A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Digging for Esther’s Husband

Joseph and Julia (Pierce) Anderson had a total of nine children. I’ve written about this family in this blog many times. I had tracked down info on all of them except child number two, Esther S. Anderson. In looking at the obituaries for Esther’s mother and older sister (Mary Hannah Anderson), I noticed that the list of pallbearers had a few familiar names and a few repeating names. Many other family members have obituaries but none of them include the pallbearers.

Julia’s Pallbearers (1956)
Odell Rich
John Chasse 
Gordon Eastman
Francis Marcotte
Roy Duross
Homer Garcia

Mary’s Pallbearers (1967)
Leo Machell
John Chasse
Guy Anderson
Maurice Duross
Roy Duross
Thomas Garcia

In a shot in the dark move, I decided to trace all of the pallbearers to see if any of them lead me to Esther. I knew that Esther was alive in 1912 at the time of the death of her younger brother, William Joseph Anderson. William’s obituary mentions that he is survived by three brothers and five sisters, which means he was the first of the nine children to die. In 1912, Esther was 27 and it seemed a reasonable assumption that she was married. The Maine marriage index had no marriage for her. So I began to systematically look up each of the pallbearers.

Since Roy Duross appeared on both lists, I started with him. I found that he worked at the Saco-Lowell Machine Shops, which is also where Frank Anderson worked. I assumed that Roy and Maurice Duross were family friends.

I could identify Guy Anderson as Frank’s son and John Chasse as Sarah Jane (Anderson) Chasse’s son.

I took a stab at Odell Rich and found that he was married to an Esther. But was it my Esther? I did the general survey search that every genealogist does and I found the following items:

  • A New Hampshire Marriage Record for Odell C. Rich and Esther Anderson. Esther’s parents were listed as Joseph and Julia Anderson. Odell’s Esther was indeed my Esther.
  • A 1920 census entry listed three children for Odell and Esther: Frances (b. Mar 1910); Odell (b. Apr 1912), and Eleanor (b. Oct 1913).
  • A marriage record for Frances A. Rich to Gordon M. Eastman.  Gordon was one of Julia’s pallbearers.
  • A marriage record for Eleanor E. Rich to Francis L. Marcotte. Francis was one of Julia’s pallbearers.

All circumstances point to my having tracked down Esther’s marriage. So here are all of the vitals.

Esther S. Anderson
b. Aug 1885 Ashton Under Lyne, Lancashire, England
d. Before 1943 (If you can help, I’d love to hear from ya’.)
m. 4 Jul 1909 Somersworth, Strafford County, NH
Odell Cleveland Rich
b. 26 Dec 1882 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
d. After 1943 (If you can help, I’d love to hear from ya’.)
Odell marries a second time in 1943 to Ida Dunham Sweatt. I’m assuming that Esther dies while still married to Odell.
Child 1: Frances A. Rich
b. Mar 1910 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
d. 4 Jul 1985 Bridgton, Cumberland County, Maine
m. 10 Jun 1939 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
Gordon M. Eastman
b. 15 Dec 1916 Lovell, Oxford County, Maine
d. 12 May 2006 Lovell, Oxford County, Maine
Child 2: Odell Cleveland Rich
b. 18 Apr 1912 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
d. 26 Apr 1973 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
m. 17 Dec 1938 Maine
Gertrude C. Mann
b. Oct 1918 Paris, Oxford County, Maine
d. If you can help, I’d love to hear from ya’.
Child 3: Eleanor E. Rich
b. 5 Oct 1913 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
d. 21 Feb 2001 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
m. 30 Jul 1942 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
Francis L. Marcotte
b. 17 Oct 1918  (If you know where, I’d love to hear from ya’.)
d. 13 Oct 2005 Norway, Oxford County, Maine
Future Research
I’m on the hunt for obituaries and burial locations. The Sun Journal seems to be the preferred newspaper for the obituaries. I’ll post an update when I learn more. In the meantime, if you're hunting for a wayward husband, you might want to examine the pallbearers in family obituaries to see if any of them look promising as a possible mate. 

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  1. I received an email from a kind soul that indicates that Gertrude C. Mann was married to Odell Rich. She subsequently married H. Stanley Andrews. She died 16 Jun 1997.

    The social security index indicates that she was born 9 Nov 1918 and died 16 Jun 1997. Her SS# was issued in Maine before 1951. Gertrude's last benefit was sent to 04268 Norway, Oxford, Maine.

    Ancestry has a family tree for Gertrude that says her parents were Edwin Jonathan Mann and Eleanor Heath Tuell. Another family tree indicates that her middle name is Caroline.

    With the correct names and dates, I can start hunting for Gertrude's obituary and additional info.

  2. Gertrude's obituary appears in the Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine on 18 Jun 1997 on page 9B.

    According to her obituary, she's the daughter of Edwin J. and Elinor Doughty Mann. Her father owned Lewis M. Mann & Son, a clothespin manufacturing company. The kind soul who sent me info on Gertrude noted that Odell worked for his ex-father-in-law's company. However, Gertrude's obituary doesn't mention this first marriage. It does note that her second marriage to Harlan Stanley Andrews occured 25 Oct 1947.

    Gertrude and Stanley owned Cole's Hardware store in Bryant Pond where they lived for more than 40 years.

    Gertrude and Stanley spent at least part of their time in Brandon, Florida where Gertrude was a member of the United Church of Christ.

    The obituary reports that two step sons preceded Gertrude in death: James and Ormond. The survivors include her husand, H. Stanley Andrews, and four daughters; 12 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren.

    Her funeral was held at the West Paris Universalist Church. Burial was in the Wayside Cemetery, Main Street, West Paris.