52Ancestors Bowen Cemetery Civil War

A headstone for William Bowen 52 Ancestors #40

The Bowen family of Washington County Maine made the ultimate sacrifice in the Civil War. Father William and three of his sons signed up to fight for the Union and none returned home [more here]. Back in 2001 or so, cousin Jeanne O’Shea had given me loads of information about William and family and because I lived near where William died, she had hoped I could find his headstone.

I visited the Edson Cemetery in Lowell, Massachusetts and found that the book for 1862 had gone missing so the staff could not pinpoint his burial place. They suggested that perhaps he’d been buried in a small section of the cemetery that was fenced off from the main part as a number of Civil War-era graves were there. I walked that section and checked every headstone, no luck. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that perhaps we’d never find a headstone and there might not even be one to find in the first place.

Fast forward to two weeks ago…

An user, Jane Mangum, put a comment on William on my tree with a Find-a-Grave ID number and sure enough, it’s the right William! Find-a-Grave user Rick Weaver had taken a picture of the headstone and created the memorial page for William back in 2011.

Photo courtesy of Rick Weaver, used with permission.
Photo courtesy of Rick Weaver, used with permission.

The headstone reads:

Wm. BOWEN 1 Batty 1 Battn. ME L.A.

Translated: William Bowen, 1st Battery, 1st Battalion, Maine Light Artillery.

It’s a good reminder to check those research dead-ends every once in a while, wonderful things are happening in the genealogical world, it’s amazing what’s being made available every day. Volunteers do a lot of the heavy lifting, Rick and Jane are perfect examples, look at their profiles on Find-a-Grave, how many thousands of pages they’ve created, it’s inspiring. Thank you very much to Rick and Jane for walking cemeteries and posting the pictures, it’s a lot of work and it is much appreciated. Also thank you to Jane for bringing the page to my attention!

This post is 40th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.

52Ancestors Bowen Stanhope

52 Ancestors #39: Sewall Bridges Stanhope

136 years ago today [4 Nov 1878], my 2nd great-grandfather Sewall Bridges Stanhope married Annie Amelia Hayward in Edmunds, Maine. She was the daughter of George Henry Hayward and Rachel Bridges Carter. I have no idea if Annie knew, but she was a Mayflower descendant via her mother’s line, a topic for a future post.

Sewall was born in late August, 1852 in Dennysville, Maine, to Rodolphus and Charlotte (Leighton) Stanhope, one of 10 children.


Sewall and Anna/Annie had 12 children, including my great-grandmother Bessie, over the next 28 years. They lived in Edmunds on Shore Road (which might now be S. Edmunds Rd) and his occupation was listed as Farmer or Farm laborer. Sometime between 1910 and 1920, Sewall gave up farming and moved the family to the village of Milltown in Calais, Maine and found work as a “Woodsman” at a lumber company.

He died 28 Feb 1934 at 81 years old and is buried in Dennysville, Maine.

Sewall B Stanhope, abt 1920



This post is 39th in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge series.