. Deborah M. Cross, 138 Philpot Ridge Road, Orneville, ME 04463-3035 or send e-mail to debbie121241@aol.com.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402, or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.net.

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