Hello everyone, I am new to this genealogy searching and seem to spend more time spinning my wheels than getting any traction.  I have made marginal progress in some areas and have hit a wall in others.

At this point I am trying to get more information on my father's (Howard Fletcher West) side of the family. I have learned that my Grandfather was Charles Howard West (12/1/1891 - 11/21/1970 I think) he was a baker in Augusta Maine.  He and my grandmother (Ethel May Fletcher of Canton) were married in 1915 and were divorced not too long after that. He remarried to Sarah or Sadie and remained married until his death.

I have letters indicating that he was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Augusta and that his father (William Benjamin West) is also buried there.  I know that Ben was born in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia and the family moved to Amherst Mass.  I think his father was William West. I have no idea if there was a middle name.  I have a letter that states that Ben moved to Augusta to work in the cotton mill and married an Annie Stone.  

My thinking was that if I could get more specifics from his grave stone or Kennebec records I might be able to learn more.  Can someone please point me in the right direction so that I can continue my quest?  Thank you.


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Comment by Chris Dunham on September 1, 2016 at 5:43pm

Records of the Maine Old Cemetery Association have this information on the West lot at Mt. Hope Cemetery:

West, W. Benjamin, 1868-1946. [B2-652]
Charles H., his son, 1891-1970.
Sarah L., his wife, 1897-1987.

I found this abstract of Charles H. West's will on the Kennebec Registry of Deeds website:

Charles and Ethel's marriage record does say that he was the son of W. B. West, born in Nova Scotia, residing in Hartford, and Annie M. Stone, born in Augusta. The record of their marriage intentions shows that W. B. West was living in Augusta in December 1888.

The 1920 census shows William B. West living in Hartford, married but without his wife. The 1930 census shows him divorced, living in Hartford with his father William H. West. William and Annie had in fact divorced much earlier: She and her children Charles and Lula were living in Augusta in 1910 with her second husband, Manley D. Farnham. Their marriage record is here. It says that she was the daughter of Charles Stone and Annie Howard.

William B. West appears to have been the son of William H. West and Charlotte Comeau, shown here in the 1871 Canadian census. Their daughter Annie Jane married in Augusta and died in Canton, Maine. Their son James A. West may have married in Augusta as well, and died in Amesbury, Massachusetts, which is where his father William H. West was living in 19001910 and 1920. The record of William's marriage to his fourth wife, Cordelia (Fortin) Brewster, says that he was the son of Joseph West and Emeline Richards. FamilySearch has several records apparently related to this couple that you might want to investigate.

Comment by Barry Michael "Mike" West on September 2, 2016 at 3:31pm

THANK YOU Chris!  It is amazing how much information that you found in such a short time. It must take a long time to develop the skills that you have displayed above. Most surprising to me was the my grandfather and great grandfather were both divorced and my great, great grandfather was married FOUR times!  Wow!  I was married for 40 years before my wife died and my parents were married 39 years before my father died. It looks like we were boring old farts.  

I do have a couple of additional questions if you have time to consider them.  I did notice in the Nova Scotia census that William H and William B, along with the other children were listed as Irish...if I am reading the document correctly. The letter I have from my grandfather's second wife states that William B. was of Irish decent.)  I am 100% Irish on my mother's side and am still in contact with some cousins in Ireland.

If I want to track down the Irish connection I will have to find birth records on James West and possibly I may have to go back further to find the Irish connection, right?  Are their data bases that will provide this information or do I have to write to Nova Scotia requesting birth certificates?  Thanks Again, Mike

Comment by Chris Dunham on September 2, 2016 at 4:46pm

You'll find Nova Scotia vital records here, and FamilySearch has some as well.

The births/baptisms of several children of Joseph and Emeline West were recorded in Granville, Annapolis, Nova Scotia, including that of William. I found the church record of his baptism here. Joseph appears in a 1838 census of Granville. His wife's surname was supposedly Richards, but this church record calls her Emmeline Carmichael. She is supposedly the Emeline C. West who died in 1890 and was buried in Bath, Maine.

Comment by Barry Michael "Mike" West on September 4, 2016 at 3:26pm

Thanks again Chris.  While I can understand the Emmeline's last name being recorded as Richards or Richardson, the inclusion of Carmichael seems to be a bit of a stretch.  How common is this kind of finding during a search?  The death in Bath, Maine was also a surprise.  The Maine, Nova Scotia border seems to have been rather porous.

Your assistance in my quest is greatly appreciated.

Comment by Chris Dunham on September 4, 2016 at 4:46pm

I'm not sure of the explanation of the Richards/Carmichael discrepancy. I found a family record here that says that they married 5 Sept. 1835, and that she was the daughter of Benjamin Richardson. (Original record here.) It's possible that there were two Joseph Wests who married women named Emeline in the same parish in 1835, but I think it's unlikely. Someone here says that "Emmeline Richards West (born Carmichael) was born circa 1809 ... to Hugh Carmichael and Elizabeth Carmichael (born Richards)." Perhaps Emeline was the daughter of Benjamin Richards[on] and stepdaughter of Hugh Carmichael? Elizabeth, wife of Hugh Carmichael, is buried in Annapolis Royal.

Yes, there was a great deal of contact between the coastal towns of Maine and the Maritime Provinces. Before the coming of the railroads, large-scale trade and long-distance travel was carried out by ship, and the ports of Maine and Nova Scotia were well positioned near the shipping lanes from Europe. Many passenger ships stopped in Halifax on their way to Maine ports, and sometimes picked up additional passengers there.

Comment by T. Getchell on September 5, 2016 at 2:10pm

You might want to try Findagrave also I found a lot of my history with pics of the headstones.  Hope this helps.


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