Friday, October 16, 2009

Henrietta Day and William Everett Mitchell

For some time now I have been trying to make sense of my grandfather's records. The story from my mother was that William Everett Mitchell was placed in an orphanage when his mother remarried and his stepfather did not want the child. He told stories about spending Summer vacations in Bradford with family. Yet in the 1880 census, he was in the Episcopal orphanage of St Mary in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was supposedly born in 1874, so that made him about six years old.

I found a copy of their wedding registration in the Massachusetts archives a couple of days ago. On June 3 of 1896, they were married by A.A. Bennett who was the pastor of their church. William E. was registered as a teamster. He was 22 and lived in Malden. He stated he was born in Boston. It is usual in these records to state only the first names of the parents assuming that the last name is the same. In this case, his parents were William E. and his mother was Maggie. Then in a slightly different hand her last name was Patterson. This leads me to several possible scenarios.

1. Maggie was not married when she had him. Her name was Mitchell and that is how he got that last name.

2. Her maiden name was Patterson, they were never married, and the father, William E. Mitchell found his way on to the records to give William his last name.

3. Maggie and William E. were married and he died or they divorced. She then remarried to a Patterson.

Henrietta, sometimes found spelled: Henreatta for some reason, was 18 years old. She lived in Malden and worked as an Operator. What she was operating is a bit of a mystery, though she could have been a telephone operator. She stated that she was born in New Brunswick. Her father's was Henry Day and her mother's name is Celia A.Jones.

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