Tag Archives: Sarah Moriah Crouse

Maternal Branches on the Family Tree: Sarah Moriah Crouse (1833-1930)


Sarah Moriah Crouse, c1850

Sarah Moriah Crouse, one of my maternal 2X great grandmothers, had a bumpy start to life. She was born 7 May 1833, in the small town of Keswick, in York County, New Brunswick, Canada and was the daughter of Peter Crouse and Rebecca Jones, themselves children of Loyalists who fled to Canada at the close of the Revolution.

Sarah had little or no memory of her father, who reportedly died about 1835. She was the youngest of four children born to Peter and Rebecca, as she had three older brothers – Elias (c1828- before 15 February 1866), Dean (c1829-between 1861-1870) and Samuel (c1831-Between 1865-1880). When looking at Sarah’s brothers’ relatively short life spans, Sarah was quite remarkable, living to the ripe old age of 97 1/2 years.

Her mother, Rebecca, married (2) Benjamin Blyther, who lived in Red Beach (today part of Calais), Maine, before c1835 and the young family moved across the Canadian-U.S. border to Red Beach, Washington, Maine, which today is part of the city of Calais.

Sarah would have had no memory of her life in Canada, but she was very familiar with Keswick village, as she made frequent visits there throughout her lifetime, as related to my grandmother, Hazel.

Benjamin Blyther would be the only father Sarah ever knew and the small Crouse family grew into the large extended Crouse-Blyther family with the arrival of Sarah’s five half sisters – Mary Elizabeth (1836-1893), Martha (1838-after 1930), Helen Marr (1842-1930), Ruth (1844-1939) and Henrietta L. (1847-1944) – and her little half brother, Albert F., born in 1851, but who sadly died in 1858, aged only 6 years old.

Aside from the loss of little Albert, Sarah grew up in a large, happy household, which provided much more stability than her early life and the loss of her father.

Benjamin Blyther was a farmer who owned a small piece of land in Red Beach. Next door to the Blythers lived the family of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Astle) Coleman. They were the parents of one son, William (1834-1905).

Sarah ended up marrying the proverbial boy next door, William Coleman, on 6 February 1855 in Calais, Washington, Maine.

Sarah’s marriage to William was a happy one, although William decided the life of a farmer wasn’t for him and decided to work at sea. He became a master mariner, piloting a tugboat along the St. Croix River, dividing New Brunswick, Canada and Washington County, Maine.


Sarah Moriah (Crouse) Coleman, c1895

William and Sarah became the parents of six children, although two died in childhood and their eldest, daughter Mary Adelaide, died of goit, aged 39 years, leaving a husband and seven children.

Children (All events in Calais, unless otherwise noted):

1. Mary Adelaide, born 2 December 1855; died 16 January 1895; married George Morton Redding, 5 November 1878.
2. Alvin D., born 27 November 1857; died 16 April 1858
3. William Edgar, born October 1859; died 20 November 1931, Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts; married Louise M. Gould, 9 June 1880
4. Samuel Jones, born October 1863; died 9 January 1935, newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Lulu Viola Rapley, 14 February 1885
5. Hartwell Thomas, born 27 December 1869; died 30 March 1938; married (1) Anna Elisabeth Jensen/Johnson, 14 July 1892 (2) Lydia J. Wilson, 12 September 1918 (3) Sadie Edna Staples, 30 March 1924, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts

After William died in 1905, Sarah lived the rest of her life with son Hartwell and his family, even moving for a short time to Massachusetts, when Hartwell worked as a master mariner in Boston Harbor.


Last photo of Sarah, taken in the summer of 1930

I am fortunate that my grandmother, Hazel, knew her grandmother well (Hazel was 29 years old when Sarah died) and that I am now the caretaker of these old family photos.

