My great grandfather, William Jones, came from Forest City to Island Falls in the 1880s with his wife, Liza (Lyde) VanTassell Jones.  Another couple, Lyde's sister Emma and her husband Forrey came with them.  I'm assuming they came to work in the tannery. 

William died young, leaving Lyde destitute and with young children.  William is a cold trail on  There is no record of his death in Island Falls.  Oral history is that he died of leukemia.

I have a large number of DNA clues for 4-5th cousin relatedness at 98% confidence where none of the surnames match with the other family names I've documented. 

What are some things I could do to advance my search?

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So William must have been living as late as 1897, when son Wilford was conceived, but had died by the time of Wilford's death in April 1899. The 1900 census confirms that Liza/Lyde was a widow, living in Houlton.  I see from their son Vincent's marriage record that she was living in Boston in 1904. Any idea how William managed to father a child in Boston years after his death?

There may be a time traveler in the family???  That would be a good explanation for why William left such a thin paper trail.  My elderly aunt (b.1920) went to visit her grandmother when she was in school in the Boston area (19.  She and others in the family were well aware of Owen's doubtful birth details.  Apparently that was Lyde's story and she was sticking to it.  The stigma of birth out of wedlock was a difficult thing for a child to bear.    

My grandfather was adopted out to a local family as the son they never had when he was about 12 years old.  He liked them well enough, but would not allow the adoption to formalize.  He married my grandmother who was a cousin in the adoptive/indenture family when they were very young--16-17 years old.  Her father was dying and made Vincent promise to take care of her.  They had a wonderful marriage, and were good parents to 7 children.

You've given me some food for thought though and now back to working with the paper trail that is instead of lamenting the trail that isn't!  Thanks, and any contribution in the future is most welcome!  Sincerely, Laura Farnsworth

Hello, Laura. I just joined MGN and saw your posts. I am a great granddaughter of Emma Angela VanTassel and John Stanley Hartin, Sr.  I descend through their SON Forrest Fenwick Hartin and Lottie Viola DeWitt of Island Falls, Maine.  My mother was Madeline Virginia Hartin who m. Ralph E. Hill of Calais, ME.  They lived in Milo, Maine.  I have done a lot research on the Hartins and VanTassels.  In fact I have a framed family tree that was done by Martha Evert Case and John R. Hartin.  Eliza Jane VanTassel lis listed as one of their children.  Do have a picture of Eliza?  I have pictures of Emma and Cecilia VanTassel Veysey.

If you are interested, I can supply you with more data.


Arletta Hill Sullivan

Gorham, ME


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