This gravestone is located in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Buxton, Maine, formerly called "Emery Cemetery". This "Wm. P." is WILLIAM P LEAVITT, born in Buxton, Maine on 30 Jan 1811, the son of Bradbury Leavitt [Buxton VR, Bk 4,pg 65]. He died on 7 Aug 1844, AE 33 yrs. 7 mos. [grave]. On the same stone is Charles P. Leavitt, son of Wm P. and Martha Leavitt, who died "May 16, 1844" AE 10 mos.
The Portland Weekly Advertiser newspaper, dated 6/11/1844, has Charles P. dying "in this city, 2d inst", which matches that of his record of burial in Eastern Cemetery, A Tomb 75 [note: this tomb has only 7 members of the Brooks family inscribed on its cover, so perhaps Charles was placed here temporarily] while the city vr (recorded in Jan 1846) lists his death as 4 June 1844. This same newspaper, on 8/13/1844, published "In Buxton, 5th inst, Mr William P. Leavitt, merchant tailor, of this city", so dates differ for both William and his son.
William P. Leavitt and Martha Brown were married in Portland, Maine on 31 May 1841 [ME vr]. This was his second marriage, having been divorced from Anna Berry in Nov 1839 [Cumb County SJC Vol 13 pg 239]. He and Anna had been married on 25 Dec 1831 in Buxton [Buxton VR Bk 3, pg 101]. The Buxton town records [Bk 4 pg 160] has the family of William and Anna:
The date this family information was recorded in the town book is unknown, but the full birth dates of his two children (by 1st wife) were not written down. The "Sept 1830" birth of dau Elizabeth, 15 months prior to her parents' marriage, may be wrong [she died on 16 Jan 1896 in Brockton, MA, aged 63 yrs 4 mos, calculating a birth date of Sept 1832, though too close to brother Wm H's birth]. Portland vital records [Vol 4, pg 292] list their birth dates as "Elizabeth b. Sept 1829, William H, b. Mar 1833, and Charles P, b. Aug 1843".
The will of William P. Leavitt of Buxton, gentleman, is recorded in York County Probate [file #11299], and was dated 16 July 1844, just a few weeks prior to his death. Mentioned in the papers are his wife Martha, daughter Elizabeth, son William Henry, as well as brother Daniel, who was appointed executor. These two children would live with their Uncle Daniel, William being listed as an "adopted son" in Daniel's family record [Buxton VR Bk 2 pg 21], with Elizabeth seen in his household in 1850 census [hh 393/414]. William stayed in Buxton, where he married Roxanna Harmon, while Elizabeth married Timothy Haseltine, and moved first to Abington, MA, then to Brockton.
William P Leavitt was a merchant tailor, and had a store on Middle Street in Portland, Maine, where he sold clothing, furnishings, and had a tailoring business. His home was on Federal, near Temple [1841 Portland City Dir, pg 56]
He is found in the Descendants of Thomas Leavitt book, pg 153, though wrongly listed as a son of Samuel of Buxton, who was born in 1797. Only wife Anna Berry is listed in the write-up, and the deceased infant son Charles is listed with a wife and dau, a totally different Portland couple [from an unknown Canadian Leavitt line]. Daughter Elizabeth, living with her Uncle Daniel Leavitt during the 1850 census, is erroneously listed as a dau of him [Thomas Leavitt gen, pg 108].
Below is an 1841 advert from the Portland, Maine City Directory:
The above (hard to read) stone is in Hampton's Ring Swamp Cemetery, and belongs to SHUBAEL LEAVITT. He was the son of James and Betty (Batchelder) Leavitt, and was born 1 Jan 1791. He died on 22 June 1814, drowned in Portsmouth Harbor while he and several others were taking a pleasure cruise out on the water when the boat overturned.
He was a veteran of the War of 1812, having (briefly) served as a sergeant in Captain Jacob Dearborn's company, Major Edward J Long's Regiment. He had enlisted on 25 May 1814 but deserted on 14 June. He had been stationed at Fort Washington, Portsmouth Harbor. Records say he was discharged on June 22nd, but it is unclear if this was prior to his boating accident, or if he was struck from the rolls following his death that day.
Family data from LEAVITT Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, the Immigrant 1616-1696, and Isabella Bland, pg 43.
stones and stories
More than just names and dates engraved on a grave stone, a look into the Leavitt families found in our cemetery photographs.