Wednesday, October 5, 2011

1845 document certifying Marcia Barton as qualified teacher, Brownville, Maine



1845 document certifying Marcia Barton as a qualified teacher, in the opinion of the Superintending School Committee members of Brownville, Maine, who were William S. Sewall and Isaac E. Wilkins.


Brownville is a town in Piscataquis County, Maine, a county blessed with lakes and mountains, including Moosehead Lake and Mount Katahdin.


From online research, hopefully correct: [please leave a comment if you have corrections]:


I believe Marcia Barton was Marcia Polina Barton, born 2 October 1820 in either Clinton, Maine or Bangor, Maine [I saw references for both].


Marcia Polina Barton's parents were Amos and Martha (Hinds) Barton of Clinton, Maine.  Amos died 7 February 1826, leaving his wife with six children, one of whom, Amos, died a year later at about age two.  Judging from the name she used on the Census forms, his widow Martha never remarried.  She died in 1881.


Marcia Polina Barton's paternal grandparents were Flint and Lydia (Crosby) Barton, Massachusetts natives who moved to Sidney, Maine.  Her maternal grandparents were Asher and Rebecca (Crosby) Hinds, born in Massachusetts and Kennebec County, Maine, respectively.


Intentions of marriage for Marcia P. Barton and Thomas Howard Coombs filed at Bradford, Maine, were published in the 5 February 1848 issue of the Piscataquis Herald/Piscataquis Observer .  Maria gave her address as Sebasticook (now Pittsfield) and Thomas gave his as Bradford.   


They married on 16 February 1848 at Benton, Maine, downriver of Clinton on the Sebasticook River.


Thomas was born 4 January 1821, the son of William Lincoln Coombs and wife Sophia (Howard) Coombs.


Bradford is not terribly far from Brownville these days by car but it would have been an ordeal in 1848.  Perhaps Marcia was teaching at Bradford by 1848.   


Marcia and Thomas raised six daughters on their Bradford farm, the last daughter that I found born in 1861.  Thomas served in the Civil War in Company F of the Maine 31st Infantry, from March 1864 to June 1965.   So far I haven't found them in the 1870 Census.


By 1880, according to the Census, they were living at Bangor, Maine; Thomas' occupation was listed as "dealing in fancy goods".   Both would die at Bangor, Maine, Marcia in 1889 and Thomas in 1891.  I found a pension record for him, dated 1889, submitted on the basis of his being an invalid.


As for the two members of the Superintending School Committee of Brownville, Maine, William S. Sewall and Isaac E. Wilkins:


William Stinson Sewall, son of Rev. Henry and Esther Minot (Moody) Sewall, was born 19 June 1807 at Bath, Maine.  He graduated from Bowdoin College and became minister at the Congregational Church in Brownville, Maine in September of 1839.   His father was a minister at Sangerville, Maine, also in Piscataquis County.


Sometime after the enumeration of the 1860 Census, Rev. William S. Sewall and family moved to St. Albans, Maine, where he took over a pastorate there.  He and his wife Miriam had several children.  He died in 1884 at St. Albans, Maine.


The other signer of this document, Isaac Edwards Wilkins was also a minister at Brownville, Maine.  He was born 1 April 1798 at Billerica, Massacusetts, the son of Dr. Isaac E. Wilkins and wife Sally (Edwards) Wilkins, who moved their family to Brownville, Maine in 1808.   


After a successful practice as a physician, having studied with his father, Rev. Wilkins graduated from Bangor Theological Seminary and was minister for a time at Garland, Fairfield and Albion, Maine, in addition to Brownville. 


He married Mary Jane Brown at Newburyport, Massachusetts, daughter of Francis and Hannah Dustin (Chase) Brown.  


Rev. Isaac Edwards Wilkins and family of ten children resided at Brownville, Maine.  One son was killed in 1863 at Rappahannock Station, Virginia.


Rev. Isaac Edwards Wilkins died at Brownville, Maine, on 14 November 1848, a few years after signing this document.


If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding any of the information presented here, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!


A map of Brownville, Maine: [zoom out 3 clicks to see Moosehead Lake and Mount Katahdin]



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Thanks for stopping by!






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