Maine & Maritime Canada Genealogy

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Cabinet Photo of an Elderly Ruth (Thorndike) McKellar of Spruce Head, Maine

Reprint from blog Heirlooms Reunited, at http://heirloomsreunited.blogspot.com/


Wonderful cabinet photo of an elderly Ruth (Thorndike) McKellar, with an identification on reverse giving her residence as Spruce Head, Maine.



From online research, hopefully mostly if not entirely correct, Ruth Thorndike was born on 10 June 1796 in Thomaston, Maine, the daughter of Benjamin Thorndike and his wife Patricia (Woodbury) Thorndike, who were both born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and moved up the coast to Thomaston.


Ruth's paternal grandparents were Captain Ebenezer Thorndike, born in Beverly, Massachusetts, died in Thomaston, Maine, and his wife Lydia Herrick Thorndike, also born in Beverly and who also died in Thomaston.


Ruth maternal grandparents were Charles Woodbury, born in Falmouth, Maine, and his wife Lucy Dyer, born in Cape Elizabeth.


Ruth Thorndike married Thomas G. McKellar, who was born 15 July 1786 in St. George, Maine, the son of John McKellar and his wife Martha (McCarter) McKellar, who were both born in St. George and who both died at nearby Cushing, Maine.


Thomas' paternal grandparents were Robert McKellar, born in Scotland - I have yet to disover his wife's name. Thomas' maternal grandparents were John McCarter of Cushing, Maine, and his wife Martha, born in Northern Ireland, died at Cushing.


Thomas G. McKellar died 8 August 1848, but Ruth lived to the age of 94; she died 21 June 1890 in South Thomaston, Maine.


Thomas and Ruth had quite a few children, but some of those children had short or fairly short lives. At least one son died at sea, and two died in far off places such as New Orleans or Havana, reflecting perhaps in all three cases the dangers of the seafaring life. Some of the daughters also died fairly young. Poor Ruth had quite a bit of sadness in her long life.


At least she had some grandchildren to console her. Her daughter Hannah, who died fairly young, married Benjamin Fales and had two sons. Her son John also raised a family with wife Lucy or Lucille (Condon) McKellar. And possibly also providing Ruth with grandchildren was her son Joseph R., who was born about 1818, with his wife Elizabeth Ernst of Georgia, where Joseph settled.


My hesitation about Joseph R. is that Ruth had a later son, also named Joseph, which is a bit confusing, since they both appeared to live into adulthood. Perhaps I've run into a mistake here. Perhaps the later Joseph had a different first name but went by Joseph. He was living with his mother on the farm in South Thomaston, along with his sister Priscilla and a sailor named Fred W. Fales, who was perhaps the son of Ruth's daughter Hannah (McKellar) Fales, who had died in 1857.


Daughter Mary Emeline married Captain James Sayward Keller, who had changed his surname from Kelloch, and had a son James W. Keller, before dying in her 30s.


If you have corrections to make to the information above or additions or comments, I would most appreciate hearing from you. Thanks for stopping by!

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Comment by Pam Beveridge on March 14, 2014 at 3:05pm

Maine Genealogical Society has a Facebook page; might be worth your while to post this question there.  If you have already checked FamilySearch.org, it's worth another search, as they have been putting more records online all the time.  There's also the New England Historic Genealogy Society in Boston, which has a website AmericanAncestors.org.  Just because they don't have something online doesn't mean they don't have something.  They're working on digitizing more records.

In the event that his name started out as Keller, that might go back to the Broadbay Settlement at Waldoboro, Maine, settled by Germans encouraged to settle there by Samuel Waldo, who spent time recruiting Europeans to settle in Maine.  Kalloch or something like that originally.  Has many forms nowadays, Caler, Kaler, Keller, Kalloch, Kelleck, etc.

Maine Genealogy Soc on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mainegenealogicalsociety/

Comment by William Fonferek on March 14, 2014 at 2:54pm

Any chance you have access to records showing who Joseph is related to?

Comment by Pam Beveridge on March 14, 2014 at 1:08pm

Wish I had more info, but what I found came from online, warts and all, though I try to be careful.  You might want to go to the blog post itself and leave a comment, in case a future reader with information happens by.  The blog post is a lot more public than this site.

Thanks for adding this information.

Comment by William Fonferek on March 14, 2014 at 10:59am

RE: "Thomas and Ruth had quite a few children, but some of those children had short or fairly short lives. At least one son died at sea, and two died in far off places such as New Orleans or Havana, reflecting perhaps in all three cases the dangers of the seafaring life. Some of the daughters also died fairly young. Poor Ruth had quite a bit of sadness in her long life.

 And possibly also providing Ruth with grandchildren was her son Joseph R., who was born about 1818, with his wife Elizabeth Ernst of Georgia, where Joseph settled."

I have been researching Joseph R McKellar (McCallar) in GA m Elizabeth Ernst.  He came from Maine according to the census and was born abt 1818.  I have no documentation who his parents were.  I assume he was Scottish and a McKellar because one of the grand children was named Argyle.  The marriage records also indicate he was a McKellar (phonetic spelling). In the Maine 1930 census there were only two male children that were abt 12, one was son of John Mckellar and the other Thomas McKellar.  If you have any additional info on the subject I would appreciate it.  Bill Fonferek.  Fonferek@bellsouth.net

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