Researching Downeast Maine and Maritime Canada Families Together
My Great, great grandparents were Charles and Eulalia (Walton) Rhoades (Rhoads/Rhodes/Roads, so many different spellings are found in the records) of Eastport. Their daughter, Amy Edith Rhoades is my great grandmother. Charles and Eulalia Are buried in Eastport, according to the records I have found, I believe at the Hillside Cemetary.
Amy went to Wakefield, MA at some point in her young life and at the age of 19, had a son out of wedlock at the state hospital in Tewksbury. MA. He was adopted by her sister, Sarah Anna (Rhoades) Dolente of Wakefield. He told us all his life his parents were killed in a train wreck when he was 5 and he went to live with his aunt. When I started hunting history of train wrecks in the MA area, I found nothing, that is when I found an adoption record with his birth name being Rhoades. The problem with trying to find records on him, I was looking for the wrong birth year, he was actually 5 years younger than he knew. How does that happen? Five years old vs 10 is a big difference, on his headstone now his birthdate is listed as 1915, when he actually was born in 1919. That is the date he put on the stone when purchased at the time of my grandma's death, when I discovered his orginal birth certificate the year of birth is listed as 1919. On his adopted mother's (Bio mom's sister) death record, it listed Amy as living at the same address and she was the one that notified the coronor of her death. When he overseas fighting in WWII, his adopted mother died, he never went back to MA or ME and lost contact with any and all family. So Amy was in my grandfather's life for a period without him knowing she was his bio mother for those years before he left for the service. Was it wrong of me not to tell him? At 89 years old when I made all these discoveries, I never got the courage to tell him the truth about his mother. I tried twice to start the conversation, both times with me when I started talking about his aunt and asking him if he remember Amy, his aunt's sister, he said yes, then he just would change the subject so I let it go. Amy died in 1973 when I was a year old, alone with no known relative, the state claimed her body and buried her in an umarked pauper's grave. She had a son, a grandson and two great grandchildren when she died, we didn't know she existed. We didn't know until she had been gone 30 years.