I found this: 1880 Swanton, VT census, Edwins S Meigs,59, VT, VT, NH supt. of steamboat; Clarissa Meigs, wife, 61, VT, VT, VT; H.S. Meigs, son, 35, widowed, VT, VT,VT, R.R. brakeman; Bella Meigs, dau, 32, VT, VT,VT, dressmaker; Linda Meigs, 17, dau., VT, VT,VT, at school; Claribell Meigs, grd-dau, 7, VT, VT, VT; Eddie Meigs, grd-son, 4, VT, VT, VT.
H.S. Meigs, could be Margaret's husband - widower - the ages of grandchildren off slightly, but Claribel could be Mary (actual age 8). Margaret's son Edward Meigs would have been 6.
While the Claribell to Mary is a stretch I find no other H.S. Meigs in the 1880 census. That this man is in Swanton with a son of the same name (Eddie) and a daughter 2 yrs older make this seem probable.
Notice anyone missing? Like a boy named Benjamin Barnard Meigs b. 1876 aka Benjamin B. McCloskey b. 1876 in the h/h of James McCloskey in Richford. Did sister Mary McCloskey raise her nephew after Margaret died, call him son and census taker assume the last name was McCloskey?????
As you said, the Mary in that household does fit the age to be the missing sister.
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