Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Maine to Minnesota: So Far Away ~ 52 Ancestors #5

This week's theme is So Far Away.

I'm always interested to see an ancestral family where one or two of the siblings move far away, leaving most of the family close to home (see last week's post at Wells Siblings Stayed Close to Home).

Joseph Smith (1773-1852) and his wife Martha Robinson (1775-1857), originally from Litchfield, Kennebec County, Maine, and who died in Lee, Penobscot County, Maine, had eleven children, born between 1795 and 1817: Sarah, Hannah, Eliphalet, Mary, Tappan, Braddock, Martha Jane, Agna, Joseph, Elijah, and Clara Augusta. Almost all of their children were born in Litchfield, Kennebec County, Maine. Most of them died in Maine. The oldest, daughter Sarah, is my third great-grandmother and I wrote about her at Matrilineal Monday and Found a Death at FindAGrave.

However, at least one of Sarah's younger brothers, Joseph, decided to move west: over 1,500 miles to Minneapolis, Minnesota. He appeared in the Minnesota territorial census in September 1857, a census that the territory had to take in order to qualify for statehood, which was official in May 1858.

In 1860, in Saint Anthony, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Joseph, age 47, was working as a carpenter and owned $200 in personal property. His 32-year-old wife, Lucy, and his four older children, Frederick, Hellen, Angus, and George, were born in Maine. The youngest, six-month-old Anna, was born in "St. A., Minn." Don't you love when a census gives you this detail!

1860 U.S. Census, Hennepin County, Minnesota, population schedule, St. Anthony, p. 58 (penned), dwelling 521, family 458, Joseph Smith; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 3 February 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 570.

Saint Anthony, Minnesota, is just a few miles northeast of Minneapolis. Development started there in 1848 due to the only natural major waterfall on the upper Mississippi River, called Saint Anthony Falls.

Minneapolis was officially a town in 1856 and was incorporated as a city eleven years later, in 1867, when rail service began between Chicago and Minneapolis.

According to his 1889 obituary, Joseph Smith was considered a "pioneer resident" of Minneapolis, having been a carpenter and a millwright. I love that this obituary lists the children and their residences, helping me identify them and their descendants.

"Joseph Smith, a Pioneer Resident of Minneapolis, Dead," The Saint Paul Globe (Saint Paul, Minnesota), 11 February 1889, p. 3, col. 2; image, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/81045248/ : accessed 3 February 2020).

His unnamed wife was Lucy (McNutt) Smith, who lived just a few more years, to 1896. Their FindAGrave memorials are at Joseph Smith and Lucy Smith.


Much of my source material is from authored works, but they appear to have pretty good information:

Smith, Edwin E. M.D. James Smith, Berwick, 1668, Some of His Descendants. Kennebunk, Maine: The Star Print, Inc., 1940.

History of Litchfield and an Account of its Centennial Celebration, 1895. Augusta, Maine: Kennebec Journal Print, 1897.

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