One update from yesterday’s post – Helen Ford, daughter of Elmer, passed away unmarried on 3 June 2008 in Jaffrey, NH, leaving her sister, Dorothy, who may have married Francis T. Prendergast, as the only possibility for descendants in that line, along with the children of Dean Samuel Blyther,- Royal, Walter and Mary Ella.
However, although that branch of the family adopted the Blyther surname, they were actually Crouses. There are no descendants of Peter Crouse living today who carry his name.
Remember, after Rebecca Jones Crouse married Benjamin Blyther, they had four daughters together – Martha, Helen, Ruth and Henrietta. What became of them?
First, I went to the americanancestors.org (subscription) website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and searched for any data on “Blyther” and “Blither.” The surname isn’t terribly common and only 76 hits came up, so I started scrolling through them. I had a surprise!
There was an entry for a Rebecca (Jones) Blyther who died in 1897. My Rebecca Jones Crouse Blyther died in 1897 and, with an uncommon name, there couldn’t be very many of them with the same maiden and married name dying in the same year. My Rebecca died in Calais, or so I thought. This Rebecca died in Hubbardston, Worcester, MA and my family had no known ties to that town. I eagerly checked out the actual image and, yes, it is my Rebecca. Her parents were Richard Jones and Mary Boone, same as the parents named on the Hubbardston death certificate.
Now my interest was piqued – Rebecca died far from Calais, ME. Where else might she have lived besides New Brunswick in the 19 years between Benjamin’s death and her own passing? I searched for Rebecca in the 1880, but didn’t find her in Maine or Massachusetts. One interesting possibility came up for R. Blither, 65, born ME living in Cisco, Placer County, California. She was living with the family of R.A. and Ruth Campbell (family number 3) and was enumerated as the mother. R. Blither’s age was close to my Rebecca’s.
One of the four Blyther girls was named Ruth and her age matched the age of this Ruth Campbell. This might well be “my” Ruth Blyther and I couldn’t find her before because I hadn’t been looking in California!
I also found an 1867 marriage for Ruth Blyther in Charlestown, MA to Robert A. Campbell.
This Ruth was born in Calais, ME and her parents were listed as Benjamin and Rebecca. That was the proof that R. Blither in Placer County, CA in 1880 is my 3x great grandmother, Rebecca Blyther.
So, my Rebecca, who I thought was born in New Brunswick, married there, began her family there and then remarried and spent the rest of her life in Red Beach (today part of Calais) actually must have had quite an adventure traveling to California to live with her daughter and son-in-law.
Gold mining was big business in that area in the 1880’s. I have to wonder if the family had the same hopes as many – striking it rich with gold. Robert and Ruth Campbell ae last found in Oakland, CA in 1910 so I wonder how Rebecca made the journey back east. Did she travel alone? Did the family make a trip together and she remained on the East Coast?
Finding Rebecca also answered one question about the Blyther daughters. Ruth and Robert Campbell had one son, Robert Colin, and one daughter, Gertrude M., who married and may have descendants living today.
We already know that Martha Blyther Smith who married Joseph S. Smith and took in Dean Samuel and Sarah Maria Blyther had no children of her own.
That leaves Helen and Henrietta for tomorrow.