When we left off in Part One, we found that Bessie married in 1892 in Milton, Massachusetts but had Wolfville, Nova Scotia roots.
From an old family photo, and the census records, I know that Bessie had a sister, Clara. Did the two sisters come to the U.S. on their own?
A little more about Aunt Clara
I had good luck finding some records for Clara. She married Arthur Beaudry in 1896. In 1897 (per the Springfield Union, on GenealogyBank.com), she was called back to Springfield to testify about a sad little incident where a neighbor accused her of spending the night in the bedroom of the local homeless shelter keeper (well THAT doesn’t sound tempting). Clara acquitted herself well; it turns out although she lived down the street, she was out of town during the time in question, but the whole thing makes me wonder how chaotic and difficult their lives were. In that article Clara mentioned visiting a relative, “Mrs. Hendrickson”. By researching Hendrickson records in Springfield at that time, I discovered that Clara’s aunt, Deliah Shipley Cameron, was living in Springfield and had a daughter who married a Hendrickson.
Combining this knowledge with a Massachusetts birth and death record for Maria and Marston’s youngest child, Daisy, I now knew that Maria and Marston’s whole family, and indeed some extended family, had immigrated to the U.S. Clara reported in a later census that the immigration year was 1888 but it must have been by 1887, when Marston and Maria’s youngest child was born in Massachusetts.
Clara went on to have what seemed like a happy life, moving from place to place with her husband Arthur Beaudry, who built church organs. They eventually settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where I suspect Arthur was employed by the early Holtkamp Organ Company.
So Bessie Martin arrived in the U.S. as an 18 year old and married Miles Edward Baldwin about four years later. She was living in Milton, Mass. (no occupation – “at home”) before her marriage and then took up residence in Newton, Mass. where her husband was a watchmaker. His shop was on Beacon Street opposite Sumner in Newton Center, and “Mr. and Mrs. M.E. Baldwin” were boarding at 85 Erie Avenue in Newton (thanks and a tip of the hat to the folks in Newton who placed a number of old city directories online here). A peek at Erie Avenue on Google Maps shows it to be quite a nice tree lined street with modest Victorian houses that might pre-date 1893.
Their first child, Miles Edward Baldwin Jr., was born 30 April 1893. We have a beautiful, faded portrait of grampa as a baby. When you look at it, you can only think, someone loved this baby very much.
A sad ending
On 14 Mar 1897 their second son, Blanchard Baldwin, was born in Newton. One day later, Bessie Blanche Martin died. I had always thought complications of birth caused her death so I was surprised when the death record, found via FamilySearch.org, listed Cancer of the Stomach as the cause of death.
My grandfather was not quite four when she died. He didn’t remember her. I suspect Bessie’s mother was gone by this time, Clara had moved west, and so Grampa lost touch completely with this family. He was raised by his father and a stepmother, although he wasn’t particularly welcome in their home.
Next time, the surprising history of the Martin family and the heritage that Grampa never knew about.