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, January 2014

The Mystery of Julia Savage

In the 1871 census for Fredericton, York, New Brunswick, there is a listing for Julia A. Savage, age 59, living in St. Ann’s Ward in Fredericton. She is listed as “Amn. Pensioner.”

Spike and I went to Fredericton recently and visited both the Archives and the Harriet Irving Library. Since I was there for further info on Pierre Mazzerolle’s children for myself, I asked Roger, a staff member at the Archives, to help me with finding the proper guardianship records. I then ask for his help concerning a Julia Savage question. Who was she and what did the “Amn. Pensioner” mean? With Roger’s help, we found the 1871 census for Fredericton in book form. The book explained that Amn. was how American was abbreviated in the 1870’s in Canada. Roger then had to leave the research room for another part of the Archives.

When Rob Gilmore, the Director of the Archives, stopped by later and asked if I needed any help, I asked about Julia being listed as an American Pensioner. He said that Julia was getting a pension of some sort from America and Rob thought that Julia’s husband may be found as being in the American Civil War.

There was a book at the Archives listing Canadians who fought in the US Civil War. We found a Thomas Savage who was from Fredericton who joined the Union Army in Bangor, Maine. Thomas joined on July 28, 1862, age of 21. He died of wounds near Petersburg, Virginia, on June 18, 1864. Rob found references to Julia Savage applying for a pension on the web site “3fold”.

When I got back to Caribou I asked a friend who had access to “3fold” to look for Thomas Savage and Julia Savage. There was a 20 page file on Julia’s request for a pension. In the file, we found out that Julia Ann Bubar was married April 10, 1832, to William Savage. Both were from St. Mary’s Parish, in York County, New Brunswick, located just north of the City of Fredericton.

There was also a letter from Edward Savage stating that he knew that Thomas was the sole supporter for Julia A Savage and that William and Julia had lived in Bangor and that William had died about 1844 in St. John, New Brunswick.

Spike and I look at the census records for Bangor to see if we could find William or Julia in the census. Never found them. It appears that William and Julia had three or four children.

  1. Edward b. 1833,
  2. Elizabeth b. 1835,
  3. John b. 1837, and
  4. Thomas b. 1841.

The paperwork also indicated that Julia received $8 per month for the loss of her son and sole support. On the application for pension, someone had written above Julia A Savage, “died October 16, 1872”, the date of death of Julia. Edward Savage was found to be in Bangor in 1860.

As mentioned above, he was born about 1833 in New Brunswick. Looking at marriage records, we found he married in Fredericton to Catherine Day and later in Bangor to Margaret Firth. Edward Savage would move from Bangor to Eastport Maine by 1870.

In 1860 there was a John Savage age 23 single from New Brunswick living in Eastport. Spike and I went to the Bangor Library to research William Savage through city directories. There were several listing for William Savage, none for Julia or Thomas Savage.

I mentioned to Spike about seeing if there were tax records or Poll Tax records on file. Elizabeth Stevens at the Bangor Public Library mentioned that the library had been given the early tax assessor’s books for Bangor. She took us down into the basement of the Library to find the man who was working on them. He was not around but we did look at the books. There was a William Savage who had no property but had paid his poll tax for 1843. The book was set up with a column for poll tax.

Poll tax records are one way to help track a man, especially, if he did not own property but he was still expected to pay his poll tax. In Maine the poll tax was not repeal until 1978.

There is more work to be done on Julia’s children and their families. Also, which William Savage was the one married to Julia Ann Bubar?

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This Old Tree, January 2014 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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