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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, January 2013

This old tree column is about re-visiting old web site and other resources. I will be using the family of Martha Giberson.

I first found reference to Martha in the marriage records of York County, New Brunswick, Canada. She married to Obediah Skidgell March 19, 1810 at Northampton, York County, (now in Carleton County), New Brunswick). She married a second time to John Cochran on Mar. 10 1834 in Upper Kent, Carleton County, New Brunswick.

I only found two christening records for any of Martha’s children. The Eldest known child Jane Skidgell b. Sept. 10, 1814, was christened on Oct. 22, 1822 by minister of Anglican Church out of Woodstock, New Brunswick. Several of her uncle John Giberson children were also christened that same day. The second child christening I found was Priscilla, the eldest of Martha children by her second husband John Cochran. Priscilla was born June 7, 1835 and christened on August 13, 1835 in Methodist Church, Andover, Carleton County, New Brunswick.

Children by Obediah Skidgell were as follow:

Jane b. 1814
Martha B.C. 1816
Esther B.C. 1817/1818
Eliza B.C. 1821/1822
William B.C. 1824
Mary Elizabeth b. 1826
Lydia b. 1828

Children by John Cochran

Priscilla b. 1835
Mary Ann b. 1836
Ruth b. 1839
William b. 1840

1851 Census for Perth Parish, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada

Martha Cochran 58 Head of Household
William Skidgell 27 son
Mary Skidgell 25 daughter
Mary A. Cochran 15 daughter
Ruth Cochran 12 daughter
William Cochran 11 son

Next door is

Lydia Craig 23 listed as a daughter
Her son Daniel Craig 4
Eliza Farley 29 widow
And her daughter Jane Farley 7

It appears that the above was listed as two separate household but they are all listed as being on same property

1860 Census Maysville, Aroostook, Maine, USA

William Skidgell 34 Head of Household
Martha Skidgell 65 Mother

This was last that I could find Martha Giberson, Skidgell Cochran.

What I knew of Martha Children was the following

a. Esther married David Brown on Oct. 24, 1839 in Perth, New Brunswick.
b. Eliza married to Mr. Farley and was widowed by 1851.
c. Mary Elizabeth married Calvin Armstrong on August 21, 1844in Perth, New Brunswick. (They were divorced before 1850 when Calvin is remarried and living in Michigan.)
d. Lydia married to James Craig on Dec. 7, 1846 in Perth, New Brunswick (they were divorced by 1851), Lydia 23 with her son Daniel Craig age 4 is living next door to her mother in 1851 census.
e. Mary Ann Cochran had married Hiram Hardison on March 4 1854 in Fort Fairfield. Maine.
f. Ruth Cochran married Reuben Churchill Bartlett on Feb. 4, 1854 in Presque Isle, Maine.
g. William Cochran age 11 in 1851 appears to have died young.
h. Martha’s second husband John Cochran is last known to be alive at the wedding of his step-daughter Lydia when he was one witness at the marriage. John is dead before the 1851 census was taken.

About two and half years ago, I found evidence that Mary, divorced wife of Calvin Armstrong, had married John Benjamin of Maysville, Aroostook, Maine. Also found that Ruth & Reuben Bartlett had moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

This past October I was trying to find out more on Martha’s family, when I went to the Familysearch.org web site and put in Martha Giberson name as a parent and the surname of Skidgell. A death record from Eau Claire, Wisconsin shown up for Martha’s daughter Lydia. She was Lydia Taylor.

I checked the census listing both in Family search and on Ancestry. Found Martha in 1870 in Eau Claire living with her daughter Mary Ann, now married to Joseph Ladd (married Feb 9, 1868 in Eau Claire) and her granddaughter Dora Hardison and her son William Skidgell. Found Lydia married to Francis Taylor, but she had children with surname of Cummings who born in Maine.

Looked in 1860 census in Maine and found Lydia was married to John Cummings of Easton, Maine. Her son by James Craig, Daniel was living with Craig grandfather Daniel Sr. in Perth, New Brunswick by 1860.

In 1885 Wisconsin state census I found William Skidgell living with M. C. Harris and his Jane. William was listed as a brother in law. William appears too died after March 24, 1888 in Mitchell, Wisconsin.

I then traced Jane and found her in 1860, 1870, 1880, 1885 and 1905 censuses. It appears that Jane died July 1, 1908 Le Suer, Minnesota. At least there is a Jane Harris the correct age dying in 1908.

The 1860 St. Croix Falls, Polk, Wisconsin

Michael Harris 46
Jane Harris 46
William Harris 21
George Harris 9
Martha Ann Harris 7
Jane Farley 17

I wonder if the Eliza [Jane Skidgell] Farley 29 living with Lydia Skidgell Craig in 1851 census of Perth, New Brunswick may be same person as Jane Skidgell married to Michael C. Harris listed in 1860 census of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. What makes me wonder this is the fact that Jane Farley is living in household of Michael Harris and his wife Jane Skidgell Harris. If Eliza Farley and Jane Skidgell is not the same person, suspect that Eliza Farley is another child of Obediah & Martha and her daughter Jane Farley is living with her Aunt Jane in 1860.

Believe in William Harris age 21 is the son of Michael Cooke Harris and his first wife Sophia Louise Charlton, who married on June 11, 1835 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

I have never found a marriage for early Farley man to anyone named Eliza in early 1850 in New Brunswick or Maine.

If I had not bothered to re visit family search and put in Martha Giberson as a parent I would not found that a large portion of her children moved to the Wisconsin area in late 1860’s. Nor would found her under last married of Cochran with her re-married daughter Mary Ann Cochran Hardison Ladd in 1870 census.

Her son William Skidgell and her daughters Jane Harris, Esther Brown, Lydia Taylor, Mary Ann Ladd and Ruth Bartlett all moved to greater Eau Claire Wisconsin area.

One thing I notice is that Martha and some of her daughters their age vary from one record to the next record or census listing.

It’s hard to know the correct birth order for the Skidgell children.

Creative Commons License
This Old Tree, January 2013 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at ac-gs.org.

Creative Commons License
This Old Tree, January 2013 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at ac-gs.org.