Maine & Maritime Canada Genealogy

Researching Downeast Maine and Maritime Canada Families Together

Peter Giddings Cushing (1848-1876), b. Frankfort Maine; m. Ellen Drinkwater, born abt 1852 Bangor, Maine; her second husband Walter Woodside

Photo, below, of Mrs. Peter Giddings Cushing, (Nellie or Ellen Drinkwater) apparently taken before her second marriage to Walter Woodside in 1885.


I believe Mrs. Nellie Cushing, as she is identified below, was Ellen Drinkwater, born about 1852, possibly at Bangor, Maine.  I found at least three women who could be her, as you can read in the reprint of the blog post below.  


In 1868 she married Peter Giddings Cushing, who was born 9 May 1848 in a part of Frankfort that is within the Winterport, Maine, town limits today.  He was the son of Peter Cushing and wife Eunice Colby (Dorr).   Peter's paternal grandparents were Nehemiah and Deborah (Briggs) Cushing.  I haven't yet found the parents of Eunice Colby Dorr; perhaps Dorr was not her maiden name.


Peter died in 1876, after the couple had four children.  His widow remarried in 1885 to Walter Woodside, who was possibly the son of David and Elizabeth (Phinney) Woodside, according to a Woodside Family Genealogy I found online.


Below are a reprint of a post at the blog Heirlooms Reunited and a family tree for George Henry Cushing (1868-1900), son of Peter Giddings Cushing and Ellen (Drinkwater) Cushing.


Old Photograph of Mrs. Nellie (Drinkwater) Cushing, widow of Peter Giddings Cushing, Bangor, Maine

Photograph of Mrs. Nellie Cushing, West Broadway, Bangor, Maine.  The imprint of the photographer appears to be Preble, Waterville, Maine, but I'm not positive of that.  The handwriting on the back is very faint - I'm not sure you'll be able to make it out, so I'll quote the text: Mrs. Nellie Cushing, West Broadway, Bangor, Maine"

From online research:

The Mrs. Nellie Cushing pictured is likely the former Ellen Drinkwater who married Peter Giddings Cushing in July 1868.  I've been able to find out very little about her, and I'm not even sure if Drinkwater was her maiden name.  On the 1900 Census, her birth month and year are given as October 1852, but this is not always reliable.  I'm assuming the photograph was made before 1884 when Nellie married for the second time, to Walter Woodside, about eight years after Peter's death.

From online research, hopefully correct:

As yet I've only found possibilities for Ellen Drinkwater.  I got her maiden name from online sources, so cannot be sure she was born a Drinkwater.  Here are some possibilities:
  • Ellen Drinkwater, born about 1856, in the 1860 Census of Bangor, Maine - daughter of Maxim and Deborah
  • Ellen Drinkwater, born about 1853, in the 1860 Census of Northport, Maine - daughter of West and Martha Drinkwater
  • Hellen S. Drinkwater, born about 1852, in the 1860 Census of Northport,  Maine - daughter of Henry and Deborah.

Peter Giddings Cushing was born in Frankfort (in a section now possibly a part of Winterport, Maine) on 9 May 1848, the son of Peter and Eunice Colby (Dorr) Cushing.  It's possible that Eunice's maiden name was Colby, and Dorr her name from an earlier marriage.  I haven't yet found a source that gives the names of her parents.  Peter's paternal grandparents were Nehemiah and Deborah (Briggs) Cushing.

Peter died about eight years after his marriage to Ellen, on 19 April 1876.  If my sources are correct, he and Ellen had four sons between 1868 and 1873: Herbert Giddings Cushing; Lewis Cushing; Ralph (who may have changed last name to Woodside - or not); and George Henry Cushing.  Lewis died in infancy in 1873.

By the 1880 Census, son George Henry was living with his grandparents, Peter and Eunice Cushing, in Iowa.  He died in July, 1900 on Long Island, New York;  just a month earlier, in the 1900 Census, he was living with his Aunt Minna (Cushing) Cook in Steam Mill, Georgia.

Nellie remarried, to Walter Woodside, in 1885.  One of the sons, Ralph, lived with them, up until the 1920 Census.  Herbert Giddings Cushing may also have lived with them early on, but was apparently gone from their household by the 1900 Census.  I found what may be an enlistment form for him, dated 1901.

It's possible that Walter Woodside's parents were David and Elizabeth (Phinney) Woodside, as listed in a genealogy of the Woodside and related families posted online.

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented here, please leave a comment or or contact me directly.  Thanks!

For more information, please see the page at the Maine and Maritime Canada Genealogy network on Ellen Drinkwater and her husbands Peter Giddings Cushing and Walter Woodside.

A map of Frankfort, Maine:

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A map of Bangor, Maine:




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