12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds – Jan 2016

Thomas Coleman’s Missing Daughters

An interesting tidbit appeared on FamilySearch while I was working on a 52 Ancestors post about Mary Elizabeth Astle, who married Thomas Coleman and settled in Calais, Washington, Maine.

First, the basics:

Thomas Coleman, born in Richmond, Maine, made his way north to Nelson, Northumberland, New Brunswick, Canada, where he married Mary Elizabeth Astle on 22 June 1830. The Colemans lived in the area at least until the summer of 1834, as their son, William was baptized in St. Paul’s Anglican Church in nearby Chatham.

No other baptismal records have been found for this couple. By 1840, Thomas took his young family back to Maine, settling in Calais in Washington County.

At that time, it is important to note that Thomas was the only Colman or Coleman living in Calais. His household included a male 5-9 years old, who would be son William. There were two males, aged 20-29. One would be Thomas, who was 30 years old. The other could be either one of his brothers, a brother of Mary Elizabeth, or simply a hired hand. There were also three females in the household. The youngest was under five, the second 5-9 years old and the eldest was 15-19 years old. That should be Mary Elizabeth, although the enumerator might have erred and ticked the wrong column, as she was actually 29 years old.

I have always assumed that the two girls, possibly their daughters, might have died young as neither are at home in 1850. Thomas’s family is still the only Colman/Coleman family living in Calais.

Although Thomas was a farmer, the family traveled by sea. Son William at 16 was already a sailor. He became a sea captain later in life and his own son, Hartwell, became a master mariner. This info is important because of the “tidbit” I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

A marriage record popped up for a Mary A. Coleman to a David Moran on 31 March 1858 in Boston, Massachusetts. The groom was 30 years old, so born 1828 and the bride was 21, born 1837. What caught my interest was that the bride was born in Calais, Maine!

Remember, in both 1840 and 1850, Thomas Coleman’s family was the only Coleman family in Calais. This record has no digital image linked to it, but FHL Film #1,994,569 is the record source. This film contains delayed and corrected vital records for Massachusetts towns. The abstract says the groom’s father was Thomas and the bride’s father was Daniel, but I wonder if those two names were reversed?

This young lady could well be the under 5 female in the 1840 Coleman household.

The mystery here is where is Mary A. Coleman in 1850? She is not living at home unless the census taker omitted her for some reason. Back to the traveling issue – it is possible that Mary A. had gone to Canada for the summer to visit or help out some of her mother’s family. I have not been able to locate and Mary or Mary A. Coleman who might be her in any 1850 U.S. census, nor is there a Mary or Mary A. Colman/Coleman in the 1851 New Brunswick, Canada census.

David Moran was born in Ireland, according to the marriage record. I have not found him in 1850, nor have David and Mary A. Moran been located in 1860. Where did they go??? Now Iam wondering if the elder female in 1840, born 1831-1835, might have married and not died young.

Film #1,994,569 has been added to my Salt Lake City “to do” list!

This definitely qualifies as a Fascinating Family find. 🙂

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