There’s something about having a sample of your ancestor’s handwriting that’s particularly touching, especially when it’s a list written by your great-great grandmother of all of her children, and the date and place of their births.

This document came to me through the kindness of Jan and Susan, the granddaughters of Walter Alexander Grace.  I’m grateful to them for sharing it.

This list would was  written by Catherine Warren (Travers) Grace sometime before the year 1897, the year she passed away:

Michael was put at the top of the paper, the only baby that she lost.  He was born and died in St. Columban, Quebec, in the year 1870.

Much of the rest of the paper is pretty difficult to read, but I’m going to give it a try.

Patrick Henry Grace born in Montreal March 18, 1866

Robert Joseph Grace born in St. Scholastique March 14, 1868

Edward Grace born in Montreal January 8, 1871

John Leonard Grace born in Montreal November 4, 1872

William James Grace born in Montreal November 17, 1874

Michael Wilfred Grace born in Montreal September 20, 1876

Francis Andrew Grace born in —- Vt. March 12, 1879

Charles Thomas Grace born in Waterbury April 4 1881

George and Eugene Grace born in Moretown March 28, 1883

Walter Alexander Grace born in Moretown September 8, 1884

Mary Honnorah Grace born in Duxbury October 8, 1886

That’s copied to the best of my ability.  If anyone sees something different, please let me know!!

What I found interesting is that all other documents and family history have said that what is written here as William James Grace and Michael Wilfred Grace, were  actually James William and Wilfred Michael.

I tend to think she got it right, since she was their mother!

My cousin, Eugene, recently sent me a wonderful picture of my great-grandparents, Eugene and Anna, with two of their young children, Eugene Francis and Helen.  My grandfather, Walter, was not yet born.

It’s meant a lot to me to get this picture.  Previous to this I only had one picture of Eugene, and no clear picture of Anna.  Now, to have a photograph of their family together, is a real treasure.

Francis Grace was the 8th son of Edward and Catherine Grace.  The family cemetery in Duxbury Vermont has a grave marker with the name of his wife, Nellie B. Atwood, who passed away in 1910.  The marker also has the name of Francis Grace on it, without a date of death carved into the stone. 

Francis A. Grace, March 12, 1879- June 7, 1956

It’s a large stone, and when Francis bought it for his wife he likely had every intention of one day sharing that grave with her in the same cemetery where his mother had been buried just over a decade earlier.  But life went on and as the story goes it took Francis to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, along with his second wife, Anna.

After some years of sporadic yet persistent checking, someone has put very thorough cemetery transcripts of Edmonton onto the internet, and this has given me the final resting place and a death date for both Francis and his wife.  So if you’ve ever stood in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Duxbury Vermont and wondered to yourself, “Where is Francis?”, here is your answer:

Francis Andrew Grace, March 12, 1879-June 7, 1956

Anna Grace, d. 1940

 

 

I recently received a comment from a distant cousin regarding her great-grandfather George Grace.  George is the twin brother of my great-grandfather, Eugene Grace, and this is the first time I’ver heard from any of his descendants. 

It was wonderful to hear from her, as no one seems to know what became of him, his wife, and their six children.  From the research I’ve done that’s been limited to what I can find online, they seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth.  Part of the reason for that has been uncovered by talking to my distant cousin.

George and his wife Anna’s children were Lawrence,  John, George Jr., Phyllis, Doris, and Alice.  The woman who contacted me is the granddaughter of George Jr.  One of the reasons he’s been so hard to find is that he legally changed his name to Joseph Richard Grace.  George Jr. was kicked out of his parent’s house when he was 12 years old, and left to fend for himself because the family was desperately poor at the time.  He worked on a farm nearby for room and board, and then later joined the Navy.  George Jr. never forgave his parents for this, changed his name, and never spoke to either of them again.  He changed his name, taking the Jr. part of his name and turning it into Joseph Richard.  He died on July 30, 1969 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Manchester, NH. 

Joseph Richard Grace (George Grace Jr.), May 31, 1914-July 30, 1969

George Jr., by then Joseph Richard, went on to Mary Laurette Duval and had 4 sons, the first of which died as an infant from spina bifida.  His other three sons are still living.

Not much else is know about George and Anna, since Joseph (George Jr.), broke off all contact with them.  It’s going to take more than just internet detective work to find out how and where they lived out the remainder of their lives.

I want to thank Sandra for giving me persmission to share this information with the other Graces who read my blog!  It always means a great deal to me to hear from the descendants of the children of Edward and Catherine.

I was browsing old Vermont newspapers, mostly articles I’ve already looked at, trying to find something new that I haven’t seen before.

That’s when I came across this small bit of information in the Argus and Patriot from April 11, 1883:

Of course, this refers to the birth of my great-grandfather Eugene, and his twin brother, George, who were born on March 28, 1883.  There are two things in that sentence, however, that make me scratch my head.  The first is that the oldest boy would have been 17 at this time, that being Patrick Grace born in 1866.  The second is that the twins were the 10th and 11th sons born to Edward and Catherine, and that’s counting baby Michael, who was born and died in Canada in 1870.

My first theory is that the source of the information was most likely Edward or a family friend.  It is quite likely that after that many kids, you might start slipping and saying 12.  I also find it completely believable that the source of this information was a little unsure about the age of the oldest Grace boy. 

The other possibility is that there is another child that we don’t know about, that didn’t live very long.  Someday soon I’ll make a trip to the records in Waterbury and try to find out for sure.  However, I do strongly lean toward the conclusion that it was an error in counting on the part of the source of this information. 

That being said, I was pretty excited about finding this little sentence about my grandfather’s dad.  It’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack.

