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-Grandfather George Washington Colomy: Out Of And Into Nowhere

here are two facts that I am sure of about George W. Colomy:  that he was married to Lucy Ann Goodwin at one time.  For some reason, this man is my most frustrating brick wall, although far from my only one.

My George W. is not to be confused with the one who was born circa 1810 and died 1887 in Wisconsin, which is too bad because that guy has plenty of documentation.  He isn’t the one born 1825, married Harriet Richardson and enlisted in the Civil War draft.  He isn’t the one born 1857 and married Ella Harvey.

This is what I do know about my George:

  • He was born around 1832-1834 in New Hampshire, supposedly Great Falls.
  • By 1850, he was living and working as a shoemaker in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire.  He was boarding with someone, but doesn’t appear to be with family.
  • In 1854 or 1856, his supposed son Frank was born.
  • December 8, 1857, registered to marry Lucy Ann Goodwin in Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire.
  • 1858 George married Lucy.
  • 1860 Census shows the little family together in Dover, with George still working as a shoemaker.  He has $600 in Real Estate and $100 in Personal Estate.
  • He lived in Haverill, Essex County, Massachusetts between March 1 – September 1, 1861.
  • Seven years later in August 1868, George, now living in Boston, filed for divorce from Lucy.
The following are a strong assumption and a supposition:

  • At approximately the same time George filed for divorce, a
    George Washington Colomy name change.  Author's collection.

    George Washington Colomy name change. Author’s collection.

    newspaper notice appeared in the Boston Daily Traveller, stating that a George Washington Colomy of Boston, a shoecutter, wished to change his name to George Washington Chesley.  The wish was granted on September 7, 1868.  The location and occupation make me certain this is my George.  (Why would he want to change his name?  My guess is:  to make him harder to find!)

  • In February 1869 (just 2 months after the George-Lucy divorce is finalized), a George W. Chesley marries Mary Jane Coleman of Westfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.  What makes me suspicious that it might be my George is that when they appear in North Greenbush, Rensalaer County, New York in the 1870 Census, living with her mother and sisters, George is a shoemaker!
I know:  this is very, very circumstantial.  It doesn’t help that George changed his name to a very common surname of New Hampshire, or, assuming this 1870 Census is my George, that he moved to a state with scant vital records in the 1800s!  So yes, I am grasping at straws.

What I and other descendants want to know about George is:  who are his parents, and where did he end up, post-divorce?  Obviously, there are no easy on-line answers.  I’ve already tried the 1865 Massachusetts Census, Old Fulton Postcards and other newspaper sites.  Here are some ideas on how I might be able to discover more (when time and money permit):

  • search Colomy the 1840 Census in Strafford County, New Hampshire, seeing if there are any males over 5 but under 10.  If so, these are potential father candidates to be researched further.
  • order the FamilySearch microfilm for the Colomy divorce court paperwork.  I’m thinking there have to be more details about George in there.
  • see if there are any Boston city directories for the late 1860s and see if George is in there, searching both Colomy and Chesley.
  • take a broad look at all the Colomys in early New Hampshire.

If anyone has other ideas on finding George (or if you might have seen him anywhere!), please let me know in the comments.

Third Great-Grandmother Lucy Ann Goodwin: Never a Dull Moment!

Before I can even get to my great-grandmother Bertha’s story, I think it’s important to understand her own family history.  A good place to start is her paternal grandmother, Lucy Ann Goodwin.

Lucy was born circa 1833, in Berwick, York County, Maine to Ivory Goodwin and Jerusha Taunt.  She was the fourth child of eight children and the third daughter.  Her older siblings were Ivory H., Anna, Mary F. and her  younger siblings were John Adams, Ada Jane (“Jennie”), Charles W., and John M.

In November 1854 (some less reliable records say 1856), she gave birth to a son, Frank L.  Frank always listed his father as George W. Colomy, who pledged to marry Lucy in December 1857.  George and Lucy were finally wed in Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire in 1858, by Rev. F.S. Greenwood.  Whether George was actually Frank’s father or whether Lucy simply told Frank that George was his father, I do not know; but Colomy was the surname Frank went by.

1860 found George, Lucy and Frank living in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire.  George worked as a shoemaker.

In March of 1861, the Colomy family moved to Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.  Lucy was quick to become familiar with the men of Haverhill, particularly seventeen-year-old Benjamin Foss.  That September, George caught Lucy “in the act” with Benjamin and promptly left her.

Perhaps waiting until Benjamin turned 21, Lucy became Mrs. Foss on February 27, 1865 in Lawrence, Essex County, Massachusetts, wed by a Methodist clergyman, Rev. George L. Dearborn.  According to the August 1865 state census, Lucy and Benjamin, now a local barber, lived with his parents and brothers in Haverhill.  I have to wonder how Lucy was received by her in-laws, since they must have known she was married before.

In any case, Frank was not present with his mother on this census.  Where was he?  I believe the 1870 Census gives the clue:  Benjamin and Lucy had their own household in Lynn, Massachusetts, in which Frank was listed (under the last name “Foss”), along with Lucy’s mother, Jerusha Goodwin.  I am certain that Frank spent a portion of the 1860s with his maternal grandparents.  Perhaps after his grandfather Ivory died in 1866, both Frank and Jerusha went to live with Lucy and Benjamin.

But let’s back up two years.  In July of 1868, the Boston Advertiser carried a legal notice, posted by George W. Colomy’s attorney, J.C. Sanborn.  The notice contained the sordid details of their marriage, the fact that George (now living in Boston) was seeking to file for divorce, and requested that Lucy respond to the notice.  It doesn’t seem that Lucy ever responded; after all, she was already re-married!  The divorce was granted in December of that year.

Lucy’s marriage to Benjamin lasted longer than to George; however, this one ended in Benjamin’s death.  On December 19, 1874, Benjamin died of “fits”  in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts.  How these fits came about, I do not know, nor do I know where he was buried.  He seems to have had no children with Lucy.  Once he died, Lucy and Frank carried on in their home in Lynn on the corner of Chestnut and Lewis Streets.

Lucy carried out the proper mourning period of a year, then on New Year’s Day, 1876, she married shoemaker William F. Mann by clergyman S.F. Upham in Lynn.  It was William’s second marriage, and Lucy reported this as her second marriage as well.  The two appeared to get along well; he continuing as a shoemaker and she as a dressmaker.  They even made it to their twenty-fifth anniversary!  Then on June 23, 1901, William died of “hypertrophy of [the] heart.”  According to the death register, he is buried somewhere in Lynn.

After William’s death, Lucy appeared to live with son Frank.  I assume that her health and mind deteriorated greatly toward the end of her life, for she was put into Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts on June 30, 1919.  This hospital was well known for its care of the insane; however it did also care for older patients with dementia, which may have been Lucy’s case.  Just shy of one year later, Lucy passed away on June 11, 1920 of arteriosclerosis at the reported age of 87.  The longest living member of her family, she was buried at Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, where her parents and other family members are interred.

Lucy Goodwin Death Certificate.  Courtesy FamilySearch.org

Lucy Goodwin Death Certificate. Courtesy FamilySearch.org

There are a lot of things to think and say about Lucy.  I’m not sure what in her home life made her make the decisions that she did.  It seems to me that she settled down in her later years; however, the seeds were sown, particularly in her son Frank.