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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

 

 

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.

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.

Jessie Maria (Morse) Haseltine,  1860-1918

 

The tombstone reads:  Infant, son of E. (Ebenezer) & L. (Lydia) Haseltine.  Died Jan 23, 1862, age 27 days.  He is buried in the Haseltine or Fairmont Cemetery, just outside of Waterbury Vermont.

Ebenezer Haseltine and Lydia (Marshall) Haseltine are my 3rd great-grandparents.  This infant was their 8th child, born when Lydia was in her 38th year.

I wonder why a baby that lived 27 days wasn’t given a name.  I don’t know if it was common practice at the time to not name a baby that was obviously not going to live, and I am assuming that was the case.  If the death came as a surprise, he surely would’ve had a name.

Was he born extremely premature?  Did he have a birth defect?  It must be one of these two things, it’s the only way to explain that he lived almost a month and wasn’t given a name. 

Can anyone help me figure out an answer?