F. ALBERT LEAVITT was a few months shy of his eleventh birthday when he left his home that Saturday morning, the 2nd of January 1886, telling his mother that he was going up to visit his grandmother. Instead, he headed out onto the river with a few of his friends to go ice skating.
The river was not totally iced over, however, and young Albert ventured too close to the edge and fell in. Jack Hayes, a local man being close by, made an attempt to grab Albert, but he also slipped into the water. He was able to pull himself out, but the boy was lost under the water.
Once word got back into the city, crowds of people came down to the river, to help in the search. Solon S. Andrews, a Biddeford man, arrived that afternoon with diving equipment, to search for Albert's body, while men in boats and rafts dragged the river with grappling hooks and poles. Several of the searchers fell into the river on Sunday, due to the thin ice, but were saved by others close by.
The distraught mother, widow Mrs B. Frank Leavitt, would even offer a $500 reward for whoever was able to find her son's body.
Young Albert's body was found that Friday, January 8th, down by Cow Island. He was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Saco.
While the majority of Leavitt names living in Saco, Maine descend from the "Thomas line" (ie. Descendants of Thomas Leavitt of Hampton), this particular family can be found in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt book, on 134. Father Benjamin Franklin Leavitt, son of Benjamin and Sarah E (Stevenson), had come from Exeter, NH. This volume, however, only listed a daughter for B. Frank and his wife Laura (Patterson), but left out son F. Albert Leavitt.
The above 1872 map of Saco shows (in red) where "F. Leavitt" (Benjamin Franklin) and his family lived on Common Street, while the blue circle was the home of "E. Patterson", who was the widow Eunice, Albert's maternal grandmother.
JOHN HENRY LEAVITT was an Irish immigrant, and probably not a descendant of John or Thomas Leavitt of the 1600's, though he is worthy of mention.
A former resident of Newmarket, NH, he moved to Dover, NH and worked as a gate tender for the Boston & Maine Railroad. It was here, on the 13th of December, 1905, that he died from "hiccough", which had afflicted him for 10 days. The contributing cause was "mental excitement" of two weeks, though his obituary gives no clue as to the circumstance which caused this.
John H Leavitt was born in County Kerry, Ireland, and had immigrated here in June 1848. In 1861, he declared his intent to be a citizen of the U.S. [MA Naturalization Recs: US Circ Crt Vol 14, #222]. He had first lived in North Abington, MA, where his three children were born. He afterwards moved to Newmarket, NH.
This interesting grave stone is located in the High Street Cemetery in Hampton, New Hampshire, and belongs to ABRAHAM MARSTON LEAVITT. He was the son of Thomas and Mary (Marston) Leavitt, born in Hampton on 6 Mar 1827 [Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, pg 150/155].
He moved to Boston, Mass, where he worked as a police officer in the 1860's. In 1868, he became a truant officer for the city [Boston Traveller, 3/31/1868], a position he held until his death in Roxbury on 7 Oct 1898.
His wife was SARAH J SANBORN, the daughter of William and Hannah (Chase) Sanborn of Seabrook, NH [death rec]. She died in Stoughton, MA on 13 Jan 1910, and was buried in Hampton, NH [MA Death Rec].
They had two sons, William Sanborn Leavitt and Alfred Marston Leavitt, both of whom lived in Boston, and were also buried in the High St Cemetery.
- Hampton, NH Cemetery page
- Boston Evening Times, 8/28/1860 (pg 4): Abraham appointed officer on 27 Aug.
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.
BRACKETT LEAVITT (Nathaniel, James, James, Aretas, Thomas) was born abt Oct 1789 in Limerick, Maine, the son of Nathaniel (a Revolutionary War soldier) and Mary (Elkins) Leavitt. He died 21 Apr 1866, and is buried in the Hillside-Baptist Cemetery in Limerick.
He married, on 28 Oct 1811, to MARY WORMWOOD of Alfred, Maine. She was born 30 Apr 1790 and died on 9 Oct 1878.
Brackett (also spelled Brackett, Bracet) was a War of 1812 veteran. He served as a private in Capt Solomon Strout's Company, Lt Col John Spring's regiment, which was raised at Limington, and served at Saco [Massachusetts, Dist of Maine]. He enlisted on 10/30/1814 and was discharged on 11/13/14. He also served in Merrill's 4th MA Militia under Capt Strout.
They had the following children:
I. George Washington Leavitt, born 12 May 1812
II. Lydia Wormwood Leavitt, b. 4 June 1815
III. Shubael Leavitt, b. 26 Jan 1822
IV. Sarah Anne Leavitt, b. 8 July 1829
V. Louise Stevens Leavitt, b. 27 Feb 1832
VI. Julia A. Leavitt
Family data from LEAVITT Descendants of Thomas Leavitt, the Immigrant 1616-1696, and Isabella Bland, pg 53,65.
According to the 1856 York County map, "B. Leavitt" lived on the corner of what is now Route 5 and Range E Road. A clipped image (below) from Google Street View shows the house at this location, which may have been Brackett's. The home has a "1795" plaque on the front.
JOHN LEAVITT was born on 10 June 1836 in Exeter, NH, the son of John and Abigail (Lee) Leavitt. He died in Exeter, NH on 8 Mar 1906 [NH VR], and was buried in Exeter Cemetery.
His wife was IRENE S DOLLOFF, the daughter of Stephen P and Judith A (Rowell) Dolloff. They were married on 28 Nov 1861 in Brentwood, NH. She was born in Exeter, Nov 1838 [1900 census], and died on 26 Oct 1911 in Exeter [NH VR].
John was a Civil War veteran, serving in Co E, 13th NH Infantry. He enlisted on 9 Aug 1862, age 25, and mustered in as a private on 09/19/62. He was transferred on 13 Oct 1863 to the 19th US Veteran Reserve Corps, Co D; He was discharged on 13 July 1865.
John and Irene lived their lives in Exeter, NH, where he worked as a farmer and shoemaker. According to the 1900 census, Irene had two children, but neither were living. Census records do not record any children in their household, so it seems they died while young.
His ancestry, according to the LEAVITT Descendants of John, the Immigrant, Through His Son, Moses book (pg 101): John (John, John, John, John, Moses, John)
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.