The Mayo family has a problem that has not been resolved in over 119 years.  Actually, it may have been understood years ago but the knowledge did not filter down to their descendants.

John Mayo came to Maine before the detailed records of border crossings came into being about 1895. George Lessor came here before that date, too. 

I can easily track John Mayo's family through the census. George Lessor is not so easily tracked. but there are records of him living in Dover, ME.  

George was a Union Army veteran and served with the 7th Maine.. John is not listed as a veteran but he was buried with George Lessor's name on his tombstone. 

At first, I thought that there was some careless recording of cemetery records.  The family, over the years, have visited the graveyard and I can now see from their material that John assumed George's identity at a later date or that John enlisted in the Army with the alias of George Lessor. Usually that is uncovered and is an unremarkable fact by the time the Veteran's census was taken in 1890. George Lessor is listed in the 1890 census with no alias remarks.

John's wife Sarah and his oldest daughter Laura Elizabeth Crawford and her husband are buried in the cemetery lot with George Lessor. John's wife Sarah (Lamere) purchased the lot. The Mayo family has had the question of whether they were Lessors or Mayos for many years. I am attempting to solve this for them which is turning out to be a bigger project than I thought

I have about 20-30 or more items I can upload if anyone else wants to do something with this or has suggestions. Both men were born in Canada around 1840 as were their wives. If interested, you can reach me at Thanks

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Comment by Chris Dunham on March 9, 2015 at 4:04am

At the risk of duplicating your research, let me try to reconstruct the problem from the information you've given. John and Sarah (Lemere) Mayo lived in Bethel in 1870 and 1880. George Lessor, who served with the 7th Maine from Orono, lived in Norway in 1890died there in 1895 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Paris. A listing for the cemetery shows that he was buried with wife Sarah, who died 3 Jan. 1911, aged 60 years. Sarah's probate file confirms that she was "Sarah Lessor, otherwise Sarah Mayo." This pension index card gives her name as "Seraphine." The pension file might give some clues as to his origins and true name.

Oxford County deeds show John Mayo buying land in Bethel in 1871 and selling it in 1881 [161/352,194/330]. Sarah Lessor bought land in Norway in 1893 [238/7].

There was a George Isadore Lessor who lived in Dover in 1880, and who (according to his naturalization petition) had immigrated to the United States the same year. He appears to have lived in St. Pierre-de-Broughton, Beauce West, Quebec in 1871 (enumerated as Isidore Lessard). I can't see any connection to John Mayo/George Lessor other than the coincidence of names.

Comment by Carroll Nichols Holmes on March 9, 2015 at 7:34pm

Thank you Chris.  I downloaded the probate record and rechecked data on FamilySearch.  You nailed it. I will let the family know. After all the records that I have pulled up in at least a couple of decades, I didn't know that you could get the probate records on FamilySearch.

Thanks for the additional leg and eye work



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