While browsing the marriage returns for Calais, Maine, I came across one unusual entry in 1860:
Intentions to marry were entered in the Calais City Clerk’s office on 11 June 1860 for Samuel H. Grover of St. George, Maine and Hannah F. Woodcock of Calais.
I recognized the Grover surname. My great grand aunt Pearl, who I knew, married Perce Chadwick. Perce’s mother, and Aunt Pearl’s mother-in-law, was Margaret Grover, part of the Grover family of St. George, Knox, Maine.
However, Samuel and Hannah never married and the City Clerk entered the following comment: “Miss Woodcock changed her mind and married another man.”
That piqued my interest and I wondered what became of Samuel and Hannah. Well, first off, Samuel must not have been took broken up about his bride-to-be changing her mind because, on the very next page, there is an entry for 7 August 1880:
Samuel H. Grover of St. George filed intentions to marry Margaret Farthing of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, just across the bridge from Calais.
I browsed several more pages looking for Hannah:
I guess Hannah wasn’t terribly broken up about parting ways with Samuel either, as two months after Samuel married, Hannah Woodcock filed intentions to marry Martin D(insmore) Hayman on 7 August 1860.
Still curious, I dug a bit deeper.
Samuel Grover and wife Margaret settled in New Brunswick, Canada.
In 1871, Samuel, 35, wife Margaret, 31, and daughters Lydia M., 12, and Sarah, 5, were living in St. Stephen. Margaret was born in New Brunswick, but Samuel and his daughters were born in the U.S.
The 1881 census shows the family still in St. Stephen, living next door to John Farthing, of an age to be Margaret’s brother. At home with Samuel and Margaret are daughters Effie S., 14 (probably Sarah was 1871). Lucy G., 12, born N.B., and Laura E., 8, born New Brunswick.
Not shown in the census records are several children Samuel and Margaret buried.
Samuel H. Grover was born c1835, St. George, Knox, Maine and married Margaret Farthing, born c1840, New Brunswick, Canada soon after their intentions were filed with the Calais City Clerk on 7 August 1860.
Samuel is last found in the 1901 census of St. Stephen and he apparently died before 1911. Margaret signed as a witness at Lucy’s wedding in 1912, so passed away sometime after that.
Samuel and Margaret were the parents of six children:
1. S. Etta, born 17 July 1861; died 1 March 1869, aged 7 years, 8 months, 16 days
2. Andrew Stilman, born 1864; died 25 February 1869, aged 4 years, 7 months, 4 days
3. Effie Sarah, born 4 June 1866; died 2 July 1928, Milltown, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada; married Edgar “Adkins” Scott, 1 November 1883, Calais, Washington, Maine
4. Lucy G., born c1869; married Guerdon E. Maxwell, 30 October 1912. Lucy was called spinster, 43, and it appears she and Guerdon had no children. Her parents are named as Samuel and Margaret Grover.
5. Laura Etta, born 19 June 1872; died 12 April 1942; married Clement McKay, 11 October 1899, St. Stephen, New Brunsiwick, Canada
5. Harry A., born 6 February 1876; died 16 April 1881, aged 5 years, 2 months, 10 days
Effie and Laura both had children, so Samuel Grover and Margaret Farthing have descendants today.
What of Hannah Woodcock? I wondered if perhaps geography had anything to do with her hesitance in marrying Samuel, plus the fact that he was a mariner.
However, if so, Hannah’s life turned out quite differently than Samuel’s.
Martin Dinsmore Hayman and Hannah Woodcock married about October 1860 in Calais.
Martin was born 26 May 1838, Robbinston, Washington, Maine and died on 24 June 1906, far from home, in Sherman County, Oregon. In 1900, he was enumerated in Dayton, Columbia, Washington as a single man and was working as a hotel clerk.
Moving back in time, it appears that Martin and his new bride, Hannah Affa Woodcock, lived in Maine for about 10 years. However, they were enumerated in 1870 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon in 1870 with three children – Holmes, 6, Lizzie, 4, and Lily May 9/12 months, all born in Maine. By 1880, the family had removed to Meadows, Umatilla County, Oregon and son Harry, 8, had joined the family, having been the first of the family to be born in Oregon.
What happened to Hannah between 1880 and 1900, when Martin was called ‘single’ in the census? Well, on 1 March 1885, Mrs. Hannah Hayman married William K. Kirk in Umatilla County.
Nothing further has been found on William Kirk or Hannah Affa (Woodcock) (Hayman) Kirk, but Hannah reportedly died 15 August 1886, with no sources given.
Martin and Hannah Affa were the parents of four children:
1. Holmes VanBuren, born 1 March 1864; died 16 October 1941, Newburg, Yamhill, Oregon; married Mary Omsby, c1891. They were the parents of five children.
2. Elizabeth Isabel, born c1866; died 20 December 1837, Heppner, Morrow, Oregon; married Franklin Dee Cox, (an early Oregonian), c1882. Lizzie gave birth to 15 children, 10 of whom were alive in 1910.
3. Lillie Mae, born c1869; died 6 May 1930, San Francisco, California; married Josiah Thomas Boothby, 20 November 1898, Morrow, Oregon. Josiah had children by a first wife, but he and Lillie were also parents to their own three sons.
4. Harry Rideout, 14 August 1871; died 27 August 1953, both in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; married Laura May Kellogg, c1900. They were the parents of four daughters and two sons.
The reasons for Hannah’s decision to not marry Samuel Grover will probably never be known, unless a descendant has heard and shares the story.
However, each went on to marry others and led very different lives. Both have a number of descendants today and I have to wonder if any of them know about the “almost” marriage of their ancestors.