In June of 2017, I visited the Knowlton-Edgerly Cemetery in Chichester, New Hampshire, to photograph and document the Leavitt burials there. In one plot, I took notice of Judith Leavitt and her son Ephraim Merrill, who had died a day apart (our Samuel genealogy book, on pg 85, errs in his death year), he being one of six children who died relatively young within this family.
Searching the old newspapers online [at GenealogyBank, a paid subscription site], the above two were the only ones I was able to find from the 1820's. The following notice is from the New Hampshire Patriot & State Gazette, printed on Monday, April 2nd, 1821 (pg 3):
At Chichester, March 19, Mrs. Judith Leavitt, aged 43; and on the 20th, Mr. Ephraim M. Leavitt, aged 21; wife and son of Mr. Ephraim Leavitt - both of consumption, and both buried the same day. Mrs. L. had been for years a member of the Methodist church, and was highly respected in life, and her death is deeply lamented. The son was a promising young man, and his premature exit is deeply regretted. The afflicted father has been called within the past year to follow to the grave no less than four adults of his own family.
Mr. Leavitt had, during the prior year, lost two other children: Dorothy Frost Leavitt, on 12 Apr 1820, and Mehitable Clement Leavitt, on 26 Sept. They are also buried in this same lot in Knowlton Cemetery (for more grave photos in this yard, see "Chichester Cemeteries").
Ephraim Leavitt would remarry in 1822, to Abigail Piper, and relocated to Levant, Maine the following year. He died in 1846, and was buried in the Simpson's Corner Cemetery in Corinth, Penobscot, Maine.
Prior to leaving town, Ephraim Leavitt sold his property to his son, Jeremy Nathaniel Cogswell Leavitt [Rock. Deeds, Bk 235, pg 471], who would pass it on to his son Augustus. Following his death in 1886, the homestead was occupied by his widow, Betsey (Towle), the "Mrs. B. Leavitt" seen on the 1892 map of Chichester, NH.
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.
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.