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May 14, 2017 Posted by | . | 33 Comments

Can a Son-in-law Solve a 115 Year Old Mystery? | Installment 1/2

This is the first of two new guest posts from family historian Peter Lagasse!


It was 1901 in Poland, Maine, USA. My wife’s great grandfather, Benjamin Waterhouse, has turned 19 while his girlfriend, Grace Austin, has turned 16. In August of that year they were married since Grace would give birth three months later to their first child, Margaret, in October 1901. Less than a year later in August 1902 a second daughter, Helen, is born and in Oct 1903 their son, Raymond Waterhouse Sr., is born. By the age of 21 for Benjamin and 18 for Grace, this young couple has three young children including my wife’s grandfather, Raymond Sr.

In 1906, we see Benjamin Waterhouse mentioned in a town census but when the 1910 federal census was taken there was no Benjamin mentioned in the household. One day sometime after 1906, Benjamin leaves the house of his wife and three children and will never be heard from again. Several stories have come down through the generations why Benjamin had disappeared. One story was he left due to fear of a debtor’s prison from a failed lumbering business. Others said he had gone to Massachusetts, USA to see a relative but had simply vanished. One thing was certain; a wife and three very young children were left with no money, no husband and no father. Something that his only son, Raymond Sr. will never forgive him for. Continue reading

May 14, 2017 Posted by | . | , | Leave a comment