FAMILY TIES

Lyford heritage one of community service

Posted Sept. 08, 2013, at 12:53 p.m.

The first Lyford in northern New England was likely Francis Lyford, a mariner who was in Boston by 1667, according to the “Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire.” Historically, the name is found most often in Berkshire County, England.

His children by first wife Elizabeth (Smith) were Thomas, Elizabeth and Francis. Children by second wife Rebecca (Dudley) were Stephen, Ann, Deborah, Rebecca, Sarah and Mary. After moving to Exeter, N.H., Francis Lyford was a selectman, grand juror, constable and member of Captain Hall’s Co.

I guess you’d say that community service was a family tradition, presuming that Francis’ descendants include Lawrence “Bud” Lyford of Brewer, who was named Brewer Citizen of the Year with wife Jean four years ago.

An enthusiastic promoter of the city of Brewer, of Brewer High School and the Brewer Historical Society, Bud may be best-known as a longtime owner of the former Thompson and Lyford hardware store.

Earlier in his life, he was an All-Star football player at Brewer High School and the University of Maine. As a soldier with the 101st Infantry in World War II, Lyford earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star in battle in Germany.

After attending a special Veterans Day event a few years ago at Brewer High School, Bud said he was especially touched by the POW/MIA ceremony put on by the 101st Air Refueling Wing of the Maine Air National Guard. Like most veterans, he still thinks of the ones who never came home.

Bud marked his 69th anniversary of marriage to Jean this year and this past weekend was honored at an open house for his 90th birthday. I am proud to know them both.

I’ve only seen pictures of him so far, but I’m all ready to explain to Emmet Christopher Wilcox, born on Aug. 17 in Bangor, that he is a little bit Pilgrim and a little bit Penobscot.

The little guy with the dark hair and bright eyes lives with parents Erica (Armstrong) and Christopher Wilcox Jr. and big sister Lilliana in Fairfield. The excited grandparents are Vicki (Phillips) Wilcox in Milo, Chris and Heather Wilcox in Glenburn, and Guy and Tori (Lee) Armstrong in Carmel.

Lovina’s Quilt, circa 1893, will be on display during the Abbot Historical Society’s first biannual quilt show, set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Abbot Town Hall on Route 15.

The colorful patchwork quilt was made by my great-great-great-grandmother, Lovina (Leighton) Moore of Parkman, for her granddaughter, Hattie (Moore) Moore of Abbot. Quilting experts tell me that some of the small pieces of black-and-white print are Victorian mourning cloth, made in the years after Prince Albert died of typhoid in 1861.

The quilt was only a quilt top when I received it from my dad’s aunt, Flora (Huff) Moore, and I was advised by quilters that to retain its antique value, I should keep it as it was. But it was intended to become a quilt, and so I had it hand-quilted by a friend. I have slept under the cherished quilt, and I encourage people to handle the heirloom if they wish.

The event will include refreshments and food tables, plus the opportunity to purchase items such as the Abbot town history for $20, the cookbook for $10 and the 2014 calendar of Abbot businesses for $8.

These items also may be ordered by mail by adding $4 per item for mailing, with checks sent to Abbot Historical Society, P.O. Box 105, Abbot 04406. Dues are $5 a year, so you can include that in the same check if you like.

The recent issue of the Abbot Historical Society newsletter reprinted this from the Nov. 8, 1893, issue of the Piscataquis Observer:

“The crowd advanced in three columns led respectively by G.B. Fassett, Esq., G.A. Bradman and Gen. Geo. Rideout. The columns advanced bravely to the assault, and a lively engagement ensued. Comrades J. Barber and J.H. Warren were detailed to make a counter-charge upon all those engaged in the fray, the result being that every knight drew his pocketbook and generously met the charge.”

The Monson Historical Society is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays through Sept. 28 in the village in Monson.

Items available in the gift shop include archival-quality enlarged photo prints by Todd Watts made from the MHS glass plate collection of Monson photos, as well as Appalachian Trail hiking stick medallions. Check out the Monson photos at mainememory.net.

Colored copies of the 1889 bird’s eye map of Monson are $25 plus mailing costs.

Recent acquisitions include a toilet which was in the baggage-passenger car of the Monson Narrow Gauge Railroad. The toilet is on loan from Bernard Crabtree, who also donated an oil painting by M.A. Lord of the Piscataquis River. I look forward to seeing this painting as M.A. Lord, 1859-1954, was my great-great-grandmother, Mary Alice (Cummings) Bennett Lord.

Join the Monson Historical Society for $8 a year sent to Monson Historical Society, c/o Estella Bennett, PO Box 173, Guilford 04443.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

 

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