Sarah Moriah (Crouse) Coleman lived for almost a century, passing away from myocarditis and arteriosclerosis. Her short obituary was published in the Bangor News:

Mrs. Sarah M. Coleman, widow of the Capt. William Coleman, passed away Saturday afternoon at the home of her son, Hartwell T. Coleman, after an illness of seven months. Deceased was born at Keswick, N.B., in 1833, but the greater part of her 97 years were spent in Calais, where she made many warm friends. She was a constant member of the Union church, the pastor of which, Rev. H.L. Buzzell conducted the funeral services Monday afternoon, the attendance and beautiful floral offerings attesting to the esteem in which she was held.

It is odd that no mention is made of where she was buried. I believe she is buried in Calais Cemetery with husband William, but her death record doesn’t indicate her burial location.

 

 

Maternal Branches on the Family Tree: Sarah Moriah Crouse (1833-1930)

Sarah Moriah Crouse, my maternal grandmother’s grandmother, is another ancestor who I almost feel like I personally knew. That’s because Sarah lived to be 97 years old and Grandmother was 29 years old when her grandma passed away.

Let’s jump back in time to the 1820s. Peter Crouse married Rebecca Jones c1828, probably in York County, New Brunswick, Canada and settled down in the small town of Keswick, also in York County.

Peter and Rebecca became the parents of four children – three sons and one daughter, my 2X great grandmother Sarah Moriah Crouse. She was born on 7 May 1833 in Keswick.

The young family would have had a wide support network nearby since Peter Crouse was one of seventeen children born to Philip Crouse and Sarah Burt. That support became necessary when Peter died c1835, leaving his widow, Rebecca, and children Elias, Dean, Samuel and Sarah. It’s doubtful that Samuel and Sarah had any memories of their father. Elias and Dean were just enough older that they could.

Rebecca did what most young widows of that era did – she remarried. However, her second marriage must have been somewhat jarring for her four children because Rebecca married Benjamin Blyther of Red Beach (today aprt of Calais), Washington, Maine as his second wife and made the move across the border into the United States.

Benjamin must have been a loved stepfather because all three boys dropped Crouse as their surname and instead became Blythers. Sarah married on 6 February 1855 when she was not quite 22 years old and was recorded as Sarah Crouse.

Sarah Moriah Crouse, c1850

Although born in Canada, Sarah was so young when her mother remarried that she probably didn’t have any memories of her life there. However, the family kept in touch with relatives in Keswick and Sarah probably visited her uncles, aunts and cousins many times.

Benjamin and Rebecca had six children together – Mary Elizabeth, Martha, Helen Marr, Henrietta and Albert F. Blyther. Little Albert died when he was only 7 years old, but the girls all lived to adulthood and married. With ten children, Rebecca would have been a very busy mother and farm wife. Sarah was then able to grow up with many siblings.

However, Sarah didn’t look to Canada for her husband. Instead, she married the boy next door – William Coleman. William was about a year younger than Sarah, having been born on 10 June 1834. Besides growing up in Red Beach, William and Sarah shared another fact in common. William, too, was born in Canada, in the little town of Nelson, Northumberland, New Brunswick. His parents moved to Maine about the same time as Sarah’s mother. Their farms were adjoining so William and Sarah knew each other for most of their young lives.

William and Sarah began married life on a small piece of land in Red Beach, with William toiling as a farmer. Children arrived quickly with their first daughter, Mary Adelaide (aka Addie) arriving on 2 December 1855, just ten months after they married.

It wasn’t long, though, before William decided farming wasn’t for him. He decided to follow the occupation of many others in the Calais area. The sea called him, but he became a mariner rather than a fisherman. William wasn’t always home at night because part of his job was operating the tug that helped larger vessels navigate the Bay of Fundy and the St. Lawrence River.

It would have been Sarah’s responsibility to care for the small crops and animals and the children while William was at work. Family support was close by as not only Ben and Rebecca Blyther, but also William’s parents, Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Coleman, lived next door to them.

William flourished as a mariner. By the time he died on 30 May 1905, he was always referred to as Captain Coleman. Sarah outlived William by many years!

