Because I know so little about the family of my Loyalist Robert Carlisle, I have tried to keep track of each family member as I find them, hoping together more details about Robert. Robert and his wife Catherine, had at least seven children and possibly as many as thirteen. One of them was son, James, child number 3, born about 1789 in New Brunswick. The family was living in Sussex Vale, Kings County, and that is likely where James was born.
The Carlisles left New Brunswick and crossed the border into Maine in the 1820’s, settling in Charlotte, a very small town near Calais in Washington County. James Carlisle married Ann Steeves about 1811, probably in New Brunswick. They had a number of children before Ann died in 1838. James remarried to Martha not long after Ann’s death, about 1839.
Martha and her four Carlisle children (George Edward, James Henry, Charles Albert and Harriet, all born in the 1840’s) were my mystery family. James died in Charlotte, Washington County, Maine in August 1859.
James, Harriet, their four children plus James’s youngest child from his first marriage, Abigail, were all in the 1850 household. Martha and her four children appear in the 1860 census, too, still in Charlotte.
However, this 1860 enumeration was a bit of a surprise because the first two people in the household after Martha were a James Doughty and wife, Nancy, with the notation that they had married within the year. Who was this James Doughty and why was he listed before her Carlisle children? Son George was not at home, but he was twenty years old by that time, so that wasn’t too surprising. Abigail Carlisle, James’s daughter, wasn’t there either, but she would have been 30 and likely married soon after the 1850 census. The other three Carlisle children were there – James, Charles and Harriet.
The stumper was that by 1870, there was no sign of Martha, James, Charles or Harriet. Where had they all gone? Martha could have died in the interim – they all could have – but it seemed unlikely that that had happened.
I found no trace of Martha in 1870. However, I did find a James H. Carlisle living in Oshkosh, WI with wife, Emeline. He was born about 1844 in Maine so he could be James’ and Martha’s son.
Next, I tried looking for James Doughty since the surname isn’t all that common. Up came a James Doughty in . . . Oshkosh, Wisconsin!
The James Doughty household was doubly interesting because a 24 year old lumberman, Charles “Mary” was living with them. I already knew that the Carlisles had married in the “Merry” family. James Doughty must also be related somehow.
There was another Doughty living in Oshkosh in 1870. Ben Doughty’s family is in the middle of the page and who is boarding with them, but: Martha CARLYSLE and Charles A. CARLYSLE!
The family moved to Wisconsin!
I happened to be browsing in a historical newspaper database at the time so I tried entering “Martha Carlisle” in Wisconsin. Her came newspapers to the rescue and it happens to be one of the only times when my family has been found in a digitized newspaper. In the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on 30 Mar 1887 was the death announcement of Martha Carlisle:
Death of Mrs. Carlisle
The Demise of a Very Aged and Respected Lady
The death of Mrs. James Carlisle occurred at nine o’clock this morning at the residence of her son Benjamin doughty. Mrs. Carlisle was about seventy-six year of age and her death resulted from general debility and old age. Last December she lost her mind since which time she has gradually failed until her demise which occurred at the time above stated. The deceased had been married twice and leaves three children by her first husband, James and Benjamin of this city and Mrs. Higgins of New Brunswick. she leaves four children by her second husband whose names and residences are as follows: G.H. Carlisle, Providence, RI; J.H. Carlisle, fort Howard; C.A. Carlisle, Minnesota, and Mrs. Howlett of Black Wolf. the funeral will be held from the residence of Benjamin doughty Friday afternoon at two o’clock, and the services will be conducted by Rev. H.P. Haylett of the Algoma Street Methodist church, assisted by Rev. Dr. Owen of the First Baptist. the following will act as pall bearers: Leander Choate, Robert McMillen, George Rogers, K.M. Hutchinson, A.H. Pease, M.N. Conlee, William Radford, James E. Kennedy, and T.E. Crane. The remains will be buried at Riverside.
A couple of days later, the following was published in the same newspaper:
Funeral of Mrs Carlisle
There was a large attendance yesterday afternoon at the funeral of Mrs. Martha Carlisle, which took place at the residence of her son, Benjamin Doughty. The floral offerings were very handsome. Rev. H.P. Haylett officiated, assisted by Presiding Elder Welles and Rev. Dr. Owen. The remains were buried at Riverside Cemetery. The pall bearers were Robert McMillen, Leander Choate, Geo. Rogers, J.F.W. Decker, E.N. Conlee, A.H. Pease, J.E. Kennedy, W.K. Rideout.
These articles sent me to a reference book which I consult regularly as I have so many family members who lived in Washington County, Maine – Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinel of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900, edited by Kenneth L. Willey and published by Picton Press of Camden, Maine in 1996 as Maine Genealogical Society Special Publication No. 24.
On page 80, I found a listing that may well be Martha’s first marriage. In Campobello on 21 Dec 1826 by C.R. Hathaway, Daniel (?) married Martha Lord, both of West Isles.
Martha had three Doughty children: Benjamin, born about 1828, James born about 1833 and a daughter who married Mr. Howlett and who was likely born in between the births of her brothers.
The timing for a marriage of Martha Lord to Daniel [Doughty} in December 1826 matches the births of the children. Daniel Doughty then died sometime in the 1830’s and Martha married James Carlisle about 1839.
I will need to check probate and land records in New Brunswick, but I think this brick wall has been cracked open.