Fourth Great-Grandparents Ivory Goodwin and Jerusha Taunt

Now we’ve come to my fourth great-grandparents, Ivory Goodwin and Jerusha Taunt. I’m awfully curious about this couple who raised the thrice-married bigamist Lucy Goodwin and her alcoholic brother John, as well as the other siblings who I know even less about. What was it about this family? In the next couple of posts, I’ll share what I have been able to find about them, but unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of explanation of character.

Ivory and Jerusha’s marriage started on January 25, 1824 in Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts. I always wondered how in the world they met, since Ivory was from Berwick, York County, Maine and Jerusha was from Braintree. Was Ivory in Boston, selling farm products? Regardless, the two made their home up in Berwick.

See the distance between Ivory + Jerusha?  Courtesy Google Earth Pro.

See the distance between Ivory + Jerusha? Courtesy Google Earth Pro.

Now let’s look at each one individually:


Ivory was the third child of four and second son of Emery Goodwin and Mary “Polly” Hamilton. He was born on December 28, 1803 in Berwick, York County, Massachusetts. (Maine did not become a state until 1820.)

By the 1850 Census, Ivory was an established farmer who owned twelve acres of land valued at $1,000, which was on par with his neighbors. According to the Agricultural Schedule, it seems that his farm was a little smaller than the surrounding farms.

By the 1860 Census, however, Ivory’s fortunes seemed to take a turn for the worse. He was now working as a shoemaker and land was valued at $600 (judging by the names of his neighbors, this does not seem to be the same twelve acres that he used to own).

It seems that Ivory may have been involved in the local Democratic Party. On August 19, 1863, an Ivory Goodwin is listed as one of the secretaries of the Democratic Assembly in Alfred, York County, Maine.

Ivory passed away in Berwick at the age of 63 on February 19, 1866.


Jerusha B. Taunt was born on May 28, 1807 in Braintree, MA. I suspect that her middle initial stood for Billings, as she was the sixth of the eight children of Seth Billings Taunt and Anna Capernaum. (In fact, she was the second Jerusha born to them).

As I stated in telling her grandson Frank Colomy’s story, I suspect that Frank went to live with her, Ivory and John sometime around 1865, when his mother Lucy married Benjamin Foss.

Once Ivory died, I believe that Jerusha, John and Frank went to live with Lucy and Benjamin. (John later moved in with his brother Charles.)

By 1870, Jerusha, Lucy and the family were living in Lynn, Essex County, MA. Jerusha passed away on October 20, 1870 of paralysis. I’m not sure if it was a deteriorating condition, or the result of an accident or sickness.

Both Ivory and Jerusha are buried in Pine Hill Cemetery at Dover, Strafford County, NH.

Fourth Great-Uncle Ivory H. Goodwin

Ivory H. Goodwin was born November 26, 1825 in Berwick, York County, ME. He was the oldest child of Ivory Goodwin and Jerusha Taunt. I’m not sure what his middle initial stood for, but my guess is that it might be “Hamilton”, after Ivory Sr.’s mother’s maiden name.

As an adult, Ivory became a shoemaker and married Mary Elizabeth Amazeen on November 20, 1848 in New Castle, Rockingham County, NH. Their children were:

  • Penelope Virginia (sometimes called Nellie) born July 17, 1851 in New Castle
  • William E., born 1853 in New Castle
  • unnamed twin daughters who were stillborn on December 23, 1858 in Farmington, Strafford County, NH

Sometime between 1858 and 1860, the family moved to Dover, Strafford County, NH, where Ivory continued to work as a shoemaker. According to the 1860 Census, he did not own any land.

Ivory’s father Ivory had died on February 19, 1866, so on May 1, Ivory H. was appointed the administrator of his father’s estate. (Jerusha had waived her right as executrix, I assume because she may have been in poor health, to be discussed in a later post.) Since Ivory Sr. died without a will, it took some time (until early 1867) for the estate to be settled.

Ivory H. Goodwin's signature on his father's probate record.  Courtesy FamilySearch.

Ivory H. Goodwin’s signature on his father’s probate record. Courtesy FamilySearch.

It seems that barely any time had passed when Ivory himself died on June 8, 1868 at the age of 43 in Wolfborough, Carroll County, NH, where the family had moved in 1866. I have no idea how he died or where he was buried.

Mary went on to remarry Eli Sherman on June 30, 1877. They went on to live in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, NH and have children of their own. Eli died in 1900 and Mary followed much later in 1920.

Penelope ended up marrying twice. The first time was to George Hale on October 28, 1871 in Lynn, Essex County, MA (why was she in Lynn?), and he and Penelope were no longer together as of the 1880 Census (she is shown as still married but living with her mother as of 1880). She remarried to George M. Ayers on January 8, 1883 in Portsmouth. They were together but childless until George’s death prior to 1900. Nellie herself passed away at the Portsmouth home of her half-sister on June 21, 1931.