Children (All events in Calais, Maine unless otherwise noted):

  1. Mary Adelaide, born 2 December 1855; died 16 January 1895; married George Morton Redding, 5 November 1878. they had 8 children.
  2. Alvin D., born 27 November 1857; died 16 April 1858
  3. William Edgar, born October 1859; died 20 November 1931, Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts; married Louise M. Gould, 9 June 1880
  4. Samuel Jones, born October 1863; died 9 January 1937, Newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Lulu viola Rapley, 14 February 1885
  5. Hartwell Thomas, born 27 December 1869; died 30 March 1938; married (1) Anna Elizabeth Jensen, 14 July 1892 (2) Lydia J. Wilson, 12 September 1918 (3) Sadie Edna Staples, 30 March 1924, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  6. Ethel H., born 30 December 1873; died 15 March 1880

Although Sarah lost two young children and her eldest daughter only aged 39, Sarah had a remarkably happy life. She had 23 grandchildren, most of whom were born in Calais so she was able to see them grow up.

Sarah, in later life, c1890s

In her later years, Sarah lived with son Hartwell and his family, first in Calais, spent a few years in Massachusetts with him before they both returned to Calais. Hartwell, like his father, became a master mariner, working both the Calais waterways and Boston Harbor.

Sarah died on 18 October 1930 in Calais, where she had spent almost her entire life. Her obituary, from The Bangor News, provided only a small glimpse into her long life:

The “Union” Church was the Calais Unitarian Church and the obituary gave me this new fact, as her church membership wasn’t evident in any other record I have found.

This photo was the last taken of Sarah (Crouse) Coleman, not long before she passed away:

Sarah (Crouse) Coleman, seated

Sarah’s son, Hartwell, is directly behind Sarah with other family members surrounding them. Sarah not only lived a long life, but was very healthy if the onset of her final illness didn’t happen until March 1930!

William Coleman and Sarah Moriah Crouse, Calais, ME

William Coleman and Sarah Moriah Crouse were like many of the residents of Calais, Maine in the early 1800’s. Their roots were a mixture of colonial America mixed with Loyalists and pre-Loyalists who migrated to Canada long before the American Revolution.

William’s father, Thomas Coleman, was born in Richmond, Maine, near Portland in 1800. By 1830, he had migrated all the way up to the Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada community of Nelson.

I have no idea how he found Nelson, as it was well over 400 miles from Richmond. However, he settled there for several years, marrying Mary Elizabeth Astle, the granddaughter of Loyalist James Astle. On 10 June 1834, their son, William, my 2x great grandfather was born. Not long after, the young family migrated to Calais, Maine, where they spent the rest of their lives.

The family history of Sarah Moriah Crouse, born 7 May 1833, wasn’t much different. Her grandfather, Phillip Crouse, was a Loyalist from North Carolina, who settled in New Brunswick at the close of the war. Her father, Peter, died about 1836; her mother, Rebecca Jones, married Benjamin Blyther about 1837. Rebecca’s family was originally from Rhode Island, but were pre-Loyalists, tempted by the offers of lands in Canada in the early 1760’s.

Benjamin Blyther was a widower, born in Maine, and not found in the 1830 census. That might be explained by the fact that the Crouse family lived in Keswick, York, New Brunswick, about 70 miles from Calais.

Benjamin may have been living in the same village and, thus, had the opportunity to meet and marry Rebecca. However, by 1840, the blended family was settled in Calais, in the section known as Red Beach, the same neighborhood where the Coleman family lived.

William Coleman married Sarah Moriah Crouse on 6 May 1855 in Calais, Maine.

I don’t know whether William got a taste of ocean life if the family moved to Calais via water instead of land travel or if living in Calais, on the water, sparked his interest in maritime life. Either way, although Thomas was a farmer, young William was showing a preference for life on the water. In 1850, aged 16, he was enumerated as a sailor.

William and Sarah settled into married life and, by 1860, had children at home. Notice that William literally married the girl next door, as they are household 885, William’s parents are in household 884 and Sarah’s mother, two older brothers and her step family were living next to Thomas and Mary in household 883.

