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Re: Benjamin J. Woodard, Clarissa Willmot (Donnelly) Woodard, ME/NB, 1870-1900
Posted by: J.E. Stanford (ID *****1097) Date: October 08, 2012 at 18:45:53
In Reply to: Re: Benjamin J. Woodard, Clarissa Willmot (Donnelly) Woodard, ME/NB, 1870-1900 by Carolyn La Porte of 27741

Thanks, Carolyn. That would be a good reason! However, I neglected to include that Benjamin and Clarissa Woodard were from New Brunswick, Canada originally and in the 1860s several of their children were born in Canada. They appear in the 1870 US Census for Fort Fairfield, Maine with his occupation as "shingle weaver." In 1880 his occupation was listed as "farmer" and he was "disabled" but that could mean anything from missing a finger to something more. Since the 1870 census didn't have the disabled option (I don't think), I don't know if he was disabled then or not. Many farmers in that town were also "disabled" in the 1880 census--perhaps because of war wounds or from farm accidents. One guess is that Benjamin suffered from some kind of accident after 1872 (that year he signed a land application with the state of Maine agreeing to fulfill homesteading requirements in 2-3 years). When the property deed was granted to his family in 1875, it was granted to Clarissa and her heirs, with Benjamin's name added further down in the document as her husband. All future transactions with that property recorded her as the grantor. Sometimes his name was included and sometimes not. When they moved to Corinna in 1894 and bought another farm, Benjamin's name is on the deeds and not Clarissa's. It seems that something unusual caused her to be primary owner of the Fort Fairfield property. The 1894 transaction in Corinna was more typical for that era.

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