William’s story seems most tragic to me. He lived away from home by 1870 (at age 16), boarding with Ebenezer Wentworth’s family in Milton, Strafford County, NH (I wonder why?); then in 1880, he was boarding with the Henry Redlington family in Abington, Plymouth County, MA. On November 28, 1883, he and Henry’s daughter Nellie were wed in New Castle, NH. He died only three years later on November 23, 1886 in Abington of what looks like “alithisis”.

Three Fourth-Greats With Little Information

Lucy Goodwin had two older sisters and one younger brother who I know existed, but little else. The following is all the information I have on them; all were born in Berwick, York County, Maine:

Anna Goodwin, born January 20, 1828; died October 12, 1833

Mary F. Goodwin, born August 6, 1831; seems to be on the 1840 Census as a tick mark (one of the two females under 10; Lucy would be the other); appears on the 1850 Census with her parents at the age of twenty. In later censuses, there are other Mary F. Goodwins in York County who would match her age, but some preliminary research seem to indicate that they are not the same as my Mary. So far, I have not been able to find any marriage or death records for her.

John Adams Goodwin, born June 28, 1836; died July 12, 1836. At first glance, one might think that this child was named after John Quincy Adams or his father; however, I discovered that one of the leading Methodist ministers in this area of Maine at the time was named John Adams. Being Methodists themselves, Ivory and Jerusha may have named their son after the minister.

Again, there is a need for offline research on this family. Perhaps a genealogy road trip is in order?

Fourth Great-Aunt Ada Jane (Goodwin) Goldsmith: More Questions than Answers

Ada Jane Goodwin (also referred to as Jennie) was born on July 28, 1837 in Berwick, York County, Maine, the sixth child of Ivory Goodwin & Jerusha Taunt. She married Thomas J. Goldsmith, a saloon keeper, on November 19, 1857 in Newmarket, Rockingham County, NH. By 1860 they moved to Dover, Strafford County, NH and there had a daughter, Nellie F., born on January 31, 1863.

First Parish Church in Dover, which was there when the Goldsmiths lived there.  Perhaps they attended?  Courtesy: Wikipedia.

First Parish Church in Dover, which was there when the Goldsmiths lived there. Perhaps they attended? Courtesy: Wikipedia.

In 1864, double tragedy struck: on August 8, Thomas died; and daughter Jennie also died in January, June or July 18, 1864 (the photo on FindaGrave is very hard to read).

Ada Jane eventually moved to Lynn, Essex County, MA. She died of peritonitis at 5 Howard Street on April 6, 1882. She is buried with Thomas, Jennie and her parents in Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, NH.

Other than a couple of possible entries in the Lynn City Directory in the mid-1870’s, that is all I can find online for Ada Jane. There is so obviously a good story to be told (why would she marry a saloon keeper?) and too many unanswered questions (How did Nellie and Thomas die? Were their deaths somehow connected? Were Ada Jane and Lucy close, and is that why Ada Jane moved to Lynn?). This calls for offline research that may or may not turn up my desired answers.

Fourth Great-Uncle Charles W. Goodwin

Pondering who to write about next, I realized that I never completed the story of Lucy Goodwin’s family; I only wrote about Lucy herself and a little about her youngest brother John. Both Lucy and John led tumultuous lives, and I wondered if the rest of the family was similar, so I’ve decided to work my way up through Lucy’s siblings, starting with Charles.

Charles W. Goodwin was born around 1841 in Berwick, York County, Maine, the seventh of the eight children of Ivory Goodwin & Jerusha Taunt.

As an adult, Charles moved to Haverhill, Essex County, MA between 1860 and 1863 and ended up working as a shoemaker. Perhaps he heard from his shoe-making brother-in-law George Colomy that Haverhill would be a good place to settle. Sometime during this period, Charles married Sarah M. Page of either Great Falls (later known as Somersworth) or Milton, Strafford County, New Hampshire . I am not sure whether they married in New Hampshire or Massachusetts.

Charles and Sarah had two children, both born in Haverhill:

  • Ellsworth P., born May 31, 1863
  • Nellie F., born circa May 1866; died August 6, 1867 of cholera

The family of three moved to Lynn, Essex County, MA, another shoe-making city, between 1867 and 1870, perhaps again following Lucy. There, Charles continued to make a living for quite a few years, at the very least until 1880.

Sometime before 1891, Charles and Sarah seemed to have divorced. Charles is next found marrying younger woman Eliza L. Waite on June 9, 1891 in Manchester, Hillsborough County, NH. A cursory glance in the 1880 Census in Lynn does show twenty-five year old Eliza Waite working in the shoe industry in Lynn. Perhaps the two met at work?

Finally, Charles died on March 5, 1897 of acute meningitis in Manchester. His death record claims that he is buried in Dover, Strafford County, NH; perhaps, like his parents and brother John, he is buried at Pine Hill Cemetery.

As a postscript, Charles’ son Ellsworth went on to have two wives (divorcing the first), and two children with each wife. His descendants live to this day. I only have the very beginnings of Ellsworth’s story, but it appears that this apple did not fall far from the tree!

Third Great-Uncle John David White, and a U-Turn to Mary

John David White was born May 1845 in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, the third child of Job R. and Elizabeth Phoebe White.  He was christened on August 22, 1845 at Christ Church (the combined parishes of St. George & St. Patrick),just like his brother Edgar.

