Picture of Dennis Prue

Dennis Prue

Dennis has been researching family trees for more than 30 years. His expertise has been invaluable in helping to break through brick walls.


This Old Tree, February 2016

This month’s column is a combined effort of Brenda Bourgoine and Dennis Prue. It pays to skim through genealogy books of church records as there could be an entry that might catch your eye. That is what happened to me one evening. The rest of story is below:

Dennis called this finding Serendipity- that it certainly was. While on the phone, he asked me to look at a particular baptism record in the “St Bruno Parish, Van Buren, Maine by Gary R. Levesque” which we both had purchased last year.

Mary Ann Higgins born 25 May 1838 and baptized 12 February 1839 daughter of John Higgins and Henriette Nadeau. They were living in River de Chute, NB, (across the border from Easton, ME) and the St Bruno Parish included that area. In this time frame there were few Henriette Nadeau’s.

We both had the same person in mind, and no continuation after her baptism. This Henriette was the daughter of Sebastien Nadeau and Marie Ursule Morin and was a sister to my 3rd great grandmother, so I was very interested-as was Dennis. The search was on.

We first looked at census records; I looked at the Canadian census but did not find her. Brenda had better luck on USA census.

In 1850 Orono, ME we found: John L age 39yr b. NB; Harriet age 40yr b. Madawaska; Mary Ann age 12yr b. NB; William age 10yr b. NB. We knew that Harriet was the English version of Henriette.

In 1860 Sarsfield Plt, ME, they now have Almeda age 4yr b. ME.

In 1870 Fort Fairfield, ME another son Matthew is age 10yr, Mary Ann died in 1867, William is not with them because he is married.

In 1880 Harriet is a widow. Unproven sources give John L a death date of 1873. Find-a- Grave lists Henriette died 2 December 1888 buried in Houghton Burial Ground, Fort Fairfield, ME. Her children Mary Ann and William also buried there.

Henriette’s death record states she was born in St. Francis, NB. We wonder what happened to Almeda and Matthew Higgins; they are not listed in 1880 census. William was baptized at St. Bruno’s as Guillaume Eagan on Feb. 23, 1840.

Family is still living at River de Chute, NB. The family surname is listed as Higgins, Higins, and Eagan. With the research on John and Henriette Nadeau Higgins it provided extra large serving of Serendipity.


In the 1850 census two families from John Higgins was Alexander Naddo; he is Henriette’s brother. We had no information on him after baptism either. Both Alexander and Harriet state they were born in Madawaska. This helped to confirm that they were the children of Sebastien Nadeau and Marie Ursule Morin.

1840 Alexander Neddo, Orono, ME, has wife,

1 son & 1 daughter

1850 Orono, ME, Alexander Naddo, age 40yr b. Madawaska; Margaret age 38yr b. Mad.; all children b. ME; John 10yr; Susan 11yr; Thomas 10yr; Margaret 8yr; Marie 4yr; and Rosilla 1yr.

1860 Orono, ME, Alexander age 45yr b. Canada; Margaret age 43yr b. Canada; all children b. ME, Thomas 19yr, Margaret 17yr, Mary 15yr, Martha 9yr, Joseph 3yr. John is not with them because he is married; John Nedo age 23yr; Mary E age 23yr; John A 1mo.

1870 Orono, ME, Elex Nedds 57yr; Joseph 14yr.

1880 Milford, ME, Alexander Nade 75yr. Also in the 1880 census in Bangor, ME is a Nellie Neddo 6yr b. ME living with her elder half-sister Martha Naddo McLaughlin and her family.

Finding Nellie living with her older half-sister’s in Bangor means Alexander had a second marriage after his first wife Margaret’s death. We are not sure who the second wife is.

There another Naddo child living in Orono called Etta b.1866 ME she is found in a poor farm listing in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Could she be a part of this family? We just don’t know perhaps someone reading this column will be able to answer that question.

All of the children birth records were verified by Dennis from Orono, Maine vital records. He has found marriage records for John, Marguerite, Mary and Martha. Brenda found Civil War records for John and Thomas. Death records were found for Alexander, Susan, Rosilla, Thomas, Martha and Margaret. It appears that this family stayed in the Orono, Old Town, Milford and Bangor area.

Doing research on this family certainly required thinking outside the box. These are some of the spellings we encountered for Nadeau: Naddo, Neddo, Nado, Nedo, Nade, Nedds and Neddow.

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This Old Tree, February 2016 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at ac-gs.org.