Coleman1860CensusCrop
Blyther and Coleman Families, 1860
Source: Ancestry

William was a farm laborer, likely helping his father and in-laws with their crops. William and Sarah had daughter Mary A, (Mary Adelaide, known by Addie, aged 4, and son, William E., ten months old. Both were born in Maine. There is a gap of at least 3 years between Mary and William, suggesting a child who died young. In fact, they had a little brother, Alvin D., born 27 November 1857. No death record has been found for little Alvin, but a Coleman family gravestone has a death date of 16 April 1858 for him. Little Alvin was not quite five months old when he died. That must have been heartbreaking, although sadly not uncommon, for William, Sarah and their extended family.

By 1870, William had long left farming behind. He was not only a sailor, but a steamboat captain, working on the St. Croix River.

The family had expanded to include daughter Mary, now 14, William E., now aged 10, joined by brothers Samuel J., aged 6 and Hartwell T., 6 months old, born in December 1869. Although there are gaps again in the children’s ages, Sarah hadn’t lost any children between these censuses.

However, the family did lose one more young child, Ethel H., who was born on 30 December 1873. She appears in the 1880 census, but sadly, only in the mortality schedule.

Little Ethel died of croup, but was well loved and remembered. When my grandmother, Hazel, was born in 1901, Hartwell and Anna gave her the middle name of Ethel, in memory of Hartwell’s beloved baby sister. Ethel’s name and dates are also found on the Coleman family gravestone.

By 1880, Addie had married George Redding, but William and Sarah were at home with their three sons, William and Samuel, now going by their middle names of Edgar and Jones, and Hartwell.

William’s seafaring career was going well, as he had earned the status of master tugboat captain. Through all the years, Sarah was at home, caring for her children.

In 1895, William and Sarah lost another child, their only surviving daughter, Addie Redding, who died of pneumonia, and left seven of her own children behind.

The 1900 census is the last in which William appears. The extended Coleman family included wife Sarah, son Hartwell and his wife, Anna, and son Hazen, along with Anna’s widowed father and Addie Redding’s orphaned daughter, Rebecca.

On 6 February 1905, William and Sarah celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Just three months later, on 30 May 1905, William died of a stroke.

He was remembered in this obituary:

Calais Advertiser, Wednesday, May 30, 1905

Capt. William Coleman died yesterday morning at the age of 71 years. Capt. Coleman was born in Richmond, Maine and came to Red Beach when a boy, moving to Calais 36 years ago. He followed the sea all his life, being engaged in the coastwise trade for several years. Afterward, he commanded the gut, William T. Mason, which he brought from New York, and a number of other boats owned by the Calais Tug Boat Co. For some 10 years he was in command of the boats of the Frontier Steamboat Co., a position he filled to the satisfaction of the traveling public, and to the Company, and which is now being filled by his son. Capt. Coleman was, of course, one of the best known men in the St. Croix Valley, and was as well liked as he was widely known, and many tried and true friends will sincerely regret his disease (sic). Capt. Coleman was married to Miss Sara Crouse of Calais, whom, with three sons, Edgar W., James (sic) S. and Hartwell T., survive him. The funeral services will be held this afternoon at 3 o’clock.

Sarah survived him by another 25 years, passing away on 18 October 1930, also in Calais. Her obituary:

Calais Advertiser, October 22, 1930

Died. Calais, Oct. 18, Sarah M. Coleman, aged 97 yrs, 5 mos and 11 days.

Mrs. Sarah M. Coleman, widow of the late Capt. William Coleman, died Saturday afternoon at the home of he son, Hartwell T. Coleman, after an illness of seven months. Deceased was born at Keswick, N.B. in 1833, but the greater part of her 97 years were lived in Calais, where she made many warm friends. She was a consistent member of the Union Church, the pastor of which, R.L. Buzzell, conducted the funeral services Monday afternoon, the attendance and beautiful floral offerings attesting to the esteem in which the deceased was held.

Both are buried at Calais Cemetery with their children.