Other than being enumerated in Yarmouth on the 1861 Census with his family, I have no further record of John.  I assume that he lived to adulthood, based on the fact that his mother Elizabeth said she had six living children in 1900.   With such a common name, it hasn’t been easy to find definitive records that identify him (a marriage record would be perfect).

My “U-turn” is back to Mary Roberts (White) Goodwin, sixth child and second daughter of Job and Elizabeth White.  I previously wrote that Mary lived for many years with her daughter Augusta.  Just recently, I found out that Mary is buried in Pine Grove at Mayflower Path Section-3, Lot-68, in the same plot as her mother Elizabeth, but not mentioned on Elizabeth’s gravestone.  Find a Grave tells me that Mary died in August 1924.  Augusta is buried in Pine Grove as well, at Plot-K, Lot-750, but with no gravestone.  She passed away in December 1950.  I have to wonder if my grandfather knew her.

Introducing Great-Great Grandfather Frank L. Colomy (and a little about his uncle John)

I’ve already touched on Frank’s beginnings in my post about his mother Lucy.  To briefly recap, he was born either 1854 or 1856 in Maine (I lean toward 1854, based on his age of 5 in the 1860 Census).  His mother was Lucy Ann Goodwin and his father was (supposedly) George Washington Colomy, who were married in 1858 and then separated in 1861.

The Colomy family had moved from Dover to Haverhill in 1861.  As previously discussed, Frank did not show up on the 1865 Massachusetts Census with his mother and second husband, Benjamin Foss.  I supposed that he went to live with his grandparents, Ivory and Jerusha Goodwin, based on the fact that Jerusha was living with Lucy and her family in 1870 in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts.  This is a point where I need to depart briefly from Frank to introduce his uncle, John M. Goodwin.

John Goodwin was Lucy’s much younger brother, born in 1853 presumably in Berwick, York County, Maine.  I imagine that, being so close in age, he and Frank became like brothers while Frank lived with him and his parents.  John was only thirteen when his and Lucy’s father Ivory passed away in 1866, and I believe that he, Frank and Jerusha went to live with Lucy and Benjamin.   On June 29, 1869, there is a record of John marrying Eliza O. Darling in Lynn, Massachusetts.  Although only sixteen, he had stated that his age was eighteen on the marriage record.  I don’t know the nature of their relationship, but the following year, the 1870 Census shows John living with his brother Charles in Lynn and Eliza back with her family and under her maiden name.  (Interestingly, John’s occupation in this Census was a barber.  I assume that Benjamin may have taught him this trade.)

Despite living apart, John and Frank continued to be close.  They were both romantically involved with two sisters:  John with Mary Roberts White and Frank with her younger widowed sister, Jennie (White) Williams.  On October 11, 1875, both couples got married in Lynn, though not in a double wedding.  The need to get married was urgent, for both Mary and Jennie were pregnant!  The following year, Bertha Elizabeth Colomy (my great-grandmother) was born on March 26 to Frank and Jennie; Augusta Goodwin was born on April 20 to John and Mary.  John and Mary had no more children, but Frank and Jennie had a son, Edwin Scott, on October 28, 1878.

For some unknown reason, Jennie alone is listed in the Lynn City Directory between 1878 and 1880.  In fact, the 1880 Census (dated June 1) shows Mary living with her Jennie and the kids on 29 Church Street in Lynn.  Probably because Mary was working in a shoe shop, Augusta was staying with her maternal grandparents, Job and Elizabeth White over on 5 Clinton Street.  Where were Frank and John?  To this day, I haven’t been able to find Frank in 1880.  John, however, was in the Essex County Jail in nearby Salem since April 27 for drunkenness.

It wasn’t long before Frank returned to the family.  On January 4, 1883, he and Jennie had a stillborn son who didn’t seem to be named.  But the family stayed together, moving to various locations around Lynn.  Frank worked as a shoemaker for the most part.  In April 1891, he was one of the corporators of the “American Endowment Company”, which was formed for the purpose of “uniting all persons socially acceptable in the bonds of fraternity and give material aid to its members.”

John, on the other hand, did not seem to settle back down.  I don’t know if he ever returned to Mary at any point.  He eventually moved to Boston, continuing to be a barber.  Old habits die hard and John’s drinking is what ended up killing him.  On July 30, 1887, he died in Suffolk County Jail in Boston of alcoholism.  His marital status was listed as “single”, so I’m not sure if he and Mary ended up divorcing, or if the city clerk simply did not have this information.  Although the death register lists him as being buried in Lynn, John was ultimately buried at Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, New Hampshire, with his parents.  It appears that Mary and Augusta must have been living with her mother Elizabeth White, and the three remained together until Elizabeth’s death in 1901.

I’m sure that John’s death affected Frank, and his crumbled marriage affected Jennie.  How did these things affect Frank and Jennie’s marriage?  I can only guess, but Frank’s life has to pause here to begin his daughter Bertha’s incredible story.