Edwin Lee was born January 14,1814 in Green, New York, Broome County. He married Harriett French in New York February 15, 1840. They had 4 children - Alamanson, Polly Jane, Charles and Morris. Morris is my great grandfather.
Trying to locate Edwin and his family in census has not been alot of fun. They just simply cannot be found. Edwin was a barge canal captain on the Chenango Canal so I'm wondering when the census was taken they were on the barges. Harriet passed in 1860 and Edwin remarried Louisa Green. Louisa was a widow with two children Sarah and John.
Edwin and Louisa had one child, Phebe. Edwin and Louisa finally show up in the 1870 census and Phebe is 8 years old. So because Harriett passed in 1860 and Phebe was 8 in the 1870 census I'm going to assume they were married in 1861.
The 1870 census lists Edwin's occupation as a Captain on a canal boat. In the 1880 census Edward is a farmer. He's 66 and Louisa is 53. Phebe is not living with them.
For me, where was he and his first family from the 1840s to 1860s? When visiting the Riverside Cemetery in Whitney Point NY Alamanson died in 1850 and Polly Jane died when she was 22 in 1866. So she was alive when her father married the second time to Louisa. Charles and Morris were alive and well during this period of time. In the 1870 census Morris is living with Charles and his wife Elizabeth. Morris works on the canal (I'm going to assume with his father) and Charles works as an Engineer in a paper mill.
In the 1880 census my great Grandfather Morris was living in Middletown, NY with his wife Jennie and their daughter Jennie. My grandfather Earl was born in July 1883 and Morris his Dad passed away a year later. Morris was a fireman in the railroad and was in a train accident. They moved back to Binghamton and that is where he passed away.
Since the 1890 census was destroyed my next step was the 1900 census. I did not find Edwin in the 1900 census, Morris had passed away in 1884 and Charles had moved to Minnesota. Looking for Charles was quite a chore also but I knew I had the right Charles when his mother was listed as coming from France. Harriett's maiden name was French. And the birthdates were in January 1847.
And then in the 1885 Minnesota census there was Ed Lee with his son Charles. So the old guy did move to Minnesota. What was surmised Morris had passed on, so must have Louisa, and Phebe either married or passed on also. Charles was his only living son and Edwin moved to Minnesota with him.
My husband and I retired in 2009 and so off we go on our trip to the West. One of the stops is Stillwater MN. This is where Edwin and Charles began their new lives. Edwin settled down in Maple Island while Charles and his family lived in New Scandia. Charles was an engineer on the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Maple Island is a farm community.
Stillwater is labeled as the "Gateway to Minnesota." It is a beautiful little town on the St. Croix River. Further up is the little village of Marine on St. Croix. It was formerly called Marine Mills. This is where the Oakland Cemetery is. Further research in the Minnesota Genealogy records I found Edwin was buried in the Oakland Cemetery. Brent Peterson of the Washington County Historical Society gave us directions to the cemetery. My husband and I found a room outside of Stillwater. After settling in and eating dinner we went to the cemetery. We walked the cemetery from one end to the other and did not find my great great grandfather. It was very disappointing.
We then went to the General Store in Marine on St. Croix. There we found a lovely woman who told us stories about the cemetery. The original cemetery was moved from one place to where it is now. So we needed to see the town clerk for the records of the cemetery. Being it was Friday evening we would have to wait until Monday.
Saturday we went to the Stillwater Library. Since I knew he was buried in the Oakland Cemetery, the librarians showed us a notebook of the cemeteries in Washington County. We checked the Oakland Cemetery section and there he was. He had passed April 14, 1892. What a surprise also to find that Charles had a son Edwin Charles and a daughter Laverne June also buried with Edwin, their grandfather.
Searching through the rolls of the Washington County papers we did find one entry for Edmund Lee, as reported by his son Charles, had passed away and was a long time resident of Maple Island. Again we went back to the Marine on St. Croix General Store. Maple Island was a little farm community with homes and they were situated in a grove of Maple trees. After getting directions off we went to find Maple Island. The lovely woman had told us that no homes existed there now but you could see the maple trees and get a general idea of where the little village was. We did go searching but didn't find what we were looking for.
Sunday we decided to go to New Scandia and visit my Great Uncle's home town. New Scandia ended up to be a monument for the Swedish settlers in the area. Later I found that Scandia is where the original town of New Scandia was founded. We didn't go to the land my Uncle had owned but did have a delicious lunch in the Scandia Cafe.
Monday we went to the Marine on St. Croix town hall. There the town clerk made copies of the index cards and the burial plots where Edwin, Edwin Charles and Laverne were buried. Back to the cemetery we went and found the places where they are buried. There is no headstones for them. We found the headstones who were at the beginning and end of their plots.
I also was not able to get a death certificate for Edwin. So it's back to the Stillwater Library to look for more entries in the newspapers. This I will do by email.