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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

 

 

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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.

Since having written this post about Edward and Catherine (Travers) Grace, new evidence of their life in Montreal has come to light. 

Ancestry has published both baptism and marriage records from various parishes in the province of Quebec.  These records include St. Columban and Montreal.

The first record we find of Edward and Catherine is from St. Patrick’s Basilica in Montreal:

I can just imagine Edward walking through the doors of this Cathedral, holding in his arms the tiny first-born son named for his own father, Patrick Grace.   The day was 24 March, 1866, the baby was just one day old.

He must have been proud to show his son to the world and present him to be entered into the Faith of his parents and grandparents. 

I wonder if my great-great grandmother, Catherine, was left at home to recover from giving birth, waiting anxiously for her new family to come back to her side; her baby wailing and hungry.

St. Patrick’s was the center of Montreal’s fast-growing Irish Catholic population.  The Gothic-Revival Church was less than 20 years old on the day that Edward and Catherine had Patrick baptized.

The Priest was Fr. John Chisholm, the Godparents were Alexander Woods and Catherine Grace.  Catherine was Edward’s sister, married to Joseph Phelan.  Edward’s profession at this time is listed as “police man.”

 

 Graceless Graces.  (Printed in the Argus and Patriot, September 27, 1905)

Waterbury, Sept. 26–Robert and Charles Grace, brothers, were up before Justice Dale this morning and answered to several charges.  Charles Grace came from St. Albans a few days ago to visit his brother and last evening they filled up on booze and made so much disturbance at the Waterbury House, of which J.C. Farrar is proprietor, that he sent for Officer C.C. Graves who made the arrest.  Both men interfered with the officer and were arraigned for resisting an officer.  Robert was fined $5 and costs for intoxication and $2 and costs for breach of the peace.  both fines amounting to $19.46, which he will pay.  His brother was fined $10 and costs of $6.15 for a breach of the peace while the intoxication case against him was not pressed.  Each waived examination on the charge of resisting the officer and were placed under bail of $100, which was furnished by C.C. Graves in both cases.

The men in question are my Grandfather’s Uncles, Robert and Charles.  Charles is the man who raised Grandpa after his father, Eugene, passed away in 1925.  Trouble making Grace brothers!

Charles Grace:

Charles Thomas Grace

Edward Grace, known as Ned, and known to his children as the Governor. 

My great-grandfather, Eugene, looked so much like his father.

This man was father of 12 boys and 1 girl, all but one of whom safely survived their childhood. 

No mean feat in the late mid to late 19th century.

Edward Grace is my great-great grandfather.  He was born in St. Columban, Deux Montagnes, Quebec, the son of Irish immigrants, in December of the year 1835.  He was one of 11 known children of Patrick Grace and Honora McEvoy, both of County Kilkenny (Honora was most definitely from the town of Freshford).

Here Edward is the older man standing in the back.  This is a photo taken with the family of one of Edward’s sons, Robert Joseph Grace, standing here beside his father.

Sometime before 1866 Edward met and married Catherine Warren Travers, another child of Irish immigrants.  The connection between the Travers and the Graces is one that is tightly woven, but one that’s origins remain unclear to this generation*.  No one is sure yet where they met, perhaps in Vermont, perhaps in Canada, perhaps somewhere else altogether.

This photo courtesy of Cynthia Grace

One distant relative believes they were married in Canada, which is probable, since their first son, Patrick Henry, was born in that country in the year of 1866.  Their second son, Robert Joseph, was born in St. Columban, Quebec, and their third son, Michael, was born and died in that same town at the tender age of 5 months.

After burying their young son, Edward and Catharine did move on from St. Columban.  There is some evidence that they may have moved to Montreal, in the form of a birth record that can be found with the LDS.  This record lists Edward Victor Grace, son of Edward Grace and Catherine Travis, pretty compelling evidence that they at least passed through Montreal.

They arrived to stay in the USA in 1876, with 6 young son in tow, the youngest of which was just an infant.  They found their way to Moretown, Vermont, where Catherine’s parents were living, and where she had spent a good deal of her childhood.

The Graces in Moretown, Vermont, 1880

The Graces in Moretown, Vermont, 1880

Again, we don’t know exactly what brought them back to the US, but this is where they stayed for the remainder of their lives.

*Catherine Travers had a brother, John Travers, who married Martha Kinsella.  Martha Kinsella was also born in St. Colomban, the daughter of Thomas Kinsella and Honora Grace.  This Honora Grace was Edward’s aunt, making Edward and Martha cousins.  So, two Travers siblings married two cousins from St. Columban, Quebec.  What I’m unclear on is what connection the Travers’ may have had to St. Colomban, or what the connection was between St. Colomban and Moretown/Waterbury, Vermont.

On January 14, 1917, Eugen Grace was married to Anna J. Canning at St. Monica’s Church in Manhattan.

Anna was born in Athenry, Galway on 29 October 1892, the daughter of Murty Canning and Theresa Quinn. 

She arrived in Boston on October 26, 1911 at the age of 19 years from Queenstown, Ireland on a ship named Ivernia.  On the ship’s manifest she lists her closest relative in Ireland as her father, Murty.

We don’t know how her path crossed with that of Eugene Grace, but by the time she was 24 years old, the two were married.  They lived together in a Manhattan apartment at 306 East 83rd Street.

As of 1918, Eugene was a ship fitter’s helper at the Standard Shipbuilding Corp. on Staten Island.  By the 1920 census he lists himself as employed by the BRF railroad as a laborer. 

This may be the time when he a conductor for one of the trolleys that travelled over the Queensborough bridge. 

Queensborough bridge trolley:

img_462291.jpeg

This is a photograph of my great grandfather, Eugene Grace.  He was born in Waterbury, Vermont, on what was probably a chilly Spring day in the little New England town that his father had emigrated to just five years earlier in 1778.

Eugene was born a fraternal twin to his brother, George.  George and Eugene were born the tenth and eleventh sons of Edward Grace and his wife, Catherine Warren Travers.

By this time Eugene’s mother, Catherine, would have been an experienced mom, and I imagine she must have suspected she was carrying twins.  It is likely that George and Eugene, like most twins, were born preterm, tiny and fragile.  This must have been terrifying for their parents, with infant mortality the way that it was in 19th century Vermont.  They must have been especially frightened after having lost their son, Michael, in 1870 when he was just 5 months old.

However fragile their beginning, George and Eugene would both grow to be men with children of their own.

In 1897 at the age of 14, the boys would lose their mother.  By the time of the 1900 census, the 17 year old Eugene was living as a boarder in Waterbury at the home of Eugene and Abbie Towne, and working as a farm laborer.

1900waterbury.jpg

The photograph above is the only picture my father has of his grandfather.  In the picture Eugene is wearing a US military uniform, with what looks like a cavalry insignia on the cap.  As of this time I have been unable to find out more about his military service.

At least two of Eugene’s big brothers, Robert Joseph Grace, and Edward Grace, were US Cavalrymen before him, having served in the Spanish-American War.

Having grown up doing farm work in a small Vermont town, I can only imagine that the tales of his older brothers’ battles in far away places like the Phillipines must have loomed large in Eugene’s imagination.  Whether or not this prompted him to follow in their footsteps by joining the US Cavalry is something we may never know.