Census records a ‘picture’ of a household

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted July 10, 2011, at 9:12 p.m.

This is a busy week for genealogists, with plenty of opportunities to meet new cousins and surely pick up some tips for family history research.

The Wassebec Genealogical Society invites you to bring not only a dish to share for the potluck supper, but one of your favorite research materials for the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at the Whetstone Pond home of Bill and Jane Macomber on Pond Road in Abbot.

For more information or directions, call the Bennetts at 876-3073 or Macombers at 876-4125.

Since I have to be elsewhere that day, I’ll tell you now about one of my favorite research materials — U.S. Census records.

These records, even though they are in a sense compiled by the census enumerator who went from house to house, are also primary records in that they are a “picture” of each household on a particular day.

On April 18, 1930, enumerator Joseph P. Morse visited the Arthur F. Page home, household 74, family 79, in Abbot, Upper Village.

At 56, Arthur owned the property, valued at $2,500, and the household had a radio set. He had married at age 35 and was born in Maine, as were both parents. His occupation was mason.

Arthur’s wife was Rebecca B. Page, 43. She and her parents were born in Maine. Their children, also born in Maine, were Keith C., 16; E. Lewis, 6; and Thomas K., 5.

Also living in the household was Emma Kirk, 76, mother-in-law to Arthur, and widowed. Her parents were born in Maine, too. Thus, Rebecca was a Kirk.

So we have information on three generations, all born in Maine — plus information that a fourth generation, Emma’s unnamed parents, had Maine roots.

The 1930 census knits families together for us, and we hope helps us avoid matching up birth and marriage records to people with the same names, as happens in some towns.

I chose this family to look up because my interest had been kindled during a meeting of the Abbot Historical Society, when Carolyn Brown Amos talked about her great-aunt Rebecca Page, who was mother to Edward Lewis Page, who was killed during World War II.

Two of my other favorite resources are lists I’ve made of some of the genealogical items available at Bangor Public Library and the University of Maine’s Fogler Library in Orono.

I’ll give a program on “Resources at Bangor Public Library and the University of Maine,” with handouts, at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at Skowhegan Public Library. The program is free, and all are welcome.

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If you’re a little late in wishing the town of Corinth a happy birthday, not to worry. While the town was incorporated 200 years ago on June 21, 1811, festivities for the Bicentennial will be held this weekend, July 14-17.

I love the bicentennial booklet with its front page logo of Robyville Bridge by student Allison Chambers. It has many wonderful photos, as well.

Do stop by the Corinth Historical Society 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday on Main Street. Trolley rides will be available at the same time. A display of antique farm equipment will be held noon-4 p.m. Sunday at the Town Park, and a talk on “Maine in the Civil War” by Steve Bunker of the 1st Maine Calvary Reenactors is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. that day.

For a list of activities, visit www.townofcorinth.com and click on announcements.

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The Ellsworth Historical Society will present “The Navy in the Civil War” with Jack Battick, professor emeritus, University of Maine, at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, in the dining hall at Meadowview Retirement Complex, 25 Tweedie Lane. He also is president of the Maine Genealogical Society and a great speaker.

Meetings of the Ellsworth Historical Society are open to all. The society encourages members and guests to attend this special talk and remember the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War and its everlasting effect on the country’s history.

For further information, contact the Ellsworth Historical Society at ellsworthhistory@yahoo.com, President Terri Cormier at 667-8235 or Vice President Linda Grindle at 667-5716.

Membership is $20 per year and may be sent to Ellsworth Historical Society PO Box 355 Ellsworth, ME 04605, along with contact information. Donations are appreciated to help preserve the area’s history.

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The next meeting of the Searsport Historical Society will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at Curtis Hall on Church Street in Searsport. It will begin with a potluck supper, so bring a casserole, salad or dessert to be shared. Beverages will be provided.

In addition, bring an interesting item or items or a “Whatisit?” This is always a fun and interesting meeting. All are welcome.

Warren Historical Society will present “Oral Histories of Warren” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at the Dr. Campbell House, 225 Main St., Warren. A potluck supper will be held at 6 p.m. For information, call 273-2726.

The Cushing Historical Society will present “Cushing’s Old Houses — Then and Now” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14. Speakers will be Jeannette Chapman and Allison Brown. The program is free and all are welcome. For information, call 354-0735, or visit www.cushinghistoricalsociety.org.

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A family reunion for the “Eastbrook Wilbur” family, descendants of John Ford Wilbur and Phebe (Haslam), will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 17, at the Eastbrook Community Center.

Bring a picnic lunch. A grill, beverages and desserts will be provided. There will be a tour at 2 p.m. of John F. Wilbur’s homestead, and the cave for which “cavehill” is named. Much credit goes to Patsy Wilbur Jordan, who has diligently worked gathering information and photos of the many branches of the Wilbur family tree, in planning this big event.

Send genealogical queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; familyti@bangordailynews.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/07/10/living/census-records-a-%e2%80%98picture%e2%80%99-of-a-household/ printed on September 18, 2014