Death Certificate of Eugene Grace

This is the front of the death certificate for my great-grandfather, Eugene Grace.  His occupation is given as motorman, birthplace is given as Vermont, name of mother is Catherine Travers, name of father is Edward Grace.  The cause of death is given as Pulmonary Tuberculosis, place of burial is Calvary Cemetery, Queens, NY.

It also states that he went into the hospital on July 27, which means he died after spending 16 days in City Hospital.

Death Certificate, side 2

This is the second side of the certificate, stating that his wife’s name is Anna Grace.  All of this information is already known, it just reaffirms that this is the death certificate for the right person.

The address of Eugene and Anna and their family was 306 East 83rd St.  Here’s a photo of the building.  The dark gray one in the middle has the 306 on the door.   That’s where my grandfather lived from the time he was born until he was 3.

And here’s a google map link to the same address.

My grandfather, Walter V. Grace, was raised by Charles Grace and his wife, Ethel (Hall) Grace, in the house at 21 C Street, in Barre, Vermont.

Ethel and Charles Grace on the front porch at 21 C Street

Charles and Ethel were my grandfather’s parents.  By birth, Grandpa was the son of Charles’ younger brother, Eugene.  When Eugene died in 1925, Charles and Ethel became his father and his mother.  Charles’ daughters, Catharine, Agnes, and Julia, were my grandfather’s sisters. 

Agnes, Walt, Catharine, and Julia

Charles died in 1951, about 7 months after my father was born and given his grandfather’s name as his middle name.  

By all accounts and stories, and by all evidence, the house at C street was a loving home, that fact having much to do with Ethel, her loving kindness is remembered fondly by anyone who knew her. 

I enjoyed hearing from my Aunt Alice recently, who told me that her grandmother told her that Charles would always, “tip his hat to the Lord,” upon passing a Church. 

In 1930, almost 20 years after the passing of the family patriarch, Edward, and after most of the family’s children had left Vermont for work (many of them having gone to Bristol, Connecticut),  C St. seems to have become the last existing center for the family to come together in times of crisis.  The death certificates of Charles’ brothers, Patrick, John, and Edward, all list 21 C St. as their place of residence at their time of death.  Of course, the same goes for Charles, Ethel, and Julia.

My father took me to the house a couple of times growing up, usually on the way to or from Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Burlington.   I can remember Agnes and Catharine, and one time, a very sick Julia who would soon pass away from cancer. 

From lft to right: My dad's sister, Susan; Dad, Julia, Grandma Ethel Grace, at 21 C St.

My father showed me a big boulder in the backyard beside the detached garage on which my grandfather carved his name as a little boy.  I went to the house last year after seeing on-line that it was for sale.  I knocked on the door and three young, giggling teenagers answered and gave me permission to look at the big rock beside the garage.  I pushed through the weeds that grew over it, only to find it so covered in moss that it made my search impossible.  It was a hot and humid day, so the search ended pretty quickly.

Grandpa at 21 C Street, Barre. You can see the number by the door.

The house is off the market for now, I’ve found no public records of a sale.  It’s a small house in what is now a crowded, small-city neighborhood.  Its existence is nondescript, it could be any house, in any town, built for an industrial boom now almost a hundred years gone-by.

Grandpa at C St. with his childhood dog.

Most people wouldn’t think about the family that was born, lived and died, and were thankful to call these walls home.

These are the graves of my 6th great-grandparents, Lieutenant Richard Haseltine and his wife Abigail Chadwick.   They are found at the Ancient Burying Ground at Bradford, Massachusetts.

They left Bradford and were founders of the town of Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire; but both bodies were returned to the family plot and interred in Bradford, Ma. 

Richard’s father was Abraham Haseltine, and his grandfather was Robert Haseltine, who arrived in Salem aboard the John of London in 1638, led by the Rev. Ezekiel Rogers.  They were Puritans who left their homes in England to pursue religious freedom in the new colony.

Richard’s son, Amos, had six sons who fought in the Revolution.  One of his younger sons, Ebenezer Haseltine, went on to found the town of Moretown, Vermont, by way of one of the Benning Wentworth New Hampshire land grants

So that’s a quick and dirty family history, to put these ancestors into some historical perspective.

“Here Lies Buried the Body of Lieut Richard Haseltine who Died the 8th of March 1755 and in the 76 Years of his age.”

“Hear lyes buried the body of Mrs. Abigail Haseltine the wife of Lieut Richard Haseltine who died July the 24th 1743 in the 60th year of her age.”

Thanks for these images goes to Harlene Soper-Brown, a distant cousin, who put these pictures on the Find a Grave website for all to share and appreciate.  Thank you, Harlene.  I myself have been to Bradford looking for these graves, but I apparently was barking up all of the wrong trees.

Francis Marion Lewis was my paternal grandmother’s maternal grandfather.  That makes him my 2nd great-grandfather.  He was born in March of  1837, probably in Clarion, Pennsylvania.   He died in the year 1919.  The 1910 census has him living in Pittsburg with his wife,  Nettie (Blackmer) Lewis, and 4 of their children, my great-grandmother, Anna Corbett (Lewis) Haseltine,  included.

Francis Lewis served in the Union Army during the Civil War from July 5, 1861-June 11, 1864.  He served in the  10th Pennsylvania Reserves, 39th Regiment Volunteers, Company E, recruited in Clarion County.  He mustered out with his company as a 1st Sergeant, after having been held prisoner at Gaines’ Mill, and having been wounded at Fredericksburg.

I’m grateful for his service, and even more grateful he survived and went on to have a family.

For more fascinating reading on what my great-grandfather and the others of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves did during  the Civil War, check out the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves for an online history.  They saw action at Gettysburg, Antietam, and the 2nd Bull Run, among others.

Jessie Maria (Morse) Haseltine,  1860-1918

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