Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: A Fearless Female Writing Prompt

For this week’s mission (should you decide to accept it), I want you to:
1)  Read Lisa Alzo’s blog post Fearless Females Blogging Prompts Series Returns for 2019″ on her blog, The Accidental Genealogist

2)  Choose one of her daily blog prompts from the list (this is March 9th, do that one if you don’t want to choose another), and write about it.

Like Randy Seaver, I am choosing the March 8 prompt, although it is a slight variation. I was lucky enough to meet one of the granddaughters of my 2X great grandmother, Elida Ann Hicks, who married Charles Augustus Stewart, probably in Calais, Washington, Maine, not long after they filed intentions to marry on 6 July 1850.

Elida was born in 1833 in Buctouche, New Brunswick, Canada, one of eight children, and likely worked hard growing up as her father, Israel Hicks, died when she was two years old. Her mother, Abigail, never remarried.

Bertha Stuart Eldridge was the grandchild who I was lucky enough to meet and Bertha enjoyed writing. I also came to find out that she actually lived with Charles and Elida when she was a little girl, was at the farm when Charles died in November 1894, AND had written the story of fearless female Elida Ann Hicks Stuart. Bertha passed away quite a few years ago, but I will be eternally grateful to her for sharing the biography of Elida, a Maine farmer’s wife.

There are a few details that Bertha didn’t include in her biography of her grandmother. First, Elida was the one who was responsible for changing the spelling of the family name from Stewart to Stuart. She felt it seemed more “French.”

Second, Elida truly had to have been a strong woman, as she buried three children in childhood – Permelia (December 1852 – 22 June 1854), Felicia (September 1854 – 22 August 1861) and Carey M. (November 1866 – 18 February 1869) – and lost two more children before her own death – Wallace Newmarch (May 1851 – 20 April 1882) and Harry Weston (June 1857 – 20 July 1911). Harry was Bertha’s father.

Elida died on 20 February 1914 in Calais, Maine of stomach cancer.

Calais Advertiser

I am also lucky enough to have an original deed signed by Elida and her children:

I’ve written about Elida Ann Hicks Stuart in the past, but chose to write about her once again because I am missing one item that I would dearly love to have – a photograph of her!

I’ve been in touch with a couple of Stuart cousins, who don’t have a picture of her either, but I keep hoping that another cousin will find my blog and say that they do, indeed, have a picture of her.

Given that she lived in a town where photographers were prevalent and she lived into the 20th century, I am surprised that no picture of her has yet been found.

Thank you, Randy, for this week’s prompt, and thank you Lisa Alzo for offering a whole month’s worth of Fearless Females topics.

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