Robert Nelson Stewart, Where Did You Go?

My biggest Stewart mystery is Robert Nelson Stewart, son of John Stewart and his wife, Catherine Carlisle.

Robert was most likely named to honor Catherine’s father, Robert Carlisle. He was born in Charlotte, Washington, Maine on 31 August 1826. He appears in no other records until 16 March 1860. On that date, in Charlotte, Maine where he was born, he married Eliza Augusta Grass, who was about sixteen years old.

Eliza is very likely the Eliza “Grasse” in the household of Israel and Eliza Grasse of Charlotte, Maine enumerated in the 1860 census. This Eliza was 16, so born about 1844, in New Brunswick, Canada. What is most odd, though, is that the 1860 census was taken on 27 June 1860 and Eliza is at home in her father’s household. There is no indication that Eliza was married and Robert Stewart is nowhere to be found. This is the only Grass family in the area.

Eliza’s father, Israel, was born about 1802 in New Brunswick. The family was enumerated in the Maine 1850 and 1860 censuses. By 1871, “Iseral” Grass, wife Eliza, and youngest child, Isaac, are living in Dumfries, York, New Brunswick, Canada.

Robert Nelson Stewart has not been found in the 1850 census. By then, he was 24 years old and out of his father’s household.  He might have crossed back into Canada, but he has not been identified in the 1851 census of New Brunswick, either. Nor has he been found in the 1860 census, which is even odder because he married in the census year.

No death or burial record has been found for Robert. Is it possible that Robert tried to marry Eliza without her father’s permission and the marriage was stopped? Or, did they marry and Robert died very suddenly, perhaps in an accident?

Robert Nelson Stewart, where did